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Darrell Engelbrect





Joined: 30 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: meditation on a modern knight         Reply with quote

What would make a modern knight capable of staving off gunfire and the like? Here's my thoughts after much deliberation, feel free to offer your own interpretations/criticisms/ideas.

1: Modern, purpose built sword.

Comments: I'm not sure what a modern knight's weapon would look like, suffice to say a large portion of modern body armor is not built to withstand edged weaponry. I would assume it would probably be camouflage, or tactical black to prevent rusting and high profile visibility.

2: Armor, lot's of it!:

Comments: Surmising we need a good level of physical protection and mobility (And the carrying of supplies is not a question like a modern soldier) wearing full armor (I'm thinking scale like armor like Dragon Skin) over the various parts of the body offering maximum protection would be necessary. Next to this, either a closed helmet or close fitting helmet would be necessary.

Would this modern warrior wear a gambeson? Would that gambeson also be of modern materials, possibly impact gels to reduce weight and need of excessive padding and to allow for bullet strikes without breaking bones. Thoughts?

3: Two handed sword, sword and ballistic shield, or sword and automatic pistol?

Comments: Which of these would he use, or would he carry one or the other of these with a full assault rifle or close range shogun?

4: Military order and the nature of the modern knight.

Comments: Would the modern knight be part of a military order and what would that order entail. Would it be a voluntary militia, a secular order ora religious order. Would the knight wear a tabard and would that tabard serve as a tactical vestment as well as a heraldric symbol? Would the knight wear a duster and hood instead of the classic cloak in incliment weather?

5: Mode of transport?

Comments: Would a knight ride a heavier version of a dirt bike or would he ride a souped up all terrain Big Dog? Or would he have dedicated transport and no need of personal transport (seeing as the need for heavy Calvary is negligible).

These are just some thoughts I've been having on modernizing what was once a medieval institution, please discuss this I would love to refine this idea, for maybe a work of fiction in the future or otherwise.

"I speak not against masters of defence indeed, they are to be honored, nor against the science, it is noble, and in my opinion to be preferred next to divinity, for as divinity preserves the soul from hell and the devil, so does this noble science defend the body from wounds & slaughter. And moreover, the exercising of weapons puts away aches, griefs, and diseases, it increases strength, and sharpens the wits. It gives a perfect judgement, it expels melancholy, choleric and evil conceits, it keeps a man in breath, perfect health, and long life. It is unto him that has the perfection thereof, a most friendly and comfortable companion when he is alone, having but only his weapon about him. It puts him out of fear, & in the wars and places of most danger, it makes him bold, hardy and valiant."

George Silver - Paradoxes of Defense
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Modern knights in every sense of the word.


“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
- R. Ewart Oakeshott
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Alex Spreier




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Corbin wrote:
Modern knights in every sense of the word.



^ This.

Compagno, Northwest Fencing Academy

http://bunkaijuju.blogspot.com/
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Darrell Engelbrect





Joined: 30 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So no one read that I'm collecting info and such for a bit of fiction -facepalms-.
"I speak not against masters of defence indeed, they are to be honored, nor against the science, it is noble, and in my opinion to be preferred next to divinity, for as divinity preserves the soul from hell and the devil, so does this noble science defend the body from wounds & slaughter. And moreover, the exercising of weapons puts away aches, griefs, and diseases, it increases strength, and sharpens the wits. It gives a perfect judgement, it expels melancholy, choleric and evil conceits, it keeps a man in breath, perfect health, and long life. It is unto him that has the perfection thereof, a most friendly and comfortable companion when he is alone, having but only his weapon about him. It puts him out of fear, & in the wars and places of most danger, it makes him bold, hardy and valiant."

George Silver - Paradoxes of Defense
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Knights were heavy cavalry. They were meant to hit and destroy enemy formations though heavy weapons, impervious armor, and crushing momentum. The modern equivalent would be tanks, or possibly helicopter gunships.

Sorry, its not as romantic as a badass dude on a giant motorcycle with a kevlar jacket. There's no way an individual man in body armor could possibly have the mobility, firepower, and protection equivalent to a knight but scaled up for modern weapons.
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Peter Messent




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm a little confused as to what you are looking for - something entirely fictitious? I tend to feel that if you follow military to its logical place in the modern day, you arrive at our modern army. We are well armored against a variety of weapons, well armed against a variety of foes and well equipped for many environments. A group of three indirect fire infantrymen (ideal minimum) can engage targets from point blank to 6km with remarkable accuracy and self-sustain. A platoon of us can push that out even farther and cause much greater damage. We have the means and manpower to remain well-supplied for lengthy campaigns rendering weapons such as swords pretty much useless in all but the most overwhelming circumstances, in which case a good knife would probably be of better use than a sword and require less training to use effectively. Wars are not the same as they used to be, and thus we have new tactics to match our new enemies.

With regards to shields - principally in use with riot police, and principally to deflect objects thrown at them, rather than bullets and to restrain the crowd with a shield wall. One-handed use of a firearm significantly decreases accuracy - a shield would increase rather than decrease danger IMO for a soldier.

Alternatively, if you're simply looking for a modernization of a knight, composite materials and high-tech steels. High-speed tool-steel blades, fibreglass/kevlar armors? materials such as D3o are used as impact-resistant armor, where they harden upon impact, allowing it to be spread out over a greater area.
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry to do some raining on your parade, but I think the main thing here that makes a knight is number 4. The rest are things or concerns for any military unit, but what made a knight a knight was chivalry and a code of honor.

So, to address the fictional aspect you're looking for, I would take such a code of honor and add powered armour. Ridiculously heavy armour that can withstand most small arms fire (be realistic and have them fear anti-vehicle and dedicated fire support though), the ability to carry big mean weapons, etc, would fit this little niche. They could do things tanks and such couldn't, such as go into buildings and what-have-you, and could reinvent their own version of chivalry. I understand the Warhammer(?) game has something similar.

"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..."
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Len Parker





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PostPosted: Thu 15 Mar, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The main problem with the idea of a modern knight is the sword. We just don't asociate swords with modern day warfare. Without a sword the modern warrior just becomes a soldier.
A futuristic knight in space might work better in fiction. I figure in space you can't fire a gun on a spaceship, so maybe a telescopic stun baton like this http://www.stungunsupply.com/stun-master-tele...-flex.html might take the place of a sword. Armour would be for blunt force trauma as well as the electric charge (Suddenly I'm George Lucas).
This would also work for a futuristic type SCA, which would mean no more raised helmets and riveted maille to make Happy. Rattans would represent stun batons instead of swords.
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Josh S





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 12:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
So, to address the fictional aspect you're looking for, I would take such a code of honor and add powered armour. Ridiculously heavy armour that can withstand most small arms fire (be realistic and have them fear anti-vehicle and dedicated fire support though), the ability to carry big mean weapons, etc, would fit this little niche. They could do things tanks and such couldn't, such as go into buildings and what-have-you, and could reinvent their own version of chivalry. I understand the Warhammer(?) game has something similar.

The Battletech universe fills the niche quite perfectly. It's heavily based on (what people tend to think of as) the politics, tactics, etc. of medieval Europe. The Clans in particular, with their emphasis on honor and caste, give a strong, direct link to knighthood.
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Robert Rootslane




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: meditation on a modern knight         Reply with quote

Darrell Engelbrect wrote:
What would make a modern knight capable of staving off gunfire and the like? Here's my thoughts after much deliberation, feel free to offer your own interpretations/criticisms/ideas.

1: Modern, purpose built sword.

Comments: I'm not sure what a modern knight's weapon would look like, suffice to say a large portion of modern body armor is not built to withstand edged weaponry. I would assume it would probably be camouflage, or tactical black to prevent rusting and high profile visibility.

.


A lightsaber ofcourse. Only thing to cut tanks with...
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Tom Tasker




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan P wrote:
Knights were heavy cavalry. They were meant to hit and destroy enemy formations though heavy weapons, impervious armor, and crushing momentum. The modern equivalent would be tanks, or possibly helicopter gunships.


i would have to agree with this, imo the best modern analogue knight would be a jet fighter pilot a helicopter gunship or a big tank...
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll have to add some input to this concept of a modern knight, however the question must be asked...What defines a knight?

Now many people have many ideas to this question. Though for me it was not the weapons, the core of a knight was not even the armor or the horse (Your thinking I am an idiot at this point and I don't blame you)

Since the first question can at the best of times be Un-answerable. Then lets ask another question then, Why did a Knight Fight?

It was his Chivalrious character. And by Chivalry I mean to say his Prowess on the battlefield. A Knight Fought for the reward of money, fame, social status, political status, and his very own personal pride of Prowess.

We do not see these aspects at the core of modern people fighting in war (ok, yes we do. However this is only to a very small degree. No where near the scale of Knights back in the day)

Where do we see these aspects in people today? People that push themselves for years and years? Is it not modern sports? Athletes in those sports? Basketball, Football (European and US) Rugby and the like? Of course, athletes compete for their personal prowess on what ever sports field they are on. People love an athlete that performs better, they get paid more money, they are recognized for a high social status (and at times this status even translates into the political scene)

Knights of old and their core principal of a chivalrous prowess has translated from war to the modernized Knights of Sports. Thats how I view the Modern Knight in any case.

But the only true modern knights are the people who are actually "knighted" by kings and queens of today. that is why they have an official title. War has been in existence before the rise of knights, and war continues right into today without knights. Thats why i stay affixiated on the knights of old.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh come on guys, no one wants to play?

I agree a modern knight would be a member of the military, everything said above is true, but lets use some imagination!

I think a modern knight would have an exosuite. like this,

http://www.communistrobot.com/viewblog.php?id=341

or

http://www.geekologie.com/2010/09/meh-raytheo...oskele.php

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Phil D.




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was an old graphic novel that was set in the future.King Arthur and his knights were reincarnated (not as you would expect).Anyway, it had some interesting ideas plus great artwork.You should review it if you get the chance.

Camelot 3000

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Oh come on guys, no one wants to play?

I agree a modern knight would be a member of the military, everything said above is true, but lets use some imagination!

I think a modern knight would have an exosuite. like this,

http://www.communistrobot.com/viewblog.php?id=341

or

http://www.geekologie.com/2010/09/meh-raytheo...oskele.php


A recent issue of Men's Journal featured a profile of a former SF operator who now consults with DOD and other agencies. He decried the current tendency to overload infantry with gadgets and protective gear. When we get a glimpse of SF in the field they are often pretty far from the exoskeleton idea that seems to be the assumed direction of individual kit. They tend to be more traditional and mobile-looking. I'm not trying to be a killjoy--I just think that even fiction has to be grounded in reality.
In fact, I think focusing on the kit is a dead end. I'm with the guys pointing the OP toward modern SF--actually, toward the elite of the elite (devgru, delta, et al.) rather than green berets, rangers, SAS, etc. I think this is a reasonable analogy because of overlap in the qualities and characteristics of these premium SF guys and their historical counterparts.

• degree of training relative to ordinary soldiers
• loyalty
• courage
• military cultural isolation
• tactical value
• religious nationalism (remember the devgru guy who popped UBL? "For God and Country," he said.)
• field support / access to resources
• percentage of overall fighting force
• physical and mental discipline
• combat experience
• athleticism
• tactical understanding

Just as throwing a harness on a peasant and strapping him to a destrier doesn't make him a knight or man-at-arms, loading up with SF kit doesn't make one an operator.

On the subject of the mount making the knight. A great many historical knights would take exception to the suggestion that the horse made the man. It's true that without horse there is no heavy cavalry charge, but in the period of the Wars of the Roses, English knights fought on foot, and that skill was considered an essential part of elite military training. So, I'd include mounts under the general category of "Kit To Be Ignored".

So, my advice would be to start with a list of what elite soldiers were like in all periods (including after 1500, which was nearing the end of the individual knightly feat of arms in favor of standing armies, guns and massed, disciplined infantry).

Then think about the most elite modern military units and invent one with the trappings of elite medieval military culture--what kinds of special privileges would they enjoy? Would there be prices (ransoms) on their heads? Would individual feats of arms be known within the confines of their secret worlds? What's the modern equivalent of individual coats of arms? If you want swords, maybe swords could play a ceremonial role in such a unit--something only a bit more medieval than "blood pinning". To have any kind of credibility, though, I don't think swords should be depicted as viable combat weapons. But a medieval-style dagger, maybe. Think of the Sykes-Fairbairn dagger or the Ghurka Kukri.

To make a long story short, I would think that trying to impose medieval kit on modern soldiers is a loser, while imposing medieval military values in a modern setting could fly.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[Darrell Engelbrect asked, "So no one read that I'm collecting info and such for a bit of fiction"


Darrell, its quite clear you're trying to mine the knowledge base here. That's not the problem. You really need to tighten up your thinking and questions if you want any substantive help. If your concept is some childish comic book fantasy of a sword wielding knight in full, death- ray proof armor on a jet propelled motorcycle who rescues scantily clad, nubile young women then you're asking the wrong people and those people are going to have a hard time giving you a serious answer.

A modern knight isn't an altogether impossible idea and may be an idea worth developing but I think you have to rethink your definition of knighthood considerably and I think some other writers here have already suggested that .

OK, keep the scantily clad, nubile young women but most of the rest has to go into the circular file!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a good primer by people who know: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style...story.html
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Phil D.




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Future knights.Courtesy of Warhammer 40k
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My exoskeleton thought stemmed from the first question in the original post, What would make a modern knight capable of staving off gunfire and the like. Anything that would protect to the extent that a suit of armor did on the medival battlefield would be heavy enough to require that it be augmented with pneumatics. At least in my opinion.

As far as what makes a knight? Being knighted. Just as there are people in today's military that join to honor there country, or pay for school, or just because they want to blow stuff up, the motivations behind a knights willingness to go into battle are as varied as the number of knights that existed. For every one who was there for selfless, save the innocent reasons, I would bet there where two more who where there to ransome a noble.

I guess I don't see knights as pure as the rest of you. I picture someone more like the character from Twilight Samurai. He is just doing a job. And I think that the men who killed Osama and the men in the previous pictures (of the soldiers not the comic) would say they were just doing there job as well.

Now here we are, having taken a light hearted speculative question about how a modern knight would be equipped and pulled in the motivations of modern soldiers.

When I read the OPs question my first thought was Batman. To me he did seem to be looking for a Kevlar clad motorcyclist wielding a light saber and saving scantily clad damsels. And really what is so terrible about that?

The first sword fighting movie that got me interested in medival weapons, and through them in medival combat techniques was actually Star Wars. The light saber was the first two handed sword I had ever seen, and it blew my mind. And now years later I find myself a grown man driving an hour and a half to attend a weekly class in Fiore's Arte d'armizare. And I go because I absolutely love it.

But I might not have ever looked into it if it hadn't been for Luke trying to block that floating spheres blaster attacks while wearing a spaceship helmet with the blast shield down.

I don't know, maybe I'm a little bewildered after reading whether or not a warbow's arrow could defeat armor and after ten pages the gist was basically " it depends". But these discussions seem to always run towards the hyper serious side of things, even when that doesn't seem to be the vein of the question asked.

I'm not saying that I think that the study of medival culture doesn't deserve serious research and discussion, what I am saying is that the fantasy's that got most of us interested in the romantic idea of knightly culture deserves to be respected in its own right.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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William P




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ive heard it said that the figter pilot is the modern equivelent of the knight

they require massive logistical trains to maintain them.
they are the fastest units on the battlefield. (there are faster jets but most of those are spy planes)

wield some of the heaviest firepower

and also represent the pinaccle of military engineering for the time period (ala, the careful technological upgrading that went into forging the knights harness, carefull shaping and heat treating..

same goes for his weapon.

theyre also the only ones really to engage in one on one duels.

(theres probably a few things wrong with that. but thats one way of looking at it)

and the knights, when mounted,were designed to deliver that heavy shock to an enemy, in the military doctrine of blitzkrieg, that is now relegated to the air force attacks providing the initial softening up.


then theres also the special forces comparison, which works for the primary reason that like the knights, these guys are THE BEST men in the ground forces. with brutally rigorous training. and thus are the masters of the weapons of their day
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