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I Drink Your Milkshake30 May 2018 10:35 a.m. PST

At what range would…

An experienced Voltiguer/Jaeger with a musket begin firing on a column or mass without flankers or enemy skirmisher threat?

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2018 10:47 a.m. PST

I would think between 80 and 100 yards – at that range a Charleville musket had about 60% accuracy – at longer ranges, probably a waste of time

von Winterfeldt30 May 2018 11:22 a.m. PST

up to 800 paces

Valentini : Die Lehre vom Krieg. Erster Theil. Der kleine Krieg und die Gefechtslehre, 4. Auflage, Leipzig 1820

§ 52.
Die im 45sten §. Gegebene Regel, daß Infanterie nie auf eine größere Distanz als auf dreihundert Schritt feuern muß ist überhaupt nicht auf Schützen auszudehnen. (…) Was will man ferner gegen einen Feind thun, der, wie die Franzosen im Revolutionskriege, auf fünf- bis sechshundert Schritt auf uns feuert, und uns Leute blessiert, wenn das Terrain nicht erlaubt, im näher zu rücken."
Seite 77 ff.
Those in § 45 issued rule that infantry mustn't never fire at a longer distance than of 300 paces, is never applied to skirmishers. (…) What can be done against an enemy, who, like the French in the Revolutionary Wars, fires at us from five – to 600 paces, and wounds our men, when the terrain doesn't allow us to approach him closer.


Titze, Jörg : Die Berichte der sächsischen Truppen aus dem Feldzug 1806 (I) – Brigade Bevilaqua, books on demand 2014

Bericht Artillerieoffizier – Premierlieutenant v. Hiller
S. 93 ff
Eine große Intervalle, zwischen dem Regiment Churfürst und Xavier nunmehr zu schließen, zog sich das Regiment Churfürst rechts, bei welchen, so wie von den Vorrück an, wir immer von leichter Infanterie beschoßen wurden. Sie verwundeten mir auf die Weite von 7 bis 800 Schritt Leute, waren hinter Hecken und Zäune postiert, wo ich ihnen keinen Abbruch thun konnte mit Cartäschenschüßen deren ich einige mit großer Elevation versuchte, nicht die geringste Wirkung aber verspührte.
(Gecht bei Saalfeld)
S. 95
Here the observations of the artillery officer von Hiller who commanded the regimental artillery of regiment von Churfürst, at the clash at Saalfeld
To close a big gap between the regiment Churfürst and Xavier, the regiment Churfürst was drawing itself to the right, by that as also in the advance we were always under fire from light infantry. They wounded me men at a distance of 7 to 800 paces, where placed behind hedges and fences, where I couldn't do any harm with grape shots, which I tried to use with high elevation but didn't feel the slightest effect.

marshalGreg30 May 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

that would be at some 644 yards- wow that's impressive with a smoothbore!

That crushes my paradigm of warfare of this period!

I Drink Your Milkshake30 May 2018 12:13 p.m. PST

Von very impressive sources. I wanted to hear any quotes from the guys that were actually there. Thank you Sir!

I Drink Your Milkshake30 May 2018 12:21 p.m. PST

Think those were riflemen at 700 paces?

If they were handing out wounds at 250-400 yards, that could be very disruptive to an enemy column. But, I can't imagine smoothebores delivering minie-ball type ranges and wound cavities.

von Winterfeldt30 May 2018 12:47 p.m. PST

French Tirailleurs had the usual smooth bore French fusil d'infanterie.

another quote


Kleßmann (editor) : Deutschland unter Napoleon in Augenzeugenberichten, pocket book edition, München 1976
Leutnant von Borcke (Koprs Rüchel, 14. Oktober 1806) berichtet

„Dagegen erreichten uns in einer sehr großen Entfernung schon die Kugeln der feindlichen Tirailleurs, die in dem vorliegenden Feldgestrüpp und hinter einzelnen Deckungen, ohne daß wir sie sahen, so vortrefflich aufgestellt waren, daß uns Unkundigen die Kugeln aus der Luft zu kommen schienen. So beschossen zu werden, ohne den Feind zu sehen, machte auf unsere Soldaten einen üblen Eindruck, denn, unbekannt mit dieser Art des Gefechts, verloren sie zu ihren Gewehren das Vertrauen und fühlten die Überlegenheit das Feindes sofort. Sie büßten daher in dieser ohnehin schon bedenklichen Lage schnell an Mut, Ausdauer und Ruhe ein und konnten die Zeit nicht abwarten, wo sie selbst zum Schießen kamen, was sich bald zu unseren Nachteil zeigte.
S. 136
However (before that he noticed that the enemy artillery was overshooting them) the bullets of enemy tirailleurs reached us from a very big distance, who were placed with advantage in the field brushes and single cover before us, so that we couldn't see them, that for us ignorants it seemed that the bullets come out of the air. To be under such a fire, without seeing the enemy made a bad impression at our soldiers, because – ignorant with that kind of fighting, they lost trust in their own guns and felt immediately the superiority of the enemy. The suffered quickly therefore, in this by all means bad situation in courage, endurance and composure und couldn't wait the time to also start shooting, which soon showed to be of our disadvantage.
p. 136

So yes French skirmishers opened up quite at long ranges, and they did not consider it to be a waste of lead.
The officer above describes well how such a fire damaged the morale of his unit.

I Drink Your Milkshake30 May 2018 1:04 p.m. PST

Amazing contributions Von Winterfeldt! Thank you for the contribution/education.

Wu Tian30 May 2018 1:08 p.m. PST

A similar view from the French side
Dumas J.-B. Neuf mois de campagnes à la suite du maréchal Soult. Quatre manoeuvres de couverture en 1813 et 1814, 1907, p. 275-276

Clausel plaça au débouché des hauteurs de Bassussarry à Arcangues, et sur le contrefort à 500 mètres environ au sud de la cote 76, douze pièces pour canonner le cimetière d'Arcangues, organisé par l'ennemi; il poussa en avant 400 ou 500 hommes pour couvrir cette artillerie; mais le feu des défenseurs du cimetière et des carabiniers postés un peu en avant sur la pente qui était alors couverte de broussailles et de taillis très épais contraignit nos tirailleurs à reculer jusqu'à leur artillerie; ce feu atteignit alors celle-ci, malgré la distance de plus de 550 mètres qui la séparait du cimetière; il, força les canonniers français à reculer leurs pièces en arrière de la crête et leur tir devint alors trop courbe pour pouvoir agir efficacement contre le cimetière. Le général Kempt, arrivant sur les lieux à ce moment, fut d'avis que la distance à laquelle ses fusiliers tiraient était trop grandeet que leur tir devait être sans effet; il le fit cesser; mais aussitôt les artilleurs français avancèrent de nouveau leurs pièces, et leurs projectiles tuèrent en un instant huit hommes aux alliés. Ceux-ci reprirent donc leur feu de mousqueterie et forcèrent de nouveau les pièces à reculer hors de portée utile contre le cimetière.
La distance, à laquelle les fusils des Anglais furent ainsi employés, peut être évaluée à plus de 550 mètres. Ce genre de tir à grande distance, en,utilisant même parfois la portée maxima (900 à 1.000 mètres) de l'arme inclinée à 35°, était bien connu des vieux soldats de l'époque du premier Empire, et il fut souvent pratiqué par eux, malgré les défenses constantes de leurs chefs.
« Quand la balle du fusil d'infanterie, écrit Decker (Die Artillerie fur allen Waffen, Berlin, 1816), est tirée de manière à décrire une courbe, elle peut porter à plus de mille pas, même avec la charge de poudre ordinaire. Les Français sont passés maîtres dans ce genre de tir, et c'est pour cela qu'il arriva sou- vent qu'ils nous blessèrent des hommes, alors qu'il nous était impossible de découvrir même l'endroit d'où le coup était parti. »
Ces usages furent complètement oubliés et réformés d'ailleurs par l'instruction du temps de paix, pendant la période qui suivit nos grandes guerres, et on fut fort surpris, en 1830, de voir les Arabes infliger souvent des pertes à nos rassemblements à des portées de près de 900 mètres.
Cette particularité, peu connue du tir des fusils lisses à balle ronde, sous le premier Empire, nous a été signalée par M. le colonel Journée, dont les travaux sur le tir ont fait école.

Gallica

The Colonel Journée here might be Félix Albert Journée.
bnf

I Drink Your Milkshake30 May 2018 1:33 p.m. PST

Wu Tan unless I misunderstood, they call out the French at basically lobbing rounds into the enemy, and they were very good at it.

Any rate 400-500 yards with smoothbores and causing casualties puts me with marshalgreg's camp. Wow.

advocate30 May 2018 1:42 p.m. PST

It doesn't take many casualties for the receiving side to be thinking "We're being shot at and I can't retaliate".

foxweasel30 May 2018 4:47 p.m. PST

Exactly as Advocate says. Any unit that doesn't use it's weapon systems at maximum effective range is foolish, unless they're in ambush of course. Musket fire at 600 yards against a column may only cause 1 or 2 casualties, but that's better than no casualties.

nsolomon9930 May 2018 5:01 p.m. PST

Yes, interesting the morale effect rather than just the physical damage. Really important battle dynamic.

These are great quotes Von Winterfeldt, many thanks, I've learned a lot. This is really important information.

Lion in the Stars30 May 2018 5:15 p.m. PST

Also, a column of troops is a much easier target than a single line. Get a little high or low on a line and you miss entirely, but aim for the middle of the column and you're still getting hits.

Especially if those are shots from clean bores.

Le Breton30 May 2018 8:52 p.m. PST

The Russian "Учебник для пехоты" (Manual for infanry) published 1808 gave the following instructions fro the Russian obr. 1808 musket :
"at 150 paces [about 100 English yards] from the enemy is necessary to aim at the enemy soldiers' knees; 300 paces [200 yards] – at the waist; 450 paces [300 yards] – at the hat; 600 paces [400 yards] – 1 foot * above the head; 900 paces [600 yards] – at 3 feet above the head." The last two were meant to harass and disprupt dense formations of enemy troops and were part of the "repertoire" of Russian infantry.
* The Imperial Russian and English "foot" were the same length.

Russian jäger were instructed to deploy their chain and engage the enemy at 150 to 300 paces (100 to 200 yards) : the nearer when there was covering terrrain, the further when there was little or none. Individual experts, sometimes rifle-armed, were permitted to fire "sniper-style" at officers and gun-crews at up to 3x longer distances.

Expected effectiveness, firing on formed units :
- firing between 300 and 200 paces should result in 25% hits
- firing between 200 and 100 paces should result in 50% hits
- firing at under 100 paces should result in 75% hits

4th Cuirassier31 May 2018 3:31 a.m. PST

It seems very clear that actual casualties should be assigned a lesser morale effect than being under fire that you aren't returning….

C M DODSON31 May 2018 3:45 a.m. PST

Surely ' effective range' is the key element here.

Balls whizzing around would certainly catch your attention from a morale perspective. However, the amount of smoke generated by battles of this period if reflected in the re enactments I have attended has to be seen to be believed.

If you can not see the target, theoretical ranges are somewhat academic I would suggest.

Chris

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP31 May 2018 4:10 a.m. PST

The French seemed to like this sort of thing. In 1870 they had a tactic where an entire battalion would blast away at enormous range (1200-1500 yards) with their bolt-action Chassepots and try to blanket an area with fire. As in the above examples, the morale effect of being hit from seemingly invisible foes was more than the real physical damage. Of course it burns up a lot of ammo, so it's not something you can have your whole army do.

von Winterfeldt31 May 2018 4:56 a.m. PST

smoke is depends on a lot of factors, skirmishers won't create a lot and in case their target is 800 paces away, what can those poor Bleeped texts do?

If it weren't effective – either on morale and or inflicting casualties ( a wound would do) – they wouldn't have done it.
We see here a war proven and battle hardened army, the French and not any theorists.

At least from my quotes one can learn that the opponent was impressed and casualties were inflicted.

Gneisenau erwähnt in einem Bericht an dem König vom 27. Februar 1807 als eine Erfahrung, die ermit einer Füsilier-Kompagnie bei Saalfeld gemacht habe, daß diese ungezielten Bogenschüße „zwar selten treffen, aber doch durch ihre Menge Viele, obgleich nicht gefährlich verwunden und immer unsere Leute unruhig machen."

Gneisenau remarks in a report to the king at the 27th February 1807 about his experience he gained with a fusilier (light infantry) company at Saalfeld that those "unaimed" arc shoots : "hardly hit, but by their sheer amount, wounded many, though not seriously and always made our men uneasy

von Winterfeldt31 May 2018 5:01 a.m. PST

and not only skirmishers, here from a diary of a Swiss officer, Legler


Die feindlichen Kanonenkugeln sprangen ä la Ricochette dicht an der linken Flügelspitze unserer Masse vorbei auf das Grenadierbataillon des zweiten Regiments, welches sogleich einige Mann verlor. Wir deployirten darauf unsere Massen und begrüssten die rasch anmarschirende feindliche Infanterie aufs Beste mit einem wohl unterhaltenen Rottenfeuer, so dass sie auf 7 — 800 Schritte vor uns doch stehen blieb.

Legler, p.28
Very interesting, so the units deployed form close column into line to reduce the effect of artillery and then they greeted the adavancing enemy with a well norished fire of files so that the enemy stopped 7 to 800 paces in front of them!!
So – at what range did they open their musketry – 1000 paces – and with a good effect?
link

4th Cuirassier31 May 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

@ ScottWashburn

The French seemed to like this sort of thing.

Someone, I forget who, once observed that the French soldier is like the French lover: he talks up his performance beforehand, but once in action, he empties his weapon out of range of the target and then rolls over.

Harsh but fair.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2018 8:01 a.m. PST

It is interesting how the British holding fire tactic has dominated the subsequent thinking about general fire tactics. Most all the military men writing on the topic from Scharnhorst and Clausewitz to Foy and Rogen talk about effective fire out to 300 paces. Oman has the French opening fire at 250-300 yards a number of times in his works without comment.

There is also the effort to draw enemy fire before closing, which wastes the first volley and produces smoke that can aid the advance.

Wu Tian31 May 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

@I Drink Your Milkshake
Yep, not only the French, but also the British, at least the 43rd Light.
In Oman's A History of the Peninsular War, vol. 7, p. 242-243, you can find the other side of the hill:

The guns were brought up with difficulty and set to shell the church and churchyard of Arcangues, the crucial point of the defensive position. They were placed about 400 yards from the church, on somewhat lower ground. The moment that they opened, they were met with three tiers of volley-firing by the 43rd. Though the distance at which accurate shooting was possible with the weapon of those days was much less than this, yet high trajectory firing would carry the missile much farther [1] The volume of balls poured on to the site of the batteries was so great that the gunners began to fall fast, and finally flinched from their pieces. It must be remembered that three lines of fire were bearing on them — one from men behind the churchyard wall, a second from men firing through the church windows on the ground floor, and a third from men in the women's galleries, which at Arcangues, as in all Basque churches, are high above the nave, with clerestory- windows of their own. This unaimed but directed volley-firing proved devastating, and the few shots which the guns got in, before they were silenced, failed to breach the walls of the solid church — they only did harm if they went through a window. The French artillery commander finally had his guns man-handled backward below the sky-line. Such shots as they fired without seeing their mark were practically harmless. After an interval another attempt to bring forward the batteries was made, but they were met with such a hail of balls that they were driven back again out of sight. Hereafter they continued to fire intermittently and innocuously, for direction by ' observation officers ' in front was unknown in 1813.
[1] For judicious remarks on this, see Dumas's Neuf mois a la suite du Marechal Soult, p. 275.

Interestingly, in his History of the War in the Peninsula, vol. 5, p. 398 (or some other page numbers in other editions), Napier said Kempt was too cautious at first:

Clausel brought up twelve guns to the ridge of Bussussary and threw shot and shells into the church-yard of Arcangues; four or five hundred infantry then made a rush forward, but a heavy fire from the forty-third sent them back over the ridge where their guns were posted. The practice of the latter would have been murderous, if this musketry had not made the French gunners withdraw their pieces a little behind the ridge, which caused their shot to fly wild and high; Kempt, thinking the distance too great, was at first inclined to stop the fire; but the moment it lulled, the French gunners pushed their pieces forward again, and their shells knocked down eight men in an instant; when the musketry recommenced, the shells again flew high. The riflemen in the village and mansion held the enemy equally at bay, and the action, hottest where the fifty-second fought, continued all day. It was not very severe; but French and English writers, misled perhaps by an inaccurate phrase in the public despatch, have represented it as a desperate attack, by which the light division was driven into its entrenchment; whereas the piquets only were forced back; there were no entrenchments save those made at the moment by the soldiers in the church-yard, and the French can hardly be said to have seriously attacked. The real battle was at Barrouilhet.

Art31 May 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

G'Day Gents,

If I may add just a bit…

The execution of fire was called Feu Fichant.

And it was both a feu d'infanterie and d'artillerie, which was a mode of fire that was executed as a tactical fire.

A while back on this forum; Monsieur Le Breton, Hans-karl and I discussed this execution of fire.

While it is not found in the Reglement or Rules and Regulations because it is considered under the principles of feu d'artillerie et du fortifications (et mousqueterie).

It was used for firing into trenches, depressions, into fortifications, large stationary objects, such as a large mass formation (large), executed at an object behind an intervening crest, and at artillery.

Artillery executed this fire against both cavalry and tirailleurs hidden in close proximity.

It was meant to push them from a position temporarily with a hail of non-aimed continuous fire. It was not used on moving objects, and as Gneisenau states..at best, 'unaimed vertical fire, rarely hits anyone, but could make men nervous'.

It was considered by most a waste of ammunition, with little results. Nevertheless it was executed through the Napoleonic Era by both artillery and infantry.

Best Regards
Art

Wu Tian31 May 2018 9:23 a.m. PST

Something from Bardin's Dictionnaire de l'armée de terre:

FEU (feux) FICHANT (G, 6). Sorte de FEUX TACTIQUES considérés comme FEU D'ARTILLERIE et de FORTIFICATION ou comme FEU D'INFANTERIE. – L'expression prend deux acceptions différentes; conformément à la première, le FEU est PLONGEANT, ou d'un TIR dont le point de départ est plus élevé que l'objet visé : dans ce cas, le PROJECTILE s'enterre, ou est censé s'enterrer au point où il frappe. Ainsi le FEU PLONGEANT est bien moins efficace que le FEU RASANT, qui rencontre et insulte successivement plusieurs points. — Suivant l'autre acception, c'est un FEU DE COURTINE ou un FEU D'INFANTERIE, pris par opposition au FEU RASANT. Dans ce cas, c'est une LIGNE DE FEU qu'on appelle aussi DÉFENSE FICHANTE ou LIGNE FICHANTE. Les COUPS à Feu fichant partent de l'ANGLE FLANQUANT des BASTIONS d'une FORTERESSE, et se dirigent vers l'ANGLE FLANQUÉ d'un BASTION collatéral, au lleu de suivre parallèlement la FACE du BASTION en la rasant.

The first situation looks like a kind of artillery plunging fire. The second looks like the infantry high trajectory fire

I Drink Your Milkshake31 May 2018 11:49 a.m. PST

I'm bookmarking this conversation

Lion in the Stars31 May 2018 8:27 p.m. PST

There is a fine art to shooting at long range, and precisely estimating that range is critical, especially for relatively low-velocity firearms like muzzle-loaders (anything before the bolt-action 8mm-and-smaller bore weapons, really). Due to the very steep, 'rainbow' trajectory, mis-guessing the range will really throw your shots off, passing well overhead to hit ~20 yards behind the target or falling short.

Even the US .45-70 had this problem, but was deadly at 3500 yards with 500grain/32.5gram bullets, where the bullet was falling at a 30degree angle. The bullets would penetrate 3" of oak planks and 8" of compacted beach sand. But that's a LOT heavier than most of the round-ball muzzle-loader shots.

You can still see the idea of very long-range shots in the sights on the bolt action weapons, what with the ladder/volley sights out to 1600+yards/meters.

von Winterfeldt31 May 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

Here another interesting observation, collateral damage as to say, rifleman attack a redoubt and take it, without taking casualties while their reserve – quite a way back, got hit because the defender were overshooting.


Jany, Curt : Die Gefechtsausbildung der Preußischen Infanterie von 1806. Mit einer Auswahl von Gefechtsberichten.
Urkundliche Beiträge und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Preußischen Heeres.
Herausgegeben vom Großen Generalstabe, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abtheilung II.
Fünftes Heft
Berlin 1903
18. Ein Preußischer Jägeroffizier Leutnant von Seydlitz, später Yorks Adjutant und bekannt als Herausgeber des Tagebuchs des Yorkschen Korps von 1812, berichtet 1808 das „die französischen Tirailleurs schon auf 1600 Schritt blessierten." Ferner : „Die Belagerung von Danzig giebt als Beispiel, daß Jäger ohne Bajonett eine Schanze weggenommen und keine Blessierten hatten, und ihe Repli, Linieninfanterie mit Bajonett, was 1500 Schritt hinter ihnen stand, dazu eine Menge hatte." (…)
S. 103
Footnote 18
A Prussian Jäger officer, lieutennat von Seydlitz, later ADC of York and famous as editor of the diary of York‘s corps in 1812, reported 1808, that ; "the French tirailleurs wounded already at 1600 paces." Also : "The siege of Danzig shows as example that Jäger without bayonet took a redoubt without any wounded and their support, line infantry with bayonets, who stood 1500 behind had many of them."

I Drink Your Milkshake01 Jun 2018 8:07 a.m. PST

1600 paces, amazing.

bobspruster01 Jun 2018 3:13 p.m. PST

Sounds like the "beaten zone" British (?) machine gun tactic of WWI. They essentially used their MGs like an indirect fire weapon. It makes a great deal of sense to use your skirmishers in a similar role. No one would appreciate being under a hail of lead.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 6:32 p.m. PST

A Friend wrote this and I think it is pertinent to the discussion:

From what I've read (a limited array of publications, no doubt, added to a limited theatre in the Peninsula), I think that stated ranges of [600 paces, 700 paces, 550 meters] are a little out there. [except for skirmishers lobbing shots or over shooting accidentally.]

1. For instance, Britain's 85th Light Infantry practiced at four ranges: 60 yards, 100 yards, 150 yards, and 200 yards, "beyond which no established practice is to go." [~Standing Orders and Regulations for the 85th Light Infantry (1811), p.107] If they're not practicing for greater ranges, then I would be hard pressed to imagine that they were effective or spending much time firing at greater ranges.

2. The author of ~ "Military Rifles and Rifle Firing", in the Journal of the Military Service Institution of the US (1880), v1, p.290, opined that up until about 1851, "it was the general rule that infantry fire should never be depended upon beyond 150 or 200 yards at most, and only in the extremest circumstances, was it ever to be used at such enormous ranges as 400 yards."

3. Suasso, in his The Theory of the Infantry Movements (1825), v3, p.218, fn18, references:

A. the Prince of Ligne [Militärisches Vorutheil, s. 35] to imply that, from his experiments, 300 paces was about the limit on the basis of the rules for "levelling". On the same subject of levelling (or aiming), he also cites Guibert [Essai général de tactique, v1, chap. iv, "Des Feux"], with very different range results, 300 toises (720 paces – which is erroneous; it would truly be 767.33 paces) being the limit for guidance. [I assume that Suasso's "pace" is 30 inches in all cases, unless he noted it otherwise, which would mean that the limit of guidance for leveling for de Ligne was about 250 yards, while that for Guibert was about 640 yds!] Suasso notes, however, that Guibert's reasoning ran from supposition rather than experience, implying that Guibert's presumption about point-blank range and the distance for aiming at the head assumed too great a range; he then cites a Major Werkamp's suggestion to aim at the head at 250-200 paces [208-167 yards] in contrast to Guibert's hats as aiming points at 150 toises [320 yards].

B. the Instruction sur le tir des armes à feu, p.4, as offering 120 toises (256 yards) as the outside aiming point.

C. the Prussian Instruction to Fire at the Target (1817), 3d periode, giving 300 paces (250 yards) for the farthest aiming guidance.

4. Ned Zuparko, with the help of John Macdonald's translation of the French Regulations, noted in an posting long ago (2003!) that French practice targets were laterally striped for exercises at ranges up to 300 yards.

To sum up, the above offers the outcomes of: the 85th's 200 yards, the 1880 article's 200 yards (400 yards at most and rarely), de Ligne's 250 yards, Guibert's theoretical 640 yards, Werkamp's 208 yards, the Instruction's 256 yards, and the Prussian Instruction's 250 yards, French practice up to 300 yards. None of this suggests an expectation of delivering much fire at ranges over 300 yards, and possibly less.

von Winterfeldt06 Jun 2018 6:36 a.m. PST

yes – the theory and praxis, good bye theory, forget it, the same as military philosophical works, they did it differently to the usual Hollywood or Peninsular war immage.

Even in the 7YW they started to fire at 600 to 800 pages.

Yes they soldiers should not fire at such ranges, but they did.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

Even in the 7YW they started to fire at 600 to 800 pages.

Yes they soldiers should not fire at such ranges, but they did.

VW:
Not saying they never did--though they seldom wasted fire on hundreds of pages. grin I think the message is: Such actions were atypical and when done generally had little effect other than startle the recipients when someone did get hit…then comment on the 'unusual' event.

The effect of being hit when what is believed is a 'safe' distance can have an impact on morale regardless of the actual number of casualties.

And there is the effort to draw fire from the enemy, goading them to fire before they are within effective range. The 'smoke screen' produced didn't hurt either.

And keep in mind Valentini's comment you quote:

Those in § 45 issued rule that infantry mustn't never fire at a longer distance than of 300 paces, is never applied to skirmishers.

So, how many of those examples and comments are specifically for skirmish fire?

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