Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > What if . . . Guns and such hadn't been invented Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Ben P.




Location: Your Mind
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 200

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: What if . . . Guns and such hadn't been invented         Reply with quote

The title is self-evident? So, no: Guns, Cannons, Rail-guns, Plasma, Laser, Air-guns, Flamethrowers, Missiles, Bombs, (Or for that matter any explosive propellant that could send a piece of lead or explosive device down a metal tube towards the enemy with) etc. Although Crossbows and such are permitted Cool

What would the world be like? Geopolitically, etc.

Would there have been an age of colonization?

What troop types would be in use? And what do you think would todays armies look like if history had turned out this way?

Would there still be things like the British Empire, etc?

Would the Real Life historical events still have taken place? (I.E The American revolution, the world wars, etc.)

What sort of technological advances would have been made?
View user's profile Send private message
Peter Remling





Joined: 28 May 2004

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you ruled out steam powered projectile weapons and vehicles? What about internal combustion ?

Screw turned steamships ply the waterways armed with steam powered spear/grapeshot guns. These steam guns would guard the walls of fortresses and walled towns while lightly armored cavalry and foot soldiers patrol parimeters.

The Age of Colonization would still have taken place for the same political/economic reasons although a little slower as forcing the Europeon presence upon the Americas, for instance, would have taken a longer time without firearms. Still Europeon arms and armor of even the 14th century is more advanced than arms and armor of the same time period in the Americas.


The British Empire didn't really come into it's own until after the Spanish Armada sank which probably wouldn't have happened as the most popular naval weapon would have been fire and large naval battles would have been avoided due to potential loss.

Need more specifics on what is and isn't.
View user's profile Send private message
Mike Capanelli




Location: Whitestone, NY
Joined: 04 Sep 2004
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 702

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Remling wrote:
Have you ruled out steam powered projectile weapons and vehicles? What about internal combustion ?

Screw turned steamships ply the waterways armed with steam powered spear/grapeshot guns. These steam guns would guard the walls of fortresses and walled towns while lightly armored cavalry and foot soldiers patrol parimeters.

The Age of Colonization would still have taken place for the same political/economic reasons although a little slower as forcing the Europeon presence upon the Americas, for instance, would have taken a longer time without firearms. Still Europeon arms and armor of even the 14th century is more advanced than arms and armor of the same time period in the Americas.


The British Empire didn't really come into it's own until after the Spanish Armada sank which probably wouldn't have happened as the most popular naval weapon would have been fire and large naval battles would have been avoided due to potential loss.

Need more specifics on what is and isn't.


Ahhh Pete, how'd I know you'd bite at this. The steampunk twist is a good one. I'll give it some thought and maybe chime in tomorrow after a good nights sleep (Baby willing).

Winter is coming
View user's profile Send private message
Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If there were no guns, I imagine that heavy lancers would have been developed further. The cuirassier of the 17th century was basically the successor to the lancer, and the main reason the fully-armoured cuirassier fell out of use was the development of muskets powerful enough to render the armour next to useless. Without these firearms, there would have been no incentive to do away with the heavy cavalryman, instead he would have been made heavier and heavier. Horse armours probably would have become more sophisticated.
Pastime With Good Company
View user's profile Send private message
Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Fri 25 Sep, 2009 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think the guns were the catalyst. Guns really did not surpass the bow or cross bow until the 1850's. Its just easier to train people to shoot muskets and fight with bayonets. The main catalyst was the stabilizing monetary situation in Europe that made it possible to hire soldiers for wages. Between the fall or Rome and the rise of Florentine currency Nobles had to resort to giving land fiefs for service. It has been stated by a Medieval Historian who specializes in this field, that it took the annual income of one village to equip just one knight. This was very inefficient and limited how many knights you could have. After the 1300's as they began to switch to a wage system, you could now hire vast armies of cheap soldiers and did not have to give up control of your land. Greater numbers of cheaper and expendable soldiers proved to be more effective.

That aside and for the sake of fun... If the knightly period had continued, I think they would have found some way of fixing the lance directly to the horse. Perhaps even the use of War-Elephants. If roads unproved somewhat I think we might have seen more war-wagons as mobile cross-bow platforms.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2009 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe that history would have progressed along a similar, though a bit slower timeline. Firearms, though important on a military level, were never the be all end all of a nation's strength. Other technological advances would have overtaken the firearm's place on the battlefield eventually. Steam powered repeating catapults, zeppelin-mounted Tesla generators, biological / chemical warfare, Harley-Davidsons with reciprocating saw lances, huge steamrollers that could plow through the battlefield, etc. The possibilities are endless, and many of the ones I can think of, well, they are far more effective and less pleasant than the familiar firearm.

In short, thinking Steam Punk is probably pretty close to par. Laughing Out Loud

In the big picture, I think things would have panned out on a very similar level as they have today. Things may have taken a bit more time, but some things never change. The want for a better weapon than the other guy has, greed for money, land, and power, or just being curious to see what is on the other side of the pond. All of these things drive a human's ingenuity to a new level - with or without gunpowder.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Renico




Location: Detroit
Joined: 01 Feb 2009

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dune was based on a future in which projectile weapons were rendered obsolete by a device called the Holtzmann Shield, which was a force field through which only slow-moving objects could pass. Lasers are also largely ineffective against shields because they risk causing an explosion against both ends of the laser projection (target and source).

People in the "Duniverse" wear full-body Holtzmann Shields. This has brought about the reintroduction of the value of the human factor in combat. Therefore, a return to the ancient melee fighting styles has come about in the "Duniverse". Élan, personal melee combat skills, and heroic elitism have all resurfaced, along with the presence of crack forces such as the Sardaukar, Ginaz Swordsmen, and Fremen. It has also resurrected the inclusion of personal bladed weaponry, designed for stabbing (slashes often move too fast to get into a Holtzmann Shield) like the kindjal and "slip-tip".

On a side note, I only found the first book in the Dune series to be worth reading. The sequels were intensely boring to me.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools." -Thucydides.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Warfare would have dramatically different in the 16th century, that's for sure. Armor wouldn't have needed to become almost unwearable to stand a chance against musket balls, so I suspect you'd see more and more troops in steel. That's what Fourquevaux, writing in the middle of the period, wanted. I bet a balance of heavy cavalry, light cavalry, pikemen, targetiers, archers, and crossbowmen would have persisted for some time.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,177

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2009 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If gun powder and gunpowder weapons were still not known today I doubt that any real technology we have today would have been invented and we would be simply in an extended in time stagnant Medieval age maybe lasting millennia.

Some small incremental changes maybe and some improvements in metallurgy and maybe a bit of the Steam Punk stuff but mostly I think not: This is because I don't see much progress possible without the " Idea " of the scientific method causing progress in physics or engineering without equally advanced progress with chemistry ! Gun powder is sort of very " basic " chemistry and even if firearm development was delayed to a degree by a couple of hundred years we would have eventually invented firearms.

Once we get steam power and electricity maybe alternatives to chemical propellants might have produced alternate ways to shoot chunks of matter at each other at high speeds ? Even compressed air is a good alternative to gunpowder ?

If chemistry progressed at all we get explosives devices as in exploding shells fired by any method: Steam, mechanical power, compressed air or chemical energy.

Just as a thought experiment we can try to imagine what types of weapons would have developed if by some arbitrary mechanism we exclude the possibility of chemical propulsion of projectiles just for the fun of it, but it doesn't seem like it would be a real World option. Wink Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-I do not see avoiding gunpowder for long,Tthe Greeks (Byxentines) were already exprtimenting with napthas against ships(Greek Fire) a weapon and as were( mabye) the Spanish the source (johnathom Sumption"s 'The Hundred Year's War vol one )is not clearProf Sumption talks about thr use Spanish of flsming oil on thr English ships in the last sea bsttle between Spanish and English,. The chinese also knew about nitrate and sulfur, although only for rockets and firecrackers.
Ja68ms
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A really interesting and fundamentally unanswerable question/topic.

I have to agree with Jean when he wrote, "If gun powder and gunpowder weapons were still not known today I doubt that any real technology we have today would have been invented and we would be simply in an extended in time stagnant Medieval age maybe lasting millennia."

Without artillery, would there have been a Napoleon? Without gunpowder I doubt that Europeans would have been as successful in wresting North and South America from the people already there. As I think about this it seems evident that the European Imperialism of Africa and Asia would have been far less complete if it happened at all. As Jean said, " This is because I don't see much progress possible without the " Idea " of the scientific method causing progress in physics or engineering without equally advanced progress with chemistry ! Gun powder is sort of very " basic " chemistry..." Admiral Perry would have looked pretty silly trying gunboat diplomacy without guns!

S.M. Stirling likes to write about a closely related idea. His DIES THE FIRE series imagines what it would be like if electricity and gunpowder and the internal combustion engine quit working all at once.
View user's profile Send private message
Richard Eskite




Location: Northern California
Joined: 27 Jun 2006

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sun 27 Sep, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
...S.M. Stirling likes to write about a closely related idea. His DIES THE FIRE series imagines what it would be like if electricity and gunpowder and the internal combustion engine quit working all at once.


I was going to bring this up yesterday, but didn't want to hijack the thread. I have really enjoyed this series of books a lot. Kind of like guns being "uninvented", along with a lot of other things we take for granted. Society evolves back to a feudal system within a generation.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 754

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Richard Eskite wrote:
Ken Speed wrote:
...S.M. Stirling likes to write about a closely related idea. His DIES THE FIRE series imagines what it would be like if electricity and gunpowder and the internal combustion engine quit working all at once.


I was going to bring this up yesterday, but didn't want to hijack the thread. I have really enjoyed this series of books a lot. Kind of like guns being "uninvented", along with a lot of other things we take for granted. Society evolves back to a feudal system within a generation.


This is one of the first things I thought of as well. I think the biggest difference is that if gunpowder and firearms had never come about there would have been a continuous refinement of both equipment and tactics until it reached a point of stagnation without the development of firearms to push the development of technology.

In Stirling's books they have to go with what is in books and try and figure out everything for themselves with prior generations to teach them the various techniques for everything from combat to production. At least in regards to the people who were adults when everything quit working. The second and successive generations would be taught from childhood these things and thus be in a better position to further refine and develop technologies. Though once again I feel they would hit a wall at which point stagnation would occur.

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Belair
Industry Professional




Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was always fond of the idea of the 82nd airborn dropping in with collapsable pikes.
View user's profile Send private message
Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2009 6:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean said, "I was always fond of the idea of the 82nd airborn dropping in with collapsable pikes."

Yes, it does create quite a comic book image doesn't it? Sergeant Rock as a Roman Legionary with a cigar and a parachute! But what are they parachuting from? Helium balloons? Somehow balloons and sharp pointy things don't seem like the best combination in the world. Would they have internal combustion if they didn't have gunpowder?

There were steam powered planes, I think they were developed in the 1930's. That's a little strange but true tidbit that I have a tough time imagining!

So there's Sgt. Rock and his airborne Legionaries parachuting down to attack a confederated army of Eastern Woodland Indians who have the crossbow and have learned to fight in formation because both sides have been fighting each other for the last hundred years or so. Its almost more grisly than the real thing!
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > What if . . . Guns and such hadn't been invented
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum