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By John O'Bryan

In the future a prehistoric man picked up a rock and threw it at whatever. And the historical past of guns started. Comedy author and weapon nerd John O'Bryan relays the freaky highlights of man's centuries-old obsession with weaponry. He hilariously explains the mace, the morning big name, and the guy catcher, whereas conveying genuine information regarding each one weapon: its heritage, makes use of, and badass strength. Flipping via history's highlights, readers will know about Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and the "peaceful" Shaolin clergymen. This final compendium of amazing guns supplies all of the unusually real information bound to provoke anyone who is ever made a gun with their hands and stated, "PEW-PEW-PEW!"

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Extra resources for A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up

Sample text

He would spend millennia attempting to harness it. Eventually, about 790,000 years ago, one of our knuckle-dragging ancestors succeeded. Whoever he was, this early man was known as Lord Bigshit in the caveman community. Thanks to fire, Lord Bigshit could keep wild animals at bay. He could use the fire to harden his rocks, making them even more effective at collapsing enemies’ skulls. He could make light after the sun went down. And he could cook his shellfish before eating it, ensuring that he wouldn’t be dead after dinner.

The throwing stick may have been the first weapon ever to be made airborne. It’s also probably how humans first made friends with dogs. ” Well, once upon a time, javelins did exactly that. Now, you might think that the spear and the javelin are the same thing. But you’d be dead wrong. Try to throw a spear, and you’ll find yourself having to stand still and balance the shaft in your fingers. You’re also likely to find that the spear is too heavy to throw very far. If this were a battle, you’d already be a casualty.

It was about moving as one massive, um, unit. The troops in the front of the phalanx attempted to penetrate the enemy lines with their shafts, while the troops in the back pushed them from behind. It was half war, and half orgy. A “war-gy,” if you will, with the participants alternating between humping and stabbing. The front line of the phalanx was undoubtedly the place you didn’t want to be. For one, you had to be in superhuman shape. Try pushing your couch around the living room for two minutes, and you’ll get an idea of the type of conditioning they maintained.

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