This has been bugging me for some time: Why would any military organisation in their right mind ever use an army of soldiers in full-body armor, including helmets that completely cover their faces? As the title suggests, I’m thinking of the stormtroopers. To me, stuffing them into such an armor sounds extremely counterproductive, for the following reasons:
They block your senses, both your vision and hearing, your two most important allies on the battlefield. In particular, we have their aiming issues and the total uslessness of the sights on their rifles.
It is close to impossible to distinguish the soldiers from each other, even for the soldiers themselves. Even if they learn to recognise each other from their way of moving, the process of identifying the soldiers in your squad and your superior officers is extremely difficult and time-consuming in an already tense battle situation. It does make sense for a terror regime to try to suppress individuality in its soldiers, but limiting their ability to cooperate effectively does not sound like the right appoach to me. Even the Nazis did not go that far. In The Force Awakens, there seem to be some markings on the superior officers’ shoulders, but not in the original trilogy, and in any case, it would only solve some of the problem.
It is extremely easy for the enemy to disguise themselves as stormtroopers, as happens in A New Hope with great success.
The armor is likely to be an unnecessary expense for an already expensive million man army. What about using an ordinary, cheap uniform? That is usually enough to suppress the individual in most armies.
One of its purposes, according to Wookieepedia, is to protect the soldiers against harsh enviromments. Yet they are never seen in any such environment at any time during the films, and it is very doubtful whether they operate in such climates often enough to justify packing every single soldier into a full-body armor. Of what purpose is such an armor on the Death Star?
It seems like extremely bad camouflage, unless you are on an icy planet.
Are there actual examples of similar armies in full-body armor in the galaxy not very far away? (EDIT: Just to be clear, what I mean by this is from Planet Earth.)