Book Review:
British Napoleonic Artillery,
1793-1815 (volume 2)

By Chris Henry
Artwork by Brian Delf

With the threat of an invasion from Britain boosted its shore defences with forts and gun emplacements. The main weapons within the defences were large calibre cannons that were difficult to move and so relied upon expert placement to be most effective.

These same massive guns were also used to conduct siege warfare and in attempts to break down the walls of enemy fortifications.

In British Napoleonic Artillery 2, 1793-1815 author Chris Henry takes an in-depth look at the heavy calibre guns - iron or bronze weapons usually 24-pounders or heavier - and mortars used away from battlefields.

He describes in fascinating detail the process of proofing the guns and their shells, as well as explaining how howitzers and mortars worked. Other key areas within his description of the equipment types and their organisation include transportation, training for the crews and coastal defences.

Then Henry turns his attention to how the guns were used in action and how siege warfare was conducted.

In addition there is a glossary of artillery terms.

As in the first volume of this important look at British artillery, Henry has teamed with artist Brian Delf who has produced some terrific colour paintings of the crews in action and gun emplacements.

And it should be noted that some of the black-and-white illustrations are excellent and show how guns barrels were moulded and bored, and how the artillery pieces in Martello Towers were rotated upon pivot mounts and metal tracks.

British Napoleonic Artillery 2, 1793-1815 is yet another very informative work from Chris Henry on Britain's heavy weapons.

- Richard Moore


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