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cavalry and the shield

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Early Modern & the Imperial Age
Forum Description: World History from 1500 to the end of WW1
Moderators: Byzantine Emperor, Temujin, gcle2003
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=27403
Printed Date: 24-Feb-2018 at 00:39
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Topic: cavalry and the shield
Posted By: rapala
Subject: cavalry and the shield
Date Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 18:13
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I have a question about cavalry equipment in this particular period.
Since armor was downgraded when the gunpowder was more in use the cavalry did rely on speed and fast hit and run tactics. But what happened to the shield, offcourse shields are obsolete against gunpowder but aren't they still usseful when fighting other cavalry.

The other question is about the lance, swedish cavalry didn't use lances only the sword point (i don't know any good advantages with this exept that a sword can be used as a regular sword or a lance only 60 inches shorter).



Replies:
Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 19:12

The shield in cavalry formation? Hardly since man has only two hands and one must hold the reins. Ever try to work a blade from horseback encumbered by a shield? In battle, the fun is taken completely out of jousting! Anyway, lances are for first impact and by the late 16th century, shields were obsolete and purely ceremonial.

Here is a nice summation:
 
http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_shield.html - http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_shield.html


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 19:15
Originally posted by rapala rapala wrote:

I have a question about cavalry equipment in this particular period.
Since armor was downgraded when the gunpowder was more in use the cavalry did rely on speed and fast hit and run tactics. But what happened to the shield, offcourse shields are obsolete against gunpowder but aren't they still usseful when fighting other cavalry.


http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=27059

shields were basically only usefull against arrows (see link). sabres can block enemy sabre cuts, so shields are only a hinderance.

Quote The other question is about the lance, swedish cavalry didn't use lances only the sword point (i don't know any good advantages with this exept that a sword can be used as a regular sword or a lance only 60 inches shorter).


what is exactly the question?


Posted By: ataman
Date Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 20:41
Originally posted by rapala rapala wrote:

I have a question about cavalry equipment in this particular period.

Since armor was downgraded when the gunpowder was more in use the cavalry did rely on speed and fast hit and run tactics. But what happened to the shield, offcourse shields are obsolete against gunpowder but aren't they still usseful when fighting other cavalry.

Yes, they are. Therefore shields were in use even in 18th c.

Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:



shields were basically only usefull against arrows (see link). sabres can block enemy sabre cuts, so shields are only a hinderance.

Shields were usefull against arrows, sabres, lances... Cavalryman has a weak protected zone - a left side of his body - which can be hardly protected by his sabre. Shields were usefull to protect this zone.



Posted By: rapala
Date Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 23:51
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:


what is exactly the question?


The question is why they didn't use lances instead, a sword unmounted has more range than mounted.

I found some sources that curiaser was worn in this period, like ataman said shield protects the left side of the attacker wich is the weak point while mounted.
A sabre was made for quick attacks and not to take on armors and shields, still no shields were in use.

The shield was abolished in later renasance becouse the armor was made extra thick to protect bullets from primitive firearms, a shield would only add more weight so it became usseles.
but so did armors when even musket could pierce trought the heaviest of them so later cavalry prefered not to wear anything close to armors. but without the armour why didn't they start to use shields instead. this is the bigest questions in cavalry tactics for me.


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 19:20
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

 

Yes, they are. Therefore shields were in use even in 18th c.


yeah by those who fought enemies who still used bows.


Quote Shields were usefull against arrows, sabres, lances... Cavalryman has a weak protected zone - a left side of his body - which can be hardly protected by his sabre. Shields were usefull to protect this zone.



shields could be used not only against arrows but sabres & lances can also be blocked by own sabres, so there's no point in additional encumberance by shields, therefore we can see that cavalry shields dissapeared where bows & crossbows dissapeared, but persisted where bows were still used (Asia, America).


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 19:30
Originally posted by rapala rapala wrote:


The question is why they didn't use lances instead, a sword unmounted has more range than mounted.


what do you mean by 'range', unless you're charging with a very long lance, you'll always need to get up close to your target to fight it. and the lance is more difficult to learn than sabre fighting, so for economic reasons most armies descided for sabres. and if you're fighting another mounted enemy, you have more 'range' if you yourself are mounted compared to an infantry swordsman. if you fight infantry from horseback, you have the advantage of slashing from above, directly striking at their heads, that's quite an advantage compared to infantry.

Quote I found some sources that curiaser was worn in this period, like ataman said shield protects the left side of the attacker wich is the weak point while mounted.
A sabre was made for quick attacks and not to take on armors and shields, still no shields were in use.


17th century cavalry had armoured gauntlets for this, again, a cavalry shield only really protects from arrows. later there were mounted fencing methods which protects the left side of the rider more efficiently so that too wasn't necessary anymore.

Quote The shield was abolished in later renasance becouse the armor was made extra thick to protect bullets from primitive firearms, a shield would only add more weight so it became usseles.
but so did armors when even musket could pierce trought the heaviest of them so later cavalry prefered not to wear anything close to armors. but without the armour why didn't they start to use shields instead. this is the bigest questions in cavalry tactics for me.


see my comments above. besides shields cannot effectively deflect musket balls, so there's no point really.


Posted By: rapala
Date Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 21:43
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by rapala rapala wrote:


The question is why they didn't use lances instead, a sword unmounted has more range than mounted.


what do you mean by 'range', unless you're charging with a very long lance, you'll always need to get up close to your target to fight it. and the lance is more difficult to learn than sabre fighting, so for economic reasons most armies descided for sabres. and if you're fighting another mounted enemy, you have more 'range' if you yourself are mounted compared to an infantry swordsman. if you fight infantry from horseback, you have the advantage of slashing from above, directly striking at their heads, that's quite an advantage compared to infantry.

Quote I found some sources that curiaser was worn in this period, like ataman said shield protects the left side of the attacker wich is the weak point while mounted.
A sabre was made for quick attacks and not to take on armors and shields, still no shields were in use.


17th century cavalry had armoured gauntlets for this, again, a cavalry shield only really protects from arrows. later there were mounted fencing methods which protects the left side of the rider more efficiently so that too wasn't necessary anymore.

Quote The shield was abolished in later renasance becouse the armor was made extra thick to protect bullets from primitive firearms, a shield would only add more weight so it became usseles.
but so did armors when even musket could pierce trought the heaviest of them so later cavalry prefered not to wear anything close to armors. but without the armour why didn't they start to use shields instead. this is the bigest questions in cavalry tactics for me.


see my comments above. besides shields cannot effectively deflect musket balls, so there's no point really.


I didn't mean that shields could block musket fire but protection against melee attacks.

By this far i know that shield would only be usefull if two cavalry would face their left side on each other.
With the range thing yes you are correct but i meant when charging from the front the horse head takes out much of the range from the sabre.





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