Thursday, 28 March 2013

Napoleonic Artillery

The colours of the Napoleonic guns is a rather obscure topics, only interesting for military enthusiasts, historians, wargamers and ... chemists like me, and like Stephen Summerfield, a succesful author of many Napoleonic books (you can watch the Stephen's academic profile at the Academia site) and habitual contributor to the Napoleon-Series site where is the editor of the Smoothbore Ordnance Journal.
The reason behind this digression was the search for the colour of Napoleonic Polish guns (prompted by a friend). I suddenly remembered a book on this subject, Napoleonic Artillery (The Crowood Press Ltd. 2007) by Anthony L. Dawson, Paul L. Dawson and Stephen Summerfield, standing in my bookshelves.
The required information is in the Table 9.2  on p. 229 (and it is not reproduced here to avoid copyright infringement) at the Chapter 9 'The Colours of Artillery Pieces'. The full chapter 9 spans pages 226-231, and it seems written by a chemist, so I suppose Stephen was the responsible of that interesting information.
In addition to the above information, the book is packed with a mine of information about the subject so it is a must for the napoleonic wargamer.

Incidentally, the woodwork of the Napoleonic Polish guns was painted 'mainly blue-grey' with black metal fittings.

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  1. Cannons were the Duchy of Warsaw army, captured Prussia. Initially, their colors were gray so the same as in the Prussian army. In time, it will most likely repainted olive green color. Especially after the 1809 campaign, when he also captured Austrian cannon.
    Sorry for my bad English language.

  2. Interesting! I think I'll have to track this down. Thanks for the tip, Rafa.

  3. Rosbif:
    See the Fromhold's comment. It seems very logical

    Many thanks for the clarification. A Polish source evidently is more sure!

  4. I recommend the book R.Morawski & A. Nieuważny, Wojsko Księstwa Warszawskiego. Artyleria, inżynierowie , saperzy, Warszawa 2011.

    Picture from this book :
    Polish horses artillery 1810-1812