Who were superior at combat in ancient times? The Japanese or the British?

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Towel Snapper, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I got a message from him because I asked him where he came from, he said England but he had to remain anonymous, I asked because all his writing indicated he was American, his spelling and his expressions but heyho he's gone. I though if he was in England and trained MMA I'd know who he trained with and if he wanted a good first fight I'd help.
    One thing for sure, I am not staying up all night to watch the referendum results, I'll let it be a surprise. the money markets are saying a no vote though. I think we will still be Gt Britain though because that's the geographical description, it could be no more United Kingdom. It confuses non Brits as it is lol.

    On the subject of the OP well almost, have any of you been to the Royal Armouries in Leeds? There's a terrific collection of weapons from around the world covering centuries. Absolutely brilliant....and free!
     
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    he's gone...oh darn... oh well....:s436:
     
  3. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    That's my favorite part, free :)
     
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  4. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    The middle ages are considered "ancient times"?

    In any case, my money would be on the English/British because of the Long Bow and the siege technology that Europeans had.
     
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  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    What the hell? I'm middle aged one minute and ancient the next???

    Crap.
     
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  6. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    It's a cold place when that stuff happens fast as a minute. I'd hate to see what would happen if a hour went by or worse a day...
     
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  7. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ah Scotland is staying, no divorce yet then, the reconciliation process is going to be interesting. Back in the days when we fought on the battlefield rather that in the voting booth the Scots had some interesting weapons as well as the English, as Hanzou has mentioned already, our archers for a start! When we went to the Royal Armouries the sheer amount of different European swords through the ages is astounding, there is an Asian and Oriental floor, as well, all covering centuries. The variety of weapons that come from what is now India is amazing and quite vicious! In the Japanese bit there is armour and a video about Japanese mounted archer, when we were there a historian was giving demos with Japanese weapons and armour. There are also live size models of horses with armour, of course plenty of suits of armour through out the ages. for those that like modern weapons which are surprisingly not so modern there are guns, rifles and pistols etc. The idea of a 'gun' is far older than I thought. It's a very good days visit and then come back again for stuff you missed. The main point is though it is well nigh impossible to give an opinion about the OP.

    http://www.royalarmouries.org/what-we-do
     
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  8. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Robert the Bruce just rolled in his grave. :)


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  9. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    It's interesting… from a JSA perspective, it's fairly lacking… he gets a lot wrong, especially in the details, and contradicts himself more than a few times… but none of that really seems to have much effect on his end conclusions. I could do a pull-apart, but don't think there's really a need… just realise that it's not something I'd point to as really correct in any form of understanding of Japanese sword, armour, military methods, history, or a few other areas… at all.

    Hmm… how about those who have genuine expertise? And, out of interest, how can you tell the difference?

    No, he wasn't. See the whole board… start with the name… look at patterns… recognise the behaviour… we never saw the actual guy at all… just a false, created internet persona created to troll this site (and probably a few others… I'll be keeping an eye out).

    Well… considering the time period referred to as the "Middle Ages" covers the time from 6 to 11 CENTURIES ago… yeah. You were thinking that 542AD, for instance, was recent events?

    Really? You want to tell me how the presence of a long-bow is some advantage against a group known primarily through their history as highly skilled elite mounted archers? To the point that that role was really the definition for a while of what being a samurai was all about? And do you want to explain how the European siege towers fare in Japan? You do know how different the structures of the castles there are, yeah? How the geography really isn't particularly suited to such machines, nor really allowing them to get into a position where they'd be any real effect at all? What, precisely, do you know about Japanese castle siege defences? Or, hell, just castle defences themselves, against siege or other?

    You may be putting too much stock in aspects that either provide little advantage, or are going to be almost unusable… care to try again?
     
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  10. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Well, most historians don't consider the medieval period "ancient". The generally accepted end point of ancient times is the beginning of the Middle Ages.

    Which is why it's called the Middle Ages. It's the period between ancient times and the modern period.



    Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt during the Hundred Years War. Notably at Agincourt, The English slaughtered a numerically superior army of mounted French knights utilizing primarily the longbow. I seriously doubt the Samurai would fair much better.

    In terms of siege warfare, Europeans were using cannons by the end of the 16th century (towards the end of the Sengoku period in Japan, and before the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate). This, on top of centuries of experience utilizing siege warfare from the fall of Rome, to the Crusades, and all the way up to the Hundred Year's war made Europeans pretty darn good at siege tactics. I seriously doubt Japanese castles and fortifications were any stronger than European castles and fortifications.

    The longbow, and siege tech is a pretty considerable advantage. Especially when you have example of that technology working in similar situations to the hypothetical in the OP. I would say that things would be equal to almost swinging in the favor of the Japanese from about 1100 to about 1400. However after that point, technological advancements and competition from rival nations places the English ahead comfortably. By the late 1500s, it really isn't a contest.
     
  11. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    Well since knights and samurai are both middle age time and the question is best during ancient times perhaps the Roman gladiators? (just a guess) maybe other warriors back then but I could be right...
     
  12. Hong Kong Pooey

    Hong Kong Pooey Blue Belt

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    I'd say them or the Spartans. Or the Vikings. Depends where you draw the line on what counts as 'ancient times'.
     
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  13. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Samurai and Medieval Knights are pretty contemporary. Both entering their heydays from 1100 to about 1600 AD. In Europe the knights became obsolete by new weaponry (Longbows, firearms). In Japan, the Samurai didn't really become obsolete until the Meiji period (mid 1800s).

    Either way, the medieval English simply have access to better military technology than the Japanese due to their near constant warfare with continental Europe throughout the Middle Ages. That gives them an edge across the board. As I said before, their level of equality in military terms comes to a dramatic end around 1400, and that's being generous.
     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Actually no, it wasn't a state of near constant warfare. Discounting the Crusades, England wasn't particularly at war with continental Europe at all. At the start of the Middle Ages 'England' (though not called that) was recovering from the Romans leaving, tribes came across from Europe and settled, tribal warfare broke out often but mostly each kingdom ruled itself reasonable amicably for the time, there was no England and no English king. In the 7th century CE moves were made by the Mercians to unite the kingdoms and make a larger country, this caused civil war. 9th century CE brought the Viking invaders and more wars on 'English' land. In the 11th century CE came the Normans. It wasn't until the 14th and 15th centuries CE that England as it was properly by then actually started having wars with people, well the French actually. If you discount the Crusades of course, though if you don't it brings in another warrior group, the Saracens.
     
  15. Hanzou

    Hanzou Grandmaster

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    Along with the Crusades, England was constantly fighting France and other European countries pretty consistently from the 1000s all the way up to the modern day.

    List of wars involving England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    That's pretty consistent continental warfare for the last 1000 years. I agree with your viewpoint prior to the Norman invasion. However after 1066, you have England engaged in a war across the channel pretty consistently.

    Way more than Japan's foreign engagements prior to the Meiji restoration in the 19th century;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_Japan
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2014
  16. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    And when they weren't fighting the damned French, they were fighting each other. And getting invaded.


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  17. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Actually the English didn't start fighting the French until the Norman conquest but even that was a sort of civil war. Up to the it had been fighting invaders, invading other tribe's kingdoms ( in Great Britain the geographical name for all our islands, it didn't become the UK until centuries later) putting down rebellions, fighting the Welsh, Scots and Irish as well as the Danes, all on our soil I'll add. the French weren't really the French at the time of the conquest as it was the Normans who invaded, actually they weren't really French anyway, the name gives it away, they were Vikings who had settled in Normandy a while before. The Hundred Years War with the French started a bit later.
     
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  18. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Yeah, 1066 and all that. The salient point isn't who you were fighting. The salient point is that your were pretty much fighting... The Danes, the scots, the Irish, the welsh, the Normans, the Gaels, the tuatha de denaan, the whoever you could fight. You'd make up people to fight and when you couldn't do that, you'd just fight each other. :)

    Edit: the above post is 79% tongue and cheek, and only 83.7% historically and/or culturally accurate.


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  19. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ah but it was all fighting on British soil, there was no trips abroad to sunny Europe until 1106 when Henry the First went to France to beat the Duke of Normandy, who was his brother. The next road trip abroad was in 1178 and 79 when Richard the First beat the King of France.


    It was all tribal fighting basically until the Normans gatecrashed the party, that's why I answered the OP that there was no England. There was Mercia, Wessex, Northumbria etc. etc Not even a Wales or Ireland either it was all tribal kingdoms, there was no English army going on away days to Europe. Still we can proudly say that we've never been invaded since 1066 and still hold French land, the Channel Islands lol.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Ulster, Connacht. Stealing each other's cows. Bunch of damn ruffians. Didn't want to leave the Irish out.

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