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Remembered Today:

Book: Modern Artillery in the Field (1911)


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"Modern Artillery in the Field: A Description of the Artillery of the Field Army and the Principles and Methods of its employment" by H A Bethell RFA (Retd) pub 1911

A fascinating read on the development of the RA post Boer War. Some very detailed analysis and comparison of British RA with the French and German artillery of the day. Updated for 1912, so only just short of the Great War. Some beautiful old photos of equipment plus detailed engineering drawings. One thing that caught my eye was a sketch of a gun being towed by a caterpillar tractor. This was 1911. Lots of wonderful detail on design. For example I had always believed/assumed that the rifling on guns was constant. Not so. On German guns the rifling gradually increased its pitch. The engineering and ballistic reasons for this and other arcane design elements are explained in detail. Lots of detail on fuzes, shrapnel and optimising the use of both... doctrine etc and importantly describing the dozens of trade-offs that designers needed to do and why the British/German/French went in slightly different directions. .

It is not an Official document but is a truly interesting read. I learned a considerable amount.


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