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FReeper Canteen ~ Part V of the Mongols ~ December 7, 2004
www.coldsiberia.org ^ | December 7, 2004 | LaDivaLoca

Posted on 12/06/2004 7:56:10 PM PST by LaDivaLoca

 
 

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ANCIENT WARFARE





Part V of The Mongols

Mongolian Bow

Because the Old Mongols lived in an environment where survival skills were always of the utmost importance, it was a matter of course that they should develop excellent tools, both civilian and military. One piece of equipment that was of great significance in war as well as in the daily life of the Mongols was their composite bow. Perhaps this bow is not quite as well-known in the West as the English longbow, which was the best bow ever to emerge in Europe.

Yet the Old Mongolian bow was incomparably superior to everything seen in the West. Not until the advent of breach-loading firearms in the 1800's was the Mongolian bow decisively surpassed as a long-range shooting tool. Still the original Mongolian bow remains a formidable tool for targeting, war or hunting, and the people around the Bajkal sea regularly used these bows for hunting at least up to the twentieth century.

Military Use

When we are talking about Mongolian bows, the first thoughts go the their military use, although hunting and target practice certainly were more prominent activities. Every day was not filled with war, but hunting and the training of skills were part of the daily routine. However, we will start with the military aspect.

In the military, each soldier carried two bows on horseback. One bow was for long-range shooting, another for shooting at close distances. Also, each soldier had two quivers with arrows for different purposes. To mention but a few of these, there were armor-piercing arrows with a particularly heavy arrowhead of tempered steel, there were incendiary arrows for setting buildings afire and spreading fear in the enemy ranks, as well as whistling arrows for signalling. Of course, the most arrows they carried were ordinary arrows where the arrowhead and length of the shaft were adjusted to the normal range at which the particular type arrow was to be used. The standard, according to James Chambers, was that each soldier should have at least sixty arrows with him or her. Yes; it merits mention once more that the strongest and most courageous Mongolian females rode along with the men and fought bravely. Also, the women who did not ordinarily participate in military activity nevertheless had to learn how to wield the bow, a necessary skill for self-defence as well as hunting.

The Construction

We are now going into the details of the Mongolian bow. As already mentioned, it was the best bow in the world, and probably still is. Even though the modern high-tech compound bows are in some ways more convenient to use and can be made equally powerful, the sheer simplicity of the Mongol composite bow with its complete indepencence of foreign equipment and complicated parts that the archer cannot easily repair or replace makes the Mongol bow on balance a superior solution. In order to show the Mongols and their extraordinary bow the proper respect, the story is mostly told in the present tense, which also serves to emphasize the salient point that these things can be done today as well.

The Mongol bow is not as large and long as the English one, but it is vastly more powerful. The draw weight of an English longbow averages around 70-80 pounds, whereas the Old Mongol bow had a pull that, according to George Vernadsky, averaged at around 166 pounds. Chambers states that the pull varied from 100 to 160 pounds. This seeming discrepancy certainly reflects the fact that draw weight varied with the strength of the user, and with what use the bow had been made for. As could be expected, there was a considerable difference in shooting range. Whereas the English longbow could shoot at distances up to 250 yards or around 228 meters, the Mongol counterpart can hit its target at 350 yards or 320 meters and, if the archer is well trained for the task, even beyond that.

There are people who claim that the Old Mongols could shoot and hit their target over truly astonishing distances. Gongor Lhagvasuren, Deputy Director at the Mongolian National Institute of Physical Education, has written an article called "The stele of Chinggis Khan." There, Lhagvasuren refers to an ancient inscription on a stone found in the basin of the river Kharkiraa, a left tributary of Urlengui river which flows into the trans-Bajkal river Erdene. The text of the inscription, supposedly dated from 1226, may be interpreted as follows: "While Chinggis Khan was holding an assembly of Mongolian dignitaries, after his conquest of Sartaul (East Turkestan), Esungge shot a target at 335 alds" (536m). Lhagvasuren draws the conclusion in his article that such feats were rather common for Mongolian archers during the 1200's, and writes: "This case illustrates the strength, accuracy and sharpness, physical prowess of the Mongolians who lived more than 700 years ago." Whether or not we find it likely that Mongolian archers could regularly hit their targets at the distances Lhagvasuren claims they could, there is no question that they and their and bows are outstanding in all of archery's history.

When we take a closer look at the Mongolian bow, we see that it is an intriguing construction indeed. The backbone of the bow is a wooden frame, which will typically be birch, because that wood is resilient and is also readily available. The total length of the frame is 150-160 cm. When the bow is unstrung, it looks like a semi-circle with a beautifully curvaceous shape, but when a string is attached the whole thing is stretched out so that its limbs are bent inward. Even so, these limbs with string attachments are bent slighly away from the archer, forming a double curve. It is this double curve that delivers explosive acceleration and awesome velocity to the arrow. From these limbs or bends of the bow behind the string attachments where the impact is greatest, the frame is covered with elongated and flattened pieces of mountain sheep's (or other wild or domesticated ungulate's) horn or/and bone which adds snapping power to the resilient wood in the frame. These hard parts form a layer that covers the whole area of the so-called belly, which is the part between the grip and the limbs. Chambers describes how the back parts of the bow, nearest the archer, were those covered with horn and/or bone while the sinew layer was applied to the outer side.

The reader will have noticed that I use the term horn and/or bone. This is because the precise details of how the bows were built could vary over the Siberian area, although the main features are clear. The bone elements, when added, are no more than a small part at the center of the bow, and may originally have served mainly ornamental and possibly magical purposes.

source: http://www.coldsiberia.org/monbow.htm

Next Tuesday Part VI of The Mongols




TOPICS: Free Republic; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: ancientwar; bows; genghiskhan; mongols
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Before 911 became an etched nightmare in our national psyche, Pearl Harbor was remembered as the greatest single attack on American soil.

Below you will find the human cost that fateful day. As you enjoy your day today, please remember those that sacrificed today and yesterday for your right to enjoy the day.
 

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Hanukkah officially begins at sundown today. From all of us at the FR Canteen, we'd like to send a special "Happy Hanukkah" to our Jewish friends around the world. God Bless You!

To learn more about Hanukkah, please click on the logo. Also, we'll provide Hanukkah music on the thread throughout the day!

 

1 posted on 12/06/2004 7:56:11 PM PST by LaDivaLoca
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To: LaDivaLoca

HI, DIVA!


2 posted on 12/06/2004 7:57:23 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub; Kathy in Alaska; MoJo2001; tomkow6; Bethbg79; bentfeather; Radix; ...






Have a wonderful day!



Good evening, Goodnight, Good morning, Good afternoon, everyone!
*HUGS* to all!
LaKiWaLoka (
my Hawaiian name)


3 posted on 12/06/2004 7:57:47 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: Old Sarge
Hi, Old Sarge!!! Missed you.

*HUGS*

4 posted on 12/06/2004 7:58:42 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: MoJo2001
THANK YOU, Diva, for the Pearl Harbor and Hanukkah tribute!

*HUGS*

5 posted on 12/06/2004 8:00:53 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: LaDivaLoca; All


6 posted on 12/06/2004 8:01:31 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: LaDivaLoca

Hi Diva, I have missed you! How are you??


7 posted on 12/06/2004 8:02:26 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: LaDivaLoca; All
Good morning Troops, Veterans and Canteeners . . . Keeping the Faith.

Prayers going up.


8 posted on 12/06/2004 8:02:34 PM PST by HopeandGlory (Hey, Liberals . . . PC died on 9/11 . . . GET USED TO IT!!!)
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To: LaDivaLoca; armyboy; Arrowhead1952; darkwing104; txradioguy; Long Cut; Jet Jaguar; spiderman9; ...
Click on the pic and I'll guide you
to the start of today's thread


In Honor of those who died on December 7 1941




Hanukkah begins December 7th at sundown



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9 posted on 12/06/2004 8:02:49 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: bentfeather
Hello, bentfeather! Hope all is well with you, Diva!

*HUGS*

Hope to catch you all tomorrow. I need to catch up with my ZZZz. Goodnight all!

10 posted on 12/06/2004 8:03:13 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: LaDivaLoca

Diva....*HUGS* How are you these days? We've missed you.


11 posted on 12/06/2004 8:04:40 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Hi Tonk! Thank you for your steadfast support of our Troops!

*HUGS* and have a good evening and goodnight.

12 posted on 12/06/2004 8:04:49 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: Old Sarge

13 posted on 12/06/2004 8:05:16 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: LaDivaLoca; MoJo2001

Thank You for today's thread AND today's comment box.


14 posted on 12/06/2004 8:05:18 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: LaDivaLoca

Your Mongols have been fascinating. Thank you.


15 posted on 12/06/2004 8:06:55 PM PST by Lady Jag (All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power)
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To: armyboy; Arrowhead1952; darkwing104; txradioguy; Long Cut; Jet Jaguar; spiderman9; big_sis_10; ...


FYI : Look in upper right corner of "My Comments" page.
Set it for "Brief" instead of Full.
You only will get title of thread and who pinged you.
No graphics will load.

16 posted on 12/06/2004 8:07:25 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: Kathy in Alaska
Hello, Kathy! Still busy as a bee. I missed all of you. Maybe when things slow down a bit, I can hang out with everyone. But know that I'm always thinking of you guys. Hope all is well on your end.

*HUGS* and have a good evening.

17 posted on 12/06/2004 8:07:30 PM PST by LaDivaLoca (There can be no triumph w/o loss, no victory w/o suffering, no freedom w/o sacrifice. THANK U TROOPS)
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To: Kathy in Alaska; MoJo2001; LaDivaLoca; bentfeather; beachn4fun; Fawnn; Ragtime Cowgirl; StarCMC; ...
From the men in the Military and the Canteen


18 posted on 12/06/2004 8:09:25 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
"The Mongol bow is not as large and long as the English one, but it is vastly more powerful. The draw weight of an English longbow averages around 70-80 pounds, whereas the Old Mongol bow had a pull that, according to George Vernadsky, averaged at around 166 pounds."

The beau with the best bow usually triumphed, all other things being equal...MUD

19 posted on 12/06/2004 8:11:13 PM PST by Mudboy Slim (RE-IMPEACH the HildaBeast's Hubby!!)
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To: All
To every service man or woman reading this thread.
Thank You for your service to our country.
No matter where you are stationed,
No matter what your job description
Know that we are are proud of each and everyone of you.


To our military readers, we remain steadfast in keeping the Canteen doors open.
The FR Canteen is Free Republics longest running daily thread specifically designed
to provide entertainment and morale support for the military.

The doors have been open since Oct 7 2001,
the day of the start of the war in Afghanistan.

We are indebted to you for your sacrifices for our Freedom.


FR CANTEEN MISSION STATEMENT
Showing support and boosting the morale of
our military and our allies military
and the family members of the above.
Honoring those who have served before.
CLICK HERE TO FIND LATEST THREAD.



20 posted on 12/06/2004 8:11:55 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (Have you said Thank You to a service man or woman today?)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Hmm Ford island looks familiar.

Prayers up


21 posted on 12/06/2004 8:12:30 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub


Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor




22 posted on 12/06/2004 8:12:55 PM PST by Lady Jag (All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

WTG, Tonk...


23 posted on 12/06/2004 8:13:06 PM PST by herewego (Based on a true story)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Thank you Tonk for the lovely flowers. Thanks to the Men in the Military and the Canteen. God Bless our Troops.


24 posted on 12/06/2004 8:13:30 PM PST by laurenmarlowe
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To: LaDivaLoca

What Kath said...

Thanks for the monguls and the excellent Indian thread


25 posted on 12/06/2004 8:13:59 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: LaDivaLoca
Just make sure you don't work yourself into any sickness. Take good care of yourself as you do what needs to be done.


26 posted on 12/06/2004 8:15:17 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: LaDivaLoca
Somne of your source on this one is fanciful. A 160 lb bow of any sort would be of use only to our strongest modern athletes, if that. There was nobody alive in the middle ages capable of pulling a 160 lb. bow and there sure as hell has never been anybody light enough to ride horses and strong enough to pull a hundred and sixty pound bow. Figure about 80 or 90 lbs, absolute tops.

Aside from that, the idea of women riding in a mongol army is ludicrous. Mongol women stayed home and raised mongol kids.

27 posted on 12/06/2004 8:15:20 PM PST by judywillow
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To: LaDivaLoca
Yes, Mongol women learned to use the bow. So did Samurai women.

Many people would admire the two swords the head of household might have on display in his home after the custom of his ancestors, but how many would even notice grandmother's bow in the corner?

28 posted on 12/06/2004 8:18:47 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: judywillow
The Mongol way of life wasn't very different from the ancient Scythians who preceeded them. Many different tribes of Scythians ordinarily taught the use of swords and bows to their girls who joined them in whatever warfare arose.

The ancient Greeks supposedly came up with their Amazon Women tales based on their observation of these tribes.

There's no reason to suppose the Mongols left their women defenseless anymore than did the more ancient people in that part of the world.

29 posted on 12/06/2004 8:22:07 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: USAF_TSgt; American Preservative; Alouette; Yehuda; yonif; Nix 2; knighthawk; SJackson; Israeli; ...

30 posted on 12/06/2004 8:24:01 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: bentfeather
Thank you, ms feather, for the Canteen Blessing for the Troops.
31 posted on 12/06/2004 8:25:56 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: All

December 7, 2004

How To Be Unpopular

Read: Jeremiah 23:16-23

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! —Jeremiah 23:1

Bible In One Year: Daniel 5-7; 2 John


In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Luther became known as a reformer, and we remember his bold stand as a turning point in church history.

The fiery priest demonstrated great courage in expressing outrage at the church's practice of selling forgiveness through indulgences, which allowed the people to sin intentionally in exchange for money.

Luther's passion to stop these practices did not make him popular with the religious authorities of his day. In fact, his efforts resulted in a series of attempts to silence him.

Long before Luther, the prophet Jeremiah felt the power of God's Word in his heart "like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not" (Jeremiah 20:9). Jeremiah and Luther refused to allow God's truth to be compromised.

Living for God is about grace and forgiveness, but it's also about boldly standing for the truth. Having God's Word in our heart doesn't always result in warm, pleasant feelings. Sometimes His truth becomes a blazing fire that causes us to challenge corruption—even though we may be attacked for it. —Julie Ackerman Link

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word. —Watts

It's better to declare the truth and be rejected than to withhold it just to be accepted.

32 posted on 12/06/2004 8:27:30 PM PST by The Mayor (If Jesus lives within us, sin need not overwhelm us.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Kathy in Alaska

Hi, Tonk:

Hi, Kathy:

Great looking spread tonight!

Jack.


33 posted on 12/06/2004 8:28:54 PM PST by Jack Deth (When In Doubt.... Empty The Magazine!)
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To: Jack Deth
Good evening, Jack.


34 posted on 12/06/2004 8:33:36 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: Jack Deth
Robert Randolph and the Family Band Happy trails Tuscaloosa
35 posted on 12/06/2004 8:33:41 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
NEVER FORGET


36 posted on 12/06/2004 8:34:02 PM PST by LUV W (WE DID NOT WAVER; WE DID NOT TIRE; WE DID NOT FALTER; AND WE DID NOT FAIL!! GWB ROCKS!!!!!!!!)
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To: All

Good Night All

God Bless and Protect our Military and our Allies Military

God Bless All who enter the Canteen


37 posted on 12/06/2004 8:36:47 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (God Bless America)
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To: All

Click here


Good Night all! God Bless!

38 posted on 12/06/2004 8:37:19 PM PST by The Mayor (If Jesus lives within us, sin need not overwhelm us.)
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To: judywillow
Somne of your source on this one is fanciful. A 160 lb bow of any sort would be of use only to our strongest modern athletes, if that. There was nobody alive in the middle ages capable of pulling a 160 lb. bow and there sure as hell has never been anybody light enough to ride horses and strong enough to pull a hundred and sixty pound bow. Figure about 80 or 90 lbs, absolute tops.
Aside from that, the idea of women riding in a mongol army is ludicrous. Mongol women stayed home and raised mongol kids

 

Welcome to the Canteen!
First, the source for the Mongol series is shown at the top: http://www.coldsiberia.org/



 

39 posted on 12/06/2004 8:38:10 PM PST by MoJo2001 (Operation Valentine's Day ---Begins January 1st - January 21st..www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Good night and sleep well, Tonkin. God bless you good and thank you for your service to our country, both then, and now in the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Canteen. *HUG*


40 posted on 12/06/2004 8:39:26 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: muawiyah
Welcome to the Canteen!
As a Polynesian, I can tell you that women can be equally fierce in battle. However, some folks may not have ancestry that is capable of getting the job done. That's why it's not feasible to imagine for them. For every Spartan woman, there will be forever a French wimpette.



 
41 posted on 12/06/2004 8:41:09 PM PST by MoJo2001 (Operation Valentine's Day ---Begins January 1st - January 21st..www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: LaDivaLoca

In addition to the limbs, Mongol compound bows had "ears" at each end, to which the bowstring attached. These added further tension when the bow was drawn, giving it more power.

Mongol bows were held together with a glue made from fish bladders, which were waterproof. The glue was also used on the wrap used on both limbs, such as birch bark, which added to the moisture resistance. Despite their power, Mongol bows were fairly short ( a requirement for a horse archer, deriving all their power from the construction materials and manufacturing techniques). They were fired in a different manner than western bows, with the arrows placed on the side of the grip away from the hand holding the bow, and with the use of a thumb ring on the on the hand pulling the bow. Mongol success with the bow in battle was the result of three factors: years of hunting, the gait of the Mongol horse, which even at a gallop allowed a rider using short stirrups to fire from a stable platform, and lethal use of the "arrow storm" technique.

Mongol armor piercing arrowheads were reportedly tempered in salt water to make them harder, and the heads came in various shapes. Like the Parthians centuries before them, Mongol ordus went to war with wagonloads of spare arrows. The 60 arrows referred to by Chambers were their "basic load", and readily, and frequently, replaced.


42 posted on 12/06/2004 8:41:36 PM PST by PzLdr
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Sweet dreams Mr.Tonkin!
*HUGS*


43 posted on 12/06/2004 8:41:47 PM PST by MoJo2001 (Operation Valentine's Day ---Begins January 1st - January 21st..www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: The Mayor

Thanks, TM, for the link. Very nice Pearl Harbor site.


44 posted on 12/06/2004 8:41:56 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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To: MoJo2001

bttt


45 posted on 12/06/2004 8:42:18 PM PST by malia (I am French, English, Scotch, and German. What am I?)
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To: Jack Deth

L0L its a bit loose but I like the general harmony, hope you git a smile as well


46 posted on 12/06/2004 8:42:59 PM PST by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: MoJo2001

Good Night

*HUG*


47 posted on 12/06/2004 8:43:29 PM PST by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub (God Bless America)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
Beautiful flowers...

And the cozy fireplace scenes... They all give my day a lift..

Thanks so much Tonkin..
48 posted on 12/06/2004 8:44:34 PM PST by bikewench
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To: All


A PRAYER OF PROTECTION

The light of God surround you
The love of God enfold you
The power of God protect you
The presence of God watch over you
Wherever you are,God is,
And all is well.
Amen.

Bless This House



Bless this house O Lord we pray;
Make it safe by night and day;
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out:
Bless the roof and chimneys tall,
Let thy peace lie over all;
Bless this door, that it may prove
ever open to joy and love.


Bless these windows shining bright,
Letting in God's heav'nly light;
Bless the hearth a'blazing there,
with smoke ascending like a prayer;
Bless the folk who dwell within,
keep them pure and free from sin;
Bless us all that we may be
Fit O Lord to dwell with thee;
Bless us all that one day we
May dwell O Lord with thee.



(Click on praying hands above, or on banner at the top to hear the music)



49 posted on 12/06/2004 8:44:48 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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Duty ~ Honor ~ Country

Click above to visit "A Day in the Life of President Bush"

50 posted on 12/06/2004 8:45:36 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (Support Our Troops! Operation Valentine's Day www.proudpatriots.com)
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