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WWI American Body Armor.


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#1 patches

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:16 PM

american20.jpg

 

Found this great photo of a QM photo of a Doughboy wearing an experimental helmet and body armor, I guess 1919. Looks very middle ages/renaissance right.

 

Any actual designation on the types, will be appreciated.



#2 River Patrol

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:23 PM

I don't know enough about it, but that articulation to the arm is really awesome (I almost said innovative but English knights had something similar, as you indicated).



#3 pararaftanr2

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 06:17 PM

patches,

Per "Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare", written by Bashford Dean in 1919, the photos illustrate the "American experimental light armor, with arm defense and helmet model No. 5". Produced by the Engineer Division of the Ordnance Department at the request of General Pershing in 1917. It was intended for use by assault troops wearing full equipment, but was not adopted. Construction was of manganese steel .036 to .040 inch in thickness, and was intended to protect the wearer from shrapnel and pistol fire.

Regards, Paul  



#4 aef1917

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 06:35 PM

There were a couple of different models of both the breast plate and back plate, which fell under the umbella designation of Light Laminated Body Armor.  These appear to be the 302U breast plate and 304U back plate.  The arm pieces were called the Complete Arm Defense.



#5 world war I nerd

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 07:32 PM

Here's one of the two versions of the chest armor ... not sure which one it is though.

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  • Chest.jpg


#6 world war I nerd

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 07:35 PM

These turned up for sale on someone's website a while back. They were labeled as "forearm armor", but they to me they look like they are for the lower leg or shin ... AEF 1917, can you identify?

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  • Shin or Forearm.jpg


#7 pararaftanr2

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 08:48 PM

ww1nerd,

The chest armor you show, per Dean, is the Ordnance model of the heavy breastplate, known as the "American experimental model of sentinel's heavy armor". A prototype was made in February 1917 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and sent to Mullins and Company in Ohio, where 50 examples were made. They were tested in France, but rejected due to their weight (the upper breastplate alone weighed 16 lbs.) and the lack of back protection. The armor was .185 inch thick and could stop German machine gun fire at 300 yards. The illustrations in Deans book do show attached thigh armor, but nothing for the lower leg.

 

Dean does however illustrate and describe the "Shin-guards, American experimental model, 1917" which look like the ones you posted. Apparently wound statistics showed a high percentage of lower leg wounds as a result of "going over the top". Under instruction from H.A.E.F., 35,000 of these (it doesn't say whether pairs or individual) were shipped overseas. They were made of helmet steel, padded on the back and held in place with two straps. Weight was only 12 ounces each. After they arrived in France, it was decided their degree of protection did not warrant the extra weight added to the soldiers equipment and they were not even given a practical trial.

Hope this helps, Paul

 

 



#8 aef1917

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:05 AM

The armor was called the B8 Heavy Breast Plate.  This example has had the shoulder pieces trimmed off, and it is missing the tassets, which protected the legs down to around the middle of the thighs.

 

The shin defenses were simply referred to as Shin Guards.  Pershing ordered 35,000 pairs, but as far as I can tell, only about 15,000 pairs were actually produced.



#9 patches

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 09:32 AM

Great and informative replies we've been accustomed to from our Great War pros, thanks all around.

 

This guy would look more at home carrying a pike or poleaxe rather than an 03 :lol:



#10 B229

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 10:50 AM

This guy would look more at home carrying a pike or poleaxe rather than an 03 :lol:

 

There's a reason for that:  Bashford Dean was the founding curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Arms and Armour collection when we was commissioned into the Ordnance Corps to design all this stuff.

 

http://www.metmuseum...ing-world-war-i



#11 patches

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 11:08 AM

 

There's a reason for that:  Bashford Dean was the founding curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Arms and Armour collection when we was commissioned into the Ordnance Corps to design all this stuff.

 

http://www.metmuseum...ing-world-war-i

Talk about a traditionalist, but he was only going on what was tried and true I suppose. Haven't been to the Met in a long time, It's a fabulous place.



#12 BROBS

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 02:50 PM

This is really interesting actually!

#13 patches

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 05:39 PM

I wonder if anyone who wore it the rain became like the Tin Man of the future Wizard of Oz :)



#14 armysoldierant1944

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 02:18 AM

Really nice!

#15 Paul Reijnders

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 08:49 PM

Here's one of the two versions of the chest armor ... not sure which one it is though.

 

Realy a great collectors piece.

I try to sent you a PM with no succes

 

I'am looking for such US body armor, who can help ?  THANKS

 

Regards, Paul Reijnders




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