Historically, artillery (from French artillerie) refers to any engine used for the discharge of large projectiles in war. The term also describes soldiers with the primary function of manning such weapons and is used organizationally for the arm of a nation's land forces that operates the weapons.

This term includes coastal artillery which traditionally defended coastal areas against seaborne attack and controlled the passage of ships. With the advent of powered flight at the start of the 20th century, artillery also included ground-based anti-aircraft batteries. In military terminology, a unit of artillery is commonly referred to as a battery.


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Poison gas was probably the most feared of all weapons in World War One. Poison gas was indiscriminate and could be used on the trenches even when no attack was going on. Whereas the machine gun killed more soldiers overall during the war, death was frequently instant or not drawn out and soldiers could find some shelter in bomb/shell craters from gunfire.

A poison gas attack meant soldiers having to put on crude gas masks and if these were unsuccessful, an attack could leave a victim in agony for days and weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries. It is generally assumed that gas was first used by the Germans in World War One. This is not accurate.

The first recorded gas attack was by the French. In August 1914, the French used tear gas grenades containing xylyl bromide on the Germans. This was more an irritant rather than a gas that would kill. It was used by the French to stop the seemingly unstoppable German army advancing throughout Belgium and north-eastern France.

In one sense, it was an act of desperation as opposed to a premeditated act that all but went against the 'rules' of war. However, while the French were the first to use a gas against an enemy, the Germans had been giving a great deal of thought to the use of poison gas as a way of inflicting a major defeat on an enemy. In October 1914, the Germans attacked Neuve Chapelle.

Here they fired gas shells at the French that contained a chemical that caused violent sneezing fits. Once again, the gas was not designed to kill rather than to incapacitate an enemy so that they were incapable of defending their positions. This took place against a background of a war in the west that was still mobile. Once trench warfare had literally dug in, all sides involved in the conflict looked for any way possible to bring movement back into their campaigns.

One of the more obvious was to develop a weapon that was so appalling that it would destroy not only an enemy front-line but also the will to maintain troops on that frontline. Poison gas might even provoke a mass mutiny along a front-line thus causing it to collapse. In other words, poison gas was the answer for the war's lack of mobility.


Poison gas attack


Poison gas (chlorine) was used for the first time at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. At around 17.00 hours on the 22nd April, French sentries in Ypres noticed a yellow-green cloud moving towards them - a gas delivered from pressurised cylinders dug into the German front line between Steenstraat and Langemarck. They thought that it was a smokescreen to disguise the movement forwards of German troops. As such, all troops in the area were ordered to the firing line of their trench - right in the path of the chlorine. Its impact was immediate and devastating.

The French and their Algerian comrades fled in terror. Their understandable reaction created an opportunity for the Germans to advance unhindered into the strategically important Ypres salient. But even the Germans were unprepared and surprised by the impact of chlorine and they failed to follow up the success of the chlorine attack.

What did occur at Ypres was a deliberate use of a poison gas. Now, the gloves were off and other nations with the ability to manufacture poison gas could use it and blame it on the Germans as they had been the first to use it.


 Antique firearms


Antique firearms collectors usually specialize in one or two historical eras. One of the most popular eras to collect firearms from is the American Civil War. During this era there were a lot of advancements made in gun construction. Some of the items that belong to this era include cannons, long rifles and pistols. In addition to weapons you can also find bullets, shots and cannonballs from this era. Another popular era that antique firearms collectors specialize in is the Old West.

Popular items from this era include rifles and handguns, especially Winchesters and Smith and Wesson models. Weapons and ammunition tied to Old West events and locations also are popular collector’s items. For example a bullet from the OK Corral is more valuable as a collector’s item then a bullet found in the desert. In addition to American antique firearms, collectors also look for European firearms from important eras in European history.

For example a collector may be interested in collecting early rifles from a variety of European locations so that their design differences can be examined and appreciated. They may look for English, German and Italian rifles.


WWI firearms trench warfare


WWI and WWII firearms collectors can be found on nearly every continent. The focus of each collection depends on the area of the wars that they are interested, however, just about all World War I and World War II antique firearms are prized by firearms collectors. This is because by the time that the world wars developed firearms had advanced significantly.

Collectors therefore have a choice between manual, semi-automatic and automatic antique firearms. They also can collect war items like shrapnel, ration boxes, bullets, medals, pins, buttons and mortars. It is generally assumed that gas was first used by the Germans in World War One. This is not accurate. The first recorded gas attack was by the French. In August 1914, the French used tear gas grenades containing xylyl bromide on the Germans.

This was more an irritant rather than a gas that would kill. It was used by the French to stop the seemingly unstoppable German army advancing throughout Belgium and north-eastern France. In one sense, it was an act of desperation as opposed to a premeditated act that all but went against the 'rules' of war. However, while the French were the first to use a gas against an enemy, the Germans had been giving a great deal of thought to the use of poison gas as a way of inflicting a major defeat on an enemy. In October 1914, the Germans attacked Neuve Chapelle.

Here they fired gas shells at the French that contained a chemical that caused violent sneezing fits. Once again, the gas was not designed to kill rather than to incapacitate an enemy so that they were incapable of defending their positions. This took place against a background of a war in the west that was still mobile. Once trench warfare had literally dug in, all sides involved in the conflict looked for any way possible to bring movement back into their campaigns.

One of the more obvious was to develop a weapon that was so appalling that it would destroy not only an enemy front-line but also the will to maintain troops on that front-line. Poison gas might even provoke a mass mutiny along a frontline thus causing it to collapse. In other words, poison gas was the answer for the war's lack of mobility.


Dambusters ww2

I

n 1943, the RAF's 617 Squadron set out to destroy three dams in Germany's Ruhr valley. They managed to breach two, giving a boost to Britain's war effort. The service will remember the eight aircraft and 53 crew who were lost. It will be held on top of the Derwent dam on Friday morning. A Spitfire, a Hurricane, two Tornadoes and a Dakota transport plane will join the fly-past.

They are travelling from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to take part. Squadron Leader Les Munro, the last surviving pilot from the mission which was codenamed Operation Chastise, will be a guest of honour. Also present will be Michael Gibson, whose uncle, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, led the Dambusters.

The nephew of Wing Commander Guy Gibson (centre) will attend the service During the service, 88-year-old Richard Todd, who played Mr Gibson in the 1954 film The Dambusters, will lay poppies on the water of the reservoir. On 16 May 1943, 19 aircraft set out to destroy the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany's industrial heartland. They used specially-designed drum-shaped bouncing bombs which skimmed across the water, rolled down the dam wall and exploded at depth.

They were the brainchild of legendary aviation engineer Barnes Wallis who was knighted in 1971. The night of 29 December/30 December 1940 was one of the most destructive air raids of the London Blitz, destroying many Livery Halls and gutting the medieval Great Hall of the City's Guildhall. This night was quickly dubbed The Second Great Fire of London and destroyed an area arguably greater than that of the Great Fire of London of 1666 Some 1500 fires were started, including three major conflagrations.

Whereas in 1666 the devastation was overwhelmingly within the City proper, in 1940, it extended far beyond. The largest continuous area of Blitz destruction anywhere in Britain occurred that night, stretching down from Islington to the very edge of St Paul's Churchyard. St Paul's Cathedral itself was only saved by the dedication of its volunteer fire watchers and by the London firemen who fought to keep the flames from spreading to its roof, and that the Luftwaffe pilots used the Cathedral as a navigation marker on their bombing runs.


The Blitz Berlin


The Blitz was the sustained bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, in World War II. While the "Blitz" hit many towns and cities across the country, it began with the bombing of London for 57 nights in a row. By the end of May 1941, over 43,000 civilians, half of them in London, had been killed by bombing and more than a million houses destroyed or damaged in London alone. London was not the only city to suffer bombing during the Blitz.

Other important military and industrial centres, such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull, Manchester, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Southampton, were among the cities to suffer heavy air raids and high numbers of casualties. By May 1941 the imminent threat of an invasion of Britain had passed and Hitler's attention was focused on the east.

While the Germans never again managed to bomb Britain on such a large scale, they carried out smaller attacks throughout the war, taking the civilian death toll to 51,509 from bombing. In 1944, the development of pilotless V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets briefly enabled Germany to again attack London with weapons launched from the European continent. In total the V weapons killed 8,938 civilians in London and the south east.


 Firebombing Berlin ww2


Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire, caused by incendiary devices, rather than from the blast effect of large bombs. The tactic originated during World War II with the use of strategic bombing to destroy the ability of the enemy to wage war. London, Coventry and many other British cities were fire bombed during the Blitz.

Most German cities were extensively fire bombed starting in 1942. Many large Japanese cities were fire bombed during the last six months of World War II.



The Lahti-Saloranta M-26(Sometimes LS-26) is a light machine gun which was designed by Aimo Lahti and Arvo Saloranta in 1926. The weapon was able to fire in both full automatic and semi-automatic modes. Both 20 round box and 75 round drum magazines were produced but the Finnish army seems to have only used the smaller 20 round magazine. The M-26 won a Finnish Army competition in 1925 where it was selected as the army's main automatic rifle.

Production started in 1927, and lasted until 1942. More than 5,000 weapons were produced during that time. China also placed a huge order of 30,000 7.92 mm M-26s in 1937, but only 1,200 of these weapons were actually delivered due to Japanese diplomatic pressure.


 Cluster bombs ww2


Cluster munitions or cluster bombs are air-dropped or ground-launched munitions that eject a number of smaller submunitions ("bomblets"). The most common types are intended to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles. Submunition based weapons designed to destroy runways, electric power transmission lines, deliver chemical or biological weapons, or to scatter land mines have also been produced.

Some sub-munition based weapons can disperse non-munition payloads, such as leaflets. Cluster bombs are not specifically covered by any international legal instrument, although the general rules of international humanitarian law aimed at protecting civilians apply as they do to the use of all other weapons.

Incendiary bombs, also known as firebombs, were used as an effective bombing weapon in World War II. The large bomb casing was filled with small sticks of incendiaries (bomblets), and designed to open at altitude, scattering the bomblets in order to cover a wide area. An explosive charge would then ignite the incendiary material, often starting a raging fire.

The fire would burn at extreme temperatures that could destroy most buildings made of wood or other combustible materials (buildings constructed of stone tend to resist incendiary destruction unless they are first blown open by high explosives).

Originally, incendiaries were developed in order to destroy the many small, decentralized war industries located (often intentionally) throughout vast tracts of city land in an effort to escape destruction by conventionally-aimed high-explosive bombs. Nevertheless, the civilian destruction caused by such weapons quickly earned them a reputation as terror weapons.

This large calibre mortar of World War I originated as a French design, the Mortier de 240 mm developed by Batignolles Company of Paris and introduced in 1915. Britain manufactured a modified version under license as the 9.45 inch Heavy Trench Mortar, nicknamed the "Flying Pig" and it was the standard British heavy mortar from Autumn 1916 onwards.


 The L96 (or super magnum) ww2


The L96 (or super magnum) is a precision rifle or sniper rifle produced by the British firm Accuracy International, which was designed by Olympic marksman Malcolm Cooper. This weapon was adopted in British Service in the early 1980s as a replacement for the ageing Lee-Enfield-derived L42, after a close competition with an entry from Parker-Hale. L96 is the army's designation, it was known as, and derived from, the Accuracy International PM rifle.

It has since been adopted by a number of countries with derivatives chambered for various calibres including the .338 Lapua Magnum. The Swedish PSG-90, L96A1, and very successful Accuracy International Arctic Warfare series were developed from this line. In 1943, trials began on a shortened and lightened No. 4 rifle, leading to the adoption in 1944 of the No. 5 Mk I Rifle, or Jungle Carbine, as it is commonly known.

The No. 5 rifle was manufactured from 1944 until 1947. The end of the Second World War saw the production of the Rifle, No. 6, an experimental Australian version of the No. 5, and later the Rifle, No. 7, Rifle, No. 8, and Rifle, No. 9, all of which were .22 rimfire trainers. Production of SMLE variants continued until circa 1956 and in small quantities for speciality use until circa 1974.

In the mid-1960s, a version was produced for the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge by installing new barrels and new extractors, enlarging the magazine wells slightly, and installing new magazines. This was also done by the Indian rifle factory at Ishapore, which produced a strengthened SMLE in 7.62 mm NATO, as well as .303 SMLEs into the 1980s.


Brown Bess musket


The origins of the modern British military rifles are within its predecessor the Brown Bess musket. While a musket was largely inaccurate due to a lack of rifling and generous tolerance to allow for muzzle-loading it was cheaper to produce, loaded quickly, and the use in volley fire by massed troops meant accuracy was largely irrelevant. Ironically, a similar tactical preference would be a factor in considerations regarding rifle design in the late 19th century and early 20th century, when rate of fire would be a key design consideration for British bolt action rifles.

Beginning in the late 1830s, the superior characteristics of the rifle caused the British military to phase out the venerable .75 calibre Brown Bess musket in favour of muzzle loading rifles in smaller calibres. Early rifles were non-standard and frequently adaptations from components of the Brown Bess, including, locks, stocks and new rifled barrels. It was not until the late nineteenth century that the rifle fully supplanted the musket as the primary weapon of the infantryman. 


  Big Bertha

 

Big Bertha (German: Dicke Bertha; literal translation "Fat Bertha") is the name of a type of super-heavy mortar-like howitzer developed by the famous armaments manufacturer Krupp in Germany on the eve of World War I. Its official designation was the L/12 (that is to say, the barrel was 12 calibres in length) 42-cm Type M-Gerät 14 (M-Equipment 1914) Kurze Marine-Kanone ('short naval gun', a name intended to camouflage the weapon's real purpose).

The mortar, or howitzer, was named after the wife of Gustav Krupp, Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. It was mainly designed by Krupp's Director of design, Professor Fritz Rausenberger, and his predecessor, Director Dräger, and it was these designers who christened the weapon Dicke Bertha.

The name "Big Bertha" came to be applied generically by the Allies to any very large German gun, such as the railway-mounted battleship guns known as "Langer Max" or the ultra-long range "Paris Gun". Strictly speaking, however, Dicke Bertha, or Big Bertha, is only applicable to the 42-cm M-Gerät howitzer.The term should not, again strictly speaking, even be applied to the 42-cm Gamma-Gerät howitzer, which was the forerunner of the Bertha.


The M20 recoilless rifle


The M20 recoilless rifle was a U.S. 75 mm calibre recoilless rifle used during the last months of the Second World War and extensively during the Korean War. It could be fired from an M1917A1 .30 caliber machine gun tripod, or from a vehicle mount, typically a Jeep. Its shaped charge warhead, also known as the HEAT, was capable of penetrating 100 mm of armour.

This weapon could stop the Russian made T-34 tank at ranges up to 400 yards. It was used primarily as a close infantry support weapon to engage all types of targets including infantry and armoured vehicles. The M20 proved useful against pillboxes and other types of heavy fortifications. During World War II the U.S. military recognized that a powerful lightweight weapon was needed for defending infantry and light armor units due to advancements in armour technology by enemy forces.

The Ordnance Department Small Arms Division commenced development of the a recoilless rifle and by 1944 models of a 75 mm recoilless rifle were being tested. Production of the M20 was under way by March 1945; only limited numbers were used by Allied troops on the European and Pacific theatres.


 The Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers


The Ordnance QF 3 pounder Vickers was first tested in Britain in 1910. It was used on Royal Navy warships and later by the British Army as an anti-tank gun and for arming some tanks. It was more powerful than and unrelated to the older QF 3 pounder Hotchkiss, with a propellant charge approximately twice as large, but it initially fired the same Lyddite and Steel shells as the Hotchkiss.

By 1911 about 193 guns of this type were in service. As these single barrel guns were easier to manufacture than the Ordnance QF 1 pounder, they became standard equipment in the Royal Navy until 1915. In that year, service during the First World War proved these weapons to be ineffective and they were quickly removed from most of the larger ships. During the inter-war years they were widely used to arm light ships and river craft. A number of them were converted into anti-aircraft guns and by 1927 at least 62 guns had been converted.


Blockbusters were the RAF's 4,000 lb

 

Blockbusters were the RAF's 4,000 lb also known as a cookie 8,000 and 12,000 lb (1,800, 3,600 and 5,400 kg) HC (High Capacity) bombs. These bombs had especially thin casings that allowed them to contain approximately three-quarters of their weight in explosive, the 4,000 pounder containing over 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) of explosive filling. Most 'normal' bombs (termed Medium Capacity or MC by the RAF) contained 50% explosive by weight, the rest being made up of the fragmentation bomb casing.

Blockbusters got larger as the war progressed from the original 4,000 lb version, up to 12,000 lb (1,800 to 5,400 kg). The initial 4,000 lb version was 2 ft 6 in (76 cm) diameter. The larger 8,000lb version was constructed from two 4,000 lb sections, however these sections were of a larger 3 ft 2 (97 cm) in diameter.

A 12,000 lb version was created by adding a third 4,000 lb section. By the time the war ended, the main user of poison gas was Germany, followed by France and then Britain. Though poison gas was a terrifying weapon, its actual impact, rather like the tank, is open to debate. The number of fatalities was relatively few - even if the terror impact did not diminish for the duration of the war.

The British army (including the British Empire) had 188,000 gas casualties but only 8,100 fatalities amongst them. It is believed that the nation that suffered the most fatalities was Russia (over 50,000 men) while France had 8,000 fatalities. In total there were about 1,250,000 gas casualties in the war but only 91,000 fatalities (less than 10%) with over 50% of these fatalities being Russian.

However, these figures do not take into account the number of men who died from poison gas related injuries years after the end of the war; nor do they take into account the number of men who survived but were so badly incapacitated by poison gas that they could hold down no job once they had been released by the army. Armies quickly produced gas masks that gave protection as long as sufficient warning was given of a gas attack.

Soldiers also used make-shift gas masks if they were caught in the open without a gas mask during a gas attack - cloth soaked in their own urine and placed over the mouth was said to give protection against a chlorine attack. By the end of the war, relatively sophisticated gas masks were available to soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front.


gas masks ww1


Armies quickly produced gas masks that gave protection as long as sufficient warning was given of a gas attack. Soldiers also used make-shift gas masks if they were caught in the open without a gas mask during a gas attack - cloth soaked in their own urine and placed over the mouth was said to give protection against a chlorine attack. By the end of the war, relatively sophisticated gas masks were available to soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front. One of the first instances of trench mining occurred in the American Civil War during the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864.

Union engineers tunneled beneath Confederate trenches in a failed attempt to break through to the city of Petersburg, Virginia. The dry chalk of the Somme was especially suited to mining, but with the aid of pumps, it was also possible to mine in the sodden clay of Flanders. Specialist tunneling companies, usually made up of men who had been miners in civilian life, would dig tunnels under no man's land and beneath the enemy's trenches.

These mines would then be packed with explosives and detonated, producing a large crater. The crater served two purposes: it could destroy or breach the enemy's trench and, by virtue of the raised lip that they produced, could provide a ready-made "trench" closer to the enemy's line. When a mine was detonated, both sides would race to occupy and fortify the crater.

If the miners detected an enemy tunnel in progress, they would often drive a counter-tunnel, called a counter-mine or camouflet, which would be detonated in an attempt to destroy the other tunnel prematurely. Night raids were also conducted with the sole purpose of destroying the enemy's mine workings. On occasion, mines would cross and fighting would occur underground. The mining skills could also be used to move troops unseen. On one occasion a whole British division was moved through interconnected workings and sewers without German observation.



One of the first instances of trench mining occurred in the American Civil War during the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. Union engineers tunneled beneath Confederate trenches in a failed attempt to break through to the city of Petersburg, Virginia.

The dry chalk of the Somme was especially suited to mining, but with the aid of pumps, it was also possible to mine in the sodden clay of Flanders. Specialist tunneling companies, usually made up of men who had been miners in civilian life, would dig tunnels under no man's land and beneath the enemy's trenches. These mines would then be packed with explosives and detonated, producing a large crater.

The crater served two purposes: it could destroy or breach the enemy's trench and, by virtue of the raised lip that they produced, could provide a ready-made "trench" closer to the enemy's line. When a mine was detonated, both sides would race to occupy and fortify the crater.

If the miners detected an enemy tunnel in progress, they would often drive a counter-tunnel, called a counter-mine or camouflet, which would be detonated in an attempt to destroy the other tunnel prematurely. Night raids were also conducted with the sole purpose of destroying the enemy's mine workings.

On occasion, mines would cross and fighting would occur underground. The mining skills could also be used to move troops unseen. On one occasion a whole British division was moved through interconnected workings and sewers without German observation.

The Lee-Enfield was, in various marks and models, the British Army's standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle for over 60 years from (officially) 1895 until 1957,although it remained in British service well into the early 1960s and is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations. In its many versions, it was the standard army service rifle for the first half of the 20th century, and was adopted by Britain's colonies and Commonwealth allies, including India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

The Lee-Enfield was chambered for the .303 British cartridge, and featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded manually from the top, either one round at a time, or by means of five-round chargers.

The Lee-Enfield superseded the earlier Martini-Henry, Martini-Enfield, and Lee-Metford rifles, and although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1957, it continues to see official service in a number of British Commonwealth nations to the present day notably with the Indian Police and is the longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service. Total production of all Lee-Enfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles,making it one of the most numerous military bolt-action rifles ever produced.


The L6 Wombat

 

The L6 Wombat, (Weapon Of Magnesium, Battalion, Anti-Tank) was a 120 mm calibre recoilless anti-tank rifle used by the British Army. They were used until anti-tank guided missiles such as Vigilant and MILAN took their place. The Wombat replaced the earlier BAT and MoBAT weapons, themselves developments of the wartime "Ordnance, RCL, 3.45 in" recoilless rifle, and was in turn replaced by anti-tank guided missiles.

The Wombat was usually mounted on a small two wheeled trolley - when locked to the trolley the weapon was towed by a towing eye on the gun barrel itself. The Wombat was also mounted on the FV432 armoured personnel carrier. The usual round for Wombat was a HESH which it could fire out to around 1,000 m.Other ammunition types include the canister and modified canister rounds.

The latter releasing flechettes or small darts, in a "shotgun" effect. These rounds could be used against infantry in the open. During the cold war era, NATO and British Royal Marine forces used the Swedish made Snow Trac as a carrier for the L6 Wombat in the snow covered mountains of Norway.



The Ordnance QF 17-pounder (or just 17-pdr) was a 76.2 mm (3 inch) gun developed by the United Kingdom during World War II. It was used as an anti-tank gun on its own carriage, as well as equipping a number of British tanks. It was the most effective Allied anti-tank gun of the war. Used with the APDS shot it was capable of defeating all but the thickest armour on German tanks.

It was used to 'up-gun' some foreign-built vehicles in British service, notably the Sherman Firefly that gave British tank units the ability to hold their own with their German counterparts. In the anti-tank role it was replaced by the 120 mm BAT recoilless rifle after the war. As a tank gun it was succeeded by the 20 pounder. Highly controversial weapons were dropped from the air.

They consist of a canister containing a large number of sub-munitions or bomblets. The bomblets can be anti-personnel, anti-tank, dual-purpose or incendiary. They stay on the ground and explode under pressure like landmines. Human rights groups want them banned; the military sees them as very useful in certain circumstances.


 The BL 7.2 inch Howitzer Mk.I


The BL 7.2 inch Howitzer Mk.I and subsequent marks were a series of heavy artillery pieces designed by the United Kingdom at the start of World War II. The 7.2 inch (183 mm) was not a new design, but instead a re-lined version of the 8 inch (203 mm) howitzers dating from World War I.

The weapons were a stop-gap measure to meet the urgent need for heavy artillery faced by the Allies early in World War II. However, they managed to preform relatively well, and were kept in service by the British until the end of the war, in their AGRA Units as parts of "Heavy" regiments to provide heavy fire support for British and Commonwealth troops.


Jeep 1/4-ton utility vehicle


From humble origins -- a handful of prototypes built by three different manufacturers -- the Jeep 1/4-ton utility vehicle has evolved over the years into one of the most popular and versatile vehicles ever made. Named the "Universal Jeep" by Willys-Overland shortly after World War II, it's been used in combat and for desert racing, for rock crawling or daily driving . . . in short, if there's a road or trail anywhere in the world, chances are that sometime, somehow, a Jeep has driven over it.

The hero of World War II served in every theater of war, in every conceivable role, and with every Allied army. They were also given modifications including longer wheelbases, skis, armor plating, railway wheels, and weapons mounts of various types. This vehicle changed the way [people,] Americans [and foreigners] looked at the automobile and added a new word to our vocabulary: Jeep.


A bouncing bomb


A smoke screen is a release of smoke in order to mask the movement or location of military units such as infantry, tanks or ships. It is most commonly deployed in a canister, usually as a grenade. The grenade releases a very dense cloud of smoke designed to fill the surrounding area even in light wind. They have also been used by ships.

Whereas smoke screens would originally have been used to hide movement from enemies' line of sight, modern technology means that they are now also available in new forms; they can screen in the infrared as well as visible spectrum of light to prevent detection by infrared sensors or viewers, and also available for vehicles is a super dense form used to prevent laser beams of enemy target designators or range finders on vehicles.

A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed specifically to bounce to a target such as across water to avoid torpedo nets. Unlike skip bombing, which uses conventional bombs as during the March 1943 Battle of the Bismarck Sea, the British, Germans, and Soviets developed World War II bombs specifically for bouncing to targets and then exploding. The Upkeep bouncing bomb used in the May 1943 British Operation Chastise was used to bounce into dams and explode underwater with similar effect as the underground detonation of an earth quake bomb (e.g., Grand Slam bomb and Tallboy bomb).

A percussion grenade detonates upon impact with the target. Classic examples of percussion grenades are the British Gammon bomb and No. 69 grenade. Timed fuse grenades are generally preferred to hand-thrown percussion grenades because their fusing mechanisms are safer and more robust than those used in percussion grenades. Some percussion grenades have a conventional pyrotechnic fuse fitted as a backup detonation device. A hand grenade is a small hand-held anti-personnel weapon designed to be thrown and then explode after a short time.

The word "grenade" is derived from the French "grenade" (meaning pomegranate, the fruit originally called in French "Pomme-grenade" or "grenade-apple," in reference to the general size of early grenades and because its shrapnel pellets reminded soldiers of the seeds of this fruit). Grenadiers were originally soldiers who specialized in throwing grenades. Not all grenades are thrown by hand. Several types are fired from rifles or purpose-designed grenade launchers. For example, tear gas grenades used in riot control are fired from riot guns, and the M203 grenade launcher can be fitted to several types of rifles, such as the M4 Carbine and M16 rifle.

With the outbreak of the First World War, the change to the ammunition for the Pattern 1913 was abandoned; however, to supplement SMLE production the new design was to be produced chambered for .303. In 1914, the Pattern 1914 rifle (Pattern 13 chambered for .303) was approved for production by British companies, but production was superseded by other war priorities, and three US firms Winchester, Eddystone, and Remington began production in 1916.

The Pattern 14 rifle did not gain widespread acceptance with the British since it was larger and heavier, held fewer rounds and was slower to cycle than the SMLE. The P14 was well-regarded as a sniper rifle (with telescopic and fine adjustment iron sights) but largely disregarded outside of emergency use.


2-inch Howitzer


The 2 inch Vickers Medium Trench Mortar, also known as the 2-inch Howitzer, and nicknamed the "Toffee Apple" or "Plum Pudding" mortar, was a British SBML medium trench mortar in use in World War I from late 1915 to early 1917. The weapon was initially operated by joint infantry and artillery detachments, eventually it became the responsibility of the Royal Field Artillery. A typical infantry division was equipped with 3 batteries designated X, Y, Z, each with 4 mortars.

It fired a spherical cast-iron iron bomb "the size of a football" painted dirty white filled with Amatol (identified by a painted green band) or Ammonal (identified by a painted pink band) attached to the end of a pipe ("stick"), hence the nicknames "Toffee Apple" and "Plum Pudding". Weights of bombs as delivered without fuzes varied.

The Vickers-Maxim QF 2.95 inch mountain gun, also known as a Pack Howitzer, was used by Britain's African colony forces in colonial wars and against Germany in Africa in World War I. It was also used by USA and Philippines. The weapon was not adopted by the British or Indian army, which used the BL 10 pounder Mountain Gun and later the 2.75 inch Mountain Gun, but it was used from 1901 by the defence forces of some British African colonies as part of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF). The officers and most NCOs were British, and the gunners, gun carriers and some NCOs were African. As part of the British Empire these units became part of the British war effort in World War I.

The 37mm Gun M3 was the first dedicated anti-tank gun fielded by the United States forces. Introduced in 1940, it became the standard anti-tank gun of the U.S. infantry infantry with its size enabling it to be pulled by a jeep. The evolution of German tanks quickly rendered the 37 mm piece ineffective, and by 1943 44 the M3 was gradually replaced in European theatres by the more powerful British design 57mm Gun M1. In the Pacific, where the armour threat was less significant the M3 remained in service until the end of the war.

Like many other light anti-tank guns, the M3 was widely used as infantry support and an anti-personnel weapon, firing high-explosive and canister rounds. The M5 and M6 tank mounted variants were used in several models of armoured vehicles most notably in the Light Tank M3/M5, the Medium Tank M3 and the Light Armoured Car M8. In addition, the M3 in its original version was mated to a number of other self-propelled carriages.


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