On Artillery

On Artillery

On Artillery

On Artillery

Synopsis

Gudmundsson tells the story of field artillery in the 20th century and its impact on the major conflicts of our time. Unique aspects of this book include the treatment of technical issues in non-technical language, the extensive use of German and French sources, the discussion of issues that are often papered over in the literature of field artillery--losses from "friendly fire," the frequent impotence of counter-battery fire, and the French origins of current American doctrine.

Excerpt

Since the 1940s, the English-speaking world has seen very few books published on the subject of field artillery. Of these, the overwhelming majority come from the prolific pen of Ian Hogg. Of late, however, this unfortunate situation has been mitigated by some first-class scholarship. J. B. A. Bailey has surveyed the largely periodical English-language literature to produce a magisterial volume entitled Field Artillery and Firepower. Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham have explained the history of twentieth-century British artillery in their Firepower, while Christopher Bellamy, in Red God of War, has done the same for the Soviets. Boyd L. Dastrup has written The Field Artillery: History and Sourcebook, a short reference volume that is the very first to cover the development of field artillery from the Middle Ages to the present in terms of technology, organization, tactics, and doctrine, along with biographical profiles of the leading figures in this development, and bibliographical essays about the most important writings on the subject. U.S. Army field artillery, which has been neglected since Frank E. Comparato published Age of the Great Guns in 1965, is soon to be the subject of a book written by the staff of the U.S. Army Military History Institute.

Because these excellent works are generally available, I have chosen to pay less attention to the British, Russian, and American experiences and more to what will be new to most English-speaking readers, the field artillery of the French and German armies of this century. This approach not only uncovers hitherto inaccessible material but also serves as a reasonable substitute for a broader treatment of the subject. For while the . . .

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