Knights and their Armor
Knights were thought to be the most powerful part of a crusading army. Each knight would wear woolen underwear,and a heavy leather vest . He wore thick stockings on his legs. He put chain leg pieces on over these, made of hundreds of little steel rings looped together. He strapped on spurs. A chain mail coat (called a hauberk), covered him down to his knees. He added a kind of a blaclava helmet to protect his head. It was also made of mail. Armored, steel gloves protected his hands. By the third crusade, knights wore heavy steel helmets . Some just had a long nose piece for protection, but others covered their whole face and neck. Some helmets were so heavy and hot, the knights could only wear them for a couple of hours at a time. Knights usually wore a long, white, loose coat over their armor. These helped them be cool by reflecting the sun. Knights had lances (spears) for charging. The lances were ten feet long. The squire would cut them from tree saplings. For hand to hand fighting, knights carried swords and daggers. Their shields were shaped like a triangle and they were made of wood and leather . A knight in full armor was safe from any attacks. His horse had to be very strong too, because a knight's armor and weapons could weigh up to 100 extra pounds.
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