Insights from Historical Artwork

The clear effect of even single-hand sword blows against steel helmets. In the center a sword splits the top of a helm from behind. On the right two swords hack into the sides of helmets while a spiked mace delivers a crushing blow. Notice also the portions of each sword (their center-of percussion) that does most of the striking is invariably the last third to second-half of blade. One rider in the center has an arrow in his cheek that appears to have hit behind his mail coif. On the lower right, a long axe cuts powerfully against a rider’s neck and back of the head, pulling him off his mount. On the ground one fallen fighter has deep shoulder and head wounds while another has a deep cut on the neck. Four different types of helmet are visible. All the shields appear to be medium sized flat heaters. From the gruesome Maciejowski Bible, c. 1250.

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