Monday, January 18, 2010


The invention of the cannon inaugurated a sea-change in the implementation of war. Castles no longer provided appropriate protection, nor could an army just stand outside the gates of a well defended fort. Napoleon's great contribution to war fighting was his expert use of smooth bore cannons, maximizing the effectiveness of this devastating weapon. Throughout the 19th century cannon technology was improved until it became artillery in the first world war. And on the Western Front, WWI was an artillery war, with rolling bombardments and the "Big Bertha," a German howitzer capable of firing a 2,100 lb shell 16,000 yards.

Artillery continued to play an important role in WWII, Vietnam, and other theaters of operation. However, it soon lost its supremacy in war and though still in use, fell out of popular imagination. Artillery seemed like a tool from another age--useful, but old and crusty. Today, when we think of modern war and the Global War on Terrorism we don't think of artillery and its role in knocking out the bad guys. Fortunately, artillery is still alive and well, kicking butt in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With that in mind check out these photographs of artillery in action and this quote:
There is no exaggeration saying that an Excaliber round could destroy a parked car twenty miles away on the first shot.  The accuracy is incredible, given all the unpredictable winds and other factors the round will encounter during it’s flight through the sky – which literally could be shot on from a crystal clear mountain, taking the round far higher than the summit of Mt. Everest where it could pass through winds going different directions and at very high speeds, snow, and then down through a hailstorm and finally through rain.  
HT: The Best Defense

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