Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

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7 votes
2 answers
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Which personal weapons, if any, were carried by the 1606 Janszoon expedition when it landed in Australia?

Wikipedia mentions early 17th century exploration of New Holland beginning in the first few years of the 1600s, but insofar as I can tell doesn't really go into what was carried on board those ships. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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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10 votes
2 answers
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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-2 votes
1 answer
314 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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18 votes
3 answers
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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-...
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2 votes
1 answer
355 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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-1 votes
2 answers
3k 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. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
183 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
2k 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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3 votes
2 answers
582 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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0 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
333 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
623 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Did the ancient Greeks ban the gastraphetes?

From what I remember, Galántai Zoltán once claimed in a lecture (at Budapest University of Technology and Economics) that in ancient Greek times, some people mutually agreed to outlaw the use of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
765 views

What was the price of gunpowder in Victorian England

What was the price of gunpowder in Victorian England? Any quantity will do.
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1 vote
1 answer
810 views

How much did revolvers cost in Victorian England?

What was the general price range for a decent revolver in Victorian England?
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3 votes
1 answer
208 views

Was it common to carry a concealed dagger in Spanish California?

Dmitry Zavalishin, a Decembrist, wrote about his 1824 visit to Alta California: The second, Padre José Altamira, was more a politician and soldier than a monk or missionary. He always carried, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
712 views

Can anyone tell me anything about this sword?

Can anyone tell me anything about this sword? It hangs in my husband's great grandmother's house for as long as he can remember.
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the original cost of a Sharps Rifle?

In 1850, when the Sharps Rifle was made, how much did it cost?
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8 votes
5 answers
6k views

Has the Scythe ever been used as a weapon?

In Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Clopin Trouillefou uses a scythe to great effect: One was noticed who had a large, glittering scythe, and who, for a long time, mowed the legs of the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
895 views

With what weapons were the towers of the Bastille armed?

I am researching the Bastille for a project in which I have to depict the Royal soldiers that stood on the towers during the French Revolution. Specifically, I am looking for the types of weapons ...
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2 votes
1 answer
359 views

What are these 2 compartments next to these war chariots?

Consider chariots like this: What are those 2 compartments on the side of the chariot, above the wheel. The ones that cross over each other making an 'x'. I've tried researching but have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
374 views

Technical Pictures of Prussian Cannons

For my research I found these wonderful pictures showing all artillery weapons used during the Seven Years War. http://crogges7ywarmies.blogspot.de/2012/09/prussian-7yw-artillery-scale-drawings.html ...
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13 votes
1 answer
775 views

Were toilets used more than once as a weapon in a military conflict?

So I was reading about the Douglas Skyraider airplane on Wiki and then I saw this: (reuploaded from Wikipedia because SE refused to hotlink it, original url) You probably have some questions right ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
264 views

Are automatic assault rifle useless in current conflict? [closed]

This question seems a bit weird, but actually in most of western armies, soldiers are trained to shoot with semi automatic mode. Since most of the contact with the enemy occurs at long range, it's ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Is the Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle 1947 still in production? [closed]

I'm having a rather frivolous argument with a friend of mine over the production of the AK-47. He argues that the Kalashnikov AK-47 was only produced in the late 1940s/50s, and that further ...
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32 votes
14 answers
12k views

Were slings used for throwing hand grenades? If not, why?

It seems using a sling is far more effective than throwing things with your bare hands. As far as I know, slingers were widespread in the Ancient era, as well as in the Middle ages: However, in XIX-...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What were the needs of the US Navy that resulted in the production of both the Arleigh Burke class and Ticonderoga class in the 1980s?

In the 1980s the United States Navy introduced both the Arleigh Burke class and the Ticonderoga class. Wikipedia pages on them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arleigh_Burke-class_destroyer#...
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66 votes
7 answers
26k views

What damage did anti-tank rifles hope to inflict on tanks in WW2?

Initially I was surprised to learn that such a thing as an anti-tank rifle even exists. It seems a ludicrous idea to try to shoot a tank with a rifle. But let's suppose that the bullet really hits a ...
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11 votes
2 answers
431 views

Why were bows referred to as "Indian Artillery"?

So, I recently asked a question about dueling with bows. The top answer for that included an account in The Scottish Journal which described bows and arrows as "Indian Artillery", which is a ...
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7 votes
2 answers
667 views

What accounts exist of blowpipe vs machine gun and rifle in World War 2?

If you check this documentary, you'll see that Borneo natives used blowpipes vs Japanese during 1944-1945. I find this sort of engagement fascinating, since the poison used in the blowpipe dart must ...
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What was the actual cause of the disaster for the Royal Navy’s battlecruisers in the Battle of Jutland?

During the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916), the battlecruisers Invincible, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable exploded with only a few survivors; Lion was almost lost in a similar manner. This provoked the ...
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16 votes
7 answers
14k views

How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

After watching the BBC show The Last Kingdom, depicting conflicts between Saxons and Danes in the 800s AD, I was surprised by the multi-layered shield walls depicted. For example: or even: I had ...
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2 votes
3 answers
24k views

Has anyone survived triggering a bounding landmine? [closed]

I just watched an episode of the television series Flashpoint, where a member of the police force steps on the trigger of a "CR38 bounding mine." Has anyone survived triggering a bounding mine in ...
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0 votes
3 answers
550 views

Why was there never a tachanka-style cannon or crossbow?

There seems to be a clear line of progression for many weapons. For example, in the west, crossbows were mounted on carts by the Roman empire, while in the east, they were mounted on camels. The ...
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18 votes
1 answer
471 views

Language used on a dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, ca. 1700-1750

Could anyone guess what language is used in the sign made on this dagger hilt, supposedly of Persian provenance, and dated approx. 1700-1750? A fellow translator asked if I knew, and naturally I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
381 views

Piece of cloth in bullets in pistols around the pirate age

While seeing the series Black sails, there's an episode where two guys face each other in a pistol duel. While preparing the weapons, it is clearly seen that the assistants put a piece of cloth ...
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12 votes
2 answers
4k views

What caused this cratering pattern at Hiroshima?

I was reading this article here, which includes an interesting photo of Hiroshima: The caption on the photo indicates that it was taken three weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped. The photo seems ...
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6 votes
3 answers
13k views

How much did a good sword cost in Medieval Western Europe?

I realize the title is probably too broad to answer, so I'll narrow it down a bit: Sword types: Viking swords, and/or Arming swords Quality: Pattern welded iron/steel, crucible (or pseudo-crucible) ...
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44 votes
6 answers
6k views

Were there U.S. weapon restrictions during 19th century?

Prior to the 20th century, I'm curious as to how the 2nd amendment was understood: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and ...
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11 votes
4 answers
7k views

Why were swords used in battle?

I hope this isn't too general, but I am talking about any warfare before the invention of firearms. In a one vs one duel between sword and pole arm, it seems like the pole arm has significant ...
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where and when were air guns used in a major battle?

In the 18th century some European armies had air guns at their disposal. I remember that during some major battle sharpshooters from Tirol used air guns to deadly effect on the troops of the opposing ...
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49 votes
11 answers
18k views

Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?

The Germans had some of the best machine guns and tanks during World War II. Likewise, the Americans had a big advantage with the M1 Garand (which Patton famously called "The greatest battle implement ...
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1 vote
0 answers
810 views

What are Gottfried Juch Ferlach guns?

I have came into possession of a double barrel firearm, apparently for hunting. The only inscription it has is Gottfried Juch Ferlach. It is quite interesting, since it has some really beautiful ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why didn't the Chinese repeating crossbow dominate?

Why didn't this devastating machine gun dominate the world? This fires faster than early musketeers.
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21 votes
5 answers
4k views

What was the tactical benefit of using flamethrowers as weapons?

I often hear stories of flamethrower troops storming the beaches of Iwo Jima and burning bunkers full of troops. But isn't it more risky to carry a tank of flammable liquid with limited fuel and ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
696 views

What impact did the rocket inventions of the German rockeeters have on WW2? [closed]

I'm a fourth year student in secondary school, I'm currently writing an essay regarding the Second World War, and would love to hear your thoughts on the question "What impact did the rocket ...
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4 votes
2 answers
629 views

Did electric weapons exist in Russia in the 1920s?

Reading "The fatal eggs" by Bulgakov, I was surprised by his reference to "electric revolvers". The novel is science fiction, but it is very much Jurassic park style. It plays in contemporary (for the ...
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24 votes
3 answers
9k views

What were the EMP effects, if any, of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is generated from any atomic bomb, as far as I know. An EMP could destroy the electronics of many devices, including lighting, electric motors, radios, phones, etc. So why ...
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9 votes
3 answers
860 views

Did the Thracian Rhomphaia ever clash with a Roman Gladius?

From what I understand, the Odrysian kingdom became a client state of Rome after the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC). Did the Thracians (Odrysian or otherwise) ever clash with the Romans in a ...
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