Saturday, March 30, 2013

An interesting video of Artillery and speed!

I came upon this video at the new Musee de L'Armee exhibition which can be found here;

Reconstitution armée napoléonienne : le tir au canon (Système Gribeauval)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Been a while!

        So GOOGLE must've been acting up or something at one time? Because when I attempted to post something a while back they told me I had used up to much space and now had to pay a fee in order to BLOG! Well that downright defeats the purpose of BLOGGING so as you can see I cease and desisted for a while. Well any way's I'm now back in a limited fashion and believe here's something that you'll truly enjoy!

"Regulations 1791. Soldier's School. Ecole de Soldat!"

Drill techniques without weapons!

 Position of the Soldier
by the right flank - RIGHT
by the left flank - LEFT
Turn - Forward RIGHT - ON
Oblique right (left) - ON
Change it - RUN.

Courtesy of GOOGLE Translate, lol!

 Position du Soldat Tete - A DROITE FIXE par le flanc droit - A DROITE par le flanc gauche - A GAUCHE Demi-tour - A DROITE En avant - MARCHE Oblique a droite (a gauche) - MARCHE Changez le pas - MARCHE.


Regulations 1791. Soldier's School. With weapons!

 Carrying weapons
Turn - RIGHT
Front Rest WEAPONS
Introduce - YOUR ARMS
Inspection - ARMS
Baguette = IN CANON
Bayonet - AU CANON (a soldier in the rest position weapons)
Your weapons = GROUND
Bayonet = AU CANON (in position wear - weapons)
Replace - LA bayonet (in position wear - weapons)
The weapon - ARM
The weapon WILL = A '
The gun under his arm = LEFT
Cross - LA bayonet


Port d'armes
Demi-tour - A DROITE
Front Reposez-ARMES
Portez = VOS ARMES
Reposez-vous - SUR VOS ARMES
Presentez - VOS ARMES
Inspection - DES ARMES
Baguette = DANS LE CANON
Bayonette - AU CANON (a soldier in the position reposez-armes)
Vos armes = A TERRE
Relevez = VOS ARMES
Bayonnette = AU CANON (in position portez - armes)
Remettez - LA BAYONETTE (in position portez - armes)
L'arme - AU BRAS
L'arme = A VOLONTE '
L'arme sous le bras = GAUCHE
Descendez = VOS ARMES

Regulations 1791. Soldier's School. Loading in 12 manuvers!


1. Load - YOUR ARMS
7. The weapon - LEFT
8. Cartridge - CANON IN
9. Pull - STICK
10. stuff
11. Replace - STICK
12. Wear - YOUR ARMS


1. Chargez - VOS ARMES
2. Ouvrez - LE BASSINET
3. Prenez - LA CARTOUCHE
4. Dechirez - LA CARTOUCHE
6. Fermez - LE BASSINET
7. L'arme - A GAUCHE
8. Cartouche - DANS LE CANON
9. Tirez - LA BAGUETTE
11. Remettez - LA BAGUETTE
12. Portez - VOS ARMES



Regulations 1791. Soldier's School. Aim & Fire!


 Aiming and shooting
3 Cher - ready - PLAY YOUR ARMS FIRE Straighten - YOUR ARMS
2 Cher - ready - PLAY YOUR ARMS FIRE Straighten - YOUR ARMS
Load (after the shot)
Dog = IDLE (after the shot)
Pay - your arms (after the shot)
load precipitate


Aiming and shooting
3 Cher - Appretez - VOS ARMES JOUE FEU Redressez - VOS ARMES
2 Cher - Appretez - VOS ARMES JOUE FEU Redressez - VOS ARMES
Chargez (after the shot)
Le chien = AU REPOS (after the shot)
Portez - vos armes (after the shot)
Charge precipite 


The main building of infantry under the rules in 1791

       (Excerpt from Chapter VII of the book "Napoleon's army")


• Construction of a Battalion "en bataille"!


• Construction of a "company"!

        It is understandable that developed on the basis of experience in XVIII battles . Regulations intended as a basic building blocks for an infantry battalion deployed in line. In this line of soldiers they stood very close to the front: on average, one person had less than one step, and each had to lick their elbows neighbors on the right and the left. Fairly close to each other and arranged rows - at a distance of one foot (the distance measured from the front rows of soldiers backpack to the chest of the soldier behind). Behind the line is the majority of the non-commissioned officers and officers, with the exceptions of the captains who had to stand on the right flank of his company, and part of the sergeants, who were also in line. The specific location of each of the soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers can be clearly seen in the figure. Regulation does not specify exactly how much space is given to the person at the front, but in one of the precepts of Marshal Davoust for his troops indicated that the battalion, which has 213 people on the front, should take 152 steps (or 100 meters). 


        It is important to note that the construction in order of battle, each company was named "Platoon" (peloton); two adjacent platoon called "division" (division). This was due to the fact that the organizational unit and unit for drill did not match. For whatever reason, in the companies could be a different number of soldiers, drill maneuvers also require the same number of people in the combat units. Therefore, from the reserves, where they were in abundance, put in those companies where they did not have, as a result, although the drill platoon and met some company, complete identity was not among them. Regulation is expected that this building should be a basic, in fact, virtually the only useful in combat. That is why the construction battalion deployed in the construction of the line called "en bataille", ie, just fighting. Generally in the regulations all rebuilding platoon, battalion or battalion, leading to the fact that the unit was provided in a deployed serried lines, called rebuilding "in the order of battle." 


        So a serried line battalion was, according to the authors of the rules, basic and natural building. Module, it is, from which, as of the dice, line up the line, and all other construction, a platoon. Unlike infantry XVII., Which for a campaign, battle or parade hosted architecture, where quite different, with different distances and intervals housed soldiers, a battalion of the period under review was as if made of non-destructive, neraschlenyaemyh bricks. Convert one building to another was accomplished by changing the position of platoon that made going down the shoulder forward, moving forward or backward, left or right, while retaining the same position inside almost all soldiers and officers. 


For example, the basic systems for the movement of the battalion on the road or in the field was a platoon column.It was built as follows. The battalion commander gave the order:• 1. Par peloton a droite• 2. Marche• platoon right march

         According to the second team of each platoon went left shoulder forward by 90 degrees. The result of this sequence is built one after the other platoons. 


The need to move and maneuver battalions deployed line, quickly "break down his front" * and again built into the line and led to the emergence of a particular port the soldier, and the corresponding step of the entire system of training that may seem now very uncomfortable, but which, nevertheless, the only one possible in the circumstances. The best proof is that all the forces of Europe from St. Petersburg to Madrid trained on a similar regulations. 


* "Break the front battalion" (Rompre le bataillon) is to turn the line into a set of battalion somehow standing platoons or divisions, such as the construction of the above columns platoons could be described as "cracked front Battalion platoons right." 


        The first thing was to train recruits - it is right to stand in line. Charter described the correct stance soldier: "Heels on the same line, the convergence is so, as far as body type, your feet are divorced and one to the other corner a little less direct, keep your knees straight, but not tense, body straight and tilted slightly forward, shoulders divorced, and arms are held in a natural way, elbows close to the body, hands slightly expanded palms outward, so that the little finger lay along the seam of pants, head straight, chin slightly closer to the neck, but not too much, eyes looking to the ground in about fifteen paces. " 


        It was not easy to teach peasant lad keep feet divorced, so that they "were one to the other corner a little less direct", though it was necessary. For to the soldiers in the ranks occupies minimum space on the front, so that it complied with all rifle techniques without disturbing others, required a maximum collection of all the movements. Recall that in single file along the front of 200-250 people standing! The slightest push immediately passed like a wave, and could disrupt the alignment and closeness. 


        On the basis of these principles has been developed and the main marching step, the so-called "normal step" (pas ordinaire). By today's standards it may seem like just a snail - 76 steps per minute, which is about the speed with which the person is a leisurely stroll. This slow step is also easily explained already mentioned imperatives. After all, the expanded line battalion occupied the front of 100-120 meters, had to move not only on the parade ground, but also on the real battlefield, with all its potholes, rocks, bushes, debris carriages and mutilated bodies, without breaking or nearly breaking the alignment! It is clear that even the most well-trained troops, had their heads to move forward at the front steps of modern armies (100 steps per minute in the French and 120 steps in Russian), failed to keep the alignment, turned out slim line shapeless crowd. Movement soldier during the step was also subject to the need to maintain alignment and closeness in a huge line. Right, free of guns, hand does not give a visual signal, and kept close to the body. The soldier had to march, "pulling a sock, but not too much, and so as to retain vyvorotnost out, upper body should be tilted forward, calves must be tensed. Put your foot on the ground should be flat, without knocking. Hold up your head .. . " All machinery was built to pitch to avoid any hesitation housing, which could lead to pressure on the neighbors to the right or to the left, and thus destroy the line: 


"... The soldiers in the ranks can not go as it would afford a person, because no two people walking in the same way. Necessary that the recruits learned to walk the same step, that step was clear and rhythmic, without which will not be unity. " 


        In addition to "normal step" was also used, and accelerated, which, however, was also not particularly fast - a hundred steps per minute. This type of pitch was used for movements in the colonies, where, because of the narrowness of the front was much easier to maintain alignment. Finally, "in the attack and in all other circumstances, which may require special speed of movement" used particularly rapid pace, or as it was called, "Step Attack" (pas de charge) - 120 steps per minute, however, as noted by the rules, "division, reaching such a step, can not long keep the dressing and, of course, will soon be in a mess, so this step is considered as the speed goes beyond the normal training." 


        The set of possible types of marching prescribed rules, was another who can hit military XX century. - The so-called "step oblichesky" (pas oblique) to the right or left. Oblichesky step to the right as follows: soldiers marched forward with the left foot, and then to make the right foot at 45 degrees to the direction of motion without moving the body, then the left front, right side, etc. Accordingly, when the left went oblicheskom step forward right foot, and left - side. Speed ​​oblicheskogo step was 76 steps per minute. The modern reader may think that this is something out of the ballet. Of course, oblichesky step is not one of the most natural forms of human movement. Nevertheless, its use also comes from the need to operate the expanded serried line. If during the battle line was required to shift the angle forward, while at the same time, its orientation to the front of the enemy, it could only be done oblicheskim step, all other options would have to change the direction of the front of the battle order or break ranks. 


        Finally, we add that the statute provided and most normal human step, called "marching step" (pas de route). As you might guess from its name, this step was used on the march. Cruising speed for the step was not regulated with the same accuracy as for the others (as the soldiers were on the march out of step) and can vary in the range of 85-90 steps per minute. Soldiers moving in traveling, going as someone handy weapon also carried an arbitrary way, allowed to talk and sing. 


        Soldiers, trained to walk properly, was then master the techniques of handling weapons. First of all, it was carrying a gun, using "shoulder" (portez vos armes). "The instructor should pay particular attention to the fact that the soldier was holding the gun is not too low and not too high - pointed rules - if a gun is held too high, left elbow is too set aside, and the soldier as a result will take longer than it should , a place in the line, the weapon will stay shaky, but if the gun is held too low, the soldier will not be room to operate freely with him, because his neighbors pridvinuvshis closer, ashamed of his movement ... " As we see here, the main objective was to maximize coherence in close formation. 


        After classes on basic "principles to bear arms" recruit trained to load and shoot, and then perform any rifle tricks: taking a gun "under the hammer", "hold ease", etc. Finally, the soldier studied adjacent bayonet and "couch "that is, put a rifle with a bayonet in front of him. 


        More or less individually trained recruits went on to lessons on the "program" shutter setting of the school. In this part of the future soldier training more firmly fixed the covered against the step alignment and rifle tricks, and all the main attention was paid to the consistency of performance, to ensure that the platoon acted as a unit, without losing alignment, marched front, went right or left shoulder forward, change the speed of the step well executed rifle receptions and led the volley fire. Having learned these exercises, the soldiers had to continue teaching in the whole battalion. One of the highlights "battalion school" has been training soldiers to fire a variety of methods that have been applied in practice.        

        The main ways of shooting from close order were: battalion fire (feu de bataillon), polubatalonami fire (feu de demi bataillon), fire platoons (feu de peloton), and finally, the fire "two rows" (feu de deux rangs). In the first three cases involved volleys being given respectively by a battalion polubatalonom or separate platoons. In this case, the rules suggested that the volley was given once every three ranks, and the first row got up on one knee, and a third shot into the spaces between the soldiers of the second rank. For the production of all volley battalion commander gave the following orders: 


• Bataillon - The Battalion• Armes (short for Appretez vos armes) - Tovs• Joue - Aim• Feu - Fire• Chargez - Charge 


According to the second team of soldiers took guns at the ready and cocking, the soldiers first rank at the same time sit on his knee. On the third and fourth, as is clear enough to aim and executed volley. Similarly, to command and to fire polubatalonami, only the name "battalion" was replaced by the name of "right" or "left polubatalon." However, this type of fire is rarely met in practice. But the fire was very common platoons. The battalion commander gave the order: 


• Feu de peloton - Fire platoons• Commencez le feu - Start the Fire 


According to the second team of the first platoon commander ordered his unit, and get ready to shoot immediately after the production of the first platoon volley shot a third, then immediately one after another: the fifth, seventh, second, fourth, sixth and eighth. Fire so quickly rolled to the front of the battalion. 


However, the most "loved" by the French infantry fire was so-called "fire two rows" (feu de deux rangs), at which the maximum rate of fire. For its beginning, the battalion commander gave the following orders: 


• Feu de deux rangs - Fire two rows• Bataillon - The Battalion• Armes - Tovs 


Once all the soldiers of the first two ranks with loaded rifles became the ready, to order: 


• Commencez le feu - Start the Fire 


        On the team in each platoon were aiming and shooting two soldiers extreme right lane, then immediately behind them - the soldiers of the second row, then the third, fourth, and so on (note that "next" in the statute as the French and the Russian army called soldiers facing one another in the back.) Fire, so rolled to the front of each platoon *. After the first organized shots each had fired as it was convenient to him, and, in particular, the soldiers of the second rank is not obliged to shoot at the same time with its neighbor on the front. The fire started at random, but with a high speed "rush" down the line battalion. The intensity of the fire was very great. Suffice to say that the average number of battalion (about 700-750 people) with a very modest degree of training of the soldiers gave about 1,000-1,200 rounds per minute **, or about 16-20 shots per second! It was a real barrage of fire, a line of gunpowder smoke envelops the battalion, which from continuing horrific crash every second flashed several dozen bundles of leaves the barrel of the flame. Trying to stop such firing command voice would be just useless, so the signal for a cease-fire was fed by a short drumming. Add that during the production of fire-bearer platoon commanders and the protection moves back, one step behind the third rank. 


* Since the fire, under this system of fire rolled down the line through the ranks, he was also called "light series" (feu de file), this expression was in Russian military terminology early XIX century. 


** Fired two lines, that is, about five hundred people, taking as minimal normal rate of 2-2.5 shots per minute, we get 1000-1250 rounds per minute. Of this amount, you subtract the tens inevitable misfires. On the other hand, given that, according to the regulations, the third rows of soldiers were charged guns, constantly exchanging the second rank with the soldiers, the figure could be slightly higher. However, this maneuver - the transfer of guns - rarely done in the war. In general, 1000-1200 rounds per minute could be given a battalion effortlessly. 


        As can be seen from the above, the statute in 1791 zeroing in on the training of personnel in the spirit of linear tactics and, of course, considered the detailed trehsherenozhnuyu line as the main combat formation. However, on pages 235-238 of the Rules described "column for the attack." It was a tower built podivizionno (Division - two adjacent platoon), and "was based on the center." This meant that the central 4th, and 5th Battalion platoons, remained stationary, and the other from the right and from the left wing departed quick step for them. Get four (sometimes five) standing one by one short line, the distance between the front of which is equal "sections" (half a platoon). Thus, if we assume battalions 600-700, column, there are about 50-55 people at the front and in depth - 12 full ranks plus 4 incomplete (ranks NO), which is a rectangle, which had about 25 meters wide and 40 meters in depth. 


        Charter in 1791, describing the construction of the column to the attack, did not draw any conclusions from this. Not identified any cases in which it was necessary to apply it, or how to manage this column on the battlefield. They are very detailed the construction of a variety of columns for traveling on the road and the nomination of the reserves, as well as multiple "lines of evolution." The last term refers to the maneuvers carried out at the same time a large number of deployed battalions. The Charter describes in detail such rebuilding as a "change of front in the fifth battalion left wing forward", "oblicheskaya change front forward on the right wing tip of the first line", "perpendicular to change front forward on the left wing of the first line center" etc. Even the basis of these statements can be intricate to doubt the value of these exercises on a real battlefield, though we shall soon see how well they are applied in practice. 


        Against cavalry charges regulations prescribed build quads six ranks - bulky construction of four battalions. Such a penalty, of course, could be successfully confront the enemy cavalry, if it could be built somewhere other than on maneuvers in the Campus Martius. Battle realities Revolution abolished all the complex maneuvers that are suitable only for training on a large flat square. But no battle is not complete without the use of chains shooters, no attack battalion columns, with no need to reinvent the ordinary course of construction against cavalry charges. 


O.V.Sokolov. Napoleon's army. P.186-192


 Line infantry battalion consisted of 8 companies Fusiliers and one company of grenadiers. Grenadiers wore the same uniform as the Fusiliers, but were sewn on the coattails of burning the image of Grenade, while the number for Fusiliers.

  • Tunic , 1794-1806 gg. (Cloth, linen, twill, brass)
  • White vest, 1791-1807 gg. (Cloth, linen, brass)
  • Knickers soldiers , 1796-1807 gg. (Linen, h / b)
  • Long underwear for men, con. XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Flax)
  • Shirt , XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Linen, h / b)
  • Black tie regimented, XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Cloth, brass)
  • Shoes with laces , XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Leather)
  • Leggings gray linen , XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Canvas, wood)
  • Satchel , 1791-1812 gg. (Leather, wood, metal, skin)
  • Pouch with Grenada , 1786-1812 gg. (Leather, brass)
  • Braces , con. XVIII - early. XIX centuries. (Linen, leather, brass)
  • Obr.1777/An IX musket with bayonet, 1800-1815 gg. (Wood, steel, brass)
  • Infantry saber , arr. 1767 (brass, steel, leather)
  • Hat privates, corporals and sergeants , 1791-1807 gg. (Felt, silk, wool, wood)
  • Epaulets grenadier , 1791-1805 gg. (Wool cloth)

  •  Courtesy of