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Dimitris Anagnostopoulos




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Sep, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Musketeer Armour         Reply with quote

Hi all,i've seen many illustrations of musketeers and of all them have one in common that musketeers are completely unarmourmed except from cabbaset style helmet in some cases.Maybe the nature of musketeers as light infantry make them use no armour as the musket was heavy enough to carry on.Of course all these are just my ideas.So im wondering was in 16-17th century any musketeer unit with armour except the helmet?

Sorry if my language was confusing,english is not my mother tongue Razz
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Sep, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Musketeer Armour         Reply with quote

Dimitris Anagnostopoulos wrote:
Hi all,i've seen many illustrations of musketeers and of all them have one in common that musketeers are completely unarmourmed except from cabbaset style helmet in some cases.Maybe the nature of musketeers as light infantry make them use no armour as the musket was heavy enough to carry on.Of course all these are just my ideas.So im wondering was in 16-17th century any musketeer unit with armour except the helmet?

Sorry if my language was confusing,english is not my mother tongue Razz

I do not know how accurate the image of the European musketeer is but the Japanese one is quite accurate.



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Matt Leiby




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The European Musketeer in the background is pretty accurate, for later 16th and early 17th century. Most Musketeers seem to have discarded their armor, except for helmets, on the march and by the 1620s most commanders were trying to discourage, if not outright ban, the use of armor by Musketeers. English Musketeers in the 16th century often turned out in the very same styles of armor that had been worn by their fathers as Archers, maille, padded armors, jack of plate and brigandines were common, by the later 16th century, about the time of the Trayned Bands, a debate about the value of armor for the Musketeer heated up and many English commanders started to try to discourage most armor for their shotte. Of course, this is the end of the armor era anyway, even Pikemen are starting to lose most of their armor, retaining only breast/back plate and helmets with only a few exceptions. The musket itself is making armor obsolete.
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Radovan Geist




PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn´t say the picture is much accurate:
- side sword: it looks like a type that would be used in later periods (end 17th century?), certainly not end 16th - beginning 17th century.
- apostles: I believe they are just plainly wrong
- powder flasks: you either have one powder flask with priming powder, and apostles for "normal" black powder, or you wear a smaller flask for priming powder, and a larger one for "normal" powder. Not all three of them together (I´m not saying it could never happen, it´s just unusual and little practical).

LATER EDIT: If you are interested in late 16th century English musketeer, try to google pictures of Sir Henry Sidney army in Ireland.
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 12:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Radovan Geist wrote:

- apostles: I believe they are just plainly wrong
- powder flasks: you either have one powder flask with priming powder, and apostles for "normal" black powder, or you wear a smaller flask for priming powder, and a larger one for "normal" powder. Not all three of them together (I´m not saying it could never happen, it´s just unusual and little practical).

Radovan, in what way are the apostles "plainly wrong"? I see no reason why a large powder flask would not be carried, how else would they refill an apostle?
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Eric S




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 2:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Early seventeenth century infantry equipment, as used during the Eighty Years' War,
Date:1615
Source:Legermuseum, Delft
Author:Ulderick Balck

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Radovan Geist




PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

as for the apostles: it seems that the laces that hold the apostles are somehow "growing" from their top (laced through a hole in a cap, or whatever). I have never seen a mode of attachment like that. They´d go by the apostle´s sides, attaching together its "body" and "cap" (I´m probably using incorrect terms, sorry for that), and attaching them to bandolier. That picture you´ve posted shows it quite nicely, but look also here http://www.engerisser.de/Bewaffnung/weapons/Bandolier.html or here for historical originals: http://www.alderneywreck.com/index.php/artefacts/apostles Sometimes, apostles were not made from wood, but from metal, and sometimes they might be wrapped in leather, but that did not change the way they were laced to the bandolier. Of course, I might be wrong, or I might be just reading the picture wrongly Happy

two powder flasks: I believe musketeers just did not re-fill their apostles from powder flasks, while "in action". This was probably done before the battle, from central supply (regiment or whatever). So musketeer only needed one (smaller) flask, for priming powder (sometimes not even that, as he could carry the priming powder in a special apostle). Again, I´m not saying that it did never happen, but I have not seen it yet on any pictorial evidence (I cannot say I have seen all of them, not even most of them, so any counter-evidence is welcome Happy)

Sorry for distracting the original topic of this thread. So going back to that: a good source of pictures of early 17th century musketeers (as well as pikemen) are illustrations of de Ghyen´s manuals (just search de Ghyen). What is interesting, they do not seem to show musketeers wearing other protection than (sometimes) a helmet.
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Matt Leiby




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword is a bit suspect, the hilt resembles that most commonly seen on the later small sword, but without seeing the blade it's hard to be sure. The bottles also don't quite seem right and appear to be strung in a manner that I've only seen once on a later 17th century bandolier, but they do provide the basic illustration and idea for how the musket was reloaded. I chalk it up to artistic license. As for carrying a priming flask and charging flask, I have heard this was sometimes done to provide musketeers with additional shots so they did not have to return to the rear to repowder their bandoliers. It was certainly not standard practice and could be rather dangerous with inexperienced musketeers. This illustration is not the best but far from the worst I have seen. De Ghyen's manual has some excellent illustrations and provides the steps (postures) for the drill. Although written in the early 17th century, the drill was little changed from what was in use throughout the 16th century. The Alderney Wreck and the Mary Rose sites contain some good pictures and writing on the matchlock musketeer. I would also recomend the Osprey Matchlock Musketeer book, it contains several usefull illustrations and a reference section at the end that will help.
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Benjamin Floyd II




PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a couple though most of the images in this book definitely show unarmored, except a helmet sometimes, gunners. It's from 1689.


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Tom L.




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 6:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect that musketeers in Europe did not wear body armour because it would be difficult to press the butt of the musket to the shoulder when aiming. If you will note, Japanese muskets do not have a butt and so it is possible for them to use their muskets while wearing a cuirass (do).
I have a cunning plan Mr. B.
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