Norwegian Vice Admiral Peter Wessel Tordenskiold was killed in a duel at Hildesheim in Germany. The occasion was a quarrel in which Tordenskiold accused Jacob Axel Stael von Holstein, a colonel who had been in Swedish service, to trick people for... Read more ...
Tordenskiold was killed
Norwegian Vice Admiral Peter Wessel Tordenskiold was killed in a duel at Hildesheim in Germany. The occasion was a quarrel in which Tordenskiold accused Jacob Axel Stael von Holstein, a colonel who had been in Swedish service, to trick people for money. The dispute ended in scuffles and Tordenskiold beat up the ten years older Staël von Holstein. Stael tried to pull the sword, but was unable to get it out of its sheath. Tordenskiold used it instead to beat him up. The injured von Holstein demanded redress through a duel.
At five o'clock in the morning of 12 November Tordenskiold was summoned by his second, named Münnichhausen – whom Tordenskiold had never met. It was predetermined that the duel would be fought with guns, but Münnichhausen told Tordenskiold that the duel was cancelled because von Holstein had traveled to Hamburg. Münnichhausen convinced Tordenskiold that for formal reasons he had to show up at the agreed site of the duel instead, but that there was no need to carry a gun.
When they arrived von Holstein was present and ready to fight. Since Tordenskiold had arrived without pistols, it was decided to fight with sword instead. Stael von Holstein was better armed with a long ‘karolinerverge’ while Tordenskiold just had a small parade sword. During the duel Tordenskiold was hit by a powerful thrust that went in under his arm and hit the spine. Mortally wounded, he died after a few minutes, just 30 years old.
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Today most shooters load their smoothbore muskets with patched roundballs. The soldiers that faced each other during, for example, the Napoleonic Wars loaded their muskets with paper cartridges. The cartridges contained both powder and ball. Read more about hpw you can load a smoothbore musket with roundballs in this article.
Published: 24 November 2007 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Edited: 25 November 2007.
Flintlock musket "by night". A spectacular sight, but many black powder weapons are accurate weapons as well.
2 Myths about Black powder Shooting
- It is a terrible recoil in black powder weapons.
- You won't hit a thing with them.
Both statements are far from being true. Black powder burns slowly and isn't by far as powerful as the modern powders. As an example we can use the enormous size of the Norwegian chamber loader from the 1850's: It fires a .69 calibre slug, but the recoil feels the same as if you were firing a 20 gauge shotgun. In other words, nothing to be afraid of. Most black powder guns are heavy and thus absorbing most of the recoil. Most black powder arms can be made to shoot very good, but it is sometimes hard work. Different loads, bullets and lubes has to be tested to achieve the best possible accuracy. In my opinion that is why so many new shooters give up the sport. The lack of guidance makes people fed up. But, with a little experience you'll quickly find out how you'll get a gun to shoot well, sometimes you will make it shoot just as well as an average quality modern arm. My tip is to never give up! When I first started shooting black powder I was a constant menace to everything but the target I was aiming at. In Norway the black powder shooters are members of the Norwegian Black powder Union (NSU): www.svartkruttunion.org
Find out more!
The upcoming book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms is perhaps the world's most comprehensive guide to black powder shooting.