Addressing its technical evolution as well as its military and social impact, this comprehensive reference shows how historic leaders such as Dionysus of Syracuse, the Ottoman sultan Mohammad II, Oliver Cromwell, and Napoleon Bonaparte were successful in battle because of their innovative use of artillery.
Anticipating hostilities, a dynamic military leader summons his finest engineers and craftsmen to develop new weapons. Two years later, those weapons lead to a decisive victory. The time is 24 centuries ago, the leader is Dionysus of Syracuse, and the weapons include tension-powered catapults—the earliest recorded artillery pieces deployed in battle.
Artillery: An Illustrated History of Its Impact charts the development of large, crew-operated battlefield weapons from the dart firers and catapults of the ancient world to the invention of gunpowder in China and its applications in medieval Europe, and from the emergence of naval and land gunnery four centuries ago to the latest rapid-fire, rocket propulsion, laser guidance, and antiaircraft technologies.
Written by an expert on military history, Artillery explores the technological and strategic innovations that have made these weapons increasingly effective at breaking through fortifications, inflicting casualties from a safe distance, providing cover for advancing forces, demoralizing opponents, and defending positions from attack. Beyond the battlefield, the book also looks at the impact of artillery on history and on the lives of civilians as well as soldiers.
• Includes case studies of the wars of Louis XIV, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, and the Franco-Prussian War illustrating the impact of specific technical and strategic innovations in artillery
• Dozens of photographs and illustrations show various types of artillery, artillery mechanisms, and projectiles
• The only volume to offer an accessible, concise history of artillery weapons combining descriptions of all major technical and strategic innovations with coverage of their impact on and off the battlefield
• Highlights the contributions of artillery innovators throughout history, including Jean Baptiste de Gribeauval, William Congreve, the Krupp family, and John Dahlgren
• Illustrates the impact of artillery on the battlefield from the ancient world to the present and covers the latest trends in artillery including laser guidance systems and rocket-propelled weapons