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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

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PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Anti-Armour Weapons and Cloth/Light Armour         Reply with quote

How effective are anti-armour weapons, such as warhammers and stilettos, against cloth amour?

Certainly, arrows are surprisingly ineffective against cloth armour.

I'm wondering if the acuteness of a stiletto would be detrimental rather than helpful.
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The effectiveness of textile defences is of course dependent on their construction. A very heavy 25-layer jack will offer considerable protection against both the piercing and impact aspects of for instance a pollaxe, while the typical civilian clothing of 1-3 layers of linen and 1-3 layers of wool will offer much less protection. It can be surprising how much just a few lavers of cloth and a little padding can protect against non full force blows. My experience has been that the ability of a weapon to penetrate cloth is very dependent on the sharpness of the edge. A thin-bladed kitchen knife will probably defeat a few layers of cloth better than a quadrangular stilletto at a certain amount of force. On the other hand, one can apply a lot more force with the stilletto without it bending or breaking.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep, 2012 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Woodruff wrote:
A very heavy 25-layer jack will offer considerable protection against both the piercing and impact aspects of for instance a pollaxe,


Eek! Considerable but still utterly insufficient protection, maybe.

Quote:
My experience has been that the ability of a weapon to penetrate cloth is very dependent on the sharpness of the edge.


Yeah, sharpness seems to be critical.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Scott Woodruff wrote:
A very heavy 25-layer jack will offer considerable protection against both the piercing and impact aspects of for instance a pollaxe,


Eek! Considerable but still utterly insufficient protection, maybe.

Quote:
My experience has been that the ability of a weapon to penetrate cloth is very dependent on the sharpness of the edge.


Yeah, sharpness seems to be critical.


Take a thick piece of leather and using a medium pressure stroke try to cut it with a tired, old and dull exacto blade and do the same with a fresh razor sharp exacto blade: In the first case the exacto might just scratch the surface of the leather and one might be able to cut through the leather but only with a great deal of pressure. In the case of the fresh exacto blade the leather offers almost no resistance.

With a very pointy dagger with a tick blade and butter knife sharp edges trying to get deep into a textile armour means that the blade has to spread apart the tightly woven fibres and although the first few mm of the blade point might be easy to have penetrate the rest of the blade just gets stuck !

Now change the profile to a very pointy and thinner crossection blade with very sharp corners and the edges cut through the fibres rather than pushing them away.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not a test by any means, but I recently wanted to throw away some old overalls.

Deciding it better to cut out the company logo's on them before throwing the overalls in the trash, I took a kitchen knife and tried to first stab through (holding the overall in one hand and the knife in the other, i.e. without backing) and then rip the fabric open.

I managed to do it in the end, but it was by no means easy, neither the stabbing nor the cutting.
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Matt J.





Joined: 26 May 2010

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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So the general consensus is that what is best for dealing with plate armour, won't be as effective against textile armour?
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt J. wrote:
So the general consensus is that what is best for dealing with plate armour, won't be as effective against textile armour?


To an extant, but with various weapons - such as the already mentioned pollaxe - this doesn't much matter. Because of the top-spike's rigidity and textile armor's flexibility, even a thrust that didn't penetrate could inflict serious injury. And a full blow from an athletic wielder would of course deliver devastating blunt trauma.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:


To an extant, but with various weapons - such as the already mentioned pollaxe - this doesn't much matter. Because of the top-spike's rigidity and textile armor's flexibility, even a thrust that didn't penetrate could inflict serious injury. And a full blow from an athletic wielder would of course deliver devastating blunt trauma.

Considerable but still utterly insufficient protection, maybe.

.


Citation needed?

There's unfortunately not much hard data about it, but in any case 25 layers of linen forms considerably heavy, stiff and cumbersome garment, with serious padding factor into it.

I doubt that anyone would bother if they were 'utterly' insufficient and 'didn't matter" against as common weapons as all kind of heavy axes/poleaxes stabbing spears and so on.


Maybe there's some source suggesting otherwise though, don't know.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Sep, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Agreed. A garment with that many layers is completely rigid. The wearer "floats" inside it and is unlikely to suffer blunt trauma any more severe than if he was wearing solid plate.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 16 Sep, 2012 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This of course depends on the wich "generation" of cloth armour we are looking at. The 25-30 layer jacks of the 15th century would probably stand up to idividual attacks.
Quite naturally, since this was the kind of weapons they where made to face.
However, since the figthing style was adapted to fight men in heavy armour, and repeated strikes and/or wrestling was the main tactic, they would probably sucumb in the same situations as men in plate, but a little quicker.


Cloth armour relies on the integrety of each layers cloth weave. As such, a cutting edgre that severs the threads is more efficient than a spike that tries to force its way through the weave. For instance, curved blades seem to do well against cloth.
A sharp edged spike, like a narrow spear point, might be the best.

There is an old spotlight topic with some rather extensive tests on cloth armour with various weapons. Though not perfectly representative, it demonstrates some of the mechanics involved:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11131

"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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