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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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The problem with textile armours is that it is very hard to find the right kind of linen cloth. Modern cloths are often not woven as tightly as historical linen cloths and the thread is weaker due to the fibres being shortend so that machines intended for cotton can be used. I've seen some samples of handmade attempts to recreate historical linen cloths and the end result is rather diffrent the typical modern linen cloth. Strong threads and more of them in each square cm will produce a cloth which is more resistant to damage when layered.


Yeah. A have heard the Linen of that time would be more similar to sail cloth than any modern use of linen.

Quote:
I just watched the video and I must say the hardened leather was impressive. It would be interesting to see a test done on wax hardened leather.


As suprising to me was the total lack of protection even when using the 2 layers of 8 weight leather.

But did you notice all the cracks that would appear in the hardened leather? Shows while it affords decent protection, it would cetainly not have a long battlefield life.

The hardened leather lammelar was very impressive to me. At first I thought this would be a great form of armour - reasonably light, more durable than hardened leather on it's own, etc. etc.

But if you think long term, leather was not cheap, and there is a good amount of labor assciated with making lammelar. Now, if metal lammelar costs $100 (relatively speaking), I'd think in most cases the true cost of leather lammelar would be at least $50, if not more.

And then add this to the fact that metal lammelar would last much much longer, both due to being more drable on the battlefield AND more durable vs. the elements.

You would probably go through 3-5 sets of leather lammelar before you would go through a metal suit.

And the leather, based on penetration shown in the testing would provide far less protection against determined thrusts, or arrows within a decent range.

After looking at this it seems leather lammelar would only make sense for a people that are very hide rich and metal porr, perhaps such as some of the earlier horse peoples, such as the Huns, avars, scyths, etc. etc.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since linen in our day and age is made to various grades just as it was in the medieval period. I have examined linen that looks just like some linen I could buy at the local fabric store.

Dan,

Are you saying they did not use padded textile armours here then? I might just be confused after a long day of reading papers but that is the jist of what I am getting from this post.

RPM
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
I just watched the video and I must say the hardened leather was impressive. It would be interesting to see a test done on wax hardened leather.

Not really. There is no evidence that wax-hardend leather was ever used to make armour and some evidence that directly argues against it.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Are you saying they did not use padded textile armours here then? I might just be confused after a long day of reading papers but that is the jist of what I am getting from this post.

If that is the impression I'm gving then that is not my intent. Quote the relevant post and I'll clarify.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
As suprising to me was the total lack of protection even when using the 2 layers of 8 weight leather.

Williams had similar results when he tested cuirbouilli. Layered textiles performed better than hardened leather.

Quote:
But did you notice all the cracks that would appear in the hardened leather? Shows while it affords decent protection, it would cetainly not have a long battlefield life.

I think we might be using the wrong type of leather. Partially-cured leather might be a better starting material for making armour but this stuff is rejected by leather tanners and reprocessed so it is hard to find commercially.
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
After looking at this it seems leather lammelar would only make sense for a people that are very hide rich and metal porr, perhaps such as some of the earlier horse peoples, such as the Huns, avars, scyths, etc. etc.

What confuses me about the Mamluks is that they had access to mail armour but for some reason they seem to have prefered lamellar. While lamellar offered good protection against arrows, in close quarter combat mail provides better overall protection.

My guess is that Mail was more popular during the 13th century. But from the 14th century onwards lamellar seemed to have gained more popularity since most artistic depictions show Mamluks in lamellar. I suppose the increased use of lamellar could betray lack of mineral wealth. After all Egypt and Syria are not very iron rich countries.
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Ahmad Tabari wrote:
I just watched the video and I must say the hardened leather was impressive. It would be interesting to see a test done on wax hardened leather.

Not really. There is no evidence that wax-hardend leather was ever used to make armour and some evidence that directly argues against it.

Then I guess I have been fed more false information from Osprey Happy
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
What confuses me about the Mamluks is that they had access to mail armour but for some reason they seem to have prefered lamellar. While lamellar offered good protection against arrows, in close quarter combat mail provides better overall protection.

They certainly had lamellar but what gives you the impression that it was preferred?

Quote:
guess is that Mail was more popular during the 13th century. But from the 14th century onwards lamellar seemed to have gained more popularity since most artistic depictions show Mamluks in lamellar. I suppose the increased use of lamellar could betray lack of mineral wealth. After all Egypt and Syria are not very iron rich countries.

It may have been a regional preference. Lamellar is more popular in the north and mail in the south
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Samuel Bena




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Samuel Bena wrote:
Apologies for diluting the thread but Dan would you happen to have any evidence of the said ancient ("stirrup-less") nations employing their lances in the couched manner? I'm genuinely interested.


This might help too
http://comitatus.net/cavalryrecreate.html


Many thanks for the links.
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
It may have been a regional preference. Lamellar is more popular in the north and mail in the south
How would that explain that almost all vase depictions of Mamluks show them in lamellar. I doubt that all these findings are from one particular location. Could it be that lamellar was a standard issue armour while mail had to be bought from the Mamluk's own money?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

Sorry it took my so long to get back to this.

This was Ahmad's quote and your response.

Quote:
Although the manual states that the jawshan should be worn above the qarqal, it also reccomends that the mail be worn beneath the padding rather than above it. Any ideas why that would have been recommended? Also does the fact that the author of the manual identified the qarqal by referring to the Europeans "as the Europeans wear beneath their iron cuirasses" imply that such padded garments werent very popular among Muslim armies?

I think it does. It also implies that wearing mail underneath the jawshan wasn't common either. Based on the time period I think he is referring to the European combination of coat of plates and pourpoint.'

So I am just a bit confused as the research I have done, granted largely translated by someone else as I do not speak or read many of the local languages, but it seems like there are likely a dozen or more terms for padded textile armours and that they were relatively common but I am getting from th above posts something different and I am curious.

As to combining mail and lamellar armours. There are some byzantine images that very much look to be this set up. I can agree that I know of 0 textual evidence which has always made me wonder with their heavy military texts but some of the art is fairly detailed.

RPM
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jul, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps there needs to be a distinction between standalone textile armours and padded garments specifically dersigned to be worn under armour. They are definitely not the same in function nor appearance (though terminology can be ambiguous). The former seems to be common in Islamc reigons. What is in question is the prevalence of the latter.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2011 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

Thank you for clarifying that for me. There are several Persian accounts including Shahnama, Books of Kings that seems to include fairly clear evidence for wearing some type of textile armour under lamellar and mail. It seems in Iran it was normal to use either mail or lamellar but the only accounts that I could find textually are somewhat ambiguous as to if they were used one over the other. I am not sure there are any full translations of it sadly but it seems to be loaded with martial information.

It also seems from Usama that many types of there integrated armours included padding. One account indicates mail with felt pads were inside the kazaghand he was wearing, so not an independent padding but integral.

RPM
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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How would that explain that almost all vase depictions of Mamluks show them in lamellar. I doubt that all these findings are from one particular location.


While Lamellar was popular among mamluke, we know mail was worn as well.

Quote:
I suppose the increased use of lamellar could betray lack of mineral wealth. After all Egypt and Syria are not very iron rich countries


I don't think Lammelar makes a more efficient use of iron - actually, probably a less efficient use. It seems that to provide a similar defense to mail, lammelar would probably have to be a good 50% heavier. This however is based more on the Williams test of plate and mail, and coming up with the thickness of plate needed to provide a similar protection, and translating that into how thinck the lames need to be.

As I have not seen any real reliable tests of mail vs plate vs lammelar, this is of course a bit of speculation, though it seems to make sense.

Why Lammelar instead of mail?

Quote:
But from the 14th century onwards lamellar seemed to have gained more popularity since most artistic depictions show Mamluks in lamellar


Just a thought here - with the decrease in population around this time, perhaps mail became even more expensive due to it being more labor intensive than lammelar (or plate). So Lamellar became more popular.

Another thought as to why lamellar was popular from the Eastern horse people's influence in this area, while never real popular in the West -

Perhaps the earlier horsetribes were indeed metal poor societies (going back to the ealrier horse peoples, Scyths and others). Lamellar can be made of horn, treated leather, etc. etc. Mail cannot be made of these.

Perhaps the techniques for making lamellar due to these factors was well known and popular - and even as these horse peoples became less metal poor, lamellar was a traditional form of armour.

Another thought - lamellar seems to be effective at stopping arrows at range. As horse archery played a big role in combat for the horse people, the primary concern was stopping arrows. And Mail or lammelar can be penetrated by a strong bow at very close range, so being able to protect at less than point blank range was the biggest need.

While lammelar does not perform as well in close combat (a lot more gaps due to it not being quite as flexible as mail), stopping arrows at range was the biggest need.
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Tue 05 Jul, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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I don't think Lammelar makes a more efficient use of iron - actually, probably a less efficient use. It seems that to provide a similar defense to mail, lammelar would probably have to be a good 50% heavier

I meant leather lamellar. There is no evidence of this but I would imagine it would have been much more widespread among the lower ranked Mamluks for purely economic reasons. But yes I agree iron lamellar would have to be significantly heavier than mail to provide equal protection, especially against spear thrusts.

Quote:
Just a thought here - with the decrease in population around this time, perhaps mail became even more expensive due to it being more labor intensive than lammelar (or plate). So Lamellar became more popular.

That makes a lot of sense. The workforce available in the mid to late 14th century would have been severely reduced by the plague. And the manufacture of mail certainly needs much more labour than lamellar requires. Its really interesting because around the same period in Europe, mail was beginning to be supplanted by plate armour which also requires a much smaller labour force,

And like you said another reason why mail might have been popular among the Mamluks is due to their Turkic steppe heritage. Obviously most Mamluks would have spent most their adult lifes in Egypt and Syria, but they were still familiar with their steppe heritage and for that reason lamellar could have been very popular. I guess they many have thought of it as the "traditional" armour of the Turks.
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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

gary, does that assessment by williams take into account that lames often overlap by varying degrees, for example in peter beatsons article on the construction of lamellar, he shows then being close to half overlapped, with there also being ridges on said lames increasing, id imagine the impact strength of lames, plus being butted against a ridge means less chance of sliding betwen a lame,

i do like the hypothesis regarding lamellar not being an entire hauberk like suit on top of a full hauberk, but it merely performing a similar function to the european practice of wearing brigadine/ Coat of plates, over their hauberk to essentially create that ADDED protection in spot areas like in this statue of saint maurice
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...deburg.jpg
and if i remember correctly i read either on this forum on elsewhere, the presence of lamellar shoulder guards, this would also make tons of sense since one of mailles main failings is its flexibility makes it reletively ill suited to receiving blows and blunt trauma, and im also fairly sure that the shoulders were a fairly vulnerable spot to be hit, especially if your helm through it being sloped, directs blows onto the top of your shoulder, so it would make sense that shoulder defense consists something slightly more solid, which i imagine would be, swerving abit off topic ONE advantage of a the lorica sementata, i.e solid, sloping plates that help direct the force of a blow away

like here, where we see lucy lawless taking a crack at a roman legionary at a segment on the rebellion of boudicca showing that blows at least from the top wont do alot . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo6c0vcVEkA&NR=1
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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gary, does that assessment by williams take into account that lames often overlap by varying degrees, for example in peter beatsons article on the construction of lamellar, he shows then being close to half overlapped, with there also being ridges on said lames increasing, id imagine the impact strength of lames, plus being butted against a ridge means less chance of sliding betwen a lame,


Unfortunately William, I do not see any testing of lamellar in the excerpts of Williams testing I have read.

To protect in a similar fashion to mail it seems plate would need to be in the realm of 1.25mm thick.

Lamellar however could test quite differently than steel. It gives a bit, similar to mail, which could make it tougher to penetrate as it absorbs energy by "giving" some. However, you cannot split the lames on plate, while lamellar would be split..

Unfortunately, in absence of any good testing info (If anyone has any, please let me know), I have just assumed that lammelar with 1.25mm lames protects in a similar fashion to mail.

Quote:
i do like the hypothesis regarding lamellar not being an entire hauberk like suit on top of a full hauberk, but it merely performing a similar function to the european practice of wearing brigadine/ Coat of plates, over their hauberk to essentially create that ADDED protection in spot areas like in this statue of saint maurice


We DO know lammelar was worn on it's own. I guess we do NOT know for certain that it was worn in combination with mail, only that the Osprey books and other similar publications show it used this way Happy

Perhaps it was those familiar with Western European armour knowing a coat of plates was worn over mail, and extending this same practice to lamellar.

It seems it would make sense, but does anyone have any good source material that lamellar was used this way? To my knowledge at this point we do not know for certain one way or another.

I do find it interesting that the illustrations I have seen of Byzantine Klibanophori (the heaviest Byzantine Cavalry) show them with extensive mail coverage, but not a lamellar cuirass in the illustrations I have seen. However, they DO have a garment worn over the mail - and this could really me anything, a padded garment, a padded garment with metal reinforcement (an early form of coat of plates or Brigandine possibly) or it could just be a simple cloth surcoat type of material.
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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Quote:
gary, does that assessment by williams take into account that lames often overlap by varying degrees, for example in peter beatsons article on the construction of lamellar, he shows then being close to half overlapped, with there also being ridges on said lames increasing, id imagine the impact strength of lames, plus being butted against a ridge means less chance of sliding betwen a lame,


Unfortunately William, I do not see any testing of lamellar in the excerpts of Williams testing I have read.

To protect in a similar fashion to mail it seems plate would need to be in the realm of 1.25mm thick.

Lamellar however could test quite differently than steel. It gives a bit, similar to mail, which could make it tougher to penetrate as it absorbs energy by "giving" some. However, you cannot split the lames on plate, while lamellar would be split..

Unfortunately, in absence of any good testing info (If anyone has any, please let me know), I have just assumed that lammelar with 1.25mm lames protects in a similar fashion to mail.

Quote:
i do like the hypothesis regarding lamellar not being an entire hauberk like suit on top of a full hauberk, but it merely performing a similar function to the european practice of wearing brigadine/ Coat of plates, over their hauberk to essentially create that ADDED protection in spot areas like in this statue of saint maurice


We DO know lammelar was worn on it's own. I guess we do NOT know for certain that it was worn in combination with mail, only that the Osprey books and other similar publications show it used this way Happy

Perhaps it was those familiar with Western European armour knowing a coat of plates was worn over mail, and extending this same practice to lamellar.

It seems it would make sense, but does anyone have any good source material that lamellar was used this way? To my knowledge at this point we do not know for certain one way or another.

I do find it interesting that the illustrations I have seen of Byzantine Klibanophori (the heaviest Byzantine Cavalry) show them with extensive mail coverage, but not a lamellar cuirass in the illustrations I have seen. However, they DO have a garment worn over the mail - and this could really me anything, a padded garment, a padded garment with metal reinforcement (an early form of coat of plates or Brigandine possibly) or it could just be a simple cloth surcoat type of material.




id say it was more like ly just a padding without mettal. in medieval 2 total war, broken crescent mod. (covering time period 1174-1400 AD and kiev in the west to afganistan and northwest india in the east, )
the unit descriptions for the byzantine units are sometimes gigantic. and the vestiaretai swordsmen (elites chosen from the spathotoi (sp?) had a bambakion ( a 3/4 inch paded cotton gambeson, then a lorikion hauberk of either scale or chain maile, ontop of that an epilorikion which was a QUILTED gambeson that wenton top of everything else.

the same set of description for the kataphractoi mention the following esolorikon padded gambeson, lorikion scale (dont ask why) or maile hauberk that essentially connected with the helm. then a klibanion lamellar CUIRASS it also says, the lamellar klibanion they also wore covered theupper half of the cavalrymens arms with lamellar and shoulder plates combining together.
and on top of that an epilorikion, plus saying that they had another layer of padding on top (to distinguish them from their descendents of earlier centuries, the klibinarioi) of that it doesnt say what kind of gambeson. i assume another epilorikion.

though i do NOTknow where the developers got their information though considering the wealth of information for byzantine units that they put in there, suggests their looking fairly widely.
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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the unit descriptions for the byzantine units are sometimes gigantic. and the vestiaretai swordsmen (elites chosen from the spathotoi (sp?) had a bambakion ( a 3/4 inch paded cotton gambeson, then a lorikion hauberk of either scale or chain maile, ontop of that an epilorikion which was a QUILTED gambeson that wenton top of everything else.


Are these the "Total War" deacriptions of the units?

Obviously. I'd hate to look at anything from a computer game as any type of factual info.
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Gary Teuscher





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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plus saying that they had another layer of padding on top (to distinguish them from their descendents of earlier centuries, the klibinarioi) of that it doesnt say what kind of gambeson. i assume another epilorikion.


This is one reason you cannot use a computer game for any factual info. These "kataphractoi" do not seem to be historical at all based on the above info.

The Klibanophori were the heaviest Byzantine cavalry, a throwback in a way to Cataphracts of early centuries that were armoured in similar fashion.

Other contemporary cavalry and later cavalry were not armoured as heavily as the Klibanophori.

Now perhaps in the last centuries of Byzantium, certain foreign mercenaries were armoured as heavily and perhaps some of the native troops were as well, but there were certainly not many equipped in this fashion.

The Klibanophori were the last Byzantine "super heavies" to be employed in any large scale.
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