Outside the walls of Acre during the Third Crusade,a Welsh and a Turkish archer agreed to a trial of skill. Each promised to stand still while his adversary took a shot at him. The Turk fired and missed, then suggested they allow themselves two shots each. The Welsh archer - says the Norman poet Ambroise - agreed, but while the Turk was getting his second arrow ready, the Welshman took careful aim and shot him through the heart:
"So, by Saint Denis, mine I broke."
'Tis but a scratch
Captain Dupetit-Thouars of the Tonnant was also badly mangled. He lost both arms and a leg. He refused to go below, but had himself placed in a tub of bran and sawdust to soak up the blood. He continued to give orders until he mercifully lost consciousness.
The Arab Camp at the Battle of Yarmuk, 636 AD
We move amongst the cushions,
With the grace of gentle kittens
Our bracelets on our elbows.
If you attack we shall embrace you;
And if you retreat we will forsake you
With a loveless separation.
Before rising to commmand the British expeditionary force in the Crimean War, Lord Raglan served as the Duke of Wellington's military secretary at Waterloo. He had never actually commanded a unit before the war, but merely standing beside the Iron Duke during the Napoleonic Wars apparently was enough to make him the most qualified general in the British Army. Although incompetent as a commander, he was personally rather brave and courageous. At the Battle of Waterloo Raglan lost his right arm. After the surgeon removed the wounded limb, Lord Raglan requested that he see the arm once more. He wished to retrieve a ring on one of the fingers.
...Antigonos [one of Alexander the Great's Successors] once saw some soldiers occupying their leisure playing ball but still wearing their armour. When he sought out their officers to commend them for instilling such zeal in their men, he found them busy drinking, and accordingly demoted them instead and promoted the zealous soldiers in their places.
In the closing years of the sixteenth century, Ireland was so unpopular with English soldiers that a troop of one hundred recruits from Cheshire numbered only sixteen by the time that they reached Connaught, mostly through desertion. Often, recruits were shipped to Ireland without weapons, shoes or even items of clothing, so that they would not be tempted to run away and sell their equipment.
[By the 1500s, the English Longbowmen's skill had sadly declined from their peak in the Hundred Years War] Even enthusiasts for the bow had to admit that Frenchmen and Reiters in battle were apt in contempt to "...turn up their tails and cry: 'shoot English!'", though maintaining that an archer of an earlier generation would have had "the breech of such a varlet nailed to his bum with one arrow, and another feathered in his bowels, before he should have turned about to see who shot the first".
[During the Albigensian Crusade in 1209] Contemporary accounts say that over 7000 people were slaughtered, locked in the church which was then set on fire. Those who were not burned were put to the sword. During the massacre, one horrified onlooker rushed up to the papal legate, the Abbot of Cireaux, and reminded him that there were Catholics as well as heretics in the burning church. The papal legate then made a remark that has resounded through the centuries. "Kill them all", he said, "God will know his own."
Tactful Ancient Diplomacy
The .45 inch calibre Martini-Henry rifles had a tremendous recoil.