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Ramses II at Kadesh.jpgGustavus Adolphus at the Battle at Breitenfeld.jpgM1A1 abrams front.jpg Military history

French naval piece of the late 19th century

Artillery is a military combat arm that employs weapons capable of discharging large projectiles in combat. They are generally capable of adding considerable fire power to the military capability of an armed force. Artillery is also a system of scientific research and its application towards design, capability and combat use of the above matériel. Over the course of military history the projectiles were manufactured from a wide variety of materials, made in a wide variety of shapes, and used different means of inflicting physical damage and casualties to defeat specific types of targets. The engineering designs of the means of delivery have likewise changed significantly over time, and have become some of the most complex technological application today.

For much of artillery's history during the Middle Ages and the Early modern period, artillery pieces on land were moved with the assistance of horse teams. During the more recent Modern era and in the Post-Modern period the artillery crew has used wheeled or tracked vehicles as a mode of transportation. Artillery used by naval forces has changed significantly also, with missiles replacing guns in surface warfare.

In some armies the weapon of artillery is the projectile, not the piece that fires it. The process of delivering fire onto the target is called gunnery. The actions involved in operating the piece are collectively called "serving the gun" by the gun crew (or detachment), and can be either direct artillery fire, or indirect artillery fire. The manner in which artillery units or formations are used is called artillery support, and may at different periods in history refer to weapons designed to be fired from ground, naval, and even air weapons platform.

Although the term also describes soldiers and sailors with the primary function of using artillery weapons, the individuals who operate them are called gunners irrespective of their rank, however 'gunner' is the lowest rank in artillery arms. There is no generally recognised generic term for a gun, howitzer, mortar, and so forth: some armies use 'artillery piece', while others use 'gun'. The projectiles fired by artillery are typically either 'shot' (if solid) or 'shell' if not. Shell is a widely used generic term for a projectile, which is a component of munitions.

The term 'artillery' is also applied to a combat arm of most military services when used organizationally to describe units and formations of the national armed forces that operate the weapons. The gunners and their guns are usually grouped in teams called either 'crews' or 'detachments'. Several such crews and teams with other functions are combined into a unit of artillery usually called a battery, although sometimes called a company. Batteries are roughly equivalent to a company in the infantry, and are combined into larger military organizations for administrative and operational purpose.

During military operations the role of field artillery is to provide close support to other arms in combat or to attack targets. The latter role is typically achieved by delivering either high explosive munitions to inflict casualties on the enemy from casing fragments and other debris and blast, or by demolition of enemy positions, equipment and vehicles. The artillery fire may be directed by an artillery observer.

Military doctrine has played a significant influence on the core engineering design considerations of Artillery ordnance through its history, in seeking to achieve a balance between delivered volume of fire with ordnance mobility. However, during the modern period the consideration of protecting the gunners also arose due to the late-19th century introduction of the new generation of infantry weapons using conoidal bullet, better known as the Minié ball, with a range almost as long as that of field artillery.

The gunners' increasing proximity to, and participation in direct combat against other combat arms and attacks by aircraft made the introduction of a gun shield necessary. The problems of how to employ a fixed or horse towed gun in mobile warfare necessitated the development of new methods of getting the artillery into combat. Three distinct forms of artillery developed; the tank, which later became a combat arm in its own right as the technology matured beyond a simple tracked box with a cannon mounted in it, the self-propelled gun which was designed to acompany a mobile force and provide continuous fire support and the towed gun which was used primarily to attack or defend a fixed line. These influences have guided the development of artillery ordnance, systems, organisations and operations until the present, with artillery systems capable of providing support at ranges from as little as 100 m to the intercontinental ranges of ballistic missiles. The only combat in which artillery is unable to take part in is close quarters combat.



The word as used in the current context originated in the Middle Ages. One suggestion is that it comes from the Old French atellier meaning "to arrange", and attillement meaning "equipment".

From the 13th century an artillier referred to a builder of any war equipment, and for the next 250 years the sense of the word "artillery" covered all forms of military weapons. Hence the naming of the Honourable Artillery Company an essentially Infantry unit until the 19th century. Another suggestion is that comes from the Italian arte de tirare (art of shooting) coined by one of the first theorists on the use of artillery, Niccolo Tartaglia.


A Roman Ballista

Mechanical systems used for throwing ammunition in ancient warfare, also known as "engines of war", like the catapult, onager, trebuchet and the ballista are also referred to by military historians as artillery.[1]

Middle Ages – first gunpowder artillery

The first documented record of artillery with gunpowder propellant used on the battlefield was on January 28, 1132 when General Han Shizhong of the Song Dynasty used escalade and Huochong to capture a city in Fujian. These small, crude weapons diffused into the Middle East (the madfaa) and reached Europe in the 13th century, in a very limited manner.

In Asia, Mongols adopted the Chinese artillery and used it effectively in the great conquest. By late 14th AD, Chinese rebels used organized artillery and cavalry to push Mongols out.

The new Ming Dynasty established the "Divine Engine Division" 神机营 – specialized in various types of artillery. Light cannons and cannons with multiple volleys were developed. In a campaign to suppress a local minority rebellion near today's Burmese border, the Ming army used a 3-line method of arquebuses/muskets to destroy an elephant formation.[citation needed] Between 1593 and 1597, about 300,000 Chinese and Japanese troops fought in Korea and both sides used heavy artillery in land and sea battles.[citation needed]

French gunner in the 15th century, a 1904 illustration.
Cannon in the Castle of São Jorge, Lisbon.
The Austrian Pumhart von Steyr, the earliest extant supergun.[2]

In 1415, the Portuguese invaded the Mediterranean port town of Ceuta. While it is difficult to confirm the use of firearms in the siege of the city, it is known that the Portuguese defended it thereafter with firearms, namely bombardas, colebratas, and falconetes. In 1419, Sultan Abu Sa'id led an army to reconquer the fallen city, and Moroccans brought cannons and used them in the assault on Ceuta. Finally, hand-held firearms and riflemen appear in Morocco, in 1437, in an expedition against the people of Tangiers.[3] It is clear that these weapons had developed into several different forms, from small guns to large artillery units.

The artillery revolution in Europe caught on during the Hundred Years War and changed the way that battles were fought. In the following year, the English used a gunpowder weapon in a military campaign against the Scottish. However, at this time, the cannons used in battle were very small and not particularly powerful. Cannons were only useful for the defense of a castle, as demonstrated in the battle of Breteuil in 1356, when the besieged English used a cannon to destroy an attacking French assault tower. By the end of the 14th century, cannons were only powerful enough to knock in roofs, and therefore could not penetrate castle walls.

However, a major change occurred between 1420–1430, when artillery became much more powerful and could now batter strongholds and fortresses quite efficiently. Both the English, French, and Burgundians advanced in military technology, and as a result the traditional advantage that went to the defense in a siege was lost. The cannons during this period were elongated, and the recipe for gunpowder was improved to make it three times as powerful as before.[4] These changes led to the increased power in the artillery weapons of the time.

Joan of Arc encountered gunpowder weaponry several times. When she led the French against the English at the Battle of Tourelles, in 1429, she faced heavy gunpowder fortifications, and yet her troops prevailed in that battle. In addition, she led assaults against the English-held towns of Jargeau, Meung, and Beaugency, all with the support of large artillery units. When she led the assault on Paris, Joan faced stiff artillery fire, especially from the suburb of St. Denis, which ultimately led to her defeat in this battle. In April 1430, she went to battle against the Burgundians, whose support was purchased by the English. At this time, the Burgundians had the strongest and largest gunpowder arsenal among the European powers, and yet the French, under Joan of Arc's leadership, were able to beat back the Burgundians and defend themselves.[5] As a result, most of the battles of the Hundred Years War that Joan of Arc participated in were fought with gunpowder artillery.

A bombard, Malbork Castle

As small smoothbore tubes these were initially cast in iron or bronze around a core, with the first drilled bore ordnance recorded in operation near Seville in 1247[citation needed]. They fired lead, iron, or stone balls, sometimes large arrows and on occasions simply handfuls of whatever scrap came to hand. During the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) these weapons became more common, initially as the bombard and later the cannon. Cannon were always loaded from the muzzles. While there were many early attempts at breech-loading designs, a lack of engineering knowledge rendered these even more dangerous to use than muzzle-loaders.

Early modern period – age of the smoothbores

Artillery with Gabion fortification.
A forge-welded Iron Cannon in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. This cannon was built during the reign of Raghunatha Nayak (1600–1645 AD), and it is said to be one of the largest cannons in the world. Artillery was used by Indian armies predominantly for defending against besieging armies.

Bombards developed in Europe were massive smoothbore weapons distinguished by their lack of a field carriage, immobility once emplaced, highly individual design, and noted unreliability (in 1460 James II, King of Scots, was killed when one exploded at the siege of Roxburgh). Their large size precluded the barrels being cast and they were constructed out of metal staves or rods bound together with hoops like a barrel, giving their name to the gun barrel.[6]

Bombards were of value mainly in sieges, a famous Turkish example used at the siege of Constantinople in 1453 weighed 19 tons, took 200 men and sixty oxen to emplace and could fire seven times a day. The Fall of Constantinople was perhaps "the first event of supreme importance whose result was determined by the use of artillery" when the huge bronze cannons of Mehmed II, made by the Hungarian Orban, breached the walls of Constantinople thereby ending the Byzantine Empire according to Sir Charles Oman.[7]

Cannons on display at Fort Point.

The use of the word "cannon" marks the introduction in the 15th century of a dedicated field carriage with axle, trail and animal-drawn limber—this produced mobile field pieces that could move and support an army in action, rather than being found only in siege and static defences. The reduction in the size of the barrel was due to improvements in both iron technology and gunpowder manufacture, while the development of the trunnion – projections at the side of the cannon as an integral part of the cast – allowed the barrel to be fixed to a more movable base, and also made raising or lowering the barrel much easier.[6]

The first land-based mobile weapon is usually credited to Jan Žižka, who deployed his oxen-hauled cannon during the Hussite Wars of Bohemia (1418–1424). However cannons were still large and cumbersome. With the rise of musketry in the 16th century, cannon were largely (though not entirely) displaced from the battlefield—the cannon were too slow and cumbersome to be used and too easily lost to a rapid enemy advance.

Polish multiple gun from 16th-17th century

The combining of shot and powder into a single unit, a cartridge, occurred in the 1620s with a simple fabric bag, and was quickly adopted by all nations. It speeded loading and made it safer, but unexpelled bag fragments were an additional fouling in the gun barrel and a new tool—a worm—was introduced to remove them. Gustavus Adolphus is identified as the general who made cannon an effective force on the battlefield—pushing the development of much lighter and smaller weapons and deploying them in far greater numbers than previously. But the outcome of battles was still determined by the clash of infantry.

Shells, explosive-filled fused projectiles, were also developed in the 17th century.[citation needed] The development of specialized pieces—shipboard artillery, howitzers and mortars—was also begun in this period. More esoteric designs, like the multi-barrel ribauldequin, were also built.

The 1650 book by Kazimierz Siemienowicz "Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima" [8] was one of the most important contemporary publications on the subject of artillery. For over two centuries this work was used in Europe as a basic artillery manual.[citation needed]

One of the most significant effects of artillery during this period was however somewhat more indirect – by easily reducing to rubble any medieval-type fortification or city wall (some which had stood since Roman times), it abolished millennia of siege-warfare strategies and styles of fortification building.[6] This led, amongst other things, to a frenzy of new bastion-style fortifications to be built all over Europe and in its colonies, but also had a strong integrating effect on emerging nation-states, as kings were able to use their newfound artillery superority to force any local dukes or lords to submit to their will, setting the stage for the absolutist kingdoms to come.[6]

Modern era – age of rifled guns

The highly effective German 15 cm field howitzers during the First World War

Cannons continued to become smaller and lighter—Frederick II of Prussia deployed the first genuine light artillery during the Seven Years War—but until the mid-19th century improvements in metallurgy, chemistry, manufacturing and other sciences did not alter the basic design and operation of a cannon.

Artillery continued to gain prominence in the 18th century when Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval, a French artillery engineer introduced the standardization of cannon design. He developed a 6-inch (150 mm) field howitzer whose gun barrel, carriage assembly and ammunition specifications were made uniform for all French cannons. The standardized interchangeable parts of these cannons down to the nuts, bolts and screws made their mass production and repair much easier. Another major change at this time was the development of a flintlock firing mechanism for the cannons. The old method of firing the cannon involved the use of a linstock or match to light a small quantity of powder charge in a touchhole drilled into the breech. This technique was quite faulty because the ignited powder could easily be extinguished by rain and an excess amount of charge could cause the guns to burst. The flintlock mechanism on the other hand only needs to be cocked and when its trigger is pulled the flint of the hammer strikes the frizzen throwing sparks into the pan and detonating the charge at the breech. The trigger can be tied to a lanyard and fired from a safe distance. These changes laid down in 1789 would prove decisive for Napoleon's conquests. Napoleon, himself a former artillery officer, perfected the tactic of massed artillery batteries unleashed upon a critical point in his enemies' line as prelude to infantry and cavalry assault and, more often than not, victory.

Rifling had been tried on small arms in the 15th century. The machinery to accurately rifle a cannon barrel did not arrive until the 19th century. Cavelli, Wahrendorff, and Whitworth all independently produced rifled cannon in the 1840s, but these guns did not see widespread use until the latter stages of the American Civil War—when designs such as the various caliber Rodman guns came to prominence.

1858 Dress Hat, a.k.a. Hardee hat, branch of service artillery.

From the 1860s artillery was forced into a series of rapid technological and operational changes, accelerating through the 1870s and thereafter. The first effective breech-loader (allowing a higher rate of fire while keeping the detachment behind the gun) was developed in 1855 by Sir William Armstrong, and accepted for British service in 1859. The first cannon to contain all 'modern' features is generally considered to be the French 75 of 1897 with its cased ammunition, effective breech-loading, modern sights, self-contained firing mechanism, and hydro-pneumatic recoil dampening.

After the War of 1870 the Germans became strong advocates of indirect fire. In 1882 a Russian officer Lieutenant Colonel KG Guk published a book Indirect Fire for Field Artillery that provided a practical method of using aiming points for indirect fire. A few years later the Richtfläche (lining-plane) sight was invented in Germany and provided a means of indirect laying in azimuth, clinometers for indirect laying in elevation already existed. In the following 15 years the techniques of indirect fire became available for all types of artillery. Indirect fire was the defining characteristic of 20th Century artillery and led to undreamt of changes in the amount of artillery, its tactics, organisation and techniques most of which occurred during World War I. To quote McCamley,

[By WWII] decades if not centuries of weapons development had settled into maturity on an almost imperceptibly rising plateau; the sciences of ballistics and explosive chemistry had achieved near perfection given the available technology of the age. Arguably the only new developments of note were discarding sabot rounds... and the hollow-charge projectile... both of which were of marginal significance in the Second World War.

[citation needed]

After the Second World War – age of precision

WWI German Field Gun

Modern artillery is most obviously distinguished by its large caliber, firing an explosive shell or rocket, and being of such a size and weight as to require a specialized carriage for firing and transport. However, its most important characteristic is the use of indirect fire, whereby the firing equipment is aimed without seeing the target through its sights. Indirect fire emerged at the beginning of the 20th century and was greatly enhanced by the development of predicted fire methods in World War I. Indirect fire uses firing data set on the sights, predicted fire methods ensure that these data are accurate and corrects for variations from the standard conditions for muzzle velocity, temperature, wind and air density.

Weapons covered by the term 'modern artillery' include "cannon" artillery such as the howitzer, mortar, field gun and rocket artillery. Certain smaller-caliber mortars are more properly designated small arms rather than artillery, albeit indirect-fire small arms. This term also came to include coastal artillery which traditionally defended coastal areas against seaborne attack and controlled the passage of ships. With the advent of powered flight at the start of the 20th century, artillery also included ground-based anti-aircraft batteries.

The term "artillery" has traditionally not been used for projectiles with internal guidance systems, even though some artillery units employ surface-to-surface missiles. Advances in terminal guidance systems for small munitions has allowed large-caliber projectiles to be developed, blurring this distinction.


Artillery ammunition can also make use of nuclear warheads, as seen here.

One of the most important role of logistics is the supply of munitions as a primary type of artillery consumable, their storage and the provision of fuses, detonators and warheads at the point where artillery troops will assemble the charge, projectile, bomb or shell.

A round of artillery ammunition comprises four components:

  • 1: The Fuze
  • 2: The Projectile
  • 3: The Propellant
  • 4: The Primer


The normal artillery spelling is "fuze". Fuzes are the devices that trigger explosion of the artillery ammunition charge. Broadly there are four main types:

  • impact (including graze and delay)
  • mechanical time including airburst
  • proximity sensor airburst
  • electronic time including airburst

Most artillery fuzes are nose fuzes. However, base fuzes have been used with armour piercing shells and for squash head (HESH or HEP) anti-tank shells. At least one nuclear shell and its non-nuclear spotting version also used a multi-deck mechanical time fuze fitted into its base.

Impact fuzes were, and in some armies remain, the standard fuze for HE. Their default action is normally 'superquick', some have had a 'graze' action which allows them to penetrate light cover and others have 'delay'. Delay fuzes allow the shell to penetrate the ground before exploding, concrete piercing fuzes are an extreme case of this and specially hardened. During World War I and later ricochet fire with delay or graze fuzed HE shells, fired with a flat angle of descent, was used to achieve airburst.

HE shells can be fitted with other fuzes, airburst fuzes usually have a combined airburst and impact function. However, until the introduction of proximity fuzes, the airburst function was mostly used with cargo munitions—for example shrapnel, illumination, and smoke. The larger calibers of anti-aircraft artillery are almost always used airburst. Airburst fuzes have to have the fuze length (running time) set on them. This is done just before firing using either a wrench or a fuze setter pre-set to the required fuze length.

Early airburst fuzes used igniferous timers which lasted into the second half of the 20th century. Mechanical time fuzes appeared in the early part of that century. These required a means of powering them. The Thiel mechanism used a spring and escapement (i.e. 'clockwork'), Junghans used centrifugal force and gears, and Dixi used centrifugal force and balls. From about 1980 electronic time fuzes started replacing mechanical ones for use with cargo munitions.

Proximity fuzes have been of two types: photo-electric or radar. The former was not very successful and seems only to have been used with British anti-aircraft artillery 'unrotated projectiles' (ie rockets) in World War II. Radar proximity fuzes were a big improvement over the mechanical (non-proximity) fuzes which they replaced. Mechanical time fuzes required an accurate calculation of their running time, which was affected by non-standard conditions. With HE (requiring a burst 20 to 30 feet above the ground), if this was very slightly wrong the rounds would either hit the ground or burst too high. Accurate running time was less important with cargo munitions that burst much higher.

The first radar proximity fuzes(called 'VT' for variable time as an obfuscating security measure) were initially used against aircraft in World War II. Their ground use was delayed for fear of the enemy recovering 'blinds' (artillery shells which failed to detonate) and copying the fuze. The first proximity fuzes were designed to detonate about 30 feet (9.1 m) above the ground. These air-bursts are much more lethal against personnel than ground bursts because they deliver a greater proportion of useful fragments and deliver them into terrain where a prone soldier would be protected from ground bursts.

However, proximity fuzes can suffer premature detonation because of the moisture in heavy rain clouds. This led to 'controlled variable time' (CVT) after World War II. These fuzes have a mechanical timer that switched on the radar about 5 seconds before expected impact, they also detonated on impact.

The proximity fuze emerged on the battlefields of Europe in late December 1944. They have become known as the U.S. Artillery's "Christmas present", and were much appreciated when they arrived during the Battle of the Bulge. They were also used to great effect in anti-aircraft projectiles in the Pacific against Kamikaze planes as well as in Britain against V-1 flying bombs.[9]

Electronic multi-function fuzes started to appear around 1980. Using solid-state electronics they were relatively cheap and reliable, and became the standard fitted fuze in operational ammunition stocks in some western armies. The early versions were often limited to proximity airburst, albeit with height of burst options, and impact. Some offered a go/no-go functional test through the fuze setter.

Later versions introduced induction fuze setting and testing instead of physically placing a fuze setter on the fuze. The latest, such as Junghan's DM84U provide options giving, superquick, delay, a choice of proximity heights of burst, time and a choice of foliage penetration depths.

A new type of artillery fuze will appear soon. In addition to other functions these offer some course correction capability, not full precision but sufficient to significantly reduce the dispersion of the shells on the ground.


The projectile is the munition or "bullet" fired downrange. This may or may not be an explosive device. Traditionally, projectiles have been classified as "shot" or "shell", the former being solid and the latter having some form of "payload".

Shells can also be divided into three configurations: bursting, base ejection or nose ejection. The latter is sometimes called the shrapnel configuration. The most modern is base ejection, which was introduced in World War I. Both base and nose ejection are almost always used with airburst fuzes. Bursting shells use various types of fuze depending on the nature of the payload and the tactical need at the time.

Payloads have included:

  • Bursting: high-explosive, white phosphorus ("Willie Pete" or "Wilson Picket"), coloured marker, chemical, nuclear devices; high explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and canister may be considered special types of bursting shell.
  • Base Ejection: dual purpose improved conventional munitions (DPICM)-bomblet, scatterable mines, illuminating, coloured flare, smoke, incendiary, propaganda, chaff[10] (foil to jam radars: originally known as "window")[11] and modern exotics such as electronic payloads and sensor-fuzed munitions.
  • Nose Ejection: shrapnel, flechette, star, incendiary.

Projectile stabilization

  • Rifled Traditionally, artillery projectiles have been spin-stabilised, meaning that they spin in flight so that gyroscopic forces prevent them from tumbling. Spin is induced by gun barrels having rifling which engages a soft metal band around the projectile, called a "driving band" (UK) or "rotating band" (U.S.). The driving band is usually made of copper, but synthetic materials have also been used.
  • Smoothbore/Fin-Stabilized In modern artillery smoothbore tubes have been used mostly by mortars. These projectiles use fins in the airflow at their rear to maintain correct orientation. The primary benefit over rifled barrels is reduced barrel wear and longer ranges that can be achieved (due to the reduced loss of energy to friction and gas escaping around the projectile via the rifling).
  • Rifled/Fin-Stabilized A combination of the above can be used, where the barrel is rifled, but the projectile also has deployable fins for stabilization,[12] guidance[13] or gliding.[14]


All forms of artillery require a propellant to propel the projectile at the target. Propellant is always a low explosive, this means it deflagrates instead of detonating, as with high explosives. The shell is accelerated to a high velocity in a very short time by the rapid generation of gas from the burning propellant. This high pressure is achieved by burning the propellant in a contained area, either the chamber of a gun barrel or the combustion chamber of a rocket motor.

Until the late 19th century the only available propellant was black powder. Black powder had many disadvantages as a propellant; it has relatively low power, requiring large amounts of powder to fire projectiles, and created thick clouds of white smoke that would obscure the targets, betray the positions of guns and make aiming impossible. In 1846 nitrocellulose (also known as guncotton) was discovered, and the high explosive nitroglycerin was discovered at much the same time. Nitrocellulose was significantly more powerful than black powder, and was smokeless. Early guncotton was unstable however, and burned very fast and hot, leading to greatly increased barrel wear. Widespread introduction of smokeless powder would wait until the advent of the double-base powders, which combine nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin to produce powerful, smokeless, stable propellant.

Many other formulations were developed in the following decades, generally trying to find the optimum characteristics of a good artillery propellant; low temperature, high energy, non corrosive, highly stable, cheap, and easy to manufacture in large quantities. Broadly, modern gun propellants are divided into three classes: single-base propellants which are mainly or entirely nitrocellulose based, double-base propellants composed of a combination of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin, and triple base composed of a combination of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin and Nitroguanidine.

Artillery shells fired from a barrel can be assisted to greater range in three ways:

  • rocket assisted projectiles (RAP) enhance and sustain the projectile's velocity by providing additional 'push' from a small rocket motor that is part of the projectile's base.
  • Base bleed uses a small pyrotechnic charge at the base of the projectile to introduce sufficient combustion products into the low-pressure region behind the base of the projectile responsible for a large proportion of the drag.
  • ramjet assisted, similar to rocket assisted but using a ramjet instead of a rocket motor; it is anticipated that a ramjet-assisted 120-mm mortar shell could reach a range of 22 mi (35 km).[15]

Propelling charges for tube artillery can be provided in one of two ways: either as cartridge bags or in metal cartridge cases. Generally anti-aircraft artillery and smaller caliber (up to 6" or 155 mm) guns use metal cartridge cases that include the round and propellant, similar to a modern rifle cartridge. This simplifies loading and is necessary for very high rates of fire. Bagged propellant allows the amount of powder to be raised or lowered depending on the range to the target. it also makes handling of larger shells easier. Each requires a totally different type of breech to the other. A metal case holds an integral primer to initiate the propellant and provides the gas seal to prevent the gases leaking out of the breech, this is called obturation. With bagged charges the breech itself provides obturation and holds the primer. In either case the primer is usually percussion but electrical is also used and laser ignition is emerging. Modern 155 mm guns have a primer magazine fitted to their breech.

Battleship Ammunition: 16" artillery shells aboard one of America's Iowa-class battleships.

Artillery ammunition has four classifications according to use:

  • Service: ammunition used in live fire training or for wartime use in a combat zone. Also known as "warshot" ammunition.
  • Practice: Ammunition with a non- or minimally-explosive projectile that mimics the characteristics (range, accuracy) of live rounds for use under training conditions. Practice artillery ammunition often utilizes a colored-smoke-generating bursting charge for marking purposes in place of the normal high explosive charge.
  • Dummy: Ammunition with an inert warhead, inert primer, and no propellant; used for training or display.
  • Blank: Ammunition with live primer, greatly reduced propellant charge (typically black powder) and no projectile; used for training, demonstration or ceremonial use.

Field artillery system

Cyclone of the 320th French Artillery, in Hoogstade, Belgium, 5 September 1917.

Because field artillery mostly uses indirect fire the guns have to be part of a system that enables them to attack targets invisible to them in accordance with the combined arms plan.

The main functions in the field artillery system are:

  • Communications
  • Command: authority to allocate resources;
  • Target acquisition: detect, identify and deduce the location of targets;
  • Control: authority to decide which targets to attack and allot fire units to the attack;
  • Production of firing data – to deliver fire from a fire unit onto its target;
  • Fire units: guns, launchers or mortars grouped together;
  • Specialist services – produce data to support the production of accurate firing data;
  • Logistic services – to provide combat supplies, particularly ammunition, and equipment support.

Organisationally and spatially these functions can be arranged in many ways. Since the creation of modern indirect fire different armies have done it differently at different times and in different places. Technology is often a factor but so are military-social issues, the relationships between artillery and other arms, and the criteria by which military capability, efficiency and effectiveness are judged. Cost is also an issue because artillery is expensive due to the large quantities of ammunition that it uses and its level of manpower.

Communications underpin the artillery system, they have to be reliable and in real-time to link the various elements. During the 20th century communications used flags, morse code by radio, line and lights, voice and teletype (teleprinter) by line. Radio has included HF, VHF, satellite and radio relay as well as modern tactical trunk systems. In western armies at least radio communications are now usually encrypted.

The emergence of mobile and man-portable radios after World War I had a major impact on artillery because it enable fast and mobile operations with observers accompanying the infantry or armoured troops. In World War II some armies fitted their self-propelled guns with radios. However, sometimes in the first half of the 20th century hardcopy artillery fire plans and map traces were distributed.

Data communications can be especially important for artillery because by using structured messages and defined data types fire control messages can be automatically routed and processed by computers. For example a target acquisition element can send a message with target details which is automatically routed through the tactical and technical fire control elements to deliver firing data to the gun's laying system and the gun automatically laid. As tactical data networks become pervasive they will provide any connected soldier with a means for reporting target information and requesting artillery fire.

Command is the authority to allocate resources, typically by assigning artillery formations or units. Terminology and its implications vary widely. However, very broadly, artillery units are assigned in direct support or in general support. Typically, the former mostly provide close support to manoeuvre units while the latter may provide close support and or depth fire, notably counter-battery. Generally, 'direct support' also means that the artillery unit provides artillery observation and liaison teams to the supported units. Sometimes direct support units are placed under command of the regiment/brigade they support. General support units may be grouped into artillery formations eg brigades even divisions, or multi-battalion regiments, and usually under command of division, corps or higher HQs. General support units tend to be moved to where they are most required at any particular time. Artillery command may impose priorities and constraints to support their combined arms commander's plans.

Target acquisition can take many forms, it is usually observation in real time but may be the product of analysis. Artillery observation teams are the most common means of target acquisition. However, air observers have been use since the beginning of indirect fire and were quickly joined by air photography. Target acquisition may also be by anyone that can get the information into the artillery system. Targets may be visible to forward troops or in depth and invisible to them.

Observation equipment can vary widely in its complexity.

  • Unmanned air vehicles are the latest form of air observation, having been first introduced in the early 1960s.
  • The equipment available to observation teams has progressed from just prismatic compass, hand-held or tripod mounted binoculars and sometimes optical range-finders.
  • Special equipment for locating hostile artillery: flash spotting and notably sound ranging appeared in World War I the latter has been undergone increasing refinement as technology has improved. These were joined by radar in World War II.
  • In the mid-1970s several armies started equipping their artillery observation teams with laser rangefinders, ground surveillance radars and night vision devices, these were soon followed by inertial orienting and navigating devices to improve the accuracy of target locations. The Global Positioning System (GPS) provided a smaller and cheaper means of quick and accurate fixation for target acquisition devices.
  • Specialised units with ground surveillance radars, unattended ground sensors or observation patrols operating in depth have also been used.
  • Targets in depth may also be 'acquired' by intelligence processes using various sources and agencies such as HUMINT, SIGINT, ELINT and IMINT.
  • Laser guided shells require laser target designators, usually with observation teams on the ground but UAV installations are possible.
  • Specialised artillery observation vehicles appeared in World War II and have greatly increased in sophistication since that time.

Control, sometimes called tactical fire control, is primarily concerned with 'targeting' and the allotment of fire units to targets. This is vital when a target is within range of many fire units and the number of fire units needed depends on the nature of the target, and the circumstances and purpose of its engagement. Targeting is concerned with selecting the right weapons in the right quantities to achieve the required effects on the target. Allotment attempts to address the artillery dilemma—important targets are rarely urgent and urgent targets are rarely important. Of course importance is a matter of perspective; what is important to a divisional commander is rarely the same as what is important to an infantry platoon commander.

Afghans with two captured artillery field guns in Jaji, 1984.

Broadly, there are two situations: fire against opportunity targets and targets whose engagement is planned as part of a particular operation. In the latter situation command assigns fire units to the operation and an overall artillery fire planner makes a plan, possibly delegating resources for some parts of it to other planners. Fire plans may also involve use of non-artillery assets such as mortars and aircraft.

Control of fire against opportunity targets is an important differentiator between different types of artillery system. In some armies only designated artillery HQs have the tactical fire control authority to order fire units to engage a target, all 'calls for fire' being requests to these HQs. This authority may also extend to deciding the type and quantity of ammunition to be used. In other armies an 'authorised observer' (e.g. artillery observation team or other target acquisition element) can order fire units to engage. In the latter case a battery observation team can order fire to their own battery and may be authorised to order fire to their own battalion and sometimes to many battalions. For example a divisional artillery commander may authorise selected observers to order fire to the entire divisional artillery. When observers or cells are not authorised they can still request fire.

Armies that apply forward tactical control generally put the majority of the more senior officers of artillery units forward in command observation posts or with the supported arm. Those that do not use this approach tend to put these officers close to the guns. In either case the observation element usually controls fire in detail against the target, such as adjusting it onto the target, moving it and co-ordinating it with the supported arm as necessary to achieve the required effects.

Firing data has to be calculated and is the key to indirect fire, the arrangements for this have varied widely. In the end firing data has two components: quadrant elevation and azimuth, to these may be added the size of propelling charge and the fuze setting. The process to produce firing data this is sometimes called technical fire control. Before computers, some armies set the range on the gun's sights, which mechanically corrected it for the gun's muzzle velocity. For the first few decades of indirect fire, the firing data were often calculated by the observer who then adjusted the fall of shot onto the target.

However, the need to engage targets at night, in depth or hit the target with the first rounds quickly led to predicted fire being developed in World War I. Predicted fire existed alongside the older method. After World War II predicted methods were invariably applied but the fall of shot usually needed adjustment because of inaccuracy in locating the target, the proximity of friendly troops or the need to engage a moving target. Target location errors were significantly reduced once laser rangefinders, orientation and navigation devices were issued to observation parties.

In predicted fire the basic geospatial data of range, angle of sight and azimuth between a fire unit and its target was produced and corrected for variations from the 'standard conditions'. These variations included barrel wear, propellant temperature, different projectiles weights that all affected the muzzle velocity, and air temperature, density, wind speed & direction and rotation of the earth that affect the shell in flight. The net effect of variations can also be determined by shooting at an accurately known point, a process called 'registration'.

All these calculations to produce a quadrant elevation (or range) and azimuth were done manually by highly trained soldiers using instruments, tabulated data, data of the moment and approximations until battlefield computers started appearing in the 1960s and '70s. While some early calculators copied the manual method (typically substituting polynomials for tabulated data), computers use a different approach. They simulate a shell's trajectory by 'flying' it in short steps and applying data about the conditions affecting the trajectory at each step. This simulation is repeated until it produces a quadrant elevation and azimuth that lands the shell within the required 'closing' distance of the target co-ordinates. NATO has a standard ballistic model for computer calculations and has expanded the scope of this into the NATO Armaments Ballistic Kernel (NABK).[16]

Technical fire control has been performed in various places, but mostly in firing batteries. However, in the 1930s the French moved it to battalion level and combined it with some tactical fire control. This was copied by the US. Nevertheless most armies seemed to have retained it within firing batteries and some duplicated the technical fire control teams in a battery to give operational resilience and tactical flexibility. Computers reduced the number of men needed and enabled decentralisation of technical fire control to autonomous sub-battery fire units such as platoons, troops or sections, although some armies had sometimes done this with their manual methods. Computation on the gun or launcher, integrated with their laying system, is also possible. MLRS led the way in this.

A fire unit is the smallest artillery or mortar element, consisting of one or more weapon systems, capable of being employed to execute a fire assigned by a tactical fire controller. Generally it is a battery, but sub-divided batteries are quite common, and in some armies very common. On occasions a battery of 6 guns has been 6 fire units. Fire units may or may not occupy separate positions. Geographically dispersed fire units may or may not have an integral capability for technical fire control.

Specialist services provide data need for predicted fire. Increasingly, they are provided from within firing units. These services include:

  • Survey: accurate fixation and orientation of the guns, historically this involved specialists within field artillery units and specialist units. In some armies mapping and amp supply has also been an artillery responsibility. Survey is also essential for some target acquisition devices. Traditional survey methods of measurement and calculation have been replaced by inertial orientation and navigators and GPS.
  • Meteorological data: historically these were usually divisional level specialist teams but advances in technology mean they are now increasingly part of artillery units.
  • Calibration: periodically establishing the "normal" muzzle velocity of each gun as it wears. Originally this involved special facilities and army level teams. Measurement using Doppler radar, introduced in the 1950s, started to simplify arrangements. Some armies now have a muzzle velocity measuring radar permanently fitted to every gun.

Logistic services, supply of artillery ammunition has always been a major component of military logistics. Up until World War I some armies made artillery responsible for all forward ammunition supply because the load of small arms ammunition was trivial compared to artillery. Different armies use different approaches to ammunition supply, which can vary with the nature of operations. Differences include where the logistic service transfers artillery ammunition to artillery, the amount of ammunition carried in units and extent to which stocks are held at unit or battery level. A key difference is whether supply is 'push' or 'pull'. In the former the 'pipeline' keeps pushing ammunition into formations or units at a defined rate. In the latter units fire as tactically necessary and replenish to maintain or reach their authorised holding (which can vary), so the logistic system has to be able to cope with surge and slack.

Artillery has always been equipment intensive and for centuries artillery provided its own artificers to maintain and repair their equipment. Most armies now place these services in specialist branches with specialist repair elements in batteries and units.

Classification of artillery

Artillery types can be categorised in several ways, for example by type or size of weapon or ordnance, by role or by organizational arrangements.

Types of ordnance

The types of cannon artillery are generally distinguished by the velocity at which they fire projectiles. Types of artillery:

German Army PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery
  • Field artillery: mobile weapons used to support armies in the field. Subcategories include:
    • infantry support guns: directly support infantry units.
    • mountain guns: lightweight weapons that can be moved through difficult terrain.
    • field guns; capable of long range fire.
    • howitzers: capable of high angle fire.
    • gun howitzers: capable of high or low angle fire with a long barrel.
    • mortars: larger towed or self-propelled weapons that fire projectiles at an angle of over 45 degrees to the horizontal.(not usually considered field artillery)
    • rocket artillery: alternative propulsion.
  • Motorized artillery: towed by Artillery tractors.
  • Self-propelled artillery: typically guns, mortars or gun howitzers mounted on a vehicle.
  • Naval artillery: guns mounted on warships and used either against other ships or in support of ground forces. The crowning achievement of naval artillery was the battleship, bristling with guns of up to 18.1 inches (460 mm), mounted on the Japanese battleship Yamato, but the advent of airpower and missiles have rendered this type of artillery largely obsolete. The correct term for an individual piece of naval artillery is a 'naval rifle'.
  • Coastal artillery: Fixed-position weapons dedicated to defense of a particular location, usually a coast (e.g. the Atlantic Wall in WW II) or harbor. Not needing to be mobile, coastal artillery used to be much larger than equivalent field artillery pieces, giving them longer range and more destructive power. Modern coastal artillery (e.g., Russia's "Bereg" system) is often self propelled, (allowing it to avoid counter-battery fire) and fully integrated, meaning that each battery has all of the support systems that it requires (maintenance, targeting radar, etc.) organic to its unit.
  • Anti-aircraft artillery: weapons, usually mobile, designed for attacking aircraft from the ground. Some guns were suitable for dual-role anti-aircraft and field (anti-tank) use. The World War II German 88 mm gun was a famous example.

Naval guns are typically longer-barreled, low-trajectory, high-velocity weapons designed primarily for a direct-fire role. Typically the length of a cannon barrel is greater than 25 times its caliber (inner diameter).

Naval piece of artillery, early 19th century

Howitzers are shorter. Capable of both high- and low-angle fire, they are most often employed in an indirect-fire role, capable of operating in defilade. Typically, the length of a howitzer barrel is between 15 and 25 times its caliber.

Mortars are smaller, low-velocity, high-angle weapons capable of only high-trajectory fire at a relatively short range. Typically the length of a mortar barrel is less than 15 times its caliber.

Modern field artillery can also be split into two other categories: towed and self-propelled. As the name suggests, towed artillery has a prime mover, usually a jeep or truck, to move the piece, crew, and ammunition around. Self-propelled howitzers are permanently mounted on a carriage or vehicle with room for the crew and ammunition and are thus capable of moving quickly from one firing position to another, both to support the fluid nature of modern combat and to avoid counter-battery fire. There are also mortar carrier vehicles, many of which allow the mortar to be removed from the vehicle and be used dismounted, potentially in terrain in which the vehicle cannot navigate, or in order to avoid detection.

Types of use

Organizational types

Australian gunners, wearing gas masks, operate a 9.2-inch (230 mm) howitzer during World War I.

At the beginning of the modern artillery period, the late 19th century, many armies had three main types of artillery, in some case they were sub-branches within the artillery branch in others they were separate branches or corps. There were also other types excluding the armament fitted to warships:

  • Horse artillery, first formed as regular units in late 18th century, with the role of supporting cavalry, they were distinguished by the entire crew being mounted.
  • Field or "foot" artillery, the main artillery arm of the field army, using either guns, howitzers or mortars. In World War II this branch again started using rockets and later surface to surface missiles.
  • Fortress or garrison artillery, manned a nation's fixed defences using guns, howitzers or mortars, either on land or coastal frontiers. Some had deployable elements to provide heavy artillery to the field army. In some nations coast defence artillery was a naval responsibility.
  • Mountain artillery, a few nations treated mountain artillery as a separate branch, in others it was a speciality in another artillery branch. They used light guns or howitzers, usually designed for pack animal transport and easily broken down into small easily handled loads
  • Naval artillery, some nations carried pack artillery on some warships, these were used and manhandled by naval (or marine) landing parties. At times, part of a ship's armament would be unshipped and mated to makeshift carriages and limbers for actions ashore, for example during the Second Boer War, during the First World War the guns from the stricken SMS Königsberg formed the main artillery strength of the German forces in East Africa.
Firing of an 18-pound gun, Louis-Philippe Crepin, (1772–1851)

After World War I many nations merged these different artillery branches, in some cases keeping some as sub-branches. Naval artillery disappeared apart from that belonging to marines. However, two new branches of artillery emerged during that war and its aftermath, both used specialised guns (and a few rockets) and used direct not indirect fire, in the 1950s and '60s both started to make extensive use of missiles:

  • Anti-tank artillery, also under various organisational arrangements but typically either field artillery or a specialist branch and additional elements integral to infantry, etc, units. However, in most armies field and anti-aircraft artillery also had at least a secondary anti-tank role. After World War II anti-tank in Western armies became mostly the responsibility of infantry and armoured branches and ceased to be an artillery matter, with some exceptions.
  • Anti-aircraft artillery, under various organisational arrangements including being part of artillery, a separate corps, even a separate service or being split between army for the field and airforce for home defence. In some cases infantry and the new armoured corps also operated their own integral light anti-aircraft artillery. Home defence anti-aircraft artillery often used fixed as well as mobile mountings. Some anti-aircraft guns could also be used as field or anti-tank artillery, providing they had suitable sights.

However, the general switch by artillery to indirect fire before and during World War I led to a reaction in some armies. The result was accompanying or infantry guns. These were usually small, short range guns, that could be easily man-handled and used mostly for direct fire but some could use indirect fire. Some were operated by the artillery branch but under command of the supported unit. In World War II they were joined by self-propelled assault guns, although other armies adopted infantry or close support tanks in armoured branch units for the same purpose, subsequently tanks generally took on the accompanying role.

Equipment types

Continental Artillery crew from the American Revolution handling a cannon

The three main types of artillery 'gun' are guns, howitzers and mortars. During the 20th century, guns and howitzers have steadily merged in artillery use, making a distinction between the terms somewhat meaningless. By the end of the 20th century, true guns with calibers larger than about 60 mm had become very rare in artillery use, the main users being tanks, ships, and a few residual anti-aircraft and coastal guns.

The traditional definitions differentiated between guns and howitzers in terms of maximum elevation (well less than 45° as opposed to close to or greater than 45°), number of charges (one or more than one charge), and having higher or lower muzzle velocity, sometimes indicated by barrel length. These three criteria give eight possible combinations, of which guns and howitzers are but two. However, modern 'howitzers' have higher velocities and longer barrels than the equivalent 'guns' of the first half of the 20th century.

True guns are characterised by long range, having a maximum elevation significantly less than 45°, a high muzzle velocity and hence a relatively long barrel, and a single charge. The latter often led to fixed ammunition where the projectile is locked to the cartridge case. There is no generally accepted minimum muzzle velocity or barrel length associated with a gun.

A British 60-pounder (5-inch (130 mm)) gun at full recoil, in action during the Battle of Gallipoli, 1915.

Howitzers can fire at maximum elevations at least close to 45°, and up to about 70° is normal for modern ones. They also have a choice of charges, meaning that the same elevation angle of fire will achieve a different range depending on the charge used. They have lower muzzle velocities and shorter barrels than equivalent guns. All this means they can deliver fire with a steep angle of descent. Because of their multi-charge capability, their ammunition is mostly separate loading (the projectile and propellant are loaded separately).

That leaves six combinations of the three criteria, some of which have been termed gun howitzers. A term first used in the 1930s when howitzers with a relatively high maximum muzzle velocities were introduced, it never became widely accepted, most armies electing to widen the definition of 'gun' or 'howitzer'. By the 1960s, most equipments had maximum elevations up to about 70°, were multi-charge, had quite high maximum muzzle velocities and relatively long barrels.

Mortars are simple, the modern mortar originated in World War I and there were several patterns. After that war, most mortars settled on the Stokes pattern, characterised by a short barrel, smooth bore, low muzzle velocity, generally firing at an elevation angle greater that 45°, and a very simple and light mounting using a 'baseplate' on the ground. The projectile with its integral propelling charge was dropped down the barrel from the muzzle to hit a fixed firing pin. Since that time, a few mortars have become rifled and adopted breech loading.

There are other recognised typifying characteristics for artillery. First the type of obturation used to seal the chamber and prevent gases escaping through the breech. This may use a metal cartridge case that also holds the propelling charge, a configuration called 'QF' or 'quickfiring' by some nations. The alternative does not use a metal cartridge case, the propellant being merely bagged or in combustible cases with the breech itself providing all the sealing. This is called 'BL" or 'breech loading' by some nations.

A second characteristic is the form of propulsion. Basically modern equipment can either be towed or self-propelled (SP). A towed gun fires from the ground and any inherent protection is limited to a gun shield. Towing by horse teams lasted throughout World War II in some armies, but others were fully mechanised with wheeled or tracked gun towing vehicles by the outbreak of that war. The size of a towing vehicle depends on the weight of the equipment and the amount of ammunition it has to carry.

A variation of towed is portee where the vehicle carries the gun which is dismounted for firing. Mortars are often carried this way. A mortar is sometimes carried in an armoured vehicle and can either fire from it or be dismounted to fire from the ground. Since the early 1960s it has been possible to carry lighter towed guns and most mortars by helicopter. Even before that, they were parachuted or landed by glider from the time of the first airborne trials in the USSR in the 1930s.

In an SP equipment, the gun is an integral part of the vehicle that carries it. SPs first appeared during World War I, but did not really develop until World War II. They are mostly tracked vehicles, but wheeled SPs started to appear in the 1970s. Some SPs have no armour and carry little or no ammunition. Armoured SPs usually carry a useful ammunition load. Early armoured SPs were mostly a 'casemate' configuration, in essence an open top armoured box offering only limited traverse. However, most modern armoured SPs have a full enclosed armoured turret, usually giving full traverse for the gun. Many SPs cannot fire without deploying stabilisers or spades, sometimes hydraulic. A few SPs are designed so that the recoil forces of the gun are transferred directly onto the ground through a baseplate. A few towed guns have been given limited self-propulsion by means of an auxiliary engine.

Two other forms of tactical propulsion were used in the first half of the 20th century: Railways or transporting the equipment by road, as two or three separate loads, with disassembly and re-assembly at the beginning and end of the journey. Railway artillery took two forms, railway mountings for heavy and super-heavy guns and howitzers and armoured trains as 'fighting vehicles' armed with light artillery in a direct fire role. Disassembled transport was also used with heavy and super heavy weapons and lasted into the 1950s.

Caliber categories

A third form of artillery typing is to classify it as 'light', 'medium', 'heavy' and various other terms. It appears to have been introduced in World War I, which spawned a very wide array of artillery in all sorts of sizes so a simple categorical system was needed. Some armies defined these categories by bands of calibers. Different bands were used for different types of weapons—field guns, mortars, anti-aircraft guns and coast guns.

Modern operations

Two French Army Giat GCT 155mm (155mm AUF1) Self-propelled Guns, 40th Regiment d' Artillerie, with IFOR markings are parked at Hekon base, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in support of Operation Joint Endeavor.

Artillery is used in a variety of roles depending on its type and caliber. The general role of artillery is to provide fire support—"the application of fire, coordinated with the manoeuvre of forces to destroy, neutralize or suppress the enemy". This NATO definition, of course, makes artillery a supporting arm although not all NATO armies agree with this logic. The italicised terms are NATO's.[17]

Unlike rockets, guns (or howitzers as some armies still call them) and mortars are suitable for delivering close supporting fire. However, they are all suitable for providing deep supporting fire although the limited range of many mortars tends to exclude them from the role. Their control arrangements and limited range also mean that mortars are most suited to direct supporting fire. Guns are used either for this or general supporting fire while rockets are mostly used for the latter. However, lighter rockets may be used for direct fire support. These rules of thumb apply to NATO armies.

Modern mortars, because of their lighter weight and simpler, more transportable design, are usually an integral part of infantry and, in some armies, armor units. This means they generally don't have to concentrate their fire so their shorter range is not a disadvantage. Some armies also consider infantry operated mortars to be more responsive than artillery, but this is a function of the control arrangements and not the case in all armies. However, mortars have always been used by artillery units and remain with them in many armies, including a few in NATO.

In NATO armies artillery is usually assigned a tactical mission that establishes its relationship and responsibilities to the formation or units it is assigned to. It seems that not all NATO nations use the terms and outside NATO others are probably used. The standard terms are: direct support, general support, general support reinforcing and reinforcing. These tactical missions are in the context of the command authority: operational command, operational control, tactical command or tactical control.

In NATO direct support generally means that the directly supporting artillery unit provides observers and liaison to the manoeuvre troops being supported, typically an artillery battalion or equivalent is assigned to a brigade and its batteries to the brigade's battalions. However, some armies achieve this by placing the assigned artillery units under command of the directly supported formation. Nevertheless, the batteries' fire can be concentrated onto a single target, as can the fire of units in range and with the other tactical missions.

Application of fire

A 155 mm artillery shell fired by a United States 11th Marine Regiment M-198 howitzer

There are several dimensions to this subject. The first is the notion that fire may be against an opportunity target or may be prearranged. If it is the latter it may be either on-call or scheduled. Prearranged targets may be part of a fire plan. Fire may be either observed or unobserved, if the former it may be adjusted, if the latter then it has to be predicted. Observation of adjusted fire may be directly by a forward observer or indirectly via some other target acquisition system.

NATO also recognises several different types of fire support for tactical purposes:

  • Counterbattery fire: delivered for the purpose of destroying or neutralizing the enemy's fire support system.
  • Counterpreparation fire: intensive prearranged fire delivered when the imminence of the enemy attack is discovered.
  • Covering fire: used to protect troops when they are within range of enemy small arms.
  • Defensive fire: delivered by supporting units to assist and protect a unit engaged in a defensive action.
  • Final Protective Fire: an immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas.
  • Harassing fire: a random number of shells are fired at random intervals, without any pattern to it that the enemy can predict. This process is designed to hinder enemy forces' movement, and, by the constantly imposed stress, threat of losses and inability of enemy forces to relax or sleep, lowers their morale.
  • Interdiction fire: placed on an area or point to prevent the enemy from using the area or point.
  • Preparation fire: delivered before an attack to weaken the enemy position.

These purposes have existed for most of the 20th century, although their definitions have evolved and will continue to do so, lack of suppression in counterbattery is an omission. Broadly they can be defined as either:

  • Deep supporting fire: directed at objectives not in the immediate vicinity of own force, for neutralizing or destroying enemy reserves and weapons, and interfering with enemy command, supply, communications and observation; or
  • Close supporting fire: placed on enemy troops, weapons or positions which, because of their proximity present the most immediate and serious threat to the supported unit.
USMC M-198 firing outside of Fallujah, Iraq in 2004

Two other NATO terms also need definition:

  • Neutralization fire: delivered to render a target temporarily ineffective or unusable; and
  • Suppression fire: that degrades the performance of a target below the level needed to fulfill its mission. Suppression is usually only effective for the duration of the fire.

The tactical purposes also include various "mission verbs", a rapidly expanding subject with the modern concept of "effects based operations".

Targeting is the process of selecting target and matching the appropriate response to them taking account of operational requirements and capabilities. It requires consideration of the type of fire support required and the extent of coordination with the supported arm. It involves decisions about:

  • what effects are required, eg neutralization or suppression;
  • the proximity of and risks to own troops or non-combatants;
  • what types of munitions, including their fuzing, are to be used and in what quantities;
  • when the targets should be attacked and possibly for how long;
  • what methods should be used, eg converged or distributed, whether adjustment is permissible or surprise essential, the need for special procedures such as precision or danger close
  • how many fire units are needed and which ones they should be from those that are available (in range, with the required munitions type and quantity, not allotted to another target, have the most suitable line of fire if there is a risk to own troops or non-combatants);

The targeting process is the key aspect of tactical fire control. Depending on the circumstances and national procedures it may all be undertaken in one place or may be distributed. In armies practicing control from the front, most of the process may be undertaken by a forward observer or other target acquirer. This is particularly the case for a smaller target requiring only a few fire units. The extent to which the process is formal or informal and makes use of computer based systems, documented norms or experience and judgement also varies widely armies and other circumstances.

Surprise may be essential or irrelevant. It depends on what effects are required and whether or not the target is likely to move or quickly improve its protective posture. During World War II UK researchers concluded that for impact fuzed munitions the relative risk were as follows:

  • men standing – 1
  • men lying – 1/3
  • men firing from trenches – 1/15–1/50
  • men crouching in trenches – 1/25–1/100

Airburst munitions significantly increase the relative risk for lying men, etc. Historically most casualties occur in the first 10–15 seconds of fire, i.e. the time needed to react and improve protective posture, however, this is less relevant if airburst is used.

There are several ways of making best use of this brief window of maximum vulnerability:

  • ordering the guns to fire together, either by executive order or by a "fire at" time. The disadvantage is that if the fire is concentrated from many dispersed fire units then there will be different times of flight and the first rounds will be spread in time. To some extent a large concentration offsets the problem because it may mean that only one round is required from each gun and most of these could arrive in the 15 second window.
  • burst fire, a rate of fire to deliver three rounds from each gun within 10 or 15 seconds, this reduces the number of guns and hence fire units needed, which means they may be less dispersed and have less variation in their times of flight. Smaller caliber guns, such as 105 mm, have always been able to deliver three rounds in 15 seconds, larger calibers firing fixed rounds could also do it but it wasn't until the 1970s that a multi-charge 155 mm howitzer, FH-70 first gained the capability.
  • multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI).
  • time on target, fire units fire at the time less their time of flight, this works well with prearranged scheduled fire but is less satisfactory for opportunity targets because it means delaying the delivery of fire by selecting a 'safe' time that all or most fire units can achieve. It can be used with both the previous two methods.

Counter-battery fire

Counter-battery fire is a type of mission assigned to military artillery forces, which are tasked with locating and firing upon enemy artillery. Typically, enemy artillery would be detected when they fire, and a counter-battery fire mission must proceed as quickly as possible before the enemy artillery battery finishes their salvo and relocates.

Originally, counter-battery fire relied on ground or air-based artillery observers noticing the source of the artillery fire (due to muzzle flashes, smoke, spotting the artillery pieces, etc.) and calculating firing solutions to strike back at them. Artillery spotting, along with reconnaissance, was one of the major roles for aircraft in warfare (see World War I). Modern counter-battery fire relies on counter-battery radar, which calculate the source of incoming artillery shells very accurately and quickly—so quickly, in fact, that return fire can sometimes begin before the first enemy shell or rocket has landed.

The development of fast and accurate counter-battery fire has led to the concept of shoot-and-scoot and concentration on the development of highly mobile artillery pieces (typically self-propelled guns like the US M109 Paladin, the South African G6 Howitzer or Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika, or rocket artillery like the Soviet Katyusha or the multi-national M270 MLRS). The idea is to fire and then move before any counter-battery fire can land on the original position.

The task of destroying enemy artillery batteries can also fall to attack aircraft, but unless they are already on patrol overhead, they are usually not quick enough to save friendly forces from damage. More often, ground-based counter-battery fire would suppress the enemy battery/batteries and force them to move, while aircraft would follow up later with a strike to destroy the rest of the enemy artillery.

Modern artillery ammunition. Caliber 155mm as used by the PzH 2000

Field artillery team

Modern field artillery (Post-World War I) has three distinct parts: the forward observer (or FO), the fire direction center (FDC) and the actual guns themselves. The forward observer observes the target using tools such as binoculars, laser rangefinders, designators and call back fire missions on his radio, or relays the data through a portable computer via an encrypted digital radio connection protected from jamming by computerized frequency hopping.

The FO can communicate directly with the battery FDC, of which there is one per each battery of 4–8 guns. Otherwise the several FOs communicate with a higher FDC such as at a Battalion level, and the higher FDC prioritizes the targets and allocates fires to individual batteries as needed to engage the targets that are spotted by the FOs or to perform preplanned fires.

The Battery FDC computes firing data—ammunition to be used, powder charge, fuse settings, the direction to the target, and the quadrant elevation to be fired at to reach the target, what gun will fire any rounds needed for adjusting on the target, and the number of rounds to be fired on the target by each gun once the target has been accurately located—to the guns. Traditionally this data is relayed via radio or wire communications as a warning order to the guns, followed by orders specifying the type of ammunition and fuse setting, direction, and the elevation needed to reach the target, and the method of adjustment or orders for fire for effect (FFE). However in more advanced artillery units, this data is relayed through a digital radio link.

Other parts of the field artillery team include meteorological analysis to determine the temperature, humidity and pressure of the air and wind direction and speed at different altitudes. Also radar is used both for determining the location of enemy artillery and mortar batteries and to determine the precise actual strike points of rounds fired by battery and comparing that location with what was expected to compute a registration allowing future rounds to be fired with much greater accuracy.

Time on Target

A technique called Time on Target was developed by the U.S. Army during World War II. This technique uses a precise determination of the time of flight from each firing battery to the target area. When a Time on Target (TOT) is designated each battery that will join in firing on that target subtracts the time of flight from the TOT to determine the time to fire. Individual firing batteries train to fire their rounds as close to simultaneously as possible. When each firing battery fires their rounds at their individual time to fire every round will reach the target area nearly simultaneously. This is especially effective when combined with techniques that allow fires for effect to be made without preliminary adjusting fires.

A similar effect may be obtained by a single battery firing sequential rounds with different trajectories, with all rounds timed to arrive simultaneously.


Illustration of different trajectories used in MRSI: For any muzzle velocity there is a steeper (> 45°, solid line) and a lower (<45°, dashed line) trajectory. On these different trajectories, the shells have different flight times.

This is a modern version of the earlier "time on target" concept in which fire from different weapons was timed to arrive on target at the same time. It is possible for modern computer-controlled artillery to fire more than one volley at a target and have all the shells arrive simultaneously, which is called MRSI (Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact). This is because there is more than one trajectory for the rounds to fly to any given target: typically one is below 45 degrees from horizontal and the other is above it, and by varying the amount of propellant with each shell, it possible to create multiple trajectories. Because the higher trajectories cause the shells to arc higher into the air, they take longer to reach the target and so if the shells are fired on these trajectories for the first volleys (starting with the shell with the most propellant and working down) and then after the correct pause more volleys are fired on the lower trajectories, the shells will all arrive at the same time. This is useful because many more shells can land on the target with no warning. With traditional volleys along the same trajectory, anybody at the target point will have a certain amount of time (however long it takes to reload and re-fire the guns) to run away or take cover between volleys. In addition, if guns in more than one location are firing on one target, with careful timing it can be arranged for all their shells to land at the same time for the same reason.

Examples of MRSI guns are South Africa's Denel G6-52 (which can land six rounds simultaneously at targets at least 25 km (16 mi) away), Germany's Panzerhaubitze 2000 (which can land five rounds simultaneously at targets at least 17 km (11 mi) away) and Slovakia's 155 mm SpGH ZUZANA model 2000. The Archer project (Developed by BAE-Systems in Sweden), a 155 mm howitzer on a wheeled chassis claiming to be able to deliver up to 7 shells on target simultaneously from the same gun. The 120 mm twin barrel AMOS mortar system, developed in Finland, is capable of 7 + 7 shells MRSI. The United States Crusader program (now canceled) was slated to have MRSI capability.

MRSI was a stunt popular at artillery demonstrations in the 1960s. With its increased risk of a mistake (needing a range to the target that gives time for several rounds to be fired and only useful against a few types of target in an era where PPD fuzes are becoming standard), whether MRSI is still merely a stunt or has real tactical value over other methods is debatable.

Air burst

The destructiveness of artillery bombardments can be enhanced when some or all of the shells are set for airburst, meaning that they explode in the air above the target instead of upon impact. This can be accomplished either through time fuzes or proximity fuzes. Time fuzes use a precise timer to detonate the shell after a preset delay. Unfortunately, this technique is tricky and slight variations in the functioning of the fuze can cause it to explode too high and be ineffective, or to strike the ground instead of exploding above it. Since December 1944 (Battle of the Bulge), proximity fuzed artillery shells have been available that take the guesswork out of this process. These embody a miniature, weak radar transmitter in the fuze to detect the ground and explode them at a predetermined height above it. The return of the weak radar signal completes an electrical circuit in the fuze which explodes the shell. a recently developed shell works by detecting changes in the Earth's magnetic field, and can thus calculate the distance travelled. Upon reaching the target distance a fuse is set off causing the shell to explode.

This is a very effective tactic against infantry and light vehicles, because it scatters the fragmentation of the shell over a larger area and prevents it from being blocked by terrain or entrenchments that do not include some form of robust overhead cover. Combined with TOT or MRSI tactics that give no warning of the incoming rounds, these rounds are especially devastating because many enemy soldiers are likely to be caught in the open. This is even more so if the attack is launched against an assembly area or troops moving in the open rather than a unit in an entrenched tactical position.

See also

New artillery theories, concepts, methods and systems

Citations and notes

  1. ^ see siege engines for more information on pre-gunpowder devices
  2. ^ Schmidtchen 1977, p. 162
  3. ^ Cook, W: Warfare and Firearms in Fifteenth Century Morocco, 1400-1492. 1993
  4. ^ Rogers, C: The Military Revolutions of the Hundred Years War. 1993
  5. ^ DeVries, K: The Use of Gunpowder Weaponry By and Against Joan or Arc During the Hundred Years War. 1996
  6. ^ a b c d A History of WarfareKeegan, John, Vintage 1993
  7. ^ p.70, Holmes
  8. ^ pp. 407–416, Ordway, Vice-Commander of Artillery of the Polish king, Wladyslaw IV ("Great Art of Artillery, the First Part," also known as "The Complete Art of Artillery")
  9. ^ Smithsonian
  10. ^ p.266, Browne & Thurbon
  11. ^ p.262, International Aeronautic Federation
  12. ^ "Fin-stabilized artillery shell". Ausgust 24, 2004. 
  13. ^ "Excalibur Precision Projectile". 
  14. ^ "Guided artillery missile with extremely long range". Ausgust 24, 2004. 
  15. ^ McNab, Chris; Hunter Keeter (2008). Tools of Violence: Guns, Tanks and Dirty Bombs. Osprey Publishing. p. 145. ISBN 1846032253. 
  16. ^ The public NABK Brochure
  17. ^ AAP-6(2006) NATO Glossary of Terms and Definitions.


  • TM 9-2300
  • Holmes, Richard, The World Atlas of Warfare: Military Innovations that Changed the Course of History, Viking Press 1988
  • McCamley, N. J., Disasters Underground, Pen & Sword Military (2004)
  • "Variable Time Fuze Contributed to the Victory of United Nations". Smithsonian Institution. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  • Maj Gen AGL McNaughton The Development of Artillery in the Great War, Canadian Defence Quarterly Vol 6 No 2, January 1929
  • Ordway, Frederick I., History of Astronautics Symposium: Mar Del Plata, Argentina, October 1969, Technology and Culture, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Jul., 1970)
  • Browne, J. P. R., & Thurbon, M. T., Electronic Warfare, Brassey's Defence Publishing, London, 1998
  • International Aeronautic Federation, Interavia, p. 262, v.32, 1977 (Jan-Jun), Jane's Information Group, London
  • Schmidtchen, Volker (1977), "Riesengeschütze des 15. Jahrhunderts. Technische Höchstleistungen ihrer Zeit", Technikgeschichte 44 (2): 153–173 (162–164) 

Further reading

  • Hogg, Oliver Frederick Gillilan, Artillery: Its Origin, Heyday and Decline (Hamden, 1970)
  • Bailey, J.B.A., Field Artillery and Firepower (Naval Institute Press, 2003)

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Artillery (from French artillerie) refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. The term also describes ground-based troops with the primary function of manning such weapons.


  • Our artillery... The Germans feared it almost more than anything we had.
    • Ernie Pyle, Brave Men (1944)
  • Ultima Ratio Regum
    • Translation: the final argument of kings.
    • Motto engraved on French cannons at the direction of Louis XIV. Later, "ultima ratio regis" was similarly used by Frederick the Great.
  • "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl."
    • Frederick II of Prussia


  • I do not have to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did.
  • The artillery conquers, the infantry occupies.
    • French doctrine prior to the First World War
  • Contrary to popular belief, we at artillery command do not believe we're God. We merely borrowed His "Smite" button.
  • The Mission of the Artillery is to give some class to what would otherwise be merely a vulgar brawl.
    • Some Redleg (American Artilleryman, since their dress blue uniforms have red stripes). This quotation has also been attributed to Frederick the Great.
  • Infantry err, infantry die. Artillery err, infantry die.
    • IDF black humor slogan
  • The bombs land with awesome explosions, the earth trembles, the upcast of craters jets in the air, the troops are shocked by the blast waves, many bleed from noses or perforated ear drums, they are terrorized into apathy or outright panic. But unless the enemy is nearby and ready to advance immediately, the moment passes.
    • Edward Luttwak
  • Since infantry is considered the 'Queen of Battle', and artillery the king, I had inscribed my personal banner "Balls for the Queen". Granted, high explosive 150 millimeter shells aren't exactly cannonballs, but hey, why spoil a perfectly good motto?
  • If two sides start out at equal strength, and are relatively equally damaged, but one side can replenish his artillery, and the other side cannot, then that one side that gets his artillery back has all but won.
    • Anonymous
  • Ubique! Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt
    • Translation: Everywhere. Whither Right and Glory Lead
    • Motto of the Royal Artillery
  • The weaker the infantry, the more artillery it needs. American infantry needs all the artillery it can get.
    • A French officer, to General George Patton
  • The artillery drops short to keep the infantry moving forwards.
    • Artillery comeback to the nickname dropshort.
  • The infantry exists to get the forward observers to the next hill.
    • Anonymous
  • Artillery knows neither friend nor foe - only good targets.
    • Anonymous (slogan in the German Bundeswehr)

External links

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Look up artillery in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARTILLERY (the O. Fr. artiller, to equip with engines of war, probably comes from Late Lat. articulum, dim. of ars, art, cf. " engine " from ingenium, or of artus, joint), a term originally applied to all engines for discharging missiles, and in this sense used in English in the early 17th century. In a more restricted sense, artillery has come to mean all firearms not carried and used by hand, and also the personnel and organization by which the power of such weapons is wielded. It is, however, not usual to class machine guns as artillery. The present article deals with the development and contemporary state of the artillery arm in land warfare, in respect of its organization, personnel and special or " formal " employment. For the materiel - the guns, their carriages and their ammunition - see Ordnance and Ammunition. For ballistics, see that heading, and for the work of artillery in combination with the other arms, see Tactics.

Artillery, as distinct from ordnance, is usually classified in accordance with the functions it has to perform. The simplest division is that into mobile and immobile artillery, the former being concerned with the handling of all weapons so mounted as to be capable of more or less easy movement from place to place, the latter with that of weapons which are installed in fixed positions. Mobile artillery is subdivided, again chiefly in respect of its employment, into horse and field batteries, heavy field or position artillery, field howitzers, mountain artillery and siege trains, adapted to every kind of terrain in which field troops may be employed, and work they may have to do. Immobile artillery is used in fixed positions of all kinds, and above all in permanent fortifications; it cannot, therefore, be classified as above, inasmuch as the raison d'être, and consequently the armament of one fort or battery may be totally distinct from that of another. " Fortress," " Garrison " and " Foot " artillery are the usual names for this branch. The dividing line, indeed, in the case of the heavier weapons, varies with circumstances; guns of position may remain on their ground while elaborate fortifications grow up around them, or the deficiencies of a field army in artillery may be made good from the materiel, more frequently still from the personnel, of the fortress artillery. Thus it may happen that mobile artillery becomes immobile and vice versa. But under normal circumstances the principle of classification indicated is maintained in all organized military forces.

Historical Sketch I. Early Artillery. - Mechanical appliances for throwing projectiles were produced early in the history of organized warfare, and " engines invented by cunning men to shoot arrows and great stones " are mentioned in the Old Testament. These were continually improved, and, under the various names of catapulta, balista, onager, trebuchet, &c., were employed throughout the ancient and medieval periods of warfare. The machines finally produced were very powerful, and, even when a propelling agent so strong as gunpowder was discovered and applied, the supersession of the older weapons was not effected suddenly nor without considerable opposition. The date of the first employment of cannon cannot be established with any certainty, but there is good evidence to show that the Germans used guns at the siege of Cividale in Italy (1331). The terms of a commission given (1414) by Henry V. to his magister operationum, ingeniarum, et gunnarum ac aliarum ordinationum, one Nicholas Merbury, show that the organization of artillery establishments was grafted upon that which was already in existence for the service of the old-fashioned machines. Previously to this it is recorded that of some 340 men forming the ordnance establishment of Edward III. in 1344 only 12 were artillerymen and gunners. Two years later, at Crecy, it is said, the English brought guns into the open field for the first time. At the siege of Harfleur (1415) the ordnance establishment included 25 " master gunners " and 50 " servitour gunners." The " gunner " appears to have been the captain of the gun, with general charge of the guns and stores, and the special duty of laying and firing the piece in action.

Table of contents

2. The Beginnings of Field Artillery

It is clear, from such evidence as we possess, that the chief and almost the only use of guns at this time was to batter the walls of fortifications, and it is not until later in the 15th century that their employment in the field became general (see also Cavalry). The introduction of field artillery may be attributed to John Zizka, and it was in his Hussite wars (1419-1424) that the Wagenburg, a term of more general application, but taken here as denoting a cart or vehicle armed with several small guns, came into prominence. This device allowed a relatively high manoeuvring power to be attained, and it is found occasionally in European wars two centuries later, as for instance at Wimpfen in 1622 and Cropredy Bridge in 1644. In an act of attainder passed by the Lancastrian party against the Yorkists (1459), it is stated that the latter were " traiterously ranged in bataill. .. their cartes with gonnes set before their batailles " (Rot. Parl. 38 Henry VI., v. 348). In the London fighting of 1460, small guns were used to clear the streets, heavy ordnance to batter the walls of the Tower. The battle of Lose Coat Field (1469) was decided almost entirely by Edward IV.'s field guns, while at Blackheath (1497) "some cornets of horse, and bandes of foot, and good store of artillery wheeling about " were sent to " put themselves beyond " the rebel camp (Bacon, Henry VII.). The greatest example of artillery work in the 15th century was the siege of Constantinople in 1453, at which the Turks used a large force of artillery, and in particular some monster pieces, some of which survived to engage a British squadron in 1807, when a stone shot weighing some 700 lb cut the mainmast of Admiral (Sir) J. T. Duckworth's flagship in two, and another killed and wounded sixty men. For siege purposes the new weapon was indeed highly effective, and the castles of rebellious barons were easily knocked to pieces by the prince who owned, or succeeded in borrowing, a few pieces of ordnance (cf. Carlyle, Frederick the Great, book iii. chap. i.).

3. The 16th Century

In the Italian wars waged by Charles VIII., Louis XII. and Francis I. of France, artillery played 'a most conspicuous part, both in siege and field warfare. Indeed, cannon did excellent service in the field before hand firearms attained any considerable importance. At Ravenna (1512) and Marignan (ii) field artillery did great execution, and at the latter battle " the French artillery played a new and distinguished part, not only by protecting the centre of the army from the charges of the Swiss phalanxes, and causing them excessive loss, but also by rapidly taking up such positions from time to time. .. as enabled the guns to play upon the flanks of the attacking columns" (Chesney, Observations on Firearms, 1852). In this connexion it must, however, be observed that, when the arquebus and other small arms became really efficient (about 1525), less is heard of this small and handy field artillery, which had hitherto been the only means of breaking up the heavy masses of the hostile pikemen. We have seen that artillery was not ignored in England; but, in view of the splendid and unique efficiency of the archers, there was no great opportunity of developing the new arm. In the time of Henry VIII., the ordnance in' use in the field consisted in the main of heavy culverins and other guns of position, and of lighter field pieces, termed sakers, falcons, &c. It is to be noticed that already the lightest pieces had disappeared, the smallest of the above being a 2-pounder. In the earlier days of field artillery, the artillery train was a miscellaneous congeries of pontoon, supply, baggage and tool wagons, heavy ordnance and light guns in carts. With the development of infantry fire the use of the lastnamed weapons died out, and it is largely due to this fact that " artillery " came to imply cumbrous and immobile guns of position. Little is, therefore, heard of smart manoeuvring, such as that at Marignan, during the latter part of the 16th century. The guns now usually come into action in advance of the troops, but, from their want of mobility, could neither accompany a farther advance nor protect a retreat, and they were generally captured and recaptured with every changing phase of the fight. Great progress was in the meanwhile made in the adaptation of ordnance to the attack and defence of fortresses and, in particular, vertical fire came into vogue. A great Turkish gun, carrying a 600-lb stone shot, was used in the siege of Constantinople, apparently in this way, since Gibbon records that at the range of a mile the shot buried itself a fathom deep in earth, a fact which implies that a high angle of elevation was given. In the celebrated siege of Malta in 1565 artillery played a conspicuous part.

4. The Thirty Years' War. - Such, in its broadest outlines, is the history of artillery work during the first three centuries of its existence. Whilst the material had undergone a very considerable improvement, the organization remained almost unchanged, and the tactical employment of guns had become restricted, owing to their slowness and difficulty of movement on the march and immobility in action. In wars of the type of the War of Dutch Independence and the earlier part of the Thirty Years' War, this heavy artillery naturally remained useful enough, and the Wagenburg had given place to the musketry initiated by the Spaniards at Bicocca and Pavia, which since 1525 had steadily improved and developed. It is not, therefore, until the appearance of a captain whose secret of success was vigour and mobility that the first serious attempt was made to produce field artillery in the proper sense of the word, that is, a gun of good power, and at the same time so mounted as to be capable of rapid movement. The " carte with gonnes " had been, as is the modern machine gun, a mechanical concentration of musketry rather than a piece of artillery. Maurice of Nassau, indeed, helped to develop the field gun, and the French had invented the limber, but Gustavus Adolphus was the first to give artillery its true position on the battlefield. At the first battle of Breitenfeld (1631) Gustavus had twelve heavy and forty-two light guns engaged, as against Tilly's heavy 24-pounders, which were naturally far too cumbrous for field work. At the Lech (1632) Gustavus seems to have obtained a local superiority over his opponent owing to the handiness of his field artillery even more than by its fire-power. At Liitzen (1632) he had sixty guns to Wallenstein's twenty-one. His field pieces were not the' celebrated " leather " guns (which were indeed a mere makeshift used in Gustavus' Polish wars) but iron 4-pounders. These were distributed amongst the infantry units, and thus began the system of " battalion guns " which survived in the armies of Europe long after the conditions requiring it had vanished. The object of thus dispersing the guns was doubtless to ensure in the first place more certain co-operation between the two arms, and in the second to exercise a military supervision over the lighter and more useful field pieces which it was as yet impossible to exercise over the personnel of the heavy artillery.

5. Personnel and Classification

More than 300 years after the first employment of ordnance, the men working the guns and the transport drivers were still civilians. The actual commander of the artillery was indeed, both in Germany and in England, usually a soldier, and Lennart Torstensson, the commander of Gustavus' artillery, became a brilliant and successful general. But the transport and the drivers were still hired, and even the gunners were chiefly concerned for the safety of their pieces, the latter being often the property, not of the king waging war, but of some " master gunner " whose services he had secured,. and the latter's apprentices were usually in entire charge of the material. These civilian " artists," as they were termed, owed no more duty to the prince than any other employes, and even Gustavus, it would appear, made no great improvement in the matter of the reorganization of artillery trains. Soldiers as drivers do not appear until 150 years later, and in the meanwhile companies of " firelocks " and " fusiliers " came into existence, as much to prevent the gunners and drivers from running away as to protect them from the enemy. A further cause of difficulties, in England at any rate, was the age of the " gunners." In the reign of Elizabeth, some of the Tower gunners were over ninety years of age. Complaints as to the inefficiency of these men are frequent in the years preceding the English Civil War. Gustavus, however, has the merit of being the first to make the broad classification of artillery, as mobile or non-mobile, which has since been almost universally in force. In his time the 12-pounder was the heaviest gun classed as mobile, and the " feildpeece " par excellence was the 9-pounder or demiculverin. After the death of Gustavus at Liitzen (1632), his principles came universally into practice, and amongst them were those of the employment of field artillery.

6. The English Civil War. - Even in the English Civil War (Great Rebellion),in which artillery was hampered by the previous neglect of a century, its field work was not often contemptible,. and on occasion the arm did excellent service. But in the campaigns of this war, fought out by men whose most ardent desire was to decide the quarrel swiftly, the marching and manoeuvring: were unusually rapid. The consequence of this was that the guns were sometimes either late in arriving, as at Edgehill, or absent altogether, as at Preston. The role of guns was further reduced by the fact that there were few fortresses to be reduced, and country houses, however strong, rarely required to be battered by a siege train. The New Model army usually sent for siege guns only when they were needed for particular service. On such occasions, indeed, the heavy ordnance did its work so quickly and effectually that the assault often took place one or two days after the guns had opened fire. Cromwell in his sieges made great use of shells, 12-inch and even larger mortars being employed. The castle of Devizes, which had successfully resisted the Parliamentary battering guns, succumbed at once to vertical fire. It does not, however, appear certain that there was any separation of field from siege ordnance, although the Swedish system was followed in almost all military matters.

7. Artillery Progress, 1660-1740

Cromwell's practice of relegating heavy guns to the rear, except when a serious siege operation was in view, and in very rapid movements leaving even the field pieces far behind, was followed to some extent in the campaigns of the age of Louis XIV. The number of ammunition wagons, and above all of horses, required for each gun was four or five times as great as that required even for a modern quickfirer. In the days of Turenne heavy guns were much employed, as the campaigns of the French were directed as a rule to the methodical conquest of territory and fortified towns. Similarly, Marlborough, working amidst the fortresses of the Netherlands in i 706, had over ioo pieces of artillery (of which 60 were mortars) to a force of some 11,000 men, or about 9 pieces per 1000 men. On the other hand, in his celebrated march to the Danube in 1704, he had but few guns, and the allied armies at Blenheim brought into the field only i piece per boo men. At Oudenarde " from the rapidity of the march.. . the battle was fought with little aid from artillery on either side " (Coxe, Marlborough). There was less need now than ever before for rapid manoeuvres of mobile artillery, since the pike finally disappeared from the scene about 1700, and infantry fire-power had become the decisive factor in battles. In the meantime, artillery was gradually ceasing to be the province of the skilled workman, and assuming its position as an arm of the military service. In the 17th century, when armies were as a rule raised only " for the war," and disbanded at the conclusion of hostilities, there had been no very pressing need for the maintenance in peace of an expensive personnel and material. Gunners therefore remained, as civilians, outside the regular administration of the forces, until the general adoption of the " standing army " principle in the last years of the century (see Army). From this time steps were taken, in all countries, to organize the artillery as a military force. After various attempts had been made, the " Royal Regiment of Artillery " came into existence in England in 1716. It is, however, stated that the English artillery did not " begin to assume a military appearance until the Flanders campaigns " of the War of the Austrian Succession. Even in the War of American Independence a dispute arose as to whether a general officer, whose regimental service had been in the Royal Artillery, was entitled to command troops of all arms, and the artillery drivers were not actually soldiers until 1793 at the earliest. French artillery officers received military rank only in 1732.

8. Artillery in the Wars of Frederick the Great. - By the time of Frederick the Great's first wars, artillery had thus been divided into (a) those guns moving with an army in the field, and (b) those which were either wholly stationary or were called upon only when a siege was expected. The personnel was gradually becoming more efficient and more amenable to discipline; the transport arrangements, however, remained in a backward state. Siege and fortress artillery was now organized and employed in accordance with the system of the " formal attack " as finally developed by Vauban. For details of this, as involving the tactical procedure of artillery in the attack and defence of fortresses, the reader is referred to Fortification And Siegecraft. We are concerned here more especially with the progress of field artillery. The part played by this arm began now to vary according to the circumstances of each action, and the " moral " support of guns was calculated as a factor in the dispositions. In the early Silesian wars, heavy or reserve guns protected the deployment of the army and endeavoured to prepare for the subsequent advance by firing upon the hostile troops; the battalion guns remained close to the infantry, accompanied its movements and assisted in the fire fight. Their support was not without value, and the heavy guns often provoked the enemy into a premature advance, as at Mollvvitz. But the infantry or the cavalry forced the decision. It has been mentioned that with the final disappearance of the pike, about 1700, infantry fire-power ruled the battlefield. Throughout the 18th century, it will be found, when the infantry is equal to its work the guns have only a subordinate part in the fighting of pitched battles. At Kunersdorf (1759) the first dashing charge of the Prussian grenadiers captured 72 guns from the Russian army. Later the total of captured ordnance reached 180, yet the Russians, then almost wholly in flight, were not cut to pieces, for only a few light guns of the Prussian army could get to the front; their heavy pieces, though twelve horses were harnessed to each, never came into action. This example will serve to illustrate the difference between the artillery of 1760 and that of fifty years later. According to Tempelhof, who was present, Kunersdorf was the finest opportunity for field artillery that he had ever seen. Yet the field artillery of the i 8th century was, if anything, more powerful than that of Napoleon's time; it was the want of mobility alone which prevented the Prussians from turning to good account an opportunity fully as favourable as that of the German artillery at Sedan. That Frederick made more use of his guns in the later campaigns of the Seven Years' War is accounted for by the fact that his infantry and cavalry were no longer capable of forcing a decision, and also by changes in the general character of the operations. These were fought in and about broken country and entrenched positions, and the mobility of the other arms sank to that of the artillery. Thus power came to the front again, and the heavier weapons regained their former supremacy. In a bataille rangee in the open field the proportion of guns to men had been, in 1741, 2 per 1000. At Leuthen (1757) heavy fortress guns were brought to the front for a special purpose. At Kunersdorf the proportion was 4 and 5 per 1000 men, with what degree of effectiveness we have seen. In the later campaigns the Austrian artillery, which was, throughout the Seven Years' War, the best in Europe, placed its numerous and powerful ordnance (an " amphitheatre of 400 guns," as Frederick said) in long lines of field works. The combination of guns and obstacles was almost invariably too formidable to offer the slightest chance of a successful assault. It was at this stage that Frederick, in 1759, introduced horse artillery to keep pace with the movements of cavalry, a proof, if proof were needed, of the inability of the field artillery to manoeuvre. The field howitzer, the weapon par excellence for the attack of field works, has never perhaps been more extensively employed than it was by the Prussians at that time. At Burkersdorf (1762) Frederick placed 45 howitzers in one battery. In those days the mobile artillery was always formed in groups or " batteries " of from 10 to 20 pieces. England too was certainly abreast of other countries in the organization of the field artillery arm. About the middle of the 18th century the guns in use consisted of 24pounders, 12-pounders, 6-pounders and 3-pounders. The guns were divided into " brigades " of four, five and six guns respectively, and began to be separated into "heavy" and "light" brigades. Each field gun was drawn by four horses, the two leaders being ridden by artillerymen, and had loo rounds of shot and 30 rounds of grape. The British artillery distinguished itself in the latter part of the Seven Years' War. Foreign critics praised its lightness, its elegance and the good quality of its materials. At Marburg (1760) " the English artillery could not have been better served; it followed the enemy with such vivacity, and maintained its fire so well, that it was impossible for the latter to re-form," says Tempelhof, the Prussian artillery officer who records the lost opportunity of Kunersdorf. The merits and the faults of the artillery had been made clear, and nowhere was the lesson taken to heart more than in France, where General Gribeauval, a French officer who had served in the war with the Austrian artillery, initiated reforms which in the end led to the artillery triumphs of the Napoleonic era. While Frederick had endeavoured to employ, as profitably as possible, the existing heavy equipments, Gribeauval sought improvement in other directions.

9. Gribeauval's Reforms. - At the commencement of the 18th century, French artillery had made but little progress. The carriages and wagons were driven by wagoners on foot, and on the field of battle the guns were dragged about by ropes or remained stationary. Towards the middle of the century some improvements were made. Field guns and carriages were lightened, and the guns separated into brigades. Siege carriages were introduced. From 1765 onwards, however, Gribeauval strove to build up a complete system both of personnel and materiel, creating a distinct materiel for field, siege, garrison and coast artillery. Alive to the vital importance of mobility for field artillery, he dismissed to other branches all pieces of greater calibre than 12-pounders, and reduced the weight of those retained. His reforms were resisted, and for a time successfully; but in 1776 he became first inspector-general of artillery, and was able to put his ideas into force. The field artillery of the new system included 4-pounder regimental guns, and for the reserve 8and 12-pounders, with 6-inch howitzers. For siege and garrison service Gribeauval adopted the 16-pounder and 12-pounder guns, 8-inch howitzer and to-inch mortar, 12-, toand 8-inch mortars being introduced in 1785.

The carriages were constructed on a uniform model and technically improved. The horses were harnessed in pairs, instead of in file as formerly, but the manner in which the teams were driven remained much the same. The prolong (a sort of tow-rope) was introduced, to unite the trail of the gun and the limber in slow retiring movements. Siege carriages differed from those of field artillery only in details. Gribeauval also introduced new carriages for garrison and coast service. The great step made was in a uniform construction being adopted for all materiel, and in making the parts interchangeable so far as possible. In 1765 the personnel of the French artillery was reorganized. The corps or reserve artillery was organized in divisions of eight guns. The battery or division was thus made a unit, with guns, munitions and gunners complete, the horses and drivers being added at a later date. Horse artillery was introduced into the French army in 1791. The last step was made in 1800, when the establishment of a driver corps of soldiers put an end to the old system of horsing by contract.

10. British Artillery, 1793-1815. - Meanwhile the numbers of the English artillery had increased to nearly 4000 men. For some five centuries the word " artillery " in England meant entirely garrison artillery; the field artillery only existed in 0 time of war. When war broke out, a train of artillery was organized, consisting of a certain number of field (or siege) guns, manned by garrison gunners; and when peace was proclaimed the train was disbanded, the materiel being returned into store, and the gunners reverting to some fort or stronghold. In 1793 the British artillery was anything but efficient. Guns were still dispersed among the infantry, mobility had declined again since the Seven Years' War, and the American war had been fought out by the other arms. The drivers were mere carters on foot with long whips, and the whole field equipment was scarcely able to break from a foot-pace. Prior to the Peninsular War, however, the exertions of an able officer, Major Spearman, had done much to bring about improvement. Horse artillery had been introduced in 1793, and the driver corps established in 1 794. Battalion guns were abolished in 1802, and field " brigades of six guns " were formed, horse artillery batteries being styled " troops." Military drivers were introduced, and the horses teamed in pairs. The drivers were mounted on the near horses, the gunners either rode the off horses or were carried on the limbers and wagons. The equipment was lightened, and a new system of manoeuvres introduced. A troop of horse artillery and a field brigade each had five guns and one howitzer. The " driver corps," raised in 1794, was divided into troops, the addition of one of which to a company of foot artillery converted it into a field brigade. The horse artillery possessed both drivers and horses, and required very limited assistance from the driver corps.

1 1. French Revolutionary Wars. - During the long wars of the French Revolution and Empire the artillery of the field army by degrees became field artillery as we know it to-day. The development of musketry in the 16th century had taken the work of preparing an assault out of the hands of the gunners. Per contra, the decadence of infantry fire-power in the latter part of the Seven Years' War had reinstated the artillery arm. A similar decadence of the infantry arm was destined to produce, in 1807, artillery predominance, but this time with an important difference, viz. mobility, and when mobility is thus achieved we have the first modern field artillery. The new tactics of the French in the Revolutionary wars, forced upon them by circumstances, involved an almost complete abandonment of the fire-tactics of Frederick's day, and the need for artillery was, from the first fight at Valmy onwards, so obvious that its moral support was demanded even in the outpost line of the new French armies. St Cyr (Armies of the Rhine, p. 112) quotes a case in which " right in the very farthest outpost line " the original 4-pounder guns were replaced by 8-, 16-, and in the end by 24-pounders. The cardinal principle of massing batteries was not, indeed, forgotten, notwithstanding the weakness of raw levies. But though, as we have seen, the materiel had already been greatly improved, and the artillery was less affected by the Revolution than other arms of the service, circumstances were against it, and we rarely find examples of artillery work in the Revolutionary wars which show any great improvement upon older methods. The field guns were however, at last organized in batteries each complete in itself, as mentioned above. The battalion gun disappeared; it was a relic of days in which it was thought advisable, both for other reasons and also because the short range of guns forbade any attempt at concentration of fire from several positions at one target, to have some force of artillery at any point that might be threatened. Though it was officially retained in the regulations of the French army, " officers and men combined to reject it " (Rouquerol, Q. F. Field Artillery, p. 121), and its last appearances, in 1809 and in 1813, were due merely to an endeavour on the part of Napoleon to give cohesion thereby to the battalions of raw soldiers which then constituted his army. But, with the development of mobility, it was probably found that sufficient guns could be taken to any threatened point, and no one had ever denied the principle of massed batteries, although, in practice, dispersion had been thought to be unavoidable.

12. Napoleon's Artillery Tactics

During the war the French artillery steadily improved in manoeuvring power. But many years elapsed before perfection was attained. Meanwhile, the infantry, handled without regard to losses in every fight, had in consequence deteriorated. The final production of the field artillery battle, usually dated as from the battle of Friedland (June 14, 1807), therefore saved the situation for the French. Henceforward Napoleon's battles depend for their success on an " artillery preparation," the like of which had never been seen. Napoleon's own maxim illustrates the typical tactics of 1807-1815. " When once the melee has begun," he says, " the man who is clever enough to bring up an unexpected force of artillery, without the enemy knowing it, is sure to carry the day." The guns no longer " prepared " the infantry advance by slowly disintegrating the hostile forces. Still less was it their business merely to cover a deployment. On the contrary, they now went in to the closest ranges and, by actually annihilating a portion of the enemy's line with case-shot fire, " covered " the assault so effectively that columns of cavalry and infantry reached the gap thus created without striking a blow. It is unnecessary to give examples. Every one of Napoleon's later battles illustrates the principle. The most famous case is that of the great battery of too guns at Wagram which preceded the final attack of the centre. When Napoleon at Leipzig saw the allied guns forming up in long lines to prepare the assault, he exclaimed, " At last. they have learned something." This " case-shot preparation," of course, involved a high degree of efficiency in manoeuvre, as the guns had to gallop forward far in front of the infantry. The want of this quality had retarded the development of field artillery for 300 years, during which it had only been important relatively to the occasional inferiority of other troops. After Napoleon's time the art of tactics became the art of combining the three arms. 13. Artillery, 1815-1865. - Henceforward, therefore, the history of artillery becomes the history of its technical effectiveness, particularly in relation to infantry fire, and of improvements or modifications in the method of putting well-recognized principles into action. Infantry fire, however, being more variable in its effectiveness than that of artillery, the period 1815-1870 saw many changes in the relations of the two arms. In the time of Napoleon, infantry fire never equalled that of the Seven Years' War, and after the period of the great wars the musket was less and less effectively used. Economy was, however, practised to excess in every army of Europe during the period 1815-1850, and even if there had been great battles at this time, the artillery, which was maintained on a minimum strength of guns, men and horses, would not have repeated the exploits of Senarmont and Drouot in the Napoleonic wars. The principle was well understood, but under such conditions the practice was impossible. It was at this stage that the general F i ns. and 2.-15th Century Field Artillery (Napoleon III.). FIG. 3. - Field Artillery, 1525 (Napo t Very iI. Act Fin ]4. tenc h Art(C..1735 (Journa l d'Armee, 1835). FIG. 5. - French Field Artillery, 1835 (Journal d'ArmEe, 1835).

Photo, Gale & Polden.' Breech Loading Field Battery (15-Pr. B.L.).

Photo, Gale&'Polden. Quick-Firing Horse Artillery (Royal Horse Artillery, 13-Pr. Q.F.).

Photo, Gale & Polden.


Photo, Topical Press.


introduction of the rifled musket put an end, once for all, to the artillery tactics of the smooth-bore days. Infantry, armed with a far-ranging rifle, as in the American Civil War, kept the guns beyond case-shot range, compelling them to use only round shot or common shell. In that war, therefore, attacking infantry met, on reaching close quarters, not regiments already broken by a feu d'enfer, but the full force of the defenders' artillery and infantry, both arms fresh and unshaken, and the full volume of their case shot and musketry. At Fredericksburg the Federal infantry attacked, unsupported by a single field piece; at Gettysburg the Federal artillery general Hunt was able to reserve his ammunition to meet Lee's assault, although the infantry of his own side was meanwhile subjected to the fire of 137 Confederate guns. Thus, in both these cases the assault became one of infantry against unshaken infantry and artillery. On many occasions, indeed, the batteries on either side went into close ranges, as the traditions of the old United States army dictated, but their losses were then totally out of proportion to their effectiveness. Indeed, the increased range at which battles were now fought, and the ineffectiveness of the projectiles necessarily used by the artillery at these ranges, so far neutralized even rifled guns that artillery generals could speak of " idle cannonades " as the " besetting sin " of some commanders.

14. The Franco-German War, 1870-71

In the next great war, that of 1866 (Bohemia), guns were present on both sides in great numbers, the average for both sides being three guns per l 000 men. Artillery, however, played but a small part in the Prussian attacks, this being due to the inadequate training then afforded, and also to the mixture of rifled guns and smooth-bores in their armament. In Prussia, however, the exertions of General v. Hindersin, the improvement of the materiel, and above all the better tactical training of the batteries, were rewarded four years later by success on the battlefield almost as decisive as Napoleon's. In 1870 the French artillery was invariably defeated by that of the Germans, who were then free to turn their attention to the hostile infantry. At first, indeed, the German infantry was too impatient to wait until the victorious artillery had prepared the way for them by disintegrating the opposing line of riflemen. Thus the attack of the Prussian Guards at St Privat (August 18, 1870) melted away before the unbroken fire-power of the French, as had that of the Federals at Fredericksburg and that of the Confederates at Gettysburg. But such experiences taught the German infantry commanders the necessity of patience, and at Sedan the French army was enveloped by the fire of nearly 600 guns, which did their work so thoroughly that the Germans annihilated the Imperial army at the cost of only 5% of casualties.

15. Results of the War. - The tactical lessons of the war, so far as field artillery is concerned, may be briefly summarized as (a) employment of great masses of guns; (b) forward position of guns in the order of march, in order to bring them into action as quickly as possible; (c) the so-called " artillery duel," in which the assailant subdues the enemy's artillery fire; and (d) when this is achieved, and not before, the thorough preparation of all infantry attacks by artillery bombardment. This theory of field artillery action has not, even with the almost revolutionary improvements of the present period, entirely lost its value, and it may be studied in detail in the well-known work of von Schell, Taktik der Feldartillerie (1877), later translated into English by Major-General Sir A. E. Turner (Tactics of Field Artillery, 1900). In one important matter, however, the precepts of Schell and his contemporaries no longer hold good. " It is absolutely necessary that the object of the infantry's attack should be cannonaded before it advances. To accomplish this, sufficient time should be given to the artillery, and on no account should the infantry be ordered to advance until the fire of the guns has produced the desired effect." This, the direct outcome of the slaughter at St Privat, represents the best possibilities of breechloading guns with common shell - no more than a slow disintegration of the enemy's power of resistance by a thorough and lengthy " artillery preparation." Against troops sheltered behind works (as in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78) the common shell usually failed to give satisfactory results, if for no other reason, because the " preparation " consumed an inordinate time, and in any case the hostile artillery had first of all to be subdued in the artillery duel.

16. Quick firing Field Guns

In 1891, a work by General Wille of the German army (The Field Gun of the Future) and in 1892 another by Colonel Langlois of the French service (Field Artillery with the other Arms) foreshadowed many revolutionary changes in materiel and tactics which have now taken place. The new ideas spread rapidly, and the quick-firing gun came by degrees to be used in every army. The original designs have been greatly improved upon (see Ordnance: Field artillery equipments), but the principles of these designs have not undergone serious modification. These are, briefly, the mechanical absorption of the recoil, by means of brakes or buffers, and the development of " time shrapnel " as the projectile of field artillery. The absorption of recoil of itself permits of a higher rate of fire, since the gun does not require to be run up and relaid after every shot. Formerly such an advantage was illusory (since aim could not be taken through the thick bank of smoke produced by rapid fire), but the introduction of smokeless powder removed this objection. Artillerists, no longer handicapped, at once turned their attention to the increase of the rate of fire. At the same time a shield was applied to the gun, for the protection of the detachment. This advantage is solely the result of the non-recoiling carriage. The gunners had formerly to stand clear of the recoiling gun, and a shield was therefore of but slight value.

17. Time Shrapnel

The power of modern artillery owes even more to the improvement of the projectile than to that of the gun (see Ammunition). The French, always in the forefront of artillery progress, were the first nation to realize the new significance of the tine-fuze and the shrapnel shell. These had been in existence for many years; to the British army are due both the invention and the development of the shrapnel, which made its first appearance in European warfare at Vimeira in 1808. But, up to the introduction of rifled pieces, the Napoleonic case-shot attack was universally and justly considered the best method of fighting, and in the transition stage of the materiel many soldiers continued to put faith in the old method, - hence the Prussian artillery in 1866 had many smooth-bore batteries in the field, - and between 1860 and 1870 gunners, now convinced of the superiority of the new equipments, undoubtedly sought to turn to account the minute accuracy of the rifled weapons in unnecessarily fine shooting. Thus, in 1870 the French time-fuze was only graduated for two ranges, and the Germans used percussion fuzes only. But this phase has passed, and General Langlois has summarized the tactics of the newest field artillery in one phrase: " It results in transferring to 3000 yds. the pointblank and case-shot fire of the smooth-bore." The meaning of this will be discussed later; here it will be sufficient to say that it is claimed for the modern gun and the modern shell that the Napoleonic method 1 of annihilating by a rain of bullets has been revived, with the distinction that the shell, and not the gun, fires the bullets close up to the enemy. In the Boer War, Pieter's Hill furnished a notable example of this " covering," as distinct from " preparation," of an assault by artillery fire.

18. Heavy Field, Siege and Garrison Artillery

Amongst other results of this war was a recrudescence of the idea of " dispersion." This will be noticed later; the more material result of the Boer War, and of the generally increasing specialization in the various functions of the artillery arm, has been the reintroduction of heavy ordnance into field armies. The field howitzer reappeared some time before the outbreak of that war, and the British howitzers had illustrated their shell-power in the Sudan campaign of 1898. During the latter part of the 19th century, siege and fortress artillery underwent a development hardly less remarkable than that of field artillery in the same time. Rifled guns, " long " and " short " for direct and curved fire, formed the siege artillery of the Germans in 1870-71, and 1 Napoleon's maxim, quoted above, reappears in spirit in the British F. A. Training of 1906 (p. 225).

with the reduction of the old-fashioned fortresses of France began a new era in siegecraft (see Fortification And Siegecraft). At the present time howitzers' (B.L. rifled) are the principal siege weapons, while heavy direct-fire guns (see Ordnance passim) still retain a part of the work formerly assigned to the artillery of the attack. For an account of a siege with modern artillery see Macalik and Langer, Kampf um eine Festung, which describes an imaginary siege of Kiiniggri tz. On the whole, it may be said that modern artillery has caused a revolution in methods of fortification and siegecraft, which is little less far-reaching than the original change from the trebuchet to the bombard.

Organization 19. Field Artillery Organization. - A battery of field artillery comprises three elements, viz. materiel, - guns, carriages, ammunition and stores; personnel, - officers, non-commissioned officers, gunners, drivers and artificers; and transport, - almost invariably horses, though other animals, and also motor and mechanical transport, are used under special circumstances. As for the materiel, the guns used by field artillery in almost all countries are quick-firers, throwing shells of 13 to 18 pounds; details of these will be found in the article Ordnance. The number of guns in a battery varies in different countries between four and eight; by far the most usual number is six. With the introduction of the quick-firing gun, the tendency towards small batteries (of four guns) has become very pronounced, the ruling motives being (a) better control of fire in action, and (b) more horses available to draw the increased number of ammunition wagons required. " Mixed " batteries of guns and howitzers were formerly employed on occasion, and were supposed to be adapted to every kind of work. However, the difference between the gun and the howitzer was so great that at all times one part of the armament was idle, while the general increase in the artillery arm has permitted batteries and brigades of howitzers to be formed, separately, as required. Machine guns are not treated in Great Britain as being artillery weapons, though abroad they are often organized in batteries. During, and subsequent to the Boer War, heavier machine guns, called pompoms, came into use. The rocket, formerly a common weapon of the artillery, is now used, if at all, only for mountain and forest warfare against savages.

20. Ammunition

The vehicles of a battery include (besides guns and limbers) ammunition wagons, store and provision carts or wagons and forage wagons. On the amount of ammunition that should be carried with a field battery there was formerly a considerable diversity of opinion. The greater the amount a battery carries with it, the more independent it is; on the other hand, every additional wagon makes the battery more cumbrous and, by lengthening out the column, keeps back the combatant troops marching in rear. But since the introduction of the Q.F. gun it has been universally recognized that the gun must have a very liberal supply of ammunition present with it in action, and the old standard allowance of one wagon per gun has been increased to that of two and even three. Formerly batteries were further hampered by having to carry the reserve of smallarm ammunition for infantry and cavalry. But the greater distances of modern warfare accentuate the difficulties of such a system, and the reserve ammunition for all arms is now carried in special " ammunition columns " (see Ammunition), the personnel and transport of which is furnished by the artillery.

21. Interior Economy. - The organization and interior economy of a battery is much the same in all field artillery. In England the command is held by a major, the second in command is a captain. The battery is divided into three " sections " of two guns each, each under a subaltern officer, who is responsible for everything connected with his section - men, horses, guns, carriages, ammunition and stores. Each section again consists of two sub-sections, each comprising one gun and its wagons, men and horses, and at 1 The old smooth-bore mortar for high-angle fire has of course disappeared, but the name " mortar " is still applied in some countries to short rifled howitzers.

the head of each is the " No. r" of the gun detachment - usually a sergeant - who is immediately responsible to the section commander for his sub-section.

The No. I rides with the gun, there is also another mounted non-commissioned officer who rides with the first wagon, and the gunners are seated on the gun-carriage, wagon and limbers. The increased number of wagons now accompanying the gun has, however, given more seating accommodation to the detachment, and this distribution has in some cases been altered. The three drivers ride the near horses of their respective pairs, each gun and each wagon being drawn by six horses. On the march, the gun is attached to the limber, a two-wheeled carriage drawn by the gun team; the wagon consists likewise of a " body " and a limber. A battery has also a number of non-combatant carriages, such as forge and baggage wagons. In addition to the gunners and drivers, there are men specially trained in range-taking, signalling, &c., in all batteries.

22. Special Natures of Field Artillery

Horse Artillery differs from field in that the whole gun detachment is mounted, and the gun and wagon therefore are freed from the load of men and their equipment. The organization of a battery of horse artillery differs but slightly from that of a field battery; it is somewhat stronger in rank and file, as horse-holders have to be provided for the gunners in action. Horse artillery is often lightened, moreover, by sacrificing power (see Ordnance). The essential feature of Mountain Artillery in general is the carrying of the whole equipment on the backs of mules or other animals. The total weight is usually distributed in four or five mule-loads. For action the loads are lifted off the saddles and " assembled," and the time required to do this is, in well-trained batteries, only one minute. For the technical questions connected with the gun and its carriage, see Ordnance. The weight of a shell in a mountain gun rarely exceeds 12 lb., and is usually less. In most armies the field howitzer has, after an eclipse of many years, reasserted its place. The weapons used are B.L. or Q.F. howitzers on field carriages; the calibre varies from about 4 to 5 in. In Great Britain the field howitzer batteries are organized as, and form part of, the Royal Field Artillery, two batteries of six howitzers each forming a brigade.

23. Heavy Ordnance

Heavy Field Artillery, officially defined as " all artillery equipped with mobile guns of 4-in. calibre and upwards," is usually composed, in Great Britain, of 5-in. or 4.7-in. Q.F. guns on field carriages. 6-in. Q.F. guns have also been used. A battery (4 guns) is attached to the divisional artillery of each division, a company of the Royal Garrison Artillery furnishing the personnel. The four guns are divided into two sections, each section under an officer and each subsection under a non-commissioned officer, as in the horse and field batteries. Siege and garrison artillery have not usually the complete and permanent organization that distinguishes field artillery. For siege trains the materiel is usually kept in store, and the personnel and transport are supplied from other sources according to requirement. In garrison artillery, the guns mounted in fortresses and batteries, or stored in arsenals for the purpose, furnish the materiel, and the companies of garrison artillery the personnel. In Great Britain, the Royal Garrison Artillery finds the mountain batteries and the heavy field artillery in addition to its own units. The siege trains are, as has been said, organized ad hoc on each particular occasion (see Fortification And Siegecraft). In Great Britain, the guns and howitzers manned by the R.G.A. would be 6-in. and 8-in. howitzers, 4.7-in. and 6-in. guns, and still heavier howitzers, as well as the field and heavy batteries belonging to the divisions making the siege.

24. Higher Organization of Artillery

The higher units, in almost every country except Great Britain, are the regiment, and, sometimes, the brigade of two or more regiments. These units are distributed to army corps, divisions and districts, in the same way as units of other arms (see Army). In Great Britain the Royal Regiment of Artillery still comprises the whole personnel of the arm, being divided into the Royal Horse, Royal Field and Royal Garrison Artillery; to each branch Special Reserve and Territorial artillery are affiliated. Over and above the military command of these higher units, provision is usually made for technical control of the materiel, and a variety of training and experimental establishments, such as schools of gunnery, are maintained in all countries. The more special unit of organization in mobile artillery is the brigade, formerly called brigade-division (German, Abteilung; French groupe). The brigade is in Great Britain the administrative and tactical unit. Mountain artillery is not organized in brigades in the British empire. The unit consists, in the case of guns, of three batteries (18 guns, heavy artillery 12), in the case of field howitzers of two batteries (12 howitzers), and in the horse artillery of two batteries (12 guns), and is commanded by a lieutenant-colonel. To each brigade is allotted an ammunition column. The necessity for such a grouping of batteries will be apparent if the reader notes that 54 field guns, 12 howitzers and 4 heavy field guns form the artillery of a single British division of about 15,000 combatants.

25. Grouping of the Artillery

The "corps artillery" (formerly the " reserve artillery ") now consists only of the howitzer and heavy brigades, with a brigade of horse artillery. The latter is held at the disposal of the corps commander for the swift reinforcement of a threatened point; the howitzers and the heavy guns have, of course, functions widely different from those of the mass of guns. As the field artillery is required to come into action at the earliest possible moment, it has now been distributed amongst the infantry divisions, and marches almost at the head of the various combatant columns, instead of being relegated perhaps to the tail of the centre column. The redistribution of the British army (1907) on a divisional basis is a remarkable example of this; even the special natures of artillery (except horse artillery) are distributed amongst the divisions. In Germany two " regiments " (each of 2 Abteilungen = 6 batteries) form a brigade, under an artillery general in each division who thus disposes of 72 field guns, and the howitzers, with such horse artillery batteries as remain over after the cavalry has been supplied, still form a corps or reserve artillery. In 1903 the French, after long hesitation, assigned the whole of the field artillery to the various divisions, but later (for reasons stated in the article Tactics) arranged to reconstitute the oldfashioned corps artillery in war. (See also Army, § 49).

Tactical Work 26. General Characteristics of Field Artillery Action. - The duty of field artillery in action is to fire with the greatest effect on the target which is for the moment of the greatest tactical importance. This definition of field artillery tactics brings the student at once to questions of combined tactics, for which consult the article Tactics. The purpose of the present article is to indicate the methods employed by the gunners to give effect to their fire at the targets mentioned. For this purpose the artillery has at its disposal two types of projectile, common (or rather, high explosive) shell and shrapnel, and two fuzes, " time " and " percussion " (see Ammunition). The actual process of coming into action may be described in a few words. The gun is, at or near its position in action, " unlimbered " and the gun limber and team sent back under cover. Ammunition for the gun is first taken from the wagon that accompanies it, as it is very desirable to keep the limbers full as long as possible, in case of emergencies such as that of a temporary separation from the wagon. Limber supply is, however, allowed in certain circumstances. The wagon is now placed as a rule by the side of the gun, an arrangement which immensely simplifies the supply of ammunition, this being done under cover of the armour on the wagon and of the gun-shield and also without fatigue to the men. The older method of placing the wagon at some distance behind the gun is still occasionally used, especially in the case of unshielded equipments. No horses are allowed, in any case, to be actually with the line of guns. According to the British Field Artillery Training of 1906, a battery in action would be thus distributed: first, the " fighting battery " consisting of the six guns, each with its wagon alongside, and the limbers of the two flank guns; then, under cover in rear, the " first line of wagons " comprising the teams of the fighting battery, the four remaining gun limbers, and six more wagons. The non-combatant vehicles form the " second line of wagons." 27. Occupation of a Position. - This depends primarily upon considerations of tactics, for the accurate co-operation of the guns is the first essential to success in the general task. In details, however, the choice of position varies to some extent with the nature of the equipment: for instance, an elevated position is better adapted than a low one for high velocity guns firing over the heads of their own infantry, and again, the " spade " with which nearly all equipments are furnished (see Ordnance) should have soil in which it can find a hold. Cover for the gun and its detachment cannot well be obtained from the configuration of the ground, because, if the gun can shoot over the covering mass of earth, the hostile shells can of course do likewise. Sufficient protection is given by the shield, and thus " cover " for field-guns simply means concealment. Cover for the " first line of wagons " is, however, a very serious consideration. As to concealment, it is stated that " the broad white flash from a gun firing smokeless powder is visible " to an enemy " unless the muzzle is at least 10 ft. below the covering crest " (Bethell, Modern Guns and Gunnery, 1907, p. 147). Concealment therefore, means only the skilful use of ground in such a way as to make the enemy's ranging difficult. This frequently involves the use of retired positions, on reverse slopes, in low ground, &c., and in all modern artillery the greatest stress is laid on practice in firing by indirect means. Controversy has, however, arisen as to whether inability to see the foreground is not a drawback so serious that direct fire from a crest position, in spite of its exposure, must be taken as the normal method. The latter is of course immensely facilitated by the introduction of the shield.

A great advantage of retired positions is that, provided unity of direction is kept, an overwhelming artillery surprise (see F. A. Training, 1906, p. 225) is carried out more easily than from a visible position. The extent of front of a battery in action is governed by 'the rule that no two gun detachments should be exposed to being hit by the bullets of one shell, and also by the necessity of having as many guns as possible at work. These two conditions are met by the adoption of a 20 -yards interval between the muzzles of the guns. At the present time the gun and its wagon arc placed as close together as possible, to obtain the full advantage of the armoured equipment. The shield, behind which the detachments remain at all times covered from rifle (except at very short range) and shrapnel bullets,' enables the artillery commander to handle his batteries far more boldly than formerly was the case. General Langlois says " the shieldprotected carriage is the corollary to the quick-firing gun." Armour on the wagon, enabling ammunition supply as well as the service of the gun, to be carried on under cover, soon followed the introduction of the shield. The disadvantage of extra weight and consequently increased difficulty of " man-handling " the equipment is held to be of far less importance than the advantages obtained by the use of armour.

28. Laying

" Elevation " may be defined as the vertical inclination of the gun, " direction " as the horizontal inclination to the right or left, necessary to direct the path of the projectile to the object aimed at. " Laying " the gun, in the case of most modern equipments, is divided, by means of the device called the independent line of sight (see Ordnance), into two processes, performed simultaneously by different men, the adjustment of the sights and that of the gun. The first is the act of finding the " line of sight," or line joining the sights and the point aimed at; for this the equipment has to be " traversed " right or left so as to point in the proper direction, and also adjusted in the vertical plane. The simplest form of laying for direction, or " line," is called the " direct " method. If the point aimed at is the target, and it can be seen by the layer, he has merely to look over the " open " sights. But the point aimed at is rarely the target itself. In war, the target, even if visible, is often indistinct, 1 Though not of course against the direct impact of shrapnel or H.E. shells. and in this case, as also when the guns are under cover or engaging a target under cover, an " aiming point " or "auxiliary mark," a conspicuous point quite apart and distinct from the target, has to be employed (" indirect " method). In the Russo-Japanese War the sun was sometimes used as an aiming point. When the guns are behind cover and the foreground cannot be seen, an artificial aiming point is often made by placing a line of " aiming posts " in the ground. If an aiming point can be found which is in line with the target, as would be the case when aiming posts are laid out, the laying is simple, but it is as often as not out of the line. Finding the " line " in this case involves the calculation, from a distant observing point, of the angle at which the guns must be laid in order that, when the sights are directed upon the aiming point, the shell will strike the target. It is further necessary to find the " angle of sight " or inclination of the line of sight to the horizontal plane. If aim be taken over the open sights at the target, the line of sight naturally passes through the target, but in any other case it may be above or below it. Then the point where the projectile will meet the line of sight, which should coincide with the target, is beyond it if the line of sight is below or angle of sight is too small, and short of it if the line of sight is too high - that is, range and fuze will be wrong. The process of indirect laying for elevation therefore is, first, the measurement of the angle of sight, and secondly, the setting of the sights to that angle by means of a clinometer; this is called clinometer laying. In all cases the actual elevation of the gun to enable the shell to strike the target is a purely mechanical adjustment, performed independently; the gun is moved relatively to the sights, which have been previously set as described. Frequently the battery commander directs the guns from a point at some distance, communication being maintained by signallers or by field telephone. This is the normal procedure when the guns are firing from cover. Instruments of precision and careful calculations are, of course, required to fight a battery in this manner, many allowances having to be made for the differences in height, distance and angle between the position of the battery commander and that of the guns.

29. Ranging 1 (except on the French system alluded to below) is, first, finding the range (i.e. elevation required), and secondly, cor recting the standard length of fuze for that range in accordance with the circumstances of each case. To find the elevation required, it is necessary to observe the bursts of shells " on graze " with reference to the target. The battery commander orders two elevations differing by 300 yds., e.g. " 2500, 2800," and tells off a " ranging section " of two guns. These proceed to fire percussion shrapnel at the two different elevations, in order to obtain bursts "over" (+) and "short" (-). When it is certain that this " long bracket " is obtained, the " loo yds. bracket " is found, the elevations in the given case being, perhaps, 2600 and 2700 yds. " Verifying " rounds are then fired, to make certain of the loo yds. bracket. The old " short bracket " (50 yds.) is not now required except at standing targets. Circumstances may, of course, shorten the process; for instance, a hit upon the target itself could be " verified " at once. The determination of the fuze (by time shrapnel) follows. The fuze has a standard length for the ascertained range, but the proper correction of this standard length to suit the atmospheric conditions has to be made. The commander has therefore already given out a series of corrector' lengths, his object being to secure bursts both in air 1 Finding the line is also an integral part of ranging. When an aiming point is used, the angle at which the guns must be laid with reference to it is calculated and given out by the battery commander. The modern goniometric sight permits of a wide angle (in England 180° right or left) being given. " Deflection " is a small angular correction applied to individual guns.

2 The " corrector " is an adjustment on the sights of the gun used to determine the correct fuze. In the British Q.F. equipment, a graduated dial or drum shows the elevation of the gun above the line of sight. The fuze lengths are marked .on a movable scale opposite the range graduations to which they apply, and the " corrector " moves this fuze scale so as to bring different fuze lengths opposite the range graduation. For example, a certain corrector setting gives III on the fuze scale opposite 4000 yds. on the range scale, and if the shells set to III burst too high, a new corrector setting is taken, the fuze length 12 is now opposite to the 4000 range and on graze. When he is finally satisfied he opens fire " for effect." 30. An example of the ordinary method of ranging, adapted from Field Artillery Training, 1906, is given below.

Battery commander gives target, &c., and orders: " Right section ranging section; remainder corrector 150 increase 10, 4400-4700," for the long bracket.

No. 1 gun fires, elevation 4400 yds., P.S., round observed - 170 graze No. 6 „ „ „ „ „ 180 „ B.C. selects corrector 160 and goes to " section fire." The battery now begins to fire " for effect." No. 1 elevation 4500 yds. T.S. corrector 160 air No. 3 ,, „ „ ,, „ „ „ followed by Nos. 5, 2, 4 and 6.

There is another method of ranging, viz. with time shrapnel only. In this the principle is that several shells, fired with the same corrector setting, but at different elevations, will burst in air at different points along one line. Bursts high in the air cannot be judged, and it is therefore necessary to bring down the line of bursts to the target, so that the bursts in air appear directly in front or directly in rear of it. Rounds are therefore fired (in pairs owing to possible imperfections in the fuzes) to ascertain the corrector which gives the best line of observation.

This found, the target is bracketed by bursts low in the air observed + and -, as in the ordinary method with percussion shrapnel.

The operations of finding the " line of fire " and the proper elevation may be combined, as the shells in ranging can be made to " bracket " for direction as well as for elevation. The line can be changed towards a new target in any kind of direct and indirect laying, in the latter case by observing the angle made with it by the original line of fire and giving deflection to the guns accordingly. Further, the fire of several dispersed batteries may be concentrated, distributed, or " switched " from one target to another on a wide front, at the will of the commander.

31. Observation of Fire, on the accuracy of which depends the success of ranging, may be done either by the battery commander himself or by a special "observing " party. In either case the shooting is carefully observed throughout, and corrections ordered at any time, whether during the process of ranging or during fire for effect. The difficulties of observation vary considerably with the ground, &c., for instance, the light may be so bad that the target can hardly be seen, or again, if there be a hollow in front of the target, a shell may burst in it so far below that the smoke appears thin, the round being then judged " over " instead of " short." On the other hand, a hollow behind the target may cause a round to be lost altogether. Ranging with time shrapnel has the merit of avoiding most of these " traps." The " French system of fire discipline," referred tJ below, has this method as the usual procedure.

32. Fire

Field Artillery ranges are classed in the British service as: " distant," 6000 to 4500 yds.; " long," 4 500 to 35 00; "effective," 3500 to 2000; and "decisive," 2000 and graduation, and this length gives bursts closer up and lower. In the German service a corrector (Aufsatzschieber) alters the real elevation given to the gun, so that while throughout the battery all guns have the same (nominal or ordered) elevation shown on the sights, the real elevations of individual guns vary according to the different corrector settings. Thus bursts at different heights and distances from the target are obtained by shifting the trajectory of the shell. The fuze, being set for the nominal elevation common to all the guns, burns for the same time in each case, and thus the burst will be lower and closer to the target with a less (real) elevation, and higher and farther from it with a greater.

„ „ „ No. 2 „ B.C. orders ” 4500-4600." No. 1 gun fires, elevation 4500 yds., P.S., round observed NO. 2 „ „ „ The loo yds. bracket appears to be 4500-4600. B.C. orders: " Remainder 4500 time shrapnel," and gives the ranging section 4500-4600 to " verify." Guns 3, 4, 5, 6 set fuzes for 4500 with correctors 150, 160, 170, 180.

No. 1 gun fires, elevation 4500 yds., P.S., round observed - N O. 2 „ „ „ B.C. orders: " Remainder 4500, one round gun fire, 3 seconds." No. 3 elevation 4500 yds. T. S. corrector 150 air No. 4 „ „ „ 160 air No.5 „ under. The actual methods of fire employed are matters of detail; it will be sufficient to say that " section fire," in which the two guns of a section are fired alternately at a named interval, usually 30 seconds, and " rapid fire," in which two, three or more rounds as ordered are fired by each gun as quickly as possible, are the normal methods. Each battery usually engages a portion of the objective equal in length to its own front, owing to the spread of the cone of shrapnel bullets (see below). The fire is, of course, almost always frontal, though enfilade and oblique fire, when opportunities occur for their employment, are more deadly than ever, because of the depth of the cone. As for the general conduct of an artillery action, accurate fire for effect, at a medium rate, is used in most armies, but in the French and, since 1906, in the British services a new method has arisen, in consequence of the introduction of the modern quick-firer and the perfection of the time shrapnel. The French battery (1900 Q.F. equipment) consists of four guns and twelve wagons. The gun is shielded, as also are the wagons; the high velocity and fiat trajectory give a maximum depth to the cone of shrapnel bullets. In the hope of obtaining a rapid and overwhelming fire, the French artillery ranges only for a long bracket, and once this bracket is found, the ground within its limits is swept from end to end in a burst of rapid fire. This is termed a rafale (squall or gust), and technically signifies " a series of eight rounds per gun, each two rounds being laid with loo metres more elevation than the last pair, the whole fired off as rapidly as possible." The cone of time shrapnel being assumed as 300 yds. (or metres), it is clear that four pairs of rounds, bursting, say, at 1000,-110o, 1 200 and 1300 yds. (adding, for the last, 300 yds. for its forward effect), sweep the whole ground between 1000 and 1600 yds. from the guns. The maximum depth would, of course, be obtained with four elevations differing by the depth of the cone; in such a case the space from 1000 to 2200 yds. would be covered, though much less effectively, since the same number of bullets are distributed over a larger area. On the other hand, the rafale, at a minimum, covers 300 yds., all the guns in, this case being laid at the same elevation throughout. Here the maximum number of bullets is obtained for every square yard attacked. Between these extremes, a skilful artillery officer can vary the rafale to the needs of each several case almost indefinitely. " Sweeping " fire is a series of three rounds per gun, one in the original line, one to the right and one to the left of it; this is significantly called " mowing " (tir fauchant). A further refinement in both services is the combined " search and sweep." Forty-eight rounds, constituting in the French army a series of this last kind, can, it is said, be fired in 1 minute and 15 seconds, without setting fuzes beforehand, to cover an area of 600 X 200 metres. The result of such a series, worked out mathematically, is that 19% of all men and 75% of all horses, in the area and not under cover, should be hit by separate bullets (Bethell, Modern Guns and Gunnery, 1907). Even allowing a liberal deduction for imperfect distribution of bullets, we may feel certain that nothing but shielded guns could live long in the fire-swept zone. This is, of course, a rate of fire which could not be kept up for any length of time by the same battery. A French battery, firing at the maximum rate, would expend every available round in 13 minutes.

33. Projectiles Employed. - " Time shrapnel," say the German Field Artillery regulations, " is the projectile par excellence. .. against all animate targets which are not under cover." It achieves its purpose, as has been said, by sending a shower of bullets over an area of ground in such quantity that this is swept from end to end. These bullets are propelled, in a cone, forward from the point of burst of the shell, and the effective depth of this cone at medium ranges with a fairly high velocity gun may be taken at 300 yds. Further, the corrector enables the artillery commander to burst his shells at any desired point; for example, a long fuze may be given, to burst them close up when firing upon a deep target (such as troops in several lines, one behind the other), and thereby to obtain the maximum searching effect, or to obtain direct hits on shielded guns, while a short corrector, bursting the shell well in front of the enemy, allows the maximum lateral spread of the bullets, and therefore sweeps the greatest front. The number of bullets in the shell is such that troops in the open under effective shrapnel fire must suffer very heavily, and may be almost annihilated. If the enemy is close behind good cover, the bullets, indeed, pass harmlessly overhead. This, however, leads to a very important fact, viz. that artillery can keep down the fire of hostile infantry, " blind " the enemy, in Langlois' phrase, by pinning it down to cover. Under cover the men are safe, but if they raise their heads to take careful aim, they will almost certainly be hit. Their fire under such conditions is therefore unaimed and wild at the best, and may be wholly ineffective. Common shell and high-explosive shell (see Ammunition) belong to another class of projectile. The former is now not often used, but a certain proportion of H.E. shell is carried by the field artillery in many armies (see table in Ordnance: Field Equipments). This has a very violent local effect within a radius of 20 to 25 yds. of the point of burst (see Ammunition, fig. To). It therefore covers far less ground than shrapnel, and is naturally used either (a) against troops under substantial cover or (b) to wreck cover and buildings. In the former case the shell is supposed to send a rain of splinters vertically downwards. This it will do, provided the fuze is minutely accurate, and a burst is thus obtained exactly over the heads of the enemy, but this is now generally held to be unlikely, and in so far as effect against personnel is concerned the H.E. shell is not thought to be of much value. Indeed, in the British and several other services, no H.E. shells at all are carried by field batteries, reliance being placed upon percussion shrapnel in attacking localities, buildings, &c., and for ranging. Experiments have been made towards producing a " H.E. shrapnel," which combines the characteristics of both types (see, for a description, Ammunition). For the projectiles used in attacking shielded guns, see section on " field howitzers " below. Case shot is now rarely employed. In the war of 1870-71 Prince Kraft von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, who commanded the Prussian Guard artillery, reported the expenditure of only one round of case, and even that was merely " broken in transport." The close-quarters projectile of to-day is more usually shrapnel with the fuze set at zero. Langlois, however, calls case shot " the true projectile for critical moments, which nothing can replace." 34 Tactics of Field Artillery. - On the march, the position and movement of the guns are regulated by the necessity of coming quickly into action; the usual place for the arm is at or near the heads of the combatant columns, i.e. as far forward as is consistent with safety. Safety is further provided for by an " escort," or, if such be not detailed, by the nearest infantry or cavalry. In attack, the role of the field artillery is usually (I) to assist if necessary the advanced guard in the preliminary fighting - for this purpose a battery is usually assigned to that corps of troops, other batteries also being sent up to the front as required, (2) to prepare, and (3) to support or cover the infantry attack. "Preparation " consists chiefly in engaging and subduing the hostile artillery. This is often spoken of as the " artillery duel," and is not a meaningless bombardment, but an essential preliminary to the advance. Massed guns with modern shrapnel would, if allowed to play freely upon the attack, infallibly stop, and probably annihilate, the troops making it. The task of the guns, then, is to destroy the opposing guns and artillerymen, a task which will engage almost all the resources of the assailant's artillery in the struggle for artillery superiority. Shielded guns, enhanced rate of fire, perfection in indirect laying apparatus, and many other factors, have modified the lessons of 1870, and complicated the work of achieving victory in the artillery duel so far that the simple " hard pounding " of former days has given way to a variety of expedients for inflicting the desired loss and damage, as to which opinions differ in and within every army. One point is, however, clear and meets with universal acceptance. " The whole object of the duel is to enable the artillery subsequently to devote all available resources to its principal task, which is the material and moral support of the infantry during each succeeding stage of the fight " (French regulations). One side must be victorious in the end, and when, and not until, the hostile artillery is beaten out of action, the victor has acquired the power of pressing home the attack. The British regulations (1906), indeed, deal with the steps to be taken when, though the artillery of the attack is beaten, the infantry advance is continued, but only so as to order the guns to " reopen at all costs," in other words, as a forlorn hope. The second part of the preparation, the gradual disintegration of the opposing line of infantry, has practically disappeared from the drill books. The next task of the guns, and that in which modern artillery asserts its power to the utmost, is the support of the infantry attack. The artillery and infantry co-operate, " the former by firing rapidly when they see their own infantry. .. press forward, and the latter by making full use of the periods of intense artillery fire to gain ground " (British F.A. Training, 1906). Thus aided, the infantry closes in to decisive ranges, and as it gains ground to the front, every gun " must be at once turned upon the points selected. .. the most effective support afforded to the attacking infantry by the concentrated fire of guns and field howitzers. The former tie the defenders to their entrenchments (for retreat is practically impossible over ground swept by shrapnel bullets), distract their attention and tend to make them keep their heads down, while the shell from the field howitzers searches out the interior of the trenches, the reverse slopes of the position, and checks the movement of reinforcements towards the threatened point." In these words the British Field Artillery drill-book of 1902 summarizes the act of " covering " the infantry advance. Unofficial publications are still more emphatic. The advance of the infantry to decisive range would often be covered by a mass of one hundred or more field guns, firing shrapnel at the rate of ten rounds per gun per minute at the critical moment. Against such a storm of fire the defending infantry, even supposing that its own guns had refitted and were again in action, would be powerless. It is in recognition of the appalling power of field artillery (which has increased in a ratio out of all proportion to the improvements of modern rifles) that the French system has been elaborated to the perfection which it has now attained.

With modern guns and modern tactics artillery almost invariably fires over the heads of its own infantry. The German regulations indeed say that it should be avoided as far as possible, but, as a matter of fact, if the numerous guns of a modern army (at Koniggratz there were 1550 guns on the field, at Gravelotte 1252, at Mukden 3000) were to be given a clear front, there would be no room for deploying the infantry. Consequently the French regulations, in which the power of the artillery is given the greatest possible scope, say that " it almost always fires over the heads of its own infantry." With field guns and on level ground it is considered dangerous that infantry in front of the guns should be less than 600 yds. distant - not for fear of the shells striking the infantry, but because the fragments resulting from a " premature " burst are dangerous up to that distance. The question of distance is more important in connexion with the " covering " of the assault. Up to a point, the artillery enables the attacking infantry to advance with a minimum of loss and exhaustion, and thus to close with the enemy at least on equal terms, if not with a serious advantage, for the fire of the guns may shake, perhaps almost destroy the enemy's power of resistance. But when the infantry approaches the enemy the guns can no longer fire upon the latter's front line without risk of injuring their friends. All that they can do, when the opposing infantries can see the whites of each other's eyes, is to lengthen the fuze, raise the trajectory and sweep the ground where the enemy's supports are posted. Under these circumstances it is practically agreed that the risk should be taken without hesitation at so critical a moment as that of a decisive infantry assault which must be pushed home at whatever cost. " It will be better for the infantry to chance a few friendly shells than to be received at short range with a fresh outburst of hostile rifle fire " (Rouquerol, Tactical Employment of Quick-firing Field Artillery). Thus, the distance at which direct support ceases, formerly 600 yds., has been diminished to loo, and even to 50 yds. Howitzers can, of course, maintain their fire almost up to the very last stage, and, in general, high-explosive shell, owing to its purely local effect, may be employed for some time after it has become unsafe to use shrapnel.

35. Field artillery in defence, which would presumably be inferior to that of the attack, must, of course, act according to circumstances. We are here concerned not with the absolute strength or weakness of the passive defensive, which is a matter of tactics, but with the tactical procedure of artillery, which, relatively to other methods, is held to offer the best chance of success, so far as success is attainable. On the defensive in a prepared position, which in European warfare at any rate will be an unusually favourable case for the defender - the guns have two functions, that of engaging and holding the hostile artillery, and that of meeting the infantry assault. The dilemma is this, that on the one hand a position in rear of the line of battle, with modern improvements in communicating and indirect laying apparatus, is well suited for engaging the hostile guns, but not for meeting the assault; and on the other, guns on the forward slope of the defender's ridge or hill can fire direct, but are quickly located and overwhelmed, for they can hardly remain silent while their own infantry bears the fire of the assailant's shrapnel. Thus the defender's guns would, as a rule, have to be divided. One portion would seek to fight from rearward concealed positions, and use every device to delay the victory of the enemy's guns and the development of the battle until it is too late in the day for a serious infantry attack. Further, the enemy's mistakes and the " fortune of war " may give opportunities of inflicting severe losses; such opportunities have always occurred and will do so again. In the possible (though very far from probable) case of the defender not merely baffling, but crushing his opponent in the artillery duel, he may, if he so desires, himself assume the role of assailant, and at any rate he places a veto on the enemy's attack.

The portion told off to meet the infantry assault would be entrenched on the forward slope and would take no part in the artillery duel. Very exceptionally, this advanced artillery might fire upon favourable targets, but its paramount duty is to remain intact for the decisive moment. Here again the defender is confronted with grave difficulties. It is true that his advanced batteries may be of the greatest possible assistance at the crisis of the infantry assault, yet even so the covering fire of the hostile guns, as soon as the hostile infantry had found them their target, may be absolutely overwhelming; moreover, once the fight has begun, the guns cannot be withdrawn, nor can their positions easily be modified to meet unexpected developments. The proportion of the whole artillery force which should be committed to the forward position is disputed. Colonel Bethell (Journal Royal Artillery, vol. xxxiii. p. 67) holds that all the mountain guns, and two-thirds of the field guns, should be in the forward, all the howitzers and heavy guns and one-third of the field guns in the retired position. But in view of the facts that if once the advanced guns are submerged in the tide of the enemy's assault, they will be irrecoverable, and that a modern Q.F. gun, with plenty of ammunition at hand, may use " rapid fire " freely, artillery opinion, as a whole, is in favour of having fewer guns and an abnormal ammunition supply in the forward entrenchments, and the bulk of the artillery (with the ammunition columns at hand) in rear. But the purely passive defensive is usually but a preliminary to an active counter-stroke. This counter-attack would naturally be supported to the utmost by the offensive tactics of the artillery, which might thus at the end of a battle achieve far greater results than it could have done at the beginning of the day. In pursuit, it is universally agreed that the action of the artillery may be bold to the verge of rashness. The employment of field artillery in advanced and rear guard actions varies almost indefinitely according to circumstances; with outposts, guns would only be employed exceptionally.

36. Marches

The importance of having the artillery well up at the front of a marching column is perhaps best expressed in the phrase of Prince Kraft von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, " save hours and not minutes." The Germans in 1870 so far acted up to the principle that Prince Hohenlohe, when asked, at the beginning of the battle of Sedan, for a couple of guns, was able to reply, " You shall have ninety " (see, for details of the march of the Guard artillery, his Letters on Artillery, 6th letter). The German regulations for field service say, very plainly, " the horses have not done their work until they have got the guns into action, even at the cost of utter exhaustion." A notable march was made by the 62nd battery, R.F.A., in the South African War. On the day of the battle of Modder River, the battery marched 3 2 m. (mostly through deep sand) arriving in time to take part in the action. Such forced marches, if rare, are nowadays expected to be within the power of field artillery to accomplish. Horse artillery is capable of more than this, and as to pace, manwuvring at the cavalry rate. Heavy guns are the least mobile, and would rarely be able to keep pace with infantry in a forced march. Field artillery walks 4, trots 9, and gallops at the rate of 15 m. an hour. A fair marching pace (trot and walk) is 4 m. an hour for field, 5 for horse batteries. A march of 14 m. would, according to the German regulations, be performed by a field battery in 5 hours, a horse battery in 4 hours, under favourable circumstances (Bronsart von Schellendorf).

37. Power and Mobility

It will have been made clear that every gun represents a compromise between these two requirements, and that each type of artillery has been evolved in accordance with the relative requirements of these conditions in respect of the work to be performed. The classification which has been followed in this article represents the practically unanimous decision of every important military state. Still, there has always been controversy between the individual adherents of each side, and the Boer War experiences raised the question as to whether field artillery, as the term is usually understood, should not be abolished, with a view to having only heavy guns and horse artillery with a field army.

38. Concentration and Dispersion

The use of their artillery made by the Boers in the South African War led to the revival of the idea of " dispersing " guns instead of " concentrating " them. It would be more accurate to say that military thinkers had, after the introduction of the quick-firing gun, challenged every received principle, and amongst others the employment of artillery in masses, which, as a result of the war of 1870, " had become almost an article of faith." The idea was to make use of the increased power of the guns to gain equally great results with the employment of less material than formerly. Thus the dispersion of guns is bound up with the passive defensive. The first editions of the British Field Artillery Training and Combined Training, strongly influenced as they were by South African experience, did not legislate, even in dealing with defence, for " dispersion " in the Boer manner, but only for adaptability (see Field Artillery Training, 1902, p. 15). In the Boer War, whilst the Boers nearly always scattered their guns, almost the only occasion upon which their artillery played a decisive part was at Spion Kop, where its fire was concentrated upon the point of assault. At Pieter's Hill, the fire of seventy guns covered the British infantry assault in the Napoleonic manner. On the whole it may be accepted as a general truth that guns are safe, and may be locally effective, when dispersed, but that they cannot produce decisive effect except when used in masses. It must, however, be clearly understood that a " mass " in this sense means a large number of guns, under one command, and susceptible of being handled as a unit, so far as the direction and effectiveness of their fire is concerned. This being secured, and on that condition only, it does not matter whether the actual gun positions are scattered over a few square miles, or are closed in one long line and using direct fire - they are still a mass, and capable of acting effectively as such. While there are undoubtedly grave dangers in using the indirect method too freely, technical improvements in laying, telephones, &c., have had much to do with the possibility, at any rate under favourable circumstances, of a concentration which may be described as one of shells rather than of guns, and the reader is reminded in this connexion that the work formerly done by the gun is now performed by the shell.

39. Horse Artillery is to be regarded as field artillery of great mobility and manoeuvring power. Its value may be said, in general terms, to lie in augmenting the weak fire-power of the mounted troops, and in facilitating their work as much as possible. Thus, when cavalry meets serious opposition in reconnoitring, the guns may be able to break down the enemy's resistance without calling for assistance from the main body of the cavalry, and, in the action of cavalry versus cavalry, the " paramount duty of the horse artillery is to shatter the enemy's cavalry " (Field Artillery Training, 1906), i.e. to "prepare" the success of the cavalry charge by breaking up as far as possible the enemy's power of meeting it. In the cavalry battle, covering fire is practically impossible, owing both to the short distances separating the combatants and to the rapidity of their movements, but steps are taken " to enable all the guns to bear on the enemy's cavalry at the points of collision." The ideal position for the horse artillery is out to a flank, the cavalry manoeuvring so as to draw the enemy's cavalry under enfilade fire, and at the same time to force them to mask the fire of their own horse artillery. Another and a most important function of the horse batteries is to reinforce, with the greatest possible speed, any point in the general line of battle which is in need of artillery support. For this reason the corps artillery generally includes horse batteries.

40. Field Howitzers are somewhat less mobile than field guns; they have, however, far greater shell power. The special features of the weapon are, of course, the product of the special requirements which have called it into existence. These are, briefly (a) the necessity of being able to " search " the interior of earthworks, a task which, as has been said, is beyond the power of high-velocity field guns, and (b) demolition work, which is equally beyond the power of even a H.E. shell of field-gun calibre. The first of these conditions implies a steep "angle of descent," which again implies a high angle of elevation. The second requires great shell power but does not call for high velocity. The howitzer, therefore, is a short gun, firing a heavy shell at high angles of elevation. Howitzers almost always are laid by the indirect method of fire from under cover, since it is clear that, with high angles of elevation, the gun may be brought close up to the covering mass, and still fire over it. Ranging must be done very accurately and yet economically, as but few of their heavy shells can be carried in the wagons and limbers, and the shells descending upon an enemy almost vertically lose the long sweeping effect of the field shrapnel which neutralizes minor errors of ranging. The projectiles employed are high explosive and shrapnel, the latter for use against personnel under cover, the former for demolition of field works, casemates or buildings. It is very generally held that howitzer time shrapnel is the best form of projectile for the attack of shielded guns. Here it may be said that no completely satisfactory method of dealing with these has yet been discovered. The best procedure with field guns is said to be lengthening the fuze to obtain a high percentage of bursts on graze. A shell striking the face of the shield will penetrate it, and should kill some at least of the gun detachment behind. The high-explosive shrapnel alluded to above is designed primarily for the attack of shielded guns.

41. Heavy Field Artillery, alternatively called Artillery of Position, as has been said, includes all guns of 4-in. calibre and upwards, mounted on travelling carriages. In South Africa, where firm soil was usually to be found, 6-in. guns were employed as heavy field guns, but in Europe even the 5-in. (British Service) is liable to sink into the ground. In Great Britain, guns only are used by this branch; abroad, the "heavy artillery of the field army," the "light siege train," &c., as it is variously called, is as a rule composed of howitzers of a heavier calibre than the field howitzer, the 15-cm. (6-in.) howitzer being most commonly met with. This artillery has, however, a different tactical role from the heavy field artillery of the British service; and it is always with a view to the attack of permanent or semipermanent fortifications that the materiel is organized. In Great Britain, heavy batteries armed with the 5-in. gun are considered as " an auxiliary to the horse and field artillery " (Heavy Artillery Training). Ranging is conducted with greater deliberation than ranging with the lighter guns, though upon the same general lines. Parts of the process may, however, be omitted in certain circumstances. Heavy guns use high-explosive (lyddite) shells and time shrapnel, the former for ranging and for demolishing cover, the latter against personnel. Laying is usually indirect. The tactical principles upon which heavy artillery does its work are based, in the main, on the long range (up to io,000 yds.) and great shell-power of the guns. This power enables the artillery to reach with effect targets which are beyond the range of lighter ordnance, and it is, therefore, considered possible to disperse the guns in batteries, and even in sections of two guns, along the front of the army, without forfeiting the power of concentrating their fire on any point - a power which otherwise they would not possess owing to their want of mobility. At the same time it is not forbidden to bring them into line with the rest of the artillery, in order to achieve a decisive result. In the attack, beside the general task of supplementing the effect of other natures of ordnance, heavy artillery may demolish cover, buildings, &c., held by the enemy, and during the infantry assault they may do excellent service in sweeping a great depth of ground, their smaller angle of descent, and the greater remaining velocity and heavier driving charge of their shrapnel, as compared with field guns, enabling them to do this effectively. In the defence, long-range fire has great value, especially in sweeping approaches which the enemy must use. In pursuit, the heavy artillery may be able to shell the main body of the enemy during its retreat, even if it has left a rearguard. In retreat, the want of mobility of these guns militates against their employment in exposed positions, such as rearguards usually have to take up.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 1 - Amongst general historical works may be mentioned Napoleon III. and Col. Fa y e, E tudes sur le passé et l'avenir de l'artillerie (Paris. 1846-1871); C. von Decker, Geschichte des Geschfitzwesens (Berlin, 1822); H. W. L. Hime, Stray Military Papers (London, 1901); Die Beziehung Friedrichs des Grossen zu seiner Artillerie (Berlin, 1865); H. von Miller, Die Entwickelung der Feldartillerie, 1815-1892 (Berlin, 1893-1894); J. Campana, L'Artillerie de campagne, 1792-1901 (Paris, 1900.; v. Reitzenstein, Das Geschfitzwesen, eec. in Hannover and Braunschweig 1365 bis;zur Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1900); Kretschmar, Gesch. d. seichsischen Feldart. 1620-1878 (1879); Scheming, Gesch. des brandenbg.-preuss. Art. (1844-1845); Schneller, Litteratur d. Artillerie (1768); v. Tempelhof, Gesch. d. Artillerie (1797); Duncan, Hist. of the Royal Artillery. complete bibliography and criticism of the artillery works of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries will be found in Max Jahns, Geschichte der Kriegswissenschaften, pp. 221-236, 382-424, 621, 658 and 747-752. For the early 17th century, Diego Ufano, Tratado de la Artilleria (1613) is a standard treatise of the time, but the mystery preserved by artillerists in regard to their arm is responsible for an astonishing dearth of artillery literature even in the time of the Thirty Years' War. In 1650 appeared Casimir Simienowicz' Ars magnae artilleriae, an English translation of which was published in London in 1729, and in 1683 Michael Mieth published Artiileriae Recentior Praxis. The first edition of Surirey de S. Remy, Memoires d'Artillerie, appeared in Paris in 1697. With the reorganization of the arm in the early 18th century came many manuals and other works (see Jahns, op. cit. pp. 1607-1621 and 1692-1698), amongst which may be mentioned the marquis de Quincy's Art de la guerre (1726). From 1740 onwards numerous manuals appeared, mostly official reglements - see French General Staff, L'Artillerie francaise au X Ville siecle (1908); and the tactical handling of the arm is treated in general works, such as Guibert's, on war. See also de Morla, Tratado de la Artilleria (1784), translated into German by Hoyer (Lehrbuch der Art.-Wissenschaft, Leipzig, 1821-1826); Du Service de l'artillerie a la guerre (Paris, 1780, German translation, Dresden, 1782, and English, by Capt. Thomson, R.A., London, 1789), Bardet de Villeneuve's Traite de l'artillerie (Hague, 1741), and Hennebert, Gribeauval, Lieut.-General des armees du Roy (Paris, 1896). Important works of the period 1800-1850 are Scharnhorst, Ilandbuch der Artillerie (Hanover, 1804-1806, French translation by Fourcy, Traite sur l'artillerie, Paris, 1840-1841); Rouvroy, Vorlesungen fiber die Artillerie (Dresden, 1821-1825); Timmerhans, Essai d'un traite d'artillerie (Brussels, 1839-1846); C. v. Decker, Die Artillerie fur alle Waffen (1826); Griffiths, The Artillerist's Manual (Woolwich, 1840); Piobert, Traite d'artillerie (Paris, 1845-1847); Taubert (translated by Maxwell), Use of Field Artillery on Service (London, 1856); Capt. Simmonds, R.A., Application of Artillery in the Field (London, 1819); Gassendi, Aide-memoire a l'usage des officiers d'artillerie (Paris, 1819). See also Girod de l'Ain, Grands artilleurs, Drouot, Senarmont, Eble (Paris, 1894). Among the numerous works 1 Most of the works named deal with technical questions of equipment, ammunition, ballistics, &c, on modern field artillery may be mentioned Prince HohenloheIngelfingen, Briefe fiber Artillerie (Berlin, 1887, 2nd ed., English translation by Col. Walford, Letters on Artillery, Woolwich, 1887); Hoffbauer, Taktik der Feldartillerie, 1866 and 1870 - 1871 (Berlin, 1876), and Applikatorische Studie fiber Verwendung der Artillerie (Berlin, 1884); Erb, L'Artillerie dans les batailles de Metz (Paris, 1906); Leurs, L' Art. de campagne prussienne 1864-1870 (Brussels, 1874); v. Schell, Studie fiber Taktik der Feldartillerie (quoted above); Hennebert, Artillerie moderne (Paris, 1889); and for quick-firing artillery, Langlois, Artillerie de campagne en liaison avec les autres armes (Paris, 1892 and 1907); Wille, Feldgeschfitz der Zukunft (Berlin, 1891); Waffenlehre (2nd ed., 1901); and Zur Feldgeschfitzfrage (Berlin, 1896); Rohne, Die Taktik der Feldartillerie (Berlin, 1900), Studie fiber d. Schnellfeuergeschfitze in Rohrriicklauflafette (Berlin, 1901), Die franzeisische Feldartillerie (Berlin, 1902); Entwicklung des Massengebrauchs der Feldartillerie (Berlin, 1900); and articles in Jahrbficher f. d. Deutsche Armee and Marine (October 1901 and January 1905); Hoffbauer, Die Frage des Schnellfeuerfeldgeschfitzes (Berlin, 1902), and Verwendung der Feldhaubitzen (Berlin, 1901); Wangemann, Fir die leichte Feldhaubitze (Berlin, 1904); von Reichenau, Studie fiber. Ausbildung der Feldart. (Berlin, 1896), Einfluss der Schilde auf die Entwicklung des F.-A. Materials, and Neue Studien fiber die Entwicklung der Feldart. (Berlin, 1902 and 1903); Smekal, Fiihrung and Verwendung der Divisions-Artillerie (Vienna, 1901); Korzen and Kuhn, Waffenlehre (Vienna, 1906); G. Rouquerol, Emploi de l'artillerie de campagne a tir rapide (Paris, 1901), and Organisation de l'artillerie de campagne (Paris, 1903); Girardon-Lagabbe, Organisation du materiel de l'artillerie de campagne (Paris, 1903); and in English, Capt. P. de B. Radcliffe's translation of Rouquerol's work (The Tactical Employment of Quick-firing Field Artillery, London, 1903), and especially Lt.-Col.H. A. Bethell, Modern Guns and Gunnery (Woolwich, 1907). See also the current drill manuals of the British, French and German artillery. (C. F. A.)

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From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Artillery is the generic name for either early two- or three-player (usually turn-based) computer games involving tanks fighting each other in combat or similar derivative games. Artillery games are among the earliest computer games developed; the theme of such games is an extension of the original uses of computer themselves, which were once used to calculate the trajectories of rockets and other related military-based calculations. Artillery games are a type of strategy game, though they have also been described as a "shooting game."

Early precursors to the modern artillery-type games were text-only games that simulated artillery entirely with input data values. A BASIC game known simply as Artillery was written by Mike Forman and was published in Creative Computing magazine in 1976. This seminal home computer version of the game was revised in 1977 by M. E. Lyon and Brian West and was known as War 3; War 3 was revised further in 1979 and published as Artillery-3. These early versions of turn-based tank combat games interpreted human-entered data such as the distance between the tanks, the velocity or "power" of the shot fired and the angle of the tanks' turrets.

One of the first most significant tank games was Scorched Earth for the PC; allowing multiple players and CPU controlled players to involve themselves in massive free-for-alls.

Pages in category "Artillery"

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

1 Sam. 20:40, (Heb. keli, meaning "apparatus;" here meaning collectively any missile weapons, as arrows and lances. In Revised Version, "weapons"). This word is derived from the Latin artillaria = equipment of war.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Artillery is a word for big guns used in an army, for example cannons and howitzers.

Such guns are used to shoot targets far away. Artillery is often used to stop enemy troops using an area, to bombard trenches and buildings with enemies in it and to support friendly units.

There are many different weapons that are called artillery. They may shoot shells or missiles. Newer systems can even drop mines over a big area, making the area uncrossable. There is also artillery that fights planes and other aircraft.

In most cases, artillery needs other units to see for it, because it often shoots in high angles and over terrain. They do not have to see the enemy to damage them.

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