6 Pounder Battery

I decided to model a 6 Pounder battery of three models guns, representing six real ones.  As mentioned in my article on 18th Century Artillery, I have used model guns from different manufacturers to represent various calibres.  In the Napoleonic era most nations simplified their gun carriages to a smaller number of sizes, each of which could be used for a range of  calibres.  However, in the 18th Century virtually every increase in calibre was accompanied by a larger gun carriage.

I had previously used IMEX AWI American Artillery pieces to represent British 3 Pounders, and I have now used the larger Revell SYW Austrian Artillery pieces to represent British 6 Pounders, as shown below.

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As readers of this blog will know, I normally dislike the over-representation of artillery pieces in most wargame rules.  It seems to me that portraying infantry and cavalry at a ratio of 1:20, 1:30 or 1:50, but then portraying artillery at 1:2 or 1:3 is illogical.  For my Napoleonic Artillery I therefore have just one artillery piece per battery, crewed by the same number of crew as the number of guns in the real battery.  My deployed artillery battery frontages are calculated as 20mm per real gun.

However, this approach does not work for the 18th Century, where guns were often spread out in pairs across an Army’s frontage, so I do model these on one model per two real guns, but with just two crew per gun (to represent the number of real guns) and a deployed frontage of 40mm per model gun.

I like having limbers for all of my guns.  Some wargamers argue that this clutters up the wargame table, but artillery limbers and ammunition resupply wagons did this in real life.  However, due to portraying my 18th Century Artillery at a 1:2 ratio, I have reduced the number of train horses pulling each limber to the absolute minimum.  My 1½ Pounder Curricle guns, 3 Pounder British guns, 4 Pounder French guns plus mortar and ammunition carts all have just one train horse each, with a walking driver.  I decided to give my British 6 Pounder guns two train horses (in a single draught, one behind the other) with a walking driver.

I used Hät French Napoleonic Artillery Train horses for these, as shown below.

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I also used the Hät limber, but modified it to suit the single draught.  Here are the parts of the original limber, plus a piece of sprue (on the left) which I used during the conversion.

 

 

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I cut the shaft off the limber and welded on the piece of sprue to the point where the shaft had been.  I then cut the shaft in two and welded it to the ends of the new sprue piece to make a pair of short shafts.

 

I then welded more sprue onto the train horse base, added harness ropes (which came with the Hät set), painted both horses and limber, welded the limber onto the base, with the shafts welded to the rear horse, and welded some ruts in the ground behind the limber, where the gun wheels will sit when limbered.  I also added a walking driver, who can be slid in and out if I wish replace him to show this model as British or Jacobite.  The result is below.

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The British Army did not use any 6 Pounders as field artillery in their battles in Scotland, although there were some on Garrison carriages in their various fortresses.  They did however have some with George II’s Army defending London.  They also used them during the War of Austrian Succession.  Here is the completed battery in action.  The British RA gunners are IMEX AWI American artillerymen.

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However, what I really wanted this 6 Pounder battery for was to represent the use of such a battery by the Jacobites in January 1746.  The French had landed a siege artillery train at Montrose in November 1745, which the Jacobites intended to use to besiege Stirling Castle.  They hauled the train across Scotland to the Firth of Forth where they needed to ferry the heavy guns across the tidal estuary.  This was made more difficult by the presence of two British Royal Navy sloops, the Vulture and the Pearl.  The Jacobites supported their ferrying operation with a battery of four, later six, 4 Pounders at Airth, later Elphinstone on the south bank, commanded by the very competent Colonel James Grante, and a battery of six 6 Pounders at Alloa on the northern bank, commanded by Colonel Henry Graden of Kerr (a competent officer who held a commission in the Spanish Irlanda Regiment and whose normal role was as an ADC to Lord George Murray).

A duel between the Jacobite shore batteries and the Royal Navy ships developed, but eventually the sloops were sufficiently damaged to force them to withdraw and the ferrying operation could recommence.  The whole confrontation took place over three days (8th to 11th January 1746) and included an amphibious landing by parties of Royal Navy sailors and soldiers from the 27th Foot (Blakeney’s Inniskillings), driven off by the Camerons and Cromarties.   It would make a very unusual and interesting wargame.

These Jacobite 6 Pounders had originally come from the Royal Navy sloop HMS Hazard, which had been captured by the Jacobites at Montrose harbour and renamed “Le Prince Charles”.  The guns would have originally been on Naval gun carriages, but presumably the Jacobites had remounted them onto field artillery carriages, although I am not sure where these would have come from.   It is entirely possible that they simply made them, since there were plenty of tradesmen who could manufacture carts, carriages and wheels.

I have just painted this battery in its standard British Army blue/grey, so it can be used by either the British Army or Jacobites.  Here it is being crewed by Jacobites (with an attached French gunner) at Alloa on the northern bank of the Firth of Forth.

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