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"War of Austrian Succession French Artillery Drivers" Topic


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406 hits since 28 Mar 2017
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Rod MacArthur28 Mar 2017 9:44 a.m. PST

I have come across these prints of French Artillery Drivers in the period 1740-45.

link

link

They are wearing grey smocks and some form of cap with a red "flamme".

I cannot tell whether the cap is cloth (black or blue), like a "bonnet de police", or fur, like a French Dragoons one. Does anyone know?

Rod

Wargamorium28 Mar 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

That is most interesting.

As far as I know such drivers were civilians but it seems from those pictures that they may have been supplied with clothing.

Time for figure manufacturers to get busy!

Chokidar28 Mar 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

Don't get me started on this one again… yes they were civilians in the sense they were not enlisted.. but that is where it stopped. They were not part time but served for the duration of a campaign or even for a period of years… by this period practically every country was supplying them with some form of standardized kit if not exactly a uniform.
Don't forget that in Britain at least it was not until way into the 18th century that the artillery came under the army at all.
The notion that we should have them looking like farmer Giles is so wrong.. but apparently impossible to kill…
Bar Humbug…
Nice find by the way…

Wargamorium28 Mar 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

Sorry for upsetting you Chokidar – that was not my intention. I didn't realise you had such strong views on the subject.

Chokidar28 Mar 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

Not directed against you Wargamorium and in turn I meant no offence.. I was just having my rant in general on the subject. Nurse has now brought my medication and done up all those nice buckle things down the back…

And I really am sorry if I appeared to join the offensive here who enjoy being abusive.

It is a VERY interesting subject and if our little exchange has done even a little bit to set the record straight we shall have had a particularly constructive day.

No hard feelings – (and if you are interested in the Austrian equivalent they appear in the Thummler work on Austrian uniforms… fascinating they are too.

Nurse!!!!!

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 11:53 a.m. PST

Wonder if the smock was worn to protect a uniform? In the second print, we see over the knee gaiters being worn, which I doubt anybody in civilian dress would do. Plus, the fellow in the wagon wears the same type of fatigue cap and gaiters, but no smock, revealing a red waistcoat and breeches.

Rod MacArthur28 Mar 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

When I originally asked the question, I only had low resolution copies of the two prints. In order to post links on TMP, I searched for the original prints in the outstanding New York Public Library collection.

The links are much higher resolution than my original copies. On viewing these, I have effectively answered my own question, in that the headgear looks like caps with leather brims, and red "flamme" bags.

Rod

Rod MacArthur29 Mar 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

Extrabio1947 wrote:

Wonder if the smock was worn to protect a uniform? In the second print, we see over the knee gaiters being worn, which I doubt anybody in civilian dress would do. Plus, the fellow in the wagon wears the same type of fatigue cap and gaiters, but no smock, revealing a red waistcoat and breeches.

I have had a thought. In the Funken "Lace Wars" Part 2 book, page 41, at the top of the picture there is a member of the Artillery Train in 1745. He is wearing a red uniform with red breeches, white knee length gaiters and a tricorne hat. His train horse is identical to those in the NYPL collection above.

I wonder whether the Funken plate shows their full dress uniform, whilst the NYPL prints show that same uniform with a protective grey smock worn over it, and a "working hat".

I will be modelling some French Artillery soon, and intend showing the drivers just like those in the NYPL prints.

Rod

Musketier Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2017 11:09 a.m. PST

Could the fellows in red waistcoats and breeches not be gunners, or artillery labourers in fatigues? In which case the drivers may have been supplied with the same fatigue cap for purposes of uniformity. The smock would have been standard for civilian teamsters.

Rod MacArthur12 Apr 2017 12:40 p.m. PST

Well, I have made my models now, and they can be seen here:

link

Rod

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