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"Grand batteries in the Peninsula?" Topic

9 Posts

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812 hits since 8 Jun 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Nine pound round08 Jun 2018 4:10 p.m. PST

Just curious- was there ever an occasion where one of the contending armies (presumably the French, since neither the British or the Spanish seem to have been overendowed with guns) massed enough field pieces at a single spot during a single battle to form what Empire rules would recognize as a "grand battery" (I.e, 32 or more guns firing as a single unit)?

Mike Petro08 Jun 2018 4:31 p.m. PST

No? But I am hardly an authority, only reading Gates' Spanish Ulcer about the conflict.

coopman08 Jun 2018 6:02 p.m. PST

Not that I can recall from any of my reading.

BillyNM08 Jun 2018 10:21 p.m. PST

Soult massed his artillery to cover his withdrawal from Albuera but whether that was as many as 32 guns I'm not sure, he probably only had 40+ in total. Other than that I think a few batteries may have deployed together at Vitoria – the French certainly lost enough guns there to make several grand batteries. It would be easy enough to look up these battles to check.

Timmo uk09 Jun 2018 2:21 a.m. PST

Vitoria. Both French and British deployed artillery as grand batteries. IIRC they had about 70+ guns each in one part of the battle.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2018 4:39 a.m. PST

At Ocana in November 1809 Senarmont massed his artillery against the Spanish left in an economy of force maneuver. I do believe that would count as a 'grande batterie.'

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2018 4:54 a.m. PST

There is an excellent map on Ocana in Nick Lipscombe's Peninsular War Atlas on page 145 which shows the massing of French artillery against the Spanish left.

Prince of Essling09 Jun 2018 5:10 a.m. PST

La Coruna – Lipscombe's map shows a battery of 40 guns on the Altos de p[enasquedo – placed between the Divisions of Mermet & Merle.

Talavera de la Reina – Lipscombe's map has what looks like a massed battery with 4 foot and 2 horse companies opposite the Cerro de Medellin.

davbenbak Supporting Member of TMP09 Jun 2018 6:06 a.m. PST

I was going to say Talavera as well, though it may just have been that the artillery fire was especially effective due to the exposed position of the British and not the massing of guns. Don't have any source materials at hand at the moment.

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