Click to Subscribe
Spear & Fang
Cover: Part 3.A of 3: A Discussion of Human Extinction Mechanisms: 10/4/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
The study of the advantage of close combat over distant combat is so extensive and the evidence so overwhelming and misunderstood that this study will be broken into five portions:
-A. Close versus Far
Throwing & Stabbing
Combat Biomechanics
The Moral Touch
-B. Ancient Combat Advantages
Chariot & Oar
Spear & Javelin
Sword & Spear
-C. Medieval Combat Advantages
Cross & Crescent
Ax & Spear
Arrow, Maul & Knife
-D. Early Modern Combat Advantages
-Pike & Shot
-Arrow & Club
-Musket & Hatchet
-Column & Line
-‘To the Knife’
-Spear, Asagi & Bayonet
-E. Late Modern Combat Advantages
-Trench & Blitz
-Bugle & Jet
-Knife, Gun, Badge & Bracelet
-Kicking & Punching
-Punching & Grappling
Throwing & Stabbing
To begin with, there is a real debate as to whether or not Neanderthal could throw or not, as there is no evidence that they did. And, since we as moderns only understand our perspective and enslave everything to that skewed view, we cannot imagine why, since we kill more efficiently and safely with rifles, why Neanderthals would wrestle rodeo bulls with sharp sticks.
There was real evidence put forth by a paleo-anthropologist in a National Geographic Article from about 1992, that Neanderthals could not throw effectively. I am not equipped to debate the legion of folks who say that they could, and that the fact that they did not develop spear throwing technology despite their bigger brain—much bigger brain—means that they were retarded, with faulty brains.
In Beyond the Ember Star, a novel about time travelers trying to avoid Neanderthal extinction, I had the operatives go back to the Neanderthals and offer archery and wolf domestication as defensive measures. The irony about Neanderthals never developing throwing weapons is that they would have been peerless archers, able to draw 400 pound bows with good low light vision!
For this entire five part examination of why distance combat is not superior to close combat, let us assume that Neanderthals could throw, and throw overhand. Also, underhanded combat throwing in ancient Greece was practiced. So, just because the shoulder theoretically was bound up by muscle for overhand throwing, does not mean that throwing could not be effective.
First, the hunter wants a quicker kill if possible. By thrusting a spear into an animal as opposed to throwing a javelin into an animal, we get the following superior results:
-The larger wound of a larger spearhead,
-A deeper wound,
-A wound that is not plugged with the haft or shaft
-A wound that is granted a double blood channel, by twisting the spear in the hand and then pulling out, making a + shaped wound instead of a – shaped wound. In other words, a spear thrust in, turned and pulled out, makes a wound like that of the modern broad head hunting arrow
-A spear may be thrust into the animal again more quickly then another dart may be loaded and launched with a throwing stick
-The proximity of the spear man will encourage the animal to stand and fight, which is dangerous in the extreme, but does not place the spear man in the position of having to chase the thing for miles. If the spear man was also being hunted by a javelin man tribe, he would rather fight the bull with his fellows down by the wooded river bank, then chase the thing across open country and possibly fall prey to his enemies in their preferred open terrain.
Above are six reasons why a spear will kill a large combative animal [the aroch made up 51% of the Neanderthal diet and we European descendants inherited beef as our preferred food] more quickly then throwing javelins into and not through it. Keep in mind that the modern broad head arrow has a velocity that sends it through a large animal. No thrown weapon, unless a professional baseball pitcher of modern stature is throwing it, could attain the velocity to go through a large animal at a distance. And, even it it could, the shaft is still there and the exit wound is only one dimensional and not two dimensional.
More importantly, in combat, people who are stabbed in the lung or kidney by a blade that remains in the wound, are not incapacitated or killed at near the rate of stabbing victims who have that blade yanked out. In the kidney, a withdrawn blade guarantees death by blood loss. In the lung, a withdrawn blade causes a crippling sucking chest wound. The deflation of the lung is not served by a blade entering and not exiting. This is the incapacitating advantage of the bullet over the arrow in early modern times.
Combat Biomechanics
Boxing is throwing, punching is throwing, of a different kind than ball throwing, but shares the same principles if not always the same angle of acceleration. The baseball player and NFL quarter back mimic the overhand right mechanics of Tim Witherspoon, one of the hardest punchers in human history. See his KO of Anders Eckland, Frank Bruno and others.
The key to throwing a punch that is fast enough to hit with surprise and enough velocity to make it worth the risk of getting grabbed and wrestled by a foe of superior strength, is not strength, but its opposite, relaxation. I have trained hundreds of strength athletes in punching. The stronger they are, the more hopeless they are. If you give me a world class strong man who has not been trained in boxing, and a female softball player of elite high school or college level, and I coach them both for an hour and we then measure their resulting punching power, the girl will usually do better. Strength only helps throwing in:
-injury prevention to the joint
-muscle weight added to the motion to be multiplied by the speed
-in flexing upon impact after executing a relaxed motion, with this relaxed motion in most strong subjects rendered impossible by their psychological addiction to strength, and the development of such great strength coming most commonly from pulling and pushing motions, which are both counter to good throwing of punches or of objects.
Carl and I once worked with Randy, who was a professional baseball pitcher who could throw at 91 miles per hour. We decided that a snowball fight could only be fair if we ganged up on Randy, and he agreed. Randy was on the dock. Carl and I had our backs to the dumpster, some 60 yards off.
Randy did not make a snow ball and told us to go first.
Carl had a good arm, me not so good. I had been a good thrower, but tore my shoulder. We threw our snowballs at Randy and he caught them. Randy then smashed them together and packed them harder.
Randy threw a sizzling fast ball between our shoulders with such velocity that it dented the dumpster. It could have killed us with a head shot. We said, “Coming in—we surrender!” raised our hands and conceded defeat.
Now, if Carl and I faced Randy in combat with stones, our only chance would be to charge and hope one of us got close enough to brain him with a hand held rock. Better yet, we’d catch his ass napping at night and choke him out!
Nerds look at the spear throwing stick and see a magic device that would make them equal to Randy. But, before you invent the spear thrower, you must be able to throw with effect to get the idea. In any case, all that stick does is add length to the arm, about as much length as an NFL quarter back or heavy weight boxer or baseball pitcher has over the normal arm. Major League Baseball pitchers are huge men. Elite pitchers are ten inches taller than normal men. I once stood next to Jim Palmer. My head came to his shoulder. His arms were the size of my legs. If Jim and I were at war with each other, my tribe would not send me out to throw spears at him, but send me in close behind a shield to rip his godlike guts out!
When we look a Neanderthal, we are looking at, at best, an Eskimo who is also twice as strong as the strong men who are typically so hard to train in throwing or punching. If you took all the world’s strongest men and had them play a softball game against a girl’s high school team—they would lose, and lose badly.
How many Eskimos play major league ball sports?
None, they are two short, even though they can throw their harpoons.
Note how in Moby Dick, the preferred harpoon men where very tall.
So, if I go back to 42,000 BP to train a Neanderthal in an MMA fight against a Cromagonon, trying to make a boxer out of him would be stupid. I would train him to take or dodge a punch and clinch—then, in the clinch, he has a 4 to 1 advantage. Conversely, the Crogmanon, in punching has the advantage of height, arm length, and the crucial advantage of NOT being freakishly strong.
Have you ever seen a line backer or line man try and throw a football like his Quarterback? You are better off having the kicker or wide receiver do it.
The Moral Touch
Then, there is the legacy morality, that comes down to us from the ancients about the moral superiority of being close enough to touch your foe, to take that terminal risk.
Neanderthal revered cave bears, who they killed in the caves they took over, as totems. Might our ancestors have done the same with the Neanderthals after wiping them out, as modern Americans generally idealize extinct Amerindians?
Gilgamesh and Enkidu grapple with the demon.
Beowulf wrestles with the monster.
Jakob wrestles with the angel.
Crazy Horse, traded in his bows and arrows for guns because the fact that the arrows stayed in and were not yanked out during the Fetterman Massacre that he engineered, meant that soldiers had to be filled with arrows to kill them. Yes, a warrior could loose arrows as fast as a soldier could fire his pistol with better accuracy, and many times faster than a Spencer rifle or carbine. But the bullet did not plug the wound.
Once Crazy Horse got a rifle and had Custer and his men at his mercy, the warriors having rifles that far out-ranged Custer’s pistols and his men’s terrible carbines, Crazy Horse insisted on riding in among the soldiers and touching them, counting coup, saying, “I could have killed this soldier, so I won his spirit.”
On two occasions, in Baltimore City, at night, I was the Neanderthal, being threatened by taller, thinner, younger enemies who were hunting me with guns. When I turned on them once with an umbrella to stab and once with a pen to stab, they lost heart, had no stomach for the touch, and retreated.
Somehow, from the sacred significance of wrestling or counting coup among men of all primitive warrior societies I have studied, to the current endemic cowardice of armored, gun-armed policemen and criminal gunmen in the face of the man committed to closing the distance with a stabbing weapon, something haunts the distance hunter when faced with his proximate prey.
Might that something be our deep history of finally having to wipe out the last Neanderthals in their dark cave, as did Odysseus the cyclops, son of an elder god?
There is the fascination with “tunnel rats” the American men who went into tunnels in Vietnam to root out the enemy in his lair.
Finally, the primary violent activity of Cromagnon and Neanderthal was as hunters. In Europe, down by the river under the forest cover, the Neanderthal had a prey, the bull, that was better approached alone then in a herd, and still has the mentality to fight its attackers, which serves its attackers’ aim of a quick decisive kill. Also keep in mind that simply wounding a bull and letting it run means that wolves and hyenas would likely get that animal before man caught it at the end of its blood trail.
Conversely, Cromagnon was primarily a mammoth hunter, an animal with huge payoff but far more ability to kill numerous hunters who got too close and would have to be worried for some time before finishing him off.
So the battle for Europe pitted the invading mammoth distance hunters against the defending aroch close hunters, both parties using methods best suited to their physical makeup, just as in MMA the striker seeks to strike and the grappler seeks to grapple.
For this reason I choose as the key mechanisms:
-Wolf domestication
-Hybrid vigor
-Verbal communication
...not throwing over stabbing.
The rest of the study is an examination of stabbing, grappling, slashing, chopping and clubbing over throwing, loosing and shooting throughout all of combative history. Even today, in our sissy world, a tranny distance-killing nation with an air force that surpasses all other combined air forces, does not consider itself, is not declared by its Media Priests, to be serious about war unless there are “boots on the ground.”
Dream Seeker
Ancient Combat Advantages
blue eyed daughter of zeus
thriving in bad places
honor among men
taboo you
when you're food
within leviathan’s craw
broken dance
on combat
the year the world took the z-pill
your trojan whorse
orphan nation
advent america
barbarism versus civilization
solo boxing
winter of a fighting life
the fighting edge
the gods of boxing
the greatest boxer
into leviathan’s maw
logic of steel
by the wine dark sea
the greatest lie ever sold
son of a lesser god
songs of aryas
the sunset saga complete
let the world fend for itself
book of nightmares
logic of force
on the overton railroad
menthol rampage
z-pill forever
time & cosmos
masculine axis
under the god of things
america the brutal
the lesser angels of our nature
song of the secret gardener
the combat space
the first boxers
fiction anthology one
night city
dark, distant futures
  Add a new comment below: