A history on the development of modern armour

Let’s be a bit realistic, we know how weapons and armor will look like in 30 to 50 years? We only know how weapons and armor looked like in the past and now.

In the first WW1, soldiers were dressed like that, and then they already used body armor:

In WW2, has little changed in terms of protection:

Seeing Ian in armour is always a treat

In the Vietnam War, things began slowly to change,

War in Afghanistan:

But when we look at the new modern body armor, the difference is obvious.

As a plus I add a modern body armor against the masses:

This is just a history of body armor in the last 100 years. As far as it is evident, in the last ~20 years the body armor has evolved greatly and it is impossible to predict how it will look in 30 to 50 years.
As well as weapons are changing over the past 100 years and if you look at how short stock arms have now and what they had before. It is logical that in the future it will be even shorter if the thickness of the body armor grows.

If a soldier from WW1 had seen a modern soldier, he would probably suffered a heart attack or shit in his pants.

Just to add to this; the largest advancements in warfare technology and equipment are always driven by big wars. Given that PP takes place after a third World War, it is very likely possible that technology would have made rapid advancements.

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Not entirely true. While I cannot tell you exactly what future armour will be made of, the design of armour has stayed very consistent throughout history: give the most amount of protection possible with current material technology while minimizing weight and bulk and maintaining combat ability. Maintaining combat ability is the most crucial thing. If a soldier cannot fight, they are not helping your cause.

The best armour that currently exists for a soldier that they can wear in the field are those suits that bomb techs wear. There are reports of EOD techs from Iraq getting shot with sniper rifles and not knowing it because of how well protected they are.

However, the military will not equip every soldier with that level of protection because it is too bulky. You cannot hold a rifle in one of those suits. The bulk prevents you from crossing your arms to the other side of your body, which means you cannot fire accurately.

Aside: The modern military is actually less tolerent to bulk than mideval militaries, as in the mideval period, you held your 2-handed weapons (except the polearms, but those weren’t used by the heavily armoured folks) in the middle of your body, rather than on one side like modern militaries do.

Back to the point: once everything is said and done the actual armour that gets used in warfare stays about the same for bulkiness, the materials used just get stronger and lighter

Technically true, only because the trigger is no longer on the buttstock, but has been moved to under the reciever of the rifle. The important detail, length of pull, has stayed the same, approximately 1 foot. There is a reason for this, that is the length of the arm.

That said, collapsing buttstocks have added a wrinkle in that now you get two situations, both provided by your images. The first is soldiers that have extended the stock to provide the 1 foot length of pull, and the other is soldiers that have the buttstock fully collapsed and haven’t extended it for whatever reason, bulk not being one of them.


How is that not true? There were always some protective measures to give additional protection to the soldiers, giving them a greater chance of survival.
Now you have to ask why they did not give them:

  1. The lack of resources for every soldier because you need more resources in other areas (ships, aircraft, vehicles, tanks).
  2. Soldiers were replaceable and training time was short.
  3. To some smart asses this did not seem so important because of the above two points.

From wikipedia:

  • The combatants of World War I started the war without any attempt at providing the soldiers with body armor. Various private companies advertised body protection suits such as the Birmingham Chemico Body Shield, although these products were generally far too expensive for an average soldier.
  • During the late 1920s through the early 1930s, gunmen from criminal gangs in the United States began wearing less-expensive vests made from thick layers of cotton padding and cloth. These early vests could absorb the impact of handgun rounds such as .22 Long Rifle, .25 ACP, .32 S&W Long, .32 S&W, .380 ACP, .38 Special and .45 ACP traveling at speeds of up to 300 m/s (980 ft/s). To overcome these vests, law enforcement agents such as the FBI began using the newer and more powerful .38 Super, and later the .357 Magnum cartridge.
  • In 1940, the Medical Research Council in Britain proposed the use of a lightweight suit of armor for general use by infantry, and a heavier suit for troops in more dangerous positions, such as anti-aircraft and naval gun crews. By February 1941, trials had begun on body armor made of manganese steel plates. Two plates covered the front area and one plate on the lower back protected the kidneys and other vital organs. Five thousand sets were made and evaluated to almost unanimous approval - as well as providing adequate protection, the armor didn’t severely impede the mobility of the soldier and were reasonably comfortable to wear. The armor was introduced in 1942 although the demand for it was later scaled down.[18] The Canadian Army in northwestern Europe also adopted this armor for the medical personnel of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division.

The Canadian Army in northwestern Europe also adopted this armor for the medical personnel of the [2nd Canadian Infantry Division]

You see my 2 point in this. The additional armor was given to a more educated “important” soldier.

Here you can see how little they cared in the past for an ordinary soldier, because they were for some people replaceable.

Now are times are different and in smaller armies every soldier is important. It took a lot of resources and time for training and education. Therefore, the basic protection will continue to grow in the future.

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4 posts were split to a new topic: Temptopic is here

Yes there are. The question is whether the benefits are worth the costs, and not just in money. you also have to take into account things like endurance, temperature stress, mobility, flexibility, etc.

Something like this

Has great protection against bullets and shrapnel and can keep a person live if blown up by an IED, but is only ever worn by one person in an EOD team because the downsides outweigh the benefits.

It greatly limits your ability to move around, it weighs over 80 lbs, it is claustrophobic, you have greatly reduced situational awareness, and wearing one for even a short period of time can cause heat stroke, even if the local environment is cold because the heat gets trapped in the suit with you.

To address the second two points, the most successful generals in WW 1 did not believe either of those two points. The worst did yes, but even the best didn’t issue body armor, and the reasons varied by country, though all included a cost/benefit analysis that would have precluded their use outside of certain roles.

Regarding the German Trench armour, the Metropolitan Museum did testing on the after the war and found highly variable quality. They were also quite useless against rifle and machine gun ammo. They were design to protect against shrapnel and pistol rounds only. It is only once you got to 300 yards that they start protecting against rifle shots

courtesy of Forgotten Weapons

The German armor is also something like 30 lbs and only protects the front, which would be about 60 lbs to protect the entire torso, and well over 75 lbs with a helmet of comparable stopping power. Try climbing around in a trench with that. it is going to be very difficult, and if you trip and fall into the mud and dirt, you are quite likely to drown from the weight of your armour. Add to that that it won’t protect you against most of the weapons you will be facing, and there aren’t many benefits to outweigh the costs.

From what I can find, it started being sold during 1917, long after the war started. Also, pistol rated only. And I had to search because it is uncited.

Again, pistol rated only. And uncited.

The only citation there leads to an article, on some website I’ve never heard of, on the resurgence of infantry in the Late medieval period.

Let us assume for a second you are right here and ask who needs the armour that is only rated to protect against pistols more:

the soldier with a gun that can kill the enemy or at least force the enemy into cover thereby preventing bullets from flying towards your troops


the medic running around wrapping bandages around people, without a weapon, and even if they had one, would have been too busy to use it.

If you ignore the fact that the US has more to spend now on their soldiers than they did in ww2.

I feel I am being mis-characterized here. It seems as though you are implying that I’d cancel my pre-order over them not doing something as detailed an intricate as World of Guns, which I wouldn’t. Frankly I wouldn’t want them to do something that detailed. This isn’t a full simulation game after all.

  • For me it is more important that a soldier is wounded and survives as if he were dead. Because a wounded soldier can return to fight, a dead soldier can only be replaced by a new inexperienced soldier.

But you have a different opinion on this.

  • The generals mostly came from higher classes and did not care for the lower class.
  • You seriously think that now is something different and ordinary soldiers have much better protection?

Bulletproof vest from early 1980s until the mid-2000s protects you from small arms and not from rifle bullets.

  • The PASGT vest utilized Kevlar for the first time in the United States military’s body armor, unlike the Ballistic nylon that was used in the models of body armor that preceded it. While generally incapable of stopping rifle bullets, the PASGT vest provided better protection against shrapnel and reduced the severity of injuries from small arms fire when compared to the M-69. Despite its ability to stop pistol rounds, including 9×19mm Parabellum FMJ,[7] the vest was only ever designed or intended to stop small fragments without injury to the user. The PASGT vest weighs approximately 9 lb (4,080 g), a small increase over the previous model.

Interceptor vest from from the late 1990s to the late 2000s protects you from small arms and with two ceramic plates can stop rifle bullets.

  • The Interceptor vest was tested to stop a 9×19mm 124-grain FMJ bullet at 1,400 ft/s with minimal backface deformation, and it has a V-50 of roughly 1,525 ft/s. This means that the bullet in question must travel faster than 1,525 ft/s for it to have more than a 50% chance of penetration. (An unlikely prospect, given the muzzle velocity of a typical 9mm handgun or submachine gun). The Interceptor cannot, however, be called a Level III-A vest, since military standards do not require protection against heavy .44 Magnum ammunition. The vest will stop lower velocity fragments and has removable neck, throat, shoulder, extended back and groin protection.

  • Additionally, two ceramic plates may be added to the front and back of the vest, with each capable of stopping up to three hits from the round marked on the plate. For SAPI, this is a caliber of up to 7.62×51mm M80 FMJ. For ESAPI, this is a caliber of up to 30-06 M2 AP.[7] This performance is only guaranteed when backed by the Interceptor vest, or any other soft armor which meets military requirements for protection. SAPI and ESAPI are the most technically advanced body armor fielded by the U.S. military, and are constructed of boron carbide ceramic with a Spectra shield backing that breaks down projectiles and halts their momentum.

Improved Outer Tactical Vest from the 2007 until now protects you from small arms and with four ballistic plate can stop rifle bullets.

  • The IOTV is designed to take the weight of the vest off the shoulders and move it to the lower torso. The vest is also equipped with a mesh inner cover that is designed to improve airflow inside of the armor. There is also a back pad in the lower back area of the vest, which is designed to defeat fragmentation impacts to the lower back/kidney areas. However, the back pad does not provide significant ballistic protection. The vest can withstand a direct impact from a 7.62 millimeter (both NATO and ex-Soviet types) on the front or rear if using the older SAPI plates (NIJ standard III). Use of the new E-SAPI plates increase protection to armor-piercing versions of the aforementioned rounds in addition to .30-06 Springfield M2 armor-piercing rounds (NIJ standard IV). The IOTV provides, without the ballistic ceramic plates inserted, protection from small caliber rounds (i.e. 9mm) and fragmentation. The soft kevlar panels have been tested to stop 9 mm 124 grain full metal jacket bullets at 1,400 ft/s (426 m/s) with minimal deformation and has a V-50 of roughly 1,525 ft/s (465 m/s). This means that the bullet has to be traveling faster than 1,525 ft/s for it to have more than a 50% chance of breaking through the soft armor panel. These specifications are similar to the NIJ standard level III-A certification, however, military standards do not require their vests to be NIJ certified as this is primarily a law enforcement standard.

  • A size Medium IOTV weighs 3.6 pounds (1.6 kg),[7] less than a Medium OTV vest, while providing more coverage. However, a fully equipped IOTV, complete with all its components (soft armor panel inserts, four ballistic plate inserts (front and back plates and two side plates), collar, and groin protectors) still weighs 30 pounds (14 kg), with a Large IOTV weighing about 35 pounds (16 kg). The functionality of the enhanced side ballistic inserts, which provide coverage under the arms and down the sides of the torso, is built into the IOTV.

If you go to the bottom page, you can read more about Body Armor Protection Levels

  • NIJ Levels Ballistic Tables

NIJ Level IIa NIJ Level II NIJ Level IIIa NIJ Level III NIJ Level IV
Areal Density 3.5 kg/m 4.2 kg/m 5.9 kg/m 25.9 kg/m 32.5 kg/m
Thickness 4mm 5mm 6mm 15mm 20mm
.9mm x x x x x
.44 Magnum x x x
5.56mm x x
7.62mm NATO x x
.30 Armour Piercing (M2 AP) x


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Didn’t mean to imply that. I was merely pointing out that, as entertaining and interesting as this thread may be, I can live with less than perfect weapon design.

I like the pre-firearms era more, so I’m not really an expert on WW1 trench warfare, but weren’t the “official” trench-warfare weapons exactly that? (The helmets were designed against shrapnel and not bullets, that I know from Lindybeige https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVFm1dc8luM )

Pistols and Bayonets, the latter “quickly” changing to self-made improvised “anything else” (shovels, clubs, anything a soldier could modify to help him in the close-distance brawl trench-fights usually were), so an armor which could help you survive those could seem “practical” for the higher-ups, and then the cost decides how many is distributed (if at all).

(And 'cos I’m kind of off-topic already, let’s go full off-topic! Did you know that metal-helmets which replaced the leather ones starting WW1 increased the head-wounded soldiers according to statistics? Now you know :stuck_out_tongue: Details in Lindy’s video, 'cos I like him ramble on things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IQE0uZUMys )

Excuse me my friend but I believe you’re starting to mix @Kings_Rook 's opinion and the facts he’s refering to. Your opinion about classes must be interesting but it shouldn’t lead to you talking down to him.

You’re both doing a great job teaching us stuff about weapons throughout history so keep it civilized gentlemen ! :slight_smile:

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I deleted this statement it was not intentional, because I’m adding things and do not want to lose anything. In the end, I arrange everything. It was my fault. :slight_smile: