At the beginning of the First World War the main support weapon for the British Army was the long-barrelled field gun. However, it soon became clear there was a great demand for howitzers to be used under cover or against hidden targets. These fired heavy shells on a high trajectory through a short barrel and were the best type of artillery gun to employ against fortifications.
At the beginning of the war, the British howitzer only had a limited range. However, by the end of the war they could fire shells weighing 900kg over 18km. Famous howitzers used on the Western Front include the German Big Bertha and the Austrian Skoda 30.5.