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Edward Rees

Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 02 Dec 2010

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Fri 24 Jun, 2011 7:17 pm    Post subject: Landsknecht Arming Garments         Reply with quote

Having made, the apparently common, mistake of buying the hard shiny bits first. I've started work on my soft kit and in searching through quite a few woodcuts I've found something I find interesting. Many of the landknecht's shown wearing plate do not appear to be wearing anything beyond their usual wams and hosen. Having scratched my head on this for a while I have come up with a theory that I'd like to throw out to the community.

While the landsknecht were a professional (maybe semi-professional) force they were not drawn from the societal elite. The majority of them were unarmoured and I'm guessing unfamiliar with armour in general. They could see the advantages of armour but, much like myself, would not initially think of things like arming garments. As such, when equipping themselves they focused on the hard shiny bits.

An additional thought about arming garments is that they are much more complex to construct than the wams the landsknechts were wearing. Having just finished making a wams I can personally attest to how easy it is. I am no tailor and even I have been able to handle putting it together. Four rectangles of various dimensions and some time with a needle and thread and you have a surprisingly good looking garment. Not having tried it I can only guess that an arming doublet is a little more challenging to construct.


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The church is close but the roads are icy; the tavern is far, I will walk carefully.
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Adam Bodorics
Industry Professional

Joined: 15 Apr 2005

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sat 25 Jun, 2011 1:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The first two woodcuts show LS with either monstrous shoulders or some padding under the mail - compare the shape and visible width of the shoulders, the last two are notably different.
The plate-gorget-wearers don't need any padding - even a moderately well-made gorget can make wearing a cuirass comfortable with even a modern T-shirt.
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