Chile the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty; the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, features a string of volcanoes and lakes; the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, canals, twisting peninsulas, islands.
Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil; this development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010.
The modern sovereign state of Chile is among South America's most economically and stable and prosperous nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, income per capita, state of peace, economic freedom, low perception of corruption, it ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development. Chile is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, joining in 2010, it has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the Incas called the valley of the Aconcagua "Chili" by corruption of the name of a Picunche tribal chief called Tili, who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century.
Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either "ends of the earth" or "sea gulls". Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile; the Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, the few survivors of Diego de Almagro's first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the "men of Chilli". Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such; the older spelling "Chili" was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching to "Chile". Stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating indigenous Peoples settled in fertile valleys and coastal areas of what is present-day Chile.
Settlement sites from early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodón and the Pali-Aike Crater's lava tube. The Incas extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the Mapuche resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization, they fought against his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the southern passage now named after him thus becoming the first European to set foot on what is now Chile; the next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from Peru in 1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting; the conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarro's lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541.
Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognize
Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South American mainland, across the Strait of Magellan. The archipelago consists of the main island, Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, with an area of 48,100 km2, a group of many islands, including Cape Horn and Diego Ramírez Islands. Tierra del Fuego is divided between Chile and Argentina, with the latter controlling the eastern half of the main island and the former the western half plus the islands south of Beagle Channel; the southernmost extent of the archipelago is at about latitude 55 S. The earliest known human settlement in Tierra del Fuego dates to around 8,000 BCE. Europeans first explored the islands during Ferdinand Magellan's expedition of 1520. Settlement by those of European descent and the great displacement of the native populations did not begin until the second half of the 19th century, at the height of the Patagonian sheep farming boom and of the local gold rush. Today, petroleum extraction dominates economic activity in the north of Tierra del Fuego, while tourism and Antarctic logistics are important in the south.
The earliest human settlement occurred around 8,000 BCE. The Yaghan were some of the earliest known humans to settle in Tierra del Fuego. Archeological sites with characteristics of their culture have been found at locations such as Navarino Island; the name Tierra del Fuego was given by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan while sailing for the Spanish Crown in 1520. He believed he was seeing the many fires of the Yaghan, which were visible from the sea, that the "Indians" were waiting in the forests to ambush his armada. In 1525 Francisco de Hoces was the first to speculate that Tierra del Fuego was one or more islands rather than part of what was called Terra Australis. Francis Drake in 1578 and a Dutch East India Company expedition in 1616 learned more about the geography; the latter expedition named Cape Horn. On his first voyage with HMS Beagle in 1830, Robert FitzRoy picked up four native Fuegians, including "Jemmy Button" and brought them to England; the surviving three were taken to London to meet the King and Queen and were, for a time, celebrities.
They returned to Tierra del Fuego in Beagle with FitzRoy and Charles Darwin, who made extensive notes about his visit to the islands. During the second half of the 19th century, the archipelago began to come under Chilean and Argentine influence. Both countries sought to claim the whole archipelago based on de jure Spanish colonial titles. Salesian Catholic missions were established in Dawson Island. Anglican missions were established by British colonists at Keppel Island in the Falklands in 1855 and in 1870 at Ushuaia on the main island, which continued to operate through the 19th century. Thomas Bridges learned the language and compiled a 30,000-word Yaghan grammar and dictionary while he worked at Ushuaia, it was considered an important ethnological work. An 1879 Chilean expedition led by Ramón Serrano Montaner reported large amounts of placer gold in the streams and river beds of Tierra del Fuego; this prompted massive immigration to the main island between 1883 and 1909. Numerous Argentines and Croatians settled in the main island, leading to increased conflicts with native Selk'nam.
Julius Popper, a Romanian explorer, was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the region. Granted rights by the Argentine government to exploit any gold deposits he found in Tierra del Fuego, Popper has been identified as a central figure in the Selk'nam genocide. Following contact with Europeans, the native Selk'nam and Yaghan populations were reduced by unequal conflict and persecution by settlers, by infectious diseases to which the indigenous people had no immunity, by mass transfer to the Salesian mission of Dawson Island. Despite the missionaries' efforts, many natives died. Today, only a few Selk'nam remain; some of the few remaining Yaghan have settled in Villa Ukika in Navarino Island. Following the signing of the Boundary Treaty of 1881, Tierra del Fuego was divided between Argentina and Chile; the gold rushes of the late 19th century led to the founding of numerous small settlements by immigrants such as the Argentine settlements of Ushuaia and Río Grande and the Chilean settlements of Porvenir and Puerto Toro.
In 1945 a division of Chilean CORFO engaged in oil exploration made a breakthrough discovery of oil in northern Tierra del Fuego. Extraction began in 1949, in 1950 the state created ENAP to deal with oil extraction and prospecting; until 1960, most oil extracted in Chile came from Tierra del Fuego. During the 1940s Chile and Argentina formulated their Antarctic claims; the governments realized the key role of Tierra del Fuego's geographical proximity in backing their claims as well as in supplying their Antarctic bases. In the 1950s, the Chilean military founded Puerto Williams to counter Ushuaia's monopoly as the only settlement in the Beagle Channel, a zone where Argentina disputed the 1881 borders. In the 1960s and 1970s, sovereignty claims by Argentina over Picton and Nueva Islands in Tierra del Fuego led the two countries in December 1978 to the brink of war. In response to the threat of an Argentine invasion, minefields were deployed and bunkers built on the Chilean side in some areas of Tierra del Fuego.
The threat of war caused the Chilean Pin
Voyage of the James Caird
The voyage of the James Caird was a small-boat journey from Elephant Island in the South Shetland Islands to South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean, a distance of 1,300 km. Undertaken by Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions, it aimed to obtain rescue for the main body of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917, stranded on Elephant Island after the loss of its ship Endurance. Polar historians regard the voyage as one of the greatest small-boat journeys completed. In October 1915 pack ice in the Weddell Sea had sunk Endurance, leaving Shackleton and his companions adrift on a precarious ice surface. Throughout the duration of their survival, the group drifted northward until April 1916, when the floe on which they had encamped broke up, they made their way in the ship's lifeboats to Elephant Island, where Shackleton decided that the most effective means of obtaining rescue would be to sail one of the lifeboats to South Georgia. Of the three lifeboats, the James Caird was deemed the strongest and most to survive the journey.
Shackleton had named it after Sir James Key Caird, a Dundee jute-manufacturer and philanthropist, whose sponsorship had helped finance the expedition. Before its voyage, the ship's carpenter Harry McNish strengthened and adapted the boat to withstand the mighty seas of the Southern Ocean. Surviving a series of dangers, including a near capsizing, the boat reached the southern coast of South Georgia after a voyage lasting 16 days. Shackleton and two companions crossed the island's mountainous interior to reach a whaling station on the northern side. Here he organised the relief of the Elephant Island party, the return of his men home without loss of life. After the First World War, in 1919, the James Caird was moved from South Georgia to England, it has been on regular display at Shackleton's old school, Dulwich College, since 1922. On 5 December 1914, Shackleton's expedition ship Endurance left South Georgia for the Weddell Sea, on the first stage of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, it was making for Vahsel Bay, the southernmost explored point of the Weddell Sea at 77° 49' S, where a shore party was to land and prepare for a transcontinental crossing of Antarctica.
Before it could reach its destination the ship was trapped in pack ice, by 14 February 1915 was held fast, despite prolonged efforts to free her. During the following eight months she drifted northward until, on 27 October, she was crushed by the pack's pressure sinking on 21 November; as his 27-man crew set up camp on the moving ice, Shackleton's focus shifted to how best to save his party. His first plan was to march across the ice to the nearest land, try to reach a point that ships were known to visit; the march began, but progress was hampered by the nature of the ice's surface described by Shackleton as "soft, much broken up, open leads intersecting the floes at all angles". After struggling to make headway over several days, the march was abandoned, they had managed to salvage three lifeboats, which Shackleton had named after the principal backers of the expedition: Stancomb Wills, Dudley Docker and James Caird. The party waited until 8 April 1916, when they took to the boats as the ice started to break up.
Over a perilous period of seven days they sailed and rowed through stormy seas and dangerous loose ice, to reach the temporary haven of Elephant Island on 15 April. Elephant Island, on the eastern limits of the South Shetland Islands, was remote from anywhere that the expedition had planned to go, far beyond normal shipping routes. No relief ship would search for them there, the likelihood of rescue from any other outside agency was negligible; the island was bleak and inhospitable, its terrain devoid of vegetation, although it had fresh water, a relative abundance of seals and penguins to provide food and fuel for immediate survival. The rigors of an Antarctic winter were fast approaching; the pressures and hardships of the previous months were beginning to tell on the men, many of whom were in a run-down state both mentally and physically. In these conditions, Shackleton decided using one of the boats; the nearest port was Stanley in the Falkland Islands, 540 nautical miles away, but made unreachable by the prevailing westerly winds.
A better option was to head at the western end of the South Shetland chain. Although it was uninhabited, Admiralty records indicated that this island held stores for shipwrecked mariners, was visited from time to time by whalers. However, reaching it would involve a journey against the prevailing winds—though in less open seas—with no certainty when or if rescue would arrive. After discussions with the expedition's second-in-command, Frank Wild, ship's captain Frank Worsley, Shackleton decided to attempt to reach the whaling stations of South Georgia, to the north-east; this would mean a much longer boat journey, of 800 nautical miles across the Southern Ocean, in conditions of approaching winter, but with the help of following winds it appeared feasible. Shackleton thought that "a boat party might make the voyage and be back with relief within a month, provided that the sea was clear of ice, the boat survive the great seas"; the South Georgia boat party could expect to meet hurricane-force winds and waves—the notorious Cape Horn Rollers—measuring from trough to crest as much as 18 m (60 ft
Henry McNish referred to as Harry McNeish or by the nickname Chippy, was the carpenter on Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914–1917. He was responsible for much of the work that ensured the crew's survival after their ship, the Endurance, was destroyed when it became trapped in pack ice in the Weddell Sea, he modified the small boat, James Caird, that allowed Shackleton and five men to make a voyage of hundreds of miles to fetch help for the rest of the crew. After the expedition he returned to work in the Merchant Navy and emigrated to New Zealand, where he worked on the docks in Wellington until poor health forced his retirement, he died destitute in the Ohiro Benevolent Home in Wellington. Harry "Chippy" McNish was born in 1874 in the former Lyons Lane near the present site of the library in Port Glasgow, Scotland, he was part of a large family, being the third of eleven children born to Mary Jane McNish. His father was a journeyman shoemaker. McNish held strong socialist views, was a member of the United Free Church of Scotland and detested bad language.
He married three times: in 1895 to Jessie Smith, who died in February 1898. There is some confusion as to the correct spelling of his name, he is variously referred to as McNish, McNeish, in Alexander Macklin's diary of the expedition, MacNish. The McNeish spelling is common, notably in Shackleton's and Frank Worsley's accounts of the expedition and on McNish's headstone, but McNish is widely used, appears to be the correct version. On a signed copy of the expedition photo his signature appears as "H. MacNish", but his spelling is in general idiosyncratic, as revealed in the diary he kept throughout the expedition. There is a question regarding McNish's nickname. "Chippy" was a traditional nickname for a shipwright. The aim of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent from one side to the other. McNish was attracted by Shackleton's advertisement for the expedition: MEN WANTED: FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES, BITTER COLD, LONG MONTHS OF COMPLETE DARKNESS, CONSTANT DANGER, SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL.
HONOUR AND RECOGNITION IN CASE OF SUCCESS. SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON McNish, at 40, was one of the oldest members of the crew of the Endurance, he suffered from rheumatism in his legs. He was regarded as somewhat odd and unrefined, but highly respected as a carpenter—Frank Worsley, the captain of the Endurance, refers to him as a "splendid shipwright"; the pipe-smoking Scot was, the only man of the crew that Shackleton was "not dead certain of". His Scots accent was described as rasping like "frayed cable wire". During the initial stage of the voyage to Antarctica from Buenos Aires, he was kept busy with a number of routine tasks, he worked on the pram dinghy Nancy Endurance. He constructed a false deck, extending from the poop-deck to the chart-room to cover the extra coal that the ship had taken on board, he acted as the ship's barber. As the ship pushed into the pack ice in the Weddell Sea it became difficult to navigate. McNish constructed a six-foot wooden semaphore on the bridge to enable the navigating officer to give the helmsman directions, built a small stage over the stern to allow the propeller to be watched in order to keep it clear of the heavy ice.
When the ship became trapped in pack ice his duties expanded to constructing makeshift housing, once it became clear that the ship was doomed, to altering the sledges for the journey over the ice to open water. He built the quarters where the crew took their cubicles where the men could sleep; these were all christened as well. Assisted by the crew, he constructed kennels for the dogs on the upper deck. Once Endurance became trapped, the crew were spending the days on the ice, McNish erected goalposts and football became a daily fixture for the men. To pass the time in the evening, McNish joined Frank Wild, Tom Crean, James McIlroy and Shackleton playing poker in the wardroom; the pressure from the ice caused Endurance to start to take on water. To prevent the ship from flooding McNish built a cofferdam, caulking it with strips of blankets and nailing strips over the seams, standing for hours up to his waist in freezing water as he worked, he could not prevent the pressure from the ice crushing the ship though and was experienced enough to know when to stop trying.
Once the ship had been destroyed he was put in charge of rescuing the stores from what had been The Ritz. With McNish in charge it took only a couple of hours to open the deck far enough to retrieve a good quantity of provisions. During his watch one night while the crew were camped on the ice, a small part of the ice floe broke away and he was only rescued due to the quick intervention of the men of the next watch who threw him a line allowing him to jump back to safety. Shackleton reported that McNish calmly mentioned his narrow escape the next day after further cracks appeared in the ice. Mrs Chippy, the cat McNish had brought on board, had to be shot after the loss of the Endurance, as it was obvious he would not survive the harsh conditions. McNi
Fuerte Bulnes is a Chilean fort located by the Strait of Magellan, 62 km south of Punta Arenas. It was founded in 1843 on a rocky hill at Punta Santa Ana, under the command of President Manuel Bulnes Prieto; the fort was built to further the president's colonization policies in Southern Chile and protect the Strait of Magellan. He directed construction to ward off claims by other nations. Chiloé's intendant, Domingo Espiñeira Riesco, ordered construction of a schooner to sail to that location, he commissioned it in the president's name, but Bulnes had the ship renamed Goleta Ancud, for where it was built. She sailed from Ancud on May 22, 1843, under command of Commander John Williams Wilson, Chilean Navy, he arrived at Punta Santa Ana on September 1843, about 2 km from Puerto del Hambre. He directed the construction of a fort here, using logs and dirt and grass'bricks'. Although the president wanted to establish a town, the harsh weather prevented attracting a large and stable population; as a result, after six years, the government founded Punta Arenas in the Sandy Point area in 1848.
Once people had migrated there, military forces destroyed the fort. Lieutenant Cambiazo supervised its burning. Between 1941 and 1943, the government directed the fort to be reconstructed as a historic monument; the replica includes the church, chaplain's quarters, powder magazine, post office and stables. It was declared a national monument in 1968. Today, it is administered by a private company. Francisco Solano Asta-Buruaga y Cienfuegos, Diccionario geográfico de la República de Chile, Nueva York: D. Appleton y Compania, 1899, pg. 582 "Puerto del Hambre"
The bombard is a cannon or mortar used throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Most bombards were used gunpowder to launch the projectiles. There are many examples of bombards, including Mons Meg, the Dardanelles Gun, the handheld bombard. Larger bombards are sometimes included in the family of superguns; the weapon provided the name to the Royal Artillery rank of the word bombardment. The oldest representation of a bombard can be found in the Dazu Rock Carvings. In 1985, the Canadian historian Robin Yates was visiting Buddhist cave temples when he saw a sculpture on the wall depicting a demon firing a hand-held bombard; the sculpture was dated to the early 12th century. The'Vaso' shown by Walter de Milamete is dated to 1327 and shows a mailed knight firing a brass fire pot; however the armour shown appears anachronistic for 1327 and the image may be a copy of a lost 12th century image. England began using cannons in the early 14th century. Field artillery was deployed by King Edward III at the Battle of Crecy in 1346 but equipment which may have been an artillery piece was listed as captured on a French ship by the English, at Sluys, as early as 1340.
Inverted'keyhole' gun loops at Bodiam Castle, Cooling Castle and Westgate Canterbury have all been identified as for firing heavy handguns. These defences are dated 1380-1385. Used as defensive weapons primitive bombards began to be used as siege weapons in the 14th century. Henry IV, Henry V, James II won battles with the use of bombards. Henry V captured Harfleur with bombards in 1415. King Henry's army came under artillery fire at the Battle of Agincourt. James II destroyed many castles with his one and a half ton cannon named "The Lion"; the French re-conquest of their kingdom from English control saw the use of considerable French artillery in the siege role. The French in this period preferred to avoid attacking English longbowmen in open battle and relied on siege and re-conquest by siege tactics; however the last battle of the Hundred Years' War saw English commander John Talbot lead an Anglo-Gascon army against dug-in French troops equipped with 300 pieces of artillery at the Battle of Castillion in 1453.
The French camp had been laid out by ordnance officer Jean Bureau to maximise the French artillery arm. The Anglo-Gascons were shot to pieces and Talbot was killed. Most bombards started with the construction of a wooden core surrounded by iron bars. Iron hoops were driven over these bars in order to surround and cover them; the whole structure was welded with a hammer while it was still hot at about 1300 °C. The rings subsequently cooled and formed over the bars to secure them; the last step was to attach a one-piece cast. The complicated procedure required a skilled forge who could work and with a hammer. A notable example of a bombard is the large Mons Meg weapon, built around 1449 and used by King James II of Scotland, it was powerful and used for bringing down castle walls. The origins of the Mons Meg are not known but according to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, it was his idea, it had similar construction to a typical bombard. However, the Mons Meg was used because of several factors. First of all, it was hard to transfer because it could not be disassembled and additional frames were needed to keep it steady during battle.
These frames were not reliable and very dangerous, claiming two deaths in the defense of Edinburgh when it was being set. Mons Meg was one of the largest bombards in its time, it is now housed on public display at Edinburgh Castle. A bombard with a bore of 12 inches was found when the moat of Bodiam Castle, was drained. A muzzle-loader of hoop-and-stave construction, it is believed to be the oldest piece found in England and may be late 14th or early 15th century, it was dumped in the moat following an abortive siege at the castle during the Wars of the Roses. The original is now at the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich, but a copy has been on show at the castle for many years; the Star Gun Company has built a Bodiam Bombard replica while local newspapers report a replica was being fired at the castle for visitors during 2012. Other known 15th-century superguns include the wrought-iron Pumhart von Steyr and Dulle Griet as well as the cast-bronze Faule Mette, Faule Grete, Grose Bochse; the Tsar Cannon is a late 16th-century show-piece.
The Dardanelles Gun, built in the Ottoman Empire in 1464 by Munir Ali, with a weight of 18.6 t and a length of 518 cm, was capable of firing stone balls of up to 63 cm diameter. Bombards were superseded by weapons using smaller calibre iron projectiles fired from longer barrels with more powerful gunpowder. List of the largest cannons by caliber This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Bombard". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press.1. Sands, Kathleen. "Though One Of The Best-Documented Of Medieval Bombards, Mons Meg Was The Subject Of Exaggeration And Legend." Military History 16.3: 22. 2. Lu Gwei-Djen, Joseph Needham and Phan Chi-Hsing. Technology and Culture, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 594–605 3. W. H. Finlayson; the Scottish Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 104, Part 2, pp. 124–126 4. Cvikel and Haim Goren. "Where Are Bonaparte's Siege Cannon? An Episode In The Egypti
A cannon is a type of gun classified as artillery that launches a projectile using propellant. In the past, gunpowder was the primary propellant before the invention of smokeless powder in the 19th century. Cannon vary in caliber, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, firepower; the word cannon is derived from several languages, in which the original definition can be translated as tube, cane, or reed. In the modern era, the term cannon has fallen into decline, replaced by guns or artillery if not a more specific term such as mortar or howitzer, except for high calibre automatic weapons firing bigger rounds than machine guns, called autocannons; the earliest known depiction of cannon appeared in Song dynasty China as early as the 12th century, however solid archaeological and documentary evidence of cannon do not appear until the 13th century. In 1288 Yuan dynasty troops are recorded to have used hand cannons in combat, the earliest extant cannon bearing a date of production comes from the same period.
By 1326 depictions of cannon had appeared in Europe and immediately recorded usage of cannon began appearing. By the end of the 14th century cannon were widespread throughout Eurasia. Cannon were used as anti-infantry weapons until around 1374 when cannon were recorded to have breached walls for the first time in Europe. Cannon featured prominently as siege weapons and larger pieces appeared. In 1464 a 16,000 kg cannon known as the Great Turkish Bombard was created in the Ottoman Empire. Cannon as field artillery became more important after 1453 with the introduction of limber, which improved cannon maneuverability and mobility. European cannon reached their longer, more accurate, more efficient "classic form" around 1480; this classic European cannon design stayed consistent in form with minor changes until the 1750s. Cannon is derived from the Old Italian word cannone, meaning "large tube", which came from Latin canna, in turn originating from the Greek κάννα, "reed", generalised to mean any hollow tube-like object.
The word has been used to refer to a gun since 1326 in Italy, 1418 in England. Both Cannons and Cannon are correct and in common usage, with one or the other having preference in different parts of the English-speaking world. Cannons is more common in North America and Australia, while cannon as plural is more common in the United Kingdom; the cannon may have appeared as early as the 12th century in China, was a parallel development or evolution of the fire-lance, a short ranged anti-personnel weapon combining a gunpowder-filled tube and a polearm of some sort. Co-viative projectiles such as iron scraps or porcelain shards were placed in fire lance barrels at some point, the paper and bamboo materials of fire lance barrels were replaced by metal; the earliest known depiction of a cannon is a sculpture from the Dazu Rock Carvings in Sichuan dated to 1128, however the earliest archaeological samples and textual accounts do not appear until the 13th century. The primary extant specimens of cannon from the 13th century are the Wuwei Bronze Cannon dated to 1227, the Heilongjiang hand cannon dated to 1288, the Xanadu Gun dated to 1298.
However, only the Xanadu gun contains an inscription bearing a date of production, so it is considered the earliest confirmed extant cannon. The Xanadu Gun weighs 6.2 kg. The other cannon are dated using contextual evidence; the Heilongjiang hand cannon is often considered by some to be the oldest firearm since it was unearthed near the area where the History of Yuan reports a battle took place involving hand cannon. According to the History of Yuan, in 1288, a Jurchen commander by the name of Li Ting led troops armed with hand cannon into battle against the rebel prince Nayan. Chen Bingying argues there were no guns before 1259 while Dang Shoushan believes the Wuwei gun and other Western Xia era samples point to the appearance of guns by 1220, Stephen Haw goes further by stating that guns were developed as early as 1200. Sinologist Joseph Needham and renaissance siege expert Thomas Arnold provide a more conservative estimate of around 1280 for the appearance of the "true" cannon. Whether or not any of these are correct, it seems that the gun was born sometime during the 13th century.
References to cannon proliferated throughout China in the following centuries. Cannon featured in literary pieces. In 1341 Xian Zhang wrote a poem called The Iron Cannon Affair describing a cannonball fired from an eruptor which could "pierce the heart or belly when striking a man or horse, transfix several persons at once."By the 1350s the cannon was used extensively in Chinese warfare. In 1358 the Ming army failed to take a city due to its garrisons' usage of cannon, however they themselves would use cannon, in the thousands on during the siege of Suzhou in 1366; the Korean kingdom of Joseon started producing gunpowder in 1374 and cannon by 1377. Cannon appeared in Đại Việt by 1390 at the latest. During the Ming dynasty cannon were used in riverine warfare at the Battle of Lake Poyang. One shipwreck in Shandong had a cannon dated to 1377 and an anchor dated to 1372. From the 13th to 15th centuries cannon-armed Chinese ships travelled throughout Southeast Asia; the first of the western cannon to be introduced were breach-loaders in the early 16th century which the Chinese began producing themselves by 1523 and began improving on.
Japan did not acquire a cannon until 1510 when a monk brought one back from China, did not produce a