SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval, 1715-1789, French artillery officer and engineer. Serving as a general of artillery during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), he became aware of the lack of mobility of the French guns then operating on the basis of the Vallière System. In 1764 he was appointed inspector of artillery but his proposed changes met with resistance. However, in 1776, as Inspector General of Artillery in France, he was able to design and introduce the Gribeauval System. This was the first complete weapon system, including armaments (cannon, howitzer and mortar), and accompanying equipment, all based on standardized and interchangeable components, the beginnings of modern mass production. Though the length and weight of guns was reduced they had greater firing ranges. His developments of French artillery contributed to the brilliant military successes of Napoleon.
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