Page 1


HISTORY OF ROCKETS Exactly when the first flights of rockets occurred is contested. Some say that the first recorded use of a rocket in battle w as by the Chinese in 1232 against the Mongol hordes. There were reports of fire arrows and 'iron pots' that could be heard for 5 league s (25 km, or 15 miles) when they exploded upon impact, causing devastation for a radius of 600 meters (2,000 feet), apparently due to shrapnel. The lowering of the iron pots may have been a way for a besieged army to blow up invaders. The fire arrows were eit her arrows with explosives attached, or arrows propelled by gunpowder, such as the Korean Hwacha.# Rocket technology first became known to Europeans following their use by the Mongols, Genghis Khan and Ă–gedei Khan, when they conquered parts of Russia, Eastern, and Central Europe. The Mongolians had acquired the Chinese technology by conquest of the northern part of China and also by the subsequent employment of Chinese rocketry experts as mercenaries for the Mongol milita ry. Reports of the Battle of Sejo in the year 1241 describe the use of rocket-like weapons by the Mongols against the Magyars. Rocket technology also spread to Korea, with the 15th century wheeled hwacha that would launch singijeon rockets. These first Korean rockets had an amazingly long range at the time, and were designed and built by Byun Eee-Joong. They were just like arrows but had small explosives attached to the back, and were fired in swarms.

In 1250, the Norwegian Konungs skuggsjĂĄ mentions, in its military chapter, the use of "coal and sulphur" as the best weapon for ship-toship combat. Roger Bacon made one of the earliest mentions of gunpowder in Europe in 1267, in his work Epistola de secretis operibus artiis et naturae. His studies of gunpowder greatly improved the range of rockets. Bacon has been credited by some authors as the inventor of gunpowder (although the first to use it were Chinese), because around 1261 he developed the correct formula for gunpowder (75% of saltpeter, 15% of carbon and 10% of sulphur).Jean Froissart had the idea of launching rockets through tubes, so that they could make more accurate flights. Froissart's idea is a forerunner of the modern bazooka].

Additionally, the spread of rockets into Europe was also influenced by the Ottomans at the siege of Constantinople in 1453, a lthough it is very likely that the Ottomans themselves were influenced by the Mongol invasions of the previous few centuries. In their history of rockets published on the Internet, NASA says "Rockets appear in Arab literature in 1258 A.D., describing Mongol invaders' use of them on February 15 to capture the city of Baghdad. Quick to learn, the Arabs adopted the rocket into their own arms inventor y and, during the Seventh Crusade, used them against the French Army of King Louis IX in 1268."

Between 1270 and 1280, Hasan al-Rammah wrote al-furusiyyah wa al-manasib al-harbiyya (The Book of Military Horsemanship and Ingenious War Devices), which included 107 gunpowder recipes, 22 of which are for rockets; he arrived to the same results of Bacon 13 years before, because if one takes the median of 17 of these 22 compositions for rockets (75% nitrates, 9.06% sulphu r and 15.94% carbon), it is almost identical with the reported ideal recipe. According to Ahmad Y Hassan, al-Rammah's recipes were more explosive than rockets used in China at the time. He also invented a torpedo running on water with a rocket system filled with explosive materials




2GA 2012-13 - Innes  

2GA 2012-13 - Innes

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you