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Old 24th October 2020, 05:41 PM   #41
sackett
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Compliant armor was probably as prevalent in the later European middle ages as mail or plate: the wadded coat, perhaps helped out with scales here and there.

Much later, in the 17th century, the buff coat was highly valued. A gentleman in the English Civil Wars once declared that he "wouldn't take £40" for his.

Although many a Renaissance notable wore a mail vest under his finery, and not just on public occasions. It would turn a dagger, probably, and maybe even a pistol ball. Damme, sirrah, and shall I go no better swaddled than a babe among them as will my end?
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Old 24th October 2020, 06:14 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
I never understood why, starting as far back as it was feasible, soldiers didn't have some kind of metal plating (relatively thin I guess for mobility) that they wore under their clothes covering their mid-section (front and back)...? No guarantee obviously, but still could have saved many lives.
What period & place do you have in mind? I can think of a few when armor seems to have been absent or uncommon, but not all for the same reasons.

The Romans wrote about northern barbarians fighting without armor. Given that they were not well organized or technologically & tactically advanced in general, their shortage of armor would seem to be because they lacked the experience with Roman-scale warfare to have yet developed the skill to make it or the economy to support the smiths to produce very much of it.

Japanese soldiers aren't known for wearing armor, even when the samurai did, but this was probably because iron ore was such a limited resource there.

A lot of the ancient Middle East (including a few millennia pre-Homer & pre-Troy) seems to have been unarmored. This period extends back to when bronze-smithing was first invented and would have been prohibitively expensive at first when nobody had ever done it before, and even those tribes who had bronze would have at first been surrounded by tribes who didn't, so there was no pressing need for it in armor form to compete with the neighbors. Later, as the bronze economy got more developed & widespread, we still seem to get a shortage of bronze armor among our physical artifacts, and paintings & statues depicting armies dressed about the same as if they weren't at war. To explain this, I'd point out how light even their civilian dress was in that region. That area is hot, to the point that the purpose of clothes, to the extent that they'd wear any at all, isn't to keep you warm; it's to keep you cool by blocking sunlight while allowing as much sweat vaporization & air flow as possible. This is not a situation in which you want to put a giant cooking pot over the part of your body that generates the most excess heat, even if it were weightless.

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Old 24th October 2020, 06:23 PM   #43
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Bronze age is a whole other issue. While copper and tin are both very common, they're not in the same place. So you needed to import one, the other, or both, from far away, and the costs were prohibitive.

That went double for weapons-grade bronze, which needed copper ore with arsenic impurities. (Which incidentally seems to be why so many early smith gods were cripples: arsenic poisoning.) Of course, they didn't know the exact alloys involved, but they knew that bronze made with ore from over there is harder and keeps a sharper edge, while other ores don't have the same effect.

So essentially you could sit on top of a copper mine, and still have to import BOTH the copper and the tin from overseas, because yours wasn't the good weapons-grade ore.

Anyway, the effect on costs, you can see in those riveted swords that could shear right off the hilt when lateral forces were involved. Why would they make the bronze hilt and bronze blade out of separate pieces that could shear off each other? Well, because then you could use the good weapons-grade bronze for the blade only, and the hilt out of cheaper stuff. But anyway, you can guess how prohibitive the costs were, if you'd rather have a sword that breaks at the rivets, than one made from tip to pommel out of the good military-grade ores.

So, yeah, if even rich people couldn't afford to splurge on a hilt made of the good stuff, you can kinda understand why most couldn't afford a bronze breastplate either.
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Old 24th October 2020, 07:08 PM   #44
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Yes, but. The Egyptians, a Bronze Age culture from start to wind-down, had body armor. Leather worked pretty well for them, and, with their characteristic cleverness, they developed multi-layered linen armor, light, strong, and capable of turning a cut if not always a thrust. The great folks among them wore metal armor at least sometimes.

Admittedly, Egypt was a regional superpower, and comparisons to them and their neighbors in remote antiquity are like holding the USMC up beside the Lichtenstein border patrol.

But this question of body armor reminds me of a convict I once read about who never ventured into the exercise yard without a thick spiral notebook under his shirt. You'll try anything if somebody's out to get you.
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Old 24th October 2020, 09:12 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Yes, but. The Egyptians, a Bronze Age culture from start to wind-down, had body armor. Leather worked pretty well for them, and, with their characteristic cleverness, they developed multi-layered linen armor, light, strong, and capable of turning a cut if not always a thrust. The great folks among them wore metal armor at least sometimes.

Admittedly, Egypt was a regional superpower, and comparisons to them and their neighbors in remote antiquity are like holding the USMC up beside the Lichtenstein border patrol.
I'll grant that the Egyptians did equip their troops better (well, after the Hyksos showed them the need to), but as you say, Egypt was an economic superpower.

And not only that, but had access to both tin ore and weapons-grade copper ore within its borders. Sure, they still needed to import some, but not all. Which is one reason why it survived the end of bronze age collapse just weakened. At any rate, what I'm trying to say is that they had both A. more money (so to speak), and B. cheaper prices for bronze. So, yea, they could afford a higher standard of equipment than most other countries.

As you say, it's like comparing the USMC to Afghanistan.
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Old 25th October 2020, 04:36 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
And the additional weight of steel heavy enough to stop rifle rounds? You'd have some slow and tired soldiers carrying another 40 or so pounds of plate steel.
I've worn body armor in martial arts contests (SCA) and the main problem beside weight is heat build up.
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Old 25th October 2020, 06:27 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
I've worn body armor in martial arts contests (SCA) and the main problem beside weight is heat build up.
There's also the problem of chaffing and being rubbed raw which happens in even the best fitting modern armor. Annoying and painful in the modern era, probably a lot worse in a pre-antibiotic society.

It is probably safe to say that at no point in history have soldiers on the march enjoyed being weighed down.
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Old 26th October 2020, 08:37 AM   #48
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Was just reading this about the SBS operation yesterday evening (Nigerian stowaways hijack oil tanker [the police are treating it as a hijack]). Apparently 90% of applicants fail. Training includes carrying around 18kg of weights for five days.

Quote:
SBS commandos carry smoke, stun and regular grenades, as well as knives, ropes and extra magazine rounds.

Around 90 per cent of those who apply to join the SBS fail to pass the gruelling selection process.

Candidates are required to march up to 17 miles a day while carrying a rifle and 18kg weights for five days in a row.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/130232...nker-incident/


I had problems lifting this type of weight in the form of summer car tyres (similar weight) from my boot and back seats to transfer them to overwintering in our barn. Had to roll them along. Lifted them out but no way could I carry them for five minutes, never mind five days.


ETA: Oh wait, it gets harder:

Quote:
That marathon effort is then followed up with an "endurance march" of 40 miles, carrying 25kg weights. The march must be completed within 20 hours.

Wannabe commandos also need to be adept at diving into water from a height, as well as completing a 500m swim wearing full combat gear.

They are then taken to the jungle in Belize and trained for another 14 weeks, including being subjected to simulated torture and deprived of food, water and sleep while white noise blares.
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Old 26th October 2020, 08:59 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
More, actually. A rifle round in WW1 needed about half an inch of steel to stop, which also is why tanks were about that armoured, in case you ever wondered.

But let's do some maths. Let's say you need about 0.4 square metre of steel to protect your torso decently from the front. Let's also say you go with about 12.5mm of steel to actually have a reasonable chance to stop a rifle round.

It's marginally not enough, actually. It won't stop even a normal round if it hits perpendicularly, and it definitely won't stop a reversed round, and much less a steel core round. But it will stop normal rounds if they hit angled at all, so let's go with what makes the maths easy.

So that's about 0.4*0.0125=0.005m3 of steel. At a density of about 8000 kg/m3 (give or take a few, depending on the exact alloy,) yeah, that's more like 40kg of steel. Almost twice those 40 pounds.
Nice work on the math. I was guessing wildly, but kind of assuming that stopping straight-on rifle fire at close range would not be a realistic goal, relying on deflecting rather than stopping, so less than stopping power thickness would be the compromise.
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Old 27th October 2020, 01:41 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Nice work on the math. I was guessing wildly, but kind of assuming that stopping straight-on rifle fire at close range would not be a realistic goal, relying on deflecting rather than stopping, so less than stopping power thickness would be the compromise.
Realistically, the biggest dangers in WW1 were a toss between artillery (in defense) and machinegun fire from the front (when assaulting). Tactics were... not up to WW2 standards, to say the least, so you didn't have to worry nearly as much about being pinned and flanked.(*)

And sloped armour doesn't really save any weight, if you're still shot from the same direction.

Well, sort of. If you were shot by an AP artillery shell, the ballistic caps were not really that evolved at that point, and as little as 15 degrees off normal could often be enough to make it ricochet. But for an infantryman, well, realistically that's not what you'd worry about. I mean, nobody's gonna snipe you with a 12" naval gun, and if (ad absurdum) someone did, the sheer impact would splatter you anyway, no matter if you're wearing enough armour to deflect it.

Rifle calibre FMJ rounds are not that easily deflected. Ultimately you're pretty much at the cosine rule, which means you're not really saving any weight if you make your armour keel shaped instead of just wearing a slab.


(*) Well... sort of. The basic idea of pin and flank is at least as old as writing, but when you have the likes of Haig (not to mention the three stooges that were Potiorek, von Hötzendorf and Cadorna) in charge, somehow it ended back at nothing more refined than pretty much Zapp Brannigan level tactics. I.e., let's throw a lot of soldiers frontally at the machineguns and hope the enemy reaches their kill counter and stops... err... I mean, runs out of ammo or manpower before we do.
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Old 28th October 2020, 11:19 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
... I mean, nobody's gonna snipe you with a 12" naval gun, and if (ad absurdum) someone did, the sheer impact would splatter you anyway, no matter if you're wearing enough armour to deflect it....
Nice set of comments in this thread, good sir. However, I did chuckle at the quote and snorted a tad of my morning coffee. Duel?
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Old 29th October 2020, 10:25 AM   #52
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Here is an article on an early suit of armor from 15th century BCE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendra_panoply
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Old 29th October 2020, 07:15 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Here is an article on an early suit of armor from 15th century BCE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendra_panoply
Remarkably sophisticated in its construction, considering its period.
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Old 31st October 2020, 02:12 PM   #54
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Just to add one more thing, though: before nickel steel (i.e., before very late 19'th century,) iron armour could be very brittle, depending on the exact temperature. If you're south of the brittle-ductile line, the plate won't just neatly deform as the ball passes through, but shatter into a shower of high speed metal fragments. Basically it doesn't just fail to protect you, it actually adds a shotgun effect.

Exactly what the temperature of that transition is, well, that depends on the exact alloy. It can be as low as -50C for absolutely pure iron, or into the range of a chilly autumn morning for other alloys.

Now you might think, so just use the alloys where realistically it'll be ductile in any temperature that humans can realistically fight in. E.g., go with pure iron, since if your army has to fight at -50C, you've got bigger problems anyway.

Thing is, not only they didn't know about the alloys difference, but until mid to late-ish 19'th century, they didn't even know there's a brittle-to-ductile transition at all. See the false start of iron shipbuilding.

Realistically what they'd know is that if you wear metal armour, you might actually be more likely to die horribly than if you don't.

Now metal armour did survive for specialized roles, like the cuirassiers, but that was more like against swords and such. And you wouldn't send those against musketeers until you're pretty sure that those are about to break, or lose them with or without armour.
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Old 31st October 2020, 02:13 PM   #55
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Off topic musing: I wonder if the brittle to ductile transition is why we have so many shattered swords found in Scandinavia from the Viking age.
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Old 31st October 2020, 08:50 PM   #56
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I have a vague recollection of the tradition/ritual of “killing” a sword by bending or breaking it and then burying it with its owner, or using it as a grave marker. Sometimes these “grave markers” were not even necessarily at the location of the burial.
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Old 31st October 2020, 09:22 PM   #57
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That much is true, but it's not what I'm talking about. There are a few swords in Scandinavia which are outright shattered. See the fake Ulfberht finds, for example. It would involve re-forging and quenching it to produce something like that, if it was intentional as a way to "kill" it.

Mind you, it's POSSIBLE that some people went through that kind of extra effort just to destroy a sword. But it seems like a more parsimonious explanation that it was just not tempered right to start with. In fact, it's the historian consensus about those swords, IIRC.

Or, what I'm considering is whether it was tempered right for an average temperature it would have to be used in, but turned out to be south of the brittle-ductile transition line in one particular fight up the mountain in a harsh winter. It's not something I can prove either, since we really have no sagas that say why someone's sword shattered or anything. But just something to consider.

Edit: just so it's clear what I'm talking about. Let's say you made a sword of 100% pure iron, not quenched (it would have no effect on pure iron), not tempered (ditto), or anything. You hit something hard with it, it bends. (As we know for example from Plutarch that it happened with Celts' swords.) But if you're fighting in arctic temperatures of -50 degrees, the same sword will shatter instead of bending. Well, actual swords were not made of 100% pure iron, so the temperature for that transition was usually a lot higher than that. The iron used in the false start of iron shipbuilding for example would shatter well above freezing point.
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Old 1st November 2020, 04:36 AM   #58
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Before a reliable way of measuring temperature the colour of the metal was used to judge it.

This can vary depending on the ambient light and isn't exact even for an experienced smith or forgemaster.

It can mean that metal you think you annealed or tempered the same as last time isn't the same.

Right up until the 20th century this could be a problem.
Forgotten Weapons and C&Rsenal have covered this in various videos on older weapons that are known to have problems with springs, firing pins and bolt heads etc being too soft or breaking.
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Old 1st November 2020, 07:21 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
(*) Well... sort of. The basic idea of pin and flank is at least as old as writing, but when you have the likes of Haig (not to mention the three stooges that were Potiorek, von Hötzendorf and Cadorna) in charge, somehow it ended back at nothing more refined than pretty much Zapp Brannigan level tactics. I.e., let's throw a lot of soldiers frontally at the machineguns and hope the enemy reaches their kill counter and stops... err... I mean, runs out of ammo or manpower before we do.
Balderdash, the British were well aware of fire and movement tactics and put them to good effect by the latter stages of the Somme Battle. The reason they weren't used at the beginning of the battle was because the high command didn't think their troops were up to handling anything more complex than the basics, which is why the British were against taking part in a battle on the Somme in 1916, wrong time wrong place. The quality of British tactics continually improved from the Somme onward. By 1918 the whole scheme of British attack plans was to substitute firepower for manpower, to great success.

I realize its frustrating to accept 'Lions led by Donkeys' is as much of a piece of fiction as 'Blackadder Goes Forth' but you really need to accept the likes of Alan Clark are not historians.
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Old 1st November 2020, 09:13 AM   #60
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I haven't even read "Lions Led By Donkeys." Nor have I seen anyone actually using it as a source. In fact, I keep only hearing about it as a tiresome ad-hominem / genetic fallacy. When someone can't actually post something relevant, it's time for ye olde "oh, the other guys are just quoting 'Lions Led By Donkeys'" handwave.

But anyway, what you're telling me there IS that British command in 1916 DID choose to not apply tactics that were as old as writing, and just throw unsynchronized waves after waves of men frontally at machineguns instead. So I'm not sure why you think that what you wrote there is even contradicting what I was saying. So the argument is... what?

Furthermore, if you want to get into details, as opposed to just slinging the same genetic fallacy, Haig HAD been advised by for example Rawlinson that they could use bite and hold tactics instead. Haig overruled him and decided to just throw his men frontally and pretty much hope that the Germans run out of bullets or manpower before he does. I.e., as I was saying, quite literal Zapp Brannigan level of military competence.

No, literally, it's historically documented that Haig's plan was basically to win by attrition. No, it's not from "Lions Led By Donkeys." It's actual history.

Yes, he had reasons. Not good reasons, not even sane reasons, but obviously he had reasons. So what? An insane reason like not believing that your soldiers can apply the most basic tactic in all history -- one that pretty much anyone in any army of any nation can and does learn in basic training -- and thus it's better to just throw waves after waves frontally at machineguns, isn't an excuse. It's what makes it stupid.

If you think that your soldiers currently lack the training to apply a certain tactic, then ok, you may lose the first batch, but in the meantime you make sure that the next batch DO get the necessary training. You don't waste lives for two flippin' years until you trust yourself or your men with something saner.

Especially when you're in a position to actually make such decisions. We're not talking about some Captain Blackadder on the front line who has no say in how the men he receives are trained. We're talking about the guy who had the final word in that kind of thing.

Anyway, does that make all British generals "donkeys"? No, not really, since as I was saying, there were other generals who had a saner grasp of tactics. I just mentioned Rawlinson for example, who obviously thought he CAN trust his men to do something more coherent than be mowed down. They didn't have the power to make those decisions, but obviously they existed.
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Old 1st November 2020, 09:16 AM   #61
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Quote:
starting as far back as it was feasible
Not worded well on my part. Obviously they did this in the pre-gunpowder/gun days. I meant since. Why wasn't/isn't it standard issue to wear some kind of flak jacket? You could have one that isn't too constricting and still be well worthwhile.


Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's also the problem of chaffing and being rubbed raw which happens in even the best fitting modern armor. Annoying and painful in the modern era, probably a lot worse in a pre-antibiotic society.

It is probably safe to say that at no point in history have soldiers on the march enjoyed being weighed down.
Preferring to be dead? I'd think the inconvenience of discomfort would be worth it, and I find it hard to believe something couldn't be fitted that would mitigate this to a reasonable level.
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Old 1st November 2020, 09:24 AM   #62
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Well, it's not just about whether or not you can fit it well enough. Like in anything else, it's advantages vs disadvantages. There are ALWAYS disadvantages too. If the advantages outweigh them, you use it. If ammo penetration has reached the level where the advantages are pretty much non-existent, then the disadvantages outweigh them, and you stop using it.
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Old 1st November 2020, 10:06 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Not worded well on my part. Obviously they did this in the pre-gunpowder/gun days. I meant since. Why wasn't/isn't it standard issue to wear some kind of flak jacket? You could have one that isn't too constricting and still be well worthwhile.



Preferring to be dead? I'd think the inconvenience of discomfort would be worth it, and I find it hard to believe something couldn't be fitted that would mitigate this to a reasonable level.
There are several factors you are not considering here:

1) You armor your soldiers well enough to have some bullet resistance you aren't just making them uncomfortable. You are also slowing them down. They won't march as fast, and they will need more breaks on the march.

2) You make every soldier more expensive to equip. If you are going to armor all of your soldiers you will end up spending more per man and have fewer men. Most Generals decided that it wasn't worth the expense and would prefer the firepower of more men.

3) With very few exceptions there is a simple fact of warfare: Most soldiers actually don't end up in combat. Sure you have some regiments that see multiple battles, but many units, even when on the battlefield, may not even get into actual fighting. So you've added expense and fatigued yourself (or your troops) for no real advantage.

4) Note the fact that you refer to it yourself as a 'flak jacket'. You *do* know why they are called that and not 'bullet-proof vests' right? A flak jacket was developed because shrapnel became a thing in the late 19th century (and its use was not by any means perfected until well after that). Prior to that the soldiers of the black-powder era faced canon, shot, pike and sword as their major battlefield threats. Usually in that order. Metal armor could protect against pike & sword, but those were rare (most 'pike battles' ended before contact was made) but making armor bulletproof beyond the power of the pistol was difficult. Protecting oneself against canon shot was a non-starter.
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Old 1st November 2020, 01:36 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
More, actually. A rifle round in WW1 needed about half an inch of steel to stop, which also is why tanks were about that armoured, in case you ever wondered.

But let's do some maths. Let's say you need about 0.4 square metre of steel to protect your torso decently from the front. Let's also say you go with about 12.5mm of steel to actually have a reasonable chance to stop a rifle round.

It's marginally not enough, actually. It won't stop even a normal round if it hits perpendicularly, and it definitely won't stop a reversed round, and much less a steel core round. But it will stop normal rounds if they hit angled at all, so let's go with what makes the maths easy.

So that's about 0.4*0.0125=0.005m3 of steel. At a density of about 8000 kg/m3 (give or take a few, depending on the exact alloy,) yeah, that's more like 40kg of steel. Almost twice those 40 pounds.
ACW bullets were cast lead and large in diameter (typically ~14-15mm) with less energy than the pointed, steel jacketed and high velocity rounds of WW1. At the time a vest with 1/8" plates was considered to provide immunity to handguns and common rifle bullets at >200m.
One such vest weighted just over eight pounds but that's frontal torso only.
Given the front torso is about 0.25m2 and a plate of 7g/cm3 3mm plate that seems more-or-less right.

In fact several thousand such vests were sold during the war, probably in excess of 15,000; one company in New Haven (the Atwater Armor Company) was producing over 200 vests per day at their peak production, and selling them all. They weren't the only company in New Haven alone making such armour.

In addition to the problems of weight, comfort and heat there was also a psychological issue; there was a perception that such accoutrements were "unmanly" in the period. So it's possible that they were worn more commonly than is generally perceived.
Then again there are stories like that of Nathaniel Wales (35th Massachusetts) who took an Enfield bullet in the chest at Antietam but survived thanks to the vest loaned to him by a fellow officer who was ill.

Finally there is cost; armour vests ran 5-12 dollars at a time when a private got $13 per month.
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Old 1st November 2020, 04:56 PM   #65
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Well, ACW is a whole other thing. But yeah, it's around where armour stops being all that useful.

Immunity to smoothbore rifle bullets over 200m sounds pretty impressive, until you realize that almost nobody actually shot a smoothbore rifle at those distances. The tactic had remained pretty much unchanged to march until you're 100m or so from the enemy, then start firing at each other. You know, the whole not shooting until you see the whites in their eyes. Technically the guns could hit at higher ranges, but accuracy was too crap. Between that and a lot of people not actually shooting to kill anyway, it was pretty much a waste of ammo to engage at 200m. And stopping to do so would only give the enemy artillery time to wipe you out while you don't hit anyone anyway.

Then at some point came the rifled muskets, and specifically the Minnie ball. These were bad news, not just because of accuracy and range (you could actually aim at 200 to 500m), but because it actually sealed the bore when shooting. That thing packed a lot more kinetic energy in the same calibre, and kinetic energy divided by cross section is pretty much the best estimate of penetration. I seriously doubt that 3mm of any steel could actually stop a Minnie ball even at 200m.

And both sides were very slow to realize the range capabilities of the new weapons, and didn't even give their men training in using those sights to actually aim at the high ranges possible with it. Until very late in the war, most still wouldn't actually stop to shoot at 200m. They'd still march up to 100m or so, and start shooting at each other, and the increased accuracy and flatter trajectory of the rifle just made it a complete bloodbath at those ranges.

What I'm getting at is that to be honest, I don't think they made that big a difference. Being hit from 200m or more by a smoothbore musket ball, for at least the first half of the war most of the time meant a stray ball from a fight that involved a whole other company. And sure, it occasionally happened, and occasionally someone would be saved from a stray ball by their armour, but you have to wonder if that chance is worth the cost and inconvenience.

I.e., _IMHO_ the reason why only so many were sold is probably less because of fashion, and more because I don't think they made that much of a difference. People tend to not be completely stupid. (Or so I like to assume. Even though every time I say nobody could be stupid enough to do X, I'm ALWAYS promptly proven wrong.) If the choice is between fashion and not being killed, I think most people would go with the latter. If the tough guys die first, and the unmanly ones with armour survive, people learn very fast. The only way a reputation of being unmanly would survive through 4 years of bloody war is IMHO if indeed it just showed that you worry too much about something that has an exceedingly remote chance of happening.

All a big IMHO.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 04:23 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Not worded well on my part. Obviously they did this in the pre-gunpowder/gun days. I meant since. Why wasn't/isn't it standard issue to wear some kind of flak jacket? You could have one that isn't too constricting and still be well worthwhile.







Preferring to be dead? I'd think the inconvenience of discomfort would be worth it, and I find it hard to believe something couldn't be fitted that would mitigate this to a reasonable level.
The fallacy of the modern comfortable life!
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Not worded well on my part. Obviously they did this in the pre-gunpowder/gun days. I meant since. Why wasn't/isn't it standard issue to wear some kind of flak jacket? You could have one that isn't too constricting and still be well worthwhile.



Preferring to be dead? I'd think the inconvenience of discomfort would be worth it, and I find it hard to believe something couldn't be fitted that would mitigate this to a reasonable level.
Too much value put on armour. I had two close relatives killed during war. One was blown up in a truck with five others and another was shot in the head by a sniper. Other more extended family relatives were kidnapped, never to be seen again, or just simply went missing. Whilst flak jackets are useful for police officers and security guards, I can't see they would add any particular value to modern day soldiers except at a basic level as people don't tend to fight face to face any more.

Bring back the good old battlefield I say!
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:26 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

Immunity to smoothbore rifle bullets
Isn't that a contradiction in terms?
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:28 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Too much value put on armour. I had two close relatives killed during war. One was blown up in a truck with five others and another was shot in the head by a sniper. Other more extended family relatives were kidnapped, never to be seen again, or just simply went missing. Whilst flak jackets are useful for police officers and security guards, I can't see they would add any particular value to modern day soldiers except at a basic level as people don't tend to fight face to face any more.
A flak jacket is not meant to stop bullets, but shell fragments, something a lot more common since people stopped fighting face to face. Bulletproof vests are something else again.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 06:42 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Not worded well on my part. Obviously they did this in the pre-gunpowder/gun days. I meant since. Why wasn't/isn't it standard issue to wear some kind of flak jacket? You could have one that isn't too constricting and still be well worthwhile.



Preferring to be dead? I'd think the inconvenience of discomfort would be worth it, and I find it hard to believe something couldn't be fitted that would mitigate this to a reasonable level.
If you actually do want to learn about military history, then there is a vast amount of resources which are readily available to you.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:30 AM   #71
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Also, the technology to make the kinds of armor we're making now didn't exist until a few decades ago, so before that, the best we could have done would have been heavier, hotter, and/or less effective.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:41 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Too much value put on armour. I had two close relatives killed during war. One was blown up in a truck with five others and another was shot in the head by a sniper. Other more extended family relatives were kidnapped, never to be seen again, or just simply went missing. Whilst flak jackets are useful for police officers and security guards, I can't see they would add any particular value to modern day soldiers except at a basic level as people don't tend to fight face to face any more.

Bring back the good old battlefield I say!
InrangeTV did tests against modern ballistic plates from body armour.
It stopped rifle bullets at typical combat ranges.
There is a reason it is issued and worn in combat.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 08:06 AM   #73
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Well, um

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
InrangeTV did tests against modern ballistic plates from body armour.
It stopped rifle bullets at typical combat ranges.
There is a reason it is issued and worn in combat.
Which rifle bullets? High speed .22? Or 7.62x39? Or 7.62 NATO or Russian? Some armies still bang off 8 mm Mauser.

A little more detail, please.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 03:30 PM   #74
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Ned Kelly / 1880 / Outlaw shootout

....for general interest, an Australian outlaw who made armour for himself and his gang


"Kelly began laughing as he shot at and taunted the police, and called out to the remaining outlaws to recommence firing, which they did. This "strange contest" continued for almost ten minutes. Kelly, weakened by blood loss, managed to advance 50 or so yards, at times stopping to change weapons or regain his composure after taking a bullet to the armour, the sensation being "like blows from a man's fist". After diving to the ground to avoid one of Kelly's shots, Sergeant Steele realised that the figure's legs were unprotected. He shot at them twice with his shotgun, tearing apart Kelly's hip and thigh."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Ke...e_and_shootout
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:04 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Which rifle bullets? High speed .22? Or 7.62x39? Or 7.62 NATO or Russian? Some armies still bang off 8 mm Mauser.

A little more detail, please.
Modern IIIA (or equivalent) can stop any of those; with ceramics even .50 rounds can be defeated (a couple of times).


The .577 black powder "round" launched a 500gr lead bullet at ~270m/s for a muzzle energy of 1175J (864ft.lb) comparable to modern heavy handguns (high end 10mm, .41 magnum, low range .44 magnum). However the bullet is soft cast lead and much larger in diameter and hence easier to stop with armour. Their AP capability would be comparable to a modern medium handgun round (say 9mm+P)
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Old 2nd November 2020, 06:31 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Which rifle bullets? High speed .22? Or 7.62x39? Or 7.62 NATO or Russian? Some armies still bang off 8 mm Mauser.

A little more detail, please.
Here are a couple from a quick look through.

USGI SAPI Armor Vs SOVIET 7.62x54R API, That's AP Exploding ammo.
The plate isn't rated for that round but is rated for 7.62 M80A1 steel core AP penetrators which it stops from 30 yards before they shoot it with the API
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
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M80A1 EPR & M61 AP 308 vs Russian GOST IV Armor
M80A1 and M855A1 are AP steel penetrators

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

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Old 2nd November 2020, 06:34 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Modern IIIA (or equivalent) can stop any of those; with ceramics even .50 rounds can be defeated (a couple of times).


The .577 black powder "round" launched a 500gr lead bullet at ~270m/s for a muzzle energy of 1175J (864ft.lb) comparable to modern heavy handguns (high end 10mm, .41 magnum, low range .44 magnum). However the bullet is soft cast lead and much larger in diameter and hence easier to stop with armour. Their AP capability would be comparable to a modern medium handgun round (say 9mm+P)
Inrange also have a series of videos comparing different AP prounds against steel plate.
They use a standard 'ball' round as a control, it barely leaves a mark without a steel or tungsten core.
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