Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
20 votes
4 answers
6k views

When would one carry a sword on a shoulder with grip upwards?

Usually, swords are depicted as being kept in scabbard on the back or by the hip - like this or this. It got me curious when I saw videos of swords carried on a shoulder and held by the blade - with ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

Was it ever common to carry backup flintlock pistols into battle? [closed]

I've been replaying Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag recently and I noticed part of the game's progression involves carrying more and more pistols on your character. At the game's highest tier, having ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
102 views

What was the difference between bows/crossbows in the Carolingian Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate in the year 813?

Context: Two characters are teasing each other about what they view to be the "superior" form of ranged combat. One's from the Carolingian Empire (Lombardy region specifically), and the ...
user avatar
  • 31
28 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did Age of Sail fighting vessels have any anti-spall technology?

In the paper The injuries of four centuries of naval warfare, the author describes how flying wood splinters caused by cannon balls striking a ship's hull were a major cause of injury to ship's crews. ...
user avatar
  • 830
3 votes
2 answers
479 views

What were the cost of comparable aircraft?

When comparing military equipment, little attention is paid to cost, at least in the popular resources (obviously, military establishments pay close attention to how much they are paying!) E.g., there ...
user avatar
  • 25.6k
0 votes
3 answers
591 views

Which kingdoms were using WWI weapons at the time of the second world war?

Which kingdoms, little dictatorships and all sorts of fiefdom had World War 1 armor (and nothing more modern) at the time of the second war? I bet there was a lot because after the First World War all ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
258 views

What did whistling bombs actually sound like?

Apparently some WWII-era bombs had whistles built into their design, so that they would whistle as they fell. Often, for example in Looney Tunes cartoons, this is depicted as a whistle that gradually ...
user avatar
  • 213
7 votes
2 answers
585 views

Was throwing hammers as weapons common during European medieval combat?

I'm doing some research into the weapons of Dungeons and Dragons, and one of them is a 'light' hammer that you can throw. The description says it weighs 2lbs, if that helps narrow it down. I don't ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
312 views

Was there any sort of medieval defensive contraption which dropped rocks on attackers?

I was wondering if there's any evidence of such a contraption in the Middle Ages? I'm imagining this as a cousin to the catapult; instead of catapulting rocks on attackers, they simply drop rocks on ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
280 views

Did anyone use pikes wielded by multiple people?

GURPS is a tabletop roleplaying game, like Dungeons and Dragons. In the Low Tech expansion, pages 9-10, it includes rules for two-man pikes; pikes so long they take two people to use effectively. I ...
user avatar
  • 1,918
-4 votes
1 answer
106 views

What are some items still existing today that were involved in the most killings?

I was reading recently about how there are sacrificial altars in Mayan culture which over the course of their lifetime of usage probably had several thousands of people sacrificed on them individually....
user avatar
  • 101
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did the Metall und Lackierwarenfabrik company get asked to bid on the creation of the MG42?

The MG42. A very iconic machine gun built during World War 2. Known for its high rate of fire, three man operating squad and its ability to suppress advancing troops, was built by Metall und ...
user avatar
  • 2,315
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was the 1977 sale of a submarine to Indonesia controversial in Germany at the time?

In April 2021, the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala sunk with all hands. The submarine was sold by Germany in 1977 (contract signed, manufacture finished in 1981). Just two years before order, ...
user avatar
  • 4,683
0 votes
1 answer
157 views

Does anyone know anything on the history or any other information on this dagger? [closed]

(click to enlarge) Looking for information on this dagger: its history, value or anything anyone can provide.
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
203 views

Has a reenactment of the firing of a carcass projectile ever been filmed?

From a Scientific American blog, on a "carcass" round: an explosive mortar shell (developed by the French) wrapped with incendiary material, this round was fully engulfed in flame after ...
user avatar
  • 197
6 votes
1 answer
431 views

Is the use of flamethrower style naval weapons depicted in this game accurate?

In the popular strategy game Age of Empires 2, one key naval unit is the so-called Fire Ship. Fire ships in the game use a siphon to launch a continuous stream of fire projectiles on the enemy. ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
433 views

Is there art or written evidence of crescent shaped arrows being used for bird-hunting in Medieval Europe?

I have heard it said that crescent arrows were used for hunting birds in medieval Europe. I could not find any art or literary evidence for it, though. The art I found for bird hunting generally ...
user avatar
  • 575
3 votes
1 answer
158 views

During the American Civil war did gunboats range far into enemy territory?

In other words during the American civil war did the “front line” or enemy held territory act as a barrier to the passage of gunboats up and down rivers? Or was it possible for any to move deep into ...
user avatar
  • 187
2 votes
1 answer
564 views

Did French troops use chemical weapons during the Siege of Laghouat in 1852?

During the Siege of Laghouat in Algeria, the French army massacred around 3627 civilians. Many sources suggest that the colonial army also used chemical weapons in that confrontation. However in these ...
user avatar
  • 147
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Aboriginal Australians know slings?

Did Aboriginal Australians know slings? Search on scholar.google did not find anything and Google only showed this photo of 1940, so they could get this idea from Europeans. If they knew slings that ...
user avatar
  • 331
5 votes
6 answers
802 views

Was the tide of war ever turned by a wonder weapon?

There seems to be a repeating topos in history, where powers on the loosing side of a war try to turn its tide by inventing new, secret and/or super weapons. The misguided hope seems to be that these ...
user avatar
  • 996
-2 votes
1 answer
215 views

Did they use flying drones around 1925 for warfare?

In the Soviet sci-fi film "Napoleon-gas" (1925) they use radio-controlled flying drones for air warfare. Here is the timed link to this place in the film. I wonder if this is a pure sci-fi ...
user avatar
  • 31.9k
21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why did it take so long for the Germans to develop the first tank model in World War I?

World War I still featured a lot of trench warfare due do a lack of mobility that placed an advantage upon the defender. When the British managed to invent the first tank, that seemed like an ...
user avatar
  • 1,127
2 votes
1 answer
338 views

Is there evidence this weapon existed? [closed]

Recently, I came across different medias depicting the same weapon: what looks like a lance blade with a staff of an approximately equivalent length. The most known example would be the spear of ...
user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
1 answer
245 views

What was this weapon (or its mechanism), that Iraq was accused of having in the 1990's, called?

Back in the 1990's Iraq was accused of having a missile-based weapon system that could deliver a mist of toxic gas over a large area through a two-phase explosion. In the scenario that was painted in ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
808 views

What is the purpose of this Roman siege tactic as shown in this Illustration?

When browsing Wikipedia, I came across this illustration that displays some of well known siege weapons of Roman empire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_engine#/media/File:Roman_siege_machines.gif ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
337 views

In the Middle Ages - 18th century, how long would it take for a blacksmith forge a regular farming scythe to a war scythe?

Whenever I look up how long it took for a blacksmith to certain tools or weapons, I just get information on forging swords. Let's say a peasant is trying to make his scythe efficient for self-defense ...
user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
781 views

Did the 1st Marine Division use the M3 carbine on Okinawa?

I wanted to know if the 1st Marine Division used the M3 infrared sniper carbine on Okinawa during World War II.
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
721 views

What was the meaning of Samnite swastika?

I was recently reading about the Samnite Wars and since I wanted to have better image of how soldiers on both sides during the period looked I googled images of Roman and Samnite warriors and one of ...
user avatar
  • 699
1 vote
0 answers
160 views

When is the last time a trebuchet was used in combat? [closed]

When was a trebeuchet or any similar weapons (such as an onager, mangonel, catapult) last used in combat? My guess is that they were replaced by the cannon in the gunpowder age. But I know the cannon ...
user avatar
  • 2,103
-2 votes
1 answer
173 views

Were eastern weapons ever seen in medieval Europe and western weapons ever seen in medieval Asia? [closed]

Like could some trader in medieval France be selling a katana or urumi amongst his wares that he obtained in his travels? Could a merchant in Japan have a zweihander or flamberge in his collection?
user avatar
26 votes
6 answers
13k views

How did archers judge distance before range finders?

Before electronics, was there a method for judging distance in archery? What methods were used historically? How were combat archers trained to judge distances?
user avatar
23 votes
6 answers
5k views

Who was the last European king to actively engage in combat?

Specifically, I would like to know who the most recent European monarch (or monarchs, if they lived roughly at the same time) is that actively engaged in combat whilst reigning: that is, used a sword, ...
user avatar
  • 5,052
1 vote
1 answer
319 views

What kind of rifle used this shell case?

Please, anyone able to tell me what kind of shell is it and what mean this symbol on the bottom ? Is it from 1917?
user avatar
  • 11
-2 votes
1 answer
292 views

In which instances in history did an attacker ask the attackee to borrow some of their ammunition in order to continue the fight?

I read on https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peter_Tordenskjold&oldid=937200048#Court-martial: In 1714, Wessel was court-martialled after an indecisive sea battle with a Swedish frigate....
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
498 views

Why did Sidewinder missiles score so well before Vietnam?

In the Wikipedia article about the Second Taiwan Strait crisis that the USA had provided Taiwan air forces with Sidewinder missiles. During clashes with PLA's air force, Sabre equipped with the ...
user avatar
  • 5,148
14 votes
2 answers
941 views

How "successful" were WWII pigeon-guided missiles?

In World War II, a prototype missile guidance system was developed in Project Pigeon, whereby a pigeon's pecks (or pecks by multiple pigeons) would be used to guide a missile. Test runs were ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
668 views

Can anyone identify this possibly Czechoslovak uniform?

I have this photo of my Great Grandfather Antonin Hošek and his wife Elisabeth Hofrichter with my Grandma as a baby Alzběta Hošková. I am trying to find out more about my family's past and I'd love to ...
user avatar
  • 73
3 votes
1 answer
326 views

Were any tactical missiles used during the 1971 Indo Pakistan war?

During the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971, some Sidewinder and Atoll missiles were used in the air. The SA 2 guidline was used by the Indian side as SAM, and on sea the Indian navy struck Pakistani bases ...
user avatar
  • 5,148
7 votes
7 answers
1k views

What weapon systems have come and gone very quickly?

Looking at Battle of Tsushima, 1905, something that struck me was And finally, by 27 May 1905, Admiral Tōgō and his men had two battleship fleet actions under their belts, which amounted to over ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
776 views

In the 19th century, do we know how armor changed with respect to guns of the time?

I know that the 19th century was relatively peaceful in Europe according to Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_warfare#Land_warfare) Interestingly, industrial technology has aided in ...
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
135 views

How effective were arrow-firing guns?

In the Europe, briefly after the appearance of firearm, gun-fired arrows made their appearance, but very soon after, the ball projectiles became standard ammunition used in both cannons and handgonnes ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
664 views

Did some Nazi death camp guards use Lee Enfield rifles?

I was watching the Netflix series The Devil Next Door and there was was video footage of a Nazi death camp. What was strange was that one of the guards appeared to be wielding a Lee Enfield No4 rifle ...
user avatar
  • 173
53 votes
5 answers
22k views

Did it take 3 minutes to reload a musket when the second amendment to the US constitution was ratified?

The NPR News podcast and video Beto O'Rourke Wants To Ban, Confiscate Some Guns. Texas Voters Want Details (about 6.5 minutes long) contains the following assertion by Congressman O'Rourke: In under ...
user avatar
  • 1,739
2 votes
0 answers
308 views

What did a tournament sword made of whale bone (baleen) look like?

I accidentally found this information from the Wikipedia page Boiled leather: The word cuirass for a breastplate indicates that these were originally made of leather.[11] In the Late Middle Ages, ...
user avatar
  • 1,023
-1 votes
1 answer
336 views

Was the Horo Cavalry "Balloon cloak" effective?

Was the Horo Cavalry Balloon cloak effective? and if so is there a European/Non Japanese Variant? My understanding is to defend against arrowfire positioning armor away from the body is ...
user avatar
  • 790
49 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why couldn't soldiers sight their own weapons without officers' orders?

The 4th bullet here contends Gen. Joubert viewed the aftermath of the battle and noted that the British rifles were sighted at 400-600 yards when the battle raged at about 50-100 yards, as the ...
user avatar
-3 votes
3 answers
712 views

Why did officers fire revolvers with just one hand, while wielding a sword in the other hand despite being too far away to use swords?

Please see screenshots below, the officers marked by my green arrows at 32:35, 1:04:23, 1:07:52. In both scenes, both officers are obviously too far from the enemy to use their swords. Why didn't ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
320 views

Did some chemical weapons from the military end up in private hands after WWI?

It is a common, well-documented knowledge, that chemical weapons were widely used during the Great War. It is also quite common knowledge, that soldiers like to take "souvenirs" from the battlefield - ...
user avatar
  • 3,118
1 vote
0 answers
363 views

What was the largest battle axe used in battle?

What was the largest battle axe used in battle? By largest, I mean probably just heaviest. I managed to find a post on quora about the heaviest weapon that didn't have a great answer.
user avatar

1
2 3 4 5