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14807Re: [sig] Re: Russian Cavalry 1240-1450

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  • Lisa Kies
    Feb 9, 2010
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      Greetings from Sofya!

      I agree that there was likely some form of light horse protection.

      As for the use of archery by "heavy cavalry". Well, my understanding is
      that it's not that easy. "Heavy cavalry" is distinguished from the "horse
      archers" aka "light cavalry" by the lack of archery - by definition. Heavy
      cavalry was supposed to use spears not bows.

      BUT the horse archers included younger Rus men not yet strong enough to use
      the spear effectively. This is likely where the debate comes in. Many
      members of the Rus "heavy cavalry" were "light cavalry" in their younger
      days and so would likely have no problem with using the bow when the
      situation called for it.

      Thus it is very possible that a man who fought in the "heavy cavalry" one
      day, would be called upon to serve in the "light cavalry" the next - based
      on the changing needs of the battle/equipment/casualties. So the lines were
      probably very blurry.

      It may well have been like our Wars where the general says, "I need 5 more
      archers" so 5 men-at-arms drop their scutums and scrounge up some combat
      crossbows. This makes it difficult for modern researchers who like to have
      everything neatly categorized.

      I'm confused by the statement "Ignore any picture... that looks like a
      mounted viking....". Vikings wore chain mail shirts, so did the Rus and
      everyone else. Vikings carried straight swords, so did the Rus... and
      everyone else. Viking used helms similar to the Rus, and everyone else.

      If I were explaining what an early Russian cavalryman looked like to someone
      new to the subject, I would like to say that he would look like a cross
      between a Norman knight and a Byzantine or Mongol warrior (depending on
      century) but since most "newbies" have no idea what a Byzatine/Mongol
      warrior would look like, saying "mounted viking with oriental tendencies"
      wouldn't be too far off the mark. Although you'd probably have to explain
      that there were no horned helmets. ;-)

      At your service,


      On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 1:38 PM, rickjs <orlirva@...> wrote:

      > 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.
      > --- 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
      > >
      > ------------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Groups Links

      Lisa M. Kies, MD aka Sofya la Rus, OL, CW, CSH, druzhinnitsa Kramolnikova
      Mason City, IA aka Shire of Heraldshill, Calontir
      "Si no necare, sana." "Mir znachit Pax Romanov"
      "Nasytivshimsya knizhnoj sladosti."

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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