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It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons. In particular, the connection between the discovery of gunpowder and the overthrow of feudalism by the bourgeoisie has been pointed out over and over again. And though I have no doubt exceptions can be brought forward, I think the following rule would be found generally true: that ages in which the dominant weapon is expensive or difficult to make will tend to be ages of despotism, whereas when the dominant weapon is cheap and simple, the common people have a chance. Thus, for example, tanks, battleships and bombing planes are inherently tyrannical weapons, while rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon–so long as there is no answer to it–gives claws to the weak.

- George Orwell

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Canadian Government Catalogue of Materiel

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Today in Military History

April 27


The March of the Lone Baptist. The RCR, Halifax


German reparations for WW I fixed at 200 million gold marks (about $40 billion US)


OLDENBURG, effective dates for battle honour begin (to 5 May 45)

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