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Tormod Engvig




PostPosted: Sat 17 Apr, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Did crossbowmen wear their pavises on their backs?         Reply with quote

So...

I happened to hear someone claim recently that crossbowmen would wear their pavises on their backs in battle, and as they reloaded they would turn their backs, and their shields, to the enemy, reducing their vulnerability during this slow process. Anyone care to elaborate on this claim?

I was under the impression that the crossbowmen would set up their pavises in front of them, and thus fire and reload in relative safety. I've also read in several books that the paivse would sometimes be carried by a dedicated assistant, who would prop the shield in front of the crossbowman during battle or a siege.

I suppose either method is concievable depending on the situation (pitched battle vs. siege, etc.).

"Skal til kamp på bølgen top, Dannebrog i stavnen op, gid der bag dets røde fold, står en helt som Tordenskjold."
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The spotlight topic on 15th century pavises has lots of pictures and info on the subject:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2711

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Tormod Engvig




PostPosted: Sun 18 Apr, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great! Tusen takk!
"Skal til kamp på bølgen top, Dannebrog i stavnen op, gid der bag dets røde fold, står en helt som Tordenskjold."
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