Page 1 of 3

Knee armour?

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:56 pm
by Tod
I was looking at pictures of archers last night, and noticed many of them have only what looks like knee armour. Why would that be?

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:50 pm
by Alexander Borum
well immediately, i would guess, that joints are rather "tender/a prime target" so protecting these areas when ever possible would likely be a good idea.

im not too much into archery, but i would guess that elbow armour would be in the way - and full leg armour wouldnt be a) a good solution for someone who aint supposed to do mock combat. b) .. good if you need to be mobile.

anyways, do you have any links or pictures you can share on the subject, we have some archer interested people in my group, who´s allways interested in sources on archers gear!

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:01 pm
by Tod
I can never get pictures to post and I don't have a scanner but look at this thread http://livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11526
there are pictures there about half way down.

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:29 pm
by Dave B
I've got some 'white rose' knee armour of this type which I don't use if you fancy having a play with some to see how it works. It's very pretty

Dave

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:34 pm
by Tod
Thanks it's got to be worth a try. :D

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:36 pm
by Dave B
Are you going to TORM at all? I've got to go and drop a gun off, so I could drop of knee armour if you fancy trying it.

Dave

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:56 am
by Tod
Hi
I'm going on Saturday, so if you are going then you could drop it off with Gary Bate, or I can PM you my mobile number.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:13 am
by TimB
BTW, they are called 'poleyns' IIRC.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:54 am
by Marcus Woodhouse
And bloody useful they are too, especially if you've got knees as shite as mine (too much gaelic football in me wean days.)

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:56 pm
by Colin Middleton
I've seen that before with the polyens. If you bang your knea, it hurts a lot more than banging your thigh, so protect the sensative part first. If you can afford better protection, add the cuisse(?) to protect the thigh from the falling arrows (and any blows should you close). Shins are only likley to get hurt in heavy close combat, so armouring them is less popular than the others.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:16 pm
by Zachos
Knee is also most likely to get hit in combat, as when in a crouch its the part nearest the enemy.

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:36 pm
by Colin Middleton
Thinking it through, it may even be a standardtarget point in the fight manuals.

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:00 am
by Thomas de Beauchamp
They must have been great when scavanging arrows on a battle field. The arrows would be sticking out of the ground (those that had been lofted) daring you to kneecap yourself on the knocks!

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:04 pm
by Adam R
Colin Middleton wrote:Thinking it through, it may even be a standardtarget point in the fight manuals.
Not in the German tradition or later European - can't speak for the Italian medieval - low targets are frowned on because the range to your head is less than to their leg... :shock:

But that isn't such a key point in a battle against multiple opponents and various weapons where lesser armoured targets (on people not directly fighting you perhaps) are an option.

I also wonder how easy it is for a medieval surgeon to fix a knee compared to a thigh or shin? Would be a b**ger if you became unable to work when you got back from the campaign!

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:28 pm
by stephen wootten
as i was taught long ago prime targets are throat and groin, protect yours aim for theirs. but thats not freindly so i dont do it unless asked nicely. also i would only disable a foe with a knee hit if i was moving alot, other wise a kill is safer and evens the odds and promotes fear quicker.

if i remember archers in the old paintings wore breatplates, tassets, and elbow copps. so basicly armoured for sods law and not close combat, so protected to make them last longer and not be replaced so oftern as armour was probaly cheaper than a replacement from England. dont see as many european missile troops as armoured, ie genoesse crossbow teams with pavise and siege hats and little else.

all this is just my oppinions and training, so its propbaly different than yours :P

steve

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:30 am
by Adam R
Hi Steve,
The German medieval material gives several rules; aim at the unarmoured bits, head and neck region are preferred if unarmoured - faster and stronger strikes available to you. Throat not mentioned as I recall - but we aren't talking slashing weapons (falchion/messer aside and that isn't my focus of study/training I'm afraid). A blow to the head will incapacitate the recipient very effectively due to the shock imparted to the brain. Sadly I have experience of that :(
Cheers
Adam

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:32 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
That Jewish fella Otto and the Italian Fiore mention knee strikes in unarmed and in dagger work. Both are more akin to street fighting manuals than Talhoffen's seems to be. But I bow to you on this Adam.

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:05 pm
by Adam R
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:That Jewish fella Otto and the Italian Fiore mention knee strikes in unarmed and in dagger work. Both are more akin to street fighting manuals than Talhoffen's seems to be. But I bow to you on this Adam.
Well - Ott the Jew's works appear in the German fechtbucher (including plays in Talhoffer IIRC) - but they all focus on one to one primarily - the are about sound fighting principals.

And don't worry about Talhoffer - the wide availability of the work means it is often (mis)quoted and more often mis-understood. Only after understanding the principals of the written fechtbucher are you likely to get anything useful from it IMHO :)

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:29 pm
by nerf herder
knee armour adds protection and comfort when bumming foxes................

apparently



Nerfy

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:50 pm
by Fox
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:That Jewish fella Otto and the Italian Fiore mention knee strikes in unarmed and in dagger work. Both are more akin to street fighting manuals than Talhoffen's seems to be. But I bow to you on this Adam.
Fiore is not a "street fighting" manual, although no doubt some of it is relevant to personal defence. If you mean it's more of a battlefield manual than one on duelling then I could go with that.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:04 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Yes, I do, Talhoffen seems (at least to me) to be more about one on one fighting, not the kind of down and dirty stuff you get on the streets, though there are still lots of down and dirty moves in his work, I hasten to add. Again i bow down to the wisdom of my elders and betters, so to speak. Not wanting to call you ancient, you old b**ger, you.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:51 pm
by zauberdachs
Adam R wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:Thinking it through, it may even be a standardtarget point in the fight manuals.
A large part of the wrestling techniques from the German school resolve around pulling the knee out while pushing the opposite shoulder? Not that armour would protect against this.

I've been doing full contact sparing for a while and have never had the need for knee protection.

Could it be for the offensive potential? Kneeing people in the knackers is demonstrated in the German tradition...

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:30 pm
by Mark Griffin
Dont forget a lot of combat involved missile weapons so any protection is better than none, especially as archers in English and northern Europe often shoot at each other.

Its still a bit of a discussion on how poleyns stay up by themsleves.... not that clear in the pictures.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:20 pm
by Zachos
I get the feeling that they were held up in a similar way to the full leg armour in that they were laced to some substantial hose which were held up by a doublet. I think this setup would get around the belt cutting your hips problem and may also explain why hose stopped below the hips.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:46 pm
by zauberdachs
Doh.

Pole arms.

I've been thinking in terms of swords. Any upper guard with a longish polearm usually sees you getting lots of thrusts to the knees and thigh.

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:07 pm
by Zachos
zauberdachs wrote:Doh.

Pole arms.

I've been thinking in terms of swords. Any upper guard with a longish polearm usually sees you getting lots of thrusts to the knees and thigh.
BINGO!

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:26 am
by Adam R
Yes - as I thought I had said - weapons of various lengths :roll: :lol:

So - in the pictures are they winged or un-winged, these poleyns without cuisses? If winged it might be more to discourage hooking...?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:37 am
by zauberdachs
Anyone's whose fought a bill block will appreciate knee protection in general and with wings specifically :)

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:15 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
I have both, depending upon who is around to help with the bloody straps determines which i wear.

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:53 pm
by Adam R
zauberdachs wrote:Anyone's whose fought a bill block will appreciate knee protection in general and with wings specifically :)
On the re-enactment field - yes - but does contemporary artwork suggest the same? I can't remember the pictures of poleyns 'a solo'...