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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-09-20 05:48:00
Episode 10 of the DFL Fantasy Football Podcast is now available for download.
I get weary whenever I hear an argument over this old chestnut. For the record:
Plate mail was heavy, but not to the point of rendering the wearer immobile. In fact, modern heavy infantry soldiers lug more weight around. They weren't turtles, helpless once on their backs; knights could (albeit slowly) regain their footing if they fell.
Plate mail was heavy, enough to significantly hamper movement. Additionally, knights had to wield weighty weapons. Unlike modern firearms, melee weapons required tremendous strength and stamina to utilize.
Plate mail was nearly invulnerable to weapons of its time. The misconception of the longbow ending the supremacy of the mounted knight is perpetuated by the Robin Hood mythos and the romanticization of the Agincourt massacre. The reason longbowmen prevailed in that battle was the French knights' insistence on clinging to their moronic "chivalrous" code of valor, not any paper-beats-rock quality of their archery over plate mail. In fact, minus French idiocy and dismounted uphill marches through mud drenched terrain, heavy cavalry typically annihilated archers.
The bane of the heavy cavalry knights was actually pikemen formations that had the opportunity to brace themselves against a charge. Light cavalry (mounted archers) could also pepper knights at a distance (with shortbows or crossbows) then outrun the slower, heavier plate-clad knights. Knights were also threats to each other, tilting with lances or, when unhorsed, bashing one another repeatedly with hammers like seafood patrons trying to crack lobsters.
However, attacks from ghosts and goblins were apparently super effective against plate armor.