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The Value Of A University Education

Bunny: Suits Of Armour Heavier Than Pin Stripes Shock!

As you know, I have sometimes wondered if our academics are fucking idiots in disguise. But this cruel and cynical jading is with me no more as my understanding of the bleeding obvious has been illuminated by geniuses of the Universities of Leeds, Oxford and Milan.

Brainboxes from these hallowed garrets of intellect today published a report which I am certain will rival Newton's and Einstein's theories of the universe. The Eureka report was summarised on the BBC News thus:

'Medieval suits of armour were so exhausting to wear that they could have have affected the outcomes of famous battles, a study suggests.'

I know what you're thinking - 'fuck me, I'd never have worked that out; thank God for science' - and I am sure that many millions share your astonishment.

Get this, it will blow your mind also. Led by chief researcher Dr. Graham Askew of the University of Leeds, the study group used high-end technology to work out that a soldier weighed down by so much armour [50 kilos] he could barely move faster than a pensioner in a post officer was not half as nimble in battle as an enemy who didn't come dressed like a shoplifter at a Le Creuset closing down sale.

Pay attention, you are spending £9,000 a year for your kids to study at these places and you might want to pull them out of their second year and send them to learn more by talking to ants instead.


Sir, I have no idea of your codeword. I hope that you will see fit to give a brief response to my little missive. I just want to say that I am in full agreement with everything that you say. It lightens my life when I read from someone as cynical as I am.
Just as an aside, I have been researching the battle of Agincourt. It appears that the heavily armoured French got bogged down in the mud and were slaughtered by the English and Welsh troops and archers. Maybe we should send archers to Afghanistan.
Regards, David Harrison

The worst part is that it's NOT EVEN TRUE.

Battle armour was heavy-ish, but let's face it the guys who had to wear it weren't going wear something that was going to get them killed. It was a trade off, shocker.

People who have worn full plate armour from the late middle ages ( Milanese and Austrian ) report it as comfortable, giving a full range of motion, well distributed, and _not_ massively tiring for an athletic man. Check out the weights of armour panoplys, other than specialized suits for jousting, battle armour never got silly in weight. (50kg inthe article. 120 lbs? Not likely for the VAST majority of armour.)

Of course at the end of a long day of mayhem, or baking in the sun, I'm sure it WAS hot, heavy and probably claustrophobic, but that would only be a problem if the armour had kept you alive.

And could it, maybe, have affected course of battle negatively? Sure. Under some circumstances could it a trap? YEah. But the guys wearing it had decades of experience, centuries between them, ya think maybe they had spent some time thinking it through?

Do you think unarmoured archers and other ancillaries didn't wish they were wearing a little steel when the skies are raining metal, and some 200lb knight is bearing down on you with a war-hammer and all your arrows and swords and what not just BOUNCE off him?


I'm sure in a 1000 years some learned academics will be going on about about MBT's were very heavy and this heaviness could affect the outcomes of battles because they crush bridges and can sink into soft ground. Morons. Ya think tankers and tank designers aren't thinking about this?

I wonder where they got the weight figure from? Maybe ceremonial armour. Fred2 is right and there were reports that a knight was able to re-mount without use of stirrups when wearing armour.

As someone who has worn this type of armour I can assure you that it does get hot, heavy and b:0£dy sweaty when fighting! Like many things of the period there is a trade off but in the main it is very, very hard to injure somebody wearing full plate (but by no means impossible!) As Mr Harrison correctly states, being alive and sweaty at the end of the day is infinitely preferable to not being a member of the upright and breathing fraternity! Reading accounts of the time, you realise that like today, battles are lengthy periods of hanging about with intense periods of bowel wrenching terror!

" reports that a knight was able to re-mount without use of stirrups when wearing armour"

And run FAST, and jump around and do push ups. Everything you can do without it. I've even seen a video of a guy ( a STRONG Swimmer) in reproduction modern plate armour (Which as a general rule is far less sophisticated than the real thing was) SWIM in it ( not for long I grant you, but he crossed the pool ok. And then the padding saturated.)

Remember: Medieval knights were training since before puberty for wearing this. It was their raison d'etre. They lived in a pre-industrial society, and pre-modern medical care. These guys were tough as nails and in great shape. 30-75lbs of armour spread over your body of a 175-200lb man? And you get to ride a horse most of the time. Pfft. Given the other guys running around trying enthusiastically to KILL you with sharp pointy things, armour was the least of your problems.

And I've also read some theories to the effect that "men at arms" (I mean the dismounted, but armoured guys) may have had some kind of frontline rotation system because full-on fighting is exhausting (armour or not) and it may have been possible to retire to the third rank for a breather. This is not certain, but certainly possible.

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