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There is a superficial assumption that steel was always used. Steel was rare in the medieval period and not easy to produce in large ammounts. As the helm illustrates the surface of iron could be steeled for the edge of weapons etc. Iron was always cheaper and more plentiful. Where steel was used it was very variable in quality. I suspect, though Williams does not mention this, that as firearms became the main threat to armour, armour only had to be hard relative to the lead of lead shot whereas when the threat was from the martensite edge of a blade hardening the steel had more value. This might explain why so much late munition armour was iron and not steel. Sheredot (talk) 15:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Agreed Mercutio.Wilder (talk) 13:32, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I have deleted the following because the reference does NOT refer to plate. I put it here because there is a useful cost fact in it which may be put in somehow.Sheredot (talk) 08:54, 14 June 2008 (UTC) A typical suit of full plate harness cost around 1 pound sterling in 14th century England[1].

You removed my description of and reference for this. I will add them back in. Mercutio.Wilder (talk) 13:32, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
The ref says 23 shillings for a coat of mail etc. Note a knight required to pay & feed 2 riding + warhorse =3 horses and at least 1 groom/esquire from this 1s a day. not counting baggage You are calling gross revenue pay. the ref has the much better cost of 9months subsistance. (talk) 15:50, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not confusing gross revenue and pay. The price of armour compared to subsistence income tells us exceedingly little about how much it cost for people who actually wore the armour. That a full panoply of armour which would last for years(unless ransomed) costs less than a months regular pay is much more informative. That same man-at-arms would also receive pay or rent all year, loot and bonuses.(Medieval Warfare, Peter Reid) The full harness is only a small portion of his annual income, perhaps akin to $8000 today. Mercutio.Wilder (talk) 16:09, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
The general rule was that the feudal levy received rent and no pay, mercenaries received pay and no rent. The normal problem he had was actually getting his pay. bonuses!? Horses cost a lot to feed. He had to make his way to and from the muster point without pay. And anyway this was not plate armour.Sheredot (talk) 09:05, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
What general rule are you referring to? Sweeping generalizations about all of Europe across hundreds of years are automatically misleading. For instance, in England, feudal levies were paid well. And if war was really too expensive why did so many volunteer in this era. Sheriffs at the commissions of array in England had up to ten times as many people show up as were going to be hired. If commanders didn't pay and pay well then people would refuse to sign up next time. And such did happen and armies did go into the field understrength as a result. The armies got paid enough because otherwise there wouldn't be one. Mercutio.Wilder (talk) 15:20, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Medieval armour weight and SAS patrols[edit]

Early on, in Characteristics of Armor, the article makes a rather weird claim:

Contrary to common misconceptions, a well-made suit of medieval 'battle' armour (as opposed to the primarily ceremonial 'parade' and 'tournament' armour popular with kings and nobility of later years) hindered its wearer no more than the equipment carried by soldiers today. It should be remembered that an armoured knight would be trained to wear armour from his teens, and would likely develop the technique and endurance needed to comfortably run, crawl, climb ladders, as well as mount and dismount his horse without recourse to a crane (a myth probably originating from an English music hall comedy of the 1830s, and popularised in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court). A full suit of medieval plate is thought to have weighed little more than 60 lb (27 kg) on average, considerably lighter than the equipment often carried by the elite of today's armies. (For example, SAS patrols have been known to carry equipment weighing well over 200 lb (91 kg) for many miles [...].

I don't think this argument is convincing. It is imho quite pointless to compare the average medieval knight to a modern SAS guy, considering medieval nutrition, health care and average body height. If you're 1,65 - 1,70m tall (and accordingly built), then carrying 27 kg is quite a challenge, and it might be doubted whether you were able to "comfortably run, crawl, climb ladders, as well as mount and dismount [a] horse". Furthermore, SAS guys may march with 91kg of equipment (most of it in or attached to a backpack or belt, so your movement isn't as hindered as when wearing a full body armour of equal weight- you can freely move your joints etc.), but they might want to get rid of that before entering a fight.

Just look at the picture of the Gothic plate armour right next to the cited passage. I mean, do you really believe that medieval knights were able to run in this kind of armour? Simple common sense will tell you this is to be doubted. I don't know much about the topic, and I don't know the weight of this particular suit, but as a runner, I know about running. The footpieces of the armour (look at the elongated "toes") will tell you that this suit was never ever constructed to enable its wearer to run, even if it's just a short dash. It is a suit made to protect a man on horseback. On foot, he might well be able to walk (slowly), but run? Never.

If, however, the armour weighed much less than the cited section claims, one might well walk with it without great difficulty and mount a horse. Further down in the article it sais "If during the 14–15th centuries armour seldom weighed more than 15kgs (!), than [sic] by the late 16th century it weighed 25kg", which seems to contradict what was said before. Probably two authors with different sources were at work here. In this section, there is however a clear distinction btw. armour in general and cavalry armour, which is not done in the "Characteristics of Armor" section.

I think this section ought to be reworked. The writer seems to attack a claim probably no one ever made (medieval battle armour greatly hindered its wearer - who would ever claim that for e.g. 6th-11th ct armour?), while himself/herself equating medieval battle armour to (late medieval) plate armour or at least not clearly defining what he is talking about. And please don't claim someone can comfortably run encased in 27kgs of steel with elongated toe-tips. I'd have to see that to believe it. And personally, I wouldn't entirely trust Osprey books ("The English Longbow was unsurpassed in firepower until the advent of the Lee-Enfield rifle", or so) which tell you great stories about super elite Über soldiers (no offence intended, Osprey readers, I had a look at these books too, after all). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Even more normal Soldier's loads are still arounf 90 pounds.[2]. Romans were at about 40 pounds which is considered a good target weight.Geni 17:34, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Unusual or rare applications of armour[edit]

- In World War One improvised armour was used in trench warfare (including reinforced helmets, and in the case of some German units, breastplates)
- In the Great Patriotic War a number of units of Soviet shock-troopers were equipped with steel breastplates
- The aircraft armour section could be expanded with a discussion between the three facets: Durability, redundancy and armour. Some examples such as the Ilyushin Il-2 and the Junkers J.1 might also be appropriate.--Hrimpurstala (talk) 18:55, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Poor Citations[edit]

It seems that parts (or at least one part for sure) is a direct quotation from Charles Ffoulkes's Armour and Weapons written in 1908. I just feel that it is wrong to not fully credit an author on his or her work. The quotation "Contrary to common misconceptions, a well-made suit of medieval 'battle' armour (as opposed to the primarily ceremonial 'parade' and 'tournament' armour popular with kings and nobility of later years) hindered its wearer no more than the equipment carried by soldiers today. It should be remembered that an armoured knight would be trained to wear armour from his teens, and would likely develop the technique and endurance needed to comfortably run, crawl, climb ladders, as well as mount and dismount his horse without recourse to a crane (a myth probably originating from an English music hall comedy of the 1830s, and popularised in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court). A full suit of medieval plate is thought to have weighed little more than 60 lb (27 kg) on average lighter than the equipment often carried by today's armies which averages at around 90 pounds." is credited to an online source and I am sure that one would be able to do the leg-work to find the true source but I figured I'd help out now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Contrary to common misconceptions, a well-made suit of medieval 'battle' armour (as opposed to the primarily ceremonial 'parade' and 'tournament' armour popular with kings and nobility of later years) hindered its wearer no more than the equipment carried by soldiers today. It should be remembered that an armoured knight would be trained to wear armour from his teens, and would likely develop the technique and endurance needed to comfortably run, crawl, climb ladders, as well as mount and dismount his horse without recourse to a crane (a myth probably originating from an English music hall comedy of the 1830s, and popularised in Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court).
This is a very doubtful comment that is given without citing any references whatsoever. The statement on the next line along with its reference supplied at the end, doesnt imply the same meaning as this paragraph, yet it has been merged into these two excessively long baseless comments and passed out as some kind of a fact.
As far as comparing the respective weights of medieval armour pieces to modern day combat vests goes, lets put it this way: if you are to compare a square shaped tire with hard edges to a smooth circular tire of equal weights, do their efficiency ratios compare up to the same level? Total Weight is not the issue here on which the editor can base his story on, since the modern day ceramic and Kevlar armours do not put the strain of moving rigid metallic joint parts that a soldier would have to suffer while wearing a medieval “battle” suit of armour.
I am taking the liberty to delete this tale, which someone has tried to pass out as a fact, which seems to be contrary to almost every article written about the difference in mobility and/or efficiency of medieval age armour pieces when compared to modern day ones. Here is one of the articles that bring out the inequalities of medieval armour against modern day armour pieces [3]. If the editor can give out an exact reference that can give the italic comment in question any weight, then he/she or whoever can find any material to support this statement can copy past it from here and put it back there with a few clicks of the mouse, but for now it got no place in this article. Was†ed(Ag@in) © 02:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Ballistic Vests[edit]

I might now be in the minority, but to me a ballistic vest is one that is meant to be shot out of guns. "Antiballistic vest" would be more precise.

Why is it that they do not mention japanese or mongolian or chinese armour as well as middle eastern or african or south american[edit]

I"m sorry to say though i do love wikipedia and what it represents articles that are incomplete in data or have personal opinions like that of which european armour was what dominated and evolved the armour solution. If this title should go to anyone i believe it would go to the japanese for their tough yet flexible armours and the high grade steel of the samurai. But hey every culture has some i'd just like to see more cultures cited and more carbon dating material used as information for the evolution of. Thank you and please disreguard any of my personal views as i do not have enough knowledge in the field to speak with confidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Spelling Difference[edit]

The page should refer to Armor instead of Armour, as most wiki pages heavily favor english spelling style to british spelling style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:31, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Um, no. See WP:ENGVAR: no one form of English takes primacy in Wikipedia. Also, I think you mean "American English spelling style to British spelling style": what you perceive as the 'normal' English spelling style is not considered so in large parts of the world. You Americans have to learn that the world does not revolve around you. (talk) 11:17, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Whoa dude, stereotypes, calm down. I really don't know where (It's the government isn't it?) people get this idea that all Americans are jackasses who think the world revolves around them. I mean this guy just made a simple mistake based on his own perspective... give him a break
While the first statement is (possibly) almost entirely based on simple ignorance, the second is, ironically, the arrogant, bigoted one with the unstated implication that the poster and his worldview are both superior. Neither is correct, but the 'correction' is by far the worse of the two(The first probably just doesn't know any better, and ignorance isn't limited to any one country or group of people). This sort of rabid, knee-jerk response is just as bad as the ignorance and arrogance it is claimed to be a response to.
Neither Spelling is the 'Correct' one. One of the unique things about the English Language is that unlike many others, there is literally no one that makes the rules as to what constitutes 'Official' English. There ARE many groups that make rules...but that's the trick. Many. Going to a University or College in the US, for example, it is not unusual for different professor in the English department at the same school to consider different variations 'correct', and you BETTER follow what the one you have thinks in doing your papers!
The article already accounts for that, so while it's slightly off putting (Frankly, 'Armour' seems slightly French-ish, to be honest), it's not really a big deal. Some of the differences are (Corn/Maize is particularly tricky since many British English speakers think of 'Corn' as something else, while many Americans, probably the Majority if I had to guess, have never heard the term 'Maize' before, or if they have, have no clue what it is), Armor/Armour, however, isn't difficult at all. It just looks odd. -Graptor (talk) 22:25, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
In the UK 'corn' is the overall name for many types of corn, maize, wheat, barley, oats, etc. UK farmers would call maize 'maize' although most people here who buy it as 'corn-on-the-cob' would call it 'sweetcorn'. Similarly a farmer wouldn't say he's got a couple of fields of 'corn' over there - he'd more likely say 'I've got barley in that field, and wheat in the other field'. Thus, the terminology-used depends on how accurate and precise one wants to be.

Early armour section, odd quotation marks[edit]

In the section on early armour, in the discussion about east asian laminated armour (the second paragraph) the author mentions partial plate used to cover "important" body parts with other types used for "other" body parts. Why are these two words in quotation marks? It seems to suggest irony on the part of the author, as if there was perhaps something odd about the choice of which body parts received which protection. Additionally, among the materials used for the "other" body parts, the author lists "Mountain pattern" as used in addition to or instead of other materals such as cloth and leather. I haven't come across the term before and I have no idea what "Mountain pattern" might be. It would be nice with an explanation in the article. --Mickel (talk) 22:50, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The only reference I find is in Chinese medieval armour and a diagram [4] in the same article. I find a number of references via Google that appear to discuss this form of armour. Yes, the term needs an explanation or a definition. I also see the phraase/term, Shan wen kia, used in the search results. SBaker43 (talk) 00:02, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Laminated armour[edit]

Why has the perfectly acceptable and commonly used term "segmented armour" been replaced with "laminated armour"? Cons: 1- Laminated armour is unfortunately often used for "plated mail": possible source of confusion. 2- Laminated armour is too close to "lamellar armour": possible source of confusion. 3- Laminated armour is in fact used to describe sandwich armour constructions made from layers of different materials (metals, textiles, carbon, ceramics, liquids, etc.), and not just in an armoured vehicle context: possible source of confusion. 4- Why then talk about a "lorica segmentata" when this name is not derived from Roman sources, but a modern invention? (talk) 12:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Hoplites only had shield and helmet?[edit]

Removed an incorrect reference to Greek hoplites being an example of a troop equipped with only a shield and helmet - the reference is poor and incorrect. The standard hoplite panopoly included A large bronze breastplate as well as greaves, shield and helmet. They were one of the most heavily equipped troop type, not one of the least. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

citation style[edit]

The established citation style was mainly per the first example at WP:CITESHORT, I have standardised the citations to this style. If you wish to change this, please discuss it here. (Hohum @) 12:57, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

    • "(Note that templates should not be added without consensus to an article that already uses a consistent referencing style.)" When did you ask for consensus on this change? "I have standardised the citations to this style." Samuraiantiqueworld (talk) 13:41, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The style of short citations was established earlier in the article history, and Hohum has been bringing more recently added references into line. Though use of templates can be contentious it could be said that their use has brought the (general) references into a consistent format that makes it easier to move from the short citation after a statement to the work it matches. You could consider a lack of objection by me (or other editors) an endorsement of that action and hence a concensus. Though that might smack of Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort. But do you feel that the quality of the article has been diminished by their work? GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:15, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I haven't changed the main *style of citation* (CITESHORT), I have just standardised and wikified the existing style. (Hohum @) 15:36, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Sub headings / Article structure[edit]


This is a very poor article. It is also a very large scope article because it armour touches on many different areas of knowledge, in and outside of the military history. Because of the length of the article, it is by no means complete now, the use of subheadings that are not sections are warranted to avoid over-fragmentation of the article.

The intention with very general articles should be to always offer only an equally general introduction to the more dedicated and focused articles.

In general, the subject of armour is divided into the following perspectives:

Materials (non-metal)
Metallurgy (metals)
Ground vehicles
Impact on warfare

The current article is structured to conform with the generally accepted periodisation within the discipline of general History, and can be found here. The structure is likely to change in future, but until the various parts get fleshed out, it would be nice to have this structure to guide editing --mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 00:08, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Please justify, explicitly, the use of subheadings which have no information. If you do not I will consider those modifications vandalism. Mercutio.Wilder (talk) 02:36, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd agree that the current structure is poorly laid out and overly fragmented. Following on from that, I'm having trouble understanding _both_ of the comments above?

My preferred article layout would be more like the below, starting from the barest bones...

Personal armour
Other types of armour

brenneman 08:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

29 July[edit]

Since there are no objections, I'm goin' to start moving the existing items around. - Aaron Brenneman (talk) 11:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Ok, here's the before and after. Some material was removed, but mostly isolated paragraph fragments, and all unsourced. There is still plenty of copy-edit to come. - Aaron Brenneman (talk) 11:35, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

A few questions:
  • What is the rational behind the bisection of Personal and "Other" sections?
  • Why is Personal armor the primary topic and everything else delimited to "other"?
Some comments:
  • There should be a history section for all types of armor
  • There should be a design section with subsections for materials and other characteristics
  • Should be an applications section for personal and vehicle armor subsections
  • The labeling of the time periods with ships, trains, tanks etc. doesn't improve reader comprehension and limits what can be put in the section. Marcus Qwertyus 12:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, there's been about 1 and half millenia of personal armour, a couple of centuries of ships armour. The sections roughly meet up with the major initiatives in armour. Personal armour fell out of fashion before modern ship amour came in, ship armour was more or less developed before the tank rolled over the fields of France. And as stated plenty more to come apparently. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:42, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Article material holding area[edit]

The material below I've just moved here for now until I can incorporate it into the structure so it flows better. - Aaron Brenneman (talk) 11:10, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

== Characteristics ==

[[File:Savoyard armour IMG 3805.jpg|thumb|upright|Savoyard cuirassier's armour, ca. 1600–1610. On display at Morges military museum.]]

Since the 15th century, most parts of the human body have been fitted with specialised steel pieces, typically worn over linen or woollen underclothes and attached to the body via leather straps and buckles and points. Mail protected those areas that could not be fitted with plate; for example, the back of the knee. Well-known constituent parts of plate armour include the helm, gauntlets, gorget or 'neckguard', breastplate, and greaves worn on the lower legs.

For the elite, full-body plate armour was custom-made for the individual. Most armour was bought off the shelf and some was modified to fit the wearer. The cost of armour varied considerably with time and place as well as the type of armour, coverage it provided and the cost of decoration. In the 8th century a suit of Frankish mail had cost 12 oxen; by 1600 a horseman's armour cost 2 oxen.[1] A typical suit of full plate harness cost around 1 pound sterling in 14th century England[2] and a man-at-arms in the same period made 1 shilling per day and so his armour cost about 20 days pay.[3] Plate armour was limited to those who could afford it: the nobility, landed classes and mercenary professional soldiers, who did most of the fighting in the Medieval period. Soldiers of lower standing generally wore less armour. Full plate armour made the wearer virtually impervious to sword blows as well as providing significant protection against arrows, bludgeons and even early firearms. Sword edges could not penetrate even relatively thin plate (as little as 1 mm). Also, although arrows shot from bows and crossbows and bullets fired from early firearms could occasionally pierce plate especially at close range, later improvements in the steel forging techniques and armour design made even this line of attack increasingly difficult. By its apex, hardened steel plate was almost impregnable on the battlefield. Knights were instead increasingly felled by polearms such as the halberd and blunt weapons such as maces or war hammers that could send concussive force through the plate armour resulting in injuries such as broken bones, organ haemorrhage and/or head trauma. Another tactic was to attempt to strike through the gaps between the armour pieces, using daggers, spears and spear points to attack the man-at-arms' eyes or joints.

It is likely that a full suit of medieval plate must have weighed a little more than 60 lb (27 kg) on average; lighter than the equipment often carried by today's armies, which averages at around 90 pounds (41 kg).[4]

non-metal armor[edit]

even though both "Leather armor" and "Cloth armor" redirects to this page, there isn't a single word, not even a single word, about either one. that's just wrong, it should either be added, or those terms should not redirect here.· Lygophile has spoken 14:20, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Williams, p.43
  2. ^ Fight-Book Clues to Quality and Build of Knightly Weaponry
  3. ^ Reid, p.30
  4. ^