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Portrait of Sir William Congreve

Portrait of Sir William Congreve

H403/0158

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

William Congreve. Portrait of Sir William Congreve (1772-1828), British soldier and inventor of military rockets. Used in the Napoleonic Wars, Congreve's "service rockets" never realised their full weapons potential, although their effect on enemy morale was notable. The rockets carried solid ball and shrapnel warheads of 2-8kg and, like fireworks, were stabilised by long wooden poles. Whilst not sufficiently accurate for tactical use they were effective against large masses of troops and fortifications. The rockets are remembered in a line of the US national anthem: "and the rocket's red glare".

Release details

Model release not available. Property release not required.

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