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  #101  
Old 03-25-2009, 05:22 AM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
But Clydesdales and Belgians are still, today, handy for stump pulling, plowing, and drayage. Yeah, they eat like elephants, but they are also strong like them. (Okay, little elephants.)

I was watching that show, "Weapons That Built Britain," and my wife looked over my shoulder and said, "He's riding a Portuguese Cavalry Horse. They're fire eaters and went on to being great fire horses, but I think they have a genetic memory of joyfully plowing into men and other horses in battle and see their present state as unsatisfactory. I rode one once, though I never expected to even see one. They have funny faces."

My daughter summed up the tragedy of how modern horses live lives of peace and indolence. "I think he's pretty."

How the mighty have fallen.
I remember seing a show of the Cadre Noir, which is a prestigious equestrian school where they still train "war" horses in Napoleonian fashion... man, those things were fearsome. Tall and lean, black as charcoal, and all madder than a roomful of chimpanzees on nitrous oxide. Biters, kickers, gougers... I really, really wouldn't have wanted to be near one in battle. The word "berserk" came to mind.

One rider showed how horsemen caught in the fray (as opposed to a quick charge and retreat) would make the horse spin around on the spot, trampling, kicking and headbutting all the while.
Seeing that made me understand very vividly *why* a knight was in for a world of hurt when the peasants finally managed to gore the horse and gang up on him on the ground
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  #102  
Old 03-27-2009, 09:22 AM
drtimdc drtimdc is offline
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Armor

The History Channel did a full hour on this exact topic recently. They actually created a suit of armor for the guy who does the show, and he put it on and went through some paces with a sword and other weapons. He said that since the weight was distributed so evenly over his whole body (about 50-60 lbs) that he was able to move quite freely in it. He actually DID do a somersault with the armor on, while holding his sword, in a very quick and coordinated way, as if in battle, and came up with his sword at the ready. Very interesting show.
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  #103  
Old 03-27-2009, 10:39 AM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Originally Posted by jeffkaron View Post
An interesting thread, if acrimonious at times. Though I've made a hobby of reading Renaissance sword-fighting manuals, I have occasionally dipped into the scholarship on Medieval fighting. Anyway, someone in this thread alluded to the reasons that the mounted knight disappeared from the battle field. One fairly recent theory is that the knight needed a very large horse--a war horse--to support all that weight. Keeping all the arms, armour, saddles, and especially the horse in good condition became economically ruinous (think of the Clydesdale horses).

Weapons, both crossbow and early firearms, increasingly could pierce or knock a rider off the horse, too (if the armour got any thicker, it was too heavy--thus, lighter armour, with flutes to strenghthen it, became more common for hand-to-hand combat). Still, I think that the economic theory is worth considering.

As far as strenght goes, before the era of full plate armor, there were warriors who, though short by our standards, could wield weapons well while carrying a lot of weight. For example, William the Conquerer, wearing Norman-style mail and carrying a large kite-shaped shield, apparently could wield a battle axe with one hand. Even considering exaggeration over the centuries, he must have been fearsomely strong.

I know more about the swords than about the armour. Counter to the image of the knight who wields a rather clumsy, heavy, chopping sword, fighting manuals clearly show (and reconstructions seem to support) the use of fairly agile blades by knights and other medieval warriors. An immovable warrior is a dead warrior in any era. Tactics, strategy, and technology change, however, which in turn affect the usefulness of armour and armoured fighting.
My impression was that what changed more than anything was the re-introduction of heavily disciplined infantry. The musket and crossbow were much, much less influential when first introduced that the simultaneous rise of importance of a very ancient weapon - the massed pike formation.

Someone once said that generally speaking all things being equal undisciplined cavalry beat undisciplined infantry every time, and the reverse is also true - on the battlefield disciplined infantry have the advantage.

The economics of this are that a pikeman cost much, much less to train and equip than an armoured knight, and was, if properly trained and motivated, a match for the charge of heavy horse. This did not mean the end of heavy horse on the battlefield, but it certainly meant the end of the absolute dominance of the charge of heavy horse. They became just part of the mix of arms which successful generals would use.

The intital significance of gunpowder lay, not so much in the musket, but in the use of cannon as siege weapon - rendering obsolete almost overnight fortifications that had taken centuries to build. Also, cannons and gunpowder were very expensive, generally only the king could afford them.
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  #104  
Old 03-27-2009, 11:11 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
That does not mean every knight was 5'6; it means some of them were 6'+, and some were 5-nothing, but it averaged out to about 5'6. Notice in the data from Taunton that the shortest man recorded was 5'4, which is short but far from being tiny.
Actually, the knights were likely taller than the average person. A gentleman ate better, with more meat, which certainly adds inches of height.
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  #105  
Old 03-27-2009, 11:52 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
My impression was that what changed more than anything was the re-introduction of heavily disciplined infantry. The musket and crossbow were much, much less influential when first introduced that the simultaneous rise of importance of a very ancient weapon - the massed pike formation.

Someone once said that generally speaking all things being equal undisciplined cavalry beat undisciplined infantry every time, and the reverse is also true - on the battlefield disciplined infantry have the advantage.

The economics of this are that a pikeman cost much, much less to train and equip than an armoured knight, and was, if properly trained and motivated, a match for the charge of heavy horse. This did not mean the end of heavy horse on the battlefield, but it certainly meant the end of the absolute dominance of the charge of heavy horse. They became just part of the mix of arms which successful generals would use.

The intital significance of gunpowder lay, not so much in the musket, but in the use of cannon as siege weapon - rendering obsolete almost overnight fortifications that had taken centuries to build. Also, cannons and gunpowder were very expensive, generally only the king could afford them.
I concur with all this.

Re: cannons -- from Encyclopedia Britannica:


Quote:
When his grandson Charles VIII invaded Italy in 1494, the impact of technically superior French artillery was immediate and dramatic; the French breached in eight hours the key frontier fortress of Monte San Giovanni, which had previously withstood a siege of seven years.
Mind you, that's not doing in 8 hours what used to take 7 years -- that's doing in 8 hours what previously could not be done in 7 years; the fortress withstood that 7 year siege.

This is why it's called the gunpowder revolution.
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  #106  
Old 04-08-2009, 12:30 PM
An Gadaí An Gadaí is offline
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Originally Posted by bonzer View Post
No doubt this was St. Michan's in Dublin. While I can't now dig up a cite, there was a study of the mummies a few years back that concluded that they're only early modern rather than medieval. As is the crypt, though there were older churches on the site. Indeed on my last visit the guide was readily explaining all this and admitting that the tableau of the four open coffins is probably a relatively recent (19th century?) creation intended for convenient sightseeing.
I was there a few weeks back. I believe they said the tall skeleton was 600 years old. I'll see if I can find the brochure at home and what it says on the matter.
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  #107  
Old 04-08-2009, 01:47 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
I concur with all this.

[snip]

This is why it's called the gunpowder revolution.
I must disagree somewhat. Gunpowder changed things, but not nearly so much as we like to think. (While stroking our guns and whispering, "There there, my precious! Rather, they accelerated the evolution of military development.

Siegecraft was particularly affected, but it tended to go back and forth. First it favored the offense, then defense, then offense again, ad nauseum. I men, as late as WWI, people were still using fortresses, some of them based around old Roman sites! So it was a a Revolution, but a much more complicated one and one which tended to favor one side or the other at different times.
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  #108  
Old 09-11-2009, 11:53 AM
kph1971 kph1971 is offline
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haveing read a fair amount of whats on here about armour weight soforth and such like i was left asking the question what if any experiance has these guys had with this stuff. many of you are well read and i have no problem with what you have said and found a great deal of it inforative. but on the matter of armour, its weight and flexability. please cheack your facts first. Agincourt, or Azincourt as it is called in france is an anomily the soil is unusual in its properties and that is why the french knights ahd such a problem with it.
properly made plate armour is flexable enough to do a forward roll. go on you tube you will see a demo of a man in full plate getting up in less than 3 seconds from the flat of his back. As to weight i have seen referances of anything up to 80lbs. Jousting plate was a great deal different than battle plate and the additional protection was added, only once the knight had mounted his horse.
why am i in a position to say this. I make the stuff to historc patterns. I wear it on a regular basis like once a week to fight in. the restriction on speed is not considerable till you have been at it about 20 mins. And my personal HARNESS, the correct term for what most call a suit of armour, is 70 lbs. I appologies if any one takes offence nun was intended.
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  #109  
Old 09-11-2009, 12:41 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
...as late as WWI, people were still using fortresses, some of them based around old Roman sites!....
Hell, even as late as World War II (although not successfully): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Eben-Emael
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  #110  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:04 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
I must disagree somewhat. Gunpowder changed things, but not nearly so much as we like to think. (While stroking our guns and whispering, "There there, my precious! Rather, they accelerated the evolution of military development.

Siegecraft was particularly affected, but it tended to go back and forth. First it favored the offense, then defense, then offense again, ad nauseum. I men, as late as WWI, people were still using fortresses, some of them based around old Roman sites! So it was a a Revolution, but a much more complicated one and one which tended to favor one side or the other at different times.
I disagree: fortress technology changed radically (and became radically more *expensive*) as a result of gunpowder.

The pre-gunpowder fortress was based on the old vertical curtain wall. While many movies and such depict these as being battered down by catapults, in point of fact this rarely if ever happened - the eneny had to either batter down a gate, undermine the wall by digging, or climb up the wall on ladders - all seriously time-consuming and/or risky - or more likely, starve the defenders out.

That sort of fortress was relatively cheap and easy to build.

Contrast with the fortresses designed to withstand cannon fire, stereotypically the "star forts" built by Vaubagn.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_fort

While these were often based on earlier fortifications (when improvised rather than built from scratch), they were vastly more time-consuming and expensive to build.

In short, gunpowder's main effect (until relatively recently, with the multiplication of the power of fire-power) was one of centralization of power. The reason: cannon could easily knock down the sort of fortifications cheap and fast to build. Cannon could not easily knock down a (vastly expensive) 'star fort'. Both cannon and defences were horribly expensive and thus only the resources of the early modern state could afford them - giving the early modern state a very significant qualitative advantage over city-states, overmighty earls, robber barons and the like.
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  #111  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:33 PM
Tenebras Tenebras is offline
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Originally Posted by Mississippienne View Post
What in the world? First of all, as the data I posted clearly shows, medieval English people had a mean height comparable to that of modern-day Britons. That does not mean every knight was 5'6; it means some of them were 6'+, and some were 5-nothing, but it averaged out to about 5'6. Notice in the data from Taunton that the shortest man recorded was 5'4, which is short but far from being tiny.
And the average height of an adult male in the UK is now 5'9.7".

Are you seriously suggesting that 5'6" is comparable to 5'9"? The average height for Japanese men is 5'7". So the crowds in Tokyo are just as tall as the crowds in London? That's just silly.

ETA: A big ass table of average heights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_h...ound_the_world

Last edited by Tenebras; 09-11-2009 at 01:33 PM.. Reason: cite
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  #112  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:39 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
On the other hand, a knight in full plate armour going through marine basic training ? That's a hollywood summer blockbuster, right there.
Actually, in the SCA, House Bloodguard used to have at least 6 or 7 marine reservists in it and a few actives, and my champion was retired airborn. what was funny was at one pennsic, Andres told a couple guys to dig me a sump and they ended up with the classic marine 6 foot by 6 foot by 6 foot fighting hole =)]

http://www.housebloodguard.org/

There are a lot of people in the SCA who make and wear very accurate armor. If I were to go weigh my helm, it would be upwards of 5 lbs of steel and that is just *one* part of the armor I used to wear when I fought back in the mid 80s. I have hefted guys armor bags, and I would say that they are definitely loading out in teh range of 40 to 50 pounds of armor and padding and that is not counting weapons or shields.
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  #113  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:41 PM
Woeg Woeg is offline
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Originally Posted by kph1971 View Post
haveing read a fair amount of whats on here about armour weight soforth and such like i was left asking the question what if any experiance has these guys had with this stuff. many of you are well read and i have no problem with what you have said and found a great deal of it inforative. but on the matter of armour, its weight and flexability. please cheack your facts first. Agincourt, or Azincourt as it is called in france is an anomily the soil is unusual in its properties and that is why the french knights ahd such a problem with it.
properly made plate armour is flexable enough to do a forward roll. go on you tube you will see a demo of a man in full plate getting up in less than 3 seconds from the flat of his back. As to weight i have seen referances of anything up to 80lbs. Jousting plate was a great deal different than battle plate and the additional protection was added, only once the knight had mounted his horse.
why am i in a position to say this. I make the stuff to historc patterns. I wear it on a regular basis like once a week to fight in. the restriction on speed is not considerable till you have been at it about 20 mins. And my personal HARNESS, the correct term for what most call a suit of armour, is 70 lbs. I appologies if any one takes offence nun was intended.
kph1971, there were a good many of us defending this exact position in this thread - I can't recall exactly but I believe I was the first to mention Agincourt, and that was to support that a fellow in full harness was *not* helpless off his horse. However, that argument was presented in a misunderstanding of the usage of unhorsed, where I took it to mean "someone not on a horse" when the poster meant "someone knocked from their horse in battle." As I stated then, a man knocked from his horse in the fray of battle was in a tight spot, *regardless* of what kind of harness he wore. Oh, and howdy from a fellow armourer What period is your harness?
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  #114  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:51 PM
Captain Carrot Captain Carrot is offline
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Originally Posted by Tenebras View Post
And the average height of an adult male in the UK is now 5'9.7".

Are you seriously suggesting that 5'6" is comparable to 5'9"? The average height for Japanese men is 5'7". So the crowds in Tokyo are just as tall as the crowds in London? That's just silly.

ETA: A big ass table of average heights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_h...ound_the_world
1.7 m is not significantly shorter than 1.75 m. Shorter, yes, but the men back then were not dwarfs.

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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
(While stroking our guns and whispering, "There there, my precious!
"He's not talking about you, Sweetness. *smooch*" [/Stephen Colbert]
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  #115  
Old 09-11-2009, 03:10 PM
postcards postcards is offline
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What about zombies wearing armor?
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  #116  
Old 09-12-2009, 01:10 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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What about zombies wearing armor?

...riding dinosaurs.
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  #117  
Old 09-12-2009, 01:36 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by postcards View Post
What about zombies wearing armor?
[Moderating]

There is no particular time limit for reviving threads in GQ, as long as new information is being contributed. Zombie threads are more problematic in cases where personal discussions are going on, as in MPSIMS or the Pit.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
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  #118  
Old 10-19-2009, 05:17 PM
jba3 jba3 is offline
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Weight varied greatly. Earlier suits were 35-40 pounds when they were mostly made of mail and leather.

The transitional period packed on a bit more weight.

"Full Plate", or cap-a-pie, head to toe, plate armor would have weighed 55-75 pounds depending on a number of factors; size of the wearer, the style it is made in, and thickness of the pieces/quality.

Tournament jousting armor could get close to 100 lbs, as there are grandguards and other reinforcing pieces which are added on top of already existing plate armor for more protection.

However, immobility in that armor is nonsense. I used to do heavy armor fighting. You can stand up, sit down, do cartwheels, or a number of other things. The better suits of armor that were custom fit allowed for an almost unlimited range of motion and mobility. You're more limited by your own athletic ability (or lack thereof) than by the armor itself.

As for weight; it's heavy, but it's very well distributed. It's not carrying a 75 pound dumbbell. It's 75 pounds of gear spread across every surface of your body. Vaguely similar (vaguely) to jogging with arm and leg weights, while wearing a heavy coat, heavy pants, and a bucket on your head. It's a poor reference, but the point is that the weight is not borne in one brutally heavy area.

As to height - armor is NOT a single piece. The same suit of armor can fit someone in roughly a range of 6"; there's adjustment to the height by the fit of the breastplate (which actually goes to roughly your navel, NOT your waist), as well as some other factors. I've been to england and scotland and seen authentic armor in person. The largest one, which I can't find a link for at the moment, was for "the giant", and was either the Tower of London or Warwick Castle. He was over 6' 6". Pardon the hazy memory; it was over a decade ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Wti-1iK-yM
(running and doing pushups)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm11yAXeegg
(doing cartwheels in plate armor)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kKLgSTkCEo
(forward rolls in an 80 pound harness)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMuNXWFPewg
(falls off a horse and onto his feet in seconds - myth? BUSTED)
Credit to: "Weapons that made Britain"

Yes, I really did register just to post this. While there was good info in the thread and some people made great points, the plethora of misinformation was absolutely staggering.
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  #119  
Old 10-19-2009, 06:17 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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Which misinformation are you talking about? The problem with this thread is that there are a set of people saying that wearing armor is almost no burden whatsoever, and that knights were nearly superhuman athletes that were in excellent health. Their cite is their SCA experience, which I don't think is particularly valuable, like experience at paintball doesn't make you an expert on life as a Navy SEAL.

Then there is a group of people claiming that people during the middle ages were shorter, many had health problems, and that armor does create a penalty to mobility and endurance. All of these points are backed up by reputable historical sources and modern investigation.

No one is seriously asserting that people in armor were like turtles or couldn't walk, or were useless on the ground. What some of us are saying is that there were significant drawbacks to armor, because it is hot, it weighs a lot, your vision is restricted, and it's easier to get encumbered because of mud or someone sitting on you or being knocked off of a horse by someone trying to kill you, or whatever other sorts of bad situations you might get into.

And I am still waiting for someone to explain how there weren't STDs during the middle ages.
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  #120  
Old 10-19-2009, 06:32 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I find it highly amusing that this thread has been resurrected, as I have spent the seven months since I first started it exhaustively studying armour. (So much so that I now instinctively use the British spelling of the word without even thinking about it.) In the time between then and now I've read at least ten books on armour and on warfare during the Renaissance and Middle Ages; I've also written one very long feature article on the armour of the Thirty Years War era, which will eventually be published online.

What I have learned is that plate armour was fairly light and easy to move around in, until about the late 1500s when it was made ever more heavy and thick as an attempt to stop the increasingly powerful gunfire. Suits like this one might have weighed 80 or 90 pounds, though it was well-distributed and articulated. It was successful in stopping pistol rounds (Sir Arthur Hasselrig, a Parlimentarian general during the English Civil War, was wearing a suit of full plate and survived being shot several times by two or three different soldiers during one battle.) But musketballs would generally go right through it.

It fell out of use entirely when battlefields had become saturated with cheaply-equipped, easily-trained, but powerful musketeers.
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  #121  
Old 10-29-2009, 12:34 AM
jba3 jba3 is offline
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In regards to:

"No one is seriously asserting that people in armor were like turtles or couldn't walk, or were useless on the ground."

There were two posts:

"Someone will be in with more detail but they were indeed heavy as fuck (at least the plate-type stuff)-- you would not walk around in it, but would be basically lowered onto a horse with a crane mechanism. People were know to fall off into puddles and drown, unable to lift themselves."

and

"No, they weren't huge and yes, most knights were useless when unhorsed"

Definitely not true, as shown in the videos I posted. An unhorsed knight could recover nearly as quickly as someone without any armor, assuming no additional variables (ie "peasants with sticks"), which aren't really relevant to a knight wearing armor or not as they would pose a problem to anyone unhorsed.

"Compared to modern man, they would not be as capable physically, as is evidenced by the steady forward progress of sports records just over the last century."

How is a modern athlete who has access to ridiculous amounts of performance enhancing drugs in any way relevant to a knight? Since knights were compared to marines, did I miss the part where all of the sports records being set and broken are done by someone in the armed forces every time?

"And your assertion that they were in terrific shape is just wrong."

Where is the proof that knights were in terrible shape? I find it hard to believe someone in terrible shape would have the mobility and endurance to fight in a suit of armor; especially for the duration of a medieval battle. There's quite a difference between having a boil, std, whatever, and being in poor shape. Presence of an STD is not always equivalent to physical capabilities; and nothing has been cited to show that knights were ravaged by STDs either.

"Then there is a group of people claiming that people during the middle ages were shorter, many had health problems, and that armor does create a penalty to mobility and endurance. All of these points are backed up by reputable historical sources and modern investigation."

What?

The references cited by others earlier in the thread, in addition to the physical size of existing pieces of armor, do indeed show that there is a negligible difference in height among people today and people from the 14th-16th century (when heavy armor was most prevalent).

I don't think anyone is saying that 75 lbs of armor doesn't cause a penalty to mobility or endurance. It certainly does. What is under dispute is that it doesn't cause such an immense penalty that one is not able to stand up on their own, unable to mount a horse, or unable to get up after falling from a horse.

I've yet to see ANY proper cites to support that knights were disease-ridden, unhealthy, unskilled, peasant-killing baboons. It seems that many have made good references as to the skills and physical prowess required to battle under the constraints that armor creates, and yet, it is refuted by wild claims that claim to come from "reputable historical sources and modern investigation", yet specific cites to exactly WHAT or WHERE that may be seems to be eluding us.

Seems like the guys who strap on armor over their beer guts and beat each other with sticks in a similar fashion to those on a battlefield have a better insight as to what is or isn't possible for someone in armor than somebody who is making wild claims with zero supporting evidence.
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  #122  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:46 AM
Aquinas Aquinas is offline
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armor facts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has some guys who specialize in armor throughout history. They have created the following URL about some facts and myths surrounding armor.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/aams/hd_aams.htm

From my own studies, the Tower of London collection has a suit from the 15th century for a guy who was around 6'10''. Henry VIII was close to six feet, so the average knight or nobleman might have been a bit larger than the average guy.
The armor collection at Gratz in Austria is one of the few that was a complete arsenal for fighting the Turks in the late 1600's. Many such arsenals were scrapped during the 1700's. In includes things like simple back and breast armor for foot soldiers that you hung over your shoulders like modern vests, and were secured by tying a band around the whole thing.
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  #123  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:54 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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Zombie Knights!!!!

Good link though
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  #124  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:41 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by Evil Economist View Post
I remember reading that a lot of the display pieces you see were miniature "demonstration pieces," made to show off the armorer's skill, like a 4/5 model car. People during that period weren't much shorter than they are today:

"A recent study conducted at Ohio State University, based on skeletal data from 30 previous studies, reveals that men living during the 9th to 11th centuries had an average height of about 5 feet 8 inches. Average height then steadily declined until it reached a low point of 5 feet 5.5 inches in the 17th and 18th centuries, rising again through the 19th century and only reaching prior heights in the first half of the 20th century. "
Although this is old, I wanted to add I've read about another factor that might account for existing suits of armor seeming to be small. Young men of the appropriate class had suits made for them before they were fully grown (perhaps when they were squires?). Although they went into battle shockingly young, some of them were probably too young to fight, and it wouldn't be implausible for older knights to hold back (out of combat) the young scions of important people. Later, these guys would have to have new armor made once they'd filled out.

The armor of adult knights would get used for years and years, and get worn or dented, not to mention occasionally filled full of holes. Or lost on campaign. By contrast, the shiny, well-cared-for armor they had worn in their youths was back at home. When it came time to decide what was pretty enough to keep for display, which armor looked better? The "selection pressure" would have been in favor of the unused armor.

So it's possible that a lot of the suits we have left over were built for young men who had not finished their growth, which might account for their appearing unusually small to us.
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  #125  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:56 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Although this is old, I wanted to add I've read about another factor that might account for existing suits of armor seeming to be small. Young men of the appropriate class had suits made for them before they were fully grown (perhaps when they were squires?). Although they went into battle shockingly young, some of them were probably too young to fight, and it wouldn't be implausible for older knights to hold back (out of combat) the young scions of important people. Later, these guys would have to have new armor made once they'd filled out.

The armor of adult knights would get used for years and years, and get worn or dented, not to mention occasionally filled full of holes. Or lost on campaign. By contrast, the shiny, well-cared-for armor they had worn in their youths was back at home. When it came time to decide what was pretty enough to keep for display, which armor looked better? The "selection pressure" would have been in favor of the unused armor.

So it's possible that a lot of the suits we have left over were built for young men who had not finished their growth, which might account for their appearing unusually small to us.
I said this three years ago.
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  #126  
Old 02-18-2012, 09:51 AM
Gukumatz Gukumatz is offline
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I said this three years ago.
Epoch fail.
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  #127  
Old 02-19-2012, 04:50 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by jba3 View Post
Seems like the guys who strap on armor over their beer guts and beat each other with sticks in a similar fashion to those on a battlefield have a better insight as to what is or isn't possible for someone in armor than somebody who is making wild claims with zero supporting evidence.
As one of those armored beer guts (amusingly enough I see very little beer at Sca events, mostly liquor)

My kit weights about 50 pounds and is mostly leather. Well constructed armor is heavy, but well distributed and even supportive. I am especially proud of my lower leg armor. Once strapped on it actually feels good. I don't feel like I am wearing something, more like my body has been reinforced.

sadly, the average Sca fighter is actually wearing better armor than most of the soldiers who fought and died for real 500 years ago
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  #128  
Old 02-19-2012, 04:53 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Amen! they hadn't invented WD-40 yet.
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  #129  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:57 PM
DeptfordX DeptfordX is offline
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We've had numerous posts saying that the weight of heavy armour is much less burdensome than the similar weight a modern soldier is expected to carry on his back, because the weight is distributed evenly around the body.

This study says the exact opposite is true

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14204717

Last edited by DeptfordX; 02-19-2012 at 07:00 PM..
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  #130  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:55 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
We've had numerous posts saying that the weight of heavy armour is much less burdensome than the similar weight a modern soldier is expected to carry on his back, because the weight is distributed evenly around the body.

This study says the exact opposite is true

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14204717
Great contribution. Thanks.
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  #131  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:50 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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That makes sense about weight on the legs, I can't think of any kind of exercise or training normal people today would do that would prepare you for that. I've lifted weights basically my entire adult life (30+ years) and while I've always done things like squats and dead lifts and etc that target the legs, that isn't the same as actually have weights on your legs and then walking/running around.

Something any weight lifter knows is even if you currently do a full body lifting regimen, slight changes in which specific lifts you do can be a change in difficult. For example if I'm doing a specific back-targeting lift and have been doing it for weeks or months I'm very unlikely to get delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in that area. But if I change it to a lift with different motion, even if it is still targeting the same muscle groups I've always been targeting, the different motion definitely causes me to experience DOMS the next day.

So essentially what I'm saying is if we consider walking around with heavy armor on your legs a type of "lift", even someone who does a lot of leg lift exercises would not be conditioned to do that. A medieval knight could probably handle it better than the guy in that video just because of conditioning for that specific activity, but I don't doubt it could still be worse than carrying the weight on your back in a pack.
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  #132  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:59 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by Gukumatz View Post
Epoch fail.
Good knight, everybody!
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  #133  
Old 02-20-2012, 06:01 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Great contribution. Thanks.
I'm not so sure. This

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
The breast and back plates of the medieval armour also affected breathing: instead of being able to take long, deep breaths while they worked up a sweat, the volunteers were forced to take frequent, shallow breaths, and this too used up more energy.
indicates that the armour wasn't fitted properly, with no room for the chest to expand.
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  #134  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:16 AM
DeptfordX DeptfordX is offline
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That wouldn't change the point about the weight on the limbs however.

The way i was thinking about it. We can't actually drop you into a medieval melee so instead imagine you're playing a vigorous game of tennis. Lot's of running about and swinging arms.You have a choice of 60lbs on your back. Or 20lbs strapped to each leg and 10lbs to each arm. I know which i'd choose.
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  #135  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:25 AM
MarcusF MarcusF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
We've had numerous posts saying that the weight of heavy armour is much less burdensome than the similar weight a modern soldier is expected to carry on his back, because the weight is distributed evenly around the body.

This study says the exact opposite is true

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14204717
I saw this article when it first came out and wondered about their methodology as it did seem to contradict the experience of those that wear armour as a hobby and of accounts of medieval battles.

I haven't got access to the full paper but one point in the abstract made me sit up. The abstract say:
Quote:
By the fifteenth century, a typical suit of field armour weighed between 30 and 50 kg....
Can this be right? All the numbers in this thread and I have read elsewhere talk about 50/60/70 pounds. 30-50 kg is 66 to 110lbs!

Any of those more knowledgable than me able to comment on this?
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  #136  
Old 02-20-2012, 08:30 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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I suspect the weight is incorrect.

Last edited by BMalion; 02-20-2012 at 08:31 AM..
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  #137  
Old 02-20-2012, 04:35 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
We can't actually drop you into a medieval melee.
Yes we can
www.youtube.com/watch?v=02NcGTVqj6Y

I am in there.

Medeival combat is about one word, endurance. Your average footsoldier was also often a farmer of some kind at home so long days of hard labor were the norm. The problem is almost never carrying the armor, its exerting yourself 110% for more than a few minutes. Many SCA battles will fall into static pokefests because everyone is too winded to mount a real attack rush.
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  #138  
Old 02-20-2012, 05:13 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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That was beautiful!

I was at the first and second Great Western War, good times.
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  #139  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Many SCA battles will fall into static pokefests because everyone is too winded to mount a real attack rush.
They should try the Roman method.
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  #140  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:38 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
They should try the Roman method.
Yeah I don't think the SCA uses any type of period combat or tactics.

Do they?

Do they use formations, switch out fresh men, flank and maneuver, etc?

Tactics are probably what separated the winners from the losers most of the time.
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  #141  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:20 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
Yeah I don't think the SCA uses any type of period combat or tactics.

Do they?

Do they use formations, switch out fresh men, flank and maneuver, etc?

Tactics are probably what separated the winners from the losers most of the time.
Actually, tactics win most wars. And as far as "Roman" practices, I fought with a unit for 2 years calling itself the 'Roman VIIII Legion' we tried our best.
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  #142  
Old 02-21-2012, 10:06 AM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is online now
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Originally Posted by BMalion View Post
Actually, tactics win most wars. And as far as "Roman" practices, I fought with a unit for 2 years calling itself the 'Roman VIIII Legion' we tried our best.
Did you win most times?

My personal experience with medieval armor, unfortunately doesn't extend into personally wearing anything more than reinforced leather and a metal bevor or gorget for sparing.

However I've seen instructors in full kit go through an entire hour class with a lot of hands on demonstrations, then spar for hours on end with the kit on.

So I find it hard to believe that people of the time period found it much more difficult to fight in armor.

They certainly came to the conclusion that it kept you alive more than it killed you in combat.
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  #143  
Old 02-21-2012, 10:50 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Win some, lose some. My participation was never a factor.
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  #144  
Old 02-21-2012, 12:18 PM
Animastryfe Animastryfe is offline
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Originally Posted by drachillix View Post
Yes we can
www.youtube.com/watch?v=02NcGTVqj6Y

I am in there.

Medeival combat is about one word, endurance. Your average footsoldier was also often a farmer of some kind at home so long days of hard labor were the norm. The problem is almost never carrying the armor, its exerting yourself 110% for more than a few minutes. Many SCA battles will fall into static pokefests because everyone is too winded to mount a real attack rush.
That was very interesting. How does someone know when he/she is "dead"?

Last edited by Animastryfe; 02-21-2012 at 12:18 PM..
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  #145  
Old 02-21-2012, 12:51 PM
Mr. Miskatonic Mr. Miskatonic is online now
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Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
Yeah I don't think the SCA uses any type of period combat or tactics.

Do they?

Do they use formations, switch out fresh men, flank and maneuver, etc?

Tactics are probably what separated the winners from the losers most of the time.
Some things translate into SCA combat, some things do not. Simple strategies and tactics for maneuver and exchange are used all the time - its not just a bunch of guys having individual fights.

On the other hand, SCA fighters never have to worry about a horse unit smashing into their flank.
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  #146  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:09 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Originally Posted by Animastryfe View Post
That was very interesting. How does someone know when he/she is "dead"?
The honor system. If you recieve a blow that would have killed or wounded you in real life, you are honor-bound to accept it and act accordingly.
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  #147  
Old 02-21-2012, 05:30 PM
DeptfordX DeptfordX is offline
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So how does that work with armour.

If someone jabs you in the centre of your chest with a sword can you say "There's no way your sword would punch through my chest plate" or is it armour ignored for the purpose of hit effects?
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  #148  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:26 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
So how does that work with armour.

If someone jabs you in the centre of your chest with a sword can you say "There's no way your sword would punch through my chest plate" or is it armour ignored for the purpose of hit effects?
Part of our training is something called "calibration" to help you judge what should be a "kill shot". Its not the most fun part of training. Generally, if you have to ask if it was a kill shot, it probably wasnt. You take alot of glancing hits. I tend to take any solid clean hit to the head or torso as killing me. Clean meaning it didnt glance off of my sheild, sword, or part of something else first. It might not have really killed me IRL, but i figure if I didnt block it, I deserve to be killed by it.

Most of the time, you know they got you, nobody out there is pulling their punches or taking it easy on you, everyone is swinging full strength, the armor is functional and we could be killed or seriously injured without it..
<limps off feild>

Last edited by drachillix; 02-21-2012 at 07:28 PM..
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  #149  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:34 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
So how does that work with armour.

If someone jabs you in the centre of your chest with a sword can you say "There's no way your sword would punch through my chest plate"
and to add, some people don't like to call their hits we usually call them "King".

actually we have a term for that, its called being a "rhinohide" and its a good way to end up getting your ass kicked by someone much better than you.
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  #150  
Old 02-21-2012, 08:35 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Although it's been a few years () I still hold (and have cites if neccessary) that early gunpowder shifted back and forth. People like to compress 50 years of change into an overnight change. That didn't happen. Many strong pre=gunpowder castles were actually strengthened by it, until once again offensive firepower caught up with defensive in efficiency*

*Early cannon were really quite awful, mostly because of the combined inaccuracy and weight. Defensive cannon had a huge advatage for at least 50 years and msotly closer to a hundred, because you could mount heavier peices pre-sited on solid firing positions. Meanwhile, attackers had to cart giant cannon around with them, slowing them down and making raids impractical.
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