Napoleon Series Archive 2015

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

- I think we also all agree that fire by formed bodies was typically at a range of +/- 100m, often less.

Please exclude me from the all ;)

I have the opinion that the usual firing was at about a 300 to 500 paces range (and I may be too optimistic in that)

I cannot help but my reading - especially about those officers who did see combat comes to different conclusion, as well as killing and wounding, here another Prussian officer of the 7YW

Ein Veteran des Siebenjährigen Krieges , General v. Tempelhoff, bemerkt darüber : „Man feuert in einer Schlacht ganz anders als auf dem Exerzierplatz; denn die anrückende Infanterie fängt trotz allem dem, was man auf dem Exerzierplatze gelehrt und eingeprägt wird, oft schon auf 800 Schritt vom Feinde an zu feuern; doch wenigstens auf 600. Gewöhnlich glaubt man, daß ein solches Feuer nichts thut, allein hierin irrt man sich. Eine Kugel aus dem kleinen Gewehr tödet oder verwundet einen Mann, wenn sie nur trifft, ebenso gut, sie mag aus in einem Bogen oder horizontal abgeschossen werden.
(Jany, p. 38/39 (Gedanken des Generals v. Tempelhoff vom 11. April 1802, Beilage 13 zu Band II der Massenbachschen Memoiren, Amsterdamm 1809, S. 504)

A veteran of the 7YW, General v. Tempelhoff notices about (range of firing and hitting HKW) ; “One is firing total differently in a battle than on the drill ground, despite what was learned and taught aon the drill gorund – the advancing infantry often opens fire at 800 paces distance from the enemy – at least however at 600. Usually it is believed that such a fire is useless, however this is an error. A small arms ball kills or wounded a man as long as it hits regardless of being short in an arc or horizontally.
(Jany, p. 38/39 (Gedanken des Generals v. Tempelhoff vom 11. April 1802, Beilage 13 zu Band II der Massenbachschen Memoiren, Amsterdamm 1809, S. 504)

Has anybody those memoires of Massenbach - particularily the musings of Tempelhoff, a lot of other gems maybe could be found.

The arc shooting French skirmishers might not "aim" as we understand it in modern view, but they had certainly a clue - that they had to shoot in an arc, they knew the ballistic of a shot, so maybe a guessed aim - and as I said to aim more on a field of fire than on a single target or mass target / formation.

In case I find time - I should quote also the incident of British infantry - who were opposed to French artillery and had no own artillery around, instead of standing there and being shoot to pieces, they opened fire at a long range as well and forced by this fire that the artillery withdrew out of their musketry range - then a British general came up and ordered them to stop firing, which they did, to the effect that the French artillery advanced again to cause more causualties, here you see very clearly the theory - against seasoned paractise of veteran troops who knew much better than a pen pusher.

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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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Reference
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*NM* Great stuff; thank you *NM*
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