Napoleon Series Archive 2006

time required to unlimber for artillery

To add some empirical data on who is faster, horse or foot artillery, an extract from C. v. Decker's "Der Preußische Taschen-Artillerist." (The Prussian pocket gunner), Berlin 1828, p. 157:

Time required from the command "Batterie halt!" until the first shot is fired, in seconds:

Shooting with roundshot or grenades:

Foot artillery
6pounder gun: 34
12pounder gun: 41
7pounder howitzer: 75
10pounder howitzer: 110

Horse artillery
6pounder gun: 30
7pounder howitzer: 107

Shooting with roundshot or grenades at a slightly elevated angle, so that the shot is bouncing at least once before hitting the target ("Rollschuß" - I don't know the correct English term):

Foot artillery
6pounder gun: 38
12pounder gun: 40
7pounder howitzer: 103
10pounder howitzer: 83

Horse artillery
6pounder gun: 33
7pounder howitzer: 107

Shooting with canister

Foot artillery
6pounder gun: 26
12pounder gun: 33
7pounder howitzer: 36
10pounder howitzer: 43

Horse artillery
6pounder gun: 26
7pounder howitzer: 33

These are average data taken from experience, measured for example at inspections. The reasons for anomalies in these data are found in circumstances which cannot be described by any theory, such as more or less trained men, or accidental delays or speeding ups.

Decker doesn't say how many batteries he observed in order to obtainhis data.

Of course, this refers only to Prussian artillery in the 1820s, in peace time. But at least, the Prussian artillery material had been changed but slightly after the Napoelonic wars, and the drill regulations were still the same (though there were some changes in Decmber 1827). Other artilleries with other material and other drill regulations will have arrived at other results.

Looking at the data, I would say the difference between the time required to unlimber for horse and for foot artillery is negligible.

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time required to unlimber for artillery
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ready made Prussian shells
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missing word
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loading a Prussian howitzer
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and here the source for unequal times
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horses' speed
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