Weapons & equip­ment

Fought mainly to re­con­firm the in­de­pen­dence of the United States from Bri­tain, the con­flict iron­i­cally saw both sides armed in largely the same man­ner

History of War - - CONTENTS -

The con­flict fea­tured weapons such as the Brown Bess, sabres and rock­ets

The War of 1812 saw a num­ber of weapons fig­ure promi­nently in the fight­ing. Mus­kets were the com­mon firearms of both ar­mies, be­ing dis­trib­uted to most infantrymen, while ri­fles were in the hands of spe­cial­ists or mili­tia. The Pat­tern 1796 light cav­alry sabre was a new take on an age-old weapon. An­other, the gun­pow­der-pro­pelled Con­greve rocket, was in­no­va­tive and pointed the way to the fu­ture.

“MUS­KETS WERE THE COM­MON FIREARMS OF BOTH AR­MIES, BE­ING DIS­TRIB­UTED TO MOST INFANTRYMEN, WHILE RI­FLES WERE IN THE HANDS OF SPE­CIAL­ISTS OR MILI­TIA”

PENN­SYL­VA­NIA RI­FLE

Pro­duced orig­i­nally by Penn­syl­va­nia gun­smiths, the flintlock Penn­syl­va­nia ri­fle was the favoured firearm of the Amer­i­can fron­tiers­man. It fired a lighter ball than a mus­ket, but its bar­rel was ri­fled, and the spin im­parted made the pro­jec­tile more ac­cu­rate.

PAT­TERN 1796 BRI­TISH LIGHT CAV­ALRY SABRE

The Pat­tern 1796 sabre was 84 cen­time­tres (33 inches) long, with a curved steel blade that thick­ened to­wards the point, in­creas­ing its cut­ting power. It was said that one blow could cleave open a skull or lop off an arm.

CON­GREVE ROCKET

Named after its in­ven­tor, Wil­liam Con­greve, the 14.5-kilo­gram (32-pound) rocket was launched by black pow­der, and car­ried burst­ing or in­cen­di­ary war­heads weigh­ing be­tween 1.5-11 kilo­grams (3-24 pounds). Con­greve rock­ets were used at the Bat­tles of Lundy’s Lane and Bladens­burg, and also against Fort Mchenry.

CARRONADE

In­vented in 1776 at the Carron iron­works in Falkirk, Scot­land, a carronade was a short, stubby gun that fired a heavy can­non­ball rel­a­tive to its size and weight. Its draw­back was its short range com­pared to a con­ven­tional can­non. It was em­ployed on both land and sea.

BROWN BESS MUS­KET

The ‘Brown Bess’ was the nick­name of the stan­dard .75-cal­i­bre Land Pat­tern flintlock mus­ket, car­ried in var­i­ous ver­sions by most Bri­tish infantrymen for many decades dur­ing the 18th and 19th cen­turies. A bay­o­net was at­tached to the front end of the muz­zle-load­ing weapon for close com­bat.

“THE ‘BROWN BESS’ WAS THE NICK­NAME OF THE STAN­DARD .75-CAL­I­BRE LAND PAT­TERN FLINTLOCK MUS­KET, CAR­RIED IN VAR­I­OUS VER­SIONS BY MOST BRI­TISH INFANTRYMEN FOR MANY DECADES”

The Pat­tern 1796 sabre was used by the Bri­tish through­out the Napoleonic Wars and dur­ing the War of 1812 The Penn­syl­va­nia ri­fle was lethally ac­cu­rate to 365 me­tres (400 yards)

The Con­greve rocket, a largely in­ac­cu­rate weapon, was in­vented in 1804 and came in sev­eral sizes

The Brown Bess was the pri­mary in­fantry firearm of the Bri­tish Army dur­ing the War of 1812

The hard-hit­ting carronade was used ex­ten­sively on war­ships dur­ing the War of 1812

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