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Interesting Facts and Trivia: Weapons V

From using a car to protect you in the heat of battle to using aircraft to fight your battles, there are many different ways that people have prepared for and fought in war over the years. In this article, you will learn more about odd ways to fight and the first gun.

Car Protection

The start of the 1900s saw the use of the first armored cars. In 1898, Royal Page Davidson, who was associated with Northwestern Military and Naval Academy, invented the first armed car. It came equipped with the Davidson-Duryea gun carriage. It was later called the Davidson Automobile Battery armored car. In 1917, tanks allowed soldiers to get through enemy lines that were wrapped in barbed wire. The battlefield soon started to see an increase in the use of tanks.

Cheese as a Weapon

A war between Uruguay and Brazil in 1865 saw some interesting tactics being used in the heat of battle. When a Uruguayan ship ran out of cannon balls, they decided to fire stale Dutch cheeses at their enemies. One of the cheeses actually dismasted an enemy vessel and took the lives of two sailors.

The First Bombs

China started to experiment with bombs in 1221.

The First Gun

The first “guns” to make an appearance were attributed to the Chinese when a piece of equipment was made using a vase shape that was depicted as shooting flames out. This was made around 1288. The Europeans and the Middle East were the next civilizations to benefit from the Chinese’s invention as it made its way to various countries.

The First Cannons

Cannons started to make a showing in battles and sieges that took place throughout the 1300s.

Crossbows

The crossbow is comprised of a bow that is mounted on a stock that is used to shoot projectiles , often referred to as bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow has also gone by many different names, such as ballista. The first use of a crossbow is traced back to 4th century BC, where East Asians used the weapons during their times of war. The crossbow was also important to the Europeans and people living in the Mediterranean at that time as well.

The crossbow continued to evolve over the years. For example, a certain type of crossbow called the arbalest emerges during the 1370s. Others would follow, including one invented by the great artist Leonardo da Vinci, who sets the stage for the creation of the giant siege crossbow. Today, the crossbow is still used for hunting and target shooting.

Fighting in the Air

The first aircraft carriers and bombers were released in 1911. By 1914, Zeppelin airships and aircraft with multiple large engines took to the air for battle. They were large enough and able to transport heavy bombs that were used for aerial warfare purposes. The types of weapons linked to aircraft battle also became advanced. For example, the same year the Zeppelins took to flight, Flechettes (darts made out of steel) were dropped from aircraft on enemy positioned underneath. In 1915, the aircraft were fitted with machine guns invented by a manufacturer from Germany named Anthony Fokker. In 1939, the military started to use helicopters manufactured to fit their needs of battle.