Best Armour in Historical Warfare?

Sep 2011
24,135
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Skip modern warfare and stick to historical wars please.:)

Who had the best armour and why? Best defense and best armour to maneuver in, best helmets that protected the head as well as having good vision..
 
Jan 2011
821
Boston
I am under the impression that eastern armor was a bit better in maneuverability and pound-for-pound stopping power. However, I see more and more demonstrations of plate armor that impress me.

I was going to be facetious and say depleted uranium armor is the best, but you headed that off nicely. Good job, I guess.
 
Jan 2011
821
Boston
By Eastern armor I am referring to the lamellar armor, specifically that used by the Samurai. Upon slight research, I think plate armor would take my vote, as Wikipedia repudiated my claim of mobility soundly.
 

Thegn Ansgar

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
5,637
Canada
Best armour? Milanese plate by far. Exceptionally light, but incredibly sturdy. It's the kind of armour that can stop pretty much any sort of weapon (of course it's not indestructible, but it's definitely the kind of armour that I would trust my life to if I were a knight and able to afford it).
 
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May 2009
706
New Jersey
Any kind of High Middle Age and Renaissance plate armor with some kind of open styled helm would of provided the best possible protection and sight with out exposing to much of the face.
 
Mar 2011
898
Over The Hills And Far Away
My vote goes to the Gothic armor of Germany. It was, in my opinion, the pinnacle of European plate armor, and was also some of the best looking, too. It made a lot of use of fluting, arching, and curves to make the most out of the available steel, and these features helped to strengthen the armor. Plus, it covered the entire body in lightweight plate, so you were quite safe...provided you knew how to fight, of course.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
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How does the Roman Lorica Segmentata compare to Milanese Plate, or Gothic plate armour?
 

Thegn Ansgar

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
5,637
Canada
How does the Roman Lorica Segmentata compare to Milanese Plate, or Gothic plate armour?
In comparison to Milanese or Gothic plate, LS is significantly inferior. It left your forearms and upper arms open, your thighs and calves were unprotected (but the scutum would do its job there), and the metallurgy was no where near what the armour smiths of Germany and Milan were putting out. It would've been somewhat close to munitions plate armour; that is, not very hard.

Good for getting lads outfitted quickly, but compared to other armours of the day, it was not as good. Still, any armour is better than no armour at all.
 
Sep 2011
24,135
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Would the helmet of the Milanese armour not get in the way of eye sight?



Same question for the Germanic helmet?

 

Thegn Ansgar

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
5,637
Canada
Would the helmet of the Milanese armour not get in the way of eye sight?



Same question for the Germanic helmet?

Not really. Although don't forget when it comes to different types of armour, we're not limited. For example, Milanese armourers did not always make suits with helmets that you depicted. Sometimes they made pig-faced bascinets, where the visor was worn for the initial charge, and then raised up or completely removed so that the face could be exposed, to allow for easy breathing and vision in the melee.

The helmet in the picture you've found of Milanese plate (known as a barbute), is actually quite a good one, and surprisingly does not limit your vision significantly. Likewise with the Gothic sallet. It had a visor and bevor which were easily removed after the initial charge.

Also important to note, is that some knights didn't use the visor at all. In the heat of battle it is unlikely that you would get hit square in the face by an arrow, and in some cases it's better to risk that small chance in order to see and breathe better for the entire time.

A simple bascinet with a nasal guard would've been adequate protection. And it appeared in the use of almost every country that was producing plate armour during the middle ages.