A Tale of Swords and Gunpowder – Weapons in Ancient China l HISTORY OF CHINA


Dao, Gun, Jian and Quiang are the 4 principal standard fighting weapons of China. Even even though, the Chinese had already invented gunpowder by the end of the tenth century. So in addition to of obtaining an arsenal of swords, spears, sabres, crossbows and bow and arrows, the Chinese military could also choose from cannons, rockets, mines and even handheld firearms. Nevertheless, close combat would remain the favoured means of battle for a long time. All about the history of Chinas weaponry now on It’s HISTORY!

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» SOURCES
Videos: British Pathé (https://www.youtube.com/user/britishpathe)
Images: primarily Picture Alliance
Content:
Lu Gwei-Djen, Joseph Needham and Phan Chi-Hsing (1988): The Oldest Representation of a Bombard. In:
Technology and Culture 29 (3), pp. 594-605
Needham, Joseph (1986): Science and Civilization in China. Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Component 7, Military Technologies the Gunpowder Epic. Taipei
Tittmann, Wilfried/ Nibler, Ferdinand & John, Wolfgang ()
Salpeter und Salpetergewinnung im Übergang vom Mittelalter zur Neuzeit: http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/technikhist/tittmann/4%20Salpeter.pdf
Wang Ling (1947): On the Invention and Use of Gunpowder and Firearms in China. In: Isis 37 (three/four), 160-178

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» CREDITS
Presented by: Guy Kiddey
Script by: Martin Haldenmair
Directed by: Daniel Czepelczauer
Director of Photography: Markus Kretzschmar
Music: Markus Kretzschmar
Sound Design: Bojan Novic
Editing: Franz Jänich

A Mediakraft Networks original channel
Primarily based on a notion by Florian Wittig and Daniel Czepelczauer
Executive Producers: Astrid Deinhard-Olsson, Spartacus Olsson
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Producer: Daniel Czepelczauer
Social Media Manager: Laura Pagan and Florian Wittig

Includes material licensed from British Pathé
All rights reserved – © Mediakraft Networks GmbH, 2015

Image from page 374 of “Exactly where ghosts stroll : the haunts of familiar characters in history and literature” (1898)
Identifier: whereghostswalkh00harl
Title: Exactly where ghosts walk : the haunts of familiar characters in history and literature
Year: 1898 (1890s)
Authors: Harland, Marion, 1830-1922
Subjects:
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam
Contributing Library: University of California Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: MSN

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Text Appearing Prior to Image:
bureau), shut up box and drawer, reclosed, re- 290 Exactly where Ghosts Walk locked the dormitory, and descended toclassc, feeling as if fairy-tales were correct,and fairy gifts no dream. The dormitory, exactly where we select her own casement out of which she leanedon summer time evenings, as ever solitary, tolook out upon the gay little city, and hearthe band play in the park, pondering imply-time my personal thoughts, living my own lifein my own nonetheless shadow-planet. We open the casement to see the ledgeon which she sat via the thunder-storm that awoke all the sleepers in thedormitory. Although the rest knelt aroundthe evening-lamp, praying aloud, she re-mained with no, upon her perch, her feetupon the roof of a reduce adjoining create- It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch-dark. I could not go in. Too resistlesswas the delight of staying with the wildhour, black, and complete of thunder, pealingout such an ode as lanoruaore never ever deliv-ered to man. The attic was no pleasant spot, wequote in English on entering what is

Text Appearing Following Image:
In Villctte 291 gained by one more flight of stairs. Insummer weather it was hot as Africa, inwinter it was always cold as Greenland.Well was it known to be tenanted by rats,by black beetles and by cockroaches—nay, rumour affirmed that the ghostlyNun of the garden had once been seenthere. The sub-teachers laugh is as prepared aslight. She has caught the sense of thelast words. Tripping more than the dusty,echoing floor, she points to a modest win-dow or glazed trap-door in the slopingroof, dim and cobwebby, for the attic isdisused now, even as a lumber space : Par /&lti/ she says, and we see thatthe trick of the pseudo ghost is identified toher. Lucy did not think in the Nun whenshe opened the skylight, dragged alarge, empty chest beneath it, and, hav-ing mounted upon a smaller sized box, as-cended this species of extempore throne,and began the study of the element forcedupon her by the remorseless Professor.But she saw the apparition on the winter 292 Exactly where Ghosts Stroll night when she sought the deep, bl

Note About Photos
Please note that these photos are extracted from scanned page pictures that might have been digitally enhanced for readability – coloration and look of these illustrations could not perfectly resemble the original perform.
By Web Archive Book Pictures on 1898-01-01 00:00:00
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Envision that you are a lady born in a country exactly where war has been going on for 22 years. Your parents are poor, illiterate peasants. As you develop up, a dozen people you know starve each and every winter. On numerous days, you have to go hungry oneself.

You go to the only old man alive in your village and you ask him questions. “Was life often like this? Was there a time when factors had been greater?” The old man tells you that, years ago, before invaders arrived, there was peace and freedom.

On your eighteenth birthday, your village is attacked. Your older sister is raped and killed before your eyes, but you manage to escape. That’s the day when you choose that you want to change the globe. If only you knew how.

That evening, you have nightmares about your sister. You wake up in the dark with your body trembling with fever. Then you close your eyes once more, praying that you die prior to dawn.

Suddenly, you see a light above you. Did you fall asleep again? Is this one more nightmare? You hear a voice call your name. Who is that? The voice tells you that you, Jeanne, will finish the war.

“I am going to set our nation cost-free,” you announce to your parents the next morning. They shake their heads and inform you to drink your milk. Soon after doing your chores, you walk to the village church and explain to the priest that you, Jeanne, are going to finish the war.

The village priest does not listen to you and tells you to go residence, but you can’t be stopped. The next day, you walk to the nearby garrison and ask to see the commander. You inform him that you know how to liberate the country and place an finish to the war.

At the beginning, the commander calls you foolish and laughs at you, but the fury in your eyes makes him stand nevertheless. “Take me to the King,” you demand. “He will listen to me.”

A week later, you arrive at the King’s castle escorted by four knights. “Who is this girl?” the King asks dismissively, looking at your dirty ragged garments. “Is she coming right here to beg?”

“My name is Jeanne, Sire,” you reply, “and I am the a single who will end the war.” You hear mocking comments behind your back, but your determination has made the King curious. “I am the one who will set our nation cost-free,” you continue. “I have come to ask you to give me an army.”

“Send her away,” the court advisers whisper to the King. “She is just a crazy girl.” The King nods to a guard, instructing him to throw you out of the castle. That is when you raise your voice. “If you do not do as I inform you, Sire, the nation will be lost and you will be dead before the finish of the year.”

Astonished by your boldness, the guard turns to the King and asks if you are to be punished for uttering a threat. You stand alone, undaunted, in the middle of the space, waiting for the King’s answer.

“What if she is telling the truth?” wonders the King. He knows very effectively that his scenario is desperate. Orleans, his remaining bastion, is about to fall to the invaders. Right after some hesitation, he provides you a hundred soldiers, his reserve troops, mostly middle-aged guys.

You and your men march towards Orleans and scurry inside for the duration of the night. At dawn, you see rats in the streets. Nobody is bothering to bury corpses any more, because there are just as well several. Those who are nevertheless alive have given up all hope.

“My name is Jeanne,” you shout as you climb on a wagon in front of the church. “I have come to set Orleans totally free and end the war.” Wounded, hungry males and ladies start to congregate about the wagon. “Who is that girl?” they ask themselves. “What is she speaking about?”

The next days, Orleans citizens mobilize their final energies. Stones are taken from each home in order to be employed as projectiles for the catapult. Each and every piece of wood is turned into arrows. Boys choose up swords, females heat up oil. What ever food is left is shared amongst all.

The decisive battle takes place on the tenth day after your arrival. Everyone able to stand on his feet takes up position behind the parapet that defends Orleans. The bastion doors open and the invaders watch in awe how a girl is major the defenders outside, prepared to fight.

In the course of the next seven hours, defenders turn into attackers. Arrows and stones on fire decimate the invader’s army. What seemed unbelievable, occurs. The citizens of Orleans crush their enemies. By the end of the day, invaders retreat from the region.

In 1428, Jeanne of Arc, an eighteen-year old girl, turned about a desperate predicament and changed the course of History. Was her vision a hallucination brought on by higher fever? We know small about Jeanne’s vision, but every little thing about her determination.

Are you sceptical? Do you think that the story of Jeanne of Arc has no application to your life? “Crises of the previous are long gone and our existing issues are diverse,” I hear you argue. “We can not reside in old History.” I totally agree. It really is up to us to write our personal.

See John Vespasian’s weblog

John Vespasian has lived in New York, Madrid, Paris, and Munich. His stories reflect the values of entrepreneurship, tolerance, and self-reliance. See John Vespasian’s weblog at http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com/

50 thoughts on “A Tale of Swords and Gunpowder – Weapons in Ancient China l HISTORY OF CHINA”

  1. You guys are incompetent to a fault. You think China’s aging, Soviet-era equipment, can dtand toe to toe with the west? You’re smoking crack.

  2. My question is, if the Chinese had gunpowder longer than the Europeans, how come the European soldiers had better gunpowder weapons and better skill with gunpowder weapons?

  3. It might be mentioned that, until the twentieth century, the essential ingredient of gunpowder and the source chemical for all explosives and propellants were nitrates, specifically sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate, collectively known a saltpeter. Its source was dung, chemically refined by by bacteria. This dung could be relatively fresh or fossil. I suspect the saltpeter found in the Chinese came from bird droppings over the centuries.

  4. "What kind of idiot brings a sword to a gun fight" 2016 youtubers.
    "What kind of idiot brings a gun to a lightsaber fight" 2216 youtubers.

  5. China have not caught up with the West, in terms of military technology. I would say China is about 30-50 years behind. You guys may be too overly polite to your Chinese audience or are pandering.

  6. Found your channel today and really like your videos. But that bit at the end about China overtaking western powers was ridiculous. China’s PLA Navy has been a brown water Navy up until about 2009. That means they couldn’t operate outside of river, costal, and nearby literol areas for extended and sustained period of time. And even then they didn’t graduate to a blue water navy. Now they have this green water navy designation that’s pretty much brown water +. It’s true that anybody trying to invade China will have a hell of a time (not to mention what that would mean for the global economy) but it is very doable by the USA. Russia to.

  7. Sword. Guns are fine, but, there is something about a fine sword that isn’t as random or clumsy as a blaster. 😉

    More seriously, yes, gunpowder changed history, and no, things would not have gone as they did without the technological innovation of gunpowder. One innovation drives another. Especially in war.

    Consider a more recent case history, aircraft allowed better artillery spotting in WWI. Better spotting meant more of your side died. This led to there being a premium on shooting down the other side’s spotting planes. This led to the arming planes which led to the creation of dedicated fighter planes. etc etc. etc. And without gunpowder, there would have been no fighter planes, as guns might never have been developed and you can’t really shoot down a plane with a bow and arrow while in motion.

  8. As late as 1600s gun powder weapons don’t fare well with bow and arrows. For example, during Battle of Sarhu Ming musket column of the Elite all firewarm 神机营 was devastated by Manchu mounted archery fire, A skilled archer have shoot 5 arrows in less than 20 seconds during a pass through then ride away. While during that time a musket would be lucky to let out a volley. Interestingly, Qing tried the same strategy again in the 1860s against the British musket column, and it completely destroyed the banner cavalry. Technology has changed somewhat since the 1640s.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sarhu

  9. If that is so? Why were the armies of Europe and Japan able to knock China about?
    More China may have atomic weapons the USA has a lot more and I suspect that if they see is as required, the Japanese would have atomic weapons up and going in a few weeks.

  10. China has over-taken the west in military might? That seems to be a little far-fetched, looking at the military budget of USA.

  11. God damn, if it weren’t for opium and the Mongols we’d all be speaking Mandarin today. Sad how a lot of people don’t realize the power of ancient China.

  12. Might want to check the credits. Unless I wrote the script in such a drunken haze that I forgot about it afterwards, I suspect Martin Haldenmair wrote this one.

  13. It’s not a longbow. It was a composite bow. The Chinese crossbows were much stronger than the composite bows. In the Han dynasty, for example, the most common crossbows were the 6 dan crossbows, which had a draw weight of about 400lbs, and it had a similar powerstroke, or drawlength, to a composite bow. What is the draw weight of an ordinary composite bow used by infantry? Around 70-130lbs. A cavalry bow would have even less draw weight than that but could be compensated with the charging speed of a horse.

    To draw the string of a 6 dan crossbow, one needs to sit down, step both of the feet on the prod, and pull back using the whole body’s strength, whereas a composite bow can be drawn with just the arms. How can the crossbow be out-ranged or less powerful than a composite bow? Historical records suggest this device was used because the power of penetration was not satisfactory for the ordinary composite bows, so they used crossbows instead…

    In fact, crossbowmen were often deployed behind rows of archers. In a Chinese military manual written in the Song dynasty, crossbowmen should shoot heavily armored (clad in steel armor) enemies from around 150m away, whereas an archer should only start firing when the enemy is within 90m. Let alone a bunch of siege weapon crossbows capable of firing javelins of up to 2m long over long distances and can destroy watchtowers and buildings… It was said the most feared weapons of the Song military was the crossbow and long-handled axes…

    By the way, the repeating crossbow was actually found in a 5th century BC tomb… how was not used until the 19th century?

  14. What the hell is up with that ship’s paint? It looks awesome but seems like it wouldn’t camouflaged well if it was in the open ocean. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be more efficient if it was colored to mimic the ocean? If I had to guess that thing might be painted this way for show or was meant to be a more coastal boat.

  15. Stink…..? OK STOP!!! Did he just say stink bombs were used around 3:11 ? OH MY GOSH!!!!! WE NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THAT

  16. Nitrates can be subtracted from urine, it was once believed that Bishops gave the very best urine. 
    No I am not taking the pith.
    Nice to see you got your dickey out again.
    Carry on me old china.

  17. So its insulting to depict ancient china as using the dao ans martial arts even though it is what it used?
    And they have required military service and must learn martial arts in the military. hmmm

  18. Guy your dress sense is becoming less and less coherent each weak. We’ve a beard now? Come on Guy I expect this from Indie, but you Guy? I expect professionalism from you…

  19. Any fool who thinks large numbers of troops are effective have little grip on reality for being to proud for having the largest cannon fodder army in the world.

  20. Well done, 4 traditional weapons, only one was used in battle. Sabre and sword were civilian weapons and staff were used by, well, everyone.
    However, in battles, Chinese have abandoned all of these 3 because they are not long enough. So only spear and other pole weapons were used in actual battles

  21. handcannons are not like bazookas, please don’t make weird amalgams like that.
    a bazooka would actually be more similar to that box of rocket-powered arrows really

  22. Chinese military has not overtaken the west in any category.

    They are using 1960’s Soviet engines in their air craft.

    Their newest jet engines are so bad they have 30 hour flight time until they need to be changed out. They still burn dirty and hot like Russian engines. Western engine lasts 7k hours…

  23. The modern Chinese military is FARRRRRR from overtaking the west militarily.

    "large numbers alone convey no strategic advantage." -Sun Tzu

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