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105

No. The rate of fire of competent musketeers was considerably greater than one round every three minutes when the Second Amendment was adopted at the end of the eighteenth century. In his book The Dawn of Modern Warfare, Hans Delbruck included a section titled 'Rapidity of fire in the eighteenth century'. He states that: "... a competent musketeer could ...


94

I can think of a list of things which either excelled at the time or were feats not matched in the whole war. The T-34 and IS tank lines. Not just the tanks themselves, but also focusing on two hulls. The Yak-1 series fighter aircraft. The Il-2 ground attack aircraft. The PPSh-41 and PPS submachine guns. Tremendous use of artillery. The production miracle ...


89

Yes, I can tell you from personal experience that they certainly did whistle. When I was a boy I lived in Nottingham, and until May 1941 we were lucky in that, although we heard (and sometimes saw) German aircraft, they usually passed over on their way to less fortunate cities like Sheffield, Coventry or Birmingham. But on the night of Thursday 8 May 1941, ...


69

It was a remnant of the class distinction in British life between aristocratic officers and common soldiers and enlisted men. In British units the men were instructed, forcefully, to simply obey orders without question, with punishment for those who objected. This attitude was why in World War One first the Canadians, and then the other Commonwealth troops ...


67

It is true that bombs in World War II would make a whistling sound as they fell. This could be heard by both the pilot and the target, however due to the Doppler effect, they heard different things. The pilot would hear a high pitched whistle and as the bomb accelerated it lowered in pitch. The target would initially hear a higher pitched whistle than what ...


53

Did it in fact take something like three minutes to reload muskets when the Second Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified? Is a "three minute musket" representative of the best military individual firearm of the day for warfare? Seeing is believing: These reenactors at Fort Niagara reload in about 20 seconds (from firing to shouldering the reloaded ...


43

Two reasons why not to put a grenade in a sling, based on the fusing/arming system (An additional reason is that there are rifle launched grenades, if you need more range). Features of a hand grenade There is a double safety feature on a typical hand grenade that prevents it from blowing up before you have sent it to its target. The modern hand ...


42

Actually, the Romans used the same phalanx everyone else did for a very long time. Past Hannibal. The essence of winning a phalanx battle is to attack the flank of the phalanx. One may achieve that many ways, hence the many ways phalanxes were formed in particular battles - adapted to the width of the battlefield usually, though if one's enemy overdid that, ...


41

Democratication came at the hands of improved communications, improved education, the industrial revolution and the agricultural revolution. Not at the hands of cheap weapons. The invention of the printing press democratised knowledge. Books became significantly cheaper to make and were more widely distributed. It was possible for a wider range of thoughts ...


40

Cavalry sabres (a.k.a. Shashkas) were still widely used in the Russian Civil War (1918-1922) and appear in many books on that period. This weapon is primarily associated with Cossacks even though it was standard equipment in the Russian and later Soviet army. The Russian Wikipedia article claims that Shashkas were still used by the cavalry in the Second ...


37

The sandbag is from a quintain, a "jousting dummy" if you will: On Offham green there stands a Quintain, a thing now rarely to be met with, being a machine much used in former times by youth, as well to try their own activity as the swiftness of their horses in running at it. The cross piece of it is broad at one end, and pierced full of holes; and a bag ...


35

The official way we determine how the Constitution is "understood" is through US Supreme Court decisions, and there haven't been any on that particular subject. There have been basically 3 definitive decisions on the 2nd amendment, only one of which came before the 20th Century. Note first that prior to the 14th Amendment, the Bill of Rights was generally ...


34

Perhaps you're thinking of a video game, because I'm sure that what you posit makes no sense whatsoever in hand-to-hand combat. A shield is just movable armor. It's big enough not to require a lot of accuracy in placement, just a shift toward the direction of attack. Its design, at some minimal level, will resist blows from hand weapons passively, i.e. ...


34

The question asks why British officers would micromanage enlisted troops by doing things like dictating the range to sight their rifles. This type of "micromanaging" is a foundation of the military tactics of that time and one of the key differences between a "military unit" and a "group of men with guns" in the period being discussed. A few hundred years ...


33

The situation is complex. While the pike-or-equivalent must be of a sufficient length and density to be effective against cavalry, the longer the weapon the more difficult it is to adjust formation and facing. Cavalry's most effective weapon on the battlefield is its speed. A mass of spearmen facing one direction are easily flanked and broken up, and then ...


31

Little Boy detonated at ~580 metres above Hiroshima, and Fat Man at ~500 metres above Nagasaki. While all nuclear explosions generate electromagnetic pulses of some sort, at these low altitudes their strength rapidly diminishes with distance, giving them a rather limited area of effect. The effects of EMP from a surface or low-altitude nuclear burst will ...


30

The V1 and V2 were short range missiles. The V-2 had an operational range of 200 miles while the V-1 had an operational range of 160 miles. These missiles weren't available until mid-1944, at which point the Soviets had pushed the Nazis back hundreds of miles. This means that the only things that could be hit were areas that had been recently overrun by ...


29

It did exist but no one is sure what it was. The making of such was split between different orders and each only knew how to make the next step in the chain. It was delivered via tubes and could be "thrown" towards the enemy. Some of those were man-portable, other were ship bound. Sometimes, you could find it in jars. The best guess is that it was a ...


26

Yes I can tell you from personal experience also I was six years old we lived in Haverton Hill, County Durham, England, there was a lot of heavy industry in that area including Dorman & long steel works, the ICI Imperial chemical industries, Furness ship building company, and Smith's dry dock, for ship repairs plus many smaller companies. They were after ...


26

During my time as a grunt in the 25th infantry in VN, I saw several night engagements. The Cong/NVA tracers appeared to be green, and the GI tracers appeared to be red. However, when engaging in firefights during daylight, the GI tracers were orange in appearance. I suppose that has a lot to do with the amount of ambient light. During the day, I never ...


25

An important aspect that seems to be neglected in many of the answers here is that while technical aspects cannot be completely dismissed, they are secondary to other concerns. To be specific, the primary weapon of heavy cavalry is its momentum, while heavy infantry (among which musketeers from 18th century onward are counted) relies on its discipline in ...


25

Caveat Wars (especially in 20th century!) are won by nations/armies, not weapons. A weapon can be excellent (e.g., Me-262) but it will make no difference because it was introduced too late and/or was used incorrectly tactically. Another example is Tiger - seemingly an excellent tank, but very complex and expensive, so fewer than 2,000 of them were built (...


25

Got it, is a Spanish M1969 Bayonet, check it here: https://www.preferredarms.com/weapons/daggers.php


24

Wunderwaffe (literally, wonder weapons) - absolutely, they had many, many designs under way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wunderwaffe They were working on the A9/A10 (imagine it as an evolution of the V1/V2 series of rockets), that would be a multi-stage ICBM that would be able to hit the US, although it wasn't likely to be very accurate. This was planned ...


24

@KorvinStarmast has the correct answer for hand grenades. But we did use slings to lob grenades. Just think bigger. A trebuchet is basically a big staff sling used to throw a projectile. That big beam is a lever serving the same role as the staff (or your arm). The large size and time period makes it practical for explosive devices during a time when ...


24

Doctrine, regulation, and technical necessity. We observe that the Russians were the last to issue M1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles with a socket bayonet, when all other militaries had already switched to the more flexible sword-bayonet style. There are a few marked differences between the two and resulting dispute in military doctrine: The advantages of sword ...


23

Most of the rifles used in WWI were designed, adopted and procured 10-20 years prior during a period of great upheaval in military rifle technology. In the decades leading up to WWI there was a great change in ammunition which most lever designs could not accommodate. Militaries were rapidly adopting rounds with better ballistics in addition to larger and ...


23

The main reason for avoiding the sling is that it is a difficult weapon to use. Requires training to do right EVERY time. So your slinger could expect a short career indeed which would abruptly end the very first time a live grenade slips the string and falls at his feet. Very bad trade-off for more range at questionable accuracy. What you had instead ...


22

"armour" is a bit general, from the fancy gleaming best tournement suit to the few bits of salvaged chain mail stitched onto an archers leather jacket. Generally the knights and foot soldiers wouldn't march in anything like full armour, medieval battles were fought on agreed sites when the armies were visible to each other - not ambushes or blitzkreig. So ...


22

Interesting question. Firstly, it's impossible to know for certain how the traditional round shield was used, but we can make a number of assumptions based on evidence from literature (the sagas), the archaeology of construction and wounds suffered in battle and by looking at later fight books such as MS I.33, Talhoffer's duelling shields etc. Taking the ...


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