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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: Use of Greathelm in foot combat ?         Reply with quote

Just to hijack this post and turn it into a topic myself. Razz Laughing Out Loud ( Highjacking the highjacker one might say. Wink )

George Hill wrote:
If it's not too much of a hijack, how much evidence do we have for the use of the greathelm when fighting on foot?


So, were Greathelms mostly used on horseback as superior protection against other Knights using the Lance and would it generally be removed in foot combat for more visibility and ease of breathing.

I would assume that riding would get you less winded than fighting on foot ? Although I don't want to underestimate the amount of physical effort one uses when riding, but I would think fighting or running in armour would be more demanding and fatiguing.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that generally they were typically used by horsemen as they are limited visibility and ventilation BUT, I think having fought on the ground in one for some time it is not impossible, nor is it worse than the 15th century sallet I used. The game of armour is trade offs and I am sure this was one of them. There is to further validate this, 13th and 14th century depictions of men in great helms fighting on foot. In my opinion it IS a knightly helmet in the 13th more than anything else but in the 13th most knights seems to have fought on horseback (of course that is not 100% either). I would say it is fine for fighting on foot.

Randall
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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having looked at Greathelms in pictures, I've rather come to the conclusion that the great helm 'may' have come in two types. One with large eyeslits for general use, and one with very small eyeslits for mounted only.

Now, I'm certain of the existance of the second kind, which would be rather unsuitable for fighting on foot, (The famous Pembridge helm is such a peice, and if you look at a photo of the original you will see what I mean.)

But did the other kind, with large eyeholes, exist? I haven't seen a historical example, but I would very much like to. Can anyone help?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://home.tiscali.be/klauwaer/helm/

this page will be most useful in your search
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can fight duels wearing a greathelm, but moivng in any kind of terrain would be very awkward.
Also, a group battle proveds you with lots of new and exiting angles to be struck from.

Further more, the combination of kettlehat and shield already provides ample protection for the face, without the tradeoffs.
When fighting on foot, I'd definitely go with the kettlehat, or the cervilet.
There are of course exceptions. For instance, there are pictures of dismounted knights wearing greathelms during sieges.
Here there is lots of missile fire, and the risk of blindsided is not a problem.


BTW; I found out why the knights in Codex Manesse always have a maiden on their arm! It improves you Greathelmeted walking speed by 50-100%, because you do not need to look at the ground all the time!
(From personal experience, being grabbed by the arm by maiden and led/dragged to different part of castle.)
Kids are also notorius for slipping in "under the radar", if you are not paying attention.

However, the most fun you are ever going to have with your greathelm is browsing market stands!
Imagine, you are standing behind your counter.
Up walks a knight, in full armour, shield on his back, spear on his shoulder, sword and dagger, and greathelm...
He stops, right in front of the counter, and starts slowly looking around in totally random direction.
Little do you know that he is in fact looking at your merchandise through the breathing holes in his helm...
Razz

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whenever I wear my great helm, I tend to trip over things. Downward visibility is nil as is upward and peripheral visibility. I know I wouldn't wear one on foot.
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jul, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tend to like Kettle Hats myself. A Sallet almost the same if one isn't using a Bevor as that seems as restrictive of vision as the Greathelm. Of course with many Sallets / Bevor one can raise a visor or lower an upper bevor plate.

Different period but a Nasal Spangenhelm with coif I also like and with good shield use as Elling mentioned with a Kettle Hat, coverage should be good without loosing situational awareness.

( Note: My personal experience is limited to costume use, collecting and just thinking about it based on just trying some different types of head protection on. Wink )

If one can look at these comparatively as designs and not consider " period " anachronisms one can just evaluated use by what seems to work best.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Modern grathelm slits are incorrectly made, the slits in historical examples are slanted downward: I just patterned in cardboard a Von Prankh helm, visibility improved with donward slitsn since I could see rather well on my side.

Only the area just before my feet stod blank.

My Von Prankh hemet is being constructed, I willl be armoring during weekend, for now it is only a couple of iron sheets with patetrns designed over it.



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von_pramkh.jpg

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Max von Bargen




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 7:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to admit, my experience with different types of head protection is limited solely to great helms, so I am unable to compare them to any other types. However, I've found my helm to be perfectly adequate for fighting on foot. It certainly does make it pretty difficult to look down and make sure you're not going to trip over anything, but I'd definitely use it in a group battle since it would give excellent protection against missiles and in a group battle (hopefully) one's comrades would be watching one's flanks. Even considering that, I've found that most of the field of view restrictions are vertical--I can see to the sides pretty well. Overall, when wearing my helm, I feel a considerable increase in protection at a very small cost. Of course, all of this is limited to my experience with my one great helm, which I'm not sure is a great representative of great helms as a whole.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jul, 2006 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Max von Bargen wrote:
I have to admit, my experience with different types of head protection is limited solely to great helms, so I am unable to compare them to any other types. However, I've found my helm to be perfectly adequate for fighting on foot. It certainly does make it pretty difficult to look down and make sure you're not going to trip over anything, but I'd definitely use it in a group battle since it would give excellent protection against missiles and in a group battle (hopefully) one's comrades would be watching one's flanks. Even considering that, I've found that most of the field of view restrictions are vertical--I can see to the sides pretty well. Overall, when wearing my helm, I feel a considerable increase in protection at a very small cost. Of course, all of this is limited to my experience with my one great helm, which I'm not sure is a great representative of great helms as a whole.


Welcome and thanks for posting, I wonder if minor design issues can have a lot of impact on the degree of field of view: As mentioned angling the sights down can improve peripheral vision and the number and size of breath holes can increase the field of view at least to the degree that moving objects will be detectable to some degree through the breaths.

As with anything practice makes things easier than they might seem with very limited experience.

A properly fitted suspension and a well designed Greathelm would put the sights at the best possible distance and angle to maximize vision even with very narrow sights ??? A small sight if close the the eyes gives better vision than a wider sight too far away I think ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Sat 29 Jul, 2006 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Max von Bargen wrote:
I have to admit, my experience with different types of head protection is limited solely to great helms, so I am unable to compare them to any other types. However, I've found my helm to be perfectly adequate for fighting on foot. It certainly does make it pretty difficult to look down and make sure you're not going to trip over anything, but I'd definitely use it in a group battle since it would give excellent protection against missiles and in a group battle (hopefully) one's comrades would be watching one's flanks. Even considering that, I've found that most of the field of view restrictions are vertical--I can see to the sides pretty well. Overall, when wearing my helm, I feel a considerable increase in protection at a very small cost. Of course, all of this is limited to my experience with my one great helm, which I'm not sure is a great representative of great helms as a whole.


Welcome and thanks for posting, I wonder if minor design issues can have a lot of impact on the degree of field of view: As mentioned angling the sights down can improve peripheral vision and the number and size of breath holes can increase the field of view at least to the degree that moving objects will be detectable to some degree through the breaths.

As with anything practice makes things easier than they might seem with very limited experience.

A properly fitted suspension and a well designed Greathelm would put the sights at the best possible distance and angle to maximize vision even with very narrow sights ??? A small sight if close the the eyes gives better vision than a wider sight too far away I think ?


I think a perfectly suspension is vital to ensure visibility.

Any helm/helmet is just a pot on one's head without a proper suspension, it is terh supsension that makes the difefrence between a mediocre helmet and a good one.
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