Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics



Portuguese Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars: Organization

By João Centeno

Each regiment had 10 companies:

The organization of a regiment of artillery in October 20, 1809 consisted  of a Staff and five Companies, of the which one will be of Atiradores (sharpshooters)

Estado-Maior (Staff)

Coronel

Colonel

Tenente-Coronel

Lieutenant-Colonel

Major (Sargento-Mor)

Major

Ajudante

Adjutant

Quartel Mestre

Quartermaster

Capelão

Chaplain

Cirurgião Mor

Chief Surgeon

3 Ajudantes do Cirurgião Mor

3 Assistant Surgeons

Tambor Mor

Drum Major

Pífanos

2 Fifers

Mestre de Música

Master of Music

8 Músicos

8 Musicians

 Each Company consisted of:

Capitão

Captain

Tenente

Lieutenant

2 Alferes

2 Second Lieutenants

6 Sargentos

6 sergeants

8 Cabos

8 corporals

2 Tambores

2 drummers

92 Soldados

92 soldiers

Num total de 123

Total of 123 men. 

In 1812, an artífices battalion was formed and later in the year an artillery drivers battalion (artilheiros-condutores) was created.

Artilheiros-Condutores (Artillery Drivers Battalion)

On 8 October 1812, the Artillery Drivers Battalion was formed with 4 companies of 276 and men and 400 horses or mules.

Headquarters (Estado-Maior)

Tenente-Coronel

Lieutenant-Colonel

Major (Sargento-Mor)

Major

Ajudante

Adjudant

Sargento-ajudante

Sergeant-Assistant

Quartel-Mestre

Quarter-master

Quartel Mestre-Sargento

Quarter-master-Sergeant

60 cabos e condutores

60 Corporals  and Drivers

Distinctive Colors of the Artillery Regiments (1806-1815)

Regiment

Collar

Cuffs

Turnbacks

Piping

1

Blue

Blue

Red

Black

2

Black

Black

Red

Black

3

Black

Blue

Red

Black

4

Blue

Black

Red

Black

 

Miscellaneous

1. An example of the brigades:

The brigade commanded by Major Victor von Arentschild with 123 gunners of the 1st Regiment and 276 of the 2nd Regiment.

In 1810, the Brigade of Major Alexander Dickson had 313 gunners of the 1st; the battery  of Trás-os Montes and  319 gunners of the 4th; and the battery of Cabreira, and 105 gunners from the 2nd.

2. The mountain artillery had pieces of 3 pounders, which were  lighter and of easy transport. They  could even be transported on mules. The long Portuguese experience with mountain brigades, in mountain movements as it is the Portuguese territory in the North, where the existing roads were bad. There experience in rough terrain was put very useful in the Campaign of the Pyrenees in 1813, where its effectiveness was important to the outcome of the combats and battles.

3. The siege artillery had pieces of 18 or 24 Pounders and in exceptional cases, of 32 and 43 Pounders. The Anglo-Portuguese Army was deficient in this type of guns, and during one of the sieges of Badajoz, they had to use British naval guns sent from Lisbon. In the siege of Badajoz of April 1811, guns from the Fortress of Elvas were used. Many of these guns were casted in 1620, 1636, 1646, 1652 and many of them with the name of King Filipe III.

4. Artillery Data

Gun Type

Number of Gunners

Firing for minute

Maximum Range (in meters)

Effective Range (in meters)

Range: Firing Canister

9 Pounders (Cannon)

5

1 per minute

1550

725-825

410

6 Pounders (Cannon)

5

1 per minute

1100-1350

550-640

320-360

3 Pounders (Cannon)

5

2 or 3 per minute

1000

320-400

About 275

5.5-inch Howitzer

5

2 or 3 per minute

1550

640

460

 

 

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