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"They wore white armbands on their right arms ?" Topic

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869 hits since 8 Nov 2018
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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 1:07 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,

I'll need your opinion, I've read somewhere, but I do not remember where, that the Polish knights at the Battle of Grunwald 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?


Cacique Caribe08 Nov 2018 4:56 a.m. PST

It might not have stayed white for long, once the opposing forces met in combat.


dapeters08 Nov 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

No but this is very true of much of the Middle ages. Often a twig with a couple of leaves would work.

Personal logo Swampster Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 2:55 p.m. PST

Various websites and the Osprey say that they wore straw on their left arms.

Warspite108 Nov 2018 7:01 p.m. PST

Field signs were quite common in Western Europe. The most common was a 'bend' (from the heraldic diagonal) and was a strip of coloured cloth like a school gym band or else a coloured sash. Either way this was worn across the chest from the right shoulder to the left hip. Edward IV issued red bends to his troops in 1461 but had still not paid for them in 1471 when the cloth merchant presented his bill.

The French used something similar to bends. A French army in Flanders in 1304 were to mark themselves with a white scarf so that they would recognise each other in the fighting. The anti-Burgundian Armagnacs wore white bends so much that, in 1445, Philip the Good of Burgundy refused to wear the similar white sash (bend) of King Alfonso's Aragonese Order of the Goblet because it resembled the white bend of the hated Armagnacs.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

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

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2018 5:57 a.m. PST

Yes, in the WRG of Heath, it's a straw around the upper arm (right arm necessarily), I liked to see it in illustration.

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