First, I did not say that Langeron was 'an authority on Russian artillery and
What I posted was a quote from Russian Tactics of the Napoleonic
Wars, stating Langeron's opinion 'that most officers were not well educated
and trained: there were three cadet corps preparing young men to be officers
in the army, but the number of men in these establishments was limited, too
small for the army, and the usual way for young nobles to become officers was
to enlist in the army as NCOs and wait for commission.' This is a comment on
Russian officers and their education and training, not on artillery and
Based on whose opinion, 2 foreign officers?
Second, Langeron as a senior Russian officer, who was educated as a French
nobleman, could comment on comparable education, or lack of it, among his
fellow Russian officers.
He was born into French nobility which neither guaranteed financial or intellectual largess. His actual military education would be an interesting story if properly researched and published because he received it in his travels and as we all should know and agree upon, there is great value to be had by virtue of time and action in the field mentored by native Russian officers of quality and martial skill irrespective of their peerage or lack of. As to his formal education prior to the age of 15 wherein he was commissioned and posted as an officer, that could vary greatly in quantity and quality dependant on the financial resources of the family and truly well known in France the ability to receive sponsorship. You indicate 'comment on comparable education", how do you compare the education of a French man of noble birth to a Russian of noble birth? It is magnificently opaque as you have demonstrated in your apparent understanding.
Wilson as a British general officer could also
comment on the lack of education he noticed among Russian artillery officers.
I don't see the problem here. Unless you have specific evidence to negate
these two officers, then the point stands.
You as an author of history have noted comments by 2 individual foreign officers and you appear to be satisfied that this is sufficient data to establish these individuals as credible authorities on the complex subject of education and training of Russian Artillery officers. The point to be made on your statement is there is no complete or credible analysis made on a huge foreign military infrastructure by these 2 individuals, nor could there be. . It is curious that you would find this sufficient source materials on which you consistently base some of your arguments.
]Third, Col Elting's book is Swords Around a Throne, not Swords Around a Crown.
Correct, a subconscious error with regard to Col Etling's work often made by myself.
Fourth, regarding the French engineer arm, while it is true that they were not
a separate arm of the service until 1758, they had their own school at
Mezieres, that was established in 1749, the Ecole de Mezieres. They were
educated separate from the artillery officers after that date and the two arms
began to separate. The engineers were also an organization only of officers
until 1794. Therefore, the curriculum was not 'blended.' Engineers were not
Lastly, labeling someone biased because you don't agree with them is premature at best and prejudicial at worst.
"Seems to me, you are putting yourself under a severe handicap by maintaining this unsupportable and bias dogma". is the quote from my posting. Pls note Mr Kiley that my point was and is, to sustain an unsupportable and bias dogma, puts yourself under a severe handicap. The bias is directed to the dogma. Langeron and Wilsons' comments are bias as are many. I would think Langeron and Wilson were bias inherently because of their upbringing, nationality, etc. which is neither premature or prejudicial.
That isn't historical inquiry and it certainly isn't the best way of proceeding.
What is historical inquiry? Single source opinion on a whole nation, perhaps so in your opinion which you have a right to.
I have written material on the Russian artillery that is quite complimentary in the past.
That doesn't however, preclude criticizing them for deficiencies in training and education,
along with command and control as well as tactics and doctrine.
Whether what is written on Russian is complimentary or negative, is not the point, it should be based on broad sourcing and accurate and complete information. If the criticism is only put forward to the reader and not the information it is based upon, for the reader to judge, then this reader would consider the criticism either bias or at the very least, unsubstantiated. And that stands for complementary editorials as well. After all any historical writer should only report history and consciously decline from vetting it.
.Further, I have done quite a bit of research on the artillery arms of the period and have
quoted material from the best work on the Russians army in English. I also
have an excellent artillery section in my personal library. If you would like
I could email some material off line to you and then perhaps avoid unpleasant
and inaccurate accusations
I would be pleased to receive some of your materials. I have read some of your excellent work, and some of your interesting book reviews. Thank you.