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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #81

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Originally Posted by caldrail View Post
The French wore a dull sky blue field uniform which unfortunately wasn't as concealing as the British khaki.
That's the French horizon blue, which they didn't begin to switch to until 1915. The French still wore navy blue jackets with red pants and a red hat in 1914.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 10:34 AM   #82

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Short of pinning a target to their chests they couldnt have made the Germans jobs any easier.

German uniforms were fairly non-descript and practical, where they fell down was in the helmets which tended to have overly ornate decorations, face plates and spikes although they did get helmet covers.

Its sort of curious how the French learned entirely the wrong lesson from 1870 and instead of modernising their military instead decided to amplify what they already had and become outstandingly, pridefully French.
Why change when you can charge harder, fight harder and wear brighter clothes and intimidate the enemy with your awesomeness.

On the other hand they werent the only ones, the Austro-Hungarians had exactly the same uniform problem with their cavalry.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #83
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They remained experiments because they were unsuitable - until plastics technology improved significantly, most body armour was based on steel plates - heavy and likely to cause more damage when impacted.

The first functional 'flak jackets' appeared in Vietnam in the 1960's, I think.
They were heavy it's true and that's probably the reason why they weren't issued. The movie Black Hawk Down shows US soldiers with body armor made up of metal plates.

I doubt that the metal plates would increase the severity of a wound and even if it did, it would be more than compensated by the lives it saved when the bullet was stopped.

The first FLAK jackets were worn by bomber crews in WWII - FLAK being the German acronym for anti-aircraft gun.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Nemowork View Post
Short of pinning a target to their chests they couldnt have made the Germans jobs any easier.

German uniforms were fairly non-descript and practical, where they fell down was in the helmets which tended to have overly ornate decorations, face plates and spikes although they did get helmet covers.

Its sort of curious how the French learned entirely the wrong lesson from 1870 and instead of modernising their military instead decided to amplify what they already had and become outstandingly, pridefully French.
Why change when you can charge harder, fight harder and wear brighter clothes and intimidate the enemy with your awesomeness.

On the other hand they werent the only ones, the Austro-Hungarians had exactly the same uniform problem with their cavalry.
The Germans changed their spike topped helmets during the war and came up with their classic trench helmet design which was only slightly modified for WWII

Probably the best helmet of either war

France became attached to their colorful uniforms - the thinking was that the cavalry was still the main arm and the charge the main tactic. They weren't alone in that, the British for all their forward thinking re-introduced the lance prior to the war

France weren't totally backward though, it did develop the best artillery piece at the start of the war, their famous 75mm
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #85

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They were heavy it's true and that's probably the reason why they weren't issued. The movie Black Hawk Down shows US soldiers with body armor made up of metal plates.

I doubt that the metal plates would increase the severity of a wound and even if it did, it would be more than compensated by the lives it saved when the bullet was stopped.

The first FLAK jackets were worn by bomber crews in WWII - FLAK being the German acronym for anti-aircraft gun.
And they were detested by the wearers, they weighed the man down so much he could barely move. Thats surviveable when you only have to walk a foot or two either way to pick up ammo cases or sit for the entire mission but its useless for infantry who have to walk dozens of miles or run around.
Most aircrew wouldnt wear the armour plates until the last minute anyway because they were so tiring.

they werent always that good anyway, the Germans gave their planes 20mm and 30mm shells,it takes a good chunk of steel to stop one of those.

the Vietnam era flak jackets solved the weight problem but it was at the cost of reducing the armours quality so they could barely stop shell splinters and casued as many issues from dehydration and heat stroke as they saved.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #86
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And they were detested by the wearers, they weighed the man down so much he could barely move. Thats surviveable when you only have to walk a foot or two either way to pick up ammo cases or sit for the entire mission but its useless for infantry who have to walk dozens of miles or run around...
And yet there are pictures of soldiers wearing primitive body armor in both world wars

AFAIK, there were no compulsory orders to wear armor and yes it was heavy but given a choice, I'd wear it, especially over my chest and belly

The point though is that armor was experimental and no serious effort was given to developing it other than helmets which were designed to defeat shrapnel and shell fragments

Body armor is still uncomfortable and today it is compulsory to wear if for good reasons

Quote:
...most aircrew wouldnt wear the armour plates until the last minute anyway because they were so tiring

they werent always that good anyway, the Germans gave their planes 20mm and 30mm shells,it takes a good chunk of steel to stop one of those...

I've not heard that and since bomber crews didn't move around much anyway fatigue wouldn't be much of an issue, un-pressurized planes were cold too so heat wasn't an issue either

The FLAK jackets weren't designed to stop bullets, but rather the fragments of exploding shells fired from FLAK guns

Those cannon shells would also explode on impacting a solid structure

Quote:
...the Vietnam era flak jackets solved the weight problem but it was at the cost of reducing the armours quality so they could barely stop shell splinters and casued as many issues from dehydration and heat stroke as they saved.
They were designed to stop shrapnel, not bullets

The British army used similar FLAK jackets in Northern Ireland, they wouldn't stop a rifle round and probably not even a pistol round
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Old November 13th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #87

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I've seen Soviet assault troops using it for urban fighting in WW2, its fine in theory except from what i remember it wouldnt stop pistol bullets under about 50 yards and ost of the fighting was room to room so face to face, i guess it would be useful against knives and shell splinters so it offered some comfort?

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I've only got a couple of pictures of Soviet armour, one of them is a propaganda movie still, the other is of German soldiers wearing soviet armour and pointing out the new ventilation holes.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #88
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I've seen Soviet assault troops using it for urban fighting in WW2, its fine in theory except from what i remember it wouldnt stop pistol bullets under about 50 yards and ost of the fighting was room to room so face to face, i guess it would be useful against knives and shell splinters so it offered some comfort?

SN-42 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've only got a couple of pictures of Soviet armour, one of them is a propaganda movie still, the other is of German soldiers wearing soviet armour and pointing out the new ventilation holes.
It doesn't look that useful really - capable of stopping a 9mm round at 100-125m is not impressive.

Would a German soldier even fire an MP-40 at a target 100 meters away?

In urban combat, the target would be more likely to be a matter of feet away

All the same it's a worthwhile experiment and kinda puts to bed the notion that the Red Army treated its soldiers as cannon fodder (as seen in Enemy at the Gates)
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #89

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At Stalingrad they did. The Russians were becoming desperate at that point and without enough arms to go around, men were sent forward in large numbers on the principle that some would get through. At any rate, it ought to be remembered that to have lost Stalingrad would have hit the Russians very hard - they were simply not going to surrender it whatever the cost - and in fact had the encirclement not taken place when it did, the Germans would have taken the city (or the rubble with the same name). Russia was within days of losing the battle.

Prior to modern armour the use of such things in both world wars was largely the preserve of specialist troops. It was never widely used anyway being cumbersome and given the nature of of combat, trading protection for ammunition may not have seemed the best deal from the troops perspective. If you speak to modern soldiers they don't have a high regard for kevlar plates, though they recognise the advantage, and are far happier carrying more ammo.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 12:45 PM   #90

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They were heavy it's true and that's probably the reason why they weren't issued. The movie Black Hawk Down shows US soldiers with body armor made up of metal plates.

I doubt that the metal plates would increase the severity of a wound and even if it did, it would be more than compensated by the lives it saved when the bullet was stopped.

The first FLAK jackets were worn by bomber crews in WWII - FLAK being the German acronym for anti-aircraft gun.
You are right about the first flak jackets - what I meant were jackets that could be worn by troops moving on the ground, rather than the more sedentary aircrewmen.
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