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"Artillery Train Troops" Topic


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Brechtel19813 Nov 2017 2:29 p.m. PST

The European armies had separate train personnel to pull their artillery pieces and ancillary vehicles. They were train troops and not artillerymen, but the train troops becoming militarized was a definite step forward for the efficiency of the artillery in general in all of the armies.

Unfortunately, these train troops are not discussed as much as the combat arms, but their support in hauling guns and vehicles, as well as ammunition, and their ability to man their posts under fire without the satisfaction of shooting back, was immeasurable. The contribution of the artillery train troops is significant and definitely added to the efficiency of the different artillery arms.

Artillery drivers were originally hired civilians in both the European artillery arms and that of the United States. All eventually developed artillery trains that were composed of soldiers whose job and mission was to pull the artillery-guns, ancillary vehicles, etc.

The use of civilians as artillery drivers was both inefficient and dangerous. They may, when under fire, take their teams and head for the rear, leaving the artillerymen with their field pieces to get along as best they could.
The artillery drivers/conducteurs were not trained artillerymen-they were train personnel no matter how they were organized. They were soldiers, but not artillerymen.

Artillery train personnel were usually, if not always, uniformed differently from the artillerymen. The French artillery train was uniformed in a blue-gray uniform, for example, while some artillery train personnel in other armies were merely given different distinctions. In the Russian service, for example, train officers were put into grey small clothes, and the train enlisted men had a green shade for their trousers that was different from the artillery dark green coats.

France:

Napoleon ordered a train d'artillerie formed in January 1800. Initially there were five companies per battalion, each company commanded by a sergeant-major and the battalions by a lieutenant. Experience gained in the field in 1800 caused a reorganization. Eight battalions were formed, each of six companies. The battalion commanders were captains with a small staff. Companies were commanded by a lieutenant, with a sous-lieutenant second-in-command. The battalion staff consisted of at least a veterinarian, a master saddler, and a master armorer. Each company had two blacksmiths and two harness-makers. In wartime, each battalion would ‘double itself' providing a cadre for another battalion which would retain the parent battalion's number, followed by ‘bis.' The artillery train battalions were under the supervision of a general of brigade entitled ‘Inspector General of the Artillery Train.'
The French train d'artillerie was known for its efficiency in moving the army's artillery, parcs, and ammunition. By 1808 there were thirteen battalion of artillery train troops with another added in 1810.

The train d'artillerie should not be confused with the train des equipages, or supply train, which was not initially formed until 1807.

Great Britain:

The British formed their Royal Corps of Artillery Drivers in 1794. The organization had a split personality. Those companies assigned to the foot artillery were not well commanded by their officers and the troops were not well disciplined. Sir Alexander Dickson remarks on them in his writings. The artillery drivers assigned to the horse artillery, however, were assigned to the troops and served well under Royal Artillery officers.

Austria:

The Fuhrwesenkorps, the traditional organization that provided transport for the army as a whole, and for the artillery in particular, was first formed in 1782 and was a semi-civilian organization. It was not militarized until 1806-1808, but was not fully mobilized until war came. Beginning in 1808 cadres were kept with the artillery batteries instead of the entire complement needed to move the artillery batteries.

Russia:

Russian artillery train troops were militarized in 1803 and were apparently assigned to the artillery batteries. They were considered as train troops and not artillerymen. Sir Robert Wilson commented on them, and their gun teams, in 1807:

‘The drivers are stout men: like all other drivers, they require superintendence in times of danger, to prevent their escape with the horses, but on various occasions they have also shown great courage and fidelity; and they have the essential merit of carefully providing subsistence for their horses.'

Wilson may have been comparing them with the Royal Corps of Drivers, who could not always be relied upon. And Wilson makes a distinction between the drivers and the Russian artillerymen.

AV Viskovatov makes a definite distinction between the Russian artillery train drivers and the gunners in his work Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army in Volume 12 which covers the Russian artillery arm and includes the personnel of the Russian artillery train, the Furshtatskii.

The Russian supply train was not formed until 1819.
Prussia: The Prussian artillery arm, which originally relied on hired civilian drivers, developed train troops that were more than likely assigned to the field artillery batteries without having a battalion organization.
During the Prussian reform/reorganization period, the Prussian train personnel were militarized and then were probably assigned to the individual artillery batteries.

Confederation of the Rhine:

Bavaria:

The excellent Bavarian artillery organized their train battalion in 1806 on the French model.
Baden: Baden organized their train troops to support their single artillery battalion of three companies, two foot and one horse.

Hesse-Darmstadt:

The artillery train troops of Hesse-Darmstadt were noted as having worn a Corsican-style hat.

Wurttemberg:

The Wurttembergers fielded their artillery train to support three artillery companies-two horse and one foot.

Saxony:

Saxony formed their artillery train troops after a poor performance in 1809. They supported a foot artillery regiment of three brigades and a horse artillery brigade.
Westphalia: The Westphalian artillery arm fielded a battalion of train troops.

Duchy of Warsaw:

The Poles organized and fielded an artillery train battalion.

Kingdom of Italy:

Prince Eugene's Army of Italy fielded an artillery train to support a foot artillery regiment of twenty-six companies and a horse artillery regiment of six companies.
United States: Alone among the armies of the period, the artillery drivers did not belong to a separate organization, but were artillerymen themselves. This idea was more practical than having a separate train organization.

Le Breton13 Nov 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

Brechtel – pretty clearly, you don't speak or read Russian. You do not understand what the words mean. I suppose the same for Wilson to some extent. You are wrong about Russian artillery.

There was no Russian "artillery train" as concieved of in the French service, but instead one "artillery" organization.
For example, in each "artillery battery company", the crews included for each piece of artillery:
--- 6x gandlanger' (handler – or perhaps "artilleryman") : munitions handlers, 3 riding limber horses, 3 riding caisson horses
--- 6x gandlanger' : 3 to attend and work the limber, 1 attendant for each of 3 caissons
These would be "train d'artillerie" in the French service, with a different uniform. They were the least experienced artillerymen in the Russian service, but the same unifom as the other artillerists.

In addtion to 8 wagons of various types for an artillery company's non-combattants (artificers and craftsmen, medical, finance & admiinstration), each artillery piece had 1 (for light and horse companies) or 2 (for battery companies) "provisions wagons" for foodstuffs, fodder, hand tools and baggage, each with a furleyt' (driver). These were called furshtatsk -iy -aya -im and so on, and this has been translated as "train" – but they (i) were still part of the artillery company and crew organizations and (ii) were not directly part of moving the guns or their muntions. They were uniformed differently – gray "non-combattant" uniforms, not green.

Lastly, in each company 2 rankers would operate an artel' (commissary) and would be provided with 2 small wagons or carts similar to those of cantinières in the French service. In the Russian service, the artel' was owned in common by the other ranks, and provided private-paid labor from the men, the funds been used to stock the commissary. The artel' wagons moved with the provisions and baggage wagon(s) for the company. The artel'shchnik was a senior, trusted and respected artillerist. He wore the green "combattant" uniform.

As a rather short-term foreign observer, not a Russian speaker, and not an artillery officer, it is quite possible that Wilson did not know what he was looking at – or that in composing his text he attempted to use the terminology that his readers might most easily understand.

To review : all these were members of the artillery company :
A furleyt' (which can be translated as "driver") were artillery rankers, to drive supply wagons (not munitions caissons, not limbers) – gray uniforms
A gandlanger' (which can be translated at "handler") were artillery rankers, trained to (i) connect/disconnect and conduct the limber, (ii) handle and move munitions, (iii) stock and conduct the caissons – green uniforms
An artel'shchnik (which could be translated as "commiisary" or "cartel manager"), was an artillery ranker who drove a smaller supply and provisons cart similar to cantiniers in the French service – green uniforms

Among the reasons that Russia had always used military men for any military function were (i) there were no private companies in Russia, and (ii) there were essentially no such people as could be "employed" among ethnic Russians : it would break class for nobles, and serfs were tied to pieces of land and later to state-owned manufactories. Non-Russian ethnic "nations" were restricted to their homelands. Therefore, the class of people who you could have do this work were soldiers – and basically no one else. If you think that somehow the Russians could have employed private contractors as did the French, then you do not know much about Russian social organization.

The Russian word "Фурштатъ" / "Furshtat" is usually translated as "Train". These troops moved supplies. The Russians who moved guns, limbers, caissons and artillery equipment (and would be "artillery train" and "drivers" in French service) were integrated and part of the Russian artillery companies, in green uniforms and called "handlers".

The "Furshtat" (more closely akin to the French train d'équipages militaires) function was represented inside the artillery companies (uniformed in gray) and in other formations such as infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons. In 1819, the organization that was created – FOR MOVING SUPPLIES, NOT GUNS AND LIMBERS – was a set of higher level "Furshtat" battlaions and brigades to be attached permanently at the corps and army level. This 1819 change had nothing to do with artillery per se.

The organization of the artillery along these lines had been constant at least from Catherine's time, and likely Peters.
See : link

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 4:45 p.m. PST

Thanks, Breton.

Brechtel19813 Nov 2017 6:35 p.m. PST

No, that is not correct.

It is very clear by your postings on Russian artillery that you don't understand the difference between the Russian train troops that moved the artillery and the Russian artillery troops. There is a definite difference between them. Just because they were assigned to the batteries themselves, and that the Russians did not organize their train troops in the same manner as other nations did, does not change their status as train troops.

Perhaps your understanding of artillery of the period in general is lacking?

And it also seems that you are confusing the artillery train troops with the army train troops, which were not organized along military lines until 1819.

It is very clear from the reference cited that the Russians used train troops. They did not organize them as the French and others did, but they were train troops, and not artillerymen.

Along with Viskovatov, George Nafziger has also noted the same thing as Viskovatov that the Russian train troops were assigned to the artillery batteries.

And the Russians had not always used soldiers for 'military functions' as the Russian artillery train troops assigned to artillery units were not militarized until 1803.

Le Breton13 Nov 2017 7:56 p.m. PST

Brechtel :
"you don't understand the difference between the Russian train troops that moved the artillery and the Russian artillery troops"
Right, I don't. This is something you have made up. You invented it. It did not exist for the Russian artillery of the era. So I don't understand it.

The supplies and tools part :
The "furshstat" of a light artillery company from 1803 :
Driver of supply wagons and similar = furleyt'
-- 20 of them in a light artillery company
-- they drive 11 provision carts (foodstuffs), 1 field forge, and 8 artillery carts (entrenching equipment tools and supplies for the various craftsmen)
-- commanded by 2x furshtatskiy unter-ofitser (corporal) and 1x furshatskiy ofitser
Total 23 men for 12 pieces of artillery.
These were considered non-combattants. A furleyt' had a gray uniform.
A furleyt was typically an older artillerist no longer capable of more active service. Typically the next posting for a furleyt was to a garrison artillery command or a military settlement.
Furshatskiy unter-ofitser and furshatskiy ofitser was not a separate career path, it was an assignment into which corporals and lieutnants might rotate.

==================

The guns and ammunition part :
Driver of caissons, spare carriages, limbers and handler of munitions = gandlanger'
-- 24 caissions with 48x gandlanger' (2 per gun)
-- 12 limbers with 24x gandlanger' (1 per gun)
-- 6 spare carraiges 12x gandlanger' (1 per platoon of 2 identical guns)
-- commanded by 12x yunker (officer candidate NCO, 1 per gun)
Total 96 men for 12 pieces of artillery
These were considered combattants. These were assigned to the gun crews. They wore the same uniform as the rest of the gun crews.
The gandlanger' was the entry-level artillerist position. From this he could be promoted to kanonir, thence bombardir (corporal), thence feyerverker (sergeant). The yunker was the entry level position for officers. From this he could be promoted podporuchik (sub-lieutenant), commander of 2 artillery pieces.

"It is very clear from the reference cited that the Russians used train troops."
I do not know what you think are "train troops". But yes, Russians used troops to move both artillery pieces and supplies and equipment for artillery units. They did not use teleportation or robots or drones, just their troops – the organization and function of which I have described.

"Along with Viskovatov, George Nafziger has also noted the same thing as Viskovatov that the Russian train troops were assigned to the artillery batteries."
Please quote either of these where they contradict what I have just written.

"Russian artillery train troops assigned to artillery units were not militarized until 1803."
What are the "Russian artillery train troops" in your mind? The ones who move the pieces and amuntions, or the ones that move supplies and equipment? In either case, these functions were essentially as I have described them since the time of Catherine if not before. If you can read Russian, follow the instructions below to see the official establishments and implementing orders.

=====================

For Paul's reign :
Go here : link
Click on : Том 43: Книга штатов : Часть 1: Штаты военно-сухопутные (1711 – 1800) : 1796 – 1800
Go to page 73 and following.

You will see the tables for the establishments per :
PSZRI No. 17,699 30.XII.1796 : Artillery artillery battalions of 5 companies
PSZRI No. 18,430 12.III.1798 : Artillery commands with Guards and Army infantry regiments
PSZRI No. 18,577 10.VII.1798 : Life-Guard artillery battalion
PSZRI No. 18,937 15.IV.1799 : Life-Guard artillery battalion

Tables 1 and 2 are for personnel : you wil see the same functions in the same proportions, with trivial varinances, as for 1803. The personnel to operate the carriages, the limbers and the caissons are here, just as in 1803.

Table 3 is the clothing and equipment allowances. These would be similar to the tables d'habillement from the French ministry of war administration. Here you will see essentially the same provision for carts and wagons as for 1803 on pages 84-85. On page 85 are the horses. The allowances are complete for limbers, caissions, wagons and carts. The entire function of the "artillery train" in the French sense of the expression is here, "militarized", an organic part of the artillery formations.

Table 4 is for tools and small spare parts. You will see here the various entries relevant to the manufacture and repair of the horses' equipment.

Table 5 is shows the repartition of various types of guns for the various formation – note hear again we see the horses for the limbers, and the caissions per gun. Following is the allocations of same to craftmen, supply service within the formations, etc.

=============

For Catherine's reign :
Go here : link
Click on : Том 43: Книга штатов : Часть 1: Штаты военно-сухопутные (1711 – 1800) : 1762 – 1796
Go to page 21 and following

These are the tables for the establishment in PSZRI 11,797 17.IV.1763.
To see the details for the horse and limbers, caissons, etc. (the equivalent of artillery train in the French service), you have to go through and see the establishments of the infantry, cavalry and fortresses to which artillery was assigned and dependent.

Le Breton13 Nov 2017 7:59 p.m. PST

"United States: Alone among the armies of the period, the artillery drivers did not belong to a separate organization, but were artillerymen themselves."

Not correct. The US method was essentially identical to the Russian one.

"Gun detachments consisted of two types of soldiers: trained gunners and less-qualified men called …. matrosses in the U.S. Artillery. The gunners aimed, loaded and fired the piece while the others assisted by bringing up ammunition or helping to move the gun. Gun detachment commanders were usually N.C.O.'s who supervised the work of the detachment, personally laid the gun, observed the fall of shot and made the necessary corrections. Artillery officers commanded batteries of six to eight pieces or sub-units of two or three weapons. The gun detachment for a U.S. 6-pdr. field gun comprised the gun commander, two trained gunners and six matrosses. U.S. howitzers had a similar complement but four more matrosses.[23] …. When additional muscle power was required, it was the practice …. to obtain unskilled labour from the nearest infantry unit."
"[23] Amos Stoddard. Exercises for the Garrison and Field Ordnance together with Manoeuvres of Horse Artillery. New York, 1812, p. 35."

"Field Artillery of the War of 1812: Equipment, Organization, Tactics and Effectiveness"
Donald E. Graves
The War of 1812 Magazine
Issue 12 – November 2009
link

Organization of a Regiment of Light Artillery*, Act of April 12th 1808 as amended by Acts of February 24th 1812, May 16th 1812 and January 20th 1813
Artillery company organization
1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 1 third lieutenant ("conductor lieutenant" responsible for ordnance, equipment and logistics), 2 cadets, 5 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 musicians, 8 artificers, 1 farrier, 1 saddler, 58 matrosses, 12 drivers
* i.e. horse or flying or mounted artillery – supposed to be true horse artillery with horses for all ranks, but in practise sometimes "wurst" or "wagon" mounted

Regulations United States Army of May 6th, 1813
Artillery equipment organization
A division of light artillery (manned by a company of artillerymen from the light regiment) was :
--- six pieces of ordnance, viz., four cannon of the same calibre and two howitzers
--- for each six-pounder one caisson, for each howitzer two caissons (8 total)
--- three wagons, provided with assorted and spare articles of equipment, ammunition, harness, entrenching and artificers' tools, etc.
--- one traveling forge

Historical sketch of the organization, administration, matérial and tactics of the artillery
United States Army – by Lieutenant William Edward Birkhimer
Washington D.C. : J.J. Chapman, 1884
page 356 et. seq. & 380 et. seq.
link

P.S. Brechtel was told all this before : TMP link
Apparently he was not convinced.

Le Breton13 Nov 2017 8:41 p.m. PST

Interesting …. if you double the American organization (to make the number of pieces the same), the Russian and USA organizations are really quite similar ….

to move the supplies and equipment
Russian : 20x furleyt, 2x furshtatskiy unter-offitser, 1x furshtatskiy offitser // total 23
USA : 24x driver, 2x 3rd lieutenant // total 26
Comment : it looks like the USA drivers also conduct the caisssons.

to move and work the guns, limbers and munitions
Russian : 100x gandlanger, 35x kanonir, 35x bombardir // total 170
USA : 116x matross, 8x corporals // total 124 plus "unskilled labour from the nearest infantry unit."

to aim and command the pieces
Russian : 1x fel'dfebel, 11x feyerverker, 12x yunker, 6x officer // total 30
USA : 10x segeant, 4x cadet, 6x offcer // total 20

others
Russian : 11 craftsmen, 1 clerk, 5 medical, 2 musiciens // total 19
USA : 20 craftsmen, 4 musicians // total 24

vehicles
Russia : 12 pieces with carraiges and limbers, 24 caissons, 20 support vehicles // total 56
USA : 12 pieces with carraiges and limbers,, 16 ciassons, 8 support vehicles // total 36
Comment : Russians lift their own foodstuffs (11 provision wagons), while the USA does not seem to have this function as organic to the artillery companies.

von Winterfeldt14 Nov 2017 6:18 a.m. PST

@ Breton

Thanks for your excellent information, well done.

"P.S. Brechtel was told all this before : TMP link
Apparently he was not convinced."

this is no surprise for me

Marc at work14 Nov 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

And here we go again…

Le Breton14 Nov 2017 6:33 a.m. PST

"In the Russian service, for example, train officers were put into grey small clothes"
Before writing stuff, it is not a bad idea to check to see if what we are writing is correct. What you wrote is not correct. If you can't or won't read the sources, maybe it is better to make fewer pronouncements.
By the way, are your pronouncements about artillery in German-speaking services equally problemmatic?

Recall that this is for the one (repeat : one) фурштатскій офицеръ / furshtatskiy ofitser per artillery company – an assignment for an artillery lieutenant, not a career path – a "non-combattant" position responsible for moving supplies and equipment – not a "combattant" position responsible for moving guns, limbers, caissons or munitions in combat.

From the Mark Conrad translation of the Viskovatov :
For army foot artillery ….
16 June 1803 – Officers of the train were ordered to wear grey small cloths.*
17 December 1803 – Officers of the train differed from combatant officers only in that they had gray small clothes (Illus. 1611).*
Same for army horse artillery, just below on the same page.
* All sourced to PSZRI Vol. XLIV, pg. 28, No. 20,201.
See : link

From the Viskovatov itself, Volume XII, we see that the phrase нижнее платье / nizhnee plate'e was used in the text
See : listat.ru/T12/T12_08.htm and listat.ru/T12/T12_09.htm
Mr. Conrad translates "нижнее платье" as "small clothes" …. I am not sure what exactly Mr. Conrad intended, but "нижнее платье" for a man is undershirt. As it is a bit strange to have the regulations stipulate what an officer privately purchases as an undershirt, I thought to check the the original source.

At PSZRI Vol. XLIV, pg. 28, No. 20,201, it says :
"Фурштатским офицерам, какъ положено фурлейтамъ, носитъ вмѣсто зеленыхъ, сѣраго цвѣта панталоны."
"Furstatskiy officers, as for the drivers, wear gray pants instead of green."
See : link and link

The error was the type-setter's, as the illustration No. 1611 from the Viskovatov indeed does not show a gray undershirt, but instead gray trousers.

picture

The furshtatskiy officer had been given green pants (vice white) on 19 May 1801 – likely to reduce the wear out and expense of cleaning the white when constantly riding.

All the other artillery officers wore, from 17 October 1802, gray trousers when "on the march with troops or on detached service" or mounted – and retained white for parades and reviews. The change in 1803 for the furshtatskiy officer was to make him more similar to the other officers. (All were allowed green pants when not on duty in late 1808.)

So, the *only* difference is that the mounted furshtatskiy officer wore gray pants approriate for riding during parades and reviews (like their men) – and dismounted artillery officers wore white pants for parades and reviews (like their men). They all wore gray for service, and (from 1808) they all wore green off-duty.

Le Breton14 Nov 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

"And here we go again…"

If I just say "that's wrong", then I will be (quite reasonably) asked for details and sources. So I show what's wrong, with explcitly cited sources, translated where needed and *linked* so you can check it out yourself.

Would it be better to just let Brechtel (or anyone else) post pronouncements that I know to be just plain wrong? I rather thought the colleagues here liked to know this stuff correctly. If not, I will be happy to shut up.

marshalGreg14 Nov 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

Le Breton…no you can't possible "be happy to shut up"! Pls proceed on.
My understanding of "And here we go again" is to what I will refer to as a "Brechtel affair" and to understand that is to look at other TMP post he has started, or jumped in on, and attacked/argued with the replies of certain individuals.
You have a target posted on you now by him but clearly you have the armour of a Tiger II tank ( or fortification to withstand an 24 lb siege gun) to push through… so no need to worry! Nice work!
@ Marc at Work…. I will make the popcorn ;-))

MG

Sparta14 Nov 2017 7:28 a.m. PST

As MarshalGreg said++

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

This is all harmless stuff. Much useful information will be exchanged (OK, the shame is that there is some abuse mixed in, but the academic banter is benign enough). After a few more days of exchanges we will all know a lot more about Artillery Trains, or appreciate better what is not known.

The main thing is that one can chose to read all this or ignore it. I will follow it and am sure that, like the curate's egg, it will be good in parts.

Seconds out. Round three….

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 11:22 a.m. PST

A good discussion as others have indicated, however, with regard to American artillery during the War of 1812, there are errors on both sides of the train or no artillery train argument.

As far as my research and years of knowledge on War of 1812 are concerned; there was no separate artillery train for the field and light artillery. The only exception that I am aware is associated with the U.S.N. at Bladensburg. Commodore Barney's two 18 pounder field guns were moved to Bladensburg by civilian cotractors (they abandoned the guns when the British got close). Also, the American Marine gunners owned and operated their horse drawn gun teams.

With regard to the Graves's article, there is nothing in the article that states that 'matrosses' were members of an artillery train, rather that they were unskilled gunners. They were uniformed and equipped as gunners and an integrel part of the battery.

Le Breton14 Nov 2017 12:05 p.m. PST

IronDuke,

Points well taken. Thank you.

I assumed that Brechtel was correct and that there was no separate "train" to move the pieces and the munitions (as was the French method). Neither of the linked works mentions one. And the numbers of each type of soldier and officer seemed about right (when compared to Russians whom I know did not have a separate organization to move the pieces and munitions).

As for the matrosses "driving" anything …. by the counts I copied above it seems that the drivers conducted the equipment wagons *and* the caissons, and the matrosses handled the carriages and the limbers and moved munitions.

This would be slightly different than for Russians. For Russians a furleyt (driver) drove the equipment and provisions wagons (provisions wagons being absent from the US organization) and a gandlanger (handler) drove a caisson or handled a carraige/limber or moved muntions.

"matrosses' …. were uniformed and equipped as gunners and an integrel part of the battery."
Yes, that was my impression – and I attempted to draw the comparison to a Russian gandlanger, for which the same was also true.

Thank you again.

Marc at work14 Nov 2017 11:27 p.m. PST

Greg has it right. These threads follow a pattern, which can be both informative and wearing in equal measures. Sometimes I wish the two/three main combatants could just meet up, say in a pub, and thrash out there ideas face to face to get to the conclusion, and then present it here for us to enjoy. The TMP approach doesn't always seem the best way to air these points.

Have fun

Marc

Prince of Essling Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2017 8:14 a.m. PST

For information, according to Mark Conrad's translations of Viskavotov, the following relate to artillery train personnel:

Volume 8
Train personnel [furshtatskie] and other non-combatant lower ranks such as: junior train-masters [unter-furmeistery], farriers [konovaly], saddlers [sedel'nyi i shornyi], gun-stock maker [lozhennyi]; smith [kuznechnyi], journeyman metal worker [slesarnyi podmaster], their apprentices, solderer [payal'shchik], carpenters [plotniki], wheelwrights [kolesniki], turners [tokari], joiners [stolyary], train personnel [furleity], and provost [profos], were uninformed following the example of non-combatant ranks in Army infantry regiments. Only junior train-masters had frock coats [sertuki] with gold galloon on the cuffs and cuff flaps, big cavalry boots with bell tops and iron spurs, white gloves, and a cane (Illus. 1062) (162). Train personnel wore the same boots and were authorized, just as were junior train-masters, white cloth valises for riding on horseback (163).
Illustration 1062. Junior Train Master [Unter-Furmeister]. Field Artillery, 1797-1801.
link

Volume 12
17 December 1803 – A new authorization table of weaponry and accoutrements for artillery regiments was confirmed, ………………Non combatant lower ranks, including those of the train, kept the uniforms prescribed for them on 27 March 1802, with only the hat being replaced by the shako instituted on 19 August 1803. This shako did not have two pompons as for combatants, but only a single lower tuft. Of these ranks all those having non commissioned officer status …………. for riding horses train non commissioned officers were issued gray riding trousers with leather (Illus. 1612). ………except for train personnel, had knapsacks and water flasks. Instead of knapsacks, train personnel were issued valises [chemodany] of gray cloth (13).
Illustration 1614. Train Privates. Foot Artillery, 1803-1807.
link

Le Breton15 Nov 2017 4:12 p.m. PST

Just to make sure …. "artillery train personnel" for Russians is not the same as for French ….

--- furshtat' : moved supplies, provisions, tools and equipment – 1 lieutenant, 2 corporals and 20x "furleyt" (drivers) for a light foot company – the corporals and the lieutenant were just in a billet, not on a separate career path – the drivers tended to be old soldiers no longer capable of more active serivce – uniformed like non-combatants
--- most similar to French "train d'équipages militaires"
--- furshtat (train) dictionary definition : military supplies train, or soldier of the same
--- furleyt (driver, conductor) dictionary definition : soldier serving military supply wagons

==============

--- gandlangery : moved the guns, limbers, carriages and munitions (among other duties) – 96 handlers the supervision of 12 officer-candidate NCO's for a light foot company – these position were agian just a billet, not a separate career path – uniformed like combatants
--- most similar to French "train d'artillerie"
--- gandlanger (handler) dictionary defintion : ranker-artillerist of the lowest grade, deputy cannonier, handler, carrier of rounds

==============

All of the above were part of the artillery companies and not in any kind of separate organization. This method of organization is shown via the links to the establishments to apply as far back as at least to 1763.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 4:59 a.m. PST

This had some interesting notes about Russian trains in 1812 (scroll down) link

Le Breton16 Nov 2017 6:34 a.m. PST

Jeffrey – very very interesting – thank you !

Prince of Essling Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 11:34 a.m. PST

Le Breton,

Very many thanks for re-emphasising that the Russian system was not the same as for the French.

Brechtel19816 Nov 2017 1:41 p.m. PST

No one said that it was. Nor was it as efficient or skilled.

I do believe that the OP covered that subject.

Brechtel19826 Nov 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

Brechtel – pretty clearly, you don't speak or read Russian. You do not understand what the words mean. I suppose the same for Wilson to some extent. You are wrong about Russian artillery.

I would caution you about being presumptuous about other people's qualifications and general knowledge. I've studied Russia and Russians for at least forty years, including four years of Russian language instruction, and period Russian artillery for the last fifteen years. I am not wrong about Russian Napoleonic artillery. You give them too much credit and they were not even close to being the most proficient artillery arm of the period. The French, British, and Austrian artillery arms were superior in both education and training, and the French were definitely superior in employment, command and control, and, in general, how they fought.
No one has maintained or stated that the Russians fielded an artillery train on the French model. That is a strawman argument. It is quite clear, however, when taking a look at Viskovatov that there were artillery train personnel in, and assigned to, the artillery batteries and they were not artillerymen, they were train troops. If they were artillerymen, they would have been uniformed as the artillerymen were. Viskovatov clearly shows a train officer, an NCO and clerk of the artillery train, as well as enlisted men of the artillery train.
Wilson was an excellent observer, and you don't have to speak Russian, or to be an artillery officer, in order to evaluate what he saw. He somewhat admired the Russian artillery drivers (train troops) and his evaluation of them clearly showed that they were not always reliable. Undoubtedly he was comparing them to the British artillery train troops, an organization that also had its problems.
Finally, the Russian artillery train troops, or artillery drivers if you prefer, were not militarized until 1803.

Brechtel19826 Nov 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

Brechtel :
"you don't understand the difference between the Russian train troops that moved the artillery and the Russian artillery troops"
Right, I don't. This is something you have made up. You invented it. It did not exist for the Russian artillery of the era. So I don't understand it.

I don't make things up or invent facts. I post what I have researched and then arrive at a logical conclusion. Accusing others of the above is nothing but an ad hominem fallacy because you cannot logically support your argument without making personal comments and false accusations. I suggest that you need to cease doing that and stick to the subject.
And I reiterate what I first stated-it appears to me that you don't understand artillery of the period in general and the difference between artillerymen and artillery drivers.
I do not know what you think are "train troops". But yes, Russians used troops to move both artillery pieces and supplies and equipment for artillery units. They did not use teleportation or robots or drones, just their troops – the organization and function of which I have described.

But you fail to acknowledge that the train troops in the artillery batteries were just that-train troops and not artillerymen. They were part of the artillery arm, but they were drivers, not cannoneers or gunners.
What are the "Russian artillery train troops" in your mind? The ones who move the pieces and amuntions, or the ones that move supplies and equipment? In either case, these functions were essentially as I have described them since the time of Catherine if not before. If you can read Russian, follow the instructions below to see the official establishments and implementing orders.

Russian artillery train troops are those who drove the horse teams that moved the artillery pieces and ancillary vehicles. That really is a very simple concept. Why you keep arguing about it is beyond comprehension. It merely shows that you don't understand the artillery of the period.

Brechtel19826 Nov 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

Not correct. The US method was essentially identical to the Russian one.

The US artillery was modeled on the Royal Artillery during the War of the Revolution and after until 1800 when the French model was adopted. The US Army adopted the Gribeauval System in 1809, with the exception of the gun tubes as they had a surplus of those in the inventory. There was no contact between the Russian Army and the US Army, especially in the artillery arm.
Russian artillery batteries were too large. Eight guns is probably the limit for one company commander to control.
Do you even know what a mattross is? By definition (from Tousard's American Artillerist's Companion) a mattross was the equivalent to a French second class artilleryman or gunner. In short, he was an artilleryman and the Americans used artillerymen, not train troops, as artillery drivers. That practice began with the South Carolina artillery arm during the War of the Revolution and was begun in the American service, instead of civilian drivers, and was begun in the US artillery army by Secretary of War Henry Dearborn in 1808, contrary to common European practice. The US artillery arm was in no way ‘similar' to that of Russia, but was organized on the current French model.
Interestingly, Hindman' artillery battalion which supported Jacob Brown's Left Division on the Niagara Peninsula in the battles of Chippawa, Lundy's Lane, and the siege of Fort Erie in the summer and fall of 1814 was so effective, that the British who faced them gave them the supreme artillery compliment: ‘We thought you were French.' In point of fact, the British thought they were commanded by French artillery officers and were surprised when they found out that they were commanded by American artillery officers
The full title of the Amos Stoddard volume is Exercises for the Garrison and Field Ordnance together with Manoeuvres of Horse Artillery as altered from the Manual of General Kosciusko, and adapted for the Service of the United States. I would submit that Tousard's three-volume work is more detailed including definitions. The chapter on horse artillery is especially valuable.
Interesting …. if you double the American organization (to make the number of pieces the same), the Russian and USA organizations are really quite similar ….

No, they are not. See above.

Before writing stuff, it is not a bad idea to check to see if what we are writing is correct. What you wrote is not correct. If you can't or won't read the sources, maybe it is better to make fewer pronouncements.

Before giving any advice, you may want to take a look at your own postings. Anyone can copy an organizational chart or an order of battle. Understanding it is something else again, witness your ideas on the US artillery arm.

Le Breton26 Nov 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

"Do you even know what a mattross is? By definition (from Tousard's American Artillerist's Companion) a mattross was the equivalent to a French second class artilleryman or gunner. In short, he was an artilleryman and the Americans used artillerymen, not train troops, as artillery drivers."

I can agree with that. However, who are those additional so-called "drivers" in the American establishment.
Looks to me alot like Russian :
USA driver = Russian furleyt : moved supplies and ancillary equipment
USA mattross = Russian gandlanger = second class artilleryman : moved the guns and the munitions

==================

for Russians, all found in the artillery companies ….

--- furshtat' : moved supplies, provisions, tools and equipment – 1 lieutenant, 2 corporals and 20x "furleyt" (drivers) for a light foot company – the corporals and the lieutenant were just in a billet, not on a separate career path – the drivers tended to be old soldiers no longer capable of more active serivce – uniformed like non-combatants
--- most similar to French "train d'équipages militaires"
--- furshtat (train) dictionary definition : military supplies train, or soldier of the same
--- furleyt (driver, conductor) dictionary definition : soldier serving military supply wagons

==============

--- gandlangery : moved the guns, limbers, carriages and munitions (among other duties) – 96 handlers under the supervision of 12 officer-candidate NCO's for a light foot company – these position were just a billet, not a separate career path – uniformed like combatants – second class artillerman *
--- most similar to French "train d'artillerie"
--- gandlanger (handler) dictionary defintion : ranker-artillerist of the lowest grade, deputy cannonier, handler, carrier of rounds

* 1st class artilleryman = kanonir & artillery corporal = bombardir

=======================

What Brechtel wants to call the above is up to him. Same for anybody else. I wrote down what the Russians did, and I provided translations for the Russian terms, and I linked the Russian regulations going back to 1763, showing the continuity of their organization. Is there something more that I can do to make this matter clear?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2017 2:17 p.m. PST

Must again say how impressive it is to see this level of academic research appear on a forum like this. OK, nothing may be agreed in the end, but the historical "banter" is very high level evidence-based.

It might seem to some as personal abuse…and slightly abstruse…..but this is very specialised stuff…with some expert input.

My concern…oft expressed…is how accessible is this is to future researchers?

von Winterfeldt26 Nov 2017 2:21 p.m. PST

expert input ???

In case you mean Le Breton – yes.

Brechtel19826 Nov 2017 4:07 p.m. PST

I can agree with that. However, who are those additional so-called "drivers" in the American establishment.

They were mattrosses-that is cannoniers which is the French translation of mattross. The term mattross was used by both the British and the Americans.

Mattrosses manned the field pieces as did the gunners (first and second class cannoniers in the French service). They were part of the gun crews who manned and fired the piece. The detailed crew drill is in Tousard's American Artillerist's Companion, Volume II.

Le Breton26 Nov 2017 5:40 p.m. PST

The question was not about the matrosses.

Here from the USA establishment quoted above :
"56 matrosses, 12 drivers"

I take it that the matrosses moved the guns and munitions – but then why do we have a separate listing of "drivers" ?

I suppose, by the count of them, that the "drivers" moved supplies, ancillary equipment and perhaps the caissons.
Are you trying to say that the "drivers" were more "mattrosses" in the USA service? If so, why list them separately?

Actually, the evolution of the USA establishment argues agianst this. From the same linked sources of USA regulations, the 1787 establishment had 60 privates and no mention of drivers (page 352), the 1790 establishment had 66 privates and no mention of drivers (page 353), the 1792 establishment had 50 privates, of whihc 10 artificers and no mention of drivers (page 354), the 1794 and 1798 establishment had 42 privates, sappers, and miners, 10 artificers and no mention of drivers (page 354), the 1799 establishment "in case of war" was 56 privates including 8 artificers (page 355).

In 1802, 1808, 1813 and 1815 the count of 56 matrosses *and* 8 articiers. In 1812. An Act of 16 May 1812 added 12 "drivers" to each company (pages 355-356).

Why would the legislation explicitly say "drivers" if this was not intended to be different from mattrosses? Previously, when matrosses were doing the work of artificers, the regulation said "56 privates including 8 artificers ". The change for 1802 separated artificers. The change in 1812 added separate drivers. That is the plain meaning of the texts.

If you want to attribute some other meaning, it is your right, of course.

If I am correct, it is just like the Russian organization :
USA driver = Russian furleyt : moved supplies and ancillary equipment (and for Americans the caissons)
USA mattross = Russian gandlanger = second class artilleryman : moved the guns and the munitions (and for Russians the caissons)

====================

If Brechtel would like to insist that a USA "driver" was an assignment for a mattross, that both were billets for an "artilleryman", I can do the same for the Russians :
They would classify a furleyt, gandlanger, kanonir, artel'shchnik (canteen manager), trubach (trumpeter), tsiryul'nik (barber) or lazaretnets (medical orderly) and all the apprentice craftmen, etc. as "artillery rankers" / артиллерийские рядовые / artilleriyskie ryadovye – some строевой / stroyevoy / combattant, others нестроевой / nestroyevoy / non-combattant

=====================

If it is too upsetting to think that Russians and Americans had similar artillery organizations, then we do not have to continue.

Brechtel19826 Nov 2017 6:12 p.m. PST

You have not demonstrated or shown that the Russians and the US had similar artillery organizations.

And it is quite evident that they did not. The US artillery's influence was first from the British, then from the French. The Russians had nothing to do with it.

That you are insisting on the likely comparison clearly demonstrates that you have no idea what the US artillery, and its history, is.

The bottom line is that it is a false comparison/analogy and a distortion on the development of both systems.

Le Breton26 Nov 2017 7:03 p.m. PST

"You have not demonstrated or shown that the Russians and the US had similar artillery organizations."

No? Really ? My bad then.

Thank you for taking the time to tell everyone what to think. I am sure that all the colleagues here, myself included, would be better off letting you draw our conclusions for us. It saves us the trouble of thinking for ourselves.

Brechtel19827 Nov 2017 4:30 a.m. PST

You can opine or conclude anything you want. That does not mean that you are correct.

However, you are entited to your own opinions, but not your own facts or erroneous conclusions.

Your continued presumptions and condesions are noted.

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