admin wrote:Well if we accept that the French army contained around 10,000 fighting men (which is fairly conservative I think), then I think it is fair to say that only about 30% of them could really have been wearing full plate armour? I find it hard to believe that the French could field more than a few thousand men wearing full plate harness. If you look at German and Italian tomb effigies from this time it is surprising that some still show a considerable amount of exposed mail armour, and that is on the tombs of comparably wealthy men at arms. There were plenty of poor men at arms who could not afford tomb monuments... what must they have been wearing? A mixture of old mail and coats of plates I should think. Plenty of places for arrows to stick there.
If we now fast forward to the mid-15thC you have a far higher percentage of men at arms in high quality all-encompassing plate, coupled with guns that can nullify the English habit of entrenching and pallisading (as happened at Chastillon). And you see lots of French victories.
Medieval Knights typically fought as a Lance or a Gleve, a unit of 4 or 5 horsemen. Of this unit, only the knight was in full armor and on an armored horse. The other horsemen include both lancers or demi-lancers (partly armored horsemen on unarmored horses) and unarmed servants (valetti). In the Baltic a Lance also included mounted crossbowmen.
This is a little bit later period (about 50 years later) but it gives you a pretty good idea of a 15th Century Army on the march, how much armor they wore and the ratio of armored to partly or unarmored in the cavalry and infantry... from the Wolfegg Hausbuch
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... eerzug.jpg
So for example Medieval records indicate 200 lances or 140 lances or so on. 200 lances translates to 600 - 1000 cavalry.
Of the entire force of a typical Medieval army, the cavalry contingent is often less than half.
So lets say for sake of argument (totally ball park guess) you have 5,000 cavalry, 5,000 infantry... this might mean somewhere around 1,500 actual fully armored knights.