The Evolution of the American Modern Light Field Gun
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study consists of a historical sketch of the development of the light field gun from 1865 to 1940. The research focused on the developmental process and the factors of foreign influence, economic constraints, technical developmental problems, and the influence of changing tactical doctrine. The investigation reveals that the materiel development process during this period was a cyclic process governed by military threat and economics. The development of the light field gun exemplifies the process of modernization of American field artillery at that time. In the interwar period after 1918, progressive development of the light gun was constrained by two factors a lack of mutual understanding between Ordnance and Field Artillery agencies as to the specifications of developmental materiel, and the lack of procurement funds for modern weapons. With the exception of the split trail carriage, the last field gun used by the Army was essentially the French Model 1897 which had been developed in 1897. The light gun became obsolete because of changing tactical doctrine during the interwar period and was replaced with the light field howitzer in 1940. The current trend of field artillery development has been relatively static since World War I.