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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 2:08 pm    Post subject: sword and buckler... without the buckler?         Reply with quote

I was wondering as a thought just popped into my head so I thought I would share the curiosity with you all...

So I was just looking at an Albion Yeomen on the marketplace of this forum and I suddenly got the thought into my head, would an armored knight (or man at arms) in the late 14th to early 15th century ever carry such a sword into battle. As I considered this may have happen ( I don't have proof or source material, just the idea)

The knight would certainly not carry a buckler - so would this be a cut and dry - thrusting sword, or is even plausible at all?

If it were plausible, how would the sword be utilized best?

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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: sword and buckler... without the buckler?         Reply with quote

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:

The knight would certainly not carry a buckler - so would this be a cut and dry - thrusting sword, or is even plausible at all?


I would beg to differ. Some period artwork does in fact depict some rather heavily armoured fellows carrying and using sword and buckler. See here, about halfway down the page for some 15thish century art: http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/I33-guards.html

True, the ones using the bucklers do not appear to be the richest and best equipped shown and may not be full-fledged knights, but the point stands that some men-at-arms are using them.



Edit: Quite a few of them are using falchions with the bucklers. Not sure how important that is to the OP with reference of a specific sword type.

Edited again for grammar.

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, firstly, Albion Yeoman is reconstruction of 'general' XIV type sword, which apparently had disappeared ~ 1350.

So 15th century knight wouldn't carry them into battle, most probably. Wink

Other than that, it's not necessary to assume that buckler would never be taken to battle.... Not at all IMO.

Real quick, I can come up with this stuff:








I guess that buckler would be in fact very practical thing for someone with bow/polearm. In case when aforementioned weapon would have to be dropped from whatever reason, one had handy shield to use along with his sword/dagger/mace or other secondary weapon. That could be easily carried compared to bigger shield.

Although I guess that archers doesn't fit the "knight" part of your post, and as far as I recall they were notoriously pictured as carrying bucklers for close quarter situation.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are piles of depictions of single sword carrying knights in the late middle ages, as a quick browse of Manuscript Miniatures will show.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?manus...amp;page=3

The single sword is not a primary weapon. But then again, neither is the long sword. Wether one prefered a one handed sword or longsword for backup purposes would probably be a matte of taste.

"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."
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

interesting picture, the fellow at the bottom right has a long sword on his hips with what appears to be a buckler indeed unless i am mistaken. It looks a tad longer then a hand and a half sword... thoughts on this?

So no sort of that yeoman or sovereign type blades to be used at all... what would be next in line as far as a short sword goes? the vigil? http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...igil-x.htm

I guess I am most interested in this topic due to what next avenue i put my effort forth. trying to keep to the 15th century as most as possible.

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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher VaughnStrever wrote:
interesting picture, the fellow at the bottom right has a long sword on his hips with what appears to be a buckler indeed unless i am mistaken. It looks a tad longer then a hand and a half sword... thoughts on this?

So no sort of that yeoman or sovereign type blades to be used at all... what would be next in line as far as a short sword goes? the vigil? http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/ne...igil-x.htm

I guess I am most interested in this topic due to what next avenue i put my effort forth. trying to keep to the 15th century as most as possible.


I'm afraid the Vigil is even earlier than the Yeoman and not exactly short (32" blade). Perhaps you meant single-handed. A more appropriate sword would be a XV or XVIII something like the Henry V sword. Many of this type have a shorter 27" ish blade and would have been good for sword and bucker work.
I hope this helps,
Dan
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vigil is even earlier than type XIV, as far as I recall. Definitely not early 15th.

Albion Europe branch has neat timelines attached to the sword pages, I believe by their own rough estimations of when particulars swords could have been used.

So as far as Albions go, it's pretty nice thing to check.


Anyway, as far as short(ish) sword, early 15 goes, different takes on "Henry V " sword are probably solid guess.

http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_hen.html

EDIT: And ninjed, hehe.


Last edited by Bartek Strojek on Sun 06 Nov, 2011 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Dickinson
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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.16443.html
also has some neat examples to take inspiration from.
Dan
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If your goal is 15th century and Albion's description is correct, then the Vigil won't do either.

Albion says:
Quote:
Its dating has been debated: first half of the 13th C is perhaps a reasonable estimate. Oakeshott believed it to be older, dating back to the first half of the 12th C, while others prefer to date it to the early 14th C.



Still, a somewhat off-topic question I've had bouncing around in my head since seeing sword/falchion and buckler use in artwork is this: Would sword and buckler techniques be used differently if fighting an opponent in full armour?

I'm not familiar with sword and buckler, but my impression is that a lot of binding and thrusting is employed, meaning that the answer may very well be no, no real difference except for the omission of certain hewing strikes.



To return to the OP though, aren't there some arming sword materials available? I should think that would be your first source of information for the use of a simple single-hand sword sans buckler. If not, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't just use a combination of messer, longsword, and half-swording as needed. A sword is a sword after all, pointy end goes in the other man.



Edit: Whoops, too slow in my typing it seems. Wink

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
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Phil D.




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a good one...

http://michaelssmithy.com/Michaels_Smithy/Ava...III.html#0

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:

Still, a somewhat off-topic question I've had bouncing around in my head since seeing sword/falchion and buckler use in artwork is this: Would sword and buckler techniques be used differently if fighting an opponent in full armour?


While the covers and binds used in I.33 style sword and buckler would still work in armour, the finishes would not. Most commonly these are a strike or thrust to the head, which would slide of a closed helm most of the time.
Following the lines of armoured longsword, the tactic would be to cover/bind and rush in to close combat wrestling. Which could be done in more or less the same fashion as with the longsword.

"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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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Sun 06 Nov, 2011 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves
Quote:
Still, a somewhat off-topic question I've had bouncing around in my head since seeing sword/falchion and buckler use in artwork is this: Would sword and buckler techniques be used differently if fighting an opponent in full armour?

I'm not familiar with sword and buckler, but my impression is that a lot of binding and thrusting is employed, meaning that the answer may very well be no, no real difference except for the omission of certain hewing strikes.


That was ultimately what I had *tried* to say, at least that first paragraph

That is some good info Elling, I see where your going with the idea of the use of such a sword

The thread is shooting in the right direction of what i was wondering about

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William P




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb, 2012 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

im finding the I:33 very difficult to figure out sincei cant tell whether each picture is a single engagement or several parts to an engagement, or what have you..
http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/i33/i33.htm
each pageon the site seems to have writing, a pair of guys, more writing ,than another pair of fighters, is the pair below showcasing what happens next to the pair of combatants above?

but heres another site that translates the writing in the manuscript.. still needs work from one ignorant in which ward means what, to interperet it.
http://freywild.ch/i33/i33aen.html#01
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
Following the lines of armoured longsword, the tactic would be to cover/bind and rush in to close combat wrestling. Which could be done in more or less the same fashion as with the longsword.


Yes, this. Fighting someone in armour with a sword consists primarily of halfswording, closing, grappling and using the sword like a big dagger, and doing those things with a one-hander is not really different to doing it with a longsword. Henry V's sword is a short one-handed Type XVIII. For fighting in armour but against more lightly armed people then you can use the cuts and thrusts shown in unarmoured techniques for the one-handed sword, as featured in the messer sections of various German treatises or the one-handed sword section of Fiore etc.

One advantage a shorter sword can have in armoured fighting is that when you're close up and personal, with a grip or grapple on some part of the opponent, the shorter blade and grip can be easier to manouver. It is also easier to make shorter blades stiffer, which is of course better for thrusting through mail voiders or into gaps.

Matt

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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and, even when in harness, theres really NO downside to having that small fist buckler there. it allows much more effective binding and its much more durable than just your steel gauntlets. and one can theoretically halfsword with a buckler still in their left hand.

and the buckler fits what youd want as a men at arms in harness on foot. your armoured too good to really worry that much about most missile fire, and a buckler can cover ones face if missiles come in suddenly if your face is somehow exposed,

but in a press its highly maneuverable easy to carry, dcan be put away easily at the belt if you want to switch to a polearm or 2 handed sword or something.


i think that, in a battlefield situation, there should be no real reason to not have something in the off hand when using a singl;e handed weapon, while in plate armour.
just my opinion
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
and, even when in harness, theres really NO downside to having that small fist buckler there.


My mileage varies on that point. Having a hand for grappling is a very useful thing, especially in armoured fighting. It may be true to say that you can still grapple and close with a buckler in your hand, but a quick look through the treatises agrees with most people's experience that it is not quite as easy - there is far more grappling shown in single sword sources than in sword and buckler sources.

Quote:
i think that, in a battlefield situation, there should be no real reason to not have something in the off hand when using a singl;e handed weapon, while in plate armour.
just my opinion


Mine is different - the ability to easily grab in armour is very important - I would argue that your hand IS a weapon. Especially in armour. This is especially true when facing polearms - grabbing polearms is a mainstream technique that enables you to even the balance. Note that the historical images of 'knights' without bucklers far outweigh those with bucklers.

Having said all this, it is essentially a matter of personal taste and preference. I do not think that either sword and buckler or sword alone have a big advantage when fighting in armour. They each have different strengths and weaknesses and which combination you choose depends in part upon who you expect to be fighting, what they are armed with, how many of them there are etc.

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Jimi Edmonds




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
im finding the I:33 very difficult to figure out sincei cant tell whether each picture is a single engagement or several parts to an engagement, or what have you..
http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/i33/i33.htm
each pageon the site seems to have writing, a pair of guys, more writing ,than another pair of fighters, is the pair below showcasing what happens next to the pair of combatants above?

but heres another site that translates the writing in the manuscript.. still needs work from one ignorant in which ward means what, to interperet it.
http://freywild.ch/i33/i33aen.html#01


I.33 is a tad confusing at times, though I found that the start of each play or strikes/wards in context with each other was represented with a "small cross with four dots, one in each quarter of the said cross" so some pages start with this symbol and other pages have it after a preceding play or technique to start off the next. The bigest problem I have is the fact that my copy is printed in black and white and at times is hard to tell which leg is forward, I really should add some colour or get better scans! The Hammborg guys know their sword and buckler stuff..
Hope this helps, is nearly off topic but helpful all the same..
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In close to full armour, a gauntlet could do most of the things one could do defensively and aggressively ( +Push, grab and punch ) with a buckler and still be able to wrestle or halfswording in addition with the gauntlet.

A mitten gauntlet on the off hand and a fingered gauntlet on the sword hand might work well, although I've no historical context for this combination, but there where at times gauntlets " Main de Fer " used to mostly protect the off hand.

As to carrying a buckler on the belt with armour it's seems like mostly excess baggage but if wearing little or no hand protection with limited armour, a buckler could always be nice to have just in case for use with a one handed sword when these are the backup weapons to a Bill or a Bow.

And the main use of the Buckler being in civilian wear: Might not be used by Knights in armour but might be used by a Knight when not in armour although it does seem to have been more popular among the common soldier or common man as self defence equipment. ( Some facts here above but also a degree of speculation(s) ).

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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There really isn't a lot of advice in armoured combat in any renaissance manual. We have to deduce most of the principles from the plays that are marked out as for in armour, and from a few comments in sword in armour and axe manuals. As far as I know, none of the sword and buckler treatises mentions armour, but sword and buckler was being taught by Marozzo and Manciolino in the 1530s to the kind of people who would wear harness to war and some duels.

Don't forget the threat of missiles on a battlefield. A wonderful harness still forces you to chose between breathing and seeing with an open face or keeping your face protected. A large buckler would help against arrows, stones, and thrown weapons.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Sean Manning" A large buckler would help against arrows, stones, and thrown weapons.[/quote]

Define " large " buckler: Most bucklers are below 12" in diameter and exceeding this by too much turns it into a small shield not as convenient as a carry all the time shield to accompany a one handed sword.

The sword & buckler combination is to me functionally more like carrying a handgun when not otherwise armed with a rifle or in period as a primary weapon a polearm, missile weapon or a large shield and sword.

The buckler & sword as more civilian carry or backup secondary weapons in my opinion.

A small shield is not optimum to protect from missiles compared to a much larger shield and would depend a lot on luck in not being targeted elsewhere than where covered by the buckler.

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