Modern Body Armor a Necessity in the Field

Some police officers think that wearing a bulletproof vest while fighting crime is a burden that hinders their movement and causes discomfort in the form of heat or confinement.

That may be the case to some extent. However, it was worse in the days when knights wore a suit of armor. But it wasn’t as bad as you might think.

There is a persistent myth that has lasted for centuries that medieval suits of armor were so heavy that a fully armored knight who wanted to mount a horse by himself could not do so and needed help getting into the saddle.

Not too heavy

In fact, an expert on arms and armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City confirmed that suits of armor were not only so well made that the wearer could move easily, but the suits averaged in weight only some 50 to 55 pounds, no more weight than a modern fully equipped soldier hauls around.

Other misconceptions involving warfare in the Middle Ages are that the large swords used then were two-handed, and that longbow users carried their arrows in quivers on their backs.

The swords were actually balanced for use with one hand, and the English longbow man carried his arrows not after the fashion of Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, who evidently mistook American Indian practice for medieval custom, but rather in a sheaf tied loosely at the waist.

Target shooting

Speaking of archery, it is widely said and believed that the frontier American Indian would stand little chance in a target shooting competition with a modern archer.

Don’t bet on it. The only way to settle the argument is to send a modern archer out to kill a buffalo. From horseback, with no saddle, without a modern, fiberglass bow. It’s obvious that the Plains Indians were expert users of bows, arrows and spears. Their lives depended on it.

Lives are also at stake when law officers take to the streets. Without a doubt their chances for survival improve if they wear their soft body armor, regardless whether it does or does not cause some slight degree of discomfort.

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