Military technology used in golden era, Science

Military Technology:

Important changes were introduced in military technology. Rope and wooden stimps  for horsemen were known in India before the thirteenth century. However, the iron stirrup seems to have been  introduced by  the Ghorians and'the Turks. This greatly improved the combat power of  horsemen. At the same  time, shoeing improved the performance of  horses. Turks  also brought with them the cross-bow . The sross-bow had an additional tube at right angles to the bow in which the arrow was fitted; the tube gave greater accuracy of direction to the arrow. This tube seems to be a direct precursor of  the barrel-of the hand-gun. The next stage of development in military technology was the use of cannon and gun powder. This innovation came to India during the latter half of  the fifteenth century from the Ottoman Empire which had itself received it from Europe. By  Akbar's  time, match-locks and their manufacture became common in  the imperial aknal. Some improvements were attempted mainly with a view to do away with the match and strengthen the barrel. Akbar's  arsenal succeeded  in manufacturing a gun that had most  probably a wheel-lock. Here the spring released by trigger caused a wheel with serrated edges to revolve against a piece of pyrites and so send sparks into the priming pan. The flintlock widely used  in Europe by the first half of  the seventeenth century was adopted  in India later on. Manufacture of the barrel of a gun posed a problem  for the gunsmith. The barrel had to be very strong to withstand  the explosion within  it; the making of the bore and alignment required high accuracy. In Akbar's arsenal, the barrel was made by rolling flat iron sheets and welding the edge. Thereafter, the bore was worked  from inside. The same technique was used in Europe down to the eighteenth century. India was credited with casting the heaviest bronze cannons in the world at the close of the sixteenth century. But the heavy guns were not necessarily efficient as they lacked mobility as well as accuracy. We  find that Akbar paid great attention to the manufacture of lighter guns that could be pulled by a single man. An important device used  in the Indian amy was bana or rocket. This was made of bamboo, with iron cylinders containing combustible materials at the tip. It was this Indian rocket  that inspired the invention of rockets by Congreve in early nineteenth century.  

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