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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
He specifically tells us that breastplates were only indifferently worn and those who could afford it preferred jacks or jupons or mail.


Now I'm confused. Are you saying that breastplates were only worn by the poorest soldiers because they were cheaper than padded jacks and mail who only the richest soldiers could afford? Just pause and think about that for a minute.

You fail to understand the difference between mass-produced muntions plate and custom-made, carefully-fitted, articulated plate harness. The former was the worst armour available and the latter was the best. In between you have jacks and mail and brigandines, and so on.

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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
He specifically tells us that breastplates were only indifferently worn and those who could afford it preferred jacks or jupons or mail.


Now I'm confused. Are you saying that breastplates were only worn by the poorest soldiers because they were cheaper than padded jacks and mail who only the richest soldiers could afford? Just pause and think about that for a minute.

Of course. You fail to understand the difference between mass-produced muntions plate and custom-made, carefully-fitted, articulated plate harness.


No I do not. I went to the Graz armoury last summer. Munitions grade breastplates were not custom fitted to every bump of every muscle and fat fold on your torso. The ones in the Graz armoury were made in three sizes, large, medium and small (according to the curator) and by the 1480s this munition plate armour were was made in large numbers as I stated before as you wold know if you had bothered to read my posts. They were beaten out on water powered hammers into rough shape in about a day (including the time it took to make the original flat plate) and finished in a day, half a day if you didn't care about hammer marks showing on the outside and skipped polishing the outer surface to a flat matte finish. Large numbers of the plates in the Graz armoury have hammer marks showing on the outside surface so they skipped the polishing. I can fully accept that a long sleeved thigh length mail shirt was probably more expensive than a simple munitions breastplate by the 1580s. A munitions grade plate half harness complete with arm protection and a back plate that gave the same number of all around protective surfaces as a mail shirt was significantly more expensive than a mere breastplate and probably much closer to the price of a mail shirt. The idea that a jack was far more expensive than a munitions breastplate is something I am not prepared to accept. None of this makes a jack or a jack+mail a superior defence to a breastplate. It may be a more flexible combo to wear but plate will give you better protection.


Last edited by Kristjan Runarsson on Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In 1588 Sir John Smythe complained about the muster at Tilbury not having properly-fitted armour. I think his main complaint is the lack of arming doublets.

"And because that no man can conveniently and fitly be armed, unless he be first properly appareled for his armor and also for the use of his weapon and that in the camp and army of Tilbury in 1588 whereas there were regiments of diverse shires with diverse bands both of demi-lances and lighthorsemen I did see and observe so great disorder and deformity in their apparel to arm withal, as I saw but very few of the army that had any convenience of apparel and chiefly of doublets to arm upon, hereof it came to pass that most of them did wear their armor very uncomely, uneasily..."

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Last edited by Dan Howard on Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
In 1588 Sir John Smythe complained about the muster at Tilbury not having properly-fitted armour. I think his main complaint is the lack of arming doublets.

"And because that no man can conveniently and fitly be armed, unless he be first properly appareled for his armor and also for the use of his weapon and that in the camp and army of Tilbury in 1588 whereas there were regiments of diverse shires with diverse bands both of demi-lances and lighthorsemen I did see and observe so great disorder and deformity in their apparel to arm withal, as I saw but very few of the army that had any convenience of apparel and chiefly of doublets to arm upon, hereof it came to pass that most of them did wear their armor very uncomely, uneasily..."


Well, doublets are not padded jacks, but then you know that.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You need to try on some munitions plate, not just look at some stuff in a museum.
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
You need to try on some munitions plate, not just look at some stuff in a museum.


What do you even mean by that? If you were trying to insult me you failed miserably and I refuse to take this discussion to that level. When you order thousands of pieces of munition plate armour in one haul for your army as Maximilian II did on several occasions I honestly doubt anybody thinks that every one of those thousands of men went in for a custom fitting. Your choices for munition plate armour in 15th-17th century Austria were: Large, Medium, Small. When you are equipping men in those numbers you can only produce armour in several sizes and try to make it in a way that allows the stuff to fit most people in a size class. And just for your information, I have tried on munition plate.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you tried on munitions plate and wore it around for a while, you would not have said that.
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
If you tried on munitions plate and wore it around for a while, you would not have said that.


Said what? ... and one more time, I own and have worn munition plate.
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
My point was more the fact that making cloth was an extremely labour intensive task but re-enactors often talk as if the principles of economics were somehow suspended in the Middle Ages. However, anybody who has taken the time to dig through the paperwork generated by Medieval warfare knows that logistical and economic restraints heavily affected the procurement decisions of Medieval armies. There was an experiment done in Denmark where they tried to create a 10th century linen tunic starting with a bag full of linen seed. So they grew the linen, processed it into fibre, spun it into thread, wove it into cloth and then tailored and sewed it into a tunic all while keeping a detailed record of the man-hours invested in making the tunic from seed to garment. What they found was that something like 10% of the effort was in the fibre processing, another 15% in the weaving and sewing. The rest of the manual labour, i.e. the overwhelming majority of it, was in the spinning which had to be done by hand. What that means is that making a 30 layer jack can be as, or close to as, labour intensive as making a mail shirt. The whole and entire amount of labour poured into making that cloth from the seed onward counts and is translated into the final price of the cloth and the price of the jack. Nobody in that logistics chain is operating at a loss. Even used cloth was considered valuable if it was in a good enough condition to be used in a layered jack. Garbage has a way of becoming a valuable traded commodity the instant somebody finds a use for it. However, for a Lübeck style padded jack you need something like 1/5th to 1/6th of the cloth that goes into the 30 layer jack, two outer layers, one inner layer of cloth. The stuffing in-between is unprocessed wool fibre meaning that you get to skip 40-7=32 yards worth of growing linen/cotton, processing it into fibre, spinning fibre into thread and weaving cloth. The decision whether to equip your men with 30 layer jacks then boils down to whether it is cost effective to sink 5 times the money into equipping a guy with a 30 layer jack if a padded jack can do more or less the same job. The 30 layer jacks would certainly have to be significantly better than a padded jack for that to make financial sense. Now, I'm not saying a padded jack will do the same job as a 30 layered jack, but that remains to be tested properly with properly reconstructed replicas but it is a valid question. I am betting the 30 layer jack will give better results than the padded jack but science is not about betting, guessing or taking things on faith Big Grin it is about experiments and data. The big advantage of the 30 layer jack over a mail shirt (this is me hypothesising again) is mainly that the 30 layer jack is lighter and you can grow the material to make it on your land, no need to import iron. On top of that it does not require the same specialised knowledge to make as a mail shirt. You can outsource 30 layer jack (or padded jack) making to a bunch of housewives and female servants. For jacks of plate you have to throw in a few country blacksmiths to make 5+5 cm plates with a central hole. The 30 layer jack (or padded jack, or jack of plates) is a good choice if you are a primarily agricultural economy like 15th century France. Of course this is not a bad thing, you want to be self sufficient and not beholden to other countries to make your military equipment. By contrast Germany and Italy at the same time were rapidly setting up proto-industrial infrastructure, water powered smelters and water powered forges that could make iron/steel, forge it into large plates and shape them into breastplates in a fraction of the time it previously took to pound out a breastplate by hand which is why in Italy and Germany during the latter half of the 15th century you begin to see peasants and lower class burghers running around in relatively cheap but effective breastplates.


Right, but my point was that, rather than calculating the most expensive sort of layered jack, you should be looking at the cheapest sort, made from used linen that has already been grown, spun, woven, sold, used and resold at a much lower price. This reduces the price from somewhere between 4d and 8d Stirling to around about 2d Stirling per ell (the French ell was not significantly longer than the English), a drop of 1/2 to 1/4.

Similarly, just because Louis XI specified that 30 layers was required for the Francs archers, or 25 layers plus a deerskin, that doesn't mean that this was the most common type. The earliest reference to the number of layers in a layer jack comes from Niketas Choniates, where he mentions that there were 18, while the Rothwell jack has 11 layers (plus a couple more to cover and line the jack) with wool in between each layer.25-30 layers may, in fact, be more than was normally worn.

Would padded jacks still be cheaper? Certainly. I'd be very curious to see how well they function, however. So far, all the evidence about these strictly padded jacks points towards them being worn over mail or under a breastplate, and if they're not capable of stopping an arrow or spear thrust on their own I'd question their relevancy as stand alone armour. Price differences becomes irrelevant if the standard arrow of the period (LM16s/"Tudor" arrowheads for the 14th/15th centuries) aren't prevented from penetrating to a lethal depth. Most of what I've seen so far suggests that even relatively low energy short bodkins aren't stopped by padded armour.
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 6:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Dean wrote:

Right, but my point was that, rather than calculating the most expensive sort of layered jack, you should be looking at the cheapest sort, made from used linen that has already been grown, spun, woven, sold, used and resold at a much lower price. This reduces the price from somewhere between 4d and 8d Stirling to around about 2d Stirling per ell (the French ell was not significantly longer than the English), a drop of 1/2 to 1/4.

Similarly, just because Louis XI specified that 30 layers was required for the Francs archers, or 25 layers plus a deerskin, that doesn't mean that this was the most common type. The earliest reference to the number of layers in a layer jack comes from Niketas Choniates, where he mentions that there were 18, while the Rothwell jack has 11 layers (plus a couple more to cover and line the jack) with wool in between each layer.25-30 layers may, in fact, be more than was normally worn.

Would padded jacks still be cheaper? Certainly. I'd be very curious to see how well they function, however. So far, all the evidence about these strictly padded jacks points towards them being worn over mail or under a breastplate, and if they're not capable of stopping an arrow or spear thrust on their own I'd question their relevancy as stand alone armour. Price differences becomes irrelevant if the standard arrow of the period (LM16s/"Tudor" arrowheads for the 14th/15th centuries) aren't prevented from penetrating to a lethal depth. Most of what I've seen so far suggests that even relatively low energy short bodkins aren't stopped by padded armour.



Firstly, what does any of this have to do whether or not I have worn munition plate?

Secondly, what makes you think that 'slightly worn linen' was a lower cost resource than a bag of unprocessed wool? I am simply of the opinion that 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen' is going to be more expensive than a 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep. 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep still represents significantly less labour than 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen'. And I am on record as saying that I think 30 layer jack are a better protection than padded ones. I highlighted the statement in bold, underlined it and the italicised it in the hope it would stand out.

Padded and layered jacks are still relevant as stand alone protection because they are quite cut resistant. They are however no more effective as stab protection than mail is and they offer the same piss poor protection against blunt trauma that mail does. Plate is superior to both because it is more stab and blunt trauma resistant. I have a mail shirt, I also have a padded jack and I have a sharp spear. I can tell you from practical experience that neither does much to stop a determined thrust but at least having cut protection is better than nothing at all.

You should watch that YouTube video I linked to. They tried a 15 layer jack which proved to be proof agains all but the sharpest sword they tried and did little to slow down a spear. A 30 layer jack however, would probably have turned the wound from that razor sharp sword into a fairly superficial cut. It would probably also do reasonably against a fairly dull broad bladed spear but a narrow pointed sharper spear would probably penetrate even 30 layers and cut up your lower intestine leading to a pretty slow death from infection. Unfortunately they did not try a 30 layer jack.
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard, stop being condescending and dismissive. If you have something useful to add, then add it. Otherwise, there's really nothing for you here.
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
Firstly, what does any of this have to do whether or not I have worn munition plate?


Absolutely nothing. You've confusing me with Dan.

Quote:
Secondly, what makes you think that 'slightly worn linen' was a lower cost resource than a bag of unprocessed wool?


Not what I said at all. If you'll reread my post carefully, you'll notice that I said that padded jacks would be "certainly" cheaper than layered ones.

Quote:
I am simply of the opinion that 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen' is going to be more expensive than a 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep. 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep still represents significantly less labour than 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen'.


Which I don't disagree with, but you started this discussion by assuming that the linen would all be new woven and haven't, so far as I've seen, stepped back from this point.

Quote:
And I am on record as saying that I think 30 layer jack are a better protection than padded ones. I highlighted the statement in bold, underlined it and the italicised it in the hope it would stand out.


Again, not something I contested or suggested you didn't say.

Quote:
Padded and layered jacks are still relevant as stand alone protection because they are quite cut resistant.


Except that, so far as I'm aware, we have no evidence of padded jacks as stand alone armour.

Quote:
They are however no more effective as stab protection than mail is and they offer the same piss poor protection against blunt trauma that mail does. Plate is superior to both because it is more stab and blunt trauma resistant. I have a mail shirt, I also have a padded jack and I have a sharp spear. I can tell you from practical experience that neither does much to stop a determined thrust but at least having cut protection is better than nothing at all.


I would need to see a proper scientific test done before believing that a 20 layer jack or 2-2.5cm thick padded jack offered similar blunt force protection to mail and 8-10mm of padding. I could see a layered jack offering similar protection to mail + a padded jack, but I'd still like to see tests done before saying for sure one way or the other. Plate is, obviously, superior to either option and I don't think this is disputed by anyone.

Quote:
You should watch that YouTube video I linked to. They tried a 15 layer jack which proved to be proof agains all but the sharped sword they tried and did little to slow down a spear.


Well, it did substantially better against sword thrusts than the padded jack did, which suggests it would also have offered more protection against spears than the padded jack. Of course, without authentic replicas of either there's not much real value in the tests beyond "sharp swords cut good".
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Dean wrote:
Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
Firstly, what does any of this have to do whether or not I have worn munition plate?


Absolutely nothing. You've confusing me with Dan.

Quote:
Secondly, what makes you think that 'slightly worn linen' was a lower cost resource than a bag of unprocessed wool?


Not what I said at all. If you'll reread my post carefully, you'll notice that I said that padded jacks would be "certainly" cheaper than layered ones.

Quote:
I am simply of the opinion that 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen' is going to be more expensive than a 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep. 6 yards of linen and a bag of un-spun wool straight off the sheep still represents significantly less labour than 4 yards of new linen and 36 yards of 'moderately worn linen'.


Which I don't disagree with, but you started this discussion by assuming that the linen would all be new woven and haven't, so far as I've seen, stepped back from this point.

Quote:
And I am on record as saying that I think 30 layer jack are a better protection than padded ones. I highlighted the statement in bold, underlined it and the italicised it in the hope it would stand out.


Again, not something I contested or suggested you didn't say.

Quote:
Padded and layered jacks are still relevant as stand alone protection because they are quite cut resistant.


Except that, so far as I'm aware, we have no evidence of padded jacks as stand alone armour.

Quote:
They are however no more effective as stab protection than mail is and they offer the same piss poor protection against blunt trauma that mail does. Plate is superior to both because it is more stab and blunt trauma resistant. I have a mail shirt, I also have a padded jack and I have a sharp spear. I can tell you from practical experience that neither does much to stop a determined thrust but at least having cut protection is better than nothing at all.


I would need to see a proper scientific test done before believing that a 20 layer jack or 2-2.5cm thick padded jack offered similar blunt force protection to mail and 8-10mm of padding. I could see a layered jack offering similar protection to mail + a padded jack, but I'd still like to see tests done before saying for sure one way or the other. Plate is, obviously, superior to either option and I don't think this is disputed by anyone.

Quote:
You should watch that YouTube video I linked to. They tried a 15 layer jack which proved to be proof agains all but the sharped sword they tried and did little to slow down a spear.


Well, it did substantially better against sword thrusts than the padded jack did, which suggests it would also have offered more protection against spears than the padded jack. Of course, without authentic replicas of either there's not much real value in the tests beyond "sharp swords cut good".



Firstly, a whole lot of that was me confusing you with Dan for which I apologise.
Secondly, I am too lazy to do the mark up on a post that has been sliced to pieces like that so I am going to summarise here:

About the relative costs of wool and fabric. You have still sunk much more labour into 'moderately worn linen' than you have sunk into a bale of raw wool fibre. A good sheerer today can sheer 400 sheep in a day. In the Middle Ages, even if a guy could only sheer 50 sheep a day, the labour costs of a bag of raw wool would be insignificant. There is mostly only the intrinsic value of the raw un spun wool fibre to think about.

About padded jacks as stand alone amour. I have several books talking about them being used as stand alone armour in Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia. I also have seen last wills and testaments from Scandinavia where people are leaving their entire panoply of a padded jack, shield, spear/halberd/bill, sword and helmet to somebody. No mention of any other armour. The only thing I was left concluding is that they wore the padded jack as stand alone amour. By the 2nd half of the 15th century, at least in Scandinavia, a padded jack seems to have been the most basic armour but it seems usually to have been supplemented by either a mail shirt or a breastplate if you could at all afford it. The Scots and Irish stuck with mail shirts much longer. Feel free to disagree.

About the blunt trauma resistance of mail. I said mail, not mail + padding. The latter is obviously superior. Having said that, if somebody chops you on the shoulder with a halberd or a pole axe, that padding will do little to help save your shoulder from being pulverised.

As for the stab resistance of 30 layer jacks we seem to be on the same page. Even so, many of those thrusts they did on the 15 layer jack sample still penetrated deeply enough to give you some potentially fatal abdominal wounds.

In terms of pure protective value my preference is this:

1) Plate.
2) Brigandine or jack of plates.
3) Mail+padding or at least 20 layer jack.
4) Padded jack.

Your milage may vary.
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
About padded jacks as stand alone amour. I have several books talking about them being used as stand alone armour in Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia. I also have seen wills from Scandinavia where people are leaving their entire panoply of a padded jack, shield, spear/halberd/bill and helmet to somebody. No mention of any other armour. The only thing I was left concluding is that they wore the padded jack as stand alone amour. By the 2nd half of the 15th century, at least in Scandinavia, a padded jack seems to have been the most basic armour but it seems usually to have been supplemented by either a mail shirt or a breastplate if you could at all afford it. The Scots and Irish stuck with mail shirts much longer. Feel free to disagree.


Do you have the original language/is it possible that you/your source is just assuming they're padded rather than layered? I know, for instance, that Scottish jacks in the 16th century were layered rather than padded, and I'd be surprised if the 16th century Highlands were much wealthier than the 14th century.
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Dean wrote:
Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
About padded jacks as stand alone amour. I have several books talking about them being used as stand alone armour in Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia. I also have seen wills from Scandinavia where people are leaving their entire panoply of a padded jack, shield, spear/halberd/bill and helmet to somebody. No mention of any other armour. The only thing I was left concluding is that they wore the padded jack as stand alone amour. By the 2nd half of the 15th century, at least in Scandinavia, a padded jack seems to have been the most basic armour but it seems usually to have been supplemented by either a mail shirt or a breastplate if you could at all afford it. The Scots and Irish stuck with mail shirts much longer. Feel free to disagree.


Do you have the original language/is it possible that you/your source is just assuming they're padded rather than layered? I know, for instance, that Scottish jacks in the 16th century were layered rather than padded, and I'd be surprised if the 16th century Highlands were much wealthier than the 14th century.


For the Scandinavians I have some primary sources, for the Scots and Irish I only have a few books since that is not the focus of my research and I am mainly talking about the Scots of the highlands and the Isles in this context. I also have a of list of stuff that a16th century chieftain gave as gifts to his followers. Here they are handing out a basic panoply of a kettle hat of some sort (or perhaps cabasset by the 1540s), a 'panzari' which is pretty definitely a padded jack from what I have been able to determine and a weapons belt. Some were also given a 'gladiel' which seems to have been a falchion like langes messer and the odd axe and spear. As I said, a padded jack seems to have given some protection against cuts and spent arrows so it was better than nothing but from my primary sources it seems people eagerly supplemented a padded jack with a mail shirt or a breastplate if they could afford it. The most common upgrade to a padded jack was a 'kragi' (collar) which seems to have been a mail 'bishop's mantle'. It appears as a fairly common solitary item in the few surviving armoury inventories into the mid 16th century.

P.S. Panzari is described in konungsskuggsjá as a soft fabric protection that you wear under your mail so I'm pretty sure it is a padded jack but it was also apparently being issued and used all on its own.

P.P.S. There is a reference by one John Major dated 1521 who wrote: “In times of war they cover their whole body with a shirt of mail of iron rings, and fight in that ... the common people of the Highland Scots rush into battle, having their body clothed with a linen garment manifoldly sewed and painted or daubed with pitch, with a covering of deerskin”. This combined with Scottish highland grave effigies of the period showing this garment (called a 'cotun') has led people to theorise that this garment was quilted and worn under mail or sometimes as stand alone protection. Interestingly Konungsskuggsjá talks about a 'panzari' being blackened which seems to tie in with the Highland cotun being daubed with pitch.
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Jonathan Dean




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
For the Scandinavians I have some primary sources, for the Scots and Irish I only have a few books since that is not the focus of my research and I am mainly talking about the Scots of the highlands and the Isles in this context. I also have a couple of lists of stuff that a16th century chieftain gave as gifts to his followers where they are handing out a basic panoply of a kettle hat of some sort (or perhaps cabasset), a 'panzari' which is pretty definitely a padded jack from what I have been able to determine and a weapons belt. Some were also given a 'gladiel' which seems to have been a falchion like langes messer and the odd axe and spear. As I said, a padded jack seems to have given some protection against cuts and spent arrows so it was better than nothing but from my primary sources it seems people eagerly supplemented a padded jack with a mail shirt or a breastplate if they could afford it. The most common upgrade to a padded jack was a 'kragi' (collar) which seems to have been a mail 'bishop's mantle'. It appears as a fairly common solitary item in the few surviving armoury inventories into the mid 16th century.

P.S. Panzari is described in konungsskuggsjá as a soft fabric protection that you wear under your mail so I'm pretty sure it is a padded jack but it was also apparently being issued and used all on its own.


Dictionary definitions are not always correct, especially if the people writing them aren't particularly up to date regarding military equipment, and assumptions can build on assumption. If a 19th century author assumed that gambesons were "padded" and wrote the definition as such, and no subsequent dictionaries have challenged this, that doesn't mean they were actually padded, it just means that either no evidence for their construction exists or those writing the definition haven't double checked whether there's any evidence of gambesons being padded. The same applies to panzari.

Regarding the konungsskuggsjá, it has both "blautan panzara" and "góđan panzara", which are both made from soft and well blackened linen. The early section on naval combat mentions that the primary form of defence is a standalone panzari made in the same fashion. The fact that a "soft" panzara is worn under the mail while a "good" panzara is worn over it additonally suggests that "panzara" doesn't refer to a particular set of materials in construction so much as it does to a particular style (i.e. quilting) of construction, much as "gambeson", "aketon" and "pourpoint" were often used interchangeably.
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Dictionary definitions are not always correct, especially if the people writing them aren't particularly up to date regarding military equipment, and assumptions can build on assumption. If a 19th century author assumed that gambesons were "padded" and wrote the definition as such, and no subsequent dictionaries have challenged this, that doesn't mean they were actually padded, it just means that either no evidence for their construction exists or those writing the definition haven't double checked whether there's any evidence of gambesons being padded. The same applies to panzari.

Regarding the konungsskuggsjá, it has both "blautan panzara" and "góđan panzara", which are both made from soft and well blackened linen. The early section on naval combat mentions that the primary form of defence is a standalone panzari made in the same fashion. The fact that a "soft" panzara is worn under the mail while a "good" panzara is worn over it additonally suggests that "panzara" doesn't refer to a particular set of materials in construction so much as it does to a particular style (i.e. quilting) of construction, much as "gambeson", "aketon" and "pourpoint" were often used interchangeably.


I did not pick any of this out of a dictionary. Most of my stuff on the 'panzari' comes from collections of period documents. However, I can see and concede your point about the ambiguity of what the construction of a panzari actually is. However, konungsskuggsjá also talks about it being worn under mail and from what I can read on this site and elsewhere layered jacks were not worn under mail armour (but that may be wrong too):

Quote:
En upp ifrá ţarf hann at hafa nćst sér blautan panzara, ţabb er eigi taki lengra en á mitt lćr, en ţar nćst ţarf hann at hafa góđa brjóstbjörg, görva af góđu jarni, ţá er taki millim geirvartna ok brókabeltis, en yfir ţat góđa brynju, en yfir brynju góđan panzara, görvan međ sama hćtti sem áđr var sagt, ok ţó ermalausum.


which translates:

Quote:
But next to him he should wear a soft panzari, that does not go farther down than mid thigh, over that he needs to wear a good breast-defense made of good iron that reaches from the nipples to the trouser belt, and over that a good brynja (mail shirt), and over the brynja a good panzari made in the same way as described earlier but without sleeves.


As a native Norse speaker that sound to me like two layers of fabric defense with a breast plate and mail sandwiched between them. I suppose that could equally plausibly be two 10?, 15?, 20? layer jacks or two padded jacks. He does say the inner is identical in construction to the outer one. Either way they would not have had any problems with hypothermia even at -30°C of frost. The thing that sticks with me is the Cuton, which is always shown as having bulged 'sausages' like the Lübeck padded jack. Layered jacks do not have such pronounced 'sausages' between the seams. But then again there is no description explicitly stating the Cuton was padded. On the other hand there is this which looks like a padded jack to me:



Finally there is this list from the ordinances of one St. Maximin de Treves (1473) which I have still to dig up and verify:

  • A jack of 30 layers of linen can stand alone.
  • A jack of 25 layers and a leather shell can also stand alone.
  • A jack of 10 or more layers should have a maille shirt with it.
  • A jack that is several layers of canvas stuffed with raw wool, grass, horse hair or what ever they would've had and used.

The last two entries seem to suggest a jack of 10 layers or less needs a mail shirt but a layered/padded hybrid jack can stand alone as armour.

Colour me a bit confused.
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 10:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When you speak of munition grade armor, are you specifically referring to the types in Graz? If so what level of modern reproduction armor would be considered as munition grade armor today?
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Kristjan Runarsson





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PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
When you speak of munition grade armor, are you specifically referring to the types in Graz? If so what level of modern reproduction armor would be considered as munition grade armor today?


Munition grade armour is a big subject but basically, in this particular discussion, I am not limiting myself to the Graz armoury. By munition grade plate I mean any mass produced plate armour, particularly breastplates, intended for use by lower ranking soldiers that started being produced in ever growing quantities from the mid 15th century or so when forges in Italy and Germany began to use water powered hammers and furnaces on a large scale. The use of mechanical hammers basically made the price of this armour fall off a cliff compared to what it had been before. Basically I mean this stuff:



There are no really good really low cost modern reproductions of this stuff that I have been able to find. Most of the off-the-shelf plate armour basically just sucks because it is inaccurate. There are a couple of modern armourers that make relatively good reasonably priced reproductions of it:

Best armour: http://www.bestarmour.com
Armoury Marek: https://www.armorymarek.com



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Jonathan Dean




Location: Australia
Joined: 16 Feb 2019

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat 30 Nov, 2019 10:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kristjan Runarsson wrote:
I did not pick any of this out of a dictionary. Most of my stuff on the 'panzari' comes from collections of period documents.


Right, but you're interpreting/translating into English based on dictionary definitions.

Quote:
However, I can see and concede your point about the ambiguity of what the construction of a panzari actually is. However, konungsskuggsjá also talks about it being worn under mail and from what I can read on this site and elsewhere layered jacks were not worn under mail armour (but that may be wrong too):

Quote:
En upp ifrá ţarf hann at hafa nćst sér blautan panzara, ţabb er eigi taki lengra en á mitt lćr, en ţar nćst ţarf hann at hafa góđa brjóstbjörg, görva af góđu jarni, ţá er taki millim geirvartna ok brókabeltis, en yfir ţat góđa brynju, en yfir brynju góđan panzara, görvan međ sama hćtti sem áđr var sagt, ok ţó ermalausum.


which translates:

Quote:
But next to him he should wear a soft panzari, that does not go farther down than mid thigh, over that he needs to wear a good breast-defense made of good iron that reaches from the nipples to the trouser belt, and over that a good brynja (mail shirt), and over the brynja a good panzari made in the same way as described earlier but without sleeves.


As a native Norse speaker that sound to me like two layers of fabric defense with a breast plate and mail sandwiched between them. I suppose that could equally plausibly be two 10?, 15?, 20? layer jacks or two padded jacks.


That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that the "soft" panzar" and the "good" panzar do not have to be made in the exact same way. The text is ambigious enough that the soft panzar could be the vĺpentrřye that the Hirdskrĺa requires to be worn under mail/a panzer while the good panzar relates to the ordinary panzar in the Hirdskrĺa that is the equivalent of mail. What the strengthened vĺpentrřye is might be more relevant to your argument. It's possible that it was a thicker padded jack that provided more protection than under armour padding but less than a layered jack.

(I'm really glad we had this discussion, because I'd completely forgotten about the strengthened vĺpentrřye and hadn't given much thought to how it might have been made)

Quote:
He does say the inner is identical in construction to the outer one. Either way they would not have had any problems with hypothermia even at -30°C of frost.


If the construction of both was identical, that would suggest both were layered rather than padded, since only linen is mentioned. I think it's quite likely that we're missing some context, something medieval people considered a "no brainer" and didn't bother to document.

Quote:
The thing that sticks with me is the Cuton, which is always shown as having bulged 'sausages' like the Lübeck padded jack. Layered jacks do not have such pronounced 'sausages' between the seams. But then again there is no description explicitly stating the Cuton was padded. On the other hand there is this which looks like a padded jack to me:



It certainly looks like a padded jack. Hm, I might need to see if I can find the original text of John Major. It might be linen manifoldly sewn and covered with pitch and deerskin, but now that I look at things from another angle, it doesn't specifically say that the highland armour was made from layered linen, at least from what's been quoted.

Quote:
Finally there is this list from the ordinances of one St. Maximin de Treves (1473) which I have still to dig up and verify:

  • A jack of 30 layers of linen can stand alone.
  • A jack of 25 layers and a leather shell can also stand alone.
  • A jack of 10 or more layers should have a maille shirt with it.
  • A jack that is several layers of canvas stuffed with raw wool, grass, horse hair or what ever they would've had and used.

The last two entries seem to suggest a jack of 10 layers or less needs a mail shirt but a layered/padded hybrid jack can stand alone as armour.

Colour me a bit confused.


That's very interesting. If you can track down the original text, I would love to see it. That might change things a bit for me.
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