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14804Re: Russian Cavalry 1240-1450

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  • rickjs
    Feb 9, 2010
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      The easy answer to both is YES. The mid-early Rus heavy cavalry, including western such as of smolensk and kiew and Poland, looks much like mongol heavy cavalry, with horse armor and of course the bow as either a main or secondary weapon. Ignore any picture you may see that looks like a mounted viking... probabally a fantasy - although most very early rus (pre 1100) was not cavalry but boat-oriented, and almost never tried to control the steppe.

      I have heard arguments that
      Horse armor seemed to be more important to those armies facing a bow-armed cavalry enemy, since lots of arrows raining down tended to fall on large targets, like horses, but the armor did not have to be extra heavy against indirect arrow fire. Horse archers seldom tried to kill enemy horses on purpose with close-range aimed fire, since they hoped to capture the valuable things. Infantry spearmen liked to kill horses just fine, but it was hard to defend against spears with light armor, so armor was not usually intened for that purpose.
      http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/ByzInfantryImages.htm has some pictures of 13th C. rus cavalry, if you pick through.

      --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "rodger1uk" <rodger.w@...> wrote:
      > Hi,
      > New member.
      > I am new to Russian Medieval History; I have a number of books (and more on the way) but could anyone offer views on these points please:
      > Did any Russian Heavy Cavalry of the various Principalities between 1240-1450 use any form of horse protection (quilted, lamellar etc)?
      > Did any Russian Heavy Cavalry use the bow (I have read and heard many conflicting views on this).
      > Cheers
      > Rodge
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