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N Cioran




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Dec, 2010 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blood Red Roses is a nice insight into the subject:

http://myArmoury.com/books/item.1842170252.html

Enjoy!
Cole
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Vytautas Z





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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread actually reminded me of a question I once had. Why wasn't limb armour popular in the Viking age ?
Maybe anyone has any sources about limb protection the IX-XII century eastern Europe, Russia and Scandinavian lands ?
I know that some kind of early type of splint armour was found in Viking lands, but does anyone have any good info about that ?
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Dec, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it would appear that warriors that use shields as their primary defence did not prioritize limb armour. The same trend can be seen in antiquity, with the exception of greaves for hoplites. (who often only wore one, on the left foot).

The natural conclusion would be that in this type of warfare (shield and spear based), the hands and legs where not seen as important target areas. The hands in particular did not get ANY kind of protection before full length hauberks with integrated mittens started to appear in the 12th c.

the most probable explanation is that in tight shield formations, the spear stances place the hands well behind the shield, and sword strikes where delivered with the "crossguard" on the shield rim, similar to what is seen in the I.33 sword and buckler manual. (For that matter, the development of a enlarged crossguards on european swords is also an interesting point, as this feature is not seen elsewhere.)
When held in the overhand position, the one handed spear has a lot of punch and presure. However, it does not have a good angle to strike at the opponents legs. A spear thrust to the shin would in any case not be imediately lethal; It seems the head and torso, followed by the loins, where the areas that received the highest priority. A prime example is the romans adding another layer of mail to the shoulders of their mail, instead of extending it to cover the upper arms.

"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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Vytautas Z





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:

and sword strikes where delivered with the "crossguard" on the shield rim, similar to what is seen in the I.33 sword and buckler manual.


I know the manuals you mean for sword and buckler, but I cannot really imagine using a large shield the same way. I do not suppose there is any historical info on that, but maybe you know any videos of people trying this kind of style of fighting.

And regarding lethal-non lethal wounds, I think that a crippled is a good as dead in the battlefield. If you can't stand or can't hold your weapon, well you are out...
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 4:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the similarity would be in using the sword and shield to form a single defence, and always cover your hands, so it is a similarity in principle rather than spesific techniqes. Anyhow, there is a lot to it, and it's not really directly related to battle wounds.
"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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Augusto Boer Bront
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 7:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A friend of mine can't belive that a bone can be cut with a sword, he says that that's impossibile. I talked him about Wisby exavations, but he answered that all the archeologist tha worked there are incompetents and the theory that a blow can cut a bone is ridicolous.
This because he hadn't ever seen someone cutting a bone and he assures that the only way to cut a (pig) bone is using an electric saw. Are there some videos or proofs that can convince him?

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

butchers rutinely cut pig bone with knifes.
furhter more, I have cut pig bones with a sword on a cople of occations, both a full size ham, and a whole carcas.
One of this occations is documented at a friend's myspace site;
http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/1...dde86f.jpg and onwards.
Nils Andersen has some even better pictures from a later even, but has yet to post them. (boo hiss)

"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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Augusto Boer Bront
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you could post some videos with bones cut in half (like in the wisby exavations) or just pics, it would be amazing!!
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, I tought you could see the rest of the gallery; Here is the pig after some blows with swords and daneaxe;


This is the pig by the time it was my go;


here you can see that one of the rear legs is severed;


Me trying a wrist strike. It easily cuts to the bone, but stops there.


A even more sucsessfull hit from youtube;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ

Another test on a ham
http://www.kongshirden1308.no/galleri/2005_omf_4/thumbs.htm

"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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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep in mind that it is often impossible to tell whether a cut was inflicted with a sword blade or something more substantial like an axe or polearm. This would be even more apparent when you only have skeletal evidence to analyse.
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Augusto Boer Bront
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, but he's continiung assuring that it's impossibile to cut with a single blow a bone, even with a two handed axe, even if the bone is laying on a table and you strike at full force.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
Yes, but he's continiung assuring that it's impossibile to cut with a single blow a bone, even if a two handed axe, even if the bone is laying on a table and you strike at full force.


then you can tell him that I have tried it, against a hanging ham, and done it, with little difficulty. if he has tried, and failed, he needs to practice more. If he has not tried, or seen somebody do so, he really should before making definite statements.

"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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Vytautas Z





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Keep in mind that it is often impossible to tell whether a cut was inflicted with a sword blade or something more substantial like an axe or polearm. This would be even more apparent when you only have skeletal evidence to analyse.


Wouldn't a an axe/polearm leave a more of a crushing slice ? i.e. a more devastated bone ?

Augusto Boer Bront wrote:
Yes, but he's continiung assuring that it's impossibile to cut with a single blow a bone, even with a two handed axe, even if the bone is laying on a table and you strike at full force.


There are more videos on some bone cutting vids, not even with an axe, but a sword. And just look at Majowski (however it is spelled, there are plenty of images of be-limbing, of course one would have to look at it with caution (the cutting through helmets part is a bit dodgy). I have not tried to cut a human bone, but if you put a reasonably thick stick of wood (such as you forearms bone size) of hardwood and you have a sharp ONE handed axe, with enough strength AND the right angle, you can cut it in half no problem, using one hand. Two handed axe on a bone that is lying on a table (i.e. with very very little amortization) can't cut a bone with a single strike ? Are we talking about elephant or human bones ?
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Nat Lamb




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Augusto
Is it possible that your friend is getting pigs confused with wolverines?

There are a few videos on youtube of people cutting pig or deer carcasus with swords, perhaps you could find them and show them to your friend (of course "its on youtube" is usually not a food argument for truth, especialy for things like "arrows can pierce armour", but I think the design and construction of pigs is pretty similar now to how they were in the middle ages)

If your friend is still incredulous, perhaps ask him why executioners axes and swords were ever used, if it is imposible to cut through the spine.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vytautas Z wrote:
Wouldn't a an axe/polearm leave a more of a crushing slice ? i.e. a more devastated bone ?

Axes designed for combat are quite thin. Axe wounds can look like sword wounds in many instances.
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Vytautas Z





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Dec, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was thinking in terms of force per area, but the form of a weapon you mentioned would have probably made some effect (I doubt all the axes found in battlefields were combat axes, not even the majority to be honest, as peasants (a.k.a spear and arrow meat) dominated the numbers vs professional warriors who could afford combat axes (whereas the peasants would use their everyday needs axes) does this sound ok ?))
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The mix of peasants vs pros could vary greatly. The tendency would be not to bring the peasants into close combat at all if it could be helped. Visby is an excellent example of what happens when peasant infantry face the pros.

Some combat axes have a wedge profile; while these fit more with the traditional view of axes as a "sharp hammer", even these cut to the shaft rather than crush. Cutting with an axe requires less technique, and produces deep wounds, though you have less chance of the spectacular "cleaved in one blow" strikes that a perfect sword blow gives.

Thrusts, both with spears and sword, feels like stabbing butter. There is almost no resistance, even against the ribs. The greatest challenge is not falling forward. :P

"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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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iagoba Ferreira wrote:
I've got data on several combats of the petty nobility from my area (north of Castilla) from the XV century. It's biased because most named and described deaths are of "captains" or from renamed family members. Most of them are crossbow bolt hits (deadly ones to head or neck, some to the chest). The near majority of the other are from spears (thrown or hand held, on foot or on horse) with a few mentions to swords or firearms, roughly (and from memory) giving 60% bolts, 30% spears and 10% other
I believe combat reports from Japan indicate a comparable distribution of dead causes. Seems that the Holy Roman Church was on to something when it forbade Christians to shoot at each other.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Werner Stiegler wrote:
Seems that the Holy Roman Church was on to something when it forbade Christians to shoot at each other.

That was not the reason for the ban. It was a political ploy to gain an advantage over Roger Guiscard's army, which was invading southern Italy at the time. Roger's army had a large moslem contingent. The ban was intended to allow the Pope's troops to shoot at Roger's troops with impunity while Roger and his commanders would face excommunication if they ordered their troops to shoot back.
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Jeff Pringle
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Dec, 2010 9:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a good, in-depth study of six Anglo-Saxon skeltons with head injuries in:
Hawkes, Sonia Chadwick
Weapons and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England
University of Oxford. Committee for Archaeology Monograph No. 21
1989, ISBN: 0947816216
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