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Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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2answers
151 views

Did 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
124 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this information from the Wikipedia page Boiled leather: The word cuirass for a breastplate indicates that these were originally made of leather.[11] In the Late Middle Ages, ...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
150 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 ...
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3answers
511 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
283 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 - ...
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0answers
119 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
155 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
278 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
210 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
247 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 ...
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0answers
107 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
769 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
147 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
240 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
621 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?
4
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2answers
408 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
257 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
152 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
205 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
833 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
934 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
475 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
427 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
307 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 ...
7
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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
303 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
550 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
569 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
216 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 ...
17
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
355 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
7k 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 ...
10
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3answers
2k 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
796 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
991 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
437 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
216 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
480 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
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: ...
5
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1answer
189 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
184 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
257 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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2answers
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 ...