A History of War and Weapons, 1660 to 1918 by G. A Shepperd

By G. A Shepperd

Publication via Shepperd, G. A

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44 Great Captains Feared and despised by the community as a common soldier lived in isolation, and his welfare received little thought. This attitude was reflected in the scant attention given to any kind of improvement in his weapons and equipment, except in the matter of uniforms which could reflect the power and prestige of his royal master. Indeed, for the majority not fill. whole, the of the eighteenth century, soldiers served as the 'toys of Kings'. Standing armies were expensive to maintain and the who lacked both education and training of recruits, any incentive other than fear of their officers, took a long time.

A cylinder with six to nine chambers held the cartridges. A turn of the cylinder brought a cartridge opposite the open breech and a half turn of the crank handle closed the chamber on to the rear end of the barrel. Each chamber had to be primed through a small touch hole, and the gun was fired by a conventional flint-lock weakness of mechanism this fitted to the barrel. The design was the loose-fitting breech mechanism which allowed a lot of gas to escape. Nevertheless, the London Journal reported a demonstration carried out in 1722 in when sixty-three rounds were fired seven minutes in wet weather, which was a remark- able achievement.

Although the defences of Namur were then greatly improved by Vauban, the Allies with a strong British contingent under King William re-took the town three years later. Over 185 guns and mortars paved the way for the assault, and the siege, which lasted for sixty-six days, cost the garrison 8,000 men. In the final assault the Guards suflfered very heavy losses and the Royal Irish displayed such conspicuous gallantry that for the very first time a British regiment was granted a battle honour to be borne on their colours in this case the words, Virtutis Nemourcensis Praemium ('Reward for Bravery at Namur').

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