Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Wheels of misfortune and what about Plattsburgh?
In Response To: Re: Spain ()

I understand, Kevin, you don't want to answer the question because it does not fit your pre-conceived notions about the GS.

For the record, then, and for Digby's edification, there were 25 different types of wheels in the Gribeauval system. There were only 9 different diameters but wheels of the same diameter used for different purposes had different dishing, so were not strictly interchangeable, hence the final of number 25. The source is a book Kevin quotes often and it is Louis Tousard, AMERICAN ARTILLERIST'S COMPANION, vol 2, 297.

I believe that Tousard is referring here to the earliest iteration of the GS. No doubt, after going to war in 1792, improvements were shortly made and the number of wheels reduced to a reasonable variety, say 20 or so. I also want to be quite definite that there is no truth to the rumour that, faced with choosing which wheel was the correct one for the appropriate carriage or vehicle, French gunners took to painting them in different colours or combinations of colour, for ease of reference. This is because they didn't have the money to buy paint.

That being said, there is still the outstanding matter of your comments on Plattsburgh. If you recall, during one of your seemingly interminable arguments with Digby, you stated that "the British army fell apart after Plattsburgh." The exchanges on this subject are all in the archives, I am sure.

I challenged you on that comment and in the discussion that followed, you threw endless secondary sources at me trying to prove your point. I responded by pointing out that the authors of all the sources you quoted base their interpretation of that event on one or more of four primary source documents: the two reports by the British commander; the report by the American commander; and the report by the British artillery commander. I then gave you the Internet references by which you could read all of these four sources online and advised you to do so, as they present quite a different picture from your statements on the subject. I do not know whether you did or not, as the last I heard from you on the subject was something to the effect that you had ordered some more secondary sources and would get back to me. I live in hope that you will share any new knowledge gained with all of us. If you do not, I can always transcribe the four primary sources and post them on the forum and let the members judge for themselves.

And then there was the GREAT DEBATE over French atrocities in Portugal in 1810-1811 which raged with unabated fury over the winter, which seems to have died down lately but which I am sure, Anthony Gray is still patiently working on, and will report in due course.

During the course of the discussion on that, you remarked that the British army was guilty of atrocities at Hampton, Virginia in 1813. Stung to the quick, having written on that exact subject myself, I dug into it and the result is a 10,000 word documented article on the treatment of civilians by both sides during the War of 1812, the basis of British military law in the Napoleonic period and a further investigation (building on what I had previously published on the subject)of the responsibility for the crimes at Hampton. It will appear in the next issue of the W1812 Magazine on this very website. Please do read it as I value your opinion.

You're my muse, Kevin, you really are. In fact, you're the Forum's muse.

dg

Messages In This Thread

French Napoleonic artillery doctrine
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Historical Inquiry - we're trying...
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Gribeauval's wheels are falling off
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Obtaining Rosen Thesis
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Rosen Thesis
Instructions to obtain Rosen Thesis
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Gribeauval et al
Spain
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Wheels of misfortune and what about Plattsburgh?
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Gribeauval Field, Valliere Siege, Manson Coast
Wheels of Misfortune
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M1792 Reforms by Manson
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Clarification
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That's it, my date was off :O *NM*
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