German WWI Trench Body Armor
New Made Item: A quality reproduction of this extremely rare WWI era German chest and abdomen armor, constructed of steel breast plate with over the shoulder supports, the stomach and groin protected by three overlapping steel plates attached by fabric fastening straps for maneuverability. Complete with replicated WWI markings. Used mostly by machine gun operators and snipers.
Just the armor set to go with our M16 helmet sniper plates; available separately.
- These breastplates were used in large numbers in 1916-1917 and in even larger numbers in 1918 especially. When the German army finally "broke" in 1918 the advancing troops found this armor abandoned in large quantities in German positions.
- General Ludendorff endorsed them as being good for both front and back usage. Back usage was normal for troops having to endure bombardments and provided significant protection.
- The original silicon-nickel steel armor (don't try this at home) was generally proof against rifle caliber gun bullets starting from about 60 yards and provided protection from the concussion of grenades and artillery shells and also light shrapnel. The hardness of the metal on the original armor (not the reproduction!) was Brinell 360-520 which was much, much harder than mild steel.
- It was used by Sentries in the field, troops in advanced positions, assault troops (although it was admitted to be clumsy for offensive use), and heavily issued to machine gun troops.
- Weight varied by manufacturer from 19-24 pounds.
Source: Helmets and Body Armor in Modern Warfare Bashford Dean 1920.
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