Weapons are an integral part of the military and are essential in warfare. The first weapons created by humans served a purpose that did not pertain to warfare however. The most primitive weapons were used as tools of survival which allowed humans to prevail over the other animal species in the natural world. These were used for hunting, protection and many as tools for other aspects such as chopping wood and building shelter. A weapon in actuality is a tool which can serve a limited variety of purposes, whether this is to inflict harm on another being or to provide sustainability.
With the advancement of society it is essential for nations to build up their military capabilities in order to protect and defend their citizens. After all a citizen will not pay their taxes if they do not receive any safe haven or protection from outside threats from their own government. The United States military today is reliant on the best selection of tools at its disposal, many of these are not classified as weapons but help to enhance the effectiveness of the soldier. These types of tools range from night vision goggles, GPS systems, vehicles, body armor, navigation and early detection systems. The use of tools is a gift that almost defines humanity and our success over the natural world.
History of Ancient Weapons
There are myriad types of weapons which have evolved throughout the course of human history. One of the first known weapons created by man was the atlatl which was used to help throw a spear with more power, distance and accuracy. This was one of the primitive weapons that helped humans excel in ancient history. Stone and bone knives were another important tool which allowed humans to harvest pelts, hides and skins along with cutting meat off of hunted animals. Clubs were another primary weapon used by ancient humans due to their ease of creation.
As civilizations began to form the art of smithing arose which led to the development of metal weapons such as swords and axes. During this era a new form of ranged weapons was born in the bow and arrow which later evolved into the crossbow. These ancient weapons dominated the scene in ancient warfare until the development of the arquebus which is the most primitive ancestor to modern guns. The Chinese were also responsible for inventing the first rocket propelled projectile, the firework, which was used primarily as a diversionary weapon due to its ineffectiveness in ancient times. This model would later be taken however to create missiles during and after WWII.
Types of Weapons
Weapons are generally classified by their time period and use. Most commonly weapons are classified as melee or ranged weapons in conjunction with the time period of their creation and use. Since the development of ranged weapons these have become a preferred method for many groups, however the reliance of melee weapons was one which could not be replaced for primitive peoples. Today the reliance on ranged weapons, in the form of guns, is one which dominates almost all military campaigns in warfare.