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Trotski12
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Postby Trotski12 » Thu May 04, 2006 9:31 am

The Brits had much better firing drill than the other European nations during the Napoleonic wars.

You should read up on your history before running your mouth.



In british report only^^ you could see the same on many report from others nations...


I know it, I AM historian.

THe hsitory or 4/5 volleys is not new^^ I saw in napoleonnic Museum of marseille some docs, and this sentence make me laugth :
" There was no one who can give a quickest fire than our highly trainned elites, like grenaders (of the line, they mean, not guard) or carabiner on foot. [...] They could fire around 5 volleys in the time needed for british or russian one to to fire 3 or 4. [...]"


I spare you the long list of "evidence" and battles stories they wrote after...

you have to know that after (and some historians say that it begun before) the end of napoleonnic time, england were the wolrd power nation, a period we call the england imperialism. So it's not suprising that they turned the history to their advantage, like everybody did before.

Some of the finset studies (included the German 6 th World history Meeting, 1995) Tend to this. HEre a part of the answer from Claude Ribbe (some price on this era) to an Croatian student, asking about Napoleonnic era :

" You have to know that the msot of the repports we can find on this era are childrens of nationnal propagand. WE cannot really tell if one or other are firing quickly, figthing better, or simply smelling better, but the only thing we really know is that if we compare figthing results of those times, winners are polish, british, and french. The best thing to do, i think, is to consider theim like equivalent troops, different ways of figthing, but simply the same [...] "


It will be interesting to add this in your history section, no?

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Postby Lord von Döbeln » Thu May 04, 2006 9:44 am

"The best thing to do, i think, is to consider theim like equivalent troops, different ways of figthing, but simply the same [...] "

Well it would be a pretty boring game with all the line infantry being exactly the same, all light infantry being exactly the same etc - no? ;)

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Lord Crow

Postby Lord Crow » Thu May 04, 2006 3:39 pm

I think the proof was on the battlefield, every nation is going to over egg their own abilities for sure but as far as the Penninsular goes I think their must be some truth to it for the Brits. The Brits were the only ones to train with live rounds no? To me it's common sense as the Brits used the 'thin red line' they had to shoot faster otherwise they would be goners if they were reached no?

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Postby Gexozoid » Thu May 04, 2006 3:53 pm

@Lord Crow!

Did you know that at EACH battle french were outnumberd, at EACH battle they usually went into it after few days of getting demoralized by guerillas which brits didnt have to go trought, also did you know that the french reigments in spain were ALL provisional, and reserve, there was no heavy cavalry either only low quality dragoons (yes LOW quality cause usually they didnt even have money for their uniforms so they wore what every they could!)

I think this should be taken into the account, since napleon himself tought of spain as a second rate theather of war so he didnt send his main WAR machine there until it was already to late!

So saying that british fough the french finest and showed their teeth would be everything but the truth!

I am not trying to make the british success smaller just to prove it isnt all as it seems!

Also on many accounts Wellington said IF NAPOLEON commanded the troops in Spain for sure british would not be on the winning side.. Also at Corruna (which you usually claim to be your victory) british troops were running leaving their dead and wounded on side of the road and thorwing their weapons away just to get on the ships.. probably cause they were afraid of the emperor comeing to battle! Not this British claim it was their victory, while both french and spanish accounts claim it as a big british disaster and french victory!

gex

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Lord Crow

Postby Lord Crow » Thu May 04, 2006 4:32 pm

I think you should check your facts a little m8 , the french out numbered all the time?. You say it was no victory at corunna, look at the facts. the Brit Army was in retreat, disaster yes! So the French objective was to cut them off and stop the Brit Army reaching the ships and getting away to fight another day. What happened? Moore performed heroically and got the troops back onto ships and made a stand. You tell me whose victory it was? Your correct in saying that Wellington said that Nap would have had victories if it had been the other way round but it still doesn't make it so does it. I could say I am a millionaire but it doesn't mean I have a million Pounds! Napoleon also said he was coming back to Spain when he left, although he never did so I'm not sure why he thought Spain so second rate, why appoint your brother King of a second rate country? doesn't make sense to me. You imply it wasn't the French finest army but the Brits had to raise an Army in Portugal from scratch so you could the French were better.

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Postby HuronKing » Thu May 04, 2006 8:16 pm

Think of the battle of Corunna has analagous to the British withdrawl at Dunkirk.
They saved their army from complete destruction, hence a victory.
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Postby Lord Of Storms » Thu May 04, 2006 8:29 pm

A victory what is a victory it is where the enemy is defeated and forced to retreat. The germans and the french were not defeated. The ensurance that an army survives is an essencial objective of any retreat thus all that was acheived at dunkirk and Corruna was a succesful retreat. If a successful retreat is a victory then the axis retreat from the crimea in 1944 was a victory

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Postby Lady Meg » Thu May 04, 2006 8:54 pm

Hello Trotski12 and welcome ot our forums. Please pick an avatar from the gallery section of your profile.

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Lord Crow

Postby Lord Crow » Fri May 05, 2006 12:02 am

I don't know if victory is the right word, perhaps 'successful retreat' would be more apt. But the French certainly failed in their objectives.

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Postby Lord Uxbridge Ist » Fri May 05, 2006 8:23 am

Firstly there are two good reasons why British troops could fire faster than their Continental counterparts:

1) The British trained with live ammunition.

2) The British used finely milled powder, widely recognised as being the best available. This meant that the barrels didn't get as fouled as quickly, and therefore you could maintain a higher rate of fire.

As a qualifying statement however, it is practically impossible that ANY unit of ANY nation reached a rate of fire of 4 or 5 rounds a minute, in the heat of battle even by tap-loading.

Secondly, regarding the Peninsular War. Although the French were outnumbered in the majority of battles, I really think it would be worth checking facts before making sweeping statements such as : "Did you know that at EACH battle french were outnumberd...".

Curunna (January 16, 1809):

British: 14,000 with 900 dead or wounded (including Sir John Moore).
French: 16,000 with 2,000 dead or wounded.

Talavera de la Reina (July27/28, 1809)

British: 20,000 with 5,500 dead or wounded.
Spanish: 33,000 with 1,000 dead or wounded.

French: 50,000 with 7,400 dead or wounded

*Now although it appears the French were outnumbered, one must remember that for the majority of the battle the Spanish sat around doing very little at all. Note the disproportionate ratio of combatants/casualties between the British/Spanish.

Busaco (Septmeber 27, 1810)

British: 25,000
Portuguese: 25,000 with combined losses or 1,250 dead or wounded.

French: 65,000 with 4,500 dead or wounded.

Barossa (March 15, 1811)

British and Portuguese: 5,200
Spanish: 9,600

French: 7,000

* As with Talavera, at first it appears the French were outnumbered. However, one must take into consideration that, under their Generals (La Pena) orders, the Spainish took no significant part in this battle. Also, one must note the first French eagle of the Peninsular was taken in this battle.

Feuntes de Onoro (3-5 May, 1811)

British, Portuguese and Spanish: 37,000 with 1,500 dead or wounded.

French: 48,000 with 4,500 dead or wounded.

So, by no stretch of the imagination were the French outnumbered in EACH battle.

I do however agree that the morale of French troops must have been low due to the attentions of Spanish guerillas and partisans.

Also, to say that all of the French units in the Peninsular were either provisional or reserve is a farce. Just as an example, both the 54th Line and 45th Line who fought at Barrossa also fought at Austerlitz, were the troops at Austerlitz also reserve/provisional?

Regarding cavalry in the Peninsular. Neither side had a preponderance of cavalry in the campaign, especially heavy cavalry. Not that it would have been hugely useful anyway due to the nature of the Spanish terrain. Wellington's cavalry only exceeded 2,000 troopers after 1811, prior to which I believe the French had the numerical advantage.

Now, you are quite right in that Napoleon never really gave Spain the attention it deserved, regarding it as a subsidiary theatre of war, and that the war there would be over very swiftly. He did indeed intend to return to Spain, but never did. I also believe that had Napoleon been in command in the Peninsular, the British and their Allies would never have achieved as many victories.

But please, if you are going to make such sweeping statements as these, please check the facts first.

LU
"There is no beating these troops. They were completely beaten; the day was mine, and yet they did not know it and would not run." - Marshal Soult in his report to Napoleon after the Battle of Albuera, 16th May, 1811

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Postby Arman » Fri May 05, 2006 10:38 am

Percision not rate of fire matters in both linar or column tactics.
even if unit fire 4/5 voleys at minute, and musket effective range is 200 yards. Charging column makes this distance in 30 seconds, so max number of effective voleys that can be made even by supernaturally trained infantry is ONE.
So all that matters is how effective this voley was and how fast infantry can counter charge with bayonets. Rest is just for showing off.
Russian infantry was actually reloading very fast, but they had problems with accuracy. Suvorov have been placing most of attention to accuracy, it's only after stupid Pavel reform Russian infantry started firing fast but very inpercise.

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Postby Lord Uxbridge Ist » Fri May 05, 2006 11:00 am

Marshall Thomas Robert Bugeaud, Duc D'Isly (1789-1849)

"As soon as we got about 1000 metres from the English line, our men would begin to get restless and excited. They exchanged ideas; the march began to get hurried. Meanwhile the English, silent and impassive, arms at the port, looked like a long red wall - most forbidding to our young soldiers. As we get closer shouts of "Vive l'Empereur! En Avant! A la baionette!" break from our ranks. Our march becomes a trot; men fire their muskets into the air. Three hundred yards in front, the scarlet line stands motionless. They do not seem impressed by the storm which threatens to break over them. It is a striking contrast. Some of us begin to think that it will be devastating when, at last, they do fire. Their unshakeable calm is unnerving. Our enthusiasm begins to wane. We try to restore our confidence by redoubled shouting. At last, the English muskets come down - they are making ready. Appalled, many of our men halt and open a scattered fire. Then comes the English volley, precise, deadly, thunderous. Decimated, our column staggers, half turns, tries to regain its balance. The enemy break their long held silence with a cheer. Then a second volley, perhaps a third and, with the third, they are at us, chasing us in a disorderly retreat."

My italics

LU
"There is no beating these troops. They were completely beaten; the day was mine, and yet they did not know it and would not run." - Marshal Soult in his report to Napoleon after the Battle of Albuera, 16th May, 1811

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Lord Crow

Postby Lord Crow » Fri May 05, 2006 11:24 am

So the Brits weren't as bad as some make out? LOL

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Postby Arman » Fri May 05, 2006 11:25 am

The column had stopped low moral that was their problem, they should not stop after first voley. This column already wavered after first, weak moral.
This was just 3 voleys each made by each rank... there were no 3 reloading!

Instead of 1 voley of 2 ranks, brits did 3 in sequence in this case. In other cases they are commended doing one big voley from much closer range and than charge.

French infantry was loosing impetus as fast as gaining it, this problem was commented well by French officers. This trick might not work on northeners who are generally less nervious.

Russians or Swedes would fell down dead but column would advance as if they are robots.
Last edited by Arman on Fri May 05, 2006 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lord Crow

Postby Lord Crow » Fri May 05, 2006 11:34 am

Remember that was a quote m8, it was stated by Marshall Thomas Robert Bugeaud, Duc D'Isly and he said what he saw.

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Postby Arman » Fri May 05, 2006 11:35 am

Lord Crow wrote:Remember that was a quote m8, it was stated by Marshall Thomas Robert Bugeaud, Duc D'Isly and he said what he saw.

Exactly he mentioned 3 voleys he didn't said 3 reloading tho.


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