Friday, September 21, 2012

Renaissance Cannon - Death with a Bang

"Vive le Roi," (Long Live the King), cannon of the armies of the king of France. Note the fleur de lys design embossed on the barrels.
A deadly serpent ready to strike.
Ottoman splendor that brought death to the enemies of the Sultan.
Early bombards such as this spelled doom to the tall Medieval castles that had protected the nobles for centuries.
The development of artillery was a trial and error process.  Some ideas such as this early breech loading design were centuries ahead of their time (in other words, a good idea that couldn't safely work with the metallurgy of the era)
But some improvements were very successful as this improved bombard clearly shows.
The last sight any enemy would want to see, the mouth of one of the improved artillery pieces right before it goes BOOM!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Renaissance Armor-High Point of Personal Protection

From elite (and expensive) Imperial plate armour, ribbed for extra strength (don't worry about the open space between his legs-it and his bottom would have been covered by more flexible chain-mail armour),...
to common (cheap) leather and metal gorget (protected the throat and upper chest) ...
and simple brigantine (leather with metal studs), armour has protected warriors for thousands of years.  Here we have samples of the best of the Renaissance armour makers work. These are but a few of the hundreds of full and partial suits found at the Musee de l'Armee at Hotel des Invalides.
One size did not fit all, quality suits of plate were tailored for the individual user, one reason for their tremendous cost.
Suits of full plate were even made for wealthy young boys for training as well as protection should they accompany their fathers onto the battle field.
And lets not forget our four legged friends, armour for them could cover as little as their foreheads...
our encase both them and their riders in complete metal protection.
Those that could afford the best, purchased full plate for both man and beast (at a cost in modern dollars of over a quarter million).
But an new technology was to soon be so effective as to render the wearing of expensive plate armour useless-the flintlock musket. Easier to use than previous weapons and deadly up to seventy-five yards through even the best armor of the day.