Napoleonic Wars Forum

The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

National differences in the position of gun crews?

For all discussions relating to military weapons and tactics of the Napoleonic period.

National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby General Slade » January 26th, 2018, 1:29 pm

I was reading an article on Saxon Horse Artillery by Gerard Cronin and Stephen Summerfield and in it they note that Saxon guns were fired from the opposite side to the French, with the ammunition being run up the right hand side of the gun and it being fired from the left (there appears to be a typo in the article where it says the guns were fired from the right but this contradicts the diagram the text is describing). I believe the British also fired from the left.

Can anyone help me with what the practice was in other nations?

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... J-0209.pdf
General Slade
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: June 12th, 2017, 11:09 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby Andrew » January 28th, 2018, 10:21 pm

I am no expert on Napoleonic artillery; I have, apart from the Osprey, only one book on the subject and in it, it says that the positions and duties of gun crews varied little across all the nations and two illustrations, one of a Prussian crew, and one of a French crew, both have the firer on the right. However, in the Osprey, the illustrations have the French firer on the right and the Prussian firer on the left! The Osprey does not explain or reference the difference. I can see that this does not help much(!!). Otherwise I can only support Senarmont's suggestion (in the 'Artillery Tools... thread) that you consult the individual nation's regulations; unless, of course, someone who has access to them can do that for you...

Andrew
User avatar
Andrew
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 693
Joined: September 13th, 2012, 7:40 am
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby General Slade » January 28th, 2018, 10:47 pm

Thanks Andrew,

The Osprey I've got (Artillery Equipments of the Napoleonic Wars by Terry Wise) doesn't give any details in the text but the plates show a Russian gun being fired from the right and Austrian and Prussian guns being fired from the left (however the guy with the ramrod is always shown standing on the right). I'm hoping to find some confirmation for this because I don't like to rely on the plates alone.

I have found a contemporary print by Faber du Faur, which suggests that the Wurttemberg artillery followed the French practice and had both the firer and the rammer on the right-hand side:

Image
General Slade
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: June 12th, 2017, 11:09 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby PaulD » January 29th, 2018, 8:13 am

Scharnhorst's 'Handbuch der Artillerie' has details of the positions and duties of the gun crew in Vol 3 (pp. 25 et seq and plate II) - In total this has 3 volumes with masses of information on Napoleonic artillery of various nations, but in German and gothic text.

Can be downloaded from http://www.e-rara.ch/zut/content/titleinfo/9472196
PaulD
New Member
 
Posts: 73
Joined: February 4th, 2016, 10:16 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby General Slade » January 29th, 2018, 9:05 am

Thanks Paul,

I have checked it out and it is an impressive tome (with a rather beautiful typeface). Unfortunately I have no German so I shall have to hope that someone else has already done the heavy lifting for me.

I might invest in a general work on the subject, like Napoleonic Artillery by Dawson, Dawson and Summerfield, to see if it is covered in there.
General Slade
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: June 12th, 2017, 11:09 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby PaulD » January 29th, 2018, 10:19 am

Napoleonic Artillery by Dawson, Dawson and Summerfield does have a small section on this (pp. 23-9) - there is a lot of useful information on the artillery of different nations in the book, so I think it is a good buy.
PaulD
New Member
 
Posts: 73
Joined: February 4th, 2016, 10:16 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby General Slade » January 29th, 2018, 1:02 pm

Thanks Paul,

I'll try to get hold of a copy.
General Slade
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: June 12th, 2017, 11:09 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby Senarmont198 » January 29th, 2018, 5:53 pm

Faber du Faur has an interesting story to tell to go along with the print showed above.

They were engaged with the Russians outside the walls of Smolensk and under fire from Russian artillery. They weren't worried about the incoming rounds as the Russians were firing high. But the roundshot hit the city walls and ricocheted back towards them which was dangerous and quite deadly.

So, in effect, they were under fire from both the front and rear.
Senarmont198
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 506
Joined: May 28th, 2015, 10:23 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby Senarmont198 » January 30th, 2018, 5:56 pm

An excellent, and primary source reference for artillery, French in particular, is American Artillerist's Companion by Louis de Tousard. It has instruction for gun crew drill for field pieces, siege guns, and mortars. American crew drill was the same as the French.

Another excellent reference is English is the Bombardier and Pocket Gunner by Ralph Adye.
Senarmont198
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 506
Joined: May 28th, 2015, 10:23 am

Re: National differences in the position of gun crews?

Postby General Slade » January 30th, 2018, 9:36 pm

Thanks Senarmont,

I've actually managed to find out about the British and French practices through secondary sources but I'm still looking for information on the Austrians, Russians and Prussians. I'd also love to know about the practices of France's various allies. I had assumed that they would all follow the French system but the fact that the Saxons used a different set up suggests that there might be some variation.
General Slade
New Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: June 12th, 2017, 11:09 am

Next

Return to Weapons & Tactics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron