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"Dutch-Belgian artillery, 1815" Topic

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donlowry21 Jun 2005 7:43 p.m. PST

I know that the Dutch-Belgian batteries at Waterloo, foot and horse, all had 6-pounder guns. But were they British block-trail guns or more traditional double-trail types? And what color were they painted?

ethasgonehome21 Jun 2005 11:54 p.m. PST


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Swampster22 Jun 2005 12:04 a.m. PST

There was a thread about this on one of the Napoleon series. It seems that no British block trail guns were in Dutch service until well after 1815.
Have a look at message dated 4/23/04


Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Jun 2005 1:56 a.m. PST

Sorry for the late reply; just out of the DH…. AFAIK, Dutch-Belgian artillery was the French Year IX (ie. 1800) pattern. Not so sure about trail colour, but the original French green is probable.


Widowson16 Aug 2005 10:46 p.m. PST

I have two sources which indicate British, single-trail guns for the DB at Waterloo. One is The Waterloo Companion. The other is a photocopied source on all the guns at Waterloo, indicating that all Anglo-Allied guns were British.

donlowry17 Aug 2005 5:33 p.m. PST

"…indicating that all Anglo-Allied guns were British."

But were all British guns block-trail? I saw a claim somewhere recently (can't remember where) that only the horse artillery used the block-trail carriages, until after Waterloo. It might have been speaking only of the British 9-pounders, don't remember; and, of course, all the D-B guns at Waterloo were 6-pounders.

Kevin F Kiley17 Aug 2005 5:59 p.m. PST

British 6- and 9-pounder field pieces used the block trail which came into service in 1793-1794. The 5 1/2-inch howitzer still used the split/bracket trail during the period.


Widowson06 Oct 2005 10:43 p.m. PST

I doubled checked my sources, and they support French 6# guns in DB service in the Waterloo campaign. One source claims that the guns were painted Brittish blue-gray, which makes sense.


Geert van Uythoven07 Oct 2005 4:47 a.m. PST

Taken from my series on the Netherlands artillery during the Waterloo campaign which has appeared in First Empire magazine:

"As has been explained, after a while there was relatively enough artillery personnel available. Equipment and horses however was an entirely other story, as has also been pointed out already, and the biggest problem the Netherlands had to cope with. There was enough material available: on 21 January 1815, the Netherlands had 72 short bronze 12-pdr cannon; 114 6-pdr cannon; 83 3-pdr cannon; 124 16-pdr (stone) howitzers (20 cm); 87 24-pdr (iron) howitzer (15 cm); 315 gun-carriages; 238 limbers with ammunition chests; and 144 caissons . In addition, there was more then enough ammunition available. However, the material was of mixed origin. There were bronze guns of the year 1794 (a modified model of guns designed in 1770 and cast in The Hague in 1773); guns cast in The Hague before 1810, mostly based on the same principles as the modified 1770 model already mentioned; finally French guns of the Gribeauval system and guns of the year XI of the French Republic. Overall, the guns itself were of a good quality. Limbers and gun-carriages were a mixture of the French and Dutch model. So interchange ability between gun-carriages and other material was seldom achieved. As an example, an artillery battery had seven different kinds of wheels in use! In addition, the carriages and caissons were badly constructed, heavy and cumbersome. The gun-carriages were partially old and worn out; many of them still had wooden axles. The remaining gun-carriages were new but constructed from wet wood. Equipment for the horse teams and other artillery equipment was totally lacking for the greater part. Something which understandably was totally no issue at this time was the colour of gun carriages, etc. And although details are not known, one can safely assume that the Netherlands artillery presented a mixture of gun and equipment models, with varying colours, mostly different shades of brown, or with the odd French olive green. It is clear however that before the year 1826, the Netherlands army used no British material and guns.
A 6-pdr foot artillery battery was armed with six short 6-pdr bronze cannon, and two 24-pdr (iron) bronze howitzers. It had 17 ammunition caissons; 12 for the 6-pdr ammunition, the remaining 5 for the howitzers. In addition, there were 12 caissons loaded with infantry and cavalry cartridges; 3 spare carriages; 2 baggage wagons; and a mobile forge. This gave a total of 43 vehicles, which needed 232 horses for its horse teams. A 12-pdr foot artillery battery had short 12-pdr bronze cannon instead of the 6-pdr cannon. 6-pdr horse artillery batteries had more ammunition caissons but only 4 caissons with infantry or cavalry cartridges, giving them a total of 38 vehicles. So horse artillery batteries needed less train horses as the foot artillery batteries. Batteries that took the field later during the campaign however sometimes had less caissons with them."

Regards, Geert

donlowry08 Oct 2005 4:28 p.m. PST

Geert: Thanks!

miniMo22 May 2006 7:11 a.m. PST

Which leads to the question of what limbers to use with French style guns. French or British style?

Geert van Uythoven25 May 2006 3:20 p.m. PST


Regards, Geert

JCLondon27 May 2006 2:03 p.m. PST

I have a Wargame plate featuring the two Netherlands batteries present at Quatre-Bras. See link


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