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"British Army & Artillery (ed Summerfield)" Topic

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summerfield11 Apr 2018 3:37 p.m. PST


Dupin (1820 rp2018) Military Force of Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars
Author: Charles Dupin
Volume I: Organisation of the Army.
Publisher: Ken Trotman Publishing.
Pages: New introduction by Dr. Stephen Summerfield, plus 395pp including 20 plates of scale artillery/technical line drawings

Author: Dupin, Charles (1820 rp 2018)
Title: Military Force of Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars
Volume II: Military Schools, Ordnance and Engineers.
Publisher: Ken Trotman Publishing.
Pages: New introduction by Dr. Stephen Summerfield, plus 470pp and 71 plates of scale artillery/technical line drawings

"To fully understand the British Army at the end of the Napoleonic Wars we need to turn to a French polymath who mastered naval, civil and military engineering as well as mathematics, science and economics. Charles Dupin visited the British Isles as soon as practical after the Napoleonic Wars in a fact-gathering exercise with the full sanction of the French government. He wrote up his technical and organisational study of the British Army in his monumental two volume study entitled "Force militaire de la Grande-Bretagne" that was published in French in 1820 accompanied with a separate plate volume. This was translated into English in an 1822 edition.

The plates from the plate volume "Force militaire de la Grande-Bretagne" and selected ones from "Force navale de la Grande-Bretagne" have been combined within the two volumes to give the closest contemporary study of the administration of the Army and the best technical guide to the ordnance of the period.

The introduction to Volume II describes that the scale drawings are the only published contemporary scale drawings of British Ordnance of the Napoleonic Wars. The only other sources currently available are the few Royal Military Academy cadet drawings. Later authors have used mid-Victorian drawings which show the refinements caused by the use of machine tools that were not introduced to the Royal Carriage Department until after the Napoleonic Wars."

wrgmr111 Apr 2018 5:09 p.m. PST

Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

summerfield12 Apr 2018 1:24 a.m. PST

It is wonderful to find out about the British Army and Artillery we have to read the writings of a French Spy. These are the only contemporary plans of the British Artillery that I could find. The RA library claim that all others were lost in WWII. Hopefully with their move, they might have found them. The only other plans are French Cadet drawings c1820 from Metz.

This was heavily used by Oman and generally forgotten for almost 100 years. The translation was carried out in 1822.

von Winterfeldt12 Apr 2018 4:07 a.m. PST

Dupin, an excellent publication – a mine of information

NapStein12 Apr 2018 7:39 a.m. PST


excellent and important publication … I have the first edition in French, but the plates are not included. Perhaps an addition by the "translating officer"?

So, this work of a french spy is really a treasure of information about the British army I know, it was the English, Welsh, Scottish, etc. army but so it is easier for us :-)

All the best
Markus Stein

EDIT: I just saw, that an atlas had been added to all works – so this one is missing with my edition of the "Force Militaire"

summerfield12 Apr 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

Dear Markus
Great to hear from you. It has been too long. There was a separate A3 plate volume with the French Edition. This is very very rare. I also have the Force Navale.

These I have put in the book. Hence the 130+ plates.

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