General, Research, Technology

Why did knightly armor poorly protect warriors?

If you have ever watched a movie about the Middle Ages, you probably know what knights look like. These are the warriors who are dressed from head to toe in armor... This is what is called a set of protective clothing.from pieces of forged metal. In those days, firearms did not exist and all people fought only with swords and bows. It would seem that fully armored knights should not have received serious injuries in battles. After all, the armor was made of durable steel and could easily withstand blows from heavy swords and even more so hitting flying arrows. But the knights died, and very often. And all because the armor had weak points, blows to which often caused the death of soldiers. Within the framework of this article, I propose to find out what the knight's armor was made of, what was their main disadvantage, and against which weapon they were useless.

Knight's armor looks reliable, but could not provide full protection

Making knight's armor

The Middle Ages came immediately after antiquityand lasted from 476 to 1500 AD. These were quite difficult times for mankind, when wars and epidemics of deadly diseases occurred regularly. Medieval metallurgists could produce only two types of iron alloys in large quantities: raw iron and cast iron. For a long time, it was believed that weapons and armor were made from raw iron, which is today known as low carbon steel. In those days, this alloy was obtained by heating iron ore in a furnace at a temperature of about 1200 degrees Celsius. But later it turned out that full-fledged steel was used for knightly armor, which was malleable like iron and strong like cast iron. Moreover, the armor was often subjected to thermal hardening and became even stronger.

Enemies tried not to kill knights with expensive armor, because they could occupy high positions and it was possible to extract important information from them

The craftsmen were engaged in the manufacture of armor,who were known as armors. Knightly armor consisted of at least 16 parts, including a helmet, shoulder pads, bracers, chain mail inserts, legguards, knee pads and sabatons. The components of the knight's armor are well shown in the image below. Each of these parts of the armor was made separately. Before putting on heavy armor, the knights put on chain mail - clothes made of metal rings, which also protected from blows. Already on top of it, the warriors put on the main armor in parts. On average, the mass of knightly armor was 20 kilograms, so it was impossible to wear them constantly. But in battle they were worn without fail, but due to their high cost, they were not available to everyone.

Knight Armor Design

See also: Foam metal armor protects against bullets from heavy machine guns

Weaknesses of the knights

Since the knightly armor consisted of manyseparate parts, they were full of weak points. We are talking about the gaps at the joints between their component parts, which fell on the area of ​​the joints. Under the armor, the knights wore an iron chain mail, but it could hardly protect against blows from heavy swords. Therefore, when the enemies struck at these weak points, the warriors received mortal wounds. In some cases, enemy swords could even pierce steel, especially if it was not hardened.

The appearance of knightly armor has always been different

In addition, at the beginning of the 16th century,stilettos. This is the name of thin daggers, which were mainly used to defeat knights protected by armor. This weapon was dangerous in that its thin and sharp blade could easily pass between the scales of the chain mail, and even more so between the parts of the armor. Often, stylet blows occurred in the eye holes and unprotected areas in the armpits and groin.

Medieval stiletto

Do not forget that damage canto strike not only stabbing blows. Sometimes knights were hit with hammers, which caused severe injuries and fractures. And if a knight fell to the ground, even the most durable armor could not save him. After all, the enemies could easily remove the helmet from him or quickly find unprotected places and inflict mortal wounds.

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Currently one of the largest collectionsknightly armor collected in the Hermitage. It is important to note that many interesting objects are stored not in the museums themselves, but in warehouses. I talked about what interesting objects can be found in museum depositories in this article. In particular, it deals with a very unusual leather toy. Scientists still do not know exactly who it belonged to and how it could be played with.