ARMOR: PAST

To launch a blog about armor, I believe that it may be best to start with a review of its historical uses, from antiquity to World War I. The author of the following historical account, the very eminent armor expert and historian Bashford Dean, has already written such a review. It can hardly be improved upon, so I shall incorporate it in its entirety.

The author, in his own words, has sought to answer the following questions:

(A) What kinds of armor were early used?
(B) Was armor actually an important means of saving life and limb?
(C) How was it made?
(D) How was it tested?
(E) How heavy, irksome and even dangerous was it to wear?
(F) What in summary was its use in later times but prior to the Great War?

It should go without saying that the answers to these questions set the stage for the discussion of modern armor — and, what’s more, that the reasons for the disappearance of armor from the battlefield has much to teach the modern armorer. So although it might seem unusual to launch a technology blog with a thorough review of the now-distant past, Mr. Dean’s fine work should make it clear that our forefathers still have much to teach us, and their techniques and lessons are worth careful study.

I have taken the liberty of italicizing passages which I deem to be especially relevant.

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