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Polish language: Bechter

Polish language: Bechter diagramm

Plated mail (sometimes called plated chainmail, splinted mail or splinted chainmail) is a type of mail with embedded plates. Armour of this type has been used in the Middle East, Japan, China, Korea, Central Asia, Greater Iran, India, Eastern Europe, and by the Moors.

Types of plated mail

In Russia there are three known varieties of this armour. These were adopted from Persia, initially as Persian exports[citation needed], and have Persian names.

  • Behterets (Russian: Бехтерец), from Persian behter[1] —- small horizontal plates arranged in vertical rows without gaps, joined by rings, and embedded in chainmail
  • Yushman (Russian: Юшман), from Persian jawshan[1] —- long horizontal plates embedded in chainmail and resembling laminar armour (e.g. Roman lorica segmentata)
  • Kalantar (Russian: Калантарь) —- square plates embedded in chainmail, very similar to the Japanese karuta tatami-do. The major difference is that kalantar are not sewn to a cloth backing as Karuta tatami-do are.

According to Bobrov[2] the first plated mail appeared as cuisses in the Middle East, and were imported by the Golden Horde. Iranian miniatures of the first half of 15th Century show different combinations of plated mail with lamellar armor and brigandines sometimes worn with a single round mirror plate as breast re-enforcement. The first representation of plated mail as body protection is shown in Iranian miniatures, which show plated mail composed of relatively big plates, worn with laminar pauldrons and skirt (formed from long, horizontal plates), re-enforced by a big round mirror plate. The first representation of classic plated mail (without lamellar elements) can be seen in Baghdad's miniature which dates from 1465. From the end of the 15th Century plated mail began to fully replace lamellar armours. The main difference between eastern European (Russian and Polish) and Oriental plated mail is that eastern European versions usually do not have sleeves, while Oriental versions have sleeves (the forearms were protected by vambraces).[citation needed] In a heavy version these sleeves have embedded plates, and a light version (more widely used) has sleeves entirely made from mail.

In Kitab al-Durra al-Maknuna (The Book of the Hidden Pearl) Jābir ibn Hayyān describes plated mail for use in armours (jawasin), helmets (bid) and shields (daraq).[3]

In Japan plated mail is called "Karuta", small square or rectangular plates with the gaps between them filled with mail.[4]

Korean version of this armour is known as Gyeongbeongap (경번갑/鏡幡甲). The most famous general who used this type of armor was General Chonji.[citation needed]


See also

  • kote - Japanese bracers which are often were made from plated mail sewn to cloth backing
  • pl:Bechter poznański
  • pl:Bechter moskiewski - Russian type of plated mail
  • Tatami-do - Japanese type of plated mail
  • de:Baju Lamina - Indonesian type of plated mail
  • de:Moro-Rüstung - Philippine type of plated mail
  • Mail (armour)
  • Splinted armour
  • Lamellar armour


  1. 1.0 1.1 Leonid A. Bobrov "Iron hawks from the territory of Maveranahr" (sets of the defensive equipment of the warriors of the Middle Asia and the neighouring territories in 16th - 17th centuries)
  2. Леонид Бобров "Защитное вооружение среднеазиатского воина эпохи позднего средневековья" (Leonid Bobrov "Panoply of a Late Medieval Central Asian Warrior")
    illustrations of different kind of plated mails
  3. Ahmad Y Hassan, The Colouring of Gemstones, The Purifying and Making of Pearls, And Other Useful Recipes
  4. Ian Bottomley & A.P. Hopson "Arms and Armor of the Samurai: The History of Weaponry in Ancient Japan" p.88 & p.91

External links

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