Publication:
LESSONS LEARNED AND UNLEARNED: U.S. FIELD ARTILLERY SINCE THE END OF WWII

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Authors
Deveraux, Brennan S.
Subjects
adaptation
artillery
Copperhead
counter-insurgency
Crusader
direct support
Excalibur
family of scatterable mines
FASCAM
field artillery
firebase
guided multiple launch rocket system
GMLRS
improved conventional munition
ICM
indirect fire
innovation
modernization
modularization
munition
Pentomic
precision guidance kit
PGK
precision guided munitions
PGM
maneuver forces
sense and destroy armor
SADARM
tactical nuclear weapons
Advisors
Moran, Daniel J.
Date of Issue
2020-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
This thesis examines the adaptation of U.S. indirect-fire capabilities since 1945, with reference to three potential drivers of military innovation: new technology, combat experience, and external threats. Throughout this period U.S. artillery platforms and munitions—alongside the maneuver forces they were designed to support—have grown in complexity, lethality, accuracy, range, and mobility. Current U.S. artillery munitions nevertheless lag behind those of other modern militaries in important respects, including target-seeking rounds and the destruction of armor. In addition, today’s artillery platforms—towed and self-propelled alike—are too slow for a high-tempo fight. Thus, although capabilities have developed dramatically, in a large-scale combat operation, modern U.S. artillery would likely play a minor role. This thesis examines 70 years of artillery development, and concludes that apart from the immediate pressures of active conflict, external threats are the primary driver of adaptation. Thus, current and future projects are likely to revolve around a singular focus: preparing to combat a peer adversary. In this regard, this thesis offers developmental recommendations to help the artillery branch maintain its hard-won historical position as the King of Battle.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
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Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. distribution is unlimited
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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