Talk:Mounted archery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Equine (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Equine, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of articles relating to horses, asses, zebras, hybrids, equine health, equine sports, etc. Please visit the project page for details or ask questions at the barn.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Sports (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Sports, a WikiProject which aims to improve coverage of sport-related topics on Wikipedia. For more information, visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.


That's a pretty sad introduction. It's full of people trying to get a few words in about how country X's horse archers were pretty impressive, too. An introduction to a concept should explain the basic tenants of the subject at hand, in this case, what Horse Archery is, a summation of why it was a standard strategy and an allusion to how widespread it was. IMHO, everything after and including "Mounted archery was a defining characteristic of Steppe warfare throughout Central Asia..." should be moved to the body of the article. Talking about any one group of specific Horse Archers, no matter how iconic, is just going to prompt the Wiki community to jam in a statement about their favorite culture of horse archers. Jmgariepy (talk) 20:46, 27 May 2011 (UTC)


I'm curious about European incidences of mounted archery. I know that Byzantine cataphracts had bows, and I've heard of British longbowmen firing from a horse on occasion. AThousandYoung (talk) 05:30, 10 April 2009 (UTC)


Thanks to User:青鬼よし for recent useful edits, which I've tried to tidy a little. However, I have a problem with " It became popular in Japan, and the emperor enforced the ban in 698.[1] ". I can't read a word of Japanese, Google Translate doesn't give me anything intelligible, and the sentence doesn't make obvious sense. What was banned in 698? Richard Keatinge (talk) 20:54, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

I apologize in my poor English. "會衆騎射" means "To see the horseback archery(騎射), the citizens(衆) crowd(會)". There was a similar instruction in 701 and 706. The show of horseback archery was popular among the citizens. However, The government thought the festa that the horseback archery was solemn and is sacred. Therefore, the government felt it dissatisfied. --青鬼よし (talk) 08:42, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Badly Written Sentence - Help Organizing[edit]

"Early horse archery, depicted on the Assyrian carvings, involved two riders, one controlling both horses while the second shot. This technique did not replace the well-established chariotry as an effective tactic. In due course, horse archers replaced the Bronze Age chariot." Effectively, this states: "Horse archery did not replace chariots. Horse archery did replace chariots." I don't know which is true. An explanation should be added about horse archery not replacing chariots at first and then taking precedence over time, if that is the actual situation, but for now I have kept the depiction of two-horse-two-rider archery while eliminating conclusions about whether the technique replaced chariots (since there is no reference backing up either statement in any case). --Mr Bucket (talk) 00:32, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

The two-horse technique soon died out, the one-horse, one-archer technique became very successful. I can't put my hand on the reference now but will bear the point in mind if I come across the book. Richard Keatinge (talk) 15:03, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

There is a technique where the archer turned around on his horse (while the horse is going in the opposite direction of the archer) and shot at the enemies. This tactic was used by the Parthians in the battle against the Romans. *The Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus led an invasion of Mesopotamia in 53 BC with catastrophic results; he and his son Publius were killed at the Battle of Carrhae by the Parthians under General Surena; this was the worst Roman defeat since the Battle of Cannae.* (From Roman Persian Wars wiki article) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ditc (talkcontribs) 04:20, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

This technique was also used by Hungarians. -- (talk) 17:03, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

It's not mounted archery that destroyed the Romans at the Battle of Carrhae. The Romans responded by using the testudo formation, which made the attacks of the mounted archers ineffective. The Parthians then sent their cataphracts (mounted spearmen) to attack the Romans, who were unable to respond without giving up the testudo formation. When they tried to counter the cataphracts, they became vulnerable to arrows. When they regrouped in the testudo formation, they became vulnerable to cataphract attacks, and so on and so forth. The Romans were defeated by a combined force of cataphracts and mounted archers, and not by an army consisting solely of horse archers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Bias, badly written[edit]

"An example comes from an attack on Comanche horse archers by Texas Rangers who were saved by their muzzle-loading firearms and by a convenient terrain feature. Captain John Bird rode up the Little River with fifty Rangers. They met some twenty Comanches hunting buffalo, and attacked them. The Comanches fled, easily keeping clear of the Rangers, for several miles across the open prairie before Bird noticed that he was now chasing some two hundred Indians. He immediately retreated, only to discover his classic error in fighting mounted archers. The Comanches pursued in turn, screaming and loosing what seemed like clouds of arrows. Bird's command happened across a ravine where they could shoot from cover. They fired carefully to keep the Indians at long range, always making sure they kept a few of their rifles loaded in case of an assault. The horse archers did not charge, but kept the Rangers under siege until seven of them, including Captain Bird, were dead or dying. The Rangers retreated to the east and claimed victory. Comanches set out on large-scale raids, destroying and torturing over a wide area."

Seriously, this is egregiously biased/racist 2620:104:E001:A010:AFE3:2770:E3FD:C3B6 (talk) 22:47, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

As an example of horse archery in action, recorded by eyewitnesses, it seems fairly good to me. It's a shame the Comanches don't seem to have written anything about it of course. We could instead get accounts from both sides of the First Battle of Adobe Walls or second-hand Roman accounts of the Battle of Carrhae, and there may be other alternative accounts. I don't quite understand your issue with this comment; what would you suggest? Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:40, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Article poorly written[edit]

Why is almost all of the "Appearance in history" section dedicated to instances in which mounted archery failed militarily? Why does a section called "Basic features" include a story about cowboys and indians? The section "Technology" has no sources and could easily be merged with another section as short as it is. This article needs some major shaping up. I'm very much unimpressed. (talk) 02:34, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Good point, what example of military success would you suggest? Primary sources tend to complain about the hordes of horrible enemies rather than giving more useful military details, and secondary sources tend to be similarly nonspecific, though the effectiveness of the technique isn't controversial. There is the Battle of Carrhae and there are probably some Chinese records to make the point, but pending something more definitive I have added "In large open areas, it was a highly successful technique for hunting, for protecting the herds, and for war." to the lede.

The story you dislike is simply one of the best-recorded (and most recent) examples of successful horse archer tactics. It does include Native Americans, but Texas Rangers are not cowboys.

I wouldn't think we need a long section on technology, but I have added a See also to Composite bow and Domestication of the horse, which seems to cover the main points.

I hope this helps. Richard Keatinge (talk) 12:34, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Removing irrelevancies[edit]

At this edit I have done quite a lot of copyediting, and I have removed the following:

The medieval Battle of Liegnitz is a classic example of horse archers contributing to the defeat of armoured troops, via demoralization and continued harassment. "However, it is a fact that most historians subscribe to that the Mongols were employing Chinese fire weapons at the time,[2][3][4][5] which diminishes the merits of mounted archery to the Mongol Empire's successful expansion."

Now, this has an impressive number of reliable sources for the point that it makes, namely that other Mongol armies were using fire weapons about the time of the Battle of Liegnitz. But none of them makes any mention either for fire weapons being used actually at the Battle of Liegnitz, nor for any influence their possible use might have had on our perception of the effectiveness of Mongol mounted archery. The references don't support the text in any way, they are OR at its most obvious. I hope this helps. Richard Keatinge (talk) 21:58, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

These edits restored misformats of wikilinks, restored some five thousand characters of absolute irrelevancy (not "half the article") per above, got the successes and failures of mounted archery out of logical and chronological order, and then edited the account of a recent encounter with mounted archers so as to remove the point that the mounted archers didn't just win on the day, they were then free to stage a very successful campaign. As for "hyperbole", I've never seen a mounted archer in action, but our account was authoritative and has not been improved by removing details of what it was like to actually face mounted archers. I'm off to bed, but I hope you'll check the details and rethink. Richard Keatinge (talk) 22:34, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Well, the material removed was mostly overdone "flowery prose" and material that was racist in its tone. No worries about replacing facts. As for the rest, no worries about matching content to source, but when sources are removed altogether, that raises red flags. Montanabw(talk) 20:42, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

OK. Could I ask you to have a more careful look at the edit in question? In particular, the sources (including practically all the characters) that I removed are reliable and do establish that some Mongol armies were using fire weapons at the time. But they do not support the text, which states that such weapons were used in a specific battle and that this "diminishes the merits of mounted archery". That text is OR pure and simple and its removal is long overdue. I was also pleased, in a very small way, with my wikignomish work correctly formatting the wikilinks as such; if you think that was inappropriate, I'd quite like to see some reasoning.
I'll change the account of the Texas Rangers' attack on horse archers back to a version that the secondary source will support. I don't see any "flowery prose", rather a fairly straightforward description. Sorry, but all of your changes moved the text away from the source - for example, no organized "force" was encountered, rather, more Comanches joined in - and also away from the relevant details of the account which illustrate what facing mounted archers could be like - "yelling like devils" as one surviving Ranger said. While the primary sources come from a time when racism was deeply ingrained in Western society, the main group that might mildly dislike our tone (which is that of the highly-regarded secondary source used) are probably the Texas Rangers. Richard Keatinge (talk) 22:26, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
The Texas Rangers, in their time, were exterminators of Native peoples, the fact that they have now evolved into responsible law enforcement does not change this reality. Racist language to describe a living people is not acceptable, particularly where the sources use language that may have been acceptable in their time but not ours. Calling native people "devils" is right up there with the "n-word" for offensiveness, and as such not acceptable. If details are needed, rephrase them and remove glorification of individuals who last the battle. Montanabw(talk) 00:42, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm having trouble relating your comments to my edit; rather than repeating myself, I'll just point out that I have confined the description "yelling like devils" to the talk page, where it supports the point that war cries were impressive (they were also common in many pre-gunpowder European contexts). Do we need a third opinion? Richard Keatinge (talk) 07:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
"Yelling like devils" is offensive phrasing, it's also WP:POV-pushing because the phrasing "devils" implies that somehow Native people are inferior and primitive. Writers in the time period used such language, as their goal was removal and genocide. It is not acceptable today. "Shouting loudly" or "yelling war cries" might be acceptable, but really, what does a war dry have to do specifically with archery tactics? Similar behavior is seen in every army in almost every culture in every time period regardless of weaponry. Montanabw(talk) 17:06, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Mention of "devils" is from a primary source, politically incorrect, and indeed best kept on the talk page. It's never been in the article. I suppose we don't have to mention war cries, but the point is precisely that they were a normal part of mounted archer warfare, which this specific episode is here to illustrate. Anyway, I don't seem to be getting much response to my various points, and perhaps only a third opinion will enable us to settle matters; shall I ask or do you want to? Richard Keatinge (talk) 17:44, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Um, yes it was, in the material you insist on keeping. There is no need for a third opinion to explain that we don't put racist language into wikipedia unless there is some highly valid reason to do so, here there is not. End of story. Frankly, I'm coming around to the idea of just tossing that whole paragraph after all, if it's going to be a drama magnet. Montanabw(talk) 18:28, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, actually there is no mention of the d-word that offends you in the article history. We don't seem to be getting anywhere. I have asked for a third opinion. In the meantime, it might help to remove all mention of the affiliations of the two sides, and I have tried that. The whole point of the story after all is that it is a reasonably well-recorded story of mounted archery tactics, and the identities of the participants aren't necessary to this article. The article may well be better without them and they are certainly getting in the way. Richard Keatinge (talk) 21:56, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My preferred text is here. If I get time tomorrow I'll self-revert to Montanabw's latest version in three stages corresponding to the questions I've asked. Richard Keatinge (talk) 22:27, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It may have been in a previous edit somewhere. The reference to "torturing and destroying" is also hyperbole and unacceptable, but more to the point, the entire article probably needs a review. There is no reason not to provide historical context, but the reality is that the article probably would benefit from a chronological arrangement and much better sourcing throughout. But to the point, do not remove citations altogether just to insert material that may or may not be accurate, replace weaker sources with better ones, preferably ones that can be verified by other people. Don't bother "self-reverting" to some other old version that included the offensive phrasing. This thing needs to be taken section by section. Montanabw(talk) 22:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the article needs quite a bit of work. I am therefore particularly baffled by the way you have repeatedly, and without any pertinent comment, reverted my formatting efforts and chronological improvements.
I also don't see any sign that you have taken in the reason for removing the extensively-referenced OR, and your suggestion that I have removed "citations altogether just to insert material" is simply bizarre. The OR appears to be original synthesis in its most obvious form, and I don't propose to replace it with anything. I am again baffled by why an experienced editor should consider reinstating OR for more than a few seconds, let alone reinstate it repeatedly.
Finally, the example of Captain Bird's fight: I presume it's uncontroversial that we may reasonably include an example illustrating several of the classic themes of horse archer tactics? This is a good one and the best that I know of. You describe as "hyperbole" a straightforward and referenced fact demonstrating that the horse archers won at least a strategic victory. Having rechecked sources, I'd quite like to add that the Rangers (who counted seven of their own dead) estimated enemy dead between thirty and seventy-five, but on revisiting the battlefield found only one enemy corpse. Which, without any OR, makes some sort of point about who won at the tactical level also. I appreciate that you and others above have found any reference to ethnic identities or to less-than-enlightened behavior offensive, but my bafflement is complete when I find you reverting a change that carefully removed all ethnic identities. Richard Keatinge (talk) 07:25, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
You don't get it. Please read what WP:UNDUE is, what WP:NPOV is and how to write an encyclopedia. A 19th century example is relevant and needs to note which cultures were involved, but we don't need the play by play of a minor military commander, who, after all, lost. The edit said little about why this was a classic example of tactics until this discussion and I edited it to be more comprehensible to the non-military reader. The material before you edited had most of the objectionable tone, and what you added elsewhere was random rambling with no sources. That was my point. Footnote everything you do, and let's move on from there. Montanabw(talk) 17:11, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I added what? Actually I improved the formatting and arrangement of a rather poor section, as preliminary to rethinking some newbie's treasured contribution in a thorough but gentle way. I appreciate that the diff isn't easy to read - have you got the impression that I added the stuff? I don't think any of it was ever mine, nor the extensive OR that I removed at the same edit.
Was the sourced comment about a classic error in fighting mounted archers not clear enough? I'd value your suggestions for improving it accurately, or for improving a tone which you and others above seem to have found objectionable. I'd merely remark that few fighters are complimentary about their enemies, in the 19th century neither Texas Rangers nor Comanches were in the habit of conforming entirely to modern ideas of decorous conduct or speech, Wikipedia is not censored, and the tone is that of a well-regarded secondary source.
I don't want to repeat my points above, but I do ask you to rethink; failing that we may be best off hoping for another pair of eyes. Richard Keatinge (talk) 18:26, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
If you are such a genius, how about editing the other sections of the article (let's just let the Comanche section cool a bit), saving a paragraph at a time, with proper footnotes and sources, so I can clearly see what you are doing as opposed to the intermediate edits of others that you seem to think you fixed? If I have confused your edits with those of a newbie, along with all the other junk in there, that is possible. So let's see yours. But do NOT remove cited material unless it is replaced with BETTER and more accurately cited material. Do not add anything without a citation to the source. Montanabw(talk) 18:42, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
To repeat yet again a description of this edit, what I removed was obvious OR, the remainder of the edit was preliminary rearrangement and reformatting (not addition) of some admittedly pretty poor stuff. The diff may be a bit difficult to read, but an editor as experienced as yourself should find it comprehensible if you read it carefully (quite possibly, with more care than most of us would habitually put into a quick decision-making scan, I'm not trying to be pointy). If you'd be so kind as to do that, we may get somewhere. I really don't want to write further immense screeds on an edit that could quite reasonably be described in toto as minor.
Let us indeed let the Comanche section cool a bit. It may help if you check the main reference in the meantime, and possibly some of the others available via Google. Richard Keatinge (talk) 19:42, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.png 3O Response: I will give a detailed response below. Scolaire (talk) 09:49, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I think the main problem with the edits is that they did too much all in one go. If they proved uncontroversial, that would not be a bad thing, but when trying to unravel an edit that is disputed, it is all but impossible to see what was moved, what was re-formatted, what was altered, what was removed etc. Having tried, I find myself in disagreement with Richard Keatinge when he says that "an [experienced] editor...should find it comprehensible if you read it carefully". It's not. Particularly if the edit is "gnomish", it is unfortunate if it looks like a wholesale change. Ideally, I would like to see the alticle resored to the status quo ante, and then edited step by step, e.g. (1) fix wikilinks, (2) re-arrange paragraphs without changing any content, (3) remove paragraphs – one by one if necessary – with clear edit summaries such as "Original research", (4) edit paragraphs, again with clear edit summary. As regards specific content, Montanabw does not seem to be disputing the assertion that the paragraph on the Battle of Legnica (to give it its WP title) is OR – there isn't even a citation for the statement that it is a "classic example" – but it could very easily be replaced with something on the lines of "Mounted archers were extensively used by the Mongol Empire, for instance at the Battle of Legnica, where an estimated 20,000 mounted archers took part." A major problem with the Comanche paragraph is that the Texas Rangers were out-numbered by more than four to one, so it doesn't illustrate the effectiveness of mounted archers so much as the tactical blunder of the Captain. This being the case, the only detail that is relevant is the experience of being on the receiving end: "what seemed like clouds of arrows". If the war-cry was an integral part of an archer-cavalry charge, this should be explicitly stated (and cited), and it should be called a war-cry, not "screaming". And what they did afterwards is irrelevant: of course they were at liberty to continue raiding if they won the skirmish. Scolaire (talk) 09:49, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Scolaire, many thanks for your considered opinion. Unless anyone disagrees, I propose to follow your advice as soon as I've got time. Richard Keatinge (talk) 11:50, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
That would be great. Thanks. Scolaire (talk) 21:08, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I am fine with Scolaire's suggestions for the Mongols. Go for it. I think the Comanche section can stay as is for now, rather than restoring the objectionable language that was "status quo." frankly, I suspect the source is old enough to be pretty poor, and perhaps that chunk could be rethought altogether later. Montanabw(talk) 02:47, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I didn't realise that the Comanche paragraph was the only difference between the old version and the current version. Definitely start with the current version, then. Scolaire (talk) 08:42, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've made a start, reformatting and some minor changes for encylopedic style. I'll do more as opportunity allows. Comments welcome.
We may well discuss the merits of T. R. Fehrenbach's book as a source. As head of the Texas Historical Commission and a highly-praised author he does have a degree of credibility; I note that he is careful to present neutral points of view and when he does present his own opinions they are clearly-identified and not without justice. But the book is forty years old, and you (Montanabw) have a particular interest in the subject area. If you can produce anything more recent of the same quality I'd be very interested to read it. Richard Keatinge (talk) 11:16, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Just because we use a source does not mean we have to use their phrasing, particularly where it is objectionable ("screaming"). So far, so good. Montanabw(talk) 00:00, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Richard Keatinge was not arguing for the re-introduction of "screaming". He was asking you, as a courtesy, whether you thought that the book was a poor source in general, and whether you knew of any recent book that dealt with the same subject area as well as, or better than, Fehrenbach, and in more politically correct language. Scolaire (talk) 07:32, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, if there's a better source than Fehrenbach, I'd certainly get a copy for my own pleasure, not just to help here. There is also a point about what phrasing is objectionable and what is acceptable. The only other description that I recall, specifically of the warcries of horse archers, is "howling dismally". In Captain Bird's fight, some of his enemies are also recorded as taunting their foes in limited English. Again, in this particular context, to describe a bunch of young men trying to intimidate their enemies, what phrasing might you suggest? Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:47, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The first problem here is that you have read the book and we have not. We cannot hope to paraphrase the passage based only on the few words and phrases that you have quoted for us. The second problem is that, from what you have said, it does not appear to go into great detail about how mounted archers operated. As I said above, the salient facts of that encounter are that the captain made a tactical error, that they found themselves outnumbered and that they were pinned down in a ravine (by which time they made a stationary target and mounted archery became irrelevant). Here is an alternative account – not citing Fehrenbach – which manages to tell the whole story without mentioning arrows at all! It does, however, use the word "force", which you objected to but which is in the current version, and also the word "war-whooping". A very small edit, such as 'the Comanches in turn made "a war-whooping charge", shooting what seemed like clouds of arrows', should address both your concerns for the present, and you can get on with editing the rest of the article, and wait until somebody comes up with a better illustration of Comanche archery. Scolaire (talk) 12:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. Sadly the link you gave doesn't seem to give any preview in UKistan. But the book looks interesting and I've ordered a copy. In due course I hope that we can produce an agreed text describing all the classic elements of horse archer tactics in a single episode. Richard Keatinge (talk) 18:09, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I can check google book links visible to US readers. More to the point, though, is that we do need to make this article more comprehensible to the non-military reader as well as to avoid racially objectional language ('war-whoops" is a bit un-PC, "war cries" is better, and also avoids close paraphrasing the source). While I am pretty solid on the history of horses and horsemanship, and also have taught US and western US/Native American history, including at the college level, I am NOT any sort of expert in military tactics, and one weakness in this whole article is that the previous editors have tended to take a tone that presumes a prior knowledge of military tactics. I for one would welcome edits that explain in lay terms what advantages mounted archery generally gave to a military force and hence why we care at all. Montanabw(talk) 01:17, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I think you're overdoing it with the racial thing. I cannot see anything objectionable in the word "war-whoop". "Whoop" only means "cry". The Oxford English Dictionary says nothing about "war-whoop" being racially sensitive. Can you point me to any discussion, anywhere on the net, where they say the word is objectionable? Even if we were to accept that any word other than "war-cry" is racist and objectionable, how are we to phrase the sentence? "Uttering war-cries"? "Making war-cries"? "Doing war-cries"? Do any of them make the tactic comprehensible to the non-military reader? (Note, by the way, that War-cry redirects to Battle cry, and that Native Americans are not mentioned in that article at all). Or should we just pretend that they were silent – as the article currently does – for fear that any suggestion they made any kind of noise would be "un-PC"? Scolaire (talk) 09:49, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
You don't live in Indian Country, obviously. If you wouldn't use it for modern day soldiers, don't use it for Native American people. Modern Indians are, generally, sick and tired of being treated like primitive beings of some sort. They are also not an ancient, dead culture. I don't have the time to dig specifically into "war whoops," but this article, though more about white girls dressing up in war bonnets, pretty much explains the general problem. Montanabw(talk) 19:32, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Good point. I have a longstanding interest in ancient warfare and may have assumed too much. I've just ordered a copy of "Mounted Archery in the Americas", by a couple of authoritative names in the field, and if I can't produce a well-referenced introductory paragraph or two then I'm not fit to edit Wikipedia at all. Your comments will be very helpful.
I look forward to an interesting discussion on political correctness as applied to encyclopedic articles on people who never heard of the concept and wouldn't have cared two whoops about it. It may be best if we discuss this on a case-by-case basis, but my general attitude would tend towards Scolaire's. Richard Keatinge (talk) 10:13, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I won't be part of that discussion. When a talk page is longer than an article (38k v 28k in this case) it's a sign that people are more interested in talking than in editing. In particular, "discussion on political correctness as applied to encyclopedic articles on people who never heard of the concept" is not appropriate to the talk page of an article on military tactics (I'm sure there's a forum for it somewhere but I don't know where). If you're both content with the current Comanche paragraph as it is, then you should draw a line under the whole discussion, wait a couple of weeks, and archive it. I can't remain in a roundabout discussion for very long without getting grouchy, so I think I'm going to unwatch this page now. Happy editing to you both. Scolaire (talk) 16:37, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Richard Keatinge (talk) 16:45, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I can live with it as is until something better comes along. I have no objection to improvements on the ancient culture stuff, it's much needed. That said, anyone who rants about "political correctness" is, by raising the objection, demonstrating, at best, a lack of clue about racial issues. Montanabw(talk) 19:32, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I see nothing was done since I unwatched this at the beginning of the month, so I've restored the chronology as Richard Keatinge had it in his edit of 30 May, and removed two short off-topic passages that he removed. I did it in a series of edits so that you can see just what I did. Scolaire (talk) 19:26, 27 June 2014 (UTC)


I have removed a long digression purporting to be about the Battle of Liegnitz. It consists of a well-referenced section establishing that around the time of that battle, the Mongols were using fire weapons, war machines, etc. But none of the references mention the Battle of Liegnitz, and my cursory searches don't suggest that anything other than mounted archery was used in that battle. We then get "Therefore, the successful expansion of the Mongol empire should not be attributed solely to mounted archery." As far as I know, nobody has even tried to attribute the expansion of the Mongol empire solely to mounted archery, and this article isn't about Mongol tactics in general. With all due respect for the amount of work that has gone into this section, I can't see it as useful. However, if there is a consensus to include it in some form, I will of course go along with it. Richard Keatinge (talk) 14:41, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Fine with me per WP:UNDUE. Perhaps you could keep a summary that doesn't contain the extraordinary claims. Montanabw(talk) 09:17, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
It might be better in Mongol_military_tactics_and_organization#Weapons. I don't want to tread on anybody's toes by using their hard work, but may I suggest to the IP contributor that their work may be the basis of a very useful improvement elsewhere. Also that I'd leave out the Battle of Liegnitz from this specific discourse, because it seems to be a prime example of a battle in which mounted archery actually was the major element of victory. Richard Keatinge (talk) 10:37, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree that it would be good to save the material somewhere. Per WP:OWN, I see no problem with being bold and seeing if you can copy and paste the whole thing over to that other article. If the editors there aren't happy about it, then post it here - or there - on the talk page so it is preserved until a good home is found. The IP will not discuss and will not engage, which is frustrating, as they seem to have some background in the subject. After you do the copy and paste, then trim what's there per your thoughts above. Montanabw(talk) 00:35, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm in process of doing that. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:12, 2 February 2015 (UTC)


Aren't the pics supposed to be thumbnails?Keith-264 (talk) 11:30, 18 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Shoku Nihongi volume 1 "禁山背國賀茂祭日會衆騎射(horseback archery)"
  2. ^ Mende, Tibor (1944). Hungary. Macdonald & Co. Ltd. p. 34. Retrieved 2011-11-28. Jengis Khan's successor, Ogdai Khan, continued his dazzling conquests. The Mongols brought with them a Chinese invention, gunpowder, at that time totally unknown to Europe. After the destruction of Kiev (1240) Poland and Silesia shared its fate, and in 1241 they crossed the Carpathians 
  3. ^ (the University of Michigan)Patrick, John Merton (1961). Artillery and warfare during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Volume 8, Issue 3 of Monograph series. Utah State University Press. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 33 D'Ohsson's European account of these events credits the Mongols with using catapults and ballistae only in the battle of Mohi, but several Chinese sources speak of p'ao and "fire-catapults" as present. The Meng Wu Er Shih Chi states, for instance, that the Mongols attacked with the p'ao for five days before taking the city of Strigonie to which many Hungarians had fled: "On the sixth day the city was taken. The powerful soldiers threw the Huo Kuan Vets (fire-pot) and rushed into the city, crying and shouting.34 Whether or not Batu actually used explosive powder on the Sayo, only twelve years later Mangu was requesting "naphtha-shooters" in large numbers for his invasion of Persia, according to Yule 
  4. ^ Partington, James Riddick (1960). A history of Greek fire and gunpowder (reprint, illustrated ed.). JHU Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-8018-5954-9. Retrieved 2011-11-28. After defeating the Kipchak Turks (Cumans), Bulgars and Russians, the Mongol army under Subutai took Cracow and Breslau, and on 9 April 1241, defeated a German army under Duke Henry of Silesia at Liegnitz. The Mongols under Batu defeated the Hungarians under King Bela IV at Mohi on the Sajo on llth April, 1241. ... it has priority over the use of gunpowder, which the Mongols used two days later in the battle beside the Sajo. ... 
  5. ^ (the University of Michigan)Patrick, John Merton (1961). Artillery and warfare during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Volume 8, Issue 3 of Monograph series. Utah State University Press. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-11-28. superior mobility and combination of shock and missile tactics again won the day. As the battle developed, the Mongols broke up western cavalry charges, and placed a heavy fire of flaming arrows and naphtha fire-bombs