Unusual War Efforts: Attack of the Easter-bunnies!

On this day in 1915, the then Major CP Deedes, member of the King’s Own Light Infantry, currently G.H.Q (General Headquarters Staff) at the War Office, received a very unusual letter suggesting a new alternative “method of warfare”. Rabbits. Around 200-300 Rabbits as a guideline. This is a real letter, sent to the war office in April 1915, suggesting that rabbits be used as a weapon in trench warfare. The unique idea was to train the rabbits to enter the trenches of the Germans byRead more

How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse…

With Halloween imminent and the chance of a so-called Zombie Apocalypse increased, our Visitor Experience Team have been exploring the different weapons and methods, that could be used to battle the living dead. In a light-hearted blog, our team have identified the best and worst weapons within the Royal Armouries’ collection to defeat a zombie…. Short Magazine Lee Enfield/SMLE MK.III* Country of origin: United Kingdom Calibre: .303 in Rate of fire: 12-15 rpm (rounds per minute) Capacity: 10 rounds Effective Range:Read more

No sitting on the fence for these Giants!

Clash of the Giants …. Huddersfield Giants’ quartet Jermaine McGillvary, Michael Lawrence, Luke George and Leroy Cudjoe clashed swords at the Royal Armouries in Leeds – thanks to the Royal Armouries Fencing Club. Like Rugby League, fencing requires considerable skill and speed so the Giants’ stars were ideally placed to enjoy one of Europe’s oldest combat sports. The RFL have encouraged all the Super League teams to try their hands at various sports and activities. To see a film clipRead more

Bite the Bullet

In 1857 native soldiers of the Indian Army rose up against the British Empire in what became known as the Indian Mutiny. It’s often said that the cause of this unrest was the paper cartridge issued for use with the new Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle. These were greased at one end to lubricate the bullet, which had to be pushed down the barrel from the muzzle end for loading. In order to open the cartridge, soldiers were instructed to tearRead more

Illustrating Armour

The Royal Armouries, Leeds has teamed up with local artist Sean Casey to showcase some of his latest works inspired by the Museum’s collection. The drawings Sean has produced at the Royal Armouries relate to a lifelong interest in armour, from playing with toy Timpo Knights, because he couldn’t get Greek warriors, but which were beautifully made all the same, to an admiration for the awe-inspiring skills of the people who produced the armour itself. For him war games, at theRead more

Weird and Wonderful

Though it looks like something out of a video game with its twin bayonets, this is a real gun. It is the Sterling S11 sub-machine gun, designed in 1965 as a follow-up to the classic Sterling Mk.4/L2A3 of the 1950s (the latter of which doubled as the Stormtrooper’s blasters in ‘Star Wars’). It was meant to compete with the then-new and now famous Heckler & Koch MP5, and took a few design cues from the equally well-known Israeli Uzi. Due toRead more