• Medieval Era
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

A Mantlet was a large portable shield, used by troops to protect themselves on the battlefield. As seen in The Middle Ages, these devices were made of wood or wicker. Many variations of Mantlet were designed and tried. Some versions had wheels – making movement on the battlefield easier. A Mantlet shield face was around 10 to 15 feet in width and installed onto a frame. Often a small window or opening would be carved into the center. (for vision) In this design, 3 or 4 soldiers could advance under fire safety. Some other versions were “fixed” of had to be “spiked down”. Several could provided a protective wall. Yet more were simply carts lowered and redesigned.


Cotton or other materials could be used to provide protection. Of course, a simple fire arrow could render most Mantlet's impracticable. With the advent of firearms (and less primitive powder charges ) most Mantlet's ceased to be used. One example of a “surviving” Mantlet was the Russian Guyag-Gorod (made with iron to deflect bullets and be somewhat “fire proofed”).