Research: Abstract of the Napoleonic Era

 

Army: French Paces from the Manuel d’Infanterie (1808)

 

TABLE of the Different Paces, Graduated According to the Progression of Their Speed

LITTLE PACE,Training pacePivot paceBackward paceOblique pace, etc.

ordinary
STEP


SPECIAL STEP,
Accelerated step,Redoubled step,
Charge step, etc.

route
STEP

BIG STEP
metric step

DATE
of the ordinance
(1)

MEASURE
or
Distance

SPEED
or
space of time

 

Former measure of military distance (2)

…………………………

……………………….

………………….

…………………...

3 feet

 
     

Route step……………

………………….

1766

2 feet

Less than one sec.

Short step…………..

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

1 foot

One second

 

Ordinary step……….

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

2 feet

ditto.

Training step………

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

1776

1 foot

ditto.

 

Ordinary step……….

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

2 feet

70 per minute.

 

Ordinary step……….

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

1791

2 feet

76 ditto.

Pivot step (3)………

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

6 inches

76 ditto.

Backward step……..

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

1 foot

76 ditto.

Oblique step……….

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

17 and 24 inches

76 ditto.

third of a metre step.

……………………...

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

Brumaire, Year 12

1 foot, 4 lines

76 ditto.

 

2 thirds of a metre…..

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

ditto.

2 feet, 8 lines

76 per minute.

       

lengthened metric.

ditto.

2 ft., 6 in., 10 lns.

76 ditto.

       

metric step………

…………………...

3 feet, 11 lines

76 ditto.

 

According to Guibert.

………………………….

……………………….

………………….

1791

1 foot, 8 inches

80 ditto.

     

Pivot step en route (4)

………………….

1791

1 foot

from 85 to 90 ditto. (5)

     

Route step

………………….

ditto.

2 feet

from 85 to 90 ditto.

   

Singular step……………

……………………….

………………….

1793

2 feet, 2 inches

90 ditto.

     

Route step……………

………………….

1776

2 feet

from 90 to 100 ditto.

   

Accelerated step………..

……………………….

………………….

1791

ditto.

100 ditto.

   

Redoubled step…………

……………………….

………………….

1766

ditto.

120 ditto.

   

Charge step……………..

……………………….

………………….

1791

ditto.

120 ditto.

   

Guibert’s redoubled step.

……………………….

………………….

…………………...

1 foot, 8 inches

160 ditto.

   

Guibert’s charge step…..

……………………….

………………….

…………………...

1 foot, 8 inches

200 to 250 ditto. (6)

(1) The chronological scale is unavoidably deranged here by the scale of acceleration.

(2) What the Encyclopaedia calls the camp step, and of which mention is made in the Instr. of Brumaire, Year 12, on the encampment.

(3) In the conversions on the march (See no. 93, note 1st)

(4) This measure is the same for the conversions on the march in column, at half-distance.

(5) The speed of the accelerated step is equally applicable to this, here.
(6) In imitation of the Roman legions, which, at two hundred paces of the enemy, precipitated themselves on him at the run. (See no. 93, 6th note)

For an image of the table in French, click on: Table au des differens pas

Source: ~Chap. III, ‘Theoretical Knowledge’, Lesson III, ‘Military March’, in Manuel d’Infanterie. 2nd Edn. Paris: Magimel (1808), pp.122-3.

Provided by: Howie Muir

Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2008

 

 



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