Kevin, saying "it depends on the mission" does not answer the question. When was a 12lber better than a 6lber? Was it better enough to justify the extra burden on labor, logistics, manufacture, and finance?'
I disagree completely. What do you want to do with the artillery available to you? 12-pounders fired a heavier round which could cause more damage. 4-, 6-, and 8-pounders had twice the rate of fire of a 12-pounder for sustained firing and would be used, for example, in counterbattery fire if that had to be resorted to (the French, British, and Austrians would not engage in counterbattery fire unless the enemy’s artillery was hurting friendly troops more than French artillery was hurting the enemy’s-the Russians engaged in counterbattery fire far longer that the French, British, and Austrians did). 12-pounders would be more useful for battering entrenchments, for example. Like I said, it depends on the mission. In a pinch, according to Tousard, the Gribeauval 12-pounder could also be employed by horse artillery, even though the 8-pounder was the favorite of the gunners.
‘Napoleon may have said he could do all those things, but he never did, nor ever needed to. In fact, apart from his competently conducted siege of Toulon, he soon was on to bigger things and hardly had expert experience with artillery.’
That is not correct. Napoleon’s expertise as an artillery officer was definitely demonstrated at Toulon. And that is an indicator or his ability not only in leadership (he was wounded leading an infantry assault) but also his expert employment of artillery. That was a product of his artillery education.
Further, he also constructed furnaces for heating shot along the Mediterranean in 1793 while still a captain. He also served as the artillery commander of the Army of Italy in 1795 before he became its commander. And we also shouldn’t forget his expert use of artillery in subduing the revolt in Paris, the famous ‘Whiff of Grapeshot.’
He definitely displayed his consummate artillery skill when he found Lannes’ artillery stuck in a defile on the Landgrafenberg on the evening before Jena and got it moving after inspecting the problem and giving a few direct orders to the gunners.
His employment of artillery during the Great Wars was also because of his training and expertise as an artilleryman. ‘Napoleon was a born gunner…he used them with a calm, sure skill, improving his techniques from campaign to campaign.’ ‘At heart, Napoleon was a gunner..At Montereau he personally laid his guns-and it would seem, personally booted frightened boy cannoneers back to their posts-becoming once again the ardent young artillery lieutenant of thirty-odd years before. Probably he never was, in his inner life, far from that at any time.’ Chapter XII, Swords Around A Throne, pages 249, 264.
‘I'm willing to concede, that France, the most affluent nation on the Continent, probably had a better educated cadre than the rest, despite the drain of the Revolution.’
British and Austrian artillery officers were also well-educated in their chosen arm.
‘But it seems equally obvious that the artillery curriculum was aimed at producing technologically astute officers, not better gun layers.’
That is incorrect. You asked about drawing, so I explained why. You didn’t ask about the practical side of the French artillery education and curriculum. Both the theoretical and practical sides of artillery were taught in the French artillery schools. Teaching ballistics is teaching gunnery and there was practical application of what the students learned in the classroom. Further, when finally commissioned and assigned to their regiments, the new lieutenants had to serve nine weeks as enlisted men to learn their trade at the guns themselves. So they did become competent cannoneers and gunners, learning how to ‘point’ the field pieces as well as conduct crew drill and fire the guns. The artillery education was well-rounded and complete, also being taught infantry/artillery cooperation, what today would be called combined arms. The education is reminiscent of what the curriculum is/was at West Point, which was originally a school for artillery and engineer officers. Further, the artillery school at Fort Sill also applies the same logic in the education there for young artillery officers.
‘Drawing might help the production of artillery, but it did nothing on the field, and Russia did not seem to have a problem with manufacturing a lot of guns.’
It seems that you have agreed with the idea of the Russians believing in quantity over quality. ;-)