Air Defense Artillery During World War I

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“At the time of our entry into World War I America was ill prepared for large scale warfare with large movements of whole Armies. The U.S. Army was not prepared with its Artillery and had no heavy artillery guns to speak of” (Hartwell, 2017). During World War I, the Coast Artillery Corps was subject to rapid changes and unit realignments. This signified the beginning of a seamless transition to what would eventually give birth to Air Defense Artillery. The French and British had provided the United States Army with its initial Artillery weapons resulting in no American Artillery brought to the front. Production quickly started on American versions of their foreign Artillery counterparts currently used in action. The American 8 …show more content…

Another dynamic change of World War I on Artillery was Unit mobility. Horse drawn Artillery being the primary method of movement used by the American Artillery at the start of the War, quickly changed with the addition of self-propelled weapons and Artillery tractors. The creation of tanks as a countermeasure to trench warfare would be one of many factors to shift emphasis away from the coast. Using tractors as opposed to horses would allow greater range in American Artillery movements. These designs and innovations would help shape the American Artillery weaponry used in later American conflicts around the globe. World War I shifted the strategy of combat resulting in trench warfare. The primary object of the Coast Artillery Corps was to shield the coast cities, important anchorages, and naval establishments. The declining importance of defensive positioning caused the focus to turn inland, resulting in massive amounts of personnel and equipment integrated into Regular Infantry and Field Artillery. According to John Calhoun (1922), “Coastal Artillery will also form a small but useful reserve for the regular infantry upon proper occasion” (p. 204). Soldiers and weapons systems distributed in large numbers found use in various Army units. The coast defenses withdrew a total of 98 artillery weapons. Many

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