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Graham Shearlaw





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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun, 2020 9:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's punching thru armour with a point and a lot of energy behind it, mosty this is done with lances, crossbows an pole arms.
But that needs a chargeing horse, a really big crossbow at short range or big swing with both hands.

Quite a few of the skulls from battles like Towton that have clearly had a spike penetrate.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Jun, 2020 11:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
No, its a medical diagram. According to wikipedia, they served as a contents page to medical texts on wounds. So, the surgeon looks for the type of injury and the writing by the weapon tells him where it is covered in the text.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wound_Man


I see, thank you.

Deaths could also be inflicted after the fighting is over, like armored combatants were bonked so hard in the head it didn't kill them outright but did put them out of the fight, and mass execution ensues afterwards.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Oct, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Anthony Clipsom wrote:
It was said that , at the battle of Benevento in 1266 the German knights' armour appeared invulnerable until the French realised that, as they lifted their arms to strike with their swords, they exposed their armpit to a thrust. This would have been coat of plates over mail.


IIRC this was debunked a few years ago as a myth. Apparently none of the primary sources mention this at all.

In 2013, Mart Shearer found a footnote by John France who said that the passage in Primatus about stabbing under the arm is about the battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268 not the battle of Benevento in 1266. I had a look at my copy of Oman's Art of War in the Middle Ages, Vol. 1 pp. 502 and 503, and the footnote for this story is definitely confused. There is a fun story about the battle in Martin Bouquet, Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de France, XX but its on page 424 and by a Guillaume de Nangis not on page 28 or author 28. Guillaume de Nangis does talk about the difference between the swords of the German horsemen and the swords of the French horsemen, and says that the Germans were "tough horsemen, and almost all armoured with a double covering" (erant enim robusti milites, et quasi omnes duplice tegmni loricati) which could only be defeated when the French stabbed them under their shoulders.

The thing to know about Sir Charles Oman was that he read all the sources he could find, then set down to write a cracking good read without a lot of citations. It might be fun to figure out who "Primatus" was and track his chronicle down but that would be a lot of work because of the vagus citations.

Edit: The passage of 'Primatus' which Oman quoted is in Monumnta Germaniae Historica SS 26 p. 652 lines 20-22 It seems to be a medieval French translation of a lost Latin chronicle.

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Last edited by Sean Manning on Tue 20 Oct, 2020 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Oct, 2020 12:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
It might be fun to figure out who "Primatus" was and track his chronicle down but that would be a lot of work because of the vagus citations.


His wikipedia entry is actually quite informative, and seems based on a solid foundation of sources.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primat_of_Saint-Denis

Anthony Clipsom
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Michael Zimmermann





Joined: 19 Dec 2018

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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2020 3:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

I believe you are correct in identifying the passage of Primat (by way of Guillaume de Nangis in our case) as containing this detail. Not sure, why the 'double hauberks' count as coat-of-plate, though?

The issue of heavier armour is also referred to in Herde's quite extensive 'Schlacht bei Tagliacozzo', in which there is a reference to Spanish knights wearing early forms of plate armour, too.
Apparently, there was some scholarly confusion even at the time, which ought to be regarded as the first recorded instance of use for such protective equipment.

As to the mix up, from the text it seems pretty indisputable, however, that the armpit anecdote refers to Benevento, not Tagliacozzo.

- Michael
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Zimmermann wrote:
I believe you are correct in identifying the passage of Primat (by way of Guillaume de Nangis in our case) as containing this detail. Not sure, why the 'double hauberks' count as coat-of-plate, though?

The French text of Primatus says that the German horsemen wore doubles haubers, but the other versions of this battle (like the Latin one I quoted) use vague language. I agree that from most of the sources, the Germans could just as well have been wearing a sleeveless corset of mail over a hauberk as a pair of plates and a hauberk. Edit: a leather cuirie is also possible

The relationship between all these versions of the battle looks like a mess, and I would want to sit down for a day or two with a paper copy of the sources to sort it out. John France is a very good historian, but it looks like he got confused too.

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Michael Zimmermann





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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2020 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Again, very much in agreement. However, that still leaves me wondering, how you get from there to suggesting this means coat of plates. The description in the French text seems to suggest otherwise and the Latin, as you said, is vague.

At least in Primat, there should be little cause for confusion between the two, I think. The second reference, which is commonly cited with regard to armour, is to the Iberians involved at Tagliacozzo. Can't see, why that would lead one to mix it up with Manfred's forces.

The short passage, of which not only Herde was aware, begins on p. 662 l. 2 for the French and l. 38 in the Latin in the volume you cited.

- Michael
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2020 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Zimmermann wrote:
Again, very much in agreement. However, that still leaves me wondering, how you get from there to suggesting this means coat of plates. The description in the French text seems to suggest otherwise and the Latin, as you said, is vague.

Mail and textiles are the only kinds of armour which can cover the armpit without a gap, so armour which is vulnerable to stabs to the armpit is probably armour which includes some kind of hardened leather or plate. Of the 6 or 10 versions of the battle of Benevento I have read, only Primatus says that the armour which was vulnerable to stabs at the armpits was a "double hauberk." I would have to sit down and read and compare all the sources (including the ones which are in the big Italian collection of chronicles not the big German collection or the big French collection) to decide whether I thought this detail was authentic and whether there is supporting or contradicting evidence in other sources.

Sometimes when a medieval chronicle is detailed, that is because their sources were too dry and boring and the chronicle's patron wanted a better story.

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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Oct, 2020 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is another issue. If Wikipedia is correct, the French version of Primat's chronicle is a translation after his death by one Jean de Vignay. So has the translation 'improved' the lost Latin original by making it more detailed, as translators before the 20th century often do?

Without actually sitting down and reading the sources carefully and then seeing what medievalists think about them (which would be great to do if I were independently wealthy), I can't say anything more about this story about the battle of Benevento than what I have already said. I thought that a link to some of the medieval sources which Oman might have been thinking of, and a summary of them in English, would be helpful.

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Michael Zimmermann





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PostPosted: Yesterday at 4:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No objections from me to any of what you say. I was just trying to articulate, that reading through the text I was left somewhat bewildered, that this appears to be the passage, which is often cited. I find it to be quite confused, no matter whether it's in French or Latin.

I am with you, too, regarding the logic of more rigid types of armour and the armpits. The text, in describing the protection under the arms, seems to exaggerate the extent of this flaw for rhetorical effect, though, which creates a certain incoherence.

- Michael
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Zimmermann wrote:
No objections from me to any of what you say. I was just trying to articulate, that reading through the text I was left somewhat bewildered, that this appears to be the passage, which is often cited. I find it to be quite confused, no matter whether it's in French or Latin.

I am with you, too, regarding the logic of more rigid types of armour and the armpits. The text, in describing the protection under the arms, seems to exaggerate the extent of this flaw for rhetorical effect, though, which creates a certain incoherence.

I agree, the sources I have read say that one side was cutting with long broad swords and the other side only defeated them by stabbing at the armpits with shorter pointed swords, but Oman's assumption that the armour which was vulnerable was "plate" armour looks like just a guess. It could have been any of the kinds of armour without sleeves, and Primatus says "double hauberk." One of the chronicles cites Vegetius who approved of stabbing foreigners, and most of them use language from the Bible like "devoured by the sword."

Because its so much easier to read Oman than to find the Latin and French and Italian sources and read them, I think Ewart Oakeshott was not the only person who just trusted him. It looks like there is a published translation of some of the Latin sources: Louis Mendola, The Battle of Benevento According to Andrew of Hungary and Saba Malaspina. Trinacria Editions Ltd.

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Graham Shearlaw





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PostPosted: Yesterday at 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:

Mail and textiles are the only kinds of armour which can cover the armpit without a gap, so armour which is vulnerable to stabs to the armpit is probably armour which includes some kind of hardened leather or plate.


Armours with Voiders of Plate could cover the armpit gap, there rare and armpit ones are even less common, most of them are used on the back of the knee and inside of elbow.

Henry the 8th has a set in his foot armour. This video give you a good look at them.
Robert MacPherson and Tom Biliter' pintrest page on them has a good number of examples.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Graham Shearlaw wrote:
Sean Manning wrote:

Mail and textiles are the only kinds of armour which can cover the armpit without a gap, so armour which is vulnerable to stabs to the armpit is probably armour which includes some kind of hardened leather or plate.


Armours with Voiders of Plate could cover the armpit gap, there rare and armpit ones are even less common, most of them are used on the back of the knee and inside of elbow.

They didn't exist during the time in question so we don't need to consider them when translating these passages.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Michael Zimmermann





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PostPosted: Yesterday at 2:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the pointer to Mendola, Sean. Looking forward to reading it, once it is published.
- Michael
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Yesterday at 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael, you're welcome! I had a quick look at the two other writers who Oman mentions in his study of this battle, Saba Malaspina (Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores viii) and Ricordano Malaspina (Muratori, RIS viii). They don't seem to describe how the two sides fought.

Dan Howard wrote:
They didn't exist during the time in question so we don't need to consider them when translating these passages.

And even in 16th and 17th century Europe, articulated plate voiders/gussets covering the armpits were very rare, not something the typical front-ranker in a cavalry charge was equipped with. "When you hear hoofbeats in Paris, expect horses not zebras."

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