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Toxn

Historical armour testing and information thread

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The greaves video is really informative, and helps explain why wearing modern reproduction armor gives you no better impression of how historical armor feels than shooting a dollar store airgun gives you an impression of how effective an M4 Carbine is.

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Helmets:



 

 

I actually find helmets to be pretty fascinating, partly because of the way they have been perceived. For the vast majority of human civilization, helmets and armored caps have been standard military equipment, but there's a weird blip, and that's between, oh, 1670-1915. The reasons for this are a little bit fuzzy, perhaps more of a subject matter expert than I could give you a detailed answer, but a theory I'm fond of is that the perceived effectiveness of helmets is greatly reduced once warfare becomes fixed around firearms and cavalry. After this time, one notes that most threats attack laterally (lances, guns, grapeshot) and there's little reason to wear frontal plate as powerful firearms are introduced in the 1600s with muzzle velocities above 1,300 ft/s. Ironically, the decline of armor during this period also induces the decline of those very powerful firearms, and by the 1750s you see smoothbored muskets dominating the battlefield with subsonic muzzle velocities.

While I think scientific study would have revealed that helmets still would have reduced head injuries and deaths during this period, there really wasn't such study occurring during that period. It's only with the invention and popularization of the trench at the end of the 19th Century and into the early 20th Century that helmets really come back. Suddenly, not only is the head the most exposed part of the soldier, but also artillery has become totally revolutionized, and is not a massive threat to the soldier, shelling him from out of the sky itself. This is quite unlike the artillery of earlier periods, which were more like short-ranged shotguns, or large, individual cannonballs, against which helmets would be useless.

Anyway, it's not a subject I know terribly well, but I find the perception of helmets being "new" rather than the era of no helmets being anomalous to be fascinating. And of course, now we're even seeing armor come back. It's stimulating to imagine that maybe we'll see full articulated suits of armor again, only this time made of composites, and possibly self-powered. Or, alternately, maybe guns become so powerful that armor is truly rendered useless, as it was in the 17th Century, and then the guns themselves are reduced in power in response. All fiction-level speculation, but it's still fun.

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It would be nice if the video and narrator didn't have to spend a minute and a half issuing caveats about when the Middle Ages really ended and how long the Roman Empire lasted and fuck the Internet and pedants who would fill up the entire comment section complaining about this. JUST GET TO THE MEAT OF THE VIDEO!!!

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It would be nice if the video and narrator didn't have to spend a minute and a half issuing caveats about when the Middle Ages really ended and how long the Roman Empire lasted and fuck the Internet and pedants who would fill up the entire comment section complaining about this. JUST GET TO THE MEAT OF THE VIDEO!!!

I found it interesting, actually.

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It would be nice if the video and narrator didn't have to spend a minute and a half issuing caveats about when the Middle Ages really ended and how long the Roman Empire lasted and fuck the Internet and pedants who would fill up the entire comment section complaining about this. JUST GET TO THE MEAT OF THE VIDEO!!!

Not a fan of vegetables, I take it?

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It has a very simple cause: Boredom.

True, but I think it may also be a case of being raised in an environment where you're far enough up the ol' hierarchy of needs so that fairly minor (but difficult-to-solve) stuff seems important.

 

My wanting things to be perfect is function of them being good already, with the remaining issues then being seen as either eminently solvable or impossible. This leads to a mindset of 'if it can be done, it should be able to do to perfection.' Which is a terrible mindset for a world where solutions to complex problems tend to come with significant problems of their own.

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