Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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1
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0answers
64 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 ...
-2
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1answer
106 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?
26
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5answers
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?
22
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7answers
4k 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, ...
1
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1answer
184 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?
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1answer
188 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....
3
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1answer
299 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 ...
14
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2answers
451 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 ...
2
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1answer
224 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 ...
3
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1answer
245 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 ...
3
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7answers
852 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 ...
4
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2answers
368 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 ...
2
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0answers
108 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 ...
1
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3answers
378 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 ...
53
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5answers
16k 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 ...
2
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0answers
166 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, ...
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1answer
184 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 ...
48
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2answers
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 ...
-3
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3answers
534 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 ...
2
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2answers
296 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 - ...
1
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0answers
165 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.
1
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1answer
396 views

Were non-firing replica firearms ever made to the same standards of fit, finish, and from the same materials as a functioning firearm?

The term replica firearm has an imprecise meaning. It covers everything from functioning firearms that look like historical weapons to toys that simply have the appearance of an historical or ...
5
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2answers
305 views

When did Mesoamericans stop using their native weapons?

Indigenous warriors of today's Mexico used atlatl spear-throwers and obsidian-bladed hand weapons such as tepoztopilli and macuahuitl. According to Bernal Díaz del Castillo, these arms were formidable ...
5
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1answer
232 views

What is this 18th or 19th century muzzle gun recently used in a robbery?

The spanish newspaper describes the weapon, incorrectly IMHO as a "trabuco" (blunderbuss). I ask for a more accurate description. https://lacronicadesalamanca.com/196620-detenido-en-aldeatejada-tras-...
1
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1answer
260 views

How common was gun ownership by Londoners in the early 20th century?

By Londoners, I mean laypeople in London, England. I was reading about the Tottenham Outrage on Wikipedia which mentions policeman borrowing pistols from bystanders or the public three times, which ...
1
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0answers
116 views

helmet change from Greek to Macedon, Rome and Medieval period

Why did Roman helmets not cover the mouth like their greek counterparts? Did individual soldiers need to shout commands? Same for companion calvary Boeotian helmet vs that of medieval knights.
9
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2answers
997 views

Were railway guns ever critical in any battle during WWI and WWII?

Note: this is a question about railway - mounted artillery, NOT about armored trains (which were more akin to tanks-on-rails and had much smaller guns) The idea behind railway gun is quite sound: a ...
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0answers
163 views

Can you help identify a pistol believed to be Ottoman Empire (Turkish)?

Trying to identify a pistol believed to be Ottoman Empire (Turkish
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2answers
318 views

Can anyone identify this sword, believe to be Ottoman Empire (Turkish)?

I am trying to identify a sword believe to be Ottoman Empire (Turkish).
4
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2answers
890 views

Were bricks instead of bombs occasionally thrown out of war planes in WWI?

I remember reading in a school textbook or perhaps hearing my history teacher tell the story of how bricks instead of bombs were occasionally thrown out of war planes in WWI, perhaps because of ...
6
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2answers
4k views

How long ago was the yo-yo first used as a weapon?

How long ago was the yo-yo first used as a weapon?
4
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2answers
537 views

Did ancient Greeks harden steel weapons?

Let's limit this question to the Classical period (c. 5th-4th centuries BC) Did Greeks harden their iron swords, spearheads, arrowheads etc. before putting them into use? Was hardening technology ...
2
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1answer
347 views

In WW2, what was the barrel-change rate of the Bofors 40-mm?

I was just reading about the 37-mm 70K Naval gun that the Soviet Navy used for AA. I wanted to see how it compared to the Bofors 40-mm. These were both guns used on naval ships for anti-aircraft ...
12
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4answers
3k views

Why would a rifleman have his bayonet fixed to the rifle in a non-combat situation?

Similar to hand-to-hand blades, I would expect bayonets to be sheathed in a non-combat situation, to avoid damaging/dulling the blade and hurting the people around. However, it appears that (at least)...
4
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0answers
170 views

Samurai blade honing during wartime

I was wondering, regardless of the type of blade, how did samurais keep their blade effective when they are away from any sharpening tools / professionals. Coming from daily using a Japanese chef ...
6
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1answer
222 views

What mesoamerican culture used long, “pike-like” spears?

A while back, I read about some Mesoamerican tribe or culture that armed many of its warriors with extremely long spears, that either the Spanish invaders or the article I read itself compared to the ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Why didn't Syria operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank?

Given that Syria operated numerous Nazi-era vehicles during the Cold War, why didn't it operate the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank? Syria acquired plenty of Panzer IVs, including some from France. ...
6
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1answer
528 views

How many javelins would a Thracian Peltast carry into battle?

According to the Wikipedia page on Thracian Peltasts, they carried several javelins with them. I am just wondering how many could they realistically carry into battle. Also, would they run back to ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Mass distribution of the Macedonian Sarissa pike

As a physics student, I am currently writing an independent assignment about applications of continuum mechanics (the study of waves, deformation, and stress in objects), in this assignment, I have ...
3
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2answers
537 views

With no heavy infantry, how could melee units be effective, facing competition from ranged units?

Arrows can sometimes even penetrate heavy armor. Yet, as far as I'm aware, Egyptians or Persians did not have heavy infantry, but only had light units. In light of this, I am uncertain how could the ...
2
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2answers
591 views

How effective were archers/ slingers / skirmishers in Greek, Roman and Medieval Period?

So it seemed that from the accounts of Thermopelea, Roman military strategy of waiting out an arrow storm, and Knights holding out for hours behind a shield wall during the first crusade it ...
12
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5answers
3k views

Did any age of sail ship have a “back-bone cannon”?

Did any age of sail ship have a "back-bone cannon"? What I mean by "backbone-cannon" is a cannon too large/heavy to be carried other than by having the ship being essentially built around it. This ...
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1answer
338 views

What is the name of the weapon shown in the image below? [closed]

I am looking for the proper name of the sword in the image below. I was not sure which stack exchange site to post this on so I put it here, figuring it was a type of medieval weaponry, if an obscure ...
14
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1answer
3k views

What kind of knife could this be?

I recently found this knife/dagger, have no clue what type it is and what it was used for, there is a thumb hole I suspect on the spine as well as it looks to be “IMT” or “IMI” logo stamped on the ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Why was the first production PzKpfw V (Panther) called the Ausf.D, and the second production version called the Ausf.A?

Background The first Panther (PzKpfw V) production variant, produced from January 1943 through September 1943 was called the Ausf.D. (see below) The second Panther production variant, produced ...
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1answer
322 views

Weird weapons in medieval times [closed]

I know that this will be a bit vague, but here goes: what’s the weirdest weapon ever made/used in the medieval times? I meant in terms of how it’s used. I wrote the man catcher question so I would ...
4
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1answer
579 views

Were man catchers actually used in medieval times?

I know that man catchers were invented sometime during the medieval times, but were they actually used during the medieval times?
18
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2answers
1k views

Has a battering ram been used to breach a gate?

I am looking for a specific example of a battering ram used to breach the gate of a castle or fortification in Europe. I can find lots of indirect references to the use of battering rams on gates (...
30
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1answer
5k views

What were sandbags used for in medieval duels?

I was hesitant whether to ask this question in history or Shakespeare stack exchange, but I eventually decided it is more of a historical question. In the play "King Henry The Sixth" there is a ...
0
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1answer
246 views

What light machine guns did the imperial Japanese army use in ww1?

I would love to more about Japanese weaponry in the Great War and, more specifically, about their use of light machine guns, and did they use things like a c96 Mauser or a Madsen LMG. Also, did they ...