Two weapon fightin? (dual wielding)

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NovaTitan

Veteran
Blackthorn said:
NovaTitan said:
I read some Osprey books and it shows knights, peasants, and militiamen having a dagger handy in the belt. If the shield is broken or heavy from missile fire (javs via skirmishers), then wouldn't it make sense to dual-wield with the dagger? I'm talking about soldiers with one-handed weapons like clubs, one-handed swords, etc..

To a layman, it would seem so. But in all seriousness, having two hands to deliver stronger blows, or having a hand free to grapple is usually more useful. Also- shields are 1) harder to destroy than you'd think and 2) pretty much easy to accquire mid-battle. You'd be better off snatching a spear from either an enemy or the ground than trying to divert enemies with an off-hand dagger.

And as a quick post scriptum- don't believe everything you read/see in Ospreys. As a rule- good information... but...
1) The Sicilian SPEARAXE!
2) The ring-hilted 13th C Italian sword
3) The Welsh 'egg' shield
And many many other illustrations whose basis is... "I dunno... why not?"

Aaaah, that would make sense. Shields would be plenty on the battlefield and you'd be dead soon before going through several shields. Grappling would make sense to disarm your opponent rather than allowing the threat to occur with a parrying dagger.

Point taken about Osprey books. They're more like introductory books like the general history documentaries. I do like it for the illustrations and battle layouts that I can't find from deremilitari.org.
 

Blackthorn

Squire
Yes; that's the particular horrendous abomination.

The thing about the Ospreys is their inconsistency- and their huge bias depending on who writes each work. Some are amazing- and include a lot of otherwise inaccessible primary source material, especially of carvings or early illuminations.
But sometimes it's utter rot with no historical basis...
I own all of them, pretty much, covering Europe 1000-1200- and I use them as a primary material source- the artistic interpretations usually have a few dodgey aspects here and there.
 

Blackthorn

Squire
The best bit is the explanations and sources for the plate -completely- ignore it, as if it were an everyday item that doesn't need referencing.
Actually...The best thing is the way the guy in question is holding the weapon out and looking horrified at it, almost as if he's saying, "Alright, which ars*hole messed with my weapons?"
 

NovaTitan

Veteran
MadocComadrin said:
It kindof looks like some sort of weird, broken, poleaxe/halberd.

Yeah, it's a mini-poleaxe of sorts. Except it's not. There's that gap between the axehead and the spear point. Never seen it anywhere else. It's a new weapon.  :lol:
 

ares007

Master Knight
M&BWB
NovaTitan said:
I read some Osprey books and it shows knights, peasants, and militiamen having a dagger handy in the belt. If the shield is broken or heavy from missile fire (javs via skirmishers), then wouldn't it make sense to dual-wield with the dagger? I'm talking about soldiers with one-handed weapons like clubs, one-handed swords, etc..
Daggers were particularly useful when you were grappling with an enemy and gained the upper hand. In this case you could quickly draw your dagger and deliver an accurate thrust to end the struggle.
 

tostig

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&B
ares007 said:
Daggers were particularly useful when you were grappling with an enemy and gained the upper hand. In this case you could quickly draw your dagger and deliver an accurate thrust to end the struggle.

Because a single stab will end a struggle the majority of the time...

...which is always my main gripe with most HEMA interpretations of dagger vs. unarmed stuff. People trying to work out and then teach techniques, without having researched how knife attacks tend to function. Of course the context is slightly different when it's ritualised violence, but self-defence is quite obviously a motive behind, for example, Fiore's unarmed against dagger.
 

Urist

Master Knight
M&BWB
I think the most important technique in unarmed vs. dagger is to turn and run for the one without a weapon.
 

Blackthorn

Squire
Even outside of armoured combat a dagger will end things -quickly-; icepick grip to the face, throat or upper chest, uphanded grip to the armpits, under the chin, lower stomach (if you're strong enough) or groin. They'll all deal with a man in a hauberk- a 13th Century source notes with sadness how many knights now use daggers to kill enemies that a sword or mace would cripple and allow ransom.
Knives were fairly universal; they'll deal with armoured and unarmoured combatants, and combined with a shield are GREAT in a packed infantry fight.
HEMA sometimes pushes past the 'H' to get to the 'MA'; or focuses on the 'H' and ignores the 'MA'. Rarely is it all that balanced, to be fair.
 

tostig

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&B
And if they focus on the 'H', they often decry modern historians as attempting to de-construct chivalry, and wander off in to the mystical lands of knightliness, chivalry and associated bullshido.
Tangential troll - the medieval world-view has sweet **** all to do with systematic approaches to the mechanics of inter-personal violence, and is only tangentially related to trying to interpret sources which depict it.
 

Amman d Stazia

Master Knight
absolutely right.  Edward 1st (Hammer of the Scots) was declared the 'Flower of Chivalry' and 'First Paladin of Christendom' in his time, but didn't see anything wrong with hanging Scottish knights who had surrendered to promises of fair treatment, nor with ritually humiliating his own allies in Scotland by having them shuffle on their knees under a ****-daubed gateway to renew their oath of fealty - to his back.

That's how chivalrous war was back in the good old days.
 

tostig

Sergeant Knight at Arms
M&B
Yeah. I'm just going to put two links up, which I feel make the point that I'm aiming for much better than I can:
http://www.forteza.org/forteza/For_Philosophy.html - An American HEMA group.
http://media.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de/file/82787/618069313109.png Folio 74v of the Fechtbuch Cod.I.6.4°.2, Paulus Hector Mair compiled that book, one of HEMA's favourite historical figures, and the page probably dates from the 1470s.  The caption says:
‎'So if you want to rob a peasant, pinch the skin on his throat and thrust through it, as shown, so that he thinks that you have cut his throat, and this does him no harm.'

Clearly someone here is wrong about medieval violence, fechtbuchs, and the people engaged in it. And I don't think that it's the contemporary source.
 
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