Online Collection

The Online Collection showcases a selection of our objects for you to discover and explore. This resource will grow as the Museum's Collection is catalogued and computerised, and as new acquisitions are added.

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Caltrop, reputedly used at the Taku Forts, 2nd China War (1856-1860), 1860 (c)

Iron, four pronged caltrop, 1860 (c).

The caltrop, also known as a 'crow's foot', was a simple and cost effective defensive device placed on a battlefield in order to disrupt enemy formations. They were particularly effective against cavalry as horses could be quickly disabled if a spike penetrated their hooves. A piece of ground covered with crow's feet acted like a modern minefield. The basic design which always leaves a spike protruding upwards differs little from another caltrop in the National Army Museum Collection believed to have been made in the sixteenth century.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1963-10-195-1


National Army Museum Copyright


National Army Museum, Global Role gallery

Object URL