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The Introduction Of Gunpowder Weapons At The Turn Of The Seventeenth Century Was The Most Significant Transistional Period In Modern Warfare

1202 words - 5 pages

Question: Using your best military history judgment based on the study of modern warfare, which transitional period was the most significant--introduction of gunpowder weapons at the turn of the Seventeenth Century Why? Analyze the military point of view within the contextual aspects of war. Explain and analyze the successes on the battlefield and their influences on military history. Be specific in your answer by discussing technology, tactics, formations, organizations, weaponry, training and leadership. Use specific examples to support your answer.Answer:Regardless of what era of military history is studied, there is one basic principle that is ever prevalent--in order to conquer an ...view middle of the document...

It is ironic that even after the realization of the devastating power of the cannon that the immediate end to the reliance of siege warfare did not emerge. In fact, cannons were utilized for the most part in the same role as rams and stone-throwers had been--to gain a breach in the castle walls, and then the storming of the fortification would commence. As Bradbury states, it would be a "gross simplification entirely to attribute the change to the development of guns....it is likely that political and social change was more significant" (295).However, even after the introduction of the cannon, and the obvious lack of protection the castle wall was likely to provide, the actual first appearance of these deadly weapons actually spawned a renewed reliance upon castle-building, now dubbed bastions, and siege warfare became a game of who could muster the most and mightiest cannon--the attacker or the besieged. As far as cannon are concerned, this is as far as the discussion will go, for as soon as the fortification walls were breached, or the appearance of a relief army appeared, the decision of the affair fell unto the shoulders of the infantry.The 1600's produced the musket, namely the emergence of the ever-popular flintlock "Brown Bess" in 1682. As the effective range was a mere 40 yards (though the bullets could strike targets at 300 yards, though very inaccurately) and the rate of fire was an atrocious one shot per forty seconds by a trained soldier, the first appearance of muskets impacted battlefield techniques in a very minor way: the front ranks were reduced by a concentrated volley of fire and then iron discipline allowed them to make ready for the enemy volley and then the remaining men would prepare for the unleashing of another volley. In short, the mass amounts of casualties caused an overnight swelling of the size of armies, and not until the introduction of the bayonet in the latter years of the seventeenth century.The introduction of the bayonet finally eliminated the last of the pikemen, and made the musketeer the sole infantrymen until the introduction of the grenade in 1704. The biggest impact from the hand-held gunpowder weapons came in 1770s, where halfway around the world, he Kentucky Rifle was introduced to the frontiersman of the American colonies, and during the American Revolution, emphasis was placed on training the...

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