Napoleon Series Archive 2004

Re: British infantry corporals
In Response To: British infantry corporals ()

Gunter,

The 1792 regulations state that there were 3 officers (one captain and two lieutenants, 2 sergeants and 3 corporals per company.

The 1792 regulations only specify that the company commander is on the front right of the company, covered in the rear rank by a sergeant. There is no mention of the position of the corporals but Section 41 does state that "the four best-trained soldiers are to be placed in the front rank, on the right and left of each sub-division (half-company)".

The 1824 regulations, which codified tactical practice which had evolved during the wars, specified a lieutenant in the front rank on the left of the company.

I think you can assume that the three corporals, plus one other senior soldier, were in the front rank on the right and left of each half company.

If the whole company is in line there is an officer on each flank. If they reform by half companies (ie as in a column of half companies there will be an officer on one flank and a corporal on the other, of each half company. If they reform by sections (quarter companies,) ie as in a column of route, there will be either an officer or corporal on one flank of each section. Since drills such as forming square were performed by wheeling sections, this gave the necessary command and control.

Rod

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British infantry corporals
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British infantry officers ranks & appointments
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Rank and Appointments
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