Arrows Against Steel: The History of the Bow and how it Forever Changed Warfare

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Cerberus Books, 2011 - History - 241 pages
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This is a new edition of a classic book about the history and development of modern warfare. The strategy and tactics of the use of the bow and arrow as a military weapon were the forbears of the missile-based battle methods of today. Remotely launched deadly projectiles, first used in Asia more than 2500 years ago, changed the character of armed conflict world-wide. The importance of the lessons learned and the historic paradigms described by the author should not be underestimated. Arrows Against Steel, the History of the Bow and How It Forever Changed Warfare, is the product of more than forty years of the author's military experience, travel, and research. It places this weapon into its proper historical perspective. The bow and arrow has been the most devastating killer of men in history - greater than the machine gun, the cannon, and even the atomic bomb. Its use throughout history revolutionized warfare and taught the importance of a unified strategy, battle discipline, and mobility. A superior weapon with a deadly range, it triumphed over the thrust-and-parry tactics of earlier battle methods, and gave birth to many modern offensive military strategies such as: - The creation of fear and terror in the enemy military and civilian populations from the continuous expectation of an invisible but anticipated attack; - The element of surprise from attacks by a weapon with long-range deadly capability; - The element of shock from rapidly deployed and highly mobile unexpectedly powerful forces; - The element of awe at the overwhelming and deadly hail of remotely launched missiles; - The destruction of enemy forces in the field rather than the attack of strongholds; - The ability to attack strongholds from remote and safe positions; - The use of fluid military feints to force the enemy to concentrate force at one or more points, weakening other parts of a defensive line; - and the strategic importance of effective and safe supply sources rather than reliance on in-field foraging. Although often ignored, it is difficult to undervalue the strategic and tactical consequences of the history, development, and use of the bow in battle. Modern military weapons are merely technologically advanced remotely launched missiles, still guided by these historic principles. "For those interested in the broader question of war and weaponry, a fascinating reflection may be found in Vic Hurley's Arrows Against Steel; The History of the Bow. Nominally a discussion of the role of archery in warfare, this book is in fact a review of important infantry and cavalry tactics over 3000 years of recorded history." A Passchendaele Portrait by Daniel M. Dobkin;

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Introduction to a Weapon
Theories of War
Preliminaries to Mounted War
Testing of the Theories of War
Impact of the Bow on Military Tactics
Bows and Bowyers
Afterword Vic Hurley

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About the author (2011)

Gerald V. (Vic) Hurley (1898 – 1978) was the author of many published fiction and non-fiction works including the books: Southeast of Zamboanga, (1935, 1963); Men in Sun Helmets ( 1936, 1964); Swish of the Kris, The Story of the Moros (1938, 1966, 2010); Jungle Patrol, The Story of the Philippine Constabulary (1938, 1966, 2011); The Parthian (1960); and Arrows Against Steel: the History of the Bow ( 1975, 2011). He was a prolific writer emphasizing both military and historic themes and he was the author of U.S. military manuals and plans during World War II. Hurley wrote a number of screenplays at least one of which, starring Gary Cooper, was produced. During the 1920's he became a legendary track star at the University of Washington and later lived for eight years in the Philippines. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during the First World War, the Navy Reserve, and as a Naval Officer in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War, and was a member of the Explorers Club. There are collections of the author's works and other material at several influential museums and libraries. Much of his work and research is still used in academic, cultural, and military studies. (111022)

Christopher L. Harris. (MFA) the Art Director and Art Editor of Cerberus Books, has spent a lifetime in design and creative work. He is a Professor of Theatre and Resident Scene Designer at Willamette University and has taught for more than thirrty-five years. Harris has designed over two hundred and fifty productions worldwide, including the American Professional Premieres of The Rover, Barnaby Sweet, The Sickness of Youth, Father Dreams and Picasso In The Back Seat and productions in London, Toronto, New York, Boston, St. Louis, Chicago and Portland, Oregon. His design and production work has received recognition in a variety of professional design competitions and has been frequently praised in the media. His work has been seen in films including Without Evidence, (Assistant Art Director) and A Life In Twelve Words, (Set Decorator) All of the aspects of visual creativity are encompassed in theatre set and production design: the conceptualization of the underlying theme; design sketches; the use of color; the importance of layout and the relation of design elements; emotional tone; the capture of observer’s interest; the overall impact of the finished work, and fixed deadlines – make him a particularly effective contributor and leader for Cerberus. (111022)

Karol W. Kersh (JD) is the President of the Cerberus Books imprint and Cerberus Corp., the publisher. He practiced law for more than thirty years, retiring in 2006. He has written more than 100 short stories for his family and friends since high school, which have never been submitted for publication. The focus of his fiction is the description of events, behaviors, and environments in detail - challenging the reader to determine the motives of his characters. Characterizing the history, interests, career, and accomplishments of his wife’s uncle, the author Vic Hurley, has been an extension of Kersh’s literary work – however, in this case the details can usually be unearthed and need only to be collected, recorded, condensed and narrated to allow the reader to understand Hurley’s point of view and literary intentions. This research (which is continuing) is a challenge – it is the reconstruction of a life history from 30 year-old fragmentary clues, each of which must be traced to the source. (111022)

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