24 September 2015

7YW Artillery – Saxe-Poland – Annex

I thought it worthwile sharing below rare image. The original painting I first saw with my visit of the Dresden museum in October 2013. I have never seen it printed in any publication before.
Scene of the battle of Hohenfriedberg 4 June 1745. Painting by Carl Röchling, now Collection of the German Army or Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, Dresden – The former Saxon Army Museum.

We see the Saxon Gardes engaged in – I may say: a ‘smart retreat’ – just to avoid using the rather disgraceful term ‘rout’ and behind Prussian grenadiers in close pursuit, on the point of crushing them. All my fingers crossed the Saxons will make good their escape – and save this cannon from being captured. This cannon illustrated in the centre is really quite interesting. Most obviously, it is Röchling's interpretation of the Saxon Geschwind-Stück entitled bataillon gun that I have presented with my previous article below  at
armies.blogspot.de/search/label/Saxon SYW Artillery
This one here should be the earlier 3-pounder. I have done the larger standard 6-pounder for the 1756 army. Röchling's take is somewhat sketchy, for he should have had the 1766 model as single visual reference instead of the earlier design that I present. But it is clearly showing the odd square backpart of the barrel or machine-case (?) so distinctive for the looks of this piece when seen from a distance.

23 September 2015

My SYW British Gun Models

This article, first published December 2013 has been revised by adding some more findings only recently. See below text sections in bold characters.

After doing the pretty Prussian gun models, I took the effort to add a few ‘more authentic’ dimensioned English guns to my SYW Allied Army. From among the readers of the Kronoskaf SYW-Project I was approached with the advise king George's excellently mastered cannons should deserve the same attention as my previously researched ordnance of Frederick II and Louis XV. A just advise, indeed. This article now will serve as my initial approach to the subject. Hopefully, I'll manage to publish some scale drawings in near future.
Below image shows my two selected English 12-pdr models.
Both are once more entirely scratch built. I'm not aware any foundry would provide the required pieces. Foreground right is a ‘light’ 12-pdr and left a more massive and longer barrel ‘heavy’ 12-pdr. They have been remastered from older stock and should be seen as anglicized to the best of my abilities and knowledge, rather then being authentic English in all detail. For the 1759 Minden campaign, the light model among other 6-pdrs and possibly some 5.5 inch howitzers (German 7-pdr) would have been found with the two English ‘light artillery brigades’ commanded by the captains Drummond and Foy, while the heavier piece should have been found with captain Phillips heavy English/Hanoverian reserve artillery of the right wing commanded by the Hanoverian major Haase.

Close-up view of my English 12-pdr ‘Battering Gun’. The barrel is dimensioned as per the 1753 English ordnance regulation. Its length was 7 foot 8 inch (233.6 cm or 20.9 shot). Its weight was 2632 pounds (1.192 kg) or 219:1 its nominal shot. (Source: Captain George Smith, A Universal Military Dictionary, Whitehall, London, 1779.)
Close-up view of my English ‘light’ or ‘Swedish-style’ 12-pdr Field Gun. I entitle it ‘Swedish-style’, because it belongs to a range of light 3-, 6-, and 12-pdrs which where layed with a ‘Swedish-type’ vertical iron screw-drive instead of the odd wooden wedges employed with British heavy guns.
The barrels of the light range did not have dolphins, while the heavy guns did, to my understanding. As per the 1753 regulations, its barrel measured 5 foot 1 inch (155 cm) or approx. 13.8 shot – a very short barrel, really. Its dimensions being much similar to the Prussian M1754 Dieskau design. English 12-pdr shot diameter calculated with 4.4 inch (11.17 cm), somewhat smaller then the Hanoverian or Prussian 12-pdr shot of 11.4 cm / 4.36 Zoll. Its weight was 1018 pounds (461 kg). (Source: John Muller, A Treatise of Artillery, London, edition 1768 – first published in 1757)
View of my scratch built vertical iron screw drive plugged through this carriage's single largish Swedish-type centre transom.
Some more research along with my thoughts are added with the below:
My interest focuses on the pieces being in service with His Royal Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany 1758-1762. Strangely, the sources dealing with British ordnance of this period are quite limited. The light 6-pdr battalion gun is well known, but apart from this gun, information is quite scarce. The principal contemporary work by John Muller, "A Treatise of Artillery" first published in 1757 gives a good insight to the sort of material fielded by around 1757, but seems to be incomplete and furthermore bears no information on what pieces would have been found in what quantity at any given time. He discusses the older as well as the late designs, but especially promotes his own designs to be used in the future. With its study it was found somewhat difficult to keep track and avoid the confusion of it all. 
Already by the time of the SYW, the Royal Arsenal of Woolwich must have turned into a mighty lumber storage, filled with a vast variety of ordnance dating back into the 17 hundreds.
By around 1800, Louis de Tousard in his American Artillerist's Companion, published 1809, had the following to say: "The calibers, sizes, and denominations of guns are uncommonly multiplied in the English service…. No one, except Muller, has hitherto attempted to write fully upon artillery in the English language, and if some have done it partially as the author of the Bombardier, Charles James, &c. they complain of the great difficulties they have encountered in collecting information at Woolwich. We will not attempt to raise the veil under which the operations of this academy are kept a secret, much less to decide, whether, giving information, …, or withdrawing this same information…, be a mark of science, or a deficiency of knowledge."
Now, that is not very encouraging, but we will see if we manage to close in on the models that had been selected to see service in Germany, nevertheless.

From among the vast piles of barrels found at Woolwich, we will have to focus our attention on ‘two-point-five’ classes of ordnance that would have really been fielded during the SYW. The first class would have been the range of the afore ‘light’ Field Guns. Muller's use of the rather ill term ‘Field Carriage’ for their mounting is indeed somewhat misleading, for the second class of ordnance was likewise meant to see employment in the field.
This was the range of heavier and longer barreled ‘Heavy’ or ‘Battering Cannon’ mounted on what Muller choose to entitle ‘Traveling Carriages’. They were stronger built, with longer bracket cheeks – as a result of the longer barrels mounted – and had 58 inch wheels as opposed to the 50 inch wheels for ‘Swedish-type’ Field Guns. Indeed, it has been observed, Muller's text fails to tell us what to do with the latter carriages when one stopped ‘traveling’. On a wider scope, both carriages should be entitled ‘Field Carriages’. Those, to mount the light guns should be entitled ‘Swedish-style’ carriages, because this is what they really are.
The second class of ordnance was made up of a variety of designs, hence, the ‘0-point-five’ annex with my earlier somewhat blunt classification. Each calibre would have come with barrels of different length and metal strength design. So far – so good. Muller does get us a first distance. The few bits recorded with the artillery organization of the Allied Army in Germany during the SYW will now get us some way further.

The first British contingent arriving August 1758 accounted for its complement of 12 battalion guns for its 6 battalions. None were accounted for the grenadiers, then. It was all light ‘Swedish-style’ 6-pdrs, of which is found more further below. I'll stay focused on the sort of heavy position guns that were used in Germany. Whether any heavier pieces were found with the English Corps of 1758 is unknown. The sources conflict. Some say yes. Others say all heavy guns had been entirely Hanoverian up till the battle of Bergen, April 1759. Either Ferdinand's staff records or later historians research was lousy. Possibly as many as 6 heavy guns should be accounted for. …?… Not confirmed, but it will make a far better match with the somewhat more detailed records of the 1759 campaign.
That year, more heavy guns were sent to Germany. A letter by general Sackville to Ferdinand dated London, 23 February, reveals it was ten 12-pdrs of ‘medium weight’ and four more being of a lighter construction, that had been selected. Furthermore two 6-pdrs [N.B.: long barrel or ‘heavy’ ?!?] and 6 ‘Haubitz Royaux’ of 5.5 inch calibre.
For an understanding, it is important to know the background history. Ferdinand wished to increase the number of heavy guns by 20 to 28 pieces. He favored Prussian light 12- and 24-pdrs that demanded no more then 6 horses for its draught. But Prussians couldn't spare a single piece at that time. Its foundries were already working beyond their limit, thus, Ferdinand begged for English ordnance in a letter to George II.
Ferdinand wanted to get rid of the heavy Hanoverian 12-pdr, which absorbed too much precious resource. Their draught needed 12 horses and nearly 20 men to serve them. They were of the same dimensions as the Prussian Brummers M1717, that Frederick employed with success at Leuthen, but were simply too slow moving. Sackville's selected pieces were therefore all of lighter construction. Piers Mackesy's The Coward of Minden, New York 1979, mentions capt. Phillips heavy 12-guns had a 7-horse draught, which would have been just fine for the 7'8'' piece M1753.
Another 12-pdr design, I would identify as Armstrong M1736, had a length of 6 foot 7 inches (200.6 cm) or near 18 shot. Its weight was 1512 pounds (685 kg) or 126:1 nominal shot. This would have been a lighter construction then the Prussian or Austrian 16 shot barrels which needed only 6 horses for their draught. I therefore doubt it was the Armstrong M1736 model.

[[ Correction 19 July 2014: 
As per capt. Macbean's sworn statement during Sackville's court trial, Macbean's ten 12-pdrs at the battle of Minden 1 August 1759 all had a draught of only 5 horses. He should know best, as he was in command of it all. He added this being the government allowance for this piece. I therefore assume the lighter "medium" M1736 Armstrong 6' 7'' piece being the one that was fielded at Minden in 1759, really]]
Source here: The Trial of the right honourable Lord George Sackville, at a Court-Martial held at the Horse-Guards … etc … 1760 … etc., London 1760? 

[[ 2nd Correction 23 Sept. 2015: 
With another read of the book on Sackville's court trial, I learned that witness capt. Macbean corrected his earlier sworn statement at a later session (p. 251 in afore book) stating that all of the 10 heavy 12-pounders under his command had a 7 horse draught. We are back to my initial assessment of this 12-pounder's identity. That is charming, because I'm inclined to believe, these very pieces have in fact been illustrated during their service in Flandres in the preceeding war around 1748 by David Morier. See below image.

You see the English artillery park in a scene in Flandres during 1748. The gun in the right foreground very much fits the dimensions of a 7'8'' barrel. The carriages resemble the ones John Muller describes for British "Battering Guns". Note: also the very same 'Janissaries kettle drums' with its horse trumpets was seen in Gemany in 1761 by an observer reporting to Louis IX, the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. Possibly we see here the very same pieces, that were also fielded in 1759. Not so off an assumption. The Hessian artillery of colenel Huth on the far left the same day had 4 12-pounders that also saw service in Flandres in 1748.

Detail of Morier's painting. Note the "Locker" just behind the centre transom that mounts a largish ordinady wooden wedge - or possibly two, rather then some sort of other more elaborate machinery for elevating or laying the piece. This detail may serve as a proof that it is heavy battery or ‘battering’ ordnance we see here. It should be a 12-pounder. The lockers are mentioned in John Muller's work. This one certainly did not hold any ammunition rounds, but rather served as a container for the piece's tool kit and was possibly a great sort of deposit for brandy. Also note the insignia GR II painted onto the front section of the right bracket cheek here. The gun more in the centre has "No 6" painted on its left bracket cheek. That is just the same way I added the insignia to my Allied Army's artillery carriages. I placed my GR initials on the centre section of the bracket cheek, for it is hidden behind the wheel and hardly visible with my models at the place Morier has applied them.]]

In relation to the Hanoverian heavy 12-pdr weighing approx 3310 English pounds, the English M1753 model with 2632 pounds is indeed somewhat lighter, hence, Sackville's "medium weight" classification. The light 12-pdrs would need no more then 3 or 4 horses, as it was only little heavier then the old Hanoverian 3-pdr weighing 880 English pounds and a 3-horse draught.
The two selected 6-pdr models are a dilemma. Apart from the light Swedish-type battalion gun, Muller provides only figures for the old model of around 1700 "Old Ordnance":
6-pdr: 8 foot long (244 cm or 27.5 shot), 
weighs 2128 pounds (964 kg) 354:1
12-pdr: 9 foot long (274 cm or 24.5 shot), 
weighs 3248 pounds (1471 kg) 270:1
These were of similar dimensions as the obsolete Hanoverian ordnance that Ferdinand really wanted to get rid of. I don't think the two British light brigades of the first line were equipped with just more battalion guns, especially when considering their below discussed poor performance with ranged fire.
As per the 1753 regulation, which I understand to be Muller's entitled ‘New’ pieces, the light 6-pdr barrel had a length of 4 foot 1 inch (124.4 cm) or 14 shot. Once more a very short barrel. Its weight was 506 pounds (230 kg) or near 85:1 the nominal weight of its shot. Really, the construction was lighter then the Prussian light 6-pdr of 1754. The contemporary Hanoverian author Scharnhorst mentions, the pieces shot did not carry very far. The count regent of Bückeburg, commanding the artillery of the Allied army suggested to introduce such a piece to the Hanoverian infantry in his attempt to lighten the artillery train, but was faced with the dour opposition of the Hanoverian gunners, for their 24 shot barrel 3-pdr was found to carry much further and being more accurate at the same time. Its dimensions were much the same as the Prussian M1717 3-pdr. Below see a contemporary German sourced daft of such an English light 6-pdr battalion gun headlined "Abris einer Englischen Canon mit dabey gehöriger zerlegter Mondierung" [sic.]
Source is the image archive of the Nuremberg Germanic National Museum. The sheets dating cannot be verified. The archive's caption allocates its creation to the period 1745-1755. With Muller's provided information, it should be his entitled ‘present ordnance’ which should be general John Armstrong's designed M1736 piece that is illustrated here.
According to Muller, this barrel had a length of 4.5 foot (137.6 cm) or 15 shot. The shot scale is really found illustrated with the little dots seen on the barrel. Its weight was 542 pounds (245 kg) or approx 90:1 the nominal weight of its shot. Either model would have seen service in Germany to my understanding. As said, I have no idea how many pieces were cast at what time in what quantity. A royal ordnance regulation issued at a specific year says nothing to this respect. The height of the wheels also doesn't match with Muller. He states 50 inch for the present fielded designs – i.e 1753 and later, while this drafts illustrated wheel arrives at no more then 47 or 48 inches.
My light 12-pdr comes with 55 inch wheels, really. Quite tall. See below image. I have fitted a pair of Hinchliffe 25 mm Napoleonic French wheels to my left hand model for an illustration. They make perfect 50 inch wheels with my 1:55 or 1:56 scale. Seen at this low angle, its height looks quite authentic. My instinctively selected taller wheels look better if seen from the usual exalted angle, but should be less authentic.
Below image shows my English 12-pdrs next to the Prussian light, and medium "Austrian-type" model, as well as a Hanoverian heavy 6-pdr.