Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Standard Toy Soldier Poses: The Kneeling Shooter
Granted that archers and crossbowmen could fire from a kneeling position. However, our kneeling soldier has origins in the days of firearms. The original firelocks were so awkward that they could only be fired from a standing position. One had to stand upright to load, shoulder and fire them. The coming of the flintlock, which was lighter, easier to handle and better balanced, allowed the use of the kneeling pose for firing. In time when armies massed firepower by massing their shooters into dense formations, kneeling made sense. It allowed an additional front rank to fire underneath the muskets of the rank standing behind them. So it was that the kneeling musketeer became part and parcel of armies from the early 1700s.
You can see the actual firing methods taught to armies here: http://www.thortrains.com/getright/shootr1.html