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Ushio Kawana




Location: Japan
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 11:13 pm    Post subject: about the back of knee of the plate armour         Reply with quote

Hi all Happy

Most greaves of plate armour generally completely cover the shin(lower part of the knee).
But many cuisses cover up only the front(and some sides) of the thigh.
Therefore most cuisses do not cover up the back of the thigh.
I think that it is to ride a horse...

Knights wear a arming doublet under the plate armour.
The armpits and the inside of the elbow of the arming doublet are covered by mail.
Of course we know the reason. (to cover the gap of plate armour...)

But... As far as I looked so far... Many pants(under the plate armour) are not covered by mail.
In many battles, foot soldiers aimed at the back of the knee of armored knights.

I have a question...
Why are not the thigh and back of knee protected by mail? Question

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Oct, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: about the back of knee of the plate armour         Reply with quote

Ushio Kawana wrote:
Hi all Happy

Most greaves of plate armour generally completely cover the shin(lower part of the knee).
But many cuisses cover up only the front(and some sides) of the thigh.
Therefore most cuisses do not cover up the back of the thigh.
I think that it is to ride a horse...

Knights wear a arming doublet under the plate armour.
The armpits and the inside of the elbow of the arming doublet are covered by mail.
Of course we know the reason. (to cover the gap of plate armour...)

But... As far as I looked so far... Many pants(under the plate armour) are not covered by mail.
In many battles, foot soldiers aimed at the back of the knee of armored knights.

I have a question...
Why are not the thigh and back of knee protected by mail? Question


Hello,

In some cases the backs of the knees are covered by mail. Consider this plate from the Paulus Kal Fechtbuch:
http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/bsb00...l?seite=51

And the back of the thigh was sometimes covered with full plate, not just mail. Indeed, many English effigies from the late 14th century onward show fully-closed cuisses. Consider this brass of Sir John Bettesthorne, who has both closed plate cuisses and mail behind the knee:
http://www.mbs-brasses.co.uk/page320.html

Having said that, you are correct that the back of the thigh and the knee were not always covered. As to that, armor and protection must always be balanced against freedom and mobility. What one man at arms may consider an acceptable risk in order to move better, another may consider too dangerous. Consider that the famous 15th-century knight Jacques de Lalaing, who often fought in friendly deeds of arms with a light infantry helmet with neither visor nor bevor in spite of the fact that such occasions usually called for maximum protection. He did this because he felt the improved vision and ability to breathe afforded by his choice outweighed the risks.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Ushio Kawana




Location: Japan
Joined: 17 Aug 2008

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Hugh Knight! Happy

Quote:
In some cases the backs of the knees are covered by mail. Consider this plate from the Paulus Kal Fechtbuch:
http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/~db/bsb00...l?seite=51

I knew this Fechtbuch and I found same(the backs of the knees are covered by mail) illust on 241r of "Paul Hector Mair's Munich Fechtbuch Part II".


Quote:
And the back of the thigh was sometimes covered with full plate, not just mail. Indeed, many English effigies from the late 14th century onward show fully-closed cuisses. Consider this brass of Sir John Bettesthorne, who has both closed plate cuisses and mail behind the knee:
http://www.mbs-brasses.co.uk/page320.html

I can't found the photo of the thigh was covered with full plate. Sad (The photos of armours are generally taken by the front... Thus I do not see rear.)
Of course except foot-combat armours of HenryVIII. (I think that foot-combat armours such as HenryVIII's foot-combat armour was never used by real battle. I think that foot-combat armours are used only for a tournament. Or were foot-combat armours really used by battle?)
* The "foot-combat armour of HenryVIII" that I say is a this type.


However, there is doubt about "Paul Hector Mair's Munich Fechtbuch Part II" all the time...
A lot of illust of the armour(the thigh was covered with full plate) appear in this book.
Does these Armours really existed? Question
For example:


244v, 260v: Both armoured man puts on spiked rings around a neck, a waist, a thigh, an arm. (looks like video game character Eek! )



245v, 204r: The inside of the knee is covered with a plate in the same way as foot-combat armor of Henry VIII.


Quote:
Consider that the famous 15th-century knight Jacques de Lalaing, who often fought in friendly deeds of arms with a light infantry helmet with neither visor nor bevor in spite of the fact that such occasions usually called for maximum protection. He did this because he felt the improved vision and ability to breathe afforded by his choice outweighed the risks.

Jacques de Lalaing: http://www.thehaca.com/essays/Lalaing.htm (very interesting! Happy )

p.s.
Paul Hector Mair's Munich Fechtbuch Part II: http://mdz10.bib-bvb.de/~db/bsb00007894/images/
This book is very beautiful!
There are many sites that English translated "Paul Hector Mair's fechtbuch".
However, I can't found the site that translated "Cod.icon. 393-2" is not found. Sad

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am watching this thread with great interest as I really want to know the answer to this as well. I know there were a few other armours very similar to the Henry VIII foot combat one, somewhere in Italy (I think) with similar designs.

That Fechtbuch is really fun to look through and there are a lot of extremely dirty fighting tactics depicted in it (jumping off your horse onto the opponent's horse, pulling off the bridle of your opponent's horse, hitting your opponent with the handle end of your lance, stabbing your opponent in the balls, etc.) I can only assume that these little tricks were intended to be used only in a life and death battle and not during a tournament.

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
I can only assume that these little tricks were intended to be used only in a life and death battle and not during a tournament.


This is different from pulling the bridle off, but "grabbing the reins" was described in 12th century melee tournament, 13th century biography. It was favorably regarded since an opponent and his horse could both be led to a recet or "captured zone" unharmed for maximum ransom value. In contrast, if an opponent was unhorsed, team mates rescuing either the "on foot" participant or his horse could spare them from being ransomed.

One of the more humorous examples exists in the feats of William Marshal. (One of his captured riders was knocked off his horse by collision with a drain pipe while William led the opponent's horse by the reins through a street. This was observed by William's allies who thought if funny and kept silent about it. William arrived at the recet to discover that he only had his opponent's horse!)

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There have been threads about this before. One of the ones I saw stated a few reasons for not covering the insides of the legs.

If you are a horseman, keep in mind you want good contact with the horse. If you put slippery armor between you and it, it makes it easier for you to fall off or be off-balance constantly.

Furthermore, if you're on a horse, much of the exposed area will be covered by a lot of horsie flesh. Yes, if you can reach back behind the leg and hook it with your polearm or stab from behind with some other weapon of choice, you can do some serious damage. But you either have to be very quick about it as the guy rides past you, duck his attacks as you do so, or get some soon to be ex-friends to distract him and get him to stay still for a moment. Much easier to see if you can kill the horse in my admittedly less than expert opinion. Then hope the sucker falls on the rider as it dies. If not, grab some buddies and make it as unfair a fight as you can.

Lastly, as already mentioned, armor is not a great deal of fun to wear for long periods of time and if you could cut some corners when wearing it for comfort, some guys would consider it worth the risk.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:

Lastly, as already mentioned, armor is not a great deal of fun to wear for long periods of time and if you could cut some corners when wearing it for comfort, some guys would consider it worth the risk.


Except for jousts or major battles I tend to think that only partial armour would be worn a lot of the time with the rest being available to be put on in a hurry with the help of squires or pages.

For raids or " chevauchés " a helm, bishops mantle or coif, brigantine and/or mail would give reasonable protection versus comfort and agility. The specifics varying by period as well as the use of shields that become more useful when armour coverage is reduces to head, torso, arms to a degree and possibly minimal leg protection of high leather boots.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Ushio Kawana




Location: Japan
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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 2:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Happy

Quote:

Colt Reeves wrote:

If you are a horseman, keep in mind you want good contact with the horse. If you put slippery armor between you and it, it makes it easier for you to fall off or be off-balance constantly.

Furthermore, if you're on a horse, much of the exposed area will be covered by a lot of horsie flesh.

I thought about the same thing! (However, I was not able to write it with my English. Sad )
I can't found the photo of the thigh was all covered with full plate. (Is there the surviving? Question )


p.s.
I'm sorry for responding late. (include other threads)

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ushio Kawana wrote:
Hi Happy

Quote:

Colt Reeves wrote:

If you are a horseman, keep in mind you want good contact with the horse. If you put slippery armor between you and it, it makes it easier for you to fall off or be off-balance constantly.

Furthermore, if you're on a horse, much of the exposed area will be covered by a lot of horsie flesh.

I thought about the same thing! (However, I was not able to write it with my English. Sad )
I can't found the photo of the thigh was all covered with full plate. (Is there the surviving? Question )


p.s.
I'm sorry for responding late. (include other threads)


Well I don't have a link to the pic but there is a famous foot combat armour made for Henry XVIII where we can see complete coverage of the legs in the back including small lames covering the back of the knees and even plate covering his rear end i.e. no visible gaps in the armour at all except that the pics do not show how this armour protect the arm pits. I assume that this might be the only part covered only by a maille voider.

Armour this complete would be rare and the fitting would have to be perfect as those little lames behind the knees look like they would pinch the skin if not perfectly fitted + some sort of arming clothes to protect from chafing.

I also assume that on a hot day such armour would be hell to wear on a battlefield but for a joust there would be plenty of servants to take the helmet off quickly after the fight and remove the armour before heat stroke would set in.

Lot of water available I also assume to drink or a cool towel to wipe the King's brow between fights.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
If you are a horseman, keep in mind you want good contact with the horse. If you put slippery armor between you and it, it makes it easier for you to fall off or be off-balance constantly.

Not only that, but if I understand correctly the pressure from your thighs are also a mean to control the horse (very important for fighting, as the hands are busy doing something else). Perhaps covering the inner side of the legs hinders that control too...

Regards,

--
Vincent
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know about ancient horseback riding, but the modern Western style of riding includes the use of leg pressure to help direct the horse, or at least as I was taught. It would make sense for that method to be in use then, since as you note they had to use their hands for other things.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Fri 02 Apr, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

Well I don't have a link to the pic but there is a famous foot combat armour made for Henry XVIII....


Alternate history doesn't count!

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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just saw this effigy with lames behind the knee http://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilami/sets...51/?page=2
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Quinn W.




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PostPosted: Fri 25 May, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
Just saw this effigy with lames behind the knee http://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilami/sets...51/?page=2

And in 1412, too! That's much earlier than I would expect for that sort of thing.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Sat 26 May, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pointed faulds certainly look early 15thc. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilami/4682...2432104851 You also get the same construction on the heels.
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Zac Evans




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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The effigy has been repaired over the years though. Could this be the work of an overzealous repair job?
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