Bołdyrew, Aleksander; Łopatecki, Karol. Volley fire in Europe in the mid-16th century

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For citation: Bołdyrew, Aleksander; Łopatecki, Karol. Volley fire in Europe in the mid-16th century // Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2021. № 2. С. 3-18. DOI

Title of the article Volley fire in Europe in the mid-16th century

Bołdyrew, Aleksander — Dr. hab., Associate Professor, Uniwersytet Łódzki, Łódź, Poland, ORCID 0000-0002-8626-9582; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Łopatecki, Karol — Dr hab., Associate Professor, University of Bialystok, Białystok, Poland, ORCID 0000-0002-7921-9421; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the section  Commentarii / Articles
Year 2021 Issue 2 Pages 3-18
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 94(4);
BBK 63.3(4)5+68.35
Index DOI 

The article was written as part of the research project of the National Centre for Science SONATA, no. 2016/23/D/HS3/03210 «The military revolution as a modernization factor in the public finance and state organization of the Polish-Lithuanian state in the comparative perspective».

The article explores the application of volley fire in European armies in the mid-16th century. On the basis of Polish sources, the authors established that shooting volleys was applied by Polish infantry in 1558. There was also training in collective loading and shooting conducted by a commander every few days. Fire was conducted in the Turkish manner, i. e. having fired a salvo the rank would kneel and load the weapon in this position. The painting referred to in the article «The Battle of Orsha» (created in the 1530s or 1540s) shows the West European manner of conducting combat by an infantry unit. It involved setting the shooters in three ranks and alternating firing at enemy positions with a simultaneous countermarch. This suggests that the method described for the first time by the Spanish in 1592 was spread half a century earlier. The sources show that in the mid-16th century, volley fire was known in vast Eurasian tracks from remote China, through the Ottoman Empire to the western ends of Europe. The difference lay in the way of conducting the volley fire, and the most effective form of fire applied in battles was invented by the Dutch in the 1590s. As a result of the enlargement of weapon size and the introduction of muskets, the method proposed by Tarnowski of loading firearms in kneeling position became increasingly obsolete.

Keywords volley fire, military revolution, countermarch, Jan Tarnowski, military of the 16th century, tactics of the 16th century, soldiers’ training
Full text version of the article. Article language  English

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Tags: 16th century, military revolution, medieval studies, COMMENTARII / ARTICLES, Rzecz Pospolita, military technology, cultural studies, 17th century, BOLDYREW A., LOPATECKI K.

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