Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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6
votes
1answer
329 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. ...
1
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1answer
158 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 ...
3
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1answer
127 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 ...
2
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1answer
404 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 ...
16
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1answer
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 ...
4
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6answers
622 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 ...
-2
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1answer
200 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 ...
20
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3answers
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 ...
2
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1answer
222 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 ...
2
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1answer
172 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 ...
9
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1answer
578 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 ...
0
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1answer
233 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 ...
1
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1answer
587 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.
0
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0answers
279 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 ...
1
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0answers
129 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
142 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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6answers
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, ...
1
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1answer
211 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?
-2
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1answer
228 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....
2
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1answer
407 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 ...
13
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2answers
715 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 ...
7
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1answer
400 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
270 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 ...
7
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7answers
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 ...
4
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2answers
463 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
124 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
481 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
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
2
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0answers
216 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
288 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
votes
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
619 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
304 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
234 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
vote
1answer
920 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
327 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
votes
1answer
255 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-...
8
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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0answers
185 views

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

Trying to identify a pistol believed to be Ottoman Empire (Turkish
2
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2answers
397 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
1k 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
5k 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?
6
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2answers
941 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
votes
1answer
438 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)...
5
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0answers
247 views

How did samurai keep their blade effective when away from any sharpening tools?

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
243 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
2k 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. ...

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