History of the Gun

1382 Russian soldiers for the first time to successfully put into field artillery. Reflecting the attacks of the besieged city of the Horde, the Muscovites, as the annals say, “mattresses puschu in NJ, some of the crossbow strelau chibaku and vices, and other great guns puschu”.

The emergence of new weapons in Russia was quite natural and historically conditioned. In the X century warriors to the princes Igor and Svyatoslav, Novgorod warriors is widely used in the fights throwing machine. Melee weapons and metal armor, made by blacksmiths, gunsmiths, has long been in great demand in the feudal countries of East and West. By the middle of the XIV century in the capital of the Duchy of Moscow started the production of gunpowder. As you can see, by this time in Russia there was a material base for the development of artillery. Let us add that almost all Russian principalities had to fight a continuous defensive wars against hungry of foreign lands the foe, advancing from different sides. To provide a solid defense princedoms, grouped by the XIV century around Moscow, could only well-trained troops, equipped with the latest for its era weapons. It was the artillery.

The chronicler of the resurrection monastery, noted that “in the summer 6863” (in 1355) Prince Andrey Fedorovich reinforced this military jail people, that is the garrison and “fire fight”. Grand Prince Dmitry Ivanovich, called Donskoy in srazhenija God and of Kulikovo reflected Horde Khan Mamai. His son Vasily Dmitrievich has armed the Moscow Kremlin many guns. They caused in 1408 considerable damage to Horde the hordes of Khan Adygea. At the same time the gunners have strengthened the troops standing in the fortresses of Novgorod, Pskov, Smolensk and Tver. These cities and lot Serpukhov, Kashira, Ustyuzhina Zheleznopolskaya and the Kargopol area soon became the key suppliers of artillery. It is time to organize Pushkar case. And in 1475, Grand Prince Ivan III established the Moscow Cannon house, soon transformed into a Gun court is the first state-owned enterprise engaged in the production of guns. Recall that in the West the artillery became widely used only in 1494, after the defeat of the French king Charles VIII Italian knight army.

The first cannons were a wrought-iron pipe, fastened with hoops and stacked the wood of the deck. To breech (rear) of the gun put vkladani with the charge held by the wedge. Due to the loose connection vladna with the barrel portion of the propellant gases escaped through the gaps, which affected the firing range.

The purpose of the gun was divided into several types. Long (to 1.7 m) squeaked caliber 30 – 40 mm hit open targets with grazing fire. From guns whose caliber was less than 60 mm and the barrel length does not exceed m, were aimed fire, or wall of stone or iron nuclei in the covered objectives. From a short-barreled but large caliber (75 mm) mattresses gunners shot Drobo (buckshot) enemy infantry.

The rapid development of artillery in the Moscow Principality was provided far-sighted policy of statesmen and creative thought “schemers fire fight” – pushechnikov, foundry workers, blacksmiths. Among them were the famous master Jacob, otlitsii in 1491 the remarkable fighting qualities of the bronze musket, gunsmith Paul Debois, made in 1488 the first Tsar cannon.

“In Russia such a large cast-iron cannon, wrote in 1576, the Ambassador of the Austrian Emperor Maximilian, that a warrior in full armor, standing at the bottom of it, she couldn’t get a hand to the edge”. And in the “Description of the Embassy Klein”, noted that “each company had a field gun, very neatly molded and skillfully developed or skillfully forged of iron with a hammer”.

Much success the Russians the gun runners reached in the second half of the XVI century, when masters of Pskov, Novgorod, Vologda, Veliky Ustyug shifted from labor-intensive wrought iron shafts for casting them from bronze, cast iron. New technology has not only simplified and reduced the cost of production, but also improved the reliability of guns, pozvolila go to their mass production.

Did a lot for the development of artillery Ivan the terrible. Under him the artillery Park of the Moscow army consisted of 2 million barrels, In 1547, the gunners were withdrawn from the Strelets troops into an independent “Outfit”, which created Pushkarsky order (a kind of Ministry of artillery). Later “Dress” tactically divided on the policeman (serf), large (siege) and small (regimental) outfits.

Guns on wheeled carriage with the mechanism for vertical focusing.

In addition to “serial”, at the time it was created and a lot of unique guns. So, master Ignatius, in 1542, was cast perfectly decorated houfnice (howitzer). After two years in Moscow have produced cast-iron cannon weighing 1,200 pounds – nothing of the kind abroad was not. At the same time in Russia there was a galaxy of great gunsmiths. Special popularity enjoyed already familiar to us Ignatius, Stepan Petrov, Timothy Konstantinov, Nestor Ivanov, Timofei Oskari, Bogdan (the names of the masters of the gun case, unfortunately, is not fully known – about those who armed the Russian army, we can judge by personal marks on the trunks or on rare records in the documents).

Intensive production of high quality tools has enabled the Grand Duchy of Moscow, uniting the Russian lands, to hold a series of successful military campaigns.

So, in 1552, Russian forces besieged Kazan, the capital of the khanate, constantly threatening Moscow and Saint rekrytera its trade routes to the East. Starting this operation, Ivan the terrible strengthened the 150-thousand army with powerful artillery. Suffice it to say that only siege weapons were more than 150. In addition, the master has built trinadcatiletnie mobile tower, from the battlements of which looked menacing trunks 50 light and 10 heavy guns. Crushing fire from the walls of the defenders, the gunners ensured the success of the Streltsy regiments rush towards the assault of the fortress through a breach in its walls, done by siege weapons.

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