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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

French Artillery 1807

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French Artillery 1807

Postby Connaught » September 4th, 2011, 1:25 am

Friedland and the actions of General Senarmont are synonymous. However, what Senarmont wrote about his action when combined with other sources provides a confusing picture of the battle. In order to prove or disprove statements we must turn to primary sources that have no bias such as the number of guns issued to French army, the number or rounds per tube and so forth. .

The table below, drawn up by General Songis, dated May 7th 1807, was the organisation of the army for the forth-coming action at Friedland, and is an invaluable source for the artillery at Friedland. The table drawn up by Songis, demonstrates quite clearly that French artillery at this time did not have nice neat batteries of matching calibres of guns, or had either 8 or 6 pieces.

It also shows quite clearly how many guns Victor’s 1st Corps had and how many rounds of ammunition.

French Artilleryman circa 1807
The 1st Corps had 30 guns, 2 x 12 pounders, 6 x 4.6 howitzers, the remainder being 6 pounders. Senarmont apparently had 36 guns according to many sources. Unless he borrowed guns from other corps, he advanced with only 30 guns. If he held 6 guns in reserve that would leave two batteries of 12 guns.

For these 30 guns, Senarmont had at his disposal some 1,323 rounds for his 6 howitzers (roughly 220 rounds per tube), 624 rounds for his 2 x 12 pounders and 6,657 rounds for his 6 pounders, plus rather oddly nearly 2000 rounds for 3 pounder guns, of which 1st Corps had none (officially, but there may have been battalion guns not organised by the artillery, but assigned to the infantry regiments.) Therefore each 6 pounder and 12 pounder had just over 300 rounds.
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