Home Forums Medieval They wore white armbands on their right arms

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  • #103471
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Hello everyone,

    I’ve read somewhere, but I do not remember where, that the Polish knights at the Battle of Grounwald in 1410 had armor that looked so much like their German opponents, that they wore white armbands on their right arms  so as not to be confused with Germans, did you hear that story ?

    What do you think ?

    Paskal

    #103529

    I guess it’s highly possible.

    I do not know much of this specific incident but the wearing of distinguishing “field signs” is very old. Before national uniforms made identifying your enemy easy, such devices would be highly advisable. My own Scots often wore a bitty of heather on their bunnets, even though you could see their honest Scottish faces, so how much more useful would be a white armband on a man in full armour?

    Possibly the most famous use of a field sign was with MacDuff’s army who took “Birnam Wood to Dunsinane”: clearly wearing sprigs of birch, oak or some such. I like to think they wore leaves of Rowan for obvious reasons.

     

    donald

    #103530
    Paskal
    Spectator

    I would have to find where I read it.

    #103544
    Paskal
    Spectator

    It might not have stayed white for long, once the opposing forces met in combat but various websites and the Osprey say that they wore straw on their left arms ???

    For that, for Grunwald, I would have to see illustrations of books to see how that was.

    #103546

    I am reminded how Edmund Blackadder accidentally killed his Uncle, Richard 111, because he could not identify him during a battle. The histories of the time wanted to hush this up but I’ve seen a documentary revealing the bloodied truth.

     

    donald

    #103548
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Yes then in Grunwald, it was a white armband on the right arm or straw on their left arms ???

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