Encyclopedia of World Armaments (Jean Huon)

One of the best firearms experts in France, if not the planet, Jean Huon is the author of numerous articles on the subject, as well as a four-volume encyclopedia entitled A century of global weaponry published in the 1970s. Nearly forty years have now passed, and Jean Huon is now undertaking to constitute an updated and considerably increased version. Entitled Encyclopedia of World Armaments, it is due to appear in no less than seven volumes, by October 2014. A limited edition, of which volume 1 has just been published.

A monumental work

This work, which we will not hesitate to describe as monumental, is divided into three parts. The first deals with the technical development of firearms, from their appearance in Western Europe to their accelerated modernization during the 19th century. Ancient weapons thus see their operation described and explained: the first hand cannons, matchlock arquebuses, spinning pistols, down to flintlock then percussion rifles. These first pages allow you to understand the general operation of a firearm and to become familiar with the principles that govern it.

The second part is devoted to the description of modern firearms - by this the author means those produced from the mid-19th century, a time when the Industrial Revolution and its corollary would allow considerable technical developments. The chapter on ammunition is instructive, whether it is to understand the nomenclature used to designate a rifle cartridge or the basics of ballistics.

Once these bases have been laid, we approach in turn the various mechanisms, more and more elaborate, which will lead to current weapons. From the breech-loading rifle, we will pass to the repeating rifle and then to semi-automatic weapons, to the assault rifle. No type of light firearm is omitted and machine guns, pistols, revolvers and submachine guns will each have their own chapter. The descriptions are simple and accessible, illustrated by numerous diagrams and illustrations - the author's photographic collection here is particularly impressive.

However, the real piece of bravery of theEncyclopedia of World Armaments is undoubtedly its third part. The latter aims to review all the light weapons produced and used by the armed forces around the world since 1870. No less than 190 countries and thousands of models, but it is clear on reading that the bet of the completeness is noted. This part covers most of Volume 1 and will form the entirety of the remaining six volumes to be published, highlighting the breadth of research carried out by Jean Huon for nearly four decades. Volume 1 covers weapons from 13 different countries, listed alphabetically from Afghanistan to Australia.

We are indeed in the presence of a reference book in the first sense of the term: whether we are looking for what was the Argentinian assault rifle during the Falklands War or what machine guns Germany was using on the eve of the World War I is in theEncyclopedia of World Armaments that we will find the answer. This veritable catalog of weapons is also teeming with historical and technical data: a paragraph (often brief, for obvious space requirements) summarizes their development and salient elements, before giving way to performance and characteristics. Almost all of the weapons shown come with a photo. The completeness is such that Jean Huon even goes so far as to deal with ... rocket guns!

TheEWorld Armaments Encyclopedia is therefore a must for the enthusiast of weapons of war. Comprehensive, it is therefore necessarily generalist, but it is precisely for this reason that the work of Jean Huon can legitimately claim to be the staple in the library of the gun enthusiast. Obviously, its "catalog" aspect reserves it to a targeted audience and its status as a "beautiful book" (which it certainly is) does not put it within reach of all budgets, but with the approach of the end of the holiday season. year, theEncyclopedia of World Armaments It is nonetheless an ideal gift to give to anyone interested in the subject at hand.

Encyclopedia of World Armaments

« TheEncyclopedia of World Armaments describes with all the useful technical details, and an impressive number of color illustrations, the small arms (individual and collective) used in the world since 1860 until today, and this by the armed forces or the security forces from 190 different countries.

It was during the two important conflicts of the XIXth century (the American Civil War and hostilities between France and Prussia), that weaponry entered its modern phase with the introduction of breech loading and the use of manufactured ammunition. Other technological innovations were developed in the years that followed, with industrial mechanization, rapid-fire weapons and the use of smokeless powder.

The two great conflicts of the 20th centuryth century have also enabled the development of manufacturing processes allowing the production of lighter and more efficient models.

After 1945, most countries used armaments from both sides of the Atlantic and others from the Soviet bloc and its allies, while localized conflicts erupted here and there.

The geopolitical upheavals of the 1990s, the overthrow of certain alliances and globalization revealed that new countries were becoming involved in the field of arms production, while great nations scuttled their means of production.

It is to respond to the legitimate curiosity of all who are interested in the subject that this encyclopedia has been compiled. It describes, in 7 volumes, more than 3,000 different weapons without counting the variants and is undoubtedly the most complete work ever produced in this field. »

Jean HUON, Encyclopedia of World Armaments, Paris, Grancher, 2011, 317 p. (for volume 1). 52 euros. ISBN: 978-2-7339-1165-5.

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