When were cannons first used in warfare?


The first guns were cannons.  They were first used in warfare some time in the first half of the 14th century.

The big guns that are now known as artillery were once called cannons.  “Cannon” comes from an old Latin word meaning “tube” or “reed.”

The cannon first appeared in Europe during the 1300s, after the knowledge of gunpowder spread.

These early guns were very primitive.  They were simply big iron tubes closed at one end.

In the back end was a small hole called a touchhole.  To fire the cannon, gunpowder was stuffed down the barrel.   Then a rock of iron ball, called a cannonball, was put in front of the powder.

A lighted match or torch was stuck through the touchhole to make the powder explode.

The early cannon was too crude to have much value in the battlefield.  For one thing, it look a long time to load it.  Besides, it was too heavy to move easily and it was difficult to aim—but it could destroy gates and walls of fortresses if it scored a direct hit.–Dick Rogers



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