These are mainly decorative armor of later times, which adorned the “leaders” of that time in parades and other “public events”. They were "beautifully decorated" with gold, silver and other silk "tinsel". It is clear that all this beauty in battle could suffer greatly. And the armor in the good old days were valued and passed down from generation to generation. Both decorative and fighting.
The real armor at different times was very different. They represented a protective part of military technology. The other component is the weapon (swords, axes, etc.). So, the armor defended against the blow and the shot with the enemy's weapon. And this very weapon in different times and among different nations was very different.
The heavier the swords and axes were (the latter in Western Europe could resemble our sledgehammers), the stronger the armor had to be. And all this military technology depended wholly and completely on the development of metallurgy in a particular place and at a specific time. The more iron was mined, the cheaper it was, the more and more often it was used in the war.
Although, in the end, this whole arms race was limited to the mere physical strength of a trained person. The amount of iron was also determined by the warrior's wealth and the real threat. The archer, who did not enter into a direct clash, had light armor, and the heavy trooper of Western Europe was very massive.
The ultimate in armor was the tournament armor of the knights of Western Europe. They could weigh so much that it was difficult to get on a horse. But their goal was to preserve the life of an “athlete”. Such safety measures. But to turn in them was problematic, and they were not suitable for war.
The most primitive armor was leather armor. Their fortress was enough to protect against the indirect blow of a light sword, an arrow. The shields were made of woven reed and skinned with leather. For many millennia this was enough.
But the development of metallurgy turned everything upside down. Heavy swords, spears, axes appeared. There is a need for strong armor. The armor protection of ancient Greek hoplites was such that the phalanx built rather resembled a modern tank. Hoplites "dressed up" in heavy breastplates, powerful helmets, had heavy durable shields. But the basis of their strength (here they are, military technology!) Was the construction. Elongated spears of several back rows protruded from the front row of the warriors, which led to an increase in the “penetrating” power of the entire phalanx.
Middle Ages and New Time
We usually think that every warrior had something iron on him. Chainmail, cuirass, lamellar armor. Particularly fond of dressing up soldiers like filmmakers. But, unfortunately, lovers of knights in shining armor, the bulk of the soldiers were "dressed up" a little differently. The picture is especially vivid in the Chinese clay warriors guarding the peace of the first emperor. They dug up relatively recently in China. Many of them have lamellar armor with square elements. But such - a minority. The rest is just in the “warm coats”.
All this is characteristic of medieval Europe, including Russia. If the war was a feud of a pair of princes, then only their "gangs" of warriors, armed with the latest word "technology" of that time, participated in it. In serious ethnic conflicts, the bulk of the participants were simple warriors, equipped either at their own expense or at the expense of their lord (who likes to spend money on their lackeys?).
And these simple warriors had money only for a simple quilted robe (padded jacket). Often, metal plates were sewn into this quilted jacket in critical areas. Scraps of chain mail could also be sewn. Needle for invention was always cunning. This kind of protection was later called Kuyak. There were also more advanced knight suits, with well-made plates attached to velvet or good cloth. But this is for the rich and famous. Headdress Kuyaka was the same. Quilted hat with sewn plates.
But the richly decorated and heavily forged shells (as well as chain mail and Bakhterians) nobles also donned not on their naked bodies and thin beautiful shirts. Armor was worn on the same quilted “padded jackets”, tight enough to the body.
In a later time during the period of the firearm, metal cuirass was also worn on thick cloth vestments. In the 19th century, they were worn not by ordinary infantrymen, but by elite units of cuirassiers and dragoons.
It would seem, where can we have armor in our “hard” times? Bullets, fragments, nuclear bombs ...
But no. Armor is around us. After all, protection is needed not only from bullets (and for them there are bulletproof vests, armored ties and other items of clothing). Protection is needed both from a falling brick at a construction site, and from a flying puck on a hockey rink.
And rescues us again all the same jacket. More than one thousand years. And at the construction site, and at the factory, and on the sports field. Only painted "kuyachnye" jackets motorcycle raiders are worth. Under the hockey flaps, too, is a soft gasket.
And on the head, as always, a helmet. Or a helmet, anyone that. At the construction site under this very helmet wearing a balaclava. A peculiar kuyachny cap, quilted, soft and warm.
Alas, warmth is not the main feature of all soft armor, rather a side and not always desirable. The main thing is to soften the blow, its distribution over a larger surface.
This is how the millennia pass, the technologies change. Leather is replaced by Kevlar, bronze - by steel, and then by titanium. And the protection is still the same. Moreover, the most optimal in terms of price and protective properties remains a padded jacket. Let us recall at least the "Associate Professor" from "Gentlemen of Fortune." He also wore a hat with earflaps, quilted with cotton.
Such clothes will save both from falling and from hitting with a heavy object, and weaken the blow of a knife. And reinforcing elements made of metal or plastic, if necessary, complement the "soft" armor.
To be continued…