Did you know that they used tin buttons on the uniforms for the Infantry in Napoleonic France? They did–at the waist of their trousers or breeches and on their coats.
The temperatures at night during the retreat from Moscow in late November of 1812 plummeted to -30C. And tin, when exposed to such temperatures, does something quite remarkable. It turns to powder.
The poor blighters couldn’t even keep their trousers up. Or their coats buttoned.