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  • Napoleonic firing drills

    Hello, I was curious what sort of firing drills were used in the Napoleonic era. I have heard that multiple rank firing drills had fallen into disuse by this time. If this is true then why? and if so why did they gain favor in the first place then?

  • #2
    Originally posted by tx34 View Post
    Hello, I was curious what sort of firing drills were used in the Napoleonic era. I have heard that multiple rank firing drills had fallen into disuse by this time. If this is true then why? and if so why did they gain favor in the first place then?
    If you are really interested in the subject and have some spare time I would recommend reading through some of the infantry tactic sections at this site

    http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/index.html



    As for the question at hand, I believe that early on volleys were more desired as the moral effect of musket fire was larger than the actual damage caused. As individual fire became more effective commanders found that they could get a higher rate of fire by ordering their men to fire at will.

    Volleys were still often used to an extent, but normally you had the first 2 or 3 ranks firing at will.

    After the American revolution, the British concluded that a line any more than 2 ranks deep was inefficient as the third rank wound end up bunching or having trouble firing over the heads of the two men in front.

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