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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Mon 27 Jul, 2015 9:23 am    Post subject: Pics of Heavy middle eastern armor, any thoughts guys?         Reply with quote

Here's some mamluke, middle eastern armor. Any thoughts?[/b]


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Vasilly T





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 2:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thought: why didn't they use full plate armour like europeans did? By the looks of this armour it's not a tiny bit less heavy, but certainly offers less protection than plates.
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John Hardy




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 4:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasilly T wrote:
One thought: why didn't they use full plate armour like europeans did? By the looks of this armour it's not a tiny bit less heavy, but certainly offers less protection than plates.


It's not any lighter, but it is almost certainly more flexible - an important consideration for a horse archer and possibly long-range patroller. And in hot country, I expect mail covered by quilted textile reinforced with strategic plating breathes a lot better than ssolid plate does. Especially when the quilted garment is light-coloured and heat reflective...
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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chain mail does a surprisingly good job at stopping damage
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasilly T wrote:
One thought: why didn't they use full plate armour like europeans did? By the looks of this armour it's not a tiny bit less heavy, but certainly offers less protection than plates.


Necessity is the mother of invention.

The economic, social, cultural and technological factors that led to the adoption of plate armor might not have been present in the Middle Eastern areas.

I believe the Egyptian Mamluks ran into problems with their iron/steel supply and Timur the lame abducted a fair number of craftsmen from the areas he conquered. On top of that you have to consider that most of their opponents were equally heavy or less heavily armed than them.

More than a few European spies were sent to the Ottoman lands and they too reported that in general they were less heavily armed. One spy states that even their heavy cavalry has a preference for more endurance orientated horses that allow them to travel at speed for longer periods of time, they really took the motto: "If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light" to heart.
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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was a report from a priest from the Crusade of 1101, describing in horror saracen heavy cavalry. Saying "they feared no sword, axe, mace, lance. They were covered in head to toe in steel and faces covered with mail and masks."

I don't really remember which priest described it, but I remember reading about it in an excerpt about the "1000 atabegs"

Many arab, turkish, persian, kurdish warriors kinda had a Mish mash of their weapons and armor, everyone chipped in. So Arabs wore persian ans armor and etc. I believe they had very heavy armor actually

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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John Hardy wrote:
Vasilly T wrote:
One thought: why didn't they use full plate armour like europeans did? By the looks of this armour it's not a tiny bit less heavy, but certainly offers less protection than plates.


It's not any lighter, but it is almost certainly more flexible - an important consideration for a horse archer and possibly long-range patroller. And in hot country, I expect mail covered by quilted textile reinforced with strategic plating breathes a lot better than ssolid plate does. Especially when the quilted garment is light-coloured and heat reflective...

Also, the lack of gauntlets allows them to operate a bow more efficiently and the lack of greaves would mean they tire slower from marching and if they have to fight on foot, they feet would be less vulnerable to the effects of suction. Also, this type of armor would be easier to take on and of my themselves and the helmet permits more vision than a armet, sallet and bevore for example. His gear better set up for ambushes, skriminshes,and scouting than NW European Heavy calvary whose armor and equipment is designed more for breaking infranty formation and to withstand long periods of hand to hand combat , often with a force that outnumbers you.
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Vasilly T





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 8:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not think that this kind of armour allows more freedom of movement than a well-fit full plate armour, in fact I think it would allow even less, since the distribution of weight in the latter is made the way it's concentrated on the hips and lower back, thus freeing shoulders and legs from the extra weight.

But I do like the argument about overheating, full plate really is very prone to it. As well as the argument of taking this kind of armour on and off by yourself.

Quote:
the helmet permits more vision than a armet, sallet and bevore for example.

There were plenty of european helmet types allowing more vision and less protection, and most of them had a moveable visor, which could even be removed if necessary.
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
There was a report from a priest from the Crusade of 1101, describing in horror saracen heavy cavalry. Saying "they feared no sword, axe, mace, lance. They were covered in head to toe in steel and faces covered with mail and masks."

I don't really remember which priest described it, but I remember reading about it in an excerpt about the "1000 atabegs"

Many arab, turkish, persian, kurdish warriors kinda had a Mish mash of their weapons and armor, everyone chipped in. So Arabs wore persian ans armor and etc. I believe they had very heavy armor actually


The saracen sources speak similarly of the Crusaders as being fearless and covered from head to toe in armor. It's well worth your time to read a few of these translations as they can prove to be very entertaining.


http://deremilitari.org/2014/02/the-presentat...h-century/
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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Noah A. Sabouni wrote:
There was a report from a priest from the Crusade of 1101, describing in horror saracen heavy cavalry. Saying "they feared no sword, axe, mace, lance. They were covered in head to toe in steel and faces covered with mail and masks."

I don't really remember which priest described it, but I remember reading about it in an excerpt about the "1000 atabegs"

Many arab, turkish, persian, kurdish warriors kinda had a Mish mash of their weapons and armor, everyone chipped in. So Arabs wore persian ans armor and etc. I believe they had very heavy armor actually


The saracen sources speak similarly of the Crusaders as being fearless and covered from head to toe in armor. It's well worth your time to read a few of these translations as they can prove to be very entertaining.


http://deremilitari.org/2014/02/the-presentat...h-century/


I think both sides had heavy armor. But I believe turkish warriors fought with less armor, thus giving the impression of saracens being lightly armed. Arab fighting is very similar to European ways. Involving charges with lance. Wearing 2 coats of riveted mail. Using long heavy swords. It's really interesting

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know of any actual tests of the mail-and-plate armor worn by Mamlukes. While I doubt such suits gave the same level of protection against a couched lance as a 15th- or 16th-century Europe breastplate of hardened steel, at least if made of decent metal I suspect the often quite impressive protection.

It's interesting to note that in a 1594 military manual Sir John Smythe wrote that the Persians were one of the few nations that still field men-at-arms. (He wrote that they were only "orientall nation" to do so and also that men-at-arms at effectively fallen out of use in Christendom.) He defined men-at-arms as cavalry "all armed, cap a pie, and their horses verie puissant, and all barbed aswell behind as before." As far as I know, Iranian heavy cavalry at the end of the 16th century wore mail-and-plate armor, but apparently Smythe consider that sufficient to qualify as a man-at-arms. Iranian mail-and-plate armor probably wouldn't handle as pistol ball as well as Smythe's own Greenwich suit but he seems to have respected Iranian armor.

As further aside, historians typically remember Smythe as a stodgy English traditionalist hellbent on using bows in the age of the gun. There's truth to that position, but Smythe additionally took considerable influence from Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern armies, which he encountered in during his military career. He wanted horse archers and Eastern-style light cavalry for England along with the old-fashioned infantry bows and bills. None of that actually happened, of course, but it's fascinating that that was the direction Smythe wanted to go.

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Philip Dyer





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasilly T wrote:
I do not think that this kind of armour allows more freedom of movement than a well-fit full plate armour, in fact I think it would allow even less, since the distribution of weight in the latter is made the way it's concentrated on the hips and lower back, thus freeing shoulders and legs from the extra weight.

But I do like the argument about overheating, full plate really is very prone to it. As well as the argument of taking this kind of armour on and off by yourself.

Quote:
the helmet permits more vision than a armet, sallet and bevore for example.

There were plenty of european helmet types allowing more vision and less protection, and most of them had a moveable visor, which could even be removed if necessary.

There is more flexibility in his hands because he is not wearing gauntlets, he can run for longer periods on time because they is no weight on his legs because he isn't wearing greaves. He is not picking up weight every time he lifts his lower legs. Well made Cap and pie plate is remarkably flexible for the fact that you are covering a man in a materiel (large pieces of solid steel) which is very rigid materiel. But the fact is, the warrior in the picture is not near as completely armored, which has clear drawbacks and pluses. Where do your think their is anything that shows they is wieght concentrated on the legs? Seems like the armor contrates a alot of wieght on the shouders
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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
I don't know of any actual tests of the mail-and-plate armor worn by Mamlukes. While I doubt such suits gave the same level of protection against a couched lance as a 15th- or 16th-century Europe breastplate of hardened steel, at least if made of decent metal I suspect the often quite impressive protection.

It's interesting to note that in a 1594 military manual Sir John Smythe wrote that the Persians were one of the few nations that still field men-at-arms. (He wrote that they were only "orientall nation" to do so and also that men-at-arms at effectively fallen out of use in Christendom.) He defined men-at-arms as cavalry "all armed, cap a pie, and their horses verie puissant, and all barbed aswell behind as before." As far as I know, Iranian heavy cavalry at the end of the 16th century wore mail-and-plate armor, but apparently Smythe consider that sufficient to qualify as a man-at-arms. Iranian mail-and-plate armor probably wouldn't handle as pistol ball as well as Smythe's own Greenwich suit but he seems to have respected Iranian armor.

As further aside, historians typically remember Smythe as a stodgy English traditionalist hellbent on using bows in the age of the gun. There's truth to that position, but Smythe additionally took considerable influence from Eastern Europe and Middle Eastern armies, which he encountered in during his military career. He wanted horse archers and Eastern-style light cavalry for England along with the old-fashioned infantry bows and bills. None of that actually happened, of course, but it's fascinating that that was the direction Smythe wanted to go.


I think the value of mail vs plate is Plate and mail do the protection against slashes and average thrusts. But plate does great against the concussive force of swords compared to mail. Mail protects against concussive force some what, but plate does good against concussive force. But mail is more flexible and let's heat out.

Don't underestimate how hot u can get while fighting. It can kill u

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heat is not an issue. It never has been. Never in the entire history of warfare has climate been a consideration of what kind of armour a soldier chose to wear.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Noah A. Sabouni





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Heat is not an issue. It never has been. Never in the entire history of warfare has climate been a consideration of what kind of armour a soldier chose to wear.


Still has an effect on the soldiers performance. I agree people have worn heavy armor in hot and cold environments. But nonetheless, it effects the soldiers performance depending on the tempature. If it's over 110 degrees and you're in the desert, it's difficult compared to nice 60 or 70 degrees in europe. But nonetheless, knights and cataphracts and mamlukes toughed through the heat

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Vasilly T





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jul, 2015 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Where do your think their is anything that shows they is wieght concentrated on the legs? Seems like the armor contrates a alot of wieght on the shouders

Not on the given pictures, but they did have leg protection, did they?

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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

an interesting thing about warfare in eastern as opposed to western europe i have noticed comes when looking at the usage of precussive weapons like maces hammers and flails, and the design of axeheads found only in the eastern regions.

now im mostly speaking of areas i know such as russia ukraine the steppe nomads of the black sea as well as the byzantine empire

and what we seem to find is MUCH greater usage of precussive weapons in russia we see dozens of finds of maces in the earier centuries wheras in western europe we see only a handfull
in addition. we see axes that take on a more piercing design with small narrow heads that often feature fixtures like hammerheads and varying designs of backspike

and the flail was virtually unheard of in W europe until the 15th century as a knightly cavalry weapon but have a much more significant presence in russia with its own typology.

i would attribute this difference to the fact that in russia, the middle east, asia etc we see MUCH higher usage of small plate armour like scale and lamellar.

im takinlking about these areas in the 900-1200 year mark (my speciality is the early medieva;l period byzantine and russian warfare of around the turn of the milennium)
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John Hardy




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
an interesting thing about warfare in eastern as opposed to western europe i have noticed comes when looking at the usage of precussive weapons like maces hammers and flails, and the design of axeheads found only in the eastern regions.

now im mostly speaking of areas i know such as russia ukraine the steppe nomads of the black sea as well as the byzantine empire

and what we seem to find is MUCH greater usage of precussive weapons in russia we see dozens of finds of maces in the earier centuries wheras in western europe we see only a handfull
in addition. we see axes that take on a more piercing design with small narrow heads that often feature fixtures like hammerheads and varying designs of backspike

and the flail was virtually unheard of in W europe until the 15th century as a knightly cavalry weapon but have a much more significant presence in russia with its own typology.

i would attribute this difference to the fact that in russia, the middle east, asia etc we see MUCH higher usage of small plate armour like scale and lamellar.

im takinlking about these areas in the 900-1200 year mark (my speciality is the early medieva;l period byzantine and russian warfare of around the turn of the milennium)


Thanks. That's very interesting. And the widespread adoption of percussive weapons able to smash open even a suit of all-out Western-style plate a few hundred years BEFORE full plate was even invented could well have had a serious impact on the path of armour development there. There's not much percentage in developing expensive one-man tanks when you know that everybody and their pet dog is already carrying portable antitank weapons... Instead you're better off going for speed and avoidance.

So rather than trying to make heavier and heavier armour, you concentrate on armour that is good enough to fend off most longer range threats while still being light and flexible enough to allow a fighting style that tries to avoid blows from the close-range impact weapons instead of trying to shrug them off. IOW, mail stiffened with small plates over key areas and lots of padding both inside and out... Helmets that allow good vision... And you keep using shields...
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Vasilly T





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PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To William P
That is a very interesting point of view, and I must say I totally agree with it.

To John Hardy
Now that point of view is very flawed, if you ask me. First of all, if those percussive weapons would be so effective against supposedly expensive suits of plate armour, then Europe would never go in that direction of adopting the latter.

The topic of weapons vs. plate armour is a matter of debate, and I would not like to start it here, but I will state that according to the data from the "pro armour" side a 2 mm thick hardened plate granted near invulnerability until the appearance of a musket in 16th century. That is partially supported by the data of maximum armour thickness, that wasn't rising until the 16th century and was around 2 mm.

On top of that, there is a thread nearby made by Pieter B., gathering some archaeological data, that shows that most wounds were inflicted to the head of the deceased, and those were not percussive or penetrative wounds, but instead cuts made with a sharp blade, which, along with scarcity of the body wounds, can suggest that the helmets were removed, either by the wearers themselves, or by their opponents, in order to inflict that kind of damage.

Now, about the "expensiveness" of plate armour; a note should be made that the most expensive part is not the material an armour is made of, but the amount of work went into shaping it to fit the wearer. That is supported by evidence: munition armour even made out of high-quality steel could cost less than 2% of the price of a full plate armour.

In fact, I do believe that lamellar armour required bigger amount of work than full plate armour, due to bigger amount of components one must stitch together. But that's just a claim, I can't support it yet in any way.

As to the "path of development", Williams in his book states that the development of plate armour is directly connected to the invention of the blast furnace, which appeared in Europe somewhere around 14th century, or even earlier, allowing to produce larger blooms of steel and thus larger plates, which supposedly led to the development of the full plate armour in late 14th-early 15th century. Whereas in Russia blast furnace only appears in 17th century. And by that time some full plate armours do appear on it's territory, at least that's what I was told in local museum.

So overall, I want to say that we should keep in mind that the development of arms and armour in different regions could and probably was influenced by the technology available at the time and not assume that everyone could do the same, but some preferred not to.
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