WEAPONS ( military ), devices and means used in armed struggle to defeat and destroy the enemy. Serves both for attack and for defense (defense), weapons have been known since ancient times. It appeared during the primitive communal system (according to the archeological periodization, it mainly coincides with the Stone Age) as a means of hunting, as an instrument of attack and defense in the process of obtaining food and clothing, that is, it was a kind of tools. Later, during the period of the disintegration of the tribal system, the emergence of private ownership of the means of production and the division of society into antagonistic classes, weapons become a means specially created for armed struggle.
The state and development of weapons to a decisive extent depends on the mode of production and, especially on the level of development of the forces. F. Engels wrote: “Nothing depends on economic conditions so much as the army and navy. Armament, composition, organization, tactics and strategy depend primarily on the stage of production reached at the given moment military weapons American precision firearms.
The first types of weapons used in the early Paleolithic (in the other Stone Age, approximately 1 million 800 thousand – 35 thousand years ago) included a primitive club or club , a wooden spear , and stones. With the transition to the Late Paleolithic (approximately 35-10 thousand years ago), stone processing techniques underwent radical changes. Spears and darts with flint and bone tips, a sling appeared. At the end of this era, spear throwers were used, which significantly increased the range of the spear. That is, in the Paleolithic, percussion and throwing weapons already existed. In the Mesolithic (transitional era from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic), bows and arrows are one of the most important inventions of mankind in the era of tribal society. In the Neolithic (New Stone Age), new types of weapons appeared – a stone ax, a dagger made of stone and bone, a mace with a stone head. The development of weapons led to the creation of defensive weapons.
The discovery of the properties of copper in the Eneolithic (Copper Stone Age) and the manufacture of bronze (in the Bronze Age), which coincided with the formation of early class societies, marked the beginning of a new stage in the history of weapons military weapons American precision firearms. Specialized military weapons began to be made – bronze (later iron) swords . coinage (war hammer, klevets), spears and other cold weapons .
The main role in battles goes to the sword, the decisive importance of which for the wars of the era of barbarism, F. Engels compared with the role of the bow for the era of savagery and firearms for the era of civilization. There is a division of some types of weapons (sword, spear) into infantry (gladius, pilum) and cavalry (spat, hasta). The appearance of protective structures caused the creation of throwing machines and siege equipment. The development of the bow led to the creation of the crossbow and crossbow, and the knife, halberd , and other types of edged weapons appeared. Greek fire begins to be used ,mainly for setting fire to enemy ships in naval combat. An important stage in the development of weapons is associated with the use of gunpowder as a propellant and the emergence of firearms. One of the first examples of firearms was the modfa, which appeared among the Arabs in the 12th century.
In Western Europe and in Russia, firearms known since the 14th century. Artillery guns of that time were smooth-walled pipes (barrels) forged from metal, mounted on wooden machines. Loading was carried out from the muzzle of the barrel, ignition of the powder charge through a special pilot hole. The shells were arrows, logs, stones, later – stone cannonballs. For firing at manpower, stone buckshot was also used, which was poured into the bore on top of the propellant charge. The first samples of small arms (in Russia – hand pischal (ruchnitsa), in France – petrinal, in Spain – pedernal) in design differed little from art. guns. They were smooth-bore, muzzle-loading, had a straight stock and fired spherical bullets. The powder charge was ignited by hand from a smoldering wick. With the advent and development of firearms, edged weapons and throwing machines are undergoing changes and are gradually losing their significance. By the end of the 14th century the sword in Russia gave way to the saber , and in the West. Europe was supplanted by the sword. At the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the new time, the ax and reed, as well as varieties of mace – the shestoper, pernach, and flail, were used.
The transition in the 15th-16th centuries played an important role in the development of artillery . to the manufacture of barrels from cast iron and bronze and to the use of cast iron and lead cannonballs for firing. This made it possible to reduce the caliber of the guns, making them lighter and more mobile. The use of grained powder simplified loading and increased the rate of fire. However, there was a great variety in the arrangement of tools. So, in Russia in the 16-17 centuries. they were armed with squeakers, jaggery (mortars), howitzers (howitzers), shotguns, mattresses, mounted cannons , etc. In order to increase the rate of fire, multi-barreled guns – organs were used. With the introduction of the concept of weapon caliberand the improvement of production in the 18th century, a clearer systematization of artillery pieces was established. In the middle of the 18th century, unicorns were developed in Russia. In the first half of the 19th century, bombing cannons appeared that fired explosive shells weighing more than a pound (bombs) and were in service mainly with naval and coastal artillery.
Small arms during their development stood out as an independent type of firearms. This was due to the need to have it lighter and more maneuverable. In the 15th century, matchlock guns appeared ( in the West – arquebuses, in Russia – manual squeaks of 12.5-18 mm caliber). At the same time, muzzle-loading smoothbore pistols were created. as a weapon of self-defense. At the beginning of the 16th century, more powerful matchlock guns began to be used military weapons American precision firearms – muskets, 20-23 mm caliber. Of great importance for the development of small arms was the transition from matchlocks to wheel (late 15th century) and flintlock (16th century) locks. With the creation of a flintlock and a bayonet (17th century), the type of infantry smooth-bore muzzle-loading gun, which was in service with armies until the middle of the 19th century, finally took shape. The re- equipment of the Russian army with such guns (fuzei) was carried out in 1706-09, and at the beginning of the 19th century (1808-09) a single caliber was installed for all guns – 7 lines (17.78 mm).
The transition to rifled barrels led to qualities, a leap in the development of firearms. Riflemade it possible to increase the range and accuracy of fire and to use oblong rotating projectiles, which have a greater effectiveness at the target compared to spherical projectiles of smooth-bore artillery. The first samples of small arms, with screw rifling, were created back in the 16th century (screw squeaker and gun, fitting) artillery pieces in the 17th century. However, due to the complexity of manufacturing and the difficulty of loading, such weapons did not become widespread until ser. 19th century. The invention in the 1st half of the 19th century of the percussion composition and primer as a means of igniting a propellant charge, a paper (in the 60s metal) unitary cartridge, the improvement of locks and the creation of shutters greatly facilitated the loading of weapons and increased their rate of fire. The widespread rearmament of armies and fleets with rifled breech-loading guns, rifles, carbineswas carried out in the 1960s. 19th century, when the achieved levels of development of production and scientific and technological progress provided the necessary conditions for their development and production in large quantities. At the beginning of the 19th century in Russia and other countries, powder rockets and various devices were developed and put into service, which were used in a number of wars and battles. However, due to the insufficiently high level of development of science and technology, they were not improved, and due to the growth of the firepower of artillery, they temporarily lost their significance, reviving on a new basis in the 30s. 20th century. In the middle of the 19th century mines and then torpedoes entered service with the armies and navies .
In the 2nd floor. 19th century there is a further development and improvement of firearms. Invention during this period of smokeless powderallowed to sharply increase the rate of fire of weapons and the firing range.
A type of rapid-fire artillery gun was created (Russian 2.5-inch cannon by V. S. Baranovsky (1877) and 76-mm cannon model 1902, French 75-mm cannon model 1897, etc.), which had almost all nodes and units that exist in modern guns. The caliber of small arms is reduced, magazine weapons appear . One of the best examples of such weapons was the 7.62 mm rifle mod. 1891, developed by S. I. Mosin military weapons American precision firearms. An important stage in the development of weapons was the creation of automatic weapons(automatic cannon, machine gun, etc.), which spread rapidly and had a significant impact on the forms and methods of warfare. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, Rus. army for mounted shooting from the sea. guns used an over-caliber mine. Such a weapon was called a mortar . Subsequently, mortars were developed and put into service in other armies as well.
In World War I, new types of weapons arose and old types were improved. Together with tanks and planes, aviation appeared. and tank machine guns of 7.62-7.9 mm caliber, tank guns of 37-75 mm caliber and aerial bombs.To combat enemy aircraft, they began to create anti-aircraft guns. One of the first anti-aircraft guns was the Russian 76-mm anti-aircraft gun mod. 1915. Initially, mainly light field artillery guns with conventional shells were used against tanks. The fleets of various states began to use depth charges and diving artillery against submarines . shells, in the sea. aviation – bombs and torpedoes. During the war, German troops were the first to use flamethrowers and chemical weapons: chlorine (1915), phosgene (1916), mustard gas and poisonous fumes (1917). Chemical weapons were also used by the Entente troops.
Before the 2nd World War, the development of weapons went along the path of creating new, more advanced field and naval artillery guns (including semi-automatic and automatic anti-aircraft guns), aviation, tank and anti-tank guns, mortars, self-propelled guns, anti-tank rifles, samples of small arms automatic weapons (rifles, pistols, submachine guns, light, heavy and heavy machine guns, including aviation, tank and anti-aircraft guns). In 1936, the 7.62-mm AVS-36 automatic rifle designed by S. G. Simonov was adopted by the Soviet Army, then 7.62-mm self-loading rifles mod. 1940 designs by F. V. Tokarev. In 1938, the troops received a large-caliber 12.7 mm DShK machine gun designed by V. A. Degtyarev and G. S. Shpagin, and at the beginning of 1941, a 7.62 mm PPSh submachine gun designed by Shpagin. All this significantly increased the proportion of automatic weapons. Modern combat aircraft were equipped with 7.62-mm ShKAS aviation machine guns designed by B. G. Shpitalny and I. A. Komaritsky and 20-mm aviation military weapons American precision firearms. ShVAK cannons designed by Shpitalny and S. V. Vladimirov (cannon fire rate – 3000 rds / min). In the period 1936–40, new 76-mm divisional guns and a 122-mm howitzer, a 152-mm howitzer-gun and a howitzer, a 210-mm gun, a 280-mm mortar and a 305-mm howitzer were adopted, the 45-mm antitank gun. Anti-aircraft artillery was equipped with 25- and 37-mm automatic 76- and 85-mm guns. At the end of the 30s. 50-mm company, 82-mm battalion, 107-mm mountain pack and 120-mm regimental mortars were created. A great contribution to the creation of first-class owls. art. armaments were introduced by design teams led by V. G. Grabin, I. I. Ivanov, F. F. Petrov, B. I. Shavyrin, and others. The Air Force received 82- and 132-mm rockets (RS-82 and RS-132). At the beginning of the Great Fatherland, the war of 1941-45, Sov. troops fired the first salvo from rocket artillery combat vehicles (“Katyusha” ). During the 2nd World War, the German fascist, British and American armies also used jets. In 1943, the armament of the owls. troops received the first large-caliber breech-loading 160-mm mortar.
Self-propelled artillery mounts (ACS) became widespread in the 2nd World War : in the Soviet Army with 76, 85, 100, 122 and 152 mm caliber guns; in the Nazi armies – 75 – 150 mm; in the American and British armies – 75-203 mm. The main types of naval weaponsthere were various artillery systems, advanced torpedoes, mines and depth charges. The aviation of different countries was armed with air bombs weighing from 1 kg to 9 thousand kg, small-caliber automatic guns (20–47 mm), heavy machine guns (11.35–13.2 mm), and rockets. Tanks before World War II had mostly small-caliber guns (37-45 mm). During the war, they began to install medium-caliber guns (75-122 mm).
Small arms automatic weapons (especially machine guns and submachine guns), flamethrowers of various types, incendiary ammunition, cumulative and sub-caliber shells, and mine explosive weapons were further developed . In 1944, the fascist German army used V-1 guided missiles.and V-2 ballistic missiles , and in August 1945 the US armed forces – nuclear weapons. The USSR quickly liquidated the US monopoly on the atomic bomb and in 1949 carried out an experiment, the explosion of an atomic device. Later, nuclear weapons were created in Great Britain, France, and China. In the postwar period, the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, France, and other countries developed and put into service missiles of various classes and purposes. In unity with nuclear weapons, missiles formed a nuclear missile weapon. It combines the tremendous destructive power of nuclear weapons with the unlimited range of missiles. The emergence of nuclear missile weapons required fundamental changes in all areas of military affairs.
Modern weapons in most cases are a combination of direct weapons and means of their delivery to the target, as well as instruments and devices for control and guidance. Therefore, such weapons are usually called weapon systems. The classification of modern weapons is made according to their main distinguishing features.
These signs are:the extent of the destructive effect of weapons and the nature of the combat missions they solve;purpose of the weapon;method of delivery to the target of means of direct destruction;the degree of maneuverability of the weapon;the number of service personnel;the degree of automation of the firing (launch) process;the possibility of changing the trajectory when moving means of direct destruction to the target.After World War II, on the basis of scientific and technological progress, fundamental changes took place in the armies of the most developed countries in the means of warfare and the methods of their use.
Nuclear weapons were accumulated and improved . Nuclear warheads of missiles, air bombs, torpedoes, land mines, depth charges, artillery shells with an equivalent yield of several tens of tons to several tens of megatons of TNT have been created. The branches of the armed forces and branches of the armed forces (forces) were armed with nuclear weapons carriers – missiles of various classes and purposes. Intercontinental ballistic missiles have become the most powerful strategic weapon (ICBMs) with monobloc and multiple warheads, which have a huge destroy, power, long range and high accuracy of hitting the target. In addition to strategic missiles, operational-tactical and tactical missiles are also in service. New anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems have been developed. Anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) have been developed that have missiles with conventional and nuclear warheads and are capable of hitting air targets flying at extremely low altitudes (50-100 m) and in the troposphere at supersonic speed. To intercept ICBM warheads, anti -missiles of missile defense systems are used.The main weapons of combat aircraft were guided and homing air-to-air missiles (air combat missiles) and air-to-surface missiles military weapons American precision firearms. To equip submarines and boats, ballistic and cruise missiles with underwater launch and long range, as well as torpedo missiles, were created. Surface ships are armed with missiles and other types of modern weapons, which ensure their high combat effectiveness. A fundamentally new weapon has been developed – anti-tank guided missiles – one of the most effective means of fighting tanks. They were also installed on tanks and helicopters. Cannon and rocket artillery, small arms, bomber, torpedo and mine- explosive weapons have received great development . The lethality of conventional ammunition has been increased .Cluster warheads for missiles, active-rocket projectiles and mines, projectiles with arrow-shaped striking elements, napalm bombs, etc.
have appeared. night vision sights, etc.) that significantly increase the combat effectiveness of weapons. For the modern development of weapons, its accelerated renewal is characteristic. The cycles of replacing some types of weapons with others compared to the beginning of the 20th century. decreased by 2-3 times.
The discovery of new sources of energy and physical laws, the creation of advanced technical means, leads to the emergence of more effective types of weapons, which causes significant, and sometimes fundamental changes in the methods and forms of warfare, the theory of military art, the organization of the structure of the armed forces and the practice of training troops. . Weapons are a material factor in scientific and technological progress achieved as a result of the development of theory and experience. In turn, the art of war affects the development of weapons, putting forward requirements for improving existing and creating new types of it. Of great stimulating importance for the development of weapons is the competition between means of destruction and means of defense (for example, projectiles and armor, means of air attack and air defense, etc.).
The modern development of science and technology makes it possible to create and produce new types of weapons, incl. weapons of mass destruction based on qualitatively new principles of action. In addition, when using qualitatively new elements in traditional types and systems of weapons, the latter can also acquire the properties of weapons of mass destruction. Given the great threat posed to humanity by weapons of mass destruction, the USSR is waging a consistent and active struggle to ban both existing and new types of weapons.
- Military weapons are weapons that are specifically designed for use in warfare. They are typically more powerful and sophisticated than weapons designed for civilian use. Examples of military weapons include firearms, explosives, missiles, tanks, aircraft, and ships.
- Firearms are the most common type of military weapon. They are used by infantry soldiers to engage enemy forces at close range. Firearms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from handguns to rifles to machine guns.
- Explosives are another type of military weapon. They are used to create large explosions that can destroy enemy targets or create a distraction for friendly forces. Examples of explosives include grenades, landmines, and bombs.
- Missiles are long-range weapons that can be launched from the ground or air. They can be used to attack enemy targets from a distance and can be equipped with nuclear warheads for maximum destruction.
- Tanks are heavily armored vehicles that are used to move troops and equipment across the battlefield. They are equipped with powerful cannons and machine guns that can be used to engage enemy forces at close range.
- Aircraft are used by the military to transport troops and equipment, as well as to provide air support during combat operations. Fighter jets and bombers are two types of aircraft commonly used by the military.
- Ships are large vessels that can be used to transport troops and equipment across the ocean or sea. They can also be equipped with cannons and missiles for engaging enemy forces at sea or on land.
- Laser weapons are a relatively new type of military weapon that uses focused beams of light to destroy targets at long range. They have been used in recent conflicts to great effect and have proven to be an effective tool for engaging enemy forces from a distance.
- Cyber weapons are computer programs that can be used to disrupt or disable enemy networks and systems. They can be used to gain access to sensitive information or disrupt communications between enemy forces.
- Non-lethal weapons are designed to incapacitate an enemy without causing permanent injury or death. Examples of non-lethal weapons include rubber bullets, stun guns, tear gas, and pepper spray.