‘The reference to Count Alexandre Andrault de Langeron…It is interesting that this man who some seem to put forth as an authority on Russian artillery and tactics in specific does not appear to be a trained artillerist but was a Dragoon in his very junior career.’
Who ‘put forth’ Langeron ‘as an authority on Russian artillery and tactics?’
Service as a dragoon, however, does not negate any artillery ability. Prince Wenzel Lichtenstein was an Inhaber of an Austrian dragoon regiment and it was he that established an excellent Austrian artillery system in the 1750s and it was undoubtedly the best in Europe until after the Seven Years War, clearly superior to the French, Prussian, and Russian artillery.
Langeron’s service record is interesting to look at, though. He was a sous-lieutenant in the gardes Francaises at 15. He served in the Caribbean during the War of the American Revolution from 1782-1783. He was appointed a captain in the Conde Dragoon Regiment when he returned to France and was promoted lieutenant colonel of the Medoc infantry regiment in 1786 and as colonel a la suite to the Armagnac infantry regiment in 1788.
He is commissioned in the Russian army in 1790 and eventually is promoted to general officer rank. He serves against the Swedes, Turks, and French. He was promoted colonel in 1791 and was commander of an infantry regiment in 1794. He was promoted general-major in 1797, and lieutenant general two years later. He was created a knight of the order of St Ann and a count of the Russian empire in 1799 and was a holder of the St. George Cross and the Cross of St. Andrew. He died in the same cholera epidemic that killed Gneisenau and Clausewitz in 1831.
What is ‘aristocratic apartheid?’
‘Many of these young aristocrats were incapable of participating in the onerous study of engineering and artillery at which time in France, were essentially a blended curriculum.’
Napoleon was a young aristocrat and chose the artillery. He did quite well for himself. Marmont was another young aristocrat who chose the artillery arm.
What is a ‘blended curriculum?’
'It gives me pause to consider here again is the broad brush slopping the French paint all over the Russian history. It is worth considering the tone and tenor of Langeron's journal which may be a manifesto of a middling level dragoon practicing military strategy in particular artillery tactics paid for by Russian blood.'
Many Russian officers of the period and previous were foreigners. Langeron was more than qualified to comment on officer education. The Russian infantry controlled Russian artillery for quite some time and it took experience in combat for the Russians to start employing senior Russian artillerymen to control their artillery arm in the field, something the French had been doing for some time. Comparing the artillery arms of the armies involved is an important analytical tool to understand employment, doctrine, and education of the period. The cold fact is that Russian artillery officers of the period were poorly educated and that there was no Russian artillery education being offered from 1800-1806/08. That put the Russian artillery under a severe handicap.