Ancient Military Super Weapon, the Steam Powered Canon
Ancient Military Super Weapons – ( TeK-THinK )
Archimedes is considered to be one of the greatest ancient scientists. His work in mathematics and hydrostatics forms the foundation for a lot of modern day scientific concepts and understandings. However, his work was not just theoretical. Archimedes was also famous for taking the scientific theories and converting them into deadly weapons.
Among the many inventions attributed to ancient scientist are several with military purpose. These include the catapult used for attacking castles and fortresses, mirrors to set fire to enemy ships, and special claws to sink ships from a great distance.
Even though these weapons were used to deadly effect, his greatest military invention has to be the steam-powered cannon. This ancient technology was way ahead of its time to say the least and is also shrouded in controversy. Controversy because it sounds impossible for a 2000-year-old civilization to develop steam powered weapon. Especially because steam weapons were still in use during World War II. Most famous being the Holman Projector anti-aircraft gun used to bring down Nazi fighters in early 1940s. Let’s get back to what we know about the ancient steam powered cannons.
Like the name suggests a steam cannon utilized water and heat to fire a projectile. There is no debating the fact that Archimedes came up with the detailed design of the weapon. Leonardo Da Vinci who owned some of Archimedes’ manuscripts utilized these concepts to design a more advanced steam cannon called the Achitonnerre. However, it’s still not known if an actual working prototype was created during that time.
WAS IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANCIENT GREEKS TO POSSESS A WORKING STEAM POWERED CANNON?
Some scientists believe that Archimedes was successful in creating a steam-powered cannon which was used to hurl incendiaries towards approaching enemy ships. One of these scientists was Archimedes expert Dr. Loannis Sakas. Dr. Sakas believed that such cannons actually existed in the ancient times and he was looking for ways to prove his theory. Sakas built a scale model of the cannon using Archimedes’ design as reference. According to many home videos showing him firing the model cannon, Sakas successfully demonstrated that Archimedes’ design could have been utilized to create an effective weapon. However, that still doesn’t mean that such cannon existed in reality during that time. What it means is that the ancient Greeks possessed the knowledge to harness the power of steam. It also means that the technology and design laid down by Archimedes was sound and could have been utilized to make an effective steam-powered cannon. Considering the fact that the ancient Greeks knew how to create heavy duty copper vessels and objects, creating a copper tube for the barrel and a steam container doesn’t seem that farfetched.