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31

QuoteThe campaign accounts I've read suggest the Russian left up to half their artillery in reserve.
Rather annoyingly, they don't offer any detail on what this means, or how the guns would be extracted from reserve and deployed.

I've developed a few ideas, based mainly on guesswork.

1. Strategic: These guns become the army asset; available to be deployed as grand batteries, to deploy in redoubts or to be moved to points of decision.

At Borodino around a third of the artillery is held in reserve and the redoubts are fully provisioned with artillery. Deployment as grand batteries maybe, though.

2. Corps / Division reserve. The guns remain with their parent formation, but some are held back to relieve others during a long battle.

Again at Borodino the artillery reserve seems to have been an army level artillery park. Who knows what would have been done with it if Kutaisov had survived?


3. Compensating for something. Lots of guns, because they lack the ability to move them during battle.

Contemporary accounts seem to view Russian artillery as mobile and well handled.

There seems to be an odd exception in the artillery, which attracted the cream of the army's technocrats.
It was also almost unique in having a complete artillery command structure up to the top army echelons.
The gunners could certainly fight a fast paced "modern Napoleonic" battle.
I suspect they were seriously held back by the command structure of their army.


Battle reports suggest the Russians had huge numbers of guns in their train, but often struggled to get those numbers into action.

My thoughts in bold above.


Not sure if this has been mentioned already but my recollection is that horse artillery batteries were mainly 4 guns (two cannon and two licornes) or occasionally 6 guns rather than the 12 guns (8 cannon and 4 licornes, with two licornes at either end of the gun line) of the foot artillery.
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Chat & News / Re: Blather, Waffle and Poppyc...
Last post by Last Hussar - 16 April 2024, 01:04:29 PM
I moved last year, and have been meaning to update my Electoral Register info.

Today is the deadline, so I went on the website at work during lunchtime.

Government sites are moving to a common platform.

I am a civil servant, so I use that platform.

They have autofill - if you apply for a passport, the computer will remember that info if you start typing for a driving licence, for instance.

It auto filled my first and last name, because I put my first and last name into the computer at worked.

It then asked if my middle name was 'Canterbury Crown Court'...
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Thanks for that Steve - explains why the Russians have so many. I'm doing them for 'Blucher', so the basic unit is 24-36 guns, as part of a Corps, you activate the entire Corps.
 
The Orbats I've seen for Russians at Borodino (and these do vary, Russian book-keeping is somewhat of an afterthought!) have 10-11,000 men in a corps, with up to 72 guns (2nd, 4th and 6th Corps); in Blucher this is 3 units of infantry with 2 units of artillery. Guards Division in 1st Western Army has another 30 or so (1 unit),  and the 3 (small) cavalry corps are maybe 6-7000 horse, each with 12 guns- so attached to one of the 3 units rather than separate.

In comparison a French or Austrian Corps for 1809 is something like 5 units of infantry, possibly 1 unit of cavalry for the French (2-3000 horse), and 1 unit of artillery.

THEN there is the artillery reserve, which has about a third of the total artillery.

There are a LOT of guns for the Russians.

The way the Blucher rules work for artillery is you buy individual artillery bases, and you have a choice – you can attach a single base to become part of a unit – so 8-12 guns with 3-5000 men, or you can group 3 into a unit. As written you have too many guns to attach out – I could break 1 unit down and give to the 3 units of infantry, but then would still have an entire unit of guns!

I looked at a later Order of battle – what the Russians appear to have done is not reduce guns, just increased the number of men in a Corps – 4 units in Blucher terms, but still with 2 units of guns.

I assume the Russians kept the guns in large units, rather than parcel them out to divisions?
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Chat & News / Re: Deaths in 2024
Last post by steve_holmes_11 - 16 April 2024, 12:06:12 PM
I was quite young when Underwood was playing for England.

His bowling action was confusing to a budding bowler.
Often faster than some "medium pacers".
As far as I can tell, he speared in  flat quick deliveries aimed at the batsman's off stump.

Television wasn't good enough to detect subtleties of spin at the time.
I assume with his quicker pace he dealt in what we generally call "cutters".

What is beyond debate is his effective partnership with wicket keeper Alan Knott for Kent and England.
Perhaps it was Knott's agility that unlocked Underwood's faster deliveries.
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The campaign accounts I've read suggest the Russian left up to half their artillery in reserve.
Rather annoyingly, they don't offer any detail on what this means, or how the guns would be extracted from reserve and deployed.

I've developed a few ideas, based mainly on guesswork.

1. Strategic: These guns become the army asset; available to be deployed as grand batteries, to deploy in redoubts or to be moved to points of decision.

There were redoubts at Borodino.
It is credible to imagine horse artillery used as a mobile reserve.
The Russians were already doing this by 1806.
Kutaizov, the senior artillery commander was lost (killed) in skirmishing early in the battle - which may explain the numbers of guns languishing at the rear during the battle.


2. Corps / Division reserve. The guns remain with their parent formation, but some are held back to relieve others during a long battle.

This is an interesting one which mimics Soviet WW2 doctrine.
Around half the guns deployed to shoot from forward positions.
The remainder held back limbered - ready to follow and support inevitable advance of victorious Czarist infantry.

This fits in with the Russians maintaing large batteries with low manpower.
The large battery up front provides a lot of boom, but the small crews will tire (and thus run short of ammunition) quite soon.


3. Compensating for something. Lots of guns, because they lack the ability to move them during battle.

It is traditional to view the Czarist armies as a blundering, but difficult to deter.
At a micro level, we have accounts of the infantry standing in the face of defeat until they are all cut down.
At a higher level, it is a matter of record that the Russian command was lacking.

There seems to be an odd exception in the artillery, which attracted the cream of the army's technocrats.
It was also almost unique in having a complete artillery command structure up to the top army echelons.
The gunners could certainly fight a fast paced "modern Napoleoic" battle.
I suspect they were seriously held back by the command structure of their army.


Battle reports suggest the Russians had huge numbers of guns in their train, but often struggled to get those numbers into action.
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Non-Pendraken Stuff / Re: Hearts of Oak (well MDF......
Last post by Last Hussar - 16 April 2024, 09:13:01 AM
8mm, won't really make a lot of difference - at this scale bright is ok. They are cocktail sticks cut down.
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Chat & News / Re: Deaths in 2024
Last post by Peterem - 16 April 2024, 09:11:23 AM
DEreck Underwood, iconic spin bowler

"Deadly" Derek, another sporting hero of my yoof... I can remember commentators whenever the players came off due to a brief shower saying how the conditions would soon be ideal for Underwood - and how often he proved them right!
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New Releases! / Re: Sci-Fi Ranges 5 & 6 now av...
Last post by Raider4 - 16 April 2024, 08:52:52 AM
A video tour of Salute 2024. Skip to about 12:32 to see the very impressive Pendraken Future War Commander display/demo game. Very much like the Aztec-style pyramid.



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Use gold, might be a tad bright but should be ok
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Non-Pendraken Stuff / Re: Hearts of Oak (well MDF......
Last post by Last Hussar - 16 April 2024, 07:41:56 AM
Cheers. Wonder if my paint is OK for that.
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