Questions tagged [weapons]

Questions on historical weapons, their use and significance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
13
votes
1answer
695 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
251 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
799 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 ...
30
votes
12answers
10k 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-...
5
votes
2answers
882 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#...
65
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
407 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
643 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
925 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
510 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
439 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
316 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
10k 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) ...
36
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
651 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 ...
50
votes
11answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
724 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
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.
20
votes
3answers
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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
681 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
534 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
830 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

From how far away could an experienced and skilled archer hit a man?

So I'm not asking about shooting into the enemy formation without specific target but targeting a single individual with a reasonable chance of success.
51
votes
6answers
15k views

Why did the Roman military start to favour swords over the spear phalanx?

Up until the rise of the Roman Republic, the Greek phalanx was considered the dominant form of military tactics. Evolution had simply favoured longer and longer spears: by the time of Alexander, ...
6
votes
1answer
672 views

When did cavalry soldiers unsheathe swords?

Most movies depict cavalry's unsheathing of swords before a cavalry charge, far before their swords can ever be used. Is this authentic? The Young Winston (1972) exemplifies the above, but bizarrely....
14
votes
1answer
5k views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
6
votes
1answer
321 views

When did civilians in Europe gain access to breech-loaded firearms?

I know European militaries started adopting breech-loaded firearms around the 1840s with the Prussians adopting the Dreyse needle gun. My question is about the civilians. When did the breech-loaded ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How was the naval battle of Guadalcanal affected by Japanese ships loading High Explosive shells rather than Armor Piercing?

During the first Naval Battle of Guadalcanal an American flotilla of five cruisers and eight destroyers challenged a Japanese group of two battleships, one cruiser, and eleven destroyers that was ...
4
votes
0answers
216 views

What were the names of the weapon manufacturers in France in the late 1700's

What were the names of the companies that manufactured hand weapons in France in the late 1700's and who were the most productive.
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Were crossbows used by the Japanese?

Were crossbows used in any significant way by the Japanese? If so, what period and how were they fielded? I found some very brief references: Jonathan Clements' "A Brief History of the Samurai" ...
1
vote
2answers
318 views

Were naval mines an underutilized weapon in WW2? [closed]

Why did the Germans (and Allies for that matter) not devote more energy to the mining of enemy controlled waters (in the Med, British and North American waters for the Germans and Med, Baltic and ...
6
votes
1answer
970 views

Anti-personnel use of blowguns

The wikipedia entry for blowguns currently states that blowguns were historically used to hunt small wild game and only rarely used as an anti-personnel armament. This made me wonder if there are any ...
15
votes
6answers
41k views

What is the longest effective range artillery weapon ever built?

What is the longest effective range artillery weapon ever built, regardless of wether it was actually used in combat?
15
votes
6answers
3k views

Mystery of the many-loaded muzzles

I recall, way back in high school, someone came to describe the American Civil War, show local artifacts, that sort of thing. I remember them mentioning that muzzle-loaded weapons had been found with ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Did archers lay on their back to draw bows?

I saw a movie called "The Hero" from 2002. I know the movie has a lot of artistic scenes, and less to do with reality. In one scene, many of the Chinese archers laid on the ground and used a big ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

Did a capital ship ever hit anything with a torpedo?

It seems WWI and inter-war ship designers went a bit torpedo mad, both in their fear of them and in their use, finally coming to their senses in the harsh realities of WWII. I've seen many examples ...
18
votes
7answers
10k views

How come all the major WW1 rifles were bolt action?

The main disadvantage of bolt action is that one has to remove the right hand from the trigger which leads to slower rate of fire. Neither lever nor pump have this problem. Rate of fire was viewed as ...
4
votes
1answer
568 views

Were slings used as melee weapons?

Slings were a common weapon in history. Cheap to construct and with ammo plentiful, they were very cost effective to field in great numbers. What I want to know is if there is any historical ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Where did the French revolutionists get their weapons?

I have learned in class that the main purpose of raiding the Bastille in 14 July 1789 was to acquire the weapons in the Bastille. There was only a few political prisoners held there. There were, on ...
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Why sabres replaced swords after middle age [closed]

After the middle age sabres almost completely replaced swords in the europe. I don't see any reason why sabres are superior to swords used before so why that happened? By swords used before I mean ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What field guns, howitzers and mortars were used by the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army during the 1971 war?

While the tank battles are better documented, the role of the field guns are not so well recorded (at least not in available documents). I know that 3.7 inch howitzers were part of the first artillery ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did so many countries agree to the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

The Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 contains (among others) provisions that amount to the following: There are five countries (the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China) that ...
10
votes
2answers
449 views

Are there any remaining existant texts that describe the styles and techniques of Medieval European swordsmanship?

We have, in the modern day, no shortage of movies which feature characters from the Medieval period of European history engaged in combat, with swords, cavalry, and arrows. Do we have any historical ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Identify WW2 ammo

I found some ammo, which I think is from World War II. The cartridges are stamped WRA 42 and DEN 42. I do not know what the big piece is. It has a stamp: N2117 III Does anyone know what the big ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the standard pistol used in Yugoslavia during WWII?

I've looked into the firearms used during WWII, but I can't find what pistol was used by Yugoslavian infantry men at the time. What did they use?