poor Nassauers 1815

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spearsup
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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by spearsup » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:01 am

MikeHorah wrote:
spearsup wrote:When I bought ToN, I thought ... poor french 1809, poor french 1812, and even poor french 1815 ...

French lists minimum requires so much conscripts ... I agree that quality of french army decline from 1805/1808 period to 1809/1812 and then to 1813/1814 ... but I was very surprised by the rating of french troops during those periods ... and also surprised compared to other nations ratings
To understand 1813 and our very bleak view I recommend Scott Bowden's the Grande Armee 1813. It has a wealth of data and analysis and verbatim reprts from French commanders. It is said he has the largest collection of documentation of this era outside France ( or some such thing) . The key to the comparison is the impact of 1812 which bore much more heavily on France and its allies (but not Prussia and Austria in 1812) than on any other nation.

But then if our lists ended up clustering around average drilled all the time there would be litte point in having more than few generic lists.
Hi Mike,

I am totally agree with you about the fuge decrease of French army quality in 1813-1814 ... But I thinck that the problem is that french troops MUST include a large number of Av/Co or Po/Drilled Infantry from 1809 ... I thinck "MAY" include would have more reflect the various quality of french regiments and the variety of corps ...

By the way, the comparison of french and other nations troops is sometime curious ... For instance Grenadiers à Cheval who fight during 20 years almost every time victorious, are Superior/Vet/Guards/Schock, like Britsh Horse Guards who where first engaged in 1815 .. etc etc

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by bahdahbum » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:06 pm

The french main Corps of 1805-7 and probably large parts of the 1809 army were decisively better units battalion for battalion against their foes. You can call it elan. But they were better trained and better led that the coalition forces
The great myth or partly myth . Reformed vs formed is based not on "elan" etc...but tactical way of fighting . l'ordre ancien or l'ordre nouveau ...Linear vs column ( very basically )

French were not better trained . The french training was really basic . In order to learn to fire a bataillon would line up, face a sheet representing the ennemy bataillon and fire once or two . That's it for firing . What happened is that most of the soldiers were veterans of revolutionnary wars . They learned their trade while fighting . They were better led, but not better trained and they made use of a new more mobile way of fighting but a costly way if they had to face a determined opponent such as a line behind a ridgeor guns ! They would move in column and facing the ennemy, deploy on two ranks ( yes 2 not 3, russians, austrians, prussians, french, british all ended deploying in 2 ranks ) and start the firing sequence .

Also they had something to fight for, a national feeling that the other armies did not have in the beginning . But it would change ..dramatically !

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by Blathergut » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:24 pm

Glossary of Terms (p. 108):

Supporting unit:
-average or superior if the supported unit is superior or guard

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by shadowdragon » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:41 pm

bahdahbum wrote:
The french main Corps of 1805-7 and probably large parts of the 1809 army were decisively better units battalion for battalion against their foes. You can call it elan. But they were better trained and better led that the coalition forces
The great myth or partly myth . Reformed vs formed is based not on "elan" etc...but tactical way of fighting . l'ordre ancien or l'ordre nouveau ...Linear vs column ( very basically )

French were not better trained . The french training was really basic . In order to learn to fire a bataillon would line up, face a sheet representing the ennemy bataillon and fire once or two . That's it for firing . What happened is that most of the soldiers were veterans of revolutionnary wars . They learned their trade while fighting . They were better led, but not better trained and they made use of a new more mobile way of fighting but a costly way if they had to face a determined opponent such as a line behind a ridgeor guns ! They would move in column and facing the ennemy, deploy on two ranks ( yes 2 not 3, russians, austrians, prussians, french, british all ended deploying in 2 ranks ) and start the firing sequence .

Also they had something to fight for, a national feeling that the other armies did not have in the beginning . But it would change ..dramatically !
http://www.arsm.it/public/ebooks/LvsC_A4_eng.pdf

The article describes the degree of training undertaken by the Grande Armee from 1803-05. I would not describe that as "basic". :D

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by KendallB » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:10 am

shadowdragon wrote:The article describes the degree of training undertaken by the Grande Armee from 1803-05. I would not describe that as "basic". :D
But read on about the account from the French conscript in 1813 who was sent to the Peninsular - he isn't issued his musket until he gets to Spain! All they practised was to form line.

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by deadtorius » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:40 am

From what I have read from 1813 on the French training involved what ever you could learn while being marched off to your respective battlefield. As for actual shooting seems as you got closer to the end of 1813 there were less opportunities to practice shooting and more urgency of getting to the battle so longer marches. I think the rules reflect the gradual decline of French troop quality rather well. Lets face it you can't keep up like Nappy was forced to in constant battles and not expect that the quality of the new recruits will be able to live up to earlier standards.

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by shadowdragon » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:56 am

KendallB wrote:
shadowdragon wrote:The article describes the degree of training undertaken by the Grande Armee from 1803-05. I would not describe that as "basic". :D
But read on about the account from the French conscript in 1813 who was sent to the Peninsular - he isn't issued his musket until he gets to Spain! All they practised was to form line.
Of course. The traning of such concripts might even be described as less than basic. I do not understand how my comment suggests otherwise. Please be so kind as to read my post in the context of prior posts.

Bahdahbum's comment was not specifically about such conscripts but was a response to Hazelbark's comment concerning, "The french main Corps of 1805-7 and probably large parts of the 1809 army were decisively better units battalion for battalion against their foes." Bahdahbum's reply, "What happened is that most of the soldiers were veterans of revolutionnary wars . They learned their trade while fighting . They were better led, but not better trained..." The implication of Bahdahbum's comment is that French infantry had only basic training throughout the wars, including the army of 1805-07. However, the article specifically discusses the high degree of training of the 1805-07 Grande Armee's soldiersand how the attrition of these soldiers led to the deterioration in the quality of French infantry.

I have absolutely no issue with a view that the conscripts that were drafted to make up for losses of the Grande Armee had only basic training. However, if someone wishes to suggest that this was true of the 1805-07 Grande Armee it would be nice to see the evidence since it seems contrary to the evidence quoted in the article.

By the way....on a completely different track (since we're now far away from the OP about the poor Nassauers of 1815) - I think I really like the FoG rgt/bde approach where the formation of battalions is subsumed within the rgt/bde. With a battalion level game I fear one would still see a lot of "French columns vs British lines" on wargaming tables.

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by KendallB » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:01 pm

One thing that stood out for me about the French training camps was the divisional exercises twice a week. The ability for the regiments to work together in the divisions is what Goetz emphasises was the difference between the sides at Austerlitz. The individual fighting skills of the men being equal.

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Re: poor Nassauers 1815

Post by edb1815 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:24 pm

Ok - coming full circle to the OP. The DB line infantry in 1815 certainly had training and even some experience, since some units were formed in 1814 for the revolt. What is unlikely is that they had any experience manuvering at a higher level such as the French Grande Armee of 1805-07.

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