The medieval swords used in battle could be quite large and cumbersome. The soldiers of this time period also had to walk around in large heavy suits of armor while carrying heavy shields as well. The heavily muscled knights of this time period could lift a great amount, but they could not do battle with the heavy weight of their battle gear without some changes in their fighting style. This article will go over some of the tactics medieval soldiers used to win a battle with a medieval weapon in hand.
The horse riding medieval fighter was not troubled by the great weight of his gear like his foot bound comrade. These fighters had strong horses to move them and their heavy armor around and could afford to expend some energy doing violent slashing movements with their medieval fighting sword. However, mounted soldiers were rare compared to foot soldiers and that means most people did not have the luxury of using big slashing combat movements.
Foot soldiers needed to save their energy because they did not have horses to carry them throughout the battle. It burns a lot of calories and quickly saps energy away from the soldier when he slashes with a heavily armored arm and a large sword. You wouldn’t want to use up all your energy slashing down an opponent just to have his friend defeat you in your exhausted state, would you?
Foot soldiers developed techniques that allowed them to vanquish their enemies while conserving energy at the same time. They would primarily block their opponents attacks with their large shields and armor and kept their sword arm fresh for attacking movements. Short jabbing movements were used to stab the enemy because this movement did not take nearly as much energy to make as a swipe or slash. These jabs could be used right away as a fierce and aggressive offense or they could come after a successful block has been made and while the enemies body is exposed.
Soldiers encased in heavy army had the luxury of being able to wrestle with their opponents without fear of getting cut along the way. Using the weight of their armor, they would knock their enemy off of their feet and onto the ground. Once their enemy was off balance they could then defeat them quite easily. Soldiers in heavy armor were very intimidating to lesser armored soldiers for their sheer appearance of invulnerability.
The major draw back to the heavy medieval sword, shield, and set of armor was its weight. Improved fighting styles were great, but many forces with less armor were able to defeat their more armored but less mobile combatants. Having said this, I think that were I to go back to the middle ages I’d rather be the guy in the heavy armor than the more mobile soldier.