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Re: History Channel show

Poster: "Robert Dawson,PA-C" <dawsonr@naxs.net>

Greetings all,

William of Falestone writes:

>One thing that my friend told me that sounded intriguing was that the armor
>many fallen soldiers from one battlefield showed damage to the back of the
>head. My friend said that the historians seemed to be puzzled by this. Can
>anyone who watched the show shed a little light? Could this be some sort of
>possibility of period use of the "wrap" shot that we use but that I have
>told isn't documented?

  I saw the show and wasn't all that impressed with the apparent depth of
their research.  Some nice pix, though, and the docent in full armor doing
handsprings should put paid to those idiots still promoting that 'if a
knight fell on his back he couldn't get up' nonsense.

    The segment William refers to concerns a battle during the War of the
Roses.  What was puzzling to the historian interviewed wasn't the damage to
the _back_ of the head per se but the number of head wounds both fatal and
healed.  It's long been understood (and noted in period) that a large number
of casualities occur when one side breaks and runs and that leads to the
chasers whacking the chasees in the back.  What surprised them is that
medieval illustrations of battles from that period show virtually everyone
wearing a helmet, and the high percentage of head wounds discovered on the
exhumed remains would seem to indicate that helms were worn by a much
smaller number of combatants than previously believed.

    They showed several skulls exhumed from mass graves, and they did indeed
show evidence of healed head trauma as well as potentially fatal damage.
But I found it interesting that most of the skulls they showed also had
square holes consistent with an injury inflicted by the crossbow bolts and
longbow arrows illustrated in another segment of the show.  No
explanation/comment on these holes was offered.

    Personally, I wish they had presented more solid information in that
segment.  They mentioned a number of (as I recall) greater than 100,000
combatants at the opening of battle, but didn't mention what the number of
casualities was supposed to have been, the total number of remains exhumed
to date, and the percentage of remains with evidence of probably fatal head

    Re the 'wrap shot' --none of the healed wounds on the skulls shown were
consistent with a wrap shot (they were mostly superior parietal) and
appeared to have been dealt from someone attacking from the side--so,
obviously wrap shots made in period were always fatal leaving no one alive
to relate "NSTIW when I got wounded by a wrap shot" stories, thus no period
documentation.  This illustrates both the efficacy of the wrap shot and
proves that they used it back then ;->



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