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Artillery in the Great War - Strong and Marble




Just finished reading what I found was a fascinating book.

Moving through the Great War it documents the development of the use of Artillery by all the major Armies, British, German, French, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, as well as Italian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian and American. Looking at the development as a whole across the Western, Eastern Fronts and the Italian campaign, one can see that the Artillery War went beyond the trenches of the Western Front.

The impact of Artillery I think is well brought out. At the strategic level the availability of guns and ammunition shaped the timing and scope of operations, the tactical level influenced the planing of battles, and the outcome of battles being decided by the execution of those tactics. The cat and mouse of the tactics of close support and counter battery fire , the organisational changes to meet the ever evolving the handling of Artillery, and technical advances, are all fascinating, however, it must be remembered that this for what to my mind was experimenting in operational situations, cost many many men their lives.

The account of Bruchmullers fireplan in the Battle of Riga begins to show the value of concentration of force, co-ordination and surprise, three principles of war essential to the conduct of Artillery operations.

Unlike Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery Western Front 1914 - 1918, where one is left with the impression the infantry need not have turned up, Strong and Marble rightly conclude " Nevertheless, even with all the technical and tactical innovation combined, even when they were orchestrated as part of a coherent strategy, success in Battle still depended on infantry advancing into a grim and confusing wasteland strewn with strong-points, machine gun nests and pockets of desperate men driven into a primeval need for revenge for the artillery fire they had just survived."

As well as providing a very good overall account of Artillery in the Great War, the organisation of the book into Years and within that chapter Battles, should make this a good reference book..

http://www.amazon.co...23028073&sr=1-1 .


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