Gets People Killed
Note the stunning failure to mention war profiteering.
The word artillery was used to describe large-calibre mounted firearms.
The calibre is the diameter of its barrel bore. In the 19th century artillery was divided into
light and heavy, depending on the weight of solid shot fired. Light guns, deployed at
battalion level, were usually 4-6 pounders, whereas heavy guns were 8-12 pounders.
At the beginning of the First World War the main support weapon for the
British Army was the long-barrelled field gun. Also available was the QF (quick-firing)
field gun that had a recoil system that bounced the barrel back into firing position.
Howitzers were developed to be used under cover or against hidden targets.
These fired heavy shells on a high trajectory through a short barrel
and were the best type of artillery gun to employ against fortifications.
Another high-trajectory gun was the mortar.
The projectile was dropped into its broad, stubby barrel and was fired by a pre-loaded explosive
charge. By the end of the war some of these guns were capable of firing shells up to about 2km.
The stalemate caused by the trench system resulted in military commanders
demanding long-range heavy field guns. Heavy howitzers (200-400mm)
could fire shells weighing over 900kg over 18km. The British Army also asked for
heavy guns that were light enough to be pulled across mud and shell-shattered ground.