Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Re: French Artillery Commanders and Tactica

For the Prussian artillery, Müllers book „Die Entwicklung der Feldartillerie“, published in 1873, is a very valuable source, as it describes the developement of the Prussian artillery (guns, ammunition, organisation, training of higher officers) for the period of time 1815-1870. Müller comes to the following conclusions:

1) The performance of the Prussian artillery in the wars of liberation was poor:
“die preußische Artillerie leistete nicht, was sie hätte leisten können.

2) The peacetime organisation of the Prussian artillery after 1815 prevented the training of higher officers who could lead larger artillery units (French practise during Napoleonig wars), therefore, the quality of the foot batteries declined even more in the 1830s when officers, who were veterans of 1812-15, retired in larger numbers. The useful changes proposed by artillery officers were rejected.

3) He discusses the difference between the large batteries of the SYW and the action of the French artillery at Friedland, numbers are in his opinion not relevant, but intention of the commander.

As eyewitness for 1812 we can use the Saxonian cavalry officer Roth v. Schreckenstein, who served in the French 4th cav. corps and who describes very positively the French praxis of combining all batteries of a cav. corps under the command of one artillery officer in his book “Die Schlacht an der Moskwa”, and adds, that even in the time of publication of this book (1858) in most German armies the higher cav. officers are characterized by a total lack of understanding how to use artillery.

If we read German books, which were used for officer education in the 1840s and are usually written by infantry officers (for example the series “Handbibliothek für Offiziere”) we find that they still describe only problems of the Elementartaktik for artillery. For me a clear sign of stagnation and decline.

So for the Prussian artillery my conclusions are: the artillery still had to fight to be accepted as equal branch in the Prussian army after 1815, the artillery did not get the money – and here we are talking about the equivalent of only 4 esquadrones cavalry – to implement a peacetime organisation, which would allow the training of higher officers in the same quality and which was common for infantry or cavalry. The clear improvements that culminated in the success of 1870/71 all happened in the second half of the 19th century.

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Howitzers
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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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