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Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley
https://wargame.ch/board/nwc/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=16386
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Author:  Cedric Monget [ Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley

Having finished my rereading of Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley, I quote three passages that I think contradict what is done in JTS Napoleonic Battles :
Quote:
Artillery seldom took position directly behind friendly troops, for two reasons: first, the troops did not like it, as a round could fall short and cause friendly casualties; and secondly, the reaction of those troops to their own artillery might be detrimental to the offending artillerymen’s state of mind and personal safety.

However, it is a very good tactic in NB to put artillery right behind your infantry, just one level higher.
Quote:
It should be remembered, when studying the field artillery of the period, that all of the guns and howitzers were direct-fire weapons, in that the gunner had to see his target, whether he was firing a gun with a flat trajectory or a howitzer with a more parabolic trajectory which allowed it to fire into ditches, behind walls, etc. Modern fire control methods were unknown during the Napoleonic period.

On the contrary, in NB, howitzer are indeed indirtect-fire guns (think about artillery in FWWC which must have a free direct line of fire to shoot at 5 or 6 km (so with a parabolic trajectory)).
Quote:
The reason for so many caissons assigned per battery was that Napoleon required that there always be a double “approvisionment” (standard load) of ammunition per gun with the army– 300 to 350 rounds per gun. The system worked very well, and the Grande Armée never ran out of ammunition.

No out of ammo french guns...

About Kiley's book, I found it full of very interesting things, including technical data summarized in large, clear tables. Unfortunately, there are repetitions and the book is badly structured.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley

Cedric Monget wrote:
Having finished my rereading of Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley, I quote three passages that I think contradict what is done in JTS Napoleonic Battles :
Quote:
Artillery seldom took position directly behind friendly troops, for two reasons: first, the troops did not like it, as a round could fall short and cause friendly casualties; and secondly, the reaction of those troops to their own artillery might be detrimental to the offending artillerymen’s state of mind and personal safety.

However, it is a very good tactic in NB to put artillery right behind your infantry, just one level higher.

On maps you often find artillery in front of infantry at the start of a battle, but question is really if that was so all the time. At Waterloo for example sources state that the grand battery stopped firing when d'Erlon corps passed, but when the corps got into the lower terrain the grand battery started to fire again.


Cedric Monget wrote:
Quote:
It should be remembered, when studying the field artillery of the period, that all of the guns and howitzers were direct-fire weapons, in that the gunner had to see his target, whether he was firing a gun with a flat trajectory or a howitzer with a more parabolic trajectory which allowed it to fire into ditches, behind walls, etc. Modern fire control methods were unknown during the Napoleonic period.

On the contrary, in NB, howitzer are indeed indirtect-fire guns (think about artillery in FWWC which must have a free direct line of fire to shoot at 5 or 6 km (so with a parabolic trajectory)).

Question is what is meant with "see his target". When I want to fire on units behind a wall I need to see the wall but not the units obviously. But in the NB series you need to have a unit for direct fire and only indirect fire weapon can fire without units. So it may seem to be unrealistic to fire howitzers that way but it's the only way to allow hitting units behind cover.


Cedric Monget wrote:
Quote:
The reason for so many caissons assigned per battery was that Napoleon required that there always be a double “approvisionment” (standard load) of ammunition per gun with the army– 300 to 350 rounds per gun. The system worked very well, and the Grande Armée never ran out of ammunition.

No out of ammo french guns...

Never? I'm pretty sure there were occasions when fire had at least to be scaled down. Afaik at Leipzig Napoleon wanted to have much more ammunition and if he would have got it he surely would have put his artillery to show a better effect.

Author:  Cedric Monget [ Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley

I agree with everything you say: 1. there is indeed some case where the artillery fires over the head of the troops (but from high ground on high ground with the friendly troops in low ground between — this is the situation at Waterloo) ; 2. the game system does not allow anything else at the moment but JTS did an other choice with FWWC ; 3. sometimes the French artillery ran out of ammunition, but always because of problems upstream, not because of what was happening on the battlefield. I quote Kiley again :
Quote:
The troops might go hungry, but they could always march or fight. Only once during the course of the Empire’s wars did the artillery came close to running out of ammunition. The army trains during the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 were cut off in Eilenberg, north of Leipzig, by the concentric advance of the allies. The French artillery expenditures during the first day of the battle were immense, and resupply was impossible. This went a long way in convincing Napoleon that he had to withdraw. The expenditure was 267 rounds per gun at Leipzig, compared to 100 per gun at Friedland six years earlier.

Theoretically, a Grande Armée gun has 590 rounds !

But I thought it would be interesting to point out these aspects of artillery in napoleonic era.

Author:  Christian Hecht [ Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars by Kevin Kiley

Cedric Monget wrote:
But I thought it would be interesting to point out these aspects of artillery in napoleonic era.

Without a question it is interesting, such discussions always allow to gain knowledge and alone by that are a benefit to the club.

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