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The weapons and protection of medieval times was quiet strange and beautiful. Armor began as leather that had been tempered and soaked in a substance, and when dried made it awfully stiff. Needless to say against the early swords of the time it was not very effective. After the discovery of steel, a new, more protective style of armor was developed. It was known as chain mail. The armor was made of steel rings "knitted" or linked together to form a tight shirt of metal. It was used widely and even was developed to cover arms, legs, heads, and arms. Later chain mail would be used to cover the heads and sides of a knight's horse. The downside to this style of armor was that it was useless to small daggers, arrows, and lateral sword swings.
Slowly but surely the use of chain mail among knights started to decline (it was still used frequently by foot soldiers). This is where the typical "knight in shining armor" comes in. The new crossbows and sharper blades introduced a need for a stronger piece of armor that was a single plate. Huge suits of plate armor were developed and used to fend off any attacks. They could withstand sword blows and even arrows.
The average suit of armor consisted of around 20 pieces, weighed about 50 pounds, and cost as much as a small farm. Because of the huge cost many knights would scavenge for armor on the battlefield.
As weapons, such as crossbows and guns, were improved armor slowly became very ineffective. Bullets would tear through the steel and provide a hard time to get in side and clean wounds.
The sword was the knight's main weapon. It was considered a knight's main weapon and was usually designed with a special hilt. One handed swords usually had two sides and was about 30-40inches long. They were used with a cut and thrust style of attack. The first blow, or the cut, was used to stun the opponent and hopefully crush the links of his mail. The thrust blow was used to run through the opponent hopefully giving a deadly blow.
A sword was a made of hard steel and during the height of the middle ages was made with great quality. The greatest makers were those of Toledo Spain, and Passu, Solingen, Germany. Great care was take to design a hilt that was unique and showed scenery that pertained to that person.
After the decline of armor use, it was very difficult to get a quality sword. Many writings talk of a sword breaking in two or just being crooked and made improperly.
Besides swords infantrymen used a variety of weapons. The first we will talk about are missiles. The bow and arrow were used extensively in all campaigns. It was fired usually at an arch and then would land in the middle of group infantry. Alone this sound useless but with hundreds of archers firing at once it made a devastating storm of arrows. Crossbows took it one step further by upping the velocity, so that the arrow could now penetrate most armors.
The lance was used by a mounted knight. It was about 10 to 12 ft. long and had a metal tip. The knight would gain speed on the horse and aim at someone; the lance would crash into the body and crush or shatter bones.
Certain skilled soldiers used axes, maces, and blunt weapons of all sorts. The axe was good for hacking into and breaking the armor of a soldier. The mace was a pole with a head of spikes and was used like and axe. The mace came in a variant that was the same except the head was removed and connected by about 3 inches of chain, this allowed for momentum to gain by use of gravity.
I hope you enjoyed my report.
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Blade weapons, Mail, Dagger, Crossbow, Mace, Ranger, Lance, Sword, Body armor, Deadliest Warrior
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