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"Evolution of British artillery equipment." Topic

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hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2024 11:02 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,

It's not very clear for me so I would like an expert to explain to me the differences between the cannons and howitzers, the carriages and limbers of the British artillery in 1854 in Crimea and 40 before, during the Napoleonic wars?


hi EEE' ya !

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jun 2024 12:40 p.m. PST

Manufacturing techniques had improved the quality of both gun and ammunition. Result was greater range and accuracy but not sufficiently improved to dramatically alter its battlefield use.

Trockledockle03 Jun 2024 2:38 p.m. PST

Not an expert but had a look at the book below. My understanding is that the 6 pdr (5ft barrel) and 9 pdr (6 ft barrel) guns and carriages were essentially unchanged from 1815 to 1860. The RHA used the 6pdr and the field artillery the 9pdr. The 12pdr wasn't used in the field.

Howitzers were different. The 5 1/2" brass howitzers with a bracket carriage was replaced in the 1820s with brass 12 and 24 pdr howitzers on block trail carriages. A 32pdr howitzer was added in the 1840s and possibly an iron barreled one too.

This covers field artillery only- not siege guns.

"British Smooth Bore Artillery" Major General B.P. Hughes

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP03 Jun 2024 11:15 p.m. PST

Thanks, but I just want to know if it's the same cannons, carriages and limbers?

Thanks for the infoon the guns but and for the carriages and limbers?

Trockledockle04 Jun 2024 1:14 a.m. PST

As mentioned in my post above, the gun carriages were unchanged. There is not much in the reference on limbers but these appear to be unchanged from 1800 to the 1850s.

If the underlying question is, "Can I use British Napoleonic equipment in a Crimean game?", then the answer is yes. I have used 1/72 6pdrs from Tumbling Dice with Napoleonic units.

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2024 1:32 a.m. PST

My only comment is that even in 1815 the RHA were switching to 9 pounders. By the Crimean War the 6 pounder was basically defunct. But in a 'how does it look from three feet away' sort of criteria, I think you can get away with field artillery from the Napoleonic Wars. However, I would just say that as you need to get new figures anyway, why not buy some of the period appropriate models which are out there?

summerfield04 Jun 2024 5:44 a.m. PST

This is an area that I have written extensively about.
1. 12-pdr and 24-pdr Howitzers replaced the Light and Heavy 5.5-in howitzer. These were essentially adopting the long howitzer concept that the Russians had adopted in the 1750s with their unicorns.
2. Bracket 5.5-in howitzers were not used with block trail carriages.
3. Most of the plans used for the British Artillery date from the 1850s to 1860s. The only plans that are Napoleonic have been published by me. Either Dupin or scale drawings based upon those by French Cadets in c1820 plus various cadet drawings. So the models you have are likely better for Crimean War than Napoleonic.
4. Remember the French adopted the M1828 Valee system that in turn the US adopted just before the ACW. Only difference being drafting and the number of spokes in the wheels (14 rather than 12) See SOJ-10.
5. Differences were more with the change of technology. Napoleonic Carriages before 1810 were shapped by hand. That was the year that following machines were introduced to the Carriage Department so curves rather than straight edges could be made. Differences you would not see in a 28mm scale model. The most striking is the construction of the wheels. Napoleonic Wheels were segmented so the iron wheel could be repaired. The 1840s wheels were continous sweted wheels in the main. The hub changed as well.
6. The Crimean 6- and 9-pdr had a foresight. So the line of metal matched that of the bore.
7. Remember there was always dolphins on the 9-pdr and medium 12-pdr.
8. Field artillery was going increasingly to fully or partially mounted as in they rode on the ammunition cars and limbers.

Prince of Essling04 Jun 2024 8:33 a.m. PST

Some photographs:

National Army Museum – Trumpeters Gritten and Lang, Royal Artillery, 1856 (with limber)


Sgt William Russell (Service Nº 2038) of 7th Co., 5th Battalion, Royal Artillery. 1856 (original in black & white Imperial War Museum)


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2024 11:32 p.m. PST

Yes, I didn't see that you also talked about gun carriages and that they were also unchanged.

It's not a question about figurines otherwise I would have gone to the "19th Century Product Reviews", it's a historical question.

The 6 pounder is still used in Crimea by the RHA.

The 6 pounder had no more dolphins?

Otherwise thank you for all this information, you should go see this topic:

TMP link

@Prince of Essling
I noted 12 spokes on the cannon.

summerfield05 Jun 2024 2:01 p.m. PST

I never stated the Belford 6-pdr had dolphins.

7. Remember there was always dolphins on the 9-pdr and medium 12-pdr.


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2024 12:00 a.m. PST

No 6pdrs guns even well before the Crimean War had dolphins?

And for the British carriages of the Württemberg artillery?
Have you ever heard of it?

TMP link

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2024 8:55 a.m. PST

Just FYI. A deep dive into the development of British artillery focused on the Napoleonic wars and after with the RHA and artillery in general was provided in:

Hew Dalrymple Ross, Memoir of Field-Marshal Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross, G.C.B., Royal Horse Artillery

(New Introduction by Howie Muir), a reprint produced by the Napoleon Series and Ken Trotman Ltd. and published by Ken Trotman Publishing, Huntingdon (2008); ISBN 10: 1905074824, ISBN 13: 9781905074822.

The introduction is a book in and of itself. One of the things that is established is that the British foot artillery crews were mounted early in the Peninsular Campaign, not just the RHA.

This is focused more on the organization and operations than the equipment, though that is covered.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP07 Jun 2024 9:53 p.m. PST

Good but as for the equipment, until when was the equipment used in Crimea used?

TMP link

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2024 9:15 p.m. PST

Good but as for the equipment, until when was the equipment used in Crimea used?

Well, if the question is about the evolution of British artillery and if equipment had change by the Crimean War, ya gotta know what it looked like before determining any evolution… wink

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP10 Jun 2024 10:32 p.m. PST

It appears that the equipment used in Crimea resembled that of the Napoleonic Wars.

Afterwards, the field batteries sent to China in 1860 were equipped with Armstrong 12-pdr.rifled breech-loaders(RBL).

Firing elongated, instead of spherical projectiles of shell, shrapnel and case with greatly enhanced accuracy and range-more accurate at two mile than a smoothbore equivalent at half a mile-the rifled guns were also lighter,so that a 12 pdr.RBL only required a six horse gun-team instead of the eight needed for a 9-pdr.SB.

The old four-gun, two howitzer battery armament gave way to six guns in Armstrong-equipped horse troops and field batteries.

Norwithstanding the success of rifled guns in action, many batteries had to continue with smoothbore throughout the 1860s, particularly in India; and the position artillery -18,24,and 32 pdrs., 8in.howitzer and 10in.mortar remained of that type,though a 40-pdr RBL and even a 110-pdr.had been used in New Zealand ,manned by the Royal Navy.

Futhermore the breech-loading principle received much criticism until after trials in which the RBLs failed show to advantage over rifled muzzle-loaders on ground of simplicity, and cost.

From 1871 the 9-pdr. and 16pdr.RML became the standard field guns for horse and field batteries; their range espectively were 2,000-3,300 yards and 1,800-4,000, depending on elevation.

Now all that remains is to find illustrations of these different pieces of artillery.

Prince of Essling11 Jun 2024 1:09 a.m. PST

Armstrong 12-pdr.rifled breech-loaders(RBL)at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
RML 9-pounder 8 cwt Field Gun, at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2024 10:26 p.m. PST

@Prince of Essling

The Armstrong 12-pdr.rifled breech-loaders (RBL) is less known than the 9-pdr.RML.

Now I wonder if it is its carriage that the Württembergs used in 1870 -71 for their Krupp cannons or that of the SBML 9 pounder 13 cwt of 1801.

Or the Armstrong 12-pdr.rifled breech-loaders (RBL) uses the same carriage as the SBML 9 pounder 13 cwt of 1801 ?

TMP link

Now where to find Armstrong 12-pdr.rifled breech-loaders(RBL) for 20mm artillerymen figures?


Trockledockle12 Jun 2024 8:23 a.m. PST

Possibly this one? It isn't clear to me which it is.

They also make a Krupp gun.

Newline make a British 9pdr.


hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2024 11:38 p.m. PST

I don't know what this gun is either.

But in any case Jacklex miniatures are 20 mm too small for my Minifigs 25 mm S Range.

Trockledockle13 Jun 2024 2:56 a.m. PST

You did ask for 20mm! Jacklex tend to be 1/72 rather than the current 20mm.

Trockledockle13 Jun 2024 3:11 a.m. PST



I know they are advertised as 28mm but the range was originally marketed as 25mm. As you can see from the contemporary photographs, men were shorter and the artillery pieces were relatively bigger. Cannon are generally too small on many wargames tables.

summerfield13 Jun 2024 5:27 a.m. PST

I have written a book with the Royal Carriage Department plans for the Armstrong Rifled Breech Loaders. The carriage was not precisely the same as the smoothbore block trail. It was a block trail. Main differences are the wheels.

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP13 Jun 2024 11:42 p.m. PST


Thanks for the link, I would like a photo of their Colonial 12 Pdr. Breech loading rifle.

And for you, what is the difference between the 1/72 and the current 20mm?

What do you call the "current 20mm"?

You have the 28/30mm that most players try to call "25mm".

You have the 25mm, the real ones like the minifigs.

Then "the 20mm" like most of the small flexible plastic soldiers, it is this scale that we call 1/72nd.

Well when I talk about "small 20mm", because sorry there are some, to see what it is, you don't have to put Jacklex next to other "20mm"…

This is because the size of figurines is no longer an "exact science".

there are 20mm which are in fact closer to the real "25mm" than the little soft plastic soldiers, which is why we can say that there are "small 20mm" or rather "large 20mm".

But the best way to make comparisons between what the manufacturers offer is to compare the lengths of the tubes and wheels of the cannons, the lengths of the rifles and all that is equipment and weaponry.


I own and enjoyed at the time the "Hanoverian Army of the Seven Years War (2015)" by Stephen Summerfield.

Now I ask you what mount the Württembergs used in 1870-71 for their Krupp cannons?

After their defeat in 1866, the Württembergs adopted the Krupp cannons.

But according to Gerhard Bauer and Markus Stein, only the cannons not the carriages, in fact the old Württemberg carriages of English model were adapted, so that the new breech-loading Krupp guns could be used.

My question is: What model were these old Württemberg carriages of English model?

The gun carriages of Württemberg belonged in 1870-71 to the
SBML 9 pounds 13 cwt of 1801 or Armstrong 12-pdr. rifled breechloaders (RBL)?

The simplest thing would be to know what types of cannons Württemberg used during the war of 1866, assuming that they were British cannons since according to Gerhard Bauer and Markus Stein, the Württembergs adapted their old British carriages to their new Krupp cannons.

I would like to know if these are SBML 9 pounds 13 cwt from 1801 or Armstrong 12-pdr. rifled breechloaders (RBL) since according to you the wheels were still different.

You wrote "Main differences are the wheels." What are they?

My latest discovery is in Nigel J.Smith's book "THE ARMIES OF 1866" it is written in the chapter on the artillery of the Württemberg army: "The artillery comprised of a single regiment which comprised of Light, Heavy and Horse Batteries. The Light Battery comprised of two eight gun rifled 6pounder breech loading cannon. The Heavy Battery comprised of two eight gun smoothbore 12 pouder muzzle loading cannon. The horse artillery was a mixture.Wilst both batteries were each of eight of eight guns the first batterie was equipped with rifled breech loading 4 pounder guns and the second battery rifled breech loading 6 pounder".

By deduction my questions are: Even if they did not equip the British army, before 1866 what British guns were 6-pounder breech-loading rifled guns?

And even if they did not equip the British army, which British guns were breech-loading 4-pounder rifled guns?

For example the Whitworths which ultimately lost out to the Armstrong gun when it came to equipping the British army ?

They existed in 3pdrs, 6pdrs and 12pdrs, but not in 4pdrs.

The only Whitworths I know of are those used during the ACW with their 14-spoke wheels like in the French artillery, but weren't the carriages of these Whitworths were American rather than British?

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2024 10:41 p.m. PST

Where can I find illustrations of the RHA's 12 pdr howitzers and the RA's 24 pdr howitzers on block trail carriages?

dibble28 Jun 2024 4:31 a.m. PST

hi EEE ya

Here's what Franklin had to say Re: Howitzers

hi EEE ya Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2024 10:41 p.m. PST

Thank You but they are from too old an era, it is those who replaced them in the 1820s that interest me.

Because the 5.5 inch brass howitzers with a bracket carriage was replaced in the 1820s with brass 12 and 24 pdr howitzers on block trail carriages.

By searching I discovered in this contemporary photo that the gun carriages for the 6 and 9-pounder guns was same.


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