Arms and Armour

Arms and Armour played very important roles in the history of Warriors of the past.Warriors of the past attacked with slashing swords, sharp spears, flying arrows, deadly axes and crushing clubs. All of these arms or weapons could kill, so fighters protected themselves with amour: Tough covering of wood, leather, or metal. The invention of firearms in the 14th century made Armour useless. Because metal plate’s thick enough to deflect bullets were too heavy to wear. BY the 16th century, arms and armour were strictly for show. Modern soldiers may still wear shiny breastplates and carry swords or spears on parade, but they swap them for guns and bullet proof vests on the battlefield.


The simplest arms – clubs – are extensions of a fighter’s fist, delivering a knock-out punch from a greater distance. Most hand arms, however, aim to wound by cutting the body. Swords, daggers and lances do this for hand-to-hand fighting. Arrows and boomerangs do this from a distance, killing or injuring foes that may be almost out of sight.


A suit of armour had to protect against weapons, yet it also had to be comfortable enough to wear all day. Different cultures used various materials, such as leather or metal, to achieve these aims. Thus arms and armour played very important roles in the history of Warriors of the past.

Japanese Samurai:

Samurai armour was made of many small metal or leather scales laced together with colored silks. Armour became more decorative when firearms removed its protective value.

Benin Warrior:

Soldiers of this great 15th century African empire wore heavily quilted garments as armour. Light bamboo shield were easy to carry and protected warriors from glancing blows from iron tipped spears or javelins.

European Knight:

Knights wore chain mail (linked metal rings) to protect them. In the 14th century, armourers introduced metal plates (plate armour) for extra protection.

European Knight:

Knights wore chain mail (linked metal rings) to protect them. In the 14 th century, mourners introduced metal plates (Plate armour) for extra protection.

Defensive Weapons:

Shields are used for deference. Prehistoric hunters may have invented them as camouflage when hunting. Later fighters strapped shields to their left arms to fend off sword cuts. Wood and leather shields were light and strong enough to deflect all but a direct sword thrust.

Attacking Weapons:

Over the centuries, warriors have used various weapons for different kinds of fighting. Sabres (Curved swords) delivered the deadliest curs, but straight swords were better for thrusting strokes. Clubs and axes have to be heavy and sharp yet short enough to swing easily. Small, easily hidden daggers were often used for secret assassinations.

Animal Armour:

African horse armour, such that of the Fulani people of West Africa was quilted cotton stuffed with kapok. During battle, horses also wore chain mail across the flanks and around the head. In Europe, metal horse armour was expensive and knights often armoured only their horse’s heads.

Modern Armour:

Artificial fabric, such as nylon, provides soldiers and police officers with more protection than thick metal armour. Bullet – proof vests are made of 16 or more layers of nylon. A bullet fattens when it hits the outer. Layers, lower layers slow it down so that the wearer is bruised, rather than killed or seriously injured.

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