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WW2/Korea-era M12 Body Armor Questions

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#1 MEversbergII

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 10:55 PM



I have a few questions about the very-late WW2 / very-early Korean war "M12" vest.


It has aluminum plates and nylon cloth to provide fragmentation protection.  Looking at pictures, it seems the vest is two halves attached with a "quick release" so you can get out of it in a hurry.  The protection is the same between the halves, with aluminum plates solidly sewn into the vest for the lower torso front and back.  But the upper torso / chest plates seem to have their own "flap" that is sewn to the vest on the bottom, but snaps up against the body with ordinary army-type snaps.  Why is this flap there?  It does not appear as if unsnapping it would provide access to anything like a mounting point for anything.  The only thing undoing it would seem to do would be to double up aluminum plating for your guts, but leave your chest vulnerable.  The best thing I could come up with is making a bit more room for a "Mae West" type flotation jacket - those mount up pretty high, as I recall.  I suppose it makes a pocket of sorts...


Does anyone know how much these units cost in-period?  We managed to crank out 50,000 of the things within three months so it doesn't sound very expensive, but 75ST aluminum couldn't have been cheap, then - even if you're only using it in .125" thick plates.


Anyone have one of these, or some knowledge they can chime in on?





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