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The firepower of the Wagenburg decimated attackers, stopped German cavalry, and gave the infantry a safe place to reload their arquebuses. These wagon fortresses were widely copied.
Ils chargent leurs arquebuses, & font une salve fort gentille >> (Lalemand 1959 : 178-180).
It was a chivalrous and whimsical scene, resembling the Old Testament pictures painted in Cranach's studio during the years of the Schmalkaldic League: the pikes, arquebuses and bellying striped tents of the imperial camp; the encircled town commanded by Sibylle in a flush of demure feminine valour, neatly resolute, flitting up and down the fortifications, protecting her sons' future; the noble greybeard, admired on all sides, sagely taking home his largesse from camp to town.
In the first half of the 15th century, they began to use matchlock arquebuses, although the first references to the Ottomans' use of tufek or hand firearms of the arquebus type (1394, 1402, 1421, 1430, 1440, 1442) are disputable.
Les armes dont ils se servent communement sont la lance, & l'arc, Il y en a cependant, qui ont des fusils & des arquebuses rayees, & les plus riches portent des jacques de maille.
By September the weather was turning; in the rain the survivors had to resort to using crossbows instead of arquebuses. Food was running low but the defenders were not starving: Balbi speaks of exchanging bread for melons with the Turks, and Anastagi writes that in Mdina, cattle remained plentiful, although the wine had run out.
It was the heavy cavalry who won the day in medieval battles, but by the time of the Italian Wars in the early decades of the 1500s, victory more often depended on skilled infantrymen, combining pikemen (equipped with pikes and other weapons such as halberds, half-pikes, swords, and bucklers) and shooters (equipped with arquebuses and falconets, or small cannon), and sometimes accompanied by light horsemen (Giovanni himself preferred Albanian stradioti mounted on small Turkish horses for his light cavalry).
Boarding nets were rigged, arquebuses prepared to fire, and swords were put to the whetstone.
Hecht's diction is showy, as in the phrases "entertainments of despair" ("Haman"), "barbarous thistles of frost" ("A Certain Slant"), and the words/objects "croquembouches," "arquebuses," and "fruitwood bows" ("A Brief Account of Our City").
Sure, the presence of firearms among the Inuit became its own kind of cultural lead poisoning; as Vollmann writes, "because iron axes had almost decided things in Vinland, because arquebuses had taken command at Kebec, what must rifles have done here?" Yet to what extent were Franklin and his men responsible, if they were responsible at all?
Until now, all military small arms, whether arquebuses, muskets, or rifles, had been muzzle-loaded; that is, in reloading, the new bullet had to be forced down the length of the muzzle.
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