Napoleon Series Archive 2009

French artillery tactical doctrine
In Response To: Line or Guard Artillery ()

Actually, I can think of a number of examples of French deployment, movement and massing of artillery in Spain by line artillery units that indicate a fairly high tactical capability -- although it pains me to say it.

The prime example is Albuera where the French artillery commander, GdB de Ruty pushed his guns forward and massed them in a very good position that enfiladed much of the allied right flank. It is my supposition that it was the French artillery that inflicted the majority of the allied casualties at that battle, certainly it was the arm that inflicted the most casualties on the Fusilier Brigade when it advanced, as numerous eyewitnesses attest to the fact that the Fus Bde came under heavy artillery fire well before it came into contact with the French infantry.

When the French infantry failed and fled, it was de Ruty's and his gunners, assisted by the cavalry, who held off the allied infantry long enough for Soult to get across to the opposite side of the stream and regroup his forces.

De Ruty's command seems to have been rather a catch all of various units, some foot and some horse, and -- apropos of the seemingly endless arguments over which nation had the better artillery weapons -- the majority of its pieces were Gribeauval 4 and 8-pdrs with a lot of howitzers.

From this, two points might be made. First, the French guns in service might not have been as technologically advanced as their opponents but even average weapons, well commanded, can be very effective.

Second, whether or not it was in print or not, there was clearly a workable tactical doctrine in the French artillery of aggressive movement, massing and deployment of artillery. Tactical doctrine evolves from the ground up, not from the top down, and it often takes a considerable time before the state of the art, as represented in action, finds its way into print.

dg

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Howitzers
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Re: Howitzers - for Kevin to answer
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Ere wie ere toekomt
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Case Shot
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Prussian Ordnance and Artillery
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Prussian Ordnance not of the 7YW
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Line or Guard Artillery
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French artillery tactical doctrine
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French Artillery Commanders and Tactica
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Doctrine vs Common Practice
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Materials by Hermann von Müller.
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Arrows in the Quiver
Friedland, 1807 by Maj. A. F. Becke, RA.
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absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
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The British gunner by J. Morton Spearman.
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The Null Hypothesis
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Cannister and Hail Shot
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Quote from De Scheel (1800)
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Different constructions of cannister
Canister
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Which particular design???
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Sources
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M1765 Cannister from De Scheel
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Trick Phrase. :\
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System AnXI
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French Artillery of 1824
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M1775 Garrison Guns
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Asked and Answered...
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Superiority?????
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Techology changes over 50 years
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So 25 is better than 20 interesting *NM*
Conundrums...
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Quoting from Adye 1801
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Things melt especially when heated.
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Problems of translation
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Thank you for this summary.
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White metal = tinned iron
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Dollezcek (1872)
Things melt especially when heated. *LINK*
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French Experimental Design
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Guard infantry operated in 8 pelotons
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Forming square from column
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Ducking a Canister Can
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Spherical Case [Shrapnell]
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Kartätschkugeln *LINK*
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Light and Heavy Cannister
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Canister = basket
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On the Use of Field Artillery on Service.
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Spherical Case [Shrapnell]
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