the_power wrote:Infantry ones are simpler...spear fighting Zulus used wicker shields against spears and javelins quite effectively, but they won't stop or even deflect a lance. But you can run great distances with them. Big Viking round ship shields are a pain to travel with...small targes can stay on your arm, or slung behind.
the_power wrote:If you need a large shield to catch a javelin, you are doing it wrong. You can catch it single handed reasonably easily, but in combat, if there are a few coming in, you can bat them away with a small shield.
the_power wrote:To answer your original question, by 1600 shields were of limited use against muskets or cavalry. I'd say they were often for decoration, or carried by light infantry
the_power wrote:And remember, native Irish cavalry were still avoiding stirrups in the late 1400s, making heavy shields impractical.
the_power wrote:When I talk about 'wicker' shields, I would mean wicker & thin raw hide; yes. I don't know enough about the Irish wicker ones to know if they were faced single-weave wicker, or some sort of multi-weave wicker that could keep out a spear, without facing.
the_power wrote:I've never seen a full leather shield, other than the bronze-age ones in the museum, which weren't just leather faced, but made completely out of leather. So, when the Irish talk about leather, I'm not sure are the leather fronted wood, or all leather. But I'd guess they are talking all-leather, for weight reasons. If you are making a wooden shield, leather only adds weight, and doesn't add much protection. (Despite the fact that my main 15thC Irish shield is a giant coffee table-top made out of applewood, that's then leather-faced).
the_power wrote:if it's small numbers of large projectiles you are concerned by, a small shield is as good as a large one.
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