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The Development of Tactics & Training In The Russian Army, 1801 to 1814: Basic Tactics

The Development of Tactics & Training In The Russian Army, 1801 to 1814: Basic Tactics

A Century of The Russian Ministry of War


General Staff Historical Department

(Extracted & Translated into English from the original Russian by Peter Phillips)

The Development of Tactics & Training In The Russian Army, 1801 to 1814 – Basic tactics


Mariupol Hussar 1802-03


With the new reign, it was impossible to expect any changes to be made immediately to our standing regulations. Empress Catherine II had taken more care over the general education of her grandson than over his military education, and he became immersed in the circle of military concepts of his father, an admirer of Prussian tactics and the military orders of Frederick the Great, and who ascended the throne as a very young man. In addition, the brilliant Italian campaign of 1799, in the battles of which Suvorov was kept to the regulations of 1796, contributed to strengthening our confidence in the reforms which put our regulations to the test from the very beginning of the reign of Emperor Paul I[1].

At the very beginning of the article on military training, mention was made of the Imperial order that was issued on 16th [28th] April 1801, “to inform the inspectors each year, so that they prescribe on their behalf to all the regiments of the inspections entrusted to them, so that they act in everything on the basis of the regulations and other instructions, according to the order of service related…

The Commission of 1801:

By Supreme decree dated 24th June [6th July], 1801, a commission was established “to review the situation of the forces and their organisation, and, among other things, it was instructed not to touch on drill and the teaching of tactics.” This commission was chaired by the Grand Duke Tsarevich Konstantin Pavlovich.

The first four years of the new reign passed peacefully. At this time, our army had, as can be seen from the above, only Paul’s military regulations for infantry and cavalry; as for the field and garrison regulations, they were, of course, Paul’s, although from the fact that the Military Regulations of 1716 were reprinted in 1804 (and subsequent years), it can be concluded that there was a need for the regulations of Peter the Great for troops in the field and in garrison to guide them in those aspects of the service for which the regulations of 1796 either did not give instructions at all, or gave incomplete instructions.

Changing the length of the pace:

During this period, only one change is known to have been made to Paul’s regulations on foot drill by the Tsar. Namely, on 22nd February [6th March] 1803, Adjutant General Prince Dolgorukov notified Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich that[2]: “His Imperial Majesty has deigned to order, that there be a uniform march throughout the army, such that the pace shall be an arshin [71.1cm or 28”], slow rate at 75 paces per minute, and quick rate at the same length but 120 per minute, and under no circumstances deviate from this length and cadence in any service…” in pursuance of which it was necessary to order all the commanders of the inspections, “when training soldiers to march, to observe this precisely.

Our army had its first combat experience in the campaigns of 1805-1807, when it had to face the new, Napoleonic tactics, moreover, at the time of its most brilliant manifestation. This experience had an undeniable influence on the further course of development of our combat regulations. This influence was expressed primarily in the introduction of numerous columns into our infantry regulations, in decrees on the careful training of infantry in aimed fire, and in our introduction of loose formations. New concepts replaced the old ones, but not all at once. In the literature of that time, one can trace the struggle with which the concepts of new tactics made their way, and which in our country were, as it were, a revival of the lively literary struggle in Western Europe as early as the 1770s, i.e. before the advent of Napoleon. This struggle was also reflected in our subsequent regulations. For example, in the new infantry regulations, which began to be developed in 1808, the basic concepts of linear tactics were retained, but a disproportionate amount of space was allocated to the use of columns. Our task is not to analyse the literature of that time, but we will focus on only one work, which, obviously, was published with the aim of spreading concepts within our military environment that were considered correct in the opinion of those who were at the head of our military administration. In reality; almost all the thoughts expressed in this work found expression in our subsequent combat regulations: infantry, cavalry and artillery. Thus, this work makes it possible to shed light on the factors that underlay our regulations during the reign of Emperor Alexander I.

General practice of tactics, published by Supreme command

Practice of basic tactics of 1807

This work consisted of two parts [3], of which the first part contained the basic tactics and was published in 1807, and the second part contained the higher tactics and was published in 1810.


… At the end of the last century, military science made further new advances. The French and Russians set an example that it is not always necessary to proceed methodically; that it is not always necessary to halt and to besiege fortresses, these imaginary barriers may be left behind  and the war brought into the vitals of a state, into the capitals themselves. They showed that an opportunity to take advantage of success should never be missed, but on the contrary, a defeated enemy should be pursued tirelessly and not be allowed to come to their senses. Following these principles… Suvorov wrested upper Italy from the French in four months…

Infantry Tactics, 1807

Infantry combat formations:

This work suggests that with the armament of the infantry with firearms, defence held the advantage over attack, and therefore infantry should use the cover presented by folds in the ground and: “rely upon firepower.” For this reason, also because: “the artillery has become more numerous, more skilled and more mobile,” it follows that the main, basic formation for the infantry was to adopt a deployed formation, moreover, no deeper than in three ranks, so they can take part in volley fire; the system in depth, in columns, should be recognised as a transitional system. Only in exceptional cases, specifically when the terrain so dictates (e.g. “the enemy is in trenches or has taken up a position in which the flanks… force the necessity of attacking the exposed salients and avoiding the faces”), can an attack be allowed in columns.

A company should be divided into an even number of elements, while battalions, regiments and brigades should be combined into higher formations in threes “however, not in order to be able.. to attribute some hidden power to this triple number, but because they are naturally divisible into three elements: right, left and centre, and, moreover, this is more appropriate in tactical terms.

Individual training:

The head should be held straight, without turning in any direction, because from that, due to the connection of the cervical vertebrae with the scapula, either shoulder would certainly lean forward, and then the soldier cannot march straight.” In this detailed explanation, one can see, as it were, a hint at the corresponding resolution of Paul’s regulations with our two previous ones. It is remarkable, however, that another, perhaps even more embarrassing, rule of Paul’s regulations, namely, that when marching the knees should be locked[4], a rule that was included in our subsequent regulations, remained without clarifying its usefulness.

Forming up in ranks:

At the moment it is customary in all European forces… to place the largest men in the front rank, the next largest in the rear, and the smallest in the centre. But it seems that this formation of ranks is based on a false premise, as it lends itself only to parades… Would it not be better to look not so much at size as at the experience and courage of a soldier, and make up the first and third ranks with old and reliable soldiers, and the second of new and dubious ones? As in the formation of an army, the main thing is that it should be as unshakable as possible in battle.

This rule, however sound it may have been, was not, however, implemented in our subsequent regulations.


the heart of the location is the most at risk, and to that end, the best companies always stand on the flanks of the battalion; the same reason requires that the most courageous and experienced men be placed on the ends of the ranks, in each company.

This idea is explained in the adoption in our subsequent regulations, for the combat design of battalions in deployed formation.

Musket drill:

As for musket training, it is so unimportant in itself that I shall only mention everything that concerns it in brief. The article is needed because all the movements of soldiers under arms must be uniform; but it should be as simple and short as possible, as through this the training of a recruit may be shortened. Indeed, they should also be dealt with exclusively in company exercises, with the exception of some drills that may be done by battalion, such as: attention, order arms, shoulder arms, load, make ready, present, fire. The last three movements are necessary for shooting and for accustoming soldiers to shoot on the command of their officers.

In our subsequent regulations, not only were numerous musket drills from Paul’s regulations preserved, but new ones were added to them.

The march:

this is the fundamental and most important part of a soldier’s training; for by marching the army is made capable of manoeuvring. Marching serves two purposes: for manoeuvre and for transit. The first type of marching requires precision and unity, and therefore it must be learned according to the rules… The second kind, leaving the men free, does not require any rules.

The speed of the pace:

… Paces are divided into ordinary or calm, double or fast, and triple or run. A loading pace is not needed at all, because ordinary and double pace, having different degrees of speed, are enough to produce all variations of movement. All these kinds of pace should be… measured between ⅔ to ¾ of an arshin; as if it is made an arshin, then the pace will be excessively long and through this the battalions will become worn out and stretched out on the march… In one minute, some 80 ordinary paces… 160 doubled, and between 200 to 250 tripled may be made… In the manoeuvring march, the soldiers are subject to a uniform and somewhat artificial pace; as this march requires unity and precision. In a campaign or route march, on the contrary, the men should be allowed to walk, whichever way is easier and more capable for the individual.


Evolutions had to satisfy the following main conditions. “Evolutions should be simple, easy to perform, few in number, suitable for war, carried out in straightforward movements: forwards when advancing and backwards when retreating; if nothing interferes, forming on the centre is preferable, because this is shorter, simpler, easier to execute and more easily covered by fire; forming by crossing and “oblique marches” may be allowed only in exceptional cases, and then only on a short frontage.

Not all of these requirements were incorporated into our subsequent regulations: forming on the centre was introduced to us herewith, but reforming was difficult, moreover, it was often indicated that it should be carried out precisely by an oblique march.


On route marches, a platoon column was generally recommended, although in exceptional cases, moreover, for small detachments, columns were allowed by squads or even files.

The platoon column was also recommended in our previous regulations, as well as by Paul’s, but this column was formed simply by dividing the frontage, which is why the depth of the column turned out to be equal to the length of a deployed front. It was a completely new idea to form columns on one of the flank platoons or on one of the centre ones, that is, in general, on any platoon, moreover, in each of these cases, the platoon column could be dressed by the right or left: for the former situation, the first platoon became the lead, for the latter situation, the eighth platoon led, the first became the rearmost. In addition, a column on the centre was described, formed on the centre two platoons, also called the attack column. The best column for such a mission was a column no more than two battalions in depth. All the columns formed in this way were closed.

To this completely new idea for us about forming columns by compressing them, all the regulations that followed, which came out in the reign of Emperor Alexander I, turned out to be extremely well received, and not only infantry regulations, but also cavalry and even artillery. Our regulations even developed the idea of compressing columns:

  1. Combining the splitting of the frontage with the compression of the columns, which resulted in columns at full, half and closed intervals.
  2. By introducing another countermarch into the formation of columns, borrowed from the infantry regulations of Elisabeth, Catherine and Paul, where it was applied only to a deployed front.

It must be assumed that some enthusiasm for the new idea, which, moreover, made it possible to diversify military evolutions extremely, may to a large extent explain the overcrowding of our subsequent regulations with instructions on the formation and deployment of columns.

The passage of lines through one another was considered useful in two events: to relieve the front line and to retreat.

This manoeuvre was introduced into our subsequent regulations.

Attack en echelon:

Advancing in this order, the first attack should try to gain the flank of the enemy; while other attacks are observed in order to always be in a parallel position with each other and not close the battalion intervals… in the event that it is ordered it is to line up with the first attack.

This manoeuvre was included in our subsequent regulations (regarding linear training).

Retreating en echequer:

While the odd-numbered battalions retreat, the even-numbered ones cover the retirement and refuse their flank platoons in order to defend the intervals left by the retreating battalions with crossfire.” The battalions, having retreated, halt 150 or 200 paces behind the leading battalions.

This manoeuvre (through the battalion or half-battalion behind) was included in our subsequent regulations.


A method is necessary to form squares, to march and fight in this formation against Turkish, Persian and other similar irregular troops, who, having numerous cavalry, can very suddenly and boldly attack their enemy from all sides. The square has always been usefully exploited against these nations, because they do not have enough skilled officers or good artillery, and they do not know how to manoeuvre. But in a battle with regular European troops, the square is a very dangerous formation, because besides the fact that its corners have very weak defences, the square presents a large target for enemy artillery, which can quickly fire upon the two opposite faces and enfilade along the flanks of a square.[5]

Squares, shown in all our previous regulations, but excluded from the total of combat formations by Paul’s regulations, was reintroduced into our subsequent regulations.

Volley fire:

The article “on volley fire” in the work under consideration is of great interest, since it disputes certain provisions that were in all our previous regulations and expresses new thoughts, which then were included in our subsequent regulations.

The work points out the importance of deliberate, aimed fire. “The soldiers have been led to believe that the greatest achievement in marksmanship lies in firing as many shots as possible in a single minute; and in order to do this the soldiers do not take aim, they present the gun very low, and the bullet, not being directed by eye, smashes into the ground at a quarter of the musket’s range… The musket must be held horizontally when firing without any defined target; when ordered to fire at a target, then at 400 paces from the enemy give orders to aim at headgear, at 300 paces at half a man’s height, and at 150 or 200 paces at the knees or a little lower.

Volley fire was recommended straight and oblique. “Direct fire should be considered the norm, and if necessary, one division [a pair of companies] from a battalion, or one battalion from a regiment, may be ordered to fire obliquely, to the right or left. If, however, it is more necessary to cover the flanks by fire or cross them closer to the front, then the divisions or battalions that fire these volleys may be slightly angled… Oblique fire may be useful:

  1. if the enemy is advancing in a column or with a narrow frontage, then oblique fire may hit them in the flank.
  2. if they are attacking one sector of the front, then the other parts, not subject to attack, can cross their fire with the fire of the attacked sector.
  3. oblique fire may be used, even if the enemy advances with a frontage equal to ours, because a coordinated crossfire will be much more effective…

Only firing at the halt is appropriate for infantry, and it may be a general rule to fire only when it is impossible to move… When advancing, it would be better to close with the bayonet, without halting and without firing… because in firing, the advance will be slowed, and unnecessary casualties will be suffered… When pursuing an enemy retreating in good order, they should be attacked with cold steel, since if the advance is slowed down with halts, then the enemy will instantly move out of range… In pursuit of an enemy running in disarray, jägers or skirmishers should be detached to harass them with continuous fire, while these marksmen should be followed by battalions of line infantry… ready to strike at the enemy if they try to rally…” It is possible, of course, to allow “volley firing by a retreating battalion, which will turn back in order to deter enemy skirmishers who are harassing it with fire… but firing with advancing and retreating platoons is repugnant to all military types, in which soldiers fire without ceasing to march, but march like a turtle… And who does not feel that this fragmented line, this aggregation of chess, intervals, loading and quick pace and constant commands, is impractical in war… and that once the intervals are lost, then the whole line will fall into inevitable disorder… Volley fire by platoons or divisions is appropriate only in defence… Firing by ranks and salvos are most appropriate against cavalry… Volley fire by battalions and firing at will, or simply called battle fire, may only be used in combat, and especially the latter, because it inflames the soldiers and diminishes the threat; and beyond two or three shots, no effort of discipline can keep regular fire from becoming ragged. The only main point is to teach the soldiers to cease firing on a signal and to maintain silence.

With all these concepts, novel to us, the resolutions of Elisabeth’s, Catherine’s and Paul’s infantry regulations were completely condemned: our subsequent infantry regulations were based on these new principles. Equally condemned and even ridiculed was the decree from our former regulations that when firing, the front rank should kneel: “when firing, the front rank should not kneel, as there is nothing more ridiculous and inappropriate than this kneeling. Moreover, experience has shown that when the enemy approaches, it is sometimes impossible to force the soldiers to abandon this position.

Cavalry Tactics of 1807

Broader demands in the drill of the infantry led to a more specific indication of the combat missions of the cavalry. The views of the author on the mutual link between the combat missions of these two arms of service are closer to our contemporary concepts than the views of the regulations of 1796.

Cavalry often decides battles and often completes victories: they protect broken and scattered infantry, carry out patrols, maintain advanced outposts, and, due to the speed of their movements, are capable of all fast-moving operations…


Cavalry can only fight in one way, that is, by shock action; any firing is the exception for them; as it is known how useless and harmless the fire of the flankers is; even though these, being in open order, can shoot with greater ease. And so, the cavalry has firearms, not in order to use them on horseback, but in order to use them only in certain circumstances; and especially when, due to a lack of infantry, elements might be forced to dismount in order to hold a defile or some other important position.

The main and decisive advantage of the cavalry lies in the speed of their movements, as speed increases the force of the blow… In order to obtain this highly advantageous speed, when they are united in formation, the cavalry should not be weighed down, either with weapons or by the formation which they have adopted. And so, contrary to every principle, the ancients [Grecko-Romans] formed their cavalry in Turma, having a frontage of eight men, and the same number of ranks in depth. In accordance with the residue of this ignorance, in recent times the cavalry fought in four to six ranks; and through equally pernicious ignorance, were covered from head to foot with defensive armour. It is impossible to see without regret in history the blindness of those times when the gendarmes, weighed down by iron, went on the attack at a walk or trot; they could not operate if rain had soaked the soil; and then, under their useless armour, they perished at the hands of missile troops or by light cavalry.

These unfortunate examples eventually prompted the abandonment of deep formations and heavy armour, but this change, like all delusions that remain established for many centuries, was effected very slowly; as for a long time the cavalry retained their spears, cuirasses, gorgets, and formation in four ranks.

From all of the above it follows that:

  1. Good cavalry should be light; and the difference between the various branches of the cavalry should only be the sizes of men and horses: that is, the cuirassiers, who are always assigned to fight in line, must be composed of strong and tall men; while the dragoons and hussars, especially the latter, who are often having to make forced marches, disperse and operate independently, are composed of men not as large with horses proportionate to them.
  2. The cavalry must be freed from everything that could burden it and make it heavy, such as: from cuirasses, gorgets and other defensive armour against firearms; as the cavalry should only attack the infantry when these latter have already been defeated or have begun to waver and fall into disorder; and in these cases infantry fire is not dangerous, and the success of the attack is almost certain…
  3. Spears and, in general, any long weapon is not suitable for regular cavalry, as it is tiring to carry it outside of battle, while it is awkward to wield in battle; moreover, it requires that the ranks should be spread out, and from this it is impossible to keep the proper order and coordination in the charge.

It is apparent that the Palash [broadsword] is the best weapon for line cavalry, and the shorter it is, the more advantageous and dangerous it will be; as the weapon of a brave man who wishes to grapple with his enemy, and attack him with success, must be short, rigid, and more deftly handled. It is not superfluous to say also that all experienced cavalrymen advise more to thrust than to cut; as the first method of fighting is incomparably more lethal, and more advantageous for the brave and skilful, because they can choose the place to strike. In contrast, men who are themselves accustomed to cut, as the first movement, stand in position, open themselves to their opponent and occasionally deliver inaccurate blows at them, which are often deflected, and, moreover, can be blocked by helmets and brass shoulder straps; on other parts of the body, the sabre makes very superficial wounds.

Combat versions of cavalry formations:

Cavalry is best formed in two ranks; along a frontage of 50 to 60 files per squadron. “It is now accepted as a rule that the cavalry should always be formed like a wall, i.e. without intervals between squadrons, because the leaving of intervals multiplies the number of flanks…” But there are grounds for leaving intervals, however, the intervals between the squadrons of the first line should be no less than 20 paces, but as much as 25 paces. “For security, one may put to one side or opposite them, about 20 paces behind the front, small squads, made up of selected men on light horses.


Columns are formed at the halt or in motion and are: platoon, half-squadron  or squadron. “It is less convenient for cavalry to collapse columns than to break them down by wheeling.” Turns should be done by threes.

The attack:

The first 200 paces must be done at a slow trot, the next 200 paces at a fast trot, and the remaining 200 paces at a gallop; at 60 or 70 paces, the rank and file must lower the reins so that the strongest impulse is at the end of the attack…

…If the enemy is formed in two echelons, then the same must be done… When attacking infantry, one should try to goad them into firing, and to that end an attack is sometimes used with an excursion by four platoons…

… The cavalry usually attacks in line, but there are sometimes cases in which it is advantageous to attack in column; for example, if one must attack encircled infantry, having an open flank, or lined up at an angle so that one may strike without being exposed to effective fire… With such an attack, the column should not be closely spaced, but on the contrary, it should be formed by half or whole squadrons, which should observe 30, 40 or 50 paces of distance between themselves, so that through this they might operate  freely, and, in case of failure of the leading squadrons, change the point of the attack… Another case when it is proper to attack in column is, with superior cavalry, one must attack an enemy, which has flanks so well linked that it is impossible to go around them and harass them with light cavalry… With the exception of the above cases, the cavalry must always attack in line.

Regarding light troops:

Under this title, there is an article in the work, the main content of which is as follows. “The light cavalry (which was initiated by the establishment of the lancers) cannot replace the cavalry of the line, but, on the contrary, the troops of the line should be so trained that they can usefully perform some of the tasks assigned to the light troops. Corps of light troops should be composed of no less than a thousand, but as many as 1,200 men, including ⅔ of them as cavalry… The light cavalry should also be trained in infantry evolutions… Light troops must be able to fight, both as units and as a whole corps; in addition, they should be taught to swim, run, and everything that can increase strength and agility in a man.

In these words, one can see a repetition, albeit to a weaker degree, of the thoughts expressed by General in Chief Panin [Pëtr Ivanovich Panin] 42 years earlier in a report on the establishment of the Jäger Corps in our country, as well as the thoughts contained in that part of the Military Regulations of Peter the Great, which refers to the corps volant.

Artillery Tactics of 1807

Artillery brings the same advantage to the troops as the flanks of fortifications. It is established in order to support the troops and, by reinforcing them, to defend the positions they occupy. In the battle line, it must take a prominent place, for support, or in those parts of the front that are weak in numbers, troop type, or ground. They must hold the enemy at bay, halt them and prevent them from emerging from the exits.” The infantry and cavalry are named in the work being analysed as the branches of the armed forces, while the artillery are, “so to speak, an auxiliary.” This article reflects views that were still unsettled in our time on the significance of artillery and on its tasks in battle, and in the article one can find both views that are accepted even in our time, and those that now seem very strange. “In all cases where it is possible to get around the enemy, to attack them by manoeuvres, or to start a battle with strong elements facing their weak ones, success does not depend upon artillery, but on the bayonet and the charge; because, having started shooting, one will only give the enemy time to come to their senses, to refresh themselves, and, consequently, one will lose all the advantages that could have been obtained from the execution of a manoeuvre. And so, what benefit can a very numerous artillery deliver? … If an experienced enemy stumbles upon reducing his artillery, then all the advantages will remain on their side… If the troops must go on the attack, and are forced to form up in a location close to the enemy, then they will try to emerge in columns in locations that are screened from enemy artillery; if there are no such exits, then they will boldly go at the enemy, covering the march of the columns with scattered jägers or marksmen, who, drawing the attention of the enemy, harass them with their fire and mostly aim at the gunners… Horse artillery protects and supports the cavalry.

But along with these negative attitudes towards the equipping of artillery, or with these vague definitions of its combat missions, other opinions are expressed, some of which are considered fair in our time, but at that time were new and advanced. “Artillery must never engage in counter-battery fire, the only exception being when the enemy force is concealed, and the batteries are subject to its fire, and, moreover, they are doing a lot of harm to our troops. If, on the other hand, the artillery occupies an advantageous position from which it can conveniently identify the enemy, then all its efforts should be directed against the troops, while firing at the guns no more than is necessary to support their troops. This principle is often neglected by artillery officers, who think it is more glorious in the eyes of the troops to silence the fire of an enemy battery; as they do not feel that the troops are the primary target, and that artillery will become redundant once the troops are defeated or thrown into disorder, instead of destroying the artillery, it remains to defeat the troops… It is necessary to accustom the troops such that it would be considered dishonourable to lose their guns… The artillery, for its part, must hold out boldly… not look to see if they have protection, and must not abandon their guns until the enemy is almost upon the battery, as the last rounds will do them the most harm; honour should be placed not in saving the weapons, but in working them for as long as possible and most resolutely… Small-calibre guns are to go on the attack with the troops, because, due to their lightness, they can more conveniently assist the movements of these troops and pursue a defeated enemy.

We should try to have quality artillery, rather than quantity… Light guns and horse artillery, well established, can most reliably cover the evolution of troops not quite accustomed to manoeuvre; they are to be used in outposts and in the vanguard; they are to support attacks made with cold steel, and by hastily taking up a position, as it is taken, reduce the superiority that an army trained by means of manoeuvres can have over an untrained one.

After the initial battle dispositions, the artillery must still be able to switch their positions so as not to miss the opportunities with which they can harm the enemy, or in order to combine their fire on an assault location, to move towards it together with the troops that they are supporting. Based on this, it can be positively stated that an army whose artillery manoeuvres with great skill and speed might have half the number of guns facing the enemy, but, moreover, would be more distinguished than them, because all the guns will have been put to good use.

Finally, let us point out the following noteworthy passage in the work. “…Their batteries should be positioned in such a manner that their fire is mutually overlapping, and with the help of this crossfire, all the batteries can cover and defend one another… They should not combine many guns into a single battery; as that would be a disadvantage, because a battery that is too large is itself more vulnerable to enemy fire; but they should combine the fire of several nearby batteries onto one location or onto one target…

Many of these concepts are in full agreement with the spirit of those reforms that, as will be shown below in due course, Count Arakcheev began to introduce into our artillery, starting in 1803. In relation to regimental foot artillery (or light guns manoeuvring together with the infantry), the same duality of concepts is noticed, both in the work being analysed and in the orders from Count Arakcheev; the old ideas about regimental artillery are also preserved, as regarding any type of infantry, but only for enhanced fire effects; and new demands are expressed, the development of which lay in the future. In relation to horse artillery, there was not and never could be a mixture of two such concepts, because by the very difference, always recognised, from the missions of horse artillery and cavalry in battle, horse artillery was protected from such confusion, and the development of concepts about the aims and methods of its operation in battle had to follow a clearer path, predetermined, so to speak, by the very fact of the establishment of horse artillery.

Effective Ranges:

12 lb cannon                                                                         500 Sazhen [1 Sazhen = 2,13m or 7’].

6 lb cannon                                                                             450 Sazhen.

3 lb cannon                                                                             400 Sazhen.

½ Pud  [1 Pud = 16.4 kg or 36 lb] Licorne [gun/howitzer]    600 Sazhen.

12 lb Licorne                                                                           500 Sazhen.

8 lb Licorne                                                                             450 Sazhen.

Fire will not be accurate beyond these ranges and cannot have a decisive effect.

Artillery formations:

extended line, columns of one, two, three or four guns. The intervals between guns are not explicitly mentioned; but it must be assumed, judging by the requirement for the greatest mobility from the artillery, that the intervals were meant to be wide, so that the guns could make turns on the move without disrupting the formation.

[1]    In fact, this campaign once again showed the secondary importance of the format of a system for victory and the predominant influence of the moral element. In the present day, we know what a millstone linear tactics were  for Suvorov, especially in the fight against such a serious enemy as the republican French army, how much creativity was required on the part of our great commander to neutralise these fettering conditions (Novi 1799). N. Mikhnevich.

[2]    Moscow Independent Region Archive of the General Staff, 160, 5, No 63.

[3]    Examples are held in the Imperial Public Library and in the Library of the General Staff.

[4]    This is the so-called ‘goose step,’ with the lower part of the leg angled forward below the knee. N. Mikhnevich.

[5]    General Bonaparte thought differently, and used squares against the Austrians in the battle of Marengo (14th June [new style], 1800), where on the right flank, in the absence of defensible terrain, a square of 600 consular guards formed the foundations of their battle order. N. Mikhnevich.