The armors of the Tatars were very diverse, but the most common were armors of soft materials, quilted with wool, cotton, etc. Such shells were called "Khatangu Degel," which means "hard as steel." Buffalo (ridge) made of metal and hard leather were made into strips and plates. Combining vertical leather with thin leather stripes, they collected lamellar armor, and combining horizontal stripes, they obtained laminar armor. All shells were decorated with various embroidery and painting, the plates were polished to a shine. But the absolute innovation for the West was a shell, on a soft base of which metal plates were attached, sewn from the inside out and attached through the skin to the outer covering of thick durable colored fabric. The rivets stood out vividly against the background of the fabric and were a peculiar decoration. This shell was borrowed from China, where it was invented as the secret armor of the emperor's bodyguards. By the end of the XIV century. it was already distributed throughout Eurasia and up to Spain. In the Tatar khanates and in Russia the shell of such a type was called “kuyak”. Already at the beginning of the XIV century. in the Golden Horde ring-lamellar armor was invented. In it, steel plates are connected by steel chain weaving.
Turkish javshan invented on the territory of the Golden Horde. XV century.
There were three types of such shell: Javshan, Behter and Hoguzlik. Such armor possessed exceptional protective properties and flexibility. Naturally, it was expensive to manufacture, and only noble and wealthy warriors could afford such armor.
Plano Carpini wrote in his notes “HISTORY TARTARUS":
«Weapon at the very least, everyone should have at least one: two or three bows, or at least one good one, and three large quivers full of arrows, one ax and ropes to pull the implements. The rich have swords, sharp at the end, cutting on one side only and somewhat crooked; they also have an armed horse, shin covers, helmets and armor. Some have armor as well as covers for horses made of leather, made as follows: they take straps from a bull or another animal wide in arm, pour them resin together three or four, and tie them with straps or strings; on the top strap, they put the strings on the end, and on the bottom strap - in the middle, and they do it to the end; hence, when the lower belts bend, the upper ones stand, and thus double or triple on the body. They divide the cover of the horse into five parts: on the one side of the horse one and on the other side of the other, which extend from tail to head and are tied at the saddle, and behind the saddle on the back and also on the neck; they also place the other side on the sacrum, where the connections of the two sides are connected; in this piece they make a hole through which they expose the tail, and also lay one side on the chest. All parts extend to the knees or to the ties of the legs; and before their foreheads they put an iron band, which on both sides of the neck is connected with the above-mentioned sides. Lats also have four parts; one part extends from the hip to the neck, but it is made according to the position of the human body, as it is compressed in front of the chest, and from the hands and below it fits round around the body; behind the sacrum, they put another piece that extends from the neck to the piece that fits around the body; on the shoulders, these two pieces, namely the front and rear, are attached by buckles to two iron bands that are located on both shoulders; and on both hands on top they have a piece that extends from the shoulders to the wrist, which are also below open, and on each knee they have a piece; All these pieces are connected by buckles. The helmet is iron or copper from above, and that which covers the neck and throat all around is made of leather. And all these pieces of leather are made in the manner indicated above. ”
“For some, all that we have named above is composed of iron as follows: they make one thin strip about the width of a finger, and the length of a palm, and so they prepare many strips; In each lane, they make eight small holes and insert three straps tight and strong inside, put the strips one on another, as if climbing up the ledges, and tie the above-mentioned strips to the straps with thin straps, which pass through the holes noted above; in the upper part, they sew one strap, which doubles on both sides and is stitched with another strap, so that the above bands fit well and firmly together, and form one strap from the bands, and then tie everything together in pieces, as mentioned above . And they do it both to equip horses and people. And they make it shine so that a person can see his face in them. ”
We add that the weight of gold jewelry horse harness reached two kilograms, which indicates the wealth of the Mongolian nobility. Archaeological materials found in southern Siberia and Mongolia can be judged on the richness of horse harness ornaments.
There were Mongol-Tatar and helmets, dome-shaped with a pointed top. They were riveted or linked from several metal and leather parts. The neck, and sometimes the face, was covered by a barmitsa, made in a lamellar or laminar way. Masters of Eastern and Eastern Europe borrowed from the Tatars a tall thin spire, a visor, metallic scuffles and the protection of the center of the face with a half mask (part 1 of this article).
Tatar Misyrka - a lightweight helmet found in the area of the Kulikov field, that on the Don - Tanais
"... it is not difficult to guess what exactly such a helmet became the prototype of the military caps of the next centuries - and even in the armies of Western European countries", - writes in the book The Great Horde: Friends, Enemies and Heirs, G.R. Enikeev.
Since the last decade of the XIV century. they began to be widely used sash leggings and mail leggings with a disc on the knee (dizlyk). Folding bracers (Kolchak) were especially common.
The design of the Tatar-Mongolian shield deserves a deeper consideration, although they did not always use it. They spread this type of construction in the territory from China to Turkey and Poland. She was called Khalkha (kalkan). Kalkan was made of strong, flexible, calibrated rods, stacked concentrically around the wooden umbon. Between themselves, the rods were connected by threads or fine fibers according to the tapestry principle. It turned out a convex round shield woven according to the principle of weaving and decoration of reed mats, only not rectangular, but concentric. On wooden umbon fastened iron. In addition to the aesthetic properties, kalkan had high protective properties. Elastic rods sprung and sharply threw back the blade of the enemy, and the arrows stuck in it. Over time, the Italians, who lived on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas, in the territory of the Juchi Ulus, were borrowed from iron bands, this greatly strengthened the shield.
Thus, the Tatar-Mongolian warrior and his warhorse were not inferior to the enemy in weapons and armor. Although in fairness it must be said that the expensive heavy armor was available mainly from the nobility, as elsewhere at that time. But leather, not inferior to metal, had almost every warrior of the Tatar-Mongolian army.
To be continued ...
Gorelik M.V. Khalkha-kalkan: the Mongolian shield and its derivatives // East-West: a dialogue of cultures of Eurasia. Cultural traditions of Eurasia. 2004. Issue 4.
Enikeev G.R. Great Horde: friends, enemies and heirs. M .: Algorithm, 2013.
Petrov A.M. The Great Silk Road: about the simplest, but little known. M .: Eastern literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, 1995.
Rubruk G. Journey to the Eastern Countries of Wilhelm de Rubruk in the Summer of Goodness 1253. Translation by A.I. Maleina.
Plano-Carpini, John de. The history of the Mongols. Per. A.I. Maleina. SPb., 1911.
Kradin N.N., Skrynnikova T.D. Empire of Genghis Khan. M .: Eastern literature, 2006.