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Who invented artillery

Who invented artillery

Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms.

Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications during siegesand led to heavy, fairly immobile siege engines.

Henry Shrapnel

As technology improved, lighter, more mobile field artillery cannons developed for battlefield use. This development continues today; modern self-propelled artillery 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 and cannon, "artillery" has largely meant cannons, and in contemporary usage, usually refers to shell -firing guns, howitzersmortarsand 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 " if solid or "shell" if not solid. Historically, variants of solid shot including canisterchain shot and grapeshot were also used.

By association, artillery may also refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines. In some armies, the artillery arm has operated fieldcoastalanti-aircraftand anti-tank artillery; in others these have been separate arms, with some nations coastal has been a naval or marine responsibility.

Horse artillery

In the 20th century, technology-based target acquisition devices such as radar and systems such as sound ranging and flash spotting emerged 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; in some armies, provision of these are the responsibility of the artillery arm.

Artillery is arguably the most lethal form of land-based armament currently employed, and has been since at least the early Industrial Revolution.

who invented artillery

Although not called as such, siege engines performing the role recognizable as artillery have been employed in warfare since antiquity. The first known catapult was developed in Syracuse in BC. A 1st-century BC Roman catapult launching 6. From the Middle Ages through most of the modern eraartillery pieces on land were moved by horse-drawn gun carriages. In the contemporary eraartillery pieces and their crew relied on wheeled or tracked vehicles as transportation. These land versions of artillery were dwarfed by railway guns ; the largest of these large-calibre guns ever conceived — Project Babylon of the Supergun affair — was theoretically capable of putting a satellite into orbit.

Artillery used by naval forces has also changed significantly, with missiles generally replacing guns in surface warfare. The engineering applications for 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 platforms. The term " gunner " 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".The history of the cannon spans several hundred years from the 12th century to modern times.

The cannon first appeared in China sometime during the 12th and 13th centuries. It likely developed in parallel or as an evolution of an earlier gunpowder weapon called the fire lance. The result was a metal projectile firing weapon that replaced other traditional missile weapons such as the bow and arrowcrossbowand trebuchet. Cannons were used for warfare by the late 13th century in the Yuan dynasty and spread throughout Eurasia in the 14th century.

During the Middle Ageslarge and small cannons were developed for siege and field battles. After the Middle Ages, most large cannon were abandoned in favor of greater numbers of lighter, more maneuverable field artillery.

New defensive fortifications such as bastions and star forts were designed specifically to better withstand artillery sieges. Cannons transformed naval warfare with its deadly firepower, allowing vessels to destroy each other from long range. As rifling became more commonplace, the accuracy of cannon was significantly improved, and they became deadlier than ever, especially to infantry. Most modern cannon are similar to those used in the Second World War, including autocannon —with the exception of naval guns, which are now significantly smaller in caliber.

The cannon first appeared in China, possibly as early as the 12th century, [2] but did not see wider use in the region until the 13th century. The cannon was likely a parallel development or evolution of the fire-lancea 12th-century gunpowder weapon that combined a tube of gunpowder with a polearm weapon. Once the fire goes off it completely spews the rear pellet wad forth, and the sound is like a bomb that can be heard for five hundred or more paces.

Fire lances transformed from the "bamboo- or wood- or paper- barreled firearm to the metal-barreled firearm" [7] to better withstand the explosive pressure of gunpowder.

who invented artillery

The earliest known depiction of a cannon is a sculpture from the Dazu Rock Carvings in Sichuandated tothat portrays a figure carrying a vase-shaped bombardfiring flames and a cannonball. However they contain no inscriptions. The Wuwei Bronze Cannon, was discovered in and may possibly be the oldest as well as largest cannon of the 13th century: a centimeter kilogram bronze cannon discovered in a cellar in WuweiGansu Province containing no inscription, but has been dated by historians to the late Western Xia period between and The gun contained an iron ball about nine centimeters in diameter, which is smaller than the muzzle diameter at twelve centimeters, and 0.

The History of Yuan states that a Jurchen commander known as Li Ting led troops armed with hand cannons into battle against Nayan, scoring two victories, one in and another in early Li Ting personally led a detachment of ten brave soldiers holding huo paoand in a night attack penetrated the enemy's camp.

Then they let off the paowhich caused great damage, and such confusion that the enemy soldiers attacked and killed each cother, flying 'in all directions' Li Ting chose gun-soldiers chong ziconcealing those who bore the huo pao on their backs; then by night he crossed the river, moved upstream, and fired off the weapons.

This threw all the enemy's horses and men into great confusion According to the Taiheikiduring the Mongol invasions of Japanenemy troops used a weapon shaped like a bell that made a noise like thunder-clap and shot out thousands of iron balls. The Red Turban Rebellion saw the application of arrow-firing cannon to both siege and naval warfare in the conflict.

During the Siege of Shaoxing of —9, the Ming army attacked the city and the defenders "used Cannons were also used on board naval vessels. In the Battle of Lake Poyang on 29 AugustZhu Yuanzhang's fleet arrived armed with "fire bombs, fire guns, fire arrows, fire seeds [probably grenades], large and small fire lances, large and small 'commander' fire-tubes, large and small iron bombs, rockets.

While guns were used during the battle, ultimately they were not pivotal to success, and the battle was won using incendiary weapons. It was tasked with producing every three years 3, handheld bronze guns, 3, signal cannons, and ammunition as well as accoutrements such as ramrods.

It is unclear what proportion or how many of each type were actually manufactured. According to a Chinese observer the Oirats avoided battle several days later, "fearing that the guns had arrived again. Ming dynasty artillery included a vase shaped "long range awe inspiring" cannon dated from and found in the 14th century treatise Huolongjing. It is also depicted with a wheeled carriage, making it perhaps the earliest piece of field artillery.The class of large military weapons that are used to fire ammunition, are called as Artillery.

These are used to target far ranges than the small arms can handle. The artillery includes Field and Infantry guns, Muzzle-loaded guns, Howitzers, Anti-aircraft and Anti-tank guns, heavy and Infantry mortars, Cannons and Autocannons, other large projectile weapons etc. When perfectly aimed, it could destroy the enemy trenches, can kill a group of soldiers or infantry, can destroy their ammunition and communication systems as well. It was during the middle ages, the artillery especially Cannons were introduced.

Cannons which were widely used in wars, along with guns and bombs were said to be introduced in China first. The song dynasty which was prevailed during is said to be the golden period when economy, culture and even artillery were developed to a great extent. It was during when China invented Fire-lancers which are used to target the far-off enemies. Other artillery such as gunpowder weapons and Cannons were all developed during this Song dynasty that was also used in the series of Jin-Song wars, said to occur since The reason this artillery was invented is to aim at the enemy who is far beyond the normal range to attack with simple weapons.

Most of these weapons along with some advanced ones like Machine guns, Rifles, Poison gas spreaders, war tanks etc.

When and why artillery invented? Knowledge base. Previous Page Print Page.Artillery developed rapidly during World War One. The near constant shelling by all sides on the western front drove rapid innovation in the hope of attaining a decisive advantage over the enemy. For more information on particular weapons see our list of 12 of the most important artillery weapons of World War One.

Motorised transport was still in its infancy and the majority of artillery was transported by horses throughout the war. The first day of the Battle of the Somme holds an infamous record for the British army, being the bloodiest day in its history. But the battle wasn't just being fought in no-man's land. Beneath the ground a dreadful, silent war was taking place, as British and German engineers tunnelled and counter-tunnelled in a vicious war of explosives and hand-to-hand fighting.

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Watch Now. The German 7. In addition to 92 field guns like this one, they had 31 field howitzers, 14 medium howitzers, 14 heavy guns, 7 heavy howitzers and 3.

Dan Snow introduces four projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council over the last four years, highlighing underexplored aspects of First World War history, from German wartime photography to miltary training in Northern Ireland. Guns were invented which used cylinders of compressed air as propellant. Due to the difficulties of keeping them supplied with bottled carbon dioxide they did not see widespread use except for the short range French Brandt mortar, seen here with its inventor.

The smaller 17 and 18cm minenwerfer were less dangerous to their crews and could be operated up close. Find out more or adjust your settings.

When and why artillery invented?

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Strictly Necessary Cookies Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Enable All Save Changes.In he became an inspector of artillery and spent several years at Woolwich arsenal.

Later versions altered the spherical projectile to a cylindrical shape and increased the bursting charge. The introduction of high-explosive ammunition led to the abandonment of case shot, the violently exploded shell casing itself serving the purpose far better. The term shrapnel continued to be used to designate such shell splinters. Henry Shrapnel. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

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Henry Shrapnel British inventor. This article was most recently revised and updated by Virginia GorlinskiAssociate Editor. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: artillery: Projectile, powder, and fuze.

The powder, ignited by a simple fuze, opened the shell over concentrations of enemy troops, and the balls, with velocity imparted by the flying shell,…. Shrapnel projectiles contained small shot or spherical bullets, usually of lead, along with an explosive charge to scatter the shot as well as fragments of the shell casing. A time fuze set off the explosive charge in the…. Bradford-on-Avon, town parishadministrative and historic county of Wiltshire, southwestern England.

Its limestone houses rise up the steep side of a valley, and the river is spanned by a medieval bridge….

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Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. More About. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.Horse artillery was a type of light, fast-moving, and fast-firing artillery which provided highly mobile fire supportespecially to cavalry units.

who invented artillery

Horse artillery units existed in armies in Europethe Americasand Asiafrom the 17th to the mid 20th century. A precursor of modern self-propelled artilleryit consisted of light cannons or howitzers attached to light but sturdy two-wheeled carriages called caissons or limbers, with the individual crewmen riding on horses.

This was in contrast to the rest of the field artillerywhich were also horse-drawn but whose gunners were normally transported seated on the gun carriage, wagons or limbers. Once in position, horse artillery crews were trained to quickly dismount, deploy or unlimber their guns detach them from their caissonsthen rapidly fire grapeshotshells or round shot at the enemy. They could then just as rapidly limber-up reattach the guns to the caissonsremount, and be ready to move to a new position, similar to the shoot-and-scoot tactics of their modern counterparts.

Horse artillery was highly versatile and often supported friendly cavalry units by disrupting enemy infantry formations such as infantry squares with rapid concentrated fire. This would leave the enemy infantry vulnerable to cavalry charges.

Their mobility also enabled them to outmaneuver enemy foot artillery units, and to act as a rearguard in concert with friendly cavalry to cover the retreat of slower units. If the horse artillery was mistaken for cavalry, the enemy might receive an unpleasant surprise when the towed batteries wheeled around, unlimbered, loaded, sighted and opened fire.

Highly proficient batteries could do so in less than a minute. Essentially a hybrid of cavalry and artilleryirregular horse artillery units were first used by Sweden in the 17th century during the Thirty Years' War by Lennart Torstenson.

Torstenson was the artillery expert of Gustavus Adolphusand used them to provide cavalry with the fire support it needed to deal with massed infantry formations without sacrificing their speed and mobility.

Gustavus Adolphus had previously tried intermixing infantry units with cavalry, and this was somewhat successful since the cavalry at that time did not charge the enemy at full gallop.

Others tried to combine firepower with mobility by using novel cavalry tactics such as the caracolebut these slowed the cavalry down and proved largely ineffective. The best solutions involved creating hybrid units of mounted infantry, most notably dragoons. Although they proved highly useful and versatile troops, whether they fired mounted or dismounted, they still had to slow down or stop at least temporarily, thereby losing their main advantages as cavalry.

In the early 18th century the Russian army began equipping cavalry formations with small units of light horse artillery equipped with 2-pound cannons, and portable 3-pound mortars which were transported on horseback the weights refer to the size of the projectiles, not the artillery pieces.

Though not decisive by themselves, these units inflicted losses on Prussian troops and influenced Frederick the Great to form the first regular horse artillery unit in Frederick understood that the greatest threat to massed infantry was concentrated artillery fire. He realized that even small and relatively light guns could severely disrupt or destroy infantry units if they could be brought in close enough and fire often enough.

But since even light foot artillery travelled at the speed of a marching soldier, the solution was to make every artilleryman a part-time horseman. Through relentless drill and discipline Frederick emphasized mobility and speed in all phases of their operations. The unit consisted of a battery of six 6-pound cannons with 48 men, including 3 officers.

The battery was wiped out and reformed twice in that same year at the Battle of Kunersdorf and the Battle of Maxen. French artilleryman, engineer and general Jean-Baptiste de Gribeauval had served with the military mission to Prussia[2] as well as fighting against Frederick in the Seven Years' War. After that war he made numerous technical improvements to French cannons which made them lighter, faster and much easier to aim.

These improvements proved a great advantage to horse artillery as well. Later, the British army officer Henry Shrapnel invented a deadly new type of ammunition that was put to effective use by horse artillery units.

The popularity of the new type of unit caught on quickly with other armies. Austria organized a limited amount of "cavalry artillery" in where most of the gun crew rode specially designed, padded gun carriages called Wursts "sausages"rather than on separate horses, into battle.

who invented artillery

Hanover formed its first cavalry batteries in and the Hanoverian general Victor von Trew performed several trials in which proved the great speed and efficiency by which an all-mounted crew could operate. At this time the Denmark had also formed mounted artillery units and by Sweden had formed its first regular riding batteries, [3] followed by Great Britain inRussia in and Portugal in During the Napoleonic Warshorse artillery would be used extensively and effectively in every major battle and campaign.

The largest and probably most efficient horse artillery of any nation was that of the French revolutionary army which was first formed in The French units were especially well-trained and disciplined since the newly formed arm had proved very popular and could draw on a considerable number of recruits.

By it had grown to eight regiments of six six-gun batteries each, making it the largest horse artillery force ever assembled. Horse artillery units generally used lighter pieces 6-pounderspulled by six horses.As a branch of the armed forces, its purpose was to fire explosive-filled projectiles across relatively large distances.

In contrast to the infantry and the cavalry, the artillery could not enter into combat on its own. By the same token, other weapons required artillery support in order to be effective in battle. Artillery is divided, technologically and tactically, into light and heavy artillery. Light artillery was generally referred to as "field artillery" and intended for mobile warfarewhich was the norm until This required that it be able to bear up under long marches and cope with difficult terrain.

As result, there were natural weight limits for artillery materiel, which was pulled by horses. This restricted both the caliber and the range, for large distances required powerful charges and hence heavy gun barrels and mounts. The field artillery fromwhich consisted mainly of cannons with flat trajectories, had calibers of between 7.

France devised a groundbreaking innovation inwhen it introduced a field gun with long barrel recoil.

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With conventional guns, the barrel was firmly connected to the mount. They consequently jerked backwards when fired, and had to be both reloaded afterwards, and returned to their initial position and reset. The new type of gun featured a barrel in a cradle which could be slid backwards in the cradle. A brake mechanism elastically absorbed the barrel and returned it to its initial position. The weapon itself remained steady and it was no longer necessary to reset the weapon after each shot.

The rate of fire increased exponentially, as a consequence, but so did the required supply of ammunition. Its proper domain was siege warfare in attack and defense. Mobility was of secondary importance. Of greater importance were the distance and impact of the individual shells. InGermany had an obvious lead in this type of artillery.

Heavy artillery also included heavy mortar fire. This encompassed special guns with calibers of over thirty centimeters that were utilized for fighting against modern armoured turret fortifications.

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Along with caliber and distance, the trajectory of a round was an important criterion for judging the capabilities of guns. Cannons fired with flat trajectories; howitzers and mortars, by contrast, had curved lines of fire.

The latter were thus able to shoot over high cover or hit targets behind them, since the shells descended at a steep angle at the end of their flight paths.

10 Facts About World War One Artillery

Their range of fire, however, remained inferior to that of guns of the same calibre. Inmobile warfare largely came to a standstill within several weeks and transformed into trench warfare.

As a result, siege warfare became the norm. The importance of heavy artillery increased to the degree that field fortifications were driven deeper into the ground vertically and structured with greater complexity horizontally. Thousands of old siege guns from the 19 th century, still lacking recoil mechanisms, made their way to the front lines.