Military History: The Invention of the Longbow in Britain

The longbow emerged in western ancient Britain (i.e. Wales as it is called now) from a shorter bow prior to 1066, and was used with devastating effect against the Normans at Crug Mawr (1136) by my ancestral cousins Prince Owain Gwynedd and Prince Gruffudd ap Rhys Deheubarth (attached). It was six to seven feet long with a string made of hemp soaked in glue. It needed great strength to draw it, great skill to use it, and it was pulled to the ear. It was effective at over 200 metres. Various types were used against mail, plate and horses. It could fire ten to twelve arrows a minute. The cross bow could fire only one a minute. The Normans did not know about it at Crug Mawr (1136), and it is a pity that was not used against them at Brecon (1093). At Crug Mawr the Norman heavy infantry (Flemish mercenaries) and heavy cavalry were routed by longbowmen. The unarmoured Norman levies were cut to pieces. Unfortunately horses were heavy casualties as well as knights, because the horse is a bigger target. The Normans in Wales were rapacious and out of control Norse Vikings basically, notably de Braoise and de Clare, so they had to be annihilated after Crug Mawr to stop them from damaging Britain to extinction. Three thousand were killed out of ten thousand, with light British casualties. This happened many times over, so as described in the poetry of Nobel Nominee R. S. Thomas, Wales is soaked with blood. Being a Minister he meant this of course as a strong criticism of invadors and of war. War is never a good idea, this is an analytical and historical account because the victors were my ancestral cousins. The Norman system is still trying to damage Wales now, with uncontrolled immigration into Welsh speaking areas. My Bro Iaith policy is designed to stop this by putting houses in Trust and so on.


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