Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Artillery? The Great Leveller?

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    In gaming, following the mass of technical data that has been published, discussed and trashed about, do we really over complicate things for ourselves?

    However, seeing the Russian side of organisation, tactics and perseverance in 1806/07, and the stereotypes portrayed to us for a long time, I wonder if we should review/ revise the matter?

    Seems to me, a 5 point scale system can be utilised to determine ‘effectiveness or competence’ of artillery prior to a game commencing. Any value may be zero as well, with maximum points value as below, being 6.

    1- Technical competence (materiel/ manning/ self-support)
    1- Field mobility (where required)
    2- Tactical Aggression/Defence (includes those in Grand tactical modes)
    1- Command proactivity/ intiative
    1- Close Support (available bastions/ protection).

    While I think there are too many ‘nuances’ with artillery already, its’ effect (read Firepower by Hughes to be misguided by bad arithmetic and ‘assumptions’), the overall role is forgotten.

    What did N. say? The moral is to the physical as three is to one. Its not the cutting down by ball against columns that dissolves willpower of attackers, it is the withering cannister at whatever ranges that mows down entire ranks in front of the followers that shakes them, maybe.

    There still are national ‘factors’ to consider for sure- Austrians in 1809 had a vastly different mentality AND structure using artillery in almost battle winning roles.

    Spanish (I may be guilty of stereotyping too much) were nearly all cattle hauled and slow, so their mobility (on the field) is practically zero. That also impacts agression. Yes I know the French in Peninsular had to resort to some, not all, bullock drawn as well.

    Method- you would assess the ‘overall’ value of artillery for a game; then adjust any time ‘factors’ have changed.

    Dice using a D6 to achieve a ‘perfect’ score where no futher adjustment applies when firing upon enemy [equal or less than score]; if failed then a morale minus against the firer is assigned. [Ie it is impossible to fail a six!]
    The ‘firing’ takes place per your rules, but a minus one on each result die means you may not get the hits you think.

    If passed, the result is multiplied upon the enemy- for every hit another 0.5 can be added (ergo there must be two to score at least one extra hit.)

    Now I cannot adjust your rules for biased too great a roundshot damage vs cannister– but I would offer that reversing the ‘damage’ score of each is a better result in line with historical realities.

    Can you overcome defects? Only you can tell…

    Would it cause less of the ‘charge the guns mentality’; less ‘missing’ by cannister that was for all intents quite a pungent ‘force’ to be recognised as a deterrent to idyll attacks such as wargamers make often.



    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    It all sounds very complicated for use in a game although I might use something like that to organize my initial thinking about it. I would be fairly sceptical of what the evidential basis is behind any of it, however. I would want some fairly strong evidence before incorporating rules that one army’s artillery was ‘better’ than another – and self-serving memoirs and analyses would not count; I would want to be able to have an answer to the question, ‘if better, by how much and how do I know that?’.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    I would want some fairly strong evidence before incorporating rules that one army’s artillery was ‘better’ than another –

    Well, rather obvious that nearly all rules I know of have an automated nationalistic bias already- British best; French better; Russian/ Prussian ok dependiing upon campaign; Austria almost invariably weakest, Spain/ Portugal etc and Naples bottom of the heap.

    Despite evidence from not only one side but both– Austria aggressively used and deployed both foot and horse during some of their Revolutionary campaigns; certainly did in 1805; Russian cannister at Eylau taught the French, and they acknowledge it; yes they got their own back, at a different battle.

    I don’t see setting a one-off ‘value’ as being difficult. True it is a paradigm shift, and probably one I’ll not win over except in my own organised games.

    As an aside, of the ‘stereotypes’ commonly used, engineering and ‘technical’ vehicles virtually unknown for non-French. Yet in 1796 and 1799 Italy both Austria and Russia had many boats for throwing bridges/ pontoons across rivers- probably more than Buonaparte since he liked celerité and travelling light. But you don’t see those in many scenarios quoted by the rule/ figure conglomorates.


    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    Apologies OotKust, I am struggling to follow your argument here. You appear to be arguing both for and against highly gradated national characteristics simultaneously.  I certainly agree that lots of badly thought through national characteristics have been put into wargames rules before now: I see no reason to continue the practice.  The previous sentence does not mean that one could never put in a national characteristic.

    My suggestion is simple: ditch them in their entirety unless you have to put them back in to replicate historical results; or there is (or you yourself do) some serious quantitative analysis to justify the figure you use.

    Avatar photoMartinR

    I don’t really follow the maths of the OPs original proposal, but I have no great difficulty with quality ratings for different armies in this period, or any other where morale effects are so much more important than physical ones. The differentials aren’t as great as in the Ancient period, and as Clausewitz noted, the main determinant of victory in Napoleonic battles was numbers of men, and 2:1 was generally sufficient to guarantee victory. Thisimplies the spread of combat effectiveness was also at most, double ie 6000 conscripts = 3000 veterans, or whatever.

    One thing which does puzzle me though is artillery. Generals went to great lengths to drag guns around with them, yet in many wargames guns are curiously anaemic. They blast away to little effect and are easily overrun by frontal attacks, yet if artillery is increased in power, games degenerate into Somme like artillery duels and infantry and cavalry are blown to pieces at long range.

    I suspect that the key is, as OotKust alludes to, the moral defensive effect of cannister (or even close range shot) , which should make artillery positions literally unassailable from the front. In real life, ammunition limitations and crew exhaustion also prevent excessive long range fire. I always rather like the mechanism in Principles of War where firing artillery would reduce the effectiveness of the firing batteries as well.

    Anyway, just a few ramblings.




    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Avatar photohammurabi70

    I suggest getting the effects of artillery right on the battlefield should be the main objective in any rules.  You can tweak the result for any particular characteristic: training, competence, experience.  I am not aware of any great differences between the nations other than some developing the use of Grand Batteries.

    www.olivercromwell.org; www.battlefieldstrust.com
    6mm wargames group: [email protected]; 2mm wargames group: [email protected]

    Avatar photoSkip

    As only playing 2 sets of Napoleonic rules, come to think of it no other kind in years, Empire has levels and rules for nationalities and the Russians got the short end but if they didn’t their artillery would be hard to beat. All in all like the effects of Empire’s artilly to casualties.

    On other hand Carnage and Glory seems often weak, last game did better but still haven’t seen a unit beat it out of there just from artillery.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Yes gents, I hadn’t completely formulated my ‘paper’ before launching, so i apologise.

    Its just that I read the imbalances as cited above, as so much ‘Victorian’ hypocrisy and lack of research.

    Look at the path of gaming… Victorian military success elitism of the conquering 19thC- HG Wells follows suit; so too did the ‘developers’ of modern wargaming in 50s-60s etc.

    Empire is a case in point- although I love and respect the work Bowden did, his pro-Bonapartist French stance isn’t sustainable- and frankly his idolatry sickens me as much as the current state of affairs in US.

    I too have played them, and the co-written campaign rules brilliant in clarity and use, have formed many an adaptive campaign without the paperwork for over 40 years.

    the Russians got the short end but if they didn’t their artillery would be hard to beat.

    Indeed and those accused of self-serving memoires, Yermolov among them I suppose, expose truths with confirming corroboration coming from their enemies.

    They were hard to beat on ocassion- why wouldn’t batteries that were 50% larger and capable of immense firepower in defence [unicorns- not howitzers] be so?

    Whilst I started the 1970s as a Napoleon fanboi, age and knowledge has ingrained me with a wisdom of moderation and reality, that, many life time views of inhumanities and current situations, has challenged my thoughts and conclusions, that many circumstances we thought we understood, were far from accurate.

    For example the narrative of Austerlitz being the superb magnificence of French planning and might over the ‘old regimes’  of Europe is little short of hogwash. Despite it being my core focus, I am now more than ever before aware of the delicate balance that ocurred there.

    Reading more about the following campaigns, AND N.’s scramble to find more conscripts (and horses) to fill ranks, along with fresh access care of likes of Lieven and Mikaberidze about Russia (and the delicate politics amongst  not so Allies) makes a lot more sense of it all.

    So the massive loss of materiel at Austerlitz had more to do with poor planning and command ineptitude than any handicaps portrayed by the Austrian and Russian artillery corps’. In fact both IMO were the equal of the French, which is after all a bitter pill to swallow, but a fight i’m prepared to make.


    Avatar photoWhirlwind

    I suspect that the key is, as OotKust alludes to, the moral defensive effect of cannister (or even close range shot) , which should make artillery positions literally unassailable from the front.

    Napoleon seemed to agree with you – think this was his rationale for reintroducing battalion guns.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Napoleon seemed to agree with you – think this was his rationale for reintroducing battalion guns.

    Sorry to be the contra-contrarian but he may have given that impression, and that was all it was. He discovered, not sure how or when, but that by 1811:

    1. His 1808 infantry battalion reorganisation into 4 fusilier companys, 200 man blocks was as successful as unlovely 6mm gaming blocks. Ugh! And the detachment of elite companies as ad-hoc ‘strike forces’ diminished the whole. (He experimented with his ‘mini-me Garde’ units for many years- expanding this to the entire army eventually).
    2. His continual cherry-picking competent troops from established regiments; combining with near raw conscripts; forced into ad-hoc regiments de marche; then renamed and with consequent loss of cohesion, morale and efficiency, stalled any hope of subduing the Iberians.
    3. His ‘defined’ reorganisation of French materiel and artillery use had stalled over 8 years and contributed more disorganisation and backtracking than ever before. Streamlined it was not!
    4. His RE-attaching four pounders (and/ or rebored Asutrian 3pdrs etc) to his enlarged infantry regiment/ brigades for 1812 only added another layer of complexity, and spread the loss of horses even further.

    In other words, he had blinded himself into believing that other nations hadn’t learned; that he could march anywhere on Earth like Hannibal and conquer everything through land occupation. And what he saw as ‘improvements’ to his way of war were unassimilated annoyances to everyone else, including the ‘elite’ of the army and government.

    Just read PLDs Grenadiers a Cheval book (Lulu) and the recorded catastrophic loss of horses on the march INTO Russia approached 50%… WTF was he thinking?

    Interesting to also see the number of comments about senior Generals who counselled against such a venture, including Berthier, etc.

    So no, if you think I am a flaming fanboi of him still, you are dead wrong. Admire a lot of what he achieved, but now can see that the megalomania took hold more than ever.



    Avatar photoOotKust

    As gaming rules are the basis for this, I have some other simple issues.

    Paddy Griffiths ‘Wargaming for Fun’

    I’ve re-read the ‘almanac’ of gaming that elevated my indulgence of historical affairs from mere rules for convenience (ie WRG etc.) to discourse and exceptions of natural warfare and military considerations.

    In that book no national biases exist- save the explained differences of troop types.

    Friends and I used this to leapfrog from the mundane to the excitement of self-owned rules, battle producing exceptional gaming.

    Other Issues for Consideration (Beyond Artillery)

    1. Heroy has detailled elsewhere the Russian concept of ‘entrenchment’ relative to others. This should be taken into account- not every battle was a Borodino which overshadows everything else it seems.
    2. Use of ‘technical’ troops, ad-hoc engineering and battlefield or BUA ‘impairments’ are not well served in mainstream gaming.
      Yet we see these things in nearly all real battles commentaries.
    3. Cossacks- most under employed and limited cavalry in gaming, yet the most dynamic and ‘imposing’ by their actions on the many French observations made.
      (Even Ney, cowed by the nightly stalking of cossacks amongst his vedettes and patrols- sought an ‘accomodation’ with Bennigsen about them while in Winter Quarters (Poland).

    Also re-reading Rapps* Memoires, he of Austerlitz fame thanks to Gerards painting, and his role as Govenor of Danzig in 1813 with a multi-national force who, by all accounts performed exceptionally well.

    *Because well, I have to produce a figure for him there…

    regards- d

    Avatar photoHeroy

    “Cossacks- most under employed and limited cavalry in gaming”
    Agreed. But, it is because most game set-piece (usually major) battles – where Cossacks and Native (“National”) cavalry are least decisive. In a campaign game or a tactical game they are more prominent.

    “yet the most dynamic and ‘imposing’ by their actions”
    Agreed, again. I have thought Ataman Platov possibly the single best commander of the era, on a par with Lord Wellington. One need only look at his results, both tactically and in terms of long-term damage to the enemy vs. own losses.

    Painted from life in 1812 :

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Agreed. But, it is because most game set-piece (usually major) battles – where Cossacks and Native (“National”) cavalry are least decisive. In a campaign game or a tactical game they are more prominent.

    Certainly, but I know the British mind and it is a gross misunderstanding that they were tribal and therefore ‘unreliable’; the same still exists in our western ‘Governmental’ psyche to this day… whereas the smarts that they had, the avoidance of conflict as ‘the main event’ and reliance on flowing tactics and strategies were all much in contradiction with ‘European’ measures.
    Hitler made the same mistake about Stalingrad, and other places, where in his mind the conquerors could not fail! Same as the US in Vietnam I guess.

    Thus gaming constructs enhance such behaviours in misunderstanding and mismanagement. I hope to put that right, at least amongst the scenarios I organise locally.


    Painted from life in 1812 : http://poezd19.narod.ru/history/platov2.jpg

    Couldnt work out why he was on a Railway fan web site, but then I note nearly all topics are on the Don…


    Avatar photoSkip

    Just finished Russian Campaign of 1812 : Memoirs of a Russian Artilleryman by Alexander Mikaberidze & Peter Phillips

    Good personal daily account what a young officer saw and did

    Avatar photoOotKust

    A French point of view:-

    This may be old, but is he right? I was seeking further information on ‘transforming’ historical play on the table, or campaign maps indeed.

    Some complex replies, perhaps complicated by translation and not intent.

    “This is not just an exercise in style but allows the historian to take a step aside and reflect on what might have happened. But it substitutes one story for another. Wargaming creates not so much of a narrative as a narrative material. By playing wargames, the historian may be led to ask questions that they have never asked themselves before,…”

    Perhaps I should assume a new nom-de-guerre, since neither an historian (official) nor particularly successful gamer- General Thinksalot…

    Avatar photoNorm S

    I am not in anyway learned enough on the subject to add much to this conversation, but there are a couple of things that have stuck out for me in my dabblings.

    The science / maths that underpins the practical use of artillery required educated personnel – more than the other two arms?

    Artillery is very expensive as an arm, so presumably it was an essential element to the period.

    Napoleon’s original background in the artillery may well have elevated it’s importance for the rest of his career and his investment in that arm, may have been the driver for other nations to keep equal pace.

    Guns are fine, they do what they do and one six pounder does exactly the same as any other six pounder, so the critical point must be that of deployment, being in the right place at the right time, appreciating location for best fields of fire and use and having the organisational capability and training to do all of that competently.

    So (the things I don’t know), are senior artillery commanders brought up through the artillery ranks, with an absolute knowledge of the tactical aspects of the gun, together with control over the strategic deployment or is actual deployment governed by those with an appreciation of artillery, but not a background in it?

    Are the physical restraints on keeping artillery in the field, moving and supplied, equal in all armies?

    Is morale amongst gunners ‘generally’ high due to confidence in their ability and kit or is it lower due to lack of confidence in their predicament or leadership? Which may directly link to when batteries will limber / unlimber / withstand threat or manoeuvre.

    For our wargame tables, I would think that in most situations, all artillery will be ‘fairly’ equal unless a specific case can be raised during battle, for example the effectiveness of Russian artillery at Borodino or the tactical deployment into a grand battery at Waterloo etc.

    In a recent set of rules that I have been using, in general, foot artillery are counted as regular, while the horse artillery are counted as superior, which have better staying power when under threat.


    Avatar photoSkip

    By my reading, officers are by division ( artillery,  Cavalry or Infantry so expect many of artillery are trained as such, though not all I am not sure.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    not in anyway learned enough on the subject to add much to this conversation,

    Learned and erudite summation enough Norm! Thanks, I will come back in detail…

    By my reading, officers are by division

    Indeed Skip, the ‘specialist’ regimes within armies don’t get [as] much recognition (publicity) compared to ‘exceptional’ generals/ leaders…


    Avatar photoHeroy

    A vast and complex topic ….

    The artillery arm of service saw continual development in technology, equipment, operations, supply, personnel and missions throughout its history. It was a huge expense, similar to a navy, and could not be changed very quickly. So, supposed “revolutions in artillery affairs” tended to be, in reality, longer term evolutions. Let us focus on the era 1800-1815. I will answer for the French and Russians. The Kingdom of Italy and Duchy of Warsaw were essentially “French” in artillery operations and late-era Prussians rather like the Russians. The British and Saxons might have been different, maybe even better – but in small numbers.

    “artillery required educated personnel – more than the other two arms?”
    Generally, the requirement for “education” was applied to the officers. Although some “practically trained” (i.e. without specialist academic training) officers could be found in 1800, France and Russia were in the process of converting to universal specialist training. For the French, this meant that (typically) university graduates took an entrance exam, and if accepted, passed as sous-lieutenants to a 2-year artillery or artillery/engineering school. After this they became lieutenants and commanded 2 pieces in an artillery company. The Russians were similar. After an entrance exam, there was a two to three year specialist military school, followed by an final exam. The candidate was then posted for typically 2 years as an officer aspirant in an artillery company, then promoted lieutenant in command of 2 pieces. And officers were expected to do some continuing professional study and perhaps publication in peacetime if they wanted preferred advancement.
    A side note for Russians : by 1811, artillery officer ranks counted 1 step higher in pay, seniority and nobility. So an artillery captain was paid like an army major and acquired inheritable nobility – which is interesting since the Russians did take non-nobles into their military schools if they passed the entrance exams.
    Other than literacy for senior NCO’s, education requirements for artillery other ranks were not too unusual, The Russians did have an artillery sergeants school. Size was important – as for grenadiers or cuirassiers. And as artillery offered higher pay, it was considered “elite” and took the best of the conscripts.

    “Napoleon’s original background …. may have been the driver for other nations to keep equal pace.”
    And his propensity to invade those other nations.

    “one six pounder does exactly the same as any other six pounder”
    Russians might agree, but note that three 6-lbers are better than 1. And the French did not always have universal “modern” 6-lbers but instead a mix of captured 3-lbers and older 4-lbers & 8-lbers.

    “the organisational capability and training to do all of that competently.”
    Generally, yes. However the French “system” was weakened by an inability to maintain their artillery as fully combat-effective over longer distances and longer campaigns – especially when operating in poorly developed areas or in poor weather. The Russians were weakened by their tendency to prepare/improve foot artillery positions before an engagement and then not move the pieces offensively. There are other national nuances, and – as noted at the start – evolution over time.

    “actual deployment governed by those with an appreciation of artillery,”
    The (operational) deployment of artillery was typically directed by division, corps and army commanders – each with an artillery staff of at least one officer to advise them. The (tactical) employment of the pieces was left to the artillery officers. Both the French and the Russians had a tendency to assign smaller pieces to stiffen formed infantry units, on the basis of 2 pieces per battalion (Russian) or regiment (French).

    “keeping artillery in the field, moving and supplied, equal in all armies”
    See above regarding the French. The Russians appear extremely good at this, even early in the era. Possible reasons :
    — more and better horses from government stud farms vs. bought in for the campaign
    — integration of the artillery train into the artillery company, not in a separated train company
    — typically lighter pieces and less loading per horse for all vehicles
    — full militarization of supply : the French had (mostly) removed contractor civilian drivers from the train by 1800 – but relied on contractors from points of supply to the armies in the field. By contrast, the Russians used army resources, supported a specialist arm of service (lines-of-communication engineers), to move all supplies
    — The Russians had Cossacks and Native cavalry to protect their supply lines and to obtain supplies locally over a wide area

    “Is morale amongst gunners ‘generally’ high”
    Yes. And even higher for horse artillery. And higher still for guards horse artillery. Both French and Russian.

    Avatar photoOotKust


    A vast and complex topic ….

    Indeed Sir, well handled. I wasn’t going down the French path per se, rather an invigorated investigation of Russian working knowledge- a serious regarding of the Western psyche is required- ditto Austria- the peoples are less different than semantics and biases of historians/ analysts/ gaming traditions would profess to offer.

    A bit like a lollipop will calm down the werewolf- NOPE! He’s still gonna rip someones head off!


    Avatar photoOotKust

    For ease of reference, I re-post this here (was Other Russian Matters..)

    I picked up from academia.com an abstract entitled ”Russian Field Artillery in the time of the Napoleonic Wars: Myths, Reality, Questions” – (The experience of historiographical inquiry) by Konstantin Igoshin.

    The abstract makes for a compelling read, but I don’t have the paper.

    Included is this commentary about ‘Araksheevs Model 1805’ origins.

    In 1904, in an attempt to fill the gaps in the understanding of the history of the development of Russian ordnance, Colonel (and later Lieutenant-General) A. A. Nilus (1858-1941), an instructor at the Mikhailov Artillery Academy, would publish a continuation of Strukov􏰑s text in the form of a two-volume textbook on the History of the Physical Elements of the Artillery.12 A scholar with considerable personal experience, and the author of a series of academic treatises and inventions, Nilus was one of the leading early 20th Century specialists on Russian ordnance.

    An interesting development in recent scholarship was a 2008 book by another amateur historian and model maker-collector, C. V. Voytsekhovich, entitled The Russian Field Artillery 1382-1917,31 and described by the publisher as a 􏰔short guide to the history of the development of Russian artillery systems􏰑. The book includes several illustrations and photographs of items in museum collections in Moscow, St Petersburg, Sofia, and Stockholm, as well as sketches and scale schematic diagrams, most of which were made by the author himself. The monograph contains a section dedicated to the artillery of the Napoleonic era.

    The body of sources and literature cited in that section cannot be described as complete by any means:…

    A study of the historiography, the body of published sources (including 19th Century periodical literature, statutory legislation, instruction manuals etc.), and archive material has revealed that perceptions of the organisation and equipment of Russian field artillery during the Napoleonic wars established in 20th Century and recent academic and popular-academic literature do not entirely correspond with reality.40 Indeed, it would be wrong to refer to these topics and this period as well-researched.

    The historiographical tradition has created an artificial break in the reformation of the artillery, propagating the unsubstantiated view that 1805 marked the introduction and application of a new system of artillery weaponry. As a result, there is almost no evidence in academic circulation today regarding the development and implementation of the new technical decisions, or the creation of a standardised system of artillery equipment. Accounts of the structural changes of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries have been brushed aside, including evidence relating to an event of such crucial importance as the abolition of regimental artillery. The transformation and renaming of artillery subdivisions during the reform of the organisational structure in 1802-1811 (and earlier) has also received insufficient attention. Reliable production figures are lacking, and information on the rearmament of the Russian artillery is fragmentary. The theory of deploying the artillery as combat troops, the development of manuals and instructions is still only in the early stages of research. The same can be said for the state of knowledge on personnel training, with the exception of the officer corps, which has been considered in a range of studies.42
    Source [42] is: 42 Krylov V. M., Kadetskie korpusa i rossiiskie kadety [The Cadet Corps and Russian Cadets] (St Petersburg, 1998); [The Officers of the Russian Army as Participants in the Battle of Borodino: a historical and sociological study] (Moscow, 2002) .

    Seems would be an interesting read, being ‘ultra-modern’ as current period nomenclature goes…

    To respond on some of the issues added:

    “artillery required educated personnel – more than the other two arms?”

    Certainly the ‘technical corps’ of many nations had seen advancement and improvement since and before Vauban etc. Our gaming doesn’t often allow for such ‘aptitude’, yet you won’t find an actual OB without such personnel.
    For myself this is why I do model such personnel, well in the process. Regardless of rules and ratios, I believe these important.

    “one six pounder does exactly the same as any other six pounder”- Russians might agree,… the French did not always have universal “modern” 6-lbers but instead a mix of captured 3-lbers and older 4-lbers & 8-lbers.

    And the fixation on minutae is lost in the obviousness of such a statement. Yes however even slightly less effective 4-pdrs and associated 5.6p howitzers could efface the difference with higher poundage enemy, using advances, aggression and tactical advantage for more static opponents. Such a matter doesn’t ‘factor’ in at all- the narrative remains the ‘technicalities’ nearly all the time.

    The strange mix of sizes to his design in N. Garde artillery – 2-4s, 2-8s, 2-12s (sometimes) or 2 5.6pHowitzers defies explanation.

    [Added Edit]
    However I believe he was experimenting with that- these documents survive but no relation on why, when or how they may be ‘replaced’ in a more normal manner. I cannot conceive that he would do this to his Garde permanently, whilst the rest of the ‘line’ remained fixed in traditional companies by type and strengths… elucidation requested!

    Similarly perhaps, the Russian mix and 12-14 gun line batteries, remain relatively constant- but those LeibGarde that remained at ’10’ mixed pieces, until 1810(?) again an anachronism.

    Avatar photoSkip

    As often do in reading, found Russian Artillery in time of Napoleonic Wars, then keep trying to find anything mention in article.

    Always looking for goal of drawings or photographs of guns and vehicles.

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Always looking for goal of drawings or photographs of guns and vehicles.

    Happy to share the urls I’ve collected and scour routinely 3-6 mths. Might need to make another album on flickr to hold the pics I’ve scraped from various places.

    [Edit 24sep23]
    I checked my graphics dbase and I have only 14 specific items on Ru arty, ranging from drawings to actual museum pieces published on Ru fora…
    Skip send me a PM and once my email is functional I can send all to you,


    Avatar photoHeroy

    “The strange [French] mix of sizes …. defies explanation”
    Hmmm …. disorganization of military administration 1790-1800 followed by too-rapid deployment of large army formations (i.e., without allowing enough time for artillery production)? insufficient military-industrial planning ? insufficient investment in military manufacturing ? insufficiently industrialized economy ? insufficiently developed fiscal and monetary systems ?

    “Russian …. Leib-Garde that remained at ’10’ mixed pieces”
    Their Guard used the same types of pieces as the Line : 12-lber guns & 24-lber unicors in battery companies, 6-lber guns and 12-lber unicorns in light and horse companies. (There was some deployment of battery horse companies in 1813-1815.) The odd company sizes and “mixes” were driven by keeping constant proportions of artillery to infantry/cavalry units with non-standard organizations.

    “looking for …. drawings or photographs of guns and vehicles”
    Anything of particular interest, or current search ?

    Avatar photoOotKust

    “The strange [French] mix of sizes …. defies explanation” Hmmm …. disorganization of military administration 1790-1800 followed by too-rapid deployment of large army formations

    Sorry A. I was trying to refer to the odd composition of the Garde Artillerie Volante prior to 1806. Seems obtuse having 3 composite sizes where normally two were typical. After all, his Garde? Hardly would there have been a reason of shortage, if he were not ‘driving it’.

    Personally I don’t see any much missing ordnance in any of the Divisions or Corps in main theatres any time from 1796; except Armée d’Italie a little ‘light’ sometimes.

    Certainly in 1804/05 the standard Cavalry Brigade/ Division (sizes differed even if they were called Divsions) from Armée d’Angleterre in the West, to the final campaign in Moravia- their companies dwindled from full (6 piece) companies to half size (3 pieces varying) by Austerlitz. The ‘Situations’ clearly show this attrition and is one of the things I am expecting Dawson to comment on.

    We know N. put a great deal of faith and support in all arms having attached artillery to force a situation in their favour- even avant-garde cavalerie, That companies were split and reassigned to separate bodies is obvious in some cases.

    We also have Davout of all people reporting his loss/ lack of team horse trains, and so voluntarily left his 12 pounders behind at some point, in favour of more mobile pieces.

    Approaching midnite so will leave it there.

    In addition:

    “Russian …. Leib-Garde that remained at ’10’ mixed pieces”
    Their Guard used the same types of pieces as the Line…

    Again not so much the gear, but the sticking with 10 pieces, not 12 minimum. But I get your point about ratios, but again a small abstract seems pointless vs the ‘normal situation.

    Annoying to create ‘large’ batteries then find that they were, at times, divided piecemeal, assigned to ‘replace’ the former infantry assigned pieces/ crews.

    Only adds to the lack of relevance caused by gaming rules- and hence my reason for advancing the morale effect rather than the ‘hits’  as primary effect.
    OTOH I’d suggest respectfully that ‘elitist’ thoughts/ factoring would be relevant only when the protagonists are in close combat, not firing.
    On the basis that technical competence would be near universal, while skill and courage in close quarters, yes relies on an unshaken belief in yourself.

    regards dave

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