sabato 1 novembre 2008

WEAPONS OF THE NAVY

RAM

A naval ram was a weapon carried by varied types of ships, dating back to antiquity. The weapon consisted of an underwater prolongation of the bow of the ship to form an armoured beak, usually between six and twelve feet in length.

The ram was a naval weapon in the Greek/Roman antiquity and was used in such naval battles as Salamis and Actium. For the last stage of the attack the ship would be propelled by oarsmen rather than sails.

A trireme bronze cast ram has been found off Athlit (Israel) without any other wreckage around it which gives credit to the idea often expressed by some scholars that the ancient shipbuilders and carpenters built the ship's keel with some sort of carpenter's trick enabling the ram to be sheared off the keel without endangering the ramming (attacking) ship, which could otherwise have sprung a leak or be driven to the bottom by the sinking opponent. Rams were always made of bronze, and weighed anywhere from 8 to 20 tons.

CATAPULT

A catapult is any one of a number of non-handheld mechanical devices used to throw a projectile a great distance without the aid of an explosive substance—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. The name is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek καταπέλτης - katapeltes, from κατά - kata (downwards, into, against) and πάλλω - pallo (to poise or sway a missile before it is thrown).[1] The catapult appears to have been invented in 399 BC in the city of Syracuse during the reign of the tyrant Dionysius I[2]. Originally, "catapult" referred to a dart-thrower, while "ballista" referred to a stone-thrower, but the two terms swapped meaning sometime in the fourth century AD

BALISTA

The ballista (Latin, from Greek βαλλίστρα - ballistra, from - βάλλω ballō, "to throw"), plural ballistae, was a weapon developed from earlier Greek weapons. It relied upon different mechanics using instead of a prod two levers with torsion springs, consisting of several loops of twisted skeins. Early versions ejected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes for siege warfare. It developed into a smaller sniper weapon, the Scorpio,[1] and possibly the polybolos.

HARPAGO

The harpago, a catapult-fired grappling hook, which was used to clamp onto an enemy ship, reel it in and board it, in a much more efficient way than with the old corvus, and the use of collapsible fighting towers placed one apiece bow and stern, which were used to provide the boarders with supporting fire