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  • Writer's pictureT. Logan Metesh

Body Armor in WWI

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, caught the world by surprise. The global conflict that followed proved how unprepared all sides were when it came to protecting their soldiers on the front lines.

Troops went off to war with outdated gear and tactics that led to horrific results. Soldiers took to the field wearing soft caps that provided no ballistic protection. Horse cavalry mounted full-blown charges against machine gun emplacements.

Quite simply, most of the guns, artillery, tanks, etc in use between 1914 and 1918 were far too advanced for the body armor of the day to stand a chance. In many cases, body armor worn by World War I soldiers hadn't advanced much beyond what had been worn by knights centuries before. Nonetheless, many tried to come up with solutions that they hoped would save lives. After all, something was better than nothing.

Watch this video learn about some of the designs they came up with, including some original test footage!

Thankfully, body armor has come a very, very long way since World War I. It's gotten more effective, more mobile, and more affordable. If you're in the market for some modern day body armor, make sure you visit Brownells. They've got a wide assortment of armor plates in all sorts of different levels, as well as plenty of plate carriers to choose from and carrier accessories to ensure that your body armor setup is exactly what you're looking for.

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Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.


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