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The first illustration of a cannon in Europe can be dated quite precisely to 1326. This book explores the development of gunpowder, the earliest appearance of cast-bronze cannon in Western Europe, followed by the design and development of the wrought-iron cannon. The wrought-iron hoop-and-stave method of barrel construction was a system that came to dominate medieval artillery design both large and small until the end of the 15th century, and saw the cannon used not only as a prestige weapon, but start to be used as a practical and terrifying weapon on the medieval battlefield. In 1453, the Ottomans' conquest of Constantinople, with their extensive artillery, marked the triumph of medieval firepower.

The book will focus on the technology and tactics of early European artillery on both sea and land, and assess its impact on medieval warfare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472837219
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/20/2019
Series: New Vanguard
Pages: 48
Sales rank: 233,690
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Davies read history at Cambridge before a long career in teaching, primarily in Tudor institutions. He has followed the route of the First Crusade in an ambulance, completed the Pilgrimage to Santiago twice and for the past 20 years has led a re-enactment group specializing in siege artillery. A prolific author and journalist he has written widely on aspects of medieval and Tudor military and civilian life. His next project is to build an early 16th-century bronze cannon. He is survived by a frustrated wife, a bemused daughter and a bewildered son.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The origins of cannons in Christendom

Gunpowder 7

The economics of gunpowder

Manufacture 11

Bronze guns

Wrought-iron guns

Cast-iron guns



The spread of gun-making

Using Cannons 27


Loading powder

Mounts, carts, carriages and emplacements

Cannons in Combat 32

Siege guns

Besieged guns

Guns at sea: Northern waters

Guns at sea: the Mediterranean

Field artillery

Conclusion 47

Index 48

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