Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Re: SÚnarmont at Friedland
In Response To: Re: SÚnarmont at Friedland ()

Howie,

You asked for contemporary evidence and you already had it. I was merely letting you knnow politely that you did. And it isn't the massing of artillery that is novel here, but the employment of massed artillery in an attack by an artillery command. That is what is new. Was it employed later? Certainly it was and that has already been posted on the forum, Lutzen being a prime example. Unfortunately, you have appeared to have overlooked those postings.

The bottom line with Senarmont's action was that he took the initiative with an artillery command to make an attack supported by available infantry and not the other way round. Further, his attack was not planned and it took place after the planned main attack was defeated. Senarmont's attack was the decisive action on the field.

Commom practice that evolves into doctrine does not necessarily need to be written down, especially immediately after an action. Was this tactic employed again? Yes-at Ocana by Senarmont, this time in an economy of force mission instead of in the main effort. There were similar actions at Wagram, Ligny, Hanau and on other fields. Did it happen all the time? No, and I wouldn't expect it to. It was another tactical tool available to the French artillery commanders if the opportunity arose. The same thing happened regarding the development of French skirmisher tactics. Was it common practice? Yes. Was it written down as doctrine? No. One French commander commented that it didn't need to be written down as it was common practice. Did some French generals write skirmishing instructions? Yes, but it was never written down per se as army doctrine, but it was commonly practiced by French commanders throughout the period and it was dictated by the situation, just as artillery tactics and practices were.

Sincerely,
K

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Dix ans de mes souvenirs militaires, de 1805-1815.
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SÚnarmont at Friedland: New Doctrine?
changing the universal sentiment ...
Changing the universal sentiment: did it? How?
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General Ruty
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Senarmont and change *LINK*
The Camp At Boulogne.