Xi Gua Pao (西瓜砲)

Xi Gua Pao (西瓜砲, lit. 'Watermelon bomb')
Drawing of a Xi Gua Pao and its contains, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Also known as Pi Pao (皮砲, lit. 'leather bomb', although ironically it isn't usually made of leather), is a type of caltrop bomb that is designed for siege defense. The bomb has a round outer shell that is pasted together from forty layers of paper on the outside, and another two layers of linen cloth on the inside. It contains one to two hundred iron caltrops as well as fifty to sixty barbed Huo Shu (火鼠, lit. 'Fire rat', incendiary version of ground spinner firecracker). Xi Gua Pao is also installed with four separate fuses (twisted together and protected by a bamboo tube) to prevent the enemy from defusing the bomb before it explodes.

Xi Gua Pao is usually dropped directly onto unsuspecting enemies from atop a wall, where it will explode into a shower of flame, caltrops and erratically-moving Huo Shu. The barbed Huo Shu hooks onto enemy clothing and burns the victim, causing the panicked victim to be more likely to step on the caltrops.

A smaller version of Xi Gua Pao that only produces sound was used by Jian Ye (尖夜) for signalling.


Zhi Hu Yuan Pao (紙糊圓砲, lit. 'Paper-pasted round bomb')
Drawing of a Zhi Hu Yuan Pao, from 'Wu Bei Zhi (《武備志》)'.
Zhi Hu Yuan Pao is essentially a smaller, hand grenade version of Xi Gua Pao modified from the signal bomb. Due to its small size it only carries twenty to thirty caltrops and ten to twenty Huo Shu. The fuses of Zhi Hu Yuan Pao are also not twisted together.

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