Author Topic: African Armored Infantry  (Read 260 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Saxon with a Seax

  • Veteran
  • *
  • An Anglo-Australian of proud Cornish Descent
    • View Profile
  • Faction: Vaegir
African Armored Infantry
« on: September 04, 2019, 12:54:29 PM »
Hey everyone. I just had a question about how common it was for infantrymen in Pre-Colonial Sub-Saharan Africa to wear body armor. Now I know that in the Sahelian states it was quite common for cavalrymen to wear various forms of armour, from padded cloth to chain mail and even iron cuirasses.

      
   
I also know that in the Kingdom of Benin, noblemen (who fought as infantry) would wear armor made from materials such as padded basketwork, pangolin scales or coral beads.

      

However, I am unsure whether this armor was commonly worn in battle or if it was purely ceremonial? I would also like to know if other African peoples made use of armored infantrymen? The only other reference I could find was of Balui pirates on the Ubangui river (in the modern day DRC) wearing leather armor, and I could only find that reference in the army lists for a wargame called "Death in the Dark Continent".
Thank you for any replies

matmohair1

  • Marquis
  • *
  • LEGENDS NEVER DIE!
    • Steam - matmohair1
    • View Profile
    • Matmohair1's War Cries and Banners
  • Faction: Sarranid
  • WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Re: African Armored Infantry
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 04:43:40 PM »
 :wink: Ceramonial armor is a misleading concept, all societies with access
to armor would use it on both the battlefield and in ceremony. In many
occasions armor was mostly available only to those who can afford it
like kings, chieftains, nobility, elite troops and guards ... etc.
As a result, it was more often adopted by cavalry, than infantry.

(click to show/hide)

Moreover, African modes of warfare didn't require a lot armor. Wide scale deployment
of armories requires metal sources via mining or trade, and outside pressures
to adapt to more brutal forms of combat, which is why armored troops were more
commonly seen in the East and North of the continent, rather than in Sub-Saharan Africa...

(click to show/hide)

African Armor Timeline (updated)

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2019, 03:33:00 PM by matmohair1 »

Potatokat

  • Knight at Arms
  • *
  • To lance couch or not to lance couch
    • View Profile
  • Faction: Swadian
  • MP nick: Norsestar
Re: African Armored Infantry
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 01:54:41 PM »
Those are very cool armour!  :D

matmohair1

  • Marquis
  • *
  • LEGENDS NEVER DIE!
    • Steam - matmohair1
    • View Profile
    • Matmohair1's War Cries and Banners
  • Faction: Sarranid
  • WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Re: African Armored Infantry
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 09:55:35 AM »
Ashanti, Melnikov A.V. Para bellum! No. 22, 2004

 :arrow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashanti_Empire

(click to show/hide)

Jihad and the creation of Fulbe states in West Africa.
Melnikov A.V. "Para bellum!" No. 28, 2007

 :arrow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fula_jihads

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 02:37:46 PM by matmohair1 »