British Artillery on the Western Front in the First World War: 'The Infantry cannot do with a gun less'

1st Edition

Sanders Marble

Routledge
Published September 9, 2016
Reference - 304 Pages
ISBN 9781138270466 - CAT# Y314979
Series: Routledge Studies in First World War History

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Summary

In the popular imagination, the battle fields of the Western Front were dominated by the machine gun. Yet soldiers at the time were clear that artillery - not machine guns - dictated the nature, tactics and strategy of the conflict. Only in the last months of the war when the Allies had amassed sufficient numbers of artillery and learned how to use it in an integrated and coherent manner was the stalemate broken and war ended. In this lucid and prize-winning study, the steady development of artillery, and the growing realisation of its primacy within the British Expeditionary Force is charted and analysed. Through an examination of British and Dominion forces operating on the Western Front, the book looks at how tactical and operational changes affected the overall strategy. Chapters cover the role of artillery in supporting infantry attacks, counter-battery work, artillery in defence, training and command and staff arrangements. In line with the 'learning curve' thesis, the work concludes that despite many setbacks and missed opportunities, by 1918 the Royal Artillery had developed effective and coordinated tactics to overcome the defensive advantages of trench warfare that had mired the Western Front in bloody stalemate for the previous three years.

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