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TLDR: Artillery is a type of heavy military weapon that shoots things really far. It started with big cannons used to break down walls, but now there are smaller, more mobile cannons used in battles. Artillery has been around for a long time and has played a big role in wars throughout history.

Artillery is a class of heavy military weapons that are used to launch projectiles over long distances. They are much more powerful than regular guns used by soldiers. In the past, artillery was used to break down walls and fortifications during sieges. These early artillery weapons were big and not very mobile. But as technology improved, smaller and more mobile cannons were developed for use on the battlefield. Today, self-propelled artillery vehicles are highly versatile and provide a large portion of an army's firepower.

The word "artillery" originally referred to any group of soldiers armed with manufactured weapons or armor. But with the introduction of gunpowder and cannons, "artillery" came to mean cannons specifically. In modern usage, "artillery" refers to shell-firing guns, howitzers, mortars, and rocket artillery. These weapons are usually operated by specialized artillery units within the military.

Artillery has played a significant role in warfare throughout history. In fact, the majority of combat deaths in wars like the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, and World War II were caused by artillery. Joseph Stalin even referred to artillery as "the god of war" in a speech.

Artillery pieces are operated by crews or detachments, which are grouped into larger units called batteries. These batteries can be combined into battalions or regiments, depending on the army. The soldiers who operate artillery are often called gunners. They are responsible for aiming and firing the cannons.

During military operations, field artillery provides support to other arms in combat or attacks targets. They can suppress or neutralize the enemy by delivering high-explosive munitions or by causing casualties, damage, and destruction. Artillery fire can be directed by artillery observers or other observers, and it can be called onto map coordinates.

The development of artillery has been influenced by military doctrine and the need to balance firepower with mobility. Over time, artillery has become more powerful and capable of delivering fire support at various ranges. It has also evolved to include self-propelled guns and missile systems.

In summary, artillery is a class of heavy military weapons that launch projectiles over long distances. It has been used throughout history to break down fortifications and provide firepower on the battlefield. Artillery has played a significant role in wars and continues to be an important component of modern military forces.

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