My goal with this presentation is to elaborate the growth from medieval arms and armor into the Early Modern period. This period was one of a great deal of growth and innovation, ranging from relatively normal to exceedingly bizarre. Most of these innovations were phased into military action, and then phased out very rapidly due to their unwieldiness and general difficulty of use. These innovations did, however, lead to the rapid onset of an era of obsolete and decorative armor. These innovations ranged from things like the bodkin arrows and stiletto knives, to gunpowder and cannons. In this time period the face of warfare itself would change from a knight with a sword to a militia man with an arquebus. And though some countries would hold out longer than others, it quickly became the standard of warfare throughout the world that until the onset of trench warfare, guns were one of the most crucial tools on the battlefield, and could quickly change the course of a battle. The increased use of guns was not without its flaws. For a long time gunpowder was difficult to use with any consistency. This is why novelties like the ‘holy water sprinkle,’ and the bayonet came into being to compensate for the lack of rate of fire and accuracy. This all leads to a very innovative period which is filled with strange weapons, unreliable guns, and lessening amounts of armor.
John Wolfe, ’12
Sponsor: Michelle Herder