The Metal Behind the Fire
Modern field artillery and their guns have been though many changes since the days of castles and small towns. American Field Artillery can trace its proud history to 1775. However, modern artillery as we know it today is a very proud profession that can trace its origins and traditions to before the birth of Christ. Predominately the field artillery of these ages has profound effects on the influential transformation of the battlefield, as we know it today. (Dastrup, King of battle)
The term artillery originally referred to all machines designed to discharge objects; some of these being the ballista, catapult, and the trebuchet. Siege machines were the earliest form of artillery; used as early as 800 B.C. against the walls of Jerusalem. Some common examples of these siege machines are the catapult and ballista. At the end of the Middle Ages, weapons that employed gunpowder replaced such engines of war. However, by the mid-twentieth century it had expanded to cover all manners of large guns, rockets, howitzers, and guided missiles. By contrast, the term field artillery is a more recent innovation. This can include weapons mobile enough to accompany an army in the field. These weapons of war, from the early cannons of the Middle Ages to the rockets and rounds of today, are siege weapons and used to defend fixed positions. (Dastrup, King of battle)
Enthralled with the explosiveness of gunpowder, Europeans developed gunpowder artillery in the 13th century. Initially, they employed siege artillery to batter down castle walls and garrison pieces to defend against a besieging army. Before long, the Europeans began deploying artillery of various sizes on the battlefield and then divided their cannons into siege, field, and garrison artillery. However, light mobile cannons with lots of firepower did not start to appear on the battlefield until the middle of the 18th century. Unhappy with the small wooden cannons of the late 13th century,...