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War Weapons of the Song Dynasty

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War weapons of the Song Dynasty

How did war weapons change significantly in the Song Dynasty? The Song Dynasty is considered a high point in ancient Chinese innovation with the revolutionary implementation of gun powder creating groundbreaking forms of warfare, the mass production of Iron and Steel to make cheaper and stronger blades, and even the use of Sieging weapons used to turn structures into rubble. This dynasty primarily dealt with war weapons used in attacking and defending cities in contrast to the before dynasty's where battles were fought in an open area where the invaders would be at a significant disadvantage struggling to overrun the city. The Chinese have always thought that the further away you are from your enemy when you kill them, the better. This is why Spears and other long range weapons were so popular and that is why the use of gunpowder exploded in the song dynasty.

Military strategists were always looking for ways to create effects from a distance. When Gun powder was introduced its uses and implementations exploded. Before, Gunpowder was just used as an incendiary tool to create and spread fire along the battlefield. In china, military tactics often included overpowering and outsmarting your enemy. This is why the implementation of fire was so successful in battle. Fire was seen as a weapon of great fear for the enemy. It was used to hurt them and destroy moral by seeing their allies engulfed in flames. The destructive nature and ability to spread properties of fire were utilized to make battles quite one-sided. But gun powder began to be used for much greater uses than just fire. Gun power allowed for explosive arrows and even bamboo flamethrowers. Explosive arrows, created from attaching packages of gunpowder to the arrow and lighting a fuse created mass fire when the target was hit. The bamboo flamethrower was created by using a double-action piston-bellow that forced kerosene out of the barrel on both the backward and forward pumps erupting the gunpowder in the piston. Another type of primitive bomb used during Sung Dynasty was called Du Yao Yan Qiu or the Poisonous Smoke Bomb. It was probably the world's first chemical weapon. It was also made of multi-layers of papers filled with gunpowder and some poisonous substances such as arsenic and croton. When this paper bomb started to burn, it would create a noxious smoke. Using these new weapons utilizing gun powder allowed one army to gain a significant advantage on the battlefield. Another thing that allowed an army to gain a lead in battle was their accessibility to large quantities of armor and weapons.

Armor and weapons used to be really expensive to make and armies could be made up of thousands of men. So, before not every soldier had armor or a standard weapon. This all changed when the Chinese were able to invent two new particular processes. The Chinese were not the first to create steel and iron but they did improve the process by ten-fold. China during the Song Dynasty had the best steel making processes in the world and only during the late



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