At the Battle of Crecy in 1348, an outnumbered British army destroyed a giant legion of French.

What happened was that the British relied on longbows.

Longbows were a lot like the Mantra.

Longbows were a Welsh weapon which was not Uppah Clahss. When the French knights made their usual charge in armor only the Uppah Clahss could afford, and on horses only the UC could afford, the longbows killed their horses and, in many cases, actually pierced the armor which had been the Ultimate Weapon for centuries.

Certainly this last-ditch dependence on a peasant weapon, and one from Wales, for God's sake, was not planned.

Crecy hit Europe the same year the Plague did. As a shock to the system, it had a lot of competition. But until that day of battle real war had been entirely a matter of men at arms or pike men or others being merely a means of making the REAL fighters, the mounted knights in armor, more effective.

For three centuries and more the Real war had always been the knights.

There are instances in Wales of longbows long before Crecy that drove their arrows a foot or more into hard wood. Why hadn't that almost magical weapon, which could shot ten or twelve arrows per minute, long since been brought against horse and armor?

A better question is why, when it destroyed the French at Crecy, the longbow became Britain's national weapon. Anyone with any acquaintance with military history knows that professional military heroes almost never let effectiveness get in the way of theory.

When cheaper steel cannon consistently worked outperformed brass, it was rejected in one sentence: "WARS are fought with brass cannon."

When the submarine tested out, another Admiral Who Had Been in Combat laughed and said, "The British Navy has no use for a ship that sinks. This failure to develop submarines ended up being no joke.

The line ahead formation was drawn up by a man who had never been on a ship.

And so on, ad infinitem.

No, it is no surprise that the Great Men of War never thought of using the longbow.

The surprise is that they actually adopted it when it won at Crecy.

The surprise is not that those who have been losing our fight for half a century use Professional Silence on the Mantra, but that some of us actually USE it.