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Re: [NapoleonicFireandFury] skirmishers ???

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  • Allan F Mountford
    Way to go, Bill. Very informative. Makes a difference reading someone who has a grasp of the material. Allan. ... From: Bill Haggart To:
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1 12:32 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      Way to go, Bill. Very informative. Makes a difference reading someone who
      has a grasp of the material.

      Allan.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Bill Haggart" <insights@...>
      To: <NapoleonicFireandFury@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 1:21 AM
      Subject: Re: [NapoleonicFireandFury] skirmishers ???


      >
      >
      > Michael:
      > I may not have understood your point about skirmish superiority. I was
      > responding to a number of posts instead of just one. Your question was
      > which
      > mechanics to use?
      >
      > The 1 to 6 skirmisher ratio doesn't mean much more than what was the
      > Standard Operating Procedure for the French. Actually, the 1845, 1862 and
      > 1867 regulations called for two companies of the eight line infantry
      > companies to deploy into skirmish line as the SOP, so that is 1:4.
      > However,
      > that doesn't mean much either when you look at what actually was done.
      > Here
      > are a few examples:
      >
      > *At Alma the entire 3rd Zouaves deployed as skirmishers and covered the
      > French 2nd Division's advance.
      > * At Montebello, the 17th Chasseur Battalion and the entire regiments of
      > the
      > 74th and 84th Ligne advanced on the town in skirmish order.
      > * At Palestro, one Zouave regiment sent half their companies forward as
      > skirmishers, followed by double company columns. The two Sardinian Line
      > battalions supporting the Zouaves ALSO advanced in skirmish order.
      > * The French IId Corps stormed Robecchetto on June 3, 1859 and deployed
      > their Algerian Regiment as skirmishers, the other half remained in columns
      > supporting the skirmishers. Other Ligne battalions were fed into the
      > skirmish line during the attack.
      > *At Magenta, the 8th Chasseur Battalion and the entire 23rd Ligne deployed
      > as skirmishers.
      > *At Solferino, both Guard divisions deployed tirailleur screens made up of
      > far more than the 1:6 ratio to cover their advance, the 1st Guards in
      > column, the 2nd Guards in two deployed lines. In several places,
      > battalions
      > of ligne and chasseur infantry deployed as skirmishers in woods to direct
      > aimed fire at the Austrians. For instance, the 6th Chasseurs and entire
      > 76th
      > Ligne deployed in woods as skirmishers to cover the assualt columns of the
      > 52nd and 85th Ligne as they advanced.
      >
      > In all these examples 1/3 to 1/2+ of the BRIGADE was being deployed as
      > skirmishers. Hardly a 'regimental issue' or a 'minor' tactical
      > consideration. I think that is a misconception about the use of
      > skirmishers
      > that is very persistent. The decision to deploy skirmishers and how many
      > was
      > most often a brigade decision. When his brigade deployed, a brigade
      > commander would determine how many skirmishers would be needed based on
      > the
      > situation. The SOP of 1:6 was simply a convenient starting point--an
      > expected deployment, like double company columns--not the last word on the
      > issue or below the brigade commanders'--or even division commanders'
      > concern.
      >
      > Both the Austrians and the Allied armies viewed skirmish deployments as a
      > far more fluid practice than simply 1:6 ratios or whether there as a
      > voltigeur company in the battalion. The Austrians depended on their
      > Jaegers
      > or Grenz far more. At Magenta, the Austrians deployed a Jager battalion in
      > skirmish order was the rest of the infantry advanced in two deployed
      > lines.
      > Even so, the Austrians weren't adverse to supporting the light troops with
      > line infantry when they felt like it.
      >
      > So, my 'heartburn' concerning the die rolls and modifiers is that such
      > mechanisms completely fail to capture how skirmishers were being used
      > tactically.
      >
      > So, my 'heartburn' concerning the die rolls and modifiers is that such
      > fire
      > mechanisms completely fail to capture how skirmishers were being used
      > tactically--at the brigade level. Often the success or failure of skirmish
      > combat involved how many skirmishers each side was willing to deploy--not
      > how many they actually could have had they wanted to--and the 1:6 or 1:4
      > ratio really doesn't address that issue at all.
      >
      > The 1859 French used skirmishers much as their Napoleonic conterparts
      > did--as the fire support for the assault columns and as a method of fire
      > combat just like deployed lines of infantry. One reason the French won in
      > 1859 was because they were willing to deploy more skirmishers than the
      > Austrians--not because they were doctrinally able to deploy more. When
      > facing equal numbers of French light infantry, the Austrians did just
      > fine,
      > thank you.
      >
      > I'll be glad to share my 'skirmish rules' with you all. I will say that we
      > use the brigade stands to represent the skirmishers.
      >
      > Bill H.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Bill Haggart
      Thanks Allen. Of course, Yahoo is repeating lines again, so I had heartburn twice. ;-j I find it a bit surprising how wargamers want to dust skirmishing
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 1 4:37 PM
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        Thanks Allen. Of course, Yahoo is repeating lines again, so I had
        'heartburn' twice. ;-j
        I find it a bit surprising how wargamers want to dust skirmishing under the
        rug, so to speak. I was just reading in Alexander and Yuri Zhmodikov's book
        on the "Tactics of the Russian Army in the Napoleonic Wars" where most of
        the Jagers were deployed by battalion as skirmishers at Austerlitz, with
        LINE infantry deployed to support them. The same for Eylau and Freidland.
        This is when the Russians supposedly couldn't skirmish, let alone in large
        numbers.

        Amazing!

        Bill H.




        > Way to go, Bill. Very informative. Makes a difference reading someone who
        > has a grasp of the material.
        >
        > Allan.
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Bill Haggart" <insights@...>
        > To: <NapoleonicFireandFury@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 1:21 AM
        > Subject: Re: [NapoleonicFireandFury] skirmishers ???
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > Michael:
        > > I may not have understood your point about skirmish superiority. I was
        > > responding to a number of posts instead of just one. Your question was
        > > which
        > > mechanics to use?
        > >
        > > The 1 to 6 skirmisher ratio doesn't mean much more than what was the
        > > Standard Operating Procedure for the French. Actually, the 1845, 1862
        and
        > > 1867 regulations called for two companies of the eight line infantry
        > > companies to deploy into skirmish line as the SOP, so that is 1:4.
        > > However,
        > > that doesn't mean much either when you look at what actually was done.
        > > Here
        > > are a few examples:
        > >
        > > *At Alma the entire 3rd Zouaves deployed as skirmishers and covered the
        > > French 2nd Division's advance.
        > > * At Montebello, the 17th Chasseur Battalion and the entire regiments of
        > > the
        > > 74th and 84th Ligne advanced on the town in skirmish order.
        > > * At Palestro, one Zouave regiment sent half their companies forward as
        > > skirmishers, followed by double company columns. The two Sardinian Line
        > > battalions supporting the Zouaves ALSO advanced in skirmish order.
        > > * The French IId Corps stormed Robecchetto on June 3, 1859 and deployed
        > > their Algerian Regiment as skirmishers, the other half remained in
        columns
        > > supporting the skirmishers. Other Ligne battalions were fed into the
        > > skirmish line during the attack.
        > > *At Magenta, the 8th Chasseur Battalion and the entire 23rd Ligne
        deployed
        > > as skirmishers.
        > > *At Solferino, both Guard divisions deployed tirailleur screens made up
        of
        > > far more than the 1:6 ratio to cover their advance, the 1st Guards in
        > > column, the 2nd Guards in two deployed lines. In several places,
        > > battalions
        > > of ligne and chasseur infantry deployed as skirmishers in woods to
        direct
        > > aimed fire at the Austrians. For instance, the 6th Chasseurs and entire
        > > 76th
        > > Ligne deployed in woods as skirmishers to cover the assualt columns of
        the
        > > 52nd and 85th Ligne as they advanced.
        > >
        > > In all these examples 1/3 to 1/2+ of the BRIGADE was being deployed as
        > > skirmishers. Hardly a 'regimental issue' or a 'minor' tactical
        > > consideration. I think that is a misconception about the use of
        > > skirmishers
        > > that is very persistent. The decision to deploy skirmishers and how many
        > > was
        > > most often a brigade decision. When his brigade deployed, a brigade
        > > commander would determine how many skirmishers would be needed based on
        > > the
        > > situation. The SOP of 1:6 was simply a convenient starting point--an
        > > expected deployment, like double company columns--not the last word on
        the
        > > issue or below the brigade commanders'--or even division commanders'
        > > concern.
        > >
        > > Both the Austrians and the Allied armies viewed skirmish deployments as
        a
        > > far more fluid practice than simply 1:6 ratios or whether there as a
        > > voltigeur company in the battalion. The Austrians depended on their
        > > Jaegers
        > > or Grenz far more. At Magenta, the Austrians deployed a Jager battalion
        in
        > > skirmish order was the rest of the infantry advanced in two deployed
        > > lines.
        > > Even so, the Austrians weren't adverse to supporting the light troops
        with
        > > line infantry when they felt like it.
        > >
        > > So, my 'heartburn' concerning the die rolls and modifiers is that such
        > > mechanisms completely fail to capture how skirmishers were being used
        > > tactically.
        > >
        > > So, my 'heartburn' concerning the die rolls and modifiers is that such
        > > fire
        > > mechanisms completely fail to capture how skirmishers were being used
        > > tactically--at the brigade level. Often the success or failure of
        skirmish
        > > combat involved how many skirmishers each side was willing to
        deploy--not
        > > how many they actually could have had they wanted to--and the 1:6 or 1:4
        > > ratio really doesn't address that issue at all.
        > >
        > > The 1859 French used skirmishers much as their Napoleonic conterparts
        > > did--as the fire support for the assault columns and as a method of fire
        > > combat just like deployed lines of infantry. One reason the French won
        in
        > > 1859 was because they were willing to deploy more skirmishers than the
        > > Austrians--not because they were doctrinally able to deploy more. When
        > > facing equal numbers of French light infantry, the Austrians did just
        > > fine,
        > > thank you.
        > >
        > > I'll be glad to share my 'skirmish rules' with you all. I will say that
        we
        > > use the brigade stands to represent the skirmishers.
        > >
        > > Bill H.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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