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"Captured equipment " Topic

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lmntel17 Oct 2018 12:50 p.m. PST

Hi all . Would captured equipment ,wagons limbers etc have been used by the captors.? Also would it have been repainted or used as is . I know the French supplied some of its allies with captured Austrian cannon etc but I'm thinking about the British /Portuguese in the peninsula ,where they were always short of equipment? Cheers Martin

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

You had to be fairly hard up to be willing to mix equipment from different systems. Even if everyone involved was nominally a 6-pd gun, limbers weren't interchangeable, for instance.

When the British captured Gribeauval system equipment, my understanding is that it went to the Spanish who were on the Gribeauval system. I do know that the Loyal Lusitanian Legion's artillery was captured French supplied by the British.


lmntel17 Oct 2018 2:20 p.m. PST

Yes I can understand the problems with cannons due to ammunition supplies but wagons etc must have been reused

14Bore17 Oct 2018 2:58 p.m. PST

The Prussians armed a few of their 12pdr batteries with French guns. The Russians usually gave away any captured French artillery.
For kicks at least 1 of my former French guns in my Prussian army I painted in the French colors.

Artilleryman17 Oct 2018 3:01 p.m. PST

I think that you may be fairly safe to assume that ordinary supply wagons (many of which were originally taken from civilian sources) would be re-used. Also, it is not unlikely that they would eventually receive a lick of paint from the new owners.

Much of the ancillary artillery vehicle fleet was quite bespoke. Though weights look the same, the six pound ball from one army would not necessarily fit the cannon of another. Wagons were built to fit the guns they supported. Some may have been reused, but that was probably less likely.

This is just my logic speaking. If someone has historical facts, they should sing out.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Oct 2018 7:01 p.m. PST

I think the a LOT of Austrian 6pdrs were used by Napoleon.

Paul Demet17 Oct 2018 10:17 p.m. PST

From a slightly earlier period (the Duke of York's campaigns in the Low Countries in 1793-5), Scharnhorst recorded that captured French 4 pounders and ammunition waggons were issued to émigré units and 3 Hanoverian battalions in 1794, without causing any major problems, even though this calibre was not used in the Anglo-Allied army.

G. von Scharnhorst, 'Handbuch der Artillerie Erster Band' (Hannover: Helwingschen Hofbuchhandlung, 1804), p.30

rmaker17 Oct 2018 10:18 p.m. PST

Yes, Saber6. The French labeled them 5-pdrs to avoid ammo mix-ups.

Eleve de Vauban Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2018 2:02 a.m. PST

I remember reading that towards the end of the Peninsular Campaign, in 1813, Wellington laid siege to San Sebastian. His siege train included a number of French artillery pieces that had been taken at Vittoria.

Green Tiger18 Oct 2018 2:22 a.m. PST

From the same, earlier, period The Armee du Nord issued a typically bombastic edict to its troops to the effect that units that lost their (presumably battalion) guns would have to replace them by capturing replacements from the enemy. Also some of the canons abandoned by Vandamme at Nieuport in 1794 were British 18pdrs that had been captured at Dunkirk the previous year.

14Bore18 Oct 2018 3:16 a.m. PST

As for repainting a thread long ago seemed to come to a consensus a hard nosed NCO would keep his young charges painting, repainting, repainting again equipment. So suspect if a vehicle was captured and was decided it would be incorporated the first rest period it would get repainted.

Tired Mammal18 Oct 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

As Rmaker hinted at, The pound varied depending on your country so a British 6pdr ball was a different weight to a French 6pdr.

I seem to remember that the French pound was the heaviest but no doubt Wiki will have the details.
I would not be surprised that this confusion was part of the reason that France started the metric system.

14Bore18 Oct 2018 6:48 a.m. PST

Artillery batteries of every army had those calipers to check sizes of cannon balls. Thought the advantage of the British using 75 cal muskets was anything smaller could be used.

von Winterfeldt18 Oct 2018 12:24 p.m. PST

I am not a believer of repainting, what for? Usually captured equipment was thought to be a stopgap anyway.

Bernadotte's corps had Hanoverian guns in 1805 and Soult had plenty of Austrian guns as well.

After 1805 the Bavarians got 2 batterys of Austrian cavalry batteries which were eventually re placed by Bavarian guns.

The Bavarians got so many Austrian muskets to they changed their calibre to the Austrian ones.

Lets party with Cossacks Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

The Polish V corps in 1812 was apparently fitted out with captured Prussian guns, but if correct that was an en masse armament.

Other than wagons and other generic equipment it is hard to see how captured pieces could be used if there were problems in taking the available firing ordinance.

Did not know about the callipers – possibly a good reason captured individual pieces might have been used. I mean why not use them?

Winston Smith18 Oct 2018 2:42 p.m. PST

In the American Revolution, artillery was routinely re-used by the capturing side.
It helped that both used the same equipment. grin

Some guns had a rather varied career. Since they were stamped with serial numbers, that helped to keep track.

French guns captured in Canada in 1759 were put in storage in Quebec. At least the tubes were; carriages were mere carpentry.
When needed in the AWI, they had new, British Pattern, carriages made. So they went to Saratoga. After capture, Knox parceled these guns out to various Continental artillery batteries. Which got captured, and recaptured.
Then, there were the Hessian guns captured at Trenton. They were 3pdrs, and so well built, Knox had them rebored to 6pdrs. The ability to do this suggests a bit about American industry.

Some ask what color AWI gun carriages were painted. One correct answer would be "What color would you like?"

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