Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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6
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1answer
142 views

What was the actual cause of the disaster for the Royal Navy’s battlecruisers in the Battle of Jutland?

During the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916), the battlecruisers Invincible, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable exploded with only a few survivors; Lion was almost lost in a similar manner. This provoked the ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

After watching the BBC show The Last Kingdom, depicting conflicts between Saxons and Danes in the 800s AD, I was surprised by the multi-layered shield walls depicted. For example: or even: I had ...
1
vote
2answers
177 views

Has anyone survived triggering a bounding landmine?

I just watched an episode of the television series Flashpoint, where a member of the police force steps on the trigger of a "CR38 bounding mine." Has anyone survived triggering a bounding mine in ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

Why was there never a tachanka-style cannon or crossbow?

There seems to be a clear line of progression for many weapons. For example, in the west, crossbows were mounted on carts by the Roman empire, while in the east, they were mounted on camels. The ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Piece of cloth in bullets in pistols around the pirate age

While seeing the series Black sails, there's an episode where two guys face each other in a pistol duel. While preparing the weapons, it is clearly seen that the assistants put a piece of cloth ...
5
votes
1answer
292 views

What caused this cratering pattern at Hiroshima?

I was reading this article here, which includes an interesting photo of Hiroshima: The caption on the photo indicates that it was taken three weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped. The photo ...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

How much did a good sword cost in Medieval Western Europe?

I realize the title is probably too broad to answer, so I'll narrow it down a bit: Sword types: Viking swords, and/or Arming swords Quality: Pattern welded iron/steel, crucible (or pseudo-crucible) ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

U.S. weapon restrictions during 19th century

Prior to the 20th century, I'm curious as to how the 2nd amendment was understood: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and ...
9
votes
3answers
427 views

Why were swords used in battle?

I hope this isn't too general, but I am talking about any warfare before the invention of firearms. In a one vs one duel between sword and pole arm, it seems like the pole arm has significant ...
44
votes
11answers
13k views

Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?

The Germans had some of the best machine guns and tanks during World War II. Likewise, the Americans had a big advantage with the M1 Garand (which Patton famously called "The greatest battle implement ...
2
votes
1answer
388 views

What are Gottfried Juch Ferlach guns?

I have came into possession of a double barrel firearm, apparently for hunting. The only inscription it has is Gottfried Juch Ferlach. It is quite interesting, since it has some really beautiful ...
4
votes
2answers
281 views

Why didn't the Chinese repeating crossbow dominate?

Why didn't this devastating machine gun dominate the world? This fires faster than early musketeers.
18
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2answers
2k views

What was the tactical benefit of using flamethrowers as weapons?

I often hear stories of flamethrower troops storming the beaches of Iwo Jima and burning bunkers full of troops. But isn't it more risky to carry a tank of flammable liquid with limited fuel and ...
-3
votes
2answers
159 views

What impact did the rocket inventions of the German rockeeters have on WW2? [closed]

I'm a fourth year student in secondary school, I'm currently writing an essay regarding the Second World War, and would love to hear your thoughts on the question "What impact did the rocket ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Did electric weapons exist in Russia in the 1920s?

Reading "The fatal eggs" by Bulgakov, I was surprised by his reference to "electric revolvers". The novel is science fiction, but it is very much Jurassic park style. It plays in contemporary (for the ...
21
votes
3answers
5k views

What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
7
votes
2answers
257 views

Did the Thracian Rhomphaia ever clash with a Roman Gladius?

From what I understand, the Odrysian kingdom became a client state of Rome after the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC). Did the Thracians (Odrysian or otherwise) ever clash with the Romans in a ...
2
votes
4answers
508 views

From how far away could an experienced and skilled archer hit a man?

So I'm not asking about shooting into the enemy formation without specific target but targeting a single individual with a reasonable chance of success.
37
votes
6answers
6k views

Why did the Roman military start to favour swords over the spear phalanx?

Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, ...
4
votes
1answer
271 views

When did cavalry soldiers unsheathe swords?

Most movies depict cavalry's unsheathing of swords before a cavalry charge, far before their swords can ever be used. Is this authentic? The Young Winston (1972) exemplifies the above, but bizarrely....
6
votes
1answer
751 views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

When did civilians in Europe gain access to breech-loaded firearms?

I know European militaries started adopting breech-loaded firearms around the 1840s with the Prussians adopting the Dreyse needle gun. My question is about the civilians. When did the breech-loaded ...
3
votes
1answer
364 views

How was the naval battle of Guadalcanal affected by Japanese ships loading bombardment shells rather than Armor Piercing?

During the first Naval Battle of Guadalcanal an American flotilla of five cruisers and eight destroyers challenged a Japanese group of two battleships, one cruiser, and eleven destroyers that was ...
3
votes
0answers
114 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Were crossbows used by the Japanese?

Were crossbows used in any significant way by the Japanese? If so, what period and how were they fielded? I found some very brief references: Jonathan Clements' "A Brief History of the Samurai" ...
0
votes
2answers
194 views

Were naval mines an underutilized weapon in WW2? [closed]

Why did the Germans (and Allies for that matter) not devote more energy to the mining of enemy controlled waters (in the Med, British and North American waters for the Germans and Med, Baltic and ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

Anti-personnel use of blowguns

The wikipedia entry for blowguns currently states that blowguns were historically used to hunt small wild game and only rarely used as an anti-personnel armament. This made me wonder if there are any ...
15
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7answers
10k views

What is the longest effective range artillery weapon ever built?

What is the longest effective range artillery weapon ever built, regardless of wether it was actually used in combat?
10
votes
4answers
798 views

Mystery of the many-loaded muzzles

I recall, way back in high school, someone came to describe the American Civil War, show local artifacts, that sort of thing. I remember them mentioning that muzzle-loaded weapons had been found with ...
4
votes
1answer
662 views

Archers laying on their back, was it real?

I saw a movie called "The Hero" from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In one scene, many of the Chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Did a capital ship ever hit anything with a torpedo?

It seems WWI and inter-war ship designers went a bit torpedo mad, both in their fear of them and in their use, finally coming to their senses in the harsh realities of WWII. I've seen many examples ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

How come all the major WW1 rifles were bolt action?

The main disadvantage of bolt action is that one has to remove the right hand from the trigger which leads to slower rate of fire. Neither lever nor pump have this problem. Rate of fire was viewed as ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

Were slings used as melee weapons?

Slings were a common weapon in history. Cheap to construct and with ammo plentiful, they were very cost effective to field in great numbers. What I want to know is if there is any historical ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Where did the French revolutionists get their weapons?

I have learned in class that the main purpose of raiding the Bastille in 14 July 1789 was to acquire the weapons in the Bastille. There was only a few political prisoners held there. There were, on ...
3
votes
0answers
402 views

Why sabres replaced swords after middle age [closed]

After the middle age sabres almost completely replaced swords in the europe. I don't see any reason why sabres are superior to swords used before so why that happened? By swords used before I mean ...
2
votes
2answers
775 views

What field guns, howitzers and mortars were used by the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army during the 1971 war?

While the tank battles are better documented, the role of the field guns are not so well recorded (at least not in available documents). I know that 3.7 inch howitzers were part of the first artillery ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

Why did so many countries agree to the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

The Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 contains (among others) provisions that amount to the following: There are five countries (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China) that ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

Are there any remaining existant texts that describe the styles and techniques of Medieval European swordsmanship?

We have, in the modern day, no shortage of movies which feature characters from the Medieval period of European history engaged in combat, with swords, cavalry, and arrows. Do we have any historical ...
8
votes
2answers
667 views

Identify WW2 ammo

I found some ammo, which I think is from World War II. The cartridges are stamped WRA 42 and DEN 42. I do not know what the big piece is. It has a stamp: N2117 III Does anyone know what the big ...
5
votes
2answers
538 views

What was the standard pistol used in Yugoslavia during WWII?

I've looked into the firearms used during WWII, but I can't find what pistol was used by Yugoslavian infantry men at the time. What did they use?
9
votes
2answers
758 views

Which came first, the shield or the sword? [closed]

According to the history stated in Wikipedia: The oldest form of shield was a protection device designed to block attacks by hand weapons, such as swords, axes and maces, or ranged weapon ...
7
votes
7answers
1k views

At what point did Soviet armored units have qualitative parity with Wehrmacht armored units?

Was the T-26 a match for the Panzer II,III, and IV in the early stages of Barbarossa? The T-34 has been given a lot of credit as the tipping point where Soviet technology created a weapons platform ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Did any armies systemically favor axes/hammers over swords?

In fantasy literature there are plenty of examples of cultures (such as the Dwarves of Lord of the Rings) who favor axes or hammers above swords in combat. Did any historical army follow that pattern?...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

In Viking combat, how much damage was done using the shield?

A while back I was watching some show on cable that was centered on recreating ancient combat (sorry, don't recall which of the many clones it was). One thing they stressed was that Vikings did NOT ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it true that US tracer rounds were red and VC green during Vietnam war?

Quote from American Marine diary about tracers during vietnam: 0200 hours - Heavier fire coming in. Never had seen green tracers used against us. In a way, kind of pretty to look at, red ...
21
votes
6answers
3k views

Why were troops with bayonets often effective against enemy cavalry even though the bayonet was a “secondary” weapon?

The bayonet was introduced in the late 17th century as a knife (later a short sword) attached to a musket, to enable the musketeer to protect himself when reloading their single-shot weapons. As such, ...
9
votes
1answer
273 views

When did dueling with weapons become socially unacceptable in the western world?

Now in the modern days, the phrase "lets settle this like men" would imply a fist fight. Yet as little as 200 years ago, "settling it like men" would either involve swords or pistols; the fist was the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the UK buy some of its major military hardware from the USA while France is self-reliant?

UK: Trident missile. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. AgustaWestland Apache Boeing E-3 Sentry. Raytheon Sentinel some other examples In contrast, France isn't nearly as reliant on USA. Why did ...
12
votes
0answers
246 views

How many firearms were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA?

How many firearms in total were owned by civilian population between 1836 and 1912 in USA (cumulatively, not simultaneously)? The timeframe is what I would consider "Old West" timeframe, but starting ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How was Hitler able to rearm?

It seems that Germany must've been under incredible scrutiny especially by the British. How was Hitler able to rearm? Please provide specifics on personnel and weapons classes.