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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Ten Strange Weapons

The Urumi
Also known as "chuttuval," which means "coiled sword," this flexible weapon is used in the South Indian Martial Art of Kalaripayatt.

The blade (or multiple blades, as in the urumi pictured here) is flexible enough to be rolled up and stored when not used, or even worn as a belt and whipped out on demand.

The blade or blades are typically razor-sharp and bad news for anyone standing in the vicinity of the person wielding the urumi.

2. The Tekko-kagi ("hand claws")
Predating X-Men's Wolverine by hundreds of years, ninjas would use the tekko-kagi claws to guard against sword attacks, allowing them to swipe and potentially knock the sword from an assailant's hands.

Or, ninjas could use claws the claws offensively against their opponents with devastating results.

Typically made from aluminum, steel, iron or wood, tekko weapons are believed by martial arts historians to have originated when the Bushi in Okinawa, Japan began weilding the steel shoes of their horses as a means of self-defense against assailants.

3. The Kusari-gama
A combination sickle and mace, the Kusari-gama was used by traditional Japanese warriors, swinging the sickle at opponents to either slice them with the sharp blade or bludgeon them with the heavy iron weight attached by chain.

The Kusarigama was popular in fuedal Japan from around the 12th through the 17th centuries, and was taught in martial arts schools with its own form of fighting style, known as Kusarigamajutsu.

4. The Trebuchet
A much more powerful and accurate evolution of the medieval catapult, the trebuchet used counterweights to increase the velocity of the objects it hurled. It was used primarily by Christian and Muslim forces throughout the Mediterranean region during the 12th century.

The trebuchet is also believed to be an early biological weapon, as armies would load the trebuchet with corpses riddled with diseases like the Black Plague and hurl them into areas under seige in the hopes of infecting large numbers of their enemies.

5. The Paris Gun
The German military used its mammoth Paris Gun (also known as the Emperor William Gun) in 1918 to terrorize the French public during World War I.

The Paris Gun had an approximately 92-foot-long barrel that could fire 210-pound shells and reach distances up to 75 miles away. Since it could fire great distances, the residents of Paris heard and saw no warning of incoming blasts, and while the potential physical damage from the weapon wasn't catastrophic, the uncertainty of when and where attacks would come struck fear into the heart of all of Paris.

The German military is believed to have destroyed the Paris Gun as the Allied offensive began.

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Posted by Ajay :: 10:03 AM :: 0 comments

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