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From my point of view, it seems that a soldier armed with a full metal plate armor was almost invulnerable at the time their opponents yielded swords, spears or bows. I understand that it couldn't be the case, but I'm not sure about the physics behind it.

More specifically:

  1. How could an archer beat this soldier? Would it matter whether the archer aimed at more vulnerable spots at the soldier, or any arrow shooted with full power would do?

  2. How could a swordsman or a spearman beat this soldier? Would the impact of these weapons suffice?

  3. Just out of curiosity, a modern gun would penetrate into the plates that easily? One headshot would do?

I'm thinking on a soldier wearing an armor like this one below, or even more bulkier.

Italian suit of Armor, c.1450[1]

[1] Courtesy of Wikipedia

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closed as off-topic by DavePhD, John Rennie, BMS, Kyle, user6972 May 17 at 16:27

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thought experiment only: put a metal pot on your head, and have a "friend" hit the pot with a sledge hammer. Just a layer of metal, even if it is impenetrable, won't protect from concussion. –  DavePhD May 17 at 14:27

1 Answer 1

A crossbow would easily penetrate the armor. The bolt has more kinetic energy than a 45 magnum.

Long bows might penetrate the armor, especially the thinner areas.

Wielding a sword is tiring. Most people would need to rest after 15 minutes, warriors might go 30 minutes before needing to rest. When you are tired, you make mistakes and leave yourself vulnerable to your opponent.

I don't know how a spear would do against the armor.

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