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View Full Version : OT: Flak jackets/body armour



choxaway
01-16-2004, 03:36 AM
Sorry this isn't IL2 related, but I know there are some folk out there with assorted military knowledge.
Can anyone tell me when flak jackets or bullet proof vests of any type came about? I was recently watching some WW2 footage of Pacific fleet activity and thought the gunners seemed to be wearing some sort of flak jacket.
If so, I wondered why weren't the poor old squaddies issued with them? Surely any soldiers going into battle might have had improved chances of surviving if their bodies were protected?
What about the Korean war? And I thought they were certainly around by the time of the Vietnam war, yet I've not noticed any footage with soldiers equipped with any sort of protection - unless I wasn't paying attention at the time.

Just curious, that's all.

choxaway
01-16-2004, 03:36 AM
Sorry this isn't IL2 related, but I know there are some folk out there with assorted military knowledge.
Can anyone tell me when flak jackets or bullet proof vests of any type came about? I was recently watching some WW2 footage of Pacific fleet activity and thought the gunners seemed to be wearing some sort of flak jacket.
If so, I wondered why weren't the poor old squaddies issued with them? Surely any soldiers going into battle might have had improved chances of surviving if their bodies were protected?
What about the Korean war? And I thought they were certainly around by the time of the Vietnam war, yet I've not noticed any footage with soldiers equipped with any sort of protection - unless I wasn't paying attention at the time.

Just curious, that's all.

MiloMorai
01-16-2004, 03:41 AM
The USAAF had "flak jackets" for use in the bombers but they were not exactly light.

SUPERAEREO
01-16-2004, 03:45 AM
8th Air Force bomber crews were issued with flak jackets too.

AFAIK, until the introduction of kevlar and ceramic shields in the 80's bullet-proof jackets were simply too heavy and cumbersome to be issued to the infantry.

I had one during my national service and I can tell you that it was far from comfortable to wear in any kind of tactical exercise.

Friendly_flyer
01-16-2004, 03:55 AM
Flack-jacekts in the form of reinforced steel breastplates and helmets were sometimes issued to German engeneers working outside trenches in WWI. The sappeurs of Napoleonic times allsom soemtimes used heavy breastplates (like those of the cavalry) when when digging trenches up to enemy strongholes.

Fly friendly!

Petter Bøckman
Norway

SUPERAEREO
01-16-2004, 04:01 AM
Forms of reinforced body armour were also issued to Italian troops engaged in the trench war in the Alps in World War One.

They can sometimes still be found in the woods, if you have a metal detector.

They still have bones inside... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

MiloMorai
01-16-2004, 04:05 AM
You might want to read what it says here

http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/flak.htm

It starts:

"Development of body armor, including armored vests for Army ground troops was conducted during World War II by both the Army Ordnance Corps and the Army Quartermaster Corps.

Quartermaster efforts were directed toward development of non-metallic body armor and at the end of World War II had reached the combat test stage with an experimental vest armored with rigid plates of Doron, laminated plastic fibre-glass. The term Doron is derived from the name of Brigadier General Georges Doriot, World War II chief of the Research and Development Branch, Office of The Quartermaster General of the Army.

Body armor developed by the Ordnance Corps during this period included a 12-pound vest of aluminum plates and nylon fabric designated as M-12, which was adopted as a standard Army item by the end of World War II."

Slush69
01-16-2004, 04:11 AM
"Bullet" proof vests are mainly designed to protect from shrapnels. The no. 1 killer in modern warfare.

In some kevlar vests you can add ceramic plates for added protection, but it makes them very cumbersome. It's mainly used for guard duties and for personnel in vehicle hatches etc.

cheers/slush

http://www.wilcks.dk/crap/Eurotrolls.gif

choxaway
01-16-2004, 06:19 AM
Thanks for the information - knew I could count on you for coming up with the goods.

I occasionally wonder why there was not more research carried out earlier. You have to question why they didn't consider lives to be of paramount importance - just as important as developing new and more efficient weaponry. With less armed forces being killed or maimed there would be a significantly larger force available to invade or defend. Better morale, too, if you thought you had a greater chance of survival. Seems logical to me . . .

p1ngu666
01-16-2004, 06:40 AM
weight is the simple answer
for mild steel or whatever u need X thinkness to stop a bullet, therefor u gotta carry that thinkness as a breast plate etc.
then u can hardly move
modern materials are needed for it tobe practical