What does that term “Cerignola” mean?


How about 28 April 1503?

Still nothing (without the use of Google)?

I always make many many notes and then turn them into posts for IST…..thanx to this pandemic this note lost in the news of the day….but eventually I find my notes and try to rectify my oversight…..this is one of those posts.

As a student of conflict this one stands out for one reason…even though it was not readily studied….it stands out for the use of small arms….guns.

On April 28, 1503, the armies of Spain and France fought in Southern Italy at a place called Cerignola (near Bari), a battle decided by the small arms fire of muskets and arquebuses, one of the first European battles where small arms fire from firearms decided the battle. Although hand held firearms using black powder had been around for nearly 200 years, such weapons had usually not been decisive in battles fought mainly with edged weapons and later with a combination of edged weapons and cannons.

Gunpowder is an invention normally credited to the Chinese in the 9th or 10th Century, at first a novelty used for entertainment and fireworks. Whether gunpowder technology reached Europe from China or gunpowder was later also invented in Europe, we know Europeans were familiar with gunpowder (also called black powder) by the 13th Century. Gunpowder may have reached Europe via the Mongol invasions of the 1200’s or via the Silk Road. Crude bamboo hand cannons were devised in China, likely as dangerous to the user as his intended victim! Other forms of gunpowder weapons included tipping spears with bamboo barreled firearms (called the “fire lance”) where the ignition could take place a safe distance from the person employing the weapon. Around the 13th Century Chinese armorers devised metal barreled hand held weapons (called “hand cannons”) using gunpowder, the first practical firearms. Proper artillery cannons appeared in Europe in the 15th Century. The first known reference to a gun in Europe dates from 1322, and the first known picture of a gun in Europe was in a manuscript by Walter de Milemete from 1326. Multi-barreled volley guns and arrow launching guns were also produced in Europe in the 14th Century while arms makers sought the most practical gunpowder weapons. An early European use of cannon was at the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

April 28, 1503: What Was the First Battle Won by Small Arms Fire?

You would think with our “romance” with all things war that this would be an important to be taught to our young.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

5 thoughts on “Cerignola?

  1. I knew about Crecy, having studied that period in British history. I also read a book called The Medici Guns, about how they employed Leonardo Da Vinci as an engineer to prefect artillery.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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