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William Congreve

1772-1828

English artillery officer and scientist who invented the Congreve rocket, which saw its first action in the Napoleonic Wars. This rocket was one of the first to be fired from a ship at shore targets and was used during attacks against the French in Boulogne and in the siege of Copenhagen. Unlike a cannon, the rocket carried its own propellant with it, causing less stress on the launcher while permitting it to reach higher speeds.

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William Congreve

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