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19

Seems like the questioner was asking for a bit more than just an idea of conversion rates, so here is some background on how the pre-decimal currency worked. 4 farthings = one penny 2 halfpennies = one penny tuppence = colloquial two pence thruppence = colloquial three pence 240 pence in one pound 6 pence = sixpence (aka a Tanner), or half a shilling. ...


14

What you are referring to is commonly known as the "French Column". I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that English movies and the English version of Wikipedia are pretty dismissive of it. After all, that was the opinion of everyone's favorite English General, Wellington. And he was certainly able to back it up. The first thing you have to realize is that ...


11

Napoleon loved forward momentum - and he got it with the heavy column. The formation forced his infantry forward, the front ranks constantly pushed to the fore by the ranks behind them, and made opponents break formation to get the hell out of the way. This worked, because Napoleon was an artilleryman - he would disrupt opposing line formations with ...


10

Considering he escaped from an island prison and re-rallied the country, putting him in the Bastille (in the middle of France) and then leaving and demobilzing your army would quite obviously have been a Bad Idea. As for not executing him...I don't think they could really do that either. His only real "crime" was leading armies against them and losing. If ...


10

I just performed some Google search that gave me the map of Europe during Napoleonic wars. Here goes the reproduction from Wikipedia: See the image in other resolutions here: Europe 1812 map en.png So, in Europe, in 1812, there were the following countries: Great Britain - fought Portugal - fought Spain - fought Papal States - fought Kingdom of Naples ...


9

As a melee fighter, heavy cavalry would have depended on armor to block melee weapons once they got in range, and that alone would justify its use. As far as effectiveness against firearms the best I've ever found is that quality armor of the time was somewhat effective against small arms and muskets at range, though muskets could easily penetrate at close ...


7

No major European country stayed neutral (for the whole time of Napoleonic wars). The Ottoman Empire (partly placed in Europe, although not traditionally considered a European country) possibly comes closest. But it was by no means the boring Swiss-style neutrality, so I would review the Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, the Russo-Ottoman War of 1806-1812, and ...


7

Campaigns of Napoleon: The Mind and Method of History's Greatest Soldier by David Chandler is a good source of informations on Napoleon. See pages 749-797, chapter "War Pans and Preparations". Mostly, the supplies were stored and ran from Poland. However, the army was accompanied by no less than 200,000 animals and 250,000 vehicles. A lot of the supplies ...


6

The first thing to remember is that Napoleon prized speed over everything else. Most of his campaigns he faced much larger armies led by different nations and leaders. When Napoleon arrived the opposing armies would be near one another but not yet (His apposing armies were separated due to forage and supply needs, or were traveling to meet one another at a ...


5

Napoleon's army got some supplies from occupied and allied territories of course, especially from Prussia and Poland. Still, the distances were too long to get sufficient supplies in and so the soldiers plundered villages on their way to collect food. This turned out particularly devastating on their way back: the Russians used scorched earth tactics and the ...


5

Napoleon WAS imprisoned. The first time, at Elba, was under "house arrest." Security was lax, and he escaped and started the "100 Days." The British didn't make the same mistake the second time. The venue chosen for his exile was St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic, one of the most isolated places in the world. It is more than 1000 miles from Angola to ...


5

Money's meaning changes over time; it is not a static category. For simplicities sake, lets assume that you learn how to use Lsd (£/s/d) figures, and work out a few of the more curious word name (tuppence). Even then, you won't know how much money was worth in that era unless you read a lot of social history. There are time values for money converters ...


5

Columns are an aggressive formation, that work best against "inferior" (slower-firing, -marching) opponents. That's because at the point of contact, the column is very deep, which means that it has a good chance of breaking the enemy line. It's weakness is that against a well-drilled opponent, the defender will pull back the line on either side, let the ...


5

I can tell you two things, how many were under Nelson's fleet in the Mediterranean and how many were in commission throughout the world in May 1804. Under Nelson's command were 13 Ships of the Line, 1 Fifty, 11 Frigates, 10 Sloops, 3 Bombs, 6 Gunboats and 2 Cutter and Schooners. In total commission (throughout the world) were 88 Ships of the Line, 13 ...


5

This is basically oblique order. The idea is to crush one flank of the enemy with the strong force, turn it 90° and defeat the enemy in detail. The remainder of your troops keep the enemy busy on the other flank. You put your heavy troops on the strong flank because they need the most strength (they need to break the line). The light troops are more ...


5

Not much. According to the Wiki: By the terms of the Anglo-Russian agreement of 1803, Britain paid a subsidy of ₤1.5 million pounds for every 100,000 Russian soldiers in the field... The whole cost of the war [for Britain] came to £831 million. By contrast the French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon’s forces had to rely in part ...


5

You will have a difficult time convincing me that Napoleon was the best battlefield technician of all time, when he was only the third best French practitioner of that art during the Napoleonic Era; Davout and likely Desaix would head that list. Similarly as a dynastic founder Napoleon's complete ineptitude at diplomacy place him a long ways down that list. ...


4

You have to be very careful about films about the Napoleonic Wars. First off, there aren't that many, unless you include the Richard Sharpe made for TV series and various TV miniseries, about which I will speak later. Of the actual feature films, I think War And Peace has been made twice, the only one worth watching being the Bondarchuk version. Bondarchuk ...


4

While I can't comment on the changing of ones underwear being regulation/recorded in manuals etc. If you visit the Imperial War Museum or the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard much of this kind of thing is covered. On any wooden warship the internal bulkheads were designed to be taken down and stowed in the bilge or the hold (including the captains cabin and ...


4

They are termed camp followers and have followed armies since before Ramses II at Kadesh. Modern armies travel with long tails of official logistical services - cooks, tailors, smiths, armourers, teamsters, nurses, physicians & surgeons, etc. - that in earlier times were provided by civilian camp followers, but wives, children, mistresses and others ...


3

It was Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, that advocated putting soldiers in death ground to make them fight. "Put them in a spot where they have no place to go, and they will die before fleeing. If they are to die there, what can they not do? Warriors exert their full strength. When warriors are in great danger, then they have no fear. When there is nowhere to go ...


3

Just to add a note about cannons: fragmentation is a very common source of injury -- be it wood splinters, bone, rocks, or shrapnel from the shell -- link, graphic images of wounds. This could have impacted the desire to wear armour. However, wikipedia and Body Armor: Cuirass and Helmet seem to indicate that fragmentation/shrapnel was not a factor at all ...


3

There are few things I would point out that seem to have been missed in earlier responses. The French infantry battalion was generally composed of 6 companies; four center companies and one each of grenadiers and voltigeurs. The French regiment or demi-brigade in the early period usually had three battalions, and there were two regiments per brigade, though ...


3

According to www.napolun.com the European fleet strengths, in terms of Ships of the Line (1st to 3rd rates), in 1808-1809 (shortly after Trafalgar) were: Great Britain: 113 Spain: 45 France: 45 Russia: 34 Denmark: 21 Also according to that website, in 1805 the Great Britain (presumably including state owned trade ships etc) had a ...


3

The speed of the attack was absolutely critical. The French initiating an attack took the Prussian forces by surprise, forced them to split, and prevented their Russian allies from aiding them. In early October 1806 the Prussian-Saxon army, under Charles William Ferdinand, moved slowly westward through Saxony in an attempt to threaten Napoleon’s ...


2

In the French Army of Napoleon size was not the critical qualifier for being a grenadier - experience and bravery was. Certainly diminutive size would disqualify a soldier from being eligible for the grenadier company of his battalion (but in turn making him eligible for the voltigeur company), but average size was sufficient (and a moustache was de rigeur). ...


2

This was an expression of the "traditional" order of fighting, elite troops, in the position of order on the right; lesser troops on the left. The battle of Leuctra cited in another answer was an exception. But many military dispositions were not so rational. In the battle of Camden in the American Revolution, the British-trained American general, Horatio ...


2

When will this myth dies its long deserved death? It is based on the blind following of Sir Charles Oman's mistaken interpretation of French tactics, arising from a misunderstanding of contemporary accounts of the Battle of Maida. You all need to read A Reappraisal of Column Versus Line in the Peninsular War by James Arnold. The true French battle formation ...



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