Help support TMP

"why use cuirasses if not bulletproof?" Topic

17 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Getting Started with Napoleonics Message Board

Action Log

26 Aug 2020 2:33 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "why use cuirasses if not bullit proof" to "why use cuirasses if not bulletproof?"

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

War Games Rules 1750 1850

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

The Amazing Worlds of Grenadier

The fascinating history of one of the hobby's major manufacturers.

Featured Workbench Article

Featured Profile Article

Land of the Free: Elemental Analysis

Taking a look at elements in Land of the Free.

Current Poll

Featured Book Review

1,049 hits since 25 Aug 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Sarge Joe26 Aug 2020 9:17 a.m. PST

in each pistol bullit proof? saw one in musee d armee


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 9:53 a.m. PST

In theory- it kind of depends on how close and how big the bullet

Plus I think they were thought to confer an advantage in hand to hand

Personal logo Unlucky General Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 10:46 a.m. PST

Lance proof and sabre proof at any range would be enough for me to want to wear one. I think we need to be cautious about the definition of bullet-proof. At a given range it would have been proof against musketry and pistol shot more so than bare skin or clothing – so still an advantage.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 11:02 a.m. PST

I do believe that in a melee with your primary opponents-- with extremely long and extremely sharp blades slashing all about very close, where even an accidental mishap could prove very serious-- a metal covering to protect a persons major organs could prove to be very profitable and at least give some sense of security and comfort?
Russ Dunaway

14Bore26 Aug 2020 11:49 a.m. PST

I would think even musket proof at 50 yards possibly, and certainly sword proof.
It would be interesting to know what gauge the curass was and have a few shots at range at one.

Sarge Joe26 Aug 2020 11:53 a.m. PST

just pistol bullit cal 12? the new style French carbri did not like yhem

Korvessa26 Aug 2020 12:16 p.m. PST

Wasn't there an incident where it was determined that French cuirassiers (who had font & back plates) had a significant advantage over Austrians who only had front?

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 12:23 p.m. PST

And they looked cool too……

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 1:19 p.m. PST

However, I would wager -- based on a few surviving examples -- that they would not do much to stop a cannonball ??

Russ Dunaway

RudyNelson26 Aug 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

I agree with those who point out the effectiveness against lances and blades. They would intimidate lighter cavalry and militia.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

A cavalryman wasn't worried about a musket ball – that was fired at his horse, a much bigger target. His problem was with the pistol of his commonest opponent, enemy cavalry. A good buff coat was considered proof against a sword but not against a pistol ball fired at close range in the melee.

MajorB26 Aug 2020 1:35 p.m. PST

Because they looked pretty!

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 3:14 p.m. PST

Isn't there a scene in the movie "Waterloo" where a young soldier is advised to aim for a cuirassier's armpit?

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 7:20 p.m. PST

Why not the face then ?

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2020 7:54 p.m. PST

I have seen the one with a cannon ball in the shoulder at the French army museum, kind of scary.

advocate27 Aug 2020 1:48 a.m. PST

"Did the Cuirassiers come up well at Waterloo?"
"Yes, and they went down well too".

Andrew Walters27 Aug 2020 8:11 a.m. PST

I'm sure they had a psychological effect on the wearer and the person they were skewering. That's not nothing.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.