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Ramses II at Kadesh.jpgGustavus Adolphus at the Battle at Breitenfeld.jpgM1A1 abrams front.jpg Military history

A weapon is an instrument used with the aim of causing harm or death to human beings or other living creatures — and for inflicting damage upon civil or military infrastructure and life-sustaining natural resources. In essence, it is a tool made with the purpose of increasing the efficacy and efficiency of such activities as hunting, fighting, the committing of criminal acts, the preserving of law and order, and the waging of war in an offensive or defensive fashion.

Weapons are employed individually or collectively and can be improvised or purpose-built, sometimes with great skill and ingenuity. They range from simple implements such as clubs through to complicated modern machines such as intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In a broader context, weapons may be construed to include anything used to gain a strategic, material or mental advantage over an adversary on land, sea, air, or even outer space.




Very simple weapon use has been observed among chimpanzees,[1] leading to speculation that early hominids began their first use of weapons as early as five million years ago.[2] These would have been wooden clubs, spears, and unshaped stones—none of which would leave an unambiguous record.

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