A carrack was a three- or four-masted ocean-going sailing ship, developed in the 14th to 15th centuries in Europe. Evolved from the single-masted cog, the carrack was first used for European trade from the Mediterranean to the Baltic and found use with the newly found wealth of the trans-Atlantic trade between Europe and the Americas. In their most advanced forms, they were used by the Portuguese for trade between Europe and Asia starting in the late 15th century, before being superseded in the 17th century by the galleon, introduced in the 16th century. In its most developed form, the carrack was a carvel-built ocean-going ship: large enough to be stable in heavy seas, for a large cargo and the provisions needed for long voyages; the carracks were square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast. They had a high rounded stern with large aftcastle and bowsprit at the stem; as the predecessor of the galleon, the carrack was one of the most influential ship designs in history.
English carrack was loaned in the late 14th century, via Old French caraque, from carraca, a term for a large, square-rigged sailing vessel used in Spanish and Middle Latin. These ships were called carraca or nau in Portuguese and Genoese, carabela or nao in Spanish, caraque or nef in French, kraak in Dutch and Flemish; the origin of the term carraca is unclear from Arabic qaraqir "merchant ship", itself of unknown origin or the Arabic القُرْقُورُ and from thence to the Greek κέρκουρος meaning "lighter". Its attestation in Greek literature is distributed in two related lobes; the first distribution lobe, or area, associates it with certain light and fast merchantmen found near Cyprus and Corfu. The second is an extensive attestation in the Oxyrhynchus corpus, where it seems most to describe the Nile barges of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. Both of these usages may lead back through the Phoenician to the Akkadian kalakku, which denotes a type of river barge; the Akkadian term is assumed to be derived from a Sumerian antecedent.
A modern reflex of the word is found in Turkish kelek "raft. By the Late Middle Ages the cog, cog-like square-rigged vessels equipped with a rudder at the stern, were used along the coasts of Europe, from the Mediterranean, to the Baltic. Given the conditions of the Mediterranean, galley type vessels were extensively used there, as were various two masted vessels, including the caravels with their lateen sails; these and similar ship types were familiar to Portuguese shipwrights. As the Portuguese extended their trade further south along Africa's Atlantic coast during the 15th century, they needed a larger, more durable and more advanced sailing ships for their long oceanic ventures, they developed their own models of oceanic carracks from a fusion and modification of aspects of the ship types they knew operating in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, generalizing their use in the end of the century for inter-oceanic travel with a more advanced form of sail rigging that allowed much improved sailing characteristics in the heavy winds and waves of the Atlantic Ocean and a hull shape and size that permitted larger cargoes.
In addition to the average tonnage naus, some large naus were built in the reign of John II of Portugal, but were only widespread after the turn of the century. The Portuguese carracks were very large ships for their time over 1000 tons, having the future large naus of the India run and of the China and Japan trade other new types of design. A typical three-masted carrack such as the São Gabriel had six sails: bowsprit, mainsail and two topsails. In the middle of the 16th century the first galleons were developed from the carrack; the galleon design came to replace that of the carrack although carracks were still in use as late as the middle of the 17th century due to their larger cargo capacity. Starting in 1498, Portugal initiated for the first time direct and regular exchanges between Europe and India - and the rest of Asia thereafter - through the Cape Route, a journey that required the use of larger vessels, such as carracks, due to its unprecedented length, about 6 months. On average 4 carracks connected Lisbon to Goa carrying gold to purchase spices and other exotic items, but pepper.
From Goa, one carrack went on to Ming China. Starting in 1541, the Portuguese began trading with Japan, exchanging Chinese silk for Japanese silver. In 1557 the Portuguese acquired Macau to develop this trade in partnership with the Chinese; that trade continued with few interruptions until 1638, when it was prohibited by the rulers of Japan on the grounds that the ships were smuggling Catholic priests into the country. The Japanese called referring to the colour of the ship's hulls; this term would come to refer to any western vessel, not just Portuguese. Santa María, in which Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to America in 1492. São Gabriel, flagship of Vasco da Gama, in the 1497 Portuguese expedition from Europe to India by circumnavigating A
Big Bertha (howitzer)
The 42 cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12, or Minenwerfer-Gerät, popularly known by the nickname Big Bertha, was a German siege howitzer built by Krupp AG and fielded by the Imperial German Army from 1914 to 1918. The M-Gerät had a 42-centimetre calibre barrel, making it one of the largest artillery pieces fielded, it entered production the next year. Test firing began in early 1914, the gun was estimated to be finished by October; when World War I broke out, the two available M-Gerät guns, still prototypes, were sent to Liège and destroyed Forts Pontisse and Loncin. German soldiers bestowed the gun with the nickname "Big Bertha," which spread through German newspapers to the Allies, who used it as a nickname for all superheavy German artillery; the Paris Gun, used in 1918 after all Big Berthas had been removed from service, has been confused for the M-Gerät. Due to losses from faulty ammunition and Allied counter-battery artillery, a smaller-calibre gun called the Beta-M-Gerät was built and fielded from 1916 until the end of the war.
It had a longer and heavier barrel, mated to the M-Gerät's carriage, but was found to be less effective than the base gun. The quick advancement of artillery technology beginning in the 1850s provoked an arms race between artillery and military architecture. Rifled artillery could now fire out of range of fortress guns, so military architects began placing forts in rings around cities or in barriers to block approaching armies; these forts were vulnerable to new artillery shells, which could penetrate earth to destroy masonry underground. In response, star forts evolved into polygonal forts underground and made of concrete with guns mounted in armoured, rotating casemates. Combining rings and barriers, France created a vast fortified zone on their border with Germany, while Belgium began construction of the National Redoubt in 1888; the German Empire fortified its borders, but Chief of the General Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Elder desired the ability to break through Franco-Belgian fortifications.
Although German artillery had been effective during the Franco-Prussian War, it had been allowed to stagnate. By the 1880s the barrel diameter of the German Army's most powerful gun, the 21-centimetre field howitzer, was no longer adequate against fortresses. Moltke began requesting more powerful guns that same decade. More powerful artillery became essential to his successor, Alfred von Schlieffen, who planned to defeat France by sweeping through Belgium in response to the 1893 Franco-Russian Alliance. To be able to reduce French and Belgian fortresses, the Artillerieprüfungskommission formed a partnership with Krupp AG in 1893; the first result of this partnership was a 30.5 cm mortar, accepted into service four years and designated the schwerer Küstenmörser L/8, or the Beta-Gerät, to disguise its purpose as a siege gun. Tests in the mid-1890s showed that the Beta-Gerät could not destroy French or Belgian forts with improved shells. Interest in a more powerful siege gun waned until the Russo-Japanese War, during which the Japanese Army used 28 cm coastal guns brought from Japan to end the 11-month long Siege of Port Arthur.
In 1906, Helmuth von Moltke the Younger became Chief of the General Staff and instructed the APK to study and improve the performance of the Beta-Gerät. The APK recommended a more powerful gun as large as 45 cm, but the Germany Army opted for a 30.5 cm howitzer, the Beta-Gerät 09, a 42 cm gun. Design and testing for the Gamma-Gerät began in 1906 and lasted until 1911. Although the Gamma-Gerät had the destructive power the General Staff required and could outrange French and Belgian fort guns, it could only be emplaced near rail lines and took 24 hours to prepare; as early as 1907, Krupp began development of siege artillery transported by gun carriage. Testing resulted in a 28 cm howitzer transportable over road and countryside, but it was rejected by the APK, as was Krupp's 30.5 cm model. In Autumn 1911, Krupp and the APK developed a wheeled 42 cm howitzer, designated the 42 cm kurze Marinekanone 14 L/12, or Minenwerfer-Gerät; the APK ordered its first M-Gerät in July 1912 and another in February 1913.
Tests of the gun's mobility began in December 1913 and found that gasoline tractors were best for pulling the M-Gerät. Test firing, at one point observed by Kaiser Wilhelm II, began in February 1914, Krupp estimated that the M-Gerät would be completed by October 1914; the M-Gerät weighed 42 metric tons, had a maximum range of 9,300 metres, a maximum barrel elevation of 65°. The gun stood 4.5 m tall, 10 m long, 4.7 m wide, while the barrel itself was 5.04 m long. The M-Gerät was two-thirds the weight of the Gamma-Gerät, but had 30% less range and was less accurate; this reduction in weight was accomplished by shrinking the Gamma's barrel and thinning its walls, while installing a simpler sliding-wedge breech. The five wagons that a disassembled M-Gerät took up could not be pulled by horses or tractors, as they weighed 16–20 metric tons. To pull the wagons, gas-powered tractors were designed by Podeus that could move the guns at 7 km/h under optimal circumstances. To move across open country, the wagon wheels were fitted with articulations called Radgürteln to reduce their ground pressure.
When emplaced, the howitzer was stabilised by steel platforms under the wheels and its spade, driven into the earth, which could turn the gun. The spade would have to be pulled out of the ground to travers
The Ottoman Navy known as the Ottoman Fleet, was established in the early 14th century after the Ottoman Empire first expanded to reach the sea in 1323 by capturing Karamürsel, the site of the first Ottoman naval shipyard and the nucleus of the future Navy. During its long existence, it was involved in many conflicts and signed a number of maritime treaties. At its height, the Navy extended to the Indian Ocean, sending an expedition to Indonesia in 1565. For much of its history, the Navy was led by the position of the Kapudan Pasha; this position was abolished in 1867, when it was replaced by the Minister of the Navy and a number of Fleet Commanders. After the end of the Ottoman Empire and the declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the Navy's tradition was continued under the modern Turkish Naval Forces; the first Turkish naval fleet in Anatolia, which consisted of 33 sail ships and 17 oar ships, was formed at the port of Smyrna by Tzachas in 1081, following his conquest of Smyrna, Kysos and Teos on the Aegean coast of Anatolia in that same year.
Tzachas's fleet raided Lesbos in 1089 and Chios in 1090, before defeating a Byzantine fleet near the Oinousses Islands off Chios on 19 May 1090, which marked the first major naval victory of the Anatolian Turks in a naval battle. In 1091 Tzachas's fleet raided the islands of Samos and Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, but was defeated and driven out by the Byzantine admirals Constantine Dalassenos and John Doukas. In 1095 Tzachas's fleet raided the strategic port city and Gulf of Adramyttium on the Aegean coast of Anatolia and the city of Abydos on the Dardanelles Strait. Seljuq sultan of Rûm Kayqubad I formed a naval arsenal there. Alanya became the homeport of the Seljuk fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Kayqubad I formed a fleet in the Black Sea based in Sinope, under the command of Amir Chupan, conquered parts of the Crimean peninsula and Sugdak on the Sea of Azov; the conquest of the island of Kalolimno in the Sea of Marmara in 1308 marked the first Ottoman naval victory. The Ottoman fleet made its first landings on Thrace in 1321.
The first Ottoman fortress in Europe was built in 1351, the Anatolian shores of the strategic Bosporus Strait near Constantinople in 1352, both shores of the strategic Dardanelles Strait were conquered by the Ottoman fleet. In 1373 the first landings and conquests on the Aegean shores of Macedonia were made, followed by the first Ottoman siege of Thessaloniki in 1374; the first Ottoman conquest of Thessaloniki and Macedonia were completed in 1387. Between 1387 and 1423 the Ottoman fleet contributed to the territorial expansions of the Ottoman Empire on the Balkan peninsula and the Black Sea coasts of Anatolia. Following the first conquests of Venetian territories in Morea, the first Ottoman-Venetian War started. In the meantime, the Ottoman fleet continued to contribute to the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the Aegean and Black Seas, with the conquests of Sinop and the reconquest of Thessaloniki from the Venetians. Albania was reconquered by the Ottoman fleet with landings between 1448 and 1479.
In 1453 the Ottoman fleet participated in the historic conquests of Constantinople, Gökçeada and Thasos. The conquest of the Duchy of Athens and the Despotate of the Morea was completed between 1458 and 1460, followed by the conquest of the Empire of Trebizond and the Genoese colony of Amasra in 1461, which brought an end to the final vestiges of the Byzantine Empire. In 1462 the Ottoman fleet conquered the Genoese islands of the northern Aegean Sea, which were administered by the Gattilusio family, including their capital Mytilene in the island of Lesbos; this was followed by the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1463-1479. In the following period the Ottoman fleet gained more territory in the Aegean Sea, in 1475 set foot on Crimea on the northern shores of the Black Sea; until 1499 this was followed by further expansion on the Black Sea coasts and on the Balkan peninsula. The loss of Venetian forts in Montenegro, near the strategic Castelnuovo, triggered the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503, during which the Turkish fleet of Kemal Reis defeated the Venetian forces at the Battle of Zonchio and the Battle of Modon.
By 1503 the Ottoman fleet raided the northeastern Adriatic coasts of Italy, captured the Venetian lands on Morea, the Ionian Sea coast and the southeastern Adriatic Sea coast. According to Kâtip Çelebi a typical Ottoman fleet in the mid-17th century consisted of 46 vessels whose crew was 15,800 men two-thirds were oarsmen, the remainder fighters. Starting from the conquest of Syria in 1516, the Ottoman fleet of Selim I started expanding the Ottoman territories towards the Levant and the Mediterranean coasts of North Africa. Between 1516 and 1517 Algeria was conquered from Spain by the forces of Oruç Reis, who declared his allegiance to the Ottoman Empire, followed by the conquest of Egypt and the end of the Mameluke Empire in 1517. In 1522 the strategic island of Rhodes the seat of the Knights of St. John, was conquered by the naval fleet of Kurtoğlu Muslihiddin Reis. In 1527 the Ottoman fleet participated in the conquest of Dalmatia, Croatia and Bosnia. In 1529 the Ottoman fleet under Salih
Namur is a city and municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the province of Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of Wallonia, Walloon Government and administration. Namur stands at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers and straddles three different regions – Hesbaye to the north, Condroz to the south-east, Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse to the south-west; the city of Charleroi is located to the west. The language spoken is French; the City of Namur includes the old communes of Beez, Saint-Servais, Saint-Marc, Champion, Flawinne, Suarlée, Vedrin, Cognelée, Gelbressée, Marche-les-Dames, Jambes, Naninne, Wépion, Erpent, Lives-sur-Meuse, Loyers. The town began as an important trading settlement in Celtic times, straddling east-west and north-south trade routes across the Ardennes; the Romans established a presence. Namur came to prominence during the early Middle Ages when the Merovingians built a castle or citadel on the rocky spur overlooking the town at the confluence of the two rivers.
In the 10th century, it became a county in its own right. The town developed somewhat unevenly, as the counts of Namur could only build on the north bank of the Meuse - the south bank was owned by the bishops of Liège and developed more into the town of Jambes. In 1262, Namur fell into the hands of the Count of Flanders, was purchased by Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1421. After Namur became part of the Spanish Netherlands in the 1640s, its citadel was strengthened. Louis XIV of France invaded in 1692, annexing it to France, his renowned military engineer Vauban rebuilt the citadel. French control was short-lived, as William III of Orange-Nassau captured Namur only three years in 1695 during the War of the Grand Alliance. Under the Barrier Treaty of 1709, the Dutch gained the right to garrison Namur, although the subsequent Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 gave control of the Spanish Netherlands to the Austrian House of Habsburg. Thus, although the Austrians ruled the town, the citadel was controlled by the Dutch.
It was rebuilt again under their tenure. General Jean-Baptiste Cyrus de Valence's column laid siege to the city on 19 November 1792 during the War of the First Coalition and, after 12 days, the city surrendered on 1 December and its whole garrison of 3,000 men was taken prisoner. France invaded the region again in 1794, imposing a repressive regime. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna incorporated what is now Belgium into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belgium broke away from the Netherlands in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution, Namur continued to be a major garrison town under the new government; the citadel was rebuilt yet again in 1887. Namur was a major target of the German invasion of Belgium in 1914, which sought to use the Meuse valley as a route into France. On August 21, 1914, the Germans bombarded the town of Namur without warning. Several people were killed. Despite being billed as impregnable, the citadel fell after only three days' fighting and the town was occupied by the Germans for the rest of the war.
Namur fared little better in World War II. The town suffered heavy damage in both wars. Namur continued to host the Belgian Army's paratroopers until their departure in 1977. After the creation of the Walloon Region, Namur was chosen as the seat of its executive and parliament. In 1986, Namur was declared capital of Wallonia, its position as regional capital was confirmed by the Parliament of Wallonia in 2010. Namur is an important commercial and industrial centre, located on the Walloon industrial backbone, the Sambre and Meuse valley, it produces machinery, leather goods and porcelain. Its railway station is an important junction situated on the north-south line between Brussels and Luxembourg City, the east-west line between Lille and Liège. River barge traffic passes through the middle of the city along the Meuse. Namur has taken on a new role as the capital of the federal region of Wallonia, its location at the head of the Ardennes has made it a popular tourist centre, with a casino located in its southern district on the left bank of the Meuse.
The town's most prominent sight is the citadel, open to the public. Namur has a distinctive 18th-century cathedral dedicated to Saint Aubain and a belfry classified by UNESCO as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France which are listed as a World Heritage Site; the Couvent des Soeurs de Notre-Dame used to contain masterpieces of Mosan art by Hugo d'Oignies presented in the Musée des Arts Anciens. Elsewhere there is a museum dedicated to Félicien Rops. An odd Namurois custom is the annual Combat de l'Échasse d'Or, held on the third Sunday in September. Two teams, the Mélans and the Avresses, dress in medieval clothes while standing on stilts and do battle in one of the town's principal squares. Namur possesses a distinguished university, the University of Namur, founded in 1831; the University of Louvain has several facilities in the city through its UCLouvain Namur University Hospital. Since 1986 Namur has been home to the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film. A jazz and a rock festival both take place in Namur annually.
The local football team is
In firearms, rifling is the helical groove pattern, machined into the internal surface of a gun's barrel, for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axis during shooting. This spin serves to gyroscopically stabilize the projectile by conservation of angular momentum, improving its aerodynamic stability and accuracy over smoothbore designs. Rifling is described by its twist rate, which indicates the distance the rifling takes to complete one full revolution, such as "1 turn in 10 inches", or "1 turn in 254 mm". A shorter distance indicates a "faster" twist, meaning that for a given velocity the projectile will be rotating at a higher spin rate; the combination of length and shape of a projectile determines the twist rate needed to stabilize it – barrels intended for short, large-diameter projectiles like spherical lead balls require a low twist rate, such as 1 turn in 48 inches. Barrels intended for long, small-diameter bullets, such as the ultra-low-drag, 80-grain 0.223 inch bullets, use twist rates of 1 turn in 8 inches or faster.
In some cases, rifling will have twist rates that increase down the length of the barrel, called a gain twist or progressive twist. Long projectiles such as flechettes may require high twist rates. Muskets were smoothbore, large caliber weapons using ball-shaped ammunition fired at low velocity. Due to the high cost and great difficulty of precision manufacturing, the need to load and speedily from the muzzle, musket balls were a loose fit in the barrels. On firing the balls would bounce off the sides of the barrel when fired and the final destination after leaving the muzzle was less predictable; this was countered when accuracy was more important, for example when hunting, by using a tighter combination of a closer to bore sized ball and a patch. The accuracy was improved, but still not reliable for precision shooting over long distances. Barrel rifling was invented in Augsburg, Germany in 1498. In 1520 August Kotter, an armourer of Nuremberg, Germany improved upon this work. Though true rifling dates from the mid-16th century, it did not become commonplace until the nineteenth century.
The concept of stabilizing the flight of a projectile by spinning it was known in the days of bows and arrows, but early firearms using black powder had difficulty with rifling because of the fouling left behind by the combustion of the powder. The most successful weapons using rifling with black powder were breech loaders such as the Queen Anne pistol; the grooves most used in modern rifling have sharp edges. More polygonal rifling, a throwback to the earliest types of rifling, has become popular in handguns. Polygonal barrels tend to have longer service lives because the reduction of the sharp edges of the land reduces erosion of the barrel. Supporters of polygonal rifling claim higher velocities and greater accuracy. Polygonal rifling is seen on pistols from CZ, Heckler & Koch, Glock and Kahr Arms, as well as the Desert Eagle. For tanks and artillery pieces, the extended range, full bore concept developed by Gerald Bull for the GC-45 howitzer reverses the normal rifling idea by using a projectile with small fins that ride in the grooves, as opposed to using a projectile with a oversized driving band, forced into the grooves.
Such guns have achieved significant increases in muzzle range. Examples include the South African G5 and the German PzH 2000. Gain-twist rifling called progressive rifling, begins with little change in the projectile's angular momentum during the first few inches of bullet travel after ignition during the transition from chamber to throat; this enables the bullet to remain undisturbed and trued to the case mouth. After engaging the rifling the bullet is progressively subjected to accelerated angular momentum as burning powder propels it down the barrel. By only increasing the spin rate, torque is spread along a much longer section of barrel, rather than only at the throat where rifling is eroded through repeated rifling engagement. Gain-twist rifling was used as prior to and during the American Civil War. Colt Army and Navy revolvers both employed gain-twist rifling. Gain-twist rifling, however, is more difficult to produce than uniform rifling, therefore is more expensive; the military has used gain-twist rifling in a variety of weapons such as the 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun used in some current fighter jets and the larger 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger Gatling gun used in the A10 Thunderbolt II close air support jet.
In these applications it allows lighter construction of the barrels by decreasing chamber pressures through the use of low initial twist rates but ensuring the projectiles have sufficient stability once they leave the barrel. It is used in commercially available products, though notably on the Smith & Wesson Model 460. An early method of introducing rifling to a pre-drilled barrel was to use a cutter mounted on a square-section rod twisted into a spiral of the desired pitch, mounted in two fixed square-section holes; as the cutter was advanced through the barrel it twisted at a uniform rate governed by the pitch. The first cut was shallow but as repeated cuts were made the cutter points were expanded—the blades were in slots i
A monitor was a small warship, neither fast nor armoured but carried disproportionately large guns. They were used by some navies from the 1860s, during the First World War and with limited use in the Second World War. During the Vietnam War they were used by the United States Navy; the Brazilian Navy's Parnaíba is the last monitor in service. The original monitor was designed in 1861 by John Ericsson, they were served as coastal ships. The term "monitor" encompassed more flexible breastwork monitors, was sometimes used as a generic term for any turreted ship; the term "monitor" encompasses the strongest of riverine warcraft, known as river monitors. In the early 20th century, the term "monitor" was revived for shallow-draught armoured shore bombardment vessels those of the Royal Navy: the Lord Clive-class monitors carried guns firing heavier shells than any other warship has, seeing action against German targets during World War I; the Lord Clive vessels were scrapped in the 1920s. In Latin, a monitor is someone who admonishes: that is, reminds others of their duties—which is how USS Monitor was given its name.
She was designed by John Ericsson for emergency service in the Federal navy during the American Civil War to blockade the Confederate States from supply at sea. Ericsson designed her to operate in shallow water and to present as small a target as possible, the water around her acting as protection. Nathaniel Hawthorne described Monitor thus: At no great distance from the Minnesota lay the strangest-looking craft I saw, it was a platform of iron, so nearly on a level with the water that the swash of the waves broke over it, under the impulse of a moderate breeze. It could not be called a vessel at all, it was ugly, suspicious, evidently mischievous—nay, I will allow myself to call it devilish. The wooden walls of Old England cease to exist, a whole history of naval renown reaches its period, now that the Monitor comes smoking into view; the singularity of the object has betrayed me into a more ambitious vein of description than I indulge. Going on board, we were surprised at the convenience of her interior accommodations.
There is a spacious ward-room, nine or ten feet in height, besides a private cabin for the commander, sleeping accommodations on an ample scale. Forward, or aft, the crew are quite as well provided for as the officers, it was like finding a palace, with all its conveniences, under the sea. The inaccessibility, the apparent impregnability, of this submerged iron fortress are most satisfactory. A storm of cannon-shot damages them no more than a handful of dried peas. We saw the shot-marks made by the great artillery of the Merrimack on the outer casing of the iron tower. In fact, the thing looked altogether too safe. Nothing, can exceed the confidence of the officers in this new craft, it was pleasant to see their benign exultation in her powers of mischief, the delight with which they exhibited the circumvolutory movement of the tower, the quick thrusting forth of the immense guns to deliver their ponderous missiles, the immediate recoil, the security behind the closed port-holes. Yet this will not long be the last and most terrible improvement in the science of war.
We hear of vessels the armament of, to act beneath the surface of the water. The Battle of Hampton Roads, between Monitor and CSS Virginia, was the first engagement between ironclad vessels. Several such battles took place during the course of the American Civil War, the dozens of monitors built for the United States Navy reflected a ship-to-ship combat role in their designs. However, fortification bombardment was another critical role that the early monitors played, though one that these early designs were much less capable in performing. Three months after the Battle of Hampton Roads, John Ericsson took his design to his native Sweden, in 1865 the first Swedish monitor was built at Motala Warf in Norrköping, taking the engineer's name, she was followed by 14 m
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