Napoleon Series Archive 2015

Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181

First a bit more information

Une exception ( ) signalée par le capitaine Chapuis du 85e de ligne (division Durutte):
"... Il [le colonel Masson] fit former au 85e un seul carré sur deux rangs, sa faiblesse numérique s'étant opposé à ce qu'il fût sur trois."
Les Carnets de la Campagne - n°4; p.47

Le 13 octobre 1813, les régiments français sont très amoindris car ils combattent et marchent sans cesse depuis l'été (aoüt). Ne peut-on y voir une façon de maintenir le front (la longueur) des régiments, divisions... malgré ces effectifs réduits?
A cette époque la supériorité numérique des alliés devient énorme (voir à Leipzig 3 jours plus tard).

Lettre de Napoléon à Murat :
« J’ai pris hier un ordre du jour pour ordonner que toute mon infanterie fut placée sur deux rangs ; mettez-le sur-le-champ à exécution ; je ne veux plus qu’on soit sur trois rangs : le feu du troisième rang, la baïonnette du troisième rang sont insignifiants…Quand on se placera en colonnes par division, chaque bataillon se trouvera former une colonne de six rangs outre les trois rangs de serre-files. Cela est plus que suffisant, et cela a le grand avantage qu’un bataillon de 500 hommes paraîtra à l’ennemi être de 750 hommes. »

Mon cher Cyril, cette lettre à Murat date-t-elle bien d'octobre 1813?

Oui.
J'ajoute celle écrite le 13 à Marmont :
"Mon intention est que vous placiez vos troupes sur deux rangs au lieu de trois. L'ennemi, accoutumé à nous voir sur trois rangs, jugera nos bataillons plus forts d'un tiers. Donnez les ordres les plus précis pour l'exécution de la présente disposition."

The French used two ranks before 1813, the only difference was that in 1813 Napoleon issued an official order about it.
Girod de l'Ain, who was an officer in the 9e Légère wrote at that battle of Medellin :
Mon régiment fut immédiatement formé en ordre de la bataille, sur deux rangs, au lieu de trois, pour donner plus d'étendue à notre ligne.
p. 131

the Garde Nationale war originally formed in two ranks as well, there their battalions were about a third smaller than those of the line - to maintain frontage.

In my view - when the battalions became too small they had to option to use 2 ranks, and they did it, even before 1813, see Girod de l'Ains memoires.

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French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-1814
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Reference
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
*NM* Great stuff; thank you *NM*
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
An Interesting Quotation...
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181
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Re: French infantry in 3 or in 2 ranks in 1813-181