Screaming Lead Hailstorm

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Friday last week I did some met-det for Thomas Englund and Bo Knarrström at the 1719 battlefield at Baggensstäket on Skogsö, of which I’ve blogged before. This time I was directed to a hillside that had seen heavy musket fire. I may not have had much balls when I came there, but I certainly did when the day’s work was done, before I handed my finds over to the guys. Above is an intact 1719 musket ball, either dropped by a shaky soldier or fired into soft earth. Below is a ball that has hit a rock. Getting hit by one of those 15 mm lead spheres was not an enjoyable experience, but at least you were unlikely to have to go through it more than once.

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5 thoughts on “Screaming Lead Hailstorm

  1. Nice, more battlefield archaeology for the people! Very fashinating stuff, especialy since I have just come home from a re-enactment event at Axtorna. There was a big battle at 1565, where 4000 of the 20000 participants lay dead that the end of the day in battle that would show the future trends of battles between Sweden and Denmark, hard fought, and very bitter affairs with usually no quarter given or taken.
    This was the first big Battlefield archaeology projects done in Sweden, and Bo Knarrström was heavily involved. And I would really like to get involved with that fellow too.
    Anyway, if you ever come to Halland and especially Falkenberg in Sweden, it is worth making the trip to Axtorna. The battlefield is still rather intact and the terrain around the place is remarkable.

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  2. Getting hit by one of those 15 mm lead spheres was not an enjoyable experience, but at least you were unlikely to have to go through it more than once.

    If only that were so… The problem with musket balls is that they’re very, very slow. Yes, they’ll hurt like hell when they hit – but you won’t see the same cone of devastation that you’ll see from a high-velocity round like a modern rifle bullet; the kinetic energy just isn’t there. The musket ball drills right on through instead of pulverizing everything around it, so that you get an exit wound that’s almost the same size as the entry wound.
    There are plenty of accounts from the musket era of soldiers shot through with multiple rounds (in the same battle) who lived to fight on.

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  3. hi!i don’t have anything to share with you guys right now but my expression of awe for the learnings i get from your exchanges. 🙂 from spectacular scientific studies to economics…all here. 🙂

    also read about the sword you unearthed, wow!!!

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