Breaking

Captured Soviet soldier dressed in SN-42 body armor, 1944


Portrait of a young Soviet prisoner of war in a steel breastplate SN-42 made of 2 mm steel (.08″) and weighing 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) captured by Finnish soldiers during the Finnish-Soviet Continuity War.

A testament to the effectiveness of the breastplate, the young soldier was shot three times in the chest and suffered no damage. Image taken near Syskyjärvi, Karelia, Finland (now, Syskyuyarvi, Republic of Karelia, Russia), July 15, 1944.

The SN-42 (Russian: stalanoi nagrudnik - steel bib) is a type of body armor developed by the Red Army in World War II. The original Cyrillic abbreviation for the vest was "СН". It consisted of two pressed steel plates that protected the front fuselage and groin.

The BIB SN-42 was designed to protect against bayonet attacks, short shrapnel, and 9 mm pistol bullets with lead cores, protection from fire from the MP-38/40 submachine gun from a range of 100–150 m. Provides, and one shot from a 7.92×57mm Mauser rifle (like the Gwehr 41), but on condition that the bullet went tangent.

Following the adoption of the Wehrmacht on the supply of 9 mm cartridges, cartridge code R.08 mE (German: MIT Eisen Kern), with a bullet with a mild steel (iron) core, required the thickness to be increased to 2.6 mm. Chest plate (2.5 - 2.7 mm). This redesign received the name SN-46.

Estimates of the plates' performance from frontline soldiers were mixed, receiving both positive and negative feedback. Unit commanders and soldiers said the breastplate worked well in street fighting and other types of close quarter combat, and was a good and reliable method of protection against bayonets, bullets, and shrapnel, in addition to a steel helmet.

It is also necessary to indicate the morale value of the breastplate. The soldiers, armed with breastplates, who had experienced their credibility, went into battle calmly and confidently. However, in an area where attacking teams often had to crawl out breastplates, it was just an unnecessary burden.

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