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thus, a missile which produces than the arrow, and travelling a great moral effect may be about five times as fast. It superior to another which is had therefore fully twenty-five actually more deadly, but of times the energy, or, in other which the moral effect is small. words, the knock-down blow

In ancient times the great was twenty-five times as great. difficulty which beset the man It is as well to explain these who fought with missiles was two terms, velocity and energy. the lack of energy available. The velocity is measured by the Except in a few cumbrous and number of feet traversed in a complicated engines which were second. Thus a cricket-ball hit only used for sieges, there was hard travels about 100 feet per only the muscular strength of second, which is about the rate the human body to draw upon, at which a carrier-pigeon flies. and this proved utterly inade- A golf-ball may start at 150 quate to deliver a heavy blow feet per second, an arrow at at considerable distance.

distance. 250 feet, a pistol-bullet at 750 Arrows and javelins had there- feet, a rifle-bullet at 1500 to fore to be made very sharp, and 2000 feet, and so on. But the depended more on their pierc- energy of the blow delivered by ing power than on the energy a projectile when instantaneof the blow struck. And this ously stopped in its flight is piercing power was easily met proportional not to the velocity and counteracted by the use of but to the velocity multiplied

by itself or squared; so that if The invention of gunpowder the velocity be doubled the as a propellant at once intro- energy is increased fourfold. duced an entirely new state of But the energy is directly things. A mere thimbleful of derived from the propellant, this mean black-looking stuff the pinch of villainous saltpetre. endued its happy possessor with So that if we wish to double far more than the strength of the velocity of a bullet we must Goliath for sending his missile produce four times the energy, hurtling through the vitals of to obtain which we must inarmour

the charge fourfold. armour. Indeed if the armour

And we cannot have energy was sufficiently thick to stop forward without energy backthe ponderous bullet carried by wards, or recoil. If we take a the arquebuse, the blow from the pistol with 750 f.s.' velocity, bullet was quite sufficient to quadruple the charge, and give knock the man-at-arms clean our new weapon four times the off his horse, when he became length of barrel for the gases to quite helpless. The fact was expand in, we get a rifle with that the arrow, which at its twice the velocity obtained by best had a velocity of some 250 the pistol, or 1500 f.s.; but feet per second, was superseded we also increase the recoil to by a bullet somewhat heavier such an extent that if a rifle


his enemy,




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was held like a pistol it would have been far more trying to fly back into the face of the the spirit than the prolonged firer.

We very soon get to a contest and continual fire that limit in striving for high veloc- marks the modern battlefield. ity and energy

in fact, the Is it wonderful that under this inevitable drawbacks of high stress one side or the other energy are so great that the usually gave way before the Lee-Metford rifle of the present bayonets were ever crossed ? day has not half the energy But great as was the energy of the arquebuse which com- and terrible as was the effect of passed the death of the Cheva- the bullet from Brown-Bess, it lier Bayard.

was only at short ranges that it When armour was abandoned, produced these decisive results. much of the energy of the It was considered useless to fire arquebuse went with it, and the at a longer range than 200 yards, musket or old Brown-Bess was and at 400 yards' range the gradually developed,—a much bullet was quite “spent” and lighter and handier weapon harmless. What was the cause than the arquebuse, and with of this ? It was due to the less recoil, which still de- tremendous resistance of the air livered a tremendous blow at to a spherical bullet. It has close quarters. The energy of been calculated that on starting the bullet from Brown - Bess the musket-bullet experienced a was about 2000 ft. lb.1 or about resistance from the air equal to forty times

as great as the a weight of 10 lb., steadily blow from a hard-hit cricket- retarding it. Such a tremendous ball, and twice that delivered retarding influence soon took by the Dum-Dum or other ex- all the energy out of the bullet. panding bullet fired from the Moreover, owing partly to the Lee - Metford rifle at short loose fit of the bullet in the range. Moreover, the wound barrel, but also owing to the made by the musket-ball was air resistance, it was found nearly six times as large as impossible to obtain accuracy that made by the ordinary Lee from a smooth-bore, except at Metford bullet, and probably very short ranges.

The same decidedly worse than anything musket which would hit a playthat the Dum-Dum bullet can ing-card at 20 yards would miss do. It is most unlikely that two men standing side by side modern war will ever produce at 100 yards. The loading was such terrific effects as of course very slow : thus if a caused by the delivery of a company delivered an ineffective volley at close quarters from old fire at 150 yards, their opponents Brown-Bess. Those struck were could close in to 50 yards before in a moment violently hurled they had time to reload, and at to the ground, and the dreadful this range a volley was decisive. volley, invariably followed as it However, for centuries all this was by a bayonet charge, must was accepted as inevitable, and



1 1.e., equal to the blow struck by a 200 lb. weight falling 10 feet.

for some 200 years nothing was heads of those against whom it done to materially improve the was aimed. We may look down musket or its bullet, although upon the round-shot now as a the principle of rifling is at crude and primitive missile to least 400 years old or more.

load such an important weapon The lack of range and ac- as a gun with; but the fact curacy

of the musket was some- remains that the average roundwhat compensated for by the shot of old did more execution introduction of the smooth-bore than the average shell of the field-gun. This weapon was at present day,—for though the its best at a range of 300 to 400 projectile has improved, the inyards, when it discharged a genuity of man in avoiding its number of balls some 4-lb. in effect has improved at a greater weight, styled grape-shot. Thus, ratio. at a range where the musket But at its best the old-fashwas harmless, the field - gun ioned field-gun was a very

crude could deliver as deadly a volley weapon, and its spherical proas that from, say, two dozen jectiles, like the musket-bullet, muskets. Moreover, the grape- were greatly impeded by the shot had at close quarters quite resistance to the air, while its energy enough to dispose of accuracy also was extremely two men in succession. But poor. Still it outlived its protocircumstances frequently arose type, the musket, some years. where a range of more than

It was

not till after the 400 yards was required, and Crimean war that the smooththen the field-gun had to load bore musket was finally superwith round-shot, which made it seded by the rifle, although it efficient up to 1000 yards, or had been known for centuries

, more. The round-shot, in com- that giving a spin to a bullet mon with the grape-shot and enabled it to get through the all spherical projectiles, after air with much less resistance, striking the ground, behaved especially when the bullet was very much as does the ordinary long and narrow, as was poscricket or golf ball. It bounded sible when rifling was used : along not far from the ground, it also greatly improved its though occasionally rising if it accuracy. But when rifles struck some stone or similar came into general use, it was obstacle: if the ground was realised that the range of the fairly smooth, it would sweep infantry small - arm had been some hundreds of yards of quadrupled, and that a most ground, knocking over several deadly fire could now be poured men in its progress, but finally in up to, say, 500 yards, whilst

, slowing down so much that it some effect was actually procould not only be plainly seen, duced at the hitherto unheardbut readily avoided. On rough of range of 800 yards. It was, ground the round-shot lost much therefore, most desirable that of its terror: not only did it the field - gun should be imsooner come to a stop, but it proved in range, otherwise the would frequently fly over the men and horses would be liable


to be overwhelmed by a shower holds, and the artillery has still of rifle- bullets, not only well to oppose artillery as well as outside the range


grape- to destroy and demoralise any shot, but before the compara- force of the enemy's infantry tively long-ranged round-shot that comes within its reach. had made its influence tell on An opposing gun makes a very the tide of battle. For some small mark, and with all the years mechanical difficulties increase of accuracy that the stood in the way.

It was rifled gun attained it was found found impossible to make a most difficult to hit either gun, serviceable rifled-cannon out of carriage, or limber. Moreover, the old and well-tried material, the rifled projectile on striking cast-iron; and even the tougher the ground behaved in an enbrass or gun-metal gave very tirely different manner to the indifferent results. Wrought- old round-shot. It no longer iron and then steel were, how- continued in the same direction, ever, requisitioned, and some as does a swift cricket - ball, thirty - five

years ago the keeping close to the ground. smooth - bore was finally con- Directly it touched the ground demned in favour of the rifled- it was sharply deflected to one gun. The new field-gun easily side or the other, and usually attained a range of 4000 to rose high in the air, passing 5000 yards ; but it was speedily well over the heads of those realised that extreme range was

who would have been cut down no longer a matter of anxiety: by the ricochet of the old what was urgently needed was round-shot. It was therefore greater effect at distances where most desirable to increase the the rifle-bullet was compara- area of destruction at the place tively harmless, and yet where where the projectile struck; and

; the rifled-gun could make accu- though this might entail the rate practice--such as at 1500 breaking up of the projectile to 2000 yards.

and the consequent loss of the The rule in the battlefield effect which the old round-shot has always been that like is produced at a considerable disopposed to like. In the old tance from the point first struck, days when a battery of smooth- this was immaterial with the bore guns prepared to send rifled gun, which, owing to the its round- or grape-shot tear- tendency to glance, could not ing through a column of hos- be depended upon to do any tile infantry from a range harm at all beyond the point where muskets

harm- where the shot first grazed. less, it found itself confronted Accordingly the shell was inby an opposing battery, which troduced, and for fighting in hurled back shot for shot, and the field shot have been releprotected the otherwise help- gated to the museum of antiquiless infantry by drawing the ties. The only guns which still fire of the artillery on itself. use shot are those which have The fighting weapons have to pierce armour, such as ships' changed but the same principle guns and the guns of coast defences, and these only use shot ordinary squib — when burnt when the armour opposed to through, the shell burst. If it them is so thick as to be im- was required to shorten the time penetrable by the best and of burning, the end was simply toughest steel shells. Like many sawn off, or a hole was bored other comparatively modern through the side of the fuse, to implements of war, shells were allow the flame to communicate known many centuries with the powder in the shell before they came into general when only a certain proportion use. How long ago they were of the fuse composition was used in China is an open ques- burnt out. But, however caretion; but they were certainly fully fuses were sawn or bored used in India 500 years ago, with the view of making a shell and have been used in Europe burst directly after it struck the for three centuries at least. object, the results were anyThe original shells were simply thing but satisfactory: the shells hollow spheres of cast-iron filled would either burst long before with powder, a hole being left they reached the object, or some for the insertion of the fuse or time after they struck, . slow-match. They were used Then the percussion-fuse was almost exclusively in siege devised, which explodes a shell operations, being lobbed out of immediately it strikes. The a mortar or howitzer at a high usual method is to have a small elevation with a very small weight inside the fuse, which is charge, which also ignited the held in its place until the gun fuse. Theshell was thus dropped is fired: the consequent shock into the enemy's works, where releases this weight, which is on the burning out of the fuse then free to fly forward on the it exploded, throwing its frag- least retardation of the shell. ments with considerable violence On the shell striking, the weight in all directions. The fuse was flies forward, hits a percussionfor a long time the weak point: cap, and explodes the shell. it often got put out in the air, It was doubtless thought or was extinguished on striking. when shells with percussionAgain, when a shell fell, there fuses were first introduced that was commonly time to get clear a shell bursting close to a of the force of the explosion hostile gun would of necessity before the fuse burnt out. The disable it. Not only was this fuse which satisfied our fore- found to be untrue; but it has fathers, and which was in use frequently happened that the up to a very recent date, con- gun itself or its carriage has sisted of a tapered plug of hard been hit by a shell which has wood with a hole up the centre, duly burst, and yet no harm filled with finely ground and has resulted to the gun. Such tightly rammed gunpowder, or an incident happened during with a composition closely allied the bombardment of Montmédy, to gunpowder. This composi- and is narrated by Prince Kraft. tion, when lighted, burnt fiercely, The shell from a heavy fortressin the same manner as the gun hit and left a graze on one



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