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A cannon is a type of heavy weapon usually mounted on a carriage used since the Middle Ages, consisting of a barrel into which a projectile is tamped into along with a propellant, which is then lit to fire the projectile into the air at a high velocity. The development of cannons led to the decline in importance of castles after the Medieval period, as troops in such immobile fortified positions could be very easily worn down by artillery fire.
The medieval cannon developed into a thing of many parts. Iron strips were placed round a wooden cylinder and welded together Two layers of iron hoops were then forced over the strips to hold them in place and seal any gaps. The wood was then burnt out. Whilst this method of manufacture allowed for larger weapons than the first rudimentary castings, they were still almost as dangerous to their operators as to the enemy, as they often blew up.
By the 17th century, the biggest problem regarding artillery was that it was slow, difficult to prepare, and essentially very vulnerable to ambush. This was a problem that was recognised by most military leaders, and led to the development of so-called "flying artillery" units which were fast artillery units all travelling on horseback. Flying artillery units were specialised in providing fast support, by using less powerful but substantially lighter guns.
The first attempts to create these units took place duing the Thirty Years' War when Gustav Adolf wanted to find a way to create a faster means of delivering artillery support to his forces without being overly encumbered by the slow pace of cannon. The solution was to use lighter guns, dedicated to pummelling infantry, to be towed into battle. Lighter guns meant more mobility, which meant that the guns were fast enough to be used in cooperation with cavalry.