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Breastplate


The breastplate covers the torso, and is generally considered the most important piece of armor for a soldier to have. Strictly speaking, the term only refers to the front plate and there is the implication that there is no matching backplate. A suit of armor with both a breastplate and a backplate is called a cuirass. However, this is largely an academic distinction and these days the term breastplate and cuirass are often used interchangeably.

As long as armor has existed, so has the breastplate. They have been made out of leather, bronze, steel, and a host of other materials through the ages. The breastplate is sometimes accompanied by flexible overlapping strips of metal called faulds that cover the lower waist, hips, and upper legs. Some breastplates could also have a volant guard or a grand guard attached to the left shoulder protecting the neck, shoulder and chest.

Armor, General Term, History, Torso


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