Item:
ONSV4467

Original U.S. WWII and Korean War Armored Vest T64 with T65 Apron

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. There is an almost unknown series of military documents from World War II (WW2) called “The Reports of the Pacific Warfare Board,” and specifically Pacific Warfare Board (PWB) Report #35 Armor Vest, T62E1 and Armor Vest T64.

This report, like most of the PWB reports, had been classified for decades and only now thanks to the cratering costs USB flash drives and increasing quality of digital cameras has it become possible for the interested collector to access and write about these reports from the formally hard to use National Archives.

PWB #35 is about one of those hugely important but overlooked details — Infantry Body Armor — that utterly undermine the established historical narratives by the professional Military history community about the end of WW2 in the Pacific. Namely that the Japanese would so bloody attacking American invasion forces the Japanese would “win” – for values of winning – a more favorable settlement of the war.

According to PWB #35, both the T62E1 and T64 vest (the latter is offered here and was standardized as the M12 in August 1945) were sent for combat testing to MacArthur’s 6th and 8th Army’s in the Philippines in June and July 1945. The T64 vest was chosen for series production as the M12 in the summer of 1945 with 100,000 supposed to be finished by the end of August. This was sufficient time to ship those vest to the Pacific for all the assault infantry regiments participating the cancelled by A-bomb invasion of Japan, code named Operation Olympic.

Why infantry body armor like the M12 is so disruptive for the established narratives boils down to one word — casualties. The deployment of 100,000 such vests would have reduced American infantry casualty rates from lethal artillery fragments in the invasion of Japan to roughly Vietnam levels. This means roughly 1/3 fewer combat deaths from artillery fragments and about an overall 10% to 20% reduction in total projected combat deaths. Depending on which of the historical casualty ratios you select for measurement, it means something on the order of up to 10,000 fewer battle deaths, in the event that the A-bomb hadn’t made the invasion superfluous.

Offered here is a T64/M12 anti-artillery fragment body armor. It was being combat tested in July 1945 and over 100,000 complete sets were scheduled for completion by the end of August 1945, for the invasion of Japan. The body armor consisted of a 0.125″ 75 ST aluminum plate backed by 8 ply of ballistic nylon and weighed 12 pounds.

The interior label reads; Armor, Vest - T64, it is a size medium and was manufactured by Crawford Manufacturing Company. It was issued for use in the Korean War. The vest is complete with front and back panels as well as the Armor Apron T65 or "Diaper". Overall Condition is very good.
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