Knee armour?

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Knee armour?

Post 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?

Alexander Borum
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:28 am
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post 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!

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Post 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.

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Post 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
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Post by Tod »

Thanks it's got to be worth a try. :D

User avatar
Dave B
Post Knight
Posts: 1737
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Post 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
Find time in every day to look at your life and say; 'Well, it could be worse'

Kurt's uncle Bob.

User avatar
Tod
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2884
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:25 am
Location: A small part of Scotland hidden in middle England
Contact:

Post 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.

User avatar
TimB
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:00 am
Location: Suffolk, United Kingdom

Post by TimB »

BTW, they are called 'poleyns' IIRC.

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Post 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.)
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Post 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.
Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

User avatar
Zachos
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:34 pm

Post by Zachos »

Knee is also most likely to get hit in combat, as when in a crouch its the part nearest the enemy.
Slowly realizing just how far is still to go.

User avatar
Colin Middleton
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2037
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Sheffield
Contact:

Post by Colin Middleton »

Thinking it through, it may even be a standardtarget point in the fight manuals.
Colin

"May 'Blood, blood, blood' be your motto!"

Image

User avatar
Thomas de Beauchamp
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:45 am
Location: Sussex

Post 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!

Adam R
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: East of Nottingham
Contact:

Post 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!
KDF Nottingham
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

User avatar
stephen wootten
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:20 pm

Post 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
cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum

A Bayard, A Bayard!!!!!

guthries Sardukarr Bashar

Adam R
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: East of Nottingham
Contact:

Post 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
KDF Nottingham
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Post 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.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

Adam R
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: East of Nottingham
Contact:

Post 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 :)
KDF Nottingham
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

User avatar
nerf herder
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 5:56 pm
Location: "The Bunker"

Post by nerf herder »

knee armour adds protection and comfort when bumming foxes................

apparently



Nerfy
"It's a mother beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there...."

User avatar
Fox
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2652
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:27 pm
Location: Cheshire

Post 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.

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Post 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.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

User avatar
zauberdachs
Post Centurion
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:38 pm

Post 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...
Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

Mark Griffin
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 4242
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: Wales. Only just!
Contact:

Post 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.
http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

User avatar
Zachos
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:34 pm

Post 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.
Slowly realizing just how far is still to go.

User avatar
zauberdachs
Post Centurion
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:38 pm

Post 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.
Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

User avatar
Zachos
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:34 pm

Post 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!
Slowly realizing just how far is still to go.

Adam R
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: East of Nottingham
Contact:

Post 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...?
KDF Nottingham
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

User avatar
zauberdachs
Post Centurion
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 7:38 pm

Post by zauberdachs »

Anyone's whose fought a bill block will appreciate knee protection in general and with wings specifically :)
Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

Marcus Woodhouse
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 3337
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:35 pm

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I have both, depending upon who is around to help with the bloody straps determines which i wear.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

Adam R
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: East of Nottingham
Contact:

Post 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'...
KDF Nottingham
"Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

Post Reply