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Ramses II at Kadesh.jpgGustavus Adolphus at the Battle at Breitenfeld.jpgM1A1 abrams front.jpg Military history

Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons. These engines comprise specialised devices which use some form of stored energy to operate, whether mechanical, chemical, or electromagnetic. Originally designed to breach fortifications they have evolved from nearly static installations intended to reduce a single obstacle to highly mobile weapons of great flexibility in which now reposes the greater portion of a modern army's offensive capabilities.

In common speech the word artillery is often used to refer to individual devices, together with their accessories and fittings, although these assemblages are more properly referred to as equipments. By association, artillery may also refer to the arm of service that customarily operates such engines.

Artillery may also refer to a system of applied scientific research relating to the design, manufacture and employment of artillery weapon systems although, in general, the terms ballistics and ordnance are more commonly employed in this sense.


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