Why Was The Introduction Of European Guns Successful?
A: In 1827 the Japanese government passed a law allowing the civilian population to own and use firearms. At the time the American government was attempting to avoid a European war with Britain. In response to this policy the American government made an agreement with Japan to trade firearms between the two countries. Today, nearly 50 years later, Japan has fallen victim to gun violence once again. The question then is, why was the introduction of European guns in Japan so successful?
The primary reason that the guns were introduced was to increase the rate at which the Japanese could defeat the British in battles on sea. Most experts agree that the Japanese Navy effectively utilized their guns because they had few weapons of the same caliber as the British Navy. They also used small arms such as the sawn off sword, which had a much shorter range than the British rifles and even lighter, which gave them a significant advantage when fighting on land. Ultimately, the use of these guns contributed to the eventual victory of the Japanese in the Second World War.
Another benefit was that the Japanese population, which numbered nearly a hundred million strong, used the guns for protection from foreigners, which resulted in a relatively low death rate from diseases. While there is no record of a person dying from a firearms-related incident, this low death rate is likely the result of the peace that ensued after the cessation of hostilities. For this reason, gun ownership became widespread and common. This allowed the Japanese to have a strong military presence without having to resort to an invasion of other nations.
There is little documentation on the effectiveness of the firearms themselves. However, it is known that the British developed a particularly efficient gun that could fire rubber bullets and high caliber cartridges at a surprisingly fast rate. This innovation was used in conjunction with machine guns to form a much more effective fighting force. Ultimately, though, the British developed their own automatic rifle and they used this new technology against the Japanese during the Second World War. The Germans also experimented with automatic rifles but their experiments proved to be less successful than that of the British.
While many people assume that the invention of these guns led to their eventual extinction, this is not the case. Because of the success of the German and Japanese weapons, gun manufacturers around the world continued to create effective weapons. As a result, there were a number of different types of rifle that were created during the years that these guns were in use. Ultimately, it was the Russian industry that took over the manufacturing of these powerful firearms.
Today, you can still find a number of old rifles in Europe. Many people purchase these firearms as collectibles and others still use them every day in their countries. The fact that they are extremely effective weapons demonstrates just how important they were to Europe when they were first introduced.