Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Asked and Answered...
In Response To: Re: French Artillery of 1824 ()

The action has been well-represented on the various forums over the years as well as ministerpreted. It has already been gone over again in these artillery threads in the last couple of weeks.

You know the difference between 'supported' and 'supporting' regarding the relationship between combat units and missions. American and British military terms are quite similar. Briefly, Senarmong on his own initiative turned a supporting mission at Friedland in June 1807 into a supported one, converting his supporting Dupont's infantry division with some of the artillery of I Corps into the French main effort after Ney's main attack had been defeated on the Russian right. Senarmont attacked the Russian center, advancing by bounds, to within 120 paces (some sources say 60 paces) of the Russian center and destroyed it by point-blank artillery fire and then shifted trails to defeat a Russian cavalry counterattack with two quick volleys of canister. He was supported by infantry from the I Corps (of which he was the artillery commander). In short, Senarmont's artillery action was the main attack.

Smola supported Austrian infantry against a French infantry attack at Neerwinden in 1793. Senarmont's attack was the supported action and Smola's was the supporting action.

This material was posted in the artillery threads earlier, posted by me between 30 May and 5 June. One of these explanations was in response to one of your postings. Don't you take a look at what's posted? Your questions, as shown here, were already answered:

'Smola's action at Neerwinden in 1793 was the employment of a reinforced cavalry battery supporting Austrian infantry on defense. It was not an offensive action. Smola was the supporting unit to an infantry unit on the defensive attempting to stop a French attack. It was not similar, for example, to Senarmont's action at Friedland in 1807 or Drouot's action at Lutzen in 1813. In the latter two cases, the artillery advanced against an enemy on defense being supported by infantry. The artillery in these instances were the attacking units. '

'Smola's action is, however, very similar to British artilleryman Willian Phillips action at Minden during the Seven Years' War. That action is described very well in the recent book Where a Man Can Go by Robert Davis.'

'The French launched artillery attacks at both Friedland in 1807 and Lutzen in 1813 to name the two most well-known examples. In both cases the artillery doing the attacking was the supported element, instead of being the supporting element. In Senarmont's case at Friedland in particular, the designated main effort, Ney's on the French right flank, had failed. Senarmont on his own initiative organized his corps artillery (I Corps) into two fifteen-gun batteries and without orders advanced on the Russian center, being supported by Dupont's infantry division. This action became the French main effort. The concentrated close-range artillery fire (some sources say 60 paces, some say 120, from the Russian center) destroyed the Russian center and was the decisive action of the battle. While this was going on, Ney had rallied his division and again attacked, supporting Senarmont's attack. Senarmont not only attacked on his own, but he held ground (he had also defeated a Russian cavalry attack on his flank during the action).'

'If you take a look at Friedland which is probably the best documented artillery action that I have found, Senarmont personally commanded the battery, with his chief of staff, Colonel Forno commanding one half of the battery, and Chef de Bataillon Bernard was second in command and took over when Col Forno was killed. Bernard was also wounded in the action. The other 15-gun element was commanded by Major Raulot. Subordinate to them were the individual gun company commanders and company officers.'

'There was massed artillery at Lodi in 1796; also at Castiglione in the same year. Marmont massed all available artillery to support Desaix's counterattack at Marengo in 1800; the Prussians faced massed French artillery at Jena in 1806. There was also massed corps artillery on the French side at Eylau in early 1807, to name a few before Friedland. So, your point is not clear to me and I really don't understand what you're trying to establish. Do you not believe that Senarmont's new tactics were effective? That they were a one-off? That massed batteries were not used by the French before and after Friedland? That Senarmont's tactics took field artillery one step further in the development of the arm? Are you actually trying to prove a point or disprove one?'

'What became a standard tactic was the massed artillery assault because of Friedland. As AF Becke, a British artillery officer wrote of Friedland: 'It was a salient moment in the evolution of tactics of field artillery. At last it was able to maneuver independently and handled by a great gunner it played a decisive role in the attack, mastered the hostile batteries, smashed up the infantry line itself, and, breaking it, opened a way for its own infantry to place the crown on its great tactical achievement.' AF Becke, Friedland, 41.'

'Again, it was another 'arrow in the quiver' so to speak of the French artillery tactics of the period, and if I may borrow from Major Becke again 'Senarmont managed to accomplish a truly great and,m a result that stands as an abiding testimony to his own genius. Senarmont's achievement with his 30 guns made clear to the military world that a new era had dawned for the artillery arm and from that time onward field artillery tactics became a subject for serious study.' Becke, 42.'

'And finally, 'There is no doubt that the gunner takes an especial interest in Friedland for in this battle he recognizes the birth of modern field artillery tactics...' Becke, 40.'

Sincerely,
K

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Howitzers
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Ere wie ere toekomt
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Prussian Ordnance and Artillery
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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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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
Re: French artillery tactical doctrine
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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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Different constructions of cannister
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Which particular design???
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Sources
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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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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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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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