Piracy in the Caribbean
The era of piracy in the Caribbean began in the 1500s and phased out in the 1830s after the navies of the nations of Western Europe and North America with colonies in the Caribbean began combating pirates. The period during which pirates were most successful was from the 1660s to 1730s. Piracy flourished in the Caribbean because of the existence of pirate seaports such as Port Royal in Jamaica, Tortuga in Haiti, Nassau in the Bahamas. Piracy in the Caribbean was part of a larger historical phenomenon of piracy, as it existed close to major trade and exploration routes in nearly all the five oceans. Pirates were former sailors experienced in naval warfare. Beginning in the 16th century, pirate captains recruited seamen to loot European merchant ships the Spanish treasure fleets sailing from the Caribbean to Europe; the following quote by an 18th-century Welsh captain shows the motivations for piracy: In an honest Service, there is thin Commons, low Wages, hard Labour. No, a merry Life and a short one shall be my Motto.
—Pirate Captain Bartholomew Roberts Piracy was sometimes given legal status by the colonial powers France under King Francis I, in the hope of weakening Spain and Portugal's mare clausum trade monopolies in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. This sanctioned piracy was known as privateering. From 1520 to 1560, French privateers were alone in their fight against the Crown of Spain and the vast commerce of the Spanish Empire in the New World, but were joined by the English and Dutch; the Caribbean had become a center of European trade and colonization after Columbus' discovery of the New World for Spain in 1492. In the 1493 Treaty of Tordesillas the non-European world had been divided between the Spanish and the Portuguese along a north-south line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands; this gave Spain control of the Americas, a position the Spaniards reiterated with an unenforceable papal bull. On the Spanish Main, the key early settlements were Cartagena in present-day Colombia, Porto Bello and Panama City on the Isthmus of Panama, Santiago on the southeastern coast of Cuba, Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola.
In the 16th century, the Spanish were mining large quantities of silver from the mines of Zacatecas in New Spain and Potosí in Bolivia. The huge Spanish silver shipments from the New World to the Old attracted pirates and French privateers like François Leclerc or Jean Fleury, both in the Caribbean and across the Atlantic, all along the route from the Caribbean to Seville. To combat this constant danger, in the 1560s the Spanish adopted a convoy system. A treasure fleet or flota would sail annually from Seville in Spain, carrying passengers and European manufactured goods to the Spanish colonies of the New World; this cargo, though profitable, was just a form of ballast for the fleet as its true purpose was to transport the year's worth of silver to Europe. The first stage in the journey was the transport of all that silver from the mines in Bolivia and New Spain in a mule convoy called the Silver Train to a major Spanish port on the Isthmus of Panama or Veracruz in New Spain; the flota would meet up with the Silver Train, offload its cargo of manufactured goods to waiting colonial merchants and load its holds with the precious cargo of gold and silver, in bullion or coin form.
This made the returning Spanish treasure fleet a tempting target, although pirates were more to shadow the fleet to attack stragglers than to engage the well-armed main vessels. The classic route for the treasure fleet in the Caribbean was through the Lesser Antilles to the ports along the Spanish Main on the coast of Central America and New Spain northwards into the Yucatán Channel to catch the westerly winds back to Europe. By the 1560s, the Dutch United Provinces of the Netherlands and England, both Protestant states, were defiantly opposed to Catholic Spain, the greatest power of Christendom in the 16th century, it was the French who had established the first non-Spanish settlement in the Caribbean when they had founded Fort Caroline near what is now Jacksonville, Florida in 1564, although the settlement was soon wiped out by a Spanish attack from the larger colony of Saint Augustine. As the Treaty of Tordesillas had proven unenforceable, a new concept of "lines of amity", with the northern bound being the Tropic of Cancer and the eastern bound the Prime Meridian passing through the Canary Islands, is said to have been verbally agreed upon by French and Spanish negotiators of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.
South and west of these lines no protection could be offered to non-Spanish ships, "no peace beyond the line." English and French pirates and settlers moved into this region in times of nominal peace with the Spanish. The Spanish, despite being the most powerful state in Christendom at the time, could not afford a sufficient military presence to control such a vast area of ocean or enforce their exclusionary, mercantilist trading laws; these laws allowed only Spanish merchants to trade with the colonists of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. This arrangement provoked constant smuggling against the Spanish trading laws and new attempts at Caribbean colonization in peacetime by England and the Netherlands. Whenever a war was declared in Europe between the Great Powers the result
The Bahamas, known as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola, northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U. S. state of Florida, east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence; the designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 of ocean space; the Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola; the islands were deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.
The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period; the slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population; the Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas, with an economy based on tourism and finance; the name Bahamas is most derived from either the Taíno ba ha ma, a term for the region used by the indigenous Native Americans, or from the Spanish baja mar reflecting the shallow waters of the area. Alternatively, it may originate from a local name of unclear meaning; the word The constitutes an integral part of the short form of the name and is, capitalised.
So in contrast to "the Congo" and "the United Kingdom", it is proper to write "The Bahamas." The name The Bahamas is thus comparable with certain non-English names that use the definite article, such as Las Vegas or Los Angeles. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the country's fundamental law, capitalizes the "T" in "The Bahamas." Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century, having migrated there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayan people. An estimated 30,000 Lucayans inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus's arrival in 1492. Columbus's first landfall in the New World was on an island; some researchers believe this site to be present-day San Salvador Island, situated in the southeastern Bahamas. An alternative theory holds that Columbus landed to the southeast on Samana Cay, according to calculations made in 1986 by National Geographic writer and editor Joseph Judge, based on Columbus's log.
Evidence in support of this remains inconclusive. On the landfall island, Columbus exchanged goods with them; the Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labour. The slaves suffered from harsh conditions and most died from contracting diseases to which they had no immunity; the population of the Bahamas was diminished. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda; these English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. They settled New Providence, naming it Sayle's Island after one of their leaders. To survive, the settlers salvaged goods from wrecks. In 1670, King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas in North America, they rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, appointing governors, administering the country. In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided Charles Town.
In 1703, a joint Franco-Spanish expedition occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession. During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including Blackbeard. To put an end to the'Pirates' republic' and restore orderly government, Great Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. After a difficult struggle, he succeeded in suppressing piracy. In 1720, Rogers led local militia to drive off a Spanish attack. During the US War of Independence in the late 18th century, the islands became a target for US naval forces under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins. US Marines occupied the capital of Nassau for 2 weeks. In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau; the city surrendered without a fight. Spain returned possession of the Bahamas to Great Britain the following year, u
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture cotton, a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves; each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U. S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch overnight.
After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither declared secession nor were they largely controlled by Confederate forces; the government of the United States rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished; the war lacked a formal end.
By 1865 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared". On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case; the antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona.
Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia, occupied by Federal troops; the Restored Government recognized the new state of West Virginia, admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war. Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, its blockade of the southern coast. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal; as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers; the most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were damaged. Internal movement became difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility; these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, jailed in preparation for a treason trial, never held; the initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
Paradise Island is an island in the Bahamas known as Hog Island. The island, with an area of 277 hectares, is located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, itself located on the northern edge of the island of New Providence, it is best known for the sprawling resort Atlantis with its extensive water park rides, beach, walk-in aquarium and casinos. Paradise Island is connected to the island of New Providence by two bridges that cross Nassau Harbour; the first was built in 1966 by Resorts International, the second in the late 1990s. A small airstrip existed on the island before 1999 to serve the resort. Prior to 1989 the airport was a seaplane base with a ramp for aircraft to leave the water. In 1989 a 910-metre runway was added to the airport. Both Paradise Island Airlines and Chalk's International Airlines were the main tenants of the airport; the STOL capable de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprop operated by Paradise Island Airlines as well the Grumman G-73 Mallard amphibian aircraft flown by Chalk's International Airlines both served the airstrip which closed in 1999.
The airfield and runway have since been removed and replaced with an 18-hole luxury golf course surrounded by one of the wealthiest neighborhoods on the island. The area goes by the name "Ocean Club" with property prices as high as 40+ million dollars. Huntington Hartford, the A&P supermarket heir, arrived on Hog Island in 1959. Hartford changed the name to Paradise Island, he hired the Palm Beach architect John Volk and built the Ocean Club, Cafe Martinique, Hurricane Hole, the Golf Course, among other island landmarks. He acquired and installed the Cloisters, a 14th-century French Augustinian monastery purchased in Montréjeau and dismantled by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s, he hired Gary Player to be Pancho Gonzales to be the tennis pro. His opening of Paradise Island in 1962 was covered in Time magazines, he hired the staff from Eden Roc at Hotel Du Cap to work off season at the Ocean Club. He had the fireworks for the opening party flown in from the South of France, he had a flag and Paradise Beach was featured on a Bahamian three-dollar notes in 1966.
Huntington Hartford met James M. Crosby through Huntington's bodyguard Sy Alter. Sy Alter met Jim Crosby at the Colony Club in Palm Beach. Huntington Hartford obtained the gambling license for Paradise Island and included Jim Crosby as an extra investor. Jim Crosby and Jack Davis formed a company, Resorts International, to continue developing Paradise Island. Recognizing the business potential of the Bahamas, they were the first to establish major resort development, offered above-average salaries to Bahamanian employees; the two continued to develop Paradise Island. They built the bridge to the first large-scale resorts. Paradise Island was purchased in the 1980s for $79 million sold to Merv Griffin for $400 million, it was last sold for $125 million to Sol Kerzner. The current estimated value of the island is about US$2 billion; the mythology of the DC Comis superheroine Wonder Woman involves her island home's being called Paradise Island by her creator William Moulton Marston before being changed to Themyscira.
A larger part of the island is shown in the movie After the Sunset. The James Bond film Casino Royale was shot on Paradise Island; the Beatles' film Help! was filmed on Paradise Island. Atlantis Paradise Island is prominent in Ashley film Holiday in the Sun; the movie My Father the Hero was filmed at Paradise Island. The movie The Other Woman features a section of Paradise Island's beach in the early morning; the James Bond film Thunderball was shot on Paradise Island. The TV show My Wife and Kids filmed one of their episodes on Paradise Island. Survivor: All-Stars contestants Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich were married on Paradise Island in a two-hour TV special. Block, Alan A.. Masters of Paradise. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 1-56000-971-3. Cheshes, Jay. "The Scary Side of Paradise". Miami New Times. "Official Nassau Paradise Island Travel Guide". Nassauparadiseisland.com. "Paradise Island Travel Guide". GoParadiseIsland.com
Inagua is the southernmost district of the Bahamas, comprising the islands of Great Inagua and Little Inagua. The headquarters for the district council are in Matthew Town; the original settler name Heneagua was derived from a Spanish expression meaning'water is to be found there'. Two names of apparent Lucayan origin and Baneque, were used by the Spanish to refer to Great Inagua. Between the years of 1500 and 1825, many documented treasure laden ships were destroyed on Inaguan reefs; the two most valuable wrecks lost off the Inaguas were treasure-laden Spanish galleons: the Santa Rosa in 1599. Other ships of considerable value that were wrecked there include the French Le Count De Paix in 1713, the British HMS Lowestoffe in 1801, the British HMS Statira in 1815; as early as the 1600s, salt was being produced and shipped to Spanish colonies, its extraction was a going business by 1803. Henri Christophe, king of northern Haiti from 1811 to 1820, built a summer retreat at the Northeast Point of Great Inagua.
Local legend has it that he buried a cache of gold there. By 1918, after the end of World War I, lower salt prices and competition had driven the small producers on Great Inagua out of business, the salt works were abandoned except for incidental local use. In 1935, the Erickson brothers from Massachusetts founded West India Chemicals Ltd. purchasing the abandoned salt works from the British government. They drilled test holes, set up offices, began restoration of the buildings, but the locals felt threatened, fearing changes to the power structure status quo. In August 1937, a riot broke out, an employee was killed, the Ericksons were forced to flee, they soon returned, full-scale development resumed. In the mid-1950s, Morton Salt bought the Great Inagua saltworks, which includes over 80 salt ponds, now the second largest such operation in North America. Morton is the major employer on the island. Great Inagua is the second largest island in the Bahamas at 596 sq mi and lies about 55 miles from the eastern tip of Cuba.
The island is about 55 by 19 mi in extent and flat with some sand hills, the highest points being East Hill at 132 ft, Salt Pond Hill at 102 ft, James Hill at 90 ft. It encloses several lakes, most notably the 12-mile long Lake Windsor which occupies nearly a quarter of the interior; the population of Great Inagua is 913. The island's capital and only harbour is Matthew Town, named after George Matthew, a 19th-century Governor of the Bahamas; this town houses the Morton Salt Company’s main facility, producing one million tonnes of sea salt a year — the second largest solar saline operation in North America and Inagua's main industry. Great Inagua Airport is located nearby. A large bird sanctuary in the centre of the island has a population of more than 80,000 West Indian flamingoes and many other bird species, including the Bahama parrot, Inagua woodstar, Bahama pintail, brown pelican, tricolored heron, snowy egret, reddish egret, stripe-headed tanager, double-crested cormorant, Neotropic cormorant, roseate spoonbill, American kestrel, burrowing owl.
The Union Creek National Reserve is specially set aside for the study of green sea turtles. The neighbouring Little Inagua, 8 km to the northeast, is uninhabited and occupied by a large Land and Sea Park, it has an area of 30 sq mi, with herds of feral goats. Various species of endangered sea turtles breed on the island. Little Inagua has a large protective reef extending up to 1 mile away from the island in all directions, which prevents boats from coming too close. Erickson, Margery O.. Great Inagua. Garrison, New York: Capriole Press. OCLC 16662171. Klingel, Gilbert C.. The Ocean Island. New York: Dodd, Mead. OCLC 1540989. Published under the title: Inagua: Which is the Name of a Very Lonely and Nearly Forgotten Island. Stark, James H.. Stark's Guide to the Bahama Islands. Boston: Boston Photo Electrotype Co. pp. 158–9. OCLC 1071967476. Great Inagua Photos, January 2006 *
A mortar is a simple, man portable, muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smooth-bore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount and a sight. They launch explosive shells in high-arcing ballistic trajectories. Mortars are used as indirect fire weapons for close fire support with a variety of ammunition. Mortars have been used for hundreds of years in siege warfare. Many historians consider the first mortars to have been used at the 1453 siege of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. An Italian account of the 1456 siege of Belgrade by Giovanni da Tagliacozzo said that the Ottoman Turks used seven mortars that fired "stone shots one Italian mile high"; the time of flight of these was long enough that casualties could be avoided by posting observers to give warning of their trajectories. However, earlier mortars were used in Korea in a 1413 naval battle when Korean gunsmiths developed the Wan'gu; the earliest version of the Wan'gu dates back to 1407. Choi Hae-san, the son of Choe Mu-seon, is credited with inventing the first Wan'gu.
Early mortars, such as the Pumhart von Steyr, were large and heavy, could not be transported. Made, these weapons were no more than iron bowls reminiscent of the kitchen and apothecary mortars whence they drew their name. An early transportable mortar was invented by Baron Menno van Coehoorn; this mortar fired an exploding shell. This innovation was taken up, necessitating a new form of naval ship, the bomb vessel. Mortars played a significant role in the Venetian conquest of Morea and in the course of this campaign an ammunition store in the Parthenon was blown up. An early use of these more mobile mortars as field weapons was by British forces in the suppression of the Jacobite rising of 1719 at the Battle of Glen Shiel. High angle trajectory mortars held a great advantage over standard field guns in the rough terrain of the West Highlands of Scotland; the mortar had fallen out of general use in Europe by the Napoleonic era and interest in the weapon was not revived until the beginning of the 20th century.
Mortars were used by both sides during the American Civil War. At the Siege of Vicksburg, General US Grant reported making coehorn mortars "by taking logs of the toughest wood that could be found, boring them out for six- or twelve-pound shells and binding them with strong iron bands; these answered as Coehorns, shells were thrown from them into the trenches of the enemy". During the Russo-Japanese War, Lieutenant-General Leonid Gobyato of the Imperial Russian Army applied the principles of indirect fire from closed firing positions in the field and, with the collaboration of General Roman Kondratenko, he designed the first mortar that fired navy shells; the German Army studied the Siege of Port Arthur, where heavy artillery had been unable to destroy defensive structures like barbed wire and bunkers. As a result, they developed. Used during World War I, they were made in three sizes. World War I saw the introduction of the Stokes mortar, it was the forerunner of all modern mortars in use today.
These modern weapons are light, easy to operate, yet possess enough accuracy and firepower to provide infantry with quality close fire support against soft and hard targets more than any other means. It was not until the Stokes Mortar was devised by Sir Wilfred Stokes in 1915 during the First World War that the modern mortar transportable by one person was born. In the conditions of trench warfare, there was a great need for a versatile and portable weapon that could be manned by troops undercover in the trenches. Stokes's design was rejected in June 1915 because it was unable to use existing stocks of British mortar ammunition, it took the intervention of David Lloyd George and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Matheson of the Trench Warfare Supply Department to expedite manufacture of the Stokes mortar; the weapon proved to be useful in the muddy trenches of the Western Front, as a mortar round could be aimed to fall directly into trenches, where artillery shells, due to their low angle of flight, could not go.
The Stokes mortar was a simple muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smoothbore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount. When a mortar bomb was dropped into the tube, an impact sensitive primer in the base of the bomb would make contact with a firing pin at the base of the tube, detonate, firing the bomb towards the target, it could fire as many as 25 bombs per minute and had a maximum range of 800 yards firing the original cylindrical unstabilised projectile. A modified version of the mortar, which fired a modern fin-stabilised streamlined projectile and had a booster charge for longer range, was developed after World War I. By World War II, it could fire as many as 30 bombs per minute, had a range of over 2,500 yards with some shell types; the French developed an improved version of the Stokes mortar as the Brandt Mle 27, further refined as the Brandt Mle 31. These weapons were the prototypes for all subsequent light mortar developments around the world. Mortar carriers are vehicles.
Numerous vehicles have been used to mount morta