Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > How late was "classic" European armour used? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: How late was "classic" European armour used?         Reply with quote

I just started thinking about this because in a GDFB catalog they have a helmet, it looks similar to a Medieval Armet, though they call it "European closed helm 17th century".
I can't find a picture of it online since I think it's been discontinued, though does anyone here have any photo examples of plate armour from the 17th century or later?
By plate armour I mean a "traditional" full harness, not just a cavalaryman's breastplate. A few websites mentioned full plate being used up until the early 18th century, though of course they don't show any examples.
Does anyone here maybe have an example from a museum or something?
Thanks! Happy
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are tons of 17th century harnesses extant - just search for "cuirassier armour". Search on Flickr. Todd Hoogerland has lots of great photos from museums. Here.

Lots of armour from the Thirty Years War era. Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy - all used it. Both burgonets and close helmets were worn, though not armets. By the English Civil War, full armour was very rare, though still occasionally used. Arthur Haselrig fielded a regiment of horse in full plate, during this war. Even after armour had become impractical in battle, very rich people and royalty often had armour made for them (because they could.) Armoured cuirassiers could be an effective shock troop, charging in with swords and pistols to break up and rout infantry. The armour could withstand a pistol ball, though muskets at that point were powerful enough to destroy it. You'll often see "proof marks", bullet dents in the breastplate - these were done by the armourer to "prove" that the steel could hold up to gunfire in battle. (A study by David Edge found that they were usually proofed with underpowered loads.)







Usually there were no greaves or sabotons - very heavy leather riding boots would be worn instead. But some of the armours made for really rich nobles or royalty in the 1600s did have full leg protection. Louis XIII wore this nice armour around 1630:



His son Louis XIV owned this armour:



The pauldrons were usually square rather than rounded. Some Swiss armours had fanned out lames in the pauldrons.


Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Sat 05 Jun, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, thanks for the photographs and the link!
Some of those are quite interesting. For some reason I had seen that style of armour before, though I just remembered it when I saw your post!
View user's profile Send private message
Lucas Simms




Location: Washington
Joined: 14 Mar 2010

Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This may be off topic but something always riddled me about those harnesses.

How did they carry their swords?
Was this style of leg protection practical is one had to dismount during a fight and continue on foot (horse gets killed etc.)?

Lucas
View user's profile Send private message
Hisham Gaballa





Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 508

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 12:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I came across this early 17th century full armour in the Royal Armouries a few years ago:


 Attachment: 179.87 KB
[ Download ]
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 567

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jul, 2010 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lucas Simms wrote:
This may be off topic but something always riddled me about those harnesses.

How did they carry their swords?.)?



Lucas Simms wrote:

Was this style of leg protection practical is one had to dismount during a fight and continue on foot (horse gets killed etc.)?

It's possible to fight dismounted but the armour is clumsy due to the weight and design, Swedish orders for cuirassier armour in the 1620's required that the cuisses could be removed to improve the ability of the cuirassiers to fight on foot.

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Swedish orders for cuirassier armour in the 1620's required that the cuisses could be removed to improve the ability of the cuirassiers to fight on foot.


Knowing what soldiers were (and still often are) like, dI have to wonder if they took this a bit further and left the cuisses behind even when operating on horseback.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 567

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well Wertheim describes how a regiment of Cuirassiers raised by the Elector of Cologne discarded all or their armour except for the helmets (and possibly the gauntlets, my memory is a bit hazy) making these expensive soldiers "worse than harquebusiers"

Much depended of how strictly the officers of a regiment and/or company enforced the regulations. In theory the losing of equipment could be severly punished, particularly in armies such as the Swedish were a significant part of the armour belonged to the Crown.
Veteran soldiers were very aware of the important protection the cuisses provided, Basta considered them essential because so many blows struck the thighs, including the "the shot of pistols which are deadly".

So wether armour was discarded or not depended on many factors. Overconfidence could certainly lead to troops doing stupid things. Swedish cavalry in the early 1600's had gotten used to not need their armour when fighting the Russians, several veteran officers scoffed at the idea of puting on harness to fight the Poles only to get themselves and their men killed and/or routed when they had to face Polish & Lithuanian lances.

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > How late was "classic" European armour used?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum