Battle of Magersfontein
The Battle of Magersfontein was fought on 11 December 1899, at Magersfontein near Kimberley, South Africa, on the borders of the Cape Colony and the independent republic of the Orange Free State. British forces under Lieutenant General Lord Methuen were advancing north along the railway line from the Cape in order to relieve the Siege of Kimberley, but their path was blocked at Magersfontein by a Boer force, entrenched in the surrounding hills; the British had fought a series of battles with the Boers, most at Modder River, where the advance was temporarily halted. Lord Methuen failed to perform adequate reconnaissance in preparation for the impending battle, was unaware that Boer Vecht-generaal De la Rey had entrenched his forces at the foot of the hills rather than the forward slopes as was the accepted practice; this allowed the Boers to survive the initial British artillery bombardment. The Highland Brigade suffered the worst casualties, while on the Boer side, the Scandinavian Corps was destroyed.
The Boers attained a tactical victory and succeeded in holding the British in their advance on Kimberley. The battle was the second of three battles during what became known as the Black Week of the Second Boer War. Following their defeat, the British delayed at the Modder River for another two months while reinforcements were brought forward. General Lord Roberts was appointed Commander in Chief of the British forces in South Africa and moved to take personal command of this front, he subsequently lifted the Siege of Kimberley and forced Cronje to surrender at the Battle of Paardeberg. In the early days of the war in the Cape Colony, the Boers surrounded and laid siege to the British garrisons in the towns of Kimberley and Mafeking and destroyed the railway bridge across the Orange River at Hopetown. Substantial British reinforcements were dispersed to three main fronts. While Buller himself advanced from the port of Durban in Natal to relieve the besieged town of Ladysmith and a smaller detachment under Lieutenant General Gatacre secured the Cape Midlands, the reinforced 1st Division under Lord Methuen advanced from the Orange River to relieve Kimberley.
Methuen advanced along the Cape–Transvaal railway line because a lack of water and pack animals made the reliable railway an obvious choice. Buller had given him orders to evacuate the civilians in Kimberley and the railway was the only means of mass transport available, but his strategy had the disadvantage of making the direction of his approach obvious. His army drove the Boers out of their defensive positions along the railway line at Belmont and the Modder River, at the cost of a thousand casualties; the British were forced to stop their advance within 16 miles of Kimberley at the Modder River crossing. The Boers had demolished the railway bridge when they retreated, it had to be repaired before the army could advance any further. Methuen needed several days for supplies and reinforcements to be brought forward, for his extended supply line to be secured from sabotage; the Boers were badly shaken by their three successive defeats and required time to recover. The delay gave them time to bring up reinforcements, to reorganise, to improve their next line of defence at Magersfontein.
After the Battle of the Modder River, the Boers retreated to Jacobsdal, where a commando from Mafeking linked up with them. The following day, Cronje moved his forces 10 miles north to Scholtz Nek and Spytfontein, where they began to fortify themselves in the hills that made up the last defensible position along the railway line to Kimberley. Although closer to the British camp than the Boer camp, Jacobsdal was left poorly defended, continued to function as the Boers' supply base until 3 December; the Free State government decided to reinforce Cronje's position after the Battle of Belmont. Between eight hundred and a thousand men of the Heilbron and Bethlehem commandos arrived at Spytfontein from Natal, accompanied by elements of the Ficksburg and Ladybrand commandos from the Basuto border. Reinforcements were brought up from the Bloemhof and Wolmaranstad commandos who were besieging Kimberley; the remainder of Cronje's force arrived from the Siege of Mafeking. Their force now numbered 8,500 fighters, excluding camp followers and the African labourers who performed the actual work of digging the Boer entrenchments.
Koos de la Rey had been absent from the army after the Battle of the Modder River, having gone to Jacobsdal to bury his son Adriaan, killed by a British shell during the battle. He surveyed the Boer lines the following day, he found the defences lacking, realised that Cronje's position at Spytfontein was vulnerable to long range artillery fire from the hills at Magersfontein. He therefore recommended that they should move their defensive position forward to Magersfontein, to deny the British this opportunity. Cronje, the more senior officer, disagreed with him, so De la Rey telegraphed his objections to President Martinus Theunis Steyn of the Orange Free State. After consulting with President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal, Steyn visited the front on 4 December at Kruger's suggestion. Steyn wished to settle a rift that had developed between the Transvaal and Free State Boers over the poor performance of his Free Staters in the battle on 28 November, he spent the next day touring the camps and defences summoned a krijgsraad.
The Boers had learnt in
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
A ditch is a small to moderate depression created to channel water. A ditch can be used for drainage, to drain water from low-lying areas, alongside roadways or fields, or to channel water from a more distant source for plant irrigation. Ditches are seen around farmland in areas that have required drainage, such as The Fens in eastern England and much of the Netherlands. Roadside ditches may provide a hazard to motorists and cyclists, whose vehicles may crash into them and get damaged, flipped over or stuck in poor weather conditions, in rural areas. Ditch is known as for sneaking off like waking up and escaping from bed during bedtime at night, escaping from school or jail and playing Ding Dong Ditch. In Anglo-Saxon, the word dïc existed and was pronounced "deek" in northern England and "deetch" in the south; the origins of the word lie in digging a trench and forming the upcast soil into a bank alongside it. This practice has meant that the name dïc was given to either the excavation or the bank, evolved to both the words "dike"/"dyke" and "ditch".
Thus Offa's Dyke is a combined structure and Car Dyke is a trench, though it once had raised banks as well. In the midlands and north of England, a dike is what a ditch is in the south, a property boundary marker or small drainage channel. Where it carries a stream, it may be called a running dike as in Rippingale Running Dike, which leads water from the catchwater drain, Car Dyke, to the South Forty Foot Drain in Lincolnshire; the Weir Dike is a soak dike near Twenty and alongside the River Glen. Drainage ditches play major roles in agriculture throughout the world. Improper drainage systems accelerate water contamination, excessively desiccate soils during seasonal drought, become a financial burden to maintain. Industrial earth-moving equipment facilitates maintenance of straight drainage trenches, but entrenchment results in increasing environmental and profound economic costs over time. Sustainable channel design can result in ditches that are self-maintaining due to natural geomorphological equilibrium.
Slowed net siltation and erosion result in net reduction in sediment transport. Encouraging development of a natural stream sinuosity and a multi-terraced channel cross section appear to be key to maintain both peak ditch drainage capacity, minimum net pollution and nutrient transport. Flooding can be a major cause of recurring crop loss—particularly in heavy soils—and can disrupt urban economies as well. Subsurface drainage to ditches offers a way to remove excess water from agricultural fields, or vital urban spaces, without the erosion rates and pollution transport that results from direct surface runoff. However, excess drainage results in recurring drought induced crop yield losses and more severe urban heat or desiccation issues. Controlled subsurface drainage from sensitive areas to vegetated drainage ditches makes possible a better balance between water drainage and water retention needs; the initial investment allows a community to draw down local water tables when and where necessary without exacerbating drought problems at other times.
In Colorado, the term ditch is applied to open aqueducts that traverse hillsides as part of transbasin diversion projects. Examples include the Grand Ditch over La Poudre Pass, the Berthoud Pass Ditch, the Boreas Pass Ditch. Barbagallo, Tricia. "Black Beach: The Mucklands of Canastota, New York". Archived from the original on June 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-04
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, dug and surrounds a castle, building or town to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes and sluices. In older fortifications, such as hillforts, they are referred to as ditches, although the function is similar. In periods, moats or water defences may be ornamental, they could act as a sewer. Some of the earliest evidence of moats has been uncovered around ancient Egyptian castles. One example is at a castle excavated in Nubia. Other evidence of ancient moats is found in the ruins of Babylon, in reliefs from ancient Egypt and other cultures in the region. Evidence of early moats around settlements has been discovered in many archaeological sites throughout Southeast Asia, including Noen U-Loke, Ban Non Khrua Chut, Ban Makham Thae and Ban Non Wat; the use of the moats could have been either for agriculture purposes. Moats were excavated around castles and other fortifications as part of the defensive system as an obstacle outside the walls.
In suitable locations they might be filled with water. A moat made access to the walls difficult for siege weapons, such as siege towers and battering rams, which needed to be brought up against a wall to be effective. A water-filled moat made the practice of mining, digging tunnels under the castles in order to effect a collapse of the defences difficult as well. Segmented moats have one section filled with water. Dry moats cut across the narrow part of a spur or peninsula are called neck ditches. Moats separating different elements of a castle, such as the inner and outer wards are cross ditches; the word adapted in Middle English from the Old French motte "mound, hillock" and was first applied to the central mound on which a castle was erected, came to be applied to the excavated ring, a "dry moat". The shared derivation implies that the two features were related and constructed at the same time; the term moat is applied to natural formations reminiscent of the artificial structure, to similar modern architectural features.
With the introduction of siege artillery, a new style of fortification emerged in the 16th century using low walls and projecting strong points called bastions, known as the trace italienne. The walls were further protected from infantry attack by wet or dry moats, sometimes in elaborate systems; when this style of fortification was superseded by lines of polygonal forts in the mid-19th century, moats continued to be used for close protection. The Walls of Benin were a combination of ramparts and moats, called Iya, used as a defense of the capital Benin City in present-day Edo State of Nigeria, it was considered the largest man-made structure lengthwise, second only to the Great Wall of China and the largest earthwork in the world. With more recent work by Patrick Darling, it has been established as the largest man-made structure in the world, larger than Sungbo's Eredo in Nigeria, it enclosed 6,500 km2 of community lands. Its length was over 16,000 km of earth boundaries, it was estimated that earliest construction continued into the mid-15th century.
The walls are built of a dike structure. The Benin Walls were ravaged by the British in 1897. Scattered pieces of the walls remain in Edo, with material being used by the locals for building purposes; the walls continue to be torn down for real estate developments. The Walls of Benin City were the world's largest man-made structure. Fred Pearce wrote in New Scientist: "They extend for some 16,000 kilometres in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries, they were all dug by the Edo people. In all, they are four times longer than the Great Wall of China, consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops, they took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct, are the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet." Japanese castles have elaborate moats, sometimes with many moats laid out in concentric circles around the castle and a host of different patterns engineered around the landscape. Japanese castles will have up to three of these concentric moats.
The outer moat of Japanese castles protects other support buildings in addition to the castle. As many Japanese castles have been a central part of their respective city, the moats have provided a vital waterway to the city. In modern times, the moat system of the Tokyo Imperial Palace comprises a active body of water, hosting everything from rental boats and fishing ponds to restaurants. Most modern Japanese castles have moats filled with water, but castles in the feudal period more had'dry moats' karabori, a trench. A tatebori is a dry moat. A unejo tatebori is a series of parallel trenches running up the sides of the excavated mountain, the earthen wall, called doi, was an outer wall made of earth dug out from a moat. Today, it is common for mountain Japanese castles to have dry moats. A mizubori is a moat filled with water. Moats were used in the Forbidden City and Xi'an in China; the only moat fort b
In archaeology, excavation is the exposure and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or "dig" is a site being studied; such a site excavation concerns itself with a specific archaeological site or a connected series of sites, may be conducted over as little as several weeks to over a number of years. Numerous specialized techniques each with its particular features are used. Resources and other practical issues do not allow archaeologists to carry out excavations whenever and wherever they choose; these constraints mean. This is with the intention of preserving them for future generations as well as recognising the role they serve in the communities that live near them. Excavation involves the recovery of several types of data from a site; these data include artifacts, ecofacts and, most archaeological context. Ideally, data from the excavation should suffice to reconstruct the site in three-dimensional space; the presence or absence of archaeological remains can be suggested by remote sensing, such as ground-penetrating radar.
Indeed, grosser information about the development of the site may be drawn from this work but the understanding of finer features requires excavation though appropriate use of augering. Excavation techniques have developed over the years from a treasure hunting process to one which seeks to understand the sequence of human activity on a given site and that site's relationship with other sites and with the landscape in which it is set; the history of excavation began with a crude search for treasure and for artifacts which fell into the category of'curio'. These curios were the subject of interest of antiquarians, it was appreciated that digging on a site destroyed the evidence of earlier people's lives which it had contained. Once the curio had been removed from its context, most of the information it held was lost, it was from this realization that antiquarianism began to be replaced by archaeology, a process still being perfected. Archaeological material tends to accumulate in events. A gardener laid a gravel path or planted a bush in a hole.
A builder back-filled the trench. Years someone built a pigsty onto it and drained the pigsty into the nettle patch. Still, the original wall blew over and so on; each event, which may have taken a short or long time to accomplish, leaves a context. This layer cake of events is referred to as the archaeological sequence or record, it is by analysis of this sequence or record that excavation is intended to permit interpretation, which should lead to discussion and understanding. The prominent processual archaeologist Lewis Binford highlighted the fact that the archaeological evidence left at a site may not be indicative of the historical events that took place there. Using an ethnoarchaeological comparison, he looked at how hunters amongst the Nunamiut Iñupiat of north central Alaska spent a great deal of time in a certain area waiting for prey to arrive there, that during this period, they undertook other tasks to pass the time, such as the carving of various objects, including a wooden mould for a mask, a horn spoon and an ivory needle, as well as repairing a skin pouch and a pair of caribou skin socks.
Binford notes that all of these activities would have left evidence in the archaeological record, but that none of them would provide evidence for the primary reason that the hunters were in the area. As he remarked, waiting for animals to hunt "represented 24% of the total man-hours of activity recorded. No tools left on the site were used, there were no immediate material "byproducts" of the "primary" activity. All of the other activities conducted at the site were boredom reducers." There are two basic types of modern archaeological excavation: Research excavation – when time and resources are available to excavate the site and at a leisurely pace. These are now exclusively the preserve of academics or private societies who can muster enough volunteer labour and funds; the size of the excavation can be decided by the director as it goes on. Development-led excavation – undertaken by professional archaeologists when the site is threatened by building development. Funded by the developer meaning that time is more of a factor as well as its being focused only on areas to be affected by building.
The workforce is more skilled however and pre-development excavations provide a comprehensive record of the areas investigated. Rescue archaeology is sometimes thought of as a separate type of excavation but in practice tends to be a similar form of development-led practice. Various new forms of excavation terminology have appeared in recent years such as Strip map and sample some of which have been criticized within the profession as jargon created to cover up for falling standards of practice. There are two main types of trial excavation in professional archaeology both associated with development-led excavation: the test pit or trench and the watching brief; the purpose of trial excavations is to determine the extent and characteristics of archaeological potential in a given area before extensive excavation work is undertaken. This is conducted in development-led excavations as part of Project management planning; the main difference between Trial
In earth science, erosion is the action of surface processes that removes soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location on the Earth's crust, transports it to another location. This natural process is caused by the dynamic activity of erosive agents, that is, ice, air, plants and humans. In accordance with these agents, erosion is sometimes divided into water erosion, glacial erosion, snow erosion, wind erosion, zoogenic erosion, anthropogenic erosion; the particulate breakdown of rock or soil into clastic sediment is referred to as physical or mechanical erosion. Eroded sediment or solutes may be transported just a few millimetres, or for thousands of kilometres. Natural rates of erosion are controlled by the action of geological weathering geomorphic drivers, such as rainfall; the rates at which such processes act control. Physical erosion proceeds fastest on steeply sloping surfaces, rates may be sensitive to some climatically-controlled properties including amounts of water supplied, wind speed, wave fetch, or atmospheric temperature.
Feedbacks are possible between rates of erosion and the amount of eroded material, carried by, for example, a river or glacier. Processes of erosion that produce sediment or solutes from a place contrast with those of deposition, which control the arrival and emplacement of material at a new location. While erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10-40 times the rate at which erosion is occurring globally. At well-known agriculture sites such as the Appalachian Mountains, intensive farming practices have caused erosion up to 100x the speed of the natural rate of erosion in the region. Excessive erosion causes both "on-site" and "off-site" problems. On-site impacts include decreases in agricultural productivity and ecological collapse, both because of loss of the nutrient-rich upper soil layers. In some cases, the eventual end result is desertification. Off-site effects include sedimentation of waterways and eutrophication of water bodies, as well as sediment-related damage to roads and houses.
Water and wind erosion are the two primary causes of land degradation. Intensive agriculture, roads, anthropogenic climate change and urban sprawl are amongst the most significant human activities in regard to their effect on stimulating erosion. However, there are many prevention and remediation practices that can curtail or limit erosion of vulnerable soils. Rainfall, the surface runoff which may result from rainfall, produces four main types of soil erosion: splash erosion, sheet erosion, rill erosion, gully erosion. Splash erosion is seen as the first and least severe stage in the soil erosion process, followed by sheet erosion rill erosion and gully erosion. In splash erosion, the impact of a falling raindrop creates a small crater in the soil, ejecting soil particles; the distance these soil particles travel can be as much as 0.6 m vertically and 1.5 m horizontally on level ground. If the soil is saturated, or if the rainfall rate is greater than the rate at which water can infiltrate into the soil, surface runoff occurs.
If the runoff has sufficient flow energy, it will transport loosened soil particles down the slope. Sheet erosion is the transport of loosened soil particles by overland flow. Rill erosion refers to the development of small, ephemeral concentrated flow paths which function as both sediment source and sediment delivery systems for erosion on hillslopes. Where water erosion rates on disturbed upland areas are greatest, rills are active. Flow depths in rills are of the order of a few centimetres or less and along-channel slopes may be quite steep; this means that rills exhibit hydraulic physics different from water flowing through the deeper, wider channels of streams and rivers. Gully erosion occurs when runoff water accumulates and flows in narrow channels during or after heavy rains or melting snow, removing soil to a considerable depth. Valley or stream erosion occurs with continued water flow along a linear feature; the erosion is both downward, deepening the valley, headward, extending the valley into the hillside, creating head cuts and steep banks.
In the earliest stage of stream erosion, the erosive activity is dominantly vertical, the valleys have a typical V cross-section and the stream gradient is steep. When some base level is reached, the erosive activity switches to lateral erosion, which widens the valley floor and creates a narrow floodplain; the stream gradient becomes nearly flat, lateral deposition of sediments becomes important as the stream meanders across the valley floor. In all stages of stream erosion, by far the most erosion occurs during times of flood when more and faster-moving water is available to carry a larger sediment load. In such processes, it is not the water alone
A firearm is a portable gun that inflicts damage on targets by launching one or more projectiles driven by expanding high-pressure gas produced chemically by exothermic combustion of propellant within an ammunition cartridge. If gas pressurization is achieved through mechanical gas compression rather than through chemical propellant combustion the gun is technically an air gun, not a firearm; the first primitive firearms originated in 10th-century China when bamboo tubes containing gunpowder and pellet projectiles were mounted on spears into the one-person-portable fire lance, used as a shock weapon to good effect in the Siege of De'an in 1132. In the 13th century the Chinese invented the metal-barrelled hand cannon considered the true ancestor of all firearms; the technology spread through the rest of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe. Older firearms used black powder as a propellant, but modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants. Most modern firearms have rifled barrels to impart spin to the projectile for improved flight stability.
Modern firearms can be described in the case of shotguns by their gauge. Further classification may make reference to the type of barrel used and to the barrel length, to the firing mechanism, to the design's primary intended use, or to the accepted name for a particular variation. Shooters aim firearms at their targets with hand-eye coordination, using either iron sights or optical sights; the accurate range of pistols does not exceed 110 yards, while most rifles are accurate to 550 yards using iron sights, or to longer ranges using optical sights. Purpose-built sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles are accurate to ranges of more than 2,200 yards. Firearms include a variety of ranged weapons and there is no agreed upon definition. Many soldiers consider a firearm to be any ranged weapon that uses gunpowder or a derivative as a propellant. Small arms include handguns and long guns, such as rifles, submachine guns, personal defense weapons, squad automatic weapons, light machine guns; the world's top small arms manufacturing companies are Browning, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Heckler & Koch, SIG Sauer, Walther, ČZUB, Steyr-Mannlicher, FN Herstal, Norinco, Tula Arms and Kalashnikov, while former top producers were Mauser, Springfield Armory, Rock Island Armory under Armscor.
In 2018, Small Arms Survey reported that there are over one billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million are in civilian hands. U. S. civilians alone account for 393 million of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms. This amounts to "120.5 firearms for every 100 residents." The world's armed forces control about 133 million of the global total of small arms, of which over 43 percent belong to two countries: the Russian Federation and China. Law enforcement agencies control about 23 million of the global total of small arms; the smallest of all firearms is the handgun. There are two common types of handguns: semi-automatic pistols. Revolvers have "charge holes" in a revolving cylinder. Semi-automatic pistols have a single fixed firing chamber machined into the rear of the barrel, a magazine so they can be used to fire more than one round; each press of the trigger fires a cartridge, using the energy of the cartridge to activate the mechanism so that the next cartridge may be fired immediately.
This is opposed to "double-action" revolvers which accomplish the same end using a mechanical action linked to the trigger pull. Prior to the 19th century all handguns were single-shot muzzleloaders. With the invention of the revolver in 1818, handguns capable of holding multiple rounds became popular. Certain designs of auto-loading pistol appeared beginning in the 1870s and had supplanted revolvers in military applications by the end of World War I. By the end of the 20th century, most handguns carried by military and civilians were semi-automatic, although revolvers were still used. Speaking and police forces use semi-automatic pistols due to their high magazine capacities and ability to reload by removing the empty magazine and inserting a loaded one. Revolvers are common among handgun hunters because revolver cartridges are more powerful than similar caliber semi-automatic pistol cartridges and the strength and durability of the revolver design is well-suited to outdoor use. Revolvers in.22 LR and 38 Special/357 Magnum, are common concealed weapons in j