British Converged Light Battalions

My current project of creating modular Siege Works will be finished in about two weeks, and I will set up the whole system to show a siege after that.  There is not much more to say about it until then.  Meanwhile, to fill the gap in blog posts, I have been updating some of the Pages in the Military History Section of the website.

One of the papers outlined the way in which Wellington used all of the light infantry companies in each brigade to create small converged Light Battalions, which then operated as a Brigade asset, rather than remain under their parent battalion’s control (British Converged Light Battalions).

I have now updated this paper and readers of this blog might be interested in my conclusions.  

Witin the paper, I covered Wellingon’s General Orders, requiring his Brigade Commanders to appoint officers to command converged Light Battalions comprising all of the Light Infantry companies, and attached Rifle companies (5th Bn 60th or Brunswick Oels) in each Brigade.  These converged Light Battalions were to be formed whenever the Brigade moved or was in the face of an enemy.

I have also identified 24 separate officers, by name, commanding converged light battalions in the Peninsula.  I have cross-referenced this with the information on who commanded which Brigade at which date, from the information in Appendix II of “Wellington’s Army” by Sir Charles Oman (that particular Appendix being compiled by C T Atkinson).  I then constructed a chart of Converged Light Battalion Commanders against their particular brigades for the period 1811 – 1814.  This chart is now in the updated paper.

For me it proves conclusively that all British Brigades operated in the Peninsula with their Light Infantry companies converged into small Light Battalions.  This same system was used at Waterloo.  Few wargame rules recognise this, although one that does is General de Brigade.

 

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3 thoughts on “British Converged Light Battalions

  1. PDL October 31, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Rod,
    Do you think more effort was made to keep light companies up to strength at the expense of other companies in the battalion due to their special role?
    Regards
    Paul

    Like

    • rodwargaming October 31, 2016 / 8:55 am

      Hi Paul,

      I have not seen anything to support that either way. I have seen memoirs that mention weak battalions temporarily being reduced to six companies, which would have that same effect (as the KGL were at Waterloo).

      Rod

      Like

  2. PDL October 31, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Rod,
    Yes that’s true. 1/95th Rifles went from 10 to 8 to 6 coys during the Peninsular War. Thus keeping a fewer but stronger companies in the field. 6 x 100 men must have been considered more useful than 10 x 60 men.
    Regards
    Paul

    Like

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