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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Dec, 2015 3:00 am    Post subject: Gamboised cuisses         Reply with quote

Did gamboised cuisses appear in the 12 century ? this new protection allow the shield and the hauberk to be shorter ? Did this enhance the mobility of the soldier ?
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Shahril Dzulkifli




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Dec, 2015 5:04 am    Post subject: Gamboised cuisses         Reply with quote

Gamboised cuisses? Do you mean these, Alexis?

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Dec, 2015 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The current evidence seems to indicate it was a bit later, in the first or second decade of the 13th century. The Maciejowski Bible shows an infantryman putting on a gamboissed cuisse, even though he doesn't have mail chausses, and likely isn't usually mounted. Like gambesons, they might have been the sole leg protection for burghers, and an additional defense coupled with mail for mounted men.

Leg armor, including mail chausses, aren't very common until the second half of the 12th century. The adoption of mail chausses and gamboissed cuisses worn together might have meant a longer shield was no longer necessary.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Dec, 2015 11:56 am    Post subject: Re: Gamboised cuisses         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:
Gamboised cuisses? Do you mean these, Alexis?

Gamboised cuisses were standalone quilted thigh protection but were sometimes layered over the top of mail. The pieces in this pic are way too light to provide any kind of protection and seem more suitable as underpadding.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 1:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another question about gamboised cuisses : It seems only the thigh and knee was protected by more than mail and underpadding, so can we say that lower legs was not a usual target for bludgening strike and projectile and spears was stopped by mail and underpadding alone ?
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 1:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is no evidence for them being laced up the back either. The Maciejowski Bible example appears to be a sewn tube (conical bore) pulled up the leg.


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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz

Pretty much anything will stop a sword cut. Proper armour will stop a spear or arrow point.

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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz


Yes. You need good form and a sharp sword to reliably cut through even relatively thin layers of cloth or padding. Some cloth armor was quite thick but even lesser stuff could prevent a marginal strike from seriously wounding you.

Alexis Bataille wrote:
Another question about gamboised cuisses : It seems only the thigh and knee was protected by more than mail and underpadding, so can we say that lower legs was not a usual target for bludgening strike and projectile and spears was stopped by mail and underpadding alone ?


It's pretty common to see footsoldiers throughout history foregoing armor below the knee and this leads some people to believe that there aren't any good targets on the leg. That's not true, the legs contain some of the largest blood vessels in the body and getting a leg chopped off will drop you in your tracks and for all intents and purposes render you immobile. Hikers say that 1lbs carried on the foot is equal to 5lbs carried on the body and something like this is a more likely explanation for the observed phenomena. The cuisses in Mart's link would protect the largest blood vessels in the legs where they are the easiest to hit so they're an efficient compromise.
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz

Pretty much anything will stop a sword cut. Proper armour will stop a spear or arrow point.

I was talking about the bruising/breaking bone effect, what was the main damage in until mid 13th century knight foot fight.


Last edited by Alexis Bataille on Sun 13 Dec, 2015 3:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 3:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Ruhala wrote:
Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz


Yes. You need good form and a sharp sword to reliably cut through even relatively thin layers of cloth or padding. Some cloth armor was quite thick but even lesser stuff could prevent a marginal strike from seriously wounding you.

Alexis Bataille wrote:
Another question about gamboised cuisses : It seems only the thigh and knee was protected by more than mail and underpadding, so can we say that lower legs was not a usual target for bludgening strike and projectile and spears was stopped by mail and underpadding alone ?


It's pretty common to see footsoldiers throughout history foregoing armor below the knee and this leads some people to believe that there aren't any good targets on the leg. That's not true, the legs contain some of the largest blood vessels in the body and getting a leg chopped off will drop you in your tracks and for all intents and purposes render you immobile. Hikers say that 1lbs carried on the foot is equal to 5lbs carried on the body and something like this is a more likely explanation for the observed phenomena. The cuisses in Mart's link would protect the largest blood vessels in the legs where they are the easiest to hit so they're an efficient compromise.


I don't say lower legs armour was useless , just that mail and underpadding was enough against spears while knee/upper leg was still vulneable to bruise/breakage to heavy sword strike (type X to type XIII mainly)
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Mike Ruhala




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexis Bataille wrote:

I don't say lower legs armour was useless , just that mail and underpadding was enough against spears while knee/upper leg was still vulneable to bruise/breakage to heavy sword strike (type X to type XIII mainly)


In open steel HEMA tournaments nearly everyone wears shin and knee guards but a great many people(including myself) don't wear much or any padding on their thighs. The swords we use are blunt but they're typically stiff, heavy steel swung by people who hit like trucks. In terms of blunt impact the thighs have some of the largest muscle over the strongest bones in the body, the hips are actually much more vulnerable to blunt force impacts. Based on this experience I'm inclined to believe the cuisses are there to deal with attacks from sharp weapons rather than blunt force. Ribs are a whole nother story, if you aren't wearing padding or plates on your ribs they'll be broken to pieces in short order.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mobility and costs are important factors. The English don't require burghers and free men to have gambesons until the 1181 Assize. The long skirts offer some protection to the thigh, but not to the inner thigh where the femoral artery is closer to the surface. A cut making it beneath the gambeson could be deadly within a few minutes.

The cost of maintaining arms which might be rarely used was a burden on the non-noble classes. Marching for several hours per day wearing a few additional pounds or kilograms of mail on the legs would be a burden for those on foot, so armor was transported by wagon. Mounted men were more prone to being hit in the legs than foot soldiers, but could manage the extra weight since they weren't walking. The risk of a broken shin, even with mail, was noticable enough for shynbalds to be worn over the front of the tibia by 1240-1250, though a broken shin might not have as much impact on a mounted man, who could still flee, as it would on a foot soldier.

Thigh armor seems to have improved enough by the first decade of the 14th century to sometimes replace the mail chausses with mail chaussons, from hose to socks.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexis Bataille wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz

Pretty much anything will stop a sword cut. Proper armour will stop a spear or arrow point.

I was talking about the bruising/breaking bone effect, what was the main damage in until mid 13th century knight foot fight.

Bruising is a normal part of going to battle and the femur is one of the strongest bones in the human body. It is very diffcult to break. I doubt that a sword could do it regardless of what kind of armour is being worn.

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would the padding over mail reduce wear an tear of a saddle as opposed to just plain mail? I don't think that was the primary consideration that led to them being used but it sounds like a possible added benefit.
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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
There is no evidence for them being laced up the back either. The Maciejowski Bible example appears to be a sewn tube (conical bore) pulled up the leg.

I don't how one piece cone conforms to the upper leg as much as depicted, From my experience, canvas doesn't really strech that much. Is wool that stretch so that is acts like a sock?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Dec, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think all of the "stretch" that's needed comes from the compression of the loose cotton fill. You could always cut the fabric on the bias for a bit of give, though the King's mirror specifically calls for them to be made of stout linen (lérepti) in the same manner as the gambeson. Thom Richardson cites 14th century records for gamboissed cuisses covered in patterned silk or embroidered examples. I've never seen a reference for using wool for them.

En ţenna um búnađ ţarf mađrinn sjálf ađ hafa: góđar hosur ok
linar, görvar af blautu lérepti ok vel svörtuđu, ok taki ţćr alt til
brókabeltis en utan yfir ţćr góđar brynhosur svá hávar at mađr
megi gyrđa ţćr um sik tviföldum sveip; en utan yfir ţat ţá ţarf
hann at hafa góđar brynbrśkr görvar međ lérepti at ţeim hćtti sem
fyrr hefi ek sagt; en ţar um utan ţarf hann at hafa góđar knébjargir,
görvar međ bykku járni ok međ stálhörđum nöddum.


But this grim equipment is required of the man for himself: good hose and
loose, made of soft canvas and well blacked, and take them up to
the trousers belt but outside of them good mail hose so high that a man
may gird them for himself double wrapped; but outside of it he then needs
to have good armored breeches made with canvas, in the manner
which I have said before, and on the outside he needs good knee-plates,
made with proven iron and steel hard nodes.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Dec, 2015 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Alexis Bataille wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Alexis Bataille wrote:
Ok, nice, So gamboised cuisses need to be thick enought to stop a one handed sword strike, did anyone try it ? Razz

Pretty much anything will stop a sword cut. Proper armour will stop a spear or arrow point.

I was talking about the bruising/breaking bone effect, what was the main damage in until mid 13th century knight foot fight.

Bruising is a normal part of going to battle and the femur is one of the strongest bones in the human body. It is very diffcult to break. I doubt that a sword could do it regardless of what kind of armour is being worn.

Ok, forget the breakage of the femur, in fact it's unlikely.
But lower and upper legs is roughly the same target for spears and projectiles so why protect the upper leg so better ?
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jan, 2016 2:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Mart Shearer wrote:
There is no evidence for them being laced up the back either. The Maciejowski Bible example appears to be a sewn tube (conical bore) pulled up the leg.

I don't how one piece cone conforms to the upper leg as much as depicted, From my experience, canvas doesn't really strech that much. Is wool that stretch so that is acts like a sock?


It doesn't really "conform." If we follow the depiction in the Maciejowski Bible, it was actually rather loose, and probably held up by points tied to a belt or cord worn with the braies rather than kept in place by fit and friction.
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