TIL that ‘Hellburners’, 16th century fire-ships filled with decks of gunpowder sandwiched between bricks and tombstones, are considered to be an early WMD.

This link was originally posted to /r/todayilearned. See more things from Dan's Reddit account.

Hellburners (Dutch: hellebranders) were specialised fireships used in the Siege of Antwerp (1584-1585) during the Eighty Years’ War between the Dutch rebels and the Habsburgs. They were floating bombs, also called “Antwerp Fire”, and did immense damage to the Spanish besiegers. Hellburners have been described as an early form of weapons of mass destruction.

Wikipedia

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