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"US v. Mexico, 1846-8" Topic

4 Posts

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19th Century
World War One

654 hits since 17 Dec 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Pvt Snuffy17 Dec 2018 9:11 a.m. PST

Was reading article about the column and line tactics of the Horse and Musket period. Got me wondering…

Did either side use any Napoleonic column tactics in the war? Or was it a linear fight more like the 7YW and AWI?

I can't see any reason for them to fight in any formation other than lines, given the huge expanse of terrain to fight over, but maybe they did??

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Dec 2018 12:17 p.m. PST

No, Columns were useful only for road and off-road movement, and battles were fought in open order by both armies.

It's a mistake to think of wars and how they were fought by "periods" as that suggests they are all more or less alike. As is, too many people think of the MAW as being fought like that of 1812 (largely fooled by the grossly misleading lithographs of the conflict). Since the "Horse and Musket Period" covers everything between at least 1700 and 1870, it's clearly a useless description when applied to each and every conflict in between.

That "Horses" were the main means of carrying some soldiers, and towing the rest, and that "Muskets" (muzzle loading, flint or percussion) firearms were the principal weapon systems, does relate the wars in that period. But concluding by extension they were also fought the same way is a leap into emptiness.

Not even the armies of the Napoleonic Era fought in same formations and practices from war to war, experience always honing the edge of practice.

Better to read some basic sources (not general histories) for any specific war first.

Thus endeth the uninvited rant.


Major General Stanley17 Dec 2018 3:30 p.m. PST

What TVAG said. They did maneuver around the battlefield in "field" column and units sometimes got shot up in column, but I don't remember any cases of charging in column if there was space to deploy into line.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Dec 2018 4:23 p.m. PST

Also the armies engaged were smaller that the European of the time

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