Detail of a 16th century painting of the Battle of Pavia

16th Century

By the early 16th century hand-held firearms were being used in battles. They were basic, heavy to carry, slow to load, fired only short distances and were largely inaccurate.

Battle of Pavia

This battle was the first battle in which infantry armed with firearms (harquebusiers) were victorious over fully armoured knights. Metal plate armour proved no defence against bullets.



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Did you know?

No rust for the wicked

Wrought iron does not rust as quickly as cast iron. At Fort Nelson the Boxted Bombard, a large medieval cannon made of wrought iron is still in good condition despite being left outdoors and unprotected for hundreds of years.