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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Exercise of the Pike

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Exercise of the Pike

Postby Connaught » August 31st, 2011, 7:35 pm

During the Napoleonic Wars each sergeant (light infantry sergeants excepted) were issued form Board of Ordnance stores with a pattern pike. A separate drill for the pike was developed in line with the words of command used for the musket drill of the other ranks. The below drill is reproduced from A Treatise on the British Drill and Exercise of the Company; with an Introduction to the Field Exercise of the Battalion; Explaining the Different Posts and Situations of Every Individual in the Battalion During the Performance of its Movements. By an Infantry Officer (London: 1814).

Exercise of the Pike

Position.- The pike is held in the right hand, the right arm being extended at full length; fore-finger under the shoe, which rests on it; the thumb to the front, and the pike kept in a perpendicular position against the hollow of the right shoulder.

Order Arms; 3 Motions.

1st. Seize the pike with the left hand at the right shoulder.

2d. Allow the shaft to slide through the fingers of both hands till it is within four inches of the ground.

3d. Drop the pike on the ground; withdraw immediately the left hand, and place the right hand in front of the shaft; fingers pointed downwards.

Shoulder Arms; 2 Motions

1st. At the word Shoulder, place the thumb of the right hand as quickly as possible behind the shaft.

2d. At the last word, Arms, the pike is thrown in the position described for Shoulder Arms, the left hand being brought across the body to assist the motion, and instantly withdrawn when it is placed on the right shoulder, the right hand seizing it at the same time and at once under the shoe, as already explained.

Port Arms; 1 Motion.

In one motion throw the pike from the shoulder across the body into a diagonal position, the shaft crossing opposite the point of the left shoulder, the right hand grasping the pike at the shoe, and the left at the height of the left shoulder, both thumbs pointing upwards; elbows close to the body.

Charge Bayonets.

Make a half face to the right; and, in doing so, bring down the pike to nearly a horizontal position, the blade a little upwards, the right wrist resting against the hollow of the thigh, against the hip.
Quis Separabit

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