European Knights Versus Japanese Samurai

I believe it was the great Monty Python who made famous the phrase, “And now for something completely different.”  If you have ever read this blog, you will know that this article fully qualifies.

I enjoy watching the Military History Channel, and for whatever reason I particularly enjoy the programs dealing with ancient warfare.  And so when I noticed that a program about the great samurai swordsman Miyamoto Mushasi was just starting, I watched it with enthusiasm.

At some point, the question occurred to me: how would a Japanese Samurai fare against a European knight, and vice versa?  And, in this modern age where vast amounts of information are instantly available to curious minds, all I had to do for immediate gratification was to take out my gizmo and enter the question and hit enter.

I examined about a dozen sites before drawing a few conclusions.  I had expected that there would be an overwhelming favorite in such a matchup – and there was.  But I was surprised at who that overwhelming favorite turned out to be.

In short, it turned out to be the European knight (this link merely being one example where a lot of individual opinions were offered).  I had expected that, given the mythological treatment that Hollywood has given to Asian fighting styles in general and Japanese samurai and ninja warriors in particular, that most people would say without batting an eye that the samurai would cut through the knight like a shiskabob wrapped up in tinfoil.

I found what I learned interesting, and thought I’d share it with whatever small segment of the universe cares about such topics.

Knights and samurai never got together as either friends or foes in the real world.  And that was because they literally lived and fought in different worlds that didn’t even know the other existed.  That said, both groups of warriors were the absolute best in their respective world.  And they unceasingly trained themselves to fight the enemies of their respective worlds.  Which is to say they never developed the sort of tactics that each would have had to develop were they to encounter the other.

Given my experience with Hollywood lore, it did not come as much of a surprise to learn that Japanese samurai were highly trained warriors.  But I was surprised to learn just how incredibly well-trained the European knights (such as the Teutonic knights) truly were.  Yes, as some point out, knights generally had to come out of the noble class – if nothing else for the reason that their horse, armor and equipment were so incredibly expensive – but becoming a knight was not nearly so easy as being born a noble.  It turns out that these warriors began their training as early as the age of FOUR YEARS OLD by beginning their service as squires.  Like the Japanese samurai – who also almost exclusively came out of the noble class as well for the same reasons – training did not begin with combat instruction, but upon learning a system of honor and duty.

In both cases, it took years of incredible hardship to master the training to serve as the most elite warriors in their worlds.  And that training was reserved for men who had literally been born to it.

Let  me put it this way: if you didn’t have an assault rifle on you, you would NOT have wanted to go up against EITHER of these warrior groups.  Both were highly skilled killing machines.

Both groups of warriors had codes of honor and a determination to prove themselves worthy in combat to which they adhered to the point of fanaticism.  Both lived to fight; and both LOVED to fight.

One of the reasons the Crusades came about is that there were no wars at the time, and bored combat-bred knights with nothing to do was a dangerous and explosive situation.  One of the things that happened in 1095 was that the Pope made Europe’s problem with a professional warrior class the Middle East’s problem.

So in a battle between knights and samurai, who would likely have prevailed against the other?

On my view, the European knight would have been the victor.  Let me explain why in a few key points.

First, allow me to argue by way of a couple of historical analogies: although “knights” and “samurai” never faced off against each other, history does actually provide what I argue is a similar matchup as we consider the heavily armored knights versus the comparatively more lightly armored samurai: the Spartans of the Greek city state – the elite of the Western world – versus the Persian Immortals who were the elite warriors of the Eastern world.

It must have been a massive shock to the eastern Persians to find warriors who could easily destroy what they had come to believe were the greatest warriors on earth.  But the Immortals fell like wheat before the scythe against the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.  The Spartans’ superior armor combined with their phalanx system of fighting were absolutely devastating to the Persian Immortals.  The Immortals had simply never encountered anything like the Spartans and had neither the equipment nor the tactics to deal with their heavily armored enemies.

The second anaology actually comes from the greatest of the samurai swordsmen, Miyamoto Mushashi.  In his most famous duel against the other greatest samurai of his day, Sasaki Kojiro, Mushashi was forced to confront the dilemma of his opponent’s incredible reach.  That was because Sasaki Kojiro was famous for using an unusually long katana sword.  Musashi ended up overcoming this dilemma by fabricating his OWN even longer katana that he carved from a boat oar.  Mushasi ultimate won the duel by psyching out his opponent and winning the duel of the fighter’s minds – and a key way he did so was to surprisingly turn Kojiro’s advantage into a disadvantage.

I’ve watched a number of fights and duels, and whether we’re talking about boxing or some other hand-to-hand form, or whether we’re talking about weapons, having the advantage of reach over your opponent is incredibly significant.  If you have the reach advantage, you can literally strike at your opponent without exposing yourself.  While not insurmountable, you are simply on very dangerous ground if you find yourself holding the shorter weapon in a fight – whether those weapons be arms and fists or swords.

And thus it becomes significant to note that a Japanese katana – used by the shorter Japanese – was usually 36 inches long, versus European broadswords that usually measured between forty and fifty inches.  Even the four inches of difference is significant.  But when it’s a full FOOT it’s huge.  Imagine how hard it would be to land a punch on Shaquille O’Neal versus how easy it would be for that giant fist on that giant arm to smash your face to get an idea.

That said, analogies – even based on genuine history – can only take us so far, and so I’ll move on.

Let’s talk about the swords and the armor of each warrior.

Samurai swords are famous – to the point of mythology – for their quality and their razor sharpness.  But it may be surprising to learn that an English broadsword cost the equivalent of $70,000 in today’s currency to make (and the cost of outfitting a knight with horse, armor and weaponry would have amounted to the price of a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood in today’s dollars).  The European broadswords were incredibly fine weapons as well, believe me.  They were longer and heavier than Japanese katana because the combat situations that the knights fought in necessitated a longer, heavier weapon.  [And here let me point out that while fine Japanese battle katanas – which were produced in the tens or even hundreds of thousands during World War II – are numerous, actual combat broadswords are far, FAR more difficult to come by as they ceased being manufactured centuries ago.  In any test between swords, any valid comparison would have to compare an actual combat weapon to an actual combat weapon, rather than comparing an actual Japanese combat katana to a “weapon” that was made to serve as a wall ornament.  Take as an example the katanas WWII Japanese officers were issued.  These were weapons intended to be actually used in combat.  Versus the “swords” Marines were issued with their dress uniforms – which routinely sell on eBay for less than $40.  And no: Marine officers and NCOs did not charge into Japanese lines waving their ceremonial swords, did they?].

I argue that the decisive issue to answer the question of broadsword versus katana isn’t the quality of the swords themselves – which itself is highly debatable – but the rather the types of swords that they were relative to the type of fighting that would need to take place were knights and samurai to face one another.

The Japanese katana was a curved weapon, ideal for a quick explosive draw from a sheath and ideal for slashing or cutting.  In a “quick-draw” contest, the katana wins, hands down.  A straight-bladed broadsword takes longer to draw from a scabbard.

To this day, katanas are all about their capacity to make incredible cuts.  It was designed to be a slashing weapon rather than a thrusting weapon.

The problem is that slashing would have been nearly entirely ineffective against European plate armor.  And the reason the knights didn’t use curved swords is precisely because they would have been ineffective weapons against other knights.

Their swords were straight and heavy-bladed weapons designed to pierce through rather than slash through armor and the few very small gaps between plates.  It wasn’t that knights didn’t employ hacking/slashing/cutting techniques on a battlefield; it was just that they would have used a different weapon such as a mace to do it.

The European broadsword has the advantage in being sharp on both sides, which opens up the tactic of being able to attack from more angles versus a single-sided blade such as a katana.

I believe that were the Japanese to encounter armored knights, they would have quickly began to alter their swords.  It isn’t that the katana is inferior to the broadsword, it is merely that katanas were never designed to face that sort of armor.  And I would guess that a giant broadsword wouldn’t have been the ideal weapon  in the Japanese world of the samurai, either.

It should also be stated at some point that neither the samurai nor the knights fought only with swords.  Both warriors were proficient with a frankly mindboggling array of lethal hand weapons.  Knights fought with swords, axes, lances, pikes, maces and hammers as just part of a very long list.  These highly skilled warriors were capable of killing with damn near anything they could get their hands on.  And the same was true for the samurai.

Now let’s discuss the armor.  I earlier said that Japanese armor was “lighter,” but it – surprisingly – wasn’t lighter by very much.  The Japanese armor was primarily made from leather and wood.  And it turns out that leather is pretty darned heavy.  Both suits of armor weighed in in the ballpark of about sixty pounds.  Nor is the Japanese armor much more flexible.  That isn’t because there’s anything wrong with Japanese armor, but rather it is a matter of how incredibly balanced and well-distributed the weight of a suit of European plate armor truly is.  And the range of movement is simply remarkable.  If you are ever fortunate enough to put on an actual suit of combat Medieval armor, you will feel a) invulnerable and b) badass.

The steel plate armor of the European knights was simply superior.  Most likely because steel was simply available in considerably larger quantities in the West, it was used to make armor in the West and it wasn’t in the East.  Obviously, today Japan has a huge steel industry, but it was very late to develop that industry relative to the West.  Japan didn’t begin extracting iron until the 7th century AD, and they didn’t have a significant steel industry until the 19th century.  The West simply had the technological advantage that had frankly began a millennia before, just as they continued to have it AFTER the age of the knights and samurai ended with the advent of rifles (which transformed the most base peasant into a knight or samurai killer without a great deal of training).

Technology is rather important (see here for that proof).  And the Europeans had the advantage in armor technology.

Just to finish this point, when the Japanese began to trade with the West in the 16th century, it didn’t take them very long to acquire Western-style armored helmets and breastplates (i.e. the cuirass).  Which is another way of saying Japan updated its outdated armor technology.  But by then the knight in Europe had largely already been replaced by guns and had abandoned armor.

But there is more to say: the European knights and the Japanese samurai had entirely different uses on a battlefield.

Both were at their best on horseback.  And it was on horseback that their true purpose was most revealed.

The European knights were the prototypical heavy cavalry – and there was no greater force on earth to charge an enemy phalanx shield wall such as had been developed by the previously mentioned Greeks and Spartans.  Their impact on the battlefield was to mount a crushing attack an enemy formation with the aim of breaking apart its unit cohesion with crushing force, scattering if not routing the enemy in decisive charges.

You can only imagine it: a European knight cavalry charge, as something on the order of 1,500-plus pounds of armored muscle raced toward you at 35 miles an hour. And there was a nine to eleven foot-long lance pointed right at you.  Roy Cox, an expert in jousting, calculated the force at the spear tip of that lance as being as much as 50,000 pounds per square inch.  Can you even imagine that kind of devastating weight and power coming at you at that kind of speed?  When the ultimate tanks of the ancient world came at you, you either got out of their way or you died.

And that unrivaled speed, power and force was the essence of the European knight.

That was why the knights evolved in Europe; they were the ultimate heavy cavalry of the age.  Their purpose was to scatter an enemy formation.  And there was no warrior on earth that could do a better job of that.

That was not how the samurai fought.

For one thing, the samurai were superb archers (this was a skill that the knights did not tend to learn, since Western fighting had developed a specialized class of archers known as longbowmen who fought in their own formations behind the foot infantry.  They were specialized because like the knights, they were trained from childhood to reach their required skill level.  So, if we wanted to, we could re-introduce analogies by returning to a different East meets West conflict a.k.a. the Crusades.  The Eastern style of fighting was to use horseback-mounted archers, and the Western style was to use heavy cavalry to smash infantry formations.

Both tactics had their place on the battlefield.  You can’t say that one was necessarily always “better” than the other because it depends on the terrain and frankly on the quality of the warriors employing either tactic.  But suffice it to say that it is simply a fact that the knights had encountered the tactics that the samurai would have employed because they had fought eastern armies; whereas the samurai had never before seen the tactics of the knights.  And I submit that the samurai would have been shocked and routed by the sheer shock and awe of a mounted heavy cavalry knight charge into their ranks.  And I claim this supported by the fact of history that in the First Crusade, the knights prevailed because their horse archer enemy could not defeat the shock and awe power of a knight cavalry charge.  Even when the knights were vastly outnumbered and even when they were on terrain that favored their enemy.

Here is a critical point that needs to be understood to understand what would happen were the samurai to meet the knights in battle: the knights had fought enemies from all over the world, and had confronted and been forced to adjust to the tactics of horse archers (note this is a Turkish source rather than a “pro-Crusader knight” source).  The Japanese samurai never fought anyone but other Japanese samurai.  They had nothing even close to the experience in fighting enemies from all over the world that the European knights had.

I state above that a knight would very likely have prevailed in a battle against a samurai, due largely to the superiority of his armor and the additional reach of his sword in addition to the superiority of the sheer power of his tactics.  That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the samurai would have done better in a duel in which neither participant was allowed to wear armor and fight with nothing but a sword.  And this is not necessarily because the samurai would be the better swordsman, but rather because armor was more a part of the Western knight’s fighting style than it was of the Japanese fighting style.  As an example, let’s say I am trained to fight with sword and shield (as the knights did), whereas you fight only with a sword (as the samurai did when fighting with katanas).  If I use my shield, I will defeat you; but if I surrender my shield, I not only lose an important advantage, but I am at a disadvantage because I have always relied on my shield to block most of my opponents blows whereas you have always only used your sword to both attack AND defend.  If we’re both using swords alone and I don’t get to use my shield as I was trained to do, you would likely be better trained to win that battle.

I would suggest that it is simply a fact that a better armored warrior taking advantage of his shield would be far better protected than a samurai – who did NOT fight with shields.  The samurai did not use a shield because  he also needed both hands free for his bow and because he used the katana as a two-handed weapon.  Whereas the European knights DID have two-handed heavy swords, but could use them with one hand as necessary.  And I submit that fighting with sword and shield is superior to fighting with sword alone – especially when your two-bladed sword has a significantly longer reach than does  your opponent’s single-bladed weapon.

So who would have won in a battle between knights and samurai?  I submit that the knight had the superiority of defense with his superior armor and his shield as well as the superior offense with his longer sword.  I submit that a knight’s training made him every bit the equal of the samurai.  And I submit that, if nothing else, victory would have come down to the superiority of the European knight’s extensive combat experience against many nations and fighting styles.  They fought enemies from all over the world and learned how to instantly adjust in order to prevail, whereas the Japanese literally stayed on their island.

I didn’t write this article to in any way diminish the Japanese samurai.  Rather, I wrote it to emphasize the incredible training and the magnificent warrior tradition of the European knight, which, due to a hostility to all things “Western” and “Christian,” have largely been overlooked if not despised.  As a rather blatant example of this prejudice, I found it interesting that when I used the WordPress spellcheck, it recognized “samurai” but refused to recognize “knight” as a valid spelling term.

Update, August 21, 2014: I learned something about swords watching a program called “Ancient Impossible.”  It was the Europeans – and by the way this episode traces the European knights to the times of the Romans who used “cataphracts” – who invented the first composite sword blades:

The Saxon super sword was the first effective use of composite metal in the world.

They used four layers of a mild, soft steel and combined them with three layers of a hard, high carbon steel.  And they used their furnaces to melt these layers together and make one piece which combines the hardness of the carbon steel and the softness of the mild steel.  The result was a process that combined hard steel for cutting with soft steel for strength.  A sword made only of soft metal will bend.  A sword made solely of hard metal will shatter.  And they twisted them and wielded them together to create a blade that was capable of an incredibly sharp cutting edge but which would not shatter or break.

So the Samurai would have had yet another problem as they faced superior blades.

The cataphracts were fully armored heavy cavalry.  The Romans got the idea from the Parthians after suffering a defeat when these first knights routed them.  The Romans learned from their defeat and came back with their own cataphracts.  And were victorious.

One of the interesting historical discoveries was that every single Roman unit had unique, brightly painted insignia on their shields, which would have identified each unit in battle.  Every single Roman unit had their own insignia.  But the catalogue of the Roman shield insignia notes NO shield insignia for the cataphracts.  And that was because their armor was so impossibly powerful that these Roman knights didn’t use shields.

These heavy armored cavalry – and the horses were fully armored as well – were absolutely unstoppable in battle.  They charged with heavy lances and switched to their unbreakable, razor-sharp swords when they shattered the enemy lines.

Just found that fascinating.

 

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21 Responses to “European Knights Versus Japanese Samurai”

  1. PolitiJim Says:

    Great article. Don’t know if you watch DEADLIEST WARRIOR or not. There isn’t a “Knight versus Samurai” but there are episodes of each individually. Here is the link to Viking vs Samurai – http://www.spike.com/shows/deadliest-warrior/episode-guide

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    PolitiJim,

    Thanks. I THINK I’ve watched it. If it was a program that appeared on the History Channel. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, they pitted various warriors against each other and did experiments to determine how deadly various weapons were (on pig cadavers as I recall) and then used a computer program to simulate something like 100 battles and then concluded that one warrior one x% and the other won only y%.

    I didn’t always find the way they “calculated” the “deadliest warrior” convincing, but I enjoyed watching it.

    It was probably because of that program that I rather quickly wondered how knights would do against the samurai when the samurai program came on.

  3. PolitiJim Says:

    I agree. I disagreed with their logic on almost every show. I like your approach of dissect an assault by an army versus an individual- and the methodology of their warfare being honed by the elements around them. It got me to wondering WHICH would have adapted to the others tactics/technology/advantages more quickly.

    I suspect mobility/speed would have gone to the Samurai but from what I understand – the Samurai might have been more likely to innovate against protocols of warfare. (How many of us have watched a Revolutionary or even WW1 movie aghast that they didn’t adapt to guerilla tactics instead of the “honor” of fighting one’s enemy straight on…)

  4. Michael Eden Says:

    PolitiJim,

    I can’t say that I disagreed EVERY show, by any means. It was probably about half the time. I guess I’d figure they were about as correct as “random guessing.” I mean, two warriors. Flipping a coin would be right half the time, right?

    Actually, I believe the European knights would have made the adjustments and the samurai would have refused to do so.

    Like I said, the knights fought enemies from all over the world. The Japanese samurai were entirely insular and isolated.

    But it goes beyond that: there was a “Japanese mindset” of militarism that had either descended or degenerated from the samurai, depending on your point of view. It was a VERY rigid mentality. And to do anything different from the way they had always done it was seen as dishonor.

    They launched banzai charge after banzai charge against American positions. It didn’t matter that it didn’t work and that they were just committing mass suicide and losing battles; they couldn’t stop themselves because it was the way they had always done it before.

    The kamikaze pilots could have seriously crippled American shipping had they just switched targets from the heavily armored and armed Navy ships to the troop carriers and fuel ships. But over and over and over again, they just wouldn’t or couldn’t do it. And so they crashed into steel deck when they could have killed lots of soldiers/Marines and crippled our ability to fuel our ships.

    The samurai began to wear steel helmets and armor about a thousand YEARS after the knights did so. By which time our knights had long since left the field as obsolete. I’d say they were slow to adapt.

    The other thing has to do with “mobility and speed.” I was very surprised to learn that knights’ armor wasn’t really any heavier than samurai armor. And that it was every bit as mobile. The knights probably wouldn’t have been as fast because their tactics required their horses to be armored and therefore the horses probably would have had to be bigger than the Samurai. But I imagine the knights would have adapted by having a lighter cavalry riding around the main body of knights.

    Anyway, of course, other than putting the fight into the computers like the show did, we’ll never get to know.

  5. politijim Says:

    Wow. That its just opposite of what I would have tbought. Thanks for doing that research. Maybe you should write a book or movie about this concept!!

  6. Michael Eden Says:

    politijim,

    Well, thanks for respecting my opinion on the subject.

    Like I said, I DO love to watch Military History Channel. And it’s amazing how rigid the Japanese (and the Nazis) turned out to be after they seemed to begin the war so “brilliantly.”

    What happened was that both the Nazis and the Japanese started the war when they were at the apex of their technology and the apex of their military tactics. They caught the Allies – who had not been preparing for war as they should have been – flat-footed and off-guard. But for the next four/five years, the Nazis and Japanese basically failed to innovate while the Allies came up with tactics and equipment that was better than their enemies’.

    This just for a for-instance. In regards to fighter pilots, the Allies would have their pilots fly for so long and then bring them home to teach what they’d learned to the next generation of pilots. And so one pilot would equip twenty with his knowledge/experience/tactics. But both the Japanese and Nazis would just keep their pilots flying until they were shot down and killed. And so as the war continued, there were no pilots to replace the dead ones. And neither the Japanese nor the Nazis would learn from their mistake. They just kept grinding their initial advantages down until they were gone. We learned on the fly how to do it right and won; they kept rigidly doing it wrong until they lost.

    And, of course, it has been Western capitalism which has beat the pants off the world when it comes to any kind of real innovation.

    In other words, the West is GREAT at innovation – when they pull their heads out of their behinds and realize the world isn’t a fairy-tale land and reality smacks them in the face.

  7. politijim Says:

    Interesting. I’ve been wanting to research the socioeconomic impact of Christianity for many years so you are tickling my funnybone. Do me a favor. I don’t see a private contract function on your site but use the one on my blog so i can send you my email. I like where you’re going with this…

  8. Michael K Says:

    Very well done I must say though I’d have to argue one or two points but I’ll get to that later anyway while deadliest warrior is an entertaining show that sometimes gets it right I’d say Warriors with Terry Schapert is more accurate anyway.

    First point I’d disagree with is the knight’s sword was not heavier than a katana by any real amount most examples found only weight in the ball park 1.0 to 1.2 kg the supposed crushing force of a hand and a halfer or longsword comes from the mechanics of the swing with the and (I know some people may rage at me about my comparison) baseball bat like grip it allows you to generate massive momentum not weight but momentum was the key behind a knight’s sword supposed crushing force

    Yes the many myths about knights plate armor being heavy and clumsy are false save for 3. 1st gauntlets mess with your finer manual dexterity like you can’t believe obviously its not a problem on the battle field in a knights given roles but things like writing, using a bow and arrow etc while not impossible are far harder. 2nd and this one is pretty obvious it does get hot as hell wearing plate armor for very obvious reasons. 3rd save for the barbute style helmet your field of vision is really impaired when wearing a helmet like a knight would wear.

    I don’t think that a knight would fair as badly as you think unarmored against a samurai while armor did play a part in a knight’s fighting style allowing to do things you wouldn’t be able to do with out it like holding the blade and using the cross guard as a hammer of sorts etc your average knight would still be a very compotent swordsman with just his weapon and the clothes on his back in addition your average knight would have far more experience that a samurai because while a samurai may never actually fight in his life time a knight would have not only fought against various nations from across the know world at the time but also his fellow knights jousts weren’t just for entertainment they were also a way of keeping knights in fighting form

    But that’s just my 2 cents

  9. Michael Eden Says:

    Michael K,

    Really enjoyed reading your take.

    From what I’ve seen in my reading, a Japanese Katana weighed on average about 3 lbs, versus the weight of a European “hand-and-a-half” equivalent two-handed sword usually weighed about 4.5 lbs. You’re certainly right that if a sword is too heavy it is useless as a war weapon. The weapons had to be just heavy enough without being too heavy. And what was “heavy enough” or “too heavy” would have a lot to do with the size and strength of the warrior. I do know that European swords got LIGHTER over time (e.g., between the Crusades and say the 16th century). So sometimes you literally have to ask the question, “During which period?” when you talk about ANY of this stuff. Which is likely true to a lesser extent (due to the Samurai being so tradition-bound as well as so island-isolated) with the Japanese.

    As I indicated in the article, it gets somewhat difficult to compare katanas and European swords simply due to the fact that there are so few European war swords today (a lot more parade weapons that were never intended to be used in war). Versus the Japanese, who practically worshiped the sword such that there were tens of thousands of functional war katanas that were still being made during WWII. It gets harder to compare apples to oranges when you have so many apples and so few oranges.

    Obviously, knights on a battlefield probably weren’t interested in penmanship; but what you point out about heat would have been a factor: in tank warfare (which is the true equivalent of ancient heavy cavalry), it is simply a fact that crew comfort is critical. The Soviet tanks sucked partially because they simply refused to take human reality into their design. Whereas our guys could fight for hours, the Soviet guys were done after a short time in their hot, cramped crew compartments and just weren’t able to use their weapons effectively. When it came to the visors and their vision, they were able to see what was in front of them quite clearly, but, yeah, lost out on peripheral. Imagine how courageous you had to be to pick your target and fight, not knowing whether somebody was just about to literally blindside you. But I submit that when it came to that enemy in front of them, they saw quite well. Some of the helmets that were made for jousting were much more restrictive, because what you had to be able to see was literally boiled down to as fine of a point as the tip of your lance and your opponent’s breast; but the war helmets allowed more vision because they HAD to.

    I totally agree with you that the knights had to fight opponents and styles all over the world. Not just each other in complete isolation, as did the samurai, but for example the Turks in the Crusades, etc. The knights had to constantly adapt to different weapons and different fighting styles and just different tactics and strategies, whereas the samurai did not. That ultimately made them superior warriors.

    I added in the part about “unarmored knights” in major part as a bone to samurai buffs. I mean, you’ve got to give them (and certainly the samurai) something. Basically, it was merely an acknowledgement that the knights – who were the “Navy SEALs” of their day, were truly at their best when they were wearing the harness that they were trained to fight in. But as we clearly both agree these guys were absolutely lethal warriors and swordsmen who trained and lived to kill every bit as much as the samurai. They were highly skilled. And if the samurai could have any advantage it would have to be in unarmored combat.

    It’s partly a “Hollywood syndrome” thing: the way Asian fighting styles have been so romanticized and exaggerated. I watch movies where the karate hero takes out 25 guys armed with submachine guns with a single side kick (except for my favorite movie martial artist Jet Li who takes out FIFTY) and I just start laughing. While I watch very little of it, I’ve seen enough of the MMA/Ultimate Fighting to see that the high flying kung fu guys don’t seem to even enter the fighting championships, let alone win them. The winning fighters largely do their damage on the ground. My point is that there’s myth and there’s reality – and most people think in terms of myth because that’s all they’ve ever really seen. And the knights were as real as you could get. I wish they WERE romanticized by Hollywood the way the Samurai and Asian fighting styles have been as I would enjoy watching “knight flicks.”

    Thanks for commenting!

  10. Michael K Says:

    Only 50 guys most of the time I see them kill off an entire army with just quick draw of their sword and when they sheathe it the army falls into a million pieces yet when you see european sword fighting it makes you wince as they flail about like someone who got a tazer up the backside

    One factor that we seem to have not taken into account is biology I am not being racist but its a well know fact that Europeans are physically larger and I’d say stronger on average especially a knight who’s gotten the best food and training he’s going to be a mountain of muscle with zero care of how he rips your head off and mounts it on a pike against the samurai who is going to be smaller possible more nimble opponent but save for Japans warring periods they weren’t all that focused on training for combat in fact many samurai were more philosphers and politicans than warriors

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    its a well know fact that Europeans are physically larger and I’d say stronger on average especially a knight who’s gotten the best food and training…

    Michael K,

    The only thing I’d say to that is that, while it is certainly true now and has been true for quite some time, it wasn’t necessarily ALWAYS true. There were periods when Europeans in general – due to plagues and inadequate nutrition – were much physically smaller than they are today. So, again, you might have to pick your period and compare surviving Japanese armor with surviving European armor of a given period and “guestimate” how big each people were in comparison to one another.

    But in general I would agree that you are correct. And, for example, when you see American soldiers with Japanese soldiers (obviously, with one or the other being POWs), the Americans tower over the Japanese.

    I would also say that a warrior tends to be as good as their enemies force them to be. If you’re fighting against the best you need to be better than the best or you lose. And that is something that argues in favor of the European knights, who fought enemies from all over the place while the samurai were only fighting one another.

    Like I said, I think so much of the myth was created by Hollywood. How can you get your audience to believe that your hero is so tough he can kick a hundred guys’ asses at once? Give him kung fu or karate. The same audience that would simply refuse to suspend disbelief that a boxer (or whatever Anglo fighting style) could defeat a hundred opponents in one fist fight has been conditioned to say, “But the kung fu guy can do that stuff.” And myth feeds on myth.

    As an example, take Bruce Lee. Here’s an interesting article somebody wrote about him: http://shootafairone.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/bruce-lee-%E2%80%93-myth-vs-fact/

    While Chuck Norris was at one time the International Karate Association world champion (for six years), what “record” did Bruce Lee have? Nothing. Whatever matches he was alleged to have were “private.” His worshipers say that cameras were rare back then; BUT THEY WERE A LOT MORE RARE WHEN ROCKY MARCIANO ET AL WERE FIGHTING and we have detailed histories of those guys fights, don’t we???

    Lee was obviously a master of self-promotion, but that was massively helped by a Hollywood culture that a) has always hated Judeo-Christian Western Civilization and b) hungrily sought an exploitable myth that would allow them to create mythic movie heroes.

    P.S. The Only movie that has been made on “knights” that I can remember recently was “Kingdom of Heaven.” And of course they pretty much hated all over the knights and turned them into the most ignoble thugs imaginable.

    In reality, the knights committed atrocities during the Crusades, no question. But I can easily match atrocity with atrocity on the part of the Muslims. And only rabid bias explains why we only focus on the atrocities committed by the knights. Anyone stupid enough to believe that a warmongering, greedy Christian knighthood attacked helpless, innocent, peace-loving Muslims is stupid enough to believe that Christians are the real terrorists today and just overlook the fact that 99.9999999999999999% of terrorism in the world today is committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. Unless someone is going to try to argue that Allah was different then or that Muhammad was different then or that the Koran and the Ahadith were different then, you’ve got the same people interpreting the same books from the same prophet the same way. But no Muslim scholar will ever acknowledge that and no Western scholar would ever DARE point it out because of a) political correctness and b) the fear of being murdered by these peace-loving Muslims.

    It’s that same rabid bias at work again and again in our Hollywood myth culture.

  12. jo-LOL Says:

    ok ,you devellop too much and get ridiculous.
    First ,a knight is far stronger ,heavier and more enduring than a samurai. He has far superior weapons and a shield.
    He has a heavy war horse. He has a cavalry lance.He has an armor than NONE of the samurai weapons can pierce (except, with great chance , only in weak points).
    Question is not who wins , it is ,how many samurais does it take to kill a knight from exhaustion or backstabbing (but knights were alsoe far superior in numbers….) ,and how many will be killed.
    Period.

    stop humiliating yourself , stop hollywood movies and bad mangas and start REAL studies.If you had ,you would not even wonder.

  13. Michael Eden Says:

    jo-LOL,

    You say,

    ok ,you devellop too much and get ridiculous.

    You might be right. In my defense, I’ll put it this way: Likely because of your final line on the bottom (all the movies glorifying Asian marital arts, etc.) I had a question in my mind which I wanted an answer to. And I really couldn’t find a “developed” and thorough answer. So I prepared one myself.

    BECAUSE of Hollywood culture, I thought I’d see a lot more “Samurai kick ass!” than I found.

    I don’t particularly trust “answers” that lack thorough “development” and therefore amount to “opinions.” I want FACTS rather than ASSERTIONS.

    Much of what you say turns out to be correct. Knights generally used heavier stallions as much as anything else because of their heavier armor but also because they wanted a more aggressive animal (the same way a male dog is also likelier to be more aggressive). Whereas many warrior cultures used mares because they were docile. In one of the early knight charges during the First Crusade, knights routed Turks fighting on mares – partly because the mares were in estrus (heat) and the stallions charged with total abandon. Just as one example.

    To say that the knights are far stronger and heavier needs a little proof: have you SEEN an ancient suit of armor??? Europeans were much smaller in the knights’ heyday, you know. You can’t just look at the difference between people today and project it back. But the knights probably WERE larger and stronger.

    I don’t believe you’re right about Samurai lacking lances. I think they had them. But they usually tended to fight with a bow rather than a lance. And from that I’d say we saw the Moslems use the same tactic against the knights and the knights kicked their asses virtually every time they were able to mount a cavalry charge.

    And as far as armor, yeah, I wanted to discuss that a bit and maybe even “over develop” it. Because samurai armor was quite good. It was outstanding, in fact. It was better than anything around it.

    Which makes the knights armor almost an apples and oranges comparison because the two never fought each other so we could see the results on the battlefield. Ultimately, the fact that the Samurai eventually began to use the armor that the knights had worn for centuries proves that their armor was inferior.

    I never consider it “humiliating” to try to write a thorough piece on a subject. Rather, I consider it far more humiliating to resort to a bunch of assertions.

    We see a lot of crap pumping out of Hollywood, to that I completely agree. We’re finding that most women EVEN AFTER MARINE BOOT CAMP cannot do THREE pull-ups. But you watch most action movies (which I don’t even bother to watch anymore) and you see these female SEALs kicking ass.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Hahahahahahahqhahahahahahqhahahahah

  15. Michael Eden Says:

    Anonymous,

    Whatever.

    If I posted stuff as stupid as you post, I’d be “Anonymous” too.

  16. Somedude27 Says:

    First of all it is very nice that you are interested in history, but you are very very very wrong, you just fell for the “pop history” that just utterly destroys REAL history with so much lies and myths its unbeliavable, thanks to public TV. Let me rundown it step by step.

    For start, “Teutonic knights” werent your typical knights, they were monastic military order, monk warriors much like sohei or yamabushi equivalent nonetheless they were very deadly.
    Another thing that is a big overbloated myth is beloved 300 spartans. The truth was, yes there were 300 spartans, but they were backed up by other troops 1000 troops, they never won, only their last stand was remarkable, they were able to hold it for 7 days, while being overwhelmed by about 150 000 army of persians, majority of army were levies with wicker shield and spear. And if you would know the hoplite tactics, you would even understand that it was impressive and almost heroic last stand, but it wasnt that brutal nor impossible. Hoplite tactics was just a push over with their big hoplon shields and constant stabbing with spear, hoplon shield was used to ram enemies, the last row pushed on the rows before them and they could ram through ranks. This tactic was obsolete when romans invaded greece, roman legionares easily defeated spartans, who not only had outdated tactics, but their number were always very low, because they had outdated army system, compared to professional army of rome, wich was the most revolutionary system ever to come, in those days there were only warrior castes and nobles, without formal training, discipline and in few numbers + hard to replenish.Dont get me wrong now, spartans were killing machines, one on one they would win against a roman legionaire without doubt or in my opinion would win against their elite experienced legionaries. But in open battlefield, they were inflexible, their tactics outdated and their numbers low, almost impossible to replenish.

    Now back to subject

    Swords- I dont know from where people get that european swords were superior to japanese or same quality. Let me get to the point, A BIG NO!!!! I dont know if those people are just jelaous or where does the hate come for katana but no, just no. Katana is vastly superior to european swords, even middle east damascus steel was vastly superior to european steel. Let me elaborate, I am mechanical engineer, steel is my profession. I have studied the processes wich are used in process of katana. Let me tell you that our most modern machines cannot create such hight quality steel as japanese swordmasters, nothing can beat specialised manual labour, nothing. I dont know if you would understand it ,as material science is very vast subject, not that you cant understand it, its just soooo much there it would take you years to complete your study and steel is one big major subject in it. Steel is very special material you see, let me make it very simple, todays most modern highest quality steel is still so imperfect, that if we were able to produce the most perfect crystal structure, how crystals are aligned in steel, it would be 10 times stronger,harder,elastic than your most hight quality steel you can produce nowadays. And let me tell you, what those japanese swordsmiths do with the steel, how many times they fold it, how many times reforge it, recrystalise it and make the crystal structure near perfect, what ingredients they put into the steel and % of carbon, only a fool can state european swords were superior, of course it took years to produce a katana, but the result was masterpiece. And sorry to burst anyones bubble, but europe was far behind in terms of metalurgy in medieval times, the only high quality steel was swedish and well, the only thing they done was they controled % of carbon in it. Europe was never known until 17-18 century for its quality of steel, because well steel was very common. In Japan iron was very scarce and Japan was closed off to foreign trade, so THATS WHY their steel was masterpiece, they had to do quality over quantity.

    Than another BIG MYTH, is fighting with katana. Samurai weapon of choice was either bow or yari/naginata and when they fought hand in hand, they rather chose tanto wich was dagger or wakizashi wich was short sword. Katana was more a symbolic weapon,yes it was used, but not to that hollywood extent. Samurai were flexible soldiers, they used what was best for situation.

    Katana vs broadsword…you cannot compare these two archetypes, as they are different in terms of use. Katana is slashing, thrusting, yes the point is very sharp, weapon. A human person can be sliced with katana, dont underestimate sharpness, believe me. Only type of armor that is 100% immune to slashing is chainmail, not plate mail, chainmail, thats why nowadays workers who cut meat or butchers use chainmail gloves. So if you would want to make katana almost useless, you should wear chainmail, but still they can pierece you, but again chainmail is effective too against stabbing. Broadsword wasnt much sharpened at sides, that is again myth, it was mainly stabbing weapon and blunt type too. And again another BIG BIG MYTH is the usage of swords. Swords in medieval europe again were more ceremonial type of weapon or symbol of status. They were used yes, but against lightly armored enemies or non. But again, prefered weapon was spear. Most used weapons in medieval europe were warhammers, they were created to pierce plate armor and crush bones, and spears. Spear wasnt called king of weapons for nothing. And when muskets started to dominate battlefields, armor was rednered useless and again pikes were major type of weapon, because they only melee type of unit that could deal with muskets were cavalry and what stop cavalry? A good long pike. And knights werent that flexible, they were either royalty or experienced soldiers who were given honorary rank, wich was uncomon. And well, knights were armed mainly with warhammer, good weapon against both armed nor unarmed targets + lances for cavalry charge. They werent that flexible. Two handed swords were mainly ceremonial weapons, impractical.

    Now to armor. Samurai armor AGAIN, if you trully study this subject and is your passion, is superior to full plate armor. Let me again explain, samurai armor was masterpiece, not only it was very flexible, it was lighter, but not that much wich is a myth. Its defensive properties are superior to plate armor. Let me elaborate, samurai armor, lets talk about your typical samurai armor , as there were many variants. Its was a lamellar armor, wich means small plates were tied together in a pattern with leather straps. This made the armor not only great again blunt trauma,slashing thanks to leather and silk, but plates deflected blows as classical breastplate, not that good against typical swings or slashes, but against arrow lamellar armor was superior. Big problem in clasical breastplate was it bended when striked and well could cripple you, wich was major flaw in full plate, but with lamellar, if plates bended than it didnt matter or they just fell off. Samurai armor protected them against every type of damage except muskets, thats why samurai adopted breastplate and morion type helmet, but only because of muskets, because again the myth is that they were superior, they were only superior in terms of defence against musket.

    Now lets please debunk the full plate mail, that is so much loved. Personally I love full plate, its beautifull, but impractical and overhyped. First piece of full plate armor was crafted in 14 century in italy, not that full plate was not before, but it was very very hard to produce and costly. Full plate armor, was well a rarity, the price is equivalent of nowadays Ferrari, so only richest of rich could afford it. Now lets debunk the defensive properties of full plate. Yes it proved great protection, but it is overrated. There were many flaws, thats why they were never so much used. Big flaw was when it wasnt bended, it offered great protection, but once bended, it was rendered obsolete and could even kill you. One hit from warhammer could pierece it or bend it, making it obsolete and crippling you, making you easy pray. Another big problem was overheating, flexibility wasnt problem nor comfort, it was padded and armorsmiths were trully masters in their work when it came down to movement of joints. Problem was knights could collapse from the heat because of padding, air couldnt flow as freely as needed. Than problem was corrosion, if the masterfully crafted joints started to rust…pray for God. They painted their plated armor with paint against rust wich was black, thats where the legend of “black knights” came from. And protection from arrows wasnt….that stellar, clasical arrows just bounced yes, but english longbow or crossbow could penetrate full plate. Look at Battle at Agincourt, where english longbowmen decimated french knights or look at tests with bodkin arrow against full plate. The only parts of full plate armor that were used were breastplate and gauntlets, or helmet, ussually combined with chainmail. And knights were defenseless against horse archers, wich samurai were. Just look at any mongol/hun/timurid invasion.

    Full plate armor are overbloated nowadays and they mainly again worked as status symbol, introduction of muskets made them obsolete and waste of material. Medieval soldiers armor of choice was dum dum CHAINMAIL, ussually mixed with breastplate or leather under chainmail + various helmets. Now if you would compare in my opinion chainmail armor with samurai armor, there is a comparison. Chainmail would render katana near useless and its great protection capabilities could be nightmare for samurais arsenal. Chainmail was used and is used nowadays, it was trully revolutionary invention in armor. It makes slashing weapons useless thanks to its design, if chains are properly interlocked and had proper thickness and pallete, than it can make arrows useless. If under chainmail you used some kind of leather armor or padding, shock from blunt weapons was absorbed. So if you want an armor that is point of discussion on wich is superior to samurai, it would be chainmail, but again reparing chainmail armor was nightmare and flexibility wasnt that great, but if it was full chainmail, than you didnt had weakspot in your armor.

    Now unto samurai vs knight in combat…samurai was without doubt superior, if you actually study it properly and dont fall for the pop history. Lets start with knight this time, knights were yes deemed to squirehood, but being squire was more of a social learning instead of military. Knights were overhyped, they were tanks of medieval times, but man at arms were also or any kind of heavy cavalry as gendarmes or boyars. They were trained better as regular recruit, but their skills were overbloated, their strength was mainly from superior equipment to your levy. However norman knights were trully elite troops and their services were sought far and wide, they were even elite guards of Byzantine empire, google varangian guard. Knight orders, or proper naming was monastic orders as , Templars or Knights hospitaler, were elite troops, yes they were skilled, but again their skills were overhyped. If you study them properly, you would understand their power steemed from superior equipment again, because they were donated by church and had alot of money. Again dont get me wrong, they were trained, skilled and deadly, but you cannot compare them to samurai. You can even see they werent that strong when they fought their muslim equivalent the mamluks, they didnt fared that well, but it could be that they werent used to tropic condition. Crusades if were big fail, Christians lost all power over middle east with each crusade, the only crusade that was trully sucesfull was the first. And the “martial arts” of west, yes they had systems, but they were very simple yet effective, its like boxing, its very effective and simple, but there is no big progress, unlike eastern martial arts, wich take alot of time to master, but once mastered, you cannot compare. Knights were inflexible and were used as shock infantry or cavalry.

    Samurai on the other hand, if you actually study it, than they were powerfull, very much. They trained since young age and well they trained their whole life. They not only trained melee but psychology aswell, wich is an extreme factor in combat, morale. They were not only trained to fight like a killing machine but THINK like a killing machine. They were ahead of their time, they were flexible, they tried to master every weapon, to be proficcient with anything, to be flexible, to do anything what the situation needs and if you understand tactics, than you know flexibility is one of the most important factors, thanks to flexibility and discipline romans almost conquered whole known world those days, romans werent that skilled and physically they were short and weak, but discipline, tacitcs and superior training made them very powerfull. Back to samurai. The only problem with samurai was when they fought, they wanted to duel one on one, breaking formations and going after personal glory, but that was only in fights between themselves. Look at Gempei wars and you can easily see how samurai dominated the battlefield and subdued whole Japan. And saying they never fought anyone…please they had o hold off mongol invasion, they fought in korea, they fought against portugese mercenaries, they fought against americans, last of the samurai film…they proved elite and supreme, they even stood against rifles wich takes balls. But while being flexible on the battlefield, they were inflexible trough times, big problem with samurai was they didnt want to change their traditional ways, wich let to their decline. This same can be applied to WW2 in japan, their A6M zero planes were the best dogfight planes, even better than german planes, but again they didnt upgrade them wich made them weak near the end of war. Another problem with samurai was, that they were lower on numbers, they were only nobles, while vast armies were formed of ashigaru a mix of levy and profesionall soldier, still samurai dominated battlefield, but as time flew they were getting weaker and weaker to more modern tactics until they were obsolete by the time rifles came. While heavy cavalry survived the rise of muskets a pseudo knights called cuirassers or reuters were imporant aspect of 17-19 century battlefield, samurai were rendered useless, because they couldnt adapt.

    So in one on one fight, samurai would win. On open battlefield, if they would go on horseback and use bow or equip themselves with yari if knights were on horses, they would win.But knights had more numbers and could be replenished more easily, so if knights had more units, wich they would, they would in the end win .Samurai were worthy of their legends, I was too sceptic about them, but more I studied, the more powerfull they actually were…but their downfall was closed mindset, getting stuck in rut. Knights on the other hand didnt lived to their legends, they were elite troops yes…but they didnt dominate the battlefield as samurai did. I was kind of sad to find the truth that knights were overhyped, but alas truth is liberating.

  17. Michael Eden Says:

    Somedude27,

    I enjoyed your comment, aside from the “you’re ignorant like all the rest of the unwashed masses and I alone understand any of this” tone that permeates through your words.

    I don’t have time just now to engage at a deeper level, but I glossed through and will pick out a few things I noticed.

    When you talk about “plate armor being overhyped,” the problem I have is that I have actually SEEN people wearing full plate armor. It’s fairly heavy, but nowhere NEAR as heavy as the average combat soldier carries today. And further, the weight is equally and evenly distrusted throughout the body. With the result that it is AMAZINGLY functional and practical. Yes, those suits of armor WERE expensive – BUT YOU IGNORE IN YOUR OWN IGNORANCE THAT THE SAME APPLIED TO THE SAMURAI. Do you actually believe that those swords and that armor they wore were CHEAP, do you??? Your argument is INCREDIBLY hypocritical in that to whatever extent it nullifies the knights IT NULLIFIES THE SAMURAI every bit as much.

    You actually twist your own argument into a pretzel. You go from asserting:

    First piece of full plate armor was crafted in 14 century in italy, not that full plate was not before, but it was very very hard to produce and costly. Full plate armor, was well a rarity, the price is equivalent of nowadays Ferrari, so only richest of rich could afford it.

    To asserting:

    So in one on one fight, samurai would win. On open battlefield, if they would go on horseback and use bow or equip themselves with yari if knights were on horses, they would win.But knights had more numbers and could be replenished more easily

    Which is another way of saying YOU REFUTE YOURSELF. Because which is it??? The fact of the matter is that the heavy cavalry knights that I am describing COMMONLY WORE THE PLATE ARMOR THAT YOU YOURSELF AFFIRM WAS EXPENSIVE AND THEREFORE NOT “REPLENISHED MORE EASILY.” It was the pikemen and the foot soldiers and the archers who tended to wear the mesh. Because it WAS cheaper.

    You also rather conveniently ignore the fact that it was the samurai who adopted the plate armor of the knights – acknowledging the superiority of that armor over their own – rather than the knights adopting the samurai armor. So your argument is great, aside from the fact that history proves you wrong.

    And you further ignore that the knights were heavy cavalry who in most ways fought the way the “blitzkrieg” that still dominates military strategy today fight. The knights were like tanks who fought as breakthrough weapons – supported by air attack (the English longbowmen who were also elite warriors in their own right reigning air attack missiles onto the enemy and supported by footsoldiers who exploited the breakthrough that the heavy cavalry “tanks” had created. You clearly don’t understand that in your description.

    My contention is that had the samurai actually GONE to war with the European knights, few of the samurai would have even survived the “air attack” of the English longbowmen who would have skewered them from a longer range than the bows of the samurai were capable of reaching. And the fact that we STILL use the tactics of the knights today is proof that the tactics of the European knights and of European warfare in general are simply superior to the tactics of the samurai and of Japanese warfare in general.

    You simply don’t understand that: the knights didn’t fight in isolation – as the Samurai largely did – but rather as part of a cohesive battle plan.

    I had to admit to being simply amazed at your argument: “Now unto samurai vs knight in combat…samurai was without doubt superior, if you actually study it properly and dont fall for the pop history.” Because, you are actually insinuating that according to “pop history,” Asian martial arts are deemed inferior???? I mean, how many movies have I seen Asian martial artists practically FLYING as they take out 20 opponents armed with submachine guns with a SINGLE FREAKING SIDEKICK??? But it is incredibly your argument that “pop history” claims that the English bull with his boxing skill is more than a match for any karate master. Amazing.

    I’m just going to have to conclude that you are frankly crazy when it comes to your understanding of pop history, that the ninja gets no respect as a warrior whatsoever. That’s just utterly ridiculous. Pop culture is on YOUR side, dude. It’s the FACTS that aren’t.

    You very much have a profoundly biased view of Western warriors (I mean, you dismiss the Spartans, for God’s sake!!!) that dominates your thinking. So it doesn’t surprise me that you would dismiss the knights. But the fact of the matter is that they WERE trained from a very young age to FIGHT. Being a “squire” was being an “apprentice.” And these guys were NOBLES who were apprenticed to a warrior so that they could learn the art of war from the very ground up. When they weren’t tending to the lesser aspects that went into knighthood – the cleaning and maintaining of equipment and the tending of the horses – they were learning to fight first with wooden swords and then with real weapons. They had to be taught and they had to grow into the elite fighting class of their world. And they grew into the highest trained, the most skilled, the best armed fighters of the Western world that dominated the ENTIRE WORLD. Unlike the Samurai who dominated their small island and nothing more.

    Our SEALs today – as highly trained as they are – don’t hold a CANDLE to these men who were being trained at the age of four to be masters of war and combat.

    As I point out, the knights fought enemies FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD and they DEFEATED OPPONENTS from all over the world. The samurai didn’t. A samurai only had to learn how to fight other samurai; a knight had to learn how to fight EVERYBODY.

    For the record, one of the opponents who went into the forging of the European knight was the Mongol. The Mongols invaded the Roman Empire as it was in decline and the West had to adjust their tactics and strategies to meet this Eastern threat. Japanese NEVER had to adjust to meet such threats because they were isolated.

    Since the knights – who fought and defeated everyone else – never made it to Japan, and since the samurai never made it ANYWHERE else – it will always be a matter of opinion who would have defeated who. I submit that your “anyone who is as erudite as I am clearly knows the outcome of something that never happened” is flawed from the outset.

    I present this particular statement as my opinion: but the samurai were more concerned with the “art” or “beauty” of killing than they were at just being lethal warriors. Their swords were designed to decapitate because that was the most artistic way to kill someone; they employed a highly stylized and ritualized system of fighting because it was more important for them to look GOOD killing as it was to be a good killer. Versus your European knight who had fought all over the world and would have just assumed bash your brains out with a mace; because their primary goal was simply to get the job done.

    Anyway, I always welcome comments and thank you for yours.

  18. somedude27 Says:

    Clearly you didnt readed it all and if you think I have I are holier than you tone, you are wrong. I agreed with some things you wrote, but I cannot agree with majority, because what you wrote or reasearched is very very wrong, sorry to be blunt, but thats the way it is. I am historical enthusiast and very passionate about it, been studying it personaly since I was very young and I understand you, because I too had fell for the pop history, the reality is far far different than what you are fed. For instance, did you know that celtic druids were able to do neurosurgery, removing tumors from brains? You can see how advanced we were, instead of the baloney that they were very primitive.

    Now unto subject:If you actually read what I wrote, I wrote that its a myth that samurai armor is very light compared to full plate. It is lighter, but only by few weight. I wrote too that full plate contrary to popular view, very flexible and light, thanks to weight distribution. That same applies to samurai armor, but samurai armor was more flexible, no metallic joints flat and simple. Samurai armor is cheaper resource wise, full plate is much more expensive even from craft side and resource one.

    Again you didnt read it properly. I wrote that full plate armor was rare, it was used only by richest of rich, knights had to buy their own armor, most common type of armor was chainmail, than other alternatives wich I forgot to mention were coat of plates, brigandine + others I cannot remember now. And as you can even see, coat of plates or brigandine were lamellar type of armor, scale mail, wich was samurai armor. Lamellar or scale mail were better resource wise and even offered great protection. If you would understand materials science, than you would know that a single sheet of steel is NOT that good protection. Great example is kevlar vest or carbon plates, you would understand that the type of interlocking of those fibers changes the properties of material. You would know that there are properties that affect how the impact is absorbed, if it just bends or breaks, or what happens with the material after the impact and damage type. While from view of someone who knows nothing about materials may steel plate look impenetrable, from view of someone with background of material science will see steel plate differently. And another big big myth that only footmen wore chainmail, wich is thanks to games or movies. Soldier wore what he could afford so it was individual. Standard equipment was spear.helmet and shield, for bowmen bow and arrows luckily helmet, nothing more, nothing less, for cavalry lance and horse. Clearly you have no knowledge of armies of medieval times, so please study it before being aggressive towards me.

    I wrote that samurai adopted western type armor, but again you know nothing of its background. They adopted spanish style helmet called morion and spanish style breastplate, wich was able to protect samurai from musket fire. That was the only reason why and it was exotic, nanban trade was first of its kind and exotic things were seeling like hot cakes. If you are so adamant about full plate, look at other cultures, no one EVER adopted full platemail, it was europe only, middle europe only not even russian principalities used it, they wore lamellar or scalemail, with breastplate sometimes. No arabians adopted full plate, no chinese, no indians, no japanese, no one. It was work of art, yes, but there were better alternatives, cheaper ones too. Its like rolls royce, nice car, luxurious, but you can have the same thing or better for lower price, overpriced. If you want armor that was invented in europe and it went worldwide, go for chainmail. It is even used today against sharks, thats how good invention it was.

    You are again wrong wrong wrong, knights were yes heavy cavalry or shock troops if they dismounted. Their goal wasnt only in breaking formation, their main role was flanking, cavalry was mainly for flanking, taking care of archers or chasing routed enemies. Going head on was ussually suicide, as most common troop of medieval times were spearmen. Please look at BATTLE AT AGINCOURT how knights were easily defeated, so you can finnally burst that bubble about their immortality.

    You think samurai werent archers? Samurai were mainly archers, they were all rounders could do anything, as I wrote before weapon of choice was either bow or yari/naginata…japanese bow was very strong and had great distance much like english longbow, well japanese bows WERE LONGBOWS for start. While you are right, european tactics did evolve and eventually were better than japanese, still japanese tactics were brilliant and defeating a flexible foe as samurai, wich could fight as horseback archer, wich was the biggest weakness of knights…than I dont know if you dont know anything about tactics or are ignoring facts becaus you are biased.

    Here is perfect example of you being overinfluenced by movies or pop history. “Because, you are actually insinuating that according to “pop history,” Asian martial arts are deemed inferior???? I mean, how many movies have I seen Asian martial artists practically FLYING as they take out 20 opponents armed with submachine guns with a SINGLE FREAKING SIDEKICK??? But it is incredibly your argument that “pop history” claims that the English bull with his boxing skill is more than a match for any karate master. Amazing.”
    Please read what I originally wrote and may I ask how old are you? It would answer alot of questions. Boxing is easy to master, simple effective, while karate takes years to be even profficient in it, but when you master it, its better than master in boxing…

    Please actually study what squirehood was about, than talk to me.
    And knights defeating everyone else? Please, their idea was stolen from iranian cataphracts, they were ultimate in their time, about times of anicent rome. The main tactic of iranian cultures was cataphract cavalry who did everything from flanking to breaking formations, was accompanied by spearman levies, who were used as cannon fodder and human wall, holding off enemies until cataphract could flank them, protected by horse archers, who eliminated any archer threat or any opposition to cataphract from distance. Knights defeated everyone around the world? Do you even went trough elementary school? Europe was always at its heels when invaded by anyone other than european countries. Mongols decimated europe, Turks decimated europe, crusades were a big fail and european knights never got further than middle east…japan had to deal with threats as koreans, chinese, mongols, so please at least study elementary history. I dont know where you even get these crazy ideas, not even TV history channels produce such lies.

    Another myth about “beauty” of killing, film type stuff. Samurai duels were matter of seconds, who stroke first won, or if someone was skilled he could deflect blow and strike decisive blow. Katana was so sharp so it could kill in one hit, so it could slice trough armor too. Even karate is about killing your foe as fast as you can and as effective as you can. There are artistic parts of eastern martial arts, but they are NOT applicable to battle, they had practical killing side and artistic side of their martial arts. Main art of samurai warriors was ju jitsu, wich is about leverages, wich is very effective against anyone who is armored. They can lock enemies limbs and enemy will be immobile. But again weapon of choice for samurai were yari or naginata, one simple thrust and enemy is crippled, unable to fight. Knights were specialised troops, while samurai were all round, flexible. Knight just wont stand a chance, they will exploit weakness, horse archery and well knight stand no chance. One on one fight samurai would choose naginata or yari, wich will outrange and outmanouver the knight. The only scenarios in wich knight could win are, if knights would hold formation and well samurai would go individual combat or if samurai had katana and knight had warhammer, but its up to individual fighting prowness.

    So please, study more, because you have serious lack of knowledge of history, its great to see someone enthusiastic about history, its a great hobby.

  19. Michael Eden Says:

    For instance, did you know that celtic druids were able to do neurosurgery, removing tumors from brains

    somedude27,

    Yeah, I think I’ll take my “history lessons” from a guy who DOESN’T believe in Druid psychic surgery.

    You miss so many actual details of history that it’s frankly kind of unreal. For instance, you make a big deal about the cost of plate armor as though that matters – or as though Samurai armor was somehow inexpensive. For the simple factual record, they were BOTH INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE. In both cases, only one of the most elite class could wear it at ALL. So for all your assertions, it’s equivalent to arguing that Ferraris are somehow better than Bugatti’s because Bugattis are more expensive. Dude, you’ve got to be beyond freaking rich to buy either one. If you can afford one, you can afford the other.

    I’m not discussing the cost of the armor because it is utterly irrelevant to anyone but you. I’m talking about the quality of the armor.

    And while it doesn’t obviously matter to YOU, it DOES matter that the Japanese samurai THEMSELVES settled the debate when THEY BEGAN TO USE PLATE ARMOR BECAUSE IT WAS SUPERIOR. As I documented.

    It is simply a fact that the samurai began to develop increasingly heavy armor.http://onlinesamurai.weebly.com/armor.html

    Here is a quote from that site:

    During this period, the way armour was developed changed greatly. The armour went from fully-laced scales, to sparse-laced scales, to sparse-laced lames, to riveted lames, to solid plates.

    Plate armor works. The Japanese figured that out.

    One of the other things I documented in my article that you largely ignore is that the Japanese simply didn’t have the steel industry to develop plate armor until CENTURIES after the Europeans. Which is the primary reason they were so late to employ it. But as they developed the industry, lo and behold the superior armor began to appear.

    Your basic problem is that you cannot or will not understand that what you call inferior armor was in fact superior armor and what you call superior armor was in fact inferior armor. But the history of the armor of the Japanese samurai REFUTES YOU. Being actual warriors whose lives depended on good armor, they understood what you clearly can’t understand. And so as soon as they could start using plate armor, they began using plate armor.

    Now, you talk about the Battle of Agincourt. And to the limited extent that the knights were defeated, you are right. But what you don’t seem to understand is that they WEREN’T defeated by samurai; they were defeated by English longbowmen.

    Again, your argument couldn’t miss the actual point any more. It’s kind of like saying that a modern heavy cavalry charge would fail against a machine gun. True, but what the hell does that have to do with either samurai or one one one duels between knights and samurai??? And the answer is absolutely nothing. In any event, the English knights fought WITH the longbowmen, much the way that our modern tactics have heavy armor fighting WITH aircraft.

    Fact: were the Japanese Samurai to have attacked the English position at the Battle of Agincourt, their fate would have been exactly the same as that of the French knights. Their horse bows could not match the range of the English longbowmen and they would have been skewered. Especially SINCE THEY WERE WEARING INFERIOR ARMOR.

    So your entire argument is baseless.

    Your third paragraph from the bottom is so revisionist in its history that it is beyond unreal. You ignorantly assert that Western civilization was somehow weakest and finished last when in obvious historical reality it was strongest and finished FIRST. Period. And again it became strongest by having to fight enemies from all over the world while your samurai were living in little tiny bubbles.

    I actually caught the last few minutes of a Chinese “sword flick” last night. The hero was a one-armed swordsman. He killed HUNDREDS of opponents in the last scene as they massed all around him. He could leap in such a manner that he could literally FLY. It’s the same with all the ninja flicks where the ninja takes out dozens of guys armed with submachine guns with a single side kick and the line, “Only a ninja can defeat a ninja!” The lunatic hyperbole of Asian theater is laughable. But you’ve drank deeply from the Kool-Aid.

    I ultimately don’t know who would have won a duel between a true knight in his prime and a true samurai in his prime; because they never met and because there are no longer ANY of either of them. What I do know for a fact is that the knight had superior armor and had superior tactics forged by warfare with enemies all over the world that the isolated Japanese never had to face. As an example of that, you yourself mentioned one of the threats that influenced the tactics and training of knights: the Mongols, who poured across Asia into Europe in the days that the Roman Empire was collapsing. The Japanese would have been owned by the Mongols had it not been for the “kamikaze” wind that destroyed their invasion fleet so they never had to face them the way the predecessors of the knights did. History records that “The Japanese successfully repelled the invasions, in part because the Mongols lost up to 75% of their troops and supplies both times on the ocean as a result of major storms.”

    But there are good and bad things to being isolated on an island. The Japanese were NEVER forced to adapt, as the knights were so forced over and over and over again. And so between that, the superior armor, oh, a STEEL industry, swords with longer reach, etc., I conclude the probability that the knights would have fared pretty well. But ultimately the best warriors are often able to overcome any disadvantage, so we can never know for sure.

    I’ve got a parallel situation for you: the Japanese Zeroes versus American aircraft during WWII. At first, we weren’t prepared AT ALL. And the Zeroes were THE best fighter aircraft in the world. An interesting element relevant to our discussion is that the Zeroes – like the Samurai, I believe – had very little armor compared to the Western aircraft. And at first they were much faster, more maneuverable, and just dominated the sky. But guess what? It didn’t take very long for our guys to address the issue. And well before the end of the war we had two planes – the Hellcat and the Corsair – that just ATE the Zeroes ALIVE. Because these planes had vastly superior armor – along with other key features – the Japanese were utterly helpless against them. They were shot down in droves.

    The armor that the knights wore was – contrary to your deeply uninformed opinion – amazing. I watched an interesting program on knight plate armor on the Military History Chanel. It was relatively heavy, of course, but FAR lighter than modern SEALs carry when they go on raids. And the thing about the knight plate armor is that it was incredibly well-distributed over the body, such that you could move incredibly easily with it. Guys were literally running in it to demonstrate how easy it was to maneuver.

    Well, my ultimate point is this: when the knights were in their heyday, the Japanese simply HAD no capacity to improve their armor. They HAD no steel industry. Whereas Europe did, that you very much. And I submit that were the knights to fare badly in their first encounter – and I doubt that would happen, but just for the sake of argument – the smiths would have gone to work and it would have been “Hellcat versus Zero” before the first Hellcat ever shot down the first Zero. Europe simply had the means to improve their technology that the Japanese totally lacked. And I submit that even if the samurai won the first encounter, they would end up the losers pretty fast.

    I can’t advise you to study more. But I DO advise you to study correctly, rather than making history a salad bar by which you chose the little tidbits you like and pass by the rest.

    Perhaps you would think more clearly if you had a Druid to operate on your brain……?

  20. Somedude27 Says:

    Oh yes an Yankee who watches Military History Channel, wich is a BIG HISTORICAL HOGWASH, the cesspool of history, who never saw an castle nor plate armor is going to convince me about pop-history shows being the ultimate truth? Sorry, but its really getting on my nerves this pop-history crap, those utter lies, you are laughable. Dude I study history since I were little pipsqueak, its my passion and hobby and some smartass who watched a propaganda document about how zeros sucked and USA FOR THE WIN, is convincing me that all the books I have about anicent warfare since celtic times to WW2, mainly medieval times knights and samurai, all the time I spent studying, researching and to top it off, denying what Is my profession, wich is mechanical engineering, convincing me about materials and that japanese steel, in wich processes I have studied alot telling me tamahagane steel sucks according to your bullcrap that Japanese never had any steel industry or never knew anything about metallurgy???If it sucks check the price…

    For start if you dont believe about the druids performing surgery…I seriously have no words, you are absolutely clueless about history. Roman even adopted their surgical procedures from them. Druids WERENT sacrificing children, that was Roman hogwash and pop media hogwash too, Romans were well known to lie about conquered enemies, about making them look stupid. Druids were educated and professional class among celtic cultures. They fuffiled many roles as priests, surgeons, law speaker or even poets…so please get your facts straight before you get all high and mighty.

    About Samurai armor vs Knight armor…please READ WHAT I WROTE BEFORE BUT PROPERLY. Both armors have their cons and pros, but samurai armor has more pros than cons, to sum it up. And if you dont belive me on full plate armor price in those times…seriously again I have no words.

    Battle at agincourt…SAMURAI AS I WROTE BEFORE HAD LONGBOWS, YUMI WAS A LONGBOW CHECK IT PLEASE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND if you knew anything about anicent warfare, you would know that ARCHER is DEFENSLESS against HORSEBACK ARCHER. Archer is stationary, while horseback archer can harras and is mobile, if worse can happen, they have height advantage and horse advantage, while archers were ill equipped for hand to hand combat, they were defenseless against cavalry, thats why even with muskets mounted soldiers didnt vanish from battlefields. And the irony is that samurai armor was constructed to withstand arrow fire, lamellar armor was better against arrow fire than plate…japanese adopted plate armor when muskets were introduced, as plate was better in terms of musket fire…mounted archery was the best tactic until muskets were introduced …get your facts straight.

    Knights fighting enemies around the world. Ha ha ha,their tactic was developed for EUROPEAN TACTICS,as again BATTLE AT AGINCOURT SHOWN THEIR WEAKNESSES, the only enemies that had to fought outside of europe were mongols or arabs, in wich both cases, they were proven useless, as mongols relied on horseback archers wich was knights weakness and arabian mamluks, equivalent of knights, were better trained and were better equiped for hot climate. Typical tactic in crusades was for arabians to wear down heavy knights,thanks to hot climate and their heavy armor, by hit and run tactics or just baiting them and withdrawing, as heavy knights were slow, even on horseback. Though mamluks were afraid to go hand to hand combat with knights as they were fierce opponents and their formation charge with couched lance could devestate them if they used it properly, going head on was suicide for anyone.

    Than mongol invasion of Japan…you trully think that by fighting hordes of mongol soldiers, samurai were useless??? Sorry, but you are dumb as a rock. Even today if chinese would want to conquer the whole world, they could even by sheer numbers, they could beat us to death with pillows. With the number of invasion troops reduced, the fight was more fair and samurai proved their strength, even still being in numerical disadvantage, samurai were able to repell mongol invaders, the scourge of EUROPE AND EVERYONE ELSE

    Your grasp at tactics is trully horrible. I feel like you dont even know how to read, let me write this one last time…SAMURAI WAS VERSATILE WARRIOR WHILE KNIGHT WAS UNIT WITH SPECIAL FUNCTION. Samurai could adopted to any situation, they were trained that way, while knight was trained only to charge in formation and formal hand to hand combat, if something different occured as great example battle at agincourt, they were useless. As proved troughout centuries and even TODAY, versatility is one of the most IMPORTANT FACTORS IN COMBAT, in any kind of situation, to adapt is cruical. Check how Rome conquered known whole world thanks to DISCIPLINE, VERSATILITY AND TACTICS.Typical roman legionare, was prepared to deal with any kind of threat. Big shield against arrows or for formation style meele, gladius sword for stabbing, penetrating armor or slashing non armored enemies, javelin in case of shielded enemies, their javelins made enemy shields useless by bending and weightining it down. Javeling was stiffened so in case of cavalry attack they could use it as spear, weakspots protected by armor, trully they had no weakness, versatile in every way and mainly they adopted tactics to different enemies, for instance when marching into parthia, they were harrased by horse archers, to counter it they adopted horse archers, check Sagittarii Equites. Fight fire with fire

    Japanese had no steel industry….please just stop with those utter lies, if I have to say this, bullshit.

    Let me get on your typical USA FOR THE WIN hogwash about zeros. A6M ZERO, was the BEST DOGFIGHTER WHEN IT CAME OUT, it was even better in terms of turnflight and maneouvrability, wich are IMPORTANT in dogfights, than best german aircrafts BF109 series or even FW 190, FW was faster better armored, better weapons, but it was good for nothing if they were outmanouvered… and contrary to popular beliefs zero HAD proper firepower. The only problem with it was japanese didnt upgrade it that much so as time progressed, they were becoming weaker, but still they were quite powerfull, but not as they were at start of war.
    Now your typical USA plane wich was against Zero, was F2A Buffalo, wich was utterly crushed by zeros and KI 43 Oscar. Than USA, adopted your “legendary”, F4F Wildcat, wich was another fiasco, very bad manouverbility, slow, again was decimated by Zero. Than USA finally learned and they employed F6F Hellcat. Finally Hellcat was able to at least survive Zero, but only thanks to having better firepower, range and mainly armor. While zeros had problems with penetrating their armor, that was the only problem that zeros had with hellcats. Hellcats were able to opposse zeros thanks to mass production and mass waves tactics, well they were mainly used in escorts, they were able to withstand alot of punishment. But in one on one combat…no, they were crap. Now unto your F4U corsair, as you mentioned, yes it was finally first airplane that could match Zero, corsair was good plane, not best as you wrote. It was finally manouvrable, had decent armor and great firepower, good speed too. Finally a plane that could match zero in dogfight. But by that time Zero was outdated alot and still could match with most modern planes. Now unto your typical BIG LIE about WW2 about japan vs usa. There were 2 invasions into japan, first one was utter fiasco, your beloved USA was decimated, crushed and destroyed by little Japan. Than in second wave, when small Japan used majority of its resources to fight off first invasion, they had to fight off second massive fresh wave of USA. USA didnt won, they advanced but with heavy casualties and in the end were forced to use atom bomb to end it prematurely, because they had massive casualties, those numbers of shot down japanese planes dont match reality, just look on how many USA pilots lost their medal of honor, because they lied on how many planes they shot down. The problem was that USA had retarted kill count system, the pilot just said how many he shot down and that was it, even a hit to a plane was counted as kill, thats why there are minimum amount of films about hellcats shooting down zeros. American pilots lied and they lied ALOT, but its all well as they won the war wohoo, so they can lie cant they? And american pilots were known as happy trigger cowboys who had their heads in the skies and well, they died alot. While Germans, Russians or Japanese had strict rules on kill count. Germans HAD to document via camera, wich was in their plane and the kill didnt count until the plane crashed ground. If they didnt had camera they needed at least 3 people to acknowledge a kill, even if they damaged the plane and the enemy pilot landed the plane, it wasnt counted as kill. If german pilot shot down plane and no one was there to see it, bad luck, no kill. Russians went even further, their kills must have been seen by their squadron and captain of their squadron AND if pilot lied, they went into military court and were executed, killed…something american braggy pilots would deserve.
    The ONLY advantage USA had in war was fresh troops and numbers, nothing else, every other major nation was much better than in terms of everything than USA,but I have to acredit two american planes that fared well, P 38 Lightning was very good plane, one of the best flying platforms, very underappreciated and P51 was good plane too, but overhyped. P39 or P40 wich was sold to russians were loathed by them, they hated flying those planes, but had no other option as germans decimated majority of their outdated airforce, not until their legendary IL 2 or YAK 3 were developed, wich were able to hold off germans.

    Please actually study history from BOOKS not from lame and cheap tv shows, wich are known as the worst source of facts. And please at least use COMMON SENSE, I am getting tired of repeating everything over and over again, seriously do you even READ WHAT I WROTE?????

  21. Michael Eden Says:

    Dude I study history since I were little pipsqueak

    Somedude27,

    That’s hardly an impressive declaration, given the fact that you’re STILL a little pipsqueak. A pathetic, vile little pipsqueak, for the record.

    Btw, you lie when you claim I asserted the Japanese never knew anything about metallurgy. What I said was the simple FACT that they did not have a steel industry the way the nations of the West had. That is just a fact. And when the Japanese finally developed a true steel industry, guess what happened, you liar? They began making PLATE ARMOR like the knights had worn. The fact that by then the West had already long since moved on to riflemen is simply another proof as to how far behind the Japanese were at that time.

    I have told you in every single comment something that I point out in the article itself: The Japanese samurai THEMSELVES refute you as to the superiority of plate armor. It is a FACT that the Japanese – who did not use plate armor simply because they did not have the steel industry to be able to do so – began using plate armor as soon as it became available to them. I DOCUMENTED that. You are simply an ignoramus who ignores FACTS because you don’t like them. And then you have the little insect balls to tell me I don’t know anything about history when you just ignore EVERY part about history that doesn’t suit your idiot opinions.

    For the record, that is the first of three reasons that I am blocking you after this. There is simply no point arguing with a fool who refuses to acknowledge he is refuted and simply ignores it and pretends it doesn’t happen and proceeds to continue spouting his gibberish. Had you tried to deal with what I said – somehow tried to explain why the Japanese began using plate armor even though according to you they already had superior armor – that would have been one thing. But you just put your fingers in your ears and pretended no one pointed out the fact that the Japanese samurai began using the armor that you claim is useless.

    You have repeatedly refused to respond to reality. So it’s past time for you to go away.

    As to the longbows versus the samurai horse bows:

    We now know since the recovery of an English warship called the Mary Rose that English longbows had draw weights of as much as 185lbf. The AVERAGE draw weight was 150-160lbf. These English bowmen were elite warriors themselves, and were trained from childhood just like the knights and yes, just like the samurai to develop the tendon strength to pull a bow that could shoot accurately shoot a missile over extreme distances.

    We know today there are very few men who can pull these bows as the English longbowmen did centuries ago simply because there are very few human beings who begin developing that kind of tendon strength as children as the elite English archers did. These English longbowmen were genuine specialists who were themselves the descendants of longbowmen. We have found skeletons of longbow archers and can easily see that they are “recognizably adapted” for pulling a heavy bow, with enlarged left arms and often bone spurs on left wrists, left shoulders and right fingers to pull that enormously powerful bow.

    These guys could accurately fire arrows the length of three-and-a-half to even four football fields. The English would lob missiles from incredibly long ranges. Versus the Japanese bow which was intended to ideally engage targets at something like 30 meters from what I saw of a yumi bow site.

    You just don’t pull anything like that kind of a bow from a horse. The longbowmen drew those heavy bows with an enormous motion that involved their entire bodies from their legs to their shoulders in a manner that no horseman could possibly replicate from a saddle. The English would EASILY outrange the Japanese and few of them would ever get within range. What happened to the French knights at the Battle of Agincourt would have happened to the samurai.

    And meanwhile the knights had that heavier armor that would have protected them FAR better against the lighter Japanese bows than the Japanese who had lighter armor against considerably heavier English longbows.

    You do not understand warfare at all. And because your obvious contempt for Western Civilization, you stupidly fail to understand that the sun never set on the British Empire because the British – FAR BETTER THAN THE JAPANESE – understood organized warfare.

    The English used longbowmen much the way a modern air force uses attack aircraft. They used knights much the way a modern military uses tanks. They used pikemen and infantry. They used them in conjunction and coordination with one another. One protected the other. One magnified the effect of the other. One compensated for a weakness in the others. The others were more effective because of the role that each performed.

    But go ahead and think your magical fairy samurai would have been able to ride through and wipe them all out.

    The second reason I am going to block you is your insult to America. Unlike you, I put on the uniform of my country. I FOUGHT for my country. And to have a little douchbag like you mock Americans who were each worth a trillion times your entire family tree is too disgusting to allow to happen.

    Here are some of the things you said:

    American pilots lied and they lied ALOT

    And american pilots were known as happy trigger cowboys who had their heads in the skies and well, they died alot

    TWO of my family members were fighter pilots who flew in the Pacific during WW2. You literally called two of the most honored members of my family dishonest trigger happy morons. So I would love to punch you right in the face for your garbage rather than waste time talking to you.

    So get lost.

    I don’t know where you’re from; I frankly don’t CARE. I DO know that my America is so much greater than your pig-turd-filled pile of dirt that its unreal. My America very likely saved your ass from somebody and all you have is fool where your brain should be.

    If your country is able to win the next two world wars the way America won the first two, come back and talk your smack. But until then, allow me to point out what a pathetic little pissant you are and what a pathetic little pissant country you come from whatever that country happens to be. Because compared to the America that you mock, yours is a pissant country, whatever that country is.

    Don’t think you can insinuate that kind of crap about my country and frankly my own family and continue to post your drivel.

    The third reason I’m going to block you gets to your incredibly false “facts” regarding modern warfare. It’s one thing to hold the opinion that a samurai could defeat a knight. I mean, the two never actually fought, there’s room for debate, etc. But when you say incredibly stupid and insane garbage about something that DID happen and which is part of the obvious historical record, it simply makes you too pathetic to have any kind of meaningful discussion with.

    As usual, you get your “history” from your Druid brain surgery results rather than from any legitimate source whatsoever. You waste my time going on about how great the Zeroes were and how the best American plane was really the Buffalo. You idiot fool. When we built the Corsair and the Hellcat, the Zero was shot out of the sky EVERY TIME ONE SHOWED UP. And the damn FACTS as to what happened in WW2 and the results of that war bear that reality out.

    There is a very good REASON the Japanese Zero was better than the American fighter planes when the war started. That is because the Japanese were the aggressors who started the war when they had developed their weapons and the Americans were unprepared for war fighting with obsolete weapons. If you had so much as a damn clue, you would understand that the entire reason the Japanese attacked America in the FIRST place was because the Japanese KNEW they had caught us unprepared for a war that we frankly wanted to stay the hell out of. But as soon as the Americans began to build new weapons to respond to the Japanese surprise attack, the tide quickly turned. For you to insist the conversation be about the little tiny part of the war where the Japanese blindsided us is, well, as stupid as pretty much everything else you say or do. If you want to talk about a war, it’s kind of important to consider how that damn war actually ENDED and which side actually kicked which side’s ASS up one side and down the other.

    Again, the FACT that you are absolutely refuted by FACTS makes me understand why you want to only talk about the Buffalos and ignore the aircraft that OWNED the Zeros. Because that has been your modus operandi from the beginning: you pick out one or two facts you like and ignore the other 50 that would prove you’re an idiot if you ever bothered to consider them.

    It is a blatant fact of history that the United States ERADICATED the Japanese air force, which then allowed us to vaporize the Japanese Navy. And being the complete ignoramus that you clearly are, you simply ignore facts and rely on your hatred of Americans to replace reality. The Hellcat was faster and more powerful than the Zero. It had vastly greater acceleration, significantly higher top speed, vastly superior climb capability, vastly superior dive capability, a better roll rate, a superior engine in virtually every category, superior firepower and armor and protection that made the Zero a joke in comparison. The only thing the Zero had on the Hellcat was somewhat greater maneuverability – which was completely negated by the superior tactics of the American pilots who blew Zeros out of the sky.

    From the time the Corsair and Hellcat came out, the Japanese air force was simply DOOMED. They could not compete with the superior aircraft. And their stupid “samurai tactics” had also gotten all their pilots killed so that our guys were so much better by midway through WWII it is unreal.

    That’s why we talk about the “Marianas Turkey Shoot.” Because your Zeroes were TURKEYS compared to the superior aircraft of those lying happy trigger cowboys you stupidly mock even though one of those guys’ piss was worth TEN of you.

    The Hellcat had a 19-1 kill rate versus your “vaunted” Japanese aircraft. And 13-1 against your Zero. Not that facts matter to you.

    If all the American pilots were lying “happy trigger cowboys” who never actually shot the Zeros down but lied about having done so as you idiotically claim, then how in the hell did they annihilate the Japanese air force???? Oh, sorry, I just blew your idiot turd theory out of the sky much the way my American fighter planes blew your Zeros out of the sky.

    That was just a rhetorical question, because I don’t give a damn what your answer is and I’m through wasting my time on you.

    Go away.

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