Artillery Escalation in 1914

Artillery Escalation in 1914

Saturday, December 12, 1914

In Camp, West Down South, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Rain. Brigade march in p.m.  Dismissed to private parades by Brigadier about one mile and half from Camp.  Raced other battns. of Brigade home, all starting level.  14th beat others by 150 yards.”  [1]

12 Dec 14
Munitions workers making artillery shells

THE ARTILLERY: “A full complement of artillery guns and ammunition wagons of standard British pattern had been brought from Canada and no changes were made.  The two types of gun were the 18-pdr. for the Field Artillery, and the 60-pdr for the heavy battery.  There were no 4.5-inch howitzers because the field howitzer brigade of British divisional establishments was still omitted from the Canadian; an urgent recommendation of General Alderson, in November, that it should be raised in Canada and sent across, had to be answered by the Militia Department on 21st January, as no pieces were yet forthcoming: “Howitzer Brigade will not be included in 1st Canadian Division.””  [2]

ARTILLERY AMMUNITION EXPENDED: “Many Canadian workmen engaged just now in the making of shrapnel for the field artillery of Britain and the Dominion will be interested in an item from Paris which states that from the eastern border of France to the North Sea over ten thousand cannon, ranging upward from three inches to sixteen, daily vomit death and destruction back and forth across the battle-line.  It is estimated that when there is a day of steady cannonading the bill for artillery ammunition is over a million dollars.  No wonder foundries are working over-time on the manufacture of shells.  In Poland also, and Servia and Asia Minor and other war areas, the red artillery sends out its costly glare day and night.  War has become a great business in which vast industrial plants must be devoted to feeding the guns.”   [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Dec 12, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]   Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919, Vol. 1, Part 1, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938, pg. 136.
[3]  “War Summary,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, Saturday, December 12, 1914, pg. 2, col. 2.

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