50 Weapons That Changed Warfare

Front Cover
Career Press, 2005 - History - 261 pages
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William Weir, author of New Page Book's 50 Battles That Changed the World, takes another look at the history of warfare, focusing on the hardware that served those famous battles, as well as others not as glorious. Included are:

  • Individual weapons-from spears to the submachine gun.
  • Crew-served weapons-from battering rams to "Big Bertha."
  • Unmanned weapons-from punji stakes to "Bouncing Betty" landmines and trap guns.


50 Weapons That Changed Warfare even includes devices that, strictly speaking, are weapons carriers, such as tanks and bombers, but which have had enormous effects on the conduct of war. This book describes the effects of these weapons and how and why they changed warfare-from the bloody carnage produced by hand weapons throughout history to the never used but universally feared fusion bomb, whose sole purpose is to destroy millions of people while leaving buildings intact. Each weapon is not only described, but also illustrated to give a clearer picture of its usage and effects.

 

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Contents

Introduction
7
Getting to the Point The Spear
9
Death at a Distance The Bow and Arrow
13
The Symbol of War The Sword
17
The First Warship The Galley
21
To Foil All Weapons Body Armor
27
Horses Change the Battlefield The Chariot
33
More Horses The Stirrup
37
Block that Kick QuickFiring Field Pieces
129
The 1st Stealth Weapon The Submarine
135
Bigger and Cleaner Bangs for the Buck Smokeless Powder and High Explosives
141
Big Bertha and Her Cousins The Super Siege Guns
147
Winged Victory The Airplane
153
Sticky Situations Barbed Wire
157
Trouble in the Air Poison Gas
161
Artillery Up Close and Personal The Trench Mortar
165

The Most Secret Weapon Greek Fire
43
Quiet Cannons Mechanical Artillery
47
The Big Bang Gunpowder
51
Digging Down and Blowing Up Mines
55
The Walls Came Tumbling Down Siege Guns
59
Seizing the Seas The Sailing Man of War
63
Guns That Roll Mobile Artillery
67
Power in the Hands The Matchlock
71
The Spark of Genius Flint and Steel
75
A Knife Doubles Firepower The Bayonet
79
Little Bombs With Big Results Hand Grenades
83
Bombs Bursting in Air Explosive Shells
89
The Spinning Ball The Minie Rifle
93
Sailing Into the Wind The Steam Powered Warships
97
Iron Floats and Sinks Armored Ships
101
Damn the Torpedoes Naval Mines
105
Hidden Gunmen The BreechLoading Rifle
109
The Ultimate Horse Pistol The Revolver
113
David as a Tin Fish The Modern Torpedo
119
10 Shots a Second The Machine Gun
125
Traveling Forts Armored Vehicles
169
Air Power on the Sea The Aircraft Carrier
173
A Machine Gun for Every Man Submachine Guns and Assault Rifles
181
Hidden Death Land Mines
187
Less Is More A Lot More The Shaped Charge
191
Red Glare Everywhere Small Rockets
197
Firing a Cannon Like a Rifle Recoilless Guns
201
Eyes and Ears Sonar and Radar
205
The Fires of War Thermite Napalm and Other Incendiaries
209
Jumping and Coasting Into War The Parachute and the Glider
213
From Sea to Shore Landing Craft
219
Shooting Across Oceans ICBMs and Cruise Missiles
223
Straight Up The Helicopter
229
The Ultimate Weapon? Nuclear Weapons
233
High Tech and Low The Future of Warfare?
237
Honorable Mentions
243
Bibliography
249
Index
255
About the Author
261
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

William Weir, a former Army combat correspondent and photographer in the Korean War, has written eight previous books, mostly about military history

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