“The Handgonne Priming Dilemma”

https://www.full30.com/watch/MDA5ODAz/the-handgonne-priming-dilemma This is an extremely interesting video. It seems that aiming a Tabor-style handgonne is not so difficult as one might think. The earliest type of gunpowder, called "meal" or "serpentine" powder, was very fine, like flour. But it had a problem, as it was very hard to store and the component elements would separate … Continue reading “The Handgonne Priming Dilemma”

Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

A history book I read about a year ago said that Qi Jigaung, a 16th century general famous for defeating the pirate invasion of southern China, had mostly ignored musketry and focused on contact weapons. Since it didn't seem like there would be any bow/musket comparison I forgot about him until coming across the name … Continue reading Chinese general Qi Jiguang adopts musketry

The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

China is the odd man out in the transition from archery to musketry. Almost every other nation had given up archery for firearms, the Chinese still used large numbers of archers as late as the 19th century. While firearms were certainly not unknown in China, and muskets made up a significant portion of the Qing … Continue reading The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2

More incidents from the Imjin War. These are taken from Firearms: A Global History to 1700 by Kenneth Chase. Bizarrely, Chase takes the typical position that bows were a superior battlefield weapon to firearms despite his book being full of evidence to the contrary. This quote by the Korean official Yu Song-nyong, for example, is … Continue reading Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2

Christine de Pizan, The Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry, 1410

Christine de Pizan, a French noblewoman, is notable not only for her poetry, but for having written this book on the virtues of martial training. The work is largely based on Vegetius's De Re Militari, but Christine adds in plenty of commentary unique to the military situation of 15th century France. Most interesting is her … Continue reading Christine de Pizan, The Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry, 1410

Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 1

The Imjin War was an invasion of Korea by the Japanese between 1592-1598. Although the Koreans were initially no match for the Japanese armies, the Japanese were eventually driven out thanks to Chinese military assistance and several decisive naval battles. At the beginning of the war, the Koreans had virtually no firearms. The Japanese, on … Continue reading Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 1

Barnabe Rich- A right exelent and pleasaunt dialogue, 1574

I was surprised to find that this one was published in 1574. The arguments are extremely similar to those of Roger Williams, whose Discourses were not published until 1590. The argument takes place in the form of a dialogue between Mercury and an English soldier. Since speaker tags have been forgotten in some places I've … Continue reading Barnabe Rich- A right exelent and pleasaunt dialogue, 1574

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza – The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars

Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Bishop of Puebla in Mexico, was privy to reports of the Manchu conquest of Ming China via the Phillipines. Though he had never been to China himself, Palafox used those reports to write a detailed history of the conquest. Throughout, the Manchu are referred to as Tartars. Pages 521-522 The … Continue reading Juan de Palafox y Mendoza – The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars