25 January 2008

Handgonnes And Matchlocks

I found this very interesting and educational site this morning. A look at the history and develoment of "Handgonnes and Matchlocks." Someone has compiled a pretty comprehensive online history of firearms up through the 1700s. I haven't seen anything like this online before; the best comparison is W.W. Greener's hard-copy "History of the Gun." This site is worth the time to check out.

From the site:

"Why the handgonne came to replace other projectile weapons in the late medieval period is not immediately clear and a bit beyond the scope of this short paper. The introduction of the English longbow to European warfare in the early 1300s coincides closely with the invention of the gun. The rapid improvements in armour that this innovation caused eventually dulled its effectiveness. Longbows were cheap and powerful, but required large expenditures in training and feeding troops so that they could be skilled enough and strong enough to use the bow."

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