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an artillery gun with a flat trajectory, designed primarily to fire at uncovered vertical targets as well as targets located at great distances. Cannon are included in troop artillery, which is called field artillery in foreign armies.
Unlike a howitzer of the same caliber, the cannon has a longer barrel (from 30 to 70 calibers and more), greater gun weight, and greater muzzle velocity of the shell. Cannon appeared in Rus’ and Western Europe in the 14th century. At that time and later, the term “cannon” meant any gun—for example, the tsar-cannon cast by the Russian master A. Chokhov in 1586 was a mortar. With the application of iron casting in the 16th century, the term came to be used for guns with barrel lengths of from 16 to 22 calibers. Cannon later became the most common guns in all armies.
In World War I the Russian Army in 1915 had 76-mm field and mountain cannon and 107-mm, 152-mm, and 76-mm antiaircraft cannon. At the same time the French Army had 65-mm, 75-mm, and 120-mm cannon, and the German Army had 77-mm and 105-mm cannon. In World War II the Soviet Army had 76-mm, 85-mm, 100-mm, and 122-mm self-propelled cannon; 76-mm regimental and division cannon; 107-mm, 122-mm, 152-mm, and 210-mm conventional cannon; 45-mm, 57-mm, and 100-mm antitank cannon; 37-mm, 76-mm, and 85-mm antiaircraft cannon; 20-mm, 23-mm, and 37-mm aircraft cannon; 100-mm, 130-mm, 180-mm, and 305-mm shore cannon; and 76-mm, 100-mm, and 180-mm ship cannon.
The 1944-model 100-mm cannon was considered one of the best used by the Soviet Army. It had a weight of 3,650 kg, a shell weight of approximately 16 kg, a muzzle velocity of about 900 m/sec, a firing range of 21,000 m, and a maximum rate of fire of seven rounds per minute.
The most common cannon in the US Army was the 155-mm cannon. The 127-mm and 152-mm cannon were the guns most used in the British Army, and in the fascist German, French, and Japanese armies the 75-mm, 105-mm, and 150-mm guns were most commonly used.
Present-day armies have cannon of various caliber in the artillery of ground forces and on the combat vehicles of motorized rifle (motorized infantry or infantry) troops, tanks, airplanes, helicopters, ships, and shore units. Many present-day cannon used by ground forces are self-propelled (capable of moving under their own power during battle and on the march) or propelled by auxiliary means but able to move independently in the area of the fire position. Some ship cannon are general-purpose guns capable of firing at sea, shore, or aerial targets.
K. A. NIKOLAEV and S. A. PERESADA