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  • Types of infantry 1900 to 1914

    Was there any difference in general line infantry vs light infantry in french , Austro hungarian and german armies from 1900 to 1914

    Did the terms grenadiers or fusiliers had any significance by this time? or these units had Bg functional differences from regular infantry during that time period ?

  • #2
    Besides uniforms, Light Infantry often had a different march speed. I would suppose Light Infantry would be younger. In many armies the Guards and/or Grenadiers would be bigger and sometimes older.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      With the modernization of armaments and the evolution of tactics, the difference between Line Infantry and Light Infantry will be erased.
      In France, it started in 1854.

      Imperial Decree on Light Infantry Napoleon by the grace of God and the national will, Emperor of the French, to all present and to come, Salute.
      On the report of our Minister Secretary of State for the War Department,
      Have decreed and decree the following:
      Article 1The 25 light infantry regiments will take the numbers from 76 to 100 in the line infantry regiment series.
      Article 2 The light infantry will now consist of battalions of hunters on foot.
      Article 3Our Minister Secretary of State in the War Department is responsible for the execution of this decree.
      Done at the Palace of Saint-Cloud, October 24, 1854.
      Signed Napoleon
      By the Emperor, the Marshal of France Minister Secretary of State at the War Department
      Signed Vaillant

      Comment


      • #4
        THE EVOLUTION OF MILITARY IDEAS BETWEEN 1871 AND 1914

        It is a well-known fact that when it entered the war in 1914, the French army underestimated the effects of fire and especially of infantry fire. The increase in the power of fire, which was brought about by the considerable progress in armament between 1871 and 1914, was not appreciated at its fair value.
        However, there is no shortage of experiences. Among the most important are, in addition to the Franco-German War of 1870 - 1871, the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, the Transvaal War (1899 - 1902), the Russo-Japanese War (1904 - 1905), the Balkan Wars (1912 - 1913). On the other hand, and despite the interest it presents, the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) is neglected in Europe.
        It must therefore be recognized that despite its conscientious and sustained work, the French army had not learned all the lessons from these wars.

        Lessons from the War of 1870 - 1871
        The war of 1870 - 1871 allowed the French army to open their eyes to the power of fire. This prohibits the use of columns, however small, in the danger zone. The line of infantrymen must now not only prepare the attack (as in the time of the first Empire) but also lead the fight from start to finish. On the other hand, in all cases, preparation for the attack by artillery is necessary.
        The infantry regulations of 1875 therefore proclaimed the preponderant importance of fire and the need for dispersed order for approach, combat, and assault. As for the artillery, as in the time of the First Empire, it must enter the line as soon as possible, engage a duel with the enemy artillery, crush it, then prepare the attack of the infantry by a prolonged fire on enemy positions. "European artillery has lived for 25 years on these principles which, frankly, are not based on any peremptory experience" (Colin "The transformations of war").
        Many other observations are necessary after the war of 1870 - 1871, particularly the weaknesses of the French high command and the sterile character of only defensive operations. But military opinion has too fond memories of the effects of fire to recommend an excessive offensive. In addition, the leaders, who are very realistic, are less concerned with establishing an overall doctrine than with perfecting the organization and tactics of small units.
        The only criticism that can be made of their conclusions is that they did not admit that the artillery was necessary not only in the preparation but also in the support of the attack.
        In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 what struck the minds was the powerlessness of the Russians to take entrenchment, even defended by a poorly educated infantry (siege of Plewna). But if we deduce arguments in favor of the preponderant firepower of the infantry (even at great distances), we do not understand that the failure of the Russian attacks comes from what the artillery has confined itself to preparing these attacks and did not support them. It is estimated only that the artillery preparation was not violent enough. Finally, the fact that the Turks execute a disorderly fire incites to deny the usefulness of the adjusted fire; this opinion was to continue until the Transvaal War (1899).

        Offensive doctrine
        Little by little the lessons of the war of 1870 - 1871 are fading in the minds. The ardent character of the new generation of military leaders does not support the prudent prescriptions of the 1875 regulations. We come to underestimate again the power of fire and to recommend assault by shock troops in compact formation. "A brave and energetically commanded infantry can march under the most violent fire, even against well-defended trenches and seize it. In open ground, the skirmisher only sets down when he receives the order" (Infantry Regulation of 1884). The Transvaal war was to bring to this doctrine of excessive offensive a brutal denial.

        The Transvaal War (1899 - 1901)
        For the first time belligerents are equipped with rapid-fire and smokeless powder rifles. The Boers' well-adjusted shots produce the deadliest fire we have ever seen. The use of entrenchments, even summary, and the invisibility of the shooter (smokeless powder) make the defender not very vulnerable.
        Faced with the difficulties of the attack, the theory of the inviolability of the fronts was born and the opinion that success could no longer be sought except through overflowing movements. The capital importance of the individual value of the shooter is admitted, but the interest of the fortification of campaign does not hold attention.

        The Russo-Japanese War (1904—1905)
        The important fact of this war is the appearance of the first automatic weapon, the machine gun, in the two adversaries. But, despite its terrifying aspects, it does not yet appear as the means to decrease the density of the skirmishers' chain, it is rather considered as a backup, a reserve of fire.
        What is striking is the fact that, despite the considerable increases in firepower, the Japanese were able to achieve decisive success, thanks to their resolutely offensive tactics. The use of the hand grenade (siege of Port-Arthur) and the development of the fortifications of campaign do not hold the attention.

        The spirit of excessive offensive (1906—1914)
        "Besides, parallel to the Regulations, a state of mind was born which put movement before fire, accepting movement without the superiority of fire. And this state of mind developed in the particularly favorable environment that was French army (courage, heroism, contempt for danger ...) to the point of becoming a veritable doctrine dominating that of regulations "writes Lucas). The initiative of the performers is encouraged.
        Military studies, moreover, exact, and remarkable, of the Napoleonic era, reinforce this mentality. The war of 1870 becomes a study of the initiative and the will of the chiefs at all levels; the importance that is given to the moral factor is not without exerting influence either.
        Thus, arises at all levels an excessively offensive mentality "without concern for losses and without economy". An officer who, in an exercise on the map or in the field, adopted a defensive solution, quickly passed for being timid or fearful. This state of mind is concretized by two conferences that Colonel de Grandmaison gave in 1911 in the presence of the highest military authorities on the "Notion of Security" and "the Engagement of large units". These conferences have a huge impact. As it generally happens, it is above all the most daring formulas that are retained.
        This offensive doctrine becomes a real dogma, but little attention is paid to the means necessary for its realization. We consider the problems but without going into them. The influences of such a state of mind on our combat doctrine in 1914 are essential. Infantry attacks will be carried out by an overly dense line of infantrymen. They will lack depth. The machine gun is considered heavy and bulky; we neglect it. There is only one 2-piece machine gun section per infantry battalion. More than half of the machine guns in service are assigned to the defense of strongholds.
        The organization of the field is ignored by the infantryman, infantry regulations do not speak of it, only those of the Engineers mention it. Artillery is considered an accessory weapon. Almost all the losses are in fact attributed to the infantry bullet, in accordance with statistics from the Russo-Japanese War, where 60% of the losses are attributed to the rifle against only 15% to the cannon. The artillery field service declares for its part that the artillery fire "has only a minimal effectiveness against a sheltered adversary and that to bring this adversary to discover itself, it is necessary to attack it with infantry".
        From there to conclude that artillery is only an accessory and secondary weapon, there is only one step. "It will be necessary to give up deliberately the preparation of the attacks by artillery, which could not give any result" as announced by General Herz in 1923 in "Artillery, what it was, what it is, what it should be. "
        "The artillery no longer prepares the attacks, it supports them" can be read in the 1913 Regulations. A short war, a war of movement is expected. In such a war the obstacles which one will meet will be of little importance. Heavy artillery will be bulky and unnecessary. The artillery will have only one mission, to support the attacks of the infantry. For this it only needs a reduced range. Its key qualities must be the speed of maneuver (therefore light equipment) and the speed of the shot. In other words, it will not carry out fire adjustment, no counterbattery, no attack preparations and no concentrations.
        With such a doctrine the problem of the link between the infantry and the artillery is primordial; but in 1914 it was not resolved. The artillery will lead at the beginning, a combat separated from that of the infantry. If the essential mission of the cavalry is from now on the exploration, one continues, in spite of the improvements of the firearms, to want to employ it in the battle itself, or its "principal mode of action 'will be" the attack on horseback and with edge weapons. "
        Thus, in 1914 if France had perceived most of the problems, it seems that one can affirm that its army did not find a solution to them corresponding to the necessities of the war. But is it possible to have the exact forecast of events before the war?

        German doctrine
        The Germans, too, do not have this forecast; however, the solutions they adopt are less flawed than ours. The bases of their doctrine are the same; "the offensive alone makes it possible to defeat the enemy". The broadest initiative should be left to the implementers.
        The Germans understood better than the French the primordial importance of fire. "To attack is to carry the fire forward". Before going forward, you must obtain the superiority of fire. They attach more importance than us to the machine gun. On the other hand, they too dislike dispersed order; "the abandonment of tight formations, says their rules, is an evil that must be avoided whenever possible".
        Field work is in common use with them. Their artillery doctrine is more logical than ours, it provides, before the attack, for heavy artillery preparation (destruction of enemy artillery and material obstacles) and support of the attack by light artillery. But with them as with us the problem of the link between the infantry and the artillery is not resolved.

        Comment


        • #5
          By the middle of the 19th century titles like grenadier, fusilier and rifleman had become honorific.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            Besides uniforms, Light Infantry often had a different march speed. I would suppose Light Infantry would be younger. In many armies the Guards and/or Grenadiers would be bigger and sometimes older.

            Pruitt
            In 1900-1914?

            I know the U.K. used a different cadence, but that is mostly ceremonial, not tactical by this time.

            For the armies listed, at the time period listed, I don't see any functional differences, except maybe for mountain regiments.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by daddut roger View Post
              THE EVOLUTION OF MILITARY IDEAS BETWEEN 1871 AND 1914

              It is a well-known fact that when it entered the war in 1914, the French army underestimated the effects of fire and especially of infantry fire. The increase in the power of fire, which was brought about by the considerable progress in armament between 1871 and 1914, was not appreciated at its fair value.
              However, there is no shortage of experiences. Among the most important are, in addition to the Franco-German War of 1870 - 1871, the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, the Transvaal War (1899 - 1902), the Russo-Japanese War (1904 - 1905), the Balkan Wars (1912 - 1913). On the other hand, and despite the interest it presents, the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) is neglected in Europe.
              It must therefore be recognized that despite its conscientious and sustained work, the French army had not learned all the lessons from these wars.

              Lessons from the War of 1870 - 1871
              The war of 1870 - 1871 allowed the French army to open their eyes to the power of fire. This prohibits the use of columns, however small, in the danger zone. The line of infantrymen must now not only prepare the attack (as in the time of the first Empire) but also lead the fight from start to finish. On the other hand, in all cases, preparation for the attack by artillery is necessary.
              The infantry regulations of 1875 therefore proclaimed the preponderant importance of fire and the need for dispersed order for approach, combat, and assault. As for the artillery, as in the time of the First Empire, it must enter the line as soon as possible, engage a duel with the enemy artillery, crush it, then prepare the attack of the infantry by a prolonged fire on enemy positions. "European artillery has lived for 25 years on these principles which, frankly, are not based on any peremptory experience" (Colin "The transformations of war").
              Many other observations are necessary after the war of 1870 - 1871, particularly the weaknesses of the French high command and the sterile character of only defensive operations. But military opinion has too fond memories of the effects of fire to recommend an excessive offensive. In addition, the leaders, who are very realistic, are less concerned with establishing an overall doctrine than with perfecting the organization and tactics of small units.
              The only criticism that can be made of their conclusions is that they did not admit that the artillery was necessary not only in the preparation but also in the support of the attack.
              In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 what struck the minds was the powerlessness of the Russians to take entrenchment, even defended by a poorly educated infantry (siege of Plewna). But if we deduce arguments in favor of the preponderant firepower of the infantry (even at great distances), we do not understand that the failure of the Russian attacks comes from what the artillery has confined itself to preparing these attacks and did not support them. It is estimated only that the artillery preparation was not violent enough. Finally, the fact that the Turks execute a disorderly fire incites to deny the usefulness of the adjusted fire; this opinion was to continue until the Transvaal War (1899).

              Offensive doctrine
              Little by little the lessons of the war of 1870 - 1871 are fading in the minds. The ardent character of the new generation of military leaders does not support the prudent prescriptions of the 1875 regulations. We come to underestimate again the power of fire and to recommend assault by shock troops in compact formation. "A brave and energetically commanded infantry can march under the most violent fire, even against well-defended trenches and seize it. In open ground, the skirmisher only sets down when he receives the order" (Infantry Regulation of 1884). The Transvaal war was to bring to this doctrine of excessive offensive a brutal denial.

              The Transvaal War (1899 - 1901)
              For the first time belligerents are equipped with rapid-fire and smokeless powder rifles. The Boers' well-adjusted shots produce the deadliest fire we have ever seen. The use of entrenchments, even summary, and the invisibility of the shooter (smokeless powder) make the defender not very vulnerable.
              Faced with the difficulties of the attack, the theory of the inviolability of the fronts was born and the opinion that success could no longer be sought except through overflowing movements. The capital importance of the individual value of the shooter is admitted, but the interest of the fortification of campaign does not hold attention.

              The Russo-Japanese War (1904—1905)
              The important fact of this war is the appearance of the first automatic weapon, the machine gun, in the two adversaries. But, despite its terrifying aspects, it does not yet appear as the means to decrease the density of the skirmishers' chain, it is rather considered as a backup, a reserve of fire.
              What is striking is the fact that, despite the considerable increases in firepower, the Japanese were able to achieve decisive success, thanks to their resolutely offensive tactics. The use of the hand grenade (siege of Port-Arthur) and the development of the fortifications of campaign do not hold the attention.

              The spirit of excessive offensive (1906—1914)
              "Besides, parallel to the Regulations, a state of mind was born which put movement before fire, accepting movement without the superiority of fire. And this state of mind developed in the particularly favorable environment that was French army (courage, heroism, contempt for danger ...) to the point of becoming a veritable doctrine dominating that of regulations "writes Lucas). The initiative of the performers is encouraged.
              Military studies, moreover, exact, and remarkable, of the Napoleonic era, reinforce this mentality. The war of 1870 becomes a study of the initiative and the will of the chiefs at all levels; the importance that is given to the moral factor is not without exerting influence either.
              Thus, arises at all levels an excessively offensive mentality "without concern for losses and without economy". An officer who, in an exercise on the map or in the field, adopted a defensive solution, quickly passed for being timid or fearful. This state of mind is concretized by two conferences that Colonel de Grandmaison gave in 1911 in the presence of the highest military authorities on the "Notion of Security" and "the Engagement of large units". These conferences have a huge impact. As it generally happens, it is above all the most daring formulas that are retained.
              This offensive doctrine becomes a real dogma, but little attention is paid to the means necessary for its realization. We consider the problems but without going into them. The influences of such a state of mind on our combat doctrine in 1914 are essential. Infantry attacks will be carried out by an overly dense line of infantrymen. They will lack depth. The machine gun is considered heavy and bulky; we neglect it. There is only one 2-piece machine gun section per infantry battalion. More than half of the machine guns in service are assigned to the defense of strongholds.
              The organization of the field is ignored by the infantryman, infantry regulations do not speak of it, only those of the Engineers mention it. Artillery is considered an accessory weapon. Almost all the losses are in fact attributed to the infantry bullet, in accordance with statistics from the Russo-Japanese War, where 60% of the losses are attributed to the rifle against only 15% to the cannon. The artillery field service declares for its part that the artillery fire "has only a minimal effectiveness against a sheltered adversary and that to bring this adversary to discover itself, it is necessary to attack it with infantry".
              From there to conclude that artillery is only an accessory and secondary weapon, there is only one step. "It will be necessary to give up deliberately the preparation of the attacks by artillery, which could not give any result" as announced by General Herz in 1923 in "Artillery, what it was, what it is, what it should be. "
              "The artillery no longer prepares the attacks, it supports them" can be read in the 1913 Regulations. A short war, a war of movement is expected. In such a war the obstacles which one will meet will be of little importance. Heavy artillery will be bulky and unnecessary. The artillery will have only one mission, to support the attacks of the infantry. For this it only needs a reduced range. Its key qualities must be the speed of maneuver (therefore light equipment) and the speed of the shot. In other words, it will not carry out fire adjustment, no counterbattery, no attack preparations and no concentrations.
              With such a doctrine the problem of the link between the infantry and the artillery is primordial; but in 1914 it was not resolved. The artillery will lead at the beginning, a combat separated from that of the infantry. If the essential mission of the cavalry is from now on the exploration, one continues, in spite of the improvements of the firearms, to want to employ it in the battle itself, or its "principal mode of action 'will be" the attack on horseback and with edge weapons. "
              Thus, in 1914 if France had perceived most of the problems, it seems that one can affirm that its army did not find a solution to them corresponding to the necessities of the war. But is it possible to have the exact forecast of events before the war?

              German doctrine
              The Germans, too, do not have this forecast; however, the solutions they adopt are less flawed than ours. The bases of their doctrine are the same; "the offensive alone makes it possible to defeat the enemy". The broadest initiative should be left to the implementers.
              The Germans understood better than the French the primordial importance of fire. "To attack is to carry the fire forward". Before going forward, you must obtain the superiority of fire. They attach more importance than us to the machine gun. On the other hand, they too dislike dispersed order; "the abandonment of tight formations, says their rules, is an evil that must be avoided whenever possible".
              Field work is in common use with them. Their artillery doctrine is more logical than ours, it provides, before the attack, for heavy artillery preparation (destruction of enemy artillery and material obstacles) and support of the attack by light artillery. But with them as with us the problem of the link between the infantry and the artillery is not resolved.
              thanks , where did you get this from ?

              Comment


              • #8
                In an old issue of the "Historical Review of the Armies"

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