Heated shot

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Mobile furnace, operated by the Royal Norwegian Navy, in order to heat cannon shots (ca. 1860)

Heated shot is the heating of round shot before firing from muzzle-loading cannons. The the purpose is for setting fire to enemy warships, buildings, or equipment.

The use of hot shot dates back centuries. It was stopped when vessels armored with iron replaced wooden warships in the world's navies. It was a powerful weapon against wooden warships, where fire was always a hazard. Its use was mainly used to shore batteries and forts, due to the need for a special furnace to heat the shot.

The use of heated shot from a ship was in fact against Royal Navy regulations because they were so dangerous. The American ship USS Constitution had a shot furnace installed, for hot shot to be fired.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Fitz-enz, David G. (2005). Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea. Taylor. pp. 186. ISBN 1-58979-160-6.