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Infantry- Forge wagons

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Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » July 18th, 2017, 6:58 am

Is anyone aware of British infantry regiments of this period including a forge wagon in their baggage train?
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 19th, 2017, 5:40 pm

I only remember there being forges attached to cavalry regiments for the farriers, but I wonder if I have come across it somewhere? Doubtless you will be overjoyed by my typically detailed reply. I shall excavate a bit and if I find anything I'll let you know.
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » July 20th, 2017, 12:12 am

Josh&Historyland wrote:I only remember there being forges attached to cavalry regiments for the farriers, but I wonder if I have come across it somewhere?


That is indeed my assumption, too, Josh. I am playing devil's advocate here, to test my assumption. I'll explain presently.

Josh&Historyland wrote:Doubtless you will be overjoyed by my typically detailed reply. I shall excavate a bit and if I find anything I'll let you know.


I shall indeed need some time to digest all that so take your time. No pressure. 8-)
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby Senarmont198 » July 22nd, 2017, 11:02 am

Royal Artillery field brigades and horse artillery troops were all issued a field forge, called a forge cart by the British. The first model was a four-wheeled type which was later replaced by a lighter, easier to move and handle two-wheeled version.

It was used in the repair of the iron work on the artillery pieces and artillery vehicles of the brigades and troops.

I haven't found evidence that infantry units were routinely issued field forges and it seems to me that infantry battalions would have little use for them. If they needed them for whatever reason the artillery field forges could be used if necessary.
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 22nd, 2017, 11:10 pm

That seems to tally, certainly I've found no provision as yet for the infantry.

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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » July 23rd, 2017, 11:45 am

No, indeed. To be honest, I didn't expect much evidence of such a facility.

My reason for asking was the references one finds online to the pioneers of infantry battalions serving as blacksmiths-(not to mention using their iconic shiny axes to dispatch wounded horses and then sever a hoof for accounting- which we know is palpable nonsense). I am curious as to where the origin of this canard may lie -but I wanted to be sure that my assumption was accurate, that there was little call for a blacksmith on the strength in an infantry unit.

The origin probably lies in a wikipedia page, forum thread or blog of the last fifteen years, which would hardly be surprising. What is more depressing is that such nonsense should also circulate in places like the National Army Museum website. History at regimental level can often be inconsistent but the NAM should serve as an authoritative reference source

https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php ... 0-11-33-38

Perhaps we should expect a less elevated standard from forces.net tv

http://www.forces.net/news/tri-service/ ... ard-parade
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby Josh&Historyland » July 24th, 2017, 8:12 pm

I rather fancied the enquiry must be to do with pioneers.
Can't for the life of me think why presumably an infantry officer with a mount would get a pioneer to shoe his horse. I've just read Wellington's HQ which I am reviewing for the Napoleon series and it didn't mention forges traveling with infantry divisions but we might note that each division had its own artillery & after a certain point a senior engineer.
Come to think of it, the Board of Ordinance would probably have raised Hell if the QMG's dpt started assigning forges to infantry battalions for the use of the pioneers!

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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » July 24th, 2017, 8:43 pm

Why, indeed? The idea that at the end of a long day's march the Pioneer Sergeant would just spark up the mobile forge and knock out a few tent spikes until a gentleman might come along for to get his charger's off front re-shoed.

Historoids.
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » July 25th, 2017, 7:18 am

Here is an interesting addendum to this topic. While there was no bearded pioneer sergeant braving the heat of the forge to hammer out horseshoes, infantry battalions did require an armourer to service weapons and related hardware.

I had been wondering about what equipment the armourer required to fulfil his role, and on cue colleagues on Victorian Wars Forum have produced some interesting references relating to the first half of the C19th.
http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=11958

Most relevant to the NWF period is an entry from 'General regulations and orders for the Army,' 1811. The Ordnance Department were to supply to Regiments of Cavalry- 'Forge Carts wth Anvils, Bellows, Blocks and Horse Harnesses' and to Regiments of Cavalry and Infantry both- 'A portable Forge for the Armourer, with a Chest of Armourer's Tools.'

General Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1811, p 69 / https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id= ... 1up;seq=99

It appears from later C19th records that on campaign the armourer's forge equipment was carried in two chests carried on a pack horse or mule.

https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... g=GBS.PA89,

My guess is that the Armourer Sergeant was no more likely to be found wearing a beard than any other member of the regiment
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Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby Senarmont198 » July 25th, 2017, 10:34 am

I would submit that any unit that was armed with firearms of any type would have an armorer or armorers as part of their table of organization, be they infantry, cavalry, or artillery. And if they didn't have them in the field, they would be assigned to the depots, arsenals, or the trains where they would be accessible for work and repair.
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