While watching movies and television shows, the knights in shining armor during the medieval times look very heavy, and for good reason. They were made of several parts and were worn over the knight’s regular underclothes. It was then attached by buckles and leather straps.
The parts of a suit of armor were made of these items:
- The cuirass
- The epaulieres
- The brassarts
- The coudieres
- The avant-bras
- The faudes
- The haubergeon
- The cuissarts
- The genouilieres
- The grevieres
- The sollerets.
- The gauntlets
This combination of items was first used in the 15th Century and the areas that were not protected by the items listed above were protected by the Chainmail. Throughout history, the cost of the armor would vary based on the articulation and coverage. Because the cost was so high, equivalent of a small farm, it was worn by the nobility or by professional soldiers only.
When a knight wore his suit of armor, he was protected against attacks by arrows, swords and other weapons. Even a thinner made suit was resistant to swords. However, if an arrow, bows or crossbows were shot at close range, they would penetrate the armor.
A knight in shining armor could be defeated with halbreds, hammers, maces and polearms as well. Those would do more damage in the way of breaking bones, bursting internal organs and causing head injuries.
There Were Many Uses For The Suit of Armor
Suits of armour weren’t just used in battle. They were worn during parades and tournaments, but they were usually the light weight and decorated suits. The suits worn during tournaments were thicker and had a different shape to avoid injury by lances, pikes and polearms.
From Teenage to Manhood
Those who were destined to be knights would start to wear a suit of armor in their teenage years so that they could develop endurance and techniques with training. The weight of soldier’s uniform today is equal to what the weight of a suit of armor was then. And even though a suit of armor has the appearance of being heavy, the knights were able to mount or dismount a horse easily as well as crawl, jump and run.
Suits of Armor Were Masterpieces
Each country that had suits of armor would have their own designs with the most famous coming from Germany. England, Italy and Serbia each had their own design style, but for the most part, they were fairly plain and simple. As firearms came about, the suit of armor value diminished. It wasn’t able to ward off the bullets, especially from close range.
The Head Protection
The Helm as it was called, began as a cylinder that had a flat top and later, a curved “sugar loaf” was developed that had a pointed top which deflected any possible crushing blows. With nothing much more than small slits to see through and for breathing, it is for sure that the Helm would have to be removed before the Knight in shining armor could enjoy his cold brew after a full day of battle!