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Author Topic: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body  (Read 2786 times)

Sir Patrick

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The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« on: 2015-09-12, 18:30:17 »
Came across this while researching some period stuff. Uses real modern-day ER visit photos to demonstrate the wounds encountered on a medieval battlefield. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!!  You've been warned...

http://www.netvike.com/wounds-from-combat.html

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Ian

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #1 on: 2015-09-12, 18:41:12 »
Thank you for my daily dose of evisceration! :) 

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Sir Patrick

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #2 on: 2015-09-12, 19:24:49 »
The side-by-side shot of the guy with the ruptured intestines and the period art depicting the same thing was a nice touch.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #3 on: 2015-09-13, 04:45:23 »
Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of the article in Spada 2 called The Medical Realities of Historic Combat.
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Ian

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #4 on: 2015-09-13, 15:19:38 »
Not to derail the thread, but one thing I encounter a lot by modern people is the notion that historical combat with hand-to-hand weapons resulted in more horrific wound patterns than modern weapons.   If anything, modern combat is demonstrably more lethal than historical combat, and the weapons are capable of producing far more horrific wounds because of the nature of high velocity terminal ballistics and explosives.  Romantic isn't the right word for it necessarily, but I think that notion of historical combat being more vicious or bloody falls into the same realm as some of the romantically inspired misconceptions of archaic warfare.  Just something to think about :)
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Sir Patrick

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #5 on: 2015-09-13, 17:09:42 »
Very try, Sir Ian. I think the notion stems from the fact you are right in the guy's face with medieval combat while the greater range of modern weapons are less "personal". Obviously not the case for anyone who's been in combat, but I think that's what the masses are thinking.
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Sampf

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #6 on: 2015-09-13, 23:28:05 »
Battle sucks, If you think about it if most of these wounds are from daily objects such as that man with the knife stab wounds Imagine the damage other things would do that are meant to kill.
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Sampf

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #7 on: 2015-09-13, 23:30:11 »
Of course like Ian said modern combat is terrible as well maybe even worse but my point is with edged weapons. (Clearing this up so people know what I'm talking about)
Knife wounds through leather jacket, That guy was messed up even with a leather jacket on. Imagine a sword?
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Thorsteinn

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #8 on: 2015-09-14, 03:30:44 »
On Ians observation I'm reminded of another thought:

Most people will not get shot, or blown up, or hit with shrapnel. Most will get cut, stabbed, hit with heavy and/or hard objects, or burned. They will bleed, see their own cut open body, feel torn muscles & tendons, know the pain of broken bone. This is why medieval & ancient combat seems more horrific, even if it is of equal footing to modern woundings in it's horror, because we can all of us see ourselves in the others hurt.
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Sir William

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Re: The Effect of Medieval Weapons On the Human Body
« Reply #9 on: 2015-09-14, 17:33:45 »
I think in this day and age, being so far removed from the sort of close quarters combat that only the military and various enthusiasts train for.  Regular citizens generally aren't conscripted into a fyrd or pressed into some other service that would require them to fight and possibly die in the defense of one thing or another.  No, our military and police face death on a daily basis so that citizens need not.  I think it is because of this that medieval combat is perhaps viewed as being more visceral- for citizens of that time frame it was essential to survival so it was something they had no choice but to deal with.  We who have the privilege of living in modern times can sit and armchair QB a discussion and that's the end of it.  A nice, speculative discourse on things that were horrifying to those who had to live it; whereas any discussion in period would almost certainly be followed by precipitous action in the collection of bodies for an engagement.

Plus there's the way that newspapers and outlets tend to sanitize death- and I really detest it when they do it while talking about military deaths abroad.  Its always some term that serves to lessen the blow- like, rather than saying "seven soldiers in an ill-armored HMMV rode over an IED and were killed due to the blast and substandard armor" they'll go with: "in other news, 7 troops fell to an IED in [insert theater here], more on that story at 11", then when you get to 11, they vomit out the same crap and that's that.  Its so mainstream America doesn't have to deal with the awful reality that is war.  Its almost abstract its  so far removed.
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