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Evolution on the Battlefront: Military Technology Over Time By: Kenneth A. Gavin American Institute for History Education Prepared for Jersey City (NJ)

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution on the Battlefront: Military Technology Over Time By: Kenneth A. Gavin American Institute for History Education Prepared for Jersey City (NJ)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution on the Battlefront: Military Technology Over Time By: Kenneth A. Gavin American Institute for History Education Prepared for Jersey City (NJ) Grant Saturday, June 26, 2008

2 Either war is obsolete or men are. -R. Buckminster Fuller R. Buckminster Fuller

3 Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal. -Albert Einstein Albert Einstein

4 Gunpowder! Potassium Nitrate (Saltpetre) + Charcoal + Sulfur =

5 Early Incendiary Devices Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1281

6 13 th Century Indian Art Showing Firebombs and Hand Cannon

7 Roger Bacon We can, with saltpetre and other substances, compose artificially a fire that can be launched over long distances. It is possible with it to destroy a town or an army. -Roger Bacon

8 The First Practical Gun: The Hand Cannon AKA: Gonne, Gunne, Canon Service Life: 13 th Century- 16 th Century Top: 13 th Century Chinese Hand Cannon Right: 15 th Century European Hand Cannon

9 The Next Step: The Matchlock Service Life: Mid 14th Century-Late 17 th Century Top: Musketeer Firing Matchlock Musket Left: Close Up of Matchlock Mechanism

10 The Next Step: The Wheellock Service Life: Early 16 th Century-Late 17 th Century German Wheellock Pistol and Rifle, c Comparison of Matchlock and Wheellock Firing Mechanisms

11 Introducing: The Flintlock Service Life: Late 17 th Century-Mid 19 th Century Close Up View Of Flint Lock Firing Mechanism

12 Loyalist Troops Firing the Legendary British Brown Bess During the American Revolution

13 In the days of lace ruffles, perukes, and brocade, Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise An outspoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade, With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes At Blenheim and Ramillies, fops would confess They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess. -Rudyard Kipling, Brown Bess, 1911

14 Two Giant Leaps Forward: The Percussion System and The Minié Ball Top: Model 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket Left: Copper Percussion Caps Right:.58 caliber Minié Ball

15 Civil War Innovations: The Breechloader Revisited and Refined Top: Model 1859 Sharps Carbine Bottom:.52 Caliber Sharps Carbine Cartridge

16 Further Refinement: The Copper Cased Cartridge Top: 2 nd Model Maynard Carbine Left:.50 Caliber Maynard Cartridge Right: Opened Maynard Action

17 More Civil War Innovations: Rapid Fire and Self-Contained Cartridges Top: Model 1860 Spencer Carbine Bottom:.52 Caliber Rimfire Spencer Cartridge

18 The Zenith of Civil War Firepower Top: Model 1860 Henry Repeating Rifle Right: The Gatling Gun

19 Top: The U.S. Model 1873 Army Allin Trapdoor Rifle Bottom: Detail of Loading Mechanism Staple Firearm of the Indian Wars

20 A New Chemical Equation: The Advent of Smokeless Gunpowder American and European scientists discover a way to eliminate the clouds of smoke previously emitted as a byproduct of gunpowder Sodium Nitrate is the key to the new chemical equation There are numerous distinct advantages i.e. concealment and added power

21 A Short-Lived Service Companion: The Krag-Jørgensen Rifle Top: Model 1896 Krag-Jørgensen Rifle Manufactured by Springfield Armory

22 The Infamous Krag Recevier Krag Cartridges

23 Genius Enters the Firearms Design Stage Peter Paul Mauser The Mauser Model 1871 Bolt Action Rifle The Mauser Gewehr 98: Germanys World War I Workhorse

24 Top: M1903 Springfield Rifle Right: Cartridges The American Take on Paul Mausers Design

25 Bolt Action Rifles from France and Great Britain in World War I Above: The French Lebel M1886 Rifle Above: The British Short Magazine Lee- Enfield (SMLE)

26 From the Austro-Hungarian Empire… Above: The Steyr-Mannlicher M95 Carbine Above: Loaded 8x56r En Bloc Clip for Steyr M95

27 …And from the Heart of Mother Russia Above: Variants of the M1891 Mosin-Nagant Rifle Above: Loaded 7.62 x 54r Stripper Clip for Mosin- Nagant Rifle Above: M1895 Nagant Pistol Above: 7.62 x 38 round for Nagant Pistol

28 Backbone of the Wehrmacht: Der Karabiner 98k Above: Der Karabiner 98k; the greatest bolt action rifle ever built Above: Fully loaded 5-round 7.92 x 57 (8mm) Mauser Stripper Clip

29 Above: The M1 Garand Rifle, referred to by Gen. George C. Patton as the greatest battle implement ever devised. Left: John C. Garand presents the prototype rifle in 1936 Right: Fully loaded 8-round En Bloc clips for the M1Garand An Old American Workhorse: The M1 Garand Rifle

30 Above: Infantry and Paratrooper Variants of the M1 Carbine Above:.30 Carbine Ammunition for the M1 Carbine A U.S. Innovation: The M1 Carbine

31 A Hybrid of Genius and the Last of the Classic Battle Rifles: The M14 Above: The M14 Rifle Above: 7.62 NATO Rounds for the M14 Rifle

32 Epilogue: That we remember so little of this earlier world and understand so little of its people and their waysbears witness to the evanescence of all historical worlds, including the one that we ourselves inhabit. In that sense, to grasp the story of the great transformation … is above all to understand it as a cautionary tale: one that demonstrates the unpredictability and irony that always attend the pursuit of power, reminding us that even the most complete victories can sow the seeds of reversal and defeat for victors too dazzled by success to remember that they are, in fact, only human. -Fred Anderson, A Short History of the French and Indian War: The War That Made America


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