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[escapist] Science Breakthrough: Plate Armor is Heavy - Page 8

post #71 of 93
Most plate armors were traditionally quite mobile, despite myths to the contrary. If you can't move, and move well, you are dead. And yes, anyone who could afford this armor would have trained in it extensively. Obviously, it was less mobile than being unarmored, but it could not have been as unwieldy as many assume. People bet their lives on their ability to move and fight in this stuff.

There are a few problems with this experiment:

Firstly, ~100 pound armor is unheard of for actual combat gear. The only plate armors that would have been so heavy were parade or tournament armor, and they are not representative of the thickness of stuff used in actual battle, where mobility was crucial. Even 60 pounds, (the lower end of the figures given) is on the heavy side of plate armor.

Secondly, I'm doubtful as to whether the armor use in this test was fitted properly to the wearer. I cannot imagine anyone wearing a fortune of custom plate armor who would have tolerated not being able to breathe properly in it.

The point they make about 'unsprung' weight on the legs is a good one though, and it likely was more exhausting than the same weight in a pack. However, that weight in a pack would cause more localized fatigue (a sore back) rather than just wearing one out more quickly.
Edited by Blameless - 7/22/11 at 5:06pm
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post #72 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
Most plate armors were traditionally quite mobile, despite myths to the contrary. If you can't move, and move well, you are dead. And yes, anyone who could afford this armor would have trained in it extensively. Obviously, it was less mobile than being unarmored, but it could not have been as unwieldy as many assume. People bet their lives on their ability to move and fight in this stuff.

There are a few problems with this experiment:

Firstly, ~100 pound armor is unheard of for actual combat gear. The only plate armors that would have been so heavy were parade or tournament armor, and they are not representative of the thickness of stuff used in actual battle, where mobility was crucial. Even 60 pounds, (the lower end of the figures given) is on the heavy side of plate armor.

Secondly, I'm doubtful as to whether the armor use in this test was fitted properly to the wearer. I cannot imagine anyone wearing a fortune of custom plate armor who would have tolerated not being able to breathe properly in it.

The point they make about 'unsprung' weight on the legs is a good one though, and it likely was more exhausting than the same weight in a pack. However, that weight in a pack would cause more localized fatigue (a sore back) rather than just wearing one out more quickly.

They mention in the BBC article it's "15th Century replica armour", do you have any other indication that armour from this time period did not weigh as much as they state ? Perhaps you are referring to more modern armour.
 
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post #73 of 93
I bet those knights where a lot stronger than the strongest soldiers today and probably many of them could wear the armor for as long as they needed.

They were no vikings, but bad asses, that's what they were.
post #74 of 93
Mythbusters cracked that some weeks / couple of months ago?

But nice the great minds finally figured it out.

sorta like people on bikes.. heavy bike = harder time going up hill than with a light bike :b and so on!
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post #75 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007 View Post
They mention in the BBC article it's "15th Century replica armour", do you have any other indication that armour from this time period did not weigh as much as they state ?
According "Warrior Race: A History of the British at War", by Lawrence James to Most plate armors (14th-16th century) were in the 40-60 pound range.

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_gothic_armour.html

The lower suit of full plate armor weighs 40 pounds, and though it was not made for a large man, more than 60 would have been highly unusual for anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007 View Post
Perhaps you are referring to more modern armour.
I'm not.

100 pounds is extreme. No one could have fought in such stuff, unmounted, and those who tried would have been pulled down and killed or captured in short order.

Plate made one virtually immune to cuts, and absorbed a lot of impact, but if weren't mobile and couldn't get up easily, any peasant slob with a knife is going to take you out with a blade through the visor, or you will dragged off to be ransomed.

The plate they used in this test was likely too thick to be representative of real combat armor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CULLEN View Post
I bet those knights where a lot stronger than the strongest soldiers today and probably many of them could wear the armor for as long as they needed.

They were no vikings, but bad asses, that's what they were.
Actually, they were usually smaller and probably not quite as fit as modern combat troops from, wealthy, first-world countries.
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post #76 of 93
Empirical clarification win! Only a few hundred years irrelevant..
post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennh View Post
My mind is blown. Still waiting on the research to see if water is wet
I can solve that dilemma for you right here.
water is not wet.
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post #78 of 93
Mind. Blown.
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post #79 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post
According "Warrior Race: A History of the British at War", by Lawrence James to Most plate armors (14th-16th century) were in the 40-60 pound range.

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_gothic_armour.html

The lower suit of full plate armor weighs 40 pounds, and though it was not made for a large man, more than 60 would have been highly unusual for anyone.



I'm not.

100 pounds is extreme. No one could have fought in such stuff, unmounted, and those who tried would have been pulled down and killed or captured in short order.

Plate made one virtually immune to cuts, and absorbed a lot of impact, but if weren't mobile and couldn't get up easily, any peasant slob with a knife is going to take you out with a blade through the visor, or you will dragged off to be ransomed.

The plate they used in this test was likely too thick to be representative of real combat armor.



Actually, they were usually smaller and probably not quite as fit as modern combat troops from, wealthy, first-world countries.

Thanks for the update and the link!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowtek View Post
Empirical clarification win! Only a few hundred years irrelevant..

Understanding better history and it's relation to the present is never irrelevant.
 
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post #80 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telimektar View Post
... the English had a more devastating weapon, the English longbow... the French used Genoese crossbowmen mainly, and while their crossbow pierced armors more easily it was a LOT slower.
The crossbow had longer range and was just as accurate, but as you say it was a lot slower to fire. It took a long time to winch the cord back and reload, so much so that they would often employ a loader to service each bowman. The longbow did not have this constraint and was capable of putting a lot more aimed arrows down range in a given time.

As for the armour piercing aspect, if the arrow was tipped with a bodkin (heavy needle like point) then it would easily penetrate the more common armour around, however some Milanese and German armour was pretty much impenetrable even then. The broad head arrows, designed to be used against unarmoured men, would obviously not penetrate, however the force and weight of them could easily knock a man back, or even down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telimektar View Post
At the Battle of Agincourt the great majority of French Knights were dismounted and had to rush to the English line and got slaughtered because they were just too damn tired when they finally reached the line by the running and all the non-letal arrows they received on their armors.
Yep, the battle won by mud. The unarmoured archers also did a fair bit of damage even after they had run out of arrows. Most of them were armed with long knives (for thrusting through the visor) and poleaxes (for crushing the visor). Because they were unencumbered they could easily avoid most of the sword thrusts from the tired knights and out manoeuvre them. Also if you factor in the immense upper body strength of a long-bowman the poleaxe becomes a very deadly weapon.

Remember as well that in a suit of armour your vision is very restricted, most of the time you are looking out through a thin slit; if it was made any bigger it became a tempting target for any bowman still firing. I believe that some of the English knights actually chose to remove or raise their visors when facing the French forces at Agincourt, as they did not have to worry about arrows and it made it easier to see what was going on around them.
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