A unique chapter in the history of firearms, the multibarrel, hand-cranked Gatling gun was one of the first practical rapid-fire weapons ever to be used in battle. It changed warfare by introducing the capability to project deadly, high-intensity fire on the battlefield, and portended the devastation that automatic weapons would wreak in World War I. During its 40-year career, it saw widespread service with US, British, and other forces on a host of battlefields through conflicts in Zululand and the American West, to the Spanish-American War. Although it saw widespread use in the hands of industrialized nations against various groups of indigenous native warriors, it was famously left behind by Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, where some argue it could have made all the difference.
Featuring full-color artwork plus contemporary and close-up photographs, this engaging study investigates the origins, development, combat use, and lasting influence of the formidable Gatling gun.