Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Re: Wheels of misfortune and what about Plattsburg

However, both DeScheel and DuTeil were school-trained and qualified artillery officers, more than qualified to comment on current artillery systems. And it should also be remembered that there was much opposition to the Systeme AN XI within the French artillery arm itself by qualified senior artillery officers who had been in action with the Gribeauval System. You cannot pick and choose your sources-you have to use all that's available and then make your judgment. I don't believe that's been done here. You should do the research and then make up your mind-that's historical inquiry-not make up your mind and then try and support it. The evidence is near-overwhelming that the Gribeauval System was a very large step forward in artillery development and that's the point. Modifications and improvements are both natural and common, but to denigrate the work of one of the greatest artillerymen in history is a travesty and just plain in accurate.

And as a footnote, Gribeauval constructed and tested both Prussian and Austrian field pieces from the original plans which he obtained from Prussia and Austria. Then he designed his own system and improved upon what he had discovered. He had observed the Prussian artillery first-hand in 1752 and served with the Austrian, being both decorated and promoted in their service, during the Seven Years' War and knew their system first hand. Gribeauval had also served in the field with the French in the War of the Austrian Succession.

As to wheels, the Liechtenstein System was very simple in the wheel designs for the field pieces, but the one used for the 3-pounder was too large, being the same one used for the 6-pounder. Simplicity is great, but that too can be overdone. As an anonymous British staff officer once allegedly stated: 'Simplicity, yes. But not the simplicity of an ape with a paintbrush!'

Sincerely,
K

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Historical Inquiry - we're trying...
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Gribeauval's wheels are falling off
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Wheels of misfortune and what about Plattsburgh?
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Gribeauval Field, Valliere Siege, Manson Coast
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That's it, my date was off :O *NM*
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