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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 2:33 pm    Post subject: Dis-armoring opponent in battle and duels         Reply with quote

Hello

I have a wonder regarding the armor being cut in battle, not the armor itself but the leather straps that keeps the armor on a person. Would it be possible to cut someone's leather straps for a breast and backplate? Would this have been considered by fighting men back in the early days of plate armors? Would a single breastplate would have risked more on the straps being cut and the man losing his torso defense(unless he had mail under)since it's crossed on the back.

Thanks
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,235

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My guess is that it wasn't that big a deal. There *were* some 17th century armors with metal plates riveted to the straps, so it looks like some kind of protection was at least considered, but there are plenty of other armors through the centuries that had exposed leather straps all over the place.

I don't think anyone was really worried about an opponent *deliberately* cutting their straps, since someone with aim that good was more likely to go for the gaps and slice the guy inside. Especially the back straps--if you're behind your opponent, why aim at his *straps*? Plus, one cut strap is rarely a disaster. You'd need to cut 2 at least, and even then the armor might not just fall off.

I sometimes get visitors asking about the lacing down the front and back of my Roman lorica segmentata, and I assure them that even if anyone was lucky (or persistent?) enough to cut 6 laces, a strap, *and* my brass-plated belt, the armor would just sit there, maybe with a slight gap at the front. And that's behind my shield, by the way! Not a likely scenario.

If the original armor had exposed leather straps, I can only conclude that it usually worked for them.

Matthew
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 482

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, the only time I thing aiming for the straps is considered is if you have forced the opponent to the ground, as I way to open up a large enough gap to stab the guy. A leather strap thin enough to be cut quick without being hit by the opponent when he standing and fighting you would be poor strain long term for armor, also, good armor, especially rigid full body late armor, tended to be custom fitted because if it was to big or to small, it can awfully straining to move in or immobilized certain body parts. I think you have played to much Zelda and taken link fighting the Darknuts to serious, non withstanding how cool fighting them is.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, you are right if someone were to be behind me he might go for a kill. Italian armors often had straps exposed in the front and back that upholds the plackart with the breastplate and they never had problem with it for a century it seems.

I have never played Zelda Link game, but I looked at the video it seems he just knocks them off. It was originally brought up by a friend who claims that unarmored samurai would try to aim for armor lacing, but now that I think of it , it would just prolong the fight and make it really tiring.

Thanks for the inputs.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed,

It's a lot easier and much more efficient to knock an armoured man to the ground, lift up his visor and stab him in the face with a sword or a dagger. Trying to slice through straps would be a nightmare unless the person was lying down and holding still. Thus, my guess is that this would not have been a strategy employed in the past. There are far more effective ways to kill a man in plate than trying to remove the straps to target his chest.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 482

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Ed,

It's a lot easier and much more efficient to knock an armoured man to the ground, lift up his visor and stab him in the face with a sword or a dagger. Trying to slice through straps would be a nightmare unless the person was lying down and holding still. Thus, my guess is that this would not have been a strategy employed in the past. There are far more effective ways to kill a man in plate than trying to remove the straps to target his chest.

Well, I wouldn't go that far to say that it wasn't used, even though I agree that makes much more to utilized that strategy, starting from 1:04 on towards to 1:24 of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU49GhxtvVQ , Matt easton describes a sectioned of armoured combat treatises of man cutting a removing straps off a he was fighting on the ground. So, yeah, removing straps then stabbing is a bit inefficient at best, but not necessarily suicidal if you have your opponent on the ground.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,186

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Silver wrote:
For, you honor well knows, that when the battle is joined, there is no room for them to draw their bird-spits, and when they have them, what can they do with them? Can they pierce his corslet with the point? Can they unlace his helmet, unbuckle his armor, hew asunder their pikes with a Stocata, a Reversa, a Dritta, a Stramason or other such tempestuous terms? No, these toys are fit for children, not for men, for straggling boys of the camp, to murder poultry, not for men of honor to try the battle with their foes.


So George Silver mentioned removing enemy armor as a part of a rant against the rapier. The intent appears to have been to mock the rapier more than anything else, but it still shows the idea of removing armor with a sword (well, rapier) existed circa 1600.

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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Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2015 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The one glaring problem I can see with this approach is that while we're concentrating on slicing off the exposed straps and points on the enemy's armour, the enemy would be free to focus on stabbing or cutting the unarmoured targets on our body. There's no point getting the opponent's breastplate to hang askew if it would just get us fatally skewered through the face.
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