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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 07 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Aug, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: 18th century armour         Reply with quote

I know--it almost sounds absurd. But I know that officers still wore it for portraits; engineers had proof breastplates and sometimes helmets, and this has led me to wonder if there's more. I'd love any help--books, articles, and photos. I know that some cavalry wore 'secrets' which were iron caps under their bicornes/tricornes, and I'd love to see pictures. Bridle gauntlets? A right hand gauntlet for fencing practice?

In a fairly famous duel in Bath, UK, one of the combatants wore a mail shirt, so somebody knew body armour was useful....

Really, anything. I'm looking to expand my horizons...

Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,227

PostPosted: Thu 28 Aug, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know wikipedia is not the most reliable, but what this article says is basically what I've seen written elsewhere, but shorter...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuirassier#Effec...eonic_Wars
Basically, some heavy cavalry units still wore cuirasses during the 18th and even 19th centuries...
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Fri 29 Aug, 2014 12:05 am    Post subject: Re: 18th century armour         Reply with quote

Christian G. Cameron wrote:
I know--it almost sounds absurd. But I know that officers still wore it for portraits; engineers had proof breastplates and sometimes helmets, and this has led me to wonder if there's more. I'd love any help--books, articles, and photos. I know that some cavalry wore 'secrets' which were iron caps under their bicornes/tricornes, and I'd love to see pictures. Bridle gauntlets? A right hand gauntlet for fencing practice?

In a fairly famous duel in Bath, UK, one of the combatants wore a mail shirt, so somebody knew body armour was useful....

Really, anything. I'm looking to expand my horizons...

If I recall, Claude Blair says that in the eighteenth century, the European cavalry with the most armour served some of the German principalities. There are plenty of sources from Africa, India, Bhutan, and Tibet, where many cavalry still wore an iron cap and a quilted or layered coat at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Here is one source:

Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzclarence, later Earl of Munster, "Journal of a route across India, through Egypt, to England, in the later end of the year 1817, and the beginning of 1818" (London: John Murray, 1819) p. 143 wrote:
The irregular cavalry throughout India are mostly dressed in quilted cotton jackets; though the best of these habiliments are not, as I supposed, stuffed with cotton, but are a number of cotton cloths quilted together. This serves as a defensive armour, and when their heads are swathed round, and under the chin, with linen to a thickness of several folds, it is almost hopeless with the sword to make an impression upon them. They also at time stuff their jackets with the refuse silk of the coccoons, which they say will even turn a ball. There is, in England, a similar idea respecting a silken handkerchief."
link

Last edited by Sean Manning on Fri 29 Aug, 2014 3:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Fri 29 Aug, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the War of 1812 boarding caps were a standard item in the American Navy and the British used them, too. I have to assume that they existed before the war but how much earlier I can't say. I always wanted to get a figure 8 cutlass and make a boarding cap to go with it....
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Till J. Lodemann





Joined: 15 Jan 2007

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri 29 Aug, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I remember seeing a couple of breast plates from the battle of Minden (1759) that were displayed in the local museum. Might be some weeks until I go there again but I might take some pictures if there is desire.
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 31 Aug, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote




Top image: Austrian cavalry breastplate from the early 18th Century together with a "Wien" style Zischägge helmet.
Lower image: Austrian cavalry breastplates from the mid-18th Century

In both cases the original lining can still be seen.

Austrian cuirassiers wore back and breastplates at the start of the 18th Century but this was replaced with breastplate only as the century progressed. Zischägge style helmets were retained almost into the 19th century for use against the Ottomans as they provided much needed protection against sabre cuts

"There is nothing more hazardous than to venture a battle. One can lose it
by a thousand unforseen circumstances, even when one has thorougly taken all
precautions that the most perfect military skill allows for."
-Fieldmarshal Lennart Torstensson.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you don't mind secondary (or sometimes tertiary) sources, there's Knotel:

http://www.grosser-generalstab.de/tafeln/knoetel.html

Another place worth checking out is Kronoskaf's Seven Years' War project:

http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=Main_Page (especially the article on the rather unique Buckeburg carabiniers)

Anyway, the 18th century is a fascinating era in its own right as far as armour goes. Some cuirassier regiments wore their cuirasses outside their coats in the time-honoured style, while others wore their inside their coats (presumably cut somewhat looser than the usual military coat of the time). This made for a very different look with otherwise identical uniforms.
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Matias Tonazzi




Location: Buenos Aires
Joined: 13 Jul 2014

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon 01 Sep, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my country we had our Coraceros, founded in 1824 (now they're the 4th Explorarion Light Cavalry Regiment). As armour they only wore a cuirass and a helmet, and when they had to engage in skirmishes they mainly used sabres from horses.

They keep original cuirasses from back then, and wear reproductions on parades.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...030165.jpg
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