"Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm,
Great Gun towering towards Heaven, about to curse;..."
— Wilfred Owen,
Sonnet: "On Seeing A Piece Of Our Heavy Artillery Brought Into Action"
Although most artillery tends to be referred to as "Howitzers" today, in pre-industrial conflicts the distinction between Howitzers and other firearms — especially large-calibre guns — was rather substantial. All modern Howitzers could trace their descent back to a single gun type introduced by the Hussites, a group of religious radicals in Central Europe, called the Houfnice or "heap gun". This weapon had a short but deep barrel, and was meant to fire at plunging angles over obstacles, which suited the defensive tactics employed by the Hussites. The Hussites soon fell amongst themselves and were eventually dispersed, but the new gun they introduced soon spread to Europe and later on to the rest of the world.
- Siege unit shared between Poland, Burgundy, Hungary and the Holy Roman Empire that has a lower range than the Trebuchet, but is faster to build and deals lots of splash damage.
- Being cheaper than normal Trebuchets, Howitzers can be amassed in substantial quantity, making them the weapon of choice as long as they are not outranged.
- Howitzers can only fire at a specific angle and have a great deal of minimum range, making them highly vulnerable if units marching towards them can survive the first salvos fired at them.