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

By G. A Shepperd

Ebook by means of Shepperd, G. A

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THE RISE OF NATIONAL ARMIES Earlier in the seventeenth century the maritime nations had been engaged in colonial expansion both in Asia and America. In Europe, as the result of the Thirty Years' War, the military power of Spain had been broken and some small states had been swallowed up or forced by the larger powers into coalitions for mutual protection. Extended home frontiers had to be guarded and the extra revenue needed for this had to come from overseas trade. These circumstances created a vicious circle.

On the Continent some Hussar regiments were being raised, and these carried a curved sword with a very sharp cutting edge based on the scimitar used by the Turks. Sword scabbards were made of black leather and had steel mountings. still Infantry hanger ARMOUR orget Only the minimum amount of personal armour was now worn. There were two kinds of headpieces in general use. Pikemen wore a basinet which was often called a pot and looked exactly like a pudding basin with a rim. The cavalry wore a skull-cap made of thin iron which fitted into the crown of their hat.

The length of the courtine, which was the face of the rampart between two bastions, was always determined by the effective range of musket fire. Similarly, the positioning of the bastions was determined by the need to cover the approaches with the fortress guns which had a maximum range of about 2,000 yards. The bastions themselves were very strongly built and the guns were set in deep embrasures to give them the maximum protection from the attacking artillery. Each gun could only have a narrow arc of fire, if it was to be protected in this manner, so several guns had to be mounted in each bastion.

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