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""capitaine en second"" Topic

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Osage201711 Apr 2017 7:14 p.m. PST


Was the "capitaine en second" rank only in the French artillery ? What about their infantry ?

Captain First Class / Captain
Captain Second Class / ?
Lieutenant First Class / Lieutenant
Lieutenant Second Class / Sub Lieutenant

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2017 7:56 p.m. PST

Plenty of nations in the 19th Century had "Second Captains" attached to Field and Heavy artillery, though rarely Horse artillery.

Since a field battery had the equivalent firepower of an infantry battalion, many nations decided to follow the (unknown to me) leader and assigned 2nd Captains, usually newly promoted, to assist and replace the battery commander if killed or wounded in action, or command a half battery, if deemed necessary.

von Winterfeldt12 Apr 2017 4:47 a.m. PST

existed also in the infantry

Le Breton12 Apr 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

For French artillery ….

capitaine en 1er – First Captain, Captain 1st Class – commanded the company
capitaine en 2e – Second Captain, Captain 2nd Class – often/usually detached, to arsenals, fortified "places", manufactories, etc.
lieutenant en 1er – First Lieutenant, Lieutenant 1st Class – commanded a (variable) sub-division of the company's guns
lieutenant en 2e – 2nd Lieutenant, Lieutenant 2nd Class – commanded a (variable) sub-division of the company's guns

sous-lieutenant : Sub-Lieutenant – not in a company, this was the rank given to students at the Artillery and Engineering School.

Osage201712 Apr 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

von Winterfeldt wrote "existed also in the infantry".

Can you, please, elaborate more on this matter ?

I know in Russian and Prussian infantry were two captains:
staff-captain (stabskapitan) and captain. But what about the French infantry ?

von Winterfeldt12 Apr 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

"the law ofd 12.05.1797 created three classes of capitain. The captain first class had the right to command the battalion in the absence of the battalion commander."
source Crowdy: Napoleon's Infantry Handbook Kindle edition.

You find an awfull lot more in this handbook discussing those three classes, it seemingly was a matter of ancienitι – payment and responsibility, not displayed on rank insignia, hope that helps

Nine pound round Inactive Member17 Apr 2017 6:26 p.m. PST

Ancienite = seniority.

Brits had 2nd captains, too.

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