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Medieval chainmail armor. Source: koldunova / Adobe Stock.

Could Medieval Chain Mail Armor Stop Arrows Piercing? (Video)


We tend to think of Medieval knights as wearing heavy plate armor but in reality much of their time chain mail made up much of their defenses.  Medieval chain mail armor was remarkably effective against arrows due to its ingenious design. Composed of interlocking metal rings, it formed a flexible and sturdy barrier that could absorb and distribute the force of arrow impacts. While not impervious, chain mail offered substantial protection against glancing blows and reduced the penetration power of arrows.

Its flexibility allowed for greater mobility, critical in battles where agility was key. However, its effectiveness varied. Arrows shot from longbows with significant force could still pierce the rings or find gaps between them. Despite its limitations, chain mail remained a staple for warriors, providing essential defense against a range of medieval weaponry. Its endurance over centuries attests to its pragmatic utility in combat scenarios, highlighting the craftsmanship and strategic advantage it offered to those who wore it.Top of Form

Top image: Medieval chainmail armor. Source: koldunova / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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