A common type of bow in the East during the Middle Ages was the compound bow. It is/ was considerable shorter than the longbow and was mainly a horseman’s weapon as seen used by the Mongols and other nomadic raiders. It worked on the principle that the ends of the bow were bent forwards forcing the archer to use considerable strength to draw the string back to the required point. This type of bow is sometimes called a recurve bow as the shape curves back on itself and it is this design that gives the bow tremendous power compared with its size, although it was still outranged by the longbow. It was used throughout the middle ages by Mongol, Tartar and Turkish light cavalry and also in Hungary, Poland and Russia. It was still ranked among Cossack weapons into the 17th century and some Russian auxiliary cavalry carried them during the Napoleonic wars.
How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (19 April 2004), Bow, Compound, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_compoundbow.html