Interesting Facts and Trivia: Weapons III

A great deal of weapons has been named after people , ranging from a large German cannon to some of the most popular guns in history. In this article, you will encounter some of these pieces of weapon, as well as one of the most significant inventions or discoveries in weaponry , gunpowder.

The Introduction of Gunpowder

It was during the 7th century AD that the first experimentations surrounding gunpowder took place in China. Already, some of the ingredients of the powder had been used and observed in the country by mid-1st century AD. Saltpeter and sulfur were being used as medicinal remedies in China. One alchemical text that dates back to 492 noted that saltpetre burnt with a purple flame.” Alchemists started to look deeper into the use of it for purification techniques. The earliest account of saltpeter purification took place in Arabic and Latin accounts dating after 1200. However, the first description of gunpowder comes from an English monk named Roger Bacon in 1242.

The Battering Ram

In 865 BC, the Assyrians introduced the concept of using battering rams and other siege engines to conquer their enemies.

Browning Pistol

American John Moses Browning (1855-1926) invented the automatic pistol that was named the Browning pistol. The gun was used by both the military, as well as civilians with gun permits.

The Introduction of Catapults

In 397 BC, the first catapults to propel darts into the air made an appearance. In 332 BC, catapults were made to throw stones at their enemies.

Big Bertha

When the owner of the German Krupp armaments business died, it fell into the hands of his daughter, Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1886-1957). When the German army fought during World War I, a cannon that weighed 161 tons was given the nickname of ‘Big Bertha.’


Before the fragments of bombs received the name shrapnel, there was a weapon named shrapnel that consisted of exploding shells, which was invented by British officer Henry Shrapnel (1761 , 1842).

Molotov Cocktail

When war broke out in Russia, the Molotov cocktail was born. It was a basic bomb that had an effective impact. They filled a bottle with gasoline and attached a fuse to it. The name was given by the Finns around 1940 that used it during the war. They called it the Molotov after the Soviet prime minister at the time , Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov (1890 -1986).

Mauser Rifle

It was German brothers Wilhelm (1834-1882) and Peter Paul Mauser (1838-1914) that invented the Mauser bolt-action rifle in 1898. The brothers are also responsible for inventing the automatic pistol.

The Tommy Gun

An American army general named John Taliaferro Thompson and a United States naval commander named John Blish are responsible for inventing the Thompson submachine gun that was later nicknamed, the Tommy gun. The gun later became a popular choice of weaponry amongst gangsters during the 1920s.