Object Title

Body armour

Body armour

Date

1916

Object Number

III.4343

Provenance

Bowyer Tower, Armour Bay 4 (1992)

Physical Description

It is formed of six plates of silicon-nickel steel, protecting the forepart of the body from the tops of the shoulders to the lower abdomen. The main plate protects and is shaped to the chest. It has rounded lower corners and a large upward-flanged cut-out at the neck. Attached by three, large, round-headed rivets within each of the upper corners of the main plate, is a broad, slightly tapering shoulder-plate which curves down the back and serves to hook the armour over the body. Each of the shoulder-plates has an obtusely-pointed proximal end, and a straight distal end with rounded corners. Attached by a single, large, round-headed rivet within each side of the main plate, a little over half way down it, is a stepped triangular plate with a rounded upper end, and a transversely slotted lower end. Looped through each slot, and and secured to it by stitching, is a green webbing strap which which serves to suspend the three downward-overlapping abdominal plates. These are curved to the body and diminish in size towards the bottom. The first two plates are rectangular in form, while the last is semi-circular. All have rounded corners. Each plate is pierced to either side of its upper edge with a pair of holes for stitching the plate to the webbing straps. Pairs of cowhair felt pads of rectangular form, diminishing in size towards the bottom, are inserted between each of the plates to reduce noise. They are sewn to the webbing straps just above the upper edges of each of the abdominal plates. The lowest pad on the left side has been replaced by one of of red felt.
Painted black.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Height: 78.0 cm (30.7 in), width: 41.0 cm (16.1 in), depth: 34.0 cm (13.4 in) Weight: Kg ( lb oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

None.

Associations

Places Germany

Notes

Bashford Dean, 'Helmets and Body Armour in Modern Warfare', New Haven, London and Oxford, 1920, pp. 142-6 and figs 98-100, discusses and illustrates this type of armour in some detail. He records that German troops were first reported wearing it in 1916-17, and that an improved version was introduced in 1917.