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Wearing Metal Armor In Warm/Hot Environments?

Discussion in 'Research' started by D. Gray Warrior, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    Why would soldiers and warriors choose to wear metal armor in warm or hot environments, like say the Mediterranean or the Middle East? Wouldn't they get cooked in it? What did knights and other soldiers wear when they were in the Near East fighting in the Crusades?
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    Protection. The swords, arrows and the like are going to be just a pointy and hurty...
    But you probably wouldn't go wandering all day in a full suit of armour if there wasn't a fight nearby.
    Why they still did was mavelled at by some of their opponents.
    Those more local to the area adjusted their armour and clothes to suit the condions. A search on a term like Saracen should bring up some ideas. If you can find it there is a great book by Graham Shelby called "The Knights of Dark Renown" I read it years ago and loved it.
  3. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

    Spanish conquistadors wore armor (not full suits, admittedly) all over the tropical Americas. It just provided too good protection against the weapons of the indigenous people not to go with it.
  4. Russ

    Russ Istar

    COJ has hit the nail on the head.

    I have worn full medieval armour in the heat. It is uncomfortable and you have to drink lots to stay hydrated (but not too much because relieving yourself can be a little complex in a lot of armour).

    But being hot and tired is a lot better then having an arrow in your eye or a sword through your guts.

    Even in temperate Europe wearing lots of armour can be hard, but it can be done and as COJ noted you don't wear the armour all day, just when you are getting ready for a battle.

    Oh...heavy metal armour sucks in the cold too.
  5. Malik

    Malik Archmage

    I've worn body armor in some very hot places. And some very cold places. Modern soldiers wear body armor and kit that generally outweighs medieval armor. My full kit with vest, helmet, weapons, and combat load, plus water and food, is about 65-70 lbs. You train for it, and you hydrate. You also live on 800mg of Ibuprofen 3-4 times per day when you're downrange, and you tend to retire or promote into a desk job after a couple of years of this bullshit. It's really hard on your body.

    The thing that would really get you in metal armor--by which I mean full plate--is the lack of sweat evaporation. In mail, this is not as much of a problem; mail breathes. The jack under it, maybe not so much, but once the cloth is soaked through, it will provide some cooling. (It takes a lot of sweat to do that, though, so you have to drink a lot of water to keep the system going). When your sweat doesn't evaporate, it starts a feedback loop into Heat Cramps -> Heat Exhaustion -> Heatstroke, and pretty soon, it's Good Night, Sweet Prince.

    Fortunately, full armor is not a thing that anyone wore all the time (although, for some reason, fantasy authors often have their characters walking around in their armor as if it were everyday attire, so, if you're reading this and this is your shtick, then you might want to think about hand-waving the effects or applying some magic, somewhere). As said above, you dress in layers, and you dress for the mission.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I'm sure I read somewhere that the under armour padding for Plate armour STANK! But as it had moulded to you and the armour the wearer was loathed to change it.

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