Archive for August 21, 2008

Mitrailleuse aka moulin à café (1850-1870s)

Posted in Early Guns 1800-1860, Unconventional Artillery on August 21, 2008 by secondmdus

See this very interesting site for details of the Mitrailleuse – European volley guns along the same lines at the Vandenburg volley gun of the American Civil War –


The Hunley (1860s)

Posted in Submarines (Pre-1900) on August 21, 2008 by secondmdus

See the: “The H.L. Hunley in Historical Context”

by Rich Wills, former Assistant Underwater Archaeologist, Naval Historical Center for a detailed history of the context of the first submarine to sink a vessel in combat.  Also has information about the two vessels that preceded the Hunley.

Civil War Tank (1860s)

Posted in Armored Devices, Civil War Guns, Tanks on August 21, 2008 by secondmdus

“ALMOST EVERY WAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY HAS inspired valuable innovations in military technology. The Civil War …saw the first major use in the United States of rapid-fire weapons, land and naval mines, observation balloons, and ironclad ships, among other inventions. One of the most farsighted (if impractical) schemes of that conflict was devised in 1862 by an Indianapolis machine-shop owner named Albert E. Redstone. He proposed to build an armorclad, steam-operated “engine of war”—what today would be called a tank. ”  See

for more on this device.  Redstone’s weapon profiled in this piece from American Heritage.Com sounds suspiciously like the land monitor I featured in an early post – would be interesting to know if Redstone ever built a working model of his device!