Theoretically, could shaped charges have been invented/used in the late medieval or early modern period?

Theoretically, could shaped charges have been invented/used in the late medieval or early modern period?

Gunpowder was introduced into europe quite early. Could you theoretically make a crude shaped charge with black powder? What, if any use would a shaped charge have had in the warfare of the time?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Could you theoretically make a crude shaped charge with black powder?
    Iirc miners/BP autists discovered some minor variant of the Monroe effect. But before HE it was useless. Even the shaped charges were forgotten for decades.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      edit: just a quick search
      https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA497450.pdf

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >But before HE it was useless
      FPBP
      It won't work with deflagration and requires detonation.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >requires detonation
        Good thing that black powder detonates then eh?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          >black powder detonates
          I would love to see a source on that because when I was researching detonation I found flash powders than can function as a secondary and some that can even DDT under the right conditions and while I did find a couple of people claiming to have made black powder detonate no one has ever reproduced it experimentally.
          So please link a paper.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          detonation = supersonic* shockwave inducing the decomposition of the explosive instead of the heat of combustion products

          >* for the solid, that means +1-2 km/s at minimum
          >BP only deflagrates under normal circumstances with a propagation rate of just a few cm per second and grain-to-grain propagation below 1000 m/s

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >supersonic means +1-2 km/s at minimum
            Uhhh no sweaty, supersonic means 298 m/s at a minimum. But thanks for playing, it clearly illustrates the degree to which anybody should lend credence to your rather amusing posts.
            >propagation rate of just a few cm per second
            Oooooh some anonymous moron doesn't know the difference between black powder and smokeless powder
            Also black powder has a shockwave speed of right at 1km/s, somewhat faster or slower depending on the granulation and packing density.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >supersonic means 298 m/s at a minimum.
              I'm talking about the speed of sound in solids...

              >shockwave
              BP's combustion is mainly propagated by projected solids*...

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >Uhhh no sweaty
              >proceeds to fail at understanding local speed of sound in the material
              NTA but you don't get it at all.
              >doesn't know the difference between black powder and smokeless powder
              Smokeless powder is a marketing name not a chemical compound but many are nitrocellulose based, a known high explosive.
              >Also black powder has a shockwave speed of right at 1km/s
              Source?

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Could you use something like Mercury Fulminate which was used for early percussion caps as HE for an early primitive shaped charge?

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                NTA
                You could but you are going to have a lot of people and factories explode making a sensitve primary at scale and making large charges from it.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Pre industrial so I assume it would be primarily done at a small scale by alchemists or you'd have a specific guild of people dedicated to producing it. I'd imagine the accidents still wouldn't be pretty though.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Shaped charges require high velocity explosives to work. There would also be very little use for them except for the naval and siege warfare and this would require advanced tech like rifled cannons and contact fuses that only came into play in the 19th century with the development of chemistry and metallurgy following the industrial revolution.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What if they discovered high explosive earlier? Could you make a shaped charge, stick it to the end of a lance and use it to blast through plate armor?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        > Could you make a shaped charge, stick it to the end of a lance and use it to blast through plate armor?
        Portable antitank weapons and paratroopers made shaped charges relevant. The most common armored things are: ships, bunkers and tanks.
        Battleships guns didn't need shaped charges because weight and recoil isn't a problem and range requires of mass and velocity anyway.
        And for bunkers-fortress they had normal artillery.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Plate armor was mostly obsolete by the 17th century because of that thing called "firearm" that handily defeated most types of armor from a distance. Even the heavy cuirasses that some cavalry used weren't all that protective and didn't offer nearly enough coverage to justify strapping explosives to your lance.

        That's not to mention the incredible hazards of using explosives from up close to the user.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I'm aware, but we're talking hypothetically what would happen if primitive high explosives/shaped charges were discovered before gunpowder.

          I'm sure someone would have found some way to put it to use. Imagine a peasant rebellion where the peasants have shaped charges on their pikes

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            If they invented a primary and secondary in say, the 1400's it would be amazing for attacking fortifcations and walls.
            Imagine rolling barrel full of HE at a castle, not only would you get a hole but you would also kill a lot of defenders with the shcokwave and falling rock and leave the survivors bleeding from the ears.
            It would be a war winner.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Lmao imagine if they could rig up barrels that were sensitive enough to blow up on contact but wouldn't get detonate from the more gentle force of being thrown via trebuchet.

              I wonder what the easiest explosives to manufacture would during that time period.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                They had nitrate crystals growing from rocks and peat bogs full of sulfuric acid so they could have made anything nitrate based if they had the know how.
                Nitroglycerin or Nitrosucrose would both be easy for them.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >nitrate crystals growing from rocks and peat bogs full of sulfuric acid
                No.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Nitrate is found in nature though, mostly in caves with lots of bats

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                It's not found just growing from rocks though. It's formed through biological processes.
                Sulfuric acid is also not something found in bogs.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                idk about bogs but Sulfuric acid can be formed in nature by minerals that have sulfides in them I think. Alchemists could also just figure out how to make it by fricking around and burning sulphur

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Pic related for nitrates, you could remove them with water.
                As for sulfuric acid while bogs a weak they had the technology to distill it just not the knowledge it could be useful.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >They had nitrate crystals growing from rocks and peat bogs full of sulfuric acid so they could have made anything nitrate based if they had the know how.
                >Nitroglycerin or Nitrosucrose would both be easy for them.
                no. stop. wrong. dumb

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                Nitrate doesn't grow from rocks, you can find crystals in caves but that's because it seeped out of bat feces. Don't know about peat bogs but you wouldn't need that, ancient alchemists were pretty good at making acids even before the medieval period. Medieval alchemists knew how to make it, they called it "oil of vitriol"

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >but we're talking hypothetically
            No, not really. This is just you wanking off to the thought of shaped charge lances. The reality is the medieval HE would require such a massive change in scientific and industrial capacity as to fundamentally change the nature of warfare (as opposed to your "it's the same but with this one cool toy I wanna imagine would give me a lot of power and allow me to kill authority figures with"). And of course even with HE there's just about frick all around at the time that shaped charges would be very useful against since just about nothing at the time was built to stand up to even un-shaped blobs of HE. A plain old fricking hand grenade would be much more practical than your anti-tank lance, and just the cannons they did have in the 15th century happily turned the classical "knightly" castle into a sorry pile of rubble.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              I'm pretty sure some alchemist discovering high explosives wouldn't suddenly change the nature of industry at the time. Hell, the greeks invented steam engines and basically didn't do anything interesting with it. If HE was invented it would probably be a very closely guarded secret similar to greek fire, and whoever had access to it would be extremely powerful.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Shaped charges require high velocity explosives to work.
      /thread
      also bp is an explosive not a propellant it is a is a low explosive not a high explosive, it will not form a copper plasma slug as illustrated in op

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >shaped charge with black powder
    Yes. The shaped charge effect was discovered in the black powder era.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Theoretically, could shaped charges have been invented/used in the late medieval or early modern period?
    no they rely on high explosives speed

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