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"That's how I like to see Horse artillery move!"

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  • "That's how I like to see Horse artillery move!"

    Proportionately, did the British field more horses artillery batterys than other armies. A quick read at His Grace's British artillery at Waterloo seems to indicate that they did?

    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
    Proportionately, did the British field more horses artillery batterys than other armies. A quick read at His Grace's British artillery at Waterloo seems to indicate that they did?

    During the 100 days that seems likely yes, good horse artillery takes training and practice, two things the French had little time for in 1815.



    Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

    Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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    • #3
      For a quick look, I found this information:

      First, how many horse artillery troops did the British have, including the KGL?-10

      Second, how many did the Dutch-Belgians, Hanoverians, and the Brunswickers have?-4

      Third, how many did the French have in Belgium?-13

      So it appears that the British did not have more horse artillery than the French, but Wellington's army had one more.

      This information is in the orders of battle in Scott Bowden's Armies at Waterloo.

      We are not now that strength which in old days
      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
        Proportionately, did the British field more horses artillery batterys than other armies. A quick read at His Grace's British artillery at Waterloo seems to indicate that they did?

        The short answer is 'no.' The Grande Armee had six regiments of horse artillery plus the horse artillery of the Guard. The British just didn't have as many.
        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

        Comment


        • #5
          Found this - haven't yet had a chance to read though

          https://www.academia.edu/2901793/Wat...Prussian_SOJ_5

          Your OOB above doesn't include the Prussians, they made up most of the allies at Waterloo no ?
          Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

          Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
            Found this - haven't yet had a chance to read though

            https://www.academia.edu/2901793/Wat...Prussian_SOJ_5

            Your OOB above doesn't include the Prussians, they made up most of the allies at Waterloo no ?
            The question that was put mentioned Wellington and the British, not Blucher's army. If that is listed, then the French horse artillery with Grouchy would have to be included.

            From the previously mentioned source the Prussians had 12 horse artillery batteries.

            Grouchy's command had four horse artillery companies.

            The bottom line, per the question that was put, clearly indicates that the number of British horse artillery troops did not outnumber the number of French horse artillery companies at Waterloo.
            Last edited by Massena; 11 Aug 20, 17:34.
            We are not now that strength which in old days
            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

            Comment


            • #7
              I kind of guessed in total the French would outnumber everyone else, that's why I said in proportion to their size and numbers, but I'm guessing not in quality. M's comparison with the Prussian,Dutch and Belgian horse artillery might be the better indicator?
              I've also read that envious eyes were cast from all parties, the goodies and the baddies to the quality of English/Irish horseflesh, from Cavalry mounts down to draft horses.

              The long toll of the brave
              Is not lost in darkness
              Over the fruitful earth
              And athwart the seas
              Hath passed the light of noble deeds
              Unquenchable forever.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                I kind of guessed in total the French would outnumber everyone else, that's why I said in proportion to their size and numbers, but I'm guessing not in quality. M's comparison with the Prussian,Dutch and Belgian horse artillery might be the better indicator?
                I've also read that envious eyes were cast from all parties, the goodies and the baddies to the quality of English/Irish horseflesh, from Cavalry mounts down to draft horses.

                The British cavalry was usually better mounted than the French. Regarding horse artillery, I have read that the British believed that the French arm was superior. In 1810-1811 the Dutch horse artillery composed the 7th regiment of the French arm. The KGL horse artillery was the equal of the British.

                The French and British horse artillery was superior to anything else on the continent.
                We are not now that strength which in old days
                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If memory serves, it was Boneypart's horse artillery who did severe damage to a couple of British squares near La Haye Sainte at the battle's sternest moments?
                  A whiff of grapeshot, repaid in full when Mercer's galloping guns, got their sights on the Old Guards heavies. Speaking of Mercer, his meeting with a severely wounded Lancer on the Monday morning, is a story that I find just as moving now as I did reading it as a kid.

                  The long toll of the brave
                  Is not lost in darkness
                  Over the fruitful earth
                  And athwart the seas
                  Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                  Unquenchable forever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                    If memory serves, it was Boneypart's horse artillery who did severe damage to a couple of British squares near La Haye Sainte at the battle's sternest moments?
                    A whiff of grapeshot, repaid in full when Mercer's galloping guns, got their sights on the Old Guards heavies. Speaking of Mercer, his meeting with a severely wounded Lancer on the Monday morning, is a story that I find just as moving now as I did reading it as a kid.

                    Canister, not grapeshot. Grapeshot was seldom used in field pieces during the period as canister was the more efficient, and deadly, round.

                    Mercer's memoir is excellent.

                    The following is regarding the Grenadiers a Cheval at the end of the action. It is from Captain William Siborne's History of the Waterloo Campaign, 378:

                    'A remarkable exception to the general disorganization of the French army was manifested about this time in front of Vandeleur's brigade, which was the furthest in advance of any of the Allied troops. In the midst of a crowd of fugitives which impeded the progress of the brigade, there appeared a regiment of cavalry, moving at a walk, in close column, and in perfect order, as if disdaining to allow itself to be contaminated by the confusion that prevailed around it. It was the 'grenadiers a cheval.' The 12th British light dragoons were the nearest to it, having got in advance of the rest of the brigade, and were opposite the right flank of the column, whence a few pistol or carbine shots were fired at them. The 12th made a partial attack, but they were so much inferior in numbers, (being very weak at this period,) and were so greatly obstructed in their movements by the crowd, that they were unable to produce any impression upon to compact and steady a body of cavalry; which literally walked from the field in the most orderly manner, moving majestically along the stream, the surface of which was covered with the innumerable wrecks into which the rest of the French army had been scattered. As Napoleon and his staff were at this time retiring along the high road, on the right flank of this cavalry of the guard, it is reasonable to infer that the latter was therefore induced to maintain the admirable order in which is was thus seen, to secure the Emperor's retreat.'

                    It is also noteworthy to add that the two squares of the 1st Grenadiers a Pied also retired from the field in perfect order, according to Sergeant Mauduit in his memoir.
                    We are not now that strength which in old days
                    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Steady on my dear Marshal, you know full well you'd not get away with that old cobblers if Dibs hadn't gone MIA!
                      As an old five mile sniper, you've got to admit a 'whiff of canister' doesn't sound as good.

                      The long toll of the brave
                      Is not lost in darkness
                      Over the fruitful earth
                      And athwart the seas
                      Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                      Unquenchable forever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It doesn't matter if he is here or not. What matters is that the material is fact and that of the Grenadiers a Cheval was witnessed by a British officer and written about by another.

                        We are not now that strength which in old days
                        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's part of the legend of Waterloo, and as such more than works for me. I kind of like the idea of the Old Guard marching into the Imperial sunset, defiant to the death.
                          Wasn't it John Ford who said...
                          'if that's not how it really happened, it's how it should have?'


                          The long toll of the brave
                          Is not lost in darkness
                          Over the fruitful earth
                          And athwart the seas
                          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                          Unquenchable forever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            However, it is documented by both the French and the British regarding the Grenadiers a Cheval and the 1st Grenadiers a Pied. It isn't legend.
                            We are not now that strength which in old days
                            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              From the book above :

                              The first traces of a type of horse artillery may be seen in the battle of Fehrbellin (28 June 1675), where twelve 3-pdrs, under Oberstlieutenant Ernst von Weiler, using double teams and having the crews mounted on horses, followed 5,600 cavalry, contributed to the victory of the Brandenburgers over the Swedes.
                              There were nine 3-pdr, two 12-pdr cannon and two howitzers.
                              The guns and the wagons carrying the ammunition, were pulled by double teams.
                              Hard to believe no one thought of mounting his artillerymen before 1675, does any one know of earlier examples ?





                              Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                              Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

                              Comment

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