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Greek sea fire. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Weird History.

Medieval Superweapons That Sound Made Up (Video)


In medieval times, warfare saw the emergence of remarkable yet often overlooked superweapons. Greek fire, a Byzantine invention, was a mysterious and devastating flammable liquid. Its composition, a closely guarded secret, allowed the Byzantines to forge a formidable empire in the Eastern Mediterranean. Orban, a Hungarian engineer, created a monstrous bronze cannon for the Ottoman Empire, known as a "bombard." This immense weapon measured 27 feet, fired cannonballs over a mile, and played a pivotal role in the fall of Constantinople. The Welsh longbow, seemingly unassuming, possessed incredible power, capable of piercing armor. It proved its worth at the Battle of Agincourt when English longbowmen triumphed over heavily armed French forces.

When even more firepower was needed the trebuchet, capable of hurling massive payload, was the ultimate siege weapon. The Dutch hellburner, a simple but destructive concept, was essentially a ship filled with gunpowder. Though rarely used due to its cost, it played a crucial role in breaking the Spanish siege of Antwerp. Korean Turtle ships were the opposite, fully encased in armor they were the world’s first ironclad battleships. But perhaps the most terrifying medieval weapon was the Chinese firelance. In use by 1150 AD the firelance was essentially a spear with a firework at the end. Medieval warfare, marked by inventive weaponry, showcases human ingenuity, even in simpler times.

Top image: Greek sea fire. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Weird History.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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