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The irony of gunpowder

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Gunpowder History

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Surprise Me! Want to stay connected? Sign me up! Borrowing the scene from Lord of the Rings : Two towers, it would not be infeasible to mine under an enemy wall, load the entire tunnel full of this early explosives, and detonate the entire tunnel causing the walls to collapse as the earth underneath gives way. If any of this is effective, it could heavily impact bronze age warfare. We are all decently familiar with the phalanx image from at very least which sees a large number of men in a very tightly packed formation Potential results:.

Explosions are scary when you're not used to them Not good if an entire Phalanx unit can be dropped by one bomb. Bronze age forces included exceedingly heavy Armour, almost to the point of silliness. Armour does not fare well vs gunpowder piercing shards concentrate the impact on a small area, poking holes and allowing the shards to fly in. Edit as per comments - Bronze plate isn't the same as medieval plate Lower legs and arms were often unprotected for movement reasons. A shrapnel weapon would play havok on anyone in one of these bronze suits.


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I'm actually thinking, if the bombs were in any way effective, you'd see skirmish tactics over take the use of formation tactics. In fact, gunpowder, given from saltpeter, was invented before 10th century. Note that in Bronse Age there is no mass production so nobody could produce bombs enough to re-arm an army. In fact it's become possible with manufacturing. Despite China has invented gunpowder, book printing and had good metallurgy and agriculture, it was dominated by another nations.

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Reasons why China didn't conquest the whole world at this moment is out of scope. But for your question it's important that warfare for medieval Europe did not significantly changed in th century - because it was too far. Another reason is warfare in Europe had been developed in its own way before gunpowder.

As soon there is only one small area with early gunpowder, the world in a whole will not be significantly changed. Despite gunpowder is important military resource, there are a lot of other important resources for the country not only military! Metallurgy was not advanced enough during the Bronze Age to develop firearms.

However they could have firepots incendiary weapon contain in a smashable jar or use it to destroy fortification by digging under the wall and fire the gunpowder, it will cause an explosion. On the other hand, gunpowder could be a good fuel for a forge, so it could help to develop the metallurgy. It will allow you to dig with more efficiency and discover new minerals quicker. See the idea? The presence of a good fuel for forge could allow to discover iron and steel speeder, the effect is increased by the ability to dig faster with explosion, and to discover new minerals earlier.

The availability of gunpowder in a natural form would help to develop firearms quickly, because of the ease of getting ammunition, without needing to process complex chemicals. The options are nearly endless with a nearly endless supply, but I would guess that you would see IEDs pretty immediately. IEDs improvised explosive devices are effectively just things that go boom. Pack explosive material tightly in a sealed container, add shrapnel, and some sort of fuse or detonator.

These obviously take a wide variety of forms, smallish grenade like all the way to boats loaded down. Having troops in tight formations makes them easier to blow up. You probably won't see armies facing off on agreed upon battlefields Basically you can expect guerilla warfare Small units moving quickly to effect mass casualties, or destroy resources and infrastructure.


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Rather than castle like fortification thick, heavy, expensive walls you'd probably see things more like what we use today; a series of lighter checkpoints surrounding valuable resources. They may be able to sneak a bomb through one or two, but they're less likely to blow up anything really expensive or tactically important. It's also worth noting that you don't really need advanced metallurgy to shoot heavy objects at your enemy. You may not be able to shoot as far, but you can still fire projectiles. Mythbusters has demonstrated this a number of times If they go on the offense and try to fight with the powder, they risk having all of their enemies work together to wipe them out.

Or they expand as an empire. Historically, empires tend to self-destruct from within. Your powder empire will be the next Rome: powerful on a regional or even continental scale, but incapable of expanding globally and eventually rotting out. If they sell the powder to their neighbors, they risk being overrun by a more powerful nation.


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  8. There are ways around this. Making the merchants work for the state, so you can control who gets the product and who doesn't, for example. So now your nation isn't a warrior nation, but a quasi-neutral party.

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    See what they can help you uncover by clicking here. Fireworks have brought thousands of people from all walks of life together to behold something beautiful, and that in itself is something to celebrate.