• Artillery Thru The Age
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Sometimes referred to as "The Hand Bombard", it was a first attempt at a hand-held firearm on the Middle Ages battlefields. Adapted for use by the French in the 15th Century and the English (for naval use) in the 16th Century. The weapon was moderately light and consisted of a long iron tube. The tube at a wooden holding bar attached (and pushing the barrel front out even farther). This primitive "stock" would be held by the shooter - and pointed towards one's target. A solid lead (steel, etc) - shot was placed inside the barrel with a copious amount of gunpowder. It is assumed that some form of wadding or cloth was used to stabilize the shot!. At the end of the tube, was a venting hole. This opening gave access to the gunpowder inside the tube. A "slow match" was now needed. A piece of hemp often impregnated with powder grains and lit to produce a slow smoldering burn. Applied to the vent (and most times) the powder would ignite, the shot would expel - downed enemy. Often elaborately decorated, their use on the battlefield was novel at first. As their true applications became rapidly known, they would quickly bring around the end for most of our popular Medieval weapons and armor. There are some excellent surviving examples still in many Museums worldwide.