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The first battle in which firearms played a decisive part was at Bicocca in 1522. French and Swiss troops advancing on lines of Spanish pikemen expected an easy victory. Then the lines of pikemen parted and a storm of bullets tore into the aggressors.  An Arquebus was an improved matchlock. A curved piece of metal called a serpentine held a piece of burning tow known as a match. This was brought down onto the flash pan which carried the priming powder. This burned sharply and the flash struck through the touch hole and exploded the main charge in the barrel.

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