Arms and The Man by William Lowther

Dr. Gerald Bull was a Canadian ballistics engineer who made a lot of money during the Cold War, selling technology research to the Canadians, then the Americans, and then to whoever would pay. He was killed (by the Israelis according to this book) as he was helping Saddam Hussein (Iraq) build a gun capable of lauching projectiles 1000+ km.

His major innovations were perfecting base-bleed projectiles (reduces air drag by filling the vacuum behind the flying projectile without destabilizing the projectile), the determination of ideal barrel length (which is ~45 times the calibre of the projectile), and the use of sabots to allow for better shaped projectiles. All of this work established him as a known productive quantity, and gained the foreign interest that led to his death.

This book reads quite quickly and enjoyably, but short-sells itself by not having pointers to the physics behind Dr. Bull's engineering. But, Dr. Bull had an R&D compound in Highwater, Quebec which is ~50 miles from my hometown. The next I'm back, I think I'll arrange an excursion.