Armour evolution - plate vs lamellar

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,592
Planet Nine, Oregon
but plate had to be individually fitted, lamellar and brigandine can basically be worn like shirts and was probably easier to fix
Lamellar (and scale) with the lacing lacing was vulnerable to rot, mildew, bugs, etc. Armour wasn't worn just because it was just easier to fix; there was status in wearing high quality plate, and the protection to weight ratio was the best with developed plate, such as gothic plate armour.
 
Oct 2011
510
Croatia
but plate had to be individually fitted, lamellar and brigandine can basically be worn like shirts and was probably easier to fix
Yes and no. Full plate was individually fitted, but partial munitions plate could be, and was, mass-produced.

Lamellar and brigandine are easier to fix, but are also harder to maintain in the field as chafing and rotting will eventually cause the armour to just start falling apart. They are also liable to weaken under repeated strikes, though I am not sure how much of practical effect that was.
 
Nov 2019
53
Solar System
How come Ottomans and Chinese never deployed plate armor? Is it that they never developed techniques required for its production, or there were other factors as well?
Most likely cause is that lamellar and brigandine armors were cheaper to mass-produce and maintain than plate armors, cause China had a large army.

And moreover the Chinese have chosen a different direction, instead of developing plate armors they further developed their shields and also developed movable mantlets, shield wheelbarrows, shield wagons, and other defenses.

So it depends on the environment and the military organization of each country, plate armor isn't the ultimate solution.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,002
Australia
but plate had to be individually fitted, lamellar and brigandine can basically be worn like shirts and was probably easier to fix
Munitions plate was specifically designed so it didn't have to be custom-fitted. It was still pretty uncomfortable and so it was only worn by those who couldn't afford anything better. Western brigandines are not like the Asian versions. They were just as carefully tailored as the most expensive plate. You couldn't buy it off the shelf, it had to be custom-made and custom-fitted.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,002
Australia
I've posted this several times already and it gets frustrating covering the same ground over and over again. Here it is once more.

Giovanni Michiel was a Venetian Ambassador to Queen Mary and King Philip. This comes from his "Report of England", written to the Venetian Senate on the 13th May, 1557. He is describing what regular English fighters wore to battle, not the nobility.

"... and for the body they either use some sort of breastplate (qualche petto di corsaletto) which guards the forepart, although indifferently, or else more willingly (especially those who have the means) some jack (giaco) or shirt of mail (camicia di maglia); but what they usually wear are certain padded canvas jupons (giubboni di canevaccio imbottiti), each of which is double high, two fingers or more in thickness (doppi alti due dita); and these doublets are considered the most secure defence against the shock of arrows. Upon their arms they place strips of mail (liste di maglia), put lengthways, and nothing else."

It says that plate was the LEAST desirable of all the kinds of armour - only worn by those who couldn't afford anything better. By this time, mail armour and textile armour cost more than plate. Note that it makes no mention at all of brigandines - they were not as common as some here think. It also says that their padded canvas jupons were best at resisting the "shock of arrows" and not plate armour as many modern writers think. Custom-fitted, fully-articulated plate harness is not in the same category as the above-mentioned muntions plate. It was only worn by the wealthiest people, and was beyond the scope of Michiel's report.
 
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