10-28-05 - Gunpowder - Going back to Han times Chinese have...

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Gunpowder 10/28/05 1. Saltpeter a. Saltpeter was very available in Asia. They came upon gunpowder while trying to find a life-lengthening elixir b. Once people determined that this would explode, they had to determine what were the proper percentages c. Incendiaries had long been the most effective attacks. 2. Evolution a. Thought of it as means of making fire, before they thought of using it as a propellant b. “Co-viative eruptors” c. Chinese started out that if they could shoot the fire out of a tube it would be a flamethrower “fire lance”. Then, they determined they could pack stuff in the fire, like rocks a gun! d. In the Chinese encyclopedia of 1044 – Earliest gunpowder, 1265 - Roger Bacon’s earliest account of European gunpowder e. “The thunderclap bomb” - In 1126, in the defense of Kaifung, there was a use of catapults, ballistae, and thunderclap bombs. f. In 1153, Chinese used paddlewheel boats (!) and catapults that shot incendiaries with lots of lime.
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Unformatted text preview: Going back to Han times Chinese have been using lime. Also, shit bombs. g. At Te-an (1206-7), the tactical use of incendiaries. The Sung are under siege uses bombs. The Jurchin also acquire bombs. h. In 1221, the final war between Jurchin and Sung. The first reference to the Thunder-crash Bomb. They have learned how to make a brisant explosion (an explosion powerful enough to destroy an iron ball) shrapnel effect i. For a long time, there was a question of why they did not develop a gun in the 13 th century, they developed small cannons j. By the post-Mongol, Ming dynasty they develop large numbers of cannons. Stimulus of external threats. Against the Nomads, cannons arent very useful. 3. Looking Ahead a. A number of problems that the Chinese will face when meeting the West...
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