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Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

6
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2answers
237 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
177 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
vote
1answer
210 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
82 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.
8
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2answers
662 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
125 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
182 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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1answer
464 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 ...
7
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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?
2
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0answers
141 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
228 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
2k 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
136 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
182 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
votes
2answers
558 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
795 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
423 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
323 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 ...
-2
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1answer
295 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
votes
2answers
869 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 ...
-4
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1answer
268 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
471 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
480 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
votes
1answer
205 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
740 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
224 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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votes
2answers
5k 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
1k 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
votes
2answers
692 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 ...
15
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3answers
833 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 ...
-4
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1answer
370 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
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
-3
votes
5answers
420 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, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

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: ...
4
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1answer
170 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
171 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
vote
1answer
220 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 ...
4
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1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
396 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
votes
2answers
166 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
954 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
335 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
202 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
317 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
8
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3answers
799 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
10
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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"...