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 Posted: Thu Mar 16th, 2006 05:49 pm
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calcav
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Joined: Sat Jan 28th, 2006
Location: Corinth, MS
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Rebelgray,

Let me quote from Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War: To bridge the gap between high velocity guns and "vertical firing" mortars, howitzers were intended to lob hollow explosive or incendiary projectiles among massed troops or into fortifications at intermediate range. High, curved trajectories permitted firing above the heads of friendly forces, from emplacements screened from direct fire. Lightweight hollow projectiles, low velocities and modest range, and the need for smaller propellant charges permitted howitzers to be shorter, lighter, and more mobile than guns of the same bore diamaters.

In order for the howitzer to lob the shell with a smaller powder charge, the barrel had a small powder chamber cast or tooled into the end of the bore.

Because the Napolean was cast without a powder chamber it could not fufill the designers plan for it to serve as both a gun and a howitzer.

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