The History of Body Armor, from the Medieval World to Today

There has been a true arms race, where every advance in body armor has required a more penetrating round to overcome it, before these more powerful rounds are again defeated by better body armor. By Sam BocettaProfessor of EngineeringAlgonquin Community College Introduction When writing about the history of military weapons and equipment, most people tend[…]

Siege Warfare in Medieval Europe

Siege tactics were a crucial part of medieval warfare. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Siege tactics were a crucial part of medieval warfare, especially from the 11th century CE when castles became more widespread in Europe and sieges outnumbered pitched battles. Castles and fortified cities offered protection to both the local population and armed forces and[…]

Greek Fire: A Byzantine Weapon Lost to the Ages

The weapon ceased to exist by the time the Ottoman Empire finally conquered Constantinople in 1453. September 1, 718. With the clear motivation to defend Constantinople, Byzantine ships filled with anxious soldiers were surrounding the mainland. On the horizon, Arab Muslim forces, bringing with them a fleet of large and robust wooden ships, started to[…]

Greek Fire: Byzantine Weapon of Mass Destruction

The napalm of ancient warfare. By Mark CartwrightHistor Introduction Greek Fire was an incendiary weapon first used in Byzantine warfare in 678 CE. The napalm of ancient warfare, the highly flammable liquid was made of secret ingredients and used both in catapulted incendiary bombs and sprayed under pressure so as to launch flames at enemy ships and fortifications.[…]

The ‘Equites Legionis’ and the Roman Cavalry

A view on the Roman cavalry forces, especially the equites legionis. By Dr. Stefan Zehetner Institut für Alte Geschichte und Altertumskunde, Papyrologie und Epigraphik University of Vienna Introduction A view on the Roman cavalry forces, especially the equites legionis. The article describes a possible organizational chart of the legionary cavalry formation in imperial times. By[…]

War Machines of Archimedes

One area in which Archimedes excelled was in the design and construction of great war machines. By Martyn ShuttleworthHistorian of Science Introduction Archimedes (c. 287 BCE – c. 212 BCE) was a truly great inventor, mathematician and philosopher, writing many insightful and extensive treatises on geometry and applied mathematics. His work on pulleys and levers[…]