5 Amazing Weapons of the Ancient World

5 Amazing Weapons of the Ancient World

12th century representation of the use of Greek Fire

Most weapons that were used by classical or ancient civilisations will be familiar to us. For example, the Romans’ principal arms included their versions of daggers, short swords, spears and bows.

These weapons would have been used by the bulk of ancient armies, but there were other, lesser-known weapons designed to give an unexpected advantage on the battlefield.

These arms highlight the creativity, ingenuity and sometimes-horrific imaginations of the designers of ancient war machines.

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Archimedes was a master of weaponry

No list of inventive ancient weapons would be complete without a couple of examples from the amazing mind of Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC).

Though famous for academic pursuits and a range of non-military inventions, Archimedes came up with a few weapons that must have been terrifying and seemed otherworldly to anyone who faced them in battle.

Archimedes directing the defences of Syracuse, 1895 by Thomas Ralph Spence.

Besides these less conventional weapons, Archimedes is credited with inventing impressive projectile devices and powerful catapults that were capable of hurling rocks of up to 700 pounds (317 kilos).

1. Archimedes’ heat ray

Though this weapon’s existence is debatable, ancient writings describe how an invention of Archimedes was used to destroy ships with fire.

Many believe that during the Siege of Syracuse, during which Archimedes died, large mirrors of polished metal were used to focus the Sun’s rays onto enemy ships, thereby setting them alight.

Modern recreations of the weapon have demonstrated mixed results regarding its effectiveness.

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2. The Claw of Archimedes

This crane-like device utilised a large grappling hook that was suspended from a long arm.

The claw would drop down from a city or fortification’s defensive wall and down upon an enemy ship, hook it and hoist it up before dropping the ship back down again, knocking it off balance and perhaps capsizing or sinking it.

A painting of the Claw of Archimedes by Giulio Parigi.

3. Steam cannon

According to both Plutarch and Leonardo da Vinci, Archimedes invented a steam-powered device that could rapidly fire projectiles. Using drawings from da Vinci, MIT students successfully built a functional steam cannon.

The shells left the cannon with a velocity of 670 mph (1,080 km/h) and measured a higher kinetic energy reading than a bullet fired from an M2 machine gun.

4. Repeating crossbow (Chu-ko-nu)

Archaeological evidence of the existence of repeating crossbows in China has been discovered dating back as far as the 4th century BC.

The design for the Chu-ko-nu was improved upon by a famous military advisor named Zhuge Liang (181 – 234 AD), who even made a version that could fire up to three bolts at once. Other ‘rapid-fire’ versions could fire 10 bolts in quick succession.

Though less accurate than single-shot crossbows and with less range than longbows, the repeating crossbow had an amazing rate of fire for an ancient weapon. It saw use until as late as the Sino-Japanese war of 1894 – 1895.

The double-shot repeating crossbow. Credit: Yprpyqp / Commons.

5. Greek fire

Though technically a weapon of the early Middle Ages, Greek fire was first used in the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire around 672 AD, purportedly invented by Syrian engineer Callinicus.

An incendiary weapon, this ‘liquid fire’ was propelled onto enemy ships through siphons, bursting into flames on contact. Extremely difficult to extinguish, it even burned on water.

Greek fire was so effective in combat that it represented a turning point in Byzantium’s struggle against Muslim invaders. So closely guarded was the recipe for Greek fire, that it has been lost in history. We can only speculate as to its exact ingredients.

Use of a cheirosiphōn, a portable flamethrower, used from atop a flying bridge against a castle. Illumination from the Poliorcetica of Hero of Byzantium.


5 Amazing Weapons of the Ancient World - History

Weaponries and industries of arms have never ceased to amaze us, especially the ancient weapons. If you think that ancient people only relied on very basic and traditional weapons, well, you have your facts wrong. Sure, their weaponries weren’t as sophisticated as we have today but still. their functions were carefully designed and created, resulting not only in deadly weapons but also very effective.

The problem with humankind is their hunger of power. If you learn the world’s history, every leader would wish for more power, more expansion, more money, and more strength. Such a desire had led to the search and creation of the perfect arsenal. Ancient empires were carved and resulted from political ingenuity, sophisticated warfare, and strategic planning. Weapons were selected, even created, to help empires win their purposes. The types of weaponries could determine a faith of a nation – whether they would win the battle or defeated on the battleground. Wars have been going on, even from the ancient times to today’s modern era. The one that makes each battle different is the weaponries used in the battle.

There are some popular ancient weapons that preserved well until today although there are also some options for the modern choices. If you want to learn more about the course of history in weaponries making and their role, read on.

10. Roman Scissor

Roman Scissor

Unlike the modern scissor, this one was rather unusual, especially found from the ancient Rome era. With the length of18 inches and weight around 5 lbs (and also made from hardened steel), this weapon was considered ideal for Roman gladiators. It got its name from a type of gladiators class, the Scissors. They were gladiators that aren’t well descried in history. This is a two-part weapon. It has a long tube where the arm of the gladiator will be inserted in. On the end of the tube, there is cylindrical pipe (thin and long). On the end of the pipe, you can see a crescent shape blade. The crescent shape blade is the unique element of the weapon – thus, making it popular.

Different types of gladiator classes often fought with each other. The Scissor class was often set to fight off the Retiarius class. The latter one had the specialty of using net-like weapon. Because of this fact, the scissor was quite useful to cut off the net and then slaughtered the opponent. The tube-like element (the one where the arm is inserted to) could be used as a shield – which means that it could block attacks. Because of the nature and also shape of the weapon, it was considered dangerous and also versatile for blocking the opponents’ slashing, stabbing, and blows.

9. Shuriken

Also known as the ninja star, this weapon is quite popular as the Japanese weapon. The weapon is made from heavy grade steel with 35 grams to 150 grams in weight. The length is between 2 cm to 21 cm, or around 5 inch to 8.5 inch.

If you are familiar with the popular Japanese culture of ninja, then you should be familiar with this weapon as it is often the signature style of the ninja. Instead of being used for the direct attack, the Shuriken is often used for self-defense. It can be concealed easily because of the small size. Do you know that it comes in different varieties? The most popular one is the Hira Shuriken. It is a pointy star weapon with different styles and edges. Any sharp edged tools can be turned into Shuriken, such as coins, metals, or such thing alike. Shuriken was often thrown to an open target,such as exposed body parts like the face, hands, eyes, etc. This is the weapon also used by the Samurais and it was considered as a part of their weaponry. The idea is to create an attack and to conceal the swordsman – making him as if invisible.

8. Bagh Nakh

Also known as the Tiger Claw, this weapon has a very distinctive look and unique style. The Indians used it, making the weapon from metal. The main claw has 6.6 inch in length while the side spike has each 1.75 inch. The weight is around 2 oz so it isn’t heavy and it can be used easily. This is one of the ancient weapons found in India. It was actually a replica from the big cats claw – a type of weapon created by nature. As you can see from the design, you should be able to find 4 or 5 curved blades used to slash through the opponent’s muscle and skin. You can find two holes on each side – each was to fit into the thumb and also the pinky finger. The blades themselves could be concealed within the palm. Depending on the users and the functions, additional knife-like part could be added to each side and the function was to thrust or stab. This weapon was often associated with Shivaji, a Marathi warrior. He killed one of Moghul rule’s generals, Afzal Khan, with this Bagh Nakh.

7. Madu

This is another type of ancient weapons that originated from ancient India. It was often called maru or madu, made of steel and used by Indian warriors. With 24 inch in length and 3 lbs to 14 lbs in weight, the weapon could inflict quite a serious injury. The shape is quite unique. It has a crossbar that acts like a handle. On each side, you can see blackbuck horns on each side which were pointing in the opposite directions. This type of weapon had different kinds of variations – one of which had a shield addition that could be used for defensive action.

The original weapon had been made from blackbuck horn but as time went by, it was made from the steel. Historians believed that this weapon originated was used for defensive weapon instead of attacking. It is likely to come from the South India. This weapon was mostly useful to ward off counter moves. For the pointed parts, they might be used for offensive attacks, such as thrusting and stabbing.

6. Hypaspist

Hypaspist

Unlike the other previous weapons that we have discussed earlier, the Hypaspist wasn’t actually a weapon but an elite soldier. They were infantry soldiers serving in Alexander the Great army. In ancient Greek words, Hypaspist means shield bearers. They were known for their courage, agility, and strength. It is like the special force in today’s military. Sometimes, a small number of the Hypaspist solders would be appointed to serve the King and became his Royal Guard. When the soldiersgot older, they became veterans. They became Argyraspidsor the Silver Shields because they would be holding silver shields. Despite their age and veteran reputation, they shouldn’t be taken for granted. They might be the elderly warriors but they were deeply feared because of their experience and also skills in the battle and fight.

5. Zhua

This is one of the claw-like ancient weapons from ancient China. From the design alone, this weapon is pretty unusual – if not weird. It is made from iron with the weight and length determined by the size. The shape is like an animal feet or the claw. It has a claw-like design and figure with the sharp blades on the edge (used to rip away the enemy’s shield and weapons) and a long handle for comfortable hold. Because of the blade, this weapon could also be used to impale the human’s flesh and rip it off. When used professionally, the Zhua was able to attack and pull off the opponent’s soldier from a horse. The weapon was pretty heavy. Thanks to the weight (remember, it is made from iron), the weapon could also be used to bludgeon or kill the opponents. However, the most dangerous part was the claws – which could inflict heavy damage and injury to the opponent. Not to mention that they would be left exposed. If you think of it, this is a pretty cool ancient weapons despite the strange design and shape

4. Shotel

The Ancient Ethiopian used this weapon for effective attack. The design is pretty unique and different with its curved shape. The sword originated from Abyssinia – or the ancient name for today’s Ethiopia. The curved sword is a beautiful weapon with intricate design and unique shape. It is pretty heavy too so it takes a complete mastery to control it. The blade alone is 40 inches in length and the weight is unknown. However, the sword required a good balance between the length and the weight to function effectively.

This sword was originally designed to deliver effective attack to unmounted and also (horse) mounted soldiers. The curved design was designed to deliver stabs to important organs such as the lungs or the kidneys. Not to mention that it could also be used to strike the opponent’s shield. Since the Abyssinians didn’t use any fencing in the swordplay, the Shotel wasn’t designed to slice or cut. The blade has this double edge shape and flat design. The hilt itself is made from simple wooden piece. However, if anyone wanted to create artistic design, they could do it on the hilt. The curved sword originated in Medieval centuries and survived Western influence in the 19th century.

3. Khopesh

Another type of ancient weapons is the Khopesh, originated from ancient Egypt era. Egyptians weren’t used to swords. On the contrary, they were more used to short swords or daggers. In fact, they had different types of daggers and shorter swords for battle and combat. The Khopesh itself is quite long – in between 50 cm and 60 cm. With the main materials of steel and bronze and around 7 lbs of weight, the weapon is pretty deadly. The design is unique and somewhat beautiful, but the thick crescent blade is pretty deadly. The inside hook isn’t sharp although the outer part comes with a single one cutting edge. For that matter, it could be effectively used bludgeoning and as a hook. Iron was often used instead of bronze. Soma Pharaohs had been described and portrayed holding the Khopesh – those images could be found inside their graves.

2. Spartan Hoplon Shield

Spartan Hoplon Shield

Have you ever watched ‘300’? The spectacular movie depicted a small number of brave Spartan soldiers fighting against thousands of Persian army. If you had watched the movie, you would be familiar with the circular shields used by the Spartan warriors. The shield was known as the Aspis or the Hoplon, made from the wood with bronze cover on the outer part. The length is between 7 feet and 9 feet with the diameter of 3 feet. The weight is around 30 pounds so it is a pretty heavy. One of the distinctive and unique elements is the way soldiers held it. There is a leather strap located on the center which is used to support the handle at the shield’s edge. Because of this technique, soldiers didn’t suffer from limited movement. In fact, because of the unique design, they were able to move their arms freely during battles. The shield size also functioned as the floating device. Because the shield is pretty heavy (and also its blunt nature), it could be used for killing and bludgeoning. Although the shield was originally used for defensive action, the Spartans could make use of it for effective extra attack and to attack by surprise.

1. Fire Arrows or Flaming Arrows

Fire Arrows or Flaming Arrows

You probably have seen movies where soldiers would shoot flaming arrows to the opponents for the purpose of killing and causing damage. That’s the idea of this weapon – it was for thermal reason during the entire Medieval Age. However, among the many types of ancient weapons, this one had been used in many ancient cultures and civilizations. Judeans, Romans, Assyrians, Chinese, etc had used this fire arrow technique to beat their enemies. The arrow itself didn’t have any specific weight or length, made from either steel wool or wood.

It was the Chinese who first invented the fire arrow, attaching the arrows with rockets, during Song Dynasty. And then Koreans and Japanese started to use different variants of the flaming arrows. The simplest one was soaking the tows in resin or oil and then tied it up below the head. Not only the arrows could kill, they were also effective to destroy wooden building or structures. Later, the Chinese developed the fire arrow with a pouch containing gunpowder. The pouch was then attached to the arrow’s shaft to create explosive effect. The gunpowder could also provide propulsive effect. Thanks to the gunpowder propeller, the arrow could shoot through 1000 feet.

Final Words

As you could see from the explanation above, the ancient weapons were mostly ruthless, brutal, and nasty. They were designed and created through critical and also analytical skills which were proven from their effective killing effect. They were carefully crafted and designed, but they were also unique. The idea was to surprise and then startle the enemy before finally slaughtering them. The choice of weapon was often a crucial part of the battle strategy. The Spartans, for instance, could use their shield along other dangerous weapons to move forward and march and then disarmed and killed their enemies.

In the end, the weapons were proven effective for battle. For today’s era, they may serve as a reminder of how powerful (and effective) ancient weapons could be.


Poseidon

Shirahoshi, the current Poseidon.

Poseidon was first mentioned when Nico Robin read the Poneglyph on Skypiea. However, details of the weapon were not delved into until much later, when she reached Fish-Man Island. Poseidon was a Mermaid Princess who lived in the Void Century that had the power to talk to Sea Kings, enormous sea creatures capable of mass destruction. Princess Shirahoshi also has this power, and as stated in a conversation between Neptune and Robin, she has now inherited the title "Poseidon". Α]


HEXAPOLIS

Previously, we had harped about 10 incredible battles that were fought and won against overwhelming odds. But as history is witness to past events of significance – battles and wars are not only about glorious victories some of them also poignantly account for their fair share of high human casualties. So, without further ado, let us check out five such huge battles fought by various ancient factions that made their bloody mark on the course of human history.

Please note* – This is a list of five OF the bloodiest battles in ancient history, as opposed to five BLOODIEST battles in ancient history. In other words, there are some conflict scenarios that had to be left out.

1) Battle of Plataea (479 BC) –

Fought between the ancient Greek city-states and the Persian Achaemenid Empire near the small town of Plataea (in Boeotia, central Greece), the numbers involved in the Battle of Plataea primarily come from Herodotus. According to him, the gargantuan scale of the conflict pitted around 300,000 Persian troops (also included Greek battalions) against 108,200 Greek soldiers. However, according to most modern estimates, such figures might have been exaggerated to show the Greek in more favorable light. Anyhow, the overall battle may have still involved around 200,000 men – which is an incredible scope considering the logistics required for such a high number and generally fractious nature of the Greek city-states.

In any case, the battle started out when the Persians had retreated and then fortified themselves beside the town of Plataea, as a counter to the amassing of Greek forces that marched out of Peloponnese. Oddly enough, the confrontation remained in stalemate for almost 11 days, since the Greek hoplites were wary of the mobile cavalry forces of Persia making use of the terrain. It also has been suggested that both the forces were equally matched, and so neither of them were willing to give up their advantageous position. In any case, the Persians did manage to cut around the Greek right flank and burn their supplies and then followed it up with frontal cavalry assault on the main Greek body.

This ploy seemed to have worked at first, as the Greeks began to fragment with their flanks getting isolated. The Persian left-flank even crossed a river to pursue the Greeks, and that proved to be the crucial mistake on their part. Almost in a surprising manner, the Greek right-flank (consisting mostly of Spartans and Tegeans) counterattacked, and the bolstered by their left-flank pinned the Persians down on all sides. This finally resulted in a massive Persian rout, since the heavily armed and bronze-armored hoplites could easily resist the projectile blows from their lightly-equipped foes.

Impact: While not as well known as the Battle of Marathon and the Battle of Thermopylae (involving �’ Spartans), the resounding victory Battle of Plataea resulted in over 20,000 Persian casualties. This allowed the (usually defensive) Greeks to go on an offensive strategy for the coming years (and culminated in Alexander’s Persian conquests), thus entirely changing the course of Greco-Persian wars.

2) Battle of Kalinga (261 BC) –

Epitomizing the crescendo of conquests undertaken by the burgeoning Maurya Empire (that consisted of present-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and even parts of Iran), the Battle of Kalinga was fought between the vastly numbered Mauryan forces of Emperor Ashoka and the still-unconquered feudal republic of Kalinga (which was based in the modern state of Odisha, in eastern India). In many ways, the conflict alluded to the clash of the infringing empire and the freedom-loving folk – with Ashoka already making a ruthless name for himself in the preceding years of far-flung conquests.

As for the numbers game, most sources concur that the battle was a significant event in the annals of Indian history, with Greek traveler Megasthenes pointing out how the Kalinga forces fielded more than 60,000 soldiers and 700 elephants (along with a very high number of armed civilians), while the Mauryan army probably consisted of over 100,000 soldiers. Now oddly enough, in spite of such high numbers involved in the battle, there is no clear-cut recording of the actual strategies used in the ensuing clash. However, what is certain is the baleful scope of fatalities brought on by the battle – with Ashoka’s edicts describing how over 100,000 Kalingans were killed, while Mauryans achieved a hard-won victory.

Impact: Now interestingly, in terms of literary evidence (as per the rock-inscriptions on Ashoka edicts), it was this severe effect of wanton death and destruction that supposedly changed the heart of the triumphant Ashoka when he paraded through the battlefield. To that end, this great battle and its aftermath might have been among those very few instances that prompted an emperor to entirely change his religion, with Ashoka converting to Buddhism. In fact, a part of a passage inscribed on Edict 13 (found in Kalinga itself) reads like this –

Afterwards, now that Kalinga was annexed, the Beloved of the Gods very earnestly practiced Dhamma, desired Dhamma, and taught Dhamma, On conquering Kalinga the Beloved of the Gods felt remorse, for, when an independent country is conquered the slaughter, death, and deportation of the people is extremely grievous to the Belovedof the Gods, and weighs heavily on his mind.

Furthermore in modern context, this is what Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra, an archaeologist and scholar on Odishan Studies, had to say about the conflict of epic proportions –

No war in the history of India as important either for its intensity or for its results as the Kalinga war of Ashoka. No wars in the annals of the human history has changed the heart of the victor from one of wanton cruelty to that of an exemplary piety as this one. From its fathomless womb the history of the world may find out only a few wars to its credit which may be equal to this war and not a single one that would be greater than this. The political history of mankind is really a history of wars and no war has ended with so successful a mission of the peace for the entire war-torn humanity as the war of Kalinga.

3) Battle of Cannae (216 BC) –

One of the most famous battles of the Punic Wars, the Battle of Cannae established the importance of generalship over sheer numbers. Fought between the Roman Republic and the allied soldiers of Carthage (comprising African, Spanish, and Gallic contingents), the course of the conflict was dictated by the tactical acumen of the great Carthaginian general Hannibal. In fact, the battle in itself is still regarded as one of the complete ‘tactical victories’ achieved by one side, while also accounting as one of the worst defeats faced by the Romans in their usually unblemished history.

As for the numbers, there are varying sources that pertain to different figures present on the battlefield. For example, according to Polybius, the Roman fielded over 80,000 men, while the Carthaginian forces were significantly outnumbered at around 50,000. However, more modern estimates put the Roman numbers over 50,000 and the Carthaginian numbers at less than 40,000 (thus still maintaining the credible hypothesis that Hannibal was substantially outnumbered).

In any case, the high number of Romans didn’t matter, with Hannibal opting for a seemingly strange tactic that involved the placement of his light Gaulish infantry in the center (who masked the heavier African infantry). So when the disciplined ranks of the heavy Roman infantry pushed forward, the light infantrymen gave way to gradually disperse at the flanks. This pseudo-retreating ploy actually worked with the Romans being confident of their ‘push’ and overwhelming numbers. However, their deep incursion into the Carthaginian lines allowed Hannibal to come up with a crescent formation that gradually enveloped the Roman forces on both flanks. Thus the Romans were finally trapped, and the situation was further exacerbated when the mobile Carthaginian cavalry came up from behind to completely block their ‘escape route’.

In the ensuing bloodbath, Polybius estimated that around 70,000 Romans met their gruesome deaths (Livy puts the figure at around 55,000 modern estimates put the figure at around 40,000), and 10,000 were captured – all in a single day while Hannibal lost only around 6,000 of his men (mostly the Gauls who bore the brunt of the Roman infantry charge). Now to put things into perspective, the worst day in the history of the British Army usually pertains to the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, where they lost around 20,000 men. But the male population of Rome in 216 BC is estimated to be around 400,000 (thus the Battle of Cannae possibly took away around 1/10th of Roman male population), while Britain had a population of around 41,608,791 (41 million) at the beginning of 1901.

Impact: Quite exceptionally, the Romans grew to be even more formidable after some years of this disastrous defeat. Part of this recovery had to do with the brilliant generalship of Publius Cornelius Scipio – who actually survived the Battle of Cannae, and had keenly studied the methods of Hannibal. The same strategies were in turn used against the Carthaginian general, to result in a resounding Roman victory at the Battle of Zama in 202 BC. This perhaps underlines Rome’s greatest strength – that didn’t lie in its arms, but in its unflinching capacity to recover from calamitous circumstances.


1 Gobekli Tepe Was Built Before Humans Knew How to Grow Food

Back in the 1960s, surveyors in Turkey found an ancient buried complex composed of huge stone pillars arranged in a circle like Stonehenge, some of them 30 feet tall. What really knocked the monocles out of their eyes, however, was that this was much older than Stonehenge . 6,000 years older.

So those massive, ornate limestone pillars were carefully carved from a nearby quarry using hunks of flint rock and their bare hands.

Having been dated to around 9000 B.C., Gobekli Tepe is thought to be the oldest human construction. That's further back than any of the ancient sites you learned about in history class. In fact, it's in the Stone Age, where the only things we knew how to build were likely to fall over in a stiff breeze.

In fact, the site even predates agriculture, which means that the people who built it were still chasing mammoths rather than planting crops. Discovering that this complex of massive stone pillars was actually built by Encino Man, as National Geographic puts it, "was like finding that someone had built a 747 in a basement with an X-Acto knife."

And this doesn't make much sense, because conventional knowledge has always been that humans didn't start building things until after we learned how to farm. You know, because we were finally able to settle down in one place and suddenly had a hell of a lot of free time.

Given that excavations turned up a whole lot of bones at the site, probably from animal sacrifices, archaeologists are pretty sure that it was a religious site, which seems to indicate that it was religion, not agriculture, that first inspired people to build giant shit. And given that they did all this before they even had metal tools, they must have been pretty scared of those gods. We just hope none of the archaeologists are dumb enough to go reading aloud any ancient inscriptions about awakening the Great Old Ones.

Yosomono writes for GaijinAss.com and is an image guru on their Imgur blog. Alaric Penname has a TWITTER. Follow him or whatever. Welldone also one of those, too, so he wouldn't feel left out.

For more ways our ancestors are still taking us over their knees, check out 6 Amazingly High-Tech Ancient Weapons and 6 Ancient Sports Too Awesome For the Modern World.


5.Some Assassins Gained Legendary Status – But it Wasn’t Always Flattering

Whether you think he acted alone, with an accomplice, or was framed by the Government, you’ve probably heard of Lee Harvey Oswald – the man credited with assassinating President John F Kennedy. To Ancient Athenians the names Harmodius and Aristogeiton would have been equally well known, and their exploits as assassins and lovers were recounted in several ancient texts.

While they made elaborate plans to kill two men at a festival they panicked and ended up revealing their plans too soon, allowing one of their intended targets to escape while Harmodius was himself killed.

Aristogeiton may have survived his own ambush, unlike Harmodius, but he was captured and executed soon afterwards. The story is quite comedic to hear today, and it probably served as a warning not to try and assassinate anyone unless you were willing to make a fool of yourself and die in the process.

Legendary ancient assassins Harmodius and Aristogeiton. (Daderot / Public Domain )


The Korean War’s first Medal of Honor recipient dies at 93

Posted On January 28, 2019 18:43:30

Thomas Hudner had a unique view of the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was flying his Corsair above the fray as the Marines held on for dear life down below. That’s when a fellow naval aviator, Ens. Jesse Brown, was shot down by Chinese small arms fire. Hudner’s ensuing rescue would earn him the first Medal of Honor awarded during the Korean War.

But the pilot wasn’t thinking about medals.

Hudner watched powerless as his buddy crash-landed five miles behind enemy lines. The plane was belly-down, but it didn’t look good — until Hudner saw Brown waving. They called a rescue helicopter, but it wouldn’t arrive for at least 30 minutes. The Chinese were all around the area and Brown was stuck in the cockpit of his burning Corsair.

“I was not going to leave him down there for the Chinese,” Hudner was quoted as saying in his New York Times obituary. The Times called it a “civil rights milestone,” but Hudner wasn’t thinking of Brown as a black pilot. Brown was a Navy pilot — a U.S. Navy pilot.

Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner

President Truman had ordered the integration of the Armed Forces of the United States only two years prior. It worried many in government that black men and white men might not be able to fight alongside one another. Ensign Brown was the first African-American naval aviator.

Read Also: This was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor

As history shows time and time again, it didn’t worry anyone who was fighting in Korea.

Hudner risked a court martial when he deliberately landed his plane, wheels-up, in sub-zero temperatures, ran to Brown’s Corsair, and simultaneously tried to control the fire and free his trapped shipmate. Hudner radioed the rescue crews to bring an ax and a fire extinguisher.

Mrs. Daisy P. Brown congratulates Hudner after he is awarded the Medal of Honor.

Hudner injured his back in the crash, but it was all for naught. Brown’s leg was pinned down by the fuselage and night was coming. The helicopter couldn’t fly at night and they would all freeze to death in the open if the sun went down before they could free Brown.

Unfortunately, Brown lost consciousness and the helicopter pilot ordered Hudner to leave. Hudner promised he would come back for him. Four months later, President Truman awarded Hudner the Medal of Honor for his heroic crash-landing and rescue of his shipmate, downed behind enemy lines.

Hudner at the Naval Academy in 2008. (U.S. Navy photo)

He wouldn’t be able to come back for Brown until 2013, when the retired naval aviator flew to Pyongyang, North Korea to attempt to find Brown’s remains. Though the government agreed to the expedition, they were unsuccessful in finding Brown.

Hudner has an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer named in his honor and lobbied then-Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus to name a guided missile destroyer for Brown. The first USS Jesse L. Brown, a Knox-class frigate, was decommissioned in 1994 and sold to Egypt.

Thomas Hudner died at age 93 on Nov. 13, 2017.

MIGHTY HISTORY

Ancient Weapons

Ancient Weapons: The Game Changers
To discuss the entire arsenal of ancient weapons could, and has, filled volumes of books. For the scope of this series, we will discuss the general categories, game changers and those that are interesting and odd. While these weapons are in reality horrific and have caused untold suffering to humanity, they are still worth our attention. Advancements in ancient weapons could be the nuclear weapon of the ancient world, giving on society the edge and dictating the course of history.

Spears - Primative Weapon of Choice
Spears are one of humankind’s earliest weapons and they reigned supreme for a hundred thousand years. The material culture of our Paleolithic (500,000 BC – 8,000 BC) ancestors covers 99% of the total time that man has been making tools and weapons. This undoubtedly makes the spear mans most produced weapon. The spear has been credited with creating 450,000 years of peace on earth, as even an outnumbered man holding a spear would be deadly to attack without ranged weapons.

The spear offers its user a level of protection due to its long reach and found a place in many ancient armies. The simple spear is a cheap and effective, ancient armies often combined it with a shield when equipping the ranks of their heavy infantry units. Spears units were found in many, many ancient armies from the ancient Sumerians and Egyptian weapons, to the military of ancient India and Japan, and indeed around the world.

Spear warfare hit its pinnacle of perfection when used by the Greeks and Macedonians. Spear armed Greek warriors, called Hoplites, mastered this style of warfare as their city states battled each other over hundreds of years. The terrain of Greece is broken up by rough terrain so Greece never developed the Chariot or Cavalry warfare, but instead focused on the use of infantry. During the Bronze Age Greek warriors battled in the heroic style, each man fighting for his own glory independently. They considered the use of range weapons to be cowardly so their focus was primarily on heavy infantry. By the classical age of Greek civilization they had developed formation tactics. The Phalanx was developed, were rows of hoplites formed a shield wall, the left side of one hoplites shield protecting the man on his right. Heavily armored, spear wielding armies would form up and fight set piece battles. Casualties were generally light until one force’s formation was broken, then slaughter ensued as they fled. (See Spartan Weapons for mor detials)

The next strategic development took advantage of this when an astute Theban general, Epaminondas (ca. 410 BC – 362 BC), realized that battles between phalanxes were essentially giant shoving matches. Whichever phalanx had the strength to put enough pressure on their opponent caused them to break formation, route and loose the battle. It was correctly reasoned that if he loaded up one side of his line and had his weaker side trailing behind them in an echelon formation that by the time the week side engaged the enemy the strong side would have already broke their formation, winning the battle.

Greek hoplite tactics dominated the battlefield of their time two massive Persian invasions, the super power of their day, were defeated by the numerically inferior Greeks. However, the next major development would be made by their neighbors to the North. Phillip of Macedonia, who paid attention to Epaminondas' innovations, doubled the length the spears of his army (to over 18 feet!) and reduced the size of their shields so his soldiers could hold the long spears with both hands. This allowed the spears of the first five ranks to protrude from the formation instead of just the couple ranks like in a Greek phalanx. Enemies faced an impregnable wall of spear tips. Phillips son, Alexander the Great, then used this formation to conquer the known world (335 BC – 326 BC).

After reaching its zenith in the conquests of Alexander the Great , the phalanx began a slow decline. Phillip and Alexander understood that a phalanx was could easily be destroyed if not supported Soldiers could not defend themselves from attacks from the flanks, the ponderous phalanx lacked maneuverability and had difficulty holding formations on rough ground. Calvary, light infantry and skirmishers were deployed in combination with the phalanx. The tactics of Alexander and his father were gradually replaced by a return to the simpler assault tactics of the hoplite phalanx after his death.

The Roman military dropped the inflexible phalanx during the early Roman Republic in favor of a more flexible system after suffering major setbacks in their decade’s long war against the Samnite hill tribes. Around the year 315 BC adopted the system of the Samnites, called the maniple system, that allowed for more flexibility in the rugged hills of Samnium where the Romans were forced to fight. The maniple system has been called a phalanx with joints, each square maniple, about 120 men, could function as an independent unit. The maniples were arrayed in a checker board pattern this allowed space for skirmishers to retreat through the gaps when the heavy infantry closed on their enemies. The front two rows of maniples would then form a single line and battle the enemies. When this line tired it could then retreat through the spaces of the maniples behind it without disrupting their formations, and a fresh line of soldiers would take up the fight. Maniples could also be detached to protect flanks or any other task. The Roman heavy infantry was organized into three lines, the first two lines used short, double edged stabbing swords and the last armed with spears. The youngest men formed the first line, the hastati , after they tired they would fall back through gaps in the next line, the principes. The more experienced principes would then continue the fight, if they were having trouble they could then retreat behind the Triarii. The triarii were the final line and most experienced soldiers.

In the Pyrrhic War (280� BC) Rome proved that they were capable of competing with the armies of the Hellenistic kingdoms — the successor kingdoms of Alexander and the dominant Mediterranean powers of the time. The legions fought the Hellenistic, Macedonian style phalanxes to a bloody draw, forcing Pyrrhus of Epirus to leave Italy. Seventy five years later the Romans fought the Macedonians and their phalanx in the Second Macedonian War (200� BC). They employed a variety of tactics to break up the massive formations. They chose uneven ground to fight on, attempting to break the cohesion of the massive phalanx. Before the front lines met in battle the Romans let loose with their pila, harpoon like throwing spears that caused gaps in the enemy formation that could be exploited. They used a wedge shaped formation to attempt to break through the wall of spear points. The well armored Romans with their large, curved shields were able to exploit the gaps in the wall of spears and get to the Macedonians in order to break up their formations. Once inside the spears the longer swords and better armor of the Romans gave them a distinct advantage over the lightly armored Macedonians whose secondary weapon was a short sword was little more than a dagger.

In the end the Macedonians were repeatedly defeated on the battlefield. Their defeat is often held to have demonstrated that the Macedonian phalanx, formerly the most effective fighting unit in the ancient world, had been proven inferior to the Roman legion. Others have argued that the loss was actually due to a failure of command on the part of Perseus, the Macedonian king. They also dispute weather the Roman maniples ever succeeded in breaking the Macedonian phalanx by engaging it frontally. We will never get the opportunity to know how a Macedonian phalanx using combined arms tactics in the style of Philip or Alexander would have sized up against the Roman legions.

The Roman legions eventually standardized the sword as its main weapon, but they also carried the pila that could be used as spear in certain situations. Pila could be employed in hand to hand combat or as protection from mounted troops. The pila, like the maniple system, was adopted from powerful Semite hill tribes. The legions conquered the Mediterranean world with sword in hand, but spears remained a common weapon throughout the world. Roman auxiliaries and cavalry also continued to years throughout the period of Roman military domination. (See Roman Weapons for more details.)

From around 117 AD to the Western Roman Empires collapse around 476 AD the Roman army slowly changed. The sprawling empire was difficult to defend so the Romans became more and more dependent on barbarian troops. Additionally, a greater emphasis was placed on speed. The Romans concentrated on ranged weapons and cavalry at the expense of the heavy infantry. The infantry became more lightly armored as well and they acquired a heavy thrusting-spear which became the main close order combat weapon. Roman infantry had come full circle. During the 5th century, large portion of Western Rome's main military strength lay in barbarian mercenaries known as foederati. Between losing control of their mercenaries and hunnish invasions the Western Roman Empire collapsed.

In the years that followed, called the dark ages, spears continued to be used widely. Barbarian armies used shield wall tactics reminiscent of the Greeks as they jostled for their places in the new world order. Spears also offered an excellent defense against ascending military power of cavalry, if braced against the ground a charging enemy would impale himself. The Huns had introduced the stirrups to the roman world this allowed a spear armed man to deliver a blow with the full power of the horse, couching the weapon under their armpit instead of stabbing overhand as was done in antiquity. This was the beginning of the medieval knights, but even if a plate armored knight wanted to charge into a wall of spears, his horse might not share his sentiment. When a spear was braced against the ground a charging enemy would impale himself.

During the Viking age and medieval period spears developed into a variety of polearm weapons, such as the bill, the halberd and the lance. The long, two-handed Macedonian style spear also made a comeback during the medieval times. During renaissance and age of exploration Pikes had another heyday and were used extensively by close order infantry formations both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. Pike and firearm formations worked together the pike men defending the slow loading and vulnerable gunners from enemy infantry and the deadly cavalry while the gunners provided a powerful ranged weapon. The fact that large pike formations were vulnerable to artillery and improved firearms eventually ended the era of pike formations. Although pikes and spears were still used, usually due to the lacking of quantities of more modern weapons, up through the 1800’s.

The spear had a very long history, from the dawn of man and even into the first several hundred years of the gun powder era. Today spears are manufactured and used for hunting by humans, chimpanzees and orangutans.

The ancient weapons series will continue with the other game changers, the sword, axe and bow. The final article will be about unique, strange and interesting weapons.


Krishna, Ancient Weapons of Mass Destruction and The Mahabharata

An article submitted by Ahmad from Malaysia

This article was written for the reason of unearthing the secret of ancient nuclear power. The facts stated here were not meant to put the blame on who is wrong or right. Ancient writings (religious texts) already mentioned the existence of such weapons that had very similar capacity as the modern day nuclear war-heads. How the human race faced such terribly destructive weapons in the olden days shall be the focal point of this article.

Note: I received this knowledge about ancient nuclear weapons directly from the Lord Krishna. I was told that I am the ninth person to learn about this secret through Lord Krishna. When I queried who the eighth person was he just smiled and declined to answer. According to Lord Krishna the first and the eighth persons received the same knowledge unfortunately I don’t not know who they were.

The nuclear weapons existed in the ancient times and the evidence of their amazing power can be still found in modern days. These weapons were reportedly used during the war of Kurukshetra as documented in the Mahabharata. It is my hope that with this article we could reveal the truth about this ancient nuclear weapons. Prior to the invention of the atom bomb and nuclear war-head of present day, did we, as human ever faced such dangerous and destructive events? Certain factual text described in this article is being compared to that of the Mahabharata.

Angels and Gods from the Mahabharata

Lord Krishna in the Mahabharata was known as the Almighty. His very existence was quite difficult to pinpoint. However, what was clearly evident was that the word “Krish” which means “place” and “Na” means “high” or “highest” in the celestial world. It was also mentioned that Lord Krishna dwelled on the 20th planet called Krishnaloka. Lord Krishna was the ultimate ruler in the highest order amongst the Gods known then.
From the sacred rays that were being transmitted from his back shoulder He created Lord Wishnu who was responsible for the fine behavior and manner of the human kind in this world. Wishnu leaves in the sky that was then known as “blue ocean” or Indraloka. Lord Brahma, on the other hand (who breathes instincts and needs) also was created though the same manner from Lord Krishna’s sacred rays. He dwelled on the 19th planet.
Lord Shiva, sacred spirit from Lord Wishnu, came to being from the lotus flower. Lord Shiva was the Lord of destruction and foolishness. Lord Shiva demonstrates his destructive ways when the human world faces war, over-population and famine. The destruction from typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, wars and the like were all the work of Lord Shiva. It was said to be the punishment of the planet.

Mahabharata

Mahabharata is an epic describing the war called “Kurukshetra” between Pandavas(Pendawa 5) and Hastina(Astino). It also describes the role of “Ibu Pendawa 5”, Dewi Kunti who possesses untold powers. In this war, there was a warrior that was lead by Lord Krishna named Arjuna. The parties at war were relatives of Arjuna. Within this war, there was this sacred meditation that was formed as guidance to the people when their spirits were lacking. Krishna taught Arjuna about the art of self- defense as well as the finer inner spirit as a human being. It was also believed that Yoga and Yogi were introduced during this period and was upgraded to the ranks of “Roh”, “Rah” and “Brahmana”.
Apart from the relationship between Gods and humans during this war period, one other important aspect worth our attention is the invention of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction). It was given to Arjuna by the Lord Krishna to serve as a protective shield for the truth to be successful. It is not clearly said how these WMD were made available to Arjuna, but to the warring families, it was no longer a secret.
This WMD during the Kurukshetra war was known as “Cakra”. “Cakra” was the most destructive of all weapons that was given personally by Lord Krishna and Lord Wisnu called it by the other name of “Sudal Sana” which was more powerful than “Barma Satara” the other WMD. It was said that if released, it would generate a great hot ray, reddish sky and fire-ball.

“Cakra” Launched (Ancient Nuclear)

During the chaos of the said war, one of Arjuna’s cousins launched the 5th weapon called “Barma Satara” which had the impact of a mighty nuclear power. According to the legend it was not clear how the relatives of Arjuna got to know the secret to launch such weapons. Arjuna himself had to obtain the consent from Lord Krishna who needed to explain the ways or consequences of such weapons.
It was believed that as a result of this launch it has created layers upon layers of hot rays that penetrated the sky and slowly settled on to the earth (as multiple layers). Upon realizing that the never before used weapon has been accidentally released by his own cousin and upon seeing the massive destruction that this weapon brought, Arjuna pleaded with Lord Krishna to gather all resources to protect what was left on the earth from the massive heat. With the kind guidance from Lord Krishna, Arjuna managed to protect the earth from the nuclear heat-wave by deflecting it skyward. This prevented the earth from complete destruction by such nuclear disaster. It was also told that the nuclear cloud and heat-wave were noticeable in the area tens of kilometers wide and approximately 10 nautical miles in thickness.
During the “Kuruthesa”, Arjuna, who was coached directly by Krishna on the righteous way of a true noble being and the right path to eternity, was also introduced to Yoga. Arjuna was to practice it whenever he faced adversity. “Bhakti Yoga” practiced for 20 minutes would allow the mere mortal to overcome adversity and reach for Lord’s guidance.

“Cakra”- Weapon of Mass Destruction during “Kurukshetra”

According to Lord Krishna, the WMD was further divided into three levels:

  • Highest “Cakra” (weapon) but never before used: “Sudal Sana”
    this was the most secretive and complicated weapons owned by Lord Krishna himself.
    The energy from this weapon would be able to destroy dozens of planets
  • Second “Cakra”: “Barma Satara” was a gift from “Dewa Api” to Lord Krishna and has 7 levels:
    • Level “Barma Satara” First
    • Level “Barma Satara” Second
    • Level “Barma Satara” Third
    • Level “Barma Satara” Fourth
    • Level “Barma Satara” Fifth (used by Arjuna’s cousin during “Kuruthesa”)
    • Level “Barma Satara” Sixth (equivalent to the destruction of Hiroshima)
    • Level “Barma Satara” Seventh ( widely used for self protection and medicines around the world)

    “Cakra Barma Satara” was a gift presented to Lord Krishna by “Dewa Api” also known “Angeni Dewa” during one of the anniversary celebrating the re-birth of Lord Krishna in the year of “Kaliyuga”. Those who attended were Wishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Surian, Govindran (King of Heaven) and Maharaja Kartu. From the ancient Sanskrit scripture, it was widely mentioned that the Gods were using weapons of high destructive power similar to that of nuclear power. However, it must be noted that the ancient weapons did not utilize the same earthly materials as its contents. As mentioned above, “Cakra Sudal Sana” and “Barma Satara” were ancient nuclear weapons that had its own levels of complexity. Each levels had different rays of destruction. The advantages of these weapons were their ability to be controlled and to benefit other human activities or served as a source of massive energy for human kind to operate with. From the local knowledge and also from the researchers of ancient Hindu Jawa scriptures, it was proven that these weapons were well known and were in widely used at different level of skills that benefited human kind in many places on earth.

    “Cakra” presently in used for various reasons

    From the vicinity, “Barma Satara” the seventh was used widely as means to fight paranormal activities as well as a form of self-protection, medicine and war (not for massive destruction). Right up until now, its usage was limited to “Barma Satara” the seventh only as the operative secret was limited to this level. “Barma Satara” seventh has limited source of energy but it’s beneficial to the human kind in this region.

    Examples: energy from “Barma Satara” seventh used by present human kind

    1. “Keris Terbang” ( Keris/Ancient Malay Weapon and Terbang means fly )
      • a. “keris Sumiyang”
      • b. “keris Brojol”
      • c. “keris Majapahit”
    2. “Tuju Tuju” ( Black magic weapon)
    3. “Bola Api” (Fire Ball)
    4. It is believed from the ancient Sanskrit scriptures that thunder and lightning were small fractions of “Barma Satara” energy sources that utilized small scale nuclear power to chase away devils who prevented the rains from falling to the ground

    Most of the sacred and magical power within the weapon’s structures and medicines used the energy similarly used in “Kurukthesa”.
    All these mantras and key-words were made known to me. It has never crossed my mind to use it except for the good of humankind.
    It could be summarized that all these energies from those ancient weapons were the source of energy of all magical yet mysterious events during ancient times. As a general observation, I would conclude that the reason as to why there’s such abundance of inherited petroleum was that humankind before us had the ability to utilize better sources of energy that were more powerful and environmentally friendly.

    “Chakra” – Mantras

    “Chakra” or weapons of such kind can only be manifested through mantras and key-words that could activate them. These weapons called “Chakra” were not formed by earthly means like fire, water, air nor earth they could only be manifested through a few mantras. These concepts were commonly written in the old ancient scriptures, they existed in historical periods. What attracted me was that in physical form, these weapons could be launched and also could be stopped or prevented before they cause destruction to the earth.

    The processes of the ancient nuclear power could be interpreted as follows:
    During Launching:

    • i) Key words or mantras to be uttered
    • ii) The earth composition would be changed and heat wave and massive rays would be released into the air
    • iii) At a sudden, a cloud of rays and heat will concentrate and a form a thick layer on top of the earth atmosphere
    • iv) These layers of heat and rays would then cascade down to earth and resulting in massive destruction
    • v) The end result would be worse than a nuclear explosion as the process involved the huge compactness of the wind and the air combined during this process

    During the prevention of the heat and rays layer from reaching the earth

    • I) Key words or mantras to be uttered
    • II) The layers would then stopped in mid-air and vanishes before touching the earth’s surface
    • III) These whole layers would then disappears from the air

    As to what happened in “kuruthesa” ( when Arjuna prevented the rays and heat-wave to penetrate to the earth), the heat-wave actually it vanished into thin air before it impacted the earth. The ability to know such structures and methods of these weapons would be beneficial for the present day humankind to compete with the mysteries of ancient beings and also would help to resolve the energy processes that would be simpler and could prolong the lifespan of this planet.

    Future hopes that are strange and mystifying

    It is my hope that with the revelation of the secrets to the mantras of the ancient nuclear power, we could further change the nuclear weapons into ultimate energy source.

    Lord Krishna advised me that all these sources of energy should be used by mankind for sole purpose of good. According to Lord Krishna, he would come to anyone and explain the secret text to anyone he fancies regardless of his/her race or religion. Lord Krishna exists in his own form and no mantras or religion can make Him to reveal Himself, unless He wishes to do so.


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