1902 Encyclopedia > Battery (Artillery)


BATTERY is the tactical unit of artillery. It is the term applied to the largest number of fully equipped mobile guns which can be personally superintended by one man. Batteries may be divided into the four classes of horse, field, mountain, and position artillery batteries. In England, France, and Germany batteries consist of six guns; in Austria and Russia of eight guns each. The guns of horse field artillery are drawn by from four to eight horses, the usual number being six. Each battery has a certain number of men told off for the service of the gun called gunners, and others to manage the draught called drivers. In the horse artillery the gunners are mounted on horses, in field batteries they are carried on the limbers and waggons, in mountain and position batteries both gunners and drivers usually walk. Both horse and field batteries are recognized tactical units of an army, and are maintained in an efficient state in time of peace. Position batteries are organized generally in time of war, are possessed of the heaviest guns consistent with mobility, and are useful in certain special cases, such as the attack or defence of a fortified position, the bombardment of a town, &c. Mountain batteries consist usually of light guns mounted on the backs of mules, and are adapted solely for warfare in mountainous countries. See ARTILLERY. The term battery is also applied to the companies of dismounted artillerymen necessary to fight fortress and siege guns; to separate groups of guns in permanent works; and to the earthworks constructed for the protection of guns in siege operations.

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