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see artilleryartillery,
originally meant any large weaponry (including such ancient engines of war as catapults and battering rams) or war material, but later applied only to heavy firearms as opposed to small arms.
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a type of artillery gun for directing plunging fire at covered targets. Howitzers are part of troop artillery (field artillery in foreign armies). They have a caliber of 100 mm or more, a relatively short barrel (from 15 to 30 calibers), a multisection charge, a range of fire of up to 17 km, and a relatively high rate of fire—a round every other minute or every minute to six rounds per minute depending on the caliber. Most modern howitzers are self-propelled; the old systems use mechanical traction.

The first howitzers were built in Europe in the 15th century (Italy and Germany) and were used for firing stone-filled canisters. In the second half of the 16th century howitzers began firing explosive shells. In Russia the first howitzers were built in the middle of the 16th century. They were called gakovnitsy, gaufnitsy, and gafunitsy. In the 1760’s Russia developed longer howitzers, which were named unicorns. The change from smoothbore to rifled guns in the 1860’s led to the building of rifled howitzers. The greater use of field fortifications in the wars in the second half of the 19th century increased the need for howitzers. They were widely used in all armies in the two world wars. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) the highest performance indexes were displayed by the Soviet 122-, 152-, and 203-mm howitzers.


Kirillov-Gubetskoi, I. M. Sovremennaia artilleriia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1933.
Istoriia otechestvennoi artillerii, vol. 1, books 1-3; vol. 2, book 4; vol. 3, books 7-8. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959-66.



A complete projectile-firing weapon with a bore diameter greater than 30 millimeters, and a length shorter than a gun of the same caliber; maximum angle of velocity is about 65°; used to deliver curved fire with projectiles of lower muzzle velocities than those from the gun.
References in periodicals archive ?
To address these issues, two additional pilot production howitzers were commissioned for manufacture prior to the start of mainstream production.
The new M777 features significant weight reduction - 7,000 pounds - over the M198 howitzer currently used by both Marine Corps and Army light units.
Because of the co-location of Rock Island Arsenal with TACOM-RI, interested participants were offered the opportunity to take a tour of RIA's facilities and to view a static howitzer display.
Photo: (1) This 155 mm howitzer being unloaded at Port Hueneme will be used in war games.
BAE Systems' Paladin Integrated Management howitzer (Photo: Business Wire)
A committee headed by India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar Thursday cleared the way for the country to acquire 145 M777 155 mm ultra light howitzer artillery guns from the United States.
5 billion are on the final stages ; Purchase of 145 M777 ultra howitzers is stuck due to price escalation.
The 190-ton breechloading 18-inch howitzer, is being sent to the Netherlands to form the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Het Spoorwegmuseum (Dutch Railway Museum) in Utrecht.
When the jack stand Is placed under the forward portion of the trail assembly (the T-bar), the weight of the howitzer could cause some significant damage to the T-bar.
The howitzers, with a maximum range of 30 kilometres (17 miles), will be used by the army s mountain artillery divisions along India s high-altitude frontiers.
Indian Army is a very good customer for howitzers and we are more competent than other people in the market.
On December 2, at an official ceremony in Shilo, Manitoba, the gunners of 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery fired their new M777 howitzers for the first time.