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"Artillery in Effective Musket & Rifle Range" Topic


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Whirlwind10 Mar 2019 5:50 a.m. PST

I am looking for instances in which it is claimed that artillery deployed within effective musket or rifle range. Can anyone please name some (other than Senarmont's claims for Friedland), with a source for that (primary for choice)?

thistlebarrow210 Mar 2019 7:07 a.m. PST

I am not sure about "effective range". However at Arcangues during the battle of the Nive in December 1814 British infantry fire forced French artillery to withdraw by their "effective" fire.

It is covered in Oman History of the Peninsula War volume V11 pages 239-243.

Musketballs10 Mar 2019 7:41 a.m. PST

The Rocket troop at the battle of the Gohrde, 18-9-13

'…seconded by the Rocket Brigade, whose Commandant had taken up his ground close under the fire of the enemy's infantry'.


link

I Drink Your Milkshake10 Mar 2019 7:57 a.m. PST

I have read simple explanations during battle encounters where a battalion "shot all the gunenrs" so I imagine it wasn't a good practice for the artillery.

Prince Alberts Revenge10 Mar 2019 11:23 a.m. PST

While I can't provide a primary source, I recall that some of the Union batteries (6lbers?) at First Manassas deployed within range of Confederate musket fire. I believe it was Griffin's Battery D.

Musketballs10 Mar 2019 11:34 a.m. PST

Long's artillery at Colenso is a classic case of where it proved to be a bad idea…not sure if that's too late for the time period you have in mind.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 12:27 p.m. PST

Can anyone please name some (other than Senarmont's claims for Friedland), with a source for that (primary for choice)?

Claims? You're kidding right? It's fact and supported by both Senarmont's after action report, his letter to his brother, and the after action report of Victor's I Corps.

Take a look at Grand Artilleurs by Girod de l'Ain which is full of primary source material on Drouot, Senarmont, and Eble.

Drouot's artillery attack at Lutzen with about 80 pieces destroyed the allied center and allowed the Middle Guard infantry attack to cross the point of attack. The account by General Flahaut, who accompanied the infantry attack after Drouot's cannonade of between 20-30 minutes is quite graphic on the carnage that resulted from the close-range artillery fire.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

You can find Grand Artilleurs here:

link

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 3:26 p.m. PST

@ Brechtel

Amusingly Luetzen, a shattering defeat, seems to be misunderstood in latter day German language history as "inconclusive".

Anything short of Jena's a draw.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 4:24 p.m. PST

It was so inconclusive that the next major action, Bautzen had the allies withdraw beyond the Oder.

Here's Flahaut's description of the Guard infantry attack that followed Drouot's short-range cannonade:

'The Emperor ordered four imperial aides to accompany the troops of the Guard selected for the attack. I accompanied General Berthezene at the head of the Fusiliers of the Guard. This brave general and his fine troops had earlier attacked and routed the enemy from their positions around Kaja; the men comprising the Fusiliers were all veteran soldiers, and their discipline and elan were no match for our adversaries: the Fusiliers were supremely confident of victory.'

'The signal to advance being given, our brigade moved out and eventually passed by the left flank of the grand battery. The discharges of these pieces was deafening, and the smoke covered the field, obscuring our view. Our battalions formed in attack column of two pelotons width and rapidly traversed the ground devastated by the day's fighting. We passed over the wreckage of entire regiments which had been cut down by our guns. At times, the enemy dead and wounded were so thick that our men's feet did not touch the ground. My horse hesitated often as it looked for firm footing.'

'The enemy could not withstand our advance. They fired a few, sporadic volleys, broke ranks, and fled before our bayonets. His Majesty can be pleased with the soldiers of the Guard who carried this attack into the heart of the enemy line.'

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 5:04 p.m. PST

Prince Albert's Revenge comment about Griffin's Battery at First Manassas is substantially correct. Here is an extract from the Wiki article on 1st Bull Run/Manassas:

Artillery commander Griffin decided to move two of his guns to the southern end of his line, hoping to provide enfilade fire against the Confederates. At approximately 3 p.m., these guns were overrun by the 33rd Virginia, whose men were outfitted in blue uniforms, causing Griffin's commander, Maj. William F. Barry, to mistake them for Union troops and to order Griffin not to fire on them. Close range volleys from the 33rd Virginia and Stuart's cavalry attack against the flank of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Ellsworth's Fire Zouaves), which was supporting the battery, killed many of the gunners and scattered the infantry.

The complete article is: link

So it appears the reason that this section came under direct infantry fire was that the Confederates were presumed to be "friendly" troops because they were wearing blue uniforms.

Jim

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Mar 2019 6:59 p.m. PST

At Cedar Mountain Confederate artillery came under some very galling Union skirmisher fire, to the point that the gunners started firing back at the skirmishers (something strongly discouraged in doctrine since it's basically a waste of ammunition). I don't recall if the Confederate guns deployed in range or if the Union skirmishers advanced on them.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2019 2:37 a.m. PST

One Union artilleryman commented that firing at skirmishers was like trying to kill a swarm of insects with a bat. It didn't work.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2019 2:49 a.m. PST

Usually then the gunners get in good range of skirmishers, and Are in trouble. Plenty of examples of it. The most striking to me was to visually see hos and where in Smolensk. They cleared out the crews from the huns manning the " Polish citadel" then stormed it.
The With rifles the range increased. The gunners have few canisters to counter, and even then would not want to waste it on such a target. Another breason they want support.
In 1870 some batteries had attached a company of infantry to keep skirmishers at bay.

Whirlwind12 Mar 2019 4:02 a.m. PST

I am not sure about "effective range". However at Arcangues during the battle of the Nive in December 1814 British infantry fire forced French artillery to withdraw by their "effective" fire.

Many thanks Thistlebarrow. There is a link here for anyone interested link

What is very interesting here is just how far the range was (400m) and the fire of a single battalion (the 43rd) forced the French artillery commander to move his two batteries out of sight.

Whirlwind12 Mar 2019 4:03 a.m. PST

Many thanks all for those examples.

Major Snort12 Mar 2019 5:32 a.m. PST

A couple more examples:

Kincaid in "Adventures in The Rifle Brigade" wrote that at Waterloo, after the French captured La Haye Sainte:

They immediately brought up two guns on our side of it, and began serving out some grape to us; but they were so very near, that we destroyed their artillerymen before they could give us a second round.

Also, there is the report of Captain Cleeves, commanding a battery of KGL artillery at Albuera:

Getting near the enemy, I formed line, and came into action on the top of a hill, about eighty or ninety yards distance from the enemy's column (which I imagined was just going to deploy) to cover the formation of our infantry, which formed in the rear of my guns…

Whirlwind12 Mar 2019 6:04 a.m. PST

Thanks Major, that was full of interest.

I found the account here: link

I have included the relevant section from Oman, for context: link

There is an interesting discrepancy in detail, since Cleeves says that one of the units (I am guessing the 66th?) was repulsed by French fire before the 3rd and the 48th (maybe) successfully charged before being hit by the Polish lancers in the flank. Presumably the French were in column at the time (since Cleeves says they were going to deploy) Anyway, Cleeves' only seems to have been deployed in the front for a moment before being passed by the British infantry.

Major Snort12 Mar 2019 6:11 a.m. PST

Whirlwind,

I think that you are correct in assuming that Cleeves is referring the 66th being repulsed and the 3rd and 48th successfully charging.


The time that his battery was in action before the charge would have presumably been several minutes. Enough time to form 3 battalions from a single full or half-distance column, on a one company front, into a line (albeit a rough and perhaps incomplete line).

Whirlwind12 Mar 2019 6:15 a.m. PST

The time that his battery was in action before the charge would have presumably been several minutes. Enough time to form 3 battalions from a single full or half-distance column, on a one company front, into a line (albeit a rough and perhaps incomplete line).

Ah, since Cleeves did not refer to it or perhaps more importantly, being under musketry fire, I assumed that the British attack had been more hasty than that – which might explain why the 66th were defeated despite the momentarily advantageous circumstances. That was the impression I had from Colborne's account anyway: link

Of course it is very difficult to know exactly.

Major Snort12 Mar 2019 10:45 a.m. PST

Straying slightly from the thread subject, but I have read many eyewitness accounts of Colborne's attack at Albuera. What seems apparent from the descriptions of how his brigade deployed (some of them very detailed) is that far from the attack being directed against the French flank, as described by Oman, it was actually directed against the head of at least 3 French columns.

This would mean that Cleeves would have been in a very precarious position from the outset.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2019 9:46 p.m. PST

I am looking for instances in which it is claimed that artillery deployed within effective musket or rifle range.

From the question, I am assuming that it is referring to artillery moving into musket range rather than infantry moving into musket range after the artillery had deployed.

Most all the examples are of infantry moving in on the artillery. At Salamanca, Wellington threw skirmishers forward during the battle in the center to drive off the French batteries there. The examples of Senarmont, Drouot and others all begin their cannonade outside musket range and then move into it while firing. Effective, but not quite the same thing.

From all I have seen, artillery that tried to deploy within musket range [under 150 to maybe 200 yards] during the Napoleonic wars suffered the consequences, which is why is wasn't often done.

Hess in his book on infantry tactics gives an example of Union artillery attempting it in 1864 [now @350 yards] and being slaughtered. It is in the second half of the book, but I don't have it with me at the moment.

Muir gives an account of a Prussian artillery battery at Ligny being harried by skirmishers, trying to keep them at a distance with artillery fire.

Cleeves at Albuera is a somewhat different case because he was deploying next to the Spanish who were already engaged with the French at close quarters. He writes:

I formed line, and came to action on the top of a hill, about eighty or ninety yards distance from the enemy's column (which I imagined was just going to deploy) to cover the formation of our infantry, which formed in the rear of my guns, making the hill nearly the centre of this front.

The left of our line discharged a volley of musketry and charged the enemy, but were repulsed; the right did the same and would have been successful, had not, in this critical moment, our soldiers descried the enemy's cavalry, which tried, venire a terre, to turn our right flank, and our line gave way.

He didn't sit in the middle of Colburne's brigade as it deployed. The left much be the Spanish because the left of Colburne's brigade, the 31st and 66th were delayed so that the 48th and 3rd were ahead of them in their advance. I do agree with Major Snort that Colburne wasn't attacking the flank, though the eyewitnesses do say the flanks of the French columns faced and volleyed. There are reasons for Beresford and others seeing what they thought were a flank attack. Among others, Stewart sent the 3rd racing ahead so that the troops in the 48th struggled to keep up, eyewitnesses reporting seeing their battalion ahead of them curving the line on the right.

Whirlwind14 Mar 2019 7:02 a.m. PST

Hello McLaddie,

The examples of Senarmont, Drouot and others all begin their cannonade outside musket range and then move into it while firing. Effective, but not quite the same thing.

I am still very interested in these examples, because they imply that the artillery rode/drove, unlimbered and came into action all under effective musketry fire, even if they had already been firing. I know the ranges claimed for Senarmont; what ranges are claimed for Drouot?

Whirlwind14 Mar 2019 7:04 a.m. PST

The left must be the Spanish because the left of Colburne's brigade, the 31st and 66th were delayed so that the 48th and 3rd were ahead of them in their advance.

I knew that the 31st were delayed, but not the 66th: what is that based upon?

If it were the Spanish he meant, it would be interesting that they attempted a bayonet charge towards the end of their firefight but were repulsed, I hadn't read (or I have forgotten!) that before about those troops at Albuera.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 8:13 a.m. PST

I knew that the 31st were delayed, but not the 66th: what is that based upon?

The delay for the 31st was 1. Stewart rushed the deployment of 3rd, leaving less room for the 31st, but also because the 66th was 'ass-backwards' when it came into line [because of Stewart's hurry] and actually did a circular march in place before coming into line correctly, thus late in the charge and denying the 31st even more room or time.

Major Snort14 Mar 2019 10:11 a.m. PST

The only evidence for the position of Cleeves battery at Albuera is that he had marched "to the right of the head of the column" (that is the open column formed by the 2nd Division, on a 1 company frontage) . That means that they were to the right of the 3rd regiment who subsequently formed the right of Colborne's line. It is extremely unlikely that this battery formed up close to the right of the Spanish infantry.

Regarding the delay to the 66th regiment, they "countermarched" while still in open column to correct the problem of having the rear rank in front. This would not have caused a huge delay (just a little bit longer than it took to march the length of a company) and it is quite possible that all of Colborne's regiments had to do the same thing.

Finally, regarding the flanks of the French columns facing and volleying, I don't recall seeing this mentioned in any eyewitness accounts.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 11:44 a.m. PST

There were a couple of instances during the 2nd Boer War when British artillery would unlimber within range of enemy.

From the London Gazette Friday, Feb. 2nd, 1900.

"At Colenso on the 15th December, 1899, the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been either killed, wounded, or driven from their guns by Infantry fire at close range, and the guns were deserted. About 500 yards behind the guns was a donga in which some of the few horses and drivers left alive were sheltered. The intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire.

Captain Congreve, Rifle Brigade, who was in the donga, assisted to hook a team into a limber, went out; and assisted to limber up a gun. Being wounded, he took shelter; but, seeing Lieutenant Roberts fall, badly wounded, he went out again and brought him in. Captain Congreve was shot in the leg, through the toe of his boot, grazed on the elbow and the shoulder, and his horse shot in three places."

link

PVT64114 Mar 2019 12:40 p.m. PST

Certainly this happened at the Battle of Freemans Farm(Saratoga) in the AWI as by the end of the action something like 25-27 of the British gun crews had become casualties. The Americans had no artillery in the battle.

Lion in the Stars14 Mar 2019 2:15 p.m. PST

There were a couple of instances during the 2nd Boer War when British artillery would unlimber within range of enemy.

That part of Africa is a very nice shooting range, and people standing next to a large object are easily targeted. Especially when they aren't permitted to leave it! This could have been at 1200+ yards.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2019 8:14 p.m. PST

The only evidence for the position of Cleeves battery at Albuera is that he had marched "to the right of the head of the column."

Major Snort:

Not quite the only evidence:

I formed line, and came to action on the top of a hill,… That means that they were to the right of the 3rd regiment who subsequently formed the right of Colborne's line.

There aren't that many 'hills' that Cleeves could have been on. There is one at the end of the Spanish right, but that is it… it's all down hill relative from there. link

Second, there is no mention of guns somewhere in the middle of Colburne's line [between the 48th and 66th?]

(that is the open column formed by the 2nd Division, on a 1 company frontage). That means that they were to the right of the 3rd regiment who subsequently formed the right of Colborne's line. It is extremely unlikely that this battery formed up close to the right of the Spanish infantry.

That places the guns at the right of Colburnes' entire line…which places them between the 3rd and the French Lancers. So, who were the British soldiers running away from the French cavalry and through the guns??…let alone how they would fire on the French once the 3rd advanced past them as they would be firing obliquely to the left?

Cleeve writes:

I formed line, and came to action on the top of a hill, about eighty or ninety yards distance from the enemy's column (which I imagined was just going to deploy) to cover the formation of our infantry, which formed in the rear of my guns, making the hill nearly the centre of this front.

As Cleeve suggests that 1. he formed first to cover the brigade formation changes, to be at the far right means that he 1. was at least 700 yards from the Spanish 2. There isn't a hill in the center of what would have been Colburne's line or 400+ or – yards from the Spanish right.

Regarding the delay to the 66th regiment, they "countermarched" while still in open column to correct the problem of having the rear rank in front. This would not have caused a huge delay (just a little bit longer than it took to march the length of a company) and it is quite possible that all of Colborne's regiments had to do the same thing.

That issue is not mentioned by either then 48th or 3rd. It is more likely happened when the battalions formed on the road to march to support the Spanish. Someone with the 66th gave the wrong order and wheeled the companies by the left rather than the right. Stewart was in a hurry and decided to 'fix' the problem once they arrived.

Grove of the 66th writes:

"When we neared the point on which we were to form, it was perceived that we were marching rear rank in front: we countermarched, on the march, under a tremendous cannonade, and I can safely say that the movement was never better performed by the 66th on its parade ground. Fifty yards from us was an isolated hill, its summit enveloped in a heavy fog. We wheeled into line and opend a destructive fire on the enemy, who were in close column. The order was given to 'charge'; when quite close to the enemy the 'halt' was sounded, followed by a 'retire'; then we were again ordered to advance."

They performed the counter march in column under 'tremendous cannonade', so that and then wheeling into line [which the 3rd and 48 did not do: they deployed to the front] However much time it took, it did delay them and *my guess* is the 'halt' and 'retire' orders were part of the 'ass-backwards'issues that had to be corrected including subsequent spacing and the lack of room and time for the 31st to deploy.

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2019 12:00 a.m. PST

Literally all battalion guns from 7YW on wards.

Whirlwind15 Mar 2019 4:10 a.m. PST

Literally all battalion guns from 7YW onwards.

I thought they were dragged forward on foot?

Major Snort15 Mar 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

McLaddie wrote:

That places the guns at the right of Colburnes' entire line…which places them between the 3rd and the French Lancers.

Not necessarily! Remember that the 3rd regiment deployed the wrong way around. The grenadier company was at the head of the column and the other companies deployed to their right. This would have extended the line far to the right of Cleeves' battery.

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2019 5:44 a.m. PST

I thought they were dragged forward on foot?

Mostly yes, but such was the Senarmont action at Friedland as well.

Whirlwind15 Mar 2019 7:40 a.m. PST

Mostly yes, but such was the Senarmont action at Friedland as well.

Yes, as you say, although I thought that in that case, it was claimed to be both (i.e. had deployed forward with teams, but because of the casualties to those teams, were then dragged forward)?

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2019 8:22 a.m. PST

but also the battalion guns of 7YW tradition got forward by teams and then get man handled, being dragged forward was just the normal procedure, it would cost too much time to limber and unlimber for the advance of several hundred yards.

Please don't forget that the guns of Senarmont were directly supported by two infantry battlions and more or less by the whole Division of the excellent Dupont.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 8:47 a.m. PST

Mostly yes, but such was the Senarmont action at Friedland as well.

Senarmont's guns went forward with a combination of being towed by their limbers, by prolonge, and by bricole.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 8:49 a.m. PST

the guns of Senarmont were directly supported by two infantry battlions and more or less by the whole Division of the excellent Dupont.

And that's the point. Senarmont changed artillery at Friedland from being a supporting arm to a supported arm. That made the artillery a co-equal combat arm with the infantry and cavalry. It was a major change.

Dupont was excellent at Friedland. Later in Spain not so much.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

Not necessarily! Remember that the 3rd regiment deployed the wrong way around. The grenadier company was at the head of the column and the other companies deployed to their right. This would have extended the line far to the right of Cleeves' battery.

True, if Cleeves actually was at the head of the column. But as the brigade formed behind him, I was pointing out what I thought *might* be the general location IF the guns were actually in the middle.

I believe, because of the hill, the fighting described, and other reports, that Cleeves was not there, and deployed on the hill as he said, which at that moment was at the head of the column following. It is the logically place to set if covering Colburne's advance rather than further down the line where the brigade would almost immediately mask the guns with their advance.

I think the "middle of that Front" he speaks of includes the Spanish, IMHO.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2019 2:13 p.m. PST

Senarmont changed artillery at Friedland from being a supporting arm to a supported arm.

If that is true, and there are reasons to doubt that, it was only because of the narrowing front between two streams. Dupont and the guns weren't all going to fit.

Senarmont started with guns placed on both flanks of Dupont's division with a reserve behind it. It was a decision of the moment…one that was questioned by Victor and allowed by Napoleon 'to see what he [Senarmont] could do', not some major change in in French Military History. All kudos to Senarmont for what he and his gunners did, but considering how many times that kind of artillery advance for any distance was done at that scale [the can be counted on one hand], we aren't seeing some brilliant military innovation as much as an extension of existing practices already in place.

Certainly, the French were aggressive with their guns, often successful, sometimes not so much, before and after Friedland.

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2019 2:44 p.m. PST

artillery was always a supporting arm, the better the support, the better for the attacking or defending infantry, artillery was helpless when not being supported by infantry or cavalry.

anyway, even the regimental gunners of 7YW brought their guns well into musket range.

Whirlwind15 Mar 2019 10:28 p.m. PST

Can anyone please name some instances in which it is claimed that artillery deployed within effective musket or rifle ranges (other than Senarmont's claims for Friedland), with a source for that (primary for choice)?

I was hoping to stay away from Friedland since I don't think anyone has anything different to say than last time: TMP link

Taking on board von Winterfeldt's very good point about regimental artillery, what I really meant was something like the other examples posters have given in which unsupported artillery deployed in effective musketry range. Is there any example other than the claims made for Friedland?

von Winterfeldt15 Mar 2019 11:58 p.m. PST

to give an account of battalion guns causing havouc among French skirmishers :

at the battle of Auerstedt 2nd Lieutenant von Eberstein of the regiment Graf Wartensleben (No. 59) states: "By the fire of the enemy's Tirailleurs the 1st battalion of our regiment hardly lost 20 men, there on the other hand amongst those quite a defeat was inflicted by the grape shot of our battalion pieces, which we saw by their dead, when we advanced over their corpses."

Jany, Die Gefechtsausbildung der Preußischen Infanterie von 1806. Mit einer Auswahl von Gefechtsberichten. Berlin, Mittler und Sohn, 1903, p. 113

von Winterfeldt16 Mar 2019 6:55 a.m. PST

in which unsupported artillery deployed in effective musketry range. Is there any example other than the claims made for Friedland?

Senarmont was of course supported, artillery without support was usually captured, even the French big battery at Hanau, was almost captured by Bavarian light cavalry – and were only just in time saved by a French cavalry counter charge.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP16 Mar 2019 6:59 a.m. PST

French doctrine and training emphasized infantry/artillery cooperation.

…artillery without support was usually captured…

Examples?

Sparta17 Mar 2019 3:34 a.m. PST

Some evidence is that artillery usually retreated before an infantry attack if not dug-in. I am hard pressed for an example where a battery stood by itself in the open without support and stopped an attack.
An example of how it was perceived by period officers is the Reisswitz kriegspiel rules. Here a battery is eliminated if attacked unsupproted and any combat is between the supports and the attacker – you need to beat the supports to beat the battery if you can close.

Sparta17 Mar 2019 3:37 a.m. PST

As for the skirmishers – I know Marbot has to be taken with a pinch of salt – but he mentions sending out skirmishers from the 23rd CaC towrads an enemy battery at Leipzig – this made the enemy deploy their skirmishers to preotect the battery and having it cease fire.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2019 8:45 a.m. PST

If that is true, and there are reasons to doubt that, it was only because of the narrowing front between two streams. Dupont and the guns weren't all going to fit.

You have been afforded the information that supports Senarmont's action, both primary and secondary. Apparently you choose to either ignore it and/or fail to supply evidence to the contrary.

And we've been over this material before where you were supplied the various sources that support Senarmont's action.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2019 2:12 p.m. PST

You have been afforded the information that supports Senarmont's action, both primary and secondary. Apparently you choose to either ignore it and/or fail to supply evidence to the contrary.

And we've been over this material before where you were supplied the various sources that support Senarmont's action.

Yes, which is why I came to the conclusions I did:

Senarmont started with guns placed on both flanks of Dupont's division with a reserve behind it. It was a decision of the moment…one that was questioned by Victor and allowed by Napoleon 'to see what he [Senarmont] could do', not some major change in in French Military History. All kudos to Senarmont for what he and his gunners did, but considering how many times that kind of artillery advance for any distance was done at that scale [the can be counted on one hand], we aren't seeing some brilliant military innovation as much as an extension of existing practices already in place.

Certainly, the French were aggressive with their guns [and had a 'doctrine' of supporting them], often successful, sometimes not so much, before and after Friedland.

What Senarmont did was quite brilliant, but the tactics had been seen before and after. Other French officers cavalry and infantry carried off Brilliant maneuvers, but it wasn't considered some never-before-seen innovation. It was more of an evolution leading to Friedland rather than some startlingly new maneuver never seen on the battlefield up to that date.

It certainly wasn't easy to pull off, but it didn't start a revolution in artillery use. It's not like the French are suddenly carrying out the same maneuvers all over the place. As I said, the instances that can be described as 'like' Friedland after 1807 can be counted on one hand.

von Winterfeldt17 Mar 2019 11:53 p.m. PST

I agree, Senarmont took the initiative and conducted a concentrated use of batteries to attack an enemy who was withdrawing, himself backed up by infantry up to a divisional strength, anything else would be fatal and causing the loss of his guns.

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