It was not until the eighteenth century that Europe became seriously interested in the possibilities of using the rocket itself as a weapon of war and not just to propel other weapons. Prior to this, rockets were used only in pyrotechnic displays. The incentive for the more aggressive use of rockets came not from within the European continent but from far-away India, whose leaders had built up a corps of racketeers and used rockets successfully against the British in the late eighteenth century. The Indian rockets used against the British were described by a British Captain serving in India as ‘an iron envelope about 200 millimeters long and 40 millimeters in diameter with sharp points at the top and a 3m-long bamboo guiding stick’. In the early nineteenth century the British began to experiment with incendiary barrage rockets. The British rocket differed from the Indian version in that it was completely encased in a stout, iron cylinder, terminating in a conical head, measuring one meter in diameter and having a stick almost five meters long and constructed in such a way that it could be firmly attached to the body of the rocket. The Americans developed a rocket, complete with its own launcher, to use against the Mexicans in the mid-nineteenth century. A long cylindrical tube was propped up by two sticks and fastened to the top of the launcher, thereby allowing the rockets to be inserted and lit from the other end. However, the results were sometimes not that impressive as the behavior of the rockets in flight was less than predictable.
1 Until the 18th century, interested in using the rocket itself as a weapon of war.( incentive came from India)
2 Prior to this were used only in pyrotechnic displays.
1. Used against the British in the late 18th century.
2. An iron envelope; length: 200 mm, diameter: 400 mm; sharp points at the top, a 3m-long bamboo guiding stick.
British incendiary barrage rockets:
1 In the early 19th century.
2 Encased in a stout, iron cylinder, terminating in a conical head;
Diameter: 1m, a stick almost 5m-long.
1. Against the Mexicans in the mid-19th century.
2. Own launcher.
3. A long cylindrical tube was propped up by two sticks and fastened to the top of the launcher.