Synopses & Reviews
In the early 14th century, a new weapon entered the arsenals of European armies. It was at this point that black powder, which had been known for at least a century, started being used to shoot projectiles. The first experiments with the early, very crude and cumbersome weapons date to at least the 1320s. Larger and more accurate cannon that fired stone or lead balls soon followed.
This first generation of black powder weapons put fear into the heart of the enemy, and in 1453 Ottoman cannon succeeded in pummelling the once-impregnable walls of Constantinople. But cannon, which are both slow and cumbersome, were difficult to use in the field and often proved inaccurate against mobile troops. The first handgonnes were the answer. Easily dismissed by later historians as nothing more than crude tubes that shot wildly inaccurate lead balls, more recent research has revealed the true accuracy of the medieval handgonne together with its penetrative power.
This volume, complete with detailed illustrations and colour photographs of reconstructed handgonnes, reveals the true history of what could easily be the most revolutionary weapon in history. Together with a detailed discussion of the impact handgonnes had upon tactics and the use of armor within the medieval and later periods, as well as first-hand accounts of battle experiences, this book is a must for medieval enthusiasts and re-enactors.
About the Author
Sean McLachlan is a full-time writer who has previously written American Civil War Guerrilla Tactics for Osprey Publishing as well as a number of magazine articles and books for other publishers on a range of historical subjects. His interest in medieval handgonnes was first fueled by a visit to the Medieval Centre in Denmark where groundbreaking research is currently being undertaken on the subject of medieval technologies.