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"[France] Horse Arty Limber/ Ammo" Topic


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Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

Somewhere in my meanderings I came across the comment that "some horse/ legere artillery company's continued to use an early example of horse limber"- that carried more ammunition than the Gribeauval model allowed.
Is there an illustration somewhere? Should such a thing be able to mocked up it may look nice!
Many thanks
davew wine

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2020 9:04 p.m. PST

The design for the AN XI limber, that was not put into mass production, carried a limber box for ammunition.

The limber that stayed in service was the Gribeauval model. When the piece was emplaced, the coffret, the ammunition box that fit between the cheeks of the gun carriage, was taken off the piece and placed on the limber. That ammunition was used to feed the piece and was replenished from the caisson.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2020 10:12 p.m. PST

Thanks for that, I understand now that some dilemma faced the AN XI construction.

What was referenced though was some 'form' of limber, as if the horse branch had its own (suggesting revolutionary I think)? IS that plausible or simply another theorist at large?
cheers

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 2:56 a.m. PST

There was an older 'horse artillery limber' that looked a bit like the British limber with integral ammunition carriage. There is a picture of one hooked to the 'horse artillery caisson' on page 7 of Osprey's 'Artillery Equipments of the Napoleonic Wars'.

link

I also have a 28mm model of this set-up from about 20 years ago, but I cannot for the life of me remember who made it. Nice model too.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 4:30 a.m. PST

That is probably the AN XI model.

There was trouble with the new AN XI system for a number of reasons. The only field pieces that were put into production in any numbers were the 6-pounder and the new 5.5-inch (24-pounder) howitzer.

The army stayed with the Gribeauval vehicles and whatever was produced from the Systeme AN XI was used in conjunction with the Gribeauval material. Systeme AN XI supplemented the Gribeauval System, it did not replace it.

French horse artillerymen were unhappy that their 8-pounders were replaced by the new 6-pounders eventually. They believed that the 8-pounder was a much better field piece. And the new gun carriages were unsatisfactory and were replaced by the older, sturdier Gribeauval gun carriages to carry the 6-pounder.

There has been mention here and there that the 8-pounder was too heavy. I have found that to be inaccurate and it is nonsense.

Rene Chartrand's Osprey, Napoleon's Guns, has useful information on the AN XI problems.

From the Elementary Treatise on the Forms of Cannon & Various Systems of Artillery: Translated for the use of the Cadets of the US Military Academy from the French of Professor N Persy of Metz 1832, page 18:

'With a very few exceptions, all the innovations prescribed by the decree of the year XI, and those which came after it were abrogated, and the system of Gribeauval, exhibited in detail in the tables of construction, rigorously restored.'

French artillery General Ruty wrote and recommended in December 1814:

'The 8 caliber has, in all respects, an undeniable advantage of the 6 caliber…If the reasoning itself did not suffice to establish the advantages of the 8 caliber or the 6 caliber in the formation of the batteries…it would rely on the memories of the past to convey its undeniable advantages…Twenty years of brilliant success had sanctified it. Nobody can feel more inclined than an artillery officer to grant the personnel a share of merit it has to claim in these successes; yet it is for the same officer to judge to what extent the nature of the weapon has played a part in obtaining these successes. It seem impossible to deny that the material and positive superiority of a caliber more significant than the usually weaker caliber, had a lot to do with the superiority of our horse artillery batteries generally accepted at the time of the war currently being discussed. This opinion was so widespread that the gunners brought themselves reluctantly to renounce a weapon that so many reasons of pride and trust made it precious to them. They seized with eagerness the opportunity to take it back, wherever the 8 caliber was still accepted in the composition of field companies, in competition with the 6 caliber, which has been introduced in our armies only successively.'

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 4:32 a.m. PST

What was referenced though was some 'form' of limber, as if the horse branch had its own (suggesting revolutionary I think)? IS that plausible or simply another theorist at large?

I haven't found anything to support that idea. The French horse artillery did have their own type of caisson, the wurst, which could carry both ammunition and gunners riding it astride. The solution to that was to mount the horse artillerymen on individual mounts which was carried out by 1800.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 5:21 a.m. PST

In the Invalides there is a collection of 1/8th scale artillery models that are superb. I believe the picture from the Osprey is from that collection.

My son and I saw and photographed the collection in the summer of 2017.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 7:47 a.m. PST

That's interesting. Italeri does a French artillery limber in both 1/32 and 1/72 which resembles this. The Newline 20mm Napoleonics also feature this kind of limber. It's usually dismissed as simply inaccurate, but it seems it does in fact resemble an older style rather than being the post-Napoleonic Congreve copy it looks like.

I had always thought the French artillery used the same A-frame type of limber throughout for horse, foot and Guard.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 8:14 a.m. PST

I had always thought the French artillery used the same A-frame type of limber throughout for horse, foot and Guard.

The same A-frame limber was used by foot and horse artillery, guard and line. The only difference was that the Gribeauval 4-pounder used a smaller limber of the same design.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 9:45 a.m. PST

I have had another look at this and contemporary sources describe something interesting.

In the late 1790s the French were described as having Artillerie Leger and Artillerie Volante. The former were described as having the crew riding on caissons similar to Wurst wagons. The latter were actually classic horse artillery as we understand it.

Therefore, it seems the 'special' caisson pictured was meant for the Artillerie Leger which was eventually replaced by horse artillery proper.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 12:05 p.m. PST

Thanks gents, I suspected it was a wild goose chase (It was a bland statement to start with) so will look up the reference cited.

The link "Your client does not have permission to get URL /proxy…" thanks.

As far as 'making' ANXI 6 pounder, I'm simply going to use the minifigs 4pdr models. However, what I've actually spotted is that as made their trunion position seems a little forward and projects the barrel further than the line equal with the wheels. (Which illustrations show as level).

So on 'new' 4 pdrs that I'm just building, I'm moving the trunions back a few mm and leaving the current models and going to call them 6's.

As that distinction will still be very subtle on the table, I'll use slightly different paint jobs, and here I thought a 'different' limber may help for battery identification.

However I'm not averse to proping up an 18thC item with 'modern' horse train shoudl such a beast exist; and yes I had thought maybe just modifiy a Brit one!

I'm not yet prepared to attempt a French Wurst (Saucisson?). As they are already done however, my enemy may just get a Perry one for Christmas!

Many thanks again,
d cup

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 12:34 p.m. PST

In the late 1790s the French were described as having Artillerie Leger and Artillerie Volante. The former were described as having the crew riding on caissons similar to Wurst wagons. The latter were actually classic horse artillery as we understand it.

Therefore, it seems the 'special' caisson pictured was meant for the Artillerie Leger which was eventually replaced by horse artillery proper.

Artillerie Volante and Artillerie Legere are the same thing-horse artillery. Because of a shortage of horses, and their expense, the wurst caisson was used to transport gunners. Ca 1800 the change to the gunners riding individual mounts was done.

Light artillery can also mean field artillery which during the period comprised 'field, horse and mountain artillery.' See Louis Tousard, American Artillerist's Companion, Volume II, page 1.

Horse artillery was also referred to in English as 'flying artillery.'

The French horse artillery arm derived from the Conference of 1792, which specified the development of the French horse artillery arm:

'In 1792, a short time before the declaration of war, M de Narbonne, who had succeeded M Duportail in the deparment of war, formed at his office a committee, composed of very intelligent and well informed officers: thither he summoned the generals of the three great divisions of the army, and the principal generals and field officers of the artillery and engineers. He ordered them to inquire into and decide upon the means of perfecting and extending to the French army the use of the horse artillery. The result of this conference will be seen in the following section.-Tousard, Volume II, 40.

The results of the Conference was contained in seven points, which are on pages 41-42 of the same volume.

If you don't have access to these results and would like to read them, let me know and I'll post them.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 12:37 p.m. PST

For general information, the design of the AN XI 6-pounder was of a much more modern appearance than the older Gribeauval gun tubes. The reinforces, the raised portions on the outside of the gun tube, were done away with (with the exception of the one near the muzzle) giving the gun tube a distinctive appearance.

That may not matter depending on the scale of the models being created/changed, but it certainly would in 54mm and possible in 40mm.

von Winterfeldt08 Nov 2020 1:12 p.m. PST

The French artillery had no limbers carrying enough amount of ammunition to keep a fire fight going – much to their chagrin, they had to wait very often for the 4 wheeled clumsy artillery wagons.


A l'époque de la création du matériel actuel, dû au génie de Gribeauval, c'était un grand pas de fait, qui assura à l'artillerie française la supériorité sur l'artillerie étrangère encore grossière ; mais, ainsi qu'il a été dit précédemment, il ne s'agissait guère alors que de transporter l'artillerie, comme convoi, à la suite de l'armée, plutôt que de manœuvrer. Les pièces, sur le champ de bataille, étaient, la plupart du temps , traînées par les canonniers, et assurément la manière dont l'artillerie étais alors attelée fait foi 2) qu'il ne pouvait être question de manœuvre.

2) L'artillerie était alors conduite par des charretiers d'entreprise. L'organisation du train date de 1801.

Le trait caractéristique de ce système d'artillerie, est, principalement, de transporter séparément, dans des caissons, à la su ite de chaque bouche à feu, les munitions nécessaires à son approvisionnement. Sans son caisson la pièce est nulle et ne peut combattre ( car nous devons compter pour rien quelques coups renfermés dans les coffrets ) : de-là la nécessité de ne jamais s'en séparer et de le traîner partout à sa suite ; et sur un champ de bataille, le nombre de bouches à feu qui combattent entraîne immédiatement, sur le même terrain, au moins un égal nombre de caissons ; par conséquent une double ligne de voitures et de chevaux ; et celles-ci offrent par leur construction le plus d'embarras.

Toutes les artilleries étrangères, au contraire, étant organisées de manière à avoir, sur l'avant-train des bouches à feu, un coffret susceptible de recevoir un approvisionnement assez considérable pour pourvoir à un combat d'une certaine durée 3) ; les caissons de munitions nécessaires pour les compléter et les entretenir restent en réserve hors de portée, ne les gênent en rien dans leurs mouvements, et leur laissent ainsi toute la liberté de manœuvrer et de se porter où il est besoin. Une ligne de pièces seule combat ; tous les mouvements sont simples et faciles ; un moindre nombre d'hommes et de chevaux sont exposés, et les commandants de batteries, n'ayant à s'occuper que de leurs pièces, agissent avec bien plus de confiance et de sécurité. Bien entendu que cette disposition ne peut s'appliquer rigoureusement qu'aux canons de 6 ou de 8 ; l'avant-train des obusiers ou canons de 12 ne peut jamais contenir de munitions assez pour soutenir un feu de longue durée ; il faut nécessairement qu'il y ait à portée un caisson pour deux obusiers et un par pièce de 12.

OBSERVATIONS
SUR LES CHANGEMENTS QU'IL PARAITRAIT UTILE D'APPORTER AU MATERIEL ET AU PERSONNEL DE L'ARTILLERIE 1).
Edited and composed by Geert van Uythoven

Source: Anonymous, "Observations sur les changemens qu'il paraîtrait utile d'apporter au matériel et au personnel de l'artillerie", in ‘Le Spectateur Militaire', Tome troisième (Paris 1827) pp. 129-159.

in fact I would recommend to read the whole article

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2020 1:22 p.m. PST

1827 was the year that the new Valee Artillery System was introduced with better designed gun carriages, limbers, and caissons based on the British model encountered, and admired by, the French artillery in the Peninsular War.

General Valee, along with engineer General Rogniat, were the team that was responsible for the successful string of sieges in Eastern Spain under Suchet.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 6:11 a.m. PST

French artillery limbers did not carry ammunition. The ready ammunition was carried on the trails of the field pieces in the coffret. When the piece went into action, the coffret was transferred to the limber and that ammunition was used-and it was replenished from the caissons.

The loads for the coffret (trail chest) were as follows:

12-pounder: 9
8-pounder: 15
4-pounder: 18
6-inch howitzer: 4

Since one caisson per piece in the gun companies accompanied the piece into action how many times were the companies' caissons not able to keep up?

And how many times were the gun companies unable to engage targets because the caisson were not able to keep up?

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 1:38 p.m. PST

Thanks for those. Not my main concern, however clearly the issue of fire comes to two things-

1) those numbers indicate ~10 minutes action?. A pitiful amount of time 'in battle', and
2) the risk/ reward ratio of ammo on hand versus exposure of expensive and difficult to manage heavy resources- caissons and horses, on the battlefield.

If these are the French scientific [experts] 'optimum' expectation of 'normality' then it is a fairly pragmatic and conservative regime?

'If' guns were dispersed then separate caissons would be likely. Were they? If guns were grouped (in expectation to their relative 'safety') then a caisson could supply several guns easily?

Also, given the composite ammunition, why weren't they simply stacked for use and the expensive elements at risk returned to the rear?

cheers cup d

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 2:03 p.m. PST

The French practice was one ammunition caisson per piece on campaign and in combat. The rest were with the parcs.

Do you mean ammunition placed on the ground for use? If that was done and the company/battery had to displace, the ammunition was gone.

As far as I have found, that was not French practice. Ammunition stayed in the coffret or caisson until it was either taken to the piece for firing or was taken to the coffret from the caisson to replace expended ammunition.

Widowson09 Nov 2020 6:26 p.m. PST

Originally, in the Empire, 12# was for Corps Reserve and Guard Foot artillery. 8# were for divisional foot artillery, and 4# was intended as horse artillery.

To simplify this, the Year XI system got rid of the 8# and 4# and went with a compromise to replace both – the 6#. It had a lengthened barrel for longer range and better accuracy.

How good an idea this was I don't know. But that's the story of the evolution.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2020 7:54 p.m. PST

@Widowson yes you're citing the 'typical' employment of ordnance. However we know such it was hardly ever that easy or simple.

And on the Year XI system, well "got rid of" anything is a [bit of misdirectional] misstatement. I know that was the 'grande plan'; yet it never, ever happened did it!?

Given all we've read and learned, clealry all the Year XI system was able to achieve was one positive, and one complete negative- yes it supplemented the artillery corps*; but then it was so insuffucuent that the Gribeauval also had to be retained, negating the posotive impact by causing greater diversity in the limber/ caisson/ equipment when THAT was least needed. Efficiency seems to have gone out the window…

*While writers suggest it's use was broad, they also throw in the comment that "anyway the French used so many captured Austrian and Prussian 6 pdrs etc." that the actual impact of the system, appears, without hard data, even less of a positive impact.
[This is my impression of English written texts- I've not seen a complete authoritive summary otherwise].
d

gounour10 Nov 2020 2:47 a.m. PST

hi all,
An XI ordnance had a very important positive, it was cheaper and faster to produce that gribeauval (due to many thing not being included in the new gun)
many austrian, then prussian guns were used to replace worn out french one, because waiting for replacement was too long or impracticable in 1806-7 and 1809 campaigns.

the french "armée du Portugal" even ended using 4 british 6 pounder for the "5e companie du 5e Régiment d'artillerie à cheval" (certainly spanish cantabrian coast captured stock) after Salamanca where she lost everything supporting Thomières. those were kept until March 1813.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 3:23 a.m. PST

Captured ordnance was indeed employed.

The favorite horse artillery piece of the French was the 8-pounder and it was employed at least through the campaign of 1809. Davout's III Corps, along with the units that he commanded in central Europe before hostilities, were still equipped with the 8-pounder along with other Gribeauval pieces.

The newly formed II and IV Corps (commanded by Oudinot, then Lannes, and then Oudinot again after Lannes death, and Massena, respectively), were equipped with the 6-pounder and 5.5-inch howitzer of the Systeme AN XI.

And the units in Spain were also equipped with the Gribeauval System pieces.

The 4-pounders and 8-pounders were not 'got rid of.' The new 6-pounder had a lighter gun tube, as it was constructed with 130 pounds of metal for every pound of round whereas the Gribeauval pieces were constructed with 150 pounds of metal for every pound of round.

It should also be remembered that the French pound was heavier than the English pound and Austrian pound, so a French 6-pounder was almost a 7-pounder, and a French 8-pounder was almost a 9-pounder.

The AN XI 6-pounder was 180 cm long, and the Gribeauval 8-pounder was 200 cm long. The 4-pounder was 157 cm long. So, the new 6-pounder was not longer than the 8-pounder and I don't see where it would be more accurate than the Gribeauval pieces, which had already undergone testing for accuracy and range.

The lengths and weights of the various field pieces can be found in Rene Chartrand's excellent Napoleon's Guns 1792-1815 (1): Field Artillery. It is an Osprey, but very well researched and sourced. The sources can be found in the second volume which covers heavy artillery.

From Rene Chartrand's volume:

'In January 1809, Napoleon was informed that the Year XI system really only consisted of the 6-pdr, the 3-pdr mountain gun, and the 5 inch 6 lines howitzer. There were complaints about the new system too. The 6-pdr barrel was good enough but its poorly designed carriage caused problems. Some veteran soldiers felt that, on the whole, Gribeauval's 4- and 8-pdrs were better. Nor did the howitzer introduced by Marmont make all gunners happy. Some wished for something like those used by the Austrians and Russians. Indeed, apart from the new 6-pdr gun and the 5 inch 6 lines howitzer, it seemed that the Year XI system was not a really new system, merely a reorganization of Gribeauval's. Even with this limited reform, the original Gribeauval system seemed better to many gunners. The tangible result of all this was a growing perception that the Year XI system had not lived up to its promise.'-33

'To sort this out, the emperor finally set up a commission in January 1810 to evaluate the system and recommend a solution. Headed by General Songis, the current First Inspector General of Artillery, the commission concluded that the Year XI system was largely unsuitable and that it was best to continue with Gribeauval's system while accomodating the 6-pdr field piece…'-33-34.

Regarding the new AN XI gun carriages: '…When submitted to rough campaign conditions, which became more common from late 1805 onwards, the new carriage design was found to have several weaknesses. In some cases, Year XI carriages fell apart under severe stress…probably from 1808, dependable Gribeauval-style carriages adapted for 6-pdrs were made. From 1810, the Gribeauval system carriages were officially readopted,'-34.

von Winterfeldt10 Nov 2020 4:06 a.m. PST

For a critical discussion see what Allix had to say who well makes a distinction between desk top artillery generals and field artillery generals

Système d'artillerie de campagne du lieutenant-général Allix, comparé avec les systèmes du comité d'artillerie de France, de Gribeauval, et de l'an XI. Anselin et Pochard, Paris 1827


for download

link


here you will find some very interesting observations on those systems.

Another very revealing read about this topic is

Warin

Mobilité du Matériele d'Artillerie pendant des Guerres de la Révolution et de l'Empire in Revue d'Artillerie, Tome 53 Octobre 1898 – Mars 1899
pp 498 – 518

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 4:39 a.m. PST

Again, 1827 was the year for the introduction of the new Valee System which adopted the block trail for field pieces and had a new limber and caisson, based on the British system.

The US would also go to those new designs.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 8:59 a.m. PST

Source: Anonymous, "Observations sur les changemens qu'il paraîtrait utile d'apporter au matériel et au personnel de l'artillerie", in ‘Le Spectateur Militaire', Tome troisième (Paris 1827) pp. 129-159.

Mobilité du Matériele d'Artillerie pendant des Guerres de la Révolution et de l'Empire in Revue d'Artillerie, Tome 53 Octobre 1898 – Mars 1899
pp 498 – 518

It's a real shame that these two references could not have been given a site so that they could be referenced. I couldn't find them on Google Books…

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2020 2:21 p.m. PST

Thanks again, but again I point out the technical errata doesn't tell us how many, where etc. it's value appeared.

If the 6p /5 howitzers were so good- why did they not get used in 1809 and before; why weren't 4 and 8p melted down and recast in the 'better' new improved form. Ditto the massive amount of captured materiel? Quick enough to melt them down for a PR exercise, the Colonne de Vendome, but make actual better artillery pieces available- not planned for.

Why rely on 'foreign' equipment with all the corresponding supply difficulties, multiplying those of the army in action, not helping it. And yet the very purpose of the new artillery was to counter the foreign guns, "but we'll use them anyway"!
As some would say, "That is not logical Captain".

I see the same stream on this technology as I do the hardcore elements of cmputing- battering numbers about until one can breach 'technical' levels and claim bragging rights.

While the pieces may well have been superior to all and sundry in testing, they don't appear to have been heartily and willingly adopted by the 'military regime' in charge at the time. Certainly N. seems to have clearly been a fence sitter, taking over 6 years between review periods. And he and 'expert' artilleryman. But why?

Four major campaigns completed, massive losses due to enemy artillery action, pending the greatest movement of manpower and invasion ever seen with deliberate obvious consquences, but still dragging along the 'unsatisfactory' 4 pounders!

Yes I know they appeared in numbers in 1813 and '15 (well 6 pounders are listed- whose I'd need to re-examine my 1813 Corps Situations for clarity).

I'm flabbergasted, just having to ask.
So yes, I'll stick with the coffrets. I've only ever used two caissons on table for aesthetics; hell most rules of old didn't even care whether they existed or not.

regards and thanks for the efforts,
d

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2020 3:28 a.m. PST

There is a story that Major Boulart told of having one of his pieces having to be repaired at the depot level and after turning it in for repair he was 'one short.' This was after Essling and before Wagram. Napoleon saw him and told him he would inspect him the next day and expected him to have all his pieces ready for inspection. And Boulart had told Napoleon that one of his field pieces was in for repair.

Somewhat worried and concerned, he contacted a friend who got him an Austrian piece to fill the void temporarily. Napoleon showed up the next day at the appointed place and time for the inspection and asked him if he had all the field pieces he rated in his company. Boulart truthfully told him that he did, and Napoleon replied that he wouldn't inspect him then.

Undoubtedly this was Napoleon's way of getting Boulart to find a way to get another field piece, albeit temporarily. And Boulart was suitably relieved not to be inspected.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2020 1:09 a.m. PST

Yes, h'he' clearly had a sense of humour and not a little mischief about him- as long as he wasn't the butt of the joke, I guess.
dwine

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2020 5:04 a.m. PST

He wanted to insure two thing, I think. That Boulart was ready for combat with a complete artillery company; and to see if Boulart had the common sense and initiative to temporarily fix the problem until he got his repaired piece back from the arsenal in Vienna. If I recall correctly, the vent was worn out and had to be replaced.

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 3:23 p.m. PST

vW ~ referenced:

Warin
Mobilité du Matériele d'Artillerie pendant des Guerres de la Révolution et de l'Empire in Revue d'Artillerie, Tome 53 Octobre 1898 – Mars 1899
pp 498 – 518

Revue d'Artillerie, Tome 53 Octobre 1898 – Mars 1899

If you only want the article cited, use the downloader from the article first page (498) and then add -End 22 pages, will give a full item just under 6mb.
[Using '20' it (the AI) seems to truncate?]

regards davew

Personal logo SHaT1984 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2021 4:11 p.m. PST

I'd perhaps also recommend another general work I came across:

Title : Esquisse historique de l'artillerie française depuis le moyen-âge jusqu'à nos jours, avec un atlas de… planches dessinées par A. de Moltzheim…

Author : Moltzheim, Auguste de (1822-1881). Auteur du texte
Publisher : E. Simon (Strasbourg)
Publication date : 1868

Esquisse historique de l'artillerie française

- -

b2021_Title – Esquisse historique de l'artillerie française_exc
by DaveW, on Flickr


Of note, two(three?) issues clearly stated:
Organisation1- Equipment
"Gribeauval fit aussi des changements importants dans l'organisation du personnel. L'organisation de l'Infanterie avait jusqu'alors été conservée dans les bataillons de Royal-Artillerie; le service des pièces se faisait par détachements qui, chargés un jour du service des pièces de 24, en avaient le lendemain d'un autre calibre."

Organisation2- Manpower
" Gribeauval établit un autre principe : les mêmes Officiers et les mêmes soldats durent être constamment chargés des mêmes pièces pendant une campagne, et il créa la batterie, ou division d'Artillerie, comme on disait alors.

Organisation3- Process Improvement
Les compagnies de Canonniers furent organisées d'après cette base, chaque compagnie fut subdivisée en 4 escouades et chaque demi-escouade composée de manière à pouvoir suffire au service d'une pièce. La compagnie, ainsi formée, dut avoir à elle 8 bouches à feu (*) accompagnéesde leurs munitions.
Dans la guerre de campagne, la division ou batterie de 8 bouches à feu, ayant avec elle ses caissons, ses affûts de rechange, sa forge, formait une masse susceptible d'être promptement mobilisée. Ce système a produit d'excellentsrésultats et contribué à nos succès; alors notre Artillerie était supérieure à celle des autres États par sa légèreté, sa simplicité et l'instruction de son personnel, et elle reconquitle premier rang.
//

And clearly, the author is happy to assign "la division ou batterie de 8 bouches" as the same contemporaneous nomenclature to what we know and love…

regards d
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