Now this is an area that is very interesting and complex needing detailed plans that I have studies. Each country was solving the same problem of retaining firepower and mobility balance.
It has been missed by most authors that the design of the Austrian guns changed in 1780 with the change in the vent field that brought this in ine with other countries and the introduction of horizontal boring machines.
Desaguliers designed the Block-trail c1778 and the attending carriages. These were used over in America and were well regarded by Benjamin Thomson [later Count Rumford] These were later slightly modified by William Congreve with the introduction of experimental horse artillery c1780. The royal patent being awarded in 1793 to become the RHA. The RHA used this throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The Brigade artillery inheriting their guns from the battalion artillery and the Park had older equipment. By the Peninsular Wars there was significant improvement. The Butler carriage shared many of the parts of the Block trail including the wheels and axle was a step forward from the Congreve carriages of the AWI.
Technology and lineage is a facinationg subject. The Russians had a distinct system to that of the Austrians and Prussians. There is nothing wrong with a elevating screw quoin it is different to that of Gribeauval. The length of the Russian carriages were that they were made of Russian Pine rather than Oak. The former is lighter.
The data that most authors have chosen to use is for the guns produced before and during the 7YW. In 1768 a new series of guns were produced to replace the reactionary guns of the 7YW. These were copied by Hessen Kassel in 1770. They had the same weight ratio as the Austrians and French. In 1809, a new series of guns was produced using horizontal boring that were lighter than the Gribeauval design and comparable to the AnXI guns. These were consolidated as the M1816 guns.
The efficiency to arrest a gun is related to the forced that it exerts upon the ground. Therefore distance recoiled is a good test. It would be interesting to look at the recoil of these guns in comparative trials upon the same type of ground. It should be noted that the heavier gun and carriage recoils less than the lighter one. Being that Gribeauval guns and carriages were generally heavier than the Austrian M1753/80, Russian M1805, Saxon M1810, Bavarian M1800, Prussian M1768 & M1809/16, Wurtemberg M1809, AnXI (1803) etc.....
It is interesting that the Gribeauval carriage was heavier than the Valliere carriages that they replaced. Also the iron axel with brass bearings made the Gribeauval guns to pull but also easier to recoil.
I know that this is reporting the comments by competitive designers. Rouvroy (1809) justifying the design that replaced their unsatisfactory Gribeauaval caissons in the 1790s. Justification made for the AnXI design. Now whether that is justified, I do not know as we are into speculation.
Iron axel with brass bearings
This made the carriages heavier. No spare axles seem to be cem being brittle as they were cast iron. Certainly upon the early designs as described in Alder. As stated before increased the recoil of the carriages.arried so battlefield repairs a problem. There are drills in French Artillery of 1824 that show the procedure to use a wooden axle. There were problems of th
Prolonge and Schleppseil
That is a piece of rope and had been used since the 1600s at least. See Norton (1630), St Remy (1707), Austrian drill manual (c1750), Prussian drill manual (c1730) etc.. for use of a rope attached to horses to pull a gun carriage.
I have not seen a comparison between the elevating mechanisms.
This had been started by the Liechtenstein system in 1753 followed by Prussia (1768) and was not implements into France until 1776 when Gribeauval outlived Valliere Junior. Now dating of when the gun tubes were designed is interesting as Maritz II designed them in 1762 as ordered by the king before Gribeauval returned from Austrian. So yes France may well have been the next to reduce windage tolerances.
Reducing windage reduced the gas lost from the deflagration of powder charge so less powder could be used for the same result. This was not taken further by reducing the calibre length with the improving powder. The powder of 1765 was 80% or less of the power of the 1800 powder. This difference was even greater with the introduction of cylinder powder. It is interesting that the sulphur content was there to reduce the ignition temperature. The quality of the powder was to do with the components and the manner of manufacture. Both were significantly improved by Lavoisier.
Horrizontal Boring Machines
These were used by the following states
- Switzerland (c1714 - Jean Maritz I)
- France (1738 - Jean Maritz I and 1752 for iron guns by Maritz II)
- Spain (1764 - Maritz II: They were producing "Gribeauval" type guns earlier than the French)
- Britain (May 1771 by Verbruggen for bronze guns and 1773 for iron guns. Only solid cast were accepted from 1780)
- Austian (1780)
- Hessen-Cassel (c1780) - an important supplier of mercenaries and formed the backbone of the the Kingdom of Westphalia
- Russia (1790 - introduced by Gascoigne who "designed" the carronade)
- Bavaria (1790 by Count Rumford)
- Piedmont (1786 - D'Antoni: Turin produced the M1800 Allix guns and the AnXI Italian guns.)
- Prussia (1805 - rather late and this machine was taken by the French but replaced c1810)
- Wurttember (1809 - from the Austrians)
Wrought Bronze Vent
Introduced by Maritz II in 1746.
This depends upon the construction and more importantly upon the service charge. The French tests were biased as they overcharged the guns. In addition, this statement comes from De Scheel (1777) which has taken it directly from De Coudray (1772) which was a defence of the Gribeauval System. The Prussian guns were the M1754 Guns with chambers that were overcharged by the French to prove their point.
As can be seen there was a levelling of the playing field with the introduction of rationalised systems and the horizontal boring machine. The Gribeauval System has been stated had 25 wheels. The Prussians had 3, the Russians 4, the Bavarians 2, British 3 wheel sizes etc.... These were normally a heavy and light wheel. By studying the plans of these nations in my possession, it is interesting the convergence on many areas especially gun sites, positioning of trunnions etc...