Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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What is this bayonet I found in the ground while working under a house?

It's got some markings including a WD with a arrow above it, below that a Crown with 45 under it and then a E. And right by the hilt is a X. On the other side there is VI. And below that is 1.95...it ...
Leown's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
362 views

How did blackpowder sharpshooters achieve precision?

I was wondering about this since I delved into the naval warfare of the age of sail and noticed the mentions of having sharpshooters on the masts of ships to pick off valuable targets. It seems to ...
Kugelblitz's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
247 views

How effective were early modern hand grenades?

I saw a video about the 1683 siege of Vienna, and in the video, it talked about hand grenades that were used in the siege, and that the Ottomans used glass grenades that would explode once shattered ...
Chuck's user avatar
  • 139
27 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why were slings phased out of medieval armies in favor of bows?

I was watching some videos on slings and was surprised by how long-ranged and powerful they could be. This test indicates its power could be similar to that of a 9mm bullet. According to Wikipedia, ...
Twilight Sparkle's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are there examples of artwork which anachronistically showed ancients equipped with firearms?

I do not mean modern art which does something like that humorously but rather for example a medieval painter showing Pharoah's army equipped with muzzleloaders due to the artist being unaware of the ...
releseabe's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
430 views

Were regular citizens of the Republic of Venice permitted to own and carry arms/weapons?

I've been researching about Venetian warfare and came across this website which inspired me to ask the question. According to this website (of perhaps questionable repute), the following is stated: ...
setszu's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Help identifying an old bayonet

I was helping my parents move into a new place recently and my dad and I came across this old bayonet that my grandfather had given to my dad. My dad doesn't know anything of its history, so I'm ...
Gogeta70's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
818 views

Why were greatswords used in the Middle Ages given their downsides?

The greatsword is a type of two-handed sword that's rather large and heavy compared to it's counterparts, but delivers a more powerful swing. The greatsword doesn't seem to have significant advantages ...
OprenStein's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
296 views

Is this trebuchet based on a real historical model?

I was watching a clip from Game of Thrones where trebuchets were being launched from ships. From my research, the closest thing I could find is a floating arm trebuchet, but rather than dropping ...
Sea Citadel's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
685 views

Where did Carlson's Raiders get Boys anti-tank rifles in 1942 and why?

According to English Wikipedia, during the 1942 Raid on Makin Atoll (modern-day Butaritari, Kiribati) the Marine Raiders used Boys anti-tank rifles to attack the Japanese flying boats that attempted ...
Jessie Kirk's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
10k views

Why did so few militaries use semi automatic rifles as their standard issue infantry weapon?

Semi automatic rifles have been in production since the early 20th century, with the first rifle being tentatively fielded being the French FAM 1917 in small numbers for use in WWI. Despite the ...
PausePause's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
398 views

Were repeating rifles pitted often against breach-loaders in American Civil War battles and what happened?

It seems to me with equal numbers of troops on each side, the side with repeaters would have a huge, almost insurmountable advantage. Is it true that such battles did occur and if so, did the side ...
releseabe's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
450 views

In American Civil War era paper cartridges, what was taking up the space between powder and bullet?

I'm interested in the history of firearms, especially black powder ones. Sadly I'm not good at looking for sources. What I wanted to find out is the details of paper cartridges for Colt and Remington ...
Mołot's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
295 views

Is this a case of “cut and paste” of two different weapons?

I recently inherited a sabre and two daggers that we assume belonged to a gg uncle who was born in 1870. I tried searching images to identify to sabre but became confused as it has a ruby-eyed lion ...
Nick's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
234 views

What is the dagger at the bottom of this photo?

Could anyone assist with possibly identifying the blade at the bottom of this picture? I know that it is incredibly sharp and maybe a Jambiya. I am trying to date it and also place its original ...
Jason Curtis's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
242 views

Has anyone come across WW1 large brass casing engraved with French cities?

I recently found two large brass casing, German made from 1901 and 1914. They both have US military Divs ie. 2nd, 26th and 28th Div, along with cities in France and Germany that the Divisions were ...
Michael's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Mirek Długosz's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
440 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 ...
PausePause's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
151 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 ...
cboss's user avatar
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29 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. ...
DrMcCleod's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
sds's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
704 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 ...
user2617804's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
769 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 ...
N. Virgo's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
382 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 ...
Ajani Stella's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
293 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 ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
113 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....
trallgorm's 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 ...
EvanM's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
2k 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, ...
mart's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
163 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.
amanda cianflone 's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
244 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 ...
Bob516's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
591 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. ...
YokedSinger8062's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Johnny's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
221 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 ...
Slarty's user avatar
  • 187
2 votes
1 answer
769 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 ...
elsadek's 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 ...
Vashu's user avatar
  • 331
5 votes
6 answers
902 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 ...
fgysin's user avatar
  • 1,320
-2 votes
1 answer
232 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 ...
Anixx's user avatar
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20 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 ...
Alexei's user avatar
  • 1,117
2 votes
1 answer
497 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 ...
Nyakouai's user avatar
  • 129
2 votes
1 answer
278 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 ...
user100487's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
925 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 ...
Soorena Aban's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
452 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 ...
Lola's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
879 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.
Victor J Woskobunik's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
1k 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 ...
Ezekiel's user avatar
  • 717
1 vote
0 answers
211 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 ...
Samid's user avatar
  • 2,202
-2 votes
1 answer
249 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?
Niobium_Sage's user avatar
26 votes
6 answers
14k 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?
Amethyst Wizard's 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, ...
Noldorin's user avatar
  • 5,142
1 vote
1 answer
566 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?
Lina's user avatar
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