Napoleon Series Archive 2014

Siege train into France, 1815

I was wondering a few things concerning the distribution of the siege artillery for the British-Anglo and Prussian forces after Waterloo, when these invaded France and with some army corps besieged various fortress towns. Perhaps some of the remarks below can explain something about the chosen strategy either by Wellington and Blücher for both their seprate armies to advance into France. Please comment.

1. Dickson's British siege train was transferred to the Prussians.
This means that Wellington could only rely on two 12-pounder batteries from the Netherlands army to support any siege or observation of a fortress town. One could argue that with the transfer of Dickson and the remaining heavy artillery , Wellington made a clear choice in not wanting to overly operate against any French hostile forces left in his rear, but rather chose to march as quickly as possible to Paris. The Prussians of course also did the ame, but can one assume they might have had much more defined plans to observe and besiege more fortresses? Could it also be that Wellington relied far more on the cooperation with the French royalists returning from Ghent, who on various occasions negociated with the fortress commanders to yield to the French royalist banner, rather than to a foreign invading force?

2. British engineer and Royal sappers & miners.
As far as I am correct no detachments accompanied Wellingtons army marching into France?
If correct than again Wellington only relied on Capt. Esau's sapper company from the Netherlands army (it also took some bridging materiel with them).
That can once more be an indication Wellington may have wanted to avoid numerous sieges, except ofcourse for the few conducted by Prince Frederik's corps around Quesnoy, Condé and Valenciennes. And quick and succesful operations against Cambrai and Péronne.

These point could give some context to the operations of Frederik's corps for my next book.

What are you remarks, suggestions, etc., etc.???

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