Fun article on energy expended wearing armor-a little OT
- Yes this article does offer some new information about energy consumption while wearing full plate armor. However I believe it also confuses the broader issue of medieval warriors compared to modern humans wearing period replica armors.
First of all humans aren't stupid ( which I think it sort of tries to imply in some degree by saying how hard it is to function in armor ). Now that doesn't mean that historically humans didn't do stupid things sometimes. We all do and they did too.
Now in my own case , I've marched around Coopers lake, at Pennsic War #7, in about 80 pounds of steel and was certainly not able to run or "frolic" like Hollywood's Knightly heros and villains are wont to do. Yet I have films of me fighting various people then and not doing too badly - as long as I didn't have to run after them. But I was only about 33 years old then and had a good deal of youth and vigor going for me. In 2000 I wore much of the same armor - sans about 18 pounds of leg armor - all of it mail and not plate and was a good 24 years older and a lot less vigorous, and still managed to get along, but on horseback instead of afoot.
Now what the researchers don't say is that full plate armor, such as the french wore at Aginccourt, costs a heap of wealth to own, perhaps the equivalent of todays Rolls Royce. Only the wealthest Knightsa could afford "Full" platearmor and many of the lesser nobles probably wore less plate than "full" plate. The 100 plus weight they mention in the article is what a full jousting armour may weigh, not a battle suit which was more like 50 to 70 pounds in weight- just like what I wore at Pennsic and almost what I wore at Hastings in 2000 - weight wise.
Now what they also don't mention is the various forms that armro can take from solid sheets of metal to small patches of metal in the form of small plates, or chain mail. Generally, the bigger the plate the harder it is to wear- to a certain extent. Big means more weight and more rigidity - generally, and this translates to heat exchange barriers as well as more effort to carry it due to it's weight, which both tire the body.
Now here is where the intelligence of medieval man came in to reduce the physical burdon on an armored warrior. When they got tired or over heated or other wise stressed, they did what you would do and took some of it off, depending on circumstances, or else they rode h orses to let them carry most of the load and saved their own energy for battle if and when it was needed. I did that at Hastings in 2000 and rode horses and got along fine all weekend , both before, during and after battle. And to top it off I wasn't in any particularly good physical condition such as would a younger trained warrior who in most cases had seen combat in training as well as warefare many times in his life.
Battles such as Agincourt were unusual sets of ciscumstances where emotion, and psychological conditions set up the French Chivalry for a doomed encounter that wasn't particularly typical of warefare of the period. The French took stupid action and faioed as a result, not solely because the armor was heavy but because they insisted on wearing it in a bad situation that they insisted on entering anyway.
At Hastings in 2000 I had to wade thru mud that was literally knee deep and it could suck a boot almost off your foot if you were strong anough to pull your foot out of it. But when I was in armor I tried to avoid those very muddy patches and I tried to ride my horse away from them and managed to do so enough so I didn't have any problems getting around there. But if I had had to ride straight thru it to battle a resistant and lightly armored opposing force, I likely would have suffered the same sort of fate and fell on my face in the mud, and it would not have been plate armor causing my undoing, but an equivalent weight of mail.
The SCA has been frought with "arm chair experts", since it's very inception, discussing what would and wouldn't happen under any conceived set of medieval circumstances. Articles like this do contribute to the pool of information that such "experts" can site as "proof" of whatever point of view they champion, but in the final analysis it is living the reality, no matter what it may have been, that will provide the only valid conclusions on such otherwise simplistic speculations.
--- In WestKingdomEQ@yahoogroups.com, Wicked Frau <wickedfrau@...> wrote: