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Jeanry Chandler




Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On heat,

I have also noticed, and I think many folks have commented on this, that when wearing a gambeson in battle, even when it is cool, you fairly quickly sweat so much that the sweat soak right through it. Fighting, (well sparring in my experience) with swords is about twice as intensive as playing basketball. But what happens, for me, is that when the gamebson is wet, it actually cools you off a lot. (This only works with some materials. I had one made of a moving blanket which was polyester based and i had to throw it away. ) The material has to breathe.

Matthew Amt of the Legio XX said roughly the same thing about a Greek linothorax he made.

I also agree with the concept of insulation, particularly in the morning, of keeping the metal from burning you. lets not also forget that clothing of some kind is needed to prevent sun burn.

J

"A strong people do not ned a strong leader."

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2005 5:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
"Brigandine" does not equal "lamellar". I agree that a brigandine is better than both mail and lamellar in many respects. If you want to discuss brigs, that is fine but don't confuse the issue by equating them with lamellar.


Okay. I'd still be interested in hearing what evidence there is for mail being superior to lamellar.

Also, we have to remember that all this stuff isn't the same. Chinese brigandine armour is a little different than the European version, and Japanese lamellar isn't identical to Middle Eastern lamellar. And where do Middle Eastern plates and mail armours fit in?
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2005 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeanry Chandler wrote:
...The issue about the quality of iron in the armor had to do with the widespread production of homogeneous iron in the west, particularly pioneered by the Franks specifically. The Vikings, who had their own version of "Damascus" (in this case pattern welded) steel swords, also bought plenty from the Franks, so many in fact that they lost the ability to make pattern welded swords. The reason is that the Franks had developed superior methods for smelting large amounts of homogeneous iron of uniform quality. Good uniform quality. This had a lot to do with the rapid spread of certain technologies, most important among them probably the overwash waterwheel, spread by the Cistercian monks IIRC. This increased the output of water wheels for mills by a factor of six or eight (can't remember exactly). This was in turn utilized by water powered (i.e Barcelona) trip hammers and water powered bellows. All of this helped them to start mass producing homegenous iron of uniformly excellent quality all in vast quanities.

Bottom line, the VIkings were making iron from bog-iron, and coming up with tiny nodules of iron of vastly different quality, anything from low carbon wrought iron to high carbon cast iron on each extreme to small amounts of iron suitible for swords and for armor.
What I remember reading was that the Russians had similar problems with their iron armor, which is which made mail potentially inconsistent, and that was why they augmented it so much with plates.

Quote:

Furthermore in his “Oriental Armour” H. R. Robinson states that “many pieces of Mamluk armour have been have been recognised for their excellence of quality, finish and decoration.” Of course this was referring to 15th and 16th century armour, but it is still armour from Egypt and Syria.


Yeah, but we are definately talking about a rather vastly different era here. I understand that the Ottomans eventually were producing bullet-proof tempered steel breastplates and even shields at one point, but that really isn't relavent to the era we are discussing...
JR


Thanks for the information on iron and steel, I have to admit metallurgy is something I've never paid much attention to in the past, but obviously it is highly significant when armour is under discussion Happy.

I have also heard about the Ottomans producing bullet-proof armour and shields, I think this is understandable considering the emphasis the Ottomans placed on gunpowder weapons and also because the Ottomans were still using armour well into the 18th century. I think the situation is different with regards to the Mamluk Sultanate though; the mamluks had a fairly notorious blind spot where firearms were concerned, they basically didn't consider them to be serious weapons. This eventually cost them dear as they were defeated by the Ottomans (who made extensive use of battlefield artillary and matchlock muskets) at the battles of Marg Dabiq in 1516 and Raydaneyyah in 1517. These defeats lead to the Ottoman conquest of Egypt and Syria and the end of the Mamluk Kingdom in 1517. So while Ottoman armour may have been bullet-proof, the mamluks were mentally still living in the pre-gunpowder era, I think the mail they were using in 1517 AD was probably almost identical to the mail they were using aginst Crusaders in 1249 AD. Obviously this is purely my opinion and I have no evidence whatsoever to back this up Big Grin. Any real evidence would be welcomed with open arms.

I found all the information on gambesons extremely enlightening. I have been in Egypt in summer and it is umbearably hot, yet Sudan is even hotter and Sudanese "knights" were wearing mail shirts over quilted gambesons as recently as 1899 AD! If someone can wear a padded gambeson in Sudan, I'm sure they could also do it in Syria and Egypt.

Sudanese mail shirt, mail aventail and gambeson, 19th century, Royal Armouries, UK. The helmet (minus the aventail) is 15th-16th century Mamluk:


The only confirmed pieces of Medieval Islamic lamellar armour from the Middle-east that I know of are the ones described on pages 180-181 of David Nicolle's "Arms and armour of the Crusadin Era 1050-1350, Islam, Eastern Europe and Asia". He describes fragments of 12th-13th century iron and leather lamellar armour found in Northern Iraq. He gives no information about the quality of the iron or the thickness of the lamellae, this is hardly surprising as the entire collection is as yet unpublished.

Hardened leather lamellae, Northern Iraq, late12th-13th centuries


P - interior
Q - exterior
R-S - Smaller rows of laced leather lamellae.
T-X - fragments of a pair of leather hats
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeanry Chandler wrote:
Even if I assume that to be true, (which I dont because i remember seeing reliefs of hittite armor with the lames overlapping upward) it doesn't have much bearing on the argument. Certainly you aren't trying to say that Lamellar wasn't well known to the medieval Europeans?


This has been covered before. Plate overlap is irrelevant. If the plates are attached to a backing then it is scale. If the plates are attached to each other such that there is no need for a backing then it is lamellar. The Egyptian, Hittite, Assyrian, Sumerian armour is all scale armour.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul, 2005 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Lindberg wrote:
On Japanese armour.
4. Maille. In my study, Japanese maille was almost always used to simply connect armour plates, and was never riveted. As anyone who has cut against butted maille can tell you, it does not stand up to abuse. At all. High quality steel or not. (And does anyone else wonder about this high quality steel thing; the Japanese used a variant of the bloomery furnace, so the product would bee a bloom of wrough iron, steel and cast iron. The Japanese would never be so impractical as to throw out the rest of the bloom, so what did they do with the iron?)


Another thing to keep in mind is that the Japanese almost always lacquered their mail and sewed it to a fabric backing. Both actions would increase damage resistance a little.

Iron would be used for the core of swords, making wire for mail, sent to the blacksmith for mundane iron items, etc.
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Tyler Weaver




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
1. Material. The majority of the lames on most suits were made of rawhide. This would simply not stand up the same amount of abuse as steel.


"Most suits"? From which period? Old o-yoroi armors often had every other lame be leather, but they had enough overlap involved in the construction that there was a continuous coverage of steel anyways. To my knowledge, leather was only rarely used for major structural elements during the Sengoku, so I would be very interested in seeing some support for this blanket statement.

Quote:
2. Lacing. The lames could in more extreme cases be punctured for the lacing to the poin of being so structurally weak that they could not stand up to any abuse, much less that of a battle.


Is this a subjective judgement or an objective, tested judgement? Fully-laced Japanese armor has a lot of holes, but I'd bet the lacing adds strength to the arrangement.

Quote:
3. Damaging. One key difference that makes lamellar clearly inferior to plate is the simple truth that the overlap of plates is going to catch an opponent's blade, or point. (this is also true of maille, but none the less...)
Plate, especially from 1400 (or so) onward (in Europe), was designed to present a glancing surface, this is especially important against thrusts.


None of the Japanese lamellar I've seen has struck me as being particularly liable to catch points. I doubt it deflected as well as plate, but the Japanese also made extensive use of solid (often bulletproof!) plate armor in areas that would be catching spears the most.

Quote:
4. Maille. In my study, Japanese maille was almost always used to simply connect armour plates, and was never riveted. As anyone who has cut against butted maille can tell you, it does not stand up to abuse. At all. High quality steel or not. (And does anyone else wonder about this high quality steel thing; the Japanese used a variant of the bloomery furnace, so the product would bee a bloom of wrough iron, steel and cast iron. The Japanese would never be so impractical as to throw out the rest of the bloom, so what did they do with the iron?)


Almost always used to connect armor plates? Look at a Japanese armor sleeve - the upper arms are often mostly maille defenses. Moreover, calling Japanese maille "butted", while correct in the sense that it was unriveted, is a misnomer - there is a large amount of overlap involved in the construction (some rings were made with two or three twists of wire) and it's probably very solid. It's not like they didn't know about riveted international-pattern maille - it shows up in Japanese harnesses sometimes, but they didn't normally use it for a reason.

Aku. Soku. Zan.
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Martin G




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 4:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:


The only confirmed pieces of Medieval Islamic lamellar armour from the Middle-east that I know of are the ones described on pages 180-181 of David Nicolle's "Arms and armour of the Crusadin Era 1050-1350, Islam, Eastern Europe and Asia". He describes fragments of 12th-13th century iron and leather lamellar armour found in Northern Iraq. He gives no information about the quality of the iron or the thickness of the lamellae, this is hardly surprising as the entire collection is as yet unpublished.

Hardened leather lamellae, Northern Iraq, late12th-13th centuries


P - interior
Q - exterior
R-S - Smaller rows of laced leather lamellae.
T-X - fragments of a pair of leather hats


I can't see a picture

I'm from Poland and I don't have any access to that book. I belong to Historical Reconstruction group and we plain to reconstruct saladin's warriors. We search: swords, lamellar armours, helmets, daily used items, tents. If someone of You have any information about this We would be very grateful for help.

Best regards
marcin

p.s. sorry for my english

Nizar Abd al-Malik al-Asim
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello everyone!

I am sending you two pictures, which I took in The Slovakian Historical Museum about a month ago. The both armours are dated about the time of the battle of Mohacs, so we can say that they are at the same age. Note that the Turkish armour IS NOT an heavy cavalryman's armour. It misses also the maile. (Sorry for the blicks over the glass Happy )
So, I think that at that time the European armour is better than the Islamic in its protection capabilities. The Turkish victories were deu more to the higher discipline of the troops (note, for exaple the battle of Varna, 1444) and/or numerical advantage, rather than any significant superiority in the arms and armour. These deductions, of course, have elements of simplicity, but in general are correct.

Best regards!
Boris



 Attachment: 47.85 KB
1.JPG


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2.JPG



Last edited by Boris Bedrosov on Tue 22 Nov, 2005 11:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin G wrote:

I can't see a picture

I'm from Poland and I don't have any access to that book. I belong to Historical Reconstruction group and we plain to reconstruct saladin's warriors. We search: swords, lamellar armours, helmets, daily used items, tents. If someone of You have any information about this We would be very grateful for help.

Best regards
marcin

p.s. sorry for my english


My word, you have dug up a really ancient Topic there! Big Grin

Anyway i think these were the pictures, i don't know why the link isn't working any more though.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys...12th_C.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys...13th_C.jpg

Mamluk horse-archer 13th-14th century:


Mamluk heavy cavalryman, 13th-14th century:
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys...14th_C.jpg




And we were discussing a similar subject here:
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=54732
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Martin G




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham: I just found this forum Happy

Well ... We have just started to reconstruct Saladin's army. We're military-reconstrucion group. We want to reconstruct clothing style of life and of course fight. In my opinion We're good fighters, we fight hard with occasional mercy Wink

Regards
Martin

Nizar Abd al-Malik al-Asim
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Petrov Bedrosov wrote:
Hello everyone!

I am sending you two pictures, which I took in The Slovakian Historical Museum about a month ago. The both armours are dated about the time of the battle of Mohacs, so we can say that they are at the same age. Note that the Turkish armour IS NOT an heavy cavalryman's armour. It misses also the maile. (Sorry for the blicks over the glass Happy )
So, I think that at that time the European armour is better than the Islamic in its protection capabilities. The Turkish victories were deu more to the higher discipline of the troops (note, for exaple the battle of Varna, 1444) and/or numerical advantage, rather than any significant superiority in the arms and armour. These deductions, of course, have elements of simplicity, but in general are correct.

Best regards!
Boris


Greetings Boris! Glad to have you aboard. I would suggest , though, that the Western-style armour shown in your post is not from Mohacs, as it looks to me to be from about a hundred years later. The curators must have mislabled it at the Slovakian museum. It's definitely of the style popular during the 30-Years War, though it could possibly be from the very late 16th Century.

Thanks for the post, and for resurecting a very interesting thread.

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Gordon!

You may be right, I don't know. Surprised Actually, I'm not so big fan (did you see what ugly word I used Laughing Out Loud ) of the European armour. So, my knowledge about them is not so wide as I want it to be. My great passion are the Japanese arms and armour and European swords (in wider meaning of the word) .
I'm glad that you like the pictures.

Best regards!
Boris
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Hisham!

Do you know something more about the origin and evolution of the Saladin's army armours?
I am asking this, because cuirass on the picture in your last post seems to me similar with classical Japanese scale do, and the lacing is a little bit similar, too.
What do you think? Is there any historical connection between them, or this is just one more example, in which similar basis and conditions in the beginning bring to similar results in the end?

Best regards!
Boris
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Petrov Bedrosov wrote:
Hi, Hisham!

Do you know something more about the origin and evolution of the Saladin's army armours?
I am asking this, because cuirass on the picture in your last post seems to me similar with classical Japanese scale do, and the lacing is a little bit similar, too.
What do you think? Is there any historical connection between them, or this is just one more example, in which similar basis and conditions in the beginning bring to similar results in the end?

Best regards!
Boris


AFAIK we know very little about 12th century Islamic armour from the Middle-East, as all that survives is fragments and highly stylised depictions.

The lamellar armour worn by 12th century Islamic warriors was probably reintroduced to the Middle-East by the Seljuq Turks when they invaded Iran, Iraq and Syria in the 11th century, prior to that mail was probably the most common type of metal armour. However lamellar armour was widely used in Central Asia.

I suppose there can't be many ways of constructing a lamellar cuirass, which is why they look similar, regardless of their origin. Saying that though Japanese armours seem a lot more complex than other lamellar armours. Happy
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Hisham!

Can we conclude that both Islamic and Japanese cuirasses are developed independently?
From that you posted me, I made this conclusion, because at the time you meant (11th - 12th century) the cuirass of the Japanese o-yoroi had already evolved to its classical design.
Also, there are no sources about any military contacts between the Islamic world and Japan

Best regards!
Boris
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Boris Petrov Bedrosov wrote:
Hi, Hisham!

Can we conclude that both Islamic and Japanese cuirasses are developed independently?
From that you posted me, I made this conclusion, because at the time you meant (11th - 12th century) the cuirass of the Japanese o-yoroi had already evolved to its classical design.
Also, there are no sources about any military contacts between the Islamic world and Japan

Best regards!
Boris


well, the Islamic lamellar cuirass is probably descended from Central Asian lamellar armours. I know that early Japanese armour was influenced by Chinese armour. Presumably Chinese armour was in turn influenced by Central Asian armours (or is that the other way around?), so Islamic and Japanese lamellar armours may share a (very) distant common ancestry, other than that, their evolution was totally independent.

Lamellar armour was initially associated with Turkish and Iranian warriors, Arabs and Kurds seemed to have preferred mail. However by the mid-13th century Turks were the dominant element in nearly all Islamic armies from the Middle-East.

Lamellar itself seems to have fallen out of use in the Middle-East in the early 15th century and was superseded by mail and plate armours. But lamellar continued to used in central Asia and Japan until the 19th century.
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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Hisham!

Actually, the earliest Japanese cuirasses - the tanko and the keiko (partially), can't be called "influenced by Chinese armours". The tanko isn't even lamellar cuirass in the meaning we understand this term. It's made from solid metal (usually) or hardened leather plates, bent and laced together in the forms of the human body. (You can find some more info, if you want, in www.sengokudaimyo.com)
Yes, you are right, the Japanese armours (particullary the cuirass do) are influenced by the Chinese and Central Asia ones, but infuenced only in some degree. The same can be told about many of the European armours after the Great Migration.

Best regards!
Boris
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Martin G




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PostPosted: Mon 29 May, 2006 1:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well ... maybe someone have a picture of turkish dagger (kaukasian) from XIII century??
Nizar Abd al-Malik al-Asim
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Tue 31 Mar, 2009 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread has inspired me! I think my new long term project is to constuct a kit (soft and armour) that shows either a 'crusader' being influenced by the cool, colourful gear around him or maybe a Turk inspired by the gleam of the 'crusader' gear? One could argue I'd just go Eastern European I guess, but what the hey.
So, does anyone have a kit based on or inspired by anything in this thread or the threads subjucts?

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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