Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Military Manuals and the use of Armour Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
V. LiVolsi




Location: Phoenix, USA
Joined: 19 Aug 2014

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Military Manuals and the use of Armour         Reply with quote

Hello, I've an long time follower of myArmoury, but this is my first meaningful post.

To start, I will be writing a final paper for my major and I am seeking a bit of help. My aim is to examine the the use of armour after the more widespread use of gunpowder weapons. More particularly, reasons why it continued o be worn. For limitations of time and length, I will focus primarily on the 16th and 17th centuries.

What I have come here for is sources. I plan on using the writing of military manuals for evidence. For instance, how one writer would describe how a soldier should be equipped and his reasons. I haven't had too much luck with general internet searches; finding mostly dueling manuals. At the moment, my best work is David Lawrence's The Complete Soldier: Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England. While not a primary source itself, it should hopefully lead to some writers of the 17th century.

I should also mention that English is my primary language, an if a source isn't available online, I may be able to request a source through my school.

So in short, I am looking for military manuals or period writings describing the uses, reasons, and effectiveness of the wearing of armour.

Thank You


Last edited by V. LiVolsi on Tue 19 Aug, 2014 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Begin with Instructions on the Conduct of War by Fourquevaux, Discours politiques et militaires by Francois de la Noue, and Certain Discourses Military as well as Bow versus Gun by Sir John Smythe. There are many others, and even Machiavelli had his writings on the subject, which are worth researching.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Machiavelli, Fourquevaux, and Smythe all positively loved armor. They each make strong argument in its favor, but it's important to remember that their recommendations differed - sometimes dramatically - from common practice. Forquevaux, for example, wanted three-quarters harness and mail hose for each and every ordinary piker if possible. He wrote that in practice generally only soldiers in the front few ranks of any pike formation wore much armor. Another source would be Humphrey Barwick's A Brief Discourse Concerning the Force and Effect of All Manual Weapons of Fire. Barwick championed both guns and armor.
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!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Wed 20 Aug, 2014 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One article that springs to mind is the following.

Eminence over efficacy: social status and cavalry service in sixteenth-century France
Tucker, Treva J.
The Sixteenth Century Journal, Winter, 2001, Vol.32(4), p.1057(39) [Peer Reviewed Journal]
Cengage Learning, Inc.

It's more about the full armor w. lance vs. 3/4 armor w. pistol but I think it fits in the scope of your paper.

I do suggest you compare the statements in this paper with your own observations from other sources because you might find not everything in it is agreeable.
View user's profile Send private message
V. LiVolsi




Location: Phoenix, USA
Joined: 19 Aug 2014

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 24 Aug, 2014 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the suggestions, I think these sources will give me a great start.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't just stick to manuals. If you're trying to look for the actual use of armour in war (instead of what military thinkers say it should be like), you'd probably have more luck checking out military memoirs such as those by Blaise de Monluc, the Seigneur de Bayard (Pierre de Terrail -- I think you'll have an easier time searching for the title "Loyal Servitor" or "Loyal Serviteur"), Francois de la Noue, or John Gwynne.
View user's profile Send private message
V. LiVolsi




Location: Phoenix, USA
Joined: 19 Aug 2014

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First i would like to thank myArmoury and all of its members for providing me with such valuable information. Here is the result of the topic I initially proposed to write. I was not able to get a hold of all of your recommendations, but they were all very helpful. It was written for a more general audience and the first ten pages is background, but you all may be interested in my argument.

Thanks

( I recommend you download it and turn the "Track Changes" off or put in print view. I cannot get my revisions to stay hidden)

https://www.academia.edu/10130759/On_the_Defense_of_Armour
View user's profile Send private message
Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jan, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Has it been graded yet? I have a degree in history myself so I'd be willing to give some feedback, if that would be helpful.
View user's profile Send private message
V. LiVolsi




Location: Phoenix, USA
Joined: 19 Aug 2014

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2015 4:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Raman A wrote:
Has it been graded yet? I have a degree in history myself so I'd be willing to give some feedback, if that would be helpful.


It has been graded already, but thank you. I know there is a lot more I could have done with it and changed, which I might do in the future.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2015 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the paper! I'm particularly interested in weapons and warfare during this period.

I have a few initial comments: The first is that pikes could function well enough as individual weapons. Various 16th-century fencing manuals teach how to wield the pike in single combat. George Silver consider the pike effective for single combat in the open, giving it odds over all weapons shorter than his perfect length of 8-9ft. 16th-century troops frequently used pikes in loose formation, as Fourquevaux and other military writers described. While pikes saw the most use in close formation, and for good reason, the very density of such formations made pikes difficult or impossible to use once opposing soldiers passed the point. That's why pikers had to carry sword and why targetiers could give them trouble.

Second, men-at-arms could and did charge into leveled pikes by various accounts. This wasn't generally a brilliant thing to do, but it happened. Smythe considered this enough of a possibility that he addressed what to do if riders on barded horses pushed through the first five ranks of pikers in his ideal formation.

Third, it's not clear that the modern black powder used in the Graz tests produces higher bullet velocities than period black powder - which by most accounts varied considerably. More importantly, the Graz tests use less powder than 16th-century soldiers did. Sir Roger Williams wrote that muskets got eight to twelve shots from a pound of gunpowder, which makes a charge of over 30 grams likely. Writing earlier in the sixteenth century, Niccolo Tartaglia recommended a charge of about 50 grams. Only the heaviest gun in the Graz tests used even 20 grams of powder. Given how quickly spherical shot loses velocity, late-16th-century heavy muskets would have had to have deliver notably more energy than any of the guns in the Graz tests in order to literally fulfill the claims Williams and Barwick made about them. I tend to think heavy muskets did exactly that, managing 8,000+ joules at the muzzle with a good charge, but it's also possible 16th-century writers exaggerated.

Finally, it's important to keep in mind how much warfare changed during the course of the 16th century as well as in each specific theater. In some ways late 16th-century warfare in the Low Countries was anomalous in how relatively little close combat mattered compared with firearms.

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!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
V. LiVolsi




Location: Phoenix, USA
Joined: 19 Aug 2014

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 16 Jan, 2015 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Benjamin. Those points are all very valuable oversights. If I ever change the paper, I will be sure to either include what you've mentioned or add more variation to what I have said.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Military Manuals and the use of Armour
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 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum