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Re: [WarOf1812] Three Times a Minute - five minutes vs. five hours

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  • Peter Monahan
    Our own Dave Brunelle has done 6 a minute on several occasions, but not for long and with a couple shortcuts
    Message 1 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
      Our own Dave Brunelle has done 6 a minute on several occasions, but not for long and with a couple "shortcuts"
      ============================================================
      From: "Larry Lozon" <lalozon@...>
      Date: 2004/10/05 Tue PM 01:45:28 EST
      To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [WarOf1812] Three Times a Minute - five minutes vs. five hours


      From: <yawors1@...>

      How fast troop formations could fire was largely a function of training.

      I think the truly important part of the equation in terms of
      battlefield tactics is, how *long* could they fire three or four or
      even five rounds a minute.
      .............

      Very interesting.

      I was informed over the weekend that a re-enactor from
      Fort Erie, Ontario actually reached a rate of "SIX" shots a minute !!!!


      Yrs.,

      L2













      The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of square miles...

      Unit Contact information for North America:
      ---------------------------------
      Crown Forces Unit Listing:
      http://1812crownforces.tripod.com

      American Forces Unit Lisiting
      http://usforces1812.tripod.com
      Yahoo! Groups Links







      ============================================================


      Peter Monahan
    • Mark Dickerson
      I hear the surgeon may some newer medications for those short cuts for those 6 per minute occasions! opps ....was that outloud? ... From: Peter Monahan
      Message 2 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
        I hear the surgeon may some newer medications for those short cuts for those
        "6 per minute" occasions! opps ....was that outloud?
        :)



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Peter Monahan" <petemonahan@...>
        To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 2:43 PM
        Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Three Times a Minute - five minutes vs. five hours


        >
        > Our own Dave Brunelle has done 6 a minute on several occasions, but not
        for long and with a couple "shortcuts"
        > ============================================================
      • hm95thfoot
        ... training. ... four or ... minute !!!! ... With a rammer, and ball cartridge, as they would have done it back then? That would be quite an accomplishment.
        Message 3 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Lozon" <lalozon@n...> wrote:
          > From: <yawors1@u...>
          >
          > How fast troop formations could fire was largely a function of
          training.
          >
          > I think the truly important part of the equation in terms of
          > battlefield tactics is, how *long* could they fire three or
          four or
          > even five rounds a minute.
          > .............
          >
          > Very interesting.
          >
          > I was informed over the weekend that a re-enactor from
          > Fort Erie, Ontario actually reached a rate of "SIX" shots a
          minute !!!!
          >
          >
          > Yrs.,
          >
          > L2

          With a rammer, and ball cartridge, as they would have done it back
          then? That would be quite an accomplishment.

          RWF
        • Larry Lozon
          From: hm95thfoot ... = = = = = = Rog Apparently some Napoleonic Re-enactors made a line of musketmen and had cavalry 80 yards
          Message 4 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
            From: "hm95thfoot" <fullerfamily@...>

            > With a rammer, and ball cartridge, as they would have done it back
            > then? That would be quite an accomplishment.

            = = = = = =

            Rog

            Apparently some Napoleonic Re-enactors made a line of musketmen
            and had cavalry 80 yards in front of them

            the experiment was:

            the line fired ...

            the horses then attacked.....

            the muskets could not get loaded and fired
            by the time the Hussars were on them

            So at three or four shots a minute, with a rammer, and ball cartridge
            they could not load fast enough to keep the horses away .......



            L2
          • Kevin Windsor
            yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock! Not too safe! ... From: Peter Monahan
            Message 5 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
              yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock! Not too safe!


              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Peter Monahan"


              >
              > Our own Dave Brunelle has done 6 a minute on several occasions, but not
              > for long and with a couple "shortcuts"
              >
            • hm95thfoot
              ... back ... musketmen ... cartridge ... Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^) RWF
              Message 6 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Lozon" <lalozon@n...> wrote:
                > From: "hm95thfoot" <fullerfamily@s...>
                >
                > > With a rammer, and ball cartridge, as they would have done it
                back
                > > then? That would be quite an accomplishment.
                >
                > = = = = = =
                >
                > Rog
                >
                > Apparently some Napoleonic Re-enactors made a line of
                musketmen
                > and had cavalry 80 yards in front of them
                >
                > the experiment was:
                >
                > the line fired ...
                >
                > the horses then attacked.....
                >
                > the muskets could not get loaded and fired
                > by the time the Hussars were on them
                >
                > So at three or four shots a minute, with a rammer, and ball
                cartridge
                > they could not load fast enough to keep the horses away .......
                >
                >
                >
                > L2

                Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)

                RWF
              • hm95thfoot
                ... safe! Hold my beer, watch this! Darwin Awards candidate.... RWF
                Message 7 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                  --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Windsor"
                  <kevin.windsor@s...> wrote:
                  > yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock! Not too
                  safe!


                  "Hold my beer, watch this!"

                  Darwin Awards candidate....

                  RWF
                • Larry Lozon
                  From: hm95thfoot Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^) ========= At 80 yards they apparently could
                  Message 8 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                    From: "hm95thfoot" <fullerfamily@...>

                    Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)


                    =========

                    At 80 yards they apparently could neither load fast enough
                    nor form square by the time the horses were upon them.





                    L2
                  • Larry Lozon
                    Kevin Windsor wrote yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock! From: hm95thfoot RWFuller Hold my beer, watch this! Darwin Awards
                    Message 9 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                      "Kevin Windsor" wrote
                      yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock!

                      From: "hm95thfoot" RWFuller

                      "Hold my beer, watch this!"
                      Darwin Awards candidate....
                      ------------------------




                      ...but does he spit the balls down the barrel while loading on full
                      cock? :-)
                    • BritcomHMP@aol.com
                      In a message dated 05/10/2004 17:19:13 Central Standard Time, lalozon@netrover.com writes: Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)
                      Message 10 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                        In a message dated 05/10/2004 17:19:13 Central Standard Time,
                        lalozon@... writes:

                        Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)


                        =========

                        At 80 yards they apparently could neither load fast enough
                        nor form square by the time the horses were upon them.




                        --------------------
                        -------------------

                        Quite, which is why the officer will have them in that formation (or some
                        other defensice position) before the cavalry gets that close!
                        The other point of course is that the volleyagainst cavalry would usualy be
                        held until they were closer in order to be more efective and the fact that the
                        infantry were loaded could put off the cavalry. This is why judging the
                        timing of the cavalry charge was such a delicare thing.

                        Of course if one let charging cavalry get too close one could risk what
                        happened to the KGL at Busaco where a dead horse became a projectile and broke
                        the square.

                        Cheers

                        Tim


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Peter Monahan
                        ============================================================ From: Kevin Windsor Date: 2004/10/05 Tue PM 06:05:11 EST To:
                        Message 11 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                          ============================================================
                          From: "Kevin Windsor" <kevin.windsor@...>
                          Date: 2004/10/05 Tue PM 06:05:11 EST
                          To: <WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com>
                          Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Three Times a Minute - five minutes vs. five hours


                          yeah one of the short cuts is loading while on full cock! Not too safe!

                          I couldn't agree more!

                          PM
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Peter Monahan"


                          >
                          > Our own Dave Brunelle has done 6 a minute on several occasions, but not
                          > for long and with a couple "shortcuts"
                          >




                          The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of square miles...

                          Unit Contact information for North America:
                          ---------------------------------
                          Crown Forces Unit Listing:
                          http://1812crownforces.tripod.com

                          American Forces Unit Lisiting
                          http://usforces1812.tripod.com
                          Yahoo! Groups Links







                          ============================================================


                          Peter Monahan
                        • hm95thfoot
                          ... Lar, then do what the 5th Foot and 77th Foot did at El Bodon in 1811 in just such a close situation- Charge Bayonets! They drove the French cavalry off the
                          Message 12 of 22 , Oct 5, 2004
                            --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Lozon" <lalozon@n...> wrote:
                            > From: "hm95thfoot" <fullerfamily@s...>
                            >
                            > Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)
                            >
                            >
                            > =========
                            >
                            > At 80 yards they apparently could neither load fast enough
                            > nor form square by the time the horses were upon them.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > L2

                            Lar,

                            then do what the 5th Foot and 77th Foot did at El Bodon in 1811 in
                            just such a close situation- Charge Bayonets! They drove the French
                            cavalry off the field by relying on the attack instead of defense.

                            RWF
                          • craig w
                            Some thoughts on Jim s thoughts, and the question at hand, I am trying to find the original reference for three rounds a minute and will post it as soon as I
                            Message 13 of 22 , Oct 6, 2004
                              Some thoughts on Jim's thoughts, and the question at hand,

                              I am trying to find the original reference for three rounds a minute
                              and will post it as soon as I do. In the meanwhile, in response to the
                              rest of the dialogue.

                              In large battles it takes time for troops to come within effective
                              firing distances so manuevering took awhile, while actual exchanges of
                              fire could be quite short and sharp, (unless the battle has one side
                              "entrenched" {eg,Hougamont}). A cartridge box can go quite a long time
                              before it needs refilling.
                              Having said that I'd like to point out that the issue cartridge box for
                              the british army at this time was designed to hold 60 rounds of
                              ammunition.One box full could last quite some time.

                              Having fired a musket with live rounds, I'd like to point out that
                              whereas yes the lock does get more and more fouled the barrel reaches a
                              peek fouling point and then each successive round tends to scour or
                              clear the barrel to a certain degree.
                              The 3rd round doesn't go down as fast as the first but the 10th goes
                              down as easily as the 3rd.
                              Malfunctions on the field are usually related to ignition, dull flint,
                              fouled touch-hole, fouled frizzen etc.
                              I have yet to read an account of anyone pissing down the barrel, I'm
                              not saying it didn't happen, I'm saying show me a primary source
                              reference.

                              The importance of "three rounds a minute" is that the line can only
                              fire efficiently or with the most impact in volleys.
                              The slowest loader in the company would therefore control the rate of
                              fire. Three rounds was a great rate of fire when you think that your
                              counting on 40 to 60* men to deliver them at company level and of
                              course 600 to 1000* at battalion level.
                              This becomes very important when faced with an attacking column. The
                              column, impressive though it is, has a small frontage and is densely
                              packed. It can only deliver small amounts of fire. A line can deliver
                              an almost constant rain of lead when the regiment is given the order to
                              fire by company from the left/right/centre (you pick). A Grand
                              Battalion of 1500 to 1600 men are launching in the neighborhood of 100
                              pounds of soft lead every volley.
                              With training, an individual can load and fire five rounds a minute,
                              but those people are the exception. Three is an acceptable norm.

                              As to the comment about individuals firing 6 times a minute by
                              "editing" the process. I feel that if your not using the drill, you're
                              not functioning correctly and therefore records set without the full
                              and proper drill are curiosities nothing more.
                              Three or four rounds rammed and fired using the prescribed drill are
                              impressive. Doing six by cutting corners in my opinion proves nothing
                              if not that the person is flirting with serous injury.

                              Tuppence,

                              Craig W

                              *the actual strength of units is almost always a fraction of what they
                              warranted to have
                            • HQ93rd@aol.com
                              ... We ve got one of those in the 93rd....even hunts deer with his Brown Bess.... B 93rd SHRoFLHU www.93rdhighlanders.com THE Thin Red Line [Non-text portions
                              Message 14 of 22 , Oct 7, 2004
                                In a message dated 6/10/2004 6:35:25 PM, sgtwarner@... writes:


                                > With training, an individual can load and fire five rounds a minute,
                                > but those people are the exception.
                                >

                                We've got one of those in the 93rd....even hunts deer with his Brown Bess....


                                B
                                93rd SHRoFLHU
                                www.93rdhighlanders.com
                                THE Thin Red Line


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • HQ93rd@aol.com
                                All right already. All this talk about slicing melons at 20 yards and firing in square... So what melons were set up on the ridge at Waterloo in 1815, eh? The
                                Message 15 of 22 , Oct 7, 2004
                                  All right already. All this talk about slicing melons at 20 yards and firing
                                  in square...
                                  So what melons were set up on the ridge at Waterloo in 1815, eh? The French
                                  cav got blasted by the artillery and the infantry in square. Fact. No melons to
                                  be seen.
                                  Previously, at Quatre Bras, the 42nd lost almost an entire company and a
                                  colonel when French lancers jumped them. The "however" to the story (of course you
                                  knew it was coming!) was these same lancers then attempted to pounce upon the
                                  rest of the 42nd as they were still trying to form and close up their square.
                                  A number of them galloped into the forming ranks obviously thinking, "Aha! We
                                  have these saucy Eccosais types!", only to find themselves trapped inside
                                  when the 42nd continued to close square, and themselves Cav types subsequently
                                  extinguished.

                                  Personal revelation from the 1995 Waterloo event -- The Highland Brigade had
                                  our pipers take turns recreating the 79th's Piper. Kenneth McKay's feat of
                                  marching about and playing his pipes outside his square at Waterloo. Whilst our
                                  pipers did so, not one French horse could even be coerced to get anywhere near
                                  our square.
                                  So bring on the melons.
                                  We've got bagpipes.


                                  B
                                  93rd SHRoFLHU
                                  www.93rdhighlanders.com
                                  THE Thin Red Line


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • HQ93rd@aol.com
                                  ... Which is why they would fire by files or by sections. B 93rd SHRoFLHU www.93rdhighlanders.com THE Thin Red Line [Non-text portions of this message have
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Oct 7, 2004
                                    In a message dated 5/10/2004 3:19:17 PM, lalozon@... writes:


                                    >
                                    > From: "hm95thfoot" <fullerfamily@...>
                                    >
                                    > Then fix swords/bayonets, and form square, my good man! :^)
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > =========
                                    >
                                    >    At 80 yards they apparently could neither load fast enough
                                    > nor form square by the time the horses were upon them.
                                    >
                                    > L2
                                    >


                                    Which is why they would fire by files or by sections.

                                    B
                                    93rd SHRoFLHU
                                    www.93rdhighlanders.com
                                    THE Thin Red Line


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • ray.hobbs@sympatico.ca
                                    Some additional thoughts on the rate of fire of a musket and other stuff. Just to get one thing out of the way - I brought the six shots a minute thing up,
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Oct 7, 2004
                                      Some additional thoughts on the rate of fire of a musket and other stuff.

                                      Just to get one thing out of the way - I brought the "six shots a minute" thing up, and am surprised that
                                      the immediate reaction of some was that it must have been done by cheating. I have no indication that
                                      this was the case, and in fact, my sources tell me that it was in a controlled competition.

                                      As a comment on an ordered battle line, firing volleys by company etc. according to the best period drill
                                      manual I offer the following eye-witness account:

                                      “What precision of fire can be expected from soldiers when firing in line? One man is priming; another
                                      coming to the present; taking, what is called aim; a fourth ramming down his cartridge. After a few shots
                                      the whole body is closely enveloped in smoke, and the enemy is totally inviisble; some of the soldiers
                                      step out a pace or two, in order to get a better shot; others kneel down; and some have no objection to
                                      retire a step or two. the doomed begin to fall, dreadfully mutilated perhaps, and even bold men shrink
                                      from the sight; others are wounded, and assisted to the rear by their comrades, so that the whole
                                      becomes a line of utter confusion, in which the mass only think of getting heir shots fired, they hardly
                                      care how, or in what direction”.
                                      Maj. Gen. John Mitchell, cited in R. Muir, Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon,
                                      p. 85.

                                      Now, of course, this was not necessarily typical, but it did happen to a well-drilled line on occasion.
                                      This particular chapter in Muir's book (Ch. 5 Infantry Combat) contains many similar observations by
                                      eye-witnesses, and is a realistic counter to the notion of a rigidly inflexible line of redcoats keeping up
                                      sustained rates of fire. The fog of battle often dictates otherwise.

                                      On the suggestion of pissing down the barrel to clean it - just think, who would want to place his
                                      member anywhere near a metal tube that is difficult to hold because of its raised temperature? Seems
                                      like a most foolhardy thing, to threaten with danger the one appendage the soldier prized most ;->)

                                      My thoughts for the moment
                                      Ray Hobbs
                                      41st Regt.



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • glifencible
                                      ... There is a reference in Red Coat and Brown Bess by Anthony Darling: On parade he was expected to deliver by word of command one shot every fifteen
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Oct 9, 2004
                                        > I am trying to find the original reference for three rounds a minute

                                        There is a reference in "Red Coat and Brown Bess" by Anthony Darling:

                                        "On parade he was expected to deliver by word of command one shot
                                        every fifteen seconds."

                                        There is a footnote:

                                        Simes, Thomas The Military Medly,p.23 London 1768. Cited in Peterson,
                                        Op. Cit. P 160. On the battlefield, three shots a minute would
                                        probably be average for a well-trained and disciplined body of men
                                        while advancing.

                                        Regards
                                        Bill
                                      • dancingbobd@webtv.net
                                        Symes The Military Medley is available from Kings Arms Press. Bob Dorian
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Oct 11, 2004
                                          Symes' The Military Medley is available from Kings Arms Press.

                                          Bob Dorian
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