TLDR: Armour is a protective covering used to protect people, animals, and vehicles from physical injury or damage. It has been used throughout history and has evolved from simple materials like leather and fabric to more advanced materials like metal and composites. Armour has played a significant role in warfare and has influenced the development of weapons and military tactics.
Armour, also known as armor, is a type of protective covering that is used to protect an object, individual, or vehicle from physical injury or damage. It is especially designed to protect against direct contact with weapons or projectiles during combat, as well as from potentially dangerous environments or activities. Personal armour is used to protect soldiers and war animals, while vehicle armour is used on warships, armoured fighting vehicles, and some combat aircraft.
The term "armour" originated from the Old French word "armure," which means "arms and/or equipment." It has been used since the Middle Ages to describe a defensive covering worn in combat. Armour has been made from a variety of materials throughout history, starting with leathers and fabrics and evolving into chain mail and metal plate. It has driven the development of important technologies, such as wood lamination, metal refining, and vehicle manufacture.
Armour has played a crucial role in the development of warfare and has influenced the design of weapons. It has been used by various cultures and civilizations, including the Romans, Japanese samurai, and European knights. In Europe, plate armour became popular during the medieval and Renaissance periods, providing extensive protection for knights. However, with the introduction of firearms, armour gradually became less effective and was eventually replaced by more advanced military technologies.
In modern times, armour is still used for protection in various contexts. Ballistic vests, also known as flak jackets, are commonly used by police forces, security staff, and military personnel. These vests are made of ballistic cloth and ceramic or metal plates to protect against bullets and projectiles. Vehicle armour is used in tanks and other military vehicles to protect against enemy fire. Aircraft also have armour to protect pilots and critical systems from ground fire.
Armour has also been used for animals, such as horses and elephants. Horse armour, also known as barding, has been used since ancient times to protect cavalry horses in battle. Elephant armour was introduced later and was made from hardened leather or metal plates.
Overall, armour has played a significant role in history and has evolved to meet the changing needs of warfare. It has influenced the development of weapons, military tactics, and protective gear. Today, armour continues to be used in various forms to provide protection in combat and other dangerous situations.