Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Weapons versus plate armour Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next 
Author Message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,477

PostPosted: Thu 29 Mar, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes. This is exactly why the initial set of energies has very different values for the energy needed to penetrate plate by arrows and bullets. As already mentioned, the penetration energies will also depend on the size of the projectile. Further, they might not be very useful for other types of attacks, such as axes or sword cuts.

What the arrow results provide are a reasonable minimum energy needed - the other weapons tend to be larger, and will require more energy. A pyramidal arrowhead is a good geometry for plate piercing - the best shape for plate piercing has been subject to a lot of research, and a pointy pyramid is excellent.

If a sword cut arrives with 200J of energy, hitting a plate that 150J of arrow will pierce, don't expect it to cut through. A warhammer spike (similar geometry to an arrowhead), with 200J of energy behind it, might be a different story. One would need to look at the size.

We don't have any good values for how much energy we need for swords or halberds or such to cut through armour. On the other hand, we don't have any good information on how much energy can be delivered by these weapons, so we wouldn't be able to make use of such values anyway.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Marcos Cantu





Joined: 28 May 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar, 2012 12:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Various strange inconsistencies appear throughout The Knight and the Blast Furnace. The additional 100 J doesn't appear in most of his examples. See the pikeman on 947, for instance. On page 943, he notes that at 120 J, the arrowhead put a 35mm dent in the plastilene behind the modern mail and jack. How tough is plastilene? Even if it's only as resistant as human skin and flesh, 1.4 inches of penetration in the right spot could be fatal.


was this 35mm from the projectile defeating the armor and penetrating into the backing material or was it the back-face deformation caused by the non-penetrating projectile? in modern body armor testing, a projectile that does not penetrate the armor can leave no more than 44mm of back face deformation in the clay backing material in order to pass certification (for US NIJ certification).
View user's profile Send private message
Marcos Cantu





Joined: 28 May 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Range is also an important thing to take into consideration with missile weapons. What were typical engagement ranges with bows? I see 10m mentioned in some of these tests and that just doesnt seem realistic to me. arrows take a little time to 'settle' after they are fired. until the fletching starts stabilizing the arrow, it will yaw in flight. at very short ranges, this would cause some of its energy to be wasted on impact because it would not all be concentrated at the point. This also happens with bullets today...
View user's profile Send private message
Josh Warren




Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Joined: 01 Nov 2006

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When these tests are done, is it ever taken into account that, in many (if not most!) cases, a breastplate does not contact the wearer's body at most points other than the shoulders and waist? Most styles have a greater or lesser degree of 'globosity' to them that should work not only to reduce the chance of an incoming projectile striking with a 90-degree angle of impact, but would ensure that there is often an inch or two of space between the inside surface of the plate and whatever the wearer has underneath. Even if a projectile fully penetrated the plate, the edges of the hole thus made would still cause drag on the projectile's shaft, continuing to slow it. Just because the armour has been penetrated, strictly speaking, doesn't mean that it has been defeated.

Yet most of these tests seem to assume either a more or less flat plate and direct contact with the wearer immediately under the plate--i.e. once the projectile has penetrated, it can immediately begin acting upon the wearer. I don't think it would have worked like that in many, many cases in history, and I think this stacks the results unfairly in favor of the attacking weapon.

Non Concedo
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,173

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 5:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This test is interesting. The experimenter apparently penetrates 1.6mm (or 1.5mm) mild steel plate by 40mm or so with thrusts with various polearms. That suggests a minimum kinetic energy of 100-120 J by the figures from The Knight and the Blast Furnace. 1.5mm or 1.6mm mild steel approximates some lower-quality 15th- and 16th-century breastplates. These results stand consistent with the test of circa 1600 halberd against a munitions-grade 16th-century breastplate. The halberd's top spike pierced the breastplate in that test, though I've never read by how much (probably no more than roughly 40mm).
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 1:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh Warren wrote:
When these tests are done, is it ever taken into account that, in many (if not most!) cases, a breastplate does not contact the wearer's body at most points other than the shoulders and waist? Most styles have a greater or lesser degree of 'globosity' to them that should work not only to reduce the chance of an incoming projectile striking with a 90-degree angle of impact, but would ensure that there is often an inch or two of space between the inside surface of the plate and whatever the wearer has underneath. Even if a projectile fully penetrated the plate, the edges of the hole thus made would still cause drag on the projectile's shaft, continuing to slow it. Just because the armour has been penetrated, strictly speaking, doesn't mean that it has been defeated.

Yet most of these tests seem to assume either a more or less flat plate and direct contact with the wearer immediately under the plate--i.e. once the projectile has penetrated, it can immediately begin acting upon the wearer. I don't think it would have worked like that in many, many cases in history, and I think this stacks the results unfairly in favor of the attacking weapon.


Williams takes this into account in his calculations. His definition of defeat is penetration of greater than 40mm.
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,065

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And 40mm is nowhere near enough to be fatal except in very limited circumstances.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 574

PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
This test is interesting. The experimenter apparently penetrates 1.6mm (or 1.5mm) mild steel plate by 40mm or so with thrusts with various polearms. That suggests a minimum kinetic energy of 100-120 J by the figures from The Knight and the Blast Furnace. 1.5mm or 1.6mm mild steel approximates some lower-quality 15th- and 16th-century breastplates. These results stand consistent with the test of circa 1600 halberd against a munitions-grade 16th-century breastplate. The halberd's top spike pierced the breastplate in that test, though I've never read by how much (probably no more than roughly 40mm).


I like the video but there is definitely more room for fine tuning.

An actual shaped plate on a free man like object with clothes worn underweath the breastplate.

EDIT:

There is actually more.

The lack of skeletal torso injury from the Wisby mass grave and Towton suggests that torso armor performed well enough doesn't it?

The helmet thing doesn't seem very likely seeing now those rarely had a uniform thickness all over the place, although skull injury does seem common in the above mentioned mass graves.


Another mass grave analysis for those interested: http://ubm.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2011/2419/pdf/doc.pdf
View user's profile Send private message
Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2015 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
And 40mm is nowhere near enough to be fatal except in very limited circumstances.

ho, ok, assuming 40 mm of random penetration you need to be lucky or it take many hits to incapacitate a target ?
Perhaps this kind of wound ,even if not immediately not lethal, get you out of the battle.
Perhaps we have the same kind of effect like nato rifle munition, wound effect as efficient as a kill.
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 443

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2015 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very satisfying test as far as those things go, but I can't help but think that actual shape and fit over the body made huge difference.

Together with interlocking the plate with other ones, drastically changing the bending and denting mechanic.

In particular, when people whack each other with poleaxes in various reenacting/hit'em stickem robots events, we do not see anything even close to such catastrophic dents.

There's strong possibility that well stretched, mobile human body reacting to the hit makes all the difference too, and it's obviously mightily hard to simulate without some quality crash mannequins.
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,245

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2015 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Another mass grave analysis for those interested: http://ubm.opus.hbz-nrw.de/volltexte/2011/2419/pdf/doc.pdf


Excellent forensic examination. Thanks for the link.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,088

PostPosted: Wed 24 Jun, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B,

'The lack of skeletal torso injury from the Wisby mass grave and Towton suggests that torso armor performed well enough doesn't it?'

This is only partially true. You have many places in the abdomen that a wound to the bone would be necessary to kill you. Not all death is dealt with remaining physical trauma to the bone. Much is but that is too absolute for my liking.

Dan,

'And 40mm is nowhere near enough to be fatal except in very limited circumstances.'

Sort of. I'd avoid 'nowhere near' here for sure. It is relatively close. Far too close for my likings. The problem is that soft squishy things give upon impact significantly. So yes the weapon might go in 40mm past the plate but how far past that is the point actually going when the flesh is being pushed in and the breastplate is forced in across the body? 40mm is 1.5"-1.75" that is pretty close to the 2.25" and 2" the heart and lung are at. Not sure but I'd say In some situations that might be well enough to hit either of those vital areas. To me the biggest issue would be glancing surfaces still. If this was still the case with glancing in the equation penetration though to me would be worrisome at 40mm in consideration of how much give is there.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 478

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2015 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Pieter B,

'The lack of skeletal torso injury from the Wisby mass grave and Towton suggests that torso armor performed well enough doesn't it?'

This is only partially true. You have many places in the abdomen that a wound to the bone would be necessary to kill you. Not all death is dealt with remaining physical trauma to the bone. Much is but that is too absolute for my liking.

Dan,

'And 40mm is nowhere near enough to be fatal except in very limited circumstances.'

Sort of. I'd avoid 'nowhere near' here for sure. It is relatively close. Far too close for my likings. The problem is that soft squishy things give upon impact significantly. So yes the weapon might go in 40mm past the plate but how far past that is the point actually going when the flesh is being pushed in and the breastplate is forced in across the body? 40mm is 1.5"-1.75" that is pretty close to the 2.25" and 2" the heart and lung are at. Not sure but I'd say In some situations that might be well enough to hit either of those vital areas. To me the biggest issue would be glancing surfaces still. If this was still the case with glancing in the equation penetration though to me would be worrisome at 40mm in consideration of how much give is there.


RPM

Can't agree with you more, hell,if you hit a artery, especially, since this is before wounded evacuation service, that amount of penetration could cause a man to pass out and/or die from blood loss. If that amount of penetration was so rarely lethal, we wouldn't Roman and Greek sword with swell along that area to act as a stop so you don't penetrate to deeply so you can quickly extract the point, along with it's property to add limited chopping ability. As far as battlefield situations go, I think there is a agrument to be made that you would to inflict the least amount of damage on a single enemy as possible that still renders them unconscious or dead, because you have multiple people to worry about and the more energy and concentration you spend on a single person, the less energy and focus you have to give on another.
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,065

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roman and Greek weapon points penetrate a lot more than 4 cm. Pretty much every weapon ever used on the battlefield penetrates more than 4 cm. There are hundreds and hundreds of medical journals stipulating the kinds of penetrating injuries that are required for reliable incapacitation and you won't find a single one that will say that 4cm is sufficient.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Vasilly T





Joined: 02 Dec 2014

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2015 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
This test is interesting. The experimenter apparently penetrates 1.6mm (or 1.5mm) mild steel plate by 40mm or so with thrusts with various polearms. That suggests a minimum kinetic energy of 100-120 J by the figures from The Knight and the Blast Furnace. 1.5mm or 1.6mm mild steel approximates some lower-quality 15th- and 16th-century breastplates. These results stand consistent with the test of circa 1600 halberd against a munitions-grade 16th-century breastplate. The halberd's top spike pierced the breastplate in that test, though I've never read by how much (probably no more than roughly 40mm).

If you found this test interesting, then you might as well like these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFu11mSutd0&list=PLORWrDN172D0NmpWawYgddWWnVBaNM_V5

As to continuation of the discussion, there's an article called "Head Protection in England before the First World" by T. Philip D. Blackburn, M.B., B.S., F.R.C.S.,David A. Edge, B.A., Alan R. Williams, B.Sc., Ph.D., Christopher B.T. Adams, M.A., M.Ch., F.R.C.S.

There they discuss penetration tests carried out on simulated munition armour, but let me give you a quote:

"Impact tests have been performed on Swedish wrought iron by one of the authors (ARW) using a Rosand IFW 5 tester in the Department of Engineering at Reading University. This metal is approximately comparable in metallurgy and thickness (1.8–1.9 mm) to munition armor of low quality. Precisely how steel armor of better quality would have behaved is the subject of ongoing research (Table 4). Paddings increase the energy required. Tests of textile armor lining made up of 16 folds of linen suggest that about 80 is added to the energy required for a blade to pierce the overlying armor, and about 50 J for a spearpoint.
The effect of increasing the quality of the metal tested would probably be considerable but is as yet undetermined. A typical helmet of munition quality would need to be attacked by an edged weapon delivering about 270 J or a pointed weapon delivering about 150 J. This is a little more than the average infantryman might expect to exert, so the helmet would probably protect its wearer against this assault, but a horseman with a lance or an infantryman with a crossbow might well be able to deliver a more energetic blow (Table 5). These energies are quite closely comparable to those available from the weapons cited in Table 3. Munition armor would appear to offer the bare minimum of protection at close range. On the other hand, armor of knightly quality might require twice these energies, thus offering comprehensive protection to the wearer. It is significant that Milanese armor was offered for sale in the 15th century “proof against the crossbow” (6). The wearer of such an armor could have felt secure against almost all the threats he was likely to face, until handguns appeared. These offered attack energies an order of magnitude greater than those offered by any weapon that had gone before."

And here's the table 4: http://i.imgur.com/DQxl3Tr.png

Hope that helps to clear out things a bit.
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,088

PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun, 2015 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,

That is true. I have read several. But in forensics they look at the depth of the wound primarily not how far it went through the metal plate as armour is not in fashion like this anymore. You need to look at how the body behaves not just with total depth of wound but in relation to body armour in this situation. The problem is the depth the weapon penetrates the metal is not the depth it penetrates the victim. These are related but not the same and that is the issue I have with your assessment. Even modern body armour tests for this effect with requirements expected in more than 80mm of movement with good quality body armour. This is one of the benefits of ballistics clay as you cans see how deep an impact is left once the armour is taken away. Now a spear, halberd, etc. is not a gun granted but there is still a good probability of movement of the weapon with deeper penetration of the victim than the plate cause by this damage.

So it is not a simple matter of 40mm is too shallow for fatal wounds. That is far too simple to be of any value in this situation as not everything remains static.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Henri Chandler




Location: New Orleans
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,042

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting thread, some useful data here. I think we have to be careful about our math and formulae until we do get more data though,. Alan Williams did us a 'solid' but there needs to be more work published.



They did still use slings (and thrown stones, and 'hurlbats', and javelins, and things like Swiss Arrows) well into the 16th Century in Europe. The Czechs have some records of slingers in their armies during the Hussite Wars of the 1420's-1430's and afterward.

The Catalan Grand Company and other Almogavar mercenaries were making extensive use of javelins, and some kind of soliferrum-esque solid iron javelins, quite effectively well into the 14th Century.

Thrown stones were a significant factor in many major Swiss battles during their wars against the Hapsburgs and in the Burgundian Wars. Hans Deblruck quotes one case in which each soldier brought 3 stones into the field with him.

How effective they all were I can't say because I don't know of any data, though I doubt they would have used them if they were useless. Especially since the Swiss, Czechs, and Almogavars were considered some of the most effective infantry of the period.

J

System D'Armes Historical European fencing in New Orleans

Essays on Hroarr

Introducing the Codex Guide to the Medieval Baltic
View user's profile Send private message
James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When it comes to how battles are won, tyros usually think that they are won by killing the enemy. This is simply not true. Battles are won by convincing the enemy to stop fighting and either submit or leave the field. This is why the U.S. strategy in the Middle East and Afghanistan is not working; though we kill over twenty times as many of them as they do of us, say (it may be many more!), all that killing has not convinced the survivors to stop fighting. If all the French at Agincourt had kept on coming (think of what would have happened if the French vanguard had pulled back for a bit and their archers and crossbowmen had worked for awhile!), could the English have prevailed? Henry had his doubts.

Many weapons that do not kill are still very useful for distraction, harassment, breaking up unit formations, and, of course, for wounding, which has always been the greatest cause of casualties next to disease. The prevalence of head wounds found in burials is not surprising, since most fatalities were the result of the victors killing the defeated after capture. The leg wounds at Visby... how typical was that, anyway?

Oh, and I forgot to add... fire suppression.

jamesarlen.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 478

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
When it comes to how battles are won, tyros usually think that they are won by killing the enemy. This is simply not true. Battles are won by convincing the enemy to stop fighting and either submit or leave the field. This is why the U.S. strategy in the Middle East and Afghanistan is not working; though we kill over twenty times as many of them as they do of us, say (it may be many more!), all that killing has not convinced the survivors to stop fighting. If all the French at Agincourt had kept on coming (think of what would have happened if the French vanguard had pulled back for a bit and their archers and crossbowmen had worked for awhile!), could the English have prevailed? Henry had his doubts.

Many weapons that do not kill are still very useful for distraction, harassment, breaking up unit formations, and, of course, for wounding, which has always been the greatest cause of casualties next to disease. The prevalence of head wounds found in burials is not surprising, since most fatalities were the result of the victors killing the defeated after capture. The leg wounds at Visby... how typical was that, anyway?

Oh, and I forgot to add... fire suppression.

But the likelihood of any enemy keeping on coming after seeing many of their friends die horrifically and graphically, think of how quickly Japan surrendered after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski, were hundreds of thousands died in some of the most novely horrifying ways possible compared to how long and drawn out our efforts bombing them, capturing soldiers, firebombing etc. Demonstrating the willingness to take a war to the next level of sheer ghastness is a good to get enemy to surrender and to design a strategy around annoyance runs the risk of completely backfiring and making things worst if the enemy sees thru the ruze. Also, How can you say for sure that the heads wounds are certainly because of killing the defeated after capture? IF you are overwhelmed and outwitted to the point that they surrender and fled, and you have captured them, wtf is the point in killing them immediately afterwards? Ti basically killing a bunch of free slaves. You could also make the case that the reason the Us is having so much trobule is because we are so worried on convincing and persuasion instead of fighting terrorists with the level of insensity to eliminate them for good. Look at Sherman's March to the Sea for another example, instead of fighting formal battle with Pow exchanges,capturing troops, he helped greatly shorten the Civil War by exchanging a massive torching and property destruction, fighting war in way never seen before or expected.
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,088

PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun, 2015 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James,

An excellent point. Keegan makes a great deal of this in his History of War. He states that most battles have relatively low casualties. Been a long while since I have read it but a very valid point indeed.

Of course one of the key ways to convince the enemy to stop fighting is killing or wounding him or his team.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Weapons versus plate armour
Page 3 of 5 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2017 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum