Did any army in WW2 use body armor?

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Short answer is yes but not really

Longer answer is:

Almost all militaries had some form of body armour that they developed however most of the armour was designed around trench warfare not for mobile armies. Almost all Early designs had the soldier wearing steel plates covering vital areas that could stop slow moving bullets but we’re not effective against say sniper rounds or large caliber bullets.

Also the armour that most soldiers wore was restrictive, cumbersome and heavy which was not good for mobile units. Later in the war with advances in material heavy vests filled with dampening material were proved to be fairly effective against small arms fire but not heavy caliber bullets. The US military started playing with the precursor to flak jackets later in the war and the British had designed a light weight metal plate covered by fabric that soldiers found was flexible and relatively easy to move around however regardless of the design all suffered from the fact that they were not comfortable to wear for more than a few hours at a time as they became hot and chaffed badly and many cases do more harm to the person wearing it rather than protect him.

Good read can be found right here


I know there were flak vest (very heavy ones) used in the USAAF for bombers. But I am not sure how much they were used and how effective they were.


Aircrews and the US navy did use them as they were fairly effective against flak(which was low speed projectiles) but had little protection against bullets but like all other forms of protective gear of the time were hot and bulky to move in so were generally put on closer to their target


Soviet used these:

then there was this: