Chinese Armor Piercing Weapon and Heavy Armor

Jan 2019
Southeast Asia
After reading this comment by heavenlykaghan from
Tang army vs Late Ming Army

They can deal with them in the comparable way the Manchus trounced the Ming army at Sarhu; through mobility and heavy armors. Armors in East Asia (including Tibet) seem to have been heavier and thicker than anywhere on the planet from the 4th until the 14th century (and usually heat treated) and they could tank crossbows with the penetration power of arquebus fires since the 4th century AD or earlier (the only cavalry in the world in this period which I am aware of that had full horse armor was the Byzantine cataphract after the 10th century, but I suspect the armors weren't as thick).

I can confirm at least that Chinese armor 4th century to 18th century almost always cover three quarter of the body, but I want to know when did armor coverage start increasing and why did such armor adopted?

During the Han Dynasty, armor are relatively thinner and cover less compared to later periods, yet there are many polearms found during this period, which in Europe only appear with the appearance of better armor in the 13th-14th century.

Halberd and axe that looks similar to Song Dynasty axe

Weapon China Han Dynasty halberd 1 sample.jpg Weapon China Han Dynasty axe on chariot unearthed at Taiping Pengzhou City Eastern Han dynasty...jpg

Halberd with back spike, like the one used in Europe in the 15th century.

Weapon China Han Dynasty halberd used by training soldier.jpg


Weapon China Han Dynasty war hammer bigger.jpg

Mace, Western Han

Weapon China Han Dynasty mace Western Han.jpg

Glaives, curving outward or inward.

Weapon China Han Dynasty glaive.png Weapon China Han Dynasty Ji for cutting 2.jpg Weapon China Han Dynasty Ji open blade.jpg

What drive the development of such 2 handed weapons during the Han Dynasty when other places outside of China and India usually only use spear as 2 handed weapons?

Also why did armor piercing weapons only start to be shown again frequently in the Song Dynasty when heavy armor have exist prior to the Song Dynasty?
Likes: Niobe

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