Monday, 24 November 2008

British Rocket

The solid-propellant rocket was invented by the Chinese in the early 13th century, and were still used at India, in the late XVIII century by the Indian princes. In 1792, the rockets were successfully used against the British forces in the Seringapatam. The first Bristish studies failed to produce a working weapon until the project was taken up by Colonel William Congreve (1772–1828), at the Royal Laboratory (Woolwich). By 1805 the British had introduced the first reasonably effective military rocket to European warfare.
The first British successful rockets were incendiary devices used against Boulogne (1806), Copennhagen (1807), Dantzig (1813) and in the War of 1812 in America. Those used by the field artillery came in 6, 9, 12 and 18 lbs, and were assigned to the Royal Horse Artillery, due to their deployment speed, in 1813. From the two troops serving initially, the 2nd troop of Rocket Artillery was sent to Germany and saw action at the Battle of Gordhe in 1813.
In that battle, the rockets contributed to the success of the small British contingent:
"... The square of French infantry on the left,…..were still firm; but there happened to be two or three of the Rocket Brigade in the field, and the first rocket fired, fell directly in the square, putting them in the greatest confusion; and while they were so, the German Hussars, who had been previously repulsed, charged them again, and influenced by feelings of revenge, cut among them, right and left, giving no quarter ...”

To know more
History of the Rocket 1804-1815
Congreve Rockets
British Royal Horse Artillery
Artillery Equipments of the Napoleonic Wars


  1. Rafa - That's really fascinating, it must have been quite a shock to see one of those things coming towards you on the battlefield! Will you have special rules for the rockets in the battle re-fight?


  2. Ian
    The impact of the rockets was psycological, so the actual losses were always low. I am thinking to change any loss caused by a rocket for a disorder status