Napoleon Series Archive 2009

Ready, Fire, Aim...
In Response To: Re: A Conundrum... ()

I have found that the last refuge of the ignorant is to accuse someone of being a 'racist.' You have no right to accuse me of being a 'racist' or of 'prejudice.' You need to both withdraw those remarks and apolgize. Your resorting to ad hominem attacks does nothing but lower the tone of the discussion, besides being insulting and inaccurate.

Further, you have misquoted me which is mildly irritating at best. I did not say that Russia was '...200yrs behind the rest of Europe...' What I did say on 10/30/2009 at 9:07 PM was 'I do believe that they had the most improved artillery arm of the period but they had a lot of catching up to do (I believe they still do two hundred years later).' That is not stating that the Russian artillery arm is 200 years out of date, but that they are still behind the West, especially the United States, in artillery technology. For example, get hold of a Russian gunner's quadrant (I have one) and compare it to either an American or a British one. The difference is profound, technologicially speaking.

Before you accuse someone of something, especially something they have not done, I heartily recommend that you ask for a clarification first as it is readily apparent that you didn't understand what I had written.

'How exactly do you define 'best'? What is your Empirical assessment based upon and its criteria? to come to the conclusion that the Russian artillery was technically and educationally inferior to Austria, France, Britain assumes their must be a level of assessment to say who is above this or below this. What is the bench mark example for your conclusions other than your own prejudice which is very clear in your statement about russia being 200yrs behind the rest of Europe which is frankly racist and has no place in historical endeavour?'

I've answered the 'best' question below. I've also given examples in my postings as to why my professional and historical opinions on the various European artillery arms of the period are as they are. It begins with historical inquiry which is a valid historical research tool. You should know that if you are pursuing an advanced history degree which you mentioned. If you don't know that then you're missing out on one of the keys of historic research. Basically, you need to ask 'why?' and not accuse others of things they haven't done.

'In general terms, by 1800 all of Europes artillery was made virtually the same way, and operated the same way. The French had lots of men carrying little bits, the English a few men not carrying the little bits as the bits were on the gun. I argue no one national had a technological or educational edge.'

Your argument is wrong. You obviously don't understand what an artillery system is. It isn't merely a collection of field pieces, sidearms, drill regulations, and ancillary vehicles. It is also the education system for officers and sometimes for NCOs. It is also the school/education system that produces the commissioned officers, and the qualifications of the instructors at the school, the artillery doctrine, tactics, and employment, and most of all which might be the most important is the artillery command and control system that the artillery arm has. Do they have their own general officers who command artillery units, or is the arm subordinate to the infantry commanders in the field? That's what you have to look at in its entirety and that's where the French have the great advantage over their opponents-not merely the professional skill the arm undoubtedly had, but having artillery generals advising corps and army commanders how to use the artillery in whole or in part as well as having artillery commanders at all levels commanding the artillery units. The French artillery arm was the equal of the French infantry and cavalry as an arm and a weapon. In the other armies, and especially in the Russian and Prussian armies, the artillery was not.

'I do not know enough about Russian economy at the time, material production for iron, bronze, or the educational establishment to say anything about the Russia artillery's effectiveness. I also admit i do not know enough about the technology of France or Austria at the time to make any assumptions on technological advantages over other nations.'

I agree-you do not. I highly recommend you start with the following excellent references which are now in print and will help with your technical education:

-Russia's Military Way to the West by Christopher Duffy.
-Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France 1763-1815 by Ken Alder.
-The Development of Technical Education in France 1500-1850 by Frederick Artz.
-Tools of War: Instruments, Ideas, and Institutions of Warfare, 1445-1871, edited by John Lynn.
-The Military Experience in the Age of Reason by Christopher Duffy
-War in the Age of Enlightenment, 1700-1789 by Armstrong Starkey.
-Henry Lloyd and the Military Enlightenment of Eighteenth-Century Europe by Patrick Speelman.
-The Military History of Tsarist Russia edited by Frederick Kagan and Robin Higham.
-Tactics of the Russian Army in the Napoleonic Wars by Alexander Zhmodikov and Yurii Zhmodikov.

I'll be waiting for your retraction and your apology.

Sincerely,
KF Kiley

Messages In This Thread

Forthcoming Book
Mémoires du capitaine de frégate Pierre Baste
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Peut-être a-t-il s'est trompé ...?
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Marins, Marines, Matelots, et bric a brac...
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Forthcoming Book: Soldats ou Matelots?
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Russian unicorns
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Observations upon Russian Ordnance
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Russian ammunition and caissons
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Thank you for the clarification
Unicorns vs howitzers
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Quotes
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Memoirs
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Article on the use of howitzers from 1820
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L 'Armee Russe sous le Tsar Alexandre I 1805-15.
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DDS Napoleonic Artillery
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Let's not get ahead of ourselves
Of Possible Interest.
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A Conundrum...
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Ready, Fire, Aim...
Sidearms?
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The spelling should have been 'Adye' throughout.
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The spelling should have been 'Adye'
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Willett - two 't's.
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Some Familliia Adye Stuff.
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Of Possible Interest.
ADMIN! Re: Of Possible Interest - use caution
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Russian guns in French service????
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Armies of 1812
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Horses, Artillery, Resupply, and Logistics
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AnXI Howitzer Carriage
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Jack of all trades?
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Very nice - thank you :-)
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Very kind - thank you :-) *NM*
Shako
Many thanks: is the peak detachable?
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The point is: they were Soldats not Matelots :-) *NM*
Matelots and Soldats...
Marins, Matelots et Soldats....
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