What Areas of Europe Were Known for Producing the Best Arms/Armor 1300-1500?


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
Milan, Augsberg, and Nuremburg were particularly well established but there were a few areas with very good armourers.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
Southern Germany and Northern Italy.
This, and nothing else.

I always heard that Toledo Steel (Spain) was superior.
Hype, in fact, the best metal working area of Spain was the Basque Country. Even so, metal working was a little behind of Germany and Italy, that's why specialist from these countries were hired to work in the Iberian Peninsula
Oct 2015
Matosinhos Portugal
I have always heard that China was superior in weapons and boats, it was they who discovered North America before the C.Colombo
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Apr 2018
I always heard that Toledo Steel (Spain) was superior.

The metal quality of weapons didn't necessarily match the quality of armor plates being produced.

During the late middle ages the average quality of european plate armors steadily increased, peaking during the late 15th century in southern Germany and Northern Italy as others have said. During the 16th century however the metallurgical quality of armor declined significantly and even major armoring centers started churning out wrought iron plates exclusively.
Jul 2016
I always heard that Toledo Steel (Spain) was superior.
The iron ore from that region was extremely high quality, but not iron working so much. The iron in its natural state how low number of impurities while being rich in good stuff like manganese and molybdenum, making it easier to work into a quality hardened product.
Feb 2011
I have always heard that China was superior in weapons and boats, it was they who discovered North America before the C.Colombo

The travesty this man made of Chinese history cannot be over-emphasized:

You got legit historians both Chinese and non-Chinese saying there's no proof to this guy's claims.... but because it's good clickbait the media jumped on this stuff and now one man's pet theory became a widely held misconception. The difference between clickbait and legit history is this: One knows the difference between probable and possible, the other does not.
Nov 2013
Of course, it' worth noting Chinese mettalurgy was nothing to sneeze at.

Even as late as 1850s the United States steel magnate William Kelly hired Chinese experts to help with his iron . According to Wikipedia:

Kelly started experimenting with his "air-boiling process," a process of blowing air up through molten iron to reduce the carbon content, in the 1850s. His initial goal was to reduce the amount of fuel required for iron and steel making, because of the immense amount of timber required to make the charcoal. He discovered that the injected air did not cool the molten iron, but instead combined with the carbon to cause the iron to boil and burn violently until the carbon was greatly reduced, improving the quality of the iron or converting it to steel.[2][3] His iron workers may have contributed to his discovery. According to Kelly's biography, in 1854 he hired Chinese iron workers through a New York teahouse. Historian of metallurgy Donald Wagner notes that a similar process was already extant in China, and that Kelly's Chinese iron workers were likely familiar with how molten cast iron behaved under an air blast. The engineer William Phillips, after a trip to Eddyville, wrote in 1899 that "the Chinese had refined iron by blowing air into it a great many years ago, and I have thought that Kelly, in asking for Chinese laborers, would naturally require the services of those who had some knowledge of the iron business."[4]

A similar process was later independently invented and patented by Henry Bessemer in 1856...............