The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor


Originally published at:


My armor is so comfortable I wear it to bed.


If only aerobics were so inspiring…

And the sword bash in the video is clearly fake - not enough blood, gore and smiles.


Interesting :slight_smile:

Though not exactly the most stealthy of units there :stuck_out_tongue:


I would assume you’d want chainmail bottoms as well? If not couldn’t you just push your opponent over and rectum, if you get my drift.


I’ve heard that mentioned a fair few times in various novels as a normal target. Aiming for the un-armoured armpits being the other choice target…


Twenty minutes after getting all that stuff on, I know I’d have to use the bathroom.



Not really surprising if you have attended ren fairs or other demonstrations of live steel combat.

That dagger on the side was often the killing blow in combat, as shown towards the end.

And while you can see how evenly matched knights are to one another, imagine how fucked you would be if you were a foot soldier with way less protection.


People read about how much the armor weighs but usually don’t consider that this weight is distributed fairly evenly.



… in the middle of a pack of your buddies, all holding long poles with can-openers on the ends.

But that wouldn’t be single combat would it?



I met a Dominican priest – maybe in his late 50s – a while back who has as a hobby SCA/medieval combat stuff. Turns out he uses a mace as his weapon because – his words – “as a cleric I am prohibited from using edged weapons.”


Well yeah, they have tactics. A lone knight isn’t going to wade into a group of pole arms, is he? Also high on the list of things to avoid - crossbows and early hand cannons. Plus knights often started mounted.


Having put on a chainmail shirt you do feel it in the shoulders and waist. I would not want to walk about all day in that.



I blame RPGs (pen & paper or video game) trying to codify armor weight and encumbrance without knowing… well much of anything about the subject. With no internet and almost no popular interest the information they did have was terrible, and even a lot of people researching the history of armor were not very good at it in the 80s. So now, in 2016, most people that are interested in these things without going full historical arms and armor geek just don’t know any better because the idea is pervasive in fantasy media.

Plate armor was extremely expensive, custom fit to the person, and defeated by rifling, improved metallurgy, and improved gunpowder as well as the economics of properly equipping soldiers. Even today effective armor if often abandoned because the cost involved, just look at some of the disastrous budgets in the war on terror. Plate armor was also the lightest and most effective armor to come out of steel armors. It’s maybe 30% the weight of something like mail based what I’ve heard.


Wow, that sounds just like an old Skeletor insult from the old He-man cartoons :slight_smile:


Don’t forget the crossbow/longbow:


Nice try, Frenchman