Wednesday, May 18, 2022

In medieval times, how long could a knight physically fight in a battle?

This should put this issue to bed forever.  Those guys using pulleys were surely rigging up for jousting were extra protection was needed.

Watching a man in full plate running comfortably over a hundred yards pretty well puts all this to bed.  They had full mobility.

So yes, they could fight for hours.

HEMA Student (2017–present)Updated Sat

“Swords were heavy, the armor was heavy. Nutrition was poor.”
I’m not gonna lie. I had to laugh hard from reading this.

First of all, those are all just misconceptions people give out about knights and the Middle Ages. Let me debunk these myths you provided:

1) “Swords were heavy”

How heavy you think the swords were? The longsword, which was the sidearm a knight carried during the Late Middle Ages would have weighed around 1.1~1.6kg or 2.5~3.5lbs.

That is almost close to a weight of an office laptop. And don’t make me mention the smaller one handed swords, which generally weighed around 1.0~1.1 kg or 2~2.5lbs. Medieval swords were not that heavy as you think.

2) The armor was heavy.
The “heavy” plate armor, which appeared in the Late Middle Ages would have weighed around 20~25kg or 45~55lbs, and with that, the mass was uniformly distributed around the knight’s body. That is not that heavy as you would think. This video here illustrates on how quickly you can run, even do cartwheels in plate armor.

If you’re talking about the armors used for jousting, then yes those were heavy enough to leave anyone immobilized. But knights would have been better off wearing those in a recreational activity that they enjoyed back in the day, rather than in a battlefield.

3) Nutrition was poor.

Knights were part of the wealthy upper-class society. They had a lot of fresh foods given to them from meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and bread. While a common peasant would have only had bread, vegetables, very rarely meat, something only the upper class were able to have. But even with that, people in the Middle Ages would have eaten three meals a day just like us: breakfast, lunch, supper. There are even medieval illustrations of noblemen having banquets together.

So, knights would have never had poor nutrition. Even the poorest knight would have been well fed compared to a peasant during the Middle Ages.

Okay, now that I debunked all of this, I think I pretty much answered this question. But to add on:
Knights were professionally trained warriors. They have trained since childhood as a page to learn how to fight, use weapons, and become disciplined in the arts of war. Even the most experienced knight would continuously train to ensure he can still be in fighting condition for subsequent battles. So knights in the Middle Ages were seasoned, war trained professionals. They generally were given better equipment of arms and armor, compared to a peasant in the battlefield, and were expected to endure in the battlefields longer than an inexperienced common soldier, up to several hours at least, thanks to the amount of training and discipline they have had since childhood.