An incendiary ship-to-ship weapon, used in the British Navy between the 17th and 19th centuries. It was an iron shell filled with a composition of saltpetre, sulphur, resin, turpentine, antimony, and tallow. It had three vents for the flame and was often also fitted with pistol barrels which discharged their bullets at random. Similar weapons were developed by most other navies during the days of sail, their main purpose being to set on fire the sails and rigging of an opponent. They were never very successful. See also warfare at sea.
Subjects: Maritime History.