'Who conceived, designed and fielded the unicorn? Would you concede it was the Russians? Who cast the metal to enable the Russians to manufacture the unicorn? To be sure they imported some world class technical help for improvement in casting techniques and metallurgy. I have it from reliable sources that it was a Scotsman. The Russians needed that particular specialized expertise in their technological advance fielded in 1805 system - another example of Russian pragmatism and forward thinking. The Unicorn was a unique and remarkable development acknowledged by almost everyone, used by any real artillerist that could get their hands on it. Unfortunately the 'uneducated' Russians did not leave them laying around a lot. Used to be "virtually all the same way" until the Unicorn - improved casting, construction and design including development of improved powder. Russian single weight of charge.. What do you think? Step backward? Step forward? .'
Who has stated that the Russians did not design and produce the unicorn. It was a good field piece, but it certainly wasn't the best piece of the period. If it was, everyone would have copied it. French howitzers outranged it and if howitzers were emplaced in a depression, Russian unicorns couldn't hit them as they couldn't be elevated high enough. It was a good artillery piece, nothing more, nothing less. You are overestimating Russian technical expertise and the impact of the unicorn.
And yes, it was a Scotsman.
'So why did the deficiencies and inaccuracies of the Charlevilles in the 3 models fielded in .69 Calibre due to production standards, barrel boring etc approximate almost exactly the same inherent deficiencies of the time found in the Austrian .69 Calibre, British .75? I am sure the same applies to artillery gun tubes where the gun tube may be interchangeable carriage per carriage, but if tested empirically by todays standards, they would be pretty windy in the accuracy of shot French or not.'
Pretty windy? ;-)
The Charleville is also considered by some authorities as the best musket of the period, one which the Austrians and the United States copied.
'"The musket Fusil d'Infanterie was the basic French weapon issued to all dismounted troops unless otherwise specified. It was also referred to as the Charlevilles from an armory where many were produced. To be sure these were an excellent rifle for the time used also by American and Russian troops by choice and expediency in both cases. However, " These weapons were mass produced from 1803-14, 2,243,000 were manufactured, three- forth of them fusils, the rest mousquetons. These weapons however, were made almost entired by hand, their parts were not interchangable except by chance. A regimental armorer therefore, unlike his modern could seldom repair a damaged weapon by simply replacing its unserviceable parts with new ones from a spare parts box." P 470, Swords Around Throne, Col John R. Elting.'
I would highly suggest that you read Engineering the Revolution by Ken Alder for the French production of muskets, et al.
'There were no standard other than calibre, length of barrel, source of ignition. Each one was a custom made one of, like everyone else. So much for the precision French casting, boring et al. An excellent rifle however, delicate and easily broken at the stock, the problem being these rifles were difficult if not impossible to service in the field because each one was unique.'
I would tend to disagree with you but it is interesting that you went from artillery to muskets here. To what end and what are you trying to prove or disprove? The Charleville was superior to the Prussian and Russian muskets and considered by some to be superior to the British Brown Bess. Again, see Alder.
':"Cannon of the era had one very convenient. They were interchangeable. French artillerymen could easily utilize captured guns, whether Spanish, Austrian, Russian, or Prussian, without having to learn any new drill, since the design was practicably identical with their own. Ammunition for guns of the same caliber usually was also interchangeable, wherever manufactured." Swords around the Throne. P. 260 Col. Etling. An elegant summation of the essence of the argument.'
And nothing about production standards, which is the crux of my argument. You need to take a look at some of the work on artillery that is in print, with the emphasis on primary source material. And again, take a look at Alder. You have missed entirely the French work on production standards, quality control, and tolerances.
'In this era, when the battle was engaged, command and control from the level of Division Core and Army was for all intents and purposes, nearly non existent.'
No, it was not. You have a very incorrect view of how battles were fought and controlled. If what you said was accurate, then such actions in the middle of an action, such as Senarmont's artillery attack at Friedland in 1807 would not have occurred. He was a corps artillery chief and came up with the course of action he pursued and communicated it effectively to his subordinates. He was also seen by Napoleon while he was advancing, who sent an aide to see what was going on. Again, you clearly do not understand what command and control is and how it was done during that period. Fighting during this period was many levels above merely armed mobs.
'It was rendered impotent by the means they had to communicate in that era.'
Again you are incorrect. While commanders did communicate by men on horseback or by trumpet and drum, communication on the battlefield was accomplished quite efficiently if an efficient command and control system was in place. You have cited Col Elting's Swords frequently. I suggest a rereading as you have missed much of the essential material.
'It was all dependent on men, junior NCO, Gunners, ettc. This was the glue that held it together then and holds it together today. Any section of infantry or gun and gun battery was a microcosm until it was over. Even time becomes distorted by the mass of the moment.'
No, again that is a very incorrect statement. It is a coordinated whole that fights a battle. While the individual soldier, gunner, or company commander sees only what is on his front and flanks, his commander sees and controls a larger sphere. And the higher the command level is, the more they are responsible for and to control and fight their command.
'The eduction mantra you keep alluding to has been well debunked by Alexander and other people however your refusal to consider this must be based upon something beyond lack of available information don't you think?l'
No, it has not. Please refer to the material quote from Christopher Duffy's book, Russia's Way to the West, on the officer education system. You can also check some of the material in The Military History of Tsarist Russia, edited by Frederick Kagan and Robin Higham. Further, the material in Alexander's own book backs up both Langeron and Wilson on Russian officer education and Duffy's comment that in his book on page 145 that the products of Russian officer education during Paul's rule (until he was murdered with the cooperation of his son Alexander) arrived at their regiments as 'ignoramuses' and that much was 'neglected' in their education.