Two photos, taken about a century apart, serve as a reminder, at least to me, that despite all the technological “advances” that have changed the way war is waged, some things haven’t really changed at all.
The top picture was released today by the Reuters news agency to accompany a story about the raging battle to liberate Mosul from ISIS control. Note the body armor of the Iraqi soldier taking aim from the behind the cover an armored personnel carrier as his unit engages ISIS fighters in the eastern districts of Mosul.
Now check out the second picture and the armor worn by these members of a German trench raiding party from World War I. The resemblance, to my eye, is uncanny.
I could add a third picture of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard Cuirassiers in their gleaming steel breastplates, or a fourth of similarly clad English pikemen from that country’s civil war a century earlier, but it’s not really necessary. The point would be the same.
Even in the age of gunpowder, as technology has progressed from the fusil, to the musket, to today’s modern infantry assault weapon, a bit of armor between yourself and the enemy can seem a prudent choice.