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The equipment of a knight in the 14th century

Local peculiarities

Since 14th century, the citizens trained their skills in archery in the parrot shooting competitions. It is said in the tower wardens’ list from 1373 that there were 41 crossbows and 18 larger arrow trebuchets in the towers to defend the city. In 1378 Tallinn bought its first cannon for two and half marks, in 1396 the Town Council had hired cannon master Mertin.

14th century tactics

In the given century various types of armed forces came to challenge the supremacy of the army of knights. To oppose cavalry, either infantry armed with pikes and halberds and retaining a firm order of battle (as in Scotland and Switzerland) or infantry consisting of outstanding archers (England against France) came to be used.

Early cannons and guns

Halberd

A fighting axe was attached to a two-metre or longer wooden pole that could be used for both cutting and thrusting and it also served well in pulling a rider off the saddle. Since the 14th century it was used as an infantry weapon in the tight line against cavalry. The metal part of the weapon could be up to 80 cm long.

Sword

The 14th-century swords are clearly divided into swords for cutting and thrusting, in addition there were also swords with an attempt to combine the two features. As the armours became stronger, also the role of thrusting swords increased at the end of the century. The measures of the given 14th-century cutting sword are the following: Length: 101 cm Length of blade: 81,5 cm Width of blade: 4,5 cm.