In artillery, grapeshot is a type of shot that is not one solid element, but a mass of small metal balls or slugs packed tightly into a canvas bag.[1] It was used both in land and naval warfare. When assembled, the balls resembled a cluster of grapes, hence the name. On firing, the balls spread out from the muzzle, giving an effect similar to a giant shotgun.

Grapeshot was devastatingly effective against massed infantry at short range, and was used against massed infantry at middle range. Solid shot was used at longer range and canister at shorter. When used in naval warfare, grapeshot served a dual purpose. First, it continued its role as an anti-personnel projectile. However, the effect was diminished due to a large portion of the crew being below decks and the addition of hammock netting in iron brackets intended to slow or stop smaller shot.[2] Second, the balls were cast large enough to cut rigging, destroy spars and blocks, and puncture multiple sails.[3][4]

Canister shot, also known as case shot, was packaged in a tin or brass container, possibly guided by a wooden sabot. The later shrapnel shell was similar, but with a much greater range.

Langridge (or "langrel") is an type of improvised round that uses chain links, nails, shards of glass, rocks or other similar objects as the projectiles. Although langridge can be cheaply made, it is generally less effective than purpose-made projectiles.

Grape shot

An example of grapeshot

CSS Georgia cannonball and holder

A small cannonball and holder for a grapeshot recovered from the CSS Georgia in 2015

Munitions at Fort McAllister, GA, US

Munitions at Fort McAllister, showing a grapeshot projectile

Grapeshot treatise closeup
Close-up of grapeshot from an American Revolution sketch of artillery devices
Carronade mg 5105
Model of a carronade with grapeshot ammunition

See also


  1. ^ Old Humphrey (1799). The old sea captain. p. 227.
  2. ^ Davis, Charles Gerard (1984). American Sailing Ships: Their Plans and History. p. 109.
  3. ^ Henry Burchstead Skinner (1853). The Book of Indian Battles from the Landing of the Pilgrims to King Philips War. p. 141.
  4. ^ Martin, Tyrone G (1987). "Isaac Hull's Victory Revisited". American Neptune.
13 Vendémiaire

13 Vendémiaire Year 4 (5 October 1795 in the French Republican Calendar) is the name given to a battle between the French Revolutionary troops and Royalist forces in the streets of Paris.

This battle was part of the establishing of a new form of government, the so-called Directory, and it was a major factor in the rapid advancement of Republican General Napoleon Bonaparte's career.

Allied Armies in Italy

The Allied Armies in Italy (AAI) was the title of the highest Allied field headquarters in Italy, during the middle part of the Italian Campaign of World War II. In the early and later stages of the campaign the headquarters was known as the 15th Army Group; it reported to the Joint Allied command Allied Forces Headquarters (AFHQ), the theatre command for the Mediterranean theatre.

The 15th Army Group was renamed the Allied forces in Italy on 11 January 1944, then Allied Central Mediterranean Force on 18 January 1944 and finally the Allied Armies in Italy on 9 March 1944. The 15th Army Group was commanded by General Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander until 11 December 1944. Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark then took command and the headquarters title was changed back to the 15th Army Group.

The AAI thus controlled the Allied land forces for some of the hardest fighting of the entire war. Operations carried out included: the long stalemate on the Gustav Line with the hard-fought battles of Monte Cassino; the Anzio landings; the liberation of Rome; the assault on the Gothic Line, Operation OLIVE; and ending with Operation GRAPESHOT, in which the 15th Army Group struck again just south of the Po valley.

For all of its life the command consisted of the American Fifth Army, under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark and, from December 1944, Lieutenant General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr., and the British Eighth Army, under Lieutenant General Sir Oliver W. H. Leese and, from October 1944, Lieutenant General Sir Richard L. McCreery.

Campaigns of 1795 in the French Revolutionary Wars

The French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1794 between Revolutionary France and the First coalition.

The year opened with French forces in the process of attacking the Dutch Republic in the middle of winter. The Dutch people rallied to the French call and started the Batavian Revolution. City after city was occupied by the French. The Dutch fleet was captured, and the stadtholder William V fled to be replaced by a popular Batavian Republic, which supported the revolutionary cause and signed the Treaty of The Hague on 16 May 1795, ceding the territories of North Brabant and Maastricht to France.

With the Netherlands falling, Prussia also decided to leave the coalition, signing the Peace of Basel on 6 April, ceding the west bank of the Rhine to France. This freed Prussia to finish the occupation of Poland.

The French army in Spain advanced, advancing in Catalonia while taking Bilbao and Vitoria and marching toward Castile. By 10 July, Spain also decided to make peace, recognizing the revolutionary government and ceding the territory of Santo Domingo, but returning to the pre-war borders in Europe. This left the armies on the Pyrenees free to march east and reinforce the armies on the Alps, and the combined army overran Piedmont.

Meanwhile, Britain's attempt to reinforce the rebels in the Vendée by landing troops at Quiberon failed, and a conspiracy to overthrow the republican government from within ended when Napoleon Bonaparte's garrison used cannon to fire grapeshot into the attacking mob (which led to the establishment of the Directory).

On the Rhine frontier, General Pichegru, negotiating with the exiled Royalists, betrayed his army and forced the evacuation of Mannheim and the failure of the siege of Mainz by Jourdan. This was a moderate setback to the position of the French.

In northern Italy victory at the Battle of Loano in November gave France access to the Italian peninsula.

Canister shot

Canister shot or case shot is a kind of anti-personnel ammunition used in cannons. It was similar to case and the naval grapeshot, but fired smaller and more numerous balls, which did not have to punch through the wooden hull of a ship. Canister shot has been used since the advent of gunpowder-firing artillery in Western armies; however, canister (or case) shot saw particularly frequent use on land and at sea in the various wars of the 18th and 19th century. The canister round is similar to a case (hence the confusion between case shot and canister shot) and is still used today in modern artillery, particularly in the main armament of tanks with smoothbore cannons.

Canon obusier de 12

The Canon obusier de 12 (French:"Canon obusier de campagne de 12 livres, modèle 1853", USA: 12-pounder Napoleon), also known as the "Canon de l’Empereur" was a type of canon-obusier (literally "Shell-gun cannon", "gun-howitzer") developed by France in 1853. Its performance and versatility (it was able to fire either ball, shell, canister or grapeshot) allowed it to replace all the previous field guns, especially the Canon de 8 and the Canon de 12 as well as the two howitzers of the Valée system.

The cannon owes its alias to French president and emperor Napoleon III.

Castle Batteries

Castle Batteries are a series of artillery batteries that are part of the Northern Defences of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. The batteries descend from the Moorish Castle to end at the sixth and seven batteries which are known as Crutchett's Batteries. There are brick vaulted bombproof rooms (casemates) under Crutchets Battery.

The batteries were part of the northern defences of Gibraltar. Armies can only attack Gibraltar without ships from the north and therefore this is heavily fortified around the only gate to Spain called Landport. Cornwell describes how this was defended by "several batteries, numerous batteries on the Glacis of Landport, by Crutchett's and the Grand Battery". He speculated that no army could withstand the grapeshot from 400 "pieces of heavy artillery".

Falconet (cannon)

The falconet or falcon was a light cannon developed in the late 15th century. During the Middle Ages guns were decorated with engravings of reptiles, birds or beasts depending on their size. For example, a culverin would often feature snakes, as the handles on the early cannons were often decorated to resemble serpents. The falconet fired small yet lethal shot of similar weight and size to a bird of prey, and so was decorated with a falcon. Similarly, the musket was associated with the sparrowhawk.Its barrel was approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) long, had a calibre of 2 inches (5 cm) and weighed 80 kilograms (176 lb) to 200 kilograms (441 lb). The falconet used 0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) of black powder to fire a 1 pound (0.5 kg) round shot at a maximum range of approximately 5,000 feet (1,524 m). They could also be used to fire grapeshot.

The falconet resembled an oversized matchlock musket with two wheels attached to improve mobility. In 1620s Germany a breechloading version was invented, seeing action in the Thirty Years War.

Many falconets were in use during the English Civil War as they were lighter and cheaper than the culverins, sakers and minions. During times of unrest they were used by the nobility to defend their grand houses.Though developed for use on land, the falconet gained naval prominence during the 17th century for the defence of light vessels; for example, on small boats for boarding manoeuvres.

Field artillery in the American Civil War

Field artillery in the American Civil War refers to the artillery weapons, equipment, and practices used by the Artillery branch to support the infantry and cavalry forces in the field. It does not include siege artillery, use of artillery in fixed fortifications, or coastal or naval artillery. Nor does it include smaller, specialized artillery classified as small arms.

Grapeshot (disambiguation)

Grapeshot may refer to:

Grapeshot, a type of anti-personnel ammunition used in cannons

Grapeshot (student publication), a student publication of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

Grapeshot (company) British developer of contextual targeting solutions

Jean Alexandre LeMat

Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat (1821–1895) is best known for the percussion cap revolver that bears his name (see LeMat revolver).LeMat was born in France in 1821 and studied for the priesthood at an early age. He decided against it and became a doctor. LeMat immigrated to the United States in 1843 and in 1849 he married Justine Sophie LePretre, the cousin of U.S. Army Major Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. Beauregard later led the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. LeMat was an avid inventor as well as a practicing physician and Beauregard financed some of these ideas.

LeMat, secured US 15925 for his "Grapeshot revolver" design on October 21, 1856. British patents for the same design were issued in 1859, and he later designed a revolver rifle of similar concept as the handgun.

He returned to France after the Civil War and led a legion of Americans during the Franco-Prussian War. While many sources list his year of death in 1883, the most credible sources note that his grave in Paris indicates he died in 1895.

Korean cannon

Cannon appeared in Korea by the mid 14th century during the Goryeo dynasty and quickly proliferated as naval and fortress-defense weapons. Major developments occurred throughout the 15th century, including the introduction of large siege mortars as well as major improvements that drastically increased range, power, and accuracy.

The Imjin War in the 1590s marked the beginning of a Korean military revolution which saw improvements in cannon design and the introduction and adaptation of foreign-based firearms. This included the en masse adoption of muskets and the adoption of volley fire and rigorous drill techniques. Breech-loading swivel guns were particularly popular as light anti-personnel artillery.

With the rising threat of European powers in the 19th century, the Joseon dynasty made attempts at reverse-engineering European firearms but eventually had to simply buy them from foreign entities.

List of cannon projectiles

A cannon is any large tubular firearm designed to fire a heavy projectile over a long distance. They were first used in Europe and China, and were the archetypical form of artillery. Round shot and grapeshot were the early projectiles used in cannon.

Martin Porter

Martin F. Porter is the inventor of the Porter Stemmer, one of the most common algorithms for stemming English, and the Snowball programming framework. His 1980 paper "An algorithm for suffix stripping", proposing the stemming algorithm, has been cited over 8000 times (Google Scholar).The Muscat search engine comes from research performed by Porter at the University of Cambridge and was commercialized in 1984 by Cambridge CD Publishing; it was subsequently sold to MAID which became the Dialog Corporation.In 2000 he was awarded the Tony Kent Strix award.Porter read mathematics at St John’s College, Cambridge (1963–66) and went to get a Diploma in Computer Science (1967) and a PhD. at Cambridge Computer Laboratory. He worked at the University of Leeds for a year before returning to Cambridge's Literary and Linguistic Computing Centre (1971-1974) and at the Sedgwick Museum as a programmer (1974-1976). In 1977, he became the Director of the Museum Documentation Advisory Unit (MDA).Martin Porter is co-founder with John Snyder of the contextual targeting and content recommendation company, Grapeshot. John Snyder is listed as CEO and Martin Porter is listed as Chief Scientist. Grapeshot took £250,000 in UK government subsidies and subsequently raised £16m from UK investors.

On May 15, 2018, Oracle Corporation completed the acquisition of Grapeshot.

Montigny mitrailleuse

The Montigny mitrailleuse was an early type of crank-operated machine-gun developed by the Belgian gun works of Joseph Montigny between 1859 and 1870. It was an improved version of the "Mitrailleuse", (English: Grapeshot shooter) invented by Belgian Captain Fafschamps in 1851 which was a fixed 50-barrelled volley gun.The Montigny mitrailleuse was designed to defend narrow defensive positions such as the moats of fortresses. The Belgian army initially purchased Fafschamps volley guns. Only later did they acquire Montigny mitrailleuses.

Joseph Montigny also promoted and sold the weapon for offensive field use by placing the weapon on an artillery carriage.

More Than Honor

More Than Honor, published in 1998, was the first anthology of stories set in the Honorverse. The stories in the anthologies serve to introduce characters, provide deeper more complete backstory and flesh out the universe, so claim the same canonical relevance as exposition in the main series. David Weber, author of the mainline Honor Harrington series, serves as editor for the anthologies, maintaining fidelity to the series canons.The book contains the following stories:

"A Beautiful Friendship" by David Weber (HHA1 and Worlds of Weber). The story of the first meeting between humans (Stephanie Harrington) and treecats (Climbs Quickly). This story was later expanded to a full length young adult novel, published in 2011.

"A Grand Tour" by David Drake: A story with few links to any other in the Honorverse setting. Careful reading may reveal similarities to the first novel in his RCN Series, in the characters, style, and attitude. Both were published in 1998. Indeed, Drake confirms that A Grand Tour is the conceptual antecedent of With the Lightnings.

"A Whiff of Grapeshot" by S. M. Stirling. This story serves as background to the "Leveler Uprising" mentioned in the early chapters of In Enemy Hands. A radical Havenite faction stages an uprising against the rule of the Committee of Public Safety, wreaking havoc in the Havenite capital city of Nouveau Paris. With the Committee's security forces in complete disarray following an attack on its information network, the only forces able to intervene and restore order are Navy ships under the command of Admiral Esther McQueen, even though the Admiral is not precisely a supporter of the Committee and has an agenda of her own.

"The Universe of Honor Harrington" by David Weber. A "deep background" essay covering such diverse topics as the physics of space travel, the mechanics space colonization and politics of various "star nations", such as Manticore, Haven and the Solarian League.

Operation Grapeshot order of battle

Operation Grapeshot order of battle is a listing of the significant formations that were involved in the Spring 1945 offensive in the Apennine Mountains and the Po valley in northern Italy, April 1945 – May 1945.

Round shot

A round shot (or solid shot, or a cannonball, or simply ball) is a solid projectile without explosive charge, fired from a cannon. As the name implies, a round shot is spherical; its diameter is slightly less than the bore of the gun from which it is fired.

The cast iron cannonball was introduced by French artillery engineers after 1450 where it had the capacity to reduce traditional English castle wall fortifications to rubble. French armories would cast a tubular cannon body in a single piece and cannonballs took the shape of a sphere initially made from stone material. Advances in gunpowder manufacturing soon led the replacement of stone cannonballs with cast iron ones.Round shot was made in early times from dressed stone, referred to as gunstone (Middle English gunneston, from gonne, gunne gun + stoon, ston stone), but by the 17th century, from iron. It was used as the most accurate projectile that could be fired by a smoothbore cannon, used to batter the wooden hulls of opposing ships, fortifications, or fixed emplacements, and as a long-range anti-personnel weapon. However, masonry stone forts designed during the early modern period (known as star forts) were almost impervious to the effects of roundshot.

Grapeshot and round shot were some of the early projectiles used in smoothbores.

In land battles, round shot would often plough through many ranks of troops, causing multiple casualties. Unlike the fake gunpowder explosions representing roundshot in movies, real roundshot was more like a bouncing bowling ball, which would not stop after the initial impact, but continue and tear through anything in its path. It could bounce when it hit the ground, striking men at each bounce. The casualties from round shot were extremely gory; when fired directly into an advancing column, a cannonball was capable of passing straight through up to forty men. Even when most of its kinetic energy is expended, a round shot still has enough momentum to knock men over and cause gruesome injury.

When attacking wooden ships or land structures that would be damaged by fire, the cannonball would be heated to red hot. This was called a "hot shot". (On the shot called "the single deadliest cannon shot in American history," see Negro Fort.)

Round shot has the disadvantage of not being tightly fitted into the bore (to do so would cause jamming). This causes the shot to "rattle" down the gun barrel and leave the barrel at an angle unless wadding or a discarding sabot is used. This difference in shot and bore diameter is called "windage."

Round shot has been totally replaced by modern shells. Round shot is used in historical recreations and historical replica weapons.

In the 1860s, some round shots were equipped with winglets to benefit from the rifling of cannons. Such round shot would benefit from gyroscopic stability, thereby improving their trajectory, until the advent of the ogival shell.

Spring 1945 offensive in Italy

The spring 1945 offensive in Italy, codenamed Operation Grapeshot, was the final Allied attack during the Italian Campaign in the final stages of the Second World War. The attack into the Lombardy Plain by the 15th Allied Army Group started on 6 April 1945, ending on 2 May with the formal surrender of German forces in Italy.

Volley gun

A volley gun is a gun with several barrels for firing a number of shots, either simultaneously or in succession. They differ from modern machine guns in that they lack automatic loading and automatic fire and are limited by the number of barrels bundled together.

In practice the large ones were not particularly more useful than a cannon firing canister shot or grapeshot. Since they were still mounted on a carriage, they could be as hard to aim and move around as a cannon, and the many barrels took as long or longer to reload. They also tended to be relatively expensive since they were more complex than a cannon, due to all the barrels and ignition fuses, and each barrel had to be individually maintained and cleaned.

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