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Artillery is a class of heavy military
ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting ...
s built to launch
munitions Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to incr ...

munitions
far beyond the range and power of
infantry at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

infantry
firearms A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...

firearms
. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach
defensive wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorize ...

defensive wall
s and
fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin ''fortis'' ("strong") and ''facere'' ( ...

fortification
s during
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...

siege
s, and led to heavy, fairly immobile
siege engine A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories i ...
s. As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
s developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern
self-propelled artillery Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is equipped with its own propulsion system to move towards its firing position. Within the terminology are the self-propelled gun, self-propelled howitzer, , and . They are high mob ...
vehicles are highly mobile weapons of great versatility generally providing the largest share of an army's total firepower. Originally, the word "artillery" referred to any group of soldiers primarily armed with some form of manufactured weapon or armor. Since the introduction of
gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces lower amounts of smoke when fired, unlike black powder. The ter ...
and cannon, "artillery" has largely meant cannons, and in contemporary usage, usually refers to
shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural element which is characterized by its geometry, being a three-dimensional solid whose thickness is very small when compared with other dimensions, and ...
-firing guns,
howitzer A howitzer () is generally a large ranged weapon between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity shells fired at flatter trajectories – and a Mortar (weapon), mortar – wh ...

howitzer
s,
mortars Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
, and
rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensiv ...

rocket artillery
. In common speech, the word "artillery" is often used to refer to individual devices, along with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly called "equipment". However, there is no generally recognized generic term for a gun, howitzer, mortar, and so forth: the United States uses "artillery piece", but most English-speaking armies use "gun" and "mortar". The projectiles fired are typically either "
shot Shot may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media *Shot (album), ''Shot'' (album), by The Jesus Lizard *''Shot, Illusion, New God'', an EP by Gruntruck *''Shot Rev 2.0'', a video album by The Sisters of Mercy *Shot (song), "Shot" (song), by The Ra ...
" (if solid) or "shell" (if not solid). Historically, variants of solid shot including canister,
chain shot In artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and forti ...
and
grapeshot In artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fo ...
were also used. "Shell" is a widely used generic term for a projectile, which is a component of
munitions Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict damage or harm. Weapons are used to incr ...

munitions
. By association, artillery may also refer to the
arm of service Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a State (polity), state so as to offer such military capability as a military policy, national defense policy may require. In some countries paramilitary fo ...
that customarily operates such engines. In some armies, the artillery arm has operated
field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an airport * Battlefield * Lawn, an area of mowed grass * Meadow, a grassl ...
,
coastal The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ...
,
anti-aircraft Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
, and
anti-tank Anti-tank warfare originated from the need to develop technology and to destroy s during (1914–1918). Since the developed the first tanks in 1916 but did not deploy them in battle until 1917, the developed the first anti-tank weapons. The ...
artillery; in others these have been separate arms, and with some nations coastal has been a naval or marine responsibility. In the 20th century, technology-based target acquisition devices (such as radar) and systems (such as sound ranging and flash spotting) emerged in order to acquire targets, primarily for artillery. These are usually operated by one or more of the artillery arms. The widespread adoption of indirect fire in the early 20th century introduced the need for specialist data for field artillery, notably survey and meteorological, and in some armies, provision of these are the responsibility of the artillery arm. Artillery has been used since at least the early
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. The majority of combat deaths in the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
,
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
were caused by artillery. In 1944,
Joseph Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin . ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgia (country), Georgian revolutionary and the ruler of the Soviet Union from 1927 until 1953. He served as both General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922 ...
said in a speech that artillery was "the God of War".


Artillery piece

Although not called as such, siege engines performing the role recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity. The first known
catapult A catapult is a ballistic device used to launch a projectile a great distance without the aid of gunpowder Gunpowder, also known as the retronym black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical ...

catapult
was developed in
Syracuse Syracuse may refer to: Places Italy *Syracuse, Sicily Syracuse ( ; it, Siracusa , or scn, Seragusa, label=none ; lat, Syrācūsae ; grc-att, wikt:Συράκουσαι, Συράκουσαι, Syrákousai ; grc-dor, wikt:Συράκοσ ...

Syracuse
in 399 BC. Until the introduction of
gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces lower amounts of smoke when fired, unlike black powder. The ter ...
into western warfare, artillery was dependent upon mechanical energy which not only severely limited the kinetic energy of the projectiles, it also required the construction of very large engines to store sufficient energy. A 1st-century BC Roman catapult launching stones achieved a kinetic energy of 16,000
joules The joule ( ; symbol: J) is a derived unit of energy In physics, energy is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that must be #Energy transfer, transferred to a physical body, body or physical system to perform W ...
, compared to a mid-19th-century 12-pounder gun, which fired a round, with a kinetic energy of 240,000 joules, or a 20th-century US battleship that fired a projectile from its main battery with an energy level surpassing 350,000,000
joules The joule ( ; symbol: J) is a derived unit of energy In physics, energy is the physical quantity, quantitative physical property, property that must be #Energy transfer, transferred to a physical body, body or physical system to perform W ...
. From the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
through most of the
modern era Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
, on land were moved by
horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load. They were once common worldwide, but they have mos ...
gun carriage A gun carriage is a frame and mount that supports the gun gun barrel, barrel of an artillery piece, allowing it to be maneuvered and fired. These platforms often had wheels so that the artillery pieces could be moved more easily. Gun Carriages wh ...
s. In the
contemporary era Contemporary history, in English-language historiography, is a subset of modern history that describes the historical period from approximately 1945 to the present. Contemporary history is either a subset of the late modern period, or it is on ...
, artillery pieces and their crew relied on wheeled or
tracked vehicle Continuous track is a system of vehicle propulsion Propulsion is the action or process of pushing or pulling to drive an object forward. The term is derived from two Latin words: ''wikt:pro, pro'', meaning'' before'' or ''forward''; and ''wi ...
s as transportation. These land versions of artillery were dwarfed by
railway gun A railway gun, also called a railroad gun, is a large artillery piece, often surplus naval artillery, mounted on, transported by, and fired from a specially designed railroad car, railway wagon. Many countries have built railway guns, but the be ...
s; the largest of these large-calibre guns ever conceived – Project Babylon of the Supergun affair – was theoretically capable of . Artillery used by naval forces has also changed significantly, with
missile In military terminology, a missile is a missile guidance, guided airborne ranged weapon capable of self-propelled flight usually by a jet engine or rocket motor. Missiles are thus also called guided missiles or guided rockets (when in rocket f ...
s generally replacing guns in
surface warfare 300px, A rare occurrence of a 5-country multinational fleet, during '' FS_''De_Grasse''_(D_612);_USS_John_C._Stennis.html" ;"title="FS_De_Grasse.html" ;"title="Maestrale class frigate">MM ''Maestrale'' (F 570), FS_''De_Grasse''_(D_612);_USS_John_ ...
. Over the course of military history, projectiles were manufactured from a wide variety of materials, into a wide variety of shapes, using many different methods in which to
target TARGET2 (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) is the real-time gross settlementReal-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money Image:National ...
structural/defensive works and inflict enemy
casualties A casualty, as a term in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, ...
. The engineering applications for
ordnance Ordnance may refer to: Military and defense * Ordnance items in military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is ...

ordnance
delivery have likewise changed significantly over time, encompassing some of the most complex and advanced technologies in use today. In some armies, the weapon of artillery is the projectile, not the equipment that fires it. The process of delivering fire onto the target is called gunnery. The actions involved in operating an artillery piece are collectively called "serving the gun" by the "detachment" or gun crew, constituting either direct or indirect artillery fire. The manner in which gunnery crews (or formations) are employed is called artillery support. At different periods in history, this may refer to weapons designed to be fired from ground-, sea-, and even air-based
weapons platform A weapons platform is generally any structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according t ...
s.


Crew

The term "
gunner Gunner, the Gunner, Gunners or the Gunners may refer to: Places * Gunner Bay, Bermuda * Gunner River, New Zealand * Gunners Park and Shoebury Ranges, a nature reserve in Essex, England * Gunners Pond, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada * Mount Gunn ...
" is used in some armed forces for the soldiers and sailors with the primary function of using artillery. 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 Battery may refer to: Energy source * Electric battery, an electrochemical device to provide electrical power ** Automotive battery, a device to provide power to certain functions of an automobile ** List of battery types * Energy storage, inclu ...
, although sometimes called a company. In gun detachments, each role is numbered, starting with "1" the Detachment Commander, and the highest number being the Coverer, the second-in-command. "Gunner" is also the lowest rank and junior non-commissioned officers are "Bombardiers" in some artillery arms. Batteries are roughly equivalent to a
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common pu ...
in the infantry and are combined into larger
military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the s of a so as to offer such as a may require. In some countries forces are included in a nation's armed forces, though not considered military. Armed forces that are no ...
s for administrative and operational purposes, either battalions or regiments, depending on the army. These may be grouped into brigades; the Russian army also groups some brigades into artillery divisions, and the
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between St ...
has artillery corps. The term "artillery" is also applied to a
combat arm Combat arms (or fighting arms in non-American parlance) is a collective name for troops within national armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for war ...
of most
military service Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia A militia () is generally an army or some other Military organization, fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subject ...
s when used organizationally to describe
units Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of action, a discrete piece of action (or beat) in ...
and formations of the national armed forces that operate the weapons. During
military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and m ...
s, the role of field artillery is to provide support to other arms in combat or to attack targets, particularly in-depth. Broadly, these effects fall into two categories, either to suppress or neutralize the enemy, or to cause casualties, damage, and destruction. This is mostly achieved by delivering high-explosive munitions to suppress, or inflict casualties on the enemy from casing fragments and other debris and
blast In bioinformatics Bioinformatics () is an field that develops methods and s for understanding data, in particular when the data sets are large and complex. As an interdisciplinary field of science, bioinformatics combines , , , and t ...

blast
, or by destroying enemy positions, equipment, and vehicles. Non-lethal munitions, notably smoke, can also be used to suppress or neutralize the enemy by obscuring their view. Fire may be directed by an
artillery observer Image:Artillery observer.jpg, upright=1.4, Danish artillery observer using a thermal imaging camera and a laser rangefinder in a live fire exercise A military artillery observer, spotter or FO (forward observer) is responsible for directing arti ...

artillery observer
or another observer, including manned and unmanned aircraft pilots, or called onto map coordinates.
Military doctrine Military doctrine is the expression of how military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between Sta ...
has played a significant influence on the core
engineering design The engineering design process is a common series of steps that engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machines, complex systems, a ...

engineering design
considerations of artillery ordnance through its history, in seeking to achieve a balance between the delivered volume of fire with ordinance 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 ball grooves for aerodynamic stability. 's 1855 Minié ball design (.58 caliber, 500 Grain (unit), grains) from the Harpers Ferry Armory The Minié ball, or Minni ball, is a type of hollow-base bullet, hollow-based bullet designed by Claude-Étie ...
, 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 transporting the artillery into combat. Two distinct forms of artillery were developed: the towed gun, which was used primarily to attack or defend a fixed-line; and the self-propelled gun, which was designed to accompany a mobile force and provide continuous fire support and/or suppression. These influences have guided the development of artillery ordnance, systems, organizations, 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 missile A ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target. These weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods—most of the flight is unpowered. Short-range ballistic missiles stay ...
s. The only combat in which artillery is unable to take part in is
close quarters combat Close-quarters combat (CQC) or close-quarters battle (CQB) is a tactical situation that involves a physical fight with firearms A firearm is any type of gun designed to be readily carried and used by an individual. The term is legally defined ...
, with the possible exception of artillery reconnaissance teams.


Etymology

The word as used in the current context originated in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. One suggestion is that it comes from the
Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular o ...
''atelier'', 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 The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) was incorporated by royal charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The King ...
, which was essentially an
infantry at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

infantry
unit until the 19th century. Another suggestion is that it comes from the Italian ''arte de tirare'' (art of shooting), coined by one of the first theorists on the use of artillery,
Niccolò TartagliaNiccolò is an Italian male given name, a variation of Nicola (name), Nicola. It may refer to:In literature: * Niccolò Ammaniti, Italian writer * Niccolò Machiavelli, political philosopher, musician, poet, and romantic comedic playwright * Niccol ...
.


History

Mechanical systems used for throwing ammunition in ancient warfare, also known as " engines of war", like the
catapult A catapult is a ballistic device used to launch a projectile a great distance without the aid of gunpowder Gunpowder, also known as the retronym black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical ...

catapult
,
onager The onager (; ''Equus hemionus''), also known as hemione or Asiatic wild ass, is a species of the family Equidae Equidae (sometimes known as the horse family) is the taxonomic family of horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domes ...
,
trebuchet A trebuchet (french: trébuchet) is a type of catapult that uses a long arm to throw a projectile. It was a common powerful siege engine until the advent of gunpowder. There are two main types of trebuchets. The first is the traction trebuche ...

trebuchet
, and
ballista The ballista (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roma ...

ballista
, are also referred to by military historians as artillery.


Invention of gunpowder

Early Chinese artillery had vase-like shapes. This includes the "long range awe inspiring" cannon dated from 1350 and found in the 14th century
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming Dynasty
treatise ''
Huolongjing The ''Huolongjing'' (; Wade-Giles: ''Huo Lung Ching''; rendered in English as ''Fire Drake Manual'' or ''Fire Dragon Manual''), also known as ''Huoqitu'' (“Firearm Illustrations”), is a 14th-century military treatise compiled and edited by ...
''. With the development of better metallurgy techniques, later cannons abandoned the vase shape of early Chinese artillery. This change can be seen in the bronze "thousand ball thunder cannon", an early example of field artillery. These small, crude weapons diffused into the Middle East (the '''') and reached Europe in the 13th century, in a very limited manner. In Asia,
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
adopted the Chinese artillery and used it effectively in the great conquest. By the late 14th century, Chinese rebels used organized artillery and cavalry to push Mongols out. The usage of cannons in the
Mongol invasion of Java The Mongol invasion of Java was a military effort by the Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds ...
, led to deployment of
cetbang The Cetbang (also known as bedil, warastra, or coak) was a type of cannon produced and used by the Majapahit Empire (1293–1527) and other kingdoms in the Indonesian archipelago. The cetbang is a breech-loading cannon, it is different from typ ...
cannons by
Majapahit The Majapahit () was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was based on the island of Java (in modern-day Indonesia). It existed from 1293 to circa 1527 and reached its peak of ...

Majapahit
fleet in 1300s and subsequent near universal use of the swivel-gun and cannons in the Nusantara archipelago.Thomas Stamford Raffles, ''The History of Java'', Oxford University Press, 1965, , 1088 pages. As small smooth-bore 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. 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 The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
, these weapons became more common, initially as the bombard and later the
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
. Cannon were always
muzzle-loader A muzzleloader is any firearm into which the bullet, projectile and usually the propellant charge is loaded from the Muzzle (firearms), muzzle of the gun (i.e., from the forward, open end of the gun's barrel). This is distinct from the modern (hi ...
s. 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.


Expansion of artillery use

In 1415, the Portuguese invaded the Mediterranean port town of
Ceuta Ceuta (, , ; ber, Sebta, script=Latn; ar, سَبْتَة, Sabtah) is a on the north coast of . Bordered by , it lies along the boundary between the and the . It is one of the several Spanish territories in Africa and, along with and the ...

Ceuta
. While it is difficult to confirm the use of firearms in the siege of the city, it is known 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 Marinids 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 Tangier, ( ar, طنجة, ṭanja; ber, ⵟⴰⵏⵊⴰ, ṭanja) is a city in northwestern Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undispu ...
. It is clear these weapons had developed into several different forms, from small guns to large artillery pieces. The artillery revolution in Europe caught on during the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
and changed the way that battles were fought. In the preceding decades, the English had even used a gunpowder-like weapon in military campaigns 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 A castle is a type of structure built during the predominantly by the or royalty and by . Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct ...

castle
, as demonstrated at Breteuil in 1356, when the besieged English used a cannon to destroy an attacking French assault tower. By the end of the 14th century, cannon were only powerful enough to knock in roofs, and could not penetrate castle walls. However, a major change occurred between 1420 and 1430, when artillery became much more powerful and could now batter strongholds and fortresses quite efficiently. The English, French, and Burgundians all advanced in military technology, and as a result the traditional advantage that went to the defense in a siege was lost. The cannon during this period were elongated, and the recipe for gunpowder was improved to make it three times as powerful as before. These changes led to the increased power in the artillery weapons of the time.
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (french: link=no, Jeanne d’Arc, translit= an daʁk; 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (french: link=no, La Pucelle d'Orléans) or "Maid of Lorraine prophecies, Maid of Lorraine" (french: link=no, ...

Joan of Arc
encountered gunpowder weaponry several times. When she led the French against the English at the Battle of Tourelles, in 1430, 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. As a result, most of the battles of the Hundred Years' War that Joan of Arc participated in were fought with gunpowder artillery. The army of
Mehmet the Conqueror Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i sānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=The Father of Conquest; tr, Fatih Sultan Mehmed), ...
, which conquered
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (), Tsargrad (), Qustantiniya (), Basileuousa ("Queen of Cities"), Megalopolis ("the Great City"), Πό ...

Constantinople
in 1453, included both artillery and foot soldiers armed with gunpowder weapons. The
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and ...
brought to the siege sixty-nine guns in fifteen separate batteries and trained them at the walls of the city. The barrage of Ottoman cannon fire lasted forty days, and they are estimated to have fired 19,320 times. Artillery also played a decisive role in the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs of 1444. Early cannon were not always reliable; King
James II of Scotland James II (16 October 14303 August 1460) was King of Scots The monarch of Scotland was the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 1 ...

James II of Scotland
was killed by the accidental explosion of one of his own cannon, imported from Flanders, at the siege of Roxburgh Castle in 1460. The new
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming Dynasty
established the "Divine Engine Battalion" (神机营), which 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." When Portuguese and Spanish arrived at Southeast Asia, they found that the local kingdoms already using cannons. One of the earliest reference to cannon and
artillerymen Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device similar to a ...
in Java is from the year 1346. Portuguese and Spanish invaders were unpleasantly surprised and even outgunned on occasion. Duarte Barbosa ca. 1514 said that the inhabitants of Java are great masters in casting artillery and very good artillerymen. They make many one-pounder cannons (cetbang or
rentaka Lela or lila is a type of Malay cannon, used widely in the Nusantara archipelago. They are similar to a lantaka but longer and had larger bore. Lela can be configured as swivel gun The term swivel gun (or simply swivel) usually refers to a smal ...
), long muskets, ''spingarde'' (arquebus), ''schioppi'' (hand cannon),
Greek fire #REDIRECT Greek fire#REDIRECT Greek fire Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eas ...
, guns (cannons), and other fire-works. Every place are considered excellent in casting artillery, and in the knowledge of using it. In 1513, the led by Patih Yunus sailed to attack
Portuguese Malacca Portuguese control of Malacca, a city on the Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Tanah Melayu'') is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north–south and, at its terminus, ...
"with much artillery made in Java, for the Javanese are skilled in founding and casting, and in all works in
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
, over and above what they have in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
". By early 16th century, the Javanese already locally-producing large guns, some of them still survived until the present day and dubbed as "sacred cannon" or "holy cannon". These cannons varied between 180 and 260 pounders, weighing anywhere between 3-8 tons, length of them between 3–6 m. Between 1593 and 1597, about 200,000 Korean and Chinese troops which fought against Japan in Korea actively used heavy artillery in both siege and field combat. Korean forces mounted artillery as
naval gun Naval artillery is artillery mounted on a warship, originally used only for naval warfare and then subsequently used for naval gunfire support, shore bombardment and anti-aircraft roles. The term generally refers to tube-launched projectile-firin ...
s, providing an advantage against Japanese navy which used ''Kunikuzushi'' (国崩し – Japanese
breech-loading swivel gun A breech-loading swivel gun was a particular type of swivel gun The term swivel gun (or simply swivel) usually refers to a small cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Lo ...
) and ''Ōzutsu'' (大筒 – large size
Tanegashima is one of the Ōsumi Islands belonging to Kagoshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
) as their largest firearms.


Smoothbores

Bombards were of value mainly in
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...

siege
s. A famous Turkish example used at the
siege of Constantinople The following is a list of sieges of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsarigrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), Basileuous ...
in 1453 weighed 19 tons, took 200 men and sixty oxen to emplace, and could fire just 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 Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
breached the city's walls, ending the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
, according to Sir
Charles Oman Sir Charles William Chadwick Oman, (12 January 1860 – 23 June 1946) was a British military historian Military history is a humanities discipline within the scope of general historical recording of armed conflict in the history of huma ...

Charles Oman
. Bombards developed in Europe were massive
smoothbore A smoothbore weapon is one that has a without . Smoothbores range from handheld to powerful s and large artillery s. History Early firearms had smoothly bored barrels that fired s without significant spin. To minimize inaccuracy-inducing ...
weapons distinguished by their lack of a field carriage, immobility once emplaced, highly individual design, and noted unreliability (in 1460
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

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 with its massive bore and the stacked barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical container with a bulging center, longer than it is wide. They are traditionally made of wooden stave (wood), staves and bound by wood or metal hoops. The w ...
. 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 the siege and static defenses. The reduction in the size of the barrel was due to improvements in both iron technology and gunpowder manufacture, while the development of
trunnion A trunnion (from Old French Old French (, , ; French language, Modern French: ) was the language spoken in Northern France from the 8th century to the 14th century. Rather than a unified Dialect#Dialect or language, language, Old French was re ...
s—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. The first land-based mobile weapon is usually credited to
Jan Žižka Jan Žižka z Trocnova a Kalicha ( en, John Zizka of Trocnov and the Chalice) ( 1360 – 11 October 1424) was a Czechs, Czech general – a contemporary and follower of Jan Hus and a Radical Hussite who led the Taborites. Žižka was a successful ...
, who deployed his oxen-hauled cannon during the
Hussite Wars The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were a series of wars fought between the and the combined Catholic forces of , the , European monarchs loyal to the , as well as various Hussite factions. After initial ...
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. 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 Worms are many different distantly related bilateral animals that typically have a long cylindrical tube-like body, no limb Limb can refer to: *Limb (anatomy), an appendage of a human or animal *Limb Music, a record label *Limb (album), an ...
—was introduced to remove them.
Gustavus Adolphus Gustavus Adolphus (9 December _19_December.html" ;"title="/nowiki> 19 December">/nowiki> 19 December15946 November _16_November.html" ;"title="/nowiki> 16 November">/nowiki> 16 November1632), also known in English as Gustav II Adolf or Gustav ...
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. The outcome of battles was still determined by the clash of infantry. Shells, explosive-filled fused projectiles, were also developed in the 17th century. The development of specialized pieces—shipboard artillery, howitzers and
mortars Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
—was also begun in this period. More esoteric designs, like the multi-barrel '' ribauldequin'' (known as "organ guns"), were also produced. The 1650 book by
Kazimierz Siemienowicz Kazimierz Siemienowicz ( la, Casimirus Siemienowicz, lt, Kazimieras Simonavičius; born 1600 – 1651) was a general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines ...
''Artis Magnae Artilleriae pars prima'' 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. 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. This led, among other things, to a frenzy of new
bastion A bastion or bulwark is a structure projecting outward from the Curtain wall (fortification), curtain wall of a fortification, most commonly angular in shape and positioned at the corners of the fort. The fully developed bastion consists of two f ...

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 superiority to force any local dukes or lords to submit to their will, setting the stage for the absolutist kingdoms to come. Modern
rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensiv ...

rocket artillery
can trace its heritage back to the
Mysorean rockets#REDIRECT Mysorean rockets Mysorean rockets were an Indian military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and m ...
of India. Their first recorded use was in 1780 during the battles of the
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the of in the (SI) (french: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and historically defined as of a – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 s, th ...
,
Third Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers *3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics), , a fraction that is one of three equal parts *Second#Sexagesimal divisions of calendar time and day, ¹⁄₆₀ of a ''second'', or ¹⁄ ...
and Fourth Mysore Wars. The wars fought between the
British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Com ...
and the
Kingdom of Mysore The Kingdom of Mysore was a realm in southern India South India is a region consisting of the southern part of India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of count ...
in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
made use of the rockets as a weapon. In the
Battle of Pollilur The Battle of Pollilur (a.k.a. Pullalur), also known as the Battle of Polilore or Battle of Perambakam, took place on 10 September 1780 at Pollilur near Conjeevaram, the city of Kanchipuram in present-day Tamil Nadu state, India, as part of the ...
, the
Siege of Seringapatam (1792) The 1792 siege of Seringapatam was a battle and siege of the Mysorean capital city of Seringapatam Srirangapatna (also spelled Shrirangapattana; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj The British Raj (; from ''rāj'', l ...
and in
Battle of Seringapatam The siege of Seringapatam (5 April – 4 May 1799) was the final confrontation of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War between the British East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (H ...
in 1799 these rockets were used with considerable effect against the British." After the wars, several Mysore rockets were sent to England, but experiments with heavier payloads were unsuccessful. In 1804 William Congreve, considering the Mysorian rockets to have too short a range (less than 1,000 yards) developed rockets in numerous sizes with ranges up to 3,000 yards and eventually utilizing iron casing as the
Congreve rocket The Congreve rocket was a type of rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artill ...
which were used effectively during the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
and the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
.


Napoleonic artillery

With the Napoleonic Wars, artillery experienced changes in both physical design and operation. Rather than being overseen by "mechanics", artillery was viewed as its own service branch with the capability of dominating the battlefield. The success of the French artillery companies was at least in part due to the presence of specifically artillery officers leading and coordinating during the chaos of battle. Napoleon, himself a former artillery officer, perfected the tactic of massed artillery batteries unleashed upon a critical point in his enemies' line as a prelude to a decisive infantry and cavalry assault. Physically, cannons continued to become smaller and lighter—Frederick II of Prussia deployed the first genuine light artillery during the Seven Years' War. Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval, a French artillery engineer, introduced the standardization of cannon design in the mid-18th century. 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. While the Gribeauval system made for more efficient production and assembly, the carriages used were heavy and the gunners were forced to march on foot (instead of riding on the limber and gun as in the British system). Each cannon was named for the weight of its projectiles, giving us variants such as 4, 8, and 12, indicating the weight in pounds. The projectiles themselves included solid balls or canister containing lead bullets or other material. These canister shots acted as massive shotguns, peppering the target with hundreds of projectiles at close range. The solid balls, known as
round shot A round shot (also called solid shot or simply ball) is a solid spherical projectile A projectile is a missile propelled by the exertion of a which is allowed to move free under the influence of and . Although any objects in motion throu ...
, was most effective when fired at shoulder-height across a flat, open area. The ball would tear through the ranks of the enemy or bounce along the ground breaking legs and ankles.


Modern artillery

The development of modern artillery occurred in the mid to late 19th century as a result of the convergence of various improvements in the underlying technology. Advances in metallurgy allowed for the construction of
breech-loading A breechloader is a firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannon ...
rifled tank gun. In firearms, rifling is machining Helix, helical grooves into the internal (bore) surface of a gun's Gun barrel, barrel for the purpose of exerting torque and thus imparting a Rotation, spin to a projectile around its longitudinal axi ...
guns that could fire at a much greater
muzzle velocity Muzzle velocity is the speed of a projectile A projectile is a missile propelled by the exertion of a force In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from '' ...

muzzle velocity
. After the British artillery was shown up in the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. ...
as having barely changed since the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
the industrialist William Armstrong was awarded a contract by the government to design a new piece of artillery. Production started in 1855 at the
Elswick Ordnance Company The Elswick Ordnance Company (sometimes referred to as Elswick Ordnance Works, but usually as "EOC") was a British armaments manufacturing company of the late 19th and early 20th century History Originally created in 1859 to separate William Arm ...
and the
Royal Arsenal The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich is an establishment on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England, that was used for the manufacture of armaments and ammunition, proof test, proofing, and explosives research for th ...
at
Woolwich Woolwich () is a district in southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydros ...
, and the outcome was the revolutionary
Armstrong Gun An Armstrong gun was a uniquely designed type of rifled breech-loading field and heavy gun designed by Sir William Armstrong and manufactured in England beginning in 1855 by the Elswick Ordnance Company The Elswick Ordnance Company (sometime ...

Armstrong Gun
, which marked the birth of modern artillery. Three of its features particularly stand out. First, the piece was rifled, which allowed for a much more accurate and powerful action. Although rifling had been tried on small arms since the 15th century, the necessary machinery to accurately rifle artillery was not available until the mid-19th century.
Martin von Wahrendorff Martin von Wahrendorff (1789–1861) was a Swedish diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the ...
, and
Joseph Whitworth Sir Joseph Whitworth, 1st Baronet (21 December 1803 – 22 January 1887) was an English engineer Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are Professional, professionals who Invention, invent, design, analyze, build and test Machine, machi ...

Joseph Whitworth
independently produced rifled cannon in the 1840s, but it was Armstrong's gun that was first to see widespread use during the Crimean War. The
cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of ...
shell of the Armstrong gun was similar in shape to a
Minié ball ball grooves for aerodynamic stability. 's 1855 Minié ball design (.58 caliber, 500 Grain (unit), grains) from the Harpers Ferry Armory The Minié ball, or Minni ball, is a type of hollow-base bullet, hollow-based bullet designed by Claude-Étie ...
and had a thin lead coating which made it fractionally larger than the gun's bore and which engaged with the gun's rifling grooves to impart spin to the shell. This spin, together with the elimination of
windageWindage is a term used in aerodynamics, firearms ballistics, and automobiles. Usage Aerodynamics Windage is a force created on an object by friction when there is relative movement between air and the object. Windage loss is the reduction in eff ...
as a result of the tight fit, enabled the gun to achieve greater range and accuracy than existing smooth-bore muzzle-loaders with a smaller powder charge. His gun was also a breech-loader. Although attempts at breech-loading mechanisms had been made since medieval times, the essential engineering problem was that the mechanism could not withstand the explosive charge. It was only with the advances in
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of Materials science, materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic Chemical element, elements, their Inter-metallic alloy, inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which ...
and
precision engineering Precision engineering is a subdiscipline of electrical engineering, software engineering, electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, and optical engineering concerned with designing machines, fixtures, and other structures that have exception ...
capabilities during the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
that Armstrong was able to construct a viable solution. The gun combined all the properties that make up an effective artillery piece. The gun was mounted on a carriage in such a way as to return the gun to firing position after the
recoil Recoil (often called knockback, kickback or simply kick) is the rearward thrust Thrust is a described quantitatively by . When a system expels or in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal but opposite directi ...

recoil
. What made the gun really revolutionary lay in the technique of the construction of the gun barrel that allowed it to withstand much more powerful explosive forces. The " built-up" method involved assembling the barrel with
wrought-iron Wrought iron is an iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of the perio ...
(later
mild steel Carbon steel is a steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fract ...
was used) tubes of successively smaller diameter. The tube would then be heated to allow it to expand and fit over the previous tube. When it cooled the gun would contract although not back to its original size, which allowed an even pressure along the walls of the gun which was directed inward against the outward forces that the gun's firing exerted on the barrel. Another innovative feature, more usually associated with 20th-century guns, was what Armstrong called its "grip", which was essentially a squeeze bore; the 6 inches of the bore at the muzzle end was of slightly smaller diameter, which centered the shell before it left the barrel and at the same time slightly
swage Swaging () is a forging process in which the dimensions of an item are altered using dies into which the item is forced. Swaging is usually a cold working process, but also may be hot worked. The term swage may apply to the process (verb) or ...
d down its lead coating, reducing its diameter and slightly improving its ballistic qualities. Armstrong's system was adopted in 1858, initially for "special service in the field" and initially he produced only smaller artillery pieces, 6-pounder (2.5 in/64 mm) mountain or light field guns, 9-pounder (3 in/76 mm) guns for
horse artillery Horse artillery was a type of light, fast-moving, and fast-firing artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery develop ...
, and 12-pounder (3 inches /76 mm) field guns. The first cannon to contain all 'modern' features is generally considered to be the of 1897.Priscilla Mary Roberts
"French 75 gun"
World War One, p. 726
It was the first
field gun A field gun is a field artillery piece. Originally the term referred to smaller gun A gun is a designed to use a shooting tube () to launch typically solid s, but can also project pressurized (e.g. s/s, s for or , , and technically a ...
to include a hydro-pneumatic recoil mechanism, which kept the gun's trail and wheels perfectly still during the firing sequence. Since it did not need to be re-aimed after each shot, the crew could fire as soon as the barrel returned to its resting position. In typical use, the French 75 could deliver fifteen rounds per minute on its target, either
shrapnel Shrapnel may refer to: Military * Shrapnel shell, explosive artillery munitions, generally for anti-personnel use * Shrapnel (fragment), a hard loose material Popular culture *Shrapnel (Radical Comics), ''Shrapnel'' (Radical Comics) Charac ...

shrapnel
or
high-explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume associated with an extremely vigorous outward release ...
, up to about 5 miles (8,500 m) away. Its firing rate could even reach close to 30 rounds per minute, albeit only for a very short time and with a highly experienced crew. These were rates that contemporary
bolt action rifle Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action that is operated by directly manipulating the bolt via a bolt handle, which is most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon (as most users are right-handed In human biology, han ...
s could not match. The gun used cased ammunition, was breech-loading, and had modern sights, a self-contained firing mechanism and hydro-pneumatic recoil dampening.


Indirect fire

Indirect fire, the firing of a projectile without relying on direct line of sight between the gun and the target, possibly dates back to the 16th century. Early battlefield use of indirect fire may have occurred at Paltzig in July 1759, when the Russian artillery fired over the tops of trees, and at the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
, where a battery of the
Royal Horse Artillery The Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was formed in 1793 as a distinct arm of the (commonly termed ) to provide support to the cavalry units of the . (Although the cavalry link remained part of its defining character, as early as the the RHA was s ...
fired
Shrapnel Shrapnel may refer to: Military * Shrapnel shell, explosive artillery munitions, generally for anti-personnel use * Shrapnel (fragment), a hard loose material Popular culture *Shrapnel (Radical Comics), ''Shrapnel'' (Radical Comics) Charac ...

Shrapnel
indirectly against advancing French troops. In 1882, Russian Lieutenant Colonel KG Guk published ''Indirect Fire for Field Artillery'', which provided a practical method of using aiming points for indirect fire by describing, "all the essentials of aiming points, crest clearance, and corrections to fire by an observer". A few years later, the Richtfläche (lining-plane) sight was invented in Germany and provided a means of indirect laying in azimuth, complementing the clinometers for indirect laying in elevation which already existed. Despite conservative opposition within the
German army The German Army () is the land component of the armed forces of Federal Republic of Germany, Germany. The present-day German Army was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German ''Bundeswehr'' together with the German Navy, ''Marine' ...
, indirect fire was adopted as doctrine by the 1890s. In the early 1900s, Goertz in Germany developed an optical sight for azimuth laying. It quickly replaced the lining-plane; in English, it became the 'Dial Sight' (UK) or 'Panoramic Telescope' (US). The British halfheartedly experimented with indirect fire techniques since the 1890s, but with the onset of the
Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire The Br ...
, they were the first to apply the theory in practice in 1899, although they had to improvise without a lining-plane sight. In the next 15 years leading up to
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, 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. An implication of indirect fire and improving guns was increasing range between gun and target, this increased the time of flight and the vertex of the trajectory. The result was decreasing accuracy (the increasing distance between the target and the mean point of impact of the shells aimed at it) caused by the increasing effects of non-standard conditions. Indirect firing data was based on standard conditions including a specific muzzle velocity, zero wind, air temperature and density, and propellant temperature. In practice, this standard combination of conditions almost never existed, they varied throughout the day and day to day, and the greater the time of flight, the greater the inaccuracy. An added complication was the need for survey to accurately fix the coordinates of the gun position and provide accurate orientation for the guns. Of course, targets had to be accurately located, but by 1916, air photo interpretation techniques enabled this, and ground survey techniques could sometimes be used. In 1914, the methods of correcting firing data for the actual conditions were often convoluted, and the availability of data about actual conditions was rudimentary or non-existent, the assumption was that fire would always be ranged (adjusted). British heavy artillery worked energetically to progressively solve all these problems from late 1914 onwards, and by early 1918, had effective processes in place for both field and heavy artillery. These processes enabled 'map-shooting', later called 'predicted fire'; it meant that effective fire could be delivered against an accurately located target without ranging. Nevertheless, the mean point of impact was still some tens of yards from the target-centre aiming point. It was not precision fire, but it was good enough for concentrations and barrages. These processes remain in use into the 21st Century with refinements to calculations enabled by computers and improved data capture about non-standard conditions. The British
major-general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparent confusion of a lieu ...
Henry Hugh Tudor Lieutenant-General Lieutenant general or lieutenant-general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for war ...
pioneered armour and artillery cooperation at the breakthrough Battle of Cambrai. The improvements in providing and using data for non-standard conditions (propellant temperature, muzzle velocity, wind, air temperature, and barometric pressure) were developed by the major combatants throughout the war and enabled effective predicted fire. The effectiveness of this was demonstrated by the British in 1917 (at Cambrai) and by Germany the following year (
Operation Michael Operation Michael was a major German military offensive during the First World War World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11&n ...
). Major General J.B.A. Bailey, British Army (retired) wrote: An estimated 75,000 French soldiers were casualties of friendly artillery fire in the four years of World War I.


Precision-guided artillery

Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recov ...
artillery is most obviously distinguished by its long range, firing an
explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume Volume is a expressing the of enclosed by a . ...

explosive
shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural element which is characterized by its geometry, being a three-dimensional solid whose thickness is very small when compared with other dimensions, and ...
or
rocket A rocket (from it, rocchetto, , bobbin/spool) is a spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. ( ...

rocket
and a mobile 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. However, indirect fire was area fire; it was and is not suitable for destroying point targets; its primary purpose is area suppression. Nevertheless, by the late 1970s precision-guided munitions started to appear, notably the US 155 mm Copperhead and its Soviet 152 mm Krasnopol equivalent that had success in Indian service. These relied on laser designation to 'illuminate' the target that the shell homed onto. However, in the early 21st Century, the Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled relatively cheap and accurate guidance for shells and missiles, notably the US 155 mm Excalibur and the 227 mm GMLRS rocket. The introduction of these led to a new issue, the need for very accurate three dimensional target coordinates—the mensuration process. Weapons covered by the term 'modern artillery' include "
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
" artillery (such as
howitzer A howitzer () is generally a large ranged weapon between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity shells fired at flatter trajectories – and a Mortar (weapon), mortar – wh ...

howitzer
,
mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
, and
field gun A field gun is a field artillery piece. Originally the term referred to smaller gun A gun is a designed to use a shooting tube () to launch typically solid s, but can also project pressurized (e.g. s/s, s for or , , and technically a ...
) and
rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensiv ...

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 File:Redoubt of the Dardanelles Fortified Area.jpg, 250px, An Ottoman Empire, Ottoman redoubt of the Dardanelles Fortified Area. The weapon is possibly a German-made 28 cm SK L/40 gun on a coast defense mount. Coastal artillery is the branch of th ...
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 system A guidance system is a virtual or physical device, or a group of devices implementing a controlling the movement of a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying g ...

guidance system
s, preferring the term "missilery", though some modern artillery units employ surface-to-surface
missile In military terminology, a missile is a missile guidance, guided airborne ranged weapon capable of self-propelled flight usually by a jet engine or rocket motor. Missiles are thus also called guided missiles or guided rockets (when in rocket f ...
s. Advances in terminal guidance systems for small munitions has allowed large-caliber guided projectiles to be developed, blurring this distinction.


Ammunition

One of the most important roles of logistics is the supply of
munition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are use ...

munition
s as a primary type of artillery consumable, their storage (
ammunition dump An ammunition dump, ammunition supply point (ASP), ammunition handling area (AHA) or ammunition depot is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warf ...
,
arsenal The Royal Armoury, Leeds An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon or weapon system. Ammunition is both expendable weapons (e ...

arsenal
,
magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example i ...
) and the provision of fuzes, 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: # Fuze # Projectile # Propellant # Primer


Fuzes

Fuzes are the devices that initiate an artillery projectile, either to detonate its High Explosive (HE) filling or eject its cargo (illuminating flare or smoke canisters being examples). The official military spelling is "fuze". Broadly there are four main types: * impact (including graze and delay) * mechanical time including
airburst An air burst or airburst is the detonation of an explosive device such as an Anti-personnel weapon, anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target. The principal military advantage o ...
* proximity sensor including airburst * programmable electronic detonation including airburst Most artillery fuzes are nose fuzes. However, base fuzes have been used with armour piercing shells and for squash head ( High-Explosive Squash Head (HESH) or High Explosive, Plastic (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 projectiles. 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. Armor or Concrete-Piercing (AP or CP) fuzes are 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 fuze Image:MK53 fuze.jpg, 300px, Proximity fuze MK53 removed from shell, circa 1950s A proximity fuze (or fuse) is a Fuze (munitions), fuze that detonates an Explosive material, explosive device automatically when the distance to the target becomes sma ...
s, the airburst function was mostly used with cargo munitions—for example, shrapnel, illumination, and smoke. The larger calibers of
anti-aircraft Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
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 the century. These required a means of powering them. The Thiel mechanism used a spring and escapement (i.e. 'clockwork'), Junghans used
centrifugal force In Newtonian mechanics, the centrifugal force is an inertial force A fictitious force (also called a pseudo force, d'Alembert force, or inertial force) is a force that appears to act on a mass whose motion is described using a non-inertial ref ...
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 Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
'unrotated projectiles' (rockets) in World War II. Radar proximity fuzes were a big improvement over the mechanical (time) 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 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 (perhaps originally codenamed 'VT' and later called Variable Time (VT)) were invented by the British and developed by the US and 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 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 The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was a major German offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * ...

Battle of the Bulge
. They were also used to great effect in anti-aircraft projectiles in the Pacific against ''
kamikaze , officially , were a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviation, military aviators who flew suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allies of World War II, Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific ...

kamikaze
'' as well as in Britain against
V-1 flying bomb The V-1 flying bomb (german: Vergeltungswaffe 1 "Vengeance Weapon 1") was an early cruise missile and the only production aircraft to use a pulsejet for power. Its official aircraft designation was Fi 103. It was also known to the Allies as t ...

V-1 flying bomb
s. 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.


Projectiles

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, ("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. * Nose Ejection: shrapnel, star, incendiary and flechette (a more modern version of shrapnel). * Base Ejection: Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition (DPICM)-bomblets, which arm themselves and function after a set number of rotations after having been ejected from the projectile (this produces unexploded sub-munitions, or "duds", which remain dangerous), scatterable mines, illuminating, coloured flare, smoke, incendiary, propaganda, chaff (foil to jam radars) and modern exotics such as electronic payloads and sensor-fuzed munitions.


Stabilization

* Rifled Traditionally, artillery projectiles have been spin-stabilised, meaning that they spin in flight so that
gyroscopic A gyroscope (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following peri ...
forces prevent them from tumbling. Spin is induced by gun barrels having
rifling In firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns ...
which engages a soft metal band around the projectile, called a "
driving band Russian 122 mm shrapnel shell, which has been fired, showing rifling marks on the copper driving band around its base and the steel bourrelet nearer the front A driving band or rotating band is a band of soft metal near the base of an artillery s ...
" (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 A smoothbore weapon is one that has a without . Smoothbores range from handheld to powerful s and large artillery s. History Early firearms had smoothly bored barrels that fired s without significant spin. To minimize inaccuracy-inducing ...
tubes have been used mostly by
mortars Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
. These projectiles use fins in the airflow at their rear to maintain correct orientation. The primary benefits over rifled barrels is reduced barrel wear, longer ranges that can be achieved (due to the reduced loss of energy to friction and gas escaping around the projectile via the rifling) and larger explosive cores for a given caliber artillery due to less metal needing to be used to form the case of the projectile because of less force applied to the shell from the non-rifled sides of the barrel of smooth bore guns. * 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, guidance or gliding.


Propellant

Most forms of artillery require a
propellant A propellant (or propellent) is a that is expelled or expanded in such a way as to create a or other in accordance with , and "propel" a vehicle, , or payload. In vehicles, the engine that expels the propellant is called a . Although technical ...
to propel the projectile at the target. Propellant is always a low explosive, this means it deflagrates instead of
detonating Detonation () is a type of combustion involving a supersonic exothermic front accelerating through a medium that eventually drives a shock front propagating directly in front of it. Detonations occur in both conventional solid and liquid explosi ...

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 A rocket engine uses stored rocket propellants as the reaction mass for forming a high-speed propulsive Jet (fluid), jet of fluid, usually high-temperature gas. Rocket engines are reaction engines, producing thrust by ejecting mass rearward, in ...
. Until the late 19th century, the only available propellant was
black powder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Finnish smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces less smoke and less fouling when fir ...
. 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 Nitroglycerin (NG), also known as nitroglycerine, trinitroglycerin (TNG), nitro, glyceryl trinitrate (GTN), or 1,2,3-trinitroxypropane, is a dense, colorless, oily, explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that c ...

nitroglycerin
was discovered at nearly the same time.
Nitrocellulose Nitrocellulose (also known as cellulose nitrate, flash paper, flash cotton, guncotton, pyroxylin and flash string, depending on form) is a highly flammable compound formed by nitrating In organic chemistry, nitration is a general class of chem ...

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 . Artillery shells fired from a barrel can be assisted to greater range in three ways: *
Rocket-Assisted Projectile A rocket assisted projectile (RAP) is a cannon, howitzer, Mortar (weapon), mortar, or recoilless rifle round incorporating a rocket motor for independent propulsion. This grants the projectile both greater speed and range than an ordinary shell, whi ...
s (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 Drag or The Drag may refer to: Places * Drag, Norway, a village in Tysfjord municipality, Nordland, Norway * ''Drág'', the Hungarian name for Dragu Commune in Sălaj County, Romania * Drag (Austin, Texas), the portion of Guadalupe Street adja ...

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 . 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 3" or 76.2 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 ignitionLaser ignition is an alternative method for igniting mixtures of fuel and oxidiser. The phase of the mixture can be gaseous or liquid. The method is based on laser A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplificatio ...
is emerging. Modern 155 mm guns have a primer magazine fitted to their breech. 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 Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Finnish smokeless powder Smokeless powder is a type of propellant used in firearms and artillery that produces less smoke and less fouling when fir ...
), and no projectile; used for training, demonstration or ceremonial use.


Field artillery system

Because field artillery mostly uses
indirect fire Indirect fire is aiming and firing a projectile without relying on a direct line of sight between the gun and its target, as in the case of direct fire Direct fire refers to firing Dismissal (also referred to as firing) is the termination of emp ...
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; * Computation 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. All these calculations to produce a quadrant elevation (or range) and azimuth were done manually using instruments, tabulated, data of the moment, and approximations until battlefield computers started appearing in the 1960s and 1970s. While some early calculators copied the manual method (typically substituting
polynomials In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). I ...
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 coordinates. NATO has a standard ballistic model for computer calculations and has expanded the scope of this into the NATO Armaments Ballistic Kernel (NABK) within the
SG2 Shareable (Fire Control) Software Suite (S4) The NATO Army Armaments Group (NAAG) Integrated Capability Group Indirect Fires (ICGIF), formerly Land Group 4, and their Sub Group 2 (SG2) on Surface to Surface Ballistics has created a widely used set of shareable fire control software using the ...
.


Logistics

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.


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: * Heavy artillery: Large-caliber guns capable of firing a long distance to bombard its target. See also
large-calibre artillery The formal definition of large-calibre artillery used by the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) is " guns, howitzers, artillery pieces, combining the characteristics of a gun, howitzer, mortar (weapon), mortar, or multiple-lau ...
* Field artillery: Mobile weapons used to support armies in the field. Subcategories include: **
Infantry support gunInfantry support guns or battalion guns are artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the abil ...
s: Directly support infantry units. **
Mountain gun Mountain guns are artillery pieces designed for use in mountain warfare and areas where usual wheeled transport is not possible. They are similar to infantry support guns, and are generally capable of being broken down into smaller loads (for tran ...
s: Lightweight guns that can be moved through difficult terrain. **
Field gun A field gun is a field artillery piece. Originally the term referred to smaller gun A gun is a designed to use a shooting tube () to launch typically solid s, but can also project pressurized (e.g. s/s, s for or , , and technically a ...
s: Capable of long-range
direct fire Direct fire refers to shooting, firing of a ranged weapon whose projectile is launched directly at a target within the sightline, line-of-sight of the user. The firing weapon must have a sight (device), sighting device and an unobstructed view to ...
s. **
Howitzer A howitzer () is generally a large ranged weapon between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity shells fired at flatter trajectories – and a Mortar (weapon), mortar – wh ...

Howitzer
s: Capable of high-angle fire, they are most often employed for
indirect-fire Indirect fire is aiming and firing a projectile without relying on a direct line of sight between the gun and its target, as in the case of direct fire Direct fire refers to firing of a ranged weapon whose projectile is launched directly at a tar ...
s. ** Gun howitzers: Capable of high or low-angle fire with a long barrel. **
mortar Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
s: Typically short-barreled, high-trajectory weapons designed primarily for an indirect-fire role. ** Gun mortars: Breechloading mortars capable of high or low-angle fire. **
Tank gun A tank gun is the main armament of a tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle intended as a primary offensive weapon in front-line ground combat. Tank designs are a balance of heavy firepower, strong vehicle armor, armor, and good battlefi ...
s: Large-caliber guns mounted on
tank A tank is an armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tra ...

tank
s or
assault gun An assault gun is a form of which uses an mounted on a motorized chassis, normally an . Assault guns are designed to provide for attacks, especially against other infantry or positions. The term is a literal translation of the German word ...
s to provide mobile direct fires. ** Anti-tank artillery: Guns, usually mobile, designed primarily for direct fire and destroying
armored fighting vehicle An armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) is an armed combat vehicle protected by armour, generally combining operational mobility with offensive and defensive capabilities. AFVs can be wheeled or tracked. Main battle tanks, armoured cars, arm ...
s with heavy
armor Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...
. **
Anti-aircraft artillery Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
: Guns, usually mobile, designed for attacking
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in ...

aircraft
from the ground. Some guns were suitable for the dual-role of anti-aircraft and anti-tank warfare. **
Rocket artillery Rocket artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensiv ...

Rocket artillery
: Launches
rocket A rocket (from it, rocchetto, , bobbin/spool) is a spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ISS. ( ...
s instead of shot or shell. *
Railway gun A railway gun, also called a railroad gun, is a large artillery piece, often surplus naval artillery, mounted on, transported by, and fired from a specially designed railroad car, railway wagon. Many countries have built railway guns, but the be ...
: Large-caliber weapons that are mounted on, transported by and fired from specially-designed
railway wagon A railroad car, railcar (American English, American and Canadian English), railway wagon, railway carriage, railway truck, railwagon, railcarriage or railtruck (British English and International Union of Railways, UIC), also called a train car, ...
s. *
Naval artillery Naval artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defens ...
: Guns mounted on
warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and ...
s to be used either against other vessels, or to bombard coastal targets in support of ground forces. The crowning achievement of naval artillery was the
battleship A battleship is a large armored warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually ...

battleship
, but the advent of airpower and missiles have rendered this type of artillery largely obsolete. They are typically longer-barreled, low-trajectory, high-velocity weapons designed primarily for a direct-fire role. *
Coastal artillery File:Redoubt of the Dardanelles Fortified Area.jpg, 250px, An Ottoman Empire, Ottoman redoubt of the Dardanelles Fortified Area. The weapon is possibly a German-made 28 cm SK L/40 gun on a coast defense mount. Coastal artillery is the branch of th ...
: Fixed-position weapons dedicated to defense of a particular location, usually a coast (for example, the
Atlantic Wall The Atlantic Wall (german: link=no, Atlantikwall) was an extensive system of coastal defence and fortification, coastal defences and fortifications built by Nazi Germany between 1942 and 1944, along the coast of continental Europe and Scandinav ...

Atlantic Wall
in World War 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 (for example, Russia's "Bereg" system) is often self-propelled, (allowing it to avoid
counter-battery fire Counter-battery fire (sometimes called counter-fire) is a military battlefield-tactic employed to defeat the enemy's indirect fire elements (guns, rocket launchers, artillery and mortars), including their target acquisition, command and control co ...
) and fully integrated, meaning that each battery has all of the support systems that it requires (maintenance, targeting radar, etc.) organic to its unit. *
Aircraft artillery Aircraft artillery are artillery weapons with a calibre larger than 37 millimetre, mm mounted on aircraft. First used for ground attack roles during World War I, aircraft artillery has found its use in the present day, most notably on the AC-130. ...
: Large-caliber guns mounted on
attack aircraft An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber is a tactical military aircraft A military aircraft is any fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane ( ...
, typically slow-flying
gunship A gunship is a military aircraft A military aircraft is any Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat o ...
s. Modern field artillery can also be split into two other subcategories: towed and
self-propelled Self-propelled may refer to * Human-powered transport Human-powered transport is the transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one ...
. As the name suggests, towed artillery has a prime mover, usually an
artillery tractor An artillery tractor, also referred to as a gun tractor, is a specialized heavy-duty form of tractor unit A tractor unit (also known as a truck unit, prime mover, ten-wheeler, semi-tractor, semi-truck, tractor cab, truck cab, tractor rig, t ...
or truck, to move the piece, crew, and ammunition around. Towed artillery is in some cases equipped with an APU for small displacements. Self-propelled artillery is permanently mounted on a carriage or vehicle with room for the crew and ammunition and is 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. It includes 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.


Organizational types

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 Horse artillery was a type of light, fast-moving, and fast-firing artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery develop ...
, first formed as regular units in the 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 A rocket (from it, rocchetto, , bobbin/spool) is a projectile that spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle use to obtain thrust from a rocket engine. Rocket engine exhaust is formed entirely from Rocket propellant, propellant carried within the r ...

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 Mountain guns are artillery pieces designed for use in mountain warfare and areas where usual wheeled transport is not possible. They are similar to infantry support guns, and are generally capable of being broken down into smaller loads (for trans ...
, 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 The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire The Br ...
, during the First World War the guns from the stricken SMS ''Königsberg'' formed the main artillery strength of the German forces in East Africa. 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 1960s 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 Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
, 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

The three main types of artillery "gun" are
guns A gun is a ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device similar to a bow; it consists of a b ...

guns
,
howitzers A howitzer is generally a large ranged weapon that stands between an artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon A cannon is a large-caliber gun classified as a type of artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons bui ...
, and
mortars Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
. 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 have become very rare in artillery use, the main users being tanks, ships, and a few residual anti-aircraft and coastal guns. The term "cannon" is a United States generic term that includes guns, howitzers, and mortars; it is not used in other English speaking armies. 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 characterized by long range, having a maximum elevation significantly less than 45°, a high muzzle velocity and hence a relatively long barrel, smooth bore (no rifling) 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. Howitzers can fire at maximum elevations at least close to 45°; elevations up to about 70° are normal for modern howitzers. Howitzers 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 rifled bores, 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 Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
are simpler. The modern mortar originated in World War I and there were several patterns. After that war, most mortars settled on the Stokes pattern, characterized by a short barrel, smooth bore, low muzzle velocity, elevation angle of firing generally greater than 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 recognized typifying characteristics for artillery. One such characteristic is 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. 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 mechanized 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 armored 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 armor and carry few or no other weapons and ammunition. Armoured SPs usually carry a useful ammunition load. Early armoured SPs were mostly a "casemate" configuration, in essence an open top armored box offering only limited traverse. However, most modern armored SPs have a full enclosed armored turret, usually giving full traverse for the gun. Many SPs cannot fire without deploying stabilizers 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 A railway gun, also called a railroad gun, is a large artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focu ...
took two forms, railway mountings for heavy and super-heavy guns and howitzers and armored 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 coastal guns.


Modern operations

List of countries in order of amount of artillery: # Russia – 26,121 # North Korea – 17,900+ # China – 17,700+ # India – 11,258+ # South Korea – 10,774+ # United States – 8,137 # Turkey – 7,450+ # Israel – 5,432 # Egypt – 4,480 # Pakistan – 4,291+Hackett, James, (ed.), ''The Military Balance 2010'', The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2010, p.368 # Syria – 3,805+ # Iran – 3,668+ # Algeria – 3,465 # Jordan – 2,339 # Iraq – 2,300+ # Finland – 1,398 # Brazil – 900 # Cameroon – 883 # Morocco – 848 # Hungary – 835 # France – 758 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 makes artillery a supporting arm although not all NATO armies agree with this logic. The ''italicised'' terms are NATO's. 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 Mortar may refer to: * Mortar (weapon), an indirect-fire infantry weapon * Mortar (masonry), a material used to fill the gaps between blocks and bind them together * Mortar and pestle, a tool pair used to crush or grind * Mortar, Bihar, a village in ...
, because of their lighter weight and simpler, more transportable design, are usually an integral part of
infantry at the Battle of the Somme The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place bet ...

infantry
and, in some armies,
armor Armour (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...

armor
units. This means they generally do not 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

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 Harassing fire is a form of psychological warfare in which an enemy force is subjected to random, unpredictable and intermittent small-arms or artillery fire over an extended period of time (usually at night and times of low conflict intensity) in ...
'': 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. 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, for example, ''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, for example, ''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 The FH70 (field howitzer for the 1970s) is a towed howitzer in use with several nations. History In 1963, NATO agreed a NATO Basic Military Requirement 39 for close support artillery, either towed or tracked. Subsequently, Germany and UK started ...
first gained the capability. * multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI), where a single weapon or multiple individual weapons fire multiple rounds at differing trajectories so that all rounds arrive on target at the same time. * ''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

Modern counter-battery fire developed in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, with the objective of defeating the enemy's artillery. Typically such fire was used to suppress enemy batteries when they were or were about to interfere with the activities of friendly forces (such as to prevent enemy defensive artillery fire against an impending attack) or to systematically destroy enemy guns. In World War I the latter required air observation. The first indirect counter-battery fire was in May 1900 by an observer in a balloon. Enemy artillery can be detected in two ways, either by direct observation of the guns from the air or by ground observers (including specialist reconnaissance), or from their firing signatures. This includes radars tracking the shells in flight to determine their place of origin, sound ranging detecting guns firing and resecting their position from pairs of microphones or cross-observation of gun flashes using observation by human observers or opto-electronic devices, although the widespread adoption of 'flashless' propellant limited the effectiveness of the latter. Once hostile batteries have been detected they may be engaged immediately by friendly artillery or later at an optimum time, depending on the tactical situation and the counter-battery policy. Air strike is another option. In some situations the task is to locate all active enemy batteries for attack using a counter-battery fire at the appropriate moment in accordance with a plan developed by artillery intelligence staff. In other situations counter-battery fire may occur whenever a battery is located with sufficient accuracy. Modern counter-battery target acquisition uses unmanned aircraft,
counter-battery radar A counter-battery radar (alternatively weapon tracking radar or COBRA) is a radar Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft An aircraft is ...
, ground reconnaissance and sound-ranging. Counter-battery fire may be adjusted by some of the systems, for example the operator of an unmanned aircraft can 'follow' a battery if it moves. Defensive measures by batteries include frequently changing position or constructing defensive earthworks, the tunnels used by North Korea being an extreme example. Counter-measures include air defence against aircraft and attacking counter-battery radars physically and electronically.


Field artillery team

'Field Artillery Team' is a US term and the following description and terminology applies to the US, other armies are broadly similar but differ in significant details. Modern field artillery (post–World War I) has three distinct parts: the Forward Observer (FO), the
Fire Direction Center (FDC) In the US system for land-based field artillery, the field artillery team is organized to direct and control indirect fire, indirect artillery fire on the battlefield. Since World War I, to conduct indirect artillery fire, three distinct componen ...
and the actual guns themselves. The forward observer observes the target using tools such as
binoculars Binoculars or field glasses are two telescope A telescope is an optical instrument An optical instrument (or "optic" for short) is a device that processes light waves (or photon The photon (Greek: φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of ele ...
,
laser rangefinder and elevation The elevation of a geographic location (geography), location is its height above or below a fixed reference point, most commonly a reference geoid, a mathematical model of the Earth's sea level as an equipotential gravitational eq ...
s, 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. A lesser known part of the team is the FAS or Field Artillery Survey team which sets up the "Gun Line" for the cannons. Today most artillery battalions use a(n) "Aiming Circle" which allows for faster setup and more mobility. FAS teams are still used for checks and balances purposes and if a gun battery has issues with the "Aiming Circle" a FAS team will do it for them. The FO can communicate directly with the battery FDC, of which there is one per each
battery Battery may refer to: Energy source * Electric battery, an electrochemical device to provide electrical power ** Automotive battery, a device to provide power to certain functions of an automobile ** List of battery types * Energy storage, inclu ...
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 (TOT) was developed by the British Army in North Africa at the end of 1941 and early 1942 particularly for counter-battery fire and other concentrations, it proved very popular. It relied on BBC time signals to enable officers to synchronize their watches to the second because this avoided the need to use military radio networks and the possibility of losing surprise, and the need for field telephone networks in the desert. With this technique the time of flight from each fire unit (battery or troop) to the target is taken from the range or firing tables, or the computer and each engaging fire unit subtracts its time of flight from the TOT to determine the time to fire. An executive order to fire is given to all guns in the fire unit at the correct moment to fire. When each fire unit fires their rounds at their individual firing time all the opening rounds will reach the target area almost simultaneously. This is especially effective when combined with techniques that allow fires for effect to be made without preliminary adjusting fires.


Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI)

A modern version of the earlier " time on target" is a concept in which fire from different weapons is timed to arrive on target at the same time. It is possible for artillery to fire several shells per gun at a target and have all of them 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 using different size propelling charges with each shell, it is 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 area may have time (however long it takes to reload and re-fire the guns) to take cover between volleys. However, guns capable of burst fire can deliver several rounds in 10 seconds if they use the same firing data for each, and if guns in more than one location are firing on one target they can use Time on Target procedures so that all their shells arrive at the same time and target. To engage targets using MRSI requires two things, firstly guns with the requisite rate of fire and sufficiently different size propelling charges, secondly a fire control computer that has been designed to compute such missions and the data handling capability that allows all the firing data to be produced, sent to each gun and then presented to the gun commander in the correct order. The number of rounds that can be delivered in MRSI depends primarily on the range to the target and the rate of fire, for maximum rounds the range is limited to that of lowest propelling charge that will reach the target. Examples of guns with a rate of fire that makes them suitable for MRSI includes UK's
AS-90 The AS-90 ("Artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive ...
, South Africa's Denel G6-52 (which can land six rounds simultaneously at targets at least away), Germany's
Panzerhaubitze 2000 The Panzerhaubitze 2000 ("armoured howitzer 2000"), abbreviated PzH 2000, is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery equipped with its own propulsion system to move t ...

Panzerhaubitze 2000
(which can land five rounds simultaneously at targets at least away), Slovakia's 155 mm SpGH ZUZANA model 2000, and
K9 Thunder The K9 Thunder is a South Korean self-propelled 155 mm howitzer A howitzer is generally a large ranged weapon that stands between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity s ...
. The Archer project (developed by BAE-Systems Bofors in Sweden) is a 155 mm howitzer on a wheeled chassis which is claimed to be able to deliver up to six shells on target simultaneously from the same gun. The 120 mm twin barrel
AMOS AMOS or Advanced Mortar System is a Finno-Swedish 120 mm automatic twin barrel A barrel or cask is a hollow cylindrical A cylinder (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ε ...

AMOS
mortar system, joint developed by
Hägglunds File:BAE Systems Land evolution.png, 250px, Evolution of the land systems division of BAE Systems, 1970s to BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Land & Armaments formation BAE Systems AB is a Swedish defence company and a subsidiary of BAE Systems Land & ...
(Sweden) and
Patria Patria may refer to: Entertainment * Patria (novel), a 2016 novel by Spanish writer Fernando Aramburu * Patria (TV series), a 2020 limited television series, based on the novel * Patria (serial), ''Patria'' (serial), a 1917 American serial film ...
(Finland), is capable of 7 + 7 shells MRSI. The United States
Crusader Crusader or Crusaders may refer to: Military * Crusader, a participant in one of the Crusades * Convair NB-36H Crusader, an experimental nuclear-powered bomber * Crusader tank, a British cruiser tank of World War II * Crusaders (guerrilla), a Cr ...

Crusader
program (now cancelled) was slated to have MRSI capability. It is unclear how many fire control computers have the necessary capabilities. Two-round MRSI firings were a popular artillery demonstration in the 1960s, where well trained detachments could show off their skills for spectators.


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 fuze Image:MK53 fuze.jpg, 300px, Proximity fuze MK53 removed from shell, circa 1950s A proximity fuze (or fuse) is a Fuze (munitions), fuze that detonates an Explosive material, explosive device automatically when the distance to the target becomes sma ...
s. Time fuzes use a precise timer to detonate the shell after a preset delay. 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 The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was a major German offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * ...

Battle of the Bulge
), proximity fuzed artillery shells have been available that take the guesswork out of this process. These employ a miniature, low powered
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

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. The proximity fuze itself was developed by the British to increase the effectiveness of
anti-aircraft warfare Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action".AAP-6 It includes Surface-to-air missile, surf ...
. 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.


Use in monuments

Numerous s around the world incorporate an artillery piece which had been used in the specific war or battle commemorated.


See also

*
List of artillery Artillery has been one of primary weapons of war since before the Napoleonic Era. Several countries have developed and built artillery systems, while artillery itself has been continually improved and redesigned to meet the evolving needs of the bat ...
*
Indirect fire Indirect fire is aiming and firing a projectile without relying on a direct line of sight between the gun and its target, as in the case of direct fire Direct fire refers to firing Dismissal (also referred to as firing) is the termination of emp ...
* Advanced Gun System *
Aiming point{{Unreferenced, date=April 2007 In field artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability ...
*
Artillery battery In s, an artillery battery is a unit of , s, , s, , , s, etc., so grouped to facilitate better and , as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems. The term is also used in a context to describe groups of ...
*
Artillery fuze An artillery fuze or fuse is the type of munition fuze used with artillery munitions, typically projectiles fired by guns (field, anti-aircraft, coast and naval), howitzers and mortars. A fuze is a device that initiates an explosive function in a ...
* Artillery museums *
Barrage (artillery) In military usage, a barrage is massed sustained artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused ...
*
Beehive anti-personnel round Beehive was a Vietnam war {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War{{native name, vi, Chiến tranh Việt Nam , partof = the Indochina Wars and the Cold War , image = File:VNWarMontage.png , ima ...
* Combustion light-gas gun *
Cordite Cordite is a family of smokeless propellants developed and produced in the United Kingdom since 1889 to replace gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder Smokeless powder is ...

Cordite
*
Counter-battery fire Counter-battery fire (sometimes called counter-fire) is a military battlefield-tactic employed to defeat the enemy's indirect fire elements (guns, rocket launchers, artillery and mortars), including their target acquisition, command and control co ...
*
Counter-battery radar A counter-battery radar (alternatively weapon tracking radar or COBRA) is a radar Radar is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the range, angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft An aircraft is ...
*
Fuze In military munition Ammunition (informally ammo) is the material fired, scattered, dropped or detonated from any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage ...

Fuze
* Project Babylon *
Gun laying Gun laying is the process of aiming an artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the abi ...
*
Howitzer A howitzer () is generally a large ranged weapon between an Artillery, artillery gun (also known as a ''cannon'' outside the US) – which has smaller, higher-velocity shells fired at flatter trajectories – and a Mortar (weapon), mortar – wh ...

Howitzer
*
Light-gas gun The light-gas gun is an apparatus for physics experiments. It is a highly specialized gun designed to generate extremely high velocities. It is usually used to study high-speed impact phenomena (hypervelocity Hypervelocity is very high veloci ...

Light-gas gun
*
Naval artillery Naval artillery is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defens ...
*
Nuclear artillery Nuclear artillery is a subset of limited-nuclear weapon yield, yield tactical nuclear weapons, in particular those weapons that are launched from the ground at battlefield targets. Nuclear artillery is commonly associated with shell (projectil ...
*
Paris Gun The Paris Gun (german: Paris-Geschütz / Pariser Kanone) was the name given to a type of German long-range siege gun, several of which were used to bombard Paris during World War I. They were in service from March to August 1918. When the guns we ...
*
Railgun A railgun is a linear motor Synchronous linear motors are straightened versions of permanent magnet rotor motors A linear motor is an electric motor that has had its stator The stator is the stationary part of a rotary system, found in ...
*
Coilgun A coilgun, also known as a Gauss rifle, is a type of mass driver consisting of one or more coils used as electromagnets in the configuration of a linear motor that accelerate a ferromagnetic or conducting projectile to high velocity. In almost ...

Coilgun
*
Shell (projectile) US scientists with a full-scale cut-away model of the nuclear_artillery.html"_;"title="W48_155_millimeter_nuclear_artillery">W48_155_millimeter_nuclear_artillery_shell,_a_very_small_tactical_nuclear_weapon_with_an_explosive_yield_equivalent_to_ ...
*
Shoot-and-scoot , a self-propelled gun Self-propelled artillery (also called locomotive artillery) is artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firear ...
*
Shrapnel shell Shrapnel shells were anti-personnel artillery munitions which carried many individual bullets close to the target and then ejected them to allow them to continue along the shell's trajectory and strike the target individually. They relied almost ...

Shrapnel shell
*
Sound ranging In land warfare, artillery sound ranging is a method of determining the coordinates of a hostile artillery battery, battery using data derived from the sound of its guns (or mortar or rockets) firing. The same methods can also be used to direct ar ...
*
Suppressive fire In military science Military science is the study of military processes, institutions, and behavior, along with the study of warfare, and the theory and application of organized coercive force. It is mainly focused on Military theory, theory ...


References


Notes


Bibliography

* TM 9-2300 * * * * * * *


Further reading

* *


External links


Portsmouth Action Field Gun Pictures and Video



Cannon Artillery – The Voice of Freedom's Thunder



What sort of forensic information can be derived from the analysis of shell fragments
* Evans, Nigel F. (2001–2007)






French artillery and its ammunition. 14th to the end of the 19th century
* Historic films showing artillery in World War I a
europeanfilmgateway.eu

Video: Inside shrieking shrapnel. Hear the great sound of shrapnel's – Finnish field artillery fire video year 2013
{{Authority control Chinese inventions Explosive weapons