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"Are the Rifles over-rated?" Topic


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Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2017 7:30 a.m. PST

As I said. I believed it was a good weapon. I just said that because people back than believed it was a good weapon doesn't mean it was. People believed all kinds of things. People opened up their veins for centuries. Doesn't mean it was good for them. Perceived effectiveness and actually effectiveness is hard to differentiate. It was more a general comment about "because they started to use it a lot, it was actually good."

Gunfreak:
I don't think perceived effectiveness and actually effectiveness is all that hard if you remember that
1. Folks of the Napoleonic era weren't stupid
2. They didn't have two centuries of hindsight. All they had was what they knew then.
3. Even bloodletting had beneficial properties given the right circumstances… It's done today as it was done then: with leaches or by simple blood letting.

The fact is no battle in history makes much sense if many people actually killed on purpose. The first volley (before the smoke) would down half the enemy battalion. Battles would last an hour instead of 12.

There are claims of first volleys doing just that, and no particular regiment engaged in exchanging volleys for 12 hours. Most recorded slaughters like Albuera or the 1862 contest between the Iron and Stonewall brigades at 80 yards lasted 20 minutes to an hour max.

Units no matter if they used rifles, sword, spears or muskets would annihilate each other very fast.

IF they were trying to kill each other? With inaccurate muskets or shielded and armored soldiers fighting with spears and swords? I think that is ignoring some of the circumstances with that expectation which has nothing to do with a lack of desire to kill or wound.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

I think most of us would probably, if we went back in time and had to join the British army, would prefer to join the rifles, rather than other units, although I would place them second choice to the RHA if I had to chose.

Actually the field artillery or RE would have been my choice. There's more than enough horses to look after a foot battery thank you very much.

The RE – alright you get lumbered with the "Methodist, married or mad" accusation is actually a really fun thing to do. All that mathematics and problem solving!

Gazzola09 Sep 2017 4:35 a.m. PST

dibble

I think they have only been over-rated in fiction, such as Sharpe, where they very rarely, if ever, miss their targets and never seem to die, compared to the poor old musket firing troops on both sides who seem to lose all sense of how to fight or hit their targets. LOL

I'm sure none of us attending this site believe the real rifle warriors to be anything as accurate and invincible as the Sharpe characters. The Sharpe novels and TV series are, in my opinion, very enjoyable, but like all historical fiction, they do not represent an accurate representation of reality. And people don't buy or watch historical fiction for accuracy (apart from us lot here) but mainly for the entertainment value.

To me, the Rifles were part of the beginning of what soldiers would become, as weapons and tactics evolved, and they remain one of my favourite Napoleonic units.

Edwulf09 Sep 2017 4:46 a.m. PST

Isn't a whole battalion of rifles massacred in episode 1.
And Rifleman Hagman, Perkins and Harris are all killed.
Cooper and Tongue disappear. And numerous un-named riflemen are also killed …. Sharpe is wounded I think in almost every episode. Only Harper is indestructible.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 6:23 a.m. PST

Excellent troops, but too many times the contribution of the rifle itself is much overrated without its limitations being highlighted.

dibble09 Sep 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

Gazolla

dibble

I think they have only been over-rated in fiction, such as Sharpe, where they very rarely, if ever, miss their targets and never seem to die, compared to the poor old musket firing troops on both sides who seem to lose all sense of how to fight or hit their targets. LOL

I'm sure none of us attending this site believe the real rifle warriors to be anything as accurate and invincible as the Sharpe characters. The Sharpe novels and TV series are, in my opinion, very enjoyable, but like all historical fiction, they do not represent an accurate representation of reality. And people don't buy or watch historical fiction for accuracy (apart from us lot here) but mainly for the entertainment value.

Something I can agree with.

And you have just highlighted the problem of the 'sharpe effect' in the discussions that occur on these types of sites. He (Cornwell's folly) infests debates almost every time the 95th is mentioned.

And Like I said earlier:

"It wasn't a wonder weapon but it was the first in the British army (apart from the war bow) that could be shot accurately out to the 'golden' combat range of 300 yards/meters."

"Soldiers who have experience in combat with a weapon that they rely on, know how effective it is and the results it attained. They had six and a half years of campaigning for gods sake, not a six day raid. They knew exactly what could be achieved with the rifle."

"If the Baker was no better than the India pattern, then the India pattern would have been issued to the rifle regiments and called the 60th-95th light infantry. that they weren't and employed in what would be seen today as a more modern approach to soldiering with field craft much more relied upon, initiative, a much greater reliance of accurate, independent fire and movement.

Were they over-rated?….Nah! They were an excellent military arm that proved it over and over again in scouting, outpost duties, in advance and rear guard."

The Best histories of the 95th during the Peninsula and Waterloo are written by Caldwell and Cooper. There books are more comprehensive than any other pertaining the Regiment. Relying on any other books is robbing the reader of much of what they achieved, what they didn't, what they could do and what they couldn't.

Oh! and not to forget Caldwell's 'Thomas Plunkett of the 95th Rifles' tome, where he has gathered all information pertaining the famous ranker and doesn't hold back at exposing the myths that surrounded him.

Paul :)

42flanker09 Sep 2017 10:46 a.m. PST

There are claims of first volleys doing just that, and no particular regiment engaged in exchanging volleys for 12 hours. Most recorded slaughters like Albuera or the 1862 contest between the Iron and Stonewall brigades at 80 yards lasted 20 minutes to an hour max.

And Quebec, 1759. Although there were preliminaries and subsequent fighting on the flanks, the crux of the battle was settled with three or four volleys at close range.

Teodoro de Reding10 Sep 2017 4:18 a.m. PST

Going back to the original question, I think that what Brechtel said is the main point: Wellington understood the reasons for the success of French infantry tactics (close artillery and skirmisher support softening up before assault) and negated this by (a) reverse slope –confusing the enemy and negating their artillery, plus (b) a skirmisher screen so heavy that it generally (i) held back the French skirmisher screen and (according to some accounts) (ii) was mistaken as the his first line. How heavy was that screen for a division? In general at least 10% of the British line (say 6 companies), a rifle company, a cacador battalion (say 5 companies, one rifle armed) – can't remember whether the Portuguese brigade had light companies) anyway: 12 companies (or 14 with Portuguese).

Well a full French division would also have 12 light companies. So why did the British skirmish line tend to win?? (If they did – please correct if wrong). Did the French not tend to deploy the entire 12 companies, but just, say, those of the lead brigade? Did the (usually 2) rifle companies make such a difference because of the accuracy in that zone around 150-250 metres mentioned? It seems a little surprising. Yet, in my own games, when I play British against French, I've noticed that under my rules, the French only tend to be able to break a British line if they first defeat the skirmish screen and get the bonus of peppering the defenders before the decisive clash, and they tend not to succeed in that if that part of the British screen has rifles, because of the disadvantage at the beginning of the skirmisher clash.

The other issue is the experience of the 95th themselves. They did badly at Rolica when, whilst well-trained they were still naïve – at least a company was wiped out by cavalry. Afterwards they were (as Sharpe always says) first in and last out of every engagement. For 6 years. In 1814 (D'Urban book I think) they were allowed for the first time to deploy fully in skirmish order against a French regiment – and slaughtered them. Up till then, British thinking had been that skirmishers, including riflemen, could not stop formed troops. The 95th had the coolness, discipline and accuracy to do so – but this never became British policy and was of course soon forgotten. (At Waterloo I seem to remember reading, they just didn't want to be there: surly veteran syndrome: they felt they had done their bit and had expected to be discharged).

For me the big open question – not answered in this thread yet – is how did the rifles in general and 95th in particular compare to the German, Austrian and Russian jäger they were copied from? I know nothing there and would be interested to hear your views.

4th Cuirassier10 Sep 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

The rifles were taken out of the line in 1815 and became the Rifle Brigade, but what this signifies about actual versus perceived quality I'm not sure. The French lights were also not in the line and never had been. The various British light regiments were also, strictly, of the line, unless I'm mistaken. While one reads of the 52nd Light, they were always just the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment AFAIK. They just happened to have had light infantry training.

dibble10 Sep 2017 5:42 a.m. PST

Teodoro de Reding

The other issue is the experience of the 95th themselves. They did badly at Rolica when, whilst well-trained they were still naïve – at least a company was wiped out by cavalry.

Can you give me the source for this? Or do you mean the unsupported scrape at Obidos against a much superior number where Lieutenant Ralph Bunbury became top of the British list of combat deaths during the Peninsula war? I have the 'named' casualty return for the said scrape. but sorry to disappoint you but no.3 company were not wiped out.

1 Lieutenant killed, 1 Captain wounded, 3 Other ranks Killed and 1 missing, and 1 wounded. Official returns state 1 Officer killed, 1 Officer wounded, 3 Rank and file killed, 2 Wounded and 1 missing.

The 60th lost 1 Rifleman killed, 5 riflemen wounded, and 17 Riflemen missing (captured).

The casualty list that I have for the 2/95th at Rolica is this:

1 Sergeant killed (no.1 Coy)
7 Other ranks killed (3 from no.2 and 4 from no.1 coy)

3 Officers wounded
1 Sergeant wounded (no.1 coy)
20 Other ranks wounded (no.1 coy =10 no.2 coy =5 no.3 coy =3 no.4 coy =2

I can post their names too if you wish.

The 60th lost 8 killed, 2 officers, 5 Sergeants and 34 other ranks wounded. (The 60th deployed as a battalion at this time and attacked along side (right flank of) the 2/95th and together attacked on the left flank where they fought up a steep, very rocky and shrubbed ground.

Paul :)

dibble10 Sep 2017 6:07 a.m. PST

4th Cuirasier

The 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot were retitled to include 'Light Infantry' in January 1803. Their equally famous 'other' the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot was retitled to include 'Light Infantry' in July 1803.

Other regiments like the 71st and 51st got their light infantry titles in 1809 (the 71st retitled first to light infantry in 1809 then again in 1810 where the name was shortened by dropping the word 'Glasgow' from the title

Paul :)

Art10 Sep 2017 8:20 a.m. PST

G'Day Phil,

Whether musket / rifle…or…AK-47 / M-16…in the end it all depends upon the weak link…humans…

It has been a while since I glanced through the Scloppetaria…but after going back into it…and using Kriegsspiel 1824…it is easy enough to come to a realistic model for your game design.

This is about right:

O Rifles (all rifles) or muskets firing without cover would be considered poor.

O Rifles (all rifles) or muskets firing using soft or hard cover would get a bonus because skirmishers firing from hard or soft cover permits the skirmisher to take careful aimed shots with effect.

The effect from rifles at close range is not much greater than the musket, but it is significantly more effective at 250 to 300 meters, therefore a small bonus depending upon the scale of the game. Any greater range and the factor of the weak link comes into effect for both the rifle and musket…

Best Regards
Art

42flanker10 Sep 2017 8:35 a.m. PST

4th Cuirassier- the removal of the 95th from the line in 1816 to become the Rifle Brigade was specifically to avoid their being reduced or disbanded as one of the most junior regiments in the infantry, a standard practice in the normal run of things, once peace had finally broken out.

This measure stemmed partly from a desire to preserve the expertise acquired over the previous 15 years of fighting, and partly to protect the seniority of the officers of the regiment.

In addition, being taken out of the line, granting an elite status similar but not equal to that of the Guards, was also an acknowledgement of the exploits of the regiment and their particular esprit de corps which the Rifles and their patrons regarded as unique.

Clearly, the record and reputation of the 95th was such that it would not have been regarded as suitable simply to concentrate all surviving riflemen and officers remaining in service into the 60th Duke of York's Rifle Corps (as it became).

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 9:24 a.m. PST

The 90th was designated and trained as 'Light Infantry' in 1794 when it was raised in Scotland by Thomas Graham. It was renamed "Foot" when it absorbed the Perthshire Volunteers in 1802…

This isn't the only regiment to have that change of names about this time. It is curious why regiments like the veteran 90th would lose their designation in 1802 rather than be further trained as lights in 1803, only to have other foot regiments' designations changed to 'Light' like the 52nd and 43rd. Typical army, no?

Edwulf10 Sep 2017 10:17 a.m. PST

Total casualties for the 95th at Rolica …7 killed 28 wounded 7 missing. No sign of a whole company being destroyed there.

I see dibble already has a more detailed breakdown.

4th Cuirassier10 Sep 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

@ various

Thanks re: line / light status of lights.

I am not wholly convinced, however, that changing your title counts. The Connaught Rangers and the Royal Welch Fusiliers were called one thing but were nonetheless just line infantry complete with a line regiment number. The French in contrast had a 1st Ligne and a 1st Legere (and a 1st Grenadiers and a 1st Chasseurs).

42flanker10 Sep 2017 11:19 a.m. PST

Was the 90th as Light infantry officially designated light infantry from its formation?

It seems clear that Thomas Graham's ambition was that the corps should be 'considered as a Light Infantry battalion' and that they were uniformed, accoutred and, drilled as light infantry by the excellent Mackenzie.

However, his commission only referred to the 'Ninetieth Regiment of Foot, or Perthshire Volunteers' and the narrative as to whether Graham had official approval to run his regiment as a light infantry corps is ambiguous at best.

In July 1795, while encamped in Hampshire, Graham wrote that- "the 90th, which, being considered as a light infantry battalion, had to be marched off the regimental parades to more distant and wilder ground [to drill]."

However, on the island of Minorca in November 1798, his regiment having yet to see any real action, he was fretting that: "if the 90th could have been considered as a flank battalion I should have liked it better."

On returning to Britain in 1802 after the Egypt campaign, the depleted 90th risked being broken up and Graham, no longer in command, evidently struggled to retain the identity he had forged for his corps as that of a 'flank battalion.'

The claim of the 90th to veteran status at that date consisted only of their service in Abercromby's Egypt expeditionary force, prestigious as that was. They had aquitted themselves well, serving as light troops in the vanguard and securing a distinction for 'Mandora, ' shared only with the 92nd, but by the time an official corps of Light Infantry was being formed it was too late.The 90th a very junior regiment, ripe for reduction and drafting, were instead sent off to recruit back up to strength and retrain in Ireland.

In September 1803, Graham was still making representations that the 90th should be restored "to what it originally was, a light infantry battalion." but his ipso facto argument failed to persuade. At that stage only two regiments, the 43rd and 52nd, had been selected for light infantry training and the experiment did not have universal support. In any case, there were probably too few men left from the original battalion with experience on which to capitalize.

Thus it was only in May 1815 that Thomas Graham successfuly obtained confirmation that- "H.R.H. the Prince Regent has been pleased, in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, to approve of the 90th Regiment, or Perthshire Volunteers, being formed into a Light Infantry corps, and of the clothing, arming, and drill of the regiment being the same, in all respects, as the 43rd,51st, 52nd, 68th, 71st, and 85th Regiments."

42flanker10 Sep 2017 11:51 a.m. PST

Cuirassier

I am not wholly convinced, however, that changing your title counts

Fair enough. Or as someone said- was it Amherst?- "It takes more than a short coat and a leather cap to make a light infantry man." ( I paraphrase)

However, the British regiments designated as light infantry in 1803 and 1809 were selected to be retrained as light infantry.

attilathepun4710 Sep 2017 12:10 p.m. PST

@4th Cuirassier,

It works both ways. Simply being granted a regimental title implying an elite status does not necessarily add up to superior capability in battle. On the other hand, being officially designated as simply an ordinary line unit does not mean the unit may not have received specialized training.

For example, the case of the British 49th Foot, which served for many years in Canada during and prior to the War of 1812. Isaac Brock commanded the 49th before being promoted and assuming overall command in Upper Canada. On his own initiative, he trained the entire regiment in light infantry tactics, which was a wise move considering the densely forested terrain and the fact that no British light infantry regiments were in Canada prior to the outbreak of war.

On the other side, Winfield Scott trained the 2nd U.S. Artillery so intensively that some of its companies performed as light infantry during the capture of Fort George in 1813. I expect that a good many more examples could be found of units which could perform effectively in roles beyond those encompassed by their official designation.

Anyway, it seems to be generally recognized that the difference in capability between light infantry and line infantry was declining in the latter part of the Napoleonic Wars.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

42Flanker:

Well, remember that Graham raised the 90th, and as its colonel, he could train it anyway he wanted to. e.g. McKenzie of the 1803 light trainings. So in that since, its designation could be ambiguous. That it was treated as as lights [being marched off to 'wilder ground' indicates to me that it was being treated as a light battalion. Also, Graham raised three battalions of the 90th, so it isn't clear which or how many battalions were trained as lights.

That the 90th was 'officially' made a 'foot regiment' means that it wasn't considered one until then.

Remember that Graham never served with the regiment on campaign, such as Egypt. And the 90th wasn't being treated as a light regiment [that was being left to foreign contingents for the most part at the time.]

My primary point for mentioning this was that light regiments were in existence in *some* form a decade before 1803, though in the British army, that place had not been given much attention before 1803 and left too often to foreign troops [Germans, exiled French and Dutch].

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

I think the bottom line here is whether Legere and Ligne regiments were treated and used the same way in combat.

Regardless of their actual abilities, declining in later years or not, the answer is "no, they weren't."

42flanker10 Sep 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

Mcladdie. Given the introduction of the 1792 Regulation drill based on Dundas' treatise of 1788 and Yorks increasing attempts to get Colonels to conform I doubt Graham felt he had complete liberty. I find it interesting that we only have his word for the extent that the 90th was 'considered' light battalion, although evidently that was what he intended and promoted by employing Mackenzie to train them. He was certainly seemed to be selling the idea as much as he could.

Since the 90th was officially a Regiment of Foot from its formation, I am not sure how it could have been considered anything before that!

Teodoro de Reding10 Sep 2017 2:33 p.m. PST

Dibble
Apologies – confused it with my refight many years ago. It was Obidos, against Delaborde's infantry rearguard, not cavalry, and Oman & Fortescue give the loss as the 2 officers and 28 men,not a company. But the 95th had to extricated by Spencer's brigade – they had over exposed themselves through lack of experience.

The 1814 incident is Tarbes, 20th March, against Harispe. French losses were said to be as thick on the ground as at Waterloo (Urban p. 247)

dibble10 Sep 2017 7:40 p.m. PST

When Wellington was asked later in life at which of his fights he had met with the heaviest infantry fire; his reply was "Tarbes"

The 95th didn't get off lightly

The 95th losses for the action were:

1st Battalion: 3 officers wounded, 2 Riflemen Killed, 5 Sergeants and 21 Riflemen wounded.

2nd Battalion: 1 Officer killed, 4 Officers Wounded, 1 Sergeant and 2 Riflemen Killed, 14 Riflemen wounded.

3rd Battalion: 4 Officers wounded, 1 Rifleman killed, 3 Sergeants and 32 Riflemen Wounded.

Total of 7 killed, 86 wounded ( 10 of those wounded died later of their wounds, the last 'Thomas Boyall' on the 23rd May).

As always with the French, the accurate returns for losses is dubious at only about 170-80 total casualties, but allied figures put them more in the range of anything between 300 and 1,000

Officer eyewitnesses from other regiments (John Cook and John Blackiston, who especially gives a glowing praise of the 95th's exploits that day.

Pages 181 and 182 of Blackiston's Twelve Years Military Adventure tome is interesting reading:

link

Paul :)

Art22 Sep 2017 7:09 p.m. PST

strange…

Even Oman agrees with the French accounts…that they did not exceed 200 in casualties that day. -and very seldom does he ever agree with any French account ;-)

Volume 7, pp 447

I'll stand by my posting…Whether musket / rifle…or…AK-47 / M-16…in the end it all depends upon the weak link…humans…

-or if you like…a weapon is only as good as the weak link…

Best Regards
Art

RudyNelson22 Sep 2017 9:19 p.m. PST

In my opinion, rifles affect command and morale with limited affect on formations. Maybe a halt in movement while they reorganize the officers.

dibble22 Sep 2017 9:44 p.m. PST

Oman is not the be all and end all. Also, he is using available information.

Can you point me to any accurate French casualty listings from the campaign? I have posted that of the 95th, I can give their names too.

The French were shot to pieces, eyewitnesses from other units attest to the action and those veterans of the 95th who had seen lots of battle, go out of their way on this occasion to remark on the amount of the dead French.

Oman's account of the action is not very detailed or accurate and is rather dated.

Read this, a summary of the action but even still, It's much better than Oman.

link

or 'if you can get a hold of a copy'

The Sharpest Fight: The 95th Rifles at Tarbes, 20th March 1814, by Michael Ayrton and John Taylor.


Paul :)

von Winterfeldt22 Sep 2017 11:59 p.m. PST

Why not read some good books and articles about this topic – like

Harman, Arthur : They decide not, nor are they chiefly relied upon in battle : British Rifles and Light Infantry in the Peninsular War, p 265 – 298

in

Griffith, Paddy (editor) : A History of the Peninsular War, Volume IX

or

Urban, Mark : Rifles – Six Years with Legendary Sharpshooters

My opinon about this, usually units with rifled arms – were picked units, either being recruited from huntsmen and also due to very good training. Their superiority (and in fact they were) against other enemy units was not only due to a superior fire arm, but also due to training.

An army of all arms will decide a battle – but special units, like the rifles – played an integral part in beating constantly the French.

Those German units sent to Spain who had to give up their rifles to exchange with muskets, lamented very much about it, and one can read how they missed it.

John Blakiston of the 17th Portuguese Regiment wrote of two actions in 1814:

Certainly I never saw such skirmishers as the 95th…They could do the work much better and with infinitely less loss than any other of our best light troops…They were, in fact, as much superior to the French voltigeurs, as the latter were to our skirmishers in general.

Art23 Sep 2017 1:31 a.m. PST

G'Day Hans-Karl

The British Rifles were recruited from huntsmen?

As for:

"Oman is not the be all and end all. Also, he is using available information."

This statement is so true…and he has made many mistakes…but to be fair he has also caught mistakes…such as those commonly made at Talavera..

Best Regards
Art

Whirlwind23 Sep 2017 1:34 a.m. PST

Even Oman agrees with the French accounts…that they did not exceed 200 in casualties that day. -and very seldom does he ever agree with any French account ;-)

He rarely agrees with French casualty accounts because French narrative accounts rarely agree with their own recorded losses; this may do as an example for the whole PDF link

Art23 Sep 2017 1:49 a.m. PST

G'Day Whirlwind

I agree with you on French reporting…so there is no argument on that ;-)

So your saying that Oman is right about the battle of Tarbes…

good…

that means we can get back to rifle verse muskets…and the weak link…

Since Paul was once a soldier himself…then he can explain to us all about how a weapon is only as good as the weak link…

Best Regards
Art

von Winterfeldt23 Sep 2017 1:54 a.m. PST

"The British Rifles were recruited from huntsmen?"

No – you fail to see my context, picked men, German Jäger units, a lot were recruited from huntsmen, or son of huntsmen, for that in the beginning of those units they brought along their own hunting rifles, they were already trained for hitting, for ambushing, for observing, due to their trade, they could gain by serving in the Jäger units – then an official position as the Dukes, or princes, or kings, or imperial huntsmen, granting a profession outside the army, for that – desertion rates were low.

Similar things could be said about Tyrolean Jäger, which the Bavarians learned the hard way fitting the civilian citizens of Tyrol in 1809.

Otherwise those units – armed with a rifle, were trained differently, they were also in the usual duties the first units out, the last in, and in several cases did not have tents, while the rest of the infantry had.

For me, those units, were integral assests to an army, good leaders would know how to employ them efficiently.

did they alone decide a battle – very unlikely, but their were an asset, like today commandos, or snipers.

Art23 Sep 2017 2:12 a.m. PST

G'Day Hans-Karl

I did not take you out of context…it was a leading question…

This thread is about muskets and rifles…if you place both weapons in a vise…the rifle is superior…

Give it to a weak link…and it is only as good as that man…and in some area of operation today…those with either the AK-47 or M-16 cannot hit a target past 100 meters…

The amount of ammunition each soldier trained with during the Napoleonic period…in a year..is not even a days worth in most armies today…

Best Regards
Art

von Winterfeldt23 Sep 2017 2:37 a.m. PST

you cannot evaluate rifels and muskets without context of tactics and military training.

"Yes, even the best Jäger (marksmen, sharp shooters expert to hit with a shot, so to speak Hessian, Austrian, Prussian Jäger units) as soon as they would have to fire in rank and file, they would not hit better by the ruling constriction and disorder than the usual line infantry man."

so a rifle and the hands of a usual musketeers, would not fullfil the tactical requirments, on the other hand – a rifle in the hand of a soldier trained to hit and to use the right tactics for that – an asset.

Art23 Sep 2017 4:17 a.m. PST

G'Day Hans-Karl

The term trained back then in marksmanship…would not meet any standards today…

So taking the required standards for marksmanship today and looking at the standards during the Napoleonic era…it is easy to determine the actual level of their marksmanship qualities…

Kriegsspiel 1824…has it about right…

O Rifles (all rifles) or muskets firing without cover would be considered poor.

O Rifles (all rifles) or muskets firing using soft or hard cover would get a bonus because skirmishers firing from hard or soft cover permits the skirmisher to take careful aimed shots with effect. (to include the aide of a supported position when hard cover was used)

O The effect from rifles at close range is not much greater than the musket, but it is significantly more effective at 250 to 300 meters. (Therefore a small bonus depending upon the scale of the game. Any greater range and the factor of the weak link comes into effect for both the rifle and musket…)

Even NATO today is attempting to change (or rethink) their tactical doctrine in regards to distance…for the better…

Best Regards
Art

Whirlwind23 Sep 2017 4:49 a.m. PST

Even NATO today is attempting to change (or rethink) their tactical doctrine in regards to distance…for the better…

What are you referring to Art?

Art23 Sep 2017 5:11 a.m. PST

G'Day Whirlwind…

It was experiences (lessons learned) by ISAF…and by the current RSM…by attempting (or rethink) to increase small arms lethality…

Best Regards
Art

Whirlwind23 Sep 2017 5:19 a.m. PST

Okay, thanks Art.

von Winterfeldt23 Sep 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

"The term trained back then in marksmanship…would not meet any standards today…"

I am not interested in todays markmanship in this discussion, the markmanship of units armed with rifles was better than the average musketeer, due to mulifactoral reasons, arm, training, recruitment, selection, tactics, officers.

Don't look at Kriegsspiel 1824 but on the heavily revised edition of 1828 – amongst else fire power did change.

I will also look what German word Kriegsspiel used for small arm, and in what context.

Art23 Sep 2017 6:07 a.m. PST

G'Day Hans-Karl

A weak link today and a weak link then are the same…

Sorry…but even if you are not interested in today's marksmanship…it doesn't change the facts of basic fundamentals of marksmanship…

As a matter of fact…one country even developed a shadow box…now whether or not it was universal or even used is another matter…but the fact that one was made is fantastic…

I had twenty of them made in Afghanistan…

Here are your modifiers for arms…and tactics / leaders…if you want the 95th to be better…then always execute the following

O Rifles (all rifles) or muskets firing using soft or hard cover would get a bonus because skirmishers firing from hard or soft cover permits the skirmisher to take careful aimed shots with effect. (to include the aide of a supported position when hard cover was used)

O The effect from rifles at close range is not much greater than the musket, but it is significantly more effective at 250 to 300 meters. (Therefore a small bonus depending upon the scale of the game. Any greater range and the factor of the weak link comes into effect for both the rifle and musket…)

Best Regards
Art

4th Cuirassier23 Sep 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

I didn't realise there was a revised 1828 edition of Kriegsspiel. I've only got the 2 Fat Lardies one which I think is the 1824 original. What changed in musketry?

von Winterfeldt23 Sep 2017 9:01 a.m. PST

I add rifles are much superior when fired by trained shooters – being in the right tactical formation (skirmishing) at individual targeting, compared to a musket.
For that reason they are so good fighting against enemy skirmishers.

Art23 Sep 2017 9:12 a.m. PST

G'Day Phil

Yes there is a 1828 edition…

In an old TMP thread:

TMP link

VW – you want TFL's 1824 Rules. I just checked and the 1828 rules are included as Appendix 2. All you are looking for is there including the new dice

Hence…I am more than certain Hans-Karl can assist better than I…

Hans-karl:

"For that reason they are so good fighting against enemy skirmishers."

As long as it meets the conditions that I have already mentioned…and from a range of 250 to 300 meters…the facts of basic fundamentals of marksmanship for any time period…

Best Regards
Art

le Grande Quartier General Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

This is a rather simple thread, dedicated to a simple premise. All rifle units were a bit more than we give them credit for because of training and Elan, an attitude that wins. Most noticeably, one must pay attention to the deployment of mentioned fighters, when discussing all that this thread has discussed. Training and morale are necessary, but mean nothing until certain officers take the battle in their hands, and properly deploy the troop to win the tactical objective. Great Britain has, and continues to have such officers..

le Grande Quartier General Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

As well as fine men.

von Winterfeldt23 Sep 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

Thanks to Steven Smith I found the complete 1828 rules as well as dices etc.

Art23 Sep 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

G'Day Hans-Karl

I have the copy in German…but not in English…I hear that Vox is back online…that is very good news…

Perhaps one day Vox will return here as well…I guess I should go to NapSeries and see what Vox is up to…

Of course it has been a while since I have heard from Oli as well…

Best Regards
Art

dibble23 Sep 2017 1:02 p.m. PST

Art

Since Paul was once a soldier himself…then he can explain to us all about how a weapon is only as good as the weak link…

Umm! In case you haven't realised, as with a chain, most things are only as good as their weakest link.

I'm sorry Art, but you have lost me with the rest of what you say.

As for Oman, I have all his major works which are indispensable as an overview of the Peninsula, orders of battle, list of Officer casualties etc, but that's all. If I want to know more about a battle or an individual unit, I acquire the appropriate tomes which are much more detailed and use the latest information.

If you think that the 95th weren't anything special, that's up to you! If you want to show this on your wargames table and it helps you idea of game aesthetics then go ahead, but if you want to understand the regiment, It's triumphs (it had many), it's failures (it had very few)its ability on the battlefield and of it, then you really should start 'a studying'. It's no use assessing any unit unless you know more about it than what is said about it in the greater picture or soundbite tomes of Mark Urban or Osprey publishing etc.

I bang on about it, but I will mention again, The Rifle Green in The Peninsula/ at Waterloo (In 4 volumes Peninsula and 1 being Waterloo) series of books, which is the best Napoleonic regimental history out there bar none.

Paul :)

Art23 Sep 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

G'Day Paul

Then I take it you were not a soldier…nothing wrong in that…its not a life for everyone…

With that said…there are plenty of online books on the fundamentals of marksmanship…

You might appreciate the Scloppetaria more if you read them…and even understand what the author is attempting to elucidate with the illustrations and text…and see whether four fundamental of marksmanship are applied in the book.

I thank you kindly for your armchair assistance in how to understand a regiments triumphs and failures…why I invite you to my AO to give us all a lecture on it…

Best Regards
Art

Whirlwind23 Sep 2017 7:54 p.m. PST

I'm a bit lost…what are the discussions in this thread actually about now?

Whether the French casualty returns for Tarbes or accurate?

And

What is the relative importance of the accuracy of the weapon vs the accuracy of the shooter?

Have I got that right?

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