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Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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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
108 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
149 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 ...
3
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2answers
222 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. ...
15
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1answer
647 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
368 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 ...
1
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1answer
151 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
215 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 ...
7
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2answers
578 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
166 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 ...
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1answer
315 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?
14
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2answers
379 views

Example of a battering ram used to successfully 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
4k 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
169 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 ...
15
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3answers
640 views

Was the act of servicemen exchanging their weapons for enemy weapons common during WWII?

I have often heard that soldiers (particularly Allied soldiers) would swap their weapons for enemy weapons during World War II. Allies would take German weapons, like the MP40, that were seen as a ...
0
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1answer
158 views

When did hand cannons become handguns?

When did hand cannons change to handguns? The Wikipedia article doesn’t address when the change happens in my opinion, but I could be wrong. I’m asking mostly for curiosities sake. I know that hand ...
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2answers
960 views

Egyptian Khopesh - Why has it never been used since then?

The ancient Egyptians used a weapon called the khopesh. It was a curved blade that was excellent for getting around shields and puncturing body parts like kidneys. Why did no other army in the ...
9
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2answers
634 views

Did any Native Americans make tomahawks from metal?

I'm curious about the evolution of the tomahawk among (North American) Native American peoples like the Algonquin. I assume early versions of the tomahawk had the head made from stone (please correct ...
5
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2answers
595 views

Can someone help me identify this sword?

It looks like a wide hacking blade, obviously a short sword. But because the tang isn't real wide and the way the handle fits, it looks like it was ceremonial or even ornamental. Lol. Nice blade, the ...
14
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3answers
669 views

Why didn't the steppe bow spread further?

So, this question was triggered by my reading Stephen Turnbull's book on the Gempei War, when he says that he thinks that the yumi, or Japanese longbow, had an effective range of 10 meters against ...
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1answer
300 views

Why did certain swords have the weird curves that they did? [closed]

I don't know if this belongs in history because it talks about pre-modern weapons or if it belongs in like physics or engineering, but in looking at references of swords, I noticed they have a large ...
3
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1answer
193 views

Can someone tell me more about this dagger with a bronze hilt?

I found this dagger whilst cleaning up. It used to belong to my father I believe; he used to collect old things. It appears to have a bronze hilt (?). I don't see any lettering or marks on it. I ...
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5answers
302 views

Are there any examples of civilians competing with, or hindering, a military?

What I am looking for: A village or area of civilians—either with very few military personnel, or none at all—that managed to defend itself against an invading force (this may be its own government, ...
14
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2answers
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What is the large blue object on the right in this picture showing Greek fire?

This well-known image showing a Byzantine dromon type ship using Greek fire has a blue object behind or on the ship on the right for which I have not been able to find any explanation: Image source: ...
3
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1answer
145 views

When did enscribing messages on bombs first happen?

I would like to know when and why, messages written on bombs appeared for the first time. In particular if only US crew members used it during the operations in war.
4
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1answer
159 views

How much cheaper were flintlocks than wheellocks?

When flintlock firearms came out (they had been around since the 16th century, flintlock muskets only became "the mainstay of European armies between 1660 and 1840"), they were simpler to make and to ...
1
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1answer
159 views

Please post a picture of the mills tonfa were supposedly used to turn

A tonfa is a forearm length club with a handle protruding sideways. A common claim is that the weapon was originally a handle used to turn millstones. German Wikipedia claims that there are pictures ...
3
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1answer
806 views

How heavy were the heaviest war hammers actually used?

On the German Wikipedia page about warhammers it says their weight reached from 3 to 14 Kg! Having done some really heavy sports in my past, I was truly surprised by this last number! I searched ...
3
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2answers
322 views

How accurate was rocket artillery in the 18th and 19th centuries?

In the 1700s and 1800s, how accurate was rocket artillery in Europe (or Asia, if you prefer to speak of her)? Its accuracy is frequently made a joke, that rockets couldn't be relied on to hit their ...
2
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2answers
154 views

Was there a Stick-Grenade prior to the Stielhandgranate?

Most people are familiar with the Stielhandgranate that appeared in 1915, and saw use in both world wars. The question I have, is whether it was the first of its kind, a stick-grenade? Were there no ...
6
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2answers
586 views

How long did it take to make a 16th Century arrow?

While researching 16th Century arrow making, I read an article on the length of time to produce a complete arrow. My computer crashed before I secured the article, so if anyone can help it would be ...
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1answer
265 views

How did the Chinese crossbows that shoot bullets work?

It's commonly accepted that East Asian people invented the crossbow. However, it seems they had crossbows that shoot bullets as well. As an example, Jing Fang uses this description when explaining his ...
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1answer
197 views

Can anyone identify this sword?

It's been around for years in the attic and I would love to find out where it's from. Thank you.
2
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0answers
307 views

Can anyone tell me more about this … sword?

I am new here. I came here to ask about this small sword I found a couple of years ago. I think it used to belong to my father. The scabbard seems to be made of lead and the sword is currently stuck ...
5
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1answer
2k views

WW1 shell case markings

The inscription listed below is on a shell case which was in my grandmothers house. Can any one tell me what they mean. BRC QF. 18.PR V11 FS TR MH 9.11.15
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3answers
585 views

How effective were the Mongol siege equipment?

From what I understand, the mongols had engineers from China and Persia to handle the siege machinery. I'm mostly curious as if the machinery made by the Chinese engineers was unique and/or superior ...
4
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1answer
2k views

How did the use of tanks differ in the Pacific war from the European war?

By "Pacific" war, I am specifically excluding the use of tanks by the Russians (or Japanese) in Manchuria, in 1945, or earlier "border clashes" along the Mongolian border in the late 1930s. My ...
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2answers
1k views

What was a “Qua” in a “Subsidy of Armour” in 1590?

The Archbishop of Canterbury decreed in 1590 that clergy should provide men and armour for the defence of the realm against the King of Spain. Clergy in the diocese of Lincoln had a "Subsidy of Armour"...
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1answer
221 views

Was there a melee weapon that was used by many people at the same time?

Yes. That's the question. Does anyone know about any melee weapons that were used by more than one person at the same time? That is, two or more people fighting using one weapon together.
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3answers
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Did the Germans use the V1 and V2 missile system on the Eastern Front in World War 2?

Did the Germans use the V1 and V2 missile system on the Eastern Front in World War 2? We have heard the legendary use of these missile systems on the Western Front, which in my opinion were counter-...
2
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1answer
227 views

How common was training with swords and other weapons at Newton's time in England?

I read in Levenson's book Newton and the Counterfeiter that when Newton was traveling to London from Cambridge, he stopped at an inn along the way to wait for other travelers so that they all could ...
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1answer
704 views

Has a CIWS system ever shot down a missile in combat?

Has any Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) successfully intercepted and shot down a missile in combat? Surely they have had the chance to, for example Phalanx systems were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
6
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1answer
134 views

Antique Colt Pistol Ammunition

I'm trying to create an accurate display of a 1902 Colt Bisley revolver (Peacemaker family) and need some technical help with cartridges of the era. I'm selecting cartridges to be displayed along ...
4
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1answer
719 views

Why were air rifles not used more in combat?

I understand that, for example, Lewis and Clark carried an air rifle that could fire 30 shots without reloading and could kill a deer. Is a deer so different than a human that such a rifle would be ...
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0answers
105 views

Macuahuitl treatises (Aztec obsidian-edged weapons techniques)

Are there any surviving treatises of how the macuahuitl (or its other Mesoamerican equivalents) was used in battle? Are there different fighting styles both with and without a shield? And if there is ...
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2answers
324 views

Why is neither side of the warhammer blunt?

I have seen a lot in medieval reconstrunctions like this, that the side opposite to the spike is not flat, but have cross notches (sometimes very pronounced, like in the example). Does anyone know ...
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2answers
366 views

Can the Largest Infantry Polearms be Wielded by Cavalry?

Someone was telling me that cavalry can use any polearm infantry can use. Including the largest halberds and pikes that were ever used. I would like to ask if this is feasible and true. I only know ...
3
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0answers
189 views

Difference between a Bardiche and a Voulge?

After having some interaction with some media involving medieval warfare, I noticed that a Voulge and a Bardiche are very similar in design and (possibly) purpose. I haven't done a full historical ...
4
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1answer
401 views

How common / uncommon was sword-vs-sword combat on ancient battlegrounds?

The question Any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?, more precisely the comment to this answer to the tone of "ah, but that was mainly a chariot battle...", piqued my interest. As ...