At 02:21 PM 31/08/98 +1000, you wrote:
>Sindre Berg wrote in reply to Daniel McSorley;
>Though the book says later that the firearms was the ther real "killers"
>of the knights on the battlefield...(though then we are talking
>1400-1450 and out)
> You got that bit from an encyclopedia ???
> 1415 was the year that Henry V whipped the French at Agincourt - with longbow, I recall no use of firearms, with the possible exception of cannon. There were also Swiss cross-bowmen present, but that's another story.
> Mid 1500's, field plate was still being used (check out Henry Niii's suit that he wore while campaigning in France), over the next century, it's use did dwindle out for a number of reasons. Historians did assume for many years given the evidence like so many breastplates with no other mark on them but a single bullethole. Sounds like a reasonable assumption, doesn't it? Museums (as they do), collected a lot of this stuff, shiny -as-new breastplates with a single hole (identifiable as that caused by a musket ball), and several very used breastplates with many dents. I don't recall who, but someone, this century, decided that this looked a little odd and got hold of the records from a company that rolled out bulk breast-plates during the time of Cromwell (late 1600 or early 1700, I think) and found that each plate upon finishing was placed against a sandbag and were fired at with a musket from a certain yardage. If they were pierced by the shot, they were rejected, if not, they were proven as saleable!

"Musket's" didn't appear until the 1700's, IIRC they used matchlocks in the English Civil War.

>This was followed by Darryl Willis;
>Hmm....Same as the battle of Agincourt, if I'm not mistaken. But, and this
>is a big "but", the reason the English longbow was so devastating to the
>French knights was not the extreme penetrating power, but the fact that the
>knights were riding horses. Horses are killed by arrows rather quickly,
>just like an unarmored human. The knights were pretty well protected from
>the longbow. Their horses, however, were not.
> Ouch! Horses of the time wore barding, in the case of the French nobility (and don't forget the high percentage of titled French on the field that day), the barding was of the same type as the armor that the rider wore.
> Penetration power: bodies have been dug up from that field (not every corpse was placed in a mass grave, or carted home for burial in some family plot), and there are several examples of where a single arrow has pierced several layers of such armor. The most relevant to this discourse is where an arrow had passed through both sides of a full greave (lower leg armor), the leg bone, the PLATE barding of the horse and out the other side.

> I'll get off the soapbox now and be quiet again now shall I ? ;-)

The French hated the English longbow, so much so they promised to cut the two pulling fingers off
any longbow man they captured. After the battle the longbow men, showed the French they still had their fingers, and people are still using the gesture to this day, ie showing the finger; although Americans have transformed it from a two finger gesture to a one finger gesture.

Cheers; Jim Paterson