Napoleon Series Archive 2009

French Artillery Commanders and Tactica

The French employed their artillery aggressively and sometimes very recklessly being willing to lose guns to gain an advantage. One thing that has to be realized to my mind is that tactics are not always either stated in a manual and at times are developed from stated doctrine. The manuals are one thing, actions on campaign and on the battlefield the other.

For example, French horse artillery tactics were not codified, at least not originally, but were developed on the battlefield by the artillery commanders from company on up. Eble, for example, was a horse artilleryman as was Foy. Foy's oft-quoted dictum, 'get up close and shoot fast' was not in the manuals and it demonstrates quite bluntly how French artillery, both foot and horse, were employed.

Using one example such as Austerlitz illustrates virtually nothing. Statistically, it is an outlier. Take a look at Jena and Auerstadt for examples of aggressively handled French artillery, and Davout's use of an inferior artillery in numbers to be at the right place and the right time repeatedly during the action and not always in company strength. And it doesn't stop with Jena and Auerstadt. French artillery commanders used artillery to make decisive assaults, for economy of force missions, such as at Ocana in Spain.

Lastly, as Peter Paret stated quite succinctly in Yorck and the Era of Prussian Reform, manuals and regulations are a basis for studying and discovering how armies fought during the period. But you also have to look at other primary source material, such as period memoirs, to see what tactics were employed. Noel's, Boulart's, and Faber du Faur's memoirs help immensely in how artillery was used on the battlefield. Regulations, ie doctrine, is a starting point and not holy writ. The French artillery commanders by and large were an aggressive, imaginative group of officers who would use their guns when and where they saw fit.

Good generals had massed artilery for years. That isn't the issue. The issue with the French is that they made their artillery arm one of decision turning it into a supported combat arm, not merely a supporting one as the other main belligerents did. The French artillery arm was an offensive weapon and the examples of that use at Jena, Friedland, Raab, Hanau, Lutzen, Wagram, Ocana, Ligny, and Waterloo confirm that employment.

Sincerely,
K

Messages In This Thread

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