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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Medieval Cavarly combat-Sword or Mace/Warhammer/axe Reply to topic
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Andrew Huang




Location: Vancouver
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Medieval Cavarly combat-Sword or Mace/Warhammer/axe         Reply with quote

Most Medieval tapestries seem to show Knights on horseback vs other knights on horseback by bashing each other with swords. Yes the lance was the Knight's primary weapon but likely ditched after the charge. So for close in horse fighting do those tapestries are accrurate of just for show? Because against armor a sword is difficult to damage the enemy without bashing with the grip or half-sword which is difficult on horseback with one hand on reins. I suppose some swords were heavier to do blunt damage I believe Mike Loads shown. To wrap it up, was the sword a more common weapon to use on horseback against armored Knights than mace/warhamer/axe?

I believe Robert the Bruce and RIchard I is more depicted with the axe rather than the sword.

Andy Huang
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would think that since swords were so expensive at the time(and now too! Laughing Out Loud ), a mace, hammer or axe would be the primary weapon....after the lance was used, dropped or broken. The sword would be a last-ditch weapon, only used in extreme circumstances or to finish off a downed opponent. Other opinions may vary. Wink .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition, I would also think that a long bladed dagger would probably even be used before a sword to deliver the death-blow of a downed enemy. Wink Easier to get in the cracks of armor, or a helmet visor slot. Kinda morbid...but such was the nature of medieval warfare. Eek! ........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Andrew Huang




Location: Vancouver
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah I think a lot of pictures are for show maybe?





Andy Huang
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well...I'm not saying that swords weren't used....They definitely were! I guess I was generally referring to one-on-one combat, as opposed to mass attack. The medieval artist DID paint what he saw....most of the time. Wink ...McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Mar, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Case in point of the medieval artist and his use of 'artistic license'....in the second photo, the 'tower' in the center looks more like a 'porta-potty' in scale to the knights and horses. Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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J. Douglas




PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, as others have said that was probably artistic licence, or perhaps these pictures were meant to represent the battle perhaps an hour AFTER the initial clash, as by then I'm sure more Knights would be resorting to swords as their maces beak, etc.

In fact, another point of evidence we could use to show that war hammers and maces were favoured over swords is that it is known that in some treatises/manuals and chronicles, we can see Knights block other Knights lances.... with their Warhammers.

And some poeple, like myself, actually believe that this was a more-common tactic then we think. But I have no evidence for this opinion...just sepulation. Big Grin

~JD (James)
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Andrew Huang




Location: Vancouver
Joined: 14 Mar 2017

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 10:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Douglas wrote:

In fact, another point of evidence we could use to show that war hammers and maces were favoured over swords is that it is known that in some treatises/manuals and chronicles, we can see Knights block other Knights lances.... with their Warhammers.

Can you give me a source?

Andy Huang
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J. Douglas




PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Andrew Huang wrote:
J. Douglas wrote:

In fact, another point of evidence we could use to show that war hammers and maces were favoured over swords is that it is known that in some treatises/manuals and chronicles, we can see Knights block other Knights lances.... with their Warhammers.

Can you give me a source?

Oh yes, I forgot to say,

That came from a secondary source, but I have seen it twice. Once in a Wikipedia page, (in a picture) and then I tried to find the source of the picture, it was a French (I think it was) museum. the other time I heard about this was by Matt Easton, Schalogladitoria YouTube channel. But I had heard about this from a freind once, and it does also seem to be, well, common sense.

~JD (James)
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Mar, 2017 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The same thing occurs in Japanese art. If one believes the pictorial evidence one would think that samurai ran around the battlefield swinging their katanas about when in reality they relied on polearms just like everyone else.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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