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Would a brigandine-gambeson hybrid, which would be a gambeson with metal plates attached like in brigandine, be effective in protection, compared to other stuff that could be done with the same material

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  • $\begingroup$ That's just silly, It's like suggesting one wear a sock inside your shoe, or underwear under your pants. $\endgroup$
    – PcMan
    Aug 15, 2021 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ A jack of plates is sewn, rather than riveted. It's not as padded on the outside as you're probably imagining, but it's similar. They tend to look like a doublet in shape. There were sometimes also gambeson like coverings worn over metal armor for a little extra protection against arrows, but I don't think it would be particularly useful to combine the two types in a way that the couldn't easily be separated. $\endgroup$
    – Redbud201
    Aug 16, 2021 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ If you could leave a comment on my answer to point out any problems you have with it that would be great, so I can see why you haven't accepted it. $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 16, 2021 at 21:41

2 Answers 2

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Protective? Yes.

Practical? No.

Gambeson by itself is decent protection from slashing, and great protection against bludgeoning. Its only weakness is strong thrusts, even then, they have to be strong. The fact that it is made of cloth means that it is not deflecting anything, its purpose is to cushion the force of the blow and rely on the thickness of the material to prevent piercing.

And brigandine is made of plates of hardened steel with a thick type of canvass/leather studded on top, and sometimes another layer of cloth on the inside. And being made of metal means it is extremely effective against piercing. And its flexibility allows it to be able to cushion hard blows. In fact, some knights even chose brigandine over plated armor! That's how good it is!

Stacking them actually adds a couple of disadvantages:

  1. The restrictiveness of the armor. Brigandine is designed to be quite form-fitting for it to be effective, and it's hard to slap that on top of gambeson without causing some squeezing. It is possible to minimize this problem by increasing the number of plates in the brigandine. But it would still feel very restrictive as if you had on a 25-pound, heavy-weather coat that was made for someone a lot skinner than you (Just to be clear, I'm not calling anyone fat, this is just an example).

  2. The reduced stamina. This ties into the previous problem. The tightness of the armor would mean that you couldn't breathe as easily causing you to tire out more quickly. Add that on top of the weight (which is about 24-25 pounds if you add the weight of full brigandine (15ish pounds) to the weight of gambeson (9ish pounds)), and add on top of that how hot it would be wearing it, you would get tired out very quickly in it. Even more quickly than if you were wearing full plate armor.

The reality is, there is no point in adding gambeson underneath brigandine. Brigandine already can protect against both bludgeoning weapons, and piercing weapons. So adding gambeson underneath is excessive and impractical


If you want to put gambeson underneath something, a better option is to wear a gambeson underneath chainmail. This is a very effective form of armor as the chainmail is extremely resistant to piercing and the gambeson will pad blows from maces and such.

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for personal use? yes, maybe...probably not but still yes

only useful if you expect to be attacked by anything and anyone from any direction... in which case a bodyguard is cheaper and doesn't overheat you or exhaust you.

for military formations? if your soldiers need that much armor, maybe they need a better commander so you should maybe think about retiring.

spears and ranged weapons are a good defense, shields are even better, stealth even better.

The greatest armies ever in history only wore armor on small parts of their bodies, Roman legionaries where half naked and at the time, they were amongst the ''heavier armored'' ones and they had lesser mortality rate than americans in the vietnam war.

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  • $\begingroup$ the op was asking how useful this specific armor would be as armor, it seems you are making more of an answer for the usefulness of heavy armor in general. $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 15, 2021 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ I would also say that you are wrong about heavy armor. There is a reason why knights wore armor, and it's because of its effectiveness. $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 15, 2021 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Firestryke they also were filthy rich, a full set of plate armor costs as much as a mansion and they had personal guards and where not infantry but had an horse doing all the leg work for them. Not saying running with weight on you is not possible, the modern american military does it, but they suffer severe injuries which need surgery otherwise result in life changing and debilitating lack of mobility, joint's are weaker than muscles. $\endgroup$
    – user88550
    Aug 16, 2021 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ They didn't "run around" in heavy armor, and full plate weighs about 60 lbs spread over your whole body so it doesn't feel that heavy, it just makes you tire a bit more quickly. But people with heavy armor just would maybe to a quick rush at an opponent to close that gap, and then hack away until they were dead. $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 16, 2021 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ In a battlefield, they wouldnt need to do much of that, bc after the initial rush they just keep hacking $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 16, 2021 at 14:50

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