History of the Cannon
Category: Shotguns and Smoothbores
History of the cannon does span quite several hundred years back. It was first used in china. They are considered to be one of the earliest gunpowder artillery, and with time they have come to replace the siege engines. In Europe the first cannon was thought to be used during the Islamic wars against the Spaniards. The English cannon were first seen at the Battle of Crecy. During this period the cannon were standardized and became effective in anti-infantry and the siege roles. Due to this new technologies and tactics developed, and made most defenses obsolete. The cannon transformed the naval warfare, specifically the Royal Navy took a great advantage of their firepower. Rifling became more common and this idea increased the cannons accuracy making them deadlier than ever. Majority of deaths at World War 1 were caused y the cannons. They were also very common in World War 2. Most of the modern cannons are similar to the ones that were used in the 2nd World War including the auto-cannon, except the naval guns that are now considerably smaller in caliber.
Development in China
Just before the invention of cannon, projectile weapons that used compressed air and steam were common. Gunpowder driven cannon were first invented in China and were a descendant of the fire- lance. Sometimes Sharpnel was placed in the barrel to make them fly along with the flames. Later on the paper and bamboo material on the barrels was replaced by metal.
Pot-de-fer was the 1st metal cannon to be used. It was loaded using an arrow-like bolt that was wrapped in leather so as to allow for a great thrusting power, and was set off with a heated wire placed at the touch hole. The cannons were majorly used by both the English and the French, though they were used in the European battlefield still they remained a rare weapon, and first appeared in Russia in early 1380s.