Every knight had three valuable items, namely armor, weapons, and a warhorse. The three things were expensive. Hence, only the wealthy could afford to be knights. The knights took valuable items when they conquered their enemy’s towns and cities in the hope of regaining the cost incurred to be a knight.
The earliest metallic armor worn by medieval knights was the chainmail armor. It consisted of thousands of interlocking metal rings, and each ring had to be fastened by rivets. The aim was to keep all the rings from opening due to the weight of the piece. Underneath, the knight would wear a padded garment known as gambeson. He also carried a shield and a helmet. The armor weighed up to 30 pounds and made it easy to battle. Unfortunately, it could be pierced by a thin sword or an arrow. Hence, there was a need for advanced armors.
The plate armor was more advanced and offered better protection. However, it was more cumbersome and less flexible than chainmail. It weighed up to 50 kilograms and wearing the armor took more than twice the energy one uses to walk around freely. It was more energy consuming than carrying a backpack weighing 50 kilograms.
These knights used several weapons. The weapons mainly depended on the circumstance. For instance, some weapons were more appropriate when charging on a horse and others when in close range.
The lance was a long wooden pole that had a metal tip and handguards. The lance was enough for the knight to attack from his horse. The lance gave the knight an advantage over the foot soldiers. Also, it could be used to knock the enemies off their horses.
The knights used swords when in a close battle. Some knights preferred to use two-handed swords while others preferred a sword and a shield. Swords enabled the knights to penetrate gaps in armor which would cause death or several injuries.
Battleaxes become less popular in the 11th century but made a comeback in the 14th century. Mainly due to the introduction of the plate armor. Hence, they needed high impact weapons to conquer their enemies.
The poleaxe was also used when on horseback but when the enemies were at close range to smash through the breastplate of the armor and helmet of the enemy. The aim was to knock down the enemy.
Daggers were very long and had sharp points that could penetrate the armor. They were only used when the knight was at close battle and wrestling situation. It was the last resort, as the knight used it when they had lost all other weapons.
To sum up, immediately after the advancement of the knight’s armor, the knights began to decrease. Since the tiresome armor of a knight was ineffective and impractical against the new weapons.
The introduction of gunpowder changed the face of battles. Soldiers had to be trained on how to use the latest advanced weapons. Knights and their armors were consigned to displays and ceremonial duties.