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"Troop quality 1799 in Italy" Topic


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795 hits since 12 Feb 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Sparta13 Feb 2018 12:51 a.m. PST

I was interested in hearing the members opinion on the relative troop quality of the French, Austrian and Russians in the 1799 campaign.

It is interesting and many statements float around all of which I am a bit sceptical about:

The french army was below itīs 1796 performance – Bonaparte had taken many veterans to egypt? Was it really this simple?

The austrians fielded one of their best armies of the period? Was it any better or worse than 1796?

Suvarovs army used column and bajonet tactics???? He seems to attack in line like the austrians, and the division sixzed maneuvres of attack column supported by skirmishers still seems to be mainly french

And then there is the relative merits of skirmishers – I would prpably go for all the french being allround skirmishers of reasonable quality with austrian and russian line being below their quality but the russian jaegers and grenzers of the same quality and austrian jaeger/freikorps a bit above ??


What are your opinions??

von Winterfeldt13 Feb 2018 3:38 a.m. PST

the quality of the soldier did not change, but the stratedgy how this campaign was conducted from the Allied side was much different to that in 1796 (remeber the best units were in Germany – Italy was a side show – also to the French)

matthewgreen Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

The story I read was that many of the Austrians were veterans of the campaigns of 1796/97 in Italy, while many of the French had been in the Rhine theatre. That made the Austrians more used to terrain and the tactics needed than the French were, at least at first. This story came from Duffy's book, and he has some anecdotal evidence to support this, quoting the Austrian general Stutterheim. A British witness noted how much Austrian morale had improved over those earlier campaigns.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2018 10:46 a.m. PST

Suvarovs army used column and bajonet tactics???? He seems to attack in line like the austrians, and the division sixzed maneuvres of attack column supported by skirmishers still seems to be mainly french

Suvorov's emphasis on the bayonet is misunderstood. He aimed at forcing troops to fire at under 100 yards, rather than to draw up about 300 years away and blase away. Sorry I'm at work so can't get to the full reference in Duffy.

evilgong13 Feb 2018 2:47 p.m. PST

Hi there

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
He aimed at forcing troops to fire at under 100 yards, rather than to draw up about 300 years away and blase away.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Superb typo, it is of course our job, 200 years away to maintain firing away at each other.

DB

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

evilgong. Oops. teach me to skive off work and read TMP.

evilgong14 Feb 2018 5:42 p.m. PST

One of the joys of work is reading TMP.

Sparta19 Feb 2018 5:51 a.m. PST

Thanks for the responses. Does anybody have examples of russians under Suvarov using columns as specific attack formations (against troops not entrenched or in towns) as opposed to columns of maneuvre?

Chad4719 Feb 2018 9:46 a.m. PST

In ‘Eagles over the Alps' Duffy includes a small quote from a Russian soldier which suggests they may have used columns in attack. The quote is small and Duffy's comment on the quote.is not particularly definitive on the use of columns.

evilgong19 Feb 2018 2:41 p.m. PST

One interesting part of this campaign was the Cossacks defeating Polish troops in part of a battle, I've never seen detail on what happened.

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