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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Smallsword vs. Plate Armour         Reply with quote

As I'm sure everyone on here knows, it's basically impossible for a sword to cut through plate armour. But it is possible to stab through plate armour, given a strong enough weapon.

Anyway, I was reading about Colichemardes, and it got me thinking. Could a Smallsword, specifically Colichemarde, stab through plate armour? I know they weren't used in the same time period, I was just wondering.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Paul Hansen




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Mar, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really doubt it. Stabbing through plate would require a lot of force. A warhammer could deliver such a force. I doubt that lunge even with a really stiff sword could.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 11 Mar, 2010 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Smallsword vs. Plate Armour         Reply with quote

A. Spanjer wrote:
But it is possible to stab through plate armour, given a strong enough weapon.


Strong enough weapon? I think you mean strong enough person. Think about the amount of force it would take to puncture through steel that is already strong enough to deflect a powerful cut from a sword. Perhaps if the person had a steel punch and a hammer and chiselled his way through... while the person wearing the armor was already unconscious and not moving. Happy

That's not to say its impossible to damage armour... but with weapons such as spears, estocs, pikes, etc, being the norm in the day of plate, and not smallswords, this should be telling.

The main purpose of the colichemarde blade, by the way, is that it has a stronger forte for parrying, but still has the same nimble properties of the typical blade.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Thu 11 Mar, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, that's pretty much what I thought, I just wanted to see your opinions.

Thanks!

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Thu 11 Mar, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Smallsword vs. Plate Armour         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
Strong enough weapon? I think you mean strong enough person. Think about the amount of force it would take to puncture through steel that is already strong enough to deflect a powerful cut from a sword.

Even with as much force as you might want, I'm not entirely sure the blade would not buckle under the stress sooner than it would pierce the armor... In which case it might be impossible to defeat the armor even if the guy cooperates Happy

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Vincent
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Arne Koets




Location: Leeds, England
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PostPosted: Fri 12 Mar, 2010 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have pierced a mild steel 14(?) gauge breastplate with a pollaxe spike, with a rather moderate trust, without a great deal of force.

a human using their footwork correctly and especially one attacking someone that is approaching (fast) themselves, could generate the nessesary energy and force, as shown per the pollaxe, however, the stiffness and mass of the pollaxe do help.

original pollaxes weigh in at about 1800-2500 grams in total (measured several myself at the Royal Armouries) so they are not nessesarily much heavier than a heavy sword! (ok, up to twice as heavy, but a 1700g sword is not that ridiculous).

leaves us with stiffness: the dague on this pollaxe was very square and stiff, and the armour was not hardened.
the penetration was minimal (1mm depth or so) but there were four little tears in the plate from the puncture aligning with the edges of the spike.

I have seen back swords with rather thick blade-backs, so i wouldn't call it impossible, but definitely rather unlikely, and dependant on armour design (lack of hardness, lack of thickness, potentially flatness) and luck (specific angle of attack, timing of lunge from both sides and whatnot)

i would find it hard to believe that serious harm would be done easily, though, deep penetration is extremely unlikely.

there is a depiction in a schilling chronicle of a guy penetrating a breastplate of some sort with a pike... rider being pierced, but they could have meant a brig potentially.

all resistance is futile
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