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Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)

Hall, Professor Bert S.

Verlag: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997
ISBN 10: 0801855314 / ISBN 13: 9780801855313
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Titel: Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: ...

Verlag: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Erscheinungsdatum: 1997

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: New


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Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe explores the history of gunpowder in Europe from the thirteenth century, when it was first imported from China, to the sixteenth century, as firearms became central to the conduct of war. Bridging the fields of military history and the history of technology -- and challenging past assumptions about Europe's "gunpowder revolution" -- Hall discovers a complex and fascinating story. Military inventors faced a host of challenges, he finds, from Europe's lack of naturally occurring saltpeter -- one of gunpowder's major components -- to the limitations of smooth-bore firearms. Manufacturing cheap, reliable gunpowder proved a difficult feat, as did making firearms that had reasonably predictable performance characteristics. Hall details the efforts of armorers across Europe as they experimented with a variety of gunpowder recipes and gunsmithing techniques, and he examines the integration of new weapons into the existing structure of European warfare.

Rezension: Francis Bacon, writing in 1620, remarked that the magnetic compass, the printing press, and gunpowder changed the appearance and state of the whole world. Bert S. Hall focuses closely on the last innovation to examine the effects of changes in military technology on European history in the late Middle Ages and early modern era. Strategists, he writes, first used guns as a means of inducing panic in an enemy. When rival armies gained access to this technology, the psychological use of firearms gave way to their employment as weapons of mass destruction. With increased military power came a transformation in the power of states, allowing greater centralization and force. Military history buffs will find much of interest in these pages.

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