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Warfare and Cannon History



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Cannon & Explosives GB Carron Iron Works Stirlingshire, from Cannons to Post Office Pillar Boxes Hand Cannon and grenade from the 10th Century Dunhuang. This is the earliest depiction of an explosive fire in China. Right, C14th Casting of Cannon, Bombarda Mortar. The Loshult cannon was found in Loshult, Skåne, Sweden, and is now in the Statens Historiska Museum. This is cast from bronze and weighs 9.07 kg and has a muzzle calibre of 36 mm and an overall length of 300 mm. Early cannons are cast from a variety of metals and were probably made in bell foundries.

From the mid 14th Century cannon were made up of a cylindrical wooden core, alongside which longitudinal wrought iron strips were placed, and hammered over this were heated metal hoops. The whole cannon was then heated to burn out the core and fuse the wrought iron together.

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Further information

The performance of the Tannenberg Gun with 4.5 g of 4 of 8 powder behind a patched 16.8 mm round ball, and the performance of the Danziger gun with 3.0 g powder and a patched 11.8 mm round ball. The bullets were fired from a distance of two meters. The dents in the steel plates are witnessing tests with more moderate loads. Certainly, medieval personal armour was made from hardened steel. But due to its weight, it was hardly possible to wear two-millimetre armour.

As I could prove, it is easily possible to pierce steel of considerable thickness with my primitive, homemade black powder. The Tannenberg gun with fully loaded chamber (4.5 g powder) = 2.0 mm steel. The little Danziger gun with fully loaded chamber (3.0 g powder) = 1.5 mm steel. The advance of firearms, beginning with the hand-gun, changed warfare at the end of the 14th century entirely. The iron guns were loaded in a different way to the bronze guns.

They had a breech chamber that was taken out to be filled with gunpowder. The picture below shows the chamber and the wedge used to hold it in place lying next to the gun. This ship was equipped with two different types of light guns. The majority of these were swivel guns, mounted on stirrups cut into the rails on the castle and upper decks. They had a tail-like tiller which enabled them to be trained and elevated by the gunner. They were of wrought iron construction and had a bore of between 46 and 65mm. C16th Naval and Land Forts using composite Iron, Steel Cannon and Bronze Muzzle-loading Lantaka. Manufacturing developed, followed by the Crimea, American Civil War, WWI & WW2. Civilian use Quarries and Railways.