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Sword, Musket & Machine Gun: Britain's Armed History 2017

  • 2018-08-23T21:00:00+01:00s at 2018-08-23T21:00:00+01:00 on BBC Four
  • 2017-01-05T05:00:00Z
  • 60 mins
  • 3 hours, 0 mins
  • Documentary

Dr Sam Willis charts the impact of gunpowder on the battlefield, from cannons to the first handheld weapons.

His journey starts in the 13th century with Oxford scientist and monk Roger Bacon, believed to be the first Englishman to write down a recipe for gunpowder. Sam sees one of the largest surviving medieval cannons still in existence - Mons Meg in Edinburgh Castle. He examines a primitive 1400s 'handgonne' in the Tower of London Armouries that seems more like a mini cannon, with no trigger.

1 season

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