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T. Kew




Location: London, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2016 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A breastplate is raised away from the body. When you smash it with a mace, the force that exerts (if it gains purchase, which is of course less likely on smooth steel) gets spread around the full rim of the plate, and then through the padding to the body. There isn't a direct concussive effect on the wearer unless you crush the plate all the way in, which takes much more energy.

By contrast, most brigs are relatively closer to the body. That space will have some padding in it, naturally, but there's still a fairly direct transfer of force through that padding into the target. It's spread out somewhat by the overlapped plates, which helps a lot, but still is more directly to the struck area than plate.

Where a brig is really great is comfort and practicality. You can unbuckle most designs and lie them out flat - easy to bung in the wagon and transport. A plate cuirass, meanwhile, is a big object that doesn't really get any smaller. They're also very comfortable to wear. If you asked me to choose what armour I'd want to wear to go fight in, plate is the answer. But if you asked me to choose what armour I wanted to wear as a mounted crossbowman out raiding in 1480, it's probably a brig. After all, I might be out all day doing burning crops and harassing peasants, and only get in a fight for five minutes. Something that's comfortable and easy to wear instantly has a lot of advantages.

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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2016 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr..Kew, thou hast said it. Happy
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Thu 21 Apr, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, Mr Kew is spot on.

If I know I'm going to be getting serious blows from thrusting weapons (which i do for part of my living) then the plate harness is it. No ifs, no buts I need a harness. If a lighter, more flexible bit of kit is needed then the Brigandine, often over a jack or mail shirt, is great.

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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could you elaborate a bit on the 'comfy' factor? I am quite curious how one would quantify it and how significantly more comfortable it is. I recall an Italian observer in England noting that jacks were more comfortable too.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Apr, 2016 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm guessing since brig is flatter and sits closer to the body, that is more efficent speading it's wieght across your entire chest than a breastplate and the cloth shell in some cases can protect you from major armor pinches. plated Jacks and padded jacks because there are no rivets to rubb againist you that brigandine has. Alos, the right matriel for the shell could help keep you cooler than bare metal.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2016 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wore both plate breast+back and coats of plates (and mail of course) to reenactment battles and duels and coat of plates (most comparable to brigandine) is definitely the most comfortable option. The one I use now is very well made for my size and very light and mobility is perfect. With plate it's much harder to achieve such a good fit and it is pretty much necessary to have one made custom just for you. My plate was too long and to wide at the chest for me and I didn't feel very good wearing it. But, I did feel much more invulnerable than with CoP. CoP has no free space between it and your body and you feel that when you are hit. If I knew I will be hit with pollaxes, lances and similar hard hitting weapons, I would choose well made plate that fits me well.
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Mario M.




Location: Croatia
Joined: 31 Mar 2016

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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to visualize already presented arguments;

Poleaxe hitting a fixed breastplate;

http://share.gifyoutube.com/m6ON32.gif


The larger the plate section, the larger the surface the impact spreads to(meaning, the larger the surface that presses on the cloth underneath, acting as a sponge)


Could not find anything about anyone testing brigandine armor, the best I could find is this lamellar armor test against an axe(obviously not the same thing, but stuff made out of numerous connected plates nonetheless);

https://j.gifs.com/Z6gnR6.gif

Notice how the entire structure deforms and basically "allows" the impact to go through.

That is because the armor is made up of smaller plates, meaning that the weapon is not hitting the entire torso armor, but only the plates it strikes, not allowing the rest of the armor(other plates) to help(much) with the impact.

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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Sat 23 Apr, 2016 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The problem with Mike Loads hitting that breastplate with the poleaxe is that the entire breastplate is filled with ballistic gelatin, as though it directly touched the wearer's body at all points. No one is shaped like that. The breastplate is shaped the way it is to avoid touching the rib cage at all, and has plenty of crush space if impacted by a heavy cavalry lance. It is at least two inches away from the solar plexus. The result is that unless the breastplate is completely caved in, the rib cage absorbs no impact at all; it goes to the waist and the padding of the arming doublet at the tops of the shoulders.
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Joseph Biggie




Location: Ohio, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Sep, 2016 6:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And we see examples of this all the time throughout history. Soldiers will naturally prefer comfort (with some degree of protection) over complete protection almost every single time. In Iraq they sent out kevlar plate additions to attach to your groin, your throat, shoulders, upper arms, and thighs. But almost everyone who had to do any kind of walking immedietly ditched them because they were hot, heavy, and uncomfortable. Pretty much the only people that wore them were the turret gunners in Humvees because they didnt have to move much.
So as stated above, plate harnesses might be more effective, but many people would prefer convenience and comfort over better protection, especially while out on long campaigns

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warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by 
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Oct, 2016 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Here's what Humphrey Barwick thought of Sir John Smythe's plan of armoring mounted archers with jacks of mail, light and easy brigandines, or at the least eyelet-holed doublets:

Humphrey Barwick, 1592 wrote:
[A]s for the armours, the best is the Brigandine, the which is but equall with a coate of plate of the best making, which M. Euers or Ewry was armed with, when as the Lord of Grange called Kirkaudie a Scot, and the saide M. Ewry did runne the one at the other, in a challenge by them made with sharpe Speares: but how fell out the same? euen like to haue beene the death of that good and valiant Gentleman M. Ewrye, for Kirkaudy ranne him cleane through the armour, as in at the brest and forth at the back, through both: the~ to what purpose is that arming in that ma~ner? [omitted lines regarding gunpowder weapons against such armors] Why then should such meane armors be allowed, with men of vnderstanding and knowledge? it were most fit that our enemies were so armed: for if it would defend against any thing, it wold serue best against archers, whose force is like vnto that maner of arming.


According to Barwick, brigandines decidedly did not protect as well as plate and could fail against the couched lance and the gun. Of course, this was in the context of pistol- and perhaps arquebus-proof hardened plate armor for the elite. I'm not sure about Barwick, but Smythe personally owned at least one suit of Greenwich armor.


I couldn't understand much of the text due to its old-fashioned english, but I found it odd you conclude that plate armor were better than brigandines (of course, it may be explicit throughout the text) when at the very beginning he declares that "Brigandines are the best armor " and equal "to the coat-of-plates of excellent manufacturing (think" coat-of-plates "means armor plates in this context)

But in the general, I'm convinced of your arguments on plate x brigandine discussion. Thanks a lot!
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Ben Joy




Location: Missouri
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Oct, 2016 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joseph Biggie wrote:
And we see examples of this all the time throughout history. Soldiers will naturally prefer comfort (with some degree of protection) over complete protection almost every single time. In Iraq they sent out kevlar plate additions to attach to your groin, your throat, shoulders, upper arms, and thighs. But almost everyone who had to do any kind of walking immedietly ditched them because they were hot, heavy, and uncomfortable. Pretty much the only people that wore them were the turret gunners in Humvees because they didnt have to move much.
So as stated above, plate harnesses might be more effective, but many people would prefer convenience and comfort over better protection, especially while out on long campaigns


You're forgetting the other half of the philosophy (expressed several times in this thread already) . . . about how people who are at far higher risk of heavy combat or hard hits will choose the extra protection. I pretty much guarantee the people ditching those extra armor protection pieces weren't in areas where they were more threatened with combat. That's speaking from experience . . . when our unit got the extra flak armor pieces for our vests we put them on and always wore them, period. Uncomfortable at times or not, we were happy to have every bit of protection we could get.

"Men take only their needs into consideration, never their abilities." -Napoleon Bonaparte
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Sat 08 Oct, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I couldn't understand much of the text due to its old-fashioned english, but I found it odd you conclude that plate armor were better than brigandines (of course, it may be explicit throughout the text) when at the very beginning he declares that "Brigandines are the best armor " and equal "to the coat-of-plates of excellent manufacturing (think" coat-of-plates "means armor plates in this context)


Barwick meant that the brigadine was the best armor of the armors recommend by Sir John Smythe for lighter troops. I'm not exactly sure how the late-16th-century English coate of plate differed from the late-16th-century English brigandine, but it was a similar armor made up of textiles and smaller plates. You frequently see archers listed as equipped with a coate of plate in 16th-century English records. Barwick used terms like "Corselet" and "Cuirasse" for plate armor.

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Henry O.





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2016 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the late 16th century, William Garrard was arguing that wearing chain mail had become particularly dangerous due to the risk that bullets would drive broken metal rings into the wound. Steel splinters entering with the bullet would have been a risk with wearing any metal armor, though the Graz tests noted that a well-tempered authentic breastplate seemed to produce less splintering than modern steel, and I wonder if there was a similar concern about brigandine leaving rivets or larger pieces of metal in the wound than a solid breastplate did.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Dec, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
I couldn't understand much of the text due to its old-fashioned english, but I found it odd you conclude that plate armor were better than brigandines (of course, it may be explicit throughout the text) when at the very beginning he declares that "Brigandines are the best armor " and equal "to the coat-of-plates of excellent manufacturing (think" coat-of-plates "means armor plates in this context)


"Coat-of-plates" doesn't mean plate armour! It means an armour made up of small plates riveted to a cloth shell -- in other words, it's very similar to the brigandine, and it's actually a little odd to see Barwick mentioning the two as if they were different types of armour. He was probably referring to some differences in the details of construction or something, not to a more fundamental difference in the nature of the armour itself.
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Ashley Barber
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Location: Essex, UK
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Feb, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
ED IV supplied his immediate household with brigandines of murray and azure silk velvet with gilded nail heads. Well he would, he was the King.


Sorry to join this late, i was just pointed in this direction. I am very interested and greatfull in this Mark if you found anything. As yet i cant find any evidence exept for one dubious picture for dual coloured brigandines. I know Edward supplied his personal men with Blue silk velvet brigandines with guilded rivets, there is a reference in his wardrobe accounts i believe.

Ash

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