New Military Historical Research Article

I was chatting on the Napoleon Series Forum a few days ago on the subject of Napoleonic Tactical Drills.  It occurred to me that I did have a chapter dealing with this in a book which I began to write some 20 years ago, but never finished.

I have updated all of the diagrams in this particular chapter and it is now published as an article, entitled “Basic Formations and Movement Drills“, within the Tactics Sub-section of the Military Historical Research Section.  This may be accessed via that link or the Top Menu of my webpage.

The article covers the basic tactical structures which changed little, if at all, throughout the 17th, 18th and much of the 19th Centuries.   I acknowledge that I have relied mainly, although not exclusively, on British Regulations, but all nations used very similar tactical drills at this basic level.  I will publish a future article on Tactical Development during the 18th Century.

2 thoughts on “New Military Historical Research Article

  1. James May 30, 2018 / 2:22 am

    Have you ever written an article on the line and column? I have Charles Oman and Naftizger. Also several reprints from other serious studies. I am working on my own paper and curious what others opinions are as to why the French constantly beat Austrian, various German States, Russians , and Spanish but never the British. My argument is that it was a faliure of corporate memory due to casualties among regimental level officers..
    Please let me know how you think.
    Thank you


  2. rodwargaming May 30, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I have not written anything on line and column as such. I do have unpublished articles on the development of tactics during the 18th Century and Tactial Evolution during the Napoleonic Wars. Both of these touch on this subject. I plan to do some work on them (the diagrams particularly need updating) then publish one of them on my website later this year, and the second early next year.

    I general I would say that both British and French tactical doctrine (as written in their regulations) was to follow the principles promoted by Guibert in his 1777 Essai en Tactique, of manoeuvring on the battlefield in column but fighting in line. The British kept to this, but the French diverted into inappropriate column attacks, which worked against less well disciplined troops, but failed against steady well disciplined lines. All nations reverted to Guibert’s doctrine after the Napoleonic Wars.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s