Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Archers with full arm harness? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 249

PostPosted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Archers with full arm harness?         Reply with quote

Although I often find illustrations of archers without using any plate armor for their arms, and that makes sense, since the arm harness would put many restrictions to use the bow. Leg harness seens to be more common among richer archers - mounted or household ones - by late 14th and early 15th centuries, so I believe this arm pieces were likely to be too fancy for actually being a necessity amoung archers, but late 15th century art shows otherwise. I got the impression that such equipment would be actually used by the household troops of french kings and great nobles, but not something the english would do.





A crossbowman in full plate harness: https://ru.pinterest.com/pin/460141286903839376/

Woman with arm harness: http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4324/9539/
The Scottish Guard of France: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garde_%C3%89cossaise#/media/File:L_Adoration_des_Mages.jpg

My question is: are those descriptions actually reliable? Can you shoot with a bow propperly while using arm harness?
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,480

PostPosted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 2:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Archers with full arm harness?         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
My question is: are those descriptions actually reliable? Can you shoot with a bow propperly while using arm harness?


Sure. Why not? You don't need to perform any great feats of arm flexibility when shooting a bow.

In much of Asia, the bow was a high-class weapon, suitable for gentlemen, knights, nobles, etc., and was often used by armoured soldiers. This might have had a significant influence on hand armour. Note that all of the archers in your illustrations are not wearing gauntlets. The Asian solution is a gauntlet that minimally interferes with archery:


"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It wouldn't have been optimal since the elbow and forearm protection in European arm harnesses would have interfered with the ability to fully bend the string/drawing arm, but still doable. Note how Asian plate bazubands/dastanas/vambraces/whatever for archers tend to have much deeper cutouts inside the arm than what we see in European ones.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 249

PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep, 2017 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Archers with full arm harness?         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
My question is: are those descriptions actually reliable? Can you shoot with a bow propperly while using arm harness?


Sure. Why not? You don't need to perform any great feats of arm flexibility when shooting a bow.

In much of Asia, the bow was a high-class weapon, suitable for gentlemen, knights, nobles, etc., and was often used by armoured soldiers. This might have had a significant influence on hand armour. Note that all of the archers in your illustrations are not wearing gauntlets. The Asian solution is a gauntlet that minimally interferes with archery


I already noticed the absence of gauntlets, but the main problem resides in the fact that they still retained elbow and close rerebraces articuled together. Wouldn't that make you unable to use stronger bows or shoot with the same speed of other archers?

I don't know if I should interpret this as evidence for elite guard's archers as those from the Scottish Guard of the French Kings or simply richer yeomen who actually choose to wear full arm harness except from the gauntlets.
View user's profile Send private message
Henry O.





Joined: 18 Jun 2016

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On a somewhat related note, what about archers wearing kettle helmets? 16th century sources tend to specify that English longbowmen should wear "skull" instead of a brimmed burgonet or morion like other troops.

Here's the passage from John Smythes' discourses where he proposes reintroducing mounted crossbowmen and mounted archers to the English army:

Quote:
All the Crosse-bowers on horsebacke vnder suffi∣cient conductours well skilled in that weapon, I would they should haue Crossebowes of two pound and a halfe of the best sort, with crooked gaffles han∣ging at their strong girdles after the manner of Ger∣manie, that they might on horsebacke bend their Crossebowes the more easily and readily, with foure and twentie quarrells in a case, well and fitly set at their saddle pommells, mounted vpon good cold gel∣dings of meane size, themselues armed with good murrians of the Spanish fashion vpon their heades, collars, light and short wasted cuirasses and backes, with sleeues of maile or chained with maile; or else, that they should be armed with murrians, light and easie Brigandines, and sleeues chained with maile, with broad short swords by their sides of not aboue a yarde in length, and short daggers. The Archers on horsebacke vnder their Captaines or conductours skilful in Archerie, I would likewise haue mounted vpon good quiet geldings of meane size, with deepe steele skulles in very narrowe brimbd hats, well stuf∣fed for the easines of their heades; and either iackes of maile, according to the ancient manner when they were called, Loricati Sagittarij, or else light and easie brigandines, or at the least Ilet-holed doublets verie easie and well fitted to their bodies, their sleeues chai∣ned with maile, with broad short swordes and short daggers, their Bowes of good Yeugh, long and well nocked and backed, and all their strings well whipt, with sheafes of foure and twentie arrowes apeece, with shooting gloues and bracers after the manner of our Archers in times past.




Edit: From Thomas Styward's "The pathwaie to martiall discipline" first published in 1581:


Quote:
Archers or long Bowes.

NEcessarie it is that euerie man haue a good and méete Bowe according to his draught and strength, light and easie: a Iacke with a skull, sword and dagger, nothing vpon his armes, whereby in time of seruice he maye easily draw the arrow to the head, that they may deliuer the same with strength an arte as Englishmen be accu∣stomed. They must haue also braser and shooting glooue, their strings whipped and waxed ouer with glew, their feathers drie: so bee they seruiseable in any weather to serue against the enemie to slaughter and execution.
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,480

PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 1:41 am    Post subject: Re: Archers with full arm harness?         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I already noticed the absence of gauntlets, but the main problem resides in the fact that they still retained elbow and close rerebraces articuled together. Wouldn't that make you unable to use stronger bows or shoot with the same speed of other archers?


I don't see why. A good articulated elbow (armour) will bend as far as the flesh-and-blood elbow it protects. It also shouldn't affect how strong a bow you can draw.

Mail or thick textile armour on the inside of the elbow will reduce how far you can bend the elbow (and plate elbows might too, if plates on the inside of the joint cover very close to the middle of the joint), but this won't stop you from using a bow. It might stop you from anchoring against your face, but your helmet might stop that anyway, and a floating anchor (not having the string touching your face at full draw) works. You might be drawing further than that (in which case you'd use a floating anchor anyway, armour or no armour).

A floating anchor will reduce accuracy, but this is less of a problem in military archery than sport archery.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 411

PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 11:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Main issue would be gauntlets and helmets, at least from my position as a bowtech by trade. nocking point (usually on the jaw or cheek bone) is the main thing that MUST be uniform with each shot for the same point of impact to happen. Jack chains or properly articulated arm armor (besides bulk) should not effect an archer. The paintings/effigies/manuscripts/alter pieces that show archers in full or near full white harness might be a bit of an exaggeration, but "mounted archers" were more light infantry/proto dragoons during the hundred years war period than dedicated archers; near full encompassing armor makes sense for a force that are foot archers, but also light cavalry, but also light infantry, yet meant to face traditional heavy infantry/cavalry in open battle or skirmishes.
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,480

PostPosted: Sun 17 Sep, 2017 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom King wrote:
nocking point (usually on the jaw or cheek bone) is the main thing that MUST be uniform with each shot for the same point of impact to happen.


Yes, a consistent anchor point is important for accuracy, and the easiest way to achieve that is to anchor against the face. But it isn't necessary for accuracy sufficient for military purposes. Plenty of military archers have used floating anchors, notably Japanese, Manchu/Qing, and Korean. Less accurate, but still sufficiently accurate (no need to hit a bullseye, just a human at 15m).

A Qing archer:

From https://chinesemartialstudies.com/2012/09/24/chinese-archery-resources/

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 444

PostPosted: Sat 23 Sep, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



Sketch showing Polish/Lithuanian light rider (?).

Abraham van Booth, Journael van de Legatie in Jaren 1627 en 1628. Amsterdam 1632.


Here

https://s6.postimg.org/vjvrorgjl/Tczew_1627m.jpg

whole image of rider.

Bit idealized perhaps, but armored hand, and mostly hand, without whole arm is interesting.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 249

PostPosted: Thu 28 Sep, 2017 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tom King wrote:
Main issue would be gauntlets and helmets, at least from my position as a bowtech by trade. nocking point (usually on the jaw or cheek bone) is the main thing that MUST be uniform with each shot for the same point of impact to happen. Jack chains or properly articulated arm armor (besides bulk) should not effect an archer. The paintings/effigies/manuscripts/alter pieces that show archers in full or near full white harness might be a bit of an exaggeration, but "mounted archers" were more light infantry/proto dragoons during the hundred years war period than dedicated archers; near full encompassing armor makes sense for a force that are foot archers, but also light cavalry, but also light infantry, yet meant to face traditional heavy infantry/cavalry in open battle or skirmishes.


They might be, but the fact that those figures are extremely unusual perhaps might suggest that such combination, although uncommon, was actually used. Although, of course, there are clearly some exaggerations that can't be regarded as accurate,
like this one in full harness and using mittens gauntlets.

Don't if I got your point, but I disagree in regards of mounted archers being lighter armored than the infantry ones. Mounted archers were considered better archers, with a higher military prestige and often being known for the heavier armor. Those would not be heavy enough to make them "slower troops" at all. The only mounted archers I know who was fighting on horseback were the French ones, and such practice would be more common for later dates.

I found some figures that show more convenient forms of arm harness for archers.

This one has articulated elbow protection with vambraces and verticall bars for upper arms:

Source

This is supposedly representing the archers of the Ducal Guard of Burgundy. Don't know if this is mail or vertical bars, though.


Perhaps those would be the most common styles of arm harness for archers, with full arm harness being perhaps looted equipment.
------------------------------
Bartek Strojek wrote:
Sketch showing Polish/Lithuanian light rider (?).

Abraham van Booth, Journael van de Legatie in Jaren 1627 en 1628. Amsterdam 1632.


Here

https://s6.postimg.org/vjvrorgjl/Tczew_1627m.jpg

whole image of rider.

Bit idealized perhaps, but armored hand, and mostly hand, without whole arm is interesting.


An early hussar, for certain. Interesting that early hussars didn't wear armor, but the arm harness sounds like a more necessary equipment for them.

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Archers with full arm harness?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2017 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum