Arsenal

Arsenal

[ahr-suh-nl, ahrs-nuhl]
An arsenal is an establishment for the construction, repair, storage and issue of weapons and ammunition. The word arsenal appears in various forms in Romance languages (from which it has been adopted into the Germanic languages), i.e. Italian arzanale, Spanish arsenal etc.; Italian also has arzana and darsena, and Spanish a longer form atarazanal. The word is of Arabic origin, being a corruption of dar as-sina'ah, "house of trade" or "manufacture". Alternative derivations, such as arx navalis, "naval citadel", arx senatus (i.e. of Venice, etc.), have been discounted. For Early Modern Europe, the Arsenal was the Venetian Arsenal.

A first-class arsenal, which can furnish the material and equipment of a large army, embraces a gun factory, carriage factory, laboratory and small-arms ammunition factory, small-arms factory, harness, saddlery and tent factories, and a powder factory; in addition it must possess great store-houses. In a second-class arsenal the factories would be replaced by workshops. The situation of an arsenal should be governed by strategic considerations. If of the first class, it should be situated at the base of operations and supply, secure from attack, not too near a frontier, and placed so as to draw in readily the resources of the country. The importance of a large arsenal is such that its defences would be on the scale of those of a large fortress.

The usual subdivision of branches in a great arsenal is into storekeeping, construction and administration. Under storekeeping we should have the following departments and stores: Departments of issue and receipt, pattern room, armoury department, ordnance or park, harness, saddlery and accoutrements, camp equipment, tools and instruments, engineer store, timber yard, breaking-up store, unserviceable store. Under construction: Gun factory, carriage factory, laboratory, small-arms factory, harness and tent factory, powder factory, etc. In a second- class arsenal there would be workshops instead of these factories. Administration: Under the head of administration would be classed the chief director of the arsenal, officials military and civil, non-commissioned officers and military artificers, civilian foremen, workmen and laborers, with the clerks and writers necessary for the office work of the establishments.

In the manufacturing branches are required skill, and efficient and economical work, both executive and administrative; in the storekeeping part, good arrangement, great care, thorough knowledge of all warlike stores, both in their active and passive state, and scrupulous exactness in the custody, issue and receipt of stores. Frederick Taylor introduced command and control techniques to arsenals.

In England the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, (also known as the Woolwich Arsenal) manufactured and stored the requirements of the army and navy; some of its workers founded the London football club Arsenal F.C.. Other arsenals are: Warsaw Arsenal, Arsenal (Vienna), and the Spanish Arsenal in Ferrol.

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