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Medieval Weaponry: Swords and Armor

Madhavi Ghare
Weapons are the prerequisites of wars and battles. Not only are they used to hurl attacks on the opponents, but also to shield oneself at the battlefield. Medieval times had a wide range of weaponry that they put to use. In this story, we shall take a closer look at the swords and armors that were used. Read on to know more.
In the medieval days, the knights and soldiers wore armor and carried swords to the battlefield. Needless to say, the swords were used for fighting and the armor was used for protecting themselves from being hit or cut by another sword. Some medieval soldiers and knights also made use of axes to fight.
These knights used a variety of medieval weapons. Let's have a brief look at the types of medieval weaponry used by them.
Firstly, let us look at the different types of swords used by these fighters.

Types of Medieval Swords

The Broadsword

This is perhaps the earliest known type of sword used in medieval times. With a two edged blade which was about 2 - 3 inches wide at the base, the sword tapered to a point. The Broadsword was about 30 - 45 inches long and weighed anywhere between 3 to 5 pounds.

The Greatsword

These were two handed swords - which meant that they could and would be used by both the hands. So as to facilitate that, the handle of the sword was about 18 to 21 inches long. The length of the Greatsword was between 50 to 72 inches and it weighed between 6 to 10 pounds.

The Longsword

This one is also known as the 'Bastardsword' or a 'Hand And A Half Sword'. This sword was about 44 to 50 inches long.

The Scimitar

This sword was favored by the crusaders in the Holy Land. It had a curve shaped blade with a pointed end.

The Falchion Sword

This was also a type of a Scimitar, but it had a shorter length and a blade with a single edge.
To protect themselves from the swords of the enemy, the soldiers wore a variety of armor to protect themselves. Let us look at the different types of medieval armor worn by the soldiers and knights.

Types of Medieval Armor

Chain Mail

Chain mail armor was the prominent type of armor used in the medieval days. This was made using interlocking iron or steel rings which were either riveted or welded shut. The Celtic and Eastern European soldiers were the ones to introduce this kind of armor in the medieval times.
The chain mail armor was made in the form of a shirt which was worn by the knight to protect himself from harm. The chain mail armor was not very useful in protecting the soldier from a direct hit or an attack. Swords which were long and pointed often ended up cutting through the interlocking rings.

Plate Armor

Plates or disks of steel were added slowly to chain mail armor to protect the vulnerable areas of the body. These were initially added on to the chain mail armor at the knees and armpits. But soon, plate armor took over the protection of the entire body of the soldier.
Eventually this progressed into a full body covering armor suit which covered and protected the knight from head to toe.

Iorica Segmentata

The Roman armor breastplate called the 'Iorica Segmentata' was perhaps the most efficient type of armor used. This was made of segments of steel plates joined or welded together, as opposed to a single sheet of steel. This allowed for greater flexibility of movement for the knight or the soldier.
The making of medieval weaponry involved use of skilled techniques in blacksmithing, silversmithing, and engineering. Armors and swords of differing fashions were used by soldiers in different parts of the world.