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How and what are body armour made of?

Armoured protective waistcoat

Today, the need to protect the soldier in combat has become a pressing issue due to the tremendous advances in weapon development. By and large, there has always been a problem with protection. With the advent of weapons came the issue of protection. For thousands of years, warriors have been protecting their bodies from enemy weapons.

A variety of materials were used to solve this problem. From leather to metal. Imagine the first ‘body armour’ of the ancients. Leather armour covering the most frequently hit places. At the same time, in other countries, armour was made from multiple layers of fabric. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of this armour in that time period was quite high in both cases.

Subsequently, with the spread of iron weapons, metal armour was created. There were also many modifications. Many hundreds and thousands of lives were saved. The pinnacle of the development of metal protection can be considered the armour of medieval knights. Man-tank. And all the more so, moving swiftly on a horse! He was truly a formidable force.

However, such protection had one, but an important disadvantage. Heavy metal. Knight’s armor weighed 30 to 40 kilograms or more. Consequently, if a knight was thrown from a horse, he became an ideal target for infantrymen. Few could fight on the ground in such armour.

The emergence of firearms meant that all the positive aspects of knightly defence came to naught. For a time, protection was forgotten. For a long time it was believed that any defence could be overcome by a bullet. And remember the paintings of the 19th century. Some of the knight’s armour survived only as the ceremonial uniform of officers and generals. In battle they were almost defenceless.

Paradoxically, the interest in personal protection was revived by artillery. When analysing the injuries of soldiers during the First World War, it was found that over 50% of the wounds were caused by shrapnel from artillery shells. The most fatal wounds were to the head and torso. Over half the men died from wounds to the chest and abdomen.

Kiracas were the “grandfathers” of today’s body armour. But “daddies” and “mommies” were no more. In several countries, the development and creation of body armour was established independently of each other. This led to different requirements for protection standards. And these standards differed greatly from one another.

Modern flak jackets

Modern all-purpose flak jackets have significantly higher efficiency and comfort levels, and the ability to change the degree of protection by replacing the armour elements. For example, instead of small plates, which cause the most impact when hit by a bullet, large area plates are used on body armour.

The body armour can be fitted with magazine pouches, radio pouches, grenade pouches and other similar accessories.

The modern bulletproof vest can be taken off in a few seconds and has a special quick-detachable protection system which can be very useful, e.g. when injured, or when you need to quickly retreat or change your position, and a half a kilogram does not make for fast moves.

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