Plate Armour

Plate armour is a historical type of personal armour made from iron or steel plates. While there are early predecessors such the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages, especially in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of plates worn over mail suits during the 13th century. In Europe plate armour reached its peak in the late 15th and 16th centuries, with the full suits of Gothic plate armour worn on the battlefields of the Burgundian and Italian Wars. The most heavily armoured troops of the period were heavy cavalry such as the gendarmes and early cuirassiers, but the infantry troops of the Swiss mercenaries and the landsknechts also took to wearing lighter suits of "three quarters" plate armour, leaving the lower legs unprotected. The use of plate armour declined in the 17th century, but remained common both among the nobility and for the cuirassiers throughout the European wars of religion. After 1650, plate armour was mostly reduced to the simple breastplate (cuirass) worn by dragoons. This was due to the development of the flintlock musket which could penetrate armour at a considerable distance, severely reducing the payoff from the investment in full plate armour. For infantry, the breastplate gained renewed importance with the development of shrapnel in the late 18th century. The use of steel plates sewn into flak jacket dates to World War II, replaced by more modern materials such as fibre-reinforced plastic since the 1950s. It is a common misconception that the plate armour of European soldiers adversely affected mobility in a significant manner, but in fact plate armour was less heavy and featured more even weight distribution than a modern firefighter's oxygen gear.

Read more about Plate Armour:  Early History, Late Middle Ages, Renaissance, Early Modern Period, Plate Armour in Japan, 20th Century and Modern Body Armour, Materials

Other articles related to "plate armour, armour, plates, armours":

Plate Armour - Materials
... The first plate armour was that of bronze, being worn by elite soldiers in Greek armies in particular ... steel replaced iron in most capacities except munition armour. 20th century titanium and super-hardened "ballistic steel" came to be used for trauma plates ...
Man-at-arms - Military Function - Arms and Armour
... period and into the Renaissance the armour of the man-at-arms became progressively more effective and expensive ... Throughout the 14th century, the armour worn by a man-at-arms would have been a composite of materials ... Over a quilted gambeson, mail armour would cover the body, limbs and head ...
Chainmail - Mail Armour in Europe
... The use of mail as battlefield armour was common during the Iron Age and the Middle Ages, becoming less common over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries ... for their troops in the form of the lorica hamata which was used as a primary form of armour through the Imperial period ... After the fall of the Western Empire much of the infrastructure needed to create plate armour diminished ...
Leather Armour - Personal - History - Early
... both pre-samurai types of early Japanese armour constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs ... Japanese lamellar armour (keiko) passed through Korea and reached Japan around the 5th century ... These early Japanese lamellar armours took the form of a sleeveless jacket and a helmet ...
Gothic Plate Armour
... Gothic plate armour (German Gotischer Plattenpanzer) is a type of plate armour of steel made in the regions of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire during the late ... The armour provided full-body protection to the knight who wore it ... "Suits of armour" were common during the 15th century in central Europe and influenced Italian and English plate armour ...

Famous quotes containing the words armour and/or plate:

    How happy is he born and taught
    That serveth not another’s will;
    Whose armour is his honest thought,
    And simple truth his utmost skill!
    Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)

    Then he rang the bell and ordered a ham sandwich. When the maid placed the plate on the table, he deliberately looked away but as soon as the door had shut, he grabbed the sandwich with both hands, immediately soiled his fingers and chin with the hanging margin of fat and, grunting greedily, began to much.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)