As early as the dawning of time armor plate of some sort whether animal hides or wood has been used to defeat weaponry. Dating back to the Ancient Greeks and civilizations around the world people have created some form of protectant body armor during battle. Whether this armor was an armor plate using layers of bronze or animal skin layered over to form fit a torso thereby creating protectant body armor. As civilizations became more advanced, wooden shields and then metal shields came into use. These shields became mobile armor plate or carried body armor as we reference today.
The Roman’s Legions under the command of Julius Caesar saw a change in armor plate and all Legionaries wore uniformed body armor and armor plate designed shield mixed with bronze or metal. The Romans changed their weaponry as well and developed a standing military force up unto that time the world had never seen. The end result was world power for hundreds of years. Body armor can be extremely effective in terms of a whole military force as proven by the Greeks and expanded by the Romans.
Eventually, metal was also seen in expansion to body armor, what we now refer to as the suit of armor associated with the knights of the Middle Ages. Shields used as armor plate were still in use but the history of body armor was changing. However, with the invention of firearms around 1500, metal body armor became ineffective.
As history has changed with the advancement of weapons and ballistics, body armor and armor plate material has also changed with it. As time goes on it maintains a constant race for the development of advanced weaponry and stronger armor to defeat it. After the invention of cannons and early rifles body armor and the technology to develop some form of armor plate seemed ineffective for the average soldier on the battlefield. The only form of armor plate that seemed to defeat the rifle and even canon fire was thick iron used as armor plate on the sides of naval vessels as this was seen on both sides of the American Civil War.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that armor plate made an amazing comeback and for the first time in history it seemed body armor for the average soldier and law enforcement was on the superior side.