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Long Range Artillery

Source Article: Technology of World War I Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. At the beginning of the war, artillery was often cited in the front line to fire over open sights at enemy infantry. During the war, the following improvements were made:

the first "box barrage" in history was fired at euve !hapelle in "#"$% this was the use of a three& or four&sided curtain of shell&fire to prevent the movement of enemy infantry the wire&cutting o. "'( fu)e was developed, specifically designed to explode on contact with barbed wire, or the ground before the shell buried itself in mud, and e*ually effective as an anti&personnel weapon the first anti&aircraft guns were designed out of necessity indirect counter&battery fire was developed for the first time in history flash spotting and sound ranging were invented, for the location and eventual destruction of enemy batteries the creeping barrage was perfected factors such as weather, air temperature, and barrel wear could for the first time be accurately measured and ta+en into account when firing indirectly forward observers were used to direct artillery positioned out of direct line of sight from the targets, and sophisticated communications and fire plans were developed

,he ma-ority of casualties inflicted during the war were the result of artillery fire. Source Article: Artillery of World War One Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. ,he artillery of .orld .ar / was used to counter the trench warfare that set in shortly after the conflict commenced, and was an important factor in the war, influencing its tactics, operations and incorporated into strategies that were used by the belligerents to brea+ the stalemate at the front. .orld .ar / raised artillery to a new level of importance on the battlefield. ,he years of the 0irst .orld .ar had provided several developments in artillery warfare. Artillery could now shoot farther and more explosively than ever before. 1ecause of this, enemies in trenches would no longer always be safe, and would constantly be fired upon. /n some areas, artillery concentration would be common, several artillery firing onto an area 2 such as a line of trenches, each firing several rounds per minute lasting for hours. Artillery barrages would also be used before an infantry battle, to create a distraction away from the place of attac+, so that the enemy3s numbers would be fewer, or they would fire at the paths going from the area that would be attac+ed so that the enemy reinforcements would not be able to reach the area without getting hit. 4ortars were revived by the 5ermans because of their ability to shoot at an angle above 6$ degrees, and therefore could theoretically 7although not often8 land directly in an enemy3s trench before exploding for maximum damage. Artillery shells were used for gas release by the 5erman troops in "#"$, and the Allies followed their example after the 0irst 1attle of 9pres where the chlorine gas thrown by the 1ritish changed direction and hit their own men. :nited ;tates Artillery .hen the :nited ;tates entered the war in "#"<, the condition, the e*uipment, the training, and the discipline of the American field artillery were nothing short of chaotic.

:nprecedented American production and ample Allied support provided the weapons with which the American artillery had to fight. 4ateriel used by the Americans was mostly 0rench, and during the war only "'' American weapons saw action. ,he 0rench alone contributed =,>=6 field pieces and mortars, as well as "' million rounds of ammunition. ,he old =&inch gun?the Army possessed only ('' at the beginning of the war was replaced by the 0rench <$&mm gun. ,he 0rench <$&mm gun was the best of its type. /ts recoil system wor+ed on glycerin and air, it was easy to aim, and it could be fired more rapidly that other artillery pieces. /t was able to shred infantry columns to pieces but was unable to penetrate reinforced earthwor+s. 5ermany had about =,$'' "'$&mm and "$$&mm howit)ers% 0rance, about =''. /n late "#"<, American troops moved into *uiet sectors of the .estern 0ront. ,he honor of firing the first American artillery round in .orld .ar / went to 1attery !, (th 0A 1attalion 7later the @d 1attalion, (th Artillery, =d Armored Division8, on Actober @=, "#"<. Although the war seemed to have settled down to stabili)ed trench fighting, 5eneral Bohn B. Cershing insisted that American troops be trained in open warfare% in the end, Cershing3s instincts had served him well. 1y the time American troops began to appear on the battlefield in significant numbers, the war had indeed become more mobile, with Ludendorff3s last push towards Caris. /n the spring of "#">, American troops were thrown in at !hateau&,hierry to halt 5eneral Drich Ludendorff3s massive offensive. !ounterattac+ing under a heavy artillery barrage, they cleared the 5ermans out of 1elleau .ood in @ wee+s of hard fighting. ,he capture of plans for a reopening of the 5erman attac+ in the !hampagne region on the eve of Buly 6 enabled Allied artillery to lay down a devastating barrage " hour before the enemy3s guns were scheduled to commence their preparation for the attac+. ,he <$mm guns of the 6@d Division, standing hub to hub, -oined the artillery of the Allies in shredding the 5erman assault. ,he =>th and =d Divisions stood firm on the 4arne despite the ferocity of 5ermany3s last desperate gamble for victory. 0inally, the enemy fell bac+ and a massive Allied attac+ was launched in the direction of ;oissons, while the ;aint 4ihiel salient, which the 5ermans had held for years, was sealed off by Cershing3s 0irst Army. Again, artillery played a +ey role. About =,'"' guns of @( calibers and 6( models poured <6 types of ammunition into the salient in the 6 hours and 6$ minutes prior to the attac+. Altogether, >=>,'"# rounds of ammunition?high explosive, smo+e, and nonpersistent gas?were expended in a single battle. ,he careful preparation of the attac+ and the air superiority that had been achieved paid off in terms of "(,''' 5erman prisoners and 66= artillery weapons captured. /n the final Allied offensive of the war, the 0irst and ;econd :; Armies, operating between the 4euse and the Argonne, were thrown forward against the Eindenburg line. An unprecedented artillery bombardment supported the advancing infantry. 0rench and American artillery averaged one gun per > yards of front, whereas the enemy could muster only one gun per @$ yards. /n the American sector over a *uarter of a million rounds rained down on the enemy in the first day of the attac+, alone. ;tunned, but ta+ing a heavy toll of American troops, the enemy pulled bac+. 1y the end of Actober, the last 5erman defensive stronghold, the Friemhilde ;tellung, had been reached. 1lasted by the massed firepower of divisional, corps, and army artillery directed by careful aerial observation, the enemy offered little resistance to the infantry attac+ that followed the @&hour barrage of Actober =", "#">. ,he Allied forces rushed for ;edan and the 5erman border. An ovember "", "#">, the 5erman 5overnment capitulated.

;oon after the armistice of ovember "#">, the .ar Department urged !ongress to authori)e the establishment of a permanent regular army of nearly ('',''' and a =& month universal training program, which would facilitate a *uic+ expansion of this force to meet the re*uirements of a new ma-or war. ,he !ongress and the American public re-ected these proposals. ,hey believed that the defeat of 5ermany and the exhaustion of the other Duropean powers guaranteed that there would be no ma-or land war for years to come. ,he possibility of war with Bapan was recogni)ed, but the American powers assumed that such a war would be primarily a naval conflict. ,herefore, the fundamental factor in the military policy of the :nited ;tates during the next two decades was reliance on the :; avy as the first line of national defense.