Sickles in the wars of the roses

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Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Auserofthisforum » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:21 pm

Hi this is my first post to this website and i am very new so if i come across in a way that is hard to understand, i am sorry.

My question is: Were sickles (the agricultural tool) used as a weapon by soldiers in the wars of the roses?

the way i see it you could have a properly mounted sickle on a maybe 6 foot? shaft and thrust, (kinda) cut (as the blade is sharp) and hook onto things with its semi-circle shape. the basic levied peasant could use this as a weapon with billhooks, halberds and the other pole arms. but i am wondering if there is any accounts of this, or if this would be strong enough to use effectively.

thanks.



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Re: Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Brother Ranulf » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:59 pm

It's true that many military weapons developed from agricultural tools - but this happened long before your period.

If you are thinking of a peasant revolt, such as that in England in 1381, then the agricultural masses would arm themselves in exactly that way. If you are thinking of trained, professional troops then it is far more likely they would have access to genuine, purpose-made weapons rather than makeshift stuff. I doubt there ever was such a person as a "basic levied peasant" in the way you mean - they would be a liability on any battlefield and more likely to run for the hills than stand and fight.

Go back to the Battle of the Standard in 1138, when the militias of three Yorkshire towns were called up for service: they were all spear and shield men, possibly some with bows. As militia they had at least some basic training and they were never expected to fight without armoured knights alongside, in front or behind them to help keep them in place.


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Re: Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Mark Griffin » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:43 pm

There are pics in various German fight manuals of sickles being used, Mair being the one that springs to mind first. Although a lot of whats depicted there i often think is for novelty value. Certainly they'd be of little use against a well armoured person. But against the lightly armoured, anything that does damage wil be useful if needs must.

An interpretation of Mair is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6UumBR7Fzc


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Re: Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:15 pm

I have mounted a Welsh chopper which looks a bit like a short, straight sickle. More for the novelty and intimidation factor. I think even for the hockey stick fighting we do at reenactment it will prove useless.


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Re: Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Mark Griffin » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:38 pm

Its the same answer I give for many similar things.

1. Yes they existed
2. Yes they could have been used
3. Now show a picture of it being used in the context and era you are portraying.

I think if you are using something so weedy and militarily unimpressive I'd expect to see you right at the back in bare minimum of kit and from somewhere far from any mediocre centers of population.


http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Re: Sickles in the wars of the roses

Postby Shrop_Ad » Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:33 pm

Something I noticed while browsing the Royal Armouries collection online which may be of interest to this thread.

This is their entry (all credit to the Royal Armouries, see link provided)


Object Title
War scythe

Date
1471-1499

Object Number
VII.1529

Provenance
Purchased Sotheby's 6 December 1951, Lot 22,with VII.1530-1534.

Physical Description
Scythe-like blade sharpened on both sides of its hooked point, otherwise single-edge. An L shaped tang attached at right angles passes through the top of the modern haft and lies against it attached by a hooked terminal driven into the wood and a narrow steel band halfway up the length of the tang.

Dimensions
Dimensions: Overall length: 98.5in., Length of head: 32in., Length of tang: 5.5in. Weight: 5 lb. 11 oz.

Associations
Germany

Bibliographic References
Blair. C, 'European and American Arms', 1962, Line ill. XI(q), pp.112-113.


https://collections.royalarmouries.org/ ... 30990.html
Attachments
large_DI_2012_1184.jpg




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