Skip to main content

Full text of "Tactics"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

J r ?■? '/. / -J 

Sarbarli ColUge library 


"The lurplus eich y«u over and alxwe what ihall be 

required for the prize shall be expended 

for booka for the libraiy" 



B A L C K 

Colonel, German Army. 







First Lieutenant, Third Infantry, U. S. Army, 

Fottrtk erlar^ti mml completely revieed editioii. 
W^itk numerovLB plates m tke text. 


Fort Liavemwobth, Kansas. 






JAN 25 1916 

uaL «^t«.*.v"C^ 

coptbiqht, 1914, 
Bt Waltbb Kbuioeb. 


IiSAtbu'wobth, kaitsas. 


The kind reception accorded his translation of Volume I 
of Tactics here and abroad, and many urgent requests re- 
ceived from brother officers for a similar book on cavalry 
and artillery, prompted the translator to undertake the trans* 
ation of Volume II. 

This is an epitome of the interpretation and application 
of tactical principles in the cavalry, field and heavy artillery 
of the various armies, discussed in the light of tactical views 
and methods prevailing in Germany, and amplified by numer- 
ous examples from military history. 

The author's views diflFer in many respects from those 
generally accepted in our service, but that very fact tends to 
enhance the value of his work, for it enables the student to 
see things from a different angle and stimtdates reflection. 

The translator's aim has been to reproduce, in English, 
as faithfully as possible, the ideas of the author. If he has 
been moderately successful in this, and has helped his brother 
officers to get a deeper and broader conception of tactics, he 
will feel amply repaid for his work. 


This, the second volume of 'TACTICS" treats of the 
employment of cavalry, field and heavy artillery in field 
warfare, with due regard to the great influence exerted on 
them by the lessons of recent campaigns. Although cavalry 
was imable to win victories with the arw^ blancheinthe Balkans, 
in South- Africa, and in Manchuria, the science of combat as 
such should nevertheless point out that cavalry need by no 
means dispense with shock action; that, in spite of all 
mechanical improvements in fire arms, saber and lance have 
not, by a long shot, become useless. While I place a high 
value upon the use of fire action, I am firmly convinced that 
the days of mounted charges are, by no means, over. The 
more our opponents are convinced of the futility of a charge 
against infantry or artillery, the better the chances of our 

The employment of heavy artillery has, of course, re- 
ceived thorough treatment in these pages. The events of 
the Russo-Japanese war give but a faint idea of the power 
of the modem rapid fire gim, although the latter's shrapnel 
was so effective as to force the artillery of both belligerents 
into masked positions and very materially protracted the 

The lessons of the Russo-Japanese war, however, are 
applicable only to gtms without shields, and in my opinion 
the changes produced in tactics by the adoption of rapid fire 
gtms in place of the slower firing cannon, were by no means 
so radical as those that were the immediate result of the in- 
troduction of gun shields. Gim shields will impart an en- 
tirely new character to the artillery combat of the future. 

vi Preface. 

New weapons, new Tactics. Tactics can not wait until 
the next great war is upon us, but must look into the future 
and endeavor to devine the changes that coming events will 
require. Nevertheless, we w411 not be spared surprises. 
These will be the greater, the less we have studied, in time of 
peace, the characteristic properties of modem weapons, and 
the less we have appreciated these w^eapons at their true 

In discussions on effects of fire, I have throughout fol- 
lowed the exhaustive works of His Excellency Lieutenant- 
General Rohne. Statements in regard to the strength of 
opposing forces during the Franco-German war are taken from 
the very able and trustworthy research work of Major Kunz. 
Wherever examples from military history are taken from 
General Staff Accounts (Gen. St. W.) or from regimental 
histories, appropriate references are given in all cases. On 
the Russo-Turkish war, I have consulted the comprehensive 
work of Major Springer, Austrian Army, and the Critical 
Review (Kritische Riickblicke) by General Kuropatkin as 
well as the Austrian translation of the Russian General Staff 
Account, now in course of preparation. The copious lit- 
erature available on the Russo-Japanese war w^as utilized 
as far as possible. 

I desire to express, at this point, my sincere thanks for 
the assistance received from officers of all arms and from those 
who participated in the recent campaigns. 

The Author. 





1. Arms and Eqaipment 3 

Purchase (augmentation) hones 3 

Landwehr cavalry 4 

Organization, arms, ammunition, equipment (table) 4 

Views on the lance 6 

2. Organization of the Cavalry 9 

(a) Minor Cavalry Units 9 

Escadron 9 

Regiment 9 

Brigade 11 

(6) Major Cavalry Units 11 

Cavalry division 11 

Organization of German cavalry divisions in the 

Franco-German war 12 

Organization of cavalry divisions in various 

armies (table) 13 

Assignment of cyclists to cavalry divisions 14 

Assignment of horse artillery to cavalry divisions. 16 

Assignment of machine guns to cavalry divisions. . 1 6 
Assignment of pioneers and trains to cavalry 

divisions 17 

Formation of cavalry divisions in time of peace.. 19 

Cavalry Corps 20 


1. Tlie Escadron 25 

(o) The Formation of the Escadron 25 

(&) Contact and Frontage, Number of ranks and Dis- 
tance between then; 29 

(c) Elementary Movements 30 

(d) Gaits : 31 

Distance covered per minute 32 

(6) General Principles for Movements 35 

1. Commands, Orders, Bugle and Visual Signals 
and Verbal Directions 86 

2. Wheels and Turns 36 

3. Deployments and Front into Line 37 

i^ii Contents. 

1. The Escadron— continued. page 

(/) Movements of the Escadron in Line 38 

(g) The Columns of the Escadron 39 

1. Column of Platoons 39 

Computation of distance between platoons.. 40 

Forming column of platoons from line 41 

Inversion 41 

Forming line from column of platoons 42 

Time required for forming column of pla- 
toons and line 44 

2. The Echelon Formation 44 

Comparison of echelon formation and col- 
umn of platoons 45 

Single rank formation 45 

3. Route Columns 46 

2. The Regriment 61 

(a) The Formations 61 

1. The Regiment in Line 52 

2. Line of Escadrons in Colunms of Platoons 53 

3. The Regimental Column 66 

4. Column of Platoons 58 

6. Double Column 69 

6. Route Column 60 

(b) Evolutions of the Regiment 61 

Deployments 62 

(c) Transitions to Narrower Formations (Ployments) .. 64 

(d) Movements in Column and in Line of Columns 68 

(e) Transition to Line 68 

(/) Time Required for Deploying 71 

Computation 72 

3. The Brigade* 73 

4. The Cavalry DiviHion and the Cavalry Corps 79 

Assembly formations 80 

5* Comparison between lAne and Column 82 

Charges in column 82 


1* The Employment of Cavalry in Battle 85 

The English cavalry in the Boer war 85 

Initial conclusions drawn by the British from the 

Boer war 87 

Russian and Japanese cavalry in Manchuria 88 

Operations of the cavalry brigade under Prince 

Kanin 89 

Cavalry at Wafangkou 91 

Contents. ix 

!• The Employment of Cavalry in Battle — continued, page 

Cavalry at Sandepu 93 

Russian views 96 

Proportion of cavalry to other arms 96 

Position of the cavalry in battle 98 

Cavalry duels 100 

Action of cavalry in battle 101 

2. The Lieader 102 

Importance of personality 104 

3. The DUmonnted Action of Cavalry 108 

Conditions in the Franco-German war 1 08 

Occasions for the employment of dismounted 

action Ill 

Formation 113 

Dismounting to fight on foot and mounting up 114 

Skirmishers, supports and dismounted reserve 116 

Mounted reserve, led horses 117 

Armament with fire arms 117 

Provisions of various regulations 118 

The attack 121 

Fire surprise 125 

Defense 126 

Breaking off the action 128 

Examples of the employment of dismounted 

action 129 

English views on the employment of mounted 

infantry 131 

Machine guns 133 


1. General 137 

Necessity of launching masses 138 

Ground scouting and reconnaissance 139 

Examples of inadequate ground scouting 140 

Combat reconnaissance 142 

2. The Advance to the Attack 142 

Order for the development for action 143 

Formation in echelon 145 

3. The Conduct of the Chargre 147 

Distribution in depth, supports, line 149 

Supporting escadrons 151 

Origin of "Three Line Tactics" 152 

Frederick the Great's attack formation 153 

Weakness of "Three Line Tactics" 154 

The flank attack 155 

X Contents. 

IV. Cavalry versus Cavalry — continued. page 

4. The Impact and the Melee 161 

Decision in the mfil^e 162 

Use of weapons 163 

Mounted fire action 166 

Result of cavalry actions 169 

5. The Purnuit 170 

6. Rally 174 

Provisions of various regulations 175 

Austria-Hungary 175 

France 177 

Echelon Tactics 179 

Italy 182 

Russia 183 

England 185 

7. Charges by Successive Kscadrons 185 

8. The Chargre in Extended Order 187 

9. The Lava of the Cossacks 188 

Examples from military history 192 


Factors that make a charge against infantry 

difficult 197 

Charges from several directions 201 

Charge in successive lines 203 

Charge on a square 204 

Provisions of various regulations 205 


Bringing off captured guns 212 

Provisions of various regulations 213 

Charges against heavy artillery 214 

Contents. xi 





1. Hevelopment of Field Artillery since the Franco- 

German War 217 

Recoil guns 218 

Gun shields 219 

Bombardment of guns provided with shields 220 

Shrapnel shell and high explosive shrapnel 220 

Materiel and ammunition supply of the field artil- 
lery of various armies (table) 220 

Condensed table of fire for French and German 

field guns 222 

2. Flat Trajectory Guns 223 

Shrapnel 223 

Shell 226 

Canister 229 

3. The Light Field Howitzer and the Heavy Field 

Howitzer 230 

The effect of shrapnel bullets on animate targets . 234 

4. Mobility 236 

Marching powers 237 

5. Armament with Small Arms 238 

G. Relative Htrength of Field Artillery to other 

Arms 241 

7. Organization 243 

The battery 244 

Eight, six, and four-gun batteries 244 

Organization of batteries in the various armies 247 

The battalion 249 

The regiment 249 

Heavy artillery 250 

Assignment of artillery to higher units 250 

Abolition of corps artillery 252 


1. The Piece 256 

2. Gaits 259 

3. The Battery 260 

Organization of the German battery 261 

The battery in line 261 

xii Contents. 

3. The Battery — continued. page 

Organization of the French battery 262 

Organization and formation of the heavy howit- 
zer battery 262 

Organization and formation of the 21 cm. mortar 

battery 263 

The order in line 264 

The order in route column 265 

Double column 265 

Flank marches 266 

Horse battery in column of platoons 267 

Tounlimber 269 

Effect of fire upon caissons 270 

Provisions of various regulations 273 

4. The Battalion 279 

Provisions of various regulations 281 

5. Heavy Artillery 284 

The battery, Formation of 285 

Occupation of a position by 285 

The mortar battery 286 

The battalion, Formation of 287 

Organization of 288 

6. Besume 289 

The order in battery (Plates) 290 

Germany 290 

Austria ,. 291 

France 291 

England 292 

Russia 292 


1. Oeneral Principles 293 

Employment of single guns 294 

Mass effect 294 

Posting guns in the infantry trenches 294 

Examples from military history 295 

Mass effect or the mass in readiness 296 

Artillery reserves 297 

Characteristic properties of modern artillery 299 

2. The Position of Artillery in a Column 300 

Heavy artillery 304 

Advance guard artillery 304 

Rear guard artillery 307 

Contents. xiii 

III. Bmployment of Artillery in Action — continued. page 

3. Deployment of Artillery 308 

Reconnaissance by artillery officers' patrols 3 08 

Ground scouting 310 

Reconnaissance of the objective 311 

Reconnaissance of artillery targets 312 

Austrian and French views 313 

Reconnaissance duties af artillery commanders. ..314 

Selection of artillery positions 318 

Increasing the difficulties of hostile obeervation.... 321 

Unmasked and masked positions 324 

Posting artillery in groups 331 

Semi-masked positions 332 

Positions in readiness and in observation 333 

Positions for heavy artillery 335 

Observation stations 336 

Advance to and occupation of the position 336 

4. Battle Ranges 340 

5. Firingr over Friendly Infantry 343 

Provisions of various regulations 347 

Examples from military history 347 

e« Artificial Cover 348 

Gun pits and epaulements 349-354 

7. Artillery Combat at Short Ranges 354 

(a) Artillery versus infantry 354 

(6) Artillery versus Cavalry 356 

8. Artillery Supports 357 

Provisions of various regulations 361 

Examples from military history 361 

9. Reinforcing the Firing Hattories in Action 362 

10. Changes of Position 364 

11. Fire Direction 368 

(a) Order of Fire of Field Artillery 372 

(6) Order of Fire of Heavy Artillery 374 

(c) Rate of Fire 375 

(d) Conduct of Fire 376 

(e) The use of the Various Projectiles 377 

Provisions of various regulations 377 

France 377 

Holland 380 

Austria-Hungary 381 

Italy 383 

Russia 383 

xiv Contents. 

III. Employment of Artillery in Action— continued. pagb 

12. Bzpenditnre of Ammanition 384 

18. Ammanition Supply 887 

14. Replacement of Ammunition 390 

Provisions of various regulations 396 

15. Replacement of Personnel and Materiel 397 


1 • The Cooperation of Infantry and Artillery 401 

2« Artillery in a Rencontre 409 

8* The Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense 416 

Artillery duel 418 

Battle ranges 420 

Frontage 421 

Conduct of the infantry attack 421 

Accompanying the infantry attack 423 

Pursuit 428 

4. The Employment of Artillery in the Attack on 

Fortified Positions 429 

Reconnaissance 431 

Launching the artillery 436 

Preparation of the assault 440 


Advanced positions 441 

Selection of artillery positions 442 

Opening fire 446 

Repelling the attack 447 

Counter-attack 448 




Austria 466 

France 468 

Japan 464 

England 466 

Russia 466 


Contents. xv 



Horse artillery in the service of reconnaissance.. 471 

Horse artillery in the cavalry combat 472 

Horse artillery in battle 476 

Provisions of various rejpilations 477 

France 477 

Italy 478 

Austria 478 

Russia 479 








British Reports = Reports of British Officers attached to the Russian 

and Japanese forces. 

C. D. R.= Cavalry Drill Regulations. 

F. A. D. R.= Field Artillery Drill Regulations. 

F. A. F. R.= Field Artillery Firing Regulations. 

Gen. St. W.^General8tahswerk=GeTmsji General Staff Account of the 

Franco-German War (unlesss otherwise 

H. A. D. R.= Heavy Artillery Drill Regulations. 

H. A. F. R.= Heavy Artillery Firing Regulations. 

HoFFBAUER, Deutsche Ariillerie, 1= German Artillery at Weiszenburg. 

11= " " " Worth. 

ft II II TTT^ t> 

II f» II TV= " 

II II tt V^ " 

>t tt It VT= *' 

VII= " 
It tt tt VIII= " 

I. D. R.= Infantry Drill Regulations. 

I. F. R.=Infatnry Firing Regulations. 

KuNZ, Deutsche iJei<em,= German Cavalry in the Battles and Engage- 
ments of the Franco-German War, by Major 

" Colombey. 

»» J VlonvlUe- 
I Mars-la-Tour. 

" Gravelotte. 

" Noisseville. 
" Beaumont. 



g.=gram= 15,432 troy grains. 

kg.=kilogram= 1,000 g.=2.2 lbs. 

kgm.= kilogrammeter=a unit of work accomplished in raising a kilogram 

through a meter against the force of gravity. 

m.= meter = 39.37 inches. 

km.= kilometer =1,000 ra.—% mile. 









r British Officers attached to the Russian 
^^=iO forces. 

X">rill Regulations. 
'I^irin^ Regulations. 

t = Gern>an General Staff Account of the 
>.^r..x>-uerman War (unlesas otherwiw. 

n." r'^.r*r^ R<V«i^^::on&. 



:i^ Artilleo- at Weiszenburg. 



•» * Vk>nvllie- 

^^ » Mars-la-Tour. 

** Noisseville. 
** Beaumont. 
** Sedan. 




♦- fc ^ -N 


«. N\ 

^ "- ii « AT. by Major 

■•« »» 

w - 

\ ■'K •■* 


V «fc 

N V 





4 Arms and Equipment. 

Cavalry formed during the cotirse of a campaign is, 
for the time being and tmtil it succeeds in attaining a higher 
standard of training, not much more than motmted infantry. 
This explains the complete failure of the French to make 
any battle use of their cavalry during the spring campaign of 
1813, and of their march regiments (forty-five of which were 
newly organized) in 1870-71, and the similar failure on the 
part of the British in the South African war after all their 
available horses had been used up. 

At the commencement of hostilities in 1813, the French cavalry num- 
bered only 1, 600 mounted and 1,200 dismounted troopers. After the vic- 
tory at Bautzen, the French army, according to Foucart, numbered 202,500 
men of all arms, including 11,000 cavalry. The failure of the French cav- 
alry during the pursuit after this battle was not due to to its small num- 
bers, but to its poor training. 

In May, 181 3, the Prussian cavalry consisted of 76 escadrons with 
7,291 horses, and at the termination of the armistice, it consisted of 
84 Line and 116 Landwehr escadrons, 20 escadrons Volunteer Jager, and 
3 National cavalry regiments, with a total of 27,945 horses. This does not 
include 22 dep6't escadrons. 

In a memorial addressed to Fieldmarshal Blucher in 181 7, General von 
Borstell made the following observations in regard to the Landwehr cav- 
alry raised during the War of Liberation :* " The Landwehr troopers, how- 
ever, could not ride, although that is indispensable for service in ranks. 
They rode poor, weak mounts, whom they were unable to control. Besides, 
they did not know how to use their weapons, and were, in addition, undiB- 
ciplined. During a charge, they were brave to the point of forgetting all 
obedience and order ; during a retreat, on the contrary, after a charge that 
had been repulsed, only natural obstacles were, as a rule, able to stop them. 
In a word, the Landwehr cavalry, even more than the cavalry of the Line, 
lacked physical and moral stamina and unqualified obedience to the trum- 
pet. The latter, however, should be part and parcel of the trooper's 
make-up to an even greater extent than obedience to the signal horn is to 

Nabbonnib. Lbgard's translation, p. 225. — It is worthy of note that, during the 
mobilization in 1870, the purchase horses of the 15th Uhlan Regiment were formed 
Into a fifth platoon in each escadron iEskadron). This arrangement was prac- 
ticable because the escadrons were still at full strength when they took the field, 
and, moreover, gave an opportunity gradually to accustom the horses to work 
under the saddle. Ibid., p. 278. 

Note: The term Eskadron has been rendered by escadron in this work. 
The escadron is the tactical, as well as the lowest administrative unit of 
European cavalry. For the strength of the escadron in the varioos armies, see 
table facing this page. — Translator. 

* Kabhleb Pr9U8zisch$ KataUerie,^, 10. 



>ons 118 kg. 

mfl 184kg. 

skiers 188 kg. 

* Only in regiments belonging to a cavalry dlvUlon 

t Reserve cavalry regiments are equipped neither 
with bridge nor with Signal Oorps wagons. 

X A cavalry division has, In addition: 

(a) One 1-horse tool wagon belonging to the de- 
tachment of pioneers and attached to the 
combat train; 

( 6 ) Seven cavalry ammunition wagons belonging 

oayalry — 106 kg. 
>on8 110 kg. 

^slers 188 kg. 



to the light ammunition column; 

(0) One 0-horse Medical Corps store wagon and 
one led horse for the commander of the de- 
tachment of pioneers, both belonging to the 
field train. 

Each regiment has one rowing ferry and mat4rlel for 
constructing a foot-bridge 10 m. long, or a reinforced 
foot-bridge 8-18 m. long. 


9 136 kg. 



A cavalry division has six rowing ferries and materiel 
for constructing a foot-bridge 100 m. long, or a rein- 
forced foot-bridge 08 m. long. 

IT In a cavalry division there are carried, In addition, 
on the 1st and 8d ammunition wagons, 118 explosive 
cartridges as well as 8 sets of railway demolition 

4. 180-180 kg. 


Some escadrons have mountain Train equipment 
pack animals being used even for transporting oats. 

181 kg. 


1 180 kg. 

i Without intrenching tools, which are provided as 
pari of the wagon equipment. 

. J^^ ' 

* .ii. • > 

Saber, Lance and Carbine. 6 

that of thm tnailliur. In the cotine of the war, I saw Landwehr cavalry 
regiments that, without having suffered serious losses at the hands of the 
enemy, had an effective strength of not more than loo horses ; and yet such 
organisations were classed as regiments and disposed of as such. This 
weakness is a result of rapidly and hastily raising cavalry units at the out- 
break of war."* Until 185a, the Landwehr cavalry was armed with the 
lance, and troopers who had not been trained in handling that weapon had 
to learn how to use it during the period of mobilization. The Landwehr 
cavalry regiments to be raised in a future mobilization will have an advan- 
tage over those raised in 18 13, in that they will at least possess trained 
riders, of whom, if they are recruited in a district where good mounts are 
available, something may be expected soon after the opening of hostilities. 
During the battle of Noisseville, the ist Escadron of Prussian Reserve 
Dragoons began to charge, and at Oswiecim (also written Auschwitz), 
June 27th, 1866, the ad Escadron of Landwehr Uhlans successfully 
charged Austrian Uhlans. 

The German cavalry, both divisional and independent, 
is uniformly trained, armed and equipped. Differences in 
the physical development of men and horses necessitate a 
division into heavy, medium and light cavalry, but this in 
no way affects the tactical employment of the cavalry. 
To the introduction of a neutral tinted imiform, there is the 
objection that friend may not be distinguishable from foe,t 
and that it is more difficult to assemble a large unit after 
a charge. The trooper carries the lance, the carbine and 
the saber. The saber is carried attached to the saddle in 
order that the movements of the trooper may not be im- 
peded when dismotmted to fight on foot. This mode of 
canying the saber is objectionable only in case the trooper 
falls or becomes separated from his horse. Officers, non- 

* See also ▼. d. Marwitz. ErinntrunQvn, II. p. 83. In regard to the charge 
made by Landwehr cavalry during the engagement at Hagelberg, Colonel yon 
BisifABX Btatee: "I can turn them loose soon enough, but whether I shall after- 
wards again see a single man, that is a different question, and I can not be responsible 
for it." (v. d. Mabwitz. II. p. 170). In regard to a charge made during the 
armistice, and in which all order was lost, v. d. Mabwitz writes (II, p. 73) : " His 
majesty observed that it was indeed fortunate that the waU had stood so firmly." 

t KuNZ, lUiterei, p. 38 (Prussian Black Hussars and Baden Dragoons on August. 
4th); p. e9 (Prussian Uhlans, and Bavarian Cuirassiers in white overcoats on 
August 6th); p. 138 (French Light Blue Guard Lancers at Vlonville. which, in 
order to prevent confusion, had left behind their white coats {Uhlankas) on moving 
Into the field); p. 142 (French Brown Hussars are charged by French Dragoons). 

6 Arms and Equipment. 

commissioned officers and trumpeters cany the revolver,* 
and non-commissioned officers, in addition, the lance. 

Views on the lance. In the Russian cavalry, in which 
formerly the front-rank men in each regiment were armed 
with the lance, that weapon was aboHshed in 1884. In 
Austria, the lance was abolished in 1863, and in France, in 
1871. At the present time, the lance has been readopted 
for the entire German cavalry, and the Dragoon regiments 
of the French cavalry divisions have likewise been again 
armed with that weapon. The first British Lancer and 
Dragoon regiments sent to South Africa carried the lance; 
the regiments mobilized later exchanged the lance for the 
rifle. The Germans enumerate the following as special ad- 
vantages of the lance: the moral effect produced by a line 
of charging cavalry armed with the lance; the value of the 
lance in riding down the opposing cavalry; the chance it 
affords the trooper of defending himself against several 
opponents armed with sabers; and the dangerous character 
of the wounds produced by it.t The lance alone does not 
absolutely guarantee success, for the success of a charge is, 
in the main, determined by other factors, but the lance un- 
doubtedly contributes to the successful issue of the fight. 
In a close m616e, the lance may become an impediment and 
the saber may be an advantage.! 

But as soon as the m616e turns into a ntunber of iso- 
lated hand-to-hand combats, during a pursuit and during 

* The revolver has been replaced by pistol, model 1908, 

t Staff Surgeon Dr. Schaefer (Archive of Olinlcal Surgery, Vol. 62, Chapter 
III) lays particular stress on the mild character of the wounds produced by the 
lance. Out of 600 wounds reported to have been produced accidentally in time 
of peace, only 10.8 percent, resiilted fatally. Although wounds produced by the 
lance belong to the class of pimcture wounds (the lance penetrates, as has been 
observed, horse and rider when It is driven into the ground and the horse runs 
against It), its comparatively blunt and gently tapering point enables the lance to 
push aside unharmed, when it penetrates into the body, easily displaced or* 
gtaiBf such as the heart; the stomach, nerves and entrails. 

I "In a mei€e it [the lance] never proved troublesome or unnecessary to 
the trooper. In the various situations, he always knew how to use it to advantage. 
The greater length of the [Prussian] lance was an advantage and cost the enemy 
much loss in a charge. The shorter Austrian lance, provided with a button, was 
often used as a dub, and the purpose for which the lance was intended was thus 
Ignored." Bbssbb, PreiL$gi$ch§ KavallirU in d$r Campagne von 1869, p. 101. 

Sabbr and Lancb. 7 

an attack on infantry or artillery, the lance at once regains 
its superiority. A trooper armed with a lance will be better 
able to keep a pursuer at a distance than a trooper who is 
armed with the saber only. Against a cuirass neither the 
lance nor the saber can accomplish anything. 

In the report made by the nth Uhlan Regiment en the charge at 
KoniffgratZy it is emphasized that the lance proved superior to the sabers 
of the Anstrians in spite of the fact that the latter wore loose, flowing over- 
coats ; and that the lance proved a much more terrible weapon than had 
been anticipated. The engagement at Saar (July 9th, 1866) is especially 
instructive. In this engagement, two escadrons of the 9th Uhlans [armed 
with the lance], charged two escadrons of Austrian Hussars [armed with 
the saber], threw them back and pursued them for 5 km., while at the same 
time keeping up a running hand-to-hand iight. The losses were as follows: 

Uhlans: i officer, 17 men and — horses; 
Hussars: 5 officers, 38 men and 38 horses.* 

In the charge made by French Guard Lancers against Oldenburg 
Dragoons at Mars-Ia^Tour, the total loss of the Prussian cavalry employed 
was 46 officers and 40a men (out of an effective strength of 9,925 men, u /., a 
loss of I $.3 percent), the loss of the Oldenburg Dragoons alone being is 
officers and 113 men (37.3 percent).! During the charge, the troox>er8 of 
the various German regiments, some armed with the saber, some with 
the lance, made common cause, in order to break down the resistance 
offered by isolated French troopers who, separated from their horses, 
defended themselves with their firearms. 

The lanoe will likewise be superior to the saber in a 
charge against infantry and against artillery4 

After the charge at Koniggratz, many non-commissioned officers of 
the 4th Uhlan Regiment armed themselves with the lance, whose worth 
they had learned to appreciate in action.^ 

* Aooordlng to the HisUrry of th$ 9(h XfJUan IUgim$nt, p. 14. See also the 
small action at Bolchea (August 9th, 1870) in Caoalry on Sortie; hj v. Pauff- 
Nabbonms. Lboabd's trandatloQ, p. 119. 

t KxrNZ, BHterH, pp. 139 and 141. 

{Length of the lance: 

Old Austrian lance 2.03 m. 

Old FreQGh lance 4^.84 " 

Old Pnisaian lanoe 3.14 " 

Ooasack lance. 3.10 *' (Weight, 2.87 kg.) 

New French lanoe .2.90 " (Weight. 1.85 kg.) 

New Gterman lanoe (of steel tubing) il.52 " 

New Italian lance. 2.95 '* (Weight. 2.55 kg.) 

t 04$eM€ht$ d$$ 4. Uhlanen BsgimenU, p. 82. 

8 Arms and Equipment. 

The employment of the lance reqtiires that troopers and 
remounts be well develoi)ed physically, and that the trooper 
be thoroughly trained in handling his horse and his weapon.* 
This may, perhaps, make it necessary in a campaign to arm 
recruits with the saber only.t The lance considerably in- 
creases the load to be carried and causes an unequal dis- 
tribution of the same. This is a disadvantage that is apt 
to lead the trooper to lounge in the saddle when fatigued 
and riding at a walk for long distances, thus causing sore 
backs. It can not be denied that the lance is an impediment 
in the field when writing messages, when riding across 
country, especially through woods, and on roads with over- 
hanging branches of trees; when jumping and climbing; 
in dismounted action, and on young, imruly and fractious 
horses. But these disadvantages can not outweigh the 
other advantages of the lance. 

**'... The lance, although a terrible weapon in the hands of a man 
who knows how to use it. is an impediment, in fact a positiye detriment, in the 
hands of one not accustomed to it.'* Heros von Borckb, Zwei Jahre im SaU$l 
und am Feinde^ I. p. 43. — General Maricont is also a warm advocate of the lance 
as a weapon for cayalry of the Line. In Esprit des Institutions, p. 46. he says: 
"The lance should be the principal arm and the saber an axudliary arm." 

General Dragomirov says: "Military history shows that in a charge 
made in close order, as well as in hand-to-hand combat, the saber always gains 
the superiority, provided a m616e actually occurs." 

Colonel Wai/ter von Walthofen, Austrian Army, voices the same opinion 
in Kavallerie im Zukunftskriege. He says: "The lance has gained importance as 
a weapon through a very different feeling, through the desire for self-preservatlain, 
the desire to keep the enemy at a distance and to avoid fighting him breast to 

t The Prussian Landwehr troopers from Brandenburg entered the spring 
campaign of 1813 armed with lances. After four weeks' instruction in its use, 
the troopers gained confidence in and regard for it. v. d. Marwitz, Posthumous 
Works, II. p. 74, says: " ... The men were tormented , with it (the lance] 
the entire day, first dismounted, then mounted." This writer ascribes absolute 
superiority to the Lancer and goes so far as to maintain that, in a charge made in 
close order by a line armed with the saber against a line armed with the lance, it 
ts inmiaterial whether in the former the men are armed with sabers or with feather- 
dusters. IlHd., p. 172. 

Thb Escadron and the Rbgimbnt. 



The principles that govern in determining the size 
of an escadron have akeady been given.* The esca- 
dron must be small enough to allow of its being con- 
trolled, when in combat formation, by the voice and the 
personal example of a single leader; it must be capable of 
sustaining an action independently and of performing a 
simple combat task. If twelve files (24 men) is assumed to 
be the minimum strength allowable for a platoon, we ob- 
tain, in the four-platoon escadron, which is everywhere, ex- 
cept in Switzerland, recognized as the proper organization, 
a minimum strength of 96 men. If we add to this about 
30 men and horses that are not to be taken into the field, 
and a like number of men and horses absent on detached 
service, sick, etc., we arrive at a peace strength of approxi- 
mately 150 troopers for the escadron. To go below this 
figure would curtail the independence of the escadron, in 
view of the. casualties in horses and the nimierous details 
to be made in the field, while, to raise this figure consider- 
ably (say to over 170 men) would reduce mobility and make 
supervision over trooper and horse too diBBcult. 

The question of the organization of a cavalry regiment 
appears to be less free from objections. In the field, the 
German and French cavalry regiments have four, the 
English and Swiss regiments three, and the Russian and 
Austrian regiments six escadrons each. 

In time of peace, six-escadron regiments are tmdoubt- 
edly cheaper than four-escadron regiments, as fewer regi- 
mental staffs are reqiiired in the former case.f Detach- 

* Tactics, I, Kbttxobb'b translation, p. 82. 

t A German cavalry dlvliion has three brigade and six regimental staffs, 
whOe an Austrian cayalry division, which has the same number of escadrons as 
UielQemian Jhas onl^ two brigade and four regimental^staffs. 

10 Organization op the Cavalry. 


ments can be made with more or less imptmity from a six- I 

escadron regiment without thereby causing an appreciable 

diminution of the fighting power of the remainder. In 

fact, six-escadron regiments actually offer a temptation to - 

make detachments, as they are unwieldy in diflBcult cotmtry, 

can not, even under favorable conditions, be controlled by the 

voice of a single leader, and necessitate the introduction of 

an intermediate tmit between regiment and escadron, the 

so-called ** division," consisting in Russia of two, in Austria 

of three escadrons.* ' 

Fotu'-escadron regiments are more easily managed, and 
are capable of deplo5ring quickly in any direction — even 
from the most imfavorable formation, the column of pla- 
toons and the regimental coltunn (mass). They can form 
line from route column more quickly than the six-escadron 
regiment (this movement taking four minutes in the former 
and six minutes in the latter), and their size actually demands 
that each regiment be kept intact and employed as one unit. 

Six-escadron regiments are too strong to be assigned to 
infantry divisions, yet, split in two, hardly strong enough 
to fulfill the combat ftmctions of divisional cavalry. When 
consisting of four escadrons each, regiments of the cavalry 
divisions can be exchanged, in case of necessity, for those at- 
tached to the infantry divisions. 

Three-escadron regiments possess great mobility, but 
they are so weak that the personality of the regimental com- 
mander is not properly utilized. 

Thus, tactical considerations argue for four-escadron regi- 
ments, considerations of economy for six-escadron regiments. 

Cavalry can be quickly mobilized and can take the field 
properly moimted if its field escadrons possess,^ in time of 
peace, trained and militarily schooled moimts. The annual 
levy of the yoimgest remounts is not available for the peace 
cadres. Frequently a second levy, embracing the horses 

eliminated as imfit in the particular year, those temporarily 

^ • 

*In Italy one escadron from each cavaliy regiment wlU preeumAbly be 
attMhed to Infantry dlvUdons. 

The Brigade. 11 

sick and others not fit to be taken along into the field, is like- 
wise unavailable. Assuming that one-tenth of the total 
number of horses in service will have to be replaced annually, 
it follows from the foregoing that, in order to enable all units 
to take the field at once at full war strength, one-fifth more 
horses than required must be kept in readiness in time of 
peace — ^whether this be done by raising the peace strength 
of each escadron by one-fifth or by imiting the extra mounts 
into a fifth escadron in each regiment. This fifth escadron 
exchanges its serviceable motmts and equipment for the un- 
serviceable mounts and equipment of the field escadrons of 
the regiment and then constitutes the depot escadron. 
Each fifth escadron must consist of about 140 to 150 mounts 
in time of peace. 

In Austria, each cavalry regiment has in time of peace a reserve cadre 
(2 officers, 5 N. C. O., i6 privates and 7 horses), which, during the period 
of mobilization, is expanded into a dep6t escadron of 344 men and 315 
horses by the transfer to it of men and horses not fit for field service from 
other organizations, and by recruits and remounts. As an escadron 
receives annually a number of remounts equal to is per cent, of its strength, 
twenty-five horses are purchased annually in order that more horses may 
be available for the field escadrons on mobilization. These purchase 
horses are then trained and, during the continuance of peace, farmed out 
to private parties. They are annually examined as to their serviceability 
and must be placed at the disposal of the organization to which they are 
assigned, within twenty-four hours after the order for mobilization is 
issued. After six years (in Hungary after five years) these animals be- 
come the property of the private persons into whose keeping they have 
been given. The horses for the Landwehr cavalry are provided for in a 
similar manner, after having been trained for five months in the organiza- 
tion to which they are assigned. 

The brigade, consisting of two regiments, can still be 
controlled, when deployed in line, by the voice of a single 
person, the brigade commander. 


The Cavalry Division. 

Cavahy is employed either independently (in the form 
of cavalry divisions or cavalry corps attached to armies) or 

12 Organization op the Cavalry. 

as divisional cavalry, and, in some states, as corps cavalry. 
The function of independent cavalry is to defeat the enemy's 
cavalry, so as to make reconnaissance possible, and to operate 
against the flanks and rear of the enemy. In addition, it is 
to assist in bringing about the decision on the field of battle. 
Divisional cavalry is an auxiliary arm of the infantry and 
artillery, and, in spite of its inferior numerical strength, it 
also will be able to take an active part in the fight. 

For a discussion of independent and divisional cavalry , 
see Taktik, IV, p. 191, et seq. 

For a discussion of divisional and corps cavalry, see 
Taktik, III, p. 38, et seq. 

For a discussion of the organization of cavalry divisions 
(from a strategical point of view) see Taktik, III, p. 53, et seq. 

The Franco-German war furnished valuable lessons in 
regard to the strength and appropriate composition of cav- 
airy divisions. In general, about 2.8 guns per 1,000 troop- 
ers was considered a proper proportion. Of the eight Ger- 
man cavalry divisions used in the Franco-German war, four 
consisted of three brigades and two horse batteries each, 
and four of two brigades and one to two horse batteries 
each. To the demand for great mobility and independence, 
properly appreciated at that time, must now be added the 
demand for a high degree of fire power and for an abundant 
equipment with the means for accomplishing demoUtions 
and for transmitting information. 

Under the present highly developed agricultural con- 
ditions of Central Europe, the cavalry division, consisting 
of 3,000 to 4,000 troopers, is the largest cavalry organiza- 
tion that, handled as one unit, can act under the control of 
a single leader. **The combat is the severest test of gov- 
emability. The rapid course of a mounted action requires, 
on principle, not only that the commander be able to take 
in at a single glance the frontal extension of his organization, 
but also whatever occurs on adjacent terrain. Otherwise, 

The Cavalry Division. 








8 18 1 ^ 
































5:1 si 








































« aa 









14 Organization op the Cavalry. 

control and timely launching of the reserves, the principal 
means that the commander has of influencing the combat, 
are impossible. Besides, the very nature of a cavalry com- 
bat requires that, immediately after the collision of the lead- 
ing lines, the reserves be available for instant and direct par- 
ticipation in the fight. With a mass of six regiments de- 
ployed for action, the space available will still permit the 
above conditions to be fulfilled. — ^To form a cavalry division 
of fewer regiments, for example of four only, is not advisable, 
since, in most cases, it is unavoidable to make detachments, 
whereby the fighting strength of the division is considerably 
reduced. The division would, if so reduced in strength, 
scarcely be equal to the problems confronting it in war. 
These problems are, in any case, however, not easy, and the 
leader of the division, even if he is talented, requires an 
extensive preliminary training to solve them successfully. 
When the division consists of more than six regiments, only 
eminently talented leaders, and these only when the subordi- 
nate leaders and the troops are thoroughly trained, are 
likely to be successful in directing it in combat. "* It is 
not advantageous to reduce the number of escadrons in a 
division, because, whenever detachments are made, its 
fighting strength will be too greatly reduced. The leader 
must make the numerous detachments required for recon- 
naissance and the transmission of information, t harmonize 
with the demand of appearing as strong as possible on the 
battlefield. The duty of protecting message collecting 
stations, signal stations and trains can very properly be 
transferred to cyclist detachments, which can also relieve 
the cavalry of furnishing the relay service. The wide dis- 
semination of the cyclist sport compels us to take advantage 
of it, and gives us an opportunity, after we have suffered 

* V. Vbrdt. StudUn Hber TruppenfiUiruno, IV. p. 0. 

t A cavalry divlaion may have to furnish the following: three reoonnaiflianoe 
eeeadrons. three escadrons for the signal stations and the message collecting sta- 
tions, and two escadrons as escorts for the trains and colanms. In this manner, 
one-third of the division is fHttered away. 

Assignment op Horse Artillery. 16 

heavy casualties in horses, to mount the men that have be- 
come dismounted, on requisitioned wheels and to transport 
them after the cavahy division, in order to use them at least 
as cyclists. Mounted infantry would ever be a poor make- 
shift. On the other hand, the assigimient of a seventh 
regiment to each cavahy division, this regiment to take the 
place of the escadrons that have been detached, is well worth 

The peculiar character of mounted actions would appear 
to make a three-unit organization desirable.* From this 
follows the organization of a cavalry division iiito three 
brigades, each of two regiments. Military history shows 
that this organization is the best, although it does not, of 
cotirse, meet all the requirements of a changing situation. 
The mission of a cavalry force and the numerical strength 
of the opposing cavalry may make it necessary to augment 
the strength of the cavalry at one point at the expense of 
the forces employed at others. This is especially true 
where the divisional cavalry is brought up. Until the prin- 
cipal cavalry actions have been fought to a decision, the 
columns in rear must be satisfied with the minimum cavalry 
force with which they can get along. 

When a stronger resistance is encountered, one that the 
cavalry can overcome but slowly by means of dismounted 
action and at the cost of disproportionately great sacrifices, 
it is advisable to attach horse artillery to the cavalry. 
Artillery fire is best calculated to force the enemy to show 
his hand. For a motmted action alone, a single battery is 
sufficient; for bringing a strong artillery force into action, 
time is usually lacking ; and in battle, it is seldom necessary to 
prepare a cavalry charge by artillery fire, since the cavalry 
need only make the most of the effect produced by the other 
arms. When the cavalry division is laimched for independ- 
ent action against flank and rear of the enemy, it will not 

* The organisation of a cavalry diviiion as deduced from its strategical 
tasks, according to t. Sohsrff; see TakiiK IHi P. 55. et seq. 

16 Organization op the Cavalry. 

be difiBcult to reinforce its artillery, when necessary, with a 
few batteries of the army corps.* As the success of a 
dismounted fight depends to a great extent upon the strength 
and activity of the artillery, it is a good plan to assign one 
battery to each brigade. Nowadays, that we have the rapid 
fire gun, the number of guns is of less importance than the 
number of caissons. Three horse batteries, each of four gtms 
(Austria), are best adapted for such assignment to brigades; 
caissons not required in the battery are combined into a 
light ammtuiition column to which are also assigned the seven 
cavalry ammunition wagons of the division, t 

Similar principles are applicable to the assignment of 
machine gun units (consisting of three platoons, one for 
each brigade) to cavalry divisions. In Germany wheeled 
carriages are employed for transporting the machine guns; in 
all other states pack animals are used for this purpose. 
Machine guns carried on pack animals possess great mobility, 
offer a smaller target than those having wheeled carriages, 
but must first be assembled and set up before they can be 

The necessity of destroying large artificial structures 
leads to the organization of special cavalry pioneer detach- 
ments. In Austria, for example, there is a pioneer platoon 
in each regiment, in Germany, one pioneer detachment, 
consisting of 1 officer and 32 men (on wheels), in each 
division. Great mounted performances can not be expected 
of the moimted pioneers, but good technical work should 
be demanded of them ; they must be able to reach at a trot 
or gallop the designated locality where demolition work is 
to be done. In addition to pioneers, field signal corps 
detachments are assigned to a cavalry division. 

* On the morning of August 16th, 1870, the 6th Oayalry Dlyiaion wm re- 
inforced by the two horse batteries of the corps artillery of the Xth Corps, so that 
that division, subtracting detachments made, consisted of 35 escadrons and 24 
guns. Oen St. W., I, p. 641. 

t A German horse battery consists of guns, 6 caissons and a light ammo* 
nition column for 2 horse batteries. This light ammunition column consists of 25 
caissons and other vehicles. 

X TacHci, I, Kbvbobb's translation, p. 251. 

Pioneers; Trains. 17 

The necessity of having pioneers with a cavalry di- 
vision appeared, for example, during the demolition, in 
1870, of the bridge at Saargemund,* and during Gurko's 
first passage of the Balkans. t 

As trains hamper movements, the Germans do not as- 
sign them permanently. J It is generally much easier 
to supply the men of the cavalry operating in front of 
the army than the troops in rear. Greater difficulty is, 
however, encountered in supplying the horses with oats.^f 
In the rarest cases only, can one count upon the country 
to furnish all that is required in the way of supplies. § 
On its forage wagons and, as an emergency ration, in saddle 
bags, a cavalry division carries oats for one and one-third 
or at most for two days. Even in front of the army, the 
cavalry will not always be able to count upon the supplies 
of the country, but will frequently have to have recourse 
to the trains following the troops in rear, if it desires to 
avoid being hampered, by far-reaching requisitions, in its 
tactical movements. The formation of light supply trains 
for the cavalry divisions is still an unsolved problem, but 
an imperative necessity. 

A sanitary detachment, which is to take care of the 
sanitary service on the battlefield, is formed of two-thirds of 
the personnel of the ambulances; otherwise, the cavalry has 

*Ktmz. Kavallerie, p. 40. 

tCABDXNAi. Y. WiDDBBN. Buttisctis KafallerUdiHaion$n» I, p. 27. MUU 
tar-Wochenblatt 1908, No. 124. 

X Loss of the field train of the 10th Hussars in the engagement at Vernon. 
November 22(1, 1870. EuNz. Deutsche Reiterei, P- 219. 

^ On the successful raid made in April 1803 by Union cavalry under 
Stoneman, an eight days' supply of oats and commissaries was carried along on 
wagons. V. FBaTTAo-LoBiNOHOVEN. Sludien iiber KriegfUhrung. II. p. 59. 

i Par. 476, German F. S. R. states: "So long as the Independent cavalry 
(i. e., a cavalry division) is in firont or on the flanks of the army, it will, in most cases, 
have to depend upon the supplies offered by the theater of war. In order to uti- 
lize to the full all that the country affords, it may be advisable to form supply 
columns of requisitioned wagons. These columns are especially suited for trans- 
porting oats, reserve forage and imperishable ration articles. When ordered by 
the army commander, supply columns consisting of one-horse wagons and prin- 
cipally loaded with oats, may be assigned to the independent cavalry." See 
TakHk, IV, pp. 271 and 300, and ibid., p. 191. 

18 Organization op the Cavalry. 

to depend upon the sanitary facilities of the army corps. 
This suiBfices, as the losses in a cavalry action are generally 
apt to be but insignificant. 

The seven ammunition wagons attached to the light 
ammunition coliunn suffice to replenish the first want of 

Thorough training, machine guns and a good firearm 
make an assignment of infantry superfluous. In colonial 
wars mounted infantry may occasionally do good service, 
but even in the Boer war, as its ability to ride increased, it 
very natiu-ally did not want to forego the mounted charge. 
According to all experience, moimted infantry invariably de- 
generates into inferior cavalry; when mounted, it is helpless 
against cavalry, and when dismounted, it is hampered in its 
movements by the led horses. During the second part of 
the Franco-German war, the German cavalry was assigned the 
task of covering the siege operations against Paris, toward 
the south and west, where the country was broken and 
covered. At this time, the field operations had come to a 
standstill, while the rising and arming of the inhabitants 
constantly assumed greater proportions. This made the 
task of the cavalry a difficult one, and calls for infantry 
were soon heard from its ranks. The pecuKar character of 
the situation and insufficient equipment of the cavalry with 
a firearm were responsible for this.* 

Although a day's march of a small infantry command 
does not, in the long run, differ materially from the average 
day's march of a cavalry division, and it is comparatively easy 
to push infantry forward, after the cavalry, from one support- 
ing point to another, cavalry only, is able to withdraw 
quickly from unfavorable situations. Infantry can not do 
this. Thus, there arises for the cavalry a conflict of duties 

* For examples from military history, see Taktik, III. p. 69. et seq. In 
regard to British mounted Infantry, see infra, and Tactics, I, Erueodr'b translation, 
p. 26. et seq. — Infantry may occasionaUy be transported on wagons, but, on account 
of the difficulty of assembling and moving a large number of wagons, this method of 
transportation is not apt to find frequent application. Bee Takiik, III. pp. 202 and 

Assignment op Infantry. 19 

— ^to remain with the infantry, or, in pursuing a more im- 
portant tactical aim, to leave the infantry in the lurch. 

Cyclist infantry best meets the requirements that must 
be fulfilled by infantry attached to a cavalry division. One 
to two companies of such cyclists might suffice for a cavalry 
division (see p. 15, supra) * It will always remain a draw- 
back, however, that a cycUst can move but a short distance 
across country, and that he is, to a great extent, dependent 
upon the nature of the grotmd and the state of the weather. 

Cavalry divisions should have a permanent existence in 
time of peace, in order that they may be able promptly to do 
justice to their tasks in war. They should, likewise, possess 
the composition that they would have in war (though this 
should be changed at stated periods), and the necessary ad- 
ministrative and executive staffs. Only when this is the 
case, can leader and troops learn to understand and grow 
accustomed to each other ; only then can training according 
to tmiform principles be accomplished. This is particularly 
important as the newly organized cavalry divisions will 
scarcely ever have an opportunity to maneuver as such 
after the mobilization has been ordered. The division com- 
mander can have confidence in his subordinate leaders, 
in his staff and in his troops only if, in time of peace, he has 
become personally acquainted with them and their capacity 
as soldiers. 

"The rapid course of a cavalry action requires that leader and troops 
be thoroughly used to each other. It requires, further, that the leader 
have the highest degree of technical skill in selecting and using the various 
formations. It is a remarkable phenomenon that in the Franco-German 
war the leaders of cavalry divisions rarely decided to lead their divisions 
in masse, as battle units. Almost invariably we find these divisions dis- 
integrated into brigades." (ad Cavalry Division at Coulmiers.) '*No 
combat makes such great demands on leadership as the combat of a cavalry 
division, and it is our conviction that, in the field of troop-leading, there is 
not a more difficult problem. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance 
that the cavalry be given the most diverse and ample opportunities to pre- 
pare itself for war ; that it do so in the organization in which it is to appear 

* See TaeHes, I. Krusgub's translation, p. 28. and Takiik, IV, p. 268. 

20 Organization op the Cavalry. 

on the theater of war ; and that it be trained by the men who will be its 
leaders in war."* 

In Germany this question has not as yet been settled. 
Russia has in time of peace twenty-two, France eight, and 
Austria six cavalry divisions.! 

The difficulties that stand in the way of the permanent 
formation of cavalry divisions in time of peace, are partly 
obviated if the regiments serving in a cavalry division are 
constantly changed. If this is done, the fear of the crea- 
tion of two classes of cavalry will be set at rest, and the draw- 
backs growing out of the isolation of the arm will be met. 
The friction that might result from the territorial limitation 
of army corps in regard to personnel [and administrative 
matters, does not constitute an insurmotmtable obstacle to 
the permanent formation of cavalry divisions in time of 

Cavalry Corps* t 

The Napoleonic cavalry performed the duties of a cav- 
alry reserve in addition to those of reconnaissance; it had to 
be concentrated where needed, in order to direct a blow, 
en masse, at the shaken enemy. 1[ In order to cover the 
broad front of an army in motion, the cavalry divisions 
must be widely extended and employed along divergent 

^Yebdt du Vxbnois, Siudien Ub^r TruppenfUhrung; dU KavalUrUdiH'' 
tUm, in. p. 130. 

t Literature bearing on this subject: v. Pelst-Narbonnb, tyber Oroani- 
MoHon, FUhrung, und Ereiehung der Kavalkrie, 2d Ed. p. 205. 

Militar-Wochenblait, 1896. Nos. 27. 28. 37. 88, 44. 53 and 60. 

Jahrbiicher fiir Arnue und Marine, October and November Nos. of 1901. 
Mehr Kavallerie, 1903. 

▼. Bernhardi. Cavalry in Future Wars, Goldman's translation, p. 161. 

X ▼. Bernhardi, Cavalry in Future Wars, Goldman's translation, p. 16d. 

IfAfter the battle of EckmOhl (1809). the cavalry corps, consisting of 
the cavalry divisions of Nansouty and St. Sulpice, started in pursuit vlth 10 
heavy and 7 light regiments. 

At Krasnoi (1812). Murat had 36 cavalry regiments and 7 horse batteries 
at his disposal. These regiments charged, by escadron and by regiment, against 
the Russian division under Neworovskoi, only 7,000 men strong, and inflicted » 
loss of 2.000 men and 8 guns. 

Cavalry Corps. 21 

lines. To place the cavalry divisions that are moving over 
different roads and along diverging lines tinder the orders of a 
cavalry corps commander, would be useless and would fre- 
quently hamper them. This is not true when several divi- 
sions are employed in a common direction and for a common 
purpose. In this case, the cavalry divisions should be 
placed under a single commander. The lessons so far 
learned from military history do not favor a cavalry corps 
that marches, is supplied and employed as a single unit.^ 

When army headquarters has not as yet arrived or is a 
great distance away, several cavalry divisions may be placed 
under the orders of one commanderf to take charge of the 
reconnaissance, to cover the concentration, to defeat the 
enemy's cavalry, t or to pursue the opponent. On the battle- 
field, it will often be practicable to launch several cavalry 
divisions, though they may occupy different positions at the 
start, in concert against a common objective. What a suc- 
cess the 5th and 6th Cavalry Divisions could have 
gained on the morning of August 16th, 1870, if they had been 
under the orders of a common commander who knew what 
he was about! The dictum, * 'March dispersed, but fight 
united," must here also be the guiding principle, for the 
rapid course of a motmted action makes it impossible to de- 
ploy a long route column against an enemy who is ready to 

A critical analysis of the employment of the German 
cavalry at the battle of Vionville shows that decisive re- 
sults were only to be achieved by laimching masses; that, 

* See remarks of the Prince of Prussia, later Emperor William I. 
in his Collected Works, p. 117. In Remarks on the Draft of a Plan of Mobilization 
for the year ISSO, the Prince objects to the permanent establishment of a cavalry 
corps, but recommends an occasional concentration of several divisions for maneuv- 
ers as a single unit. — Aus dem Leben des Generals von Reyher, IV. p. oi, 

t For examples, see Taktik, III. P- 02. 

I In 1805, five French cavalry divisions under Murat, crossed the Black 
Forest to deceive the Austrians and to screen the enveloping movements made 
by the French army. 

From July 29th, 1870 imtil the battle of Spicheren, while the lid Army 
was being transported by raU, the cavalry divisions of that army the (5th and 6th) 
were placed under the orders of a single commander. Qen. St. W., I, pp. 108 and 

22 Organization of the Cavalry. 

while a charge made by an escadron or by a regiment did, 
perhaps occasionally, score a local success here and there, it 
exerted no appreciable effect on the course of the battle. 
The charge made by Bredow's brigade did not, as has been 
demonstrated, cripple the French Vlth Corps. The inac- 
tivity of Marshal Canrobert was due to entirely different 
causes. If other cavalry had been launched, in addition to 
the lone Prussian brigade, a greater success would have been 
won at this point. A successful charge made by a cavalry 
regiment may perhaps have a damaging effect on the 
activity of a hostile division, but it will exert a scarcely appre- 
<iable influence on the action of an army. The loss of an 
infantry brigade through a cavalry charge is a far more seri- 
ous loss to an army consisting of two or three army corps, 
than to an army twice that size. Therefore, if the cavalry 
does not wish to forego its usefulness in battle, it must 
appear in masses whose size increases with the size of the 

Cavalry charging unshaken infantry requires a broad 
front, so that the hostile fire can not have a concentric effect 
but will be distributed over a greater space. On the other 
hand, however, distribution in depth is also necessary, in 
order to add force to the shock produced by the first line,to 
strike deep into the hostile position, and to provide reserves, 
^which can turn against other hostile cavalry that might pos- 
sibly take a hand in the fight These various demands can 
be fulfilled by a mass of cavalry only , For this reason and 
also for the purpose of involving as large a part of the enemy's 
force as possible, several divisions will have to be combined 
for common action, if decisive results are to be obtained in 

The launching of large cavalry masses, however, is like- 
wise imperatively necessary in front of the army (independ- 
ent cavalry), in order to drive away the hostile cavalry and 
to ascertain the measures taken by the enemy. It is espec- 
ially important to be superior at the decisive point. As all 
the powers employ their cavalry divisions in front of their 

Cavalry Corps. 23 

annies with the same oflfensive intention, each leader will have 
to seek to combine superior cavalry, i.e., several divisions, 
at the point where he intends to bring about the decision, 
and content himself with an inferior cavalry force at the less 
important points. The French practice of temporarily at- 
taching, for this purpose, the corps cavalry brigades to the 
cavalry in front of the army does not appear to be effective 
enough. It is better and more reUable to combine, at the 
decisive point, several divisions that are marching on differ- 
ent roads, and to place them under the orders of a single 
leader for united employment as a cavalry corps. Only by 
having a single leader can we avoid having too much cavalry 
at one point while there is not enough at another.* The 
inconveniences formerly experienced in employing cavalry 
corps disappear if such bodies are not kept in a confined space 
on the march, in camp and in battle. The charge that the 
headquarters of a cavalry corps constitutes a hampering 
intermediate channel between those of the divisions and the 
general headquarters, is imfounded, provided the leaders are 
well trained. The several units must be trained to send 
inteUigence not only to the next higher headquarters but also 
to the highest commander and to the corps following in rear. 
The necessity of forming a cavalry corps may make it- 
self felt at various points, at the beginning of a campaign as 
well as during the course of the same. Instead of forming 
a cava ry corps directly, it would perhaps be better to meet 
this necessity by attaching the required executive and admin- 
istrative staff to the army headquarters. The latter can 
then, without interfering with the composition of the divi- 
sion staffs, create cavalry corps.t The emplojrment of 
such cavalry masses makes the assignment of supply trains 
absolutely necessary.if 

* For example: The launching of exooflsiTe forces, owing to the lack of 
a common leader, dming the reconnaissance toward Saargemttnd on August 7th, 
1870. A further result of this was the tardy arrival of Intelligence at the proper 

t This scheme was proposed by General von Mpltke after the campaign 
of 18M. See Mox/fkb'b MilitariscJie Werke, II, p. 126. 

t Y. Bbbnhabdi Cavairy in Futuu Warn, GtoLDiiAN'B translation, p. 108. 


In the cavalry — ^thorough training of trooper and horse, 
good mounts and good morale being presupposed — combat 
efficiency depends to a greater extent upon tactical forma- 
tions than in the infantry. The rapid course of a motmted 
action makes it impossible to give detailed instructions for 
its execution. The leader must, in many cases, content 
himself with simply calling out his directions. In the in- 
fantry and, to a more limited extent, in the artillery, it is 
practicable to correct errors in the plan of action, at least 
during the preliminary stage. In a cavalry action, how- 
ever, it is seldom possible to make a change in movements 
once begun. Everything depends upon making the tacti- 
cal formations fit the particular situation, and upon accus- 
toming the troops, in time of peace, to that which promises 
success in battle. Formations that can not be employed in 
face of the enemy are superfluous. In the cavalry, more 
than in any other arm, all doubts as to the general principles 
of combat and as to the formations to be employed in action 
must be precluded. This is the function of drill regulations. 
The authorized drill regulations are the basis upon which the 
independent judgment of subordinate leaders must be de- 
veloped, for it will depend upon their prompt and correct 
judgment whether, during imexpected developments in a 
fight, the proper action is taken. On accoimt of the rapidity 
with which events occur in a mounted action, an interference 
on the part of the superior commander during the fight, is 
almost wholly precluded. Even when laimching his organi- 
zation into action, it will not always be possible for a com- 
mander to see everything sufficiently well from one point to 

Formation op the Escadron. 25 

enable him to assign definite tasks to his subordinate leaders. 
Frequently, the superior commander will be able to control 
even the reserves to a limited extent only. 


The escadron, whether regularly formed or not, must 
be able to execute quickly and with precision, under all con- 
ditions and on any terrain, aU movements prescribed in the 
regulations. Even when deployed, it must remain well in 
hand. Particular importance should be attached to a uni- 
form, steady trot and to an extended gallop (especially dur- 
ing frontal movements) ; to prompt picking up and main- 
tenance of the march direction; to precise and skillful hand- 
ling of the lance ; to brisk motmting and dismounting ; and 
to swift passage from column to line, even when the direction 
of march is changed. In the larger units, the maintenance 
of order depends upon the precision and steadiness with which 
each individual escadron marches. ''This means that the 
tactical unit must be independent; that it must march un- 
influenced by neighboring escadrons; and that its chief, 
who should have it well in hand, must lead it with steadiness 
and precision at all times. — The escadron must maintain 
proper interior cohesion under all conditions. An involun- 
tary seesawing and a dribbling away of some of the files, a 
deployment, must not be allowed to take place tmder any 
circumstances." (General v. Schmidt). Dismotmted drill 
is restricted to the minimtun in Germany. This drill is in- 
dispensible, however, for the training of the individual 
trooper as well as for the employment of cavalry dismotmted. 


The platoons, each in two ranks, are formed abreast 
without intervals. The guides (N. C. O.) are posted in the 
front rank, on the flanks of each platoon. Non-commis- 

*Pan. 61-eo, 0€rman C. D, R, 


The Escadron. 

sioned file closers are posted in the rear rank, on the flanks 
of each platoon, the files in rear of the guides being left 
blank. The troopers are arranged, in each rank, according 
to height, from right to left. 

Officers are posted in front of their units in the cavalry 
of all armies in order to enable them to regulate the march 
direction and gait, and to obtain a good view. So posted, 
they can be seen by all their men, just before the shock 
occurs, can exert an influence by personal example, and can 
lead their men by means of signals or commands. "In 
front of his unit, the ofiioer is a leader, in the ranks, a fighter." 
(v. Bismark). In this connection, it should be remem- 
bered that well-motmted officers who ride far ahead of their 
units during a charge, may reach the enemy all alone and 
may be cut down before support arrives. (Colonel v. Dolffts 



4l Platoon 

ft Escadron commander 

Q Chief of platoon 

fi Officer (file closer) 

d First sergeant 

^ Right guide (N. C. O.) 

g Left guide (N. CO.) 

Right file closer (N. C. O.) 

Q Left file closer (N. C. O.) 

Q Trumpeter 

Q Front-rank trooper 

Q Rear-rank trooper 

Division into Platoons and Squads. 27 

at Hainau, in 1813). The Prussian regulations of 1812 pre- 
scribed that officers should join the line in such a manner 
during a charge that the croups of their horses wotdd be in 
the front rank. Such a decrease in speed on the part of the 
officers, as this regulation entailed, easily communicates it- 
self to the organization, and it is better, therefore, to post 
officers closer to the line (as in Germany) and to let them fall 
back to the line of platoon commanders just before the charge 
begins (as in Austria). 

The figure shown below represents a Russian escadron in line. The 
chiefs of the flank platoons are posted in front of the second file froni the 
exterior flank of their respective platoons. OfBcers not commanding pla- 
toons are likewise posted in front of the line, to be precise, in front of the 
second file from the inner flank of the ist and 4th platoons. 

The platoons are divided into squads of four files each. 
The Russians, who still retain squads of three files each, 
have to cotmt twos for dismotmting and threes for forming 
route coltmin. In Italy, each platoon is divided into sets 
of twos from its center toward either flank. In Austria, 
the platoons are still divided into three so-called patrols 
{Patrouillen) . Platoons generally have an equal nimaber of 
files and are composed, as nearly as practicable, of men and 
horses of the same standard of serviceability.* In Germany 
and Russia, the platoons retain their original numerical 




• £ 

It* ^ 

• o ♦• 

^":::ni] \zu czzj czu 

3' 10 ID Q 


*In Austria and Italy* the front rank 1b to be composed ezdnalTely of dark 
h ors es having no dtattngniihlng marki. 

28 The Escadron. 

designations, whereas, in France and Austria, they are num- 
bered, irrespective of their original designations, from right 
to left when in line, and from head to rear when in column. 
Whenever a platoon would consist of fewer than twelve files, 
including guides (N. C. 0.)i the number of platoons in the 
escadron is decreased. 

The center trooper of the base platoon (i. e., the third 
platoon from the right) is the guide of the escadron. In 
movements, the alignment is maintained by all the men rid- 
ing forward steadily and at a uniform gait. The selection 
of a good man for duty as guide, and of a good horse for him 
to ride, is one of the most important duties of the escadron 
commander. The guide (center trooper) of an escadron 
must possess some influence over his comrades; he must 
be a good rider and must ride a powerful, quiet, and well 
trained horse. Next to the chiefs of platoons and the non- 
commissioned guides on the flanks of the platoons, the center 
trooper is the pillar of an escadron. In Italy, the chiefs 
of the two center platoons are to maintain the alignment 
by observing the escadron commander. 

**The execution of eyes right or left when in motion 
must be completely tabooed. Proper alignment must be 
obtained by maintaining a steady, uniform cadence and by 
loose contact, and under no considerations by turning head 
and eyes right or left. Whenever the alignment is main- 
tained by means of a imiform cadence, i. e., by instinct, when- 
ever the gait is steady and the cadence uniform, one sees 
good lines; whenever this is not the case, and eyes right or 
left alone are employed, one sees poor lines and an eternal 
seesawing that ruins the horses. The eyes must remain, 
as much as practicable, straight to the front, and, as an aid 
to maintaining a uniform cadence, may occasionally be turned 
now to the right, now to the left, but never toward one side 
alone.'* * 

* ' The base unit is responsible for maintaining the march 
direction, the gait and the cadence ; all the other imits take 

^General v. Schmidt. Instruktionen, p. 111. 

Frontage; Distance; Number op Ranks. 29 

their distances and intervals from it. In units riding abreast, 
the necessary alignment is likewise obtained in this manner. 
The leader of the base unit is responsible for its conduct. 
The leaders of the other units give to their subordinates 
whatever directions are necessary to preserve the general 
alignment." (Par. 31, German C. D. R.). In large units, 
when intervals are not definitely prescribed, the designation 
of an aUgnment (on some base unit) is replaced by a state- 
ment showing where and how contact is to be maintained. 


Prussia: Under Seydlitz, the Prussian cavalry rode 
boot to boot; at a later date, it rode knee to knee; and 
since 1812, it rides stirrup to stirrup. The front of a trooper 
is taken as 0.80 m. 

Austria : An interval of the width of half a hand is left between 
troopers. The front of a trooper is i)4 paces or 0.93 m. 

France: Loose touch is maintained. "They [the troopers] close in 
on but do not gain touch with the trooper next in line toward the center, 
in such a manner as to have freedom of movement in ranks." The front 
of a trooper is i m. 

Russia: The troopers ride stirrup to stirrup. The front of a trooper 
is 0.80 m. 

Italy: The front of a trooper is 0.94 m. (four troopers take up a 
space five paces or 3. 75 m. wide ). A small interval is left between stirrups 
of adjacent troopers. 

England: An interval of 15 cm. is left between knees of adjacent 
troopers. The front of a trooper is 0.92 m. 

In the German cavalry, the distance between ranks 
(measured from the tails of front-rank horses to the heads 
of rear-rank horses) is three paces (2.40 m.) in line, and one 
pace (0.80 m.) in colimm of platoons. 

In Austria, France and Italy, the distance between ranks is two 
paces ( 1.50 m.). 

In Russia, the distance between ranks is one pace ( 0.70 m.). 

In England, the distance between ranks is three paces (a.40 m.) in 

30 The Escadron. 

The distance between ranks used in the German cav- 
ahy, while greater than that used in most other armies, 
facilitates movements at the faster gaits. When the rear 
rank rides close upon the heels of the front rank, a horse 
falling down in the front rank will inevitably bring down 
the horse in rear of it. 

Number of ranks. In the Thirty Years' War, the Cuirassiers of 
the Imperial army were formed in eight ranks and the Dragoons of that 
army in five ranks, whereas the cavalry of the Swedish army had already 
adopted the three-rank formation. Since the battle of Roszbach, the Prus- 
sian cavalry has used the two-rank formation. In the Prussian cavalry, 
the two-rank formation was first prescribed in the regulations of 1743.* 
The Swedish cavalry foujjht in two ranks as early as 1705. In a boot to 
boot charge, the troopers in the third rank hardly evtr had an opportunity 
to use their weapons ; they served to fill gaps and were likewise used for 
special purposes, for example, to make fiank attacks. A line formed in 
two ranks will invariably envelop a line formed in three, provided both 
have the same number of troopers. A further chang^e from the two-rank 
to the single-rank formation, does not seem advisable, as this would tend 
to impair cohesion, which the cavalry needs more than anything else when 
charging cavalryf. It might be well to mention that Lord Wellington ob- 
jected to a second rank, even when cavalry had to charge cavalry, because 
it did not augment the shock power but increased disorder. Prince Fred- 
erick Charles {, likewise believed the single-rank formation to be the. for- 
mation of the cavalry of the future. 

It is claimed that the single-rank formation has greater mobility than 
other formations ; that it facilitates movements and assembling after a 
charge ; and that it suffers less from fire. 

On the other hand, it is claimed that the single-rank formation is dif- 
ficult to handle and easily pierced and that it breaks easily during move- 
ments, whereas a second rank, if provided, fills gaps occasioned by losses 
and resists any hostile troopers that may have succeeded in breaking 
through the front rank. 


A trooper, when alone, can execute a turn on the fore- 
hand, but, when in ranks in close order, he can not do this 

*At Kesselsdorf (December 15th, 1746), the cavalry of the second Proasian 
line was formed in two ranks, in order that it might cover approximately the same 
extent of front as the first line. Oeschichte des litauischen Dragonerregiments, p. 87. 

tOeneral v. Brandt. GrundsUge der Taktik der drei Waffen, 3d Bd., Berlin. 
1850. pp. 42 and 222. 

^KAJBBiiBR. Preussischi KavallerU, p. 204. 

Gaits. 31 

as he takes up a space one pace wide and three paces deep. 
Wheels and ployments, executed by squads and platoons, 
take the place of the mdividual turn (exception : the about 
by squad executed by the rear rank when moving into biv- 
ouac. Par. 422, German F. S. R.). 

To moimt and dismount (pars. 73-76, German C. D. R.). 

Passaging and backing (par. 102, German C. D. R.) are 
executed for short distances only. In Austria, Russia and 
Italy, the even nimibers of the rear rank move two paces to 
the rear at the conmiand to dismotmt. 

(d) GAITS. 

Uniformity in the gait is of prime importance in main- 
taining the ahgnment when in motion and in simultane- 
ously moving large masses, especially when the latter, like 
the German cavalry divisions, are not formed until a mobi- 
lization is ordered. The influence exerted by speed on 
timely arrival at the decisive point and on prompt termina- 
tion of a movement must not be magnified. The decisive 
factors are timely commencement of a movement and correct 
appreciation of time and space by the leader. The leader 
who properly appreciates time and space will be able to 
move his unit at a moderate gait and without winding his 
horses, so as to arrive at the proper time at the point where 
he desires to use it. The leader who lacks this faculty will 
vainly rush his unit forward, at an increased gait, only to 
arrive too late after all. Rising to the trot* is the rule in 
all units. The German trott may be employed in drills 
where great precision is required, for example in executing 
wheels. It is more difficult to obtain the gallop when ris- 

*In rising to the trot (posting), the rider allows himself to be raised by the thmst 
of one diagonal pair of legs, the right, for example, (1. e.. right fore and left hind); 
he avoids the thrust produced by the planting of the left diagonal pair and drops 
back Into the saddle Just as the right pair Is re-planted ; this pair then again raises 
him. — Translator, 

tin the Oerman trot, the rider allows himself to be raised slightly by the thrust 
of each diagonal pair of legs in turn. 1. e.. he rides the seat we employ at the slow 
trot, but makes no effort to sit dose: in conseauence, he bumps the saddle lightly 
at each step the horse takes. — Translator. 


The Escadron. 

ing to the trot than when using the German trot, as the horse 
can not be gathered so well in the former as in the latter 

The mobility of an organization is influenced by the 
load carried by the horses, by training, by previous exer- 
tions, by feeding, and by the character of the ground. 
When some speed is required, it is best to employ a steady 
short trot; when considerable speed is required, a smooth 
gallop (the horses taking long strides without rushing and 
assimiing an tmconstrained, natural position), as these gaits 
produce the least fatigue. 

The following table shows the distances covered at 
the various gaits per minute :• 



Austria .... 



England . 

Russia* .... 







to y 








Paces. m 











A short trot that does not strain the lungs and an extended gfallop 
au"e used everywhere. The gallop is particularly well developed in the 
German cavalry, which, with its accelerated gallop, covers 120 m. more per 
minute than the French cavalry with its gallop along'e^ and 135 m. more 
per minute than the Russian cavalry with its "field gallop." In charging 
over 1,500 m. of open ground, against infantry, a German escadron would 
be exposed to fire for 3 minutes and 37 seconds, a French escadron for 3 
minutes and 24 seconds, and a Russian escadron for 3 minutes and 32 sec- 
onds. The short distances covered per minute by the Russian cavalry are 
due to the attempt to harmonize the performance of a mount in the cav- 

•Instead of at the gallop, the Cossacks ride at an accelerated trot. This 
may be increased to the so-called Namjot, a species of lope in which 283 m. are 
covered per minute. The accelerated Nam jot corresponds to the '* field gallop'' 
of the cavalry of the Line. 

Gaits. 33 

airy of the Line with that of the smaller Cossack horse. In Prance, train- 
ing is to be so regulated that horses will cover lo km. at a trot, or 6 km. at 
a gallop without exertion. No definite figures can be given for distances 
covered per minute at top speed, as allowance must be made, in a unit in 
close order, for the weaker horses, whose performance is more reduced by 
exertion and by difficult ground than that of the stronger horses. The 
Russians count on covering Boo paces ( 565 m.) during the first minute of 
riding at top speed. 

According to Austrian observations, the distances covered per minute 
on soft ground in the field, are as follows : 

At a walk, 90-96 m. 

At a trot, 150-160 m. This may be continued up to 30 minutes aa 
4,8go m. 

At a grallop, 260-280 m. This may be continued up to 5 minutes ■■ 
1,400 m. 

At top speed, 370-400 m. This may be continued up to t minute =s 
400 m. 

The work a horse is capable of performing is limited by the exhaus- 
tion of its lungs and muscles. The lungs become exhausted first, the 
muscles next. A horse, when quiet, takes eight to twelve breaths per 
minute; after going at top speed, however, it takes 130 breaths per min- 

The following table sljows the number of respirations that a horse 
takes per minute : 

Without kit: With field kit: 

Slow walk 16-24 Ordinary walk 30-39 

Lively walk 34 Walk uphill 34 

Trot, after 1 km. 42 Walk downhill 28 

Trot, after 2 km 46 Trot, after i km 56 

Trot, after 3 km 51 Trot, after 2 km 60 

Trot for longer distances, up to 65 Trot, after 3 km 62 

Gallop for i km 55 Trot for longer distances, up to 79 

Gallop for ^}i km 72-84 Trot uphill 74 

Top speed for 300 m. 58 Trot downhill 55 

Top speed for i km 60-72 Gallop for j km 74 

Top speed for longer distances, 

up to 130 

Finally: Congestion of the lungs. 

The trot over soft ground imposes the same strain on the lungs as 
the gallop over hard, level ground. 

Fast gaits uphill tire principally the lungs, fast gaits downhill the 
muscles and joints. Soft ground tires lungs and muscles and affects par- 
ticularly the sinews, hard ground principally joints and hoofs. 

*Pleldmamhal. Lieut. Gen. Oonbad v. H'VrzBNDOBF, Ohlef-of-Stafl of the 
Auatro-Hunsarlan Army, Zum Studium der TaJUik, p. 748. 

84 The Escadron. 

Upon halting, the number of respirations decreases rapidly, the rate of 
this decrease being directly proportional to the speed with which the horse 
moved. If a horse shows 55 respirations after traveling i km., this number, 
upon halting, drops in 5 minutes to 4s, in 10 minutes to 28, and in ao minutes 
to 17. This clearly indicates the necessity of rests or of coming down to a 
walk for corresponding periods. The breathing, recognizable by ttie heav 
ing of the flanks, is an index of the remaining energy in a horse. 

Lungs and muscles are tired least by the walk. This gait promises, 
therefore, the greatest endurance on the part of the horse. A horse will 
walk ten hours a day without considerable fatigue. This is equivalent to 
6,000 m. per hour or 60 km. per day. But, to ride continually at a walk tires 
the trooper and causes him to lounge in the saddle, which produces a de- 
leterious effect on the horse. 

If nothing but the trot were used in covering long distances, the 
horses would soon become exhausted. Therefore, walk and trot are used 

A fast gallop in itself exhausts horses suddenly ; after auch an ex- 
ertion they require from ten to fifteen minutes to recover, to reestablish 
the normal action of the lungs. General Bonie of the French army con- 
siders 5,000 m. to be the maximum distance that a horse can gallop at a single 
stretch on one day. For some time after such a performance, however, a 
horse can move only at a walk. At Vionvillo, v. Bredow*s brigade rode 
5,Soo m. at top speed. General v. Schmidt* says: "It is absolutely 
essential that the horses gallop quietly and steadily. They must not gallop 
hurriedly and violently, change from one lead to the other, and throw their 
riders about in the saddle, for this not only causes disorder in ranks and 
loss of cohesion in the line, but makes the movement more difficult for the 
horses, exhausts them prematurely and deprives them, on account of their 
excitement, of their wind, which they need more than anything else. — The 
gallop stride must go fiat and evenly over the ground and must be without 
high action. — The troopers must sit still, press the crotch firmly down into 
the saddle and must not flounder about. They must let their lower legs 
hang quietly down the sides of their horses so that the latter are in no way 
disturbed and excited either by the seat or by the position of the legs. 
They must, further, closely conform with their bodies to every movement of 
their horses, must have a light hand, giving and taking rein when neces- 
sary, and must make every effort to keep their mounts down to a uniform, 
long stride. After a few drills, the horses will no longer become excited 
nor be in the air, and will gallop in good balance, quietly, without hurry 
and without rushing forcibly into the bit. Both trooper and horse must 
simultaneously learn to keep their wind, coolness and temper, and acquire 
a natural, free and unconstrained carriage. Horse and trooper must give 
one the impression that this extended gallop is easy and pleasant; that 
they enjoy it ; and that they are in a perfectly unconstrained, natural posi- 

*In9tnikH(m€n p. 43. 

Commands; Orders; Signals. 35 

'*Thift is the only way in which the escadrons can be kept from increas- 
ing the gait to top speed against the will of their leaders and that of the 
troopers. Such headlong rushes can occur only when the gallop during 
the charge is violent, hurried and unsteady ; then the ranks become dis- 
ordered and cease to exist entirely, so that finally six, eight, and perhaps 
ten ranks are formed : this is the gravest fault in the shock."* 


1. Commanday Orders, Bugle and Visual Signals, and 

Verbal Directions. 

Cavalry is led by means of commands, orders, bugle 
and visual signals, and verbal directions. Leader and or- 
ganization should keep each other constantly in view. Com- 
mands should be given only when the leader is certain that 
they will be understood; generally speaking, they can not 
be employed in organizations larger than an escadron. 
In large units, commands are replaced by orders or by 
verbal directions. For transmitting orders quickly, the 
regimental conunander may avail himself of his adjutant 
and his orderly officer. If he does this, his orders can sim- 
ultaneously reach both flanks of the regiment. 

Bugle signals, whose nimiber is rather limited in Ger- 
many, enable the leader to communicate his will quickly 
and thoroughly to the troops. Bugle signals should not 
be used when they might betray the presence of the organ- 
ization or cause misunderstanding in other units. A bugle 
signal is executed as soon as it is understood, i. e., the imits 
should "ride to the tune of the bugle signal'* {in das Signal 
hineinreiten) . The most important bugle signals are 
"front" {Front) ff "assemble,*' and the "regimental call" 

♦JWd., p. 45. 

t'*The signal 'front' is employed: 

" (a) To cause a line, a line of escadrons in columns of platoons, or a regi- 
mental column (mass) that has wheeled to a flank or to the rear by platoons, to 
resume the original march direction; 

" (&) To cause a double column or a column of platoons to face toward the 
firont (1. e., toward the enemy) by wheeling into line by platoons, or a route col- 
umn to face toward the f^ont (i.e.. toward the enemy) by wheeling into line by 

" (c) To cause a route column that is moving to the rear into a defile, to re- 
smne the original march direction; 

" {dy To cause a unit that is moving to the rear in extended order, to face 
again toward the enemy. 

"Whenever the execution of the signal necessitates a wheel or a turn to the 
rear, the wheel or turn is made to the left about." (Par. 21, Oertnan C. X>. R.), 

36 The Escadron. 

(Regimentsruf) ,* a special one being prescribed for each reg- 
iment. The regimental call is to be used in critical moments 
when no time is available for giving orders or commands. 
Its purpose is to cause the eyes of all to be directed upon 
the leader. The organization must be trained to form for at- 
tack in correct formation and in the proper direction at a 
signal from the leaders, and must follow in trace as soon as 
the latter move off. 

Visual signals are used to lead troops silently. Before 
giving such signals, the leader may attract the attention of 
his men by means of a blast on the whistle. As visual signals 
can not be seen by all the troopers when in route colimin, they 
are repeated by all subordinate leaders down to and in- 
cluding chiefs of platoons. Visual signals and verbal direc- 
tions are valuable when the enemy is to be surprised. It 
must be remembered that such signals do not always ensure 
the simultaneous and orderly execution of movements. It 
is of the utmost importance that each unit follow its leader 
wherever he moves. In front of the enemy, we must abso- 
lutely rely upon each trooper's following the lead of his 
commander. The leader indicates by raising his arm, that 
his unit is to follow him without command or signal. 

2. Wheels and Turns* 

The regulations prescribe wheels^ (on fixed pivot), such 
as wheel into column,X wheel into line,% and about wheel,% 
by platoons and by squads, and turns\ (on moving pivot) » 
i. e., changes in the march direction without change in the 
formation. (Pars. 36-39, German C. D. R.). Wheel are 
executed at angles of 90 and 180 degrees, and turns (changes 

•Par. 23, German C. D. B. 






Deployments; Front into Line. 37 

of direction) at any angle. Turns may be executed by 
command or by signal at angles of 45 or 90 degrees. Dur- 
ing turns, the chief of the base platoon maintains the ca- 
dence. The other chiefs of platoons and troopers or tmits 
diminish or increase the cadence, according to their position, 
or change the gait when necessary. The leader of the base 
platoon (or base unit) may be directed to decrease the 
cadence when necessary. 

3. Deplosrments and Front into Line. 

The term deplojrment, as used in the regulations, de- 
notes the change from one of the deep coltmms of the regi- 
ment to a broader combat formation, for example, the change 
from column of platoons to line of escadrons in columns of pla- 
toons. Line may be formed from coltunn by executing front 
into line. In the deployment as well as in front into line, the 
imits in rear habitually place themselves on both flanks of 
the leading unit, the second and third to its right, the others 
ta its left. The distances to be traversed by the units in 
rear may be decreased by first changing the march direc 
tion and, simultaneously therewith, deploying or executing 
right front into line or left front into line, as the case may 
be, in the direction in which the turn is made. 

The deployments and front into Une are executed as. 
follows : 

If halted or if marching at the walk, at the trot ; 

If marching at the trot, at the gallop ; and 

If marching at the gallop, at the gallop. 

In the deployments, if executed from the halt (or while 
marching at the walk), the base unit advances the dis- 
tance prescribed or ordered in the particular case, at the 
trot, and then halts (or comes down to the walk) ; if exe- 
cuted while marching at the trot or at the gallop, the base 
vmit advances the distance prescribed or ordered, without 
changing the gait, and then comes down to the next slower 
gait, or, if deplo3ang from route column, comes down to the 

38 The Escadron. 

walk. In forming front into line from a halt (or while 
marching at the walk), the leading element advances 
twenty paces at the trot and halts (or comes down to the 
walk); if executed while marching at the trot or at the 
gallop, the leading element continues to advance without 
changing the gait. 

By halting the leading element, the deployment is accele- 
rated, and gain of ground to the front is avoided. 

Changes from one formation to another, in so far as 
they do not involve the execution of front into line, and 
ployments (habitually executed on the base unit) seldom 
require haste. Therefore, such movements are executed 
without changing the gait. 


The line is the most important formation of the cav- 
-airy, as it is the formation in which the charge is made. It 
is essential in all movements made in line that the horses be 
perpendicular to the front and that accurate contact be 
maintained between stirrups. The march direction can be 
maintained, after a charge is once begim, only when this 
principle is observed. The front-rank men take care to 
maintain proper contact, while the rear-rank men preserve 
the proper distance and cover in file. The center trooper 
(guide of the escadron) follows at the prescribed distance 
in the trace of his chief of platoon. In Austria, when 
marching at fast gaits, rear-rank troopers are permitted to 
ride so as to cover the intervals between front-rank men. 

The oblique (used for short distances only) is executed 
by each trooper making a half ttun individually, and march- 
ing at an angle of 45 degrees to the original direction. 

Changes of front are effected either by executing turns 
or by the leader of the base unit's marching upon a new 
objective point, the rest of the escadron gradually conform- 
ing to the movement. 

♦Pars. 78-80, Oerman C. D. R^ 

Column op Platoons. 39 

If the escadron is to move to the rear, the platoons 
execute an about wheel (in Russia the about wheel in this case 
may be executed either by threes or by platoons) . At the 
signal "front," platoons wheel to the left about and face 
again toward the enemy. The term ** front" denotes the 
side on which the leader is posted. 

1. Column of Platoons. 

Cavalry must be able to form line from coltmin quickly 
in any direction. For this reason, columns must be open, 
narrow and not too deep. In addition, they must be capa- 
ble of changing direction easily, and the distance between 
ranks in the various elements must be sufficient to enable 
the horses to gallop comfortably, and to prevent disorders 
occurring in any one subdivision from being communicated 
to others. In a close colimm, the dust raised settles very 
slowly and the horses can not see where they are stepping; 
in consequence, they fall and, at the faster gaits, order is 
easily lost. It is not advisable to increase the distance 
between ranks as the fonnation of line is thereby retarded. 
The column of platoons meets all the requirements of an 
assembly and principal march formation of an escadron on 
the battlefield. Line may be quickly formed in any di- 
rection from coltmm of platoons, by first partially changing 
direction. In passing defiles, the files on the flanks are 
broken off and follow their platoons. (Par. 93, German 
C. D. R.). When this is done, care must be taken that 
elongation of the column does not take place. In Austria, 
entire squads break from the flanks, in France, as many 
files as required. Column of platoons is formed either by 
wheeling into column or by ploying. The last-named move- 
ment is habitually executed on the center platoon, i. e., the 
base platoon, in exceptional cases, on a flank platoon. When 
the column of platoons is to be given a different march 


The Escadron. 

direction than that obtainable by wheeling into column, 
the march direction is indicated in the command. In colimm 
of platoons, the platoons are in rear of and covering each 



i mmmna 



other; the rear rank in each platoon is one pace in rear of 
its front rank; the chiefs of rear platoons follow the next 
preceding platoon at a distance equal to the front of their 
platoon less eleven paces; the center trooper of each pla- 
toon follows at one pace distance in the trace of his chief 
of platoon. 

The eleven paces, mentioned above, are obtained by adding to the 
depth of one platoon ( 3 + 1 -f- 3 paces ), the depth of the horse ( 3 paces ) of 
the chief of the next platoon in the column, and the distance of that chief 
from his own platoon ( i pace ). To enable the horse of a chief of platoon 
to move at fast gaits, it must be at least one pace from the next preceding 
platoon. Moreover, rear platoons must be able to wheel into line. Hence, 
the front of a platoon must not be less than twelve paces. Since each trooper 
occupies a front of one pace, the minimum strength of a platoon is thus 
obviously twelve files. 

Column op Platoons. 


In Prance, the distance in the clear between platoons amounts to half 
platoon front. The platoons can wheel into line when each consists of 
twelve to thirteen files, but not when each consists of a greater number of 
files. When each platoon consists of eighteen files ( each file occupying a 
front of I m.), the distance in the clear between platoons is 9 m. and th« 
depth of the two ranks of each platoon 6 m. Hence, when the platoons 
wheel into line, three files in each platoon find no room, as the platoon front 
amounts to 18 m. while the distance between platoons plus the depth of a 
platoon is 15 m. only. 

In other armies, the rear ranks in column of plate ons preserve the 
same distance from the front ranks as in line. In Austria and Prance, in 
forming column of platoons on a flank platoon, the latter moves straight to 
the front, the second platoon executes two wheels, each of 45 degrees, the 
third and fourth each a quarter wheel, each platoon then following the 
leading platoon. 

Forming Column of Pla- 
toons from Line, on the 
Center Platoon. 


Forming Column of Pla- 
toons from Line, on the 
Right Platoon. 








', r— 



Cavalry should be able to deploy in any direction for 
attack. Hence, all ideas of the drawbacks of inversion 
should be abandoned. It is essential that the platoons be 


The Escadron. 

able to wheel into line to the right as well as to the left, and 
that they be able to form front into line irrespective of the 
numerical order in which they happen to be. The term 
"front" always denotes the side of the column on which the 
leader is posted. It is immaterial whether the first or the 
fourth platoon is on the right flank in line. 

This apparently simple principle has only recently received general 
recognition in the cavalry, least of all in armies where the number of a 
unit changes with its position. At Mockem, October i6th, 1813, the Lithu- 
anian Dragoons, after charging hostile cavalry, had wheeled about by pla* 
toons and then wheeled to the right by escadrons in order to charge, in 
echelon, retreating French infantry. " By charging with inverted platoons 
and inverted escadrons, such confusion had been created, that a single 
hostile escadron would have sufficed to rout the entire regiment. After 
the fight, I was compelled to post the first sergeant of the Jager Escadron 
where the right was to rest and then gradually to form one escadron aftei 
another into line."* 

Right and Left Front into Right Front into 


Line from Column of 


Column of Platoons. 

r— T 










Line is formed from coltmm of platoons either by ex- 
ecuting front into line or by wheeling into line. It is simpler 
to wheel into line than to execute front into line, as contact, 
alignment and march direction are more easily maintained, 
the pivot flanks of the platoons being already in the new line* 

*Oraf Hbnckxl v. Donnbrsmabok, BrinMTunqtn aiM mtiMmi lAlitn, p.220. 

Front into Line. 43 

Besides, a simple command of the escadron commander suf- 
fices for wheeling into line, whereas several commands of 
the chiefs of platoons are required to execute front into line. 
Moreover, especially at the fast gaits, it is easier for the 
troopers to wheel than to oblique, and, in addition, the 
hesitation on the inner and the rushing on the outer flanks, 
the seesawing of the line, when executing front into line 
toward one flank only, is avoided. But, when only a short 
distance separates the organization from the enemy whom 
it is to charge, wheeling into line makes it more difficult to 
put the horses into a fast gait. The manner of forming 
line is of less importance in an escadron than in larger units. 
If the leading element continues the march while front into 
line is being executed, the deployment is retarded, but the 
distance to the objective is reduced. When, on the other 
hand, the leading element halts, or changes direction, while 
the remaining elements wheel into line, the deployment is 
accelerated, but the distance to the objective is not reduced. 
Front into line is habitually executed by the rear pla- 
toons placing themselves, at the commands of their leaders, 
to the right and left respectively of the leading platoon. 
In exceptional cases, right front into line or left front into 
line may be executed. This is especially true if the march 
direction is changed at the same time, when the rear pla- 
toons execute right front into line or left front into line, as 
the case may be, in the direction in which the turn is made. 
In the Russian and the French cavalry, right front into line 
and left front into line alone are used. In the Austrian 
cavalry, the second platoon places itself to the right and 
the other platoons place themselves to the left of the leading 
platoon. In France, the escadron commander, by placing 
himself either on the right or on the left of the leading pla- 
toon, indicates whether right front into line or left front into 
line is to be executed. The advantages of simultaneously 
executing right and left front into line are obvious. When 
executing right and left front into line, the leading platoon 
remains the base platoon; its chief can, without difficulty. 

44 The Escadron. 

maintain the march direction : the gait is steadier during the 
movement and order is more easily preserved ; and, finally, 
line can be formed more quickly than when front into line is 
executed toward one side only. Right and left front into 
line, simultaneously executed, has the disadvantage that, 
in certain circumstances, a platoon that is led by a chief who 
possesses little skill or one who is not well mounted, may 
become the base platoon. 

Right and left front into line follows quite logically from the ploy- 
men t on the center platoon. In an escadron, it is immaterial how front 
into line is executed, as the time that could be gained is insignificant. It 
is simply a question of maintaining a principle that applies to the regiment 
and is logically also extended to the escadron. For mention of a further 
drawback of right and left front into line, see p. 71, infra. 

The following will give an idea of the time required to 
form front into line from column of platoons when each 
platoon consists of twelve files : 

Right (or left) front into line at the trot requires 21, 
at the gallop 14 seconds ; 

Right and left front into line at the trot requires 15, 
at the gallop 12 seconds; 

Platoons front into line from column of fours (each pla- 
toon forming front into line) at the trot requires 18, at the 
gallop 9 seconds. 

Hence, front into line from route coltmm, under fav- 
orable conditions, requires, at the trot 33, at the gallop 21 

On the other hand, to wheel into line when the leading 
platoon has changed direction (90 degrees), requires, at 
the trot 16, at the gallop 10 seconds. 

2. The Echelon Formation. 

The German C. D. R. of 1909 no longer prescribe the 
** echelon formation" (the so-called "half -column"), ia 
which the platoons were posted so as to uncover each other 
wholly or in part. The formation was valuable in train- 
ing leaders and troops in riding accurately ; it could scarcely 

Single-Rank Formation. 45 

be said to be suitable on the battlefield for the purpose of 
gaining the flank of the enemy. 

Orderly moTements in this echelon formation are practicable only 
when the terrain is open and when the platoon leaders are carefully trained. 
Each platoon leader follows his own march direction, and cohesion during 
the movement can be maintained only by close observation of the distance 
from the next preceding platoon. If the rear platoons close up too much, 
they can not wheel into line ; if they lose distance, and this is the most 
common error, the alignment, on forming line, is lost. Another drawback, 
finally, was caused by the fact that the position of the non-commissioned 
guide on the outer flank of each platoon was not fixed, but depended upon 
the number of files in his platoon. The only way in which the echelon for- 
mation could be taken up from line by wheeling, was in a direction making 
an angle of either 45 or 135 degrees with the original front; whereas col- 
umn of platoons can be formed in any direction. When in echelon forma- 
tion, the march direction can be changed only by first forming column of 

In echelon formation, it is difficult to utilize cover and to avoid ob- 

To form lint from echelon formation. When a 

executing right and left front into line from column ^j^ 

of platoons, the leader of the base platoon is already | 

in front with his platoon and need only continue to | 

maintain the march direction, whereas, in forming V ! 

line from echelon formation, he is the second to \ ; ^m^ 

reach the line, whereby the maintenance of the ^ 

march direction is endangered. When in echelon |\ 

formation, the escadron can form line at once in ■-^■\ 

three definite directions only, whereas, when in col- mmmm \ 

umn of platoons, the escadron, by first partially >^ 

changing direction, can quickly form line in any direction toward the front 
or half front. 

Single-Rank Foimation. 

In order to minimize losses, the escadron when in 
line, or the platoons when the escadron is in column of 
platoons, may be formed in single rank. (Par. 98, German 
C. D. R.). The platoons, when the escadron is in column 
of platoons, may also be formed in single rank when at- 
tacking infantry, artillery, or machine guns. (Par. 113, 
German C. D. R.). Single rank is fonned by the rear-rank 
troopers placing themselves with or without an interval to 
the right of their file leaders. The troopers must be trained 



The Escadron. 

to form single rank from route column and from column of 
platoons. If an escadron consisting of 120 troopers forms 
single rank with an interval of one pace between troopers, 
it will cover a front of 240 paces, i. e., approximately the 
same front as a regiment in line. 

3. Route Columns. 
Cavalry marches either in column of twos or in column 
of fours, as side roads average from two to three, main roads 
from five to seven paces in width. In column of fours, the 

Column of Fours. Column of Twos. 

Route Columns. 47 

vaiious sets of fours follow each other without distance, the 
rear-rank troopers in each squad covering the intervals to 
the right of their file leaders. Thus, the front-rank troopers 
in each squad but the first, cover the front-rank troopers in 
the next preceding squad, the rear-rank troopers in each 
squad but the first, covering the rear-rank troopers in the 
next preceding squad. In column of twos, the half -squads 
follow each other in a similar manner. More than two 
men are never allowed to ride abreast in column of twos, 
except where the chiefs of platoons are posted. 

Route column is generally formed by first forming 
coliunn of platoons and then by ploying on a flank squad 
(in Italy by ploying on a center squad, in France by habitually 
ploying on the right squad, i. e., by executing right forward, 
fours right) . Route column may also be formed by wheeling 
by squads. As each squad is four paces wide and six paces 
deep (when the rear rank follows the front rank without 
distance), the squads can not wheel simultaneously into 
coliunn, but must follow each other successively. The 
change from column of fours to column of twos is effected 
by ploying. Platoons front into line from colimin of fours 
is executed simultaneously by the platoons, or successively 
(for example on debouching from a defile) , 

Line is formed from route column in a similar manner 
as from coltimn of platoons. When the escadron is in route 
column and it is impracticable to form line in the usual 
manner, line may be formed quickly toward a flank by the 
command *' Right'' (or *'Left") ''Front," given by the 
escadron commander, or by the signal 'Tront," at which 
command, or signal, the squads (or half-squads) wheel into 
line and close in while riding forward at the trot. 

Since a squad as well as a half-squad is six paces deep, but the former 
four, the latter two paces wide, gaps of two and four paces respectively 
occur when line is formed by wheeling by squads. These gaps must be 
closed by the troopers* closing in toward the center. The regulations of 
all the other armies prescribe that, in forming line to a flank, each platoon is 
first partially to change direction and then to form line. 

48 The Escadron. 

In order to decrease the depth of route columns, 
fours (or twos) follow each other without distance in the 
German cavalry. This practice interferes with riding at 
fast gaits, but accelerates the formation of line. Dis- 
orders are easily communicated to the entire coltunn, whose 
depth prevents the leaders from exerting as much influence 
over their men as in other formations. Moreover, when 
speed is required, it will, as a rule, be necessary to use a for- 
mation that permits line to be formed with despatch (colunm 
of platoons, for example, the flank files being broken off 
when necessary). 

On June 28th, 1866, the 3d Cuirassier Regiment received orders to 
march to Koniginhof with one horse battery and one field battery. The 
batteries finally found the road impracticable. The three escadrons that 
marched in rear of the batteries wheeled about and moved to the rear at 
the trot. As it was almost dark and the path was steep and covered with 
stones, a number of horses in the escadrons stumbled and fell here and 
there. The gaps occasioned thereby caused the troopers in rear to gallop 
ahead to close up, whereby the outposts of the 1st Army Corps, which could 
not account for this unexpected return of the column, were alarmed. The 
panic of the Bavarian cavalry at Hiinf«ld and Gersfeld likewise occurred 
in route column. • 

In other armies fours and twos cover in file. In Austria, France and 
Italy* the distance between fours (or twos) is 0.75 m., in England, 1.20 m. 
In practice, the distance of one pace between fours (or twos) is generally 
increased, as it is difficult to maintain. The French regulations therefore 
count on an elongation of from one-sixth to one-fourth of the depth of each 
escadron, but permit a reduction or total elimination of the distance 
between fours or twos (*7^j cavaliers peuvent mtme gagnet du terrain d 
droit e ou d gauche de ceux qui les pr^chienf). 

An escadron of 1 48 troopers, when formed in column of fours in the 
German manner, has a depth of 97 m., and when formed in column of fours 
in the Austrian manner, a depth of 124 m. This difference of 27 m., while of 
little importance in a single escadron, must be reckoned with in larger units, 
as it retards the execution of front into line. This movement is very apt to 
be still more retarded, because the distance between fours is more likely to 
be increased than diminished. The German escadron in column of twos has 
a depth of 1 78 m., the Austrian a depth of 233 m. There is thus a difference 
of 55 m. between the two. 

The Russian cavalry uses the column of threes and the column of 
twos as route columns. Each rank turns independently by threes (or 
forms column of sixes — the so-called "turning column," the route column 

*See V. Lettow-Yorbbcx, KtUq von 1866, III, pp. 82 and 105; N€u$ mU 
lititrische Bldtter, 1902. 1, p. 97. Quecktnoor und Gersfeld. 

Russian, Italian, and English Escadrons. 49 

used on wide roads), the rear-rank troopers following and covering their 
file leaders. In Austria, the turning column is also used for moving a short 
distance to a flank. Route ooltmin may likewise be formed by ploying. 
Column of twos is formed from column of threes in the same manner as 
column of twos from column of squads in the infantry. Aside from the 
disadvantage of counting off twice (i e., counting twos for dismounting 
and threes for forming route column), the column of threes is longer than 
the column of fours. As the distance between sets of threes is one pace 
(0.71 m.), the depth of an escadron in column of threes amounts to 151 m., 
as against 97 m., the depth of a German escadron in column of fours. 

The Italian cavalry uses the most logical procedure, in that the 
principle of forming column of platoons on the base platoon, and front into 
line on both flanks of the leading element, has been extended to forming 
route column and platoons front into line from route column. The senior 
non-commissioned officer of a platoon rides directly in rear of his chief of 
platoon, the next ranking non-commissioned officer of the platoon riding 
in the rear rank and covering the senior non-commissioned officer. Thus, 
if the chief of platoon should be disabled, he can be replaced in the simplest 

The two junior non-commissioned officers of the platoon are posted 
on the flanks of the front rank of the platoon. The platoon is then divided 
into sets of twos, from the center toward each flank, the '^center trooper" 
( the senior non-commissioned officer ) counting as number one. In form- 
ing column of fours, the four files in the center of the platoon ride straight 
to the front; they are followed by the two files next on the right and by 
the two next on the left, these forming a new squad in rear of the former 
center squad, and so on. Front into line is executed by each two files on 
the right of each squad placing themselves abreast and to the right of the 
leading squad, each two files on the left of each squad similarly placing 
themselves abreast and to the left of the leading squad. When the column 
is to form line to the right or to the left, the chiefs of platoons turn the 
heads of their platoons in the indicated direction, and each platoon then 
executes front into line as explained. In forming column of twos from 
column of fours, the exterior files of each squad place themselves in rear of 
the center files of their squad. 

A difficulty can arise only when the route column has faced to the 
rear and then executes front into line. In this case, front into line must 
be executed by half -platoons, the last half -platoon moving abreast of the 
one in the lead. 

In the English cavalry, column of fours is formed in a similar man- 
ner as in the Italian cavalry, the squad on the right of the center trooper 
moving out first. 


The Escadron. 


Forming Route Column 
Front into Line. 










■ J' /' J" ■ 








Forming Column of 
Twos from Column 
of Fours. 



Formations of the Regiment. 




The regiment consisting of from three to five esca- 
drons, can be led directly by its commander, 'and, if oon- 

♦Oompariflon: Th$ FornuUUnu of ik$ Bufiment: 





>t The escadrons, each Id line, 
are ahreast at Interrals of 16 paoei. 

Lin* of Eacadrons In Column* 
of Platoons {Ligne de coUmnes) : 
The escadroDS, each In column of 
platoons, are abreast at deploying 
Intervals plus 15 paces. 

Must The escadrons, each In col- 
umn of platoons, are abreast at In- 
tervals of 16 paces. 

Column of Platoons {Colonne de 
jfeloUms) : The escadrons, each In 
column of platoons, are in rear of 
ea<di other at a distance of 23 paces. 

Column of Escadrons (Colonne d' €$•' 
cadrons): This is a line of esca- 
drons in columns of platoons that has 
wheeled to a flank. The escadrons, 
each In line, are in rear of each other 
at full distance (68 paces), half dis- 
tance (38 paces), or close distance 
(23 paces). 

Double Column I The escadrons, 
each in column of platoons, are 
formed two and two abreast at 16 
paces interval. The distance 
between the leading two escadrons 
and the rear two is 23 paces. 

Route Column: Oolumn of twos 
or column of fours. The distance 
between twos or fours is 0.75 m., be- 
tween escadrons. 12 m. 

Line of Platoons In Columns of 
Fours (Ligne de pelottms par quatre) : 
This is formed by ploying ftomline. 
The distance between fours is 1 .60 m. 




LInet The escadrons, each in line, 
are abreast at Intervals of paces. 

2. line 

of Eseadrons In Colui 
of Platoons (Esk4idrons1tolonn€n) : 
The escadrons. each in column of 
platoons, are abreast at deploying 
Intervals plus 6 paces. 

Regimental Coluntn {RegimentskO' 
Umne): The escadrons. each in 
column of platoons, are abreast at 
Intervals of 6 paces. 

Coluntn of Platoons i The esca- 
drons, each in column of platoons, 
are in rear of each other at a dis- 
tance of 6 paces. 

Double Column I The escadrons, 
each in column of platoons, 
formed two and two abreast. 

Route Columns Column of twos 
or column of fours. No distance 
between fours or twos. The dis- 
tance between escadrons is 8 m. 

7. Open Formations. 

52 The Regiment. 

ditions are not too unfavorable, can be controlled by his 
voice. The regiment is not too large for the regimental 
commander to make his influence felt. 

The evolutions of the regiment, especially its combat 
exercises, are designed to weld the escadrons into a homo- 
geneous whole, to train the escadron commanders to act 
on their own initiative in accordance with the situation, 
and to prepare the regiment for its duties as a part of a 
larger organization. (Par. 116, Gernian C. D. R.). 

Escadron commanders are responsible for the main- 
tenance of cohesion in and the correct execution of move- 
ments by their escadrons. Escadron commanders should 
foresee fluctuations in the evolution executed by the cavalry 
force of which their escadrons form a part. Each escadron 
commander must prevent those fluctuations from being 
commimicated to his own escadron, or cause them to be 
gradually adjusted while the movement is in progress. 
(Par. 122, German C. D. R.). 

When, as will frequently happen, the voice of the regi- 
mental commander does not sufiice for giving commands 
for the execution of evolutions, recourse must be had to 
orders. For their transmission, the regimental conmiander 
has at his disposal the adjutant and one orderly officer. 

1. The Regiment in Line.* 

When the German regiment is in line, the escadrons, 
each in line, are posted abreast of each other at intervals of 
six paces (4.8 m.). In the Austrian regiment, the interval 
between escadrons in line is 7.5 m., (between "divisions" — 
so-called — ^in line, 22.5 m.t), in the FrenchJ and Italian 

•Par. 127, Oerman C. D. R, 

flf the regiment Is in one of its oolmnns, the Interral between "dlvlBlonfl*' 
Is reduced to ten paces (7.6 m.). 

tOn account of this interval and the loose touch maintained by the French 
troopers, a French regiment overlaps a German regiment by one and one-fourth 
times escadron front, provided the two regiments considered are equal in strength. 

Line and Line of Escadrons. 53 

regiments, 12 m., in the English regiment, 7.3 m., and in 
the Russian regiment, platoon front. The line is the com- 
bat formation of cavalry. It can not be handled with suf- 

Ma J 





• ? 




1 ■■ ■ w - , „ 

.,..- *- 



Regimental commander with adjutant and 
orderly officer. 


Major attached to the regimental itaff. 


Escadron commander. 


Chief of platoon. 





ficient ease to permit march direction or front to be changed' 
quickly at a fast gait. It is best adapted for moving 
straight to the front or straight to the rear. When a charge 
is contemplated, line shpuld not be formed tmtil the organi- 
zation is facing in the direction in which the shock is to be 

2. Line of Escadrons in Columns of Platoons.* 

When in line of escadrons in columns of platoons, the 
regiment possesses greater readiness for combat than in 
any other formation, barring line. Line of escadrons in 
columns of platoons is taken up when evolutions are no 
longer necessary and when the regiment is facing in the di- 
rection in which it is to attack. This formation once taken 


54 The Regiment. 

up, the regiment moves, in the main, straight to the front. 
In line of escadrons in columns of platoons, the escadrons, 
each in column of platoons, are abreast of each other at de- 
ploying interval plus six paces. In this formation, when 
the platoons consist of twelve files each, the regiment has a 
depth of 40 paces and a front of 162 paces (when the platoons 
consist of sixteen files each, a front of 228 paces). 




rrone o$ 

When in line of escadrons in columns of platoons, the 
regiment can form line without difficulty, can avoid ob- 
stacles easily, and its losses are less than in line, as the small 
columns marching abreast compel the enemy to distribute 
his fire. Furthermore, this formation facilitates detaching 
•escadrons on independent missions. 

Regiments of six escadrons (Austria and Russia) possess 
these advantages to a limited extent only, as they cover a 
front of 290 paces (or, when platoons consist of sixteen files 
each, a front of 400 paces). 

The high value placed on line of escadrons in columns 
of platoons had its origin in the era in which all cavalry 
formations were designed with a view to the emplojrment 
of cavalry in successive lines. **It [line of escadrons in 
columns of platoons] possesses little handiness, renders ma- 
terially more diffictdt all changes of direction, loses direction 

Line of Escadrons. 55 

and distances very easily, and necessitates complex move- 
ments in order to form coltmin. These disadvantages be- 
come strikingly apparent when considerable masses of cav- 
alry are assembled. Even in a brigade these drawbacks 
make themselves very sensibly felt. It is, in fact, a forma- 
tion designed exclusively with a view to the employment of 
units in successive lines, and for this reason alone meets 
one-sided requirements only. There is, however, no com- 
pelling reason for retaining it as the principal maneuvering 
formation of cavalry and for considering it, as it were, out- 
side the limits of discussion".* General v. Bemhardi 
recommends that the regiment be formed in "line of demi- 
regiments, " each of the latter forming one unit and embrac- 
ing two escadrons, each in column of platoons, abreast. 
This formation is already employed in Austria, where the 
regiment advances in line of "division columns" — so-called. 

\ v 

\ \ \ / / / \\ \ \ , 

\*- * / / •• \\ '^ —^ .* / 

\ / V ^'' 

"The regimental commander would then have but two 
units to direct. These^two units will maintain their posi- 
tion relative to each other more readily than four, will exe- 
cute changes of direction with great ease, and will be able 
to form line just as quickly^as will a line of escadrons in 
columns of platoons. Moreover, they will permit column 
or successive lines to be formed with greater ease than is 
I)OSsible from line of escadrons in columns of platoons. 
The formation in demi-regiments permits successive lines 
to be formed, in the simplest manner, to the front, and an 

*y. BsBMHABDi, U7i$fr$ KavalhrU im nMutm KrUif$» p. 102 (see Cavairy In 
Fuhif Wars, by y. Bbbmhabdi, Goldman's traiulation. p. 228). 

56 The Regiment. 

echelon formation to be taken up in any direction. In 
addition, this formation is very mobile, easily concealed, and 
combines the advantages of a route formation of little depth 
with those of a maneuvering formation. In the latter 
character, it might be employed to particularly good advant- 
age by large units operating in close country, as it enables 
the regimental commander to keep the troops well in hand, 
while, at the same time, permitting deployment with the 
utmost despatch in combat formation in successive lines 
either to the front or to a flank. It would, without doubt, 
have the same advantages in the brigade when the regi- 
ments are formed side by side. It will be particularly 
adapted for flank movements, in which it is essential to 
develop, while in motion, the maximum fighting power in the 
direction of the movement, and in which it is desirable, after 
wheeling into line, to have the requisite depth as well as 
protection on the exposed flank. "* 

3. The Regimental Column.t 

The regimental column (called **mass" in all the other 
regulations) is used principally as an assembly formation. 
It should be used as little as possible on the battlefield, as it 
may receive artillery fire at long ranges and is never secure 
from being surprised by fire. On account of its width, a 
regimental colimm is difficult to conceal and the dust raised 
by it at fast gaits does not settle quickly, which fact makes 
it more difficult to surmount obstacles. When the regiment 
is in this formation, the regimental commander can still con- 

■hr. BxRNHAROi, Unsere Kavallerie im ndchslen Ktiege, p. 163 (see Ca9dlry in 
Future Wars, by y. Bernhardi, Golduan'8 trandation. pp. 228 and 229). 

iRegimentskolonne. This formation is identical with the "mass" used in 
the United States Cavabry, except that the escadrons are in columns of platoons 
instead of fours, and that the interval between elements is paces Instead of 11 
yards. — Translator. 


Regimental Column. 57 

trol it directly by commands. 
In regimental column, the esca- 
drons, each in column of pla- 
toons, are abreast of each other 
^^ at intervals of six paces (in 

France, Italy and Austria ten 

o o o * o o 

/' ' paces, in Russia, seven paces), 

!*"■*" "^ "^ "*~ As the regimental column can 

-*" "*- "'*• "*• "^ not be directly deployed into 

-^ .J- -.- ,j-. -A- line, it affords the regiment a 

•j« -.A- -JL- -JL-., .-jt- readiness for combat next in- 

ferior to Une and line of esca- 
drons in coltimns of platoons. When platoons consist of 
twelve files each, the regimental column is 40 paces deep 
and 66 paces wide (in Austria 122 paces wide). On account 
of this favorable ratio of width to depth, this column is both 
very compact and very mobile.* To form line quickly to 
the front reqtiires special training. The deployment into 
line in an obUque direction as a rule causes an echeloning 
of the escadrons- The regimental column appears to be 
particularly imsuited for regiments of six escadrons. In 
Italy, the "mass** formation is to be employed only so long 
as the enemy's actions or the terrain do not compel the as- 
sumption of line of escadrons in colimms of platoons. The 
Russians seek to remedy the disadvantages of the regi- 
mental coltunn by breaking off the flank escadrons. 

*When cavalry In regimental coltunn enters the zone of effective hostile fire. 
it very quickly suffers serious losses. 

Obstacles on the battlefield of YionviUe compelled the 16th Cavalry Brigade 
to dose intervals when it rode past Flavigny in line of escadrons In columns of pla- 
toons. This converted the brigade into a dense mass, which offered a favorable 
target to the French projectiles. The brigade was then forced to retire on ao- 
count of the heavy losses suffered by it. The 3d Hussars lost on this occasion 3 offi- 
cers. 80 men and more than 100 horses. Kunz, RHterei, p. lOl 


The Regiment. 

Front into Line from the Russian Regimental Column» 
in wliich the Flank Escadrons are broken off. 


4. Column of Platoons. 

The escadrons, each in column of platoons, cover and 
follow each other at platoon distance plus six paces. This 
column can be controlled by the voice of the regimental 
commander in exceptional cases only. — ^ 

Visual signals and bugle signals increase 
in importance. This is likewise true of 
following in trace, the escadrons in rear 
taking up, without specific orders to that 
effect, the cadence and formation of the 
next preceding escadron. When in this 
formation, the regiment can easily 
change direction, take advantage of the 
grotmd and surmoimt obstacles. If 
ditches with marshy borders have to be 
taken, it is advisable first to execute 
escadrons front into line. By wheel- 
ing into line by platoons, the coltunn of 
platoons is quickly rendered ready for 
action to a flank, and for this and the 
previously mentioned reasons, it is 
especially adapted for executing flank 
movements. The weakness of the 
column in the direction of march re- 
quires that special measures be taken to protect its head. 

Double Column. 59 

Coltimn of platoons is not a suitable formation for a frontal 
movement against the enemy, as it is difficxilt to deploy the 
column in that direction. 


5. Double Column. 

The necessity of protecting the head of the column of 

platoons, quite naturally leads to the forma^ 

tion of double coltunn. In this the escadrons, 

each in coltmin of platoons, are two and two 

^* abreast with an interval of six paces between 

, them, the distance between successive escad- 

f« . I , Y rons being platoon distance and six paces. 

With an imeven ntmiber of escadrons, the 

left column, in which the base escadron 

"■*" is posted, is the stronger. The double col- 

^J^ Q^ umn is the mean between coltunn of platoons 

p(us6pcM and regimental coltunn. It possesses the 

great mobility of the latter without being 
"^ encumbered with the depth of the former, 

"*" "■*" and can deploy as readily to the front as to a 
-*" -*- flank. Moreover, it has the same advant- 
ages formerly possessed by columns that had 
"*" wheeled to a flank. For this reason, the double 

"*" column is especially adapted for flank move- 

-*- ments, particularly when two "waves" are 

-^ to be formed for a charge. 

Although the advantages of the double column are especially apparen t 
in siz-escadron regiments, some objections are raised against it by the 
Austrians. For example, it is stated, "that on account of the noise, com- 
mands can be heard with difficulty only; that the deployment (in a six- 
eicadron regiment) is, in reality, restricted to the head of the column; and 
that the latter invariably forms the objective of the hostile attack. The 
area of burst of a shrapnel covers the entire space occupied by the double 
column, and a single good hit by such a projectile might perhaps suffice to 
disperse the column. In spite of this, the double column finds more advo- 
cates and more frequent application than it deserves." * 

*v. WaldstIitbn. TakHk, I, p. 97. 

60 The Regiment. 

6. Route Column.* 

When the regiment is in column of twos or fours, the 
escadrons follow each other at 10 paces (8 m.) distance (in 
Russia at platoon distance). To form line from these col- 
umns is difficult and time-consuming on accoimt of their 
great depth. For this reason, special protection is neces- 
sary. Large units will, as a rule, march in coliunn of fours, 
the deployment being accelerated by a timely execution of 
platoons front into Une. The units in rear of the leading 
element must assume — independently and without await- 
ing orders — the formation taken up by those in front. On 
the march, commanders of escadrons and of platoons ride 
wherever their presence in supervising their organizations 
is required. A trtmipeter rides at the tail of the column in 
order to blow "cleai the road," this being the signal for 
clearing one side of the road. 

The field train marches at the tail of the regiment in 
order that it may not interfere with the deployment when 
the enemy is encountered. When the regiment marches 
alone, it may be advisable to let the field train march at 
some distance in rear. 

Depth of a regiment : 

Germany (4 escadrons) : 

In column of fours (with combat train) 530 m., in col- 
umn of twos 1,010 m. 

A ustria (6 escadrons) : 

In column of fours 723 m., in col- 
umn of twos 1,493 m.t 

Line of route columns may be used on the battlefield 
by a large unit, for the purpose of taking advantage of 
accidents of the grotmd, for crossing difficult terrain, and 

*Par. 348, Qtrman F. 3. A. 
fFor details tee p. 60, tupra. 

Evolutions of the Regiment. 61 

for minimizing losses when exposed to frontal artillery fire. 
This formation is taken up, for example, from line of esca- 
drons in coltmins of platoons, by one, several, or all of the 
escadrons forming route column, while maintaining their 
relative positions with reference to each other (open for- 
mations). Intervals and distances may be given up when 
crossing groimd swept by the enemy's fire. Close order 
formations are resumed as soon as the dangerous zone has 
been crossed or the position from which the charge is to be 
made has been reached. This formation in Une of route 
columns is, however, unsuitable when an encoimter with 
hostile cavalry is imminent. Since it is difiicult to gallop 
in colunm of fours (closed up), it would perhaps be desirable 
to form line of platoons or half -escadrons in columns of twos, 
in which the horses can gallop with greater ease.* 

France: Line of platoons in coltunns of fours {Ligne 
de pelotons par quatre)^ i. e., the foiu: platoons, each in route 
column with the distance between fours increased to 1.50 m., 
are abreast of each other at diminished or normal intervals.f 


The regiment marches to the front, to the rear, and to 
a flank (usually for short distances only, by wheeling into 
coltmMi by platoons), in the same manner as the escadron. 
It changes direction, when in column, by turning, by march- 
ing on a new objective, or by simply following in trace. 
Considerable changes of direction (i. e., those exceeding 
45 degrees) require a different procedure when the regiment 
is in line or in line of escadrons in colimms of platoons. 

*For riding In this formation, aee y. Edblshsim, \jber kriegsmdszige Ausbildung 
fww.. p. 174. 

iRevue ds CwahrU, July 1908, VAnarchU. 

Line of platoons in columns of fours is called le bloc when the interval between 
platoons is 4 m., and le carri when that interval is 8 m. Intervals of from 12 to 
16 m. are recommended for crossing difficult terrain, and Intervals of 36 m., for 
croasing fire swept ground. 

tPars. 136-160, German C. D. B. 


62 The Regiment. 

When the regiment is in line of escadrons in columns of 
platoons, for example, and a considerable change of direc- 
tion is to be executed, all the escadrons first change direc- 
tion, those in rear of the first then moving by the shortest 
route to their new positions abreast of the leading escadron. 
(See plate p. 68). When the regiment is in line and a con- 
siderable change of direction is to be effected, the regiment 
first wheels into column of platoons and then executes front 
into line. Under certain circumstances, it may be advisable 
to have the escadron on the inner flank in line change direc- 
tion at once, the other escadrons then moving by the shortest 
route to their proper positions in the new line.* 


The regulations make a distinction between develop- 
ment,\ deploymentX and front into line,^ The term develop- 
ment denotes the transition from route column to column of 
platoons, double column, or regimental column. The term 
deployment denotes the transition to line of escadrons in 
colunms of platoons. The term front into line denotes the 
transition to line. The term transition^ is used to desig- 
nate all other changes of formation. Transitions to a 
broader formation are executed as a deployment, transitions 
to a narrower formation as a ployment. (Par. 45, German 
C. D. R.). 

Changes of formation must likewise be capable of be- 
ing executed while the march direction of the entire regi- 
ment is changed simultaneously therewith. For example, 
when the regiment is in double column or in regimental 
coliunn, the leading element of the regiment executes a 
turn in the new direction ; when the regiment is in any other 

*In Aiutria changes of front are effected In a very awkward manner on fixed 
pirot when the regiment la in line of escadrons in columns of platoons. 





Deployments. 63 

formation, the head of each escadron executes such a turn, 
the new formation being ordered, in either case, while the 
movement is in progress. The escadrons are then led by 
the shortest route to their proper positions. The guiding 
principle is, "First determine the march direction^ then the 
formation." (Par. 168, German C. D. R.). 

In Russia, the ist, 2d and 3d escadrons habitually place themselves 
to the right, the 4th, 5th and 6th habitually to the left of the leading element^ 

In France, when deployments and changes of formation are to be^ 
executed, the regimental commander, followed by the standard bearer 
moves in the new direction for thirty paces and then orders the new forma- 
tion. The escadrons then move by the shortest route, by obliquing, by 
partially changing direction, or by the flank to their positions. When de- 
ploying preparatory to a charge, it is considered advisable to decrease the 
gait in order to obtain better cohesion. 

Being in regimental column, or in double column, to 
form line of escadrons in coltmins of platoons: When the 
regiment is marching, the escadrons extend (in the reverse 
movement, they close) on the base escadron. When the 
regiment is halted (necessarily in a covered position, if the 
charging ground in front is limited), the escadrons on the 
right wheel to the right, those on the left to the left, by pla- 
toons, gain the necessary groimd at the trot and wheel again 
to the front by platoons and move to their positions. The 
escadron on which this movement is executed moves forward 
a distance equal to platoon front plus six paces. 

Being in column of platoons, to form line of escadrons 
in coltimns of platoons: The leading escadron rides for- 
ward sixty paces at the gait ordered and then comes down 
to the walk. Each of the other escadrons changes direction 
and moves to its proper place. (Par. 143, German C. D. 
R). When this movement is to be executed so that, at its 
conclusion, all the rear escadrons will be on one side of the 
leading escadron, a special order to that effect must be given. 

Being in column of platoons, to form line of escadrons 
in columns of platoons to a flank : Each escadron changes 

64 The Regiment. 

Being in route column, to form line of escadrons in col- 
tmms of platoons : The leading escadron executes platoons 
front into line, each of the others changes direction, forms 
column of platoons and moves to its proper position. 



Being in line, to form line of escadrons in columns of 
platoons : Each escadron forms column of platoons. 

Being in line, to form double coltunn or regimental 
column : The base escadron forms coltunn of platoons, the 
others likewise form coltunn of platoons and move to their 
proper places. 

Being in line, to form column of platoons to a flank: 
The regiment wheels into column by platoons. 

Being in line of escadrons in columns of platoons, to 
form column of platoons to a flank: The escadron on the 
flank toward which the movement is to be made wheels into 
line by platoons in the direction in which the column is to 
face and then forms column of platoons ; the other escadrons 
conform to the movement. 

Being in line of escadrons in columns of platoons (or 
in double column), either at a halt or while marching, to 
form regimental column: The escadrons close in on the 
base escadron. 

The transition from regimental column to double col- 
umn and to column of platoons to the front or to a flank, is 
executed according to the principles already mentioned. 

Changes of Formation. 


The Regiment Forming Line of Eecadrons in Columns 

of Platoons from Line. 

The Regiment Forming 

Column of Platoons 

from Regimental 



from Regimental 
Column to Line of Escadrons 
in Columns of Platoons. 

- 1 . 

- 4 - 



66 The Regiment. 

Example of a 

Considerable Change of Direction Effected by the 

Regiment while in Line of Escadrons in 

Columns of Platoons. 

i I 


































• — 






k *— 







ff H 

Changes of Formation. 


The Regiment Forming Regimental Column (while in 

motion) from Line of Escadrons in 

Columns of Platoons. 




The Regiment Forming Line of Escadrons in Columns 
of Platoons from Double Column. 


\ I 



- .-f 

68 The Regiment. 


Transition from Column of Platoons to Line of Eacadrons 

in Columns of Platoons. 







= / 


^ \ V / 




< - ./ 






Line may be formed in the simplest and most orderly 
manner from line of escadrons in columns of platoons and 
from column of platoons, by executing front into line in the 
former case, and by wheeling into line in the latter. On 
account of the depth of the route column and of the coltunn 
of platoons, the escadrons will frequently not be able to 
move out at once when the command front into line is given. 
The leading escadron forms front into line at once, each of 
the others changes direction and gains sufficient ground to 
the flank to enable it to execute front into line and to move 
straight to the front. In close proximity to the enemy, the 

Transition to Line. 69 

regiment, when in cx)ltuim of platoons, will frequently be 
able with advantage to change direction and to wheel into 
line by platoons. 

Line is formed from line of escadrons in columns of 
platoons, by all the escadrons simultaneously executing 
front into line. When the regiment is halted, or when 
marching at the walk, this movement is executed at the trot ; 
when marching at the trot, it is executed at the gallop; 
when marching at the gallop, it is executed at an accelerated 
gallop. As each escadron executes right and left front into 
line simultaneously, it may happen, when the intervals are 
too small, that the exterior platoons of two adjacent esca- 
drons collide. (Par. 260, German C. D. R.). Being in 
line of escadrons in columns of platoons, to form Une in an 
obhque direction: The escadrons first partially change 
direction, each then executes front into line, and moves to its 
place in the new line. 

Front into line from regimental coltunn* is not so very 
simple, if time and room are lacking for first forming Une of 
escadrons in columns of platoons. It may, however, fre- 
quently become necessary to form line from regimental 
column.f Each escadron executes front into line separately, 

*The regulationfl do not prescribe how firont Into line from regimental column 
la to be executed. Oeneral v. Schmidt, In hla Instruktionen, p. 197, says: "Itlt- 
of the utmost Importance that as broad a front as possible be presented at onoe to- 
the enemy, either In the direction tn which the column Is facing, or, after the lead- 
ing element has changed direction, toward the objective." Execution: '*The 
right and the left flank escadrons execute right flront Into line and left front Into 
line, respectively, and then move out for the purpose of making a flank attack on 
the enemy. The escadron next In line on the right and the one next In line on the 
the left then promptly execute right front Into line and left front into Une, respec- 
tively. In this manner, all the escadrons but the one In the center (If the regi- 
ment consists of five escadrons), are deployed." 

tAt Worth, the 13th Hussar Regiment, while in regimental column, wheeled 
about by platoons on sighting French cavalry, and charged directly from Its posi- 
tion, as neither time nor room was available for forming line. The rear platoonf 
moved out of the column and turned against the flank of the hostile cavalry. 
Kwz, Reiterei, p. 50. 

Two escadrons of the same regiment attacked French cavalry that was de- 
bouching in column from Oautler (Sedan). The leading platoons of the two esca- 
drons mentioned, charged; the remaining six platoons moved to the rear to gain 
room, executed front Into line and then charged In echelon formation flrom one 
flank. Ibid., p. 198. 

70 The Regiment. 

as follows: The base escadron, on which the extension is 
made, as soon as it has room for forming line; the other 
escadrons. as soon as, by changing direction, they have 
gained sufficient interval to the right and left front, respec- 
tively. Each one of these escadrons, as soon as it has 
formed line, then places itself abreast of the base escadron, 
whose subsequent conduct is determined by orders. This 
proceduie is accurately adapted to that of the regulations. 
The certainty of its execution in a critical moment is as- 
sured because the deployment is effected in the same man- 
ner as if time had been available for first forming line of 
escadrons in columns of platoons and then executing front 
into line, except that in this procedure the several move- 
ments shade more closely into one another. If a special 
form of executing front into line were prescribed for this 
deployment, there would be danger of misunderstanding 
and of friction that might impair the success of the charge. 

Franc*! The right aiicl left center esc&droDs execute rlgbt front into 
line Uid left front into line, respectively. The right and left flank escad- 
rons gain the necessary deploying interval by changing direction, and then 
execute right front into line and left front into line, respectively, 

Auatriai The two center escadrons move forward a distance equal 
to the depth of the column and execute front into line. The remaining 
escadrons gain the necessary interval and each then executes right front 
into line or left front into line, as the case may be, depending upon whether 
it is to the right or to the left of the base escadron. 

Russia: According to the Russian regulations, the flank escadrons 
wheel toward the outer flanks by platoons, each escadron then wheeling to 
the left or right, as the case may be. as soon as it has gained sufficient 
ground, and marching in line to its place. The right and the left center 
escadrons execute right front into line and left front into line, respectively. 
Jt will, at best, take considerable time to form a broad front in this manner. 

Time Required for Deploying. 71 

(f) time required for deploying. 

Control of time and space is of prime importance 
to the leader when leading troops on the terrain. Prompt 
and correct recognition of the point where the collision with 
the hostile cavalry will take place, in many cases determines 
the mode of deployment, i. e., whether the deployment is 
to be made forward or by the flank. If by the flank, the 
leading element is halted. While the deployment forward, 
which includes covering part of the distance to the enemy, 
frequently contains the element of surprise, it always re- 
sults in increasing the morale. One wiU choose this mode 
of deployment, if one may hope to encotmter the enemy 
while he is still in the act of forming line. To halt the lead- 
ing element and to deploy by the flank saves time, room 
and energy. The deployment by the flank will be used 
when unfavorable terrain is located in the immediate front ; 
when one can compel the enemy to charge uphill, over very 
soft ground, or on difficixlt terrain; and when one desires 
to give one's artillery time to produce some effect. In re- 
spect to the feasibiUty of making evolutions in the presence 
of hostile cavalry. General v. Schmidt lays down the rule 
that the leader of the first line must be finished with all de- 
ployment by the time he has approached to within 500 
paces of the enemy ; that wheels to a flank by platoons can 
still be made at 600 paces; and that more extensive flank 
movements are possible at 1,000 paces. 

A cavahy regiment, provided platoons consist of twelve 
files each, requires 80 seconds at the trot and 40 seconds at 
the gallop to form column of platoons from column of fours. 
When the units have to execute front into line successively, 
these figures are increased to 240 and 120 seconds, respec- 
tively. It takes 70 seconds at the trot and SO seconds at the 
gallop to form line of escadrons in columns of platoons from 
colimm of platoons. To form line from line of escadrons in 
coltmans of platoons [each escadron executing front into line]> 

72 The Regiment. 

requires an additional 20 seconds^ when executed at the trot, 
or 12-15 seconds, when executed at the gallop. It is thus 
evident that a cavalry regiment, in order to pass from route 
column to Une toward the front, requires at the trot 170, 
at the gallop 105 seconds. When the escadrons successively 
form colimin of platoons (for example, on debouching from 
a defile), these figures are increased to 268 and 139 seconds, 
respectively. When signals are not used, the time con- 
sumed is still further increased by the escadron commanders ' 
repeating commands. In 105 seconds, the hostile cavalry 
can cover 720 m., in 268 seconds, 1,750 m. 

A knowledge of the time required for deploying will 
enable the leader to determine whether he has time enough 
to form Une of escadrons in coltunns of platoons from col- 
umn of platoons (i. e., whether he can deploy forward), or 
whether, in order to form line more quickly, he should have 
his leading element change direction and then have the 
whole force wheel into line by platoons. When platoons 
consist of sixteen files each, the regiment can form line of 
escadrons in columns of platoons from column of platoons 
in 70 seconds, the entire movement into line consiuning 92 
seconds (leading element at the trot). If we assiune that, 
in addition, a space of 200 m. is required for fully develop- 
ing speed for the charge, this mode of deployment should 
be used only if the two opposing forces are still at least 1,000 
m. apart. For the leading element to change direction and 
for the platoons to wheel into line at the gallop requires 
about 60 seconds. This mode of deployment proceeds with 
considerably greater rapidity than the one first mentioned, 
and can still be employed when the enemy is from 600 to 
1,000 m. away. A regiment that, while in column of pla- 
toons, encounters the enemy within 500 m., will not be able 
to cotmt upon deploying all of its escadrons, but will be 
compelled to let them charge individually. 

The time required for deploying may be computed as follows: If the 
leading element continues the march at the trot ( 300 paces per minute ), 

Time Required for Deploying. 73 

it will be overtaken by the last subdivision in x minutes, when the latter 
has covered 500 paces in x minutes. If we let 1 represent the depth of the 
column, we obtain the equation: 


1 -SEX (500 300) 



500 — 300 

In other words, the time, in minutes, required for deploying is equal 
to the depth of the column divided by the difference between the gait of the 
leading element and that of the rear subdivision. The result, to be sure, is 
but a rough approximation, which can have a conditional value only. 


The exercises of the brigade serve the purpose of train- 
ing from two to three regiments for employment in one body 
as an independent tactical imit, and as an integral part of a 
cavalry division. The drill is concluded in the division. 
The importance of the brigade as a tactical unit has been 
enhanced by the employment of cavalry by wings (i. e., the 
tactical units abreast). The brigade will almost invariably 
be given an independent combat mission. The brigade 
Commander, who will usually have ridden far in advance, 
will be able to communicate his intentions to his brigade 
only by means of bugle and visual signals and by means of 
orders transmitted through orderly officers. 

When the brigade is in line, the regiments, each in line, 
are posted abreast of each other with an interval of fifteen 
paces between them. When the brigade is in coltimn, the 
regiments are either abreast or in rear of each other. The 
following are the formations of the brigade : 

*Par8. 180-202, Oerman C, D. A. 

74 The Brigade. 

The brigade in line; — ^in line of escadrons in 3^4^-1^^^ 

. in Regi- 

^ mental 

.{< .rX Columns. 

columns of platoons; — ^in brigade column (the m-- 

regiments, each in regimental column, abreast ""^j^, 

with an interval of 15 paces between them) ;* — in - i^'^^ 

regimental columns (the regiments, each in regi- i-iil 

mental column, in rear of one another at a dis- _. , . 

tance of 30 paces) ;t — in double column (the regi- j^^ 

ments, each in double column, in rear of one an- Double 
other) . The employment of the double colunm, Column 
the regiments in rear of one another, appears to pi^toons. 
be particularly profitable when, in charging in- 
fantry, two successive lines are to be formed to- - i? 
ward a flank. The brigade may likewise be ^fjf ji 
formed in double (or treble) column of platoons 
[the regiments, each in column of platoons, abreast Zi 
of one another]. The brigade column, the brigade ;^ 
in regimental colunms, the double column, or the — 
double coliunn of platoons should be used for as- ^ 
sembly. These formations do not permit de- '^ 
ployment with sufficient ease to make them suit- ^ 
able for movements under hostile fire and when an •* 
encounter with hostile cavalry is imminent. The it 
double column may frequently be employed pre- 3^ 
paratory to a charge against infantry. In other -f- 
cases, the leader will apply par. 192, German C. -«■ 

^General y. Bernhabdi, says: " This is the popular and favored maneuver 

formation of all cavalrymen of the old school. It should, of course, not be al- 
lowed to appear on the battlefield at all. It might profitably be replaced by the 
line of regiments in double columns at deploying intervals." 

tWhen regiments consist of four escadrons each, it is possible to wheel into 
line toward a flank — this, to be sure, only at the expense of the interval between 
the regiments. 

Evolutions of the Brigade. 75 

D. R., which states: "Moreover, the brigade commander 
is not debarred from grouping the regiments (each in some 
formation prescribed for it), in such a manner at any time, 
as, in his opinion, the situation and his intentions require. " 
This means that the brigade is to be led forward according 
to the terrain and the purpose of the action. For example, the 
regiments may be formed in regimental coltmins or in double 
columns with deploying interval between them, either on 
the same line or in echelon, abreast of each other. The regi- 
ment on the left flank of the brigade is designated as the 
base regiment, or some imit is directed to maintain contact. 
All the others conform to it in their movements and 

The brigade may, in addition, be formed in column of 
platoons (with platoon distance plus 15 paces between regi- 
ments), and in route colimm (with twenty paces distance 
between regiments). 

DeploymentB. (Par. 195, German C. D. R.), 

When the regiments are abreast of one another without 
deploying interval, they deploy right front into Une and left 
front into line respectively. When they are abreast with 
deploying interval between them, each regiment deploys as 
if alone, i. e., each regiment deploys by executing, simul- 
taneously, right and left front into Une. 

When the regiments are in rear of one another — ^the 
brigade in regimental columns, or in double colimm — ^the 
leading regiment deploys left front into line, the rear regi- 
ment right front into line. 

Transitions. (Par. 196, German C. D. R.). 

''A. Transitions within the regiments, without 
change in their relative positions: 

"(a) When the regiments are in rear of one another 
and retain their relative positions: 


The Brigade. 

* * Ployment : 
to narrower i 
front : 





to broader 
front : 




From brigade in regimental 
columns to double col- 

From brigade in regimental 
columns to coltman of 
platoons ; 

From double column to 
column of platoons; 

From column of platoons 1 

to double column; 
From colvunn of platoons 

to brigade in regimental 

columns ; 
From double colimrn to 

brigade in regimental 

columns ; 

The rear 
h^ts until 


All these 
are exe- 
ecuted as 
for a regi- 
ment act- 
ing alone. 

**{d) When the regiments are abreast of one another and 
retain their relative positions: 

The base regi- 
ment forms on 

1. From line to brigade its base esca- 

dron. The regi- 

2. From line to double mentonthe 

right, in order to 

3. From line of escadrons reduce the dis- 
tance to be tra- 
versed by it, 

^ may form on its 
inner flank-esca- 
dron,at the com- 
mand of its regi- 
mental com- 
mander, and 
then, if neces- 
sary, move a- 
breast of the 
[ J base regiment.* 

** Ployment: 
to narrower 
front : 

From line to brigade 
column ; 

From line to double 
column of platoons ; 

From line of escadrons 
in columns of pla- 
toons to brigade 

From line of escadrons 
in columns of pla- 
toons to double col- 
umn of platoons ; 

From brigade column 
to double column of 
platoons ; 

*" The new formation would. In the above caaes, be taken up more expedl- 
tlouBly. If the base regiment would likewise form on Its Inner flank-escadron. 
This, however, would mean the abrogation of the principle laid down for the 
base regiment. No sound reason existed for doing this. In view of the advantages 
of uniform principles and the insignificant increase in the distance traversed by 
the base regiment when moving as laid down above." v. Ungsb. 

Evolutions of the Brigade. 



to broader 

1 The right regi- 

From double column ^^^^^ ^^™^ ^^ 
of platoons to bri- I Jj^ ^^^^ ^^^?^' 

i?ade column- 1^^^ ^^^^ ^^' 

gade column . ^^^^ ^ ^j^^ j^^^ 


*' (c) W/j^n ^fe^ regiments are abreast of one another at deploy- 
ing interval* and retain their relative positions: 

"Each regiment executes the transition within itself, 
as prescribed for a regiment acting alone. 

^'B. Transitions that change the relative positions 
of the regiments, one to the other. 

**(a) When the regiments are in rear of one another and move 
so as to come abreast of one another: 

1. From brigade in regi- 

The rear regi- 

mental colimms to 

ment moves to 

brigade cohimn; 

the right front 
^and forms on 


the right of the 


leading regi- 



to broader 

2. From double coltmin' 

The leading reg- 

front : 

to brigade cohimn; 

iment forms to 
the left front, 

3. Prom column of pla- 

on its leading 

toons to brigade col- 

escadron ; the 


rear regiment 
moves to the 
right front and 
forms to the 
right front on 
its leading esca- 

•Par. 192L German C. D, A. 


The Brigade. 

' * (6) When the regiments are abreast of one another and move 
so as to come in rear of one another: 

* ' Ployment : 
to narrower 
front : 

From brigade column 
to brigade in regi- 
mental columns ; 

From brigade coltunn 
to double column; 

From brigade column 
to column of pla- 
toons ; 

1. From brieade column 1 The base regi- 
ment moves out 
(and ploys) 
first, the rear 
regiment con- 
forming to the 
movement as 
soon as disen- 
gaged. Until 
disengaged, the 
rear regiment 
halts, as other- 
wise the transi- 
tion would con- 
simie too much 

** Route columns have not been considered. Neither 
is a discussion given of the transition from line to line of esca- 
drons in columns of platoons, nor from the latter formation 
to line of double columns at deploying interval, as no change 
takes place.*'* 

Foreign cavaby drill regulations prescribe, in the main, 
the same formations. It does not seem necessary to pre- 
scribe specially the formation in which the regiments are 
abreast with deploying interval between them, as is done 
for example, in France and Italy. The German deploy- 
ment into line of escadrons in columns of platoons from bri- 
gade column, on the center (i. e., on the first escadron of 
of the left regiment) , proceeds more rapidly than if the regi- 
ments, each being in regimental column, were first to extend 
to deploying intervals and then to form line of escadrons in 
coltunns of platoons. 

It takes about four minutes to form coltmm of platoons 
from colimm of fours and eight minutes to execute the same 
movement from column of twos, when the platoons simul- 

■»Supp/em0nM Nos. 4 and 5 to MiXitAr-WocyienUaiU 1909. p. 179. 

Time Required for Deploying. 79 

taneously execute front into line (their leading elements 
coming down to the walk). For the brigade to pass at the 
gallop from column of platoons (each platoon consisting of 
sixteen files) to line consumes at least four or five minutes 
when signals are used. The time consumed is considerably 
increased, due to the repetition of commands, when the 
movement is executed by command. 

Greneral v. Verdy computes that a brigade with a horse battery re- 
quires 7 minutes at the trot and 4 minutes at the gallop to deploy from 
column of threes into two lines ; that a second brigade ( with a horse battery ) 
following the first in like formation, requires 14 minutes at the trot and 8^ 
minutes at the gallop for this purpose. * 


The division consists, as a rule, of three cavalry brigades, 
one battalion of horse artillery with light ammunition col- 
umn, one machine gun battery and one pioneer detachment. 

It may become necessary, during the operations as well 
as on the battlefield, to combine several divisions into a 
cavalry corps. The depth of an army corps in route coltimn 
requires that, in approaching the battlefield, each division, 
at least, be assigned a separate road. 

No fixed formations are perscribed for a cavalry divi- 
sion. The division commander, by making proper dispo- 
sition of the tactical tmits, forms his division in each case 
according to the end in view. 

*3tudien nber TruppenfUhrung, Die Kavallerledivision, I, p. 100. 
tPara. 203-221. Qerman C. D. R. 


Cavalry Division. 





Assembly Formations. 




r— .-l.-.^ 

•• • 




i^ -• 


1* *.t'i 


m The choice of an assembly 

Regimental formation is governed by the 

extent of the available room. 
When the available space is 
very deep, and especially when 
the division is about to begin a 
march in close formation, it 
will frequently be a good plan 
to use the treble column of 
platoons (the brigades, each in 
column of platoons, abreast of 
each other at intervals of IS 
"'"* -r!?^!? paces). When the division is 

in regimental coliunns, the 
regiments are in rear of one 
zzzzi another at a distance of 30 
paces. The space required by the division in this forma- 
tion, when the horse batteries and the pioneer detachment 
are not present, is about 65 m. wide and 400 m. deep. 
When the division is in brigade coltmins, the brigade col- 
umns are in rear of one another at a distane of SO paces. 
When in this formation, the division requires a space 140 X 
200 m. 

On the battlefield, the formation of the division de- 
pends upon the situation and the terrain. The formation 
in groups enhances readiness for combat and, tmder certain 
drcimistances, reduces losses. So long as the subdivi- 
sions of the division march in rear of one another, the rear 
subdivisions conform to the formation and gait of the lead- 
ing subdivisions without specific orders to that effect. 
The greater the depth of the division, the greater the im- 
portance of keeping it in uninterrupted motion by main- 
taining a uniform cadence and by other requisite measures, 
and of preventing elongation of the column. The leading 

Development and Deployment. 81 

unit follows the division commander tmtil a march direc- 
tion is assigned to it. An officer of the leading brigade 
(after the development, an oflBcer of the base brigade) 
must be permanently charged to keep the division staff 
in view. 

The deployment of the division will generally be pre- 
ceded by a development, i. e., the passage from column to 
a formation of broader front. When the division commander 
desires to develop the division (from route column or some 
assembly formation), he designates (in a development 
order) the brigade on which the development is to be made, 
as the base brigade and indicates its march direction. In 
this case, the brigades may be posted either abreast, on the 
same line, or in echelon. Intervals and distances are re- 
gulated by orders. Artillery and machine gims should be 
posted where their subsequent employment is most prob- 
able. When a change of direction is to be effected, the 
division commander indicates to the base brigade the new 
march direction, to which the others must conform by the 
shortest route. When haste is not necessary, the base 
brigade may decrease the cadence. The relative posi- 
tions of the brigades to each other remain tmchanged un- 
less otherwise ordered. When more extended changes of 
front, for example to the right or left, become necessary, 
another formation is usually taken up. 

The brigade commanders independently choose the for- 
mations in which their brigades are to move, being governed, 
in so doing, by the following considerations : 

Utilization of accidents of the grotmd as cover; 

Employment of formations that minimize the effect 
of the hostile fire; and 

Degree of readiness for combat according to the dis- 
tance to the enemy. 

In the deployment, the brigade commanders inde- 
pendently make the necessary dispositions for distribution 
in depth and for flank protection. 

82 Comparison between Line and Column. 


The line is the only combat formation in which cav- 
alry can charge in close order. In case of necessity only, 
when cavalry is surprised and can not form line in time, is 
a charge in column conceivable. The success of a charge 
depends upon the force of the shock (cohesion and speed) 
and upon the use of the arme blanche. The speed that is 
in the horses can be brought out in line only. Line only, 
I)ennits all available sabers and lances to be employed. 

On November 30th, 1808, the escadron of Polish Lancers detailed as 
Emperor Napoleon's body g^uard, and the remainder of that regiment 
charged in column of fours up the pass of Somma Sierra under cover of 
the morning fog and powder smoke, rode down the Spanish infantry and 
captured 4 batteries, posted in tiers, with 15 guns. The Lancers lost 6 
officers and 80 men out of an effective strength of 7 officers and 150 men. * 

At Dembe Wielki, March 31st, 1831, when the Russians had already 
made dispositions for the retreat, 12 Polish escadrons charged in column of 
sixes along the chaussee embankment under cover of darkness. They 
capturf d 4 guns, dispersed Russian infantry and repulsed a counter-attack 
made by Russian cavalry. 

The charge at Meslay (engagement at Monnai» December 20th, 1870): 
See Chapter V, infra. 

Cavalry should never allow itself to be charged while 
standing still, for it would be crushed by the force of the 
shock. A charge in column is but a makeshift, since an 
equally strong and efficient cavalry force in line would be 
superior to the former on account of its formation alone. 

During the battle of Balaklava, October 25th, 1854, a Russian cavalry 
mass under General Ryow and consisting of 2900 men formed in a single 
column, was thrown back by six weak English escadrons under General 
Scarlett. The English escadrons charged the front and flanks of the Rus- 
sian column, tke latter receiving the charge while halted, f 

*Kavalleristische Monatshefte. December number 1908. 
tKiNGLAKa. Invasion of th§ Crimea, VII, p. 180. 

Comparison between Line and Column. 83 

The principle enunciated is directly responsible for 
the demand made on the cavalry for great mobility. But 
mobility is possessed neither by the line nor by the line of 
colimms. This is due to the fact that changes of direction 
in these formations are awkward movements and that pass- 
able grovmd along the entire front is to be fotmd only here 
and there for distances of any length. For this reason, 
the cavalry needs the column as a maneuvering formation. 
The column has the advantage of greater mobility in all 
directions than the line. It can change front and march 
direction more easily and can take advantage of accidents of 
the grotmd better than can the line. Moreover, it permits 
line to be formed quickly either to the front or to a flank. 
The column, in addition to possessing great mobility, must 
permit line to be formed in the quickest and simplest man- 
ner. This is the standard that determines the usefulness 
of the various coltmms on the batttlefield. 

The deficient maneuvering capacity of the French cavalry at the be- 
ginning of this century, compelled the French to hold it together in dense 
masses, and was responsible for the introduction of the charge in column. 
('The principal foes of the column are disorder and unwieldiness, which 
are caused by the leaders' losing almost all influence over their units as 
soon as the column is moving at a fast gait. This disorder is augmented 
by dust and by natural obstacles. No one sees where he is going ; an evasion 
of obstacles is not to be thought of; btillets drop into the column; here and 
there a horse and trooper break down, the others must press on over their 
bodies; the voice of the leaders and even the blast of the trumpet is lost 
in the thunder of hoof -beats, the rattle of arms, the roar of hostile guns; 
the column becomes a mob, which, at best, if crowded together, rushes 
along like a mass of wild horses. It may ride down, it is true, whatever is 
opposed to it, but nothing more, and no one can tell what will subsequently 
become of it. If, therefore, the enemy avoids the direct onslaught and 
falls upon the flank and rear of this unwieldy mob, from which all order 
and leadership have parted, the combat is bound to end with the defeat of 
the column." • 

*v. OBiABBsm. Taktik, p. 300 

84 Comparison between Line and Column. 

The line has another pronounced advantage over a 
column of equal strength— that of greater front, which en- 
ables the overlapping portions to envelop the enemy and 
to attack him at his weakest point, his flank. The line, 
however, has the disadvantage that its flanks are weak 
and require special protection (defensive wings, so-called, 
i. e., echelons posted on or in rear of the flanks) and that the 
danger of being pierced increases with its length (making sup- 
porting escadrons necessary). Cavalry that is charged in 
flank is just as stire to be defeated as cavalry that awaits 
the enemy's charge. In either case the cotmter-attack is 
wanting. As the flanks of infantry and artillery are like- 
wise better objectives for a charge than the firing fronts, the 
efforts of the cavalry should always be directed toward 
gaining the exposed flank of the enemy. In doing this, 
however, the cavalry must take care that its own flanks are 
not exposed to hostile attack. 



It is only when superficially viewed that the expe- 
riences of the British in South Africa and of the Russians 
and the Japanese in Manchuria argue against a battle use 
of cavalry. It is the latter's right and duty to lay claim to a 
full share in the decision. Every victory that the cavalry 
did not improve, every defeat that it did not, with reckless 
self-sacrifice, do its utmost to avert, is a reproach to the arm. 
It is immaterial whether cavalry fights moimted or dis- 
motmted, so long as something decisive is done. When 
mounted, cavalry can take trenches neither from the front 
nor from the rear, but, whendismoimted, a considerable force 
of cavalry can break down, with its fire, the power of resist- 
ance of the enemy. Cavalry may, perhaps, have occasion 
to use the carbine fifty times before it can use the lance 
once, but this one instance may decide the battle, this one 
charge may save months of further bloodshed. It has been 
asserted — ^and not imjustly — ^that the failure of the Japanese- 
cavalry at the close of the battle of Mukden deprived Japan 
of her war indemnity. 

In the Boer war* the English cavabry had to suffer the consequences 
of poor training and of errors in army administration. Trained solely 
for the mounted charge, the cavalry had had no practice in covering long 
distances at a fast gait and with full kit. Little importance had been 
attached to dismounted action, because, in earlier campaigns, this had 
always fallen to the lot of dismounted infantry. It was not until De- 
cember of 1899 that the regiments that had been embarked too late». 
reached South Africa much worn out by a sea trip lasting twenty ta 
thirty days. On their arrival, the hottest summer weather prevailed, 
but no time could be given the horses to recuperate. The unfavorable 
reports arriving from all parts of the theatre of war called the regiments to 
the front at once. In these circumstances, the load of 145 kg. carried 

86 Employment op Cavalry in Battle, 

by each horse proved excessive. The first impressions received by these 
troops on their arrival on the theater of operations were not particularly 
favorable to a battle use of cavalry. The terrain, in many cases covered 
with boulders, the steep kopjes, and the thin skirmish lines of the enemy 
made charging difficult. All the reports that reached the troops on their 
way to the front emphasized the difficulties of any attack, and mentioned 
the unprecedented effect of fire, even at long ranges. If the English cavalry 
did not want to charge the Boer skirmishers, would it not have been pos- 
sible to seek out and disperse the Boer led horses? 

But the fact that favorable situations were not seized or could not 
be turned to good account owing to the scarcity of good horses, does not 
Justify the conclusion that the day of a battle use of cavalry is past. 

A cavalry division* that was hurriedly formed under the command of 
<jeneral Sir John French had to contend continually with all the drawbacks 
<of improvisation. At Klipdrift» on February 16th, 1900, this division 
-succeeded, however, in riding down, with slight loss to itself, the 
Boer skirmish line (about 900 men on a front of 3 km.), whose fire had, 
up to that time, caused all the British attacks to fail. After the relief 
of Kimberley on the evening of February 15th, British cavalry overtook 
•Cronje's retreating forces at Koedoesrand on February 17th, after a 
inarch of 66 km. and held them in check by dismounted action until the 
arrival of British infantry. 

The cavalry, scarcely recuperated from its sea voyage, was much 
exhausted by this expedition. The early start, as well as the scarcity of 
water, contributed not a little to this exhaustion. In the 9th Lancer 
Regiment, which was well mounted on February 9th, only twenty-eight 
horses were able to trot during an inspection held on the 17th. A horse 
battery lost thirty-two horses from exhaustion alone. The most un- 
favorable single factor was, however, that the ration of oats, on which the 
English horses primarily depended, had to be reduced. To make matters 
worse, after De Wet had captured a supply column on the 16th, the grain 
ration had to be reduced to 1.8 kg. at the very time when the cavalry had 
to make the greatest exertions. No hay was available at all, and the horses 
had to depend on grazing. This was attended with difficulties on account 
of the concentration of masses of cavalry. Besides, the sparse grass 
<;ontained very little nourishment. The cavalry deteriorated more and 
more, and available horses were transferred to the newly organized detach- 
ments of mounted infantry. On February 27th, after fifteen day's service, 
only 3,633 horses out of 5,027 were available. In other words, 29 per- 
cent, of the horses had succumbed to hardships and the remainder was 
so worn out and exhausted that, on March 6th, the cavalry had to look 
on inactive while the Boers fied in complete disorder past their front at a 
distance of 6 km. All mounted charges, all extended expeditions were 
form now on out of the question. Unless it was satisfied to remain in- 
active, the cavalry had to take to dismounted action in all cases, and it 

*See the author's lecture entitled, Die Lehren des BurenkrUgea fUr dU 
Gefechtsmigkeit der drei Waffen. Berlin. 1904. 

Boer War. 87 

had thus degenerated into mounted infantry. The operations in South 
Africa confirm the old principle that in war nothing is more difficult than 
to improvise cavalry. Even by mounting well trained troopers on un- 
trained animals, one does not, by a long shot, obtain cavalry. 

In the Boer war, mounted infantry steps into the fore- 
ground, in place of cavalry designed for battle use. The 
absence of real cavalry was never felt, as the Boers them- 
selves were but mounted infantry. To be sure, the Boers 
themselves, emboldened by the poor horseflesh of the British, 
finally made mounted charges. Thus, the experiences 
gained during this war can have but a limited weight. 

Lord Roberts says in a memorial: ** Since Waterloo, 
for example in the Sikh and Ptmjab campaigns, during the 
Indian Mutiny, in the War of Secession, and in the wars 
of 1866 and 1870-71, charges against cavalry have always 
taken place. Although it can not be asserted that they were 
ever decisive, or that they produced 'demoralizing' losses, 
they were, nevertheless, successful enough to demonstrate 
that, of two cavalry forces that charged each other with the 
anne blanche, the stronger, if well led, soon gained the upper 
hand. Not only ordinary common sense but history as 
well shows that the weaker cavalry force will have recourse 
to fire action as soon as it perceives the hostile superiority." 
In his introduction to the English Drill Regulations of 1904, 
Lord Roberts emphasized the fact that with the introduction 
of a long range magazine rifle of great accuracy, there 
would occur a change in cavalry tactics approximately 
corresponding to that which took place in infantry tactics 
with the change from crossbow and pike to rifle and bayonet. 
While the saber or the lance was in the past the principal 
weapon of the cavalry, the saber has now become an auxiliary 
to the rifle. * * * * * The improvement in firearms will turn 
victory to the side that dismounts first. * * * If the modem 
rifle has curtailed the opix)rtunities for a successful mounted 
charge, the cavalry, by its mobility and by its being armed 
with a long range rifle, has gained an independence never 
before possessed by it. The conditions for a successful or 

88 Employment op Cavalry in Battle. 

unsuccessful tennination of a campaign rest in the hands 
of the cavalry." 

With the new regulations of 1907, the English cavalry 
has recovered its senses. It is divided into independent or 
strategical cavalry, divisional cavalry (for security and 
messenger service) and protective cavalry. The latter is 
to perform the duties of security and screening. It consists 
of one (mounted) brigade of Territorial cavalry, one cavalry 
regiment, one horse battery with an ammunition column, 
two battalions of moimted infantry, transport and supply 
columns, and one cavalry field hospital. "The essence of 
cavalry spirit consists of maintaining the correct mean in 
employing dismounted and moimted action. The occasional 
training of a cavalry unit in the former, need, by no means, 
deprive it of confidence in the latter. * * * In peace 
training, it is important to lay stress on training cavalry in 
using offensive tactics even when it fights dismotmted. * * ♦ 
It is certain that the rifle, no matter how effective it may be, 
can not replace the effect produced by the onrushing horse, 
the force of the shock, nor the terror inspired by the arme 
blanche. During a charge, these factors produce such en- 
thusiasm and superiority of morale, as to make cavalry 
indispensable. This fact explains the success of many 
seemingly 'impossible' cavahy charges of the past." 

The Russo-Japanese war likewise presented no oppor- 
timities for gathering special lessons on the battle use 
of cavalry. 

The plains of the theater of war, on account of their 
manner of cultivation, and the mountains, from the very nature 
of things, were imfavorable for cavalry operations. The 
Japanese cavalry was numerically too inferior to be able to 
seek the decision in a mounted charge. But, as the Russian 
cavalry did nothing to increase the difficulties of its op- 
ponent's reconnaissance, and as this reconnaissance was, 
in most cases, attended to by spies, the Japanese cavalry, 
with few exceptions, remained under cover of its infantry. 

Russo-Japanese War. 89 

Poor care for the horses, poor riding, mediocre and over- 
loaded moiints,* prevented energetic mounted employ- 
ment of the cavalry. 

The Operations of the Cavalry Brigade Under Prince 

Kanin, October 12tht 1904.t 

On Octob^ 12th, 1904, (Shaho)»the Russian Eastern Detachment 
(Ist, lid, and Hid Siberian Army Corps, and Rennenkampf s detachment, 
the latter consisting of 13 battalions, 16 sotnias, and 3 H batteries) had 
furiously attacked the Japanese right flank. The advance of Rennen- 
kampfs Cossacks, south of the Taitzu River made the Japanese general 
headquarters feel apprehension for the rearward communications of the 
army. For this reason, the 2d Cavalry Brigade (consisting of 8 escadrons 
and 6 machine guns, under Prince Kanin) was on the same day (the 12th) 
drawn to the right flank and a battalion from the line of communications 
brought up to reinforce it. Support was not to be expected from the hard 
pressed 12th Infantry Division, which received, in addition, a very effective 
flanking fire from Rennenkampfs horse artillery. Prince Kanin's brigade 
took up a position to the right rear of the right flank of the 12th Division. 
Here it was a little later reinforced by the battalion above-mentioned. 
The machine guns succeeded in so completely surprising two Russian bat- 
talions, which were eating their noon-day meal without having taken any 
measure for protection, that they dispersed with heavy loss. On the same 
day, the reserves of the Transbaikal and the Siberian Cossack Divisions 
were successfully surprised by fire at Pensihu. Both sides received re- 
inforcements, Prince Kanin, a mountain battery, Rennenkampf, several 
battalions. Nothing was more obvious than that Rennenkampf should 
now go for the Japanese cavalry. The contrary happened. Rennenkampf 
coniddered that a fight at this point offered no advantages, and, in the 
evening, without awaiting further orders, he decided to retreat. This 
was actually begun without being observed by the Japanese. Prince 
Kanin moved to the rear for about 6 km., went into camp and threw out 
an outpost consisting of two escadrons. The latter apparently avoided 
making any reconnaissance around the fianks of the enemy. On the 
13th, Prince Kanin cautiously followed directly in rear of Rennenkampfs. 
rear guard (3 battalions and 2 — 3 escadrons) as far as Weiningying. 

Prince Kanin certainly accomplished much on October 12th with 
small resources, but there his spirit of enterprise ended. The terrain 
was, without doubt, difficult, but the Japanese horses were used to mountain 

*BrUiih Reports, II. pp. 527. 634 and 647. 
f/Mtf., I. pp. 667 and 664. 

90 Employment of Cavalry in Battle. 

country. In view of this, a movement against the rear of the enemy 
would, unquestionably, have been in order.* 

The Russian cavalry, however, was no better. There 
were only 18 escadrons of Dragoons with the army, and of 
the 207 sotnias of Cossacks with it, only 59 were of the first 
levy. The numerous officers transferred from the Guards 
and from the cavalry of the Line to the Cossacks were un- 
able to become accustomed to the peculiarities of the 
latter. The Russian cavalry can not be relieved of the 
charge that it was deficient in enterprise, esprit of the 
offensive, and mobility. Colonel Baykov pronounced a 
similar judgment on the Russian cavalry in the campaign 
of 1877-78. He said: **When it encountered infantry, 
the cavalry either retired or had recourse to dismounted 
action. Cavalry of the vanguard dismounted in order to 
defend itself against a charge made by 300 Turkish troop- 
ers, and then participated in the fire fight in which the 
infantry was engaged. This cavalry had lost all cavalry 
spirit and had degenerated into poor mounted infantry. 
And what was the reason for this? It had been taught 
every conceivable thing except one — to go for the enemy.** 
Kuropatkin practically accused the cavalry of being afraid 
to stiffer losses. He gave the following as the reason 
for the small usefulness of the cavalry in front of Plevna: 
*'Fear of the commanders to cope with problems that, 
although well within their powers, might have led to an 
encounter with Turkish infantry and to losses." Kuro- 
patkin demands ''training in self-sacrifice in time of peace." 
In the first instructions issued by him in 1904, he used the 

^Unfortunately no details are available In regard to the operations of the 2d 
Cavalry Brigade, reinforced by two battalions of Infantry (one battalion of the 7th 
Division and one of the Reserve Brigade of the Hid Army) on March 3d, 1905 Geft 
flank at Mukden). It succeeded In stopping strong cavalry forces (the Ural and 
Transbalkal Cossack Divisions, according to English sources. 25 escadrons) at 
Tafangshen, and forcing them to withdraw. (Schlacht von Mukden Supplement No. 
JO to MililOr-Wochenblatt, 1905; British Reports, II, p. 222; v. Tettau. Achtzehn 
Monate mit Busslands Heeren in der Mandschurei, II, pp. 288 and 302). 

See also U. S. Gen. St., Epitome of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 119. — Trans^ 

Cavalry at Wafangkou. 91 

harsh words: **If the morale of the Cossacks had been 
better, they would have charged the enemy with cold steel.*' 
The Russian cavalry masses were on hand on the battle- 
field, it is true, but their leaders waited for orders to act. 

On August 3l8t, 1904, when the infantry of the lid and IVth Arnues 
had been defeated south of liaoyang, Samsonov's and Grekov's cavahy 
divisions, as well as Mishchenko's brigade, were on the right flank, but 
no one assumed the responsibility of engaging. The same thing hap- 
pened on September 2d, when Mishchenko's cavalry division was di- 
rected to await orders. When these did not arrive, he did nothing, al- 
though it was known that the enemy was in inferior strength. 

The cavalry suffered from a frittering away of its strength. Its 
difficulties were increased by the passive resistance of the inhabitants, 
by ignorance of the native language, and by the absence of good maps. 

Mounted charges were seldom attempted. When made against 
infantry or artillery, they partook of the nature of skirmishes. The 
opponents accuse each other of having fired from the saddle, while halted, 
when warding off hostile cavalry.* Engagement at Lichiatun (south of 
Wafangkou), May 30th, 1904: Three escadrons of Akiyama's brigade 
charged three sotnias of Cossacks. The Japanese were repulsed, came 
under the fire of dismounted Dragoons, and lost 4 officers and 68 men, 
as against 2 officers and 36 men lost by the Russians. The lance is said 
to have been especially useful, t 

At Lidiatun (Shaho), on October 30th, 1904, the Sd Sotnia of the 
19th Cossack Regiment, which had been designated to cover the left 
flank, charged in lava formation (see p. 188, infra) against a Japanese 
battery that was in the act of moving out of position. The charge failed 
after the Russians had lost their leader, who had collided with a wire fence. 
They lost 1 officer, 47 men, and 70 horses. 

On January 26th, 1906, a sotnia of Terek-Kuban Cossacks sur- 
prised and charged Japanese infantry. The Japanese lost 40 killed and 
26 prisoners; the Russians only 6 men.t For the charge at Langtungkou, 
see p. 94, infra. 

Situations interesting from a cavalry point of view occurred In 
June 1904, when Akiyama's brigade (8 escadrons, 2 battalions and 
2 machine guns) took charge of protecting the siege operations of Port 
Arthur. The Russians, in order to screen their defensive measures, 
had pushed forward General Samsonov to Wafangkou with 13 escadrons, 
one-half company of Frontier Guards, and 1 battery. The* measures 

^British Reports, I. p. 616, and III. p. 221. 

^Taktische Detaildarstellungen aus dem Russisch-Japanischen Kriege, Part 2 
(Vienna. 1900). — Kriegsgeschichtlicfu Einzelschriften iiber den RussischrJapan' 
ischen Krieg, I, p. 308 (Vienna, 1906). 

XKavalUristische Monatshefte, Nos. 8 and 9 of 1907. 
NiBSisL. Eneeignements tactiques, pp. 84-95. 

92 Employment of Cavalry in Battle. 

taken by these two opposing forces resulted on May 30th, 1904, in the 

engagement at Lichiatun (south of Wafangkou). 

In their effort to screen their dispositions, the Russians reinforced 

Samsonov more and more during the early part of June. Finally, by 
June 10th, 1904, 6 battalions, 16 escadrons and 2 batteries of Stackef- 

berg's corps (which consisted of 363^ battalions, 19 escadrons, and 11 
batteries), had been used up as an outpost. This consisted of a chain of 
posts 30 km. long, pushed toward the south, the reserve being posted at 
Wafangtien. Although all lines of approach were guarded, the Japanese 
succeeded, by means of local superiority of numbers, in breaking through 
this screen and in obtaining information. In these reconnaissance fights, 
which frequently partook of the nature of surprises, the carbine natu- 
rally played an important rOle. 

The advance of Oku's Army on June 13th, resulted in the engage- 
ment of Wafangkou (or Telistu) on June 16th. Two Japanese divisions 
were launched frontally against the Russian position at Wafangkou. 
This Russian position was from seven to eight kilometers long and faced 
in a general way toward the south. One Japanese division had been 
pushed far to the west, and Akiyama's cavalry brigade far toward the 
east. Thus, the situation on the Japanese side was as follows on the 
evening of the 14th: Two divisions were opposite the enemy's line and 
already very close to it; one strong group was on either flank and at that 
time still some eight miles from the battlefield and ready to attack the 
enemy's flank. On June 15th, when the right wing of the 3d Division 
was endangered by the advance of parts of Glasko's brigade (8 
battalions and 2 batteries), Akiyama's brigade appeared on the battle- 
field and, by means of dismounted action, brought the Russian envelop- 
ing movement to a standstill in time. The Russian cavalry division 
stood in the immediate vicinity of the Russian right wing. It neglected 
to inform the Russian general headquarters of the approach of the 4th 
Japanese Division.* Moreover, it failed to delay the latter, and with- 
drew without offering serious resistance.! 

Although the Japanese cavahy sought protection 
with its infantry, which fought principally behind in- 
trenchments, it would, nevertheless, have had frequent 
opportunities for taking hand in the fight. If the fight- 
ing branches did not offer objectives for a mounted charge, 
the hostile ammunition columns would have been so much 
the more favorable objectives. In general, however, the 
cavalry should not chase after such cheap laurels, so long 

*The Russians excuse this neglect by saying that the Une of advance of the 
4th Japanese Divlfiion lay outside of the reconnaissance area of the Russian cavalry. 

tKavalleristische Monatshefte, March number of 1907, pp. 105 and 211. 

Cavalry at Sandepu. 93 

as there is a possibility for it to assist in bringing about 
the decision of the battle. Only a leader wlio is tactically 
trained and enterprising wiU see the opportunity of making 
himself useful, whereas a leader of a different stamp will 
have nothing but difficulties before him in a similar 

For the operations against Sandepu, in January 1906, General 
Kuropatkin had given the following instructions to his cavalry: "As we 
are in possession of a numerous cavalry, we should conceive its principal 
task on days of battle to lie in its cooperating with the other arms for 
the purpose of winning the victory. If the corps cavalry and the mounted 
scouts are to rest during the day, it is necessary for their operations at 
night that they be notified in time of the appearance of hostile forces." 

The cavalry corps assembled under Lieutenant-General Mishchenko 
consisted of 43H sotnias, of which number only 11 were of the first levy. 
Mishchenko, instead of breaking through the chain of detachments 
posted on the Japanese left fiank, contended himself with attacking 
and driving them away, one after another. On January 25th, Mishchenko 
appeaved with 30>^ sotnias and 2 batteries before Wukiakantsy, which 
was held by the Japanese with 2 escadrons and 2 machine guns. 

The vanguard sotnia of the 2d Daghestan Cossack Regiment, on 
approaching the village, received a heavy fire from its edge. The sotnia 
dismounted to fight on foot and was a little later supported by the two 
other sotnias and a platoon of the 20th Horse Battery. The corps 
commander now interfered and issued the following orders: 'The 20th 
Battery will move closer to the village. Under cover of its fire, the 
Daghestan Cossack Regiment will attempt to attack the village from the 
west. The 25th Don Cossack Regiment, supported by the 3d Don 
Cossack Battery, will attack from the direction of Lantsgou. The 4th 
Ural Cossack Regiment wiU advance in the direction of Siaupeiho for the 
purpose of reconnoitering the enemy." 

Despite the artillery support, the attack of the Daghestan Cossack 
Regiment made no progress. The 1st Sotnia of the 25th Don Cossack 
Regiment attempted to charge mounted. On debouching from Lants- 
gou, however, it was met by such a heavy fire that it hurried back into 
the viUage, where it halted without dismounting. The remaining five 
sotnias, though mounted, were in the mean time standing idle in rear of 
the village. No one made an effort to do anything. At this moment 
the corps commander arrived and ordered the 1st Sotnia to dismount, 
to occupy the outskirts of the village and to open fire. To the 8d Don 
Cossack Battery he pointed out the place where it was to go into posi- 
tion. Finally, he even indicated the target to the battery commander. 
Under cover of the fire of this battery, the 1st Sotnia reached a ravine 
between Lantsgou and Wukiakantsy. The 26th Don Cossack Regi- 
ment, 2 sotnias of Caucasus Cossacks, and the machine guns were now 


94 Employment of Cavalry in Battle. 

despatched from the reserve for the purpose of attacking Wukiakantsy 
from the south. Thereupon, Mishchenko turned to General Telichev 
and directed him to attack with his entire force. Telichev, however, 
hurt by the interference of the corps commander, gave no orders what- 
soever. His chief-of-staff first proceeded slowly to the 1st Sotnia of the 
26th Don Cossack Regiment to ascertain whether it still had ammunition 
available, and not until then did he give the order for the advance. This 
sotnia, however, was unable to advance, for its regimental commander 
did not support it, but kept his fresh sotnias back. 

Meantime, the Daghestan Cossack Regiment advanced slowly^ 
while the 4th Ural Cossack Regiment, opposed by hostile infantry at 
Lobou, had made a lodgment with dismounted skirmishers on the Hun 
River. The 26th Don Cossack Regiment had deployed its sotnias into 
"lava" formation, mounted, had searched the villages between Wukia- 
kantsy and the Hun River, and was in the act of advancing against 
Lobou when it was recalled, as General Mishchenko wished to break off 
the action. At the last moment, however, Wukiakantsy was assaulted 
by the Daghestan Cossack Regiment and the 1st Sotnia of the 25th 
Don Cossack Regiment. On January 27th, the same picture presented 
itself. Dispersion of forces everywhere. The Japanese 6th Division, 
hurrying up to reinforce the Japanese 8th Division, threw out a flanking 
detachment to protect itself against the Russian cavalry, but, with the 
remainder, continued its march to the battlefield. 

To protect a Russian battery that had run out of ammunition and 
was threatened by hostile skirmishers, the 2d Daghestan Cossack Regi- 
ment (6 sotnias of Caucasus volunteers), in reserve at Siuchiatai, was 
ordered to stop the attack of the hostile skirmishers by charging them 
in rear. On debouching from Siuchiatai, the regiment found itself on 
an open plain and was at once fired upon by a Japanese battery that had 
gone into position on the western outskirts of Langtungkou. The Japanese 
skirmishers meanwhile directed a lively fire against the Russian battery 
and the staff of the Russian corps commander. Exposed as it was to 
violent shrapnel fire, the Daghestan Regiment did not charge the rear 
of the advancing Japanese skirmishers as ordered, but moved against 
the Japanese battery. Other Japanese skirmishers now deployed from 
Langtungkou, in order to protect this battery, and directed their fire 
against the front and flank of the Daghestan Regiment. When the latter 
had approached to within 600 paces of the battery, its progress was stopped 
by a ravine with steep banks. The regiment now withdrew. Its loss 
in killed is not given. Its loss in wounded amounted to 70 men. 

On the 28th, the Russian cavalry corps likewise allowed itself to 
be contained by weak hostile detachments. 

The complete failure of Mishchenko's cavalry was, in the first 
place, due to the desire of capturing, before a further advance was made, 
every village that was held by a few Japanese patrols. This procedure 
exhausted the troops, who, even in these operations manifested a notice- 
able aversion to attack. A further cause of the failure of Mishchenko's 

Russian Views. 96 

cavalry is to be found in the continual dispersion of the troops. The 
principal cause lies, however, in the total failure to appreciate the task 
falling to the lot of the cavalry corps. It should have taken a direct 
part in the fight of the right wing of the army. Had it done so, it was 
not improbable that, at least until January 26th, inclusive, a great success 
might have been gained. Instead, it moved farther and farther away 
from the army in the vain hope that it might contain approaching hostile 
forces, and that its mere appearance in rear of the Japanese engaged, 
would accelerate the latter's retreat. 

Lieutenant-General Herschelmann, himself a cavalryman (Assis- 
tant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Military District of Warsaw), 
says: "The growth of armies increases the size of battlefields, makes 
more difiicult the concentration of the several parts of the armies before 
the decisive blows are struck, but likewise requires a more thorough re- 
connaissance of their movements. Even local reconnaissance has grown 
in importance. The strength of fortified lines necessitates extended 
turning movements. To perceive these turning movements, or to screen 
them, as the case may be, is primarily the duty of the cavalry. Finally, 
an energetic mode of waging war requires a thorough pursuit of the de- 
feated enemy, preferably by cavalry. With the growth of armies, the 
sensitiveness of their communications has increased. The threatening 
of these offers to the cavalry another rich field of operations. The ful- 
fillment of these important requirements makes the attainment of modem 
tre effect more difidcult. The mounted charge by cavalry masses has 
become the exception and is feasible only on exceedingly rare occasions, 
when led by talented leaders. The principal importance, on the contrary, 
must be attached to training in field service and in dismounted action, 
as well as on increasing the maneuvering capacity of large bodies of cav- 
alry and on speed in their movements on the battlefield. The present 
training of cavalry does not conform to these requirements." General 
Herschelmann expresses himself, moreover, as being opposed to the high 
value attached to accuracy in drill. He states that the principal reason 
for such accuracy — ^the attainment of cohesion — has disappeared, for, 
even against cavalry, one would nowadays charge in extended order. 
He cites that the Cossacks have always managed to get along without a 
charge in close order. He believes that the intermediate formations, 
used in moving cavalry masses preparatory to a charge, could be dis- 
pensed with. On the other hand, General Herschelmann demands in- 
creased speed in all other movements and a charge in extended order over 
broken ground. He does not entirely disapprove of a certain amount of 
cohesion in the movements of an escadron. 

In contrast to this view, General Ostrogradski emphasizes the neces- 
sity of training cavalry for battle use. 

Lieutenant-General von Pelet-Narbonne* very properly concludes 
that, aside from showing the necessity of attaching greater importance 
to dismounted action, the Manchurian campaign does not offer any 

*DU LehrenfUr die Kavallerie aus dem mandschuritchen Feldzuge, BerUn, 1908 

96 Employment op Cavalry in Battle. 

partictilarly instructive tactical lessons for cavalry. He qualifies this 
by saying that, even to-day, "the cavalry will be able to produce a decisive 
effect in battle, if, massed in large units on suitable terrain, it is launched 
against flank and rear of the enemy." "Nowadays," he continues, "after 
battles lasting for days, even with troops of such stubborn bravery as the 
Russian, the mere appearance of cavalry may produce panics of the 
worst sort, which will enable the cavalry to convert the retreat of the 
opponent into rout and annihilation." "With the so extraordinarily 
increased sensitiveness of the rearward communications of the giant 
armies of to-day," he adds, "their destruction by cavalry will fall more 
heavily into the scales than formerly." 

Nowadays, however, only a first class cavalry is worth its salt. 
The necessity of using cavalry masses, commanded by a single leader, 
has never before been so conclusively demonstrated — even if only by its 
negative results. But much cavalry does not yet mean cavalry in the 
modern acceptation of that term. 

In contrast herewith. General P^doya* of the French Army, arrives 
at the conclusion: 

1. That the time of great cavalry charges is past; 

2. That cavalry will make a much greater use of dismounted 
action in future; and 

3. That large cavalry masses, united under a single leader, are more 
hampering than useful. 

The unfavorable proportion of cavalry to the other 
arms,t the improvement of rifles and guns, the greater 
independence of the infantry, and the everywhere increasing 
cultivation of the soil, materially restrict the employ- 
ment of cavalry. But these factors never restrict its 
employment to such an extent that its fight against the 
other arms would offer no chance of success. Cavalry 
acts above all else by the moral effect that the sudden ap- 

*La cavalerie dans la guerre russo-japonaise et dans Vavenir. General PAdota, 
anden commandant du 16 ^me corps d'armde. Henri Charles-Lavauzelle, Paris, 
79 S. 1908. 1.50 Francs. 

f The proportion of cavalry to infantry at the outbreak of war has become 
more and more unfavorable to the mounted arm in the course of time. But, 
during a campaign, this proportion changes in favor of the cavalry. In the 
Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus, the proportion of cavalry to Infantry 
was as 1: 2.3; in the army with which Frederick the Great Invaded Bohemia in 
1757. it was as 1: 3; in the Austrian army and the French army, in 1809 it was as 
1: 8 and as 1: 4.8, respectively. In the campaign of 1866, on the German thea- 
ter of war, this proportion was as 1: 8.6 in the Austrian army, and as 1: 7.7 In 
the Prussian army, whereas, on the Italian theater of war, it was as 1: 24 In the 
Austrian army and as 1: 26 In the Italian army. In 1870, this proportion was 
as 1: 6 in the French army and as 1: 8 in the German army. 

Duties of Cavalry in Battle. 97 

pearance of its swiftly moving mass produces. Men have 
not changed, and are now, as of old, susceptible to the 
impressions produced by danger that threatens them tm- 
expectedly. This susceptibility is directly proportional 
to the length of time the men have been exposed to the 
influence of a protracted combat, or perhaps a disastrous 
one, in which troops lose the very quality that is essential 
for warding off a cavalry charge. 

After the cavalry has satisfied the first demands of 
reconnaissance, and after the opposing infantry and artil- 
lery forces have become engaged, the commander-in-chief 
will expect it to recormoiter constantly on the flanks and 
rear of the enemy. Besides, he will expect it, at the 
same time, to drive away the hostile cavalry, to threaten 
the flanks and rear of the enemy, to keep at a distance 
hostile reinforcements,* to contain hostile reserves, and to 
disperse hostile ammimition columns. Moreover, he will 
demand that it reap the utmost benefit from the fire effect 
produced by the other arms ; that it pursue the enemy until 
he is annihilated ; and that it sacrifice itself for its own in- 
fantry in critical situations. Finally, in case a retreat 
becomes necessary, he will expect his cavalry to throw itself 
on the enemy to check the pursuit. Cavalry should guard 
against one fault, however, against inactivity, as this inevit- 
ably leads to defeat. 

*A French force, consisting of 3 battalions, 40 to 60 troopers, and 2 guns, 
which was marching from Cambray toward the battlefield of Bapaume. was 
delayed by 1% escadrons of Hussars of the Guard, by means of dismounted 
action. KUNZ, Nordarmee, II, p. 39. 

Although the German cavalry at Mars-la-Tour perceived in time the 
advance of the French Hid and IVth Army Oorps. it failed to watch the enemy's 
movements and to retard his advance. Thus it happened that the Grerman 
General Headquarters received no intelligence of the arrival of Oissey's divi- 
sion. Instead of the 10 escadrons and I horse battery actually employed, 28 
escadrons and 5 horse batteries could easily have been united here. With such a 
force, the advance of the enemy could have been effectively checked. But the 
French, likewise, should have used their cavalry energetically, to drive the Prus- 
sian horsemen off the field and to advance against the Prussian left flank. Kriega- 
gesehiehUiche Eimelschriften, Part 26, p. 11. et seq. 

The Japanese cavalry brigade under Akiyama and the Russian cavalry 
brigade under Samsonov at Wafangkou. See p. 91, supra. 

98 Employment of Cavalry in Battle. 

On the battlefield, the cavalry should take position 
where it is most likely to find most effective employment. 
When inactive, it should seek to take advantage of avail- 
able cover by taking up a formation in groups and protect 
itself against losses. Moreover, it should seek to keep 
itself fresh for combat operations, by watering and feeding 
by successive units. The position chosen by the cavalry 
should offer it security against an unexpected attack and 
enable it to enter the action without delay. This, how- 
ever, is assured only when the cavalry commander selects 
an observation point from which he can see the terrain, 
the enemy and his own force. He will come into action 
too late, if he waits imtil he is ordered to charge, or if he 
clings to his command. 

The best position for cavalry to take up is one on 
the flank. This position enables it to move in several 
directions without interfering with the other arms, and to 
reach, by the shortest route, the line of retreat of the enemy, 
so as to be at once on hand to inaugurate the pursuit. 
When posted in advance of a flank, the cavalry threatens 
the enemy by its mere presence and gives the artiUery 
of its own force a chance to occupy flanking positions. 
Cavalry will seek a position to the right rear or the left 
rear of a flank only when compelled to do so on account 
of its ntmierical inferiority, or when its task is a ptu^ely 
defensive one. The farther it is kept in rear, the more 
difficult will be its timely entry into action, the smaller 
the chance of its arriving in time on the battlefield at the 
critical moment. When posted in rear of the center of 
the line, cavalry either becomes a bullet stop, or it will 
have to be kept so far in rear, in order to avoid losses, that 
its timely appearance on the fighting line is problematical. 
If, in this case, it desires to charge, it will have to pass 
through the firing lines of its infantry and artillery and 
thereby interfere with their fire (Examples: French cav- 
alry at Worth ; Prussian cavalry at Koniggratz) or it will 

Duties of Cavalry in Battle. 99 

have to make a long detoiir in order to strike the "enemy's 
flank. Long battle lines and lack of room may make it 
necessary to post cavalry in rear of the center, but, in such 
an event, steps must be taken to assure its timely entry 
into action, by agreement with the various commanders 
of troops in the fighting line. 

Lack of Room: French cavalry at Sedan. Likewise, the Prussian 
6th Cavalry Division, which, at Mars-la-Tour, was supporting the Hid 
Army Corps, as the latter was fighting without infantry reserves. The 
distribution of the French cavalry divisions in rear of the Gravelott*- 
St. Privat position was not judicious, because so posted, they frequently 
lost an opportunity to charge. The French cavalry should have been poch 
ted in the vicinity of Ste. Marie-auz-Chdnes and assigned the task of 
checking the advance of the corps belonging to the German lid Army. 
The distribution, by brigades, of the 2d Cavalry Division at Coulmiersy 
must likewise be condemned. Had this division been led as a single 
unit, it could have checked the French deployment against Coulmiers, 
a task well worth the trouble. 

It frequently depends on chance whether the cavalry 
will reach the decisive flank. When the cavalry quits the 
front of the army after an encoimter, perhaps an tmfortu- 
nate one, with the hostile cavalry, it will not be able, in 
every case, to choose the line by which it had best retreat. 
Besides, it will frequently not become apparent, until 
the fight is in progress, which flank is of decisive import- 
ance. Even a cavalry division that is hurrying to the battle- 
field from a flank, can not decide which flank is the most 
important one. If it happens to be on the flank on which 
the decision is not contemplated for the present, its move- 
ment to the other flank will consume so much time and 
energy that it will, in all probability, come too late any- 

But, no matter on which flank it may happen to be 
posted, the cavalry must seek to attack the enemy after 
the manner of an offensive wing (i. e., one bent toward 
the enemy). However, the cavalry will be able to main- 

*Leiigth of lines of battle: Kdniggr&tz 12, Oravelotte 14, Ldaoyang 40, 
Shaho 60, and Mukden 110 km. 

100 Employment of Cavalry in Battle. 

tain itself in such an advanced position only if it has driven 
the hostile cavalry off the field or if it can hold that cavalry 
in check with a weak force. This will give rise to cavalry 
duels whose usefulness is frequently denied in view of 
the cavalry action at Ville sur Yron on August 16th, 1870. 
Nevertheless, these duels are necessary for the purpose 
of gaining information. If we assume, for the sake of 
argiunent, that there was no German cavalry on the German 
right flank at Mars-la-Tour, it is obvious that a charge 
en masse made by the French cavalry would necessarily 
have had the most serious consequences on the course of 
that battle. Neither infantry nor artillery was available 
to oppose such a charge, being no doubt employed else- 
where to better advantage, and it was therefore quite 
proper for the German cavalry to engage that of the French. 
Had this cavalry action been fought out to a finish, the 
victorious cavalry should have advanced immediately 
against the hostile infantry and artillery. However, if 
one has at the start neglected to drive oflE the field the 
hostile cavalry, it will make itself tmpleasantly annoy- 
ing and check one's own cavalry as soon as it becomes 
important for the latter to take a hand in the fight and to 
cooperate with the other arms. But the defeat of the hos- 
tile cavalry is purely a family affair and without influence 
on the course of the battle, if the cavalry contents itself 
with this first small success and does not endeavor to attain 
the greater and more important result of advancing, sup- 
ported by its horse artillery, against flank and rear of the 

If the hostile cavalry does not accept battle, the con- 
tinued molestation of its own infantry will either force 
it to act, or compel it to leave the battlefield. The duties 
of the cavalry in pursuit and retreat are very aptly de- 
scribed by the German regulations: 

*The 4th Cavalry Division did this at Loigny. To be sure, no charge 
preceded its movement against the enemy's flank and rear. Kunz. Loigny, p. 
116. Consiilt also the conduct of the cavalry at Artenay, October 10th, 1870. 

Pursuit and Retreat. 101 

"After a battle is won, the most aggressive pursuit 
is requisite in order to reap the fruits of victory. The 
pursuit must be conducted with all available forces and 
kept up so long as there is a breath left in horse and man, 
until, if possible, the enemy is completely dispersed. This 
task will fall, in the main, to the lot of the cavalry. When 
the battle nears the crisis, all cavalry units, even those of the 
divisional cavalry, hurry forward of their own accord, in 
order to be on the spot and ready for their subsequent tasks. 
After a victorious battle, the bulk of the army can dis- 
pense with cavalry. 

"When difficult terrain does not permit the laimching 
of large cavalry units in tactical ptu"siiit, the leaders of 
these units indicate a general objective and leave it to the 
brigades and the regiments to work themselves, as best 
they can, close to the fleeing enemy. It is then better 
to make local motmted charges than to do nothing. 

"The leader of each cavalry unit, even though it be 
independent for the time being only, is personally re- 
sponsible that all the measures possible in the circum- 
stances are taken by him to keep in touch with the retreat- 
ing enemy."* (Par. 514, German C. D. R.) 

"When the battle terminates unfavorably, the cavalry 
must exert all its energy to facilitate the retreat of the other 
arms. This is the very situation in which an aggressive 
offensive on its part is requisite. Above all else, however, 
repeated charges against the flanks of the pursuing enemy 
will be worth while. Even temporary relief afforded the 
retiring infantry and a Uttle time gained may avert com- 
plete defeat. To cavalry that succeeds in doing this wiU 
belong, if not victory, at least the honor of the day." 
(Par. 518, German C. D. R.). 

France. General Bumez, President of the Cavalry Board, demands 
numerous combined exercises of the two arms in order that they may 

*Dem abziehenden Feinde an der Klinge zu bleiben; literally, to keep blade 
crossed with the retreating enemy. 

102 The Leader. 

become acquainted with one another's combat performance. General 
Tremeau went still farther in that he advocated cavalry charges in battle, 
even against unshaken infantry. "Such charges will succeed more 
easily nowadays than in the past, as they will be prepared fcy the in- 
tense fire of numerous batteries. Thanks to their exceedingly rapid 
course, these charges wiD even be able to open the door to the decisive 
infantry attack." The regulations do not consider the effect that the 
formation of large tactical units of cavalry will have on cavalry operations. 
Neither do they consider the expenditure of moral energy that every 
large engagement entails.* 

It is the duty of the commander-in-chief to designate the moment 

when the cavahy is to be launched. On the other hand, it is the duty of 

the cavalry to be prepared to ride down unshaken infantry and, when 

the battle is about to terminate, to complete the enemy's defeat by a 



'Cavalry is to make the most of the success gained by 
"the other arms and of moments of temporary weakness 
of the enemy. It is a fact, constantly recurring in miUtary 
history, that, with the approach of a crisis in the fight, 
calls for cavalry either to pursue or to check the enemy 
become heard. It is, indeed, in the rarest cases only, 
that the crisis occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. Usually 
the approximate time and place of its occurrence may be 
foretold. The commander-in-chief must perceive when 
and where the crisis will occur and move the cavalry 
closer to the decisive points. Whatever losses the cavalry 
unavoidably suffers in such advanced positions must be 

*But these views are by no means generally shared by the whole arm. 
Thus, to quote ft'om an essay appearing in the May 1908 number of the Revue 
4e Cavalerie, under the title. La cavalerie dans la dicouverte: 

"It is not until after the battle, when the fight of all the arms has shaken 
the enemy, that we have an opportunity to draw saber. Then it is essential 
that good work be done; that the point where the force is to be launched be deter- 
mined, in order to convert the retreat of the enemy into rout. . . . Lance 
and saber are the weapons of the nightfall of battle; it is then that they demon- 
strate their value and produce their legendary eflfect. The thrust is replaced 
by the cut; the flash of the blade deprives the enemy of all ideas of resistance; 
•everything is effective: the appearance of a Don Quixote on a broken-down steed 
strikes the inhabitants of a whole farm with terror; four Uhlans capture a village. 
« French escadron a whole fortress." 

fPars. 398-407, Oerman C. D. R. 

Moment for Charging. 103 

borne. The cavalry leaders will have plenty of time and 
opportunity to become acquainted with the terrain over 
which they will have to charge. At any rate, however, 
the cavalry will be able to charge better prepared and with 
better prospects of success than if it first has to be brought 
up from the rear. 

The moments that are favorable for a charge are 
fleeting. Every position and every movement must be 
calculated to enable the unit quickly to deploy in any 
direction for a charge. But the increased range of modem 
weapons compels the cavalry to remain farther away from 
the fighting Le* than Js the case during the era of 
Frederick the Great. Therefore, if the cavalry were to 
wait tmtil the commander-in-chief ordered it to charge, 
it would, in most cases, arrive too late. A cavalry leader 
shoidd not wait imtil he is ordered to charge. He should 
choose an observation point from which he can follow the 
progress of the general action and hold his force in readi- 
ness in a covered position that will enable it to advance 
promptly at any time.f To send officers ahead and to 
have them observe the battlefield is but a makeshift. 

**To see for oneself is the best plan in all situations; 
when charging cavalry, it is absolutely essential (Par. 403, 
German C. D. R.). Surprise is a prerequisite to success, 
since, if surprised, the enemy will not have time to take 
adequate counter-measures to ward off the charge. Cavalry 
that is halted, J or in a formation that does not per- 
mit it to bring all of its weapons into play, or that is in the 
act of deplojdng on debouching from a defile, If is always a 

'H^harglnc distanoest The 17th Hussars coyered 2»800 m. In charging a 
battery of the French Guard at YionvUle, and Bredow's Brigade covered 3,200 m. 
during its charge. The 6th Oavah'y Dlylslon. which attacked at 1 o'clock 
P. M., covered 6,100 m., 2,800 m.. of this before It arrived abreast of VionviUe. 
After the taking of St. Privat, the 11th and the 17th Hussars had to ride 2,400 
m. before they could charge and — ^they arrived too late. 

fThe conduct of the 2d Bscadron of the 11th Uhlans at Loigny. Kunz, 
ReitBTei, p. 288. 

tOharge made by Bemhardi's Uhlan brigade against Tucfi's brigade at 
Orleans. Kunz, Beiterei, p. 304. 

tOenappes. June 17th, 1815. v. Ollboh, Feldzug von 1815, p. 181. 

104 The Leader. 

favorable objective even for an inferior cavalry force. The 
opponent will likewise be imprepared when his horses are 
exhausted, when he is in the act of assembling, or when he 
allows himself to be enticed into pursuing without reserves. 
To come too early is just as dangerous as to come too late. 

A worthy model is the conduct of General von Seydlitz at Zomdorf » 
where that general fearlessly opposed the royal impatience with the con- 
sciousness of his own knowledge and ability to do the correct thing at the 
proper time. Patience and adequate preparation of a charge are what 
distinguished Seydlitz from M-urat, who — violent, rash and restless as 
he was — Gloved to throw himself pell-mell upon the enemy wherever he 
found him. 

**I rate personality in the arm so highly, that every- 
thing else pales into insignificance beside it ; that all prog- 
nostications, all efforts to raise the importance of the arm 
in future war come to nothing, if provisions are not made 
beforehand in this respect. It is certain that, in many 
a man, powers never before noticed or lying dormant very 
frequently do not become apparent until the enemy is 
faced, and that there are likewise cases where fond ex- 
pectations are shattered. But it is equally certain that, 
in the cavalry, daring and the ability to make bold deci- 
sions quickly, are far more essential than in the other arms. 
It is indispensable that a cavalry leader be in the full vigor 
of manhood; that the joy of daring be not as yet too much 
dulled by deliberation. He must unquestionably be picked 
out only from among men who still enjoy putting their horses 
over natural obstacles. 

**The necessary tactical and strategical knowledge 
and confidence in leading the command that is to be en- 
trusted to him are further prerequisites of a cavalry leader, 
for youth and bold riding alone do not suffice. For this 
reason, the scheme proposed here and there, of placing 
youthful officers, without regard to their length of service, 
at the head of cavalry divisions in case of mobilization, 
does not seem practicable, because the ability to lead cavalry 

Importance of Personality. 105 

masses can be acquired only by practice and experience. 
Where experience is lacking — ^if we except a genius like 
Seydlitz — ^the inability of many of the young officers to 
fill the positions to which they are chosen in the proposed 
scheme, and their consequent lack of confidence in their 
own ability, would become apparent/'* 

The demands that must be made on a cavalry leader 
who is acting independently are extraordinarily high. 
Even poorly trained cavalry is capable of doing good work 
when led by an eminent leader. ''Most of the distinguished 
cavalry leaders known to history," writes Prince Frederick 
Charles, **were between 25 and 40 years old. To be sure, 
most of our general officers and regimental commanders 
have passed this age — ^the fire of youth is gone; but train- 
ing may, nevertheless, make up for much of this, if strength, 
devotion to duty and energy are combined. "t As a cavalry 
leader is left to exercise his independent judgment in regard 
to taking a hand in the battle, he must possess capacity 
for high command and an intimate knowledge of all strate- 
gical and tactical situations. In order to employ cavalry 
successfully, he requires, fiuther, a thorough knowledge 
of his own and other arms, great skill in leading, and cor- 
rect judgment in regard to the capacity of horses. The 
qualities of mind and heart, without which the cavalry 
leader is not equal to his task, consist of extremes that are 
very rarely harmoniously combined in one and the same 

"Aside from youthful agility when moimted, he must 
possess a keen eye, the ability of correctly judging a situation 
at a glance, prompt decision, a firm will and the gift of 
expressing the latter in clear and concise orders. He 
requires imperturbable patience to await the favorable 

♦von Pblbt-Narbonnb, Die Vorbedinoungen des Erfolges fUr, die ReiUrei, 
Supplement No, 12 to Militar-Wochenblatt, 1904. 

tCromwell and Zieten attained high command at 45, Seydlitz at 36, Stuart 
at 27, and Murat at 23. General French was 47 years old in 1900, and both 
Rennenkampf and Mlshchenko reached that age during the Russo-Japanese 

106 The Leader. 

moment just as much as he does dash and courage in 
recklessly laimching all his forces when the time for deli- 
beration has passed." (Par. 398, German C. D. R.).* 

During a battle, the cavalry leader must be in con- 
stant communication with the commander-in-chief, in 
order to keep himself informed in regard to the governing 
tactical purpose as well as the state of the fight. He, 
in turn, keeps the commander-in-chief constantly informed 
in regard to the results of combat reconnaissance and 
in regard to his own measures. He must likewise keep in 
touch, through the medium of information officers, with 
events that occur in neighboring parts of the army. (Par. 
70, German F. S. R.). 

The leader must keep his force together and make 
careful provisions to counteract dispersion, which is very 
easily occasioned. He should laimch only so much of his 
force as the attainment of the object in view requires. 

Brigade commanders ride with division headquarters 
tmtil the development begins, whereupon they join their bri- 
gades keeping in view adjoining brigades and the divi- 
sion conmiander. The commanders of the artillery and the 
machine gims remain with the division staff until the time 
of their employment. An officer from each brigade, from 
the artillery, and from the machine guns is attached to 
division headquarters to facilitate transmission of orders. 
The pioneer detachment is given special orders when 
necessary. In order to prevent mistakes, it is a good 
plan for those transmitting orders to repeat, on returning, 
to the general staff officer of the division the orders they 
have actually given. The headquarter's flag should be visible 
to the troops belonging to the command, but must not 
betray the position of headquarters to the enemy. As 
a rule, the division commander will not lead his division in 
person; he indicates when the reserves are to engage. 

*"If you do not ride your horse like a centaur, if you do not posneBs the 
glance of the eagle, the courage of the lion, the decision of the thunderbolt, you 
are not fit to command a cavalry charge." For. 

Factors upon which Success Depends. 107 

The conduct of the opposing cavalry leaders had a 
great influence on the issue of the cavalry action at Ville 
sur Yron. The French cavalry commander threw himself 
into the fight and was killed, whereas his opponent desisted 
from personal participation in the action. The superior 
cavalry commander can direct and lead his command 
only when he keeps out of the turmoil. If the leader 
is killed, the general staff officer or the adjutant assumes 
command until the next ranking officer has been notified 
and has arrived. 

The freshness and physical condition of the horses 
are additional factors upon \^hich success depends. The 
leader should take care to conserve the energy of his organi- 
zation until the fight begins. He should, therefore, avoid 
useless detours, take care not to tire his horses during the 
march to the battlefield, and, by halting and dismounting, 
give them a chance to rest. Even on the battlefield, he 
should take advantage of every opportunity to water and 
feed. The cavalry should be spared imnecessary and 
premature losses. But it should not be withdrawn so 
far from the zone of effective fire that its timely entry 
into action would be doubtful. 

Within the limits of the commander-in-chief's intentions, 
the cavalry leader must be left freedom of action in employ- 
ing his unit as he sees fit. He should never wait for orders, 
but cheerfully asstmie the responsibility of grasping oppor- 
tunities to engage. In doubtful cases, he should act on 
the principle that the bolder decision is, as a rule, like- 
wise the better one. All leaders should bear in mind and 
should impress upon their subordinates that omission or 
neglect are greater crimes than a mistake made in the choice 
of means. 

108 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 


Mounted action continues to be the principal combat 
method of cavahy. But its small arm, its machine guns 
and its horse artillery, endow the cavalry with such many- 
sidedness that it can act independently under almost any 
war conditions and can make itself useful in nearly every 
situation on the battlefield. Dismounted action, when 
conducted effectively and on a large scale, is expensive. The 
probable gain to be derived from it should be properly 
commensurate with the unavoidable losses it entails. 
For this reason, a decision to fight on foot requires the most 
serious consideration. Our opponents will endeavor to 
contest with their rifles the advance of our cavalry, and 
the hostile inhabitants will arm themselves, so that the 
cavalry will be obliged to employ its carbine more frequently 
than ever before. When this is the case, the leader must 
bear in mind that the strength of the cavalry lies in 
offensive action. The mounted charge produces a greater 
moral effect on friend and foe than dismounted action. 
Dismoimted, the cavalry can make itself exceedingly 
useful, but the decision always lies in the mounted charge. 
Cavalry that fights on foot only, can screen properly, 
but it can not reconnoiter. Its efficiency will be still 
further reduced if its led horses get into effective hosile 
fire. Its armament with a long range magazine small 
arm,t and the employment of smokeless powder — ^which 

*Pars. 296-388 and 452-496. German C. D. R. 

tThe Insufficient armament of the German cavalry with carbines, waa 
felt particularly during the second part of the Franco-German war, when a con- 
siderable number of Inhabitants began to take part in the war. In a number of 
cases escadrons of Dragoons or of Hussars were attached to the regiments not 
armed with carbines (Geschichte des Kdnig-Ulanen-Regiments, pp. 72, 91-96), 
and patrols and escorts were formed of Dragoons and Uhlans (Iunk. Bewegunoen 
und das Entkommen des Korps Vinoy, p. 30). Frequently the 4th platoons in 
the escadrons of Uhlan regiments were armed with captured Ohassepots. (Gs' 
Bchichte des Uhlanenregiments Nr. 10, p. 204). Even regiments armed with the 
carbine seized Ohassepots. as the needle carbine did not carry far enough. (Qt- 
schichte der Leibhusaren, II. p. 984). It was ft-equently necessary to attach in- 
fantry to the cavalry divisions, but this reduced the mobility of the cavalry. 
iKriegsgeschichiliche Einzelschriften, Part 11. Gen. St. W., I, pp. 396 and 398; 
III, p. 402). This procedure was successful only when the cavalry did duty 
In observation stations or had to hold Isolated points. See p. 18, supra. 

General Discussion. 109 

makes it very diflBcult to determine the strength of a force 
lodged in some feature of the terrain — ^have considerably 
increased the power of cavalry in dismounted action. 
But dismounted cavalry is considerably restricted as regards 
its freedom of movement by consideration for its led horses. 
Neither is it in condition to sustain the losses incident to 
a decisive fire fight, if it desires to continue to fulfill its 
proper functions. After a dismounted fight carried on to 
within close range, the victor will not allow the defeated 
cavalry to motmt up. As a consequence, the escadrons 
dismounted to fight on foot will be annihilated. Losses 
in fire action impair the fighting power of cavalry, since, for 
every man disabled, a second one, who holds the horse of 
the former, falls out. It is always a good plan to deceive 
the enemy in regard to the character of the arm by which 
he is opposed. In Austria, the head-covering peculiar 
to the cavalry is to be fastened to the saddle, if time ad- 
mits, and the field cap worn. The difficulty of replenish- 
ing the ammimition of the cavalry in front of the army should 
likewise not be underestimated. The leader should ap- 
preciate these difficulties, but they should never be allowed 
to serve as an excuse for inactivity. **No unit except 
one that is thoroughly master of dismounted fire action 
will employ its carbine with confidence. A dismounted 
fighty half-heartedly undertaken, contains within itself the 
seed of failure'' (Par. 452, German C. D. R.). 

The combat formation is the same as that of the in- 
fantry. But in this a considerable difference must be 
noticed. The cavalry, taking advantage of its mobility 
and bringing into action, with the utmost despatch, all 
of its rifles, seeks to attain success quickly. Nothing 
is more imfavorable than for it to become involved in a 
protracted, vaccilating skirmish, for which its ammunition 
does not suffice. Such an action would, moreover, con- 
siderably weaken it for mounted action. Infantry is 
launched for attack in deep formation and equipped with 

110 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

about 200 roimds of ammunition per man, whereas cavalry 
is deployed on a broad front with at most only 90 rotmds 
of ammunition per carbine. Infantry reckons in defense 
with the enemy's breaking down at the muzzles of the 
defender's rifles; cavalry must endeavor to bring about 
the decision at long ranges. *'The cavalry conducts its 
dismoimted action by suddenly developing a strong fire 
power so as to attain quickly the superiority of fire. There- 
fore, the fire fight of the cavalry should not have the in- 
fantry character of an obstinate struggle, but the cavalry 
character of a pressing to a prompt decision. The mo- 
bility of the cavalry may be utilized even while the fight is in 
progress, for the purpose of influencing the tactical situa- 
tion. The dismounted reserve should be restricted to 
the minimum size compatible with the necessities of the 
particular case; all other available forces should join the 
moimted reserve."* 

General v. Bemhardi believes that an escadron at war strength is 
considerably superior in fire action to a company of infantry at war strength. 
He states: 

"It is scarcely necessary to discuss which body of troops must have 
greater steadiness, or on which one is more likely to be able to depend in 
cases where moral qualities, cohesion and fire discipline are all essential. 
I should only like to add that, apart from all other considerations, the 
direct influence of the leaders in the cavalry and their supervision over 
their men is much more highly developed than in the infantry. It must 
also be remembered that there are generally fewer skulkers in the cavalry, 
partly because of the more thorough military training due to closer super- 
vision and to the longer period of service, and partly because everybody en- 
deavors not to be separated from his horse, and finds in his presence with 
the men of his unit the best guarantee of getting back to his mount. In 
view of these considerations, I believe that our cavalry is justified in claim- 
ing that it can engage the best existing infantry with reasonable prospects 
of success, and that it has a right to feel superior at all times to inferior 
infantry. With this knowledge, the scope of its activity is enormously 

The fear formerly entertained that the cavalry spirit 
would suffer through a frequent application of dismounted 

*Y. Edelsheim, Uber kriegsmdszige Ausbildung und Verwendung unser r 
Kavallerie, p. 141. 

Occasions for Using Dismounted Action. Ill 

action has proven tinfotinded. At any rate, the squadrons 
of Frederick the Great and, in more recent times, the sqtiad- 
rons of Stuart and of Sheridan* have demonstrated that> 
in spite of using dismounted action, the dashing cavalry 
spirit was by no means impaired. The contention that 
dismotmted action would impair the cavalry spirit was a 
favorite slogan employed to cover the aversion felt against 
using the carbine. But, be this as it may, for a handfull 
of partisans to check whole cavalry regiments that did not 
possess the means of brushing them aside was certainly 
detrimental to the cavalry spirit. 

The drill regulations of Frederick the Great for his Cuirassiers, 
Dragoons and Hussars not only required that villages were to be for- 
tified and held against hostile attacks, but demanded, likewise, that 
cemeteries, etc., were to be attacked and taken by cavalry. After the 
Seven Years' war, the king declared the 11th Dragoon Regiment (v. 
Mitzlaff) "to be entirely unfit for war, because it could not fire smooth 
volleys when dimounted." In his Instructions of March 17th, 1744, the 
king says: "The Dragoons, however, are to drill diligently on foot, just 
as the infantry drills, with all three ranks, the bayonets fixed; and they 
must drill as well on foot as does a regiment of infantry." 


The combat methods employed by the enemy and the 
character of the terrain of the theater of operations are the 
factors that determine whether or not dismounted action 
should be employed. A belligerent who is prepared to 
operate on passable terrain that permits great freedom of 
movement, would do well to put prominently forward the 
purely moimted side ; but one who may expect to encoimter 
his enemy in the moim tains or on a covered or broken plain 
will, whether he likes or not, be obliged to take to dismounted 
action, if he wishes to avoid being stalemated. 

Dismotmted action may be employed, — 

1. In the service of reconnaissance, for the purpose 

*Stuart and his squadrons fought dismounted at the battle of Fredericks- 
burg; Sheridan did the same at Five Forks. 

112 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

of forcing occupied defiles that prevent a further advance 
and that can not be turned except by making a detour in- 
volving loss of time.* 

2. In the service of screening,! for the purpose of 
barring defiles or gaining localities ahead of the enemy and 
holding them until the arrival of friendly infantry. 

3. In retrogade movements, for the purpose of delay- 
ing the enemy and forcing him to deploy. 

4. When escadrons with machine guns are pushed 
forward to create supporting points for the deplojrment, to 
support the motmted charge by fire or to furnish a rallying 
point upon which the charging force, if defeated, can rally. 
(Par. 438, German C. D. R.)t 

5. When cavalry acts as support for artillery and when 
broken terrain or great fire effect of the enemy precludes 
successful mounted action. The cavalry of the rear guard 
will frequently be employed in this manner, to enable 
artillery to maintain its position after the infantry has taken 
up its march.lF 

6. During the * * enveloping pursuit ' ' (par. 515, German 
C. D. R.), for the purpose of dispersing trains and supply 
columns and checking route columns until the pursuing 
infantry can come up. (See p. 86, supra). 

7. To molest by fire hostile route columns in order 
better to ascertain their strength, to impair their cohesion, 
and to delay them by forcing them to deploy or to deviate 
from their march direction. § Fire surprise. (Par. 47 1-— 473 
and 497, German C. D. R.) 

* Dismounted action of the 16th HuBsars at Voncq, north of Vouzlen. 
August 2Qth. 1870. Gen. St. W., II. p. 1031. KUNZ. Reiterei, p. 184. 

tPars. 194-198. German F. S. R.—Taktik, IV, pp. 186, 198 and 207. 

^French Chasseurs & cheval at Busancy, August 27th, 1870. Kunz, Reiierei, 
p. 181. 

^The Austrian brigade under Appel at Gltschin in 1866. 

$The engagement of Llebenau, June 26th. 1866. An escadron of Prussian 
Hussars that had dismounted in rear of some abatis on Semmel hill, was mis- 
taken for infantry, caused the advance guard of the 7th Infantry Division, con- 
sisting of the 4th Battalion of Jagers and the 72d Infantry (Geschichte des Regi- 
ments, p. 61), to deploy and delayed it three-quarters of an hour. 

French Dragoons on Kaninchen hill at Forbach, August 6th, 1870. See 
p. 129, infra. 

Hussars of the Prussian Guard at Bapaume, January 30th. 1871. Kunz, 
Reiterei, p. 241. The approaching French reinforcements were delayed. See 
p. 97. supra. 

Formation. 113 

8. To deceive and molest the enemy (by surprising 
him with fire directed against his flanks and rear) in action 
and in camp, and to carry out surprises both by day and by 
night, particulariy in rear of the hostile army. To support 
the infantry in battle by taking the utmost advantage of 
mobility. A cavalry division that develops its whole fire 
power on a flank or in rear of the enemy, may produce a de- 
cisive effect.* 

9. To defend its own cantonments (in Italy, in addi- 
tion, to enable it to mount up), and, in the service of security 
to spare the horses tmdue hardships. 

The general principles governing the use and conduct 
of dismoimted action are similarly expressed in all the 
drill regulations. But a special fondness for the use of 
the fire arm is perhaps not unjustly ascribed to the Russian 
cavalry. The Russian regulations do emphasize repeat- 
edly, to be sure, that the cavalry is to solve, by means of 
moimted action, the problems falling to its lot, and that 
its use in dismoimted action is to be restricted to excep- 
tional cases. But the thorough infantry training that the 
Russian cavalryman receives as regards dismoimted drill 
and even bayonet fencing, the rifle and bayonet of the 
Dragoons, and the frequent mention of hand-to-hand 
combat when fighting on foot, force the cultivation of 
dismoimted action more into the foreground. 


The escadron is the tactical unit for dismounted action. 
Larger organizations are formed abreast, as a general 
rule, so as to preserve order and facilitate regaining the led 
horses. If employed in echelon formation, all units would 
be disordered to such an extent in action that their sub- 
sequent employment immediately thereafter would have 

*The attack made against Chenebier. January 17th, 1871, by French In- 
fantry and dismounted troopers of the 6th March Dragoons. Kunz. EnischeU 
dungskHmpfe d$s Oenerals van Werder, II, p. 129, et seq. 

114 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

to be dispensed with. The unit designated for dismounted 
action is formed into skirmishers^ when requisite with 
supports, led horses, sl mounted reserve, and, when necessary, 
a dismounted reserve. 

Dismounted or mounted combat patrols observe on 
the flanks. (Par. 338, German C. D. R.). 



The number of carbines that a unit can bring into 
action depends upon the degree of mobility of its led 
horses. The circumstances of each individual case deter- 
mine which is more important: whether to develop as 
great a fire power as possible, or whether to retain the ability 
quickly to resume mounted action. Another factor of 
importance is, whether or not the led horses can be posted 
in the vicinity under cover. It may sometimes be a good 
plan in such situations to designate a greater ntmiber 
of escadrons for dismounted action, but to have them 
dismount half of their men only. Ordinarily, one-half 
of the troopers (the odd numbers,! according to par. 365, 
German C. D. R.) or three-fourths (par. 366, German 
C. D. R.) dismount. In the last-mentioned case, each 
horse-holder (the trooper on the left flank of each rank) 
leads not more than four horses. These he can lead at the 
walk, while at the same time carrying on his shoulder 
the lances fastened together with an arm strap. This 
makes it possible to execute minor changes of position, 
and to keep at a distance hostile patrols by means of a 
few dismounted troopers. When the led horses are secure 
against molestation in the immediate vicinity of the fight- 
ing line, there is no reason why the number of horse-holders 

*Par8. 454 and 364-368, German C. D. R. 

fThe fact that horses are more easily led IVom the right Is of trifling Im- 
portance. The dismounting proceeds more rapidly when executed ft-om oolunm 
of twos — in which case the platoons move into their respective sections — than, 
when executed Arom line. 

Dismounting and Mounting Up. 115 

should not be fttrther reduced. Definite rules showing 
when one-half and when three-fourths of the troopers 
should be dismounted to fight on foot, can not be given. 
The conflicting requirements of fire power and mobility 
must be harmonized in each particular case. 

The led horses retain the same relative positions as 
the platoons to which they belong. The leader of the led 
horses must keep himself informed in regard to the pro- 
gress of the action, and must take care to ward off hostile 
patrols by means of sentries. Moreover, he must facili- 
tate the prompt mounting up of the skirmishers, by form- 
ing his led horses in an orderly manner, platoons and ranks 
being kept distinct and a proper distance apart. 

The lances are laid on the ground— when in line, in 
advance of the ranks, when in column, on a flank — ^in such 
a manner that they can not be damaged by the horses. 
Unless otherwise ordered, the first sergeant and the non- 
commissioned ofiicers posted on the left flanks of platoons 
remain with the led horses, in addition to the horse-holders. 

An escadron of 140 troopers can bring into action 
from 70 to 105 carbines, and a regiment, if one escadron 
is retained as a mounted reserve, from 200 to 300 carbines, 
i. e., approximately the equivalent of one company. A 
cavalry division, if one regiment is kept out as a mounted 
reserve, can develop a fire power equivalent to that of two 
battalions of infantry. 

If the troops are to moimt up after their mission is 
accomplished, the tactical situation, cover, and the degree 
of mobility of the led horses will determine whether they 
can be brought up to meet the skirmishers, or whether 
the latter should fall back upon the led horses. By send- 
ing to the rear men that can be spared, even led horses 
that possess little mobility can be quickly brought up. 
The carbine remains slung on the trooper's i)erson for the 
time being. 

116 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 


The troopers who have dismounted form by platoons 
either in front of the escadron or on that flank of the column 
on which the escadron commander happens to be. The 
men of two mounted platoons form one dismounted platoon, 
which is in turn divided into squads of four files each. A 
range finder joins each platoon commander. When dis- 
mounted, the escadron may be formed either in line, or in line 
of platoons in columns of squads. The methods of extended 
order fighting correspond to those of the infantry. If 
several escadrons are sent into action, each provides for dis- 
tribution in depth (supports). In some cases a dismoimted 
reserve may be required for the purpose of launching 
it where a weak spot of the enemy develops during the 
progress of the fight or where the point that is decisive for 
the attacker is perceived. It will frequently be practi- 
cable to dispense with it entirely until it is required, and then 
to take it from the parts of the force that have remained 
motmted. By taking the dismounted reserve from the 
parts of the command that have remained mounted, one 
preserves tmtil the last moment the principal advantage 
of cavalry, mobility. 

At the commencement of an engagement, care must 
be taken that suflficient ammunition is provided. To 
this end, the ammunition carried by the horse-holders 
(45 rounds per carbine) must, in the first place, be turned 
over to the skirmishers, provided this does not delay the 
opening of fire. Furthermore, ammunition should be ob- 
tained from other troops, when necessary, or the ammunition 
wagons brought up. (Par. 462, German C. D. R.). 

Mounted Reserve; Led Horses. 


Those portions of the command that have not dis- 
mounted constitute the mounted reserve. This may be 
used either mounted or dismounted. It continues the 
combat reconnaissance, covers the led horses, and may be 
used offensively to good effect against the flanks of the 
enemy, or, if the opposing force consists of dismounted 
cavalry, against its led horses. When the action is being 
broken off, it covers, either mounted or dismoimted, the 
mounting up. 

Armament with Fire Arms. 

Year of construction. 

Weight in kg.. 
Length in cm. 

Caliber, in mm 

Sight graduated up to, m. 


Magazine is loaded by.... 

Ammunition carried by 
each man 



Weight of ammunition in 












80 1[ 



























1896 I 1891 



7.62 7.62 
1,600 1,920 


rounds rounds 














Cavalry must endeavor to place its led horses as close 
as possible to the firing line, in a sheltered position per- 

*The rifle with bayonet fixed weighs 4.094 kg., and is 160.8 cm. long.. ^ 

+The bayonet la attached to the rifle by means of a hinge and when not 
In use is folded back so as to He along the stock. 

{The bayonet is detachable. 

^The trooper carries 20 rounds in his cartridge pouches and 30 rounds in 
the saddle bags. 

118 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

mitting covered commtmication between skirmishers and 
led horses. It is particularly important that the posi- 
tion chosen for the led horses be sheltered from artillery 
fire. When attacking dismounted, cavalry becomes sepa- 
rated from its horses. They should, therefore, be so 
posted that the dismounted force need not worry about 
them. In any event, a threat against the led horses should 
not cause the force of the attack to be impaired. In 
defense, it will frequently be practicable to keep the led 
horses very close to the firing line. But even in this case, 
they should be posted under cover and due consideration 
given to the necessity of mounting up quietly without 
interference on the part of the enemy. 

The initial velocity, the accuracy and the beaten zone of the carbine 
are smaller than in the infantry rifle. If dismounted cavalry hopes to 
engage infantry successfully, it requires a weapon that has the same range 
as that of the infantry, and likewise a bayonet. The lance, if taken along 
by the trooper when dismounted to fight on foot, would hamper him too 
much. For prompt dismounting, it is an advantage if carbine and am- 
munition are carried on the trooper's person. 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 

Austria. Two methods of dismounting are used. 

First metJiod (the led horses being immobile in this case): The 
front rank advances a distance of ten paces and dismounts. The horses 
on the flanks are then moved forward and each rank forms a circle, each 
horse being linked, by means of the halter-strap, to the horse on its left. 
One trooper, who is first relieved of his carbine and ammunition, steps 
into the circle. 

Second method: Numbers 1, 2, and 3 dismount. If time admits, 
the troopers relieve themselves of their sabers and put on their field caps. 
The regulations prescribe that more troopers than are absolutely required 
should not be dismounted to fight on foot. No dismounted reserve is 
to be retained. Escadrons are the tactical units in dismounted action. 
They are not to be combined into larger units, when dismounted. A 
mounted reserve (in an escadron, a platoon, in larger units, an entire 
escadron) is always to be provided. The frontage of a platoon dismounted 
to fight on foot is given as approximately 50 paces (38 m.). 

Kinds of fire used: Volleys by squad and by platoon, and fire at 
will. The latter is the principal fire used. Decisive fire is to be used only 
at close ranges (up to 600 paces) and at mid ranges (up to 1,200 paces= 

Provisions op Various Regulations. 119 

900 m.)* Long range fire is to be employed only when ordered by the 
escadron commander. Squads are to advance by rushes. When the 
dismounted force is to mount up, the led horses are to be brought up, if 

Franca. An escadron retains one platoon, a regiment one to two 
escadrons as a mounted reserve. In the other platoons, either all the 
men or only the even numbers dismount. In the former case, one 
horse-holder is detailed for each rank. When Dragoons dismount 
to fight on foot, the lance remains in its boot at the stirrup and is fastened 
to the saddle-bags by means of a hook attached to the arm-strap. When 
only a small number of skirmishers is required, one to two platoons 
may be designated for dismounted action. In certain circumstances 
(when surprised or when it is essential to get away quickly), it may be 
a good plan to dismount, hold the horses by the reins, and, after firing 
a few shots, mount up again. When the led horses {chevauz haul le pied) 
can be posted under cover in the immediate vicinity of the skirmishers, 
two horse-holders suffice for each platoon. If the platoons of an esca- 
dron fight separated from one another, it will likewise be advisable to 
divide the led horses into corresponding groups. In defense, the firing 
line is to be made as strong as possible, a support comprising one-third 
of the force being kept out. Closed bodies are to move in column of 
fours. When the skirmishers are to mount, the led horses are to be 
brought up to meet them. 

Kinds of fire tiaed: Volley fire (in exceptional cases only; under 
no circumstances at close ranges); fire at will {feu d. volontc); short and 
violent bursts of fire (par rafales violentes et courtea); and rapid fire (feu 

Russia: The Dragoons (armed with rifle and bayonet) in the 
first place, the Cossacks in the second, are designed for dismounted action. 
The platoon is the tactical unit in dismounted action. Ordinarily, in 
dismounting to fight on foot, number two in each set of threes remains 
mounted, i. e., two-thirds of the unit is available for dismounted action. 
When a greater proportion of the unit is to dismount (a procedure to 
be employed when good cover is available for the led horses, and when 
the latter will not, in all probability, have to change position), only 
number two of the rear rank of each set of threes remains mounted, 
i. e., five-sixths of the unit is available for dismounted action. When 
necessary, the number of horse-holders may be still further reduced. 
Each escadron retains one platoon, each regiment one escadron as a 
mounted reserve. When the dismounted force is to mount up, the 
led horses (if mobile) are to be brought up to meet it. In the Cossacks, 
when a greater number of troopers than usual is to dismount to fight 
on foot, the horses of a platoon are linked — the so-called dismounting 
with the haiowka of the horses. In this case, only one horse-holder 
remains with the led horses of the platoon, and one non-commissioned 
officer, in addition, with those of each sotnia. The procedure is as 
follows: The odd numbers advance eight paces; then all the troopers 

120 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

of the front rank execute a left about, while, at the same time, each 
trooper of the rear rank leads his horse forward until its head is in line 
with the saddle of that of his file leader. The reins of each horse are 
then drawn through the cincha of the one opposite, placed over the 
cantle of the saddle, and drawn taut. When tied together in this 
manner, the horses can move and turn as much as they like, but 
they can not run away. The Cossacks employ a third method of dis- 
mounting, that of dismounting in a circle. In this, the sotnia, in single 
rank, forms a circle; the men dismount; the horses lie down; and the 
troopers use the horses as cover and as rifle rests. This method of dis- 
mounting is to be used in exceptional cases only, when a unit is surrounded 
on open terrain by hostile cavalry, and is required to hold its position 
until the arrival of reinforcements. The same kinds of fire are used as 
in the infantry. Closed bodies are to fire volleys only. 

Italy: The escadron is the tactical unit in dismounted action. 
When the led horses are immobile, all the troopers, with the exception 
of one horse-holder for each rank, dismount to fight on foot. When the 
led horses are mobile, from one to three troopers out of every four may 
be used for dismounted action. 

In dismounted action, an escadron is divided into dismounted 
platoons {plcioni appiedati) of two squads (squadri) each, into the led 
horses (cavalli a mano) and the mounted reserve (sostegno a cavallo). Lan- 
cers fasten the lance to the right stirrup and the cantle of the saddle, on 

The following methods of dismounting to fight on foot are used: 

1. All the troopers, with the exception of one horse-holder for 
each platoon, dismount. The horses are linked. 

2. "Number three of each set of fours acts as horse-holder; the 
rest of the men dismount. 

3. Number three of the rear rank of each set of fours turns over 
his horses to his file leader and dismounts with the rest of the troopers. 

4. Either all the even or all the odd numbers dismoimt. 

England : Either one-half or three-fourths of a unit may be dis- 
mounted to fight on foot. Fire against skirmishers is permitted only 
up to 300 m., against larger targets up to 700 m. On open ground, 
led horses are to be kept not more than 500 m. from the firing line. 
The horses are to be specially trained in moving as led horses, so as to 
be able to follow the dismounted skirmishers at a fast gait. 

When a mounted reserve is not kept out, an escadron of IJ^O troopers 
can dismount to fight on foot, the following: 

In England and Germany: 70 — 105 men; 

In Austria, France and Italy: 70 — 132 men; 

In Russia: Dragoons: 94 — 117; Cossacks: a maximum of 135 

The Attack. 121 


Most of the dismounted actions that cavalry has 
fought, have been attacks. In its operations in front 
of an army, cavalry will undertake a costly attack, neces- 
sitating the expenditure of a great deal of ammunition, 
only if it can not force a passage in any other way (by 
making a detour or by awaiting the effect produced by its 
artillery), or if it is opposed by a weak opponent. Expe- 
ditions against the enemy's rearward communications, such 
as the seizure of railway stations and depdts, the destruction 
of artificial structures, and the capture of isolated posts, 
etc., will Ukewise result in dismounted attacks on the part 
of the cavalry. In a battle, on the other hand, it will 
be comparatively rare for dismounted cavalry to be launched 
in attack. The attack order (par. 462, German C. 
D. R.) is not issued until all the circumstances bearing 
on the situation have been thoroughly weighed, the terrain 
over which the attack is to be made, artillery positions, 
attack sections, thoroughly reconnoitered, and the point 
where the development of the force is to begin, deter- 
mined. The attack order must assure the cooperation 
of all parts of the command. Each tactical unit is as- 
signed a definite mission. Each is, in addition, assigned 
the front upon which it is to deploy and an objective. 
When necessary, the order should specify where the dis- 
mounted reserve is to be posted. The replenishment 
of ammunition should be regulated; ammunition wagons 
should be brought up and their contents, if time admits, 
issued to the attacking troops. The disposition to be made 
of the ammunition in hands of the horse-holders should 
be indicated. In certain circumstances, some instruc- 
tions in regard to the position of the led horses are necessary 
(for example, for them not to advance or not to retire 
beyond a certain Une). The mounted reserve is either 
ordered to cover the led horses, or directed to advance 

122 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

offensively with the bulk of its force against the flank and 
rear of the enemy. 

The superiority of the cavalry lies in its mobility, 
and it should take advantage of this mobility in attack 
more than anywhere else. From this it follows that the 
dismounted attack should be directed against a point 
(hostile flank or rear) where it is not expected, and that 
the attacking force should advance rapidly to most effec- 
tive range, the several escadrons or platoons, in open order 
formation, endeavoring to reach the points at which they 
can take up the fire fight with prospects of success. A 
slow advance in thin skirmish line that becomes gradually 
more and more dense, is incompatible with the nature of 
cavalry. In the Boer war, English motmted infantry 
frequently managed to gallop close up to the defender, 
to dismount, and to send back its led horses to cover. 
Dismounted cavalry, supported by its horse batteries 
and machine guns, attacks the enemy in front as above 
described, but does not venture on unfavorable terrain 
devoid of cover. While the enemy is thus held in front, 
the bulk of the cavalry endeavors to direct, either mounted 
or dismounted, a sudden and unexpected blow against 
his flank and rear. This alone may compel the enemy 
to desist from further resistance. When local reconnais- 
sance is efficiently performed, cavalry can quickly with- 
draw itself from a critical situation. This requires, how- 
ever, that a strong mounted reserve be provided when the 
combat is initiated.* If the opponent consists of dismounted 
cavalry, this reserve may be laimched mounted to capture 
his led horses; if hostile infantry is to be driven away, it 
may be launched dismounted. Finally, parts of the 
mounted reserve may be employed as a dismounted re- 
serve, if during the progress of the fight a weak spot of the 
enemy or a point of decisive importance to the attacker 

"^Contrary to the practice of infantry, an attack by dismounted cavlilry 
is to be made in the direction of march in exceptional cases only. 

The Attack. 128 

is perceived. If cavalry were to go into action at the 
outset in deep formation, like infantry, it would sacrifice 
its principal weapon — ^mobility. A fire fight that is syste- 
matically fed is incompatible with the nature of cavalry. 
Cavalry will endeavor to form at the very start long but 
effective firing lines, in order to break down quickly the 
resistance of the enemy and to regain its own freedom of 
movement; therefore, it should bring into action as many 
carbines as possible. The dismounted attack, however, 
requires mobility on the part of the led horses. These 
must be quickly brought up from their sheltered positions, 
which are, as a rule, some distance in rear, so that, if its 
attack is successful, the cavalry may again be free to 
move. The object of bringing into action an adequate 
niunber of carbines is sought to be attained by dismotmt- 
ing a greater ntimber of escadrons. This procedure is 
open to the objection that the strength of the mounted 
reserve is thereby reduced. Moreover, there is a limit 
to its application — ^the available strength of the force. 
In many quarters it is beUeved that the problem of obtain- 
ing an adequate number of carbines for the firing line may 
be solved by having the moimted reserve bring up the led 
horses. But, is it likely that the mounted reserve will 
be on hand immediately after a victory? Will it not be 
more profitably employed elsewhere in reaping the fruits 
of victory? The firing line is to be pushed close to the 
enemy according to infantry principles. Cavalry attack- 
ing dismounted should likewise not shrink from making 
an assault. But, if a hand-to-hand combat actually takes 
place, it will be in a critical situation, indeed, as it is not 
equipped with a bayonet. Even a bayonet fixed on the 
carbine can not convert the latter into an effective thrust- 
ing weapon. The lance, on the other hand, is too un- 
wieldy for dismounted work, and the saber, if carried along, 
would hamper the movements of the dismounted trooper. 
Cavalry will endeavor to make its dismounted assault 

124 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

in conjunction and simultaneously with the launching 
of its mounted reserve. The latter will then take up the 
pursuit. As soon as the position is taken, the leader 
must make every effort to mount his unit again, but he must 
likewise see to it that the possession of the position is 
properly assured. If practicable, the led horses are brought 
up at a fast gait. When this can not be done, only a part 
of the skirmishers is at first sent back to the led horses. 

England: The cavalry is to ride rapidly close up to the enemy 
and to surprise him, using for this purpose covered avenues of approach. 
It is then to dismount quickly and to develop an overwhelming fire. 
The firing line is to advance by irregular rushes made by small fractions, 
or by crawling, supported in either case by the fire of neighboring groups. 

Russia: When practicable, the cavalry is to dismount not more 
than 1,000 m. from the hostile position. The decisive range of 560 m. 
is to be gained as quickly as possible. On open ground, when the dis- 
mounted force arrives within 1,200 paces (860 m.) of the enemy, the 
advance is to be made by rushes. These are not to exceed 100 paces 
each, in length. Between 200 and 100 m. from the enemy, the fire is 
to be increased to the utmost intensity. From here on, fire while in 
motion is to be used. When a point 35 m. from the enemy is reached, 
the assault is to be made with a cheer. Cossacks are to use the saber 
in the assault. The firing line of an escadron, from one to three platoons 
in extended order, covers a front of 70 to 85 m. The supports follow 
either in close or in extended order, 350 m. in rear of the firing line. 
In a unit larger than an escadron, dismounted escadrons may, in addition, 
be provided to reinforce the firing line, to make a bayonet attack, or 
to ward off a sudden hostile move. 

France: "The cavalry fights on foot when the tactical situation 
or the terrain prevent it from fighting mounted. It is, therefore, to 
use dismounted action in all cases where that course appears desirable 
for the fulfillment of its mission. But it should never look upon dis- 
mounted action as an excuse for evading hand-to-hand combat." The 
Firing Regulations of 1903 add: "The cavalry, thanks to its mobility, 
can avoid losses, appear at a point where it is not expected, open fire 
suddenly, break off the action when necessary, begin it elsewhere, and 
repeat its attacks, without allowing itself to be held." 

The regulations emphasize, in addition, that the dismounted action 
is always to bear the stamp of the cavalry spirit of the offensive They 
recommend sudden appearance and prompt display of strong fire power 
in dismounted attack. They enumerate the following cases in which 
the latter may be employed: Forcing of crossings whose turning would 
consume too much time; prompt occupation of important positions; 

Fire Surprise; Defense. 125 

penetration of hostile covering lines; molestation of hostile route columns; 
fludden attacks on quarters or camps of hostile troops; capture of con- 
voys; etc. Ground swept by hostile fire is to be crossed at the gallop. 


Fire stirprise is the combat method most in keeping 
with the mobility of cavalry armed with a long range fire 
arm and supported by artillery and machine gtms. 
Whether the fire surprise is conducted by the artillery 
alone, imder cover of the cavalry, or whether all the arms 
participate, depends upon the situation. Pushed close 
to the enemy by a skillftd use of accidents of the ground, 
the force whose fire bursts forth all at once, can seriously 
shake his morale. It is essential that heavy losses be at 
once inflicted on the enemy, in other words, that the 
fire of the assailant produce an effect at mid ranges. Horse 
artillery and machine gims shotdd not open fire prematurely. 
It is advisable to assign their subsequent targets to them. 
When in any way practicable, the fire action should be 
followed by a charge. Large imits, in particular, should 
endeavor to bring about a charge, as it is difficult to deploy a 
considerable force in close proximity to the enemy. In 
fire surprises, even smaU tmits will find an opportunity 
to make themselves very useful against reserves and 
ammimition coltunns of the enemy. 

The led horses had best be kept immediately in rear 
of the skirmishers. If the operation is successftd, and a 
reverse should take place, cavalry will then be able to 
withdraw itself quickly from the critical situation. 


In defense, cavalry may be required to delay an ad- 
vancing enemy, to maintain positions or villages until the 
arrival of the infantry, to obstruct a hostile screening line 
(par. 196, German F. S. R.), or to ward off attacks made 

*See TactiC9, I, Krttsosb^s traiiBlation. pp. 151 and 330. 

126 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

against its own cantonments. In battle, one will only 
with reluctance permit cavalry to fight dismoimted, shoulder 
to shoulder with the infantry. It will frequently fall to 
the lot of cavalry to delay the march of hostile reinforce- 
ments, to divert them from their march direction (by taking 
up a flank position) or to prevent their advance (by throw- 
ing itself across their path). 

When the action is fought simply with the object of 
gaining time, all measures calculated to deceive the enemy 
— such as hiding the led horses, and concealing any evi- 
dence that might betray the fact that the enemy is opposed 
only by cavalry — ^increase in importance. Upon this is 
based the necessity for the adoption of the gray field 
tmiform for the cavalry. (See p. 5, supra). Timely 
provision should be made for breaking off the action. A 
premature and complete occupation of a defensive posi- 
tion should be avoided. The best plan is to occupy at the 
outset only a few points, and to keep the bulk of the force 
in a position in readiness. The partial occupation of a 
defensive position makes it possible to defend a broad 
front when the enemy is at long and mid ranges, and de- 
ceives him as to the strength of the defender. It is im- 
possible to lay down definite figures for the extent of 
front to be occupied in defense. There is no objection to 
assign to an escadron a front of approximately 200 m. 
Machine guns may be distributed by platoons. In like 
manner, one will frequently let batteries of artillery fire 
by platoons, or even by piece, from a concealed position, 
for the purpose of deceiving the enemy. Units that are 
to protect a flank, are echeloned in rear of it; whether they 
are employed mounted or dismounted will depend upon 
the tactical situation and the terrain. After the hostile 
attack has been repulsed, such units enable the defender 
to assume the offensive and to take up the pursuit. It is 
particularly important that meastu'es be taken for the 
protection of the led horses. A mounted reserve is nearly 

Defense. 127 

always necessary, for the purpose of enabling the skir- 
mishers to break off the action, if for no other reason. 
Cavalry that fights a defensive action, is in danger of 
being held in front at short range by the enemy, while the 
led horses are attacked by the mobile parts of his force. 

The defense will have the character of a containing 
action. When engaged with hostile infantry, dismounted 
cavalry will be able to mount up only when the enemy 
has not as yet approached too close. For these reasons, 
the cavalry will endeavor to use its carbines at ranges 
up to the maximum sight graduation and to equalize any 
existing numerical inferiority by a greater expenditure 
of ammunition. In other words, cavalry will endeavor to 
maintain a lively fire at will even at long ranges. If the 
enemy is once permitted to get to close range, he will soon 
perceive that he has to contend only with dismounted 
cavalry, and attempt to bring the fight to a conclusion in 
short order. It must be borne in mind that carbine fire, 
especially when directed against upright targets the height 
of a man, gives good results at mid ranges, but that the 
better marksmanship training of the infantry is bound 
to make itself felt when once the hostile infantry has been 
allowed to approach to the lower limit of mid ranges. 
(Par. 452, German I. D. R.). Even a comparison of the 
results of target practice shows that infantry fire is very 
decidedly superior at short ranges to carbine fire. On the 
other hand, the efficacy of the carbine must not be under- 
estimated by the infantryman, if he wishes to avoid laying 
himself open to very painful reverses when attacking dis- 
mounted cavalry. 

Similar views are entertained in Austria and in France. 

Ruuia: The fire is to be withheld until the enemy arrives within 
short range. The fire fight is to be fought at ranges from 560 to 140 m. 
If the object of the defense is merely to contain the enemy, the action is to 
be broken off when the assailant has approached to within 250 m. Other- 
wise the decision is to be brought about by a frontal counter-attack 
with the bayonet when the enemy has approached to within 25 paces 

128 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

of the position. If the counter-attack is successful, the advantage gained 
is to be followed up with fire and, in conjunction therewith, a mounted 
pursuit. If the counter-attack is repulsed, the cavalry will be in 
an exceedingly uncomfortable situation; the led horses must be moved 
to the rear, and nothing but prompt action on the part of the mounted 
reserve can make possible the retreat of the force. 

England: "The troops must be capable, mounted as well as on 
foot, of quickly changing position under cover. They must likewise be 
capable of evacuating a position without it being perceived by the enemy. 
One can best deceive him in regard to such a movement, if it is undertaken 
suddenly immediately after deluging him with a violent burst of fire." 


It will be comparatively easy to break off the action 
if, favored by the terrain and one's dispositions, one succeeds 
in deceiving the enemy as to one's intentions, and if the 
led horses are close at hand and can be brought up quickly. 
In many cases, one may deceive the enemy by sending 
back only a few men, who then bring up the led horses. 
The retirement by combat groups (par. 490, German 
C. D. R.) invites the enemy to a more energetic advance. 
It would be better, therefore, to retire all along the line 
under cover of an offensive wing, after developing a strong 
fire, and to hurry to the led horses. Dead angles located 
in front of the position are especially valuable. 

When exposed to effective fire at close range, the de- 
fender can break off the action only if the retirement can 
be effected under cover or tmder the protection of fresh 
troops that enter the fight. To break off an action in attack, 
even at mid ranges, requires specially favorable terrain. 
At short ranges, it will be more expensive to retire than 
to fight the action with determination to a finish. Artil- 
lery and machine guns cover the retreat by drawing upon 
themselves the enemy's fire and by preventing his forces 
from pursuing. They ought not to shrink from sacrific- 
ing their gxms and machine guns to save their sister arm. 
Attacks by a reserve against the flanks of the pursuing enemy, 

*Pan. 490-406, German C. D. R, 

Examples prom Military History. 129 

whether they are made mounted with the artne blanche 
or dismounted with the carbine, will considerably facili- 
tate the retreat. When once the led horses are reached, 
the force seeks to withdraw itself quickly from the pursu- 
ing fire of the enemy. Horses whose riders have been dis- 
abled are taken along. As soon as the force has broken 
away from the enemy, every effort must be made to get it 
again well in hand. 


The dismounted action of French Dragoons on Kaninchen Hill 
at Forbach, August 6th, 1870. 

The protection of the Saarlouis — Forbach road, which passed in 
rear of the French position on Spicheren Heights, and which was used 
by the 13th Prussian Infantry Division in its advance, was entrusted to 
Valaz^'s Infantry Brigade and one pioneer company which had con- 
structed a line of trenches about 1000 m. long on Kaninchen Hill. When 
Valaz^'s Brigade was brought up to the battlefield in the course of the 
day, there remained in the position: 

The pioneer company 150 men — with 80 rounds 

of ammunition 

Two escadrons of the 12th Dragoons*.... 170 men — with 20 rounds 

of ammunition 

320 men. 

On receiving information of the approach of a hostile column, the 
trenches were occupied. The Dragoons dismounted 120 men, leaving 
behind 50 men as horse-holders. At 5:30 P. M., fire was opened on the 
Prussian advance guard, which deployed, its skirmishers finally getting 
within 250 m. of the French position. At 7 P. M., the defenders received 
an unexpected reinforcement in the shape of 200 Reservists, which arrived 
at the railway station of Forbach, and of one field battery, which fired a 
few shots. The retreat to Forbach was begun at 7:30 P. m., the railway 
embankment being held until 9 P. M. The retirement into the second 
position was covered by a charge made by the Dragoons, which had quickly 
mounted up. 

The records give only the losses of the Dragoons. These amounted 
to 2 officers and 17 men killed, 2 ofiicers and 5 men wounded, and 
80 horses disabled. The fire of the Prussian infantry, directed from low 

^hree platoons were In otMervation near Bmmenweiler. 

180 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

ground against a completely sheltered opponent in position on high 
ground, produced only an insignificant effect. On the Prussian side, 
the 65th Infantry lost 3 officers and 85 men, and the 7th Jager-Battalion, 
7 men. But the advance of the 13th Division was, in this manner, 
delayed by a weak opponent, whose strength was considerably over- 
estimated. A participation of this division in a pursuit, might have 
had important results.* 

The following instances of the employment of dismounted action 
in the Franco-German war may be cited: The attack on Theillay le 
Paillux, December 12th, 1870. A platoon of the 4th Hussars (whose 
regimental history contains an interesting account of a number of dis- 
mounted actions) captured the railway station at Bee Oiseau.t on Sep- 
tember 15th, 1870, Draveil,! on September 16th, 1870, and Maison 

On January 18th, 1870, the 1st Escadron of the 11th Hussars 
captured Ferri^res.§ The southern portion of this village was taken 
without difficulty. Then a stronger resistance was encountered. This 
was overcome after some horse-holders had been brought up as a rein- 
forcement. The loss amounted to 11 men killed and wounded, and 4 

On July 7th, 1877, General Gurko, advancing with the advance 
guard corps, found Tirnova occupied by a hostile force consisting of 
2,000 infantry, 500 cavalry, and 6 mountain guns. A brigade of Dra- 
goons dismounted to fight on foot and deployed under cover of the 
fire of the artillery, which had a support of dismounted Dragoons, while 
the Cossacks turned the flanks of the Turks. The Turks evacuated 
the place before the brigade of Dragoons could effectively engage them.** 

On January 25th, 1905, one regiment of Akiyama's cavalry bri- 
gade was to hold Sandepu for six hours against two Russian rifle regi- 
ments until the arrival of the reinforcements sent by General Oku. The 
regiment lost all of its horses; those not killed outright were frightened 
by the violent artillery Are and stampeded. Thus, the Japanese cavalry 
perhaps saved the entire lid Army from being rolled up. Details are, 
unfortunately, lacking. 

Mishchenko's attack on Yinkou on the evening of January 11th, 
1905, with fifteen escadrons and sotnias and four scout detachments, 
though faulty in plan and half-heartedly executed, shows what cavaby 
can do. 

*G€n. St. W., I, pp. 367-390. French Oen. St, W.: BatailU de Forbach, 
p. 146. 

^Oeschichte des 4. Husarenregiments, p. 147. 
tIMd., p. 148. 
^ItHd., p. 149. 

^Oeschichte des 11. Husarenregiments, p. 322. 
JIKUNZ. Reiterei, p. 222. 

^Russisch'tUrkisch€r KrUg {Gen, St, IT.), II, p. 152. et seq. Engagement 
at EasanUk. July 17th. 1877, /Md.. p. 181. 

English Views on Mounted Infantry. 131 


The need of having, in addition to cavalry trained 
for battle use, a very mobile force that can shoot well, has 
been felt in all wars. In the continental states of Europe, 
an attempt was made to fill this want by training cavalry 
more thoroughly in dismounted action, and by assigning 
to it cyclists and machine guns, whereas, in England, 
special bodies of mounted infantry were formed. The 
principal drawback to the employment of mounted infantry 
is, however, that, when mounted, it is defenseless against 
cavalry, and that, while in motion, it really needs a sup- 
porting force. In the Boer war the mounted infantry 
grew finally to a strength of 50,000 men.* As it was not 
confronted by cavalry, it made good during the execution 
of wide turning movements, which Lord Roberts employed 
with success for the purpose of striking the flank of the 
Boers, who always rapidly extended their lines. In spite 
of these good services, it could not be denied that mounted 
infantry had many faults. The men knew nothing of the 
care of their mounts, as is evidenced by the large per- 
centage of horses that became unserviceable. As mounted 
infantry units were improvised bodies, they lacked the 
requisite training in marching and tactical employment. 
After the war had lasted for some time, the mounted in- 
fantrymen, however, had completely forgotten their in- 
fantry character and deported themselves like cavalrymen, 
even if only as poor ones. Thus, we find toward the close 
of the campaign numerous mounted charges made by 
mounted infantry on the British side, as strange to relate, 
also on that of the Boers. 

*A8 there was a disproportionately large force of artillery in the several 
columns during the last stages of the Boer war, eighteen batteries were trans- 
formed into mounted infantry. At the close of the war, the British army con- 
listed of 247,270 men, of which number 67,898 men were mounted. Of the latter, 
28,244 men belonged to the regular establishment (10,256 cavalrymen, and 9,083 
infantrymen and 2,905 artillerymen converted into mounted Infantry). 

182 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

In this experiment of creating mounted infantry, all 
those drawbacks which had been learned for centuries were 
exemplified. As an improvisation, mounted infantry dis- 
turbs the cohesion of organizations; if permanently orga- 
nized, it must become cavalry, just as the dragoons became 
cavalry: for mounted infantry is neither flesh, fish, nor 
fowl and can not endure. (See pp. 18 and 87, supra). 

The English Drill Regulations (1904) for mounted 
infantry lay down the following principles for its employ- 

In the practical employment of mounted infantry, sight must not 
be lost of the fact that this arm is drilled and trained as infantry. On 
account of its greater mobility, it should be able to cover greater dis- 
tances, and, in addition, be capable of executing wider turning move- 
ments than infantry. As a rule, mounted infantry is to be used in the 
following cases: 

(a) It is to perform the service of security in the immediate 
front of infantry divisions, in conjunction with cavalry and the horse 
batteries assigned to the latter, in addition to augmenting the fire of 
the cavalry. It is, further, to occupy, as expeditiously as possible, 
tactically important positions. It is to find positions from which it 
can bring fire, preferably flanking fire, to bear on the flanks of hostile 
cavalry before the actual combat begins. It is to improve every success 
gained and constitute a formed nucleus in case of a retreat. Moreover, 
mounted infantry should enable the cavalry divisions, far in advance of 
the army, to devote themselves exclusively to the strategical reconnais- 
sance with which they are charged. 

(b) In addition, the mounted infantry is to constitute a light 
mobile reserve which the commander-in-chief can despatch at a moment's 
notice from one wing to the other for the purpose of lending assistance, 
or for influencing the action at particular points and for which other 
troops are not available on account of the extraordinary extension of 
modem lines of battle. 

(c) Finally, mounted infantry is to fill the rdle of a mobile col- 
umn in minor warfare or in expeditions in colonial wars, and in per- 
forming this duty assume the functions of the absent cavalry in the 
service of reconnaissance and patrolling. 

The following is the organization and strength of mounted in- 
fantry organizations: 

In war every infantry battalion is to furnish one company of mounted 
infantry, consisting of 5 officers, 138 men, and 144 horses; and every 
brigade (4 battalions) one battalion of four companies. To each bat- 
talion of mounted infantry is assigned: one machine gun platoon, con- 

Machine Guns. 133 

sisting of two guns and two ammunition carts (2 officers, 40 men, and 
64 horses). Hence, the aggregate strength of a battalion of mounted 
infantry is, 28 officers, 630 men, and 676 horses. 

The creation of motinted infantry is proper only where 
climatic conditions make long marches by European 
troops impossible, or in cases where the arrival of a few 
soldiers at distant points will exert a potent influence on 
the actions of an opponent. As shown by our experience 
in Southwest Africa, the proper field for mounted infantry 
is colonial (guerilla) warfare, especially when it is impor- 
tant to prevent the outbreak of threatened disorders 
and to let the country retimi quickly to a state of peace 
upon completion of the principal actions. On European 
theaters of war, space is lacking for the employment of 
mounted infantry and, moreover, there are not enough 

During the Boer war, a mixed division was formed and placed 
under command of Sir Ian Hamilton. This division consisted of the 

2 infantry brigades (each of 4 battalions and 1 battery) a field 
hospital and ambulance companies; 

1 cavalry brigade of 3 regiments and 1 horse battery; 

1 brigade of mounted infantry of 4 detachments (each having 1 
pompom gun) and 1 battery; 

Divisional troops: Rimington's Guides (doing duty as messengers); 

2 batteries; 

1 platoon of 12.5 cm. guns. 

The effective strength of this division was 11,000 men, 4,600 horses,. 
8,000 mules, 36 field guns, 2 12.5 cm. guns, 6 pompom guns, and 23 
machine guns. 

The division left Bloemfontein on April 22d, 1900, covered a dis- 
tance of 640 km. in 45 marching days, participated in 9 large and 18 
minor engagements, and was able to march into Pretoria on June 5th. 


The machine gun battery* combines high infantry 
fire power (approximately equivalent to that of the skir- 
mishers of a German cavalry regiment, armed with car- 

See Tactics, I, Krueobb'b tranalation p. 273, et uq. 

184 Dismounted Action of Cavalry. 

bines, or to that of 4 — 6 platoons of infantry)* with instant 
readiness for firing, and a mobility which enables it to 
follow the mounted arms anywhere. Machine gun bat- 
teries accomplish the principal object that cavalry expects 
to attain by the assignment of infantry, viz., relief from 
fighting on foot, great fire power, and mobility. Even in 
reconnaissance duty, machine gtms will be employed to 
break down the resistance of the enemy in occupied localities 
and to augment the resistance of their own force in such 
places. During an advance, machine guns should go 
into position at an early moment in order to cover as 
effectively as possible (preferably from a flank) the advance 
and the deployment for the mounted charge. It is advis- 
able to post the guns of a machine gun battery together, 
so as not to have niunerous lines of fire interfere with 
the movements of the cavalry; this is especially empha- 
sized by the Austrian regulations. Machine gun batteries, 
like horse batteries (artillery), remain with the cavalry 
divisions during a battle. The chance of producing a 
sudden fire effect within a short space of time must be 
especially utilized. Special efforts should therefore be 
made to place entire machine gun batteries into action. 
The employment of single guns is precluded on account 
of the danger of breakdowns. The employment of platoons 
is especially proper in defense. 

The duties of machine guns naturally grow out of 
their tactical advantages. Their fire power should be saved 
for tall targets that appear in decisive moments, in which a 
development of strong fire at short range is requisite. 

*A German cavalry regiment at peace strength numbers firom 552 to 576 
sabers; a platoon of Infantry, on a peace footing, numbers from 48 to 53 men. 

In making a comparlslon between a cavalry regiment and a machine gun 
battery. It must be borne In mind that horse-holders are deducted from the strength 
jglven for a cavalry regiment. — Translator. 



Machine Guns. 



Machine guns can be transported upon larger vehicles capable of 
being unlimbered; they can carried on pack horses or other pack 
animals, and for short distances by men. Although pack animal trans- 
portation enables the guns to follow the troops anywhere, the amount 
of ammunition that can be carried along is limited, and the opening of 

A PlatCMn of the Austrian Machine Gun Battery. 






I J m 

Rofoon Commander 


— ♦ 


e Finder 





i []ir"> 




Ammuni+ion Horse 

ffl First Sergeant W Artificer 


1 Gun Commander 2,3, Gunners 

-^,5, Ammunition Carriers 

fire is retarded, since gun and tripod must first be assembled; the opening 
of|fire may even be delayed when a pack animal falls; ammunition can not 
be^carried on the gun; and the animals get sore backs even if pack saddles 
are carefully adjusted. It is difficult to distinguish advancing machine 
gun batteries equipped with pack animal transportation from cavalry. 

186 Dismounted Action op Cavalry. 

Although the greatest readiness for firing was obtained with 
guns mounted on cavalry carriages (two-wheeled carts similar to limbers, 
and equipped with shafts), which also permitted the greatest amount of 
ammunition to be carried along, these guns offered such a high target 
that their use, in an infantry action, was entirely out of the question, 
leading only to their being quickly silenced. Another defect was that 
the guns were unable to follow immediately upon the heels of the organi- 
zation to which they were attached. 

In Germany a sled mount and transportation on a gun carriage is 
preferred. In all other states, preference is given to the tripod mount 
and pack animal transportation. The advantages of the tripod and the 
wheeled carriage have been skillfully combined in the carriage adopted 
in Germany. In this, the gun rests on a sled; this is in turn supported 
by the carriage proper, which is wheeled. This arrangement permits 
the gun to be fired quickly, directly from the wheeled carriage, or from 
the sled, which is detached from the carriage for that purpose. The 
sled permits the gun to be laid at any desired height and enables it to 
follow infantry anywhere during an action. 

The following complement per gun is considered necessary: 

Germany: 14^ men 9 horses; 

Switzerland: 83^ men 12 horses. 

In the Russo-Japanese war, the machine gun detachments of the 
Russian cavalry were equipped with Rezer guns, which can scarcely 
be considered machine guns owing to their slow rate of fire and extreme 
heating of the barrel. 

Austria: A cavalry machine gun battery — provided as a sub- 
stitute for the Jiiger battalion formerly attached to each cavalry division 
— consists of 4 machine guns transported on pack animals. The ammuni- 
tion carried amounts to 16,000 rounds per gun (6,000 rounds on pack 
animals and 10,000 rounds on the ammunition wagon). A gun section 
(Gewehr) consists of one machine gun, 9 mounted men, and 4 pack ani- 
mals, 3 of the latter carrying ammunition. Two guns form a platoon. 

Formations: The order in line, the guns 10 paces apart; the combat 
order, the guns 26 paces apart; and the route column, the distance 
between horses being one pace. The road space of a machine gun battery 
is approximately 120 m. 

Kinds of fire: Volley fire (Salve);* fire at will (Eimelfeuer),t and 
single shots. 

Machine gun batteries are to relieve the cavalry of dismounted 
fighting, participate in mounted action, and reinforce reconnaissance 

Switzerland : See Tactics, I, Krueger'S translation, pp. 284 and 

■"This corresponds to the German volley fire {Reihenfeuer), 
fThls corresponds to the German continuous fire iDatterfeuer), 



Victory over the hostile cavalry is the prerequisite to 
any reconnaissance and to all further cavalry operations. 
What our cavalry obtained with ease during the Franco- 
German war can not be gained at present'except by fighting. 
The cavalry must charge, tmless it desires merely to threaten 
on the battlefield. It will find support in the fire of 
its artillery and machine guns and in that of dismounted 
units. By combining mounted and dismounted action, 
cavalry can operate independently in almost any situation, 
can delay hostile forces of all arms, and can inflict losses 
on them. 

The special peculiarities of the cavalry combat arise 
from the nature, the virtues and the shortcomings of the 
horse. On account of its speed, its weight, and its highly 
excitable nature, the horse is especially suited for dash- 
ing at the enemy. On the other hand, it is not so well 
adapted to persevere inactive tmder hostile fire, and sub- 
mits but tmwillingly to firing from the saddle. By making 
a rapid dash, in a combat in which all the three arms are 
engaged, cavalry may, indeed, penetrate a hostile position, 
overrun parts of the same, and capture batteries, but it 
is incapable of maintaining, by means of an adequate 
defense, the advantages gained. When mounted, cavalry 
can penetrate the enemy's line only by utilizing its shock 
power — the shock itself, supplemented by the use of the 
arme blanche — and the m616e. The impact with the hostile 
line is always preceded by a movement of variable length 
for developing full speed and for gaining a favorable shock 
direction. This movement is called the advance to the attack. 

138 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

Only horses that are entirely fresh are capable of 
developing and maintaining full speed for a protracted 
period while canying field kit. Hence, the necessity on the 
battlefield of keeping the cavalry fresh by assigning rest 
periods, and by feeding and watering. (Par. 401 , German C. 
D. R.). General von Barby complains on August 16th, 
1870, '*that the horses were not in condition to charge 
with more speed." And yet the brigade had marched 
only 30 km., and then charged over a distance of 2,400 m. 

Mass and velocity are the factors upon which success 
depends. The velocity can not be increased beyond a 
certain point and is, moreover, reduced by broken ground 
and by obstacles. "In an engagement of all arms, even 
small imits may gain success, if they seize the right moment. 
A decisive interference in the course of a battle, whether 
this is accomplished by warding off the hostile attack, or 
by supporting one's own, is only possible by launching 
large masses of cavalry." (Par. 398, German C. D. R.). 
In Manchuria, the Russian commander-in-chief kept 
numerous bodies of cavalry in readiness, but these lacked 
the capacity of advancing imitedly, the determination 
of closing with the enemy. Cavalry is the very arm that 
is easily frittered away in petty missions. At the point 
where the commander wishes to use cavalry, he should 
gather together all that is available of that arm, place this 
cavalry mass under a single leader and exercise an influ- 
ence over its operations by means of orders. Kuropatkin 
also gave his cavalry such orders, it is true, but they were 
qualified at the last moment. General v. Pelet-Narbonne* 
seeks to explain the inactivity of the cavalry on some days 
of battle, as follows: 

''Charging cavalry is like a fired projectile, whose 
effect is incalculable and which may, in certain circum- 
stances, rebound on the marksman. Many a cavalry 
officer, though personally brave, hesitates to come to such 

*MilUilr'Woch$nblaU, 1004, Supplement No. 12. 

Ground Scouting and Reconnaissance. 139 

a decision (to charge), fraught as it is with consequences 
that are usually incalctilable, and to demand from his 
troops great and perhaps useless sacrifices. Though it 
is feasible for the other arms to break oflf an action, it is 
not possible for cavalry so to break off a mounted charge. 
Events take their course. In the cavalry^ literally every- 
thing depends upon the initiative of the leader, hence the decisive 
importance of personality in that arm. Nothing is done without 
the leader's taking direct personal action. On the other hand, 
it is easily conceivable, for example, that an infantry divi- 
sion in a rencontre might gain a victory solely through a 
natural development of events and the action of subordi- 
nates, without the division commander's having contri- 
buted in the sUghtest degree to the result. When cavalry 
units, whose leader is perhaps struggling hard to come to 
a decision, belong to a force commanded by an officer 
of another arm, the latter should, in a given case, shrink 
less from ordering a charge that is deemed necessary, 
than is, in general, the practice. The cavalry leader who 
is thereby relieved from responsibility would, perhaps, 
greet such an order with joy and execute it with skill and 
energy. In all probability, Bredow's famous charge at 
Vionville would never have been made without a specific 


Cavalry avoids terrain that prevents the horses from 
developing all the speed that is in them — such as rising 
slopes, marshy, soft or sandy ground — endeavors to obtain, 
by timely despatch of ground scouts, information of the 
passableness of the terrain in all directions, and looks 
for and marks crossings over obstacles. Seydlitz caused 

^Nearly all the charges made by French cavalry during the Franco-German 
war, were made by orders of the commanders of units of which the cavalry formed 
a part. 

iPars. 47-49, Qtrman C. D. B. 

The term Erkundung has been rendered by "ground scouting," the term 
Aufkldrung by "reconnaissance.' 

140 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

the crossings over the Zabem bottoms at Zomdorf to be 
marked by wisps of straw.* 

On forming, one non-commissioned officer and at least two pri- 
vates are detailed as ground scouts in each escadron. These men gallop 
ahead charged with the duty of indicating obstacles by means of sig- 
nals. To raise and hold the lance in a perpendicular position, signifies, 
"passable at this point;" to raise and hold it in a horizontal position, 
signifies, "not passable at this point." The distance at which ground 
scouts precede the escadron depends upon the terrain; but, in any event, 
ground scouts and escadron must keep each other in view. A ground 
scout remains behind at places suitable for passing obstacles until he 
is certain that the crossing point has been recognized. Ground scouts 
thus left behind then regain the requisite distance by taking up a faster 
gait. They must scout the ground in time to prevent their organization 
from encountering obstacles unexpectedly. It is a good plan for leaders 
of independent escadrons, and higher commanders, to have a few ground 
scouts ride with them. 

Groimd scouting begins at once upon arrival on the 
battlefield, and should be concluded long before the unit 
starts to charge. Measures for local recormaissance are 
taken independently of ground scouting, but this does 
not mean that these two operations could be separated. 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 

France: Each escadron is preceded at 200 m. by two ground 

Austria: Each escadron is preceded at 300 m. by two ground 

Italy: Each escadron is preceded by two ground scouts. The 
distance at which they precede the escadron is not stated. 

Russia: Each escadron sends out eight ground scouts to a dis- 
tance of 600 — 600 m. to the front, rear, and both fianks. 

Examples of Inadequate Ground Scouting. 

Ligny, 1815. The charge made by the 6th Prussian Uhlans against 
French Guard infantry failed in a grain-field when a steep six foot de- 
clivity was reached. 

Koniggratz, 1866. To cover the artillery of the Vlth Army Corps 
at Nedelist (Koniggratz), the 4th Hussars received orders to charge 

■^Lieutenant-General Oount v. Bisma-BK, Die Kdniglich Preuszische Ka- 
vallerie unter Seydlitt (Karlsruhe, 1837). p. 121- 

Examples of Inadequate Ground Scouting. 141 

an Austrian battery that, supported by cavalry, had gone into position 
at Lochnitz. In its desire to get at the enemy, the regiment neglected 
to send out ground scouts, and encountered, after it had taken up the 
gallop, a cut 6 m. in breadth and 3 — 4 m. in depth. Even had ground 
scouts been used, they could hardly have given timely warning of the 
presence of this obstacle, as it was located in a grain-field and in im- 
mediate vicinity of the hostile battery. Only a part of the men succeeded 
in stopping in time; most of them were precipitated into the cut. The 
commander of the Hussars desired to rally his badly dispersed regiment, 
but in this he was only partially successful, as the Hussars that had 
crossed the obstacle could return only by making a detour. The Austrian 
cavalry took advantage of this state of affairs to make an advance, which 
brought about a mdl^e that resulted unfavorably to the Hussars.* 

Three charges made against an Austrian battalion that was re- 
tiring from Horenowes failed likewise when an impassable cut was en- 
countered. The battalion mentioned retired skillfully along one side 
of this cut.f 

At Worth, the ground over which the cavalry had to charge had not 
been reconnoitered.t 

But, since a successful charge extends far beyond 
the sphere of action of the ground scouts, cavalry that is 
in the act of pursuing, or that has just formed line before 
the impact, may encounter obstacles that the troopers 
can not surmoimt. (Example: The stone quarries of 
Ploing on the battlefield of Sedan). T Whether an obstacle 
is formidable depends upon the training and condition 
of the cavalry. A ditch may be an obstacle for tired, 
womout cavalry that is not trained to jump in close order, 
whereas it is taken easily by cavalry that is better moimted. 

At Trautenauy in 1866, Austrian Windischgratz Dragoons over- 
estimated the formidableness of an obstacle in their front. This ob- 
stacle consisted of a ditch with a dike one meter in height and was taken 
by Lithuanian Dragoons during their charge, only eleven men of their 
1st escadron being thrown in jumping the ditch.} 

*Oe3chicJite des 4. Husarenregiments, p. 128. Qen. St. W„ 1866, p. 389. 

tBBBBER, PreuszUche KavallerU, p. 108. 

{Balgk-Eunz. Wdrth pp. 132 and 198. 

ISee likewise, charge made by the Daghestan Cossack Beglment in the 
BusBO-Japanese war, p. 94 supra, 

$See the viyid account of this charge In Erlebnisse des Lithauischen DrO' 
g<msrr$giments Nr. 1 im Feldtuge gegen Osterreich. Berlin. 1869. 

142 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

The combat reconnaissance in front and on the flanks 
should be continued until the various combat patrols 
encotmter resistance that they can not overcome; an in- 
ferior opponent should be thrown back: whereas contact 
should be maintained with a stronger one. Measures 
should likewise be taken to ensure reconnaissance in case 
a victory is not gained. (Par. 133, German F. S. R.).* 
But the reconnaissance has a limit if superior hostile cavalry 
is present. The latter must therefore be driven off the 
field or turned. 


To enable it to count with certainty on the coopera- 
tion of all its parts, cavalry when opposed by stronger 
cavalry that has not as yet been definitely defeated, will 
march in a single column. Cavalry that arrives upon 
the battlefield with its integral parts scattered, will seek to 
concentrate them either by avoiding an encoimter or by 
occupying and holding suitable points. (Par. 413, German 
C. D. R.). A cavalry unit marching in a single column 
will remain in route formation on the roads as long as 
possible in order to save the troops. A more suitable 
formation — one that permits, finally, a united laimching 
of the entire body — ^is not taken up until the patrols have 
ascertained the presence of the enemy. The necessity 
for extended reconnaissance is obvious. It is by such 
reconnaissance alone that the cavalry can avoid the dangers 
incident to being surprised by hostile fire, or can prevent 
being forced to fight on unfavorable ground. 

So long as the various elements of the division march 
in rear of one another, the rear tmits take up, without 
further orders, the formation and gait of the leading unit. 
The importance of keeping the movement going uninter- 

«Combat patrols, para. 50, 388, 409. 410 and 411, Oerman C. D, R, 
fPara. 412—416, German C. D. R, 

The Advance to the Attack. 143 

ruptedly by means of an even cadence, or by other suitable 
measures, increases with the depth of the division. 
Elongation of the coltunn, as well as closing up to make 
up distances lost, should be avoided. 

An assembly formation is taken up (preparatory to 
combat) in exceptional cases only. A number of groups 
is formed instead, as a rule, and a greater front thus covered. 
This is to facilitate the subsequent deployment forward, 
or to expedite, if necessary, the entry into action, the leading 
element being halted and the deployment being made by 
the flank (pars. 141, 142, 332 and 434, German C. D. R.), 
or to make the advance conform to the conduct of a base 
tmit (pars. 175 and 224, German C. D. R.). It necessi- 
tates that the depth of the column be reduced and that the 
combat train be cut out of the column. 

A cavalry brigade in route column takes up a road space of 1,070 m. 
At the trot, the transition to column of platoons, which has a depth 
of 440 m., takes four and one-half minutes, and to double column, 
which has a depth of 220 m., seven minutes. In a cavalry division in 
which two brigades march in rear of the artillery, it takes from sixteen 
to twenty minutes at the trot, for these brigades to form double column 
and to arrive abreast of the leading brigades. 

On leaving the road* (pars. 414 and 217-219, German 
C. D. R.), the advance guard, the artillery and the machine 
guns are assigned their several tasks, in orders for the 
development for action y or are attached to some brigade. 
The brigade upon which the development is to be made 
is then designated as the base, an objective upon which 
the march is to be directed being at the same time indi- 
cated. In this the brigades may be posted either abreast or in 

^Explanation of certain German terms: The Aufmarsch (concentration) 
of the Infantry (par. 315, Part II, German I. D. R.) corresponds to the enoen 
Versammlung (mass) of the cavalry. In the cavalry, the term Aufmarsch (Aront 
into line) denotes transition to line. The meaning of the term Entfaltung (develop- 
ment for action) is the same in all arms. In the infantry, the Entwicklung (de- 
ployment) consists of forming the troops for battle and includes the extension 
into line of skirmishers; whereas, in the cayalry, it consists of forming line of 
escadrons in colunms of platoons. 

See Tactics, I, Kbuxqbb's translation, p. 205 et ssq., and ibid., II. Kbusobb's 
translation, p. 62. 

144 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

echelon. Intervals and distances are regulated in orders. 
The combat train is cut out (par. 441, German F. S. R.), 
and a dressing station (par. 481, German F. S. R.) estab- 
lished. Pioneers may be utilized either to assist with their 
rifles in defense or to execute technical work. 

It is desirable to come down to the walk, even if only 
for a short time, so as to enable the rear units to come up. 
The carbines are slung. In order to utilize the terrain 
to the best advantage, to minimize the effect of the enemy's 
fire, and to increase one's own readiness for action, the 
brigades take up a broad formation of little depth, fre- 
quently the double column of platoons or the double column. 
Orders for protecting the flanks should never be awaited. 
The commander of each flank unit of his own accord sends 
combat patrols toward the flank. (Par. 50, German 
C. D. R.). 

The subsequent advance is made from point to point, 
the artillery being brought up from one position in readi- 
ness to another. Cavalry combats resemble rencontres; 
the commander who strikes first secures freedom of action 
for himself and has a chance to dictate a course of action 
to the enemy. In the cavalry, moreover, it is more diffi- 
cult than in the infantry, to overcome the start gained by 
the enemy in deploying. On encoimtering the enemy, 
the leader must decide whether he should make the most 
of such a start (pars. 407, 408, 409, 422 and 434, German 
C. D. R.), or whether he should place greater reliance on 
launching his whole force in one body. In many cases, 
particularly in the service of reconnaissance, success gained 
at an early moment, is of special importance. On the other 
hand, retained portions of the command should not be so 
far in rear that the attacking line can be thrown back 
before these supports can take a hand in the fight. If 
the situation is not as yet cleared up, the advance is made 
with corresponding caution and it becomes necessary 
to keep certain parts of the command in reserve so as to 

Attack Formation in Echelon. 


enable the force to deploy not only to the front but in some 
other direction as well. Placing supports on both flanks 
appears to be the simplest method of accomplishing this. 
This formation permits line to be formed quickly in any 
direction by each element partially changing direction. 
When one flank can be so posted as to rest on impassable 







groimd, or on terrain that is open to view for a long dis- 
tance but commanded by one's own artillery, one will 
provide echelons on one flank only. 

An attack formation having an advanced echelon may 
be the natural result of the advance guard relation and 
arises primarily from a desire to assume the offensive. 
Such an echelon may be able to induce an imprudent 
enemy to make a charge against which the other echelons 
then turn. Placing echelons in advance in this manner 
best accords with the offensive, but counts upon a defi- 
nite line of conduct on the part of the enemy. If condi- 
tions on the enemy's side can be ascertained with reasonable 
accuracy, the cavalry leader will be able to develop his 
forces from the very outset abreast of each other and on 
as wide a front as has been determined upon beforehand 
for the attack. The start gained hereby, coupled with 
rapidity, will frequently make it possible to attack the 
enemy so as to envelop him while he is still in the act of 
deploying. The brigade commanders in the various eche- 

146 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

Ions take measures, on their own initiative, for the proper 
distribution in depth of their respective brigades and for 
protection of the flanks. The division commander may 
either order directly what reconnaissance is to be made, 
or assign definite combat fronts to his brigades. 

The flexibility of the echelon formation enables the 
cavalry commander, as the clearness of the situation 
grows apace, to gain that grouping of his force from which 
as a basis the attack is to be made. But the leader must 
guard against the danger of beginning the action with 
inadequate forces and then launching them in driblets. 
This would give the enemy the best of it in the first en- 
counter and it is doubtful \vhether the advantage thus 
gained could ever be wrested away from him. 

As soon as the division commander has decided to 
attack, tasks are first of all assigned to machine guns 
and artillery. If these arms are to do efficient work, 
they must go into position promptly. Their position 
must lie within effective range of the point where the 
encounter w411, in all probability, take place. In case both 
combatants are actuated by this intention, the horse batteries 
of friend and foe may finally oppose each other at close 

The brigades then receive their orders for attack, 
provided an objective can be assigned to each; otherwise 
the march direction is indicated to the base brigade and 
a part of the force is detailed as a reserve. Everything 
else is the business of the brigade commanders (direction 
of the charge, base regiments or objectives). 

♦There ts not much time available. If the two opposing cavalry forcei 
are 4,000 m. apart when the order for attack U issued, only seven to eight min- 
utes remain before the collision. 

The Conduct of the Charge. 147 


The charge will have the best chance of success against 
cavahy that is ready for action, if the charging force is 
properly formed, maintains the trot as long as possible 
and, after covering a short distance at the gallop, endeavors 
with a powerful shock to ride down the enemy.* 

The speed at the moment of impact depends upon the 
capacity of the slowest horses. Hence the shock can be 
delivered in two clearly defined closed ranks, in which 
each individual trooper maintains his place with the firm 
resolution of riding and thrusting down the opponent. 

If, on the other hand, an opportunity offers to strike 
the enemy while his deployment is still in progress, advan- 
tage should be taken of this weakness by charging him, 
even without awaiting the completion of one's own deploy- 
ment, with such parts of the force as are ready for action. 
Success will then depend upon quickly covering the dis- 
tance to the enemy (fast gallop) . An arbitrary assignment 
of gaits to be used at the various stages of the charge is 
out of place; the terrain, the character of the ground, 
the degree of the enemy's preparedness for action, and 
the condition of the horses will be the governing factors. 
It should be borne in mind that if the attack is begun from 

^General Stuart's method of attack: Advance to the attack at a walk; 
when 200 paces from the enemy, well collected trot; at 50 paces gallop progres- 
dvely increased. It should be borne In mind that the opposing cavalry had a 
penchant for awaiting the charge and receiving it with fire. 

The views anent the use of short gaits in a charge, though they have noth- 
ing but an historical Interest, are here quoted: Jomini writes: "The fast trot 
■eems to me to be the best gait for charges in line, because here everything de- 
pends upon the combination of boldness and order, conditions that are not found 
in charges made at a fast gallop . . . Some experienced offlcora prefer the 
canter begun when 200 paces from the enemy. I know that many troopers think 
likevrlse. But I also know that the most distinguished generals of that arm in* 
dine toward charges at the trot. La Salle, one of the most skillful of our generals] 
said one day upon seeing the hostile ^cavalry at the gallop, 'those men are 
lost'." In his report of the engagemem^ at Zehdenik on October 26th, 1806, 
La Salle boasts of not having given the signal to charge until his brigade was 
within ten paces of the hostile Une. This is in line with the Inclination of the 
cavalry of the First ^Empire .to await alcharge^and to receive it with carbine fire. 

148 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

a halt and line is formed just prior to the moment of impact, 
the charge can never gain the momenttmi that it could 
have attained if a longer distance had been covered at an 
easy gallop, straight to the front, without urging the 
horses. When charging an opponent who is already 
formed, one will have to count on covering 400 to 800 m. 
at a gallop and 50 to 100 m. at top speed. 

The cavalry combat is not preceded by preparatory 
stages, but enters at once upon the decisive act, which 
is over in a very few minutes. Favorable moments, more- 
over, are fleeting. For these reasons, the very nature of 
the cavalry combat requires that as large a force as possible 
be simultaneously launched at the decisive point. *Tor, 
if this first attack is repulsed, a second or a third will succeed 
in the rarest cases only. The first line will then form, 
in the mSlee as well as in the retreat, an obstacle through 
which the second line could not possibly advance in good 
order. The direct support from the rear is, at best, but 
a numerical reinforcement, which can become effective 
only in a protracted and, for that reason, rare m616e." 
(Fieldmarshal Moltke). 

As soon as the attacking force moves against the 
enemy, it forms line of escadrons in columns of platoons. 
Line is formed as soon as the proper direction for the 
charge has been gained. If one forms Hne prematurely, 
one sacrifices some mobility, betrays one's intentions to 
the enemy, and gives up all hope of subsequently using 
advantages offered by the terrain. A tardy deplo3mient 
entails the danger of one's being surprised. Every imit 
that is launched in a charge must ride down the opponent 
indicated to it, without regard to what happens on either 
side. This, and this alone, assures that the enemy will 
be actually struck at the first impact, by as many regiments 
and escadrons as the commander deemed necessary to 
laimch. In each regiment, the escadrons, each well closed, 
must be so led as to assure a united attack. The attack- 

Distribution in Depth; Supports; Line. 149 

ing line may be preceded or followed by supporting echelons 
consisting of single escadrons, but it is followed only in 
exceptional cases by an escadron as a second line. 


To assure, by protecting the flanks in the first place, 
the success of an attack made by a considerable number 
of escadrons, to make flank attacks, to pursue the enemy, 
and to cover the rally, requires distribution in depth. 
Whereas an escadron is launched, as a rule, in a single 
line, a regiment finds it necessary to guard the flanks, and 
a brigade to provide a reserve. Infantry begins an action 
with a comparatively weak fraction of its force, and grad- 
ually strengthens the firing line by pushing in retained 
imits. In the cavalry, on the other hand, when advancing 
to attack cavalry, the retained fractions have subsidiary 
tasks. Whereas cavalry finds itself at once in a combat 
situation, ripe in every respect and requiring instant 
decision, in the infantry everything is, for the time being, still 
in the process of developing, and the decision can not be 
brought about except by means of a prolonged fire fight. 
The reserves of the infantry are posted in rear of the 
units that they are to reinforce, the distances being such 
that the reserves are as much as possible sheltered from 
hostile fire. Thus the infantry combat leads ultimately 
to an admixture of all tmits. In the cavalry, the retained 
units can not be directly pushed into the attacking line, 
but must be placed on either or both flanks of that line. 
This then governs the location of such retained fractions 
a short distance in rear of one or both flanks of the attack- 
ing line, or in prolongation of that line and separated from 
it by an interval. To place retained units directly in 
rear of the attacking line would expose them, in case of a 
repulse, to the danger of being run down and carried away 
by that line. Except in an attack against infantry or artil- 
lery, in which the cavalry must break up and multiply, in 

150 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

the direction of depth, the number of targets it offers, the 

various cavalry units are posted abreast, i. e., by wings, 


^^ This has the advantage that tactical organizations 

are not broken up and that the force, split up into brigades 

and into regiments can pick out suitable positions. Be- 

Cavalry Division formed in one Ime for AttocK 

3d. Cov. Briq. 

2d Cov Brig. 

^ z'- 

Ist Cov Brig "**. "^ 

sides, it enables the leader to dispose with greater facility 
of the several fractions, and makes it possible to keep the 
enemy in the dark tmtil the very last moment in regard 
to the true attack direction. Moreover, the leader of every 
subdivision can form his own reserve, all reinforcing is 
done from the rear by troops of the same organization 
as the attacking line, and rallying after a charge is con- 
siderably facilitated. In addition, greater freedom is 
offered to the initiative of subordinate leaders, in con- 
trast to the former combat formation in successive lines, 
which excluded rather than required initiative. But 
now as in the past, the prerequisite to success is the deter- 
mination on the part of every leader to be on hand at the 
decisive moment. 

The Germans call lines that follow in the trace of the 
•attacking line, "Treffen,'* As the lines in rear, owing to 

Supporting Escadrons. 151 

the cohesion of the first line, can find employment in a 
charge against cavalry only when hostile troops pierce 
the attacking line (task of the so-called supporting esca- 
drons), or when there are gaps in that line, it follows that 
a formation in successive lines, as mentioned above, is 
permissible only in a charge against infantry or artillery. 
Units that are not employed in the first line may be posted 
either in rear of the flanks as ''defensive wings," or in front 
of the flanks as advance echelons. Whereas a supporting 
escadron is employed directly to the front only, an echelpn 
of the line that has been pierced can make a flank attack, 
can prolong a line, and can execute an envelopment or repulse 
such a movement if made by the enemy. 

Whether so-called * 'supporting escadrons" are to be 
condemned on general principles, can only be determined 
by experience gained in war. Such escadrons are to be 
used against hostile troops that have broken through the 
first line. The danger of their being carried away by a 
retreating first line must be reckoned with. Another draw- 
back is that a regimental commander employing a sup- 
porting escadron, volimtarily deprives himself of one- 
fourth of his regiment, which might have been used to better 
advantage on a flank. Whether supporting escadrons 
should be used will therefore have to be decided in each 
individual case. Their employment may be proper in 
case the march directions assigned to the various fractions 
during an attack do not guarantee cohesion at the 
moment of impact.* 

*Par. 170, German C. D. R. (Regiment): "An escadron will follow as 
a second line in exceptional cases only." Par. 200. Oerman C. D. R. (Brigade): 
"Under certain conditions single escadrons in line may follow the attacking line." 

During the charge against Montalgu's Oavalry Brigade (French), the 
2d Hussar Regiment, (No. 10) — distributed by platoons in rear of the 13th Dra- 
goons — ^fell upon the French Hussars that had broken through the German lines. 
Cavalry action at Ville sur Yron. — Conduct of the 5th Cavalry Division. Sup' 
pUment to Militar-Wochenblatt, 1892, p. 311. 

152 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

Supporting escadrons are the remains of the Great Frederick's 
second line, whose strength visibly decreased as the superiority over 
the hostile cavalry increased. 

In a memorial written in 1872, General Count Stolberg suggested 
that cavalry divisions be formed and used in three lines.* Count Stol- 

Cavalry Division formed in echelon 
ottocking Artillery 

2d Etc. 2d Esc 


2d. Esc. 2d.Esc. 



IV Gov. Brig 

2d Gov. Brig. ____ 

_^_ 3d.cov.Bri9. _.tL_ 

Column of Plotoons 

in single rank for motion 

R(X»t« columns 

berg advocated the use of successive lines as such, in rear of one another, 
in attacks on infantry and artillery only, such use to be confined to the 
two leading lines. In all other cases, lines in rear were to be used abreast 

*y. Kashleb, Die preustische Reiterei von 1806 bis 1876, p. 258. 

Three Line Tactics. 153 

of the leading line. The revivers of the tactics of successive lines were 
therefore fully aware of the fact that their lines were by no means at all 
times to appear in that relation. General von Schmidt, who had earned 
great distinction in developing the regulations governing the employment 
of cavalry in combat, recognized the advantages of this formation. 
Through his efforts the following normal attack formation for the division 
was adopted: one brigade as the first line, followed directly at 150 paces 
by two supporting escadrons furnished by another brigade, the remainder 
of this brigade following 160 paces farther in rear as a second line and 
overlapping the first line on the exposed flank; the third brigade was 
posted on the opposite flank and 160 paces in rear of the second line. 
Definitely prescribed formations for going into action facilitate deploy- 
ment and simplify command, but, it should not be forgotten that, on the 
other hand, they tend to produce a rigid "pattern'' conduct. The 
system of three line tactics facilitated the united launching, in one body, 
of all of the escadrons. Furthermore, in it, the division constituted a 
single unit of command, each and every subdivision having its own well 
defined task, closely coordinated with that of the whole division. These 
advantages led all armies to incorporate the system of three line tactics 
into their regulations. After this tactical system had proven successful 
on the maneuver ground, people sought to find points of similarity 
between the modem employment of cavalry and that of Frederick the 
Great. In this comparison, however, the very important difference 
was overlooked, that in the Great Frederick's cavalry the first and second 
lines were launched as one unit, whereas in three line tactics the first 
line usually made the frontal attack, the second line the fiank attack. 
Under Frederick the Great, the third line was not placed under the 
orders of the cavalry commander, but constituted an independent army 
reserve. Nowadays, we form such an army reserve of all three arms, 
whereas the third line in the cavalry division constitutes the reserve of 
the cavalry leader. 

Frederick's cavalry was formed in two closely united lines when 
attacking cavalry. The first was to throw back the enemy. For this 
purpose, it was to be made as strong as the length of the hostile line 
necessitated and the terrain permitted. The first line was to ride straight 
at the enemy and to maintain such good cohesion as to enable it to ride 
down anything opposed to it. If practicable, it was to outflank the enemy, 
and to turn with its flanking groups at once against the hostile reserves. 
A second line, usually weaker than the first, was to follow a considerable 
distance in rear of that line as a reserve and to overlap it with some 
escadrons so as to protect the flanks. The second line was charged with 
the task of ensuring success when, perchance, the impact of the first 
line had failed to bring about a victory. It was, furthermore, charged 
with immediately protecting the flanks of the first line, in order to pre- 
vent that line from being misled by possible hostile flank attacks and 
enticed into maneuvering. Part of a number of escadrons of Hussars, 
in column, accompanied the wing that was in the air, and others followed 

154 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

injrear of the two leading lines as a third line. These Hussars were 
not under the orders of the cavalry commander, but entirely independent. 
It was their duty to oppose the more extensive flank or turning 
movements that might be made by the enemy, particularly by mobile 
hostile Hussars, or, when circumstances permitted, to move on their 
own account against the enemy's flanks and rear.* 

Whereas the French, until the appearance of the drill regulations 
of May 12th, 1899, preferred three equally strong lines, the Germans 
increased the strength of the first line to three and four regiments and 
divided the other regiments between the second and third lines. 

In France, General Gallifet did not believe in this decisive success 
of the first line. He was of the opinion that even weak reserves might 
turn the scale in a cavalry fight. He argued that long lines would 
have to deploy at an early moment, frequently before accurate infor- 
mation was available as to the direction in which the enemy was to be 
found. Moreover, that, once deployed, they could no longer be con- 
trolled and would run danger, in case the first direction taken was in- 
accurate, of missing the enemy. Furthermore, that they did not even 
have the moral element to assist them, for each unit could see only those 
immediately in its front. In his opinion, long lines are, on the contrary, 
adapted to enhance the morale of the enemy, as they are easily thrown 
into confusion. Gallifet recommended that, when opposed by the strong 
German first line, the French cavalry keep well concentrated and pierce 
that line. This was based on the assumption that a German cavalry 
division would hurl itself like an enraged animal at the enemy, and it 
was sought to meet this alleged thoughtless, unwieldy onslaught by 
maneuvering and by a skillful use of echelons (groups). The French, 
therefore, condemn "three line tactics" and recommend that suitable 
dispositions be made to fit each particular case. 

To launch a cavalry division according to the prin- 
ciples of three line tactics, each line having an accurately 
defined task, requires that the division be concentrated. 
The moment a part of the division is missing, or when the 
division is not concentrated or other troops join it, this 
tactical procedure undergoes a decided change. Further- 
more, three line tactics are adapted only to open terrain 
permitting an unobstructed view, presuppose that the 
leader will be able to see the enemy as well as his own 
troops, and reckon with the fact that the flanks will be in 
in the air. Other drawbacks are the disruption of units 
of command, caused by splitting up the brigades, and 

^Militdr-Wochenblatt, 1904. No. 1. Die Treffen in der Kavallerie'laktik. 

The Flank Attack. 155 

the set scheme of employment produced. Three line 
tactics correspond, in a certain sense, to the fiercely assailed 
normal attack of the infantry. Three line tactics, like the 
normal attack of the infantry find less and less appli- 
cation, as the deployment takes place more and more 
frequently from route column and not from an assembly 
or transitory formation. When hostile fire forces the 
division to break up into brigades, when the brigades 
arrive upon the battlefield, separated from each other, 
or when single divisional cavalry regiments or cavalry 
brigades, or entire divisions, join the attack, a so-called 
employment "by wings'* (disposition of the several units 
of command) naturally results. The division commander 
is then replaced by independent brigade commanders, 
who relieve him of issuing detailed orders. (Employment 
of the Prussian cavalry on the plateau of Ville sur Yron, 
on August 16th, 1870, and the charge made by Pulz' and 
Bujanovicz' Cavalry Brigades at Custozza.)* Owing to 
the rapid course of the cavalry combat, the difficulty of 
leading consists of bringing the various units into action 
at the proper time and place. When orders do not arrive, 
it must be left to the initiative of each individual leader 
to take proper action. 


** Numbers alone are not decisive; mobility and skilled 
leadership may double the power. It is the duty of the 
leader to launch the decisive blow at the correct place and 
at the proper time. A great stride toward victory will 
have been made if one succeeds in dictating the enemy's 
course of action and imposing upon him the disadvantages 
of the defensive.*' (Par. 422, German C. D. R.). 

*The term "employment by wings" (Jlugelweiae Verwendung) Is not quite 
accurate, for in three line tactics the several parts of the force may likewise be 
employed abreast of one another. The Austrian term "formation in groups'* 
(gruppenweise GHederung) is better, and the term "combat with units of com- 
mand" (Kampf mit KommandoeinheUen) better still. 

tPars. 394 and 428, German C. D. R. 


156 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

In a purely frontal encounter, the number of troopers 
launched and the skillful use of the saber alone decide. 
Units that have no enemy in front of them will wheel into 
line and will seek to envelop a hostile flank. A blow directed 
at the opponent's flank does not produce an immediate 
offensive counter-movement. The part of the enemy's 
line that is threatened must first turn to face the attacking 
line and may be ridden down by the latter during this 
movement or throwTi back upon that part of the hostile 
force which is still faced to the front. A line of cavalry 
advancing to the attack will rarely be able by itself to ward 
off a flank attack. This it must leave to units following 
in rear. Poor cavalry will be tempted to turn tail be- 
fore the shock takes place. Although this effect of the 
flank attack may perhaps be confined at the outset to the 
flank units, it may be communicated finally to the entire 
line. 'Three men in (the enemy's) rear do more than fifty 
in front." (Frederick the Great). Front and flank at- 
tacks should, therefore, be combined. The effect of the 
flank attack is increased if it is converted into an envelop- 
ment during the m61ee. From this we may deduce the 
following : 

1. In a combat against cavalry, the flank attack is 
the most decisive form of attack. Its effect is increased 
in proportion to the suddenness with which it is made. 
**If the flank attack is made only against the flank of the 
leading hostile line, it will, to be sure, produce an effect 
through the shock and the attendant moral impression, 
but promises only a local success. Such an attack offers 
single escadrons a favorable target. If the attack is di- 
rected against the flank of the entire hostile force, in a 
broader sense, it will compel the enemy to change formation 
at a critical moment and may, when combined with a 
frontal attack, through envelopment, bring about a decisive 
victory. A simultaneous attack of both flanks presupposes 

The Flank Attack. 157 

a considerable superiority or an opponent who has not 
as yet deployed.*' (Par. 428, German C. D. R.). 

The bulk of the force is launched where it is desired 
to bring about the decision. Owing to its importance, the 
flank attack is frequently employed to bring about the de- 
cision. In such a case, only as many troops as are necessary 
to hold him are launched against the enemy's front. 

2. The deployment in the direction of the point of 
impact should not be made prematurely, in order that the 
opponent may be left in the dark as long as possible in 
regard to the direction from which the shock is coming. 
On the other hand, it should not be made too late, so that 
there will be enough time to bring every weapon into line 
and give the horses a chance to get up all the speed that 
is in them. As soon as the proper direction for the charge 
has been gained and maneuvering is no longer possible, 
line is formed. The idea of gaining the enemy's flank 
by maneuvering is as tempting as the danger of being 
attacked in turn during the movement is great. Labored 
artifices are out of place in face of the enemy. Only by 
going straight at him can one dictate the enemy's course 
of action and prevent him from maneuvering and from 
making flanking movements. *'The King hereby for- 
bids all officers of cavalry, under pain of being cashiered 
in disgrace, ever to allow themselves in any action to be 
charged by the enemy, for the Prussians themselves are 
always to charge the enemy."* 

3. The enemy is to be held in front and, when practi- 
cable, to be induced to deploy in a wrong direction. 

4. The unit in the first line must be completely 
relieved of all care for its flanks and rear by units that follow 
in rear (echeloning), by the terrain, or by dismotmted 

*Fbbdiirigk the Orbat. Disposition toie sich die Orders von d$r Kav. u. s. to, 
torn »5. Juli, 174^. 

The requirement "ftlways charge the enemy first/' is foimd as far back 
as 1727 in the Cavalry Drill Regulations of Frederick William I. 

158 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

troopers or machine guns posted in suitable positions. 
(Pars. 432, 435 and 438^ German C. D. R.). 

5. The flanks should be constantly observed by com- 
bat patrols, who likewise continue in observation during 
the charge. (Pars. 50, 410 and 411, German C. D. R.). 

The difficulty of execution lies in striking the flank 
of the hostile cavalry, owing to the inconsiderable target 
ofl^ered by the same. Hence the charge should be launched 
in the direction of a point toward which both forces are 
moving. But a skillful opponent will have means of minimi- 
zing the effect of the flank attack. If a flank attack fails, 
the attacking cavalry may easily be dispensed or the flank- 
ing group may be thrown upon the frontal group. 

A flank attack is either the immediate consequence 
of the direction of march of the force, or may be brought 
about, if the terrain is favorable, by forces retained in rear. 
It may be made with the entire force or may be intended 
to support an attack made from another direction. In 
order to keep the enemy in the dark as long as possible 
about the direction of the attack and to reduce the dis- 
tances that have to be covered, it may sometimes be 
advisable to make the flank attack ^\4th the leading line. 

It is important to decide how many troops are to be 
employed to deliver the blow at the enemy's flank. One 
must decide whether the flank attack should be directed 
against a hostile line that has already been launched, or 
whether an enveloping movement of greater magnitude 
should be made, so that not only the first but a second 
line as well may be struck. In the first case, only a few 
escadrons need be employed, as there are not enough 
objectives (flank of the first line) to make a broader frontage 
worth while. When the center of the flank attack strikes 
the flank of the deployed opponent, there must be a 

The Flank Attack. 159 

sufficient excess of force remaining to wheel against his 
flank and rear. In any case, however, too many escadrons 
should not be employed, as a large part of the force might 
strike nothing. A few escadrons will suffice in most cases; 
the others remain available to guard the leading element 
and the exposed flank, and, as a reserve, to ward off hostile 
coiuiter-attacks. It is idle to ask whether the flank attack 
should be made simultaneously with the frontal attack, 
or later; the main thing is that the blow be effective. A 
flank attack made subsequent to the collision may turn 
the scale in a m&lee that is a stand-off. 

When initiating a flank attack, it is advisable to form 
double column, to have the head of the column execute 
an appropriate change of direction and to lead it against 
the enemy's flank. The force must be in a formation 
that enables it to deploy with equal ease in direction of 
the leading element and toward the front. 

The column of platoons is weak in direction of its head, but strong 
toward a flank. At any rate, its head requires to be specially protected 
by a unit posted at the required deploying distance from the column. 
After the column of platoons has wheeled into line, this unit follows 
in rear of the exposed flank. 

When the second echelon is already in line of escadrons, 
the heads of escadrons may be caused to change direction 
at the signal "heads of escadrons" {Eskadronteten-Ruf) 
and led, in this manner, against the enemy's flank. From 
this formation, it is equally easy to deploy against the flank 
of the enemy and against an attack coming from a direc- 
tion opposite to the direction of march. This formation 
requires, however, open terrain permitting easy passage 
on a sufficiently wide front. 

According to the very thorough Russian regulations, the second 
echelon, if already in line and if opposed on open terrain by a very 
mobile and wide-awake enemy, is to wheel by platoons, half right, for 
example, move toward the enemy's flank, make a quarter left wheel 
by platoons, execute front into line in each escadron, and charge. The 
Russians claim that this procedure has the advantage that the enemy 

160 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

does not recognize the purpose of this movement until a very late moment 
and that the direction in which the charge is to be made is retained 
during the forward movement, making it possible to ward off a counter^ 
attack on the part of the enemy. When covered approach is practicable, 
when the enemy lacks enterprise, and has no reserves in rear of his wings, 
the cavalry is to be led in column of platoons toward the hostile flank. 
When the second echelon is a considerable distance in rear of the first, 
it is sufficient to advance in echelon from one wing, and to wheel into 
line toward the hostile flank. 

Protection for the flanks (warding off of a flank attack, 
pars. 436 and 437, German C. D. R.) is provided by form- 
ing a defensive wing, so-called, which moves straight to- 
ward the flank attack. In this operation the opponent 
has the initiative and may, if the attack is successful, 
throw the defensive wing upon the first line. The defen- 
sive wing is nothing but a makeshift in case one is surprised 
by a flank movement and time is lacking to take more 
adequate cotmter-measures. It is better to post troops 
in prolongation of the general line and to fall upon the 
leading elements of the enemy, or to envelop his main 
force. Such a maneuver is in line with the spirit of the 
offensive. The initiative, which the enemy seeks to gain, 
is wrested from him. If he wishes to avoid being himself 






• I I I I I I I " ■'! 



Defensive win( 

Warding off a Flank Attack 
by means of offensive action. 

The Impact and the M£l£e. 161 

taken in flank, he will have to change his formation as 
soon as he becomes aware of our advance. If he dis- 
covers our movement too late, he will not have enough 
time left to form a new front on his leading element and 
will go down to defeat. When the echelon is very strong, 
a combination of both methods will usually force the enemy 
to abstain from his intention. 


Even when the terrain offers no difficulties, and 
hostile bullets produce no losses in its ranks, charging 
cavalry — ^in actual war — ^never forms such a solid wall 
that it could not be broken by the onrushing lines of 
the opponent. Besides, a Une of charging cavalry is never 
straight enough to bear comparison with a stone wall. 
The desire to close with the enemy — a desire that does 
not appear equally strong in all the men — and losses will 
impair the cohesion of the line. The best men will seek to 
join their officers riding in front. Thus wedges are formed, 
which are driven against the enemy's line.* There is no 
collision of two solid bodies. A horse will invariably try 
to evade an obstacle, and the better the cohesion of the 
unit advancing to the charge, the smaller is the chance 
of such evasion. Consequently, the denser wedges will 
turn instinctively against those parts of the hostile line 
where cohesion has been lost, and will penetrate them. 
The inrushing troops will then carry away with them the 
adjacent parts of the enemy's line. The broken part of the 
line then either begins the m§lee, in which it will soon succumb 

*The formation of the Hanoverian cavalry was actuaUy calculated to 
produce this, for the best and strongest troopers on the best and strongest horses 
were posted In the center of the escadron and were to form a wedge In rear of the 
escadron commander. 

Example: The successful charge made near Stresetltz by two escadrons 
of the 11th Austrian Uhlans against the 1st Dragoons of the Prussian Guard, 
whose cohesion had been considerably impaired by crossing a ditch. — KaviUle' 
risHsehe Monatshefts, 1908. 

162 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

on account of its numerical inferiority, or, in view of that 
inevitable outcome, evacuates the battlefield, carrying 
with it, if the morale of the force is not good, parts of the 
line still intact. Both opponents may have their line 
penetrated. Both will likewise lose a number of troopers 
who, believing the turn taken by affairs in their front to be 
imfavorable to hand-to-hand combat, leave the field 
voluntarily or are soon forced to do so. The number 
of men thus withdrawing from the m^lee grows apace as the 
cohesion with which the line advances to the charge decreases, 
as the niunber of points of penetration offered the enemy 
increases, and as the ease with which the men can turn 
tail is enhanced. On the other hand, the number of men 
so shirking the fight, increases in proportion as the enemy, 
thanks to better cohesion (local superiority) increases, 
in the mind of the individual opponent, the impression 
of personal danger. The larger the number of those morally 
vanquished at the moment of impact, the smaller the pros- 
pects of that unit's victoriously terminating the m616e. 

In a comprehensive study of the cavalry combats 
at Stresetitz in 1866, and at Ville sur Yron in 1870, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Wenninger* sought to obtain a clear con- 
ception of the collision. Such a thing as two cavalry 
forces in close order meeting and riding each other down 
did not occur. At Stresetitz, sixteen and a half escadrons 
and at Ville sur Yron thirty-five and a half escadrons, 
their own cohesion somewhat impaired, made a charge, 
which, not being pushed home, resulted in a m616e. At 
Stresetitz, eight escadrons turned tail before they struck 
the hostile line. 

''Against cavalry, the escadron charges in line, as a 
rule. The shock must be delivered with full force and in 
two clearly defined ranks maintaining firm cohesion. 

*Ober Verlauf und Ergebnls von Reiterzusammenstdszen. Eln offener 
Brief an alio noch lebenden Zeugen von Relterkampfen." Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wenninger. Commanding Ist Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment, Vienna. 1.80 
Kr. Kav. Monatshefte, 1908. 

The Impact and the MfeL^E. 163 

Cohesion, above all else, is decisive. Every trooper should 
know this, keep his place in ranks and maintain close 

"The two guides on the flanks of the escadron keep 
the escadron closed on its center. Small gaps in the front 
rank are removed by closing in; larger gaps are filled by 
rear-rank troopers moving up.** (Par. 106, German C. D. 
R.). *'The charge may be made without cheering only 
in case the attention of adjacent hostile units is not to be 
drawn to the charging unit.*' (Par. 109, German C. D. R.). 

In order that the trooper, immediately after penetrat- 
ing the hostile line, may be able to throw his horse about 
and begin the hand-to-hand fight, he must have a thoroughly 
trained, obedient moimt. As a rule, the troops engaged 
in a m616e continue to move in the direction in which the 
shock of the sui)erior force was delivered. Frequently, 
of course, the shock alone may decide the action, hence 
the demand to make the first line as strong as possible, 
in order that success may be assured. The lance — ^whose ^ 
superiority over the saber both in the shock and during ^ 
the pursuit is imquestioned, though it may be a disad- , 
vantage in the m616e in a crowded space — should induce 
us to bring about the decision by main force and cohesion 
at the moment of impact, so that the enemy will not take 
chances on a m616e. 

The impression produced by the collision is so tremen- 
dous that in a force that charges the enemy for the first 
time the example and encouragement of the officers is 
required to cause the men to make use of their weapons. 
Experience teaches that, if the m61ee does not come to a 
standstill but moves along over a wide space, the troopers 
rarely if ever think of using their weapons,* and the losses 
that the enemy suffers are in consequence insignificant. 

*Three escadrons of the Ist UtLlans at Orleans. Kunz, Reiterie, p. 305. 
12th Hussars at Langenhof-Stresetitz. — Oharge made by the Newmark Dragoons 
at Stresetltz (K5niggrfttz). v, Qtistobp. 

164 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

The combat of small imits with the artne blanche 
will invariably be decided in a very short time. When the 
opponents are completely intermixed, the m616e may per- 
haps continue for a while at the point where the collision 
took place. Very soon, however, first one trooper here 
and there, then several, will withdraw from the fight, 
and the action will begin to move in one or the other di- 
rection. The various groups will now open up somewhat, 
and the melee will finally become flight on the one side and 
pursuit on the other. 

The mfil^e is decided most quickly by the action of 
fresh bodies in close order, especially if they attack from 
a flank in rapid succession. Charging in close order into 
the disintegrated mass, no matter if friendly troopers are 
ridden down in the process, such bodies drive the entire 
mass before them in the direction of the charge and on a 
front equal to their own. But they in turn gradually lose 
more and more of their own cohesion and effectiveness. 
The hostile troopers must be aware that their flank is 
attacked and that their line of retreat is endangered, before 
thoughts of turning tail become rife in their minds. If 
another unit tries to stem the headlong rush of retreating 
troopers by advancing against them, it will be carried away.* 
The best way for such a unit to differentiate between 
victor and vanquished (friend and foe) is to approach from 
a flank. It is inmiaterial in what formation such a move- 
ment is made. 

Koniggratz. On debouching at the trot, in column of platoons, 
from a defile, the 4th Uhlans (great cavalry charge at Langenhof-Strese- 
titz), saw a large cavalry mass, Prussians and Austrians intermingled, 
approaching at a rapid pace from the left front. The two leading es- 
cadrons of the 4th Uhlans formed line and charged into the mass. The 

*The leading escadron of General C16rembault'8 Division at the dose 
of the cavalry action at Vllle sur Yron. Kunz, Reiterei, p. 142. Advancing 
straight to the firont. at Stresetits. the 3d and 4th Bscadrons of the 5th Hussars, 
and the 3d Escadron of the 7th Hussars, were carried away by the fugitives. 
KavaUeriati$che Monatshefu, 1908, XI, p. 918. See also the successful flank at- 
tack made by the 16th Dragoons at Ville sur Yron. KavallerisHsche Afonol«- 
hefU, 1902. XII. p. ^023. 

The Impact and the MfeL^E. 165 

8d and 4th Escadrons followed the leading escadrons for the time being 
in column of platoons, then formed line to the flank by wheeling by pla- 
toons, and charged. This stopped the Austrian pursuit and gave the 
defeated 12th Hussars (Prussian) a chance to rally.* 

Such a procedure is, however, permissible only so long 
as formed hostile bodies need no longer be reckoned with. 
Such hostile bodies must first be defeated before the leader 
of a imit that has not as yet entered the fight, can think 
of throwing himself into a mfel6e. (Par. 418, German 
C. D. R.). 

From this we may deduce the following: In order to 
assure a decision before a m61ee takes place, the shock must 
be delivered with as many troops as possible. If the troops 
are once launched, the first line should charge straight at 
the enemy, without apprehension for its flanks and with 
the firm conviction that these are best protected by the 
following units and by making the advance unhesitatingly. 
This and this only, enstu'es that the enemy will actually be 
struck, at the first impact, with the force that the leader 
considered sufficient, f 

Since the m616e of large bodies of cavalry extends over 
a large area and requires considerable time before a decision 
is reached, a shock delivered by fresh bodies is necessary to 
cut down the length of the action. Hence, the necessity 
of providing reserves to decide the mfilee, to take up the 
pursuit, or to cover the rally. In a cavalry combat of any 
magnitude, victory generally rests with the side that is 
able to bring into action the last formed body. The dis- 
tribution in depth of the larger cavalry bodies is governed 

*Qeschichte des UhlanenreoitMnts Nr, 4, p. 80. 

Contrary View: "If a m^l^e threatens to become disastrous, reserves 
are thrown in, on as broad a firont as possible, not from a flank however, but 
straight to the ftont. The longer the front, the smaller the effect of flank attacks. 
Such attacks easily miss the objective and thus lead to a squandering of forces.'! 
▼. Bemhardi. 

tThe German regulations thus declare against the independent employment 
of escadrons on the wings, which is required by other regulations. Such an 
employment is permissible only when there are no formed bodies following in 
rear of the wing that la attacked. 

Example: The 1st Bscadron of the 19th Dragoons during the cavalry action 
at Vllle sur Yron. Kunz, Reiterei, p. 138. 

166 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

by the requirements stated above. It would be a mistake, 
however, if one is numerically inferior, to laimch the various 
fractions one after another and thereby to deprive oneself 
of the advantage of bringing about the decision by the 
shock of a strong line. As a rule, an escadron or a regiment 
will launch all its parts simultaneously. 

After the m616e, victors and vanquished are in equal 
disorder. While the sense of elation produced by the knowl- 
edge of having gained a victory gives the victors an ad- 
vantage over the vanquished, the greatest danger for the 
victorious cavalry lies in blindly rushing after the defeated 

In reading the history of cavalry, we find recurring 
attempts to augment the shock by fire action and to make 
the trooper place greater dependence in the m616e upon his 
firearm than upon his saber or his lance. Aside from 
endangering the officers riding in front of the line, this is 
not advisable for other reasons. When we consider the 
nervousness produced in the majority of horses by the 
sound and flash of a firearm discharged in immediate 
proximity to their ears and the extraordinary memory of 
these animals, it would appear to be by no means easy to 
maintain order, unimpaired cohesion and equable progress 
in a line of charging cavalry. But, if this is done, the force 
of the shock is not only broken, but the charging troopers 
themselves are greatly endangered by the fire of their 

Toward the close of the South-African war, the Boers 
used moimted fire action when advancing to the attack. 

In the United States cavalry, which still charges in 
single-rank formation, the revolver may be used before the 
. shock, and mounted fire action is still used in the following 
vcases : 

.1. When weak forces are to create a short delay; 

2. In pursuit, when a mounted charge can not be made ; 

Mounted Fire Action. 167 

3. In covering a retreat, when it is risky to dismount 
or it is impracticable to advance to the charge ; 

4. In warding off a hostile charge that is moving over 
difficult ground. 

Firing with the rifle, motmted, is to be confined, as a rule, 
to extended order formations, the interval between troopers 
being four yards. 

Feeling its own inferiority, a unit that has been incorrectly trained, 
may take a notion to meet the charge of the hostile cavalry with volley 
fire (delivered at a halt), and to take advantage of the disorder attending 
the loss inflicted, by charging. There are serious objections to this 
procedure. In the first place, the shortness of the firearm and the 
distance between ranks enable but one rank to fire and compel each 
trooper to turn his horse forty-five degrees to the right. In the second 
place, aiming in an oblique direction is even less practicable than in the 
infantry. Besides, the requirement that the front of the charging body 
be approximately parallel to the objective can not be fulfilled, even in 
a unit of so narrow a front as an escadron, owing to the mobility of the 
objective. Although one may succeed in training horses so that they 
will tolerate firing from the saddle, the great majority of them can not 
be so highly trained as to make possible reasonably accurate aiming 
from the saddle. (Heaving of the flanks after covering some distance 
at the trot or gallop). If we reckon 200 m. as the distance that must 
be covered to get up speed to develop the momentum requisite for the 
shock, and thirty seconds for slinging carbines, grasping saber or lance, 
and pointing the horses straight to the front, the last volley would have 
to be delivered when at least 400 yards from cavalry that is advancing 
to the attack. Military history shows that cavalry that advanced with 
determination against cavalry that placed dependence upon this ma- 
neuver, invariably overthrew the latter. General Suchotin, Russian Army, 
a few years ago again advocated mounted fire action, but without finding 
many followers even in Russia. Practical tests made of mounted fire 
action under favorable conditions, in Russia, furnished unsatisfactory 

At Soor, on September 30th, 1745, the cavalry of the Prussian right 
wing charged in two lines against the Austrian carbineers and mounted 
grenadiers. The latter considered the ground over which the charge 
was made impassable on account of the steep slopes, and received the 
Prussian cavalry with carbine fire. Although this fire produced con- 
siderable confusion in the Prussian first line, the Prussian cavalry suc- 
ceeded in breaking the Austrian line and in throwing it back upon its 
second line. Twenty-seven Austrian escadrons retreated in disorderly 

**'Neiie AusMldungsmethoden bei der russischen Kavallerie, von Qtneral 
Suchotin," translated by A. v. Drtoalski. Berlin 1892. 

168 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

flight and enabled the Prussian infantry to make the attack on Graner 


In the action at la Chausaee, February 3d, 1814, French Cuirassiers 

received the Prussian Hussars, who advanced at dawn, with a carbine 
volley delivered at six paces. The French Cuirassiers were thrown back 
and in their flight carried away their second line. A battalion of Prussian 
infantry that had followed immediately upon the heels of the Hussars 
was enabled to take advantage of the victory gained. This very interest- 
ing action is unfortunately not well known, t 

In the Thirty Years' war, the imperial troopers galloped back and 
forth firing their weapons as they went. Gustavus Adolphus, on the 
other hand, required his troopers to charge sword in hand after the front 
rank had discharged one pistol volley during the advance to the attack.} 
Charles XII, and Frederick William I (Orders dated March 8th, 1734) 
prohibited the use of firearms during the charge. The cavalry of Fred- 
erick the Great was permitted to fire from the saddle only after the hostile 
cavalry had turned tail. 

During the cavalry actions of the American War of Sec«Mion» the 
cavalry of both sides evinced a strange predisposition for firearms, the 
saber falling, finally, completely into disrepute. The Confederate 
cavalry was from the outset mounted infantry, but did not hesitate to 
charge mounted. On the other hand, it dismounted to fight on foot in 
cases where European cavalry would undoubtedly have sought to bring 
about the decision by means of the arme blanche,^ 

*Kriege Friedrichs des Groszen, II, Chap. 3. p. 73. 

+v. Ullecu. C. F. W. v. Reyher, II, p. 223. 

Weil, La campagne de 1814, II. P- 140. 

V. CoLOMB, Geschichie der preuszischen Kavallerie^ p. 19. 

Look up also engagement at Zehdenick» April 5th, 1813, in Mackbnben, 
Schwarze Husaren, I. p. 374. 

^According to Chbmnitz {Cfironica Koniglichen Schicedischen in TetUscMand 
gefUhrten Krieges, I. p. 475): "He (Gustavus Adolphus did not take much stock 
in wheeling and caracoling. His cavalry was formed in three ranks, was to move 
straight at the enemy and to collide with him. The fjront rank only, or at most 
the first two ranlu were allowed to fire, and then only when they were close enough 
to the enemy to see the white of his eyes: then they were to grasp their swords. 
The rear rank, however, without firing a shot, was to close sword in hand with the 
enemy, aad each man in this rank was to keep both his pistols in reserve (the men 
of the two leading ranks, one pistol each) for use in the mt^l^e." 

niThe following is taken from instructions issued by General Stuart in 18<IS: 
"The bad habit acquired from tlie enemy, and which is entirely dictated by coward- 
ice, of advancing to the attack at a fast gait when a quarter of a mile fTom the 
enemy and of halting and firing at pistol shot range. Is foolish and always useless. 
The revolver should never be used in a charge, except when the enemy is in rear of an 
obstacle and can not be reached with the arm, or when the trooper is separated 
from his horse and fights on foot, in wlilch case this weapon is very effective." "If 
an attack fails, the sharpshooters (mounted) on the flanks are not to go to the rear 
but are to bring a concentric fire to bear on the enemy, and seek to delay him until 
the reserve comes up." It was thus that Stuart received his death wound. 

In this connection, the cavalry battle at Brandy Station. June 6th. 1863. Is 

Heros von Borcke. Zwei Jahre im Sattel und am Feinde, II, p. 203. 

V. BoRCKE-ScBBiBEBT. Die groszB Reiurschlacht bei Brandy Station, Berlin. 

Result of Cavalry Actions. 169 

As the war progressed, the Union cavalry imitated the example of 
the Confederate cavalry. Both were incapable of making a boot-to-boot 
charge across country. In the mC'l^e, the revolver brought about the 
decision. At the outbreak of the war, several Confederate cavalry 
organizations were even armed with shotguns and used the butts of these 
weapons during a mel^^^e. The revolver came into general use gradually. 
Under the peculiar conditions existing on the American theater of war, 
it proved more effective than either saber or lance, as the cavalry of both 
sides was not trained in the use of the saber, did not have supple, well 
trained horses, such as the hand-to-hand combat requires, and as, 
even in civil life, the American preferred the revolver to cold steel. Be- 
sides, life on the frontier with its combats against Indians and Mexicans 
had accustomed Americans to firing from the saddle. The situation 
would have been considerably altered, if fully trained European cavalry 
had been pitted from the very start against the Confederate cavalry before 
the latter was sufficiently trained. As it was, it became necessary to 
continue on the course that had been attended with success, and to perfect 
the tactics so far as this was possible in war time. As a matter of fact, the 
wooded and broken nature of the terrain favored the method of combat 
employed. The advantages claimed for the revolver, viz., its superior 
range and moral effect, the greater severity of wounds produced by it 
and its deadly effect in the milee* must be in part acknowledged, but. 
come into play only with a corresponding national aptitude for its use. I 
The fact that encouragement on the part of the leaders is necessary, as a ' 
rule, during a charge, to cause the men to use their weapons, shows that 
perhaps only a small percentage of the men possess the requisite coolness 
to use a firearm with telling effect. The advantages that Americans 
claim for the revolver are offset by corresponding disadvantages. These 
consist of the uncertainty of the aim, which, on account of the range 
of the weapon, endangers friend and foe alike, and the comparatively 
unarmed condition of the trooper as soon as the revolver is emptied. 
The use of the firearm is undoubtedly coupled with a deterioration of 
true cavalry spirit. This deterioration did not become apparent in the 
United States, it is true, so long as such leaders as Stuart, Forest, Grierson, 
and Sheridan rode at the head of the cavalry, but must inevitably appear 
when such leaders are wanting. 

The result of great cavalry battles can not be judged, 
as a rule, by the numerical loss in killed and wounded. This 
loss, like disorder and exhaustion, is usually the same on 
both sides. But the vanquished force leaves a large number 

^Engagement (November 1864) between a troop of Federal cavalry armed 
with sabers and a troop of Mosby'B Cavalry armed with revolvers. Losses: Con- 
federates, 1 trooper; Federals, 24 killed, 12 womided and 62 prisoners (out of a 
total of 100 men). This is an extraordinarily high ratio of killed to wounded. 
Scott, Partisan Life with Mosby, p. 371. 

170 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

of prisoners and horses in the hands of the victor, since 
only the latter is able to round up the troopers and horses 
that have become scattered and isolated on the battlefield. 
The moral effect of a victory exerts such a far-reaching 
influence that, after several victories, the defeated, intimi- 
dated, hostile cavalry evacuates the field without more ado, 
and leaves to the victor the freedom of pursuing his mission 
without let or hindrance. 

It Ib well known that both French and Germans claim the victory 
in the great cavalry engagement on the plateau of Villa sur Yron» on 
August 16th, 1870. The Germans put in 2,936 sabers, and lost 44 officers, 
386 men, and 416 horses. The French entered the fight with 2,640 
sabers, and lost 86 officers and 626 men; the rather large number of 
prisoners could not be ascertained. The loss of the Germans amounted 
to 12 fo, that of the French to 26^.* 

If the unit is defeated, the enemy will dictate at what 
gait and what distance it must retreat. During the re- 
trograde movement officers and non-commissioned officers 
should endeavor to keep the unit in hand, so that, in case 
of necessity, they may be able to give it another march di- 
rection. ' * If the pursuit flags or help arrives, the leader 
directs the signal 'front' to be blown. At this signal, 
which is to be repeated on the trumpet by all the trumpeters, 
and shouted by all officers, non-commissioned officers and 
privates, every trooper turns to the front by making a left 
about. This is followed, as a rule, by the signal 'Rally. * ' ' 
(Par. 112, German C. D. R.). 


*'The fruits of victory must be reaped by a vigorous 
pursuit in order to inflict as much loss as possible on the 
enemy, and to prevent him from again facing to the front. 
Bodies in close order follow him to turn his defeat into 

^Aooordlng to Kriegsgeschichtliche Eintelschriften, 25, p. 67. 

The Pursuit. 171 

annihilation and to sectire the pursuing troops from a re- 
verse. Units that can be spared are made available for 
new tasks/' (Par. 419, German C. D. R.). 

"If both lines of the enemy have been thrown back, 
the front rank of the attacking first line is to fall out and 
to pursue. 

'*This is likewise to be done on the flanks by the 
Hussars, which, with the Cuirassiers, are to pursue the 
fleeing enemy, so that the escadrons will remain assembled 
and in good order not more than 200 paces in rear of the 
men that have fallen out to pursue. 

**N. B. — In pursuing the enemy, the Cuirassiers as 
well as the Hussars must not give the enemy time to rally, 
but must ptu'sue him as far as a defile, a dense forest, 
or some such obstacle, as the enemy will then suffer enor- 
mous damage. 

' ' If the enemy becomes dispersed, those that piu"sue him 
must always seek to overtake his leading troopers, as those 
in rear will in any case be theirs, and if they gain the head 
of the fleeing enemy the others (of the enemy) will be theirs 
by that alone. During the action they (the pursuing 
troopers) are to cut or shoot down as many of the enemy 
as possible, and begin to make prisoners only when every- 
thing will soon be over. 

**The second line, when it sees that both hostile lines 
are defeated, is to wheel, in conjunction with a few of the 
nearest escadrons, upon the infantry of the enemy, and 
charge and penetrate both lines of the hostile infantry 
simultaneously in flank. 

*'The King also hereby enjoins upon all commanders of 

escadrons that each and every one of them is to act for 
himself after the first charge. As soon as they have been 
in the m61ee, the one who has his xmit formed first, must, 

172 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

without waiting for his comrade, close with the enemy. 
For generals may be killed during the charges, or have 
their horses shot from under them, in which case it becomes 
the duty of the field officers to act at once on their own 
initiative, without reference to what the right or the left 
wing may be doing. One and all are to observe the gen- 
eral rule, that the front rank is never to be allowed to fall 
out until the two lines of the enemy are defeated. The 
man in ranks is accordingly to be well instructed in this."* 

What Frederick the Great says above in his instruc- 
tions dated July 25th, 1744, applies even under the con- 
ditions of to-day. 

Clearly visible superiority of the enemy, unfavorable 
ground, and the prospect of getting under severe infantry 
or artillery fire, may determine the leader not to accept 
the charge and to avoid the collision. However, none but 
poor cavalry will, without orders, turn tail before the 
impact. In either case, the hostile cavalry will have gained 
an advantage and, if the retrograde movement begins 
within striking distance, will have to endeavor by piu"- 
suing to convert the retreat of the enemy into flight. For 
this purpose, escadrons and platoons are designated. These 
take up the charge as foragers at the command: **As 
foragers, March!.*' '*Each trooper, cheering the while, 
takes up the pursuit without regard to direction, formation, 
and cohesion and endeavors to disable as many opponents 
as possible. The pursuit is terminated by the signal 
'Rally*.*' (Par. 110, German C. D. R.). This maneuver 
will be effective if the hostile cavalry is routed, but not 
if it is retiring by order, for if it faces again to the front 
or is reinforced by fresh troops, the attacker is botmd to 
suffer a reverse. In any event, formed bodies must be 
at hand. 

*Thls quotation from Instnictiona given by Frederick the Great to blB car- 
airy, has been rendered as literally as possible consistent with deamess. — Tram- 

The Pursuit. 173 

According to the Austrian regulations, the pursuit 
is to be made by certain parts of the force in case the 
enemy turns tail when still a considerable distance away. 
If he faces about when only a short distance away, how- 
ever, the unit nearest the enemy takes up the fast gallop 
and endeavors to cut its way into his ranks. 

Katzler's so-called "long charge'' at Berry au Bac on March 14th, 
1814, is a warning example. 

When York's and BLleist's Corps advanced toward the Aisne after 
the battle of Laon, Major v. Krafft was pushed across the river with one 
escadron of the 2d Household Hussar Regiment. "The enemy pushed 
back the flankers with superior force and posted an escadron of lancers 
on a height that obstructed all view. As no one knew what was behind 
this hill, it was rather a precarious undertaking to advance against the 
lancers. Major v. Krafift decided to lure the lancers from their hill. 
He told his men that he would lead them to within a short distance of the 
enemy, when all were to turn about and let their horses run, but that all 
were to rally at his first word and to face to the front as soon as the time 
came to renew the attack. This was done. As soon as he had faced his es- 
cadron to the rear, the lancers rushed wildly after him, and soon formed 
a wedge that had lost all control of its horses. Major v. Krafft now 
wheeled his escadron to the front and the lancers, who saw themselves 
outwitted, wanted to save themselves by crying 'Quarter, comrades, 
wer're desterters'. But the Hussars did not see it that way and during 
the chase, which covered nearly a mile, almost all the lancers were cut 

A defeated cavalry force can not rally unless the 
pursuer is driven off the field by fresh troops, gets under 
effective fire, or his horses are blown. A pursuit that is 
the continuation of a running hand-to-hand fight, will 
always stretch over a large area, so that men motinted on 
poor horses will be left behind. All leaders will endeavor 
to form all men not immediately engaged with an enemy 
into groups of two ranks. In doing this no attention should 
be paid to the formation, nor to the fact that the men belong 
to different organizations. With the units so formed 
they should throw themselves upon the enemy, as soon 

*Damitz, Geaehichte des Feldtuges van 18 14, p. 163. This maneuyer was also 
employed by BIticher during the campaign on the Rhine In 1704, and Is described 
in the Campagne Journal, p. 01. 

174 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

as he shows a disposition to face about or brings up his reserves. 
These groups assemble and form escadrons while ad- 
vancing and constitute the first formed reserves of the 
leader. The superior commander will not be able until 
later to attempt to get formed bodies in hand. Units 
that have found no opponent or that were not launched 
in pursuit, at once place themselves at the disposal of the 
leader. (Par. 202, German C. D. R.). But all troops 
engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy continue 
that action — ^not a single lance should be wanting. Fail- 
ure to provide a reserve was responsible for the fact that 
the initial success of Colonel von Edelsheim*s charge at 
Solferino, that of the British Light Brigade at Balaklava, 
and that of Bredow*s Brigade at Vionville could not be 
followed up, and terminated in disaster. The French regula- 
tions prescribe that the pursuit be made 'Vigorously'* {Veph 
dans les reins), and that it reach out toward a flank and 
overtake the enemy, so as to cut him off and prevent him 
from again facing to the front. 


The ability to rally quickly has ever been characteristic 
of good cavalry. It is only when cavalry can do this that it 
remains a flexible, useful weapon in the hands of its leader. 
Just when the rally can be executed depends upon the enemy 
and one's own intentions.* The escadrons rally in line. The 
formation to be taken up by larger units is ordered after 
the escadrons have rallied. As the rally is rarely followed 
by a for^^ard movement, it is advisable to rally units larger 
than an escadron at once in column. The larger the 
force launched, the longer it takes to rally and the larger 
the area over which the cavalry is scattered. During the 
battle of Prague in 1757, eighty Prussian escadrons were 

^Frequently both opponents begin to rally simultaneously. Imbued with the 
idea that they are unable to bring about a decision. (Cavalry action at Trautenau). 

Austrian Regulations. 175 

completely scattered and cotdd not be rallied until evening ; 
only one regiment remained together. After the cavalry 
action on the plateau of Ville star Yron likewise, a long time 
was required to rally the cavalry. The accounts of this 
action give ten minutes, half an hour, a whole hour, and 
even two hotirs as the time it took to rally all the imits.* 
The German regulations of 1909 have abolished the rally 
to the rear, the so-called Appell. The occasional advan- 
tages that this form of rally may have, had disappeared 
through the disadvantages growing out of its misuse. 
Each trooper fights as long as possible — ^the mode of succumb- 
ing can not be prescribed in regulations. 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 

AtMtria-Hungary:t Formation: The smallest unit to have a re- 
serve is the division, so-called, which consists of three escadrons. The 
reserve provided in this unit consists of half an escadron. In addition 
to the line, the column may be used when it becomes necessary to 
break through the hostile line at any cost, or when time or room 

Attack Formation of a Regiment. 

(NumlMrs indicat* paces.) 

Sh» 50-80 

■■ ' r 


Phtoon of Pioneers 


*At Hagelberg, August 27th, 1818. eleven escadrons of Landwehr cavalry 
rode a brilliant charge through French cavalry, which they surprised in camp, and 
through infantry of Girard's Division, which was in the act of forming. As the 
Landwehr cavalry had no reserve, it flnaUy suffered a reverse, and as it was able to 
raUy but slowly it took no further part in the engagement. v. Quistorp, Nord- 
armee, I, p. 410. 

Compare this with the surprise of the French cavalry by the 6th Prussian 
Cavalry Division at Vlonvilie. 

f Major-Oeneral Tersztyanski de Naoas, Austrian Army, OefeehUauabildunQ 
dsr Kavallerie. (With 82 sketches). Vienna, 1907. 

176 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

is lacking for deployment. The regiment, consisting of six escadrons, 
provides one platoon as a defensive wing 40 — 60 m. in rear of each 
wing. The platoon of pioneers is posted in rear of the center for the 
purpose of filling gaps in the attacking line or of falling upon an enemy 
who manages to break through that line. A reserve (about one escadron), 
invariably follows about 150 — 300 m. (200 — 400 paces) in rear and to 
the right or left, as the case may be, of the exposed wing. 

Small detachments are to deceive and to occupy the attention of 
the opponent. Cavalry that is already deployed is to be attacked in 
flank. Pure frontal attacks are to be made only when time is wanting. 
On open ground, all officers in front of the line fall back to the line of 
platoon leaders when the attacking line is 760 m. from the enemy. In 
close country, they fall back as soon as the enemy is sighted. Two 
ground scouts from each escadron precede the attacking line by 250 m. 
The question as to when the gallop should be taken up depends 
upon the condition of the horses, upon the terrain, and the chance of 
surprising the enemy. When 75 m. from the enemy, the command 
Charge! is given, and each trooper urges his horse into a run and en- 
deavors to be the first to reach the enemy. "Prematurely to increase 
the gallop to the run jeopardizes the success of the charge, as the troopers 
get too far apart, a condition which impairs the crushing shock of the 
mounted charge." "Fresh units are to be launched into a mel6e only 
when the outcome of that action threatens to become unfavorable to 
one's own side. Troops involved in a hand-to-hand encounter that is 
at a standstill, are most effectively supported when formed bodies con- 
tinue to advance beyond and prevent fresh hostile troops from joining 
in the m^l6e. Success is not assured until the last hostile unit has been 
defeated." When the enemy is defeated in the melee or turns tail 
while the attacking line has already taken up the charge, that entire 
line pursues. Only reserves and defensive wings follow in close order. 
In case the enemy retreats before the attacking line enters upon the charge, 
only one flank platoon pursues, if the attacking line consists of an esca- 
dron, or one escadron, if that line consists of a regiment, while the re- 
mainder, in either case, follows at the trot or at the gallop. At the signal 
to rally, all form in rear of the leader. 

The Austrian cavalry division of two brigades (4 regiments or 
24 escadrons) rarely moves in one body on the battlefield. Instead, 
it moves, as a rule, in groups, which operate concentrically against a 
common objective. This employment in groups accelerates deploy- 
ment and facilitates posting the troops on the battlefield, but increases 
to an appreciable extent the difficulties of command. 

A combat formation is not specially prescribed. The regulations 
contain principles only. From these we obtain the following: The divi- 
sion of a force into three parts best meets, in most cases, the requirements 
of battle; one strong group to deliver the shock, a second for immediate 
support, and a third as a reserve. 

Austrian Regulations. 


The first line contains the bulk of the entire force. Moving; by 
the shortest route, its flanks protected by defensive wings and by the 
second line, this line delivers the deciding shock. If any escadrons 
of this line overlap that of the enemy, they wheel against his flank. 
The pioneer platoons follow in rear of the regiments and turn against 
hostile detachments that break through the line. In advancing to the 
attack, the first line moves in line of columns (the German line of esca- 
drons in columns of platoons) or in double column. 

The second line follows about 300 paces (225 m.) in rear of the wing 
on which the decision is sought. The second line throws itself, wholly 
or in part, against hostile forces that threaten the flank, endeavors to 
fall on the rear of the enemy during the mel^ and turns against any 
rearward lines that the enemy might have. During the advance to 
the attack, the second line moves, as a rule, in double column. 

The Austrian Cavalry Division. 

300m. J 

PMoon of 


Ptafoon of PioMPts 



/WooJ9 of Pionpors 




>< JOOm. 

The third line (one-fourth of the entire force) follows the second 
at 400 to 500 paces (300 — 375 m.), and, in contrast to the second line, 
is not to endeavor, for the time being, to engage. Since it is the last 
available force, the third line is never to be thrown into the fight pre- 
maturely, but to be saved, at least in part, as long as possible for unfor- 
seen exigencies. But, on the other hand, the leader should not hesi- 
tate, if the situation demands it, to launch his reserve to the last man. 

The leaders of the various lines independently determine the group- 
ing and formation of their lines, and the distances between them. The 
brigade commander who furnishes one regiment for forming the third 
line, Joins the division commander and remains at that officer's disposal. 

The provisions of the French and the Italian regulations are similar 
to those of the Austrian regulations. 

France: The regiment and larger units habitually employ a re- 
serve. During the charge, intervals between escadrons are closed. 
The fiank platoons follow the attacking line as flank guards ijsardB 

178 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

flcnes). A normal formation is not prescribed. The use of echelon 
formations that combine the advantas^es of line and column is recom- 
mended. The regulation of the gait, a subject that, in the past, was 
accurately prescribed (at 500 or 600 m. gallop, at 40 or 50 paces charge), 
is now left to the leader, who should endeavor to anticipate the enemy 
in charging. The charge is to be directed, if practicable, against the 
hostile flank and rear. It may likewise be advantageous to support 
a charge with artillery and carbine fire. After line has been formed and 
the gallop taken up, all the men riding in front of the line drop back 
to the line of platoon leaders at the command "To the Charge" {pour 
VaUaque), The command charge (ehargez) is repeated by all officers 
and men when the collision is imminent. The French regulations, 
contrary to those of the Austrians, prescribe that (at the command 
charge) the troopers let their horses "stretch out at the gallop as quickly 
as possible without letting them get out of hand or without losing co- 
hesion." "It is also important that, at the command charge, the bravest 
troopers riding the best horses be not held back and that their individual 
valor, which must finally decide success, leave to each one all the advan- 
tages of his boldness, tenacity, physical strength and skill. The short 
range of the charge ensures the maintenance of cohesion without impair- 
ing individual elan." When there is not enough room or time, or when 
the hostile line must be broken at any cost, the charge may be made 
in column, the leading platoon (or escadron) being followed, in this 
case, at a distance of 100 paces by the remainder of the force. 

With the adoption of the Cavalry Drill Regulations of May 12th, 
1899, the French cavalry definitely abandoned three line tactics, which 
had been used according to a fixed pattern. While the provisions of 
the regulations of May 31st, 1882, have nothing but an historical value 
at the present time, they are of interest as illustrating the excrescenses 
of normal, three line tactics. 

According to the 1882 regulations mentioned, the cavalry division, 
when attacking cavalry, deployed in three equally strong lines, the 
second and third following the first at 200—300 and 300 — 400 m. 
distance, respectively. The first line (cuirassiers) was the attacking 
line and moved straight to the front, the third line furnishing two sup- 
porting escadrons. 

The second line was the maneuvering line. It was to be posted 
on the fiank on which the decision was sought. Its duties were to 
support the first line, either by charging from a flank into the mek'^e, 
or by turning against a second hostile line that advanced to attack. 
A simultaneous charge by the first and the second line was not to be 
made. The desire to support the first line required a rather hesitating 
conduct imtil the most favorable sphere of action had been recognized. 
For this purpose it also seemed desirable not to launch simultaneously 
all of the escadrons of the second line. 

The third line remained as a reserve in the hands of the division 
commander. It was not to be launched into the fight as one body» 

French Regulations. 179 

but a few eecadrons at a time, as a general rule, for the purpose of rein- 
forcing the other lines, and to meet hostile flank movements. 

The French Cavalry Division. 

Brig. of Cuiroseiere 
. r , r , 

A A A 

^ V ^^ ^ Brig, of Dragoons 

is Y jL £ ^ £ £ f f •& 

Brig. of Chasseurs. S S S S S S S S 

^ ^0^ 

Provisions of the Regulations of May I2th 1899: The brigades 
are employed as required by the situation. All normal formations are 
prohibited. When it is desired to make a frontal attack, one brigade 
In close order is launched. This brigade is reinforced and supported 
{renforete et Boulenue) by parts of the other brigades as circumstances 
require. The other parts subordinate their action to that of the line 
making the frontal attack. The reserve is not less than a regiment 
in strength. After a charge, each brigade rallies in line. 

Echelon Tactics: The French Cavalry Drill Regulations of 1899 
say in paragraph 452:* "The echelon formation, which combines the 
advantages of extended and close order, may find frequent application 
in action. This formation makes it possible to advance or refuse a flank 
or the center; to retain part of the force while another part carries on 
the action; to make successive attacks; to move to the counter-attack; 
and to outflank or envelop the enemy. This formation is, at one and 
the same time, offensive and defensive, and is especially well adapted 
to support the advanced troops. If these are defeated, they will not 
carry away the echelons following them, and do not hamper the action 
of these echelons. 

"The echelon formation is not only advantageous when our fight- 
ing line overlaps that of the enemy, but also when we desire to compen- 
sate for a corresponding advantage on the part of the enemy. To 
envelop, it is only necessary to advance one wing; to prevent an envelop- 
ment, on the other hand, an overlapping wing is refused. 

"But the use of echelons is not only to be recommended for in- 
itiating and carrying through an action, but during a retreat as well, 
to hold the enemy at a distance and to make offensive returns. 

"In a word, the echelon formation favors maneuvering." 

*KavaUeristische Monatshefte, 1908. Die Entwicklung und der Stand der 
Staffeltaktik in der franzMschen Kavallerie. von Pelet-Nabbonnb. 

180 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

In the chapter devoted to the employment of the regiment, the 
use of echelons is likewise recommended (par. 607, French C. D. R.). 
We find here, among other things, the following: 

"Their use rests in the first place, upon the principle of mutual 
support and cooperation of all parts of the force according to the instruc* 
tions of the leader. In a regiment, the echelons may consist of single 
platoons, of escadrons, or of a de mi-regiment." 

The French believe that in the skillful use of echelons they have 
found an antidote against the "brutal onslaught" of the German cavalry. 
But in contrast to the formation in lines, each with an independent 
mission, the echelons are elements of one and the same body. Since 
all echelons have the same march direction as the leading echelon and 
get their distance* from the latter, it is very easy to take up this for- 
mation. The fact that each echelon in rear is a reserve for the one 
immediately preceding it, may be an advantage, but certainly hampers 
the unrestricted employment of the echelons and is apt to produce 
artificial conduct, which does not simulate war conditions. t This ap- 
peared during the experiments made under the direction of General 
Burnez during the cavalry maneuvers in 1906, to determine a suitable 
combat procedure against the German cavalry, which, according to 
French opinion at once forms a wall-like front followed by supporting esca- 
drons for filling gaps, and which then rushes like "an enraged animal" at the 
enemy. It was decreed that a counter-formation be found against 
this unwieldy, thoughtless onslaught. In the first place, it was rec- 
ommended that the first French line evade the attack made by the 
German line composed of one to two brigades, while the two other 
brigades advance right and left to make a fiank attack. Theoretically 
this is undoubtedly correct, but its execution is attended with great 
difficulties. In the first place, the movements are by no means simple 
and require the most accurate coordination both as regards time and 
space. Secondly, since we must reckon with all sorts of friction in 
war, there is always something artificial, one is almost tempted to say 
unwarlike, about such movements. Besides, the proposed scheme 
counts upon an enemy who dispenses with reconnaissance; one who 
possesses neither energy nor independence; in fine, one who leaves his oppo- 
nent complete freedom of action and who himself does next to nothing. The 
French had overlooked the fact that the German cavalry had abandoned 
the inflexible three line tactics and prefers the employment by wings, 
so-called. Thus, quite naturally, a solution was sought in launching 
one brigade frontally, while the other two brigades turn against the hos- 
tile flanks. Tests were made with a first line pushed far ahead. This 

*For purposes of regimental drill, a distance of lOO m. between echelons 
Is recommended. 

iNotes sur le Combat par un Irrtgulier. Revue de Cavalerie, Oct. 1907, 
Echelons offensifs, 15 paces distance between escadrons; echelons en garde. Increased 
distance between escadrons; echelons difensifs. Increased distances and Intervals 
between escadrons. See Militdr-WochenblaU, 1908, No. 32. 

French Regulations. 181 

line was to entice the enemy into attacking, only to retreat at a timely 
moment while retained forces fell upon the enemy from a favorable 
direction. It was also proposed to lure the enemy on with dismounted 
skirmishers (armed with the carbine) and with horse artillery, and then 
to charge him with the bulk of the force. * 

In employing echelons, a distinction is made between the echelon 
as a maneuver formation and the echelon as a tactical unit. The latter 
has undeniable advantages, whereas the former makes supervision and 
maneuvering more difficult. 

The following is taken from the instructions issued by General 
Burnez in 1908: 

"Echelon formations are by no means a matter of fashion. They 
are, on the contrary, the simplest maneuvering formation, because they 
furnish the only means for disposing one's forces beforehand according 
to a preconceived plan of action, without thereby losing mobility. The 
deployed line is suitable for an immediate frontal attack only, but does 
not permit maneuvering; the column formation does permit maneuver- 
ing, but permits an immediate attack to be made in direction of its flanks 
only. The echelon formation, on the other hand, possesses not only 
the advantages of the deployed line, but those of the column as welL 
The following echelon formations are to be distinguished: one wing ad- 
vanced; the center advanced; or both wings advanced. When they have 
different objectives, the several echelons may be independent of one 
another; otherwise they are bound to each other." 

Pursuit: "The pursuit with so large a mass ofescadrons con- 
sists of two actions, simultaneous but distinct. The one, immediate 
and direct, is executed by the escadrons already engaged with the enemy, 
who push him vigorously and strive for his destruction. The other is 
effected by the elements that remain in hand and that support the 
movement by seeking to cut the line of retreat of the enemy or impairing 
his offensive return movement. The ensemble of these dispositions 
constitutes the pursuit. If the enemy turns tail before the shock, a few 
units deployed as foragers will be thrown in at the head of the pursu- 
ing troops, the remainder of the division supporting the movement in 
good order." 

In a cavalry corps, the divisions are employed in the same manner 
as the brigades in a division. 

*A description of the French divisional maneuyers, including all orders 
Issued, may be found In Revue de Cavalerie, Dec. No. 1907, under the title En 
marge des manoeuvres de Vittel, 

The French cavalry divisions have annual divisional maneuvers. Corps 
cavalry brigades and Chasseur battalions, as well as cyclist companies, sometimes 
participate in these maneuvers. The 1st, 2d, 5th, 6th, and 8th Cavalry Divisions 
consist of two brigades each; the 3d and 4th Cavalry Divisions, of three brigades 
of two regiments each; the 7th Cavalry Division, of Ave regiments. Each division 
has, ta addition, two horse batteries, two machine gun platoons of four guns each, 
and a platoon of cavalry pioneers on wheels. 

182 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

Italy I During a charge, all leaders, from the escadron commander 
on up, are posted in the line of platoon commanders. The cavalry 
regiment of five escadrons is to charge on as broad a front as possible 
and to overlap the enemy's line when practicable. The flanks are 
protected by retained platoons belonging to flank escadrons. Flank 
escadrons are to ward off or to execute flank attacks on their own in- 
itiative. A reserve follows 75 — 100 m. in rear of one of the flanks. 
A charge in echelon formation (scaglioni) is recommended, echelons 
to consist of two or three escadrons. The command charge (earieat) 
is repeated by all leaders. The shock is accompanied by cheering 

The cavalry division consists of two brigades, each of two regi- 
ments (26 escadrons and 2 horse batteries). 

In the assembly formation (ardina di aitesa), the regiments or bri- 
gades are in rear of one another. A combat formation with suitable 

The Italian Cavalry Division. 

?10 m 

Jm ^ 1. 2. jl ^ 

^m E E E E S 

distribution in depth is assumed when the moment for action arrives* 
The following general principles are laid down for fighting cavalry: 
The first line (schiera) is made strong enough to assure that the enemy 
will be defeated. It is usually one brigade in strength, but this is not 
an ironclad rule. Of the ten .escadrons in the first line, two follow 113 m. 
(150 paces) in rear of the flanks. Supporting escadrons (squadrone 
di ricalzo) are taken from the second or third, seldom from the first line. 
It is their duty to take a hand in the m616e or to throw themselves upon 
the enemy if he has broken^throughVthe line. If the enemy habitually 
attacks with a strong first line, the supporting escadrons may be taken 

-irom the third line. 

The second line consists of one regiment and follows 250 paces 
(190 m.) in rear of the exposed fiank. Its duty is to protect this flank 
or to charge the enemy in flank during the m6l6e. 

The third line consists of one regiment and follows the first at 
400 paces (300 m.). It remains in close order and is posted in rear 
of the center or in rear of the flank that is not protected by the second 

Russian Regulations. 


line. The third line Ib launched when victory depends upon its taking 
a hand in the fight. The first and second lines simultaneously form 
line of escadrons as soon as they come under artillery fire. 

Russia: The cavalry should endeavor to outflank the hostile 
cavalry and to advance to the attack on as broad a front as possible. 
A regiment acting alone is not to charge without providing a reserve. 
The latter follows 160 — ^200 m. in rear of one of the flanks. The charge 
is developed either progressively from the trot (the gallop, being taken 
up when 300 to 376 m. from the enemy) or from a halt. For the charge 
proper, which is to take place when anywhere between 160 and 70 m. 
(200 and 100 paces) from the enemy, cohesion is not necessarily to be 
insisted upon in order that speed may not be sacrificed. For maneuvers, 
it is prescribed that when a distance of 160 m. has to be covered in a 
charge, an escadron is not to extend over more than five times platoon 

The Russian Cavalry Division. 

I— -I- 


1 i i X X >^ 

r s s = sj 

Sfirfft^ platdlsfance. 


In a brigade acting alone, the first line consists of a regiment. 
The second regiment follows the first, two of its escadrons forming the 
second line, one the support, and the remainder (a demi-regiment) the 

The cavalry division consists of two brigades, in all twenty-four 
escadrons, (among these there are six sotnias Cossacks) and two horse 
batteries. From the route formation, the division takes up the so- 
called reserve formation. In this, the brigades, their regiments in mass 
and abreast of each other with an interval of 30 m. between them, are 
posted in column with 42 m. distance between them. The horse bat- 
teries are posted in column in rear of and near the center of the cavalry. 
In changes of front and of formation, the base regiment moves at a walk. 
This makes the execution slow. Riding according to given directions 
and visual signals is prescribed, but rarely put into practice. 

The combat order in three lines is to be taken up as late as pos- 
sible. The distribution into three lines is to assure full development 
of force for the shock, while, at the same time, furnishing dependable 

184 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

protection for the flanks and constant readiness to meet any and all 
contingencies that might arise during the fight. 

The first line, destined to deliver the principal shock, must be 
stronger than the first line of the enemy, since the success of a cavalry 
action depends principally upon the success of the first line. The first 
line is formed in line of escadrons and forms line immediately before 
beginning the charge proper or when it comes under hostile fire. The 
flank escadrons form column of platoons and follow in rear of their re- 
spective flanks at a distance of not more than five times platoon front 
for the immediate protection of the flanks of the first line. 

The second line supports the first and protects the latter's flanks. 
It assists the first line to deliver the shock and cooperates closely with 
that line, (1) in enveloping hostile flanks and in warding off hostile flank 
attacks; (2) in the charge against the enemy, when the success of the 
first line is doubtful; (3) in relieving the first line when the latter is 
repulsed; and (4) in reinforcing the first line. The second line takes 
up either one of the assembly or maneuvering formations or forms line 
of escadrons. Line is formed when the tactical situation or the effect 
of the hostile fire requires it. The second line is either echeloned in rear 
and some distance away from one or both flanks of the first line, or 
follows directly in rear of that line. The last mentioned position would 
be taken up, for example, in a charge against infantry or when room is 
lacking. The distance separating the second line from the first must 
not exceed 200 paces (140 m.). While in motion, it is considered 
desirable to reduce this distance, depending upon the terrain and the 
hostile fire, but in no circumstances to increase it. 

The third line is the general reserve. It remains at the immediate 
disposal of the commander, (1) to ward off a sudden envelopment of 
the flank that is not guarded by the second line; (2) to rescue the flrst 
or second line from a dilemma; (3) to attack hostile forces that have 
broken through the first line; and (4) to retrieve an unfavorable 
tactical situation. The general reserve furnishes the leader the only 
means to repair blunders made in the distribution of the echelons and 
to conduct the action in accordance with the task allotted to him. The 
general reserve takes up either one of the assembly or maneuvering 
formations or forms line of escadrons and is posted in rear of the center 
or in rear of one of the flanks — usually the one not protected by the 
second line. The distance of the general reserve from the first line must 
not exceed 400 paces (280 m.). 

"The senior commands, without further orders, in each line. In 
a division, for example, one brigade commander commands the first 
line; the other, unless he remains with the division commander, commands 
the second line. The nature of the echelon formation and the character 
of the cavalry combat require initiative on the part of subordinate 
leaders, for they must frequently act without being able to wait for 
orders. Manifestations of initiative on the part of subordinate leaders 
— ^provided such manifestations meet the requirements of the moment 

Charges by Successive Escadrons. 185 

and are consonant with the general instructions of the commander 
of the whole force — should not only be permitted but encouraged. The 
leader of the third line, however, does nothing without an express order 
from the division commander. It is only in the exceptional case when the 
division commander is absent that he takes such measures on his own 
responsibility as become necessary to ward off the enemy or to relieve 
friendly troops. 

''It is the duty of all echeloned escadrons, if circumstances require, 
to charge the enemy's flanks without waiting for orders to that effect, 
to protect the flanks of their own force against hostile envelopment, 
and to protect the artillery in case its support proves too weak. The 
other escadrons, those of the flrst as well as those of the second line, 
remain in all cases under the immediate orders of the commander of the 
particular line to which they belong. On the other hand, it is of the 
utmost importance that unity of command, upon which unity of action 
depends, and coordination of all forces for the attainment of the object 
in view, be assured, and be not undermined by a desire for too extensive 
independence. For, in a cavalry action, this leads but to the one result, 
that the troops get completely out of hand." 

England: In a charge extending over 1,600 m., 500 m. are cov- 
ered at the trot, 1,000 m. at the gallop, and 45 m. at top speed. Up 
to the moment when the gait is increased to top speed, close touch and 
two distinct ranks are insisted upon. During the charge proper, how- 
ever, each trooper endeavors to get the utmost speed out of his horse, 
with the firm determination to ride down his opponent. The interval 
between escadrons is 7 m. An echelon formation is recommended both 
for maneuvering and for combat. The cavalry division is led entirely 
according to the principles of three line tactics: Assembly, transition, 
and line formation. A cavalry division (two brigades, or eighteen 
escadrons) is to form as follows when charging cavalry: First line, 
one brigade (9 escadrons); second line, two regiments (6 escadrons, 250 
m. in rear of the flrst line and at an interval of 100 m. from its flank); 
and third line, one regiment (3 escadrons). A strong third line may push 
supporting escadrons as far forward as the second line. 


Against cavalry, charges by escadron are justified 
only when debouching from a defile, or when, in deploying 
quickly from column toward a flank, there is not time enough 
to take up a more suitable formation. On debouching 
from a defile, the attack direction should be chosen with 
a view to prevent the force from being thrown back upon 
the defile in case of a reverse. Celerity in deploying from 

186 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

a defile forms an important branch of cavalry training. In 
order to prevent distances between escadrons from becoming 
too great, and to clear the exit oT the defile for the following 
tmits, the longest route should be assigned to the leading 
organization imless close proximity of the enemy (in a 
regiment in column of platoons, about 500 m.) requires 
that a force be thrown against him at once to gain the time 
necessary for forming line. But then there is always 
danger that the leading escadrons will be thrown back 
upon the next following imits that have not as yet de- 
ployed. In deploying from a defile, horse artillery, machine 
guns and dismounted skirmishers will be pushed at a 
gallop beyond the defile to cover the deployment by their 
fire. The force passes the defile at a gallop in as broad a 
formation as practicable, and deploys, as a rule, by the 
flank, when practicable by both flanks, the leading element 
Ibeing halted. For a line of columns to cross an obstacle 
is not without danger, because the columns do not, as a 
rule, pass the defiles simultaneously and the enemy has an 
opporttmity to defeat some of these columns in detail 
before the others can come up. For this reason, it is in 
this case also preferable to keep the force well concentrated 
and to cross the obstacle at one point, unless the available 
crossings are very close together. The success of the 
whole charge depends largely upon that of the leading 
element, which for this, if for no other reason, should be 
made as strong as possible. 

The distances between escadrons are governed by their 
deployment one after another. If these distances are too 
great, there is danger that the escadrons will be defeated 
in detail. 

The Charge in Extended Order. 187 


By giving up the close order and taking up the ex- 
tended order formation, an organization loses shock power, 
as well as order, cohesion and efficiency. The troopers 
are thrown upon their own resources. Everything depends 
upon their personal courage and resolution. This is still 
more true the less the unit is habituated to rallying promptly, 
especially when this operation is not facilitated by troops 
following in rear. But, on the other hand, the mobility 
is increased. The best horses can go as fast as they like, 
and soon take the lead, whereas the slower ones fall behind. 
In a charge in extended order against cavalry, the danger 
of a reverse, caused by hostile bodies in close order, even 
if they are but weak, charging into the dispersed swarm, 
grows apace. But in charging infantry and artillery, the 
dispersed formation of the cavalry diminishes the losses. 
Against cavalry, the charge in extended order is used during 
the pursuit only. (Par. 610, German C. D. R.) 

Austria: Each platoon covers a front of 100 paces, the troopers 
following their squad leaders. One of the center platoons of the es- 
cadron follows 45 — 60 m. (60 — 80 paces) in rear of the center or in rear 
of a flank. 

France: Charge as foragers {charge en foragewrs)'. In an escadron 
at least one platoon is in close order. The two men composing one 
file are to keep together for mutual support. Frontage, not to exceed 
160 paces. 

Italy: The charge may be made in extended order by the entire 
force, or by a part of it in conjunction with a charge in close order. 
During the charge as foragers {carica a stormi), groups of two, three 
or more troopers are to be formed. 

Russia: In an escadron acting alone, a demi-escadron usually 

remains in close order and follows 70 m. (100 paces) in rear of the line 

of foragers, whose two ranks are six paces apart. In a regiment, several 

escadrons may advance to the charge in extended order. The reserve 

ollows the line in this case at 100 m. (150 paces). 


Cavalry versus Cavalry. 


The lava may be classed as a charge in extended order 
in a restricted sense only, as it serves as much for maneuver- 
ing (reconnaissance and screeniilg) as for an actual attack. 
The lava is the combat formation of the Cossacks and was 

Deployment of a Sotnia into 

(1st stage) 

of Half-Platoons 




e ,' 






\. . i ^-^ 








I ' I 


originally transmitted to them by Asiatic nomad tribes of 
horsemen. Yelling and firing, the Cossacks swarm in 
dispersed formation all around an enemy, in order to 
induce him to disperse likewise, thus enabling them in 
hand-to-hand combat, to bring into play their superiority 
in riding and handling their weapons. The lava may be 
formed either from line or from colimin. In taking up 

*Y. Tbttau, Die Kasakenfieere, Berlin, 1892. The word Java is an abbre- 
▼iation of the tartar word ablawa, which meant "hunting by driving game into 
an enclosed space." 

The Lava op the Cossacks. 189 

the lava formation, a sotnia first forms line of half platoons 
50 paces to the front, on the center platoon, and then 
deploys that line so that there will be one Cossack for 
every four paces of front. In this manner a sotnia covers 
a front of 400 m. One platoon follows the deployed line 
in close order. If this platoon also deploys, one non- 
commissioned officer and six Cossacks remain with the 
guidon* to mark the rallying point, the so-called Majak 
(lighthouse) . 

Sotnia in Line and in Lava Formation* 

(2d Stage) 


9 9 

o^o#o»®*®^^ ©•©•o» ©•©•©•O.o^^ ^ 

^•^•^* • • • ^^ -•o.o 


In the larfi^er units, at least one sotnia remains in close order and 
foUows 350 m. in rear of the deployed line. The great extent of front 
covered by the lava makes it possible simultaneously to envelop one 
flank of the enemy, to direct attacks against his rear, and to take ad- 
vantage of any opening by partially assembling.t The lava is to be used 

*Each Cossack regiment, as well as each sotnia, has a guidon. The regi- 
mental guidon Is rectangular, is of the same color as the shoulder straps of the 
regiment, and bears the regimental number. The guidon of a sotnia is swaUow- 
tailed and has two horizontal stripes, each one-half the width of the flag; the upper 
half is of the color of the shoulder straps of the regiment, the lower half is of the 
color corre8i>onding to the number of the sotnia. 

tin the Wars of Liberation, a similar combat formation was used by the 
Prussian Landwehr cavalry, though in this case it was the natural result of recruit- 
ment and training. The Prussian Landwehr cavalry used single>rank formation, 
avoided the shock delivered by bodies in close order, and attacked flank and 
rear of the enemy. Au* d€m Nachlasze de$ Oeneralleulnants v. d. Mar-toitM, II. p. 72. 

190 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

"to avoid colliding mth an enemy who is in close order; to wear him 
out by continually harrassing him in front and on the flanks; to divide 
and disperse him; and to entice him into hand-to-hand combat, in which 
the Cossacks, due to their great skill in horsemanship and in handling 
their weapons, will have the advantage over regular (sic) cavalry, which 
is better trained for fighting in close order. In addition, the movements 
of the lava may cause the enemy to commit blunders of which other 
bodies of cavalry can take advantage." 

The Russian Cavalry Drill Regulations recommend that the lava 
be used for pursuit, for forced reconnaissances and for preventing similar 
operations on the part of the enemy. They further recommend that the 
lava be used to screen movements, to draw the enemy off from the attack 
direction chosen by him, to entice him into the attack direction of the 
other regiments and to cause him to make as many blunders as possible. 

"Since," to quote from the regulations, "senseless blazing away 
only serves to encourage the enemy," none but the best shots should 
be allowed to fire, and they should fire at will. But several troopers, 
or entire units may dismount to fire. No opportunities are to be allowed 
to escape for falling in lava formation upon the enemy. This, how- 
ever, is more a teasing and harrassing than a regular attack. Before 
making an attack, the regiment is always to assemble. Appreciation of 
the fact that, when confronted by an opponent in close order, the fighting 
power of a unit in lava formation is but small, has led the Russians to 
substitute the regiment for the sotnia as the tactical unit in the lava 
formation. By charging with its formed reserves, the regiment can take 
advantage of blunders made by the enemy. 

At the signal or command "charge," the Cossacks are to ride at 
top speed and are to throw themselves cheering upon the enemy. In 
hand-to-hand combat, Cossacks may use the saber as well as the rifle. 

Instead of the gallop, the Cossacks use an accelerated trot, the 
so-called namjoU At this gait they cover 283 m. per minute. Superior 
riding, absolute trustworthiness of the individual trooper, and skillful 
use on his part of his weapons, justified the lava formation. These 
qualities were developed, in the nature of things, by fighting on the 
frontiers with the nomad tribes of horsemen of Central Asia. These 
basic conditions are no longer applicable to a large portion of the Cossack 
armies.* This was demonstrated during the Russo-Japanese war. 
Horse breeding has been replaced by other, more lucrative, and at the 
same time more peaceful pursuits. The poverty of the Cossacks is 
constantly increasing. As they are obliged to provide their own mounts, 
they have to be satisfied with mediocre horses; in addition, the number 
of horses is decreasing. As a consequence, the number of Cossacks 
that is accustomed from childhood to horses is becoming smaller from 
year to year. The present generation did not grow up with martial 

*The true Cossacks arc at present In the minority In the Don army, for 
example, on account of the imigratlon of foreign elements. 

The Lava op the Cossacks. 191 

Ideas and under warlike conditions. The fund of military experience 
gathered during centuries and transmitted by inheritance, as it were, 
has gradually dwindled until not a trace is left. The Cossacks have 
become peasants, the Cossack regiments mediocre cavalry regiments of 
the Line. And with cavalry regiments of the Line, the Cossack regi- 
ments can not compete. The deeds the Cossacks are said to have per- 

A Unit in Lava Formation Assembling toward the Flanks. 

formed at the beginning of the 19th Century have been repeated neither 
in Poland in 1831, in the Balkans,* nor in Manchuria. But, be this 
as it may, their combat activity was insignificant, a few cases, notably 
that of the Caucasian Cossack Brigade at Lovtcha in 1877, excepted. 
The Cossacks were accused of cowardice and lack of discipline. 

The Cossacks are not suited for close order movements. Their 
horses are undersized and, while possessed of extraordinary endurance 
in covering long distances, show little speed in covering short distances. 
As the Cossack horses are poorly trained and are bitted with the snaffle 
only, they are not well adapted for accurate movements in close order. 
No doubt, when a unit in close order is surrounded by Cossacks, it may 
be severely harrassed and even suffer losses, especially if the Cossacks 
operate in conjunction with Line regiments. To attack them in close 
order is futile as the Cossacks in lava formation evade every collision 
and can not be caught at any point. But even granting that the Cossacks 
possess superior skill in handling their sabers and lances, t a statement 
that is contested by the Russians themselves, cavalry of the Line is 
superior to them in speed, and in size and weight of mounts. The 
superior stature of his mount gives the cavalryman of the Line a dis- 
tinct advantage over the Cossack in hand-to-hand combat. The German 

♦The frittering away of Cossack regiments In orderly and escort duty, 
so that not infrequently only the regimental commander with his officers remained 
with the standard, is held responsible for the failure of the Cossacks. "One is 
accustomed in the service, to look upon the Cossacks as an auxiliary force that 
one can sacrifice to preserve the rest and security of the troops of the Line. 

f Front-rank men carry the lance, except in the Caucasian regiments, which 
are armed with saber and rifle only; rear-rank men carry the Cossack saber 
without guard; both front and rear-rank men carry the rifle without bayonet. 

192 Cavalry versus Cavalry. 

lance is about 40 cm. longer than the Cossack lance. The superior speed 
of our saddle horses (accelerated gallop 660 m. per minute, as compared 
with the accelerated namjot of the Cossacks, 425 m. per minute), enables 
us to overtake a fleeing Cossack. On account of its inaccuracy, flanking 
fire delivered from the saddle is not to be recommended in fighting Cossacks. 
It would be better for us to rely on the superior training of the German 
trooper in hand-to-hand combat, and to sail vigorously into them with 
the lance, several troopers, in this case, habitually acting in concert. At 
any rate, when fighting Russian cavalry, it will be a good plan to provide 
defensive wings. These should follow in rear of the units in close order, 
as a protection against the lava. These wings are to assure that the bulk 
of the force can pursue its object unmolested. More than a few platoons, 
or at most escadrons, should not be employed in combating the lava. 
These units allow the lava to approach close enough to make sure that 
they can overtake it. One thing must be avoided, and that is inactivity, 
as this increases the chances of the lava attack succeeding, and may even 
expose one's own force to defeat. "The operations of the lava will be 
attended with success only when the opponent is surprised and does not fa- 
thom its object." (Cossack Regulations 1899). From the foregoing, it fol- 
lows that the lava formation of a Cossack unit not operating in conjunction 
with cavalry regiments of the Line, is, comparatively speaking, little to 
be feared. It is only when cavalry regiments of the Line are ready to 
take advantage of every opening caused through combating the lava, 
that it becomes a formation whose formidableness must not be underesti- 
mated. The importance of Cossacks in operations on a theater of war 
in western Europe depends less on their military efl[iciency than on their 
large number, Russia possessing 670 sotnias. 

At Luckenwalde, August 19th, 1813, a French Cuirassier regiment, 
advancing at the trot in column of escadrons, was attacked by Cossacks, 
the flankers that it had thrown out being forced back. "The French 
advanced Against the center of the Russians. The latter's thin line at 
once dispersed, all the Cossacks throwing themselves against the flanks 
and rear of the French. The French column halted when it no longer 
had an enemy in its front. Meantime, the Cossacks thrust or fired into the 
flank files and rear ranks of the French Cuirassiers. After a while, the 
French column was in such confusion that orderly movement was out of 
the question. The Cossacks, though numerically inferior and unable 
to disperse the French column by charging it in close order, were elated 
because they felt that they were better horsemen than the French, and 
continued with great glee to fire their rifles and thrust their lances into 
the French ranks. The flank files and rear line of the French finally 
turned to the flank and grasped their carbines." The Cuirassiers were 
not relieved from their unhappy predicament until fresh cavalry arrived.* 

At Boragk, September 19th, 1813, 1,200 Cossacks attacked 2,000 
French Dragoons. The latter remained passive, received the attack 
with carbine fire and sought to form line in place to avoid being enveloped. 

*Y. QUTBTORp, Nordarmee I, p. 215. 

Examples from Military History. 193 

The action terminated in the rout of the French cavalry. In a quarter 
of an hour the Cossacks made 19 officers and 400 men prisoners.! 

During the engagement of Rudnia4 August 8th, 1812, Count 
Bismark had his troopers form square without dismounting, and repulsed 
the attack of the Cossacks at a halt. But his situation was not relieved 
until reinforcements arrived, otherwise he would, undoubtedly, have 

UMd., II. p. 31. 

tOount V. BisiCABK, Ideentaktik der Reiterei, pp. 261-263. 


The principal strength of cavalry lies in its ability, 
thanks to the speed of its horses, to surprise the enemy, 
and in the moral effect, not always sufficiently appreciated, 
it is true, produced by its irresistably approaching line. 
The main strength of infantry lies in its fire power. In- 


fantry that fires deliberately and steadily is invincible 
so far as cavalry is concerned. But, as the morale of 
infantry gradually dwindles during a protracted fire fight 
that entails heavy losses, the moral effect of a cavalry 
charge and the chance of its succeeding, increase and the 
losses suffered by the cavalry decrease proportionally. 
It is hardly probable that the 18th and 19th Centuries 
witnessed such demoralized infantry as is bound to be 
produced by every serious modem fire fight. 

The skirmisher who has participated in a fluctuating 
fight lasting from six to eight hours, his nerves constantly 
jarred by the incessant roar of the firing and his whole 
being stirred by the tremendous excitement incident to 
the scene of every battle, without a single opportunity 
to rest or even to draw a quiet breath, is physically and 
mentally exhausted. To be sure, the material and moral 
deterioration of the infantry is not the same all along the 
line, but there will always be sections in which the infantry 
will be completely worn out, and these localities are the 
most favorable field for cavalry operations. 

There is a vast difference between infantry enlisted 
for a long term of years and retreating while exposed to the 
fire of smooth-bore muskets and modem infantry, which 

*Par8. 113. 114-177. 201. 224. 440-448. and 522. German C. D, B, 

+Examples trom the Franco-German war are taken from KuNz. KrUgi^ 
gescMchiliche Beispiele, 6 and 6. 

General Discussion. 195 

is obliged to cross the entire zone of effective fire of the 
magazine rifle without being able to avail itself of cover. 
Compare the condition of the fragments of the Prussian 
infantry at Etoges in 1814 w^th that of the 38th Brigade 
(Prussian) at Mars-la-Tour ; the state of the British Fusilier 
Brigade at Albuera in 1811 and of the British Guards at 
Inkerman in 1855, with the meagre resisting power of the 
British Guards at Modder River and of the Highlanders 
at Magersfontain. '*At such a moment it is quite im- 
material whether these fragments carry a repeating rifle, 
a flintlock musket, or a pitch fork.'* (F. Honig.) Just 
because favorable situations were not seized and utilized 
in the more recent campaigns, it does not necessarily follow 
that the days of battle action are over for the cavalry. 

The fact that small caliber bullets have very httle 
stopping power and that a horse struck by a bullet at 
short range will frequently have strength enough left to 
carry its rider into the hostile ranks,* augur well for the 
success of a mounted charge. 

During the Franco-German war, mounted charges 
made by small bodies of cavalry against unshaken infantry, 
with few exceptions, did not produce an appreciable effect, 
but were almost invariably accompanied by tremendous 
losses. To produce a result would have required systematic 

^Lieutenant v. Salzmann writes the following anent his book (Im Kampfe 
gegen die Hereros, p. 146) to Captain Count Schwerin (Kavalleristlsche Mo- 
nat8heft«, Nos. 8 and 9 of 1907, p. 698): "The bullets were fired at me and my 
horse at a range of not over 100 m. . It is of course impossible for me to give 
(he range with absolute accuracy, for. after all, I myself do not know which one 
of the men fired the shots. The maximum range was, at any rate, not over 
100 m., for one can not see farther in the dense brush. Most likely it was ftom 30 
to 50 m. I am convinced that the shots were fired ftom quite modern breech- 
loaders, for all three bullets made clean holes. I still have the bullet perforated 
clnchas showing the entrance and exit of the bullets. I remember verj- distinctly 
that the bullet that struck my horse in the breast produced a wound about the 
aize of a hand on leaving the body on the right side. This was undoubtedly 
due to the fact that the point of the bullet had been filed off. All three bulleta 
came from the left. My horse carried me perhaps 1,500—2.000 m. farther, though 
it grew weaker with every stop, and finally stopped short and broke down." 

196 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

preparation and the action of large masses of cavalry.* 
But when the hostile infantry can be surprised, when it 
loses its head, formation and numbers are immaterial. 

This is strikingly illustrated by the charge made by the 9th Uhlan 
Regiment at Monnaie, December 20th, 1870. — The regiment {}4 of the 
Ist, H of the 2d, and ^ of the 4th Escadron) followed the forward move- 
ment of the German infantry on the left flank, and at ChAteau Meslay 
turned into the chau88('e leading to Tours. While advancing along the vil- 
lage street, the regimental commander received a message to the effect that 
hostile infantry was retiring in disorder along the chau8s>e. The regiment 
charged in column of threes, its leading element turning toward the right 
into the chausst'e, thus splitting the French column into two parts, the 
larger of which continued its retreat toward Tours. The regiment 
charged in column of threes along the chatiss/ef riding down and tossing 
right and left into the ditch all before it. After charging through the 
entire hostile column, the regiment rallied and re-formed. It had lost 1 
non-commissioned officer and 4 Uhlans killed, and one officer and 4 Uhlans 
wounded. The entire loss was sustained by the leading platoon. Half 
an hour later, the regiment received orders to pursue the enemy, who 
had retreated toward Tours. Many prisoners were taken. North of 
Notre dame d'O^' three French battalions were seen posted astride 
the road. They constituted the intact part of the column through which 
the Uhlan regiment had broken and against whose tail it had made a 
successful charge. The softness of the ground on either side of the 
road prevented the Uhlans from forming line. But, as the French 
infantry seemed shaken, the commander of the regiment determined to 
charge again in column of threes. The gallop was taken up when the 
column was 400 m. from the French. The signal "gallop" was not 
obeyed by all the units simultaneously, as it was not understood. The 
French infantry, however, had completely re-established order in its 
ranks, and held its fire until the Uhlans came within 26 m. Though a 
part of the Uhlans managed to break into the hostile line and 1 officer 
and 24 men broke through and galloped on to Tours, the number of 
dead horses piled up on the chaussce prevented the rear platoons from 
reaching the enemy, and the regiment had to retire. During this second 
charge, the seven platoons of Uhlans engaged (about 168 men) suffered 
the following loss: 

Killed: 6 officers, 19 men, 34 horses; 

Wounded: 3 officers, 8 men, 12 horses; 
Missing: 1 officer, 24 men, 26 horses; 

Total: 9 officers, 51 men, 72 horses. 

*General GalUfet's first charge, directed against the 0th and 12th Com- 
panies of the 87th Prussian Infantry at Sedan, undoubtedly would hare reached 
the insufficiently protected artillery of the Xlth Army Corps, if the two other 
regiments of the French division had followed the first line. Kuxz, Kriegsg^^ 
aehiehaiehe Beispiele, 5, p. 28. 

Difficulties of the Charge. 197 

To surprise infantry in battle does not seem to be with- 
out prospects of success.* Infantry relaxes its attention 
on its flanks when engaged in a hot fire action with hostile 
infantry. While the eyes of all arms are turned toward 
the advancing cavalry, which is discernible at a great 
distance, the infantry but too often neglects to look out 
for other cavalry lines that, under cover of a feint, charge 
from an entirely different direction. And even if the 
cavalry does not reach the enemy's line without being 
fired upon, the infantry will, in any event, be obliged to 
divide its fire. 

The mounted charge against infantry is made more diffi- 

1. By the improvement in firearms, which enables 
even poorly trained infantry to repulse the charge made by 
efficient cavalry t and which gives defeated infantry a 
greater power of resistance. 

The use of smokeless powder makes it more difficult 
for cavalry to surprise infantry. The great range of pro- 
jectiles forces cavalry, especially that of the attacker, to 
keep away from decisive points, unless the terrain enables 
it to get a covered position in closer proximity. J 

♦During the battle of Kdnlggr&tz. the Ist Escadron of the 10th Hussars, 
on debouching from the Swlep Wald, surprised the Hid Battalion of the 5l8t 
Infantry and took 16 officers and 655 men prisoners. History of the 10th Hussars^ 
p. 90. 

During the battle of Custozza, June 24th, 1866, three platoons Sicilian 
Uhlans under Captain Bechtoldshelm (3 officers and 101 men) broke entirely 
through Pisa's Brigade (Italian), which was deployed for action, and struck the 
following brigade, Forll's. which was In route column, with such force that of the 
five battalions composing that brigade only one remained Intact. The dlvl- 
don and brigade staffs were completely dispersed and two gims were taken, 
but these could not be brought off. The Uhlans lost 2 officers. 84 men, and 79 
horses. Osterreichs Kdmpfe, II, p. 74. 

tCharge against a square of French Chasseurs at Saplgnles, January 
4tb, 1871. 

^Toward 12 o'clock, noon, August 16th, 1870, the commanding general 
of the Hid Army Corps ordered the 6th Cavalry Division to attack the retiring 
Infantry of Pouget's Dlrlslon (French). When the cavalry appeared on the 
plateau, French Infantry could already be seen advancing again everywhere. 
KuNz, Beitereit p. 100.) The reasons given In Gen. St» W. I, p. 576, for holding 
back the cavalry division so far and for deploying It slowly, were not shared by 
the commanding general of the Hid Army Corps. Kriegsgeschichtliche Einsel' 
schriften. III, pp. 655 and 557. Woidb, Ursachen der Siege, I, p. 288. 

198 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

In the days of smooth-bore muskets, on the other 
hand, cavalry was able to wait in immediate proximity of 
the decisive points for the appearance of opportune situations. 
But, it should always be remembered that a hit does not 
necessarily stop a horse, for even a wounded horse will 
frequently reach the enemy^s Une and not break down 
until he reaches it. 

2. By changed infantry combat tactics, which derive 
greater power of resistance from the terrain, and give the 
various imits greater independence. 

3. By increased and more extensive cultivation of the 

The moment favorable for making a cavalry charge 
is usually of brief duration and difficult to recognize, since 
cavalry must usually remain distant from the decisive 
points. Favorable opportunities for charging occur when 
infantry runs out of ammunition, or suddenly suffers 
severe losses that impair its morale; when infantry, after 
making an attack that has been repulsed, Jias to retire 
imder the uninterrupted fire of the defender, or when it 
is desirable to hold the enemy within the effective fire of 
one's own infantry, and to induce him if possible, to change 
front or to take up a denser formation. When cooperat- 
ing '^dth infantry, a threat to charge frequently suffices to 
bring about the desired result. (Austrian cavalry at 

The task of stopping a hostile advance (Bredow's 
Brigade at Vionville), of helping the infantry over a grave 
crisis and of facilitating its retreat, is a difficult one. But 
when the infantry sacrifices its very best troops in attack 
as well as in defense, the cavalry should not be wanting. 
**Even temporary relief afforded the retiring infantry and 
a little time gained, may often avert a complete defeat. 
To cavalry that succeeds in doing this will belong, if not 
the palm of victory, at least the honor of the day.'* (Par. 
318, German C. D. R.). The more parts of the enemy 

Effect Produced by a Charge. 199 

are threatened and forced to take counter-measures, the 
greater the relief afforded the sister arms. The intention 
to charge must be commimicated to the infantry comman- 
ders concerned so that they can take advantage of the time 
gained for them and that the sacrifice of the cavalry may 
not be made in vain. (Par. 442, German C. D. R). "The 
arm is too valuable to accomplish nothing." (General 
von Schmidt.) Popular historians love to dilate on **rides 
into the jaws of death,*' and thereby add anything but 
clearness to their descriptions of cavalry charges. In 
speaking of the appellation **ride into the jaws of death" 
given to the charge made by von Bredow's Brigade, General 
von Alvensleben says: **We had become unaccustomed 
to launching cavalry in such a manner." Bredow^s Bri- 
gade (6 escadrons, in all 740 men) lost, 16 officers, 363 
men, and 409 horses, or 54 per cent. If such expressions 
become current, they can have no other than a harm- 
ful effect. If its attack is repulsed, infantry must count 
on suffering similar losses. But, whereas such an infantry 
attack must be considered a defeat from a tactical view- 
point and seldom brings about a concrete result, a costly 
mounted charge, even if repulsed, as a rule produces such 
a far reaching moral effect on the enemy, that the sacrifice 
is well worth the price. Therefore, let us not talk of a 
"ride into the jaws of death," but of a "ride to victory" 
of Bredow's Brigade. Insufficient preparation, indeed, 
did make the charge of the French Cuirassiers at Worth 
a veritable "ride into the jaws of death." 

According to the French General Staff Account of the Franco- 
German war, the twelve batteries present on the height between Rezon- 
ville and the Roman road during the charge, left their positions. The 
7th and 12th Batteries of the 8th Artillery, which were not struck by the 
onslaught, were the only ones that were able to go into position again 
after they had retired as far as the patch of timber. The other ten 
batteries fell back upon their reserves for the purpose of making good 
the losses suffered by their personnel, but took no further part in the 
fight during the day. The ten batteries mentioned lost 164 men and 
183 horses. The 75th Infantry and the twelve companies of the 93d 

200 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

Infantry retired to the Bois Pierrot where they remained until nightfall 
without again taking part in the action. Six companies of the 93d 
Infantry alone, remained on hill 306 on the right of the 70th Infantry. 
"The heroic charge of the German cavalry," to quote the French General 
Staff Account, "attained the object that the commanding general of 
the Hid Prussian Army Corps had in view. The terrain over which 
the charge passed was evacuated by the bulk of the French infantry; 
the artillery in action north of the chaussie was, likewise, almost completely 
dispersed. The long line of guns on the Roman road was now disinte- 
grated. From the opening of the battle the guns in this line had very se- 
verely annoyed the Prussian 6th Division and had done their share in 
pressing back the left wing of that division as far as the Forest of 
Tronville. The German infantry, which just a few moments before 
had been seriously threatened, was again enabled to advance on both 
sides of the main road. Finally, the lull that succeeded tne powerful 
charge everywhere raised the confidence of the Prussian troops, who 
fully realized that they had escaped from grave danger and had passed 
through a crisis that, prior to the arrival of the expected reinforcements, 
might have had a bad ending." 

Custozza» 1866. The 13th Uhlan Regiment of Pulz' Brigade charged 
the 16th Italian Division. The second line, consisting of the remainder 
of the brigade, threw back some Italian cavalry and then made an 
unsuccessful attack against a square. Three escadrons (450 lances) 
of the first line rode through a dense skirmish line and charged four 
and a half battalions (1,600 rifles). The defensive wing of the first 
line, one escadron (150 lances), at the same time fought against three 
and a half battalions (1,400 rifles). The flanks and rear of the infantry 
were protected. The losses were as follows: Uhlans, 10 officers and 350 
men. Hussars 30 to 40 men killed and wounded; Italian infantry, 

4 men killed and 10 men wounded; Italian cavalry, 8 officers and 100 
men killed and wounded. Results : ( 1 . ) The Italians (7th and 16th Divi- 
sions) believed this charge to be the precursor of a general offensive 
movement. They accordingly discontinued their advance and were kept 
away from the actual battlefield. (2.) Panic among the trains. (8.) 
Withdrawal of the 16th Division, which was unable to take further part 
in the battle. The charge was made at 7 o'clock A. M., but, as late as 4 
P. M., the two infantry divisions still stood in front of Villafranca, rooted 
to the spot, as it were, by the impression produced by this reckless 
onslaught. The same cavalry regiments then made another charge about 

5 P. M. the same day.* 

Vionvilla — Mars-la-Tour: Charge made by the 1st Regiment of 
Dragoons of the Guard to relieve the 38th Brigade, which had been 
repulsed with a loss of 75^ of its officers and 54^ of its men. The 
charge struck two French regiments. The Dragoons had 16 officers, 
410 men and 426 horses. They lost 13 officers (81.25^), 125 men 
(30%), and 246 horses (60^). 

*dsteTreich8 KHmpfe, II. p. 61 — 65. 91. 177. 
Stbobl. Custoita pp. 23 and 59. 

Charge against Front or Flank. 201 

Results of this charge: (1.) Time was gained. (2.) The 6th Light 
Battery of the 10th Field Artillery Regiment, was able to limber up. 
But after repulsing the charge, the French advanced for some distance.* 

The front and flanks of a body of infantry in proper 
formation are equally strong, notwithstanding the fact 
that a flank attack always produces a greater moral effect 
than a frontal attack and that it takes longer to form a 
firing line toward a flank than toward the front. In pick- 
ing out an attack direction, it is better to select the shortest 
route, than first to lead the cavalry into the flank of the 
hostile infantry, imless the terrain makes a covered approach 
possible. When a crisis in the battle necessitates launch- 
ing the cavalry, there will usually be no time to gain the 
most favorable direction for the attack by making an ex- 
tended movement, and the shortest route will then be the 
best route. 

When the infantry combat nears its end, and the dis- 
tribution in depth that obtained during the opening stage 
of the action has disappeared through absorption of sup- 
ports and reserves, the fire power of the infantry toward 
a flank will be noticeably weaker. Moreover, it will fre- 
quently be impossible, in such a case, for the infantry to 
form a new firing line when under hostile infantry fire, 
if it desires to avoid exposing itself to annihilation. A 
flank attack made at this time will, therefore, have a better 
chance of succeeding. A flank attack should strike not 
only the leading line of the enemy, but the lines in rear 
as well at the same time. If these lines in rear are not 
so struck, their attention should at least be occupied. 
When the objective is narrow, distribution in depth may 
well be employed even by individual escadrons. If this 
is not done, and the cavalry advances on a broader front, 
a large number of troopers will strike nothing. 

Infantry in route column had best be attacked in 
front or rear. An attack should not be made against the 

*KrieosgescMchtHch€ EinzelschrifUn, 26 p. 67. 

202 Cavalry versus Infantry. j 

flank of such a column, as it can form a firing line very 
quickly in that direction. 

In charging infantry that is shaken or surprised, 
the formation employed, the strength of the charging 
body, and the direction of the charge are immaterial. 
The important thing is to seize the proper moment and 
quickly to make the most of it. An attack against in- 
fantry that is shaken but little or that is intact requires 
a large force, on the other hand, in order that there may 
not be a single fraction of the hostile infantry whose atten- 
tion is not completely occupied. (Par. 440, German 
C. D. R.).* According to all experience, infantry, when 
charged by cavalry, relaxes its observations on the flanks. For 
this reason, a charge is laimched either from several directions, 
or from one direction on a broad front, but with proper 
distribution in depth. As soon as cavalry comes under 
effective infantry fire, it can do nothing but ride straight to 
the front or to the rear. It must, therefore, gain the 
proper attack direction before entering the zone of infantry 
fire. Cavalry can cross this fire zone in a single line, in 
extended order, at a gallop increased progressively as 
the enemy is approached. This movement may be in- 
terrupted by breathing spells under cover. Since the force 
of the impact is of less importance in this case than to get 
at the enemy, no matter how, the charge may be made 
at an accelerated gallop. When practicable, the attack 
is made simultaneously from several directions. The in- 
fantry will then be forced to deploy in various directions 
and to scatter its fire. The moral effect produced on the 
infantry by this attack from several directions, must not 

♦At SapiKnies, January 4th, 1871, seven platoons of the 8th Cuirassiers 
charged the square of a French Chasseur battalion. The Chasseurs held their 
fire until the Cuirassiers came within 80 m. One escadron. which was to turn 
against a flank of the square, was stopped by an impassable ravine, so that In 
reality only three platoons advanced to the charge. They were repulsed, although 
some of the Cuirassiers had broken Into the square. The three platoons lost 
2 officers, 29 men. and 73 horses (32% of the troopers, and 80% of the horses). 
Although the intention of charging the square f^om several directions was correct, 
the force employed was much too small. Kunz. Beitergi, p. 243. 

Charge in Successive Lines. ' 203 

be overlooked. Frequently, various bodies of infantry 
will likewise fire upon one another in such a case. When 
time and terrain admit, escadrons are placed in readiness 
for this attack, either singly or in groups. The cavalry 
shoxild endeavor to strike the infantry simultaneously in 
front and in flank, but this is not essential. It is, in fact, 
desirable that the infantry develop its fire toward the side 
on which the principal cavalry charge is not contemplated. 

When unshaken infantry can not be attacked from 
several sides, the charging cavalry will require distribution 
in depth, in order that at least a part of it may strike the 
infantry. Successive lines are the result. These lines — 
"waves,*' so-called — ^follow one another at a distance of 200 
paces. The second line charges that part of the hostile 
infantry that was not struck at the first impact. Charges made 
on a narrow front succumb to the concentric fire of the in- 
fantry. Charges without proper distribution in depth lack the 
necessary force. A broad front can be combined with appro- 
priate distribution in depth in large units only. A broad front 
alone promises success. If individual escadrons seek their 
own objectives, they will frequently miss them entirely. 
One may make the objection to this procedure that no line 
will rely upon its own strength alone, but will hope that in 
case of failure, the other lines will be more fortunate. It is 
easier for infantry to ward off such a charge, as it is con- 
fronted, for the time being, by one target only. Fiuther- 
more, it is to be remembered that speed and cohesion of 
rearward lines are bound to suffer when these lines encounter 
fallen horses and troopers. (Charge of the Cuirassiers 
of the French Guard at Vionville).* If the leading line 
turns tail, there is danger that it may carry along with it 
those in rear. The disadvantages of successive lines are 

*The charge made by General GalUfet during the battle of Sedan, shortly 
after 9 A. M., with three regiments and two escadrons (in all 17 escadrons or 
1,500 troopers) failed for the same reason on encountering the Are of flye com- 
panies of the 82d and 87th Prussian Infantry Regiments. As the charge came 
as a complete surprise, these companies delivered their fire at 50 m. Oen. St. 
W., II, pp. 1217 and 1218. KuNZ. KriegsgeschiehtHcfie Beispiele, 5, p. 57. 

204 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

diminished if the cavalry charges with the escadrons in 
the first line posted at intervals and those in the second 
line opposite these intervals. If the cavalry once gets 
among the infantry, the latter*s defense will be made much 
more difficult. '* Anyone who has seen a cavalry charge 
against infantry, will have the following impression of it: 
The infantry at first completely loses its head (Grenier's 
Division of the Vlth Corps at Vionville), forgets that it 
has rifles, scatters in all directions and thereby uncovers 
the artillery, transmits confusion to the rearward echelons, 
and, by its rush to the rear, prevents those echelons from 
firing. In the second stage, the infantry recovers from its 
fright; it opens fire, more from fear than from reflection, 
and, therefore, as a rule, without effect; it halts and rallies 
for the purpose of stemming the tide of the hostile on- 

It is the duty of the reserve to prevent this rall3ring 
and to increase the confusion and panic in the ranks of the 
infantry. A cavalry charge against infantry and artillery 
in the latter's vicinity, calls all available hostile cavalry 
to the scene of action. The charging cavalry will therefore 
need a reserve with which to turn against this new opponent, t 

Cavalry will rarely find itself in a situation where it will have 
to charge a square. When it does, a broad front is requisite to compel 
the infantry to scatter its fire and to prevent the charging force from glanc- 
ing off the square, a contingency that might easily arise if a narrow front 
were used. Units charging in narrow formation have almost invar- 
iably ridden past the square that they attempted to attack. Austrian 
cavalry at Villafranca in 1866. At Worth, the wing of a charging body 
of French Cuirassiers carried away the corner of a square of pioneers. 

The charge made by Cuirassiers of the French Guard 
at Vionville and that made by the first line of Gallifet's 
Brigade at Sedan, show that horses will break out of ranks 
when but a few strides from the infantry and will race 

*Di$ KavallerU als SchlachtenMrper, 

fThe charge made byPulz' Brigade at Custozza. The second line dropped 
back and followed the first line at a distance of 800 m. It arrived too late 
to prevent the rallying of the hostUe Infantry. 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 205 

around the latter's flanks and then on. This breaking out 
of ranks can be guarded against only by the firm resolution 
of each trooper to break into the hostile ranks and by the 
cohesion of the unit. The pressure produced by keeping 
closed in on the center closes gaps at once, counteracts the 
involuntary breaking out of ranks of individual troopers 
and, in addition, assures, more than anything else, the main- 
tenance of the direction once taken up toward the objective. 
But, after it has broken into the infantry and has warded 
off hostile cavalry, the work of the cavalry is by no means 
done. It must strive toward mutual cooperation with the 
other troops of its own force. After cavalry has charged 
dismoxmted cavalry or mounted infantry, it has still to 
disperse the hostile led horses. Machine guns, which are 
capable of producing great havoc when turned against 
troops in close order, nowadays belong to the infantry. 
The attention of machine guns must be occupied, a weak 
force being used for this purpose, and they must be charged 
in flank and rear. (Pars. 113, and 451, German C. D. R.). 
Captured machine guns had best be brought off with their 
own teams. When they can not be carried off, they should 
be disabled or at least deprived of their mobility. The 
attention of infantry firing from a flank or of artillery must 
be occupied in the same manner, a weak force in extended 
order being used for this purpose. (Par. 447, German CD. 
R.). A successful charge against infantry will frequently 
be followed by an attack against artillery. 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 

Austria X The escadron charges in line or as foragers. No fixed 
attack formation is prescribed for the regiment. The attack formation 
that the regiment is to assume must be specified in each particular case, 
care being taken not to interfere with the action of friendly infantry and 
artillery. The regiment is formed either in one line, with normal or 
extended intervals between the escadrons, or in two lines. In the latter 
case, the escadrons in the first line are posted at intervals, those in the 
second following 150 to 225 m. directly in rear of those of the first or op- 

206 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

posite the intervals in that line. If a reserve is used, it follows 160 — 
800 m. to the right or left rear of the second line. When deemed neces- 
sary the first line may be formed as foragers, and may cover a broader 
front than the following lines, which are to deliver the shock. The 
broad front of the first line keeps adjoining hostile infantry units that 
are not directly threatened by the charge, from concentrating their 
fire on the bodies of cavalry advancing in close order. The first line 
is to charge through the hostile infantry, make as much use as possible 
of its weapons and seek to advance beyond the hostile reserves. The 
following lines are formed of escadrons in close order, posted, as a rule, 
at considerable intervals. They are to charge the hostile infantry with 
energy, especially hostile infantry in close order, and to ride it down. 

France: The regulations recommend that the shock delivered by 
several lines in close order, be prepared and supplemented by the co- 
5peration of units in extended order. But the cavalry is to charge only 
when the results to be gained are commensurate with the losses to be 
expected. When infantry can be surprised while it is on the march, 
or is encountered in a condition of complete exhaustion, or when its 
attention and fire are occupied in another direction, the cavalry leader 
should not hesitate to charge. The French cavalry proposes to attack 
favorable objectives that it hopes to find on the fianks and in rear of the 
enemy, in order to facilitate the task of its infantry. Retreating hostile 
infantry is to be surrounded upon all sides in order to delay it and to 
make the most of every opportunity to inflict damage on the enemy. 
The cavalry is to throw itself recklessly upon victorious hostile infantry. 
Charges from all directions are preferred, the decisive blow being deliv- 
ered, after the hostile infantry has deployed, from a direction from which 
the latter did not expect it to be made. According to the Cavalry Drill 
Regulations of 1908, a cavalry brigade is formed in four successive lines, 
each consisting of two escadrons, on a front of 600 m. The first and 
second lines are in single rank with 2 m. distance between them, the third 
and fourth in line of platoons in columns of fours with deploying in- 
tervals between platoons. Finally, one regiment is held out for deliver- 
ing the decisive blow, and is posted some distance away from a flank 
of the preceding lines, flank protection being provided by echelons posted 
in rear of the flanks. 

Italy: Covered avenues of approach are desirable, but, since 
opportune moments for charging are fleeting, it is not always practicable 
to seek such avenues. Therefore, it is generally advisable to choose the 
shortest route. Even infantry that is distributed in depth has less 
fire power toward a flank than toward the front. 

A charge in extended order is to be made against thin skirmish 
lines only. When practicable, the charge is to be made in three echelons, 
each in close order. Of these, the leading echelon is the weakest. It 
is to move in close order and is to draw the enemy's fire upon itself and 

Russian Regulations. 207 

to penetrate as far as possible into the hostile position. Each of the other 
echelons is to follow a short distance in rear of the preceding one, and 
to seek its own objective. 

Russia: "Incase it is impossible to surprise the enemy, it becomes 
necessary to provide distribution in depth and to bring up fresh troops 
in order to make good the great losses sustained by the first line and to 
reap the fruits of victory. The charges must follow one another so rapidly 
that the hostile infantry can not recover from its bewilderment. Larger 
units endeavor to combine front and fiank attack, each attacking group 
being, in this case, formed in several lines. The cooperation of the 
horse artillery may be an advantage. 

"Against infantry, the cavalry charges either in close or in extended 
order. In the latter case, the first line is in extended order, the second 
and third, on the other hand, are each in line, in close order. In larger 
cavalry units, if a fourth line is formed, it follows the others in line in 
close order, or in regimental or brigade column. The position of the 
second and third lines in rear of the first, is to assure the fulfillment 
of the conditions, above-mentioned, for the success of the charge against 
infantry. The second line is to follow 70 m., and the third 175 m. in 
rear of the first line. 

"Dispositions for a charge are to be made so that there will be from 
three to six escadrons in the first line for every section of from 250 to 
650 m. of the hostile fighting line. 

"If the hostile infantry can not be approached under cover and 
the charge can not be made unexpectedly, the cavalry must, on open 
ground, form outside the zone of hostile infantry fire, if practicable 
at least two verst or more away from that infantry and cover that en- 
tire distance at the field gallop. This gait is to be increased progres- 
sively, the last 70 — 100 m. being covered at charging speed." 

"The sections of the hostile line are designated by the commander 
of the first line. During the advance and before the charge proper 
begins, escadron commanders choose their own objectives, conforming, 
in so doing, to the base escadron. 

"The first line charges through the hostile position; the second 
and third charge those parts of the enemy that were not struck by the 
first line or could not be defeated. 

"Unshaken infantry that makes correct use of the ground, is almost 
equally strong in front and on the flank. But, in view of its greater 
readiness for repulsing a frontal charge and of the moral effect of attacks 
against flanks and rear, cavalry should always endeavor to charge against 
flanks and rear of hostile infantry. However, when this is impracticable, 
a combination of frontal attack with envelopment of the flanks is to be 

"Selection of the proper moment for charging infantry is of the 
utmost importance. The following are considered suitable moments 
for charging infantry: 

208 Cavalry versus Infantry. 

1. When there is a chance to surprise the hostile infantry un* 
prepared to ward off the charge; 

2. When the hostile infantry is in confusion or its morale Is 
shaken by previous fighting. 

"The last phases of an infantry action, in attack as well as in de- 
fense, may give cavalry a suitable opportunity for making a successful 
charge, because by that time the infantry units are generally mixed 
up more or less, considerable losses have occured among its leaders, 
and the nervous strain and physical exhaustion have reached their 
extreme limits." 


Temporary weakness and surprise of the artillery, 
impairing the effective use of its gims, are conditions pre- 
cedent to the success of a cavalry charge against that 
arm. The long artillery columns with their echelons and 
trains, often but pooriy protected, actually invite a cavalry 
charge. The charge made by the French cavalry during 
the battle of Culm (1813), against the Prussian artillery 
halted on the Dresden chaussee^ shows to what dangers 
artillery is exposed in such situations. Unless other arms 
come to the rescue, artillery while in motion, f or while 
in the act of limbering or unlimbering, falls a sure prey to 
the cavalry. During the Franco-German war, enter- 
prising cavalry would have been able to endanger the Ger- 
man artillery, which frequently hurried forward to the 
battlefield without adequate support. 

The growth of the number of gims, the great road 
space taken up by artillery units in route column (4,800 m. 
of the total road space of 10,000 m. taken up by an 
infantry division), and the extent of the long artillery 
Unes on the battlefield, enable cavalry to gain great successes. 
When the artillery has suffered heavy losses, when it is 
without support, and when there is a chance to surprise 
the firing batteries by taking them in flank or rear, or, 
when the ground is favorable, by advancing unexpectedly 
from nearby cover against their front, it will be easier for the 
cavalry to gain success. Batteries in a masked position 
can not, as a rule, keep the terrain in their immediate 
front tmder fire. From the front, artillery forms a material 

*Par8. 113, 174-176. 201, 224. 444^60. German C. D. R. 

tThe capture of a French battery by the 2d Escadron of the 11th Uhlani 
at Lolgny. la a good examplCp both as regards conception and execution. Kunz, 
BtiUrH, p. 380. 

210 Cavalry versus Artillery. 

obstacle on account of the position of its caisson bodies. 
It is difficult for artillery to change front after the spades 
of the pieces are once firmly imbedded in the ground. 
The most difficult change of front that can be imdertaken 
by artillery is toward that flank on which the caisson bodies 
are posted. When the artillery is under hostile fire, a change 
of front that entails giving up the cover afforded by the 
caisson bodies, increases its losses. It is difficult for artil- 
lery to fire on cavalry approaching from the right or left, 
and besides, such fire is not very effective. When artillery 
is charged from the rear, its guns will frequently not be able 
to fire at all. 

The most brilliant example of more recent times, is the charge 
made at Tobitschau, July 15th, 1866, by three escadrons of the 5th 
Prussian Cuirassiers, against Austrian artillery. While the two horse 
batteries of the division opened fire, and one platoon of Cuirassiers 
advanced against the hostile artillery so as to cover the flank of the move- 
ment, three escadrons crossed the Blatte brook in column of threes 
and, supported by the flanking platoon in front of the hostile artillery, 
charged by escadron along a depression against the flank of the hostile 
battery. The artillery discharged a few ineffective rounds of canister 
at short range; its support was dispersed; an escadron that hurried up 
was repulsed; and 18 guns, 15 limbers, and 7 caissons were taken and 
2 officers, 168 men, and 157 horses captured. The Cuirassiers lost only 
10 men.* 

During the battle of Orleans, though the 1st Escadron of the 4th 
Prussian Hussars, after surprising French infantry, numbered only 
65 sabers, it charged a French battery from the rear. 

The battery did not have time to fire. The Hussars, who suffered 
no loss at all, captured and brought off 4 guns, 4 caissons, 4 officers, 76 
men, and 79 horses, t 

But the tactical situation may, on the other hand, 
require that cavalry be launched regardless of the cost, 
to silence artillery that is becoming annoying, or to divert 
its fire from important targets. (Par. 450, German C. 
D. R.) . Examples from history are the charge of Cardigan's 

•Besser. Preuszisehe Kavallerie, 1866, p. 163. Geschicht$ des KuirasiUf" 
regiments Nr. 5, p. 80. 

•i-KuNZ, ReiUrei, p. 808. 

Method op Attack. 211 

Brigade at Balaklava, and that of Bredow's Brigade at 

If the artillery is protected by a body of other troops, 
the principal attack should, in the first place, be directed 
against the latter. When the artillery support has been 
defeated and perhaps thrown back upon the artillery, the 
latter will scarcely be in condition to repulse an energetic 
cavalry charge directed against its flank. 

When cavalry can not surprise artillery by taking 
it in flank, and is forced to charge against front and flank, 
it must endeavor to have both attacks strike the enemy 
simultaneously, in order that the attacking bodies may not 
be defeated in detail. Aside from the probability of 
striking an artillery support, this has the advantage that 
it is more difficult for the artillery to fire upon the charging 
bodies. In order to divert the fire of the artillery as much 
as possible from the charging troops, weak bodies of cavalry 
should support this attack by advancing straight at the 
artillery in such a manner as to cover its entire front. 
Single-rank formations, followed at 300 m. by a few esca- 
drons in close order, are especially suited for this work. 
In charging artillery in flank, the units that strike first 
should ride as far as possible along the artillery line in order 
to spread confusion over as large a portion of it as possible. 

In making a frontal charge against artillery, cavalry 
forms in several lines, the first, in single rank, being followed 
at 300 m. by escadrons in close order. When it is impracti- 
cable to advance tmder cover, the gallop is taken up at 
an early moment and increased progressively as the ob- 
jective is approached. A slower gait may be taken up in 
depressions that afford cover, in order that the horses 
may regain their breath. The first line is charged with 
the duty of riding through the battery and of repulsing 
any attempt to retake the gims; the second with the duty 
of breaking down the resistance in the battery itself by cut- 
ting down the gim squads. A third line turns against 
hostile cavalry, if any is present. 

212 Cavalry versus Artillery. 

A battery is captured when it has been deprived of 
mobility, whether this condition results from carrying off 
the teams or from the fact that limbers and caissons drive 
oflF to safety. If the guns have to discontinue their fire — 
even if temporarily only — on accoimt of lack of ammunition, 
this, in itself, is a great success for the cavalry. But 
even if this is the case, the battery is not yet tsiken; the 
resistance of the gun squads must first be broken quickly, and 
troops that attempt to recapture the guns must be repulsed. 
Therefore, to make the victory complete, and to enable 
the guns to be carried off, an adequate force must be pushed 
beyond the battery. It is generally a more difficult task 
to carry off or to disable the guns than to capture them, 
since all hostile troops in the vicinity will hasten up 
to recapture them. Military history shows that the 
instances in which cavalry lost the guns captured by it, 
are more numerous than those in which it succeeded in 
retaining permanent possession. 

In 1865, the Prussian Ministry of War prescribed a 
method of using a saddle horse for draft purposes, the 
picket line being used like the American lasso. One end 
of the picket line was to be fastened to the upper part of 
the cincha, the other to the object to be drawn away. 
The horses pull well, as the rider's weight acts on back 
and ribs, but on long-legged horses the saddle is apt to 
slip. When so hitched, a horse is capable of pulling 5 
cwt. even on soft grotmd. Hence it would take 5-6 horses 
to draw a French or a Russian field gun in this manner. 
It is, of course, necessary to draw the spade of the gun out 
of the ground. Horses hitched to the trail act as a brake. 
The Russian Cavalry Drill Regulations (1896) prescribe 
that harness for carrying off captured guns be improvised 
out of the hobbles and picket lines, the former being used 
to improvise a rude collar. Two horses are considered 
sufficient for each gun. It is better to use the teams 
belonging to the gims to carry them off. To cut down the 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 213 

teams is therefore not so good a plan as to cut the drivers 
from their horses or to intimidate them. Guns may be 
disabled (pars. 99—101, German C. P. R. 1907) by deto- 
nating 3 — 5 explosive cartridges, if available, placed flat 
upon the muzzle or breech of the gim,* by removing the 
breechblock (weight about 17kg.), or by destroying the brake 
and laying apparatus. French or Russian guns with screw 
breech mechanism may, in addition, be disabled by flatten- 
ing the screw threads in the breech, and by destroying 
the fuse setters on the caisson bodies. The French guns 
may also be disabled by breaking off the metal at the muzzle. 
On the right side of the upper carriage there is a screw 
that closes the aperture through which the brake fluid 
may be drained. When this screw is removed, the valve 
in the interior may be destroyed by driving a pointed 
instrument into it, whereupon the brake fluid will flow out. 
Since the guns all carry a considerable number of spare 
parts, it does not suffice to damage the breechblock alone. 

a. Austria: A small force suffices for fighting artillery itself ; the 
bulk of the force must be used to repulse troops that may perhaps hurry 
up to protect the artillery. It is only when these troops are repulsed 
that the attack may be considered as having succeeded. Direct attack: 
First line as foragers, followed, if sufficient troops are available, by a 
few escadrons in close order and separated from each other by an interval 
of from 225 to 300 m. This formation is likewise a good one when the main 
attack is launched against a flank. In a flank attack against a long line of 
hostile artillery, distribution in depth is necessary. The first line must en- 
deavor to ride quickly along the entire hostile line to the opposite flank; the 
following units must take possession of the guns. It is seldom possible 
to bring off the captured guns (sic). In order to take advantage of the 
element of surprise and to minimize losses, the attack should be made 
at top speed. 

b. Italy: The regulations governing the attack against artillery 
are similar to those of Austria. 

c. France: The regulations governing the attack against artillery 
are similar to those of Austria. 

d* Russia: "In the frontal attack against artillery, the field 
gallop is taken up when the attacking line is at least two verst from the 
enemy, the charging gait being taken up when 110 m. from the batteries. 

^Explosive cartridgoB are not very effective when applied to barrels of 
cast nickel-steel. 

214 Cavalry versus Artillery. 

"The first line may operate either in extended or in close order. 
The other lines follow the first in line for the purpose of supporting it 
if effective artillery fire compels it to turn tail, or to ward off a charge 
made by hostile cavalry; in fine, to meet all possible contingencies that 
might arise in the coiirse of the charge. 

"The peculiarities of the formation and fire of artillery enable 
the first line to cover a broad front in extended order, and permit the 
other troops to form in rear of the first in shallow formation. 

"In making dispositions for a charge against artillery, one to three 
escadrons should be placed in the first line for every six to eighteen 
guns in the hostile line. 

"When the artillery is the principal objective, special bodies of 
troops should be detailed to attack the artillery support, the sections 
of the hostile infantry line nearest the artillery, as well as the hostile 
cavalry. In this case, the charge against sections of the hostile infantry 
line or that against the hostile cavalry, should precede that made 
against the artillery position. 

"When one of the flanks of the artillery is not protected, or its 
supporting troops on that flank are not strong enough, it is desirable 
to direct the charge against that flank. It should not be forgotten that 
the laimching of even a small body of troops against flank or rear of 
hostile artillery may facilitate the movement of all other attacking units 
and assure the success of the charge." 

The heavy artillery of the field army usually fights at a 
considerable distance from its other troops, and, as a rule, 
in masked positions. On account of its slow rate of fire 
and the fact that it carries shell only, it falls an easier prey 
to cavalry than field artillery, which fights in close coopera- 
tion with infantry. But it should be borne in mind that 
heavy artillery is able to provide for its own security with 
the rifles with which its personnel is armed. 









After the campaign of 1870-71, the development of the 
field artillery of all European armies tended toward the in- 
troduction of a field gun having a flat trajectory and shrapnel 
effective against animate targets standing in the open. In 
Germany, lightness of materiel was sacrificed to increased 
effectiveness, and an attempt was made to facilitate the 
ammunition supply by adopting a single type of gun for 
field and horse batteries. Germany had, perhaps, made the 
greatest strides in perfecting shrapnel when the lessons 
derived from the battles around Plevna showed that shrapnel 
would produce no effect on an opponent in shelter trenches if 
its effectiveness against targets standing in the open was in- 
creased. The equipment of infantry with portable intrench- 
ing tools forcibly emphasized that greater attention should 
be paid to combating an enemy in shelter trenches. The 
hope that explosive shell would be effective against covered 
targets was not realized. This result was not obtained until 
the idea of a single type of gun was abandoned and the light 
10.5 cm. field howitzer, model 1898 was adopted.* 

The heavy field howitzer, originally attached to the 

*After March, 1859, the artillery of a mobilized Prussian army corps con- 
sisted of three horse batteries, each armed with six 6-pounder gims and two 7-pounder 
howitzers; six foot batteries, each armed with eight 12-pounder gims; and three 
foot batteries, each armed with eight 7-pounder howitzers. Thus the artillery of 
an army corps numbered 30 howitzers and 60 guns. Of. Lieutenant-General Rohnb*s 
article Zur Feldhaubitzenfrage, in Artilleristische Monatshefte, 1909, X. p. 276, et seq. 

The French have adopted howitzers for the purpose of destroying material 
objects. The French consider the very curved trajectory of these gims a drawback 
that must be accepted as they would be much too heavy for field operations if given 
a flat trajectory. Of. Pa loque. ArtiUerie de Campagne, p. 205. 

218 Development of Field Artillery. 

field army for the purpose of reducing barrier fortifications, 
was permanently assigned to the field army on accotmt of the 
great effect of its projectiles against targets sheltered by over- 
head cover and shields. The transition to a rapid fire gun 
became possible only when smokeless powder was introduced. 
The introduction of the recoil barrel made it possible to 
provide shields for the cannoneers, who were no longer forced 
to step clear of the wheels as each shot was fired. This and 
not an increased rate of fire caused artillery tactics to enter 
upon an entirely new phase. Increased weight of materiel 
had to be accepted, as a reduction in caliber was inadvisable. 
The latter would have entailed a reduction of weight of the 

Other things being equal, a heavy shrapnel is superior to a lighter 
projectile, both as regards effect produced and ease with which it can be 
observed. This superiority increases in proportion with the range and with 
the difficulty of determining the range accurately. The inferior effect of a 
single shot can be offset by increased expenditure of ammunition at short 
ranges only. The lighter guns have the advantage of a greater rate of 
fire, but this is outweighed by the drawback that the number of vehicles 
is increased. This results in a corresponding lengthening of route columns 
if as much ammunition is to be carried for the batteries as is required to 
attain an effect equal to that of batteries having heavier guns. 

When recoil guns are once firmly fixed in position, re- 
laying during the firing is superfluous. Hence these guns 
attain a high rate of fire, which is limited by the time re- 
quired for setting fuzes, and for the barrel to recoil and to 
slide back into position. The recoil, in addition, consider- 
ably decreases the work of the cannoneers in that they are 
relieved of the fatiguing labor of running the carriage back 
into battery after each round. Losses suffered by the per- 
sonnel are of little importance. While two men remain to 
serve the gun, it can fire as rapidily as before. The 
objections made to the recoil gun on the ground that it was 
too complicated and consequently not serviceable were im- 
founded. Even the danger of waste of ammunition is not 
great. The military history of the more distant past records 
more instances of bodies of troops and guns running out of 
ammunition, than that of the present day. If the ammimi- 

Gun Shields. 219 

tion fired has produced an effect, the object has been at- 
tained, and it is immaterial whether a certain number of 
roimds was fired in half an hour or in an hour, though the 
moral effect, which is frequently the deciding factor, is greater 
if the losses occur in a shorter period of time. 

When the lower carriage is anchored by means of a 
trail spade or by the method used by the French, the gtm 
becomes so firmly fixed in position during firing, that it is 
difficult, when a change of target becomes necessary, to 
move the trail quickly by hand so as to give the gun the 
proper direction. It is, therefore, feasible for small columns 
to make short flank movements at a rapid gait, provided 
the artillery has not been able beforehand to adjust its fire 
on the ground to be covered. 

The objection made to gun shields, at the start, on the 
ground that they were disproportionately heavy and might 
make it easier for an enemy to pick up the position of the 
guns, were outweighed by the advantage of cover they 
afforded the cannoneers against shrapnel fire. The accuracy 
of the fire is bound to be increased when the gtmner can do 
his work while completely sheltered. Sheet steel 3 mm. 
thick is penetrated neither by 8 mm. projectiles* at ranges 
over 400 m., nor by shrapnel bullets. 

*The following Is taken from Artilleristische Monatshefte, May number of 

"During the street fighting In Constantinople In 1909. a battery was one night 
placed in position 600 — 600 m. from the barrack and a large quantity of ammunition 
was deposited beside the guns so that none of the personnel had to leave cover 
during the fight. In consequence of this precaution, and in spite of the heavy in- 
fantry fire, the battery lost but one non-commissioned oflQcer, who was shot through 
the head while peering around the gun shield at the target. After the fight. 400 
hits were counted on the shields. These hits were all caused by small arms bullets 
that had failed to penetrate the shields. The protection afforded by the Turkish 
7.5 cm. shields is. Indeed, excellent, as they have no semicircular opening in the rigid 
upper part, and as the oval aperture in the center of the shield, in which the barrel 
moves up and down, is completely covered by a funnel-shaped contrivance. This 
funnel caught a great many bullets that, in its absence, might perhaps have passed 
along the barrel and struck the cannoneers." 

In a test held in Denmark in 1909, 270 shrapnel were fired at a range of 2,000 
m. against a battery equipped with gun shields. The shields were frequently hit, 
but only five large fragments or imexplodod projectiles penetrated them. But 
■hrapnel that fails to f imctlon on hitting a shield bursts so far in rear of the gun that 
it produces no effect on the personnel at all. In the above mentioned case, six men 
of the personnel were disabled by nine hits, but not a single gun was placed out of 

220 Development of Field Artillery. 

But it affords protection neither against large fragments, 
projectiles that penetrate without bursting, nor against 3.5 
cm. shell. Shields 1.4 — 1.6 m. high weigh from SO — 60 kg. 
Intact projectiles that strike a gun have little chance of dis- 
mounting it. The effect produced by such shots is, at best, 
problematical as shrapnel that fails to function when it strikes 
the shield, bursts about 1 m. in rear of the gim, though shell 
will, of coiu^e, produce some effect on the personnel.* 

The difficulties encountered in fighting batteries provided 
with shields, lead to more extensive employment of curved fire 
gims and special projectiles (combination shrapnel-shell), f 

But no matter what is done, one will never be able to 
produce so annihilating an effect on the personnel of a battery 
provided wfth shields as on that of one without shields. 
Therefore, one will always have to reckon with the possibility 
that when the infantry advances to the attack, single batteries 
or gtms of the defender will again come into action and by 
their effective rapid fire force the advancing infantry to halt. 
Since it is impossible to demolish these batteries quickly, it has 
been proposed to cripple them by bursting a large number of 
smoke-producing projectiles in front and in rear of them, 
thus preventing them from training and adjusting their fire on 
the targets that are in motion. Colonel Ruffey of the French 
Army is of the opinion that this object will be attained if 16 — ^20 
projectiles per minute are burst in the vicinity of artillery that 
occupies a front of 100 m. 

*Lieu ten ant-General Rohne (Art. Monatshefte, Sept. number 1907. p. 185, et 
seQ.) computes that, at 3,000 m., 217 rounds (0.40%) would have to be flred In order 
to have one projectile strike a gun without bursting. 

+Krupp*s "shrapnel-shell" and Ehrhardt's "explosive shrapnel" are similar 
In that both produce essentially a shrapnel effect when burst by time fuze, and shell 
effect when burst by percussion fuze. That such a projectile, on striking a gun- 
shield, will produce a greater effect among the cannoneers of a shielded gun than an 
ordinary shrapnel that strikes a shield without bursting, is obvious. When the time 
fuze in the explosive shrapnel functions, it ignites the base charge; the combination 
fuze with the high explosive charge goes on and bursts on impact. The high ex- 
plosive charge contains a smoke producing composition. This makes it possible 
to observe the point of impact of the fuze, lying as it does practically in prolongation 
of the trajectory, whereby data for possible future correction are obtained. See 
RosKOTEN. Die heuHgeFeldarliHerie, p. 167, et seq. 




-5 to 

^ - gun 
I the 

. ately 

. ojec- 

■ fuze 
•s set 
Ith a 

. m.). 
ise a 

: use 
tis of 
^ are 
5 gas 

At a 


t . 

•.i .1 

I I 

)• t 

I I 

• * * ' * * 


I / 

















Modern Materiel. 221 

The field artillery of all the states that need be considered, 
is armed with a rapid-fire gun provided with shields (4 — 6 cm. 
thick) and capable, under peace conditions, of firing as many 
as twenty shots per minute. Its caliber varies from 7.5 to 
8.38 cm. (Germany, 7.7 ; France, 7.5 ; Russia, 7.62 ; and England 
8.38 cm., the last-named being an 18 pdr.). The German gun 
fires shrapnel weighing 6.85 kg. (the Russian, 6.5, and the 
French, 7.25 kg.) and high explosive shell of approximately 
the same weight, with an initial velocity of 465 m. (the Rus- 
sian 588, and the French 530 m.). The projectiles are burst 
through the action of combination fuzes (in Germany grad- 
uated to 5 ,000, in France and Russia to 5 ,500 m.) . The projec- 
tiles have a maximum range of 8,000 m. when percussion fuze 
is used. Canister has been replaced by shrapnel, which bursts 
approximately 200 m. in front of the gun when the fuse is set 
at zero. The German field artillery is also equipped with a 
light field howitzer, cal. 10.5 cm., which fires shrapnel weigh- 
ing 12.8 kg. (time fuze ranging from 300 to 5,600 m.) and shell 
weighing 15.7 kg. (time fuze ranging from 500 to 5,600 m.). 
In the heavy artillery of the field army, the Germans use a 
heavy field howitzer, cal. 14.91 cm. firing shell that weighs 
39.5 kg. and has an extreme range of 7,400 m., the French 
the Rimailho howitzer, and the English a 12.7 cm. howitzer 
and a 12 cm. gun. 

Some of the states have adopted moimtain guns for use 
in difficult country. When dismounted and carried on pack 
animals, these guns offer a smaller target than ordinary field 
artillery. They were used by the Japanese on the plains of 
Manchuria to accompany the infantry attack, and were found 
particularly useful for dismoimting machine gims. Balloon 
guns, frequently transported on armored auto trucks,* are 
still in the experimental stage. Their projectiles are 
designed to tear the envelope of balloons or to ignite the gas 
therein contained. 

*The balloon gnu has a caliber of 5 cm. Total weight of gun and carriage 
including gun squad of five men. is 3,200 kg. Its extreme range is 7,800 m. At a 
range of 4,200 m. , the maximum ordinate of its trajectory is 2,480 m. The balloon 
shrapnel weighs 2.4 kg. 


Development of Field Artillery. 

Table of Fire for German and French Field Guns. 

(Condensed from the table of fire computed by Lieut. 
Gen. Rohne). 

Muzzle velocity, German gun : 465 m. ; French gun, 530 


Angle of 


zone for 






j 1 m. high. 






1 m. 








♦The small figures 
denote sixteenths 






of a degree. 

























13 • 










13 » 

19 » 









German. . 


26 » 






22 « 



The following are characteristic features of the new type 
of gun: 

1. Increased effectiveness of the individual projectile, 
which, when it strikes any troops in the open within a range 
of 4,000 m., either quickly annihilates, or, at the very least, 
neutralizes them, i. e., robs them of unrestricted mobility. 

2. Invulnerability of the personnel to losses, thanks to 
the introduction of shields. 

3. The ability (of single batteries, at least), thanks to 
improved laying apparatus, of delivering fire from masked 

Flat Trajectory Guns. 



The principal projectile of field guns, model 96, is a 
base charge shrapnel provided with a combination time and 
percussion fuze. This shrapnel weighs 6.85 kg. and contains 
300 bullets weighing 10 g. each. Its initial velocity is 465 m. 

Percussion Shrapnel is used for defense at short range 
and in fire for adjustment ; its effect depends upon the range 
and the nature of the ground. It is effective against troops 
lodged in tall timber. Masks, branches of trees, etc., fre- 
quently cause the premature burst of these projectiles.* 
On striking, the projectile cuts a furrow in the ground and 
bursts two to three meters beyond the point of impact. 


•;. t' 

Percussion shrapnel is effective only when bursting imme- 
diately in front of the target (5 — 25 m. in front of it, depend- 
ing upon the range). However, even in this case, the bullets 
often pass over low targets, such as skirmishers lying down, 
and low parapets afford sufficient protection. An adequate 
effect can be obtained only when the fire is directed on stand- 
ing targets. Soft groimd, newly ploughed fields, terrain 

*Eiigagement of Azay. January 6th, 1871. Geschichte des Regiments Nr. 20. 
HorFBAXTXR. DetUeche Artillerie, I, pp. 16 and 48. Taktik, VI. p. 42. 

224 Plat Trajectory Guns. 

covered with snow or underbrush, small folds of the ground, 
or a rising slope, diminish the fire effect.* When the angle 
of fall is 10 degrees or more (with the German piece at ranges 
of 3,300 m. and over), half of the bullets penetrate the groimd, 
the remainder ricochet and pass on at a greatly reduced 
velocity. For this reason, percussion shell is more effective 
at the longer ranges than time shrapnel. Percussion shrap- 
nel penetrates thin walls and shields and bursts beyond them. 
The explosive or incendiary effect of shrapnel is insignificant 
owing to the smallness of the bursting charge. However, 
some incendiary effect is possible if the projectile strikes 
an easily inflammable target, f 

Time Shrapnel (used in Germany up to 5,000 m.) is 
fairly independent of the terrain, the burst being easily 
observed since the bullets are embedded in a * 'smoke-pro- 
ducing composition.*' It can, therefore, be used in fire for 
adjustment, provided the point of burst is low. The ex- 
treme range at which this projectile can be employed is 
fixed by the facility of observing the fire and by the remain- 
ing velocity of the shrapnel bullets, both of which diminish 
as the range increases. Field guns, model '96, may be effec- 
tively employed up to a range of 4,000 m.; under 3,000 m. 
their fire is very effective against targets in the open. The 
use of the combination fuze, on account of its certainty of 
burst, either by time or percussion, permits the trajectory 
to be accurately determined in every case. This fuze also 
makes it possible to employ shrapnel against rapidly advanc- 
ing targets, and in warding off a sudden attack at short range. 
The French regulations give the width of the beaten zone of a 
single shrapnel as 20, that of two from the same piece as 

*"Wlien the ground at the target is uneven, for example newly ploughed soil, 
the effect of the fire la wholly a matter of chance. If, for example, the shell strikes 
the top of the ridge between two furrows, the effect is likely to be enhanced; but if. 
on the other hand, it strikes the base of such a ridge, the effect may be entirely nulli- 
fied, since all the ft'agments propelled in direction of the objective bury themselves 
in the soil." (Lieutenant- General Rohne.) 

-^Consult Taktik, VI, p. 45, in regard to the incendiary effect of projectiles. 
The incendiary effect of the French Obus RoMn ia said to be greater, as the bullets are 
embedded in an explosive. 

Time Shrapnel. 


25 m. The maximixm depth of the beaten zone is 300 m. 
The angle of the cone of dispersion of the German shrapnel, 
model '96, is 16degrees at 2,000 m., that of the French shrapnel 
about 19 degrees.* Rearward lines of infantry are not safe 
from shrapnel fired at their first line unless they follow 300 to 
400 m. in rear of that line. The German shrapnel gives very 
good results when set to burst 30 to 150 m. short of the 
target, the height of burst being regulated accordingly 
(approximatley j^ of the whole number of hundreds of meters 
of the range). At ranges under 1,500 m., an adequate fire 
effect may be expected, however, even when the fuze is set 
to burst the projectile 300 m. short of the target. 

Shrapnel is most effective against prone skirmishers at 
ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 m. when burst 28 to 22 m. short 
and against standing skirmishers at the same ranges when 
burst 56 to 45 m. short. 

Effect of a Single Time Shrapnel of the German Field 



When firing at the targets named (1 skirmish figure 
per m.) with time shrapnel set to burst 50 m. 
short, the following hits per shrapnel may be ex- 
pected after the adjustment has been effected: 






SkirmiBhers, standing 

Skirmishers, kneeling 

Skinnishers, prone 









Head targets 


*The following Is quoted from Lieutenant-General Robnb'b article in Artil- 
leristische Monatshefie, April number 1909, p. 287 : "The angle of fall of projectile! 
fired ftom the French gun is smaller, and the depth of their beaten zone is therefore 
greater. This is a distinct advantage when the points of burst lie low and the in- 
tervals of biu^t are considerable. The range at which the angle of fall will equal 
half of the angle of the cone of dispersion — and beyond which the depth of the beaten 
zone rapidly decreases — I estitnate at about 3,200 m. in the German field gun. model 
'96. and at about 4,200 m. in the French 75 mm. gun. In the French gun, the angle 
of fall of projectiles Increases more slowly, the angle of the cone of dispersion more 
rapidly, than in the German field cpun, model '96." 


Flat Trajectory Guns. 

Effect per Minute. 


When tiring at the tarKets named (1 skirmish figure 
per m.) with time slirapnel. mod. '96, set to burst 
50 — 100 m. short, the following hits per minuts 
may be expected on an average : 

Skirmishers, standing. 
Skirmishers, kneeling. 

Skirmishers, prone 

Head Targets 
























More than 80% of the men struck by fragments and 
bullets from shrapnel bursting within 100 m. are disabled. 
The penetration of shrapnel bullets is so great at ranges 
under 2,000 m., that when they strike bones or vital organs 
of horses, they produce instant incapacity for action. This 
is especially true when the interval of burst is 100 m. or less. 
The effect of shrapnel directed against batteries provided 
with shields is insignificant. Time shrapnel is the principal 
projectile employed by artillery against animate objects, 
provided these are not located immediately in rear of para- 
pets, within tall timber, or imder bomb proofs. This pro- 
jectile is ineffective against such cover on accotmt of the 
flatness of the trajectory and the sensitiveness of the fuze. 

Shrapnel is supplemented by shell* filled with ex- 
plosive charge, model '88, which has a great explosive effect 
at extreme ranges and in tall timber. 

Percussion shell, on account of its very sensitive fuze, 
bursts on penetrating a shield, whereas shrapnel goes en- 
tirely through a shield and bursts about 1 — 2 m. in rear of it. 

^During the Franco-German war the common shell xised burst Into 30, the 
double-walled shell Into 76. and the ring shell into 150 fragments. These fragmenta 
did not have a satisfactory shape and weighed 13 — 14 g. each (I. e.. about 21 frag- 
ments per kg.). V. MOllbb, Bnhoicklung 4$r FeidarHturU, III. i^. 202. 

Percussion and Time Shell. 



Shell, Model '96. 

Targets located immediately in rear of parapets or under 
light splinter proofs may be reached with time shell burst 
directly over or close in front of them. But even a slight 
increase in the interval of burst may nullify the effect. 
This was one reason why the effect of Japanese shells was 
not satisfactory in Manchuria.* The French Obus allonge, a 
high explosive percussion shell (melinite charge ; angle of the 
cone of dispersion exceeds 100 degrees) is employed only for 
the destruction of material objects. Its fuze acts only after 
the projectile has pierced thin walls or shields, whereas the 
German shell bursts while penetrating such a target. 

When firing on animate objects, the beaten zone of the French shell 
does not exceed a space 50 m. wide and 20 m. deep, but the concussion 
of the explosion will undoubtedly be felt at a greater distance. The ex- 
plosive effect of the projectile is equivalent to that of 30 kg. of powder. 
The explosion of the projectile produces a cone-shaped crater having a 
diameter of 2 and a depth of 0.60 m. Ten melinite shells per running 
meter are required to destroy a parapet 3 m. thick and 2.80 m. high. 

Time Shell, Model '96. 

*v. Tettau, Achtzehn Monate, 1, p. 219. 

228 Plat Trajectory Guns. 

Even very small fragments of the shell are capable of 
inflicting disabling wotmds, provided the point of burst is 
appropriately situated (i. e., when the interval of burst is 
not too large and the point of burst not too high) . Generally 
speaking, about 75% of all the wounds produced by shell, 
model '96, incapacitate for action. About 20 fragments may 
be reckoned to every kilogram of shell-weight, or 130 — 140 
effective fragments for the projectile. Tests have developed 
the fact that three fragments (in shrapnel, model '96, about 
five) weigh 2 kg. These fragments are capable of penetrat- 
ing steel plate 2 mm. thick. The angle of the cone of dis- 
persion of shell, model '96, is about 114 degrees; the frag- 
ments number 500, of which only those weighing 10 — 20 g. 
are effective up to 50 m. distance from point of burst. The 
English regulations assume that the radius of effect of an 
'explosive shell does not exceed 22 m. 

The fragments are not evenly distributed. The central 
portion of the shell is very nearly empty, and, in consequence, 
an effect is not to be expected from any fragments but those 
at the base of the shell. The depth of the beaten zone does 
not exceed 50 m. even when the fire is directed against 
targets in the open. The large angle of the cone of dispersion 
makes it possible to strike targets located immediately in 
rear of parapets. The extreme angle of fall of shell fragments 
is 61 degrees at a range of 2,000 m., and 67 degrees at a range 
of 3,000. From this it follows that when fire is directed 
against targets immediately in rear of a parapet, an effect 
may be expected only when the points of burst are very 
accurately placed in the most advantageous position with 
reference to the target, i. e., immediately over or a little 
short of the interior crest. (In the above figure, only target 
1 is struck, whereas, field howitzer shells burst over target 
3 would not only strike that but target 1 as well.) This re- 
quires not only a very careful adjustment but great accuracy 
in the gim itself and imif ormity in the fuzes. But, even under 
the most favorable conditions, the number of hits is small. 

Canister. 229 

Shots striking the interior crest or within the work 
itself, may, under certain conditions, have a tremendous 

The number of effective shots will be still further re- 
duced when it is impossible to adjust the fire accurately 
upon the target, and it becomes necessary to search an area 
by firing successive salvos, increasing or decreasing the 
range by 50 m. after each.* Even under favorable con- 
ditions, only a very small ntunber of effective hits can be 
coimted on when firing against covered targets. A great 
expenditure of ammunition must, therefore, be expected- 
In the Russo-Japanese war, such fire was, as a matter of 
fact, ineffective. In many instances, therefore, one will have 
to be satisfied with harrassing the occupants of the hostile 
trenches, unless one adopts the better plan of awaiting the 
moment when the hostile infantry is forced to man its para- 
pets. For measures to be taken against shell fire, consult 
pars. 49-51, German P. A. D. R. Splinter proofs whose 
roofs have a slope of 12 degrees afford protection against 
projectiles from flat trajectory guns at ranges up to 3,000 m. 

In canister, the contained bullets have a smaller initial velocity 
than the case. They richochet on striking. The range of these ricochets 
depends upon the character of the ground. Solid, level ground, or a 
gentle downward slope increase their range, whereas snow, sand, wet 
meadows, ploughed and cultivated land reduce their range. Since the 
introduction of smokeless powder, the range of canister has decreased, as 
this powder required that the projectile close the barrel more tightly than 
canister is capable of doing. Of the ammunition carried by the smooth- 
bore 12-pounder, C/42, 20% was canister, whose 6 oz. bullets were effec- 
tive up to 800 m., the 3 oz. and IH oz. bullets up to 600 m. The small 
dispersion, the superficial direction, and flat trajectory of its individual 
bullets made canister very effective against standing targets at short ranges. 

*Lieutenant-General Rohne computes that an interval of burst of 3.7 m. In 
the explosive sheU, corresponds to one of 10.7 m. In the common shell, and to one of 
60 m. in the shrapnel. To quote : "The number of hits is reduced by half when the In- 
terval of burst is doubled ; that is to say, an interval of burst of 100 m. in the shrapnel 
corresponds to one of 7.4 m. in the explosive shell and to one of 20.4 m. in the com- 
mon shell. According to par. 80. German F. A. F. Regulations, the shrapnel of the 
field gun is still effective when burst 150 m. short. This would correspond to 11.1 
and 30.6 m. respectively, in common and explosive shell. Hence, an error of 25 m. 
in placing a shot impairs its effectiveness enormously if it is shell, little or not at all 
if it is shrapnel. For this reason, the shrapnel of the field gun can never be replaced 
by an explosive shell." 

230 Curved Fire Guns. 

The simplicity and safety of handling it, the impossibility of using 
it at long ranges, and its effectiveness against targets at close range, justi- 
fied its existence.* Its usefulness disappeared, however, as soon as it 
became possible to use shrapnel effectively at short range. 



In direct and curved fire, the light field howitzer, model 
'98 (rigid mount with trail spade; no shields) heretofore 
fired shrapnel weighing 12.8 kg. (500 jacketed bullets, @ 10 
:g. each; time fuze graduated from 300 to 5,600 m.) and shell 
weighing 15.7 kg. (explosive charge, model '88; time fuze 
graduated from 500 to 5,600 m.). The new fixed ammtuii- 
tion, model 1905, for the field howitzer is burst by percussion at 
ranges over 600 m. only, time fuze being used at ranges under 
600 m. As 40% of the projectiles carried are equipped with 
delay action fuzes, it is possible to utilize to the fullest extent 
the power of penetration of the projectile before it bursts. 
Howitzers are especially effective against batteries provided 
with shields. 

A single shrapnel from a light field howitzer produces a 
greater number of hits when the point of burst is favorably 
situated, than one fired from a field gun. However, the pro- 
jectiles fired from the latter have a deeper beaten zone on 
account of the flatter trajectory of the piece, and a greater 
penetration owing to their greater remaining velocity. At 
the principal ranges, when the intervals of burst are moderate 
(30 — 150 m.), the effect produced by the two projectiles is 
the same. The effect of shrapnel from the field gun and from 
the light field howitzer is considered satisfactory at ranges 
imder 1,500 m. when the intervals of burst are repsectively, 
300 and 200 m. The superiority of shrapnel fired from a 
field gun is due to the greater penetration of its jacketed 
bullets, a result of greater velocity of the projectile itself at 

*Sylvlus' Battery repulsed an infantry attack at W6rth with five rounds of 
<;anister. Hoffbauer. Deutsche Artillerie, II, pp. 57 and 123. 

Time Shell. 231 

the point of burst. But, in this connection, it is to be borne 
in mind that only the effect of single shots is here considered. 
The shrapnel fire of the field gun is considerably superior to 
that of the howitzer. This is due to the fact that the how- 
itzer fires more slowly than the field gim and must expend 
twice the weight of ammunition to produce the same results. 
If, in addition it is remembered that the field battery carries 
approximately two and one-half times as many shrapnel as 
the light field howitzer battery, it is obvious that the fire 
of the former will be two and one-half times as effective, 
against targets in the open, as that of the latter. 

The superiority of the heavier projectile asserts itself 
when it becomes necessary to destroy material objects. 
Direct fire with time shell is employed against troops im- 
mediately behind cover. The shell is burst immediately 
in front of, over, or in rear of the target, which is thus 
struck by fragments from above. The more nearly perpen- 
dicular the fragments strike the target, and the greater their 
number and weight, the greater will be the effect produced. 

Time Shell, Model *98. 

Direct fire is used for adjustment, for effect against 
material objects, and against troops in the open. Percus- 
sion shell is used to reach targets under splinter proofs. In 
shell fitted with percussion fuze without delay action, the 
sensitiveness of the latter is so great that it acts at once 

232 Curved Fire Guns. 

upon striking. Delay action fuzes ensure that the shells will 
penetrate before bursting. The angle of the cone of disper- 
sion is about 200 degrees ; with appropriate points of burst, 
fragments weighing IS g. disable 80% of the men struck. 
In curved fire, at ranges beyond 2,100 m., shell with delay 
action fuze is capable of penetrating most of the splinter 
proof cover usually employed in the field. Lieutenant- 
General Rohne estimates that in firing tmder service con- 
ditions, only 3 — 4 of the 270 shells of a light field howitzer 
battery will penetrate overhead cover 3 m. thick. At ranges 
under 2, 100 m. , the angle of fall is too small to make adequate 
effect certain. 

The largest angle at which fragments may fall from point of burst is 
equal to the angle of fall of the projectile plus one-half of the angle of the 
cone of dispersion. In the shell of the field gun, the angle of the cone of 
dispersion is about 114 degrees, in that of the light field howitzer, about 
200 degrees. From this it follows that, at a range of 2,600 m., at which 
the angle of fall of the shell of the field gun is about 6 degrees, that of the 
shell of the light field howitzer, about 9 degrees, the fragments of the for- 
mer will fall at angles up to 63 degrees, those of the latter at angles up to 
109 degrees. Boards about 6 cm. thick afford adequate protection 
against the smaller fragments. 

The heavy field howitzer fires percussion shell model, 
'04 (with or without delay action) weighing 39.5 kg. As this 
shell contains a large explosive charge, it is to be used, with 
delay action, to penetrate the roofs of splinter proofs. An 
earth covering 5 — 6 m. thick is necessary to afford protection 
against these projectiles. At 3,000 m., a 15 cm. shell pro- 
duces a crater 1 m. deep and 2.4 to 3.6 m. in diameter, i. e., 
2 cu. m. (in made ground this crater is three times this size.) 
Shell fragments have a considerable range (about 4,000 m.) 
and, when the projectile is fired without delay action, are 
especially effective against batteries provided with shields. 
Assuming their rates of fire to be the same and the conditions 
for adjustment equally favorable, the weight of metal thrown 
in a certain period of time at an objective by two heavy field 
howitzer batteries will approximately equal that so thrown 

Examples from Military History. 233 

in the same time by five light field howitzer batteries. In 
this comparison, the superior penetration of the heavy shells 
is offset by the greater number of hits of the lighter shells. 
It is, therefore, a good plan to use two heavy field how- 
itzer batteries against a narrow front provided with especi- 
ally strong overhead cover of the type used in the field, and 
five light field howitzer batteries against a broad front pro- 
vided with ordinary overhead cover, splinter proofs, etc. 

At Montm^dy, a 21 cm. shell penetrated through an airshaft into 
a casemate and killed 6 and wounded 7 — 8 men.* 

On January 20th, 1871, during the siege of Belfort, a 21 cm. shell 
entered Bastion No. 11 at a point where ammunition was stored and artil- 
lerymen were resting. A powder magazine blew up and 1 officer and 3 
non-commissioned officers were disabled.! 

On January 22d, 1871, during the attack on Paris from the north, 
a shell penetrated a bomb proof in a double crown work and disabled 13 


Captain von Limprun relates the followingf in regard to the effect 
produced by a conunon shell that penetrated the bomb proof of battery 
No. 17 on January 8th, 1871, during the siege of Paris: "Heartrending 
groans issued from the bomb proof. A number of men came running out; 
only the mortally wounded and the dead remained inside. These groans 
and the constantly bursting shells produced a terrible effect. Three men 
were delirious and fought against being bandaged. They ran out of the 
battery and yelled commands; others prayed. By Heaven, it required 
iron nerves to keep cool. To transport the wounded was out of the question 
for the communications were too miserable and dangerous. The fragments 
of the heavy shells invariably tore and lacerated bodies in the most fright- 
ful manner. Formless shapes that once were human bodies often rolled 
with gruesome convulsions on the terreplein and on the emplacements, 
producing a worse impression on the men remaining unhurt than severe 
hostile fire. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance to remove the 
dead and wounded as quickly as possible from the battery." In another 
place, Lieutenant-General MtiUer states that after the war and until the 
early eighties, one officer, two non-commissioned officers (one of them a 
corporal decorated with the Iron Cross of the First Class) and four men 
of the company that had formed the garrison of this battery died in insane 

^. MOller. Die Tdtigkeit der deutschen Festungsartillerie bei den Belagerungen 
u. 8. w. im Krieoe 1870-71, II. p. 353, 

+JWd, III. p. 172. 

tlbid, IV, p. 222. 

ir/Wd. IV, p. 162. 




Effect of Shrapnel. 



During the Franco-German war, 8.4% of all serious 
wounds on the German side, and during the Russo-Japanese 
war, 15% of all serious woimds on each side, were caused by 
artillery fire, f 

I. Shaho. 



Wounds produced by artillery. 














II. Mukden. 



Wounds produced by artillery. 



2851 1 347 

4881 R(^^ 

12 17 


17 68 






9510 ! 1494 


According to the above table, the least ratio of wounds produced by artillery 
to all others is 10 %. the maximum, over 20 %, and the average about 14.5 %. Com- 
pare this with the statement of losses at Liaoyang in Tactics, I, Kruegbr's trans* 
lation. p. 1G7. 

If the effect of shrapnel was unsatisfactory during the 
Russo-Japanese war, this was due to the fact that its very 
efficacy increased the desire for cover and that the artillery 
of the contestants scarcely ever dared to advance to close 

*BiRCHER, Colonel and Corps Surgeon lid Swiss Army Corps: Die Wir- 
hung der Artilleriegeschosse. Aarau. 1899. — KOttner Kriegschirurgische Erfahf' 
ungen aus dem SUdafrikanischen Kriege 1900. TTibingen. 1900. — Hildbbrand, 
Die Verwundungen durch die modernen Kriegsfeuerwaffen, h 1906. — Rohnb. 
Vber die Wirkung des Schrapnelschusses. Mil. Wochenblatt, No. 74, 1902. — Ober 
die ArtillerietDirkung im Ostasiatischen Kriege. Mil. Wochenblatt, No8. 84-86, 1908. 
Art. MonatshefU 1908, IX. p. 197. 

tThe following Is taken firom the article **Stati8Uc3 of losses during Vie Busso- 
Japanese and the Franco-German war," appearing In Vierteljahrshefte fUr Truppen- 
fHhrung und Heereskunde, V. No. 1 (wounds on the killed are said to be included In 
the table): 

Character of Shrapnel Wounds. 235 

The wounds produced by shrapnel bullets are similar 
to those caused by the lead bullets of the infantry weapons 
of the past. When the bullet strikes normally to the sur- 
face, it produces a wound circular at the point of impact and 
considerably enlarged at the point of exit; bones are fre- 
quently shattered; and the most serious effect is the intro- 
duction of foreign substances, such as pieces of cloth, par- 
ticles of earth or sand, or of the material in which the bullets 
are embedded. 

The effect of shrapnel bullets on animate targets depends 
upon the striking energy of the bullets (expressed by kgm.) 
and on their sectional density, those of smaller diameter 
having the greater penetration. The closer the point of 
burst is to the target, the greater the velocity, and, naturally, 
the effect. 

Opinions differ as to the amount of ''striking energy" 
necessary to put animate targets out of action. In France, 
an energy of at least 4.8 kgm. is considered necessary to 
disable human beings, and for horses an average of 19 kgm., 
whereas in Germany, an average energy of 8 kgm. is deemed 
sufficient. The 10 g. hardened lead bullet, having a diameter 
of 12.3 mm., retains this energy until its remaining velocity 
is only 120 m. This fixes the limit of effective shrapnel fire 
at 5,000 m., at which range its beaten zone is still 50 m. 
deep. At ranges up to 1,500 m., over 80% of the men 
struck by fragments and bullets from shrapnel bursting 
within 300 m. (and beyond this range, from shrapnel bursting 
within 150 m.) are put out of action. Artillery projectiles 
produce a relatively greater number of fatal wounds than 
infantry projectiles. 

It is worthy of note that the packed knapsack affords 
protection against all shrapnel bullets having a velocity of 
100 m. and against half of those having a velocity of 200 m. 
The overcoat roll stops shrapnel bullets having a velocity of 
less than 250 m. The penetration of these bullets is so great 
at ranges under 2,000 m., that when they strike bones or 

236 Mobility. 

vital organs of horses, they almost invariably produce in- 
stant incapacity for action. This is especially true when the 
interval of burst is 100 m. or less. 


Experience has shown that in carriages intended to 
accompany rapidly moving columns on roads and across 
country, six-horse teams are the most economical, for an 
increase beyond this nimiber does not produce a proportion- 
ate increase of draft power. Each near horse, moreover, 
expends a part of its energy in carrying a driver, and in 
consequence, a pair does only one and one-half times as much 
work as a single horse. In the early stages of a campaign, 
the fact that purchase horses are not accustomed to pull in a 
six-horse team will make itself noticeably felt when ma- 
neuvering over varied ground. Schamhorst gives 250 kg. 
as the maximum draft power of a horse in a horse battery 
and 327 kg. as that of one in a field battery. This would 
amount to a total weight of 1,500 and 1,972 kg. respectively, 
in the two batteries under discussion, for a carriage, com- 
plete. These weights are at present exceeded in almost all 
guns and still more in caissons. The more effective a gim, 
the greater its weight. Effectiveness and mobility are con- 
flicting factors that are not always easy to harmonize. The 
high muzzle velocity of the French field gun and the great 
weight of its projectile were obtained by sacrificing lightness 
of materiel and mobiUty. 

In the artillery of the First Empire, the 12-pdr. weighing 1,880 kg. 
was abolished as too heavy. The heavy field gun, model '61, that was used 
during the Franco-German war weighed 1,835 kg., its caisson 1,966 kg., 
and the gun of the horse batteries 1,571 kg. In spite of its greater power, 
the field gun, model '96, is 13 ^ lighter than the heavy field gun, model 
'61, whereas the present gun of the horse artillery is heavier. 

At Worth, the 4th Heavy Battery of the 11th German F. A., was for 
a time able to bring only four of its guns into position on the heights of 
Gunstett. On account of the rainsoaked ground, extra teams had to be 

Example from Military History. 237 

brought up to draw the guns up the slope.* The caissons of the three 
horse batteries of the same regiment were unable to accompany their guns 
until extra teams were provided, t The 5th Heavy Battery of the same 
regiment was for the moment, able to bring only three guns into position 
on the heights of Elsaszhausen.t 

The 1st Light Battery of the 5th German F. A. moved a considerable 
distance over the muddy roads of the Niederwald at the trot, during the 
battle of Weiszenburg. The resulting fatigue of its horses forced it to 
ascend the slope of the Geisberg at a walk and was the cause of its bringing 
only three of its guns into position. IF 

Relative lUftrching powers of field and horse batteries. 
Spicheren. The 1st Heavy Battalion of the 7th German F. A. 
covered 40 km. in 8 hours, and the lid Heavy Battalion of the same regi- 
ment, 28 km. in 7 hours.J The Horse Artillery Battalion of the 3d German 
F. A., after making a march during the morning, covered an additional 
34 km. in 3 hours. Stophasius' Field Battery of the same regiment 
covered 36 km. in 5 }i hours, and the other batteries of the regiment 36 km. 
n 6 — 7 hours. The roads, though good, involved steep grades. During 
the night following this march, a few purchase horses died of overexertion. 

Vionvilie. The horse batteries of the llld German Army Corps 
covered 10 km. in hilly country in 45 minutes on August 16th, 1870; the 
field batteries did not arrive until 45 minutes later. I', 

On August 30th, 1870, the Horse Artillery Battalion of the German 
Guards and a brigade of Uhlans marched 14 — 16 English miles from 
Busancy at an uninterrupted trot, though the country was hilly and the 
column had to cross some bad stretches while passing by the 2d Infantry, 
Division. Though this trot was kept up for two and one-half hours 
touch with the cavalry was never lost. As soon as Sedan was reached, 
these batteries were able to go into position at once without difficulty, 
whereas the field batteries had to call upon the infantry for assistance. 

At Worth, the field batteries were likewise unable to keep up with 
the cavalry during the pursuit. ° 

On November 27th, 1870, during the movement toward the battle- 
field of Amiens, the 2d and 3d Horse Batteries of the 1st German F. A., 
which were attached to the corps artillery, made a march of 11 km., 
partly over muddy roads, in 40 — 50 minutes. During this march five 
infantrymen were carried on each gun carriage and six on each one of the 
other carriages. During the afternoon of the battle, these batteries while 
carrying the same load, made a fiank march of 6 km., over rainsoaked and 
hilly ground, in 30 minutes. During the expedition against Dieppe* on 

*HoFFBAUER. Deutscfie Artillerie, II, p. 46. 
t/Wd., p. 59. 
tibid., p. 63. 
HJbid., I, p. 36. 

^KriegsgeschichtlicheEinzelsehriften, 11, p. 413. 
EHoHONLOHE. Briefe aber Artilhrie, pp. 86 and 207. 
''KuNZ, Reiterei, p. 62. 

238 Armament with Small Arms. 

January 13th, 1871, four guns of the 3d Horse Battery of the above men- 
tioned regiment marched 86 km. between the hours of 6:30 A. m. and 12 
o'clock midnight, though the ground was covered with a sheet of ice. 

According to the French regulations, field batteries are to cover 
8 km. and horse batteries 9 km. per hour. A halt of 10 minutes is to be 
made every two hours when the march does not exceed 35 km. 

The weight of the heavy field howitzer, 2,600 kg., exceeds 
that of the caissons used during the Franco-German war. 

Heavy artillery uses cold-blooded horses. Thorough- 
breds were found unsuitable and were unable in the long run 
to do the work required of them on difficult terrain. 

Experience teaches that on varied ground cold-blooded 
horses work better in harness than do thoroughbreds. The 
former do not overexert themselves so much as the latter 
when working in a team and when a difficult pull is encoun- 
tered. In consequence, cold-blooded horses pull more steadily 
than thoroughbreds. Besides, their conformation enables 
cold-blooded horses to throw themselves into the harness 
with considerably greater weight than thoroughbreds and 
they are, consequently, better suited for draft purposes than 
the latter, which are better adapted for work under the saddle. 

Cold-blooded horses likewise do quite well at the trot 
in level country, on roads, and on soil that is neither too 
sandy nor too muddy. They are able to cover 5 — 6 km. at 
the trot without material exertion. In deep mud and on 
very steep grades, cold-blooded horses should not be urged, 
for the expansion of which their hearts are capable is too 
slight for sudden exertion. Even on difficult groimd, they 
work best when pulling steadily and slowly. 


The difficulties confronting artillery personnel in ward- 
ing off an enemy who has penetrated into a battery, the vul- 
nerability of artillery on the march and in camp, and the 
danger of surprise when artillery is firing from a masked 
position, has led to arming the personnel with a carbine. In 

France. 239 

the German artillery, all mounted men are armed with auto- 
matic pistol, model 1908* cannoneers with the former cav- 
alry carbine, whose maximum range is 1,200 m. If the can- 
noneers were armed with a long range weapon, they would 
be tempted, during the excitement incident to a threatened 
attack at close range, to use their carbines, instead of trust- 
ing to the effect of the last available round of shrapnel. On 
the march, thorough reconnaissance and support of the other 
arms should protect the artillery against all danger. When 
the danger is great and the cavalry is too weak to furnish 
adequate protection to the artillery, infantrymen may be 
transported on limbers and caissons, so that they may be at 
hand the moment the guns unlimber. 

The permanent assignment of special bodies as artillery 
supports, a practice followed, for example, in the Prussian 
army during the campaign of 1866, seems no longer advis- 
able. When the French XVth Army Corps was organized 
a demi-company was permanently assigned to each battery 
as a support. The men of these demi-companies also re- 
ceived instruction in serving the piece, f 

At Beaumont* each battery of the Bavarian 2d Division carried a 
section of Jiigers and moved at the trot with this load for over two miles 
on the chatL8see,t See also p. 237, supra, Amiens. 

The men of a Bavarian battery, who were armed with Chassepot 
rifles, facilitated the limbering of their guns at Coulmiera.1[ At Meunsr* 
December 7th, 1870, the cannoneers of a French battery are said to have 
defended themselves with their mousqiieions, until help arrived, against the 
Bavarian skirmishers that had penetrated into the battery. 

France: Officers, non-commissioned officers, trumpeters, drivers 
and cannoneers of horse batteries are armed with the revolver and carry 
18 rounds of ammunition each. 

*It8 caliber is 9 mm. and Its magazine holds 8 cartridges. Target practice Is 
had up to a range of 75 m. only, and individual field practice up to 100 m. only. 
For unfavorable comment on the weapon, based on experience with it in China, see 
v. Binder-Krisglstbin. Die Kdmpfe des Deutschen Expeditionskorps, Berlin* 
1902, p. 238. 

fDES Palu&res, Campagne de 1870, p. 40. 

tHoFFBAUER, Deutsc?i€ Arttllerie, 7, p. 60. 

ITAccording to Ohanct, La deuxUme armie de la Loire^ p. 116; Hbllwio. 
Das I. bayrische Armeekorps, p. 305. — Gen. St. W. Ill, p. 415. 

240 Armament with Small Arms. 

Cannoneers of field batteries and the personnel of ammunition 
columns are armed with carbines (mousquetons) and knife bayonets. Each 
man carries 18 rounds of ammunition. 

Italy: Officers, non-commissioned officers and trumpeters carry 
the revolver. For the immediate defense of a battery, the support of the 
other arms is required. A carbine (model '91) is carried by the personnel 
of ammunition columns and by that of mountain artillery only. 

Austria: Ofiicers, non-commissioned officers, trumpeters and 
cannoneers of horse batteries are armed with the revolver and carry 30 
rounds of ammunition apiece. The cannoneers of field batteries and the 
personnel of trains and of ammunition columns are armed with a rifle 
(without bayonet) and each man carries 30 rounds of ammunition. The 
rifles of the drivers are carried on the carriages. Scouts are armed with 
the carbine. 

Russia: Officers, non-commissioned officers and mounted men 
(scouts excepted) are armed with saber and revolver. Scouts are armed 
with the carbine. The personnel of ammunition columns is armed with 
the carbine. Cannoneers are armed with the kinshal (knife) and revolver. 

England: There are 48 carbines in a battery. Drivers carry the 
revolver, but are not armed with the saber. The personnel of ammuni- 
tion columns is armed with the carbine. 

As heavy artillery fires generally from masked positions 
and as its long ammunition columns require special pro- 
tection on the march, at a halt, and in action, its personnel 
is armed with the rifle (model '91). These rifles are to be 
used not only for defense at close range, but also to keep 
hostile patrols at a distance. Small arms practice in the 
heavy artillery is not designed to teach units how to conduct 
a fire fight, but aims to teach the individual and small bodies 
to handle the rifle properly. (Pars. 391 and 480, German 
Heavy Artillery Firing Regulations).* *Tield firing is 
divided into individual practice (sentinels, operators, cyclists, 
observers) and collective practice, the latter being had by 
small or meditun sized bodies." 

*The men fire at ranges up to 200 m. only. The initial velocity of the rifle 
bullet is 570 m. 

Relative Strength op Field Artillery. 241 



Dtiring the campaign of 1866 in Bohemia, the Prussians 
as well as the Austrians had 3.1 guns per 1,000 men of their 
total strength. At the battle of Koniggratz, the Prussians 
had 3.54 and the allied Austrians and Saxons 3.7 guns per 
1,000 men of their total strength, and 5 and 5.5 guns, respec- 
tively, per 1,000 infantry. During the campaign of 1870, 
the French had 2.6 guns per 1,000 men, of their paper 
strength, but, in reality, 3.S guns per 1,000 men, whereas the 
Germans had 2.3 and, at Sedan, 3.3 guns per 1,000 men. 

At the outbreak of the Franco-German war, the Hid 
Army Corps of the German Army had 4.6 gtms per 1,000 men 
and about the time of the battle of Le Mans, 5.8 guns per 
1,000 men. At Vionville, the Xth Army Corps had 4.16, 
about the time of the capitulation of Metz, 5.8 guns per 
1,000 men, and at Beaune la Rolande 6.4 guns per 1,000 
men. The 1st Bavarian Army Corps had 8.8 gtms per 1,000 
men on December 3d, and 11.1 gims per 1,000 men on Decem- 
ber 9th, 1870. At the present time, a German army corps 
has 5.76 guns per 1,000 infantry, and a German cavalry 
division 3.3 guns per 1,000 lances. In army corps of the 
same strength as the 1st Bavarian Corps on December 9th, 
1870, this would amount to 40 artillery carriages, 15 guns. 
It would be inadvisable, therefore, to exceed these figures 
inasmuch as the horsed batteries of heavy artillery must also 

*Clausbwitz' remark that culminates with the words. "How much artillery 
can one have without inconvenience?" has. at present, an historical value only. 
But to quote — 

"An excess of artillery is bound to cause operations to partake more and more 
of a defensive and passive character. One will seek salvation in strong positions, 
in formidable features of the terrain, and even In mountain positions, in order to shift 
the burden of defense and of protecting the numerous artillery onto the obstacles 
presented by the ground, so that hostile forces need only advance to be annihilated. 
War will be waged at a stately, formal pace, d la minuet. 

"A shortage of artillery will, on the contrary, enable us to let the offensive, 
mobility and maneuvering predominate. Marches, hardships, exertions, will become 
peculiar weapons for us: war will become more diversified, more lively, more ruffled: 
great battles will be gained quid pro quo/' 

242 Relative Strength of Field Artillery. 

be reckoned with. If these batteries were included, the rel- 
ative strength of artillery to other arms in an army corps 
would be increased to 6.4 guns per 1,000 men. The pro- 
portion of artillery to other arms has recently been fixed at 
4.8 guns per 1,000 men in the French army, and at 5.9 guns 
per 1,000 men in the British army. In all other armies, the 
ratio that existed about the time of the Franco-German war 
still obtains. With crowding, the 144 guns of an army corps 
occupy a front of 2,500 m. (each battery a front of 104 m., in- 
cluding the interval to the next adjoining battery). The 
frontage that may be assigned to the several units grows 
apace with the increase in artillery. The amount of artillery 
that may be assigned to the several units is limited by the 
amount of protection that infantry can give artillery on the 
march and in action. Artillery should properly occupy road 
space not exceeding half the total depth of the column of 
which it forms a part. The road space of the artillery of a 
German army corps amounts to 9.5 km. (exclusive of field 
train), whereas that of the infantry (neglecting distances inci- 
dental to advance guard formation) amounts to 10 km. The 
artillery of a German division (total road space 10 km.) oc- 
cupies 4,000 m. road space, and on the battlefield it occupies 
yi to y2 oi the total frontage of the division. The 
great depth of artillery columns and the danger that the de- 
ployment of the slower moving infantry will not keep pace 
with that of the artillery, undoubtedly constitute a difficult 
problem for the higher troop leader. This problem becomes 
more and more difficult as the effective strength of the in- 
fantry diminishes in the course of a campaign. A division 
whose battalions average 600 men, takes up a total road 
space of 7.5 km., of which the artillery takes up 4 km. How 
is the artillery to be adequately protected? 

Organization. 243 


Artillery, embracing as it does guns, teams, and per- 
sonnel, is difficult to organize, but, in spite of this, is more 
easily raised than cavalry, as France's example during 
the Franco-German war proves. Skilled mechanics that 
would make good cannoneers are everjrwhere available in 
abundance, whereas trained riders are fotmd in but few dis- 
tricts in sufficiently large numbers to enable a state quickly 
to create cavalry that is fit for service. 

Of the 224 batteries belonging to the French army in 1870, only 69 
remained after the capitulations of Metz and Sedan. Yet, the formation 
of new batteries did not offer insuperable difficulties. In Paris alone, 124 
batteries were organized. From October 10th, 1870 to February 2d, 1871, 
the gun factories at Nantes turned out altogether 238 batteries with 1,428 
guns, i. e., an average of one and one-half batteries per day. In all, 362 
new batteries were created.* 

Depending upon the purpose for which they are to be 
used, batteries may be divided into flat trajectory and 
curved fire batteries, field and mountain batteries. In order 
to simplify the ammunition supply, it is imperative that the 
nimiber of calibers used be reduced to the minimum. For 
this reason, it would be desirable to abolish the light field 

Artillery is fit for action only when at a halt and im- 
limbered. Its maneuvering should, therefore, be cut down 
to the minimum and completed in the shortest possible 
time. Artillery remains longer imder control of the leader 
than the other arms, and, even after suflfering severe losses 
in men and horses, is again ready for action in a compara- 
tively short time, always provided ammunition is avail- 
able, t 

*HUioTique de la 10 dm« brigade de Vartillerie, p. 26. 

fExamples: Corps artillery of the IXth Oerman Army Corps at Oravelotte. 
HOFFBAUER, Deutsche Arlillerie, Y. p, 68.— 4th Field Battery. 4th German F. A. 
at Beaumont, ibid., VII. pp. 44 and 86. 

244 Organization. 

The very natiire of the arm, its stability in action, 
would seem to justify increasing the frontage of a battery 
beyond the 100 paces laid down for the tactical unit of in- 
fantry and cavalry, the company and the escadron.* But 
it would be imwise materially to increase the number of 
gtms and, consequently, the frontage of a battery, because 
the quantity of materiel, the number of horses and men in- 
volved in such an extension would make thorough supervision 
of the battery by a single individual impossible. 

A gun with its team requires a space of from 16 to 20 
paces for turning. This then fixes the minimum interval 
that may be left between guns. A further reduction of this 
interval is permissible only when the guns are not exposed 
to hostile fire. On a front of 100 — 150 paces, this would 
allow 6 — 8 guns to a battery. Since the beginning of the 
19th Century, both the six and the eight-gun batteries 
have been represented in the field artilleries of various armies. 

A battery should carry with it the ammunition that it 
will, in all probability, require on going into action and should 
possess the necessary means — ^both of personnel and mat6riel 
— ^to repair losses and damage. The German battery is 
divided into the firing battery, the combat train and the 
field train. 

The six-gun battery has greater mobility than the eight- 
gun battery. The latter is unwieldy and directly invites 
splitting up. A Russian battery is commanded by a lieuten- 
ant-colonel and divided into two demi-batteries, each com- 
manded by a captain. Thus, the Russian battery in reality 
constitutes a small battalion of two four-gun batteries. A 
battery acting alone is the exception. Hence, to arrive at 
the proper strength of a battery, it is necessary to decide 
whether the guns assigned to an army corps had best be 
formed into batteries of eight, six, or four guns. The eight- 
gim battery has the advantage of least unit cost, for, in 
forming twenty-four guns into eight-gun batteries, one six- 

*See Tactics, I, Krueger's translation, p. 32. 

The Battery. 245 

gtin or three four-gun batteries are saved. But, in order to 
keep the number of its carriages within reasonable bounds, 
the ammunition carried per piece must be reduced.* 

With the adoption of the materiel of '96, such a high 
rate of fire had aheady been attained that in slow continuous 
fire some of the pieces were ready to fire before their turn 
came around again and thus served only as targets to the 
enemy. To obviate this defect and to develop the full power 
of a battery, recourse could still be had to fire at will. But, 
to adopt fire at will as the usual method of fire would make 
all fire direction impossible, not to mention the enormous 
amoimt of ammunition consumed. The objections made to 
increasing the artillery of an army corps from 84 to 90 guns 
(1870-71) and later to 144 gims, on the groimd that there 
would not be room enough to bring all these guns into posi- 
tion in battle, are justified to a certain extent only, for modem 
weapons actually permit an extension of combat areas f 
and increased ranges make longer lines available. 

Improvements made in the method of indirect laying 
enable artillery to use positions that were not to be thought 
of in the past. At any rate, it is better to have too many 
guns than too few, for an excess can, after all, be held in 
reserve. At Vionville, surely no one thought that we had 
too many gtms. 

*The four-gun battery has been adopted by France, Switzerland, Sweden, 
Denmark, the United States, and by Austria (by the latter for horse and mountain 
artillery only). 

Germany, Austria, England. Italy, Japan. Norway. Holland, and Belgium 
use the six-gun battery. 

Russia uses the eight-gun battery. 

ton August 18th, 1870, 3 batteries of the corps artillery of the Vllth German 
Army Corps were unable to go Into action as there was no room for them. (Ge 
■chlchte des F. A. R. Nr. 7, p. 248). — On the east fh>nt at Sedan, 19 batteries (be> 
longing to the Guards, the IVth and Xllth Prussian, and to the 1st Bavarian Army 
Corps) were kept out of action on account of lack of room. A recent examination 
of the situation, however, brings to light the fact that the development of so large 
a force at this point, was inadvisable. — General von Hoffbausr (AUes und Neues 
aus der Feldartillerie, p. 146), asserts that, out of 41 battles and engagements during 
the Campaign of 1870-71. there were but 7 battles in which lack of room prevented 
the artillery firom bringing all of its guns into action. In the other 34 cases, lack of 
room did not become apparent. 

246 Organization. 

With the adoption of recoil guns, the question of re- 
ducing the number of guns entered upon a new phase. 
Whereas the six field guns, model 73 fired only 15 rounds per 
minute, the four French field guns, model *97, fire 60 — 80 
rounds in the same period. A numerical inferiority in guns 
may be compensated by accelerating the fire and, without 
loss of effect, the number of guns may be reduced in pro- 
portion as the rate of fire is increased. It is not the number 
of gtins firing that is decisive, but the mass of projectiles 
that biu-st in the enemy's ranks. So long as the German 
artillery used nothing but obsolete materiel, the French 
could reasonably expect the 92 guns of their army corps to 
cope with the 144 guns of a German corps. 

The high rate of fire of the modem gun requires that a 
correspondingly large amount of ammunition be kept at 
hand. During the Franco-German war, each gun had one 
caisson. The number of caissons was increased, upon the 
adoption of the mat6riel of 1873, to one and one-half caissons 
per gim. The French had three caissons per gun. One 
must, therefore, choose one of two alternatives, (1) To re- 
tain the present number of guns in a battery and to increase 
the number of caissons (in fine, burden the batteries with 
more carriages) ; or (2 ) To reduce the number of guns in a 
battery, slightly to increase the nimiber of caissons, and to 
compensate for the discrepancy in guns by an accelerated rate 
of fire. 

But, after all, everything depends upon the probable 
opponent. Until October 1st, 1899, the German army 
corps with its twenty-four 6-gun batteries having a total of 
144 guns, had to reckon with the French army corps with 
its twenty-three 4-gun batteries having a total of 92 guns. 
During the summer of 1909, after extensive trials, the French 
increased the artillery of their corps to 144 guns, formed into 
thirty-six batteries. These batteries are distributed as fol- 
lows: 9 batteries to each of the two divisions, 12 batteries 
corps artillery, and 6 batteries reserve brigade. Tests both 

The Battery. 











iiii l|«|8/ 




■pmioj JO ON 

S 2S 




3 S 


00 00 






(etc 00 

S " 





( „. 





S 3 




s s 





















S Sy 





.* ^ea 














O t-DO 




r.. ^ 



' —= 







M : 





























248 Organization. 

in Germany and in France furnished very good restdts as to 
the efficiency and usefulness of a 4-gun battery. Financial 
reasons and aversion to strike from the list guns already 
on* hand, determined Germany to retain the 6-gun battery.* 
At present, the question resolves itself into whether the 
guns of an army corps should be formed into 4-gun batteries 
or into 6-gun batteries. The advantages and disadvantages 
of the two types of batteries may be summed up as follows : 

1. In the 4-gtm battery, the difference between peace 
and war strength is less than in the 6-gun battery ; 

2. If the 6-gun battery is to develop a fire power equal 
to that of the 4-gun battery, the number of its caissons will 
have to be increased. This would very considerably over- 
burden these batteries ; f 

3. The 6-gim battery can not use its full fire power to 
advantage. In continuous fire, two guns either stand ready 
for firing, but idle, as a reserve, or, if all fire, there is 
danger of the battery nmning out of ammunition. In- 
cluding the ammunition carried for it in the light ammuni- 
tion coliunn, the German battery has 284 roimds available 
per gun, whereas the French battery has 312 rotmds avail- 
able per gtm; 

4. In the 4-gun battery, fire direction is easier than in 
the 6-gun battery. The greater mobility of the former is, 
above all, noticeable in horse batteries. 

*Durlng the reorganization in 1899, General von Hoffbauer favored the 0-gun 
battery. But he admitted that if the French were to equip their army corps with 
thirty 4-gun batteries, these with their 120 guns would be superior to the 144 Ger- 
man guns formed into twenty-four batteries. Cf. v. Hoffbauer, Altes und Neues 
aus der deutschen Feldartillerie, p. 158. — Attention is invited to the following essays 
by Lieutenant-General Rohne: Progress of Modern Field Artillery, Macomb's 
translation: Rvckblick auf die Organisation der deutschen und franzdsischen Feld- 
artiUerie (Jahrbucher fur Armee u. Marine, 1908): Z«r Reorganisation der franzQ- 
sischen Feldartillerie (January number Artilleristische Monatshefte, 1900); Der 
Bericht der Militdrkommission uber die Reorganisation der franzdsischen Artillerie 
(July — December number Artilleristische Monatshefte, 1909). 

tTwo demi-batteries. each consisting of three gims. were tried out in France, 
but were found unsatisfactory, although each demi-battery developed, for a ahoit 
time, the same fire power as a four-gun battery. August numb«» ArtiU§rUH$ek0 
MonatshefU, 1900. 

The Battalion, Regiment and Brigade. 249 

The principal disadvantage of the 4-gun battery with its 
large ammiinition supply consists of the increased burden- 
ing of the route columns. This defect may be obviated 
by marching on a broad front, and by more extensive employ- 
ment of auto trucks. Another defect of this type of battery 
is that its fire power is at once impaired the moment one of 
its gims becomes disabled. 

During the Franco-German war, the chief of artillery 
of a division was frequently tmable to handle the divisional 
artillery (4 batteries) both tactically and technically. In 
consequence, the battalion organization frequently disap- 
peared and artillery commanders were forced to put their 
artillery in piecemeal, by batteries, a procedure that made 
massed employment of the gims impossible. As the artillery 
force increased, a division and distribution of work became 
necessary. The regimental commander is now charged with 
the tactical, the battalion commanders generally with the 
purely technical conduct of the action.* 

In Germany and France, battaUons consist of three 
batteries. In action, such a battahon has a frontage of 
from 300 to 400 m. and can still be controlled by a single 
person. Moreover, it possesses greater mobility and takes up 
less road space than a 4-battery battalion and does not invite 
detaching batteries to the same extent as the latter. Bat- 
talions of two batteries, as used in Austria, are not strong 
enough to deserve the appellation ''battalion." Since the 
adoption of S-battery battalions and Ught ammunition col- 
umns, the employment of artillery by battaUons has become 
the rule, the use of batteries alone, the exception, f As light 
ammimition columns are closely allied to the batteries, the 
personnel of the former can get some training at the piece 
after mobilization. A regiment consists of two battalions 
and a brigade of two regiments. No valid objection can 

*In Russia, the commander of the artillery is charged only with the purely 
technical handling of the arm. 

tThe Italian regulations call the battery the combat unit, the battalion (of 
four batteries) the tactical unit. 

250 Assignment of Artillery to Higher Units. 

be urged against this two-unit organization, as the simul- 
taneous employment of a large number of guns — ^not a succes- 
sive employment — ^is based on the characteristics of the arm. 
A division should have the artillery necessary to enable it to 
fight any target that might appear. Hence, in addition to 
its light field guns, the division should have a number of 
batteries capable of employing curved as well as direct fire. 
These requirements are fulfilled by the light field howitzer. 
The batteries of the heavy artillery of the field army 
have four guns each. Two mortar batteries, or four howitzer 
batteries with a light ammunition column form a battalion. 
At the present time, this is all the artillery that is attached, 
for road spaces are already considerably increased by the 
addition of ammunition columns. 


In Germany, Austria and Russia, the artillery is dis- 
tributed equally among all the divisions, whereas, in France 
and Italy corps artillery is still used. 

Germany: The artillery of an infantry division consists of a field 
artillery brigade of two regiments, each composed of six batteries. One 
light field howitzer battalion of three batteries is assigned to one of the 
divisions of each army corps in lieu of a battalion of field guns. The artil- 
lery of an army corps consists of 144 guns. A heavy field howitzer bat- 
talion of four batteries, each composed of four heavy field howitzers, is 
attached to each army corps. 

Austria: The artillery of an army corps of three divisions consists 
of a field artillery brigade of three light field artillery regiments and of 
one howitzer regiment. Each artillery regiment consists of two battalions 
(called divisions), and each battalion of two batteries. The artillery of an 
infantry division consists of two battalions, one composed of two field 
batteries, the other of two field howitzer batteries. The assignment of a 
heavy howitzer battalion of three batteries to each corps, as corps artillery 
appears to be contemplated. 

Italy: The artillery of a division consists of a demi-regiment com- 
prising two field batteries and two howitzer batteries (10.5 cm. howitzers). 
The corps artillery of an army corps consists of two battalions of three 
field batteries each, and of one light field howitzer battalion of two batteries, 
in all sixteen batteries with a total of 96 guns. 

Divisional and Corps Artillery. 251 

France: The artillery of a division consists of one regiment of 
nine batteries. An army corps has, in addition, corps artillery consisting 
of four battalions (12 batteries). To this must be added, two battalions 
of reserve artillery, and two new Rimailho batteries, each composed of two 
156 mm. howitzers. The whole artillery force of an army corps, therefore, 
consists of 144+4 guns. 

Russia: The artillery of one division of an army corps consists of 
two battalions, each of three batteries, a total of 48 guns, that of the other 
division of one brigade of two battalions of three batteries each, and of one 
battalion of two batteries. An army corps has 112 guns available. 

England: The field army consists of six infantry divisions and 
auxiliary troops. The divisional artillery consists of three battalions of 
field artillery of three batteries each, and a light ammunition column, of 
one howitzer battalion of two batteries and alight ammunition column, and 
of one battery of heavy guns (4 guns and light ammunition column), in 
all 70 guns. 

Starting with the assumption that combats by in- 
dependent divisions and army corps will be the exception 
and that all organization must be based on the supposition 
that the decisive battle will be fought by armies, we may 
assume that, in attack, an army corps consisting of from 
twenty-four to thirty battalions, will have a frontage of 
5,000 m. On varied ground, it will almost invariably be 
practicable to put 140 — 160 guns into position. If, in addi- 
tion to these considerations, and bearing in mind the probable 
opponent and the probable theater of war, one believes that 
a modem army corps should have from five to six guns per 
1,000 men, these guns will take up all the available room in 
the battle line. It will be impossible for lack of room, 
therefore, to reinforce a part of the line by putting in reserve, 
corps, or army artillery, unless intervals between gims are 
decreased, an expedient that would be sure to increase losses. 

An army corps acting independently is differently sit- 
uated, for it is less hampered as regards its frontage. But, in 
an army corps acting alone, it will often be necessary to 
reinforce the artillery of one of the divisions while depleting 
that of the other. If corps artillery is available, this re- 
quirement may be met by placing it in position at the de- 

252 Assignment op Artillery to Higher Units. 

cisive point. According to its advocates, corps artillery is 
to enable the general commanding a corps of two divisions, 
to influence the battle in any manner that he may consider 
requisite. ''Such a mass of guns will quickly make itself 
felt. Wherever it appears and prepares the attack, infantry 
will involuntarily congregate. The line occupied by this 
artillery will fix the front of the entire army corps."* 

But this artillery reserve alone does not suffice. The 
corps commander unquestionably requires, in addition, an 
infantry reserve. This he takes from the division that is 
not as yet to be laimched into decisive action and whose 
advance he wishes to retard. 

It would appear to be better, therefore, to attach 
to an army corps a third battle unit, composed of all arms. 
This unit would then obviate the necessity of corps artillery. 
To comply strictly with the principle that an army corps in 
route coliunn must not be so long that it can not deploy for 
action in one day, would mean a reduction of the strength of 
infantry battalions, if the army corps consisted of three 
divisions. In practice, however, it is not a good plan to 
make this reduction, since it is almost always practicable 
to march on a broader front than in column of squads, or at 
least on two roads, and since the strength of battalions in- 
variably decreases rapidly in the course of a campaign. The 
objections made to adding a third division to an army corps, 
on the ground that this would unduly increase the road 
space taken up by a corps, are tenable in theory only. If 

♦v.d. GoLTZ, Volk in Waffen, p. 38. 

V. SehUchting, Taktische u. stratetfische GrundsOtze der Gegenwart, III, p. 51. 

"Whether corps artillery should be retained or not depends upon the general 
situation. Corps artillery is necessary when it becomes desirable to reinforce the 
artillery line. Corps artillery is to bring about the decision in the artillery combat, 
to assure it in attack and to ward it off in defense. The corps artillery may be 
launched by the corps commander only. Corps artillery constitutes a link between 
the two divisions that can not be formed at the very last moment out of the divisional 
artillery, for it would then be too late and would cripple the division, as it Is not a 
question of forming a reserve but one of throwing a strong artillery force into posi- 
tion as soon as possible. But. if this is recognized as necessary at all, it is unques- 
tionably better to form corps artillery at the very start than to create it for a particu- 
lar contingency by breaking up other uxUts." v. Sgbbll, Studien Uber Taktik d$r 
FeldartillerU, 1882. 

Divisional and Corps Artillery. 253 

it is considered undesirable to disturb the organization 
based on the two-imit system, nothing remains but to at- 
tach reserve divisions to the army corps. But, unless large 
peace cadres are available, these reserve divisions will scarcely 
be on a par, during the early stages of the campaign, with 
regular divisions. 

One question is important, viz., will the deplo3mient of 
the artillery be retarded in a rencontre, by the formation of 
corps artillery, and will the latter be the cause that the bulk 
of the artillery is not employed at the decisive point ? 

When an army corps marches in two columns, a dis- 
position certainly to be desired, it will be an advantage in 
case of an unexpected encounter with the enemy, if the artil- 
lery is equally divided between the two coliunns, since one 
can rarely tell beforehand which of the two columns should 
be made the stronger in artillery. Such a division of the 
artillery becomes a necessity when the two columns are 
marching along widely separated roads and when unfavor- 
able intervening ground increases the difficulties of trans- 
ferring the artillery from one column to the other. The 
advantages that were expected to accrue from corps artillery 
materialized in scarcely any of the engagements of the Franco- 
German war. Scarcely a single instance can be cited where 
a corps commander exetcised a decisive influence on the 
course of a battle by putting in his corps artillery or wherethe 
employment of the divisional artillery would have been 
materially diflFerent. 

On August 6th, 1870, during the advance toward the Saar, it would 
have been advantageous if the corps artillery of the Vllth German Army 
Corps had been equally divided between the two divisions. The Vllth 
Army Corps advanced in two columns that were separated from each other 
by 13 km. and the intervening terrain made all communication difficult. 
The corps artillery marched with the right column. The timely arrival , 
of the corps artillery at Forbach — and this could have been managed 
easily — would have been most desirable, especially if the divisions of 
Bazaine's corps had hurried to the battlefield. 

At Colombey, the corps artillery of the 1st German Army Corps was 
assigned to the left column with orders to support the advance guard of the 

254 Assignment of Artillery to Higher Units. 

Vllth Army Corps, and, in consequence, it was absent from the right 
column when the hostile envelopment made itself felt. 

The assignment of the corps artillery of the Hid Army Corps to the 
left column (6th Division) on August 16th, 1870 (battle of VionviUe), has 
been cited as proof of the harmfulness of having corps artillery, because 
it could have been employed to better advantage with the 5th Division, 
whose artillery force proved inadequate. Critics overlook the fact that 
the batteries would have been delayed by crossing the chain bridge at 
Corny, and that, on the other hand, transfers of artillery from the 6th to 
the 5th Division would have been facilitated if good lateral communications 
had been available. So, although reinforced by Lyncker's Detachment, 
the 5th Division did not receive effective support until the corps artillery went 
into action in the section assigned to the 6th Division. It would hav» 
been better if, instead of halting as it did at Onville, the corps artillery 
had concentrated with the 6th Division at Buxi^res. 

It is a good plan for a large force acting on the defensive, to retain an 
artillery reserve. Such a reserve enables the commander — as at Noisseville 
— to employ the bulk of his artillery according to necessity as the hostile 
main attack develops. The disintegration of the artillery reserve at Coul- 
miers was due to the fact that the defensive position selected was too 
txtensive to be held by the weak infantry force available. But even in 
ehis case, it would have been better to hold the artillery reserve intact. 

In favor of assigning all the artillery to the divisions* 
(Russia, Austria, Germany), it may be urged, — 

1. That, nowadays, war is not carried on by means of 
army corps acting independently, but by armies operating 
abreast of each other; 

2. That such assignment facilitates the timely deploy- 
ment of the artillery which modem battle demands; 

3. That, whereas the creation of corps artillery in 
certain corps may be necessary at times in defense, and 
occasionally desirable in a battle fought according to a pre- 
conceived plan, it may be a distinct disadvantage in a ren- 
contre ; 

4. That such assignment facilitates command and 
simplifies the problems of shelter and supply ; 

*For reasons for abolishing corps artillery, see MOllbr, EntvHcklung der 
Feldartillerie, III. p. 282; LoebelVs Jahresberichte. 1898, p. 752; ibid., 1800. p. 329, 
ibid., 1891, p. 369; ibid., 1892. p. 285; ibid., 1893. p. 343; ibid., 1895. p. 355; and 
Militdr-WochenblaU, 1890. Nos. 44 and 45; ibid., 1899. Nos. 58. 59 and 61. 

Divisional and Corps Artillery. 255 

5. That it brings about closer relations between ar- 
tillery and infantry in time of peace. 

The desirability of permanently assigning all of the 
artillery to the divisions follows from the foregoing. Now, 
whereas light field batteries should quickly go into position 
at the very beginning of an attack, curved fire batteries 
should be held back until the situation is clear. But, since 
any army corps may encounter a fortified position that can 
be made so strong by six hours of labor that the fire power of 
light field artillery alone will not suffice, it is desirable, from 
a tactical point of view, to assign howitzer batteries to army 
corps. When engaged with batteries provided with shields, 
an increase of fire power will, likewise, be welcomed in a 
rencontre. Since these batteries are capable of firing from 
masked positions and over the heads of other troops and 
batteries, and since a collective effect is imperatively neces- 
sary, it is advisable to keep these batteries together in one 
body within the army corps and to use them together after 
the manner of an * 'artillery reserve'* as soon as the informa- 
tion requisite for their employment has been obtained. In 
the large armies of todays the existence of corps artillery is justi- 
fied only when it consists of curved fire batteries. 



"Good artillery needs only a few simple formations, 
but these it should know thoroughly. It should be able to 
use them to the best advantage in any situation and while 
going at a fast gait, without becoming committed to a 
stereotyped course of action, all 
of its elements, at the same time, 
mutually supporting each other 
pnn. If artillery can do this, if it can 
make long marches, post its guns 
quickly in any and all situa- 
swing tions, fire coolly and effectively, 
"'''■ and knows how to make the best 
tactical use of its fire, it will be 
equal to its task in action. It 
Wheel would be unseemly for artillery 
to indulge in exhibitions and cere- 
monies, and not consonant with 
the serious duties that it has to 
Qg perform. In everything that it 
■ide. does and practices, artillery 
should be animated by the con- 
.j'._i seriousness that direct preparation 

for the critical time of action is 
the essential thing. What artillery has learned in time of 
peace, it will be able to put into practice in war; what it has 
neglected, it will lack at the critical moment." (Austrian 
Drill Regulations of 1909 for Field and Heavy Artillery). 

Each gun has its own caisson. One chief of section and 
five cannoneers constitute the gun squad and five cannoneers 
(in a horse battery, three) the caisson squad. In a horse 
battery there are, in addition, two horse holders for each 

The Piece. 


piece and one for each caisson. In a field battery, two 
cannoneers are mounted on the axle seats and three on the 
limber chest of each gun carriage. On route marches, can- 
noneers may march either beside or in rear of their carriages. 

The chief of section is habitually 
posted boot to boot with the lead 
driver of his piece. In a field battery, 
the cannoneers are, as a general rule, 
mounted on the carriages. They 
march on foot, when ordered to do so, 
on route marches, on bad roads, on 
steep grades, and when obstacles are 
encotmtered, in order to lighten the 
load or to assist the teams. The 
length of a field gun with its team is 
19 paces (15 m.), that of a field how- 
itzer, 18 paces (14 m.). In a horse 
battery, the cannoneers of each piece are formed in double rank 
with one pace distance between ranks, and posted either at 
close distance (2 paces) or full distance (6 paces) in rear of their 
piece. Full distance is used only when the battery is ad- 
vancing in the order in line (from which the order in battery 
is usually taken up) in order to enable the cannoneers to 
dismoimt quickly and to prevent their running into the 
pieces when checks occur or the battery is brought to a halt 
from the trot or the gallop. On route marches, cannoneers 
may ride on both sides of their carriages or in column of twos 
in rear of their carriages. The road space of a horse artillery 
gun is 28 paces at close distance and 32 paces (25.6 m.) at full 
distance. In France, cannoneers are posted one meter in 
rear of their pieces, with one meter between ranks. 

In the order in battery, one caisson body is posted one- 
half pace to the right, and slightly to the rear of each field 
gun, and one and one-half paces to the right and slightly 
to the rear of each howitzer. In France, caisson bodies 
stand 0.5 m. to the left of their pieces, axles on the same line. 


The Formations. 

The gun squads of field batteries are protected by the gun 
shields, but cannoneers of light field howitzer batteries have to 
step clear of the wheels at each shot. 


Field Howitzer. 

Field Gun. 


^9 ' 

.ee ^ 



> ''.; " ■ ■«> 


Heavy Field Howitzer. 




Fo^Afd^r basket 
baskets g^. 

-U 'Z*' J * . ' — U - - * 


1Z0 7$ 

S6U a 



2. GAITS. 

As artillery can fire only when halted, the time consumed 
in changing position should be cut down to the minimum. 
Since batteries will have to move forward from their places 
in colunm in order to go into position, it is essential that they 
be able to cover considerable distances over varied ground 
at the trot. A slower trot than that ordinarily used may be 
taken up when the column is long. The teams must bring 
their guns into position, if it kills them. 

Rate of March per Minute. 



































Fast trot 
up to 280 













212 in 





Rates of March. 

France: When marching alone, field artillery covers 8 (horse 
artillery 9) km. per hour, and from 30 to 40 (horse artillery 40) km. per 
day, without requiring extended rest. 

Italy: Field artillery covers from 5 to 8 km. per hour and from 30 
to 40 km. per day. In a forced march, it is expected to cover 80 km. in 
one day. 

Austria: Large bodies of artillery are expected to make 15 km., 
and small bodies 23 km. per day. In a forced march, artillery when part 
of an infantry column, is expected to cover 45 km. per day, and when it is 

260 The Formations op the Battery. 

part of a cavalry column, 60 km. per day. In movements that take some 
time to execute, artillery is to move at the trot, covering 200 m. per minute. 
Artillery marching alone is to move at the trot and walk; within the zone 
of battle, it is to move at the trot. The gallop is to be used in exceptional 
cases, and then only on favorable ground. Trotting uphill is to be avoided. 
Horse batteries are not to trot for longer periods than 20 minutes, and field 
batteries are to use the gallop only when they are in line at full intervals 
and this gait ia not to be kept up for more than 500 m. 

Russia: The regulations prescribe that artillery is to cover S — 6 
km. per hour at the walk and 7 — 9 km. per hour at the trot. Field artillery, 
marching alone, is to cover 32 km. in 53^ hours; horse artillery as much as 
60 km. Mixed commands are expected to cover, without undue exertiont 
80 km. in 73^ — 9 hours, but this is the maximum. 

"The gallop is incompatible with steady pulling, as the horses in- 
variably throw their weight into the collar with a jerk and never move for- 
ward together. In spite of this and the fact that our field batteries could, 
UAQuestionably, get along just as well without the gallop in war as the 
French field batteries, which scarcely use it, no doubt, most artillerymen 
are in favor of retaining the gallop. The gallop increases the skill of the 
drivers, steels their nerves and teaches them to watch for signals and com- 
mands even in the most critical situations. A battery that can maneuver 
well at the gallop, will assuredly march better at the trot over difficult 
ground, than one whose drivers have not learned to keep their eyes and ears 
open even moving at the gallop. On a good chaussie, a steady gallop in 
route column does not impair cohesion. But to form line at a wild gallop 
and to halt abruptly preparatory to unlimbering, or, worse yet, to gallop 
for twenty paces during a change of front executed in line, does impair 
cohesion." The gallop is useful in crossing difficult places and in bringing 
up guns that have dropped behind. 


The order in line* and the order in line at close intervals 
(pars. 293 and 298-304, German F. A. D. R.) differ from each 
other in that in the latter the interval between guns is five paces , 
in the former twenty paces, measured, in either case, from the 
center of one carriage to the center of the next in line. The 
order in line has the following important advantages : 

*It l8 to be understood that whenever thla term appears without quali- 
flcatlon. lin« at full intorrals Is meant. — Translator, 



l8t Platoon 









Fl«ld, Field Howitzer, or Horao Battery. 

r lit Piece 
2d " 
3d " 
4th " 
6th " 
6th " 
iBt Caimon 
2d " 
3d " 
4th " 
6th « 
6th •• 

Ist Store wagon (6-horBe) 

(8 and 4) officers' led horses and (6 and 10) spare horses. 

3d Store wagon (6-horBe) 
Ration wagon (2-hor8e) 
Forage wagon (4-hor8e) 

1st Caisson Platoon 








Battery (Field) in Line. 



QB 6QQ, ml at) 

(D m m CD 

Explanation of symbols. 

Battery (Horse) in Une at 
Close Intervals. 






Battery Commander. 6 
lit Sergeant. 

Commander of the reierre. 
Chief of Seetion, Calaion Corporal, 
N. C. O., Orderly. 


DrlTer, Mounted man. Led hon« 






. (D (D m m CD m 




m A 41 Kp A 

4< w * »k.*. 

nnm nnm nnm rrrri firn mn n 

im OD OD cm cm to 

V;.Q ffi B ^- 







Length of light field howltaer, honed, la 
ISpaoea. _* ^ « 

In a horte battery. calMons are posted 9 
paoee in rear of the moanted sqaadi of 
the gnni. 

The calMoni may likewise follow n rear 
of any other piece, or in line. 




m m m m m m 

cp CD m m Dp 

I--I I--I M A A 

m M »*« M M 

CD ^.1 .-.-..-..-..-. i-i 





The oalnoni may llkewiie be posted on the right 
or left of their respeotiye guns. 











let Caisson 

Ist Piece 

2d Caisson 

2d Piece 

3d Caisson 

3d Piece 

4th Caisson 

4th Piece 

5th Caisson 

6th " 

7th— 12th CaisBona 

)- let Platoon 



' 2d 

f 7th- 
\ 1 Fi 

Field forge 


I 1 Store wagon 
. 1 Forage wagon 
3 (horse btr8.4) ration wagons 

in Lintti 



Heavy Field Howitser Battery. 









Reserve \ 


' Observation wagon 

Ist Piece 

2d " 

3d " 
. 4th " 

1st Caisson 


. 4th 
f 6th 
i 6th 









} let Platoon 


\ 1st Caiaaon Platoon 

j. 2d 

} 3d 
I 4th 



^ 8th 

f Le<l horse an^i spare horses 
^ Field kitchen 
[ Store wagon 

Kit wagon 
Ration wagon 
Forage wagon 

Order in Line at Cloee Intervals. 


, 8UA% e 

f leoea] ©09303) 

«.j ffi ffl ffi ffl 

jl 5 ^ ?b dB 


: "BDflBQ ffiflBQ 
^\ ffl ffl ffi ffl 






Explanation of aymbola. 

Battery comman<3er 


lit Sergeant 

N. C. O. (dlimounted) 
Qun iquad 


AMiBtant lit Sergeant 
N.C. O. 
Tram peter 
Led horse 


Obiervatlon wagon 

Piece (howltser) 





21 cm. Mortar Battery. 

Observation wagon 

iBt Platform wagon 1 ^^^ Platform Platoon 

2a " ' 








-i 4th 



[ 8th 

iBt Carriage 




let Gun wagon 






} 2d 
} 3d 
} 4th 

} iBt Carriage Platoon 


I let Gun Platoon 


' Led horse and 


spare horses 


Field kitchen 

. Store wagon 

' Kit wagon 


Ration wagon 



. Forage wagon 













j'l — B 



eDQQD mrffi eom fflSD 




Explanation of symbols. 

Q Battery Commander 

Q Lieutenant 

Q lit Sergeant 

Q Ajilfltant lit Sergeant 

Q N. C. O. 

Q Tmmpeter 

Q Drirer 

Q Led hone 

g Farrier 

N.C.O. (mounted) 
Qnn iqnad 
Obaerratlon wagon 
Store wagon 
Platform wngon 


Gun Wtgon 

264 The Formations op the Battery. 

1. It presents a number of small targets, separated by 
intervals, to the enemy's fire, and, as a result, minimizes 
losses, whereas the order in line at close intervals offers the 
enemy a single, compact target. 

2. Disorders occuring at one piece are not communi- 
cated to other parts of the line. 

3. The guns can turn, imlimber upon completing the 
advance, change direction easily, and evade obstacles, all of 
which is impossible in the order in line at close intervals, 
on account of the lack of room between the guns. 

The order in line at close intervals should, therefore, 
never be used when it might become necessary to unlimber 
at once. But, the order in line at close intervals does en- 
able the unit to be concentrated within the smallest space 
and is used for assembly and for parades. In the order in 
line at close intervals, the interval between guns is 5 paces 
in the German artillery, 6 paces in the Russian and the 
Austrian artillery, and 2 m. in the French artillery. 

The order in line is used for movements to the front 
or rear under hostile fire, for moving forward htirriedly from 
a firing position in order to pursue, for crossing long ridges, 
and preparatory to going into, or upon evacuating a position. 
When longer distances have to be covered, the route column 
is used.* A German field battery of six guns has a front of 
80 m., a Russian battery of eight gims, a front of 95 m., and a 
French battery of four guns a front of 47 m. In the order 
in line, it is still possible to execute turns of 90 and 180 de- 
grees in which each carriage moves over the arc of a circle 

*The following Is quoted fk-om General y. Berendt's "Erinnerungen aus meiner 
Dienstzeit/' in regard to the advance in line at Mars-la-Tour, of two batteries of the 
Xth Army Corps. "Several wet ditches, a number of roads across our path, and 
the exceedingly varied character of cultivation and vegetation considerably delayed 
some of the guns and platoons, while others, meantime, were able to continue their 
advance without trouble. It required an unusual amoimt of personal effort on the 
battery commander's part to lead the battery into its position, and I was glad when 
we finally approached the locality where we could open fire." 

The Order in Route Column. 265 

whose diameter is 16 paces. When in line at close intervals, 
the battery can move only by wheeling or inclining as a 
whole. Intervals may be extended or closed. (Pars. 301- 
302, German F. A. D. R.). 

The order in route column,* Artillery uses roads as 
long as possible. The formation best suited to movements 
on roads is in the order in route column. In this, the carriages 
follow each other at four paces distance. In a horse battery 
in route column, the guns follow each other at thirteen, the 
caissons at nine paces distance. A reduction of this distance 
to 2 m., as in Austria, to 2.13 m., as in Russia (8-gun battery), 
and to 1 m., as in France, interferes with the smooth and 
steady movement of the battery. When a battery marches 
by the flank from route coltunn (par. 302, German F. A. D. 
R.), the interval between guns is 23 paces (19+4=23) and 
is reduced, when necessary, to 20 paces. In order to shorten 
the column, double column f may be formed, the reserve 
(i. e., all the caissons) being brought up alongside the guns. 

Being in line (or in line at close intervals) , to form route 
coltmm: The right (left) carriage moves straight to the 
front, the others in turn wheel to the right (left) and follow 
in rear of the first. Line is formed from route column by 
executing either "right (left) into line," or "right (left) front 
into line." 

The order in route column is the habitual maneuver and 
route formation, and, on roads, is Ukewise used for assembly 
ptirposes. Route colunm enables artillery to utilize existing 

*KolonnB gu Einem. It differs fkt>m our section column In that the CBiflsons 
do not follow their respective guns. 

iDoppelkolonne. This corresponds exactly to the double section coltunn of 
our Field Artillery. A literal translation of the German term was preferred since 
the Germans form their double (section) column differently than we do from route 
(section) column. — Translator, 

266 The Formations of the Battery. 

roads, bridges, and the cover afforded by the ground. Be- 
sides, it is by no means unsuitable for flank movements, 
although the effectiveness of shrapnel fire forces artillery to 
abstain, whenever possible from making such movements.* 

Battery in Route Column. 

^^' """"m a ^. J 

«W M Jk 

When in route column, artillery can form line quickly 
and easily and can avoid obstacles without difficulty. Under 

*Flank marches involved very little danger during the Franco-German war. 
as the French shells had a small radius of effect and were, moreover, fitted with a 
single action fuze only, a defective one at that. Hohenlohe, Militdrische Brief e, 
III, p. 211. 

At Vionville. the 1st Horse Battery of the 10th F. A., made a flank march 
on the ridge west of Vionville within 300 m. of hostile infantry and suffered but 
trifling loss. Qeschichte des Feldartillerieregiments Nr. 10, p. 83. At Gravelotte, 
Bynatten's Battalion of Artillery executed a flank march in colunm of platoons 
under cover and unlimbered to the flank. Geschichte des Feldartillerieregiments Nr. 
7, p. 245. 

Column of Platoons. 267 

favorable conditions of light and background, artillery will 
be less conspicuous when advancing in route column than 
when advancing in line. Unless dust betrays the movement, 
artillery moving by the flank in route column is usually very 
diflBcult to distinguish against a dark background (for ex- 
ample, timber). 

(Horse) Battery in Column of Platoons. 

fiDQ an-" 
m m 

m qp 

•44 I--I 


ODD Q3i: 

on cm 
m m 

: cDDonan 

fs' ODD OD 


In addition, a battery is not so apt to get hit when it 
advances in route coliunn as when it advances in line, as it 
will be difficult for the enemy to locate his bursts with refer- 
ence to the head of the route column. Front into line should 
not be executed under hostile fire. In taking up a masked 

268 The Formations op the Battery. 

position under the crest of a hill, the battery can move in 
route column imder cover along the position and xmlimber for 
action to a flank. By doing this, the pieces get into position 
more quickly, as they can be brought closer to the top of the 
crest than if the battery were to advance in line and were to 
unlimber to the front. But moving into position from a 
flank has the disadvantage that the battery can not form line 
so accurately facing the objective as if front into line had been 

Since gun and caisson belong together, the column of 
platoons at full and at close intervals has been abolished 
so far as field batteries are concerned. Horse batteries, 
which, in many cases, will not have their caissons at hand, 
still use it to reduce the length of their column. In column 
of platoons, the interval between guns is 5 paces, the distance 
between platoons, IS paces. This distance is measured from 
the heads of the lead pair of one platoon to the rear of the 
carriages of the next preceding platoon. Being in route 
column, to form line: The battery first forms column of 
platoons, and then executes right (left) front into line, or 
right (left) into line, intervals being at the same time ex- 
tended from 17 to 20 paces. 

Movements in column. When the tactical situation 
requires and the terrain permits, artillery marching in colunm 
may use the gallop to good advantage, but the trot is the 
habitual gait. When moving to the battlefield, artillery 
should be able, without appreciable rest, to cover from 8 to 12 
km. at the trot. In long artillery columns, it is advisable to 
increase the distances normally separating batteries. This 
should be done likewise when artillery is drawn forward from its 
position in the column, as the dust raised will dissipate more 
quickly and will therefore not annoy the other troops so 
much. In addition, no battery will be forced to trot uphill 
or over a bad piece of road in order to maintain its proper 

To Unlimber. 269 

If for any reason a gun or a caisson is forced to halt, 
this check should in no circumstances be permitted to com- 
municate itself to the rest of the column. Chiefs of car- 
riage and drivers should keep a watchful eye upon the 
carriage preceding theirs, so that, in case that carriage is 
disabled, they may be able promptly to turn out of the col- 
umn, without checking the gait, and trot past. A disabled 
carriage should regain its proper place in the column as soon 
as possible. 

Movements to the rear. The about by carriage. On 
narrow roads a battery in route column may have to unlimber 
and turn carriages and limbers separately. On very narrow 
roads, a different method may sometimes have to be em- 
ployed. In this, lead and swing pairs are unhitched and led 
to the rear past the column. The carriages are then un- 
limbered and each carriage and each limber are turned about. 
This will result in placing each limber in rear of its gun or its 
caisson body, as the case may be. The last piece (or caisson 
body), now become the first, is now removed and its limber 
attached to the piece (or caisson body) next in order, and so 
on, the last limber in the column picking up the first piece 
(or caisson body), previously run aside. 


The battery can unlimber all its pieces simultaneously 
to the front or to the rear from line, and to a flank from col- 
umn. In debouching from a defile (road), when it is im- 
perative that fire be opened at once, guns may unlimber suc- 
cessively. It is not a good plan for a battery to use the same 
method of unlimbering each time it goes into action. The 
method of unlimbering should be selected with due regard 
to the tactical situation and the character of the ground. 

Action front (pars. 269-278, 322-332, German F. A. 
D. R.) is usually employed when fire is to be opened quickly. 
The limbers wheel to the left about and go to their designated 

270 The Formations of the Battery. 

position at a walk. They remain eight paces directly in 
rear of their guns in exceptional cases only. The battery 
commander decides whether or not gun limbers should be 
emptied entirely or partially. The reserve at once approaches 
the guns, from a flank if the gun limbers have vacated 
the space in rear of their guns, and unlimbers one caisson 
body to the right* of each piece. The caisson limbers are 
then emptied. 

In the order in battery, the guns, unlimbered for 
action, are posted abreast of each other with normal intervals 
between them. This interval may be reduced to ten paces, 
or extended, provided fire direction is not hampered thereby* 
Large imits, especially when firing from a captured position 
and at a retreating opponent, will frequently be forced to 
reduce intervals between guns in battery. In such a case, 
intervals may usually be diminished with impunity, as the 
hostile artillery will have suffered some loss. As far as practi- 
cable, battery and platoon commanders and chiefs of section 
should avail themselves of the cover afforded by the guns 
and caisson bodies. 

The interval between batteries (30 paces) should in no 
event be gained at the expense of the interval between the 
guns. When there is plenty of room, or when the hostile 
artillery is superior, the intervals between guns in battery 
should be increased. Since advantage should be taken of 
the ground, the intervals between the guns in battery need 
not be uniform. 

Caissons filled with shrapnel run comparatively little 
danger of blowing up when struck by intact projectiles. At 
the worst, the effect of such a shot is restricted to the caisson 
struck and the nearest piece. But if a shell should strike 
and burst in a caisson carrying shell, it may detonate the 
whole contents. This is bound to disable the two adjacent 
pieces and will place the whole battery out of action for some 

*Sliice fixed ammunition Is now used, loading would proceed more rapidly, If 
the caisson body were posted to the left of Its gun. 

Action Rear; Action Right. 271 

time. It will, therefore, be advisable to place caisson bodies 
filled with shell beside the guns only in case hostile shell* 
need scarcely be feared, in other words, when one's artillery- 
is occupying a masked position. In order to enable it to 
fire effectively from masked positions, artillery must be pro- 
vided with observation towers or ladders and observation 

Gun and caisson limbers are conducted and posted by 
the commander of the reserve, if an officer, otherwise by the 
first sergeant. When necessary, gun limbers are posted in 
one group and caisson limbers in another. The combat 
train is also brought up and joins the limbers. The two 
groups of limbers, each in route column, are posted abreast 
of each other, facing to the front with an interval of about 
twenty paces between them, about 300 m. in rear and, when 
practicable, to a flank of the firing position. Drivers dis- 
mount. The commander of the reserve or the first sergeant 
usually remains mounted. A caisson corporal designated 
by the commander of the reserve joins the firing battery and 
establishes signal communication with the reserve. 

Action rear (par. 329, German F. A. D. R.). On heavy 
soil, it is advisable to turn the carriages about first and then 
to tmlimber to the rear. 

Action right, or left (par. 330, German F. A. D. R.). 
This is usually employed when the position can be approached 
under cover of a crest. The gims are drawn up the 
slope by their teams, but not so high that the enemy can see 
the mounted drivers over the crest. It is a good plan to 
send a mounted man to mark the line beyond which drivers 
should not advance. It is of course desirable to unlimber the 
guns under cover as close as possible to the position where 
they are to go into battery. To this end, drivers may be 

*Izi 1903 during a Swedish firing test, a shrapnel burst in a caisson filled 
with 20 shell, and a shell penetrated another caisson and burst within it. Although 
explosive shell in the compartments of these caissons were torn to bits by these 
projectiles, their primers dented and the primer envelopes torn apart, so that the 
powder was exposed, not a single shell was detonated. 

272 The Formations of the Battery. 

directed to dismount, though this entails the disadvantage 
that teams will not pull as well, particularly if the ground 
is soft. 

The guns are brought into battery by hand, the prolonge 
being used when necessary. 

Artillery may go into position openly, i. e., without 
attempting to conceal itself from view, or concealed, i. e., 
its guns and caissons sheltered from the enemy's view. 
Positions may be either unmasked, semi-masked, or masked. 

In an unmasked position, the guns are not concealed 
from view and the line sights may be used in laying. 

In a semi-masked position, the guns are concealed from 
the enemy's view, but a man standing beside a gun can still 
lay it for direction. 

In a masked position, the guns are so concealed that it is 

impossible for the gunners to aim directly at the target. 

The positions mentioned above give rise to a number 

of ways of going into position. In going into a masked 

position, for example, the guns may be unlimbered to the 

front, but the movement will usually be made at the walk, 

in order that it may not be betrayed by the dust raised. 

Upon unlimbering, the guns should stand where they are to 

fire. In case a battery is directed to conceal its movements 

while going into an immasked or a semi-masked position, 

guns and caisson bodies are brought into battery by hand 

as soon as they are unlimbered. When the prolonge is used 

for this purpose, special care should be exercised that the 

men do not expose themselves. Men should not be posted 

to indicate the limits of the battery position when there is 

danger that the enemy's attention might be attratced there- 


For details of the order in battery, see p. 290, infra. 

When the position offers special difficulties, platoon 
commanders and chiefs of section may be brought up to re- 
connoiter the positions to be occupied by their guns and to 
supervise bringing them into battery. When this is done, 

Prance. 273 


the first sergeant is left in charge of the guns. But when 
the distance between the battery and the position it is to 
occupy is considerable, one officer remains with the battery. 
When practicable, the evacuation of a position should be 
so managed that the movement will not be perceived by the 
enemy. To this end, first the caisson bodies*and, after the 
battery commander's command for changing position, the 
gims, should be run by hand far enough to the rear to enable 
the battery to limber up tmder cover. 

France: 'The chief of a unit is the guide of] that unit," i. e., he 
indicates in his person, the direction and gait and should select his position 
so that the leaders of the leading subdivisions can see him 
well. When necessary, he may direct some other officer to 
act as guide in his stead. When several battalions operate 
together as one unit, each moves as if acting alone, but 
their leaders should maintain cohesion by cooperating with 
each other. The commander (guide) has no time to see that 
his orders are executed. A file closer (serrefile) is charged 
with maintaining order. 

The battery is divided into nine sections (pelotona de 
jyUce^). The first, second, third and fourth sections are 
gun sections, each consisting of one gun and one caisson. 
For tactical purposes, the battery is divided into the fighting 
battery (baUerie de combat) and the field train. The fighting 
battery consists of the firing battery (haUerie de tir) and 
the reserve (echelon). The firing battery consists of four 
guns and six caissons, the reserve of six caissons, the field 
forge and the store wagon. Of the six caissons in the firing 
battery, four belong to gun sections, each forming with the 
gun to which it belongs, a single unit (pUce); the other two 
caissons of the firing battery are to replace the first ammu- 
nition expended and are therefore called caissons de premier 

The order in line (ordre en hataillet see p. 262, supra), 
is that in which the four gun sections of the battery are 
posted abreast of each other, the caissons in front with \ ^ 1* 
three cannoneers mounted on each. The two caissons of 
the fifth section (caissons de premier ravitaillement) are 
posted in rear of the flank guns. The distance between 
carriages is 1 m. The interval between carriages is nor- 
mally 14 m., but may be diminished to 2 m., and is never 
to exceed 30 m. Intervals are measured from the hub of B' 

one carriage to the hub of the next in line. On going into battery, each 
gun moves to a position abreast and to the right of its caisson, the limbers 

■■■I III 

274 The Formations of the Battery. 

wheeling to the left about over the arc of a circle whose diameter is 6 m. 
When the battery is in the order in line, however, and the interval between 
caissons is not less than 6 m., the guns may be moved abreast and 1.50 m. 
from their respective caissons, i. e., double section line may be formed. 

The order in section column {ordre en eolonne par px^ce). In this 
the sections follow each other in column, the caissons being in front in each 
section, the distance between carriages being 1 m. The two caissons of 
the fifth section (caissons de premier ratntaiUem^ni) march at the tail of 
the column. 

Double section column (ordre en eolonne douhlie) is employed 
when it is desired to diminish the length of the column. It is formed from 
section column by the guns moving up abreast and to the right of their 
respective caissons. From this column the guns may be directly unlim- 
bered to the left. To unlimber to the right, guns and caissons must first 
change places, i. e., the guns must be moved to the left of their respective 

The maneuvers of the battery are very simple. In the oblique march, 
each carriage individually makes the appropriate change of direction. 
During this movement, intervals may be increased or diminsihed. A wheel 
may be executed only when the battery is in the order in line at close in- 
tervals. To form section column from line, the right (left) section moves 
out, the other sections successively executing a partial change of direction 
and following the leading section. Line may be formed from section 
column or from double section column. The battery habitually forms 
line toward the side on which the battery commander posts himself. 

In the order in battery, the guns stand to the right and .5 m. from 
their respective caisson bodies. The interval between one caisson body 
and the next one in battery is 14 m. As soon as a caisson has been 
brought into battery and unlimbered, the caisson body is upended, the lid 
of the chest to the rear. This lid, fashioned like a double door, is opened 
to right and left, and the automatic fuze setter (d6bov^hoir), capable of 
setting simultaneously the fuzes of two projectiles, is dropped. The com- 
partments of the chest are now exposed so that the projectiles may be 
removed. As the guns are provided with steel shields and as walls and 
doors of the caisson bodies are armored, ample protection is afforded the 
gun squads during lulls in the firing. The anchoring of the wheels, the so- 
called abattage, is very complicated. As soon as the gun is unlimbered, it 
is laid for direction. Then two men let down the brake shoes, while two 
others, at the same time, raise the trail (very high), until the shoes take 
hold. This is done in order that the brake shoes may hang down low so as 
to lock the wheels properly. This work is to be done very carefully in 
order that the piece — already laid for direction, be it remembered — ^may not 
be disturbed. But, since this is impossible, the gun must be relaid after 
it has been anchored. All this is done during a time when the battery is 
more defenseless than at any other, at a time when there is urgent need to 
open fire quickly. It is, at best, a very slow procedure, which may be- 
come very dangerous if hostile artillery saw the battery go into position. 

France; Japan; Italy. 275 

The chiefs of platoon are posted in rear of the first caisson of their respec- 
tive platoons. One of the caissons of the fifth section, the caisson section 
of the firing battery, is posited on the flank of the battery where the bat- 
tery commander desires to observe the fire. The other caisson of this 
section is posted 15 m. in rear of the opposite flank of the battery. The 
limbers with their teams are posted in double section column 10 m. in rear 
of one of the flanks of the battery. The reserve (echelon), consistins: of the 
remaining six caissons of the battery, is posted about 500 m. in rear of the 
position. The occupation of a position is invariably to be preceded by a 
reconnaissance, during which the battery commander is to expose himself 
as little as possible. The fire preparation should be as complete as pos- 
sible, but should not cause loss of time. The battery commander indicates 
to the next senior battery oflicer a position {position d*arr^) up to which 
that officer is to move the battery. The battery commander then pro- 
ceeds to the locality tentatively selected for the battery. He is accompanied 
by a non-commissioned oflicer, whom he can later send back to notify the 
battery to come up, the quartermaster sergeant (brigadier fourier), a trum- 
peter, and the mounted orderly who carries the battery commander's 
telescope. Special care should be exercised that the enemy's attention 
may not be prematurely attracted by this reconnaissance. The battery 
commander examines the target, its nature and extent, measures its front, 
selects an aiming point, and decides upon the best way of bringing his 
battery into position. The flanks of the battery are indicated by the 
two non-commissioned officers with the captain. When the battery is to 
go into position at a fast gait, these two non-commisioned officers are 
posted some distance apart and covering each other so as to indicate the 
center of the battery. When desired, platoon leaders and gunners may be 
brought up and instructed in regard to the target and aiming point. The 
gunners select the positions to be occupied by their pieces, which are then 
brought into battery in the manner previously ordered. When the posi- 
tion can be approached under cover, batteries are habitually to unlimber to 
a flank. 

Japan: The regulations of 1908 are almost an exact translation of 
the German regulations. 

Italy (Drill Regulations of 1905) : The lead driver of the directing 
gun is the guide of the battery or battalion. The platoon (battery) com- 
mander sees that the guide does his duty properly and is held responsible 
that his unit maintains proper direction and distance with reference to the 
directing carriage. Chiefs of section and platoon therefore ride abreast 
and on the near side of the lead drivers. The interval between carriages is 
16.5 m. In horse batteries, the cannoneers are formed in double rank 30 
m. in front of the battery and may form a screen (hatteria maacherata). 

Section Column: Carriages follow each other at a distance of 2 m. 
The reserve (reparto di eassone) follows either directly in rear of the battery 
or echeloned in rear of a flank. The depth of a battery is 155 m. (230 

276 The Formations of the Battery. 

Column of platoons: The platoons, thdr carriagee in line at 
extended intervals (16.6 m.) or at close intervals (5.26 m.)> are posted in 
rear of one another at a distance of 6 m. Line is formed by executing 
right (left) front into line, or by platoons simultaneously executing right 
(left) into line, or on right (left) into line. 

The order in ItTie of columns (Ordine in linea di eolonne): The 
platoons, each with the caissons belonging to it, are in section column, 
abreast of one another. The depth of this column is 70 paces (63 m.). 
Intervals may be diminished to seven paces (5.2 m.) or extended to 44 
paces (33 m.). This formation is better suited than the section column for 
maneuvering under artillery fire and for crossing difficult ground. 

Austria : One gun and one caisson constitute a section, * two sections, 
a platoon, two or three platoons, a battery. In addition, a battery has 
one telephone wagon. In the order in section column, the sections of 
the battery follow each other in column, the distance between carriages 
being 2 m. When it is desired to decrease the depth of the section colunm, 
the caissons may march abreast of their respective guns, in other words, 
double section column may be formed. In the order in line, which is 
modeled after the line of columns {ordine in linea di eolonne) of the Italians, 
the platoons, each in section column, are posted abreast of each other 
with intervals of 40 m. between them. The line is to be used as the ma- 
neuvering formation under hostile fire. The order in line at dose 
intervals is similar to the order in line, but the interval between platoons 
is 5 m. It is used as an assembly formation. In the order in battery', 
the guns, unlimbered, are posted at intervals of 20 m., caisson bodies on the 

jr ^ff/n + '-^nv A 

iji i|i ill 

i i i 

li til iji 

i i i 


right'of their respective pieces. Larger intervals are considered desirable, 
smaller intervals to be avoided. When a battery is about to go into posi- 
tion, its commander ascertains whether time enough is available for doing 
so under cover. When practicable, the movements of batteries going into 

* Halbzug, literally, demi-platoon. 

Austria; Russia. 277 

position should be concealed. To this end, drivers may be ordered to 
dismount, and the c^uns brought into battery by hand by the personnel or» 
when necessary, by the support. In field batteries, the reserve is formed 
of caissons belonging to the ammunition columns. In field howitzer bat- 
teries, the caissons that do not belong to the gun sections form the reserve. 
Great importance is attached to designating an officer whose duty it is to 
take charge of fire direction in case the battery commander's observation 
station is at a distance from the battery. Importance is likewise attached 
to protection against surprise. The officer in charge of the limbers selects 
a position for them. 

In horse batteries, which, by the way, have four guns, the interval 
between carriages is 15 m. These batteries use the column of platoons 
in addition to the other formations employed by field batteries. In column 
of platoons, the commander of the second platoon is posted 2 m. in rear of 
the rear rank of the squad of cannoneers of the leading platoon. The 
caissons may be directed to follow the battery at a distance of 600 m. 

Russia (Provisional Regulations of 1907): One gun and one caisson 
constitute an inseparable unit, the section. The firing battery consists 
of eight guns and eight caissons, the battery reserve of eight caissons. 
Two gun sections form a platoon, two platoons, under a captain, a demi- 
battery. Full interval is 24 paces (17 m.), reduced interval, 16 paces 
(11.4 m.), and close interval, 8 paces (6.5 m.). Section column and line of 
platoons in section column are used. In the order in seetUm eolumnt 
the sections, each in section column, follow each other. In the order in 
line of platoons in eection columns, the four platoons, each in section 
column are posted abreast of each other with intervals of 16 paces (11.4 m.) 
between them. When in this formation, the b attery has a front of 35 m. and 
a depth of 70 m., including the battery reserve, a depth of 105 m. To 
diminish the depth of the battery, caissons of the gun sections may be 
posted abreast of their guns (double section), or, when the battery is in 
line at full intervals, may be posted in front of their guns. Artillery is to 
conceal its movements as much as possible when going into position. 
Guns are not loaded until they are in battery. Guns and caissons unlimber 
at the same time. One caisson body is posted, under cover when practi- 
cable, in rear of each gun. Gun and caisson limbers of gun sections move 
to the rear. When the limbers are posted in close proximity, ammunition 
is first to be taken from them, and then from the caisson bodies. But in 
practice, the ammunition in the caisson bodies will be used first, as a rule, 
as it is close at hand. As soon as the ammunition in the caisson bodies 
is exhausted, the caisson limbers are brought up, the ammunition com- 
partments with their ammunition taken out and deposited beside the 
caisson bodies. The latter are then limbered up and sent back to the 
battery reserve. As soon as the commander of the battery reserve 
notices that the caisson limbers have gone forward, he sends the full 
caissons of the battery reserve to the firing battery. These caissons are 
unlimbered in the position, their caisson bodies are left with the guns and 
thejimbers move back to the position of the gun limbers. But the battery 

278 The Formations. 

commander may first use the ammunition of the caisson limbers, order up 
a certain number of caisson bodies, leave the contents of the caissons of 
the gun sections untouched and take an adequate supply from the battery 
reserve at the start, or deposit beside the guns, upon unlimbering, the 
ammunition carried by the caisson limbers. 

England: The interval between carriages is 20 yards (18 m.). 
The distance between carriages in column is 4 yards. Formations: The 
order in line, the order in echelon (by platoon), column of platoons (the 
so-called battery column) and route column. The battery is divided into 
the firing battery (6 guns and 6 caissons) and the reserve (6 casisons). A 
battery may go into position either directly or after some preparation has 
been made. In the latter case, the position that each gun is to occupy ia 
selected and marked. When the battery moves directly into position^ 
the caissons drop back to a position 36 m. in rear of the guns. At the com* 
mand "Action Front," the gims move into the position. At the com- 
mand "Drive On," the limbers, except those of the two flank guns, move 
forward one pace, wheel to the right about, and move at the trot to their 
position. The limbers of the right and left flank guns take post abreast 
of the line of guns, ten paces from the right and the left flank, respectively- 
These two limbers are at once unhitched and the poles turned toward the 
iront. As soon as the trails of the guns touch the ground, the caissons 
drive up abreast and 15 cm. to the left of their respective guns, axles of guns 
and caisson bodies on a line, in order that the protection afforded by the 
shields of the guns and caissons may be utilized to the fullest extent. The 
caissons are then unhitched. Limbers, teams and led horses move to the 
rear to their position. 

The ammunition in the caisson bodies is to be used first, as a ru]e. 
When the caisson bodies are emptied, they are unlimbered and pushed to 
the rear, and their limbers drawn back until their axles are on line with the 
gun axles. 

As a rule, carriages and limbers are to be posted abreast of each 
other at full intervals, either to the right (left) rear of the guns, or directly 
in rear of them. In the latter case, they are not to be closer than 360 m. 
to the guns. 

When it becomes necessary to replenish ammunition, the caissons 
of the reserve are brought up, one being placed on the right of each gun. 
When the battery is not exposed to a heavy fire and when there is no danger 
that they may betray the position, these caissons may drive directly along- 
side the guns, unhitch their teams and hitch them to the empty caissons 
and drive to the rear. In case the battery is exposed to a heavy fire, any 
method of replenishing ammimition may be employed, but, when practi- 
cable, lulls in the firing are to be utilized for this purpose. 

The Battalion in Line. 279 


In the German artillery, the battalion movements laid 
down in the drill regulations are to be executed by **orders/* 
not by '^commands." Evolutions are to be confined to those 
absolutely essential for assembling and moving the larger imits 
outside the zone of hostile fire. Attention should principally 
be paid to the combat leading of the battalion and this is 
quite naturally done more often by means of "orders'* than 
by means of '^commands." For a mobilized battalion of 
artillery to maneuver after the fashion of cavalry is not 
simulating war conditions, since artillery will rarely be re- 
quired to deploy from a close formation in a direction not 
previously reconnoitered. Such a deployment furthermore 
requires horses well broken to harness, and well trained 
drivers, platoon leaders and chiefs of section. As the strength 
of a battery in men and horses is nearly doubled on mobiliza- 
tion, and as each battery is obliged to detach a good many 
men and horses at the same time, accurate evolutions with a 
mobilized battalion are an impossibility. 


The order in line. The batteries, each in line, are 
posted abreast of each other, with intervals of 30 paces be- 
tween them. They may be posted in any order from right 
to left at discretion. The intervals between batteries may be 
extended or closed. 

The order in line at close intervals (Breitkolonne) : 
The batteries, each in line at close intervals, are posted 
abreast of each other with intervals of 15 paces between 
them, the battery reserves in rear. This formation is used 
for assembly and for parades. 

*Par8. 342-352, German F, A. D. R, 

280 The Formation op the Battalion. 

The order in mass ( Tiefkolonne) :* The batteries, each 
in line at close intervals, are posted in rear of one another 
with distances of 15 paces (horse batteries, 24 paces) between 
them. The battery reserves are posted either in rear or 
abreast of their batteries. This formation is used for the 
same purpose f as the order in line at close intervals. 

The order in route column: The batteries, each in 
route column, are posted in rear of one another with distances 
of 15 paces (horse batteries, 20 paces) between them. Or- 
dinarily, the battery reserves are posted directly in rear of 
their respective batteries, but, during a flank march, or when 
it is desired to decrease the depth of the column, they may be 
posted abreast of their respective batteries (double coliunn, 
which in form corresponds to our double section column) . 

Line of route columns (Batteriekolonnen): The bat- 
teries, each in route column, are posted abreast of each other 
with intervals of 130 paces between them. Depending upon 
the available room and the nature of the grotmd, these in- 
tervals may be diminished or increased. This formation 
is used for movements on the battlefield. 

In certain circumstances, the battalion commander may 
have to give special instructions in regard to the disposition 
of the battery reserves. 

In addition to the formations described above, horse 
artillery battalions use the column of platoons (batteries, 
each in column of platoons, following each other at a distance 
of 25 paces), and the line of platoon columns {Abteilungs- 
kohnne) in which the batteries, each in column of platoons, 
are posted abreast of each other with intervals of 30 paces 
between them. 

*Iii our artillery, a battalion is said to be closed in mass when it Is in column 
of batteries at closed distances. — Translator. 

ton August 18th, 1870. the corps artillery of the Prussian Guard Oorps used 
this formation during its advance ftom Doncoiu>t to a point beyond Anouy la Grange. 
On this occasion, battery reserves were posted in the second Une, in rear of each bat- 
tery. On approaching the effective zone of the French Artillery, the reserves were 
halted. The batteries then went into action one after another, those following th& 
leading battery being echeloned to the left and front of that battery. Hohbnlohb,. 
Milit&rische BHefe. p. 218. 

France; Italy; Austria. 281 

France: When the battalion is in line, the batteries are posted 
abreast of each other with an interval not greater than double that between 
carriages and not less than 6 m., between them. The mass, in which the 
batteries, each in line, are posted in rear of each other at a distance of 20 m., is 
used for parade. The habitual maneuvering formation on the battlefield 
Is the line of section columns (ordre enVigne de colonnes par pidee). In this, 
the batteries, each either in section column or in double section colunm, 
are posted abreast of each other with not less than 14 m. between them. 
When this interval is 14 m. or less (in horse artillery battalions, 17 m. or 
less), the formation is termed the order in line of section columns (or 
double section columns) at close intervals (ordre en mease de colonnes par 
piiee ou doublie). The French attach less importance to their section 
column and double section column, in which the batteries are posted in 
rear of one another at 20 m. distance, than the Germans do to their cor- 
responding formations, the route column and the double column. The 
reserve follows 30 m. in rear of the last battery, the distance between 
battery reserves being 20 m. The reserve drops back to 600 m. when the 
battalion approaches the selected position, halts at that distance when the 
battalion goes into position, and sends battery reserves to join their bat* 
teries in case any of the latter are detached from the battalion to carry 
out special missions. The staffs are numerically strong. The manner 
in which communication is to be kept up between the various elements 
of the battalion, is prescribed in great detail. 

Italy: The battalion (hrigaia) consists of four field batteries. The 
column of batteries is used for assembly. In this, the distance between 
batteries is 21 paces (15 m.). For movements on the battlefield, the 
Italians use the line of columns. In this, the batteries are posted at de- 
ploying intervals abreast of each other, each battery being either in column 
of platoons, in section column, or in line of platoons in section columns 
(brigata in linea di coUmne di sezione). Section column and column of pla- 
toons (at full or closed distance) are likewise used on the battlefield, as is 
also the order in line, the batteries at closed or extended intervals. From 
the moment when the artillery leaves the column, the battalions are no 
longer to be moved according to the hard and fast rules of the drill regula- 
tions. Batteries are to be moved into position by their leaders in the most 
suitable formation and along such roads as may be available. 

Austria: Two field or three horse batteries constitute a battalion 
(division). The formations used are the order in section column, the order 
in line, the order in battery, and the order in line at close intervals (Masse), 
In the last-named formation the batteries, each in line at close intervals, 
are posted abreast of each other with close intervals between them. 

In the order in line, the interval between batteries is 30 m., in the 
order in line at close intervals (Masse) it is 10 m. In section column, the 
distance between batteries is 30 m. The interval between batteries in the 
order in battery is not prescribed. 


The Formations of the Battalion. 

A horse artillery battalion consists of three horse batteries. In 
addition to the formations mentioned above, the horse artillery battalion 
employs the double column. In this, two of the batteries, each in column 
of platoons, are posted abreast of each other either with full interval 

Deployment from Double Column. 






3 1 

•I' 'I- 





1 1 1 Baffeiy 




I' 'I 


I , 






^- 1 

TT" 5 



|. .1. 




(30 m.) or close interval (8 m.) between them; the third battery, likewise 
in column of platoons, is posted 20 m. in rear of the right or the left battery. 
The double column is used as an assembly and maneuvering formation 
both on and off the battlefield. All changes of formation are habitually 
executed at an increased gait. The reserves generally follow under com- 

Austria; Russia. 283 

mand of an officer. The deployments are by no means simple. "To form 
line to the front from double column, the right column executes right front 
into line, the left column, left front into line. When very little room is 
available in front, the deployment may be effected at the saber signal 
"extend" (Offnen), given by the battalion commander, the two columns 
moving to the right and left respectively and forming line to the rear, 
whereupon they are at once halted." In deploying toward a flank, the 
interior column (i. e., that on the flank toward which the deployment 
is to be made) may be assigned the longer route, the exterior column un- 
limbering toward the flank (action right rear), or the interior column may 
at once unlimber to a flank while the exterior column places itself on a 
flank (action right). 

The ammunition supply is managed as follows: The personnel in 
the first place empties the caisson bodies of the caisson platoon and carries 
the ammunition to the guns. As soon as these caisson bodies are emptied, 
the commander of the reserve is ordered to send up two full caissons, 
which replace the empty caissons of the caisson platoon. The latter then 
drive back to the reserve, where they are refilled with ammunition taken 
from the limbers, if necessary. The ammunition in the gun limbers is 
to be kept intact as long as possible. 

Russia: The battalion consists of three batteries, of the first re« 
serve, composed of the battery reserves, and of the battalion reserve. 
The latter is composed of twelve caissons, four from each battery reserve, 
and is commanded by an officer. This reduces each battery reserve, which 
normally has eight caissons, to four caissons. 

The order in line at full intervals (17 m.), reduced intervals (8.5 m.), 
or dose intervals (2.55 m.) between guns is used. In this the interval 
between batteries is 17 m. The four caissons of each battery reserve 
follow the fifth gun of their battery during movements in section column 
and take post in rear of their respective platoons after the guns are un- 

The order in section column: Caissons are united into one body in 
rear of the guns. The distance between batteries in column is 21 m. 
Upon reaching the battlefield, the battalion reserve follows in one body at 
the tail of the battalion. 

Column of platoons: This is used on broad roads and for movements 
outside the zone of hostile fire. In this formation the batteries follow one 
another at a distance of 21 m. 

The order in mass: The batteries, each in line at close intervals, 
are posted in rear of one another. This formation is used for parade. 

The order in line of columns: The batteries, each either in section 
column or in column of platoons, are posted abreast of each other with 
intervals of 35, 71, or 156 m. between them, depending upon the manner 
of their subsequent employment. This formation is similar to the German 
line of route columns (Batleriekolonnen), both as regards form and employ- 

284 The Formations. 

The order in line of plaioon columns correspondB to the French order 
in line of section (or double section) columns, the so-called ordre en masse 
de colonnes par piice ou doubUe. In this formation, the batteries, each in 
column of platoons at dose intervals, are posted abreast of each other 
with intervals of 8.6 m. between them, the battalion reserve being posted 
in rear of the fighting batteries. It is used for assembly and for maneuver- 
ing outside of the zone of hostile fire. When in this formation, a battalion 
of three field batteries has a front of 46 m. and a depth of 123 m.; a horse 
artillery battalion of two horse batteries, a front of 28 m. and a depth of 
102 m. 


The battalions of heavy artillery assigned to army corps 
are usually field howitzer battalions of four batteries and a 
heavy artillery ammunition column of eight sections, each 




— 15' 


Heavy Artillery. 285 

comprising seventeen caissons. The heavy field howitzer, 
model 1902, is a recoil gun without shields. Its limbers 
cany no ammtmition, its caisson bodies carry 36 shell each. 
The mobility of this gun is suited to its task. It can keep 
up with infantry even on indifferent roads, can move at the 
trot across coxmtry, provided the ground is favorable, and 
can cover as much as 7 km. per hour on good roads. Its 
rate of march at the trot and walk is the same as that of 
field artillery. 

For the organization of the heavy howitzer battery, see 
pp. 262 and 263, supra. 

The tactical formations are very simple. The order in 
line at close intervals is used for assembly, the route column 
or double coliunn for marching. The formations are the 
same as those described imder field artillery. 

The battery commander indicates the target and the 
sector assigned to the battery to the observer (an officer), 
to the assistant observer, and to the instrument sergeant, 
determines the general direction in which the fire is to be 
deUvered and directs the observation station to be established 
at a point from which he can observe the fire with ease and 
direct it with certainty. He likewise determines the firing 
position, indicates how communication is to be kept up be- 
tween firing battery and observation station, and directs 
the fire of the battery. During the firing, he may join the 
firing battery whenever he deems his presence there necessary. 
In such an event, the observing ofiicer takes charge of fire 

The executive officer is the captain's representative in 
the firing battery. He gives all commands, supervises their 
execution and, when necessary, provides for flank protection. 
When firing from a masked position, he indicates an aiming 
point, unless the battery commander has already done so. 
Before fire is opened, he examines the positions of the various 
pieces to see that their axes are parallel. He, Ukewise, 
assures himself that charges and fuzes are properly assembled. 

286 The Formations. 

adjusted and stored, and sees that losses in the personnel are 
made good. 

The observer is charged with erecting the observation 
station and with installing communication with the battery. 
He supervises the telephone squad, and assists the battery 
commander in reconnaissance and fire direction. 

The assistant observer has direct charge, under the 
direction of the observer, of the erection of the observation 
station. He is also charged with making and keeping a 
record of the firing data as announced by the battery com- 

The instrument sergeant* determines deflections for the 
first shot, when the battery is occupying a masked position. 
Accuracy and certainty in handling the instruments are 
absolutely essential for this. During the firing he acts as a 
telephone operator or observer. 

The signal squad installs communication between the 
observation station and the firing battery and serves the 
telephone and signal flag equipment. 

The observation station is installed before the guns are 
brought into battery. The guns are unlimbered at the com- 
mand of the battery commander, the cannoneers stack arms 
and everything is made ready for firing. The caissons move 
up to the guns and are relieved of their ammunition, which is 
stacked up to the left of each gun. It takes a battery about 
five minutes to get ready for firing. Limbers and caissons 
move about 500 paces to the rear, toward the reserve, which 
they may be ordered to join. When cover is lacking, they 
may be formed in route column facing the battery. 

In exceptional cases, when it is probable that strongly 
fortified field positions or barrier fortresses will have to be 
attacked, 2 1 cm. mortar battalions may be assigned to army 
corps. These mortars possess very little mobility, although 
gun and mount are transported separately. The mortar 
battery, its observation wagon excepted, can move at a walk 


Heavy Artillery. 287 

only. On bad roads and heavy grades the draft power of 
its teams is generally insufficient. For this reason, support- 
ing troops are attached to these batteries from the outset. 
Bad places in the road must be repaired before a mortar bat- 
tery can pass them. Special measures must be taken to 
move a mortar battery over soft ground off the roads. 
These batteries use the same formation as howitzer batteries. 
The mortar can be fired only from a gun platform. The 
gun platforms are laid before the guns move up to the posi- 
tion. As soon as the platforms are in place, the wagons 
carrying the gun carriages are brought up and unUmbered. 
The gim wagons then move up, and the guns are mounted 
on the carriages and made ready for firing. As soon as the 
various wagons are unloaded, they limber up and assemble in 
the formation and position ordered. 

The formations used by the mortar battalions are the 

order in Une at close intervals, the order in mass,* and the 
route column. Before moving into position, a mortar bat- 
talion forms column of echelons. In this, the observation 
wagons are followed by the platform echelons of the first 
and second ^batteries, these being in turn followed by the 
batteries proper. 

*See p. 280 supra. 

Howitzer Battalion with Resarva In Routa Column. 


Battalion observation wagons 
Observation wagon of 1st battery 



1st Firing battery 


I Reserve of the 1st battery 













" 2d " 
" 3d " 

I " " 4th " 

Mortar Battalion in Column of Echelons. 

I I Observation wagons of the battalion 

I Observation wagon of the 1st battery 
I " " " 2d " 


Platform echelon of the 1st battery 








Gun carriages 


Gun carriages 




1st battery 

2d battery 

Rtsvut. 289 

France t Each anny corps has two heavy howitzer batteries, each 
consisting of two Rimailho howitzers (officially 155 cm. c t r =» court tir 
rapide). The howitzer and its mount are separately transported. The 
howitzer has long recoil carriage and is provided with shields. It fires a 
shell weighing 43 kg., which is filled with a charge of 13 kg. of melinite. 
This howitzer is to be used against shielded batteries and against troops 
protected by splinter proofs. Its rate of fire is said to be five rounds per 

6. r£sum£. 

A comparison of the formations of the three arms shows 
that the cavahy has a great diversity of formations, that the 
artillery has but a very small number, and that the infantry 
holds the mean between the two. 

The combination of horse and trooper enables cavalry 
to employ a large number of different formations. And it 
needs all of them, since it must be able to maneuver until the 
last minute, just before the shock takes place, in order to 
gain the enemy's flank or to meet a flank attack. It is fre- 
quently impossible to determine beforehand in what direction 
the charge will finally be made. The nature and speed of all 
cavalry movements, as well as the rapid course of the 
mounted action demand that cavalry be able to form Une 
quickly from any formation and in any direction. 

In the infantry, all movements in combat are made at 
the walk, or, at the most, partly at a run. The only combat 
formation employed when fighting infantry, is the skirmish 
line, which, when it enters the zone of hostile fire, is capable 
of moving straight to the front only. Close order formations 
are used only outside the zone of hostile fire. 

In the artillery, a similar diversity of formations as in the 
cavalry is out of the question. Artillery uses roads whenever 
possible and does not leave them, as a rule, imtil just before 
it goes into action. The movements of the artillery carriages 
are more difficult and depend to a greater extent upon the ter- 
rain than those of moimted men. Besides, artillery positions 


The Formations. 

are reconnoitered beforehand, so that changes of foitnation 
and of front need not be executed at the last moment. More- 
over, artillery fights at a halt only and the order in battery, 
the guns unlimbered and in line at full intervals, is its sole 
combat formation. 




I li 

Inftrraf bffwm t t 


\Comba^ Train 

Present with the flriag battery: 4 olfict^rti, 7 N. G. 0., 43 privates. 
Ammanition available od opening; fire (that of alight field howitser battery shown in 

(a) In the firing battery^ 52>' shrapnelt [156 shrapnel, 192 shell], 

(b) In the reserve 216 " t[170 " — « ], 36 8heil.{ 

(c) In the iixht ammuni- 

tion column 362 " [ 58 " 348 " ],264 


Totol 1,096 " [384 *• 640 " ],300 

The light ammanition column is posted not more than 600 m. away. 


* Field batteriei (gUDt) alone are ooniildered. 

tin the ilx caliBoa bodiei, 812 ihrapnel, ia the liz gan limben» 21S ihrapnel, total 638. 

tin the lis eaiaion llmbera. 

{ In the lint store wacon. 

The Order in Battery, 






Present with the firing battery : 

4 officers, 8 N. G. 0., 45 privates. 

Am inanition available on opening fire : 

(a) In the firing battery 860 rounds 

(b) In the reserve.. 206 " 

(Ammnnition colamn 2,232 rounds). 















M Infer vat ^e/iMr«/r 
BiftMrits Zem. 


Umbers in Co/offrf doubUe 

Present with the firing battery : 40 men, 2 horses (that of one trumpeter and 

that of the B. C.) 
Present with limbers and teams: 35 men, 74 horses. 
Ammunition in the firing battery : 432 shrapnel. 

" in the limbers: 240 *' 

** in the reserve : 432 *' , 144 explosive shell. 

The reserve is posted 500 m. in rear of the battery. 




i'l' ik i 









8 Teams 

i OunlimberM 

6 Cais$on9 


Present with the firing battery : About 60 men. 
Ammanition in the firing battery : 336 rounds. 

" in the reserve (4 gun limbers and 6 caissons) : 552 rounds. 













BcrtHrtf fhsitry^ 

Present with the firing battery: About 70 men. 

Ammunition in the firing battery : 884 rounds. 

limbers: 808 

battery reserve : 704 






Field artillery is to pave the way for victory. It is 
essential, therefore, that it shoot well and at the proper time 
and place. Heavy artillery may be used even at very long 
ranges against targets that prove too much for field artillery 
or that are most dangerous to the infantry. The fire of 
heavy artillery has a decisive effect upon shielded artillery 
when visible, upon infantry in trenches or behind parapets, 
and particularly upon fortified supporting points. But the 
first and foremost duty of heavy artillery consists of reliev- 
ing its field artillery, in order that the latter may devote itself 
to supporting its infantry. The effectiveness of artillery 
depends upon observation of its fire, upon the determination 
whether its shots strike short or over, in order that errors 
in estimating the range may be corrected and the correct 
range obtained. At long ranges, observation of fire may be 
so difficult that an adequate effect may be counted upon tmder 
favorable conditions of terrain, weather, etc., only. When 
observation is impossible, as on dark nights, during rainy 
or foggy weather, it is usually not worth while for artillery ta 
go into action. 

Artillery usually opens the fire fight and, so far as con- 
siderations for its saftey permit, must accordingly be placed 
as near the head of the column as possible. It is important 
to deploy a superior ntunber of guns at the very start and to 
develop a mass effect as early as possible. The employment 
of artillery by regiments or by battalions is the rule, the use 
of single batteries, the exception. The use of single platoons, 
or, occasionally, of single gtms may become justified in un- 

294 Employment op Artillery. 

usual situations, such as might arise in mountain warfare, in 
street fighting,* or when certain portions of the terrain have 
to be kept under fire and when an assault has to be prepared 
or repelled. But in such cases the fire is dispersed and it is 
difficult to supply ammunition, f 

The French and the Russian reg:ulation8 permit single guns to be 
poBted in trenches. This practice was justifiable only so long as the effect 
of a round of canister was considerably superior to the fire of a number of 
infantrymen posted in the same space, so long as the attacker's artillery did 
not possess the means quickly to silence such guns, and the range of the in- 
iantry rifle was not long enough to reach the assaulting troops that were 
assembling some 400 or 500 paces from the trench. The practice of po8t> 
ing guns in shelter trenches causes artillery units to be broken up and con- 
sequently to be more quickly vanquished than would otherwise be the 
*case. Artillery should be posted behind cover specially constructed for 
its use, for, if it is posted in the general line of trenches, the space occupied 
by it reduces the fire power of the infantry. If guns posted in infantry 
trenches are silenced or withdrawn at a decisive moment, this is bound to 
exert a discouraging influence on the garrison of the trenches. When all 
is said and done, it must be admitted that guns can find better and more 
profitable employment outside of the general line of trenches. The same 
is true of the use of platoons of artillery in the defense of forests and vil- 
lages, a practice much in vogue in the past. 

*Aii example of street fighting, taken firom tbe more recent military history 
la the breaching of the Landau gate of Wainanburg at a range of 50 paces by a 
platoon of the 3d Battery of the 5th Prussian Field AriiUery and at a range of 500 
paces by another platoon of the same battery. Hoffbaueb. DettUche ArtUUrU, p. 

BaaallUs. Two guns fired efTectively against a garrisoned house and then 
turned their fire upon Villa Beurmann. After firing some twelve rounds, these guns 
had to be drawn back by infantry. 

L« Mans. A few rounds sufficed to force the French to evacuate a strongly 
occupied caf6 on the Place des Hallos. Gem. SL W., IV, p. 898. 

Layrim, Zur Ausbildung derFeldartillerie, U9Q0). p. 59. 

It is always dangerous to expose guns to the fluctuating course of village 
fighting. Example: Loss of a gun of the Saxon artillery during the night attack 
on Etrapagny, November 20/30. 1870. Kunz. Deutsche Reiljerei, pp. 227-234. 
But artillery fire is the surest means, on the other hand, to force the garrison of a 
key point to abstain ft-om further resistance. Because of the absence of artillery 
support, it was impossible to capture the key of the position at Sandapu (1905). 
See TaktikW, pp. 101-102. 

f As the artillery had been di«ttributed among the various units during the 
battle at Matsiunda, platoons of artillery being frequently sent to support this or 
that section of the battle line, it had become badly mixed up." Rbnnsnkampf* 
Schlaeht bet Mukden, p. 180. 

Examples from Military History. 295 

''New Weapons t new tactics'' The short range of 
smooth-bore guns necessitated bringing the guns within close 
range of their target in order to obtain a mass effect, but did 
not permit the fire of a long artillery line to be concentrated 
on one point. For this reason, the batteries destined to 
prepare the decisive assault, had to be kept out of action 
until the decisive point in the enemy's line was recognized, 
and the enemy held in check all along the line and forced 
to put in his reserves . * 

These batteries were usually taken from the divisions kept in reserve. 
The range of the light guns was about 1,500 paces, that of the heavy guns 
2,000 paces. In the armies of the French Republic, the artillery was 
equally divided among the divisions. This practice was not calculated to 
promote the formation of large artillery masses. For example, the long 
line of twelve-pounders at Austerlitz had to be formed by drawing pla- 
toons of those guns from the various units. The massed employment of 
the Austrian artillery at A«pern forced the French to form an artillery 
reserve of 120 — 140 guns, which was then attached to the Imperial Guard. 

In 1812, Napoleon assigned corps artillery to each one of his army 
corps, but he never thought of creating army artillery. 

At Wagram, General Drouot formed an artillery mass of 60 guns 
drawn from the Guard and 40 guns drawn from the divisions kept in re- 
serve, for the purpose of preparing the attack to be delivered by Mac- 
Donald's colunu. The artillery of the Guard fired 15,000 rounds and lost 
18 officers, 457 men, and 564 horses and, in consequence, was unable to 
move after the battle.! 

At Friedlandy in spite of the remonstrances of the division com- 
manders, General S^narmont advanced 30 guns of Victor's corps to within 
400 m. of the hostile line. After firing five or six salvos, he advanced the 
guns to 200 m. and, finally, after firing twenty salvos from that position, 
he advanced them to a point 120 m. from the hostile line. This artillery 
force achieved brilliant results. In twenty-five minutes, inclusive of the 
time consumed in changing position, it fired 2,516 rounds, among these 368 
round shot, an average of from three to four rounds per gun per minute. 
In addition, these guns without assistance repelled a cavalry charge 
directed against them. Their losses amounted to only 4 officers and 52 

The contrast between the Napoleonic use of artillery and the use 
made of that arm during the Franco-German war is marked. During this 
war, the Germans were able quickly to form large artillery masses and to 

*HoFFBAt7BR, Entwicklung des Ma8seng$brauch$ der FeldartiUerU, Berlin, 1000. 
tGiROD DB L'Aii^t Qrand$ ArtiUturs, p. 82. 
tibid,, pp. 180 and 183. 

296 Employment op Artillery. 

combine the fire of long lines from the very opening of a battle. This gave 
their artillery such a decided superiority over the French artillery, which 
was employed, in the main, like the smooth-bore artillery of the past, that 
the attainment of the superiority of artillery fire came to be looked upon 
as a prerequisite to the success of any infantry attack. This belief con- 
tinued to be held until the Boer war demonstrated that even a weak artil- 
lery force, provided it was posted in a judiciously selected masked position, 
could persevere until the opening of the infantry attack.* 

At Sedan, a group of 114 guns belonging to the Wttrttemberg Divi- 
sion and to the lid Bavarian Army Corps, was posted in the south near 
Fr^snois and fired into Sedan; another group, consisting of 6 batteries 
of the IVth Army Corps, was posted at le Pont Maugy and flanked the 
terrain north of BazeiUes. In the eastern part of the battlefield, 24 batteries 
belonging to the 1st Bavarian Army Corps and to the IVth and Xllth 
Army Corps, had crossed the Givonne valley and deluged Balan, Fond de 
Givonne and the old camp with their fire. Eighteen batteries of these 
three corps did not find room to go into position. Farther northward, 90 
guns of the Guard Corps fired on the Bois de la Garenne. In the north- 
west, the artillery line of the Vth and the Vlth Army Corps had grown to 
166 guns, which directed their fire against the Bois de la Garenne and the 
ground north-west of the same. Thus, 540 gims, or three-fourths of all 
the artillery available, were in action against one and the same objective. 

The latest French regulations were the first to lay down 
the principle that artillery should be massed in position ready 
to fire. This is contrary to the German view, which aims at 
the production of a mass effect. But the French actually 
aim to use only as many of the batteries held in readiness 
as are required to fight the line occupied by the enemy. The 
batteries that are not to go into position immediately, are 
posted, at the discretion of the artillery commander, either 
limbered, "in readiness"! (position d'attente), or unlimbered, 
ready to fire, "in observation* 'J {position de surveillance). 
By placing the batteries in readiness, either imlimbered and 
ready to fire, or limbered and available for action, the 
French expect to be able to use them, prepared for action 
as completely as possible and without waste of time, against 

^Relative number of guns: 

Col«nso, December 15, 1899 5 : 44 guns. 

PUtors Hill, February 23>27. 1900 10 : 70 '* 

P««rd«b«rff, February 19-27, 1900 6 : 9t '* 



Artillery Reserves. 297 

suddenly appearing targets, or to direct their fire upon targets 
against which the fire of the other batteries has not as yet 
produced an adequate effect. This idea is by no means 
foreign to the German regulations. 

Artillery does not depend to the same extent as the other 
arms upon a reserve of formed bodies. But this statement 
should not be confounded with the requirement to keep out 
of action curved fire batteries until the situation is cleared 
up, or to leave undisturbed the artillery belonging to intact 
organizations of the general reserve. To relieve silenced 
or disabled guns by putting in fresh guns is contrary to the 
nature of the arm, which is to produce an effect by simul- 
taneously coming into action with a superior number of 
guns. But there is no objection to withdrawing batteries 
from action and to employing them at another point. The 
best way to get a disabled battery again ready for action 
is to replenish its ammtmition and to make good its losses 
in teams and personnel. Batteries that have rtm out of 
ammtmition should maintain their position as best they can 
under the hostile fire and should not withdraw. Even such 
silent batteries will not fail to produce an effect upon the 
enemy, as he can not fathom the reason for their silence 
and does not know but what they may again open fire at the 
decisive moment. The reserve of an artillery force does 
not consist of retained batteries, as in the day of smooth-bore 
cannon, but of ammunition coltmins. For, in a company or 
in an escadron, all the members of the organization can 
participate directly in the fight, whereas in a battery, this is 
only possible in case of the personnel directly engaged in 
serving the guns (about one-fifth of the effective strength of 
the battery) . The bulk of the personnel is with the reserve 
and the light ammtmition coltimn. These views are not 
shared in Russia, whose artillery regulations, while prescrib- 
ing that a superior number of gtms should be brought into 
action at a timely moment, point out that **in a large force. 

298 Employment op Artillery. 

it may be advisable to keep a part of the artillery with the 
general reserve." 

During the RuMO-Turkish war of 1877-78, the range of the 4- 
pounder batteries proved wholly inadequate. They were, therefore, kept 
in reserve and did not get into action at all in many instances, as the fight- 
ing was carried on at too long a range. During the second battle of Plevna, 
80 out of the 176 guns available, remained inactive in reserve. On Sep- 
tember 10th, 1877, the Russians brought 288 field and 20 siege guns into 
action to prepare the assault on Plevna, and kept 186 guns in reserve. 

During the Russo-Japanese war, batteries were, likewise, held back 
in reserve in many cases. The result was that the Russian artillery, 
though numerically stronger than the Japanese artillery, almost invariably 
fought at a numerical disadvantage. 

In his instructions of April 15th, 1904, General Kuropatkin ex- 
pressed himself decidedly against retaining reserves composed of artillery. 
To quote: "For, it is better, at long ranges, to let the enemy believe that 
he has already gained the fire superiority. Batteries and the garrisons of 
shelter trenches are, therefore, not to reply to the enemy's fire at all at 
long ranges, but, as soon as he begins the attack, to open up a murderous 
fire on him, which should increase in intensity as he approaches." Later 
on. General Kuropatkin's views changed slightly. In an army order 
dated January 9th, 1906, he again emphasizes the necessity of retaining 
strong army reserves, and then continues: "The same is also true of 
strong artillery reserves. During the preparatory stage of engagements 
and until the most favorable target for artillery had become apparent, we 
kept our artillery too long in reserve and were therefore worse off than the 
Japanese, who put all their artillery into action." 

At Beaune la Rolande, 6 batteries were, for a time, held in re- 
serve at Marcilly, and on the Lisaine, 4 batteries were attached to the re- 

Artillery that has been held in reserve is frequently no 
longer able to go into action. 

At Worth, the eight batteries of the French artillery reserve did 
not come into action until it was too late and until the remainder of the 
French artillery had been silenced. The tardy appearance of these forty- 
eight guns failed to make much of an impression on the Germans, whose 
skirmishers entered the batteries after the latter had fired but a few rounds. 
Thirteen guns fell into the hands of the Germans. The decision lay at an 
entirely different range than during the Napoleonic era. At short ranges, 
at which, in the past, artillery had very little to fear, batteries were no 
longer able to hold their own for any length of time, even when exposed to 
the fire of the needle gun only, and after the superiority of fire had once 
been lost it could not be regained in the short space of a quarter of an hour. 

Characteristic Properties op Modern Artillery. 299 

The Russo-Japanese war demonstrated the tremendous 
eflfectiveness of shrapnel fire. Shrapnel fire increased 
the duration of combats and compelled troops to take up 
extended order formations, forced advancing infantry to 
hug the grotitid, and compelled artillery to fight at long range 
and in masked positions. Attacks and changes of position 
had to be undertaken at night more often than had been 
originally intended. But against intrenched skirmishers or 
those otherwise sheltered behind features of the terrain 
shrapnel did not produce the expected effect. 

Modem field artillery is quite a different weapon from 
the artillery of the past, and many hide-bound customs must 
be eliminated if its inherent power is to be fully utilized. 
The following points deserve special mention : 

1 . A numerical inferiority in guns may be compensated 
to a certain degree by an accelerated rate of fire. 

2. Increased effectiveness of the individual projectile, 
which, when it strikes any troops in the open within a range 
of 4,000 m., either annihilates them in a very short time, or, 
at the very least, neutralizes them, i. e., robs them of unre- 
stricted mobility. This, moreover, in effect enables artillery 
to * 'nail" hostile troops to their cover. The effect of artillery 
fire against troops in trenches, especially in masked trenches, 
is surprisingly small. Clearly visible shelter trenches, on the 
other hand, are not only good objectives, but serve as good 
orientation points. 

3. Artillery has become a much more formidable foe 
of the infantry than it was in the past, as infantry can no 
longer hope to attack it frontally at short range. Shields 
afford so much protection to the personnel, that the artillery 
of the attacker can no longer overpower the guns of the 
defender in a short time by massing a superior number of 
guns against them. 

4. The ability of modem field artillery to deliver 
effective fire from masked positions with at least some of the 

300 Employment of Artillery. 

The artilleryman who wishes to make the most of the 
efficacy of the new gun, must get into position ahead of his 
opponent. Masked positions generally have the advantage 
that preparations for firing may be made without molestation 
by the enemy. 


When the enemy is encountered, it is essential to success 
that a superior artillery force be brought qiiickly into action. 
Accordingly, artillery should be posted as near the head of 
the column as considerations for its saf tey permit. But in so 
posting it, infantry units should not be imduly broken up. 
Since the advance guard screens the deployment for action, 
it is only necessary to take care that, in distributing artillery 
throughout the column, the leading battery be protected 
by infantry in its front. Depending upon its strength, 
artillery will usually be posted in rear of the first or second* 
battalion, <>r in rear of the leading infantry regiment of the 
main body. The artillery of a division takes up a front of 
1 ,500 m. , hence care must be exercised to see that the ntunber 
of guns brought into action bears a proper relation to the 
infantry force deployed, as the latter not only protects the 
front of the artillery but its flanks as well. Artillery should 
not be posted at the tail of a column. The reserves and 
combat trains of the batteries march directly in rear of the 
last battery of their battalion. The light ammunition col- 
umns march, as a rule, in rear of the infantry and the am- 
bulance company of the division. It is, however, permis- 
sible to have them march in the coltunn or at the tail of the 
advance guard. Since the caissons are heavily loaded and, 
to make matters worse, are drawn in part by horses requisi- 
tioned on mobilization, it appears to be inadvisable to let 
them march as part of an artillery coltunn. But, on the 

*T1i1b 18 the better poeitlOD when the main body has to change direction and 
throw out a new advance guard. 

Position of Artillery in a Column. 301 

other hand, military history shows that in a long column, re- 
ierves separated from their batteries are very easily forced 
aside by other troops and are then unable to find their bat- 
teries on the battlefield. 

"The battery reserves, which as a general rule follow close upon the 
heels of their batteries on the march and on going into action, dropped 
behind. This was primarily due to the fact that the heavily loaded cais- 
sons were unable to keep up with the guns on the difficult terrain that had 
to be crossed. After they had lost considerable distance on this account 
the reserves became still farther separated from their batteries by other 
troops pushing ahead of them, this being a natural result of the peculiar 
deployment of the Xlth and the Vth Army Corps." 

"That the second ammunition echelons of the artillery battalions 
that were taken out of the long route columns of two competing corps 
and hurried far in advance, lost touch with their battalions for several 
hours, seems likewise easy of explanation. At any rate, it proves the 
soundness of the principle that the command of these echelons should be 
entrusted to resourceful, energetic officers."* 

During the first three hours of the fire action in which the Hid Bat- 
talion, 11th Prussian Field Artillery was engaged at Sedan, only a single 
battery reserve was available. At Vionville, the batteries of the 6th 
Infantry Division were likewise without their battery reserves and their 
ammunition ran very low in consequence.! 

The separation of battery reserves from their batteries in the artil- 
lery of the Prussian Guard, when the latter was hurrying ahead toward 
the battlefield of K6niggratz» had a similar result.! 

A.German division takes up a road space of about 10 km. 
Of this, 4,800 m. is required by the artillery and its light 
ammunition columns. The insertion of such a long artillery 
column on the one hand retards the deployment of the in- 
fantry imits marching in rear of it, and, on the other, breaks 
up the continuity of the infantry column. Besides, such a 
long artillery column is a good objective for enterprising cav- 
alry. This danger may be diminished by inserting platoons 
or companies of infantry between artillery units (par. 365, 
German F. S. R.,) or by splitting the artillery into several 
parts, one of which, usually the weaker, is assigned to the ad- 

*HoFFBArEB. Die deutsche Artillerie, VIII, pp. 80 and 199. 

t/Mtf.. II. pp. 33. 34 and 38. 

^OHBNLOHB, BrUfe HJber ArtillerU, pp. 116 and 116. 

302 Employment of Artillery. 

vance guard, the other, stronger part, to the main body. The 
first duty that confronts the artillery, consists of opening the 
way for the advance guard and of forcing hostile advance de- 
tachments to retire on their main body. These requirements 
are approximately fulfilled by the following distribution of 

Advance Guard : Three battalions of infantry ; one bat- 
talion of artillery between the two battalions of the reserve; 
and the light ammunition column at the tail of the reserve. 

Main Body : Two and three-fourths battalions of in- 
fantry ; one battalion of artillery ; one company of infantry ; 
the second artillery regiment (one company of the second 
infantry brigade between the two battalions); the second 
infantry brigade; the ambulance company; three light am- 
munition columns. When a second division follows the first, 
it should march its artillery in rear of the leading regiment. 

Austria: In assigning artillery a place in a column, tactical con- 
siderations are to govern. In addition, artillery may be grouped in a 
different manner than that laid down in the table of organization. In 
general, the necessity of infantry and artillery cooperating will cause all 
the larger columns to be provided with artillery, and even small columns 
to be assigned batteries or platoons. Artillery (about one-third of that 
available) will, likewise, frequently be assigned to the covering detach 
ments of large columns. In small columns, however, all the artillery wil 
march as a rule with the main body. 

The field howitzer batteries should be assigned to the column that 
will, in aU probability, require curved fire guns. In case subsequent 
developments of the situation can not be foreseen with sufficient accuracy 
at the time of issuing the march order, these batteries should be assigned 
to the column from which they can be most easily detached and moved to 
the point where their services are required. In special cases, it may be a 
good plan to distribute the field howitzer batteries among the various 

These remarks apply with equal force to ammunition columns. In 
general, one ammunition column is placed at the disposal of each artillery 

*The question of assigning artlUery to the advance guard has been treated in 
various ways in our regulations. To quote: 

F. S. R. of 1895: "As required, care being taken not to break up tactical 

F.S.R.ofl905: * * This is left to the discretion of the commander of the force. ' ' 

F. S. R. of 1908: "Especially in the larger units, field artillery should be as- 
signed to the advance guard." 

Position of Artillery in a Column. 303 

regiment as a regimental ammunition column. This ammunition column 
usually marches in rear of all the troops, but in difficult country may follow 
directly in rear of the artillery. 

France: Artillery is posted near the head of a column, but not so 
far forward as unduly to retard the arrival of the infantry. In ordinary 
circumstances, the divisional artillery of the leading division, or that part 
of it not assigned to the advance guard, marches in rear of the leading 
battalion of the main body, and the corps artillery in rear of the leading 
division. The divisional artillery of the second division marches between 
the brigades of that division. When all the artillery of the leading divi- 
sion is assigned to the advance guard, the corps artillery is posted farther 
forward in the column. The French frequently use a single advance 
guard battery in an endeavor to entice the enemy to show all of his ar- 
tillery, against which they then bring to bear all the artillery of their main 

Russia t Infantry units are inserted in the artillery column. When 
three batteries are attached to an infantry brigade, two of them march 
between the battalions of the leading regiment, while the remaining bat- 
tery marches ahead of the last battalion of the second regiment. 

In an infantry division (16 bns., 2 esc, 8 btrs.) on the march, the 
artillery is distributed as follows: Ye to Hoi the artillery (2 btrs.) with 
the advance guard; one battalion of three batteries in rear of the leading 
battalion- of the main body; the third battalion of artillery with the second 
infantry brigade. This distribution in effect provides an artillery reserve 
in the route column. 

Italy: Detachments about the si^e of an infantry brigade do not 
attach artillery to their advance guards. In a division, two batteries are 
assigned to the advance guard and two to the main body. In an army 
corps, the divisional artillery is assigned to the advance guard, the corps 
artillery marching in rear of the leading regiment of the main body. 

When a column of troops is obliged, on debouching from 
a defile, to deploy in face of an enemy who is already deployed, 
a task that confronted the Vth Army Corps at Nachod and 
the Guard Corps at Raatsch-Burkersdorf in 1866, it is of the 
utmost importance to bring a strong force of artillery quickly 
into position, and to that end to have it march so far forward 
in the column that its prompt deplojnnent will be assured.* 
When the force marches on several roads, and the situation 
is not as yet cleared up, the artillery is usually allowed to 

*For the distribution of the artillery in the column during tbe advance on 
Beaumont, see Taktik III, p. 271, ei seq. 

304 Employment op Artillery. 

march with the unit to which it properly belongs. But it 
may be advisable, on the other hand, to group the artillery 
within the units to which it belongs, comformable to the in- 
tentions of the commander. 

Heavy artillery usually marches at the tail of the main 
body in rear of the light ammimition columns of the field 
artillery, in order that it may not retard the deployment of 
the infantry. This position, so far in rear, is quite imobjec- 
tionable as a rule, since it is requisite that the situation be 
cleared up before the heavy batteries are brougfit into action. 
But, when their employment can be foreseen, the firing bat- 
teries should be placed far enough forward in the column (for 
example, in rear of the field artillery), that their timely entry 
into action will be assured. In many cases, nothing but the 
fire of these heavy batteries will make it possible for the 
field batteries to go into action. As the cannoneers of the 
heavy artillery are armed with rifles and are very numerous, it 
is unnecessary to detail infantry to protect it or to assist it 
on the march. The observation wagons usually march at the 
head of their respective battalions, but they (as well as bat- 
tery commanders) may be sent forward, at the discretion of 
the commander, to the advance guard when a fortified posi- 
tion is to be attacked. The battery reserves of each battalion 
of heavy artillery march in rear of the last battery of their 
battalion. The light ammunition columns of howitzer bat- 
talions march in rear of those battalions. When howitzer 
battalions are pushed forward, these columns march either 
in rear of the light ammvmition columns of the field artillery 
or in rear of the fighting troops. 

Since the introdution of gun shields, advance guard ar- 
tillery that is skillfully handled, is better off than formerly. 
By accelerating its fire, it may deceive the enemy for some 
time in regard to its strength and may frequently entice the 
enemy to reply to its fire, thereby betraying his intentions. 
Considering the penchant of our neighbors (the French) for 
advanced positions, the fire of such advance guard artillery 

Advance Guard Artillery. 305 

is best calculated to break down quickly any hostile resistance 
that would f onnerly have required the action of a consider- 
able force of infantry. Artillery fire admonishes the advancing 
opponent to be cautious . Except in an advance against a hostile 
position that is already fortified, or over open ground entirely 
devoid of cover, it is always an advantage to assign artillery 
to an advance guard. But the artillery force in the advance 
guard should never be out of proportion to the infantry. If a 
battalion of three batteries is assigned to a detachment, it is . 
best to keep all the batteries with the main body, in order 
that the battalion organization may not be broken up and 
that mutual cooperation may be assured. In ordinary dr- 
ciunstances, it is objectionable to assign artillery to a weak 
advance guard. In an advance guard consisting of a bat- 
talion of infantry and a battery, or about what one of our 
brigades would throw out during maneuvers, the battalion 
is practically nothing but an artillery support. The pro- 
tection afforded by one or two companies of infantry march- 
ing ahead of the artilleiy is inadequate. The infantry 
marching in the lead is but too apt to find other employment 
that will deflect it from the road followed by the column, so 
that the artillery will suddenly find itself alone on the road 
and devoid of any infantry support. The trifling amount of 
time gained is not at all commensurate with the increased 
danger to which the battery will be exposed, especially if the 
terrain is unfavorable. If the enemy is encountered, deployed 
and in position, a battery that imprudently exposes itself 
in the face of stronger hostile artillery, may find itself in a 
tight place which may also make it difficult for the batteries 
of the main body to come into action.* In such a case, the 
advance guard battery will have to be held in rear in readi- 

•In thia ccnmectlon. the engftgement at Gerchshelm. July 25th, 1866. It par* 
tlcularly Instructive. T wel ve guns of the Prussian advance guard went into position 
east of the chatissie Immediately in trant of the Hochtel wood. They were at once 
overwhelmed by the violent fire of 40 hostile guns. As a result, they bad to be with- 
drawn behind the wood, after a fight lasting three quarters of an hour. It was not 
until von Wrangel's brigade attacked, that the^e guns could again be brought into 
action. V. Lbitow-Vobbbck. Ftldzug um 1866, III, p. 340. 

306 Employment op Artillery. 

ness until the arrival of the batteries of the main body. In 
an encounter with an enemy who has already completed his 
deployment, there would, therefore, seem to be nothing to be 
said in favor of using a single battery in the advance guard, 
unless that battery is to serve the purpose of drawing the 
enemy's fire. 

Those who oppose assigning a strong artillery force to an 
advance guard, hold that the premature action of a large 
number of guns is very apt to lead to haste and may unduly 
influence the decision of the conmiander-in-chief. They 
argue that a strong body of artillery in the advance guard re- 
quires a strong force of infantry, as the latter arm would 
otherwise serve no purpose except that of protecting the ar- 
tillery. Strong advance guards, they maintain, are apt to 
succumb to the temptation to engage in independent actions 
or, as the saying goes, to bolt, which reacts on the main 
body and forces it to shape its deployment according to the 
tactical needs of the advance guard. They insist that this 
precludes a united deployment and a systematic use of the 
masses to accomplish the main object sought to be attained ; 
that the principal duty of the advance guard consists not so 
much of combating the enemy as of clearing up the situa- 
tion. They recommend, therefore, that advance guards be 
made weak in infantry but strong in cavalry, and that no 
artillery be assigned to them at all. 

An infantry attack undertaken without artillery support 
soon hesitates and is shattered by the hostile fire. By as- 
signing artillery to it, the commander can best stimulate the 
advance guard to energetic action, and by keeping all the 
artillery with the main body, he can best curb the ambition 
of the advance guard, unless he prefers to accomplish the 
same result by accompanying the advance guard in person. 
The dangers of assigning artillery to an advance guard be- 
come apparent when a completely deployed opponent is en- 
countered in position, and the advantages of such assignment 
are evidenced in a rencontre. It would not be difficult prop- 

Rear Guard Artillery. 307 

erly to distribute artillery in a column if one were accurately 
informed, in each case, of the intentions and measures of the 
enemy. In order to secure the advantages that accrue from 
the assignment of artillery to the advance guard, it would 
be a good plan for the commander of an advancing division 
either to put one battalion of artillery into the advance guard 
and to send it all into action as soon as reports indicate that 
the enemy is likewise advancing, so as to gain, in this way, 
a start over the enemy in deployment, or to keep it in rear 
if the enemy is encotmtered completely deployed in position. 
But even in the latter case, it may be advantageous to use 
artillery for the purpose of pressing back the advance troops 
of the opponent, of capturing supporting points that lie in 
front of the hostile position, and of forcing the enemy to 
disclose his intentions. 

Artillery attached to a rear guard enables the latter to 
keep the pursuing enemy at a distance, and to conduct an 
action with less infantry or cavalry than would otherwise be 
possible. Rear guard artillery can escape from a critical 
situation or regain its proper place in the column by moving 
at a rapid pace. The proper moment for retiring will have 
arrived when artillery fears to lose its mobility. Artillery 
remains in hand so long as the enemy does not directly pene- 
trate into the batteries. It is always easier for artillery than 
for infantry to break off an action. A numerous, well horsed 
artillery furnishes a retiring force with the most effective 
means for checking pursuit and for increasing the distance 
that separates pursuer and pursued. It is only when the 
disorder among the retreating troops and the character of 
the ground are such as to endanger artillery, that one will 
of necessity, dispense with its services in a rear guard. In 
general, more artillery should be assigned to a rear guard than 
to an advance guard, but light ammunition columns, if still 
full, should be kept intact with the main body. 

308 Employment op Artillery. 


The senior artillery officer of a division, of an independ* 
ent detachment of all arms, or of a covering force composed 
of all arms, is the commander of its artillery and accompanies 
the commander of the troops until the commencement of the 
action and receives orders from the latter in regard to the use 
and action of the artillery. With the approval of the com- 
mander of the troops, he then issues orders for bringing up the 
light ammunition columns. The ammtmition coltunns are 
brought up by order of the corps commander, or, in case they 
are attached to the divisions, by order of the division com- 
manders, and the commander of the artillery notified of their 
position. It is a good plan for subordinate artillery com- 
manders to ride at the head of their respective commands 
in constant readiness promptly to obey a simimons to move 
forward. In a division, on accoimt of the distances separat- 
ing the various elements, it is advisable for the commander 
of the artillery brigade to assemble his regimental comman- 
ders from the outset for reconnaissance and to keep them near 
his person during the advance into action. While at head- 
quarters, the commander of the artillery has been able to 
watch the situation develop and the decision of the com- 
mander-in-chief take form. The entry into action is pre- 
ceded by a reconnaissance of the enemy and of the firing 
positions. The commander of the troops must expect that 
these duties will be about terminated by the time the order 
for going into action is issued. The reports of the cavalry 
require elaboration from an artillery standpoint. This is 
accomplished by sending out artillery officers* patrols.* 
(Par. 154, German F. S. R.). When an advance is made 
against an enemy in position, these patrols may be sent ahead 
with the cavalry. Otherwise, it is advisable not to send them 

•MUitSr-Wochenblatt of 1908, No. l^.--ArtUl€H3ti$che M<maisheft$ of 1909, 
11. —Strgffleur, 1909. VIII. 

Deployment op Artillery. 809 

out until after some inkling has been gained as to the enemy's 
intentions and the decision of the commander-in-chief is 
fixed. The necessity of reconnoitering with artillery patrols 
is a direct result of the fact that cavalry patrols never re- 
port accurately the very details that are valuable for the ar- 
tillery. And it is not within the province of cavalry to do 
this. Cavalry ascertains the presence of the enemy and fur- 
nishes the commander-in-chief with an outline of the sit- 
uation; the detailed information that every arm needs for its 
activity, it must gain for itself. Artillery, moreover, must 
reconnoiter to assure its own safety and to gain information 
in regard to the practicability of the terrain. Artillery 
patrols are, furthermore, to obtain information that will be 
of service from a purely technical artillery standpoint (re- 
connaissance of the objective). 

The tasks of artillery patrols may be divided into two 
classes: (1) Reconnaissance to determine whether or not 
the terrain over which the artillery is to advance is passable 
and whether any of the positions tentatively selected on the 
map are suitable; (2) Reconnaissance to obtain tactical 
and technical information. In tasks of the first class, it is 
sufiicient if only one man accompanies the officer, as the 
patrol retimis to its organization upon completing its work 
and as it is therefore unnecessary to send back messages. 
Tasks of this class also include that of requesting troops 
marching ahead of the artillery to clear one side of the road 
so that the batteries can advance. Tasks of the second class 
are turned over to patrols consisting of a specially selected 
leader and a niunber of mounted orderlies (trumpeters) pro- 
portionate to the duty the patrol is called upon to perform. 
Ten moimted orderlies are attached by the commander of 
the troops to the howitzer battalion and remain permanently 
with it. Since an interruption of the reconnaissance may 
have the most serious effect, patrols charged with the task 
of obtaining tactical and technical information should be 
made rather strong. In many cases, one will not be able 

810 Employment op Artillery. 

to count upon their returning until the engagement is over. 
The patrol leader must know definitely whether he is to 
return, where he is to report upon returning, and, in case he 
finds hostile artillery in a certain sector, how much time he is 
allowed to accomplish his mission. Artillery patrols shoxild, 
as a rule, avoid encounters with hostile patrols, but may, in 
case of necessity, use their pistols to repel such patrols. 

Two batteries of the Austrian IVth Army Corps (4th Field Battery 
and 8th Horse Battery), which had occupied redoubt No. 8, at KoniggrSts 
were surprised by infantry of the Prussian Guard Corps, because they had 
neglected to have their scouts observe the ravine that ran in front o' 
their position and whose bottom was not visible from the position. Of 
the sixteen guns in the position, only two managed to escape. 

Austrian artillery at TobtUchau, July 15th, 1866. See p. 210, 

The disaster that overtook the corps artillery of the IXth Army Corps, 
at St. Privat, might have been averted, or at least considerably lessened, 
*f timely steps had been taken to reconnoiter in front and on the left flank.* 

The scouts sent forward to reconnoiter the terrain should 
also, during the advance, direct their attention upon move- 
ments of the enemy. The commander of the artillery, 
whether the artillery is on the march or halted, should see to 
it, in order to prevent surprise, if for no other reason, that 
reconnaissance is kept up in front and on the flanks, and 
should maintain communication with the commanders that 
have ridden ahead. Artillery in position will in the first 
place send out scouts on the flanks and have them occupy any 
crossings over obstacles. In addition to this reconnaissance 
on the flanks, reconnaissance of the terrain in rear of the 
batteries and for protecting the reserves may become neces- 
sary. When artillery is firing from a masked position, when 
the guns are posted in rear of the crest of a hill and infantry 
support is lacking or inadequate, it will frequently be neces- 
sary to send scouts to the front. Timely reconnaissance is 
likewise necessary when artillery accompanies the infantry 
attack, in order that the batteries may not suddenly encoimter 

*Der 18, Auoust, p. 217. 

Deployment of Artillery. 311 

the enemy and in consequence be forced to unlimber within 
the most effective range of his fire. The effect of modem 
arms is such that the artillery would certainly be annihilated 
in such a case. 


1. Collapse of the 6th Heavy Battery of the 7th Field Artillery at 
Colombey.* See p. 355, infra, 

2. The conduct of the 2d Light Battery and the 2d Heavy Battery 
of the 10th Field Artillery at Mars-la-Tour.t 

3. The surprise of the British artillery at Colenao, December 15th, 
1899, at a range of 800 — 1,000 m., by the Boers, was the result of Colonel 
Long's decision to move his guns at a rapid gait to within 600 m. of the 

It is difficult to reconnoiter the objective, but it must be 
accomplished. The earlier an artillery patrol is on the 
ground, the better its chances of observing the deployment of 
the hostile artillery. Artillery posted in a masked position 
can frequently be seen from a flank. Even a report to the 
effect that no artillery was found in certain localities, is often 
important. The enemy will not voluntarily disclose the 
position of his masked batteries, and infantry covering de- 
tachments will, in any case, prevent approach, so that noth- 
ing remains but to use "decoy batteries" to induce the enemy 
to open fire. 

It is important to ascertain how many and what type 
of gims the enemy already has in position by the time one's 
own artillery goes into position. Information from which 
conclusions may be drawn as to the time when and the place 
where hostile artillery will presumably go into position 
(route columns and preparation of fire), is likewise of great 
importance. The report of the scout charged with re- 
connoitering an objective should contain the following in- 
formation : 

*KuNz, Btitpiele, 7, p. 10. 

fSupplBTMnt to Militdr'Woehenblatt, 1896. p. 201. 

312 Employment op Artillery. 

1. Ntnnber of hostile guns and batteries; whether they 
are posted in observation, in readiness, or for immediate 
action ; if the latter, whether they are posted in an unmasked, 
semi-masked, or masked position; the type of guns, i. e., 
whether field guns or howitzers; location of hostile observa- 
tion stations. 

2. The actual location and extent of the hostile artil- 
lery position; the location of the flanks of the hostile artil- 
lery line with reference to the line of fire and to features of the 
terrain. A knowledge of the frontage of the hostile artil- 
lery position is important in locating covered avenues of 
approach and in selecting cover. Panoramic sketches have 
very little value, since observer and recipient scarcely ever 
view the ground from the same point. 

3. Intrenchments. 

4. Masks, dummy intrenchments and dummy targets; 
the latter often betray their real character by their im- 
mobility and by the fact that even before the fight begins 
they are already in evidence. 

When infantry is the objective, its frontage and depth 
should be ascertained ; likewise, whether the infantry has 
made a lodgment within or in front of the edge of woods or 
villages. Special importance should be attached to deter- 
mining the position of clearly visible points with reference 
to the target. At Magersfontain, December 12th, 1899, 
and at Colenso, December 15th, 1899, th^ British artillery 
fire, owing to insufficient reconnaissance, did not hit the Boer 
trenches at all, but, with an accuracy that even the Boers 
praised, did search areas that were believed to be occupied 
by the enemy, but which, in reality, were tmoccupied. Similar 
cases are reported to have occurred in Manchuria. 

For a discussion of the reconnaissance during an attack 
against a fortified position, see, p. 432, infra. 

At ArtMiay, five batteries of the 1st Bavarian Field Artillery 
Regiment in position were severely bombarded by a single French battery. 
After some search, it was thought that this hostile battery was posted in 

Deployment of Artillery. 313 

rear of Artenay. Later on» clouds of smoke were visible from time to time 
in another direction, and all the five batteries fired on the concealed bat- 
tery. But when in spite of this, the fire of the French battery continued 
to produce losses, doubts began to arise as to whether a hostile battery was 
actually located in the area that was being searched. A reconnaissance 
made by the battalion adjutant developed the fact that the hostile bat- 
tery supposedly posted in rear of Artenay, was in reality posted in another 
locality in a masked position, and that the hostile battery commander was 
using the church spire as an observation station. Further, that the clouds 
of smoke at first thought to emanate from the hostile artillery were caused 
by bursts of shells fired by a horse battery of Prince Albrecht's Cavalry 
Division. After this reconnaissance, the fire was directed with good effect 
upon the hostile battery and it was soon forced to retire.* 

Assistant observers and scouts t can supplement the 
information available in regard to the objective, by getting 
closer to it, the only difficulty being that of transmitting their 
information to the rear. They should report the location of 
bursts with reference to the target, details of the latter and 
any changes that occur in it. It is a good plan to have artil- 
lery officers accompany the advancing infantry. % It is the 
duty of such officers to inform the commander of the artillery 
how close the firing line is to the enemy and to report against 
what parts of the hostile position special artillery support is 

France t The second ranking officer of the battalion staff is usually 
placed in charge of the scouts. There are three scouts in each battery. 
Their duty is to ascertain whether the terrain is passable and, when neces- 
sary, to leave one of their number behind to ensure that the proper road is 
taken by the batteries. They are to give infantry columns timely warning 
of the fact that artillery is about to pass, in order that the road may be 

'From Information furnished by Major-General Baron von Stengel. Bavarian 
Afmy, formerly an officer of the Ist Bavarian Field Artillery Regiment. — Latbiz, 
X)U FtidartilkrU im Zukunftakampf. 

tEumpUai • Engagement of Chevllly, September 30th, 1870. Oeschichte dea 
Ffl^rtillerU RegimenU Nr. 0, p. 283. 

Engagement at Vlllejulf. December 16th, 1870. ibid. 

Conduct of the 4th Heavy Battery of the Guard Artillery at Le Bourget. 
OfSeMcKU der Garde-Feldartillerig, p. 276. 

|Par. 369. Oerman H. A. D. B. "Measures should be taken to maintain un- 
interrupted communication with the firing line. To this end, officers should, as a 
role, be sent ahead. These should send information to the rear by telephone or by 
■Ignala. They are to supplement the observations made from stations in rear and 
report, during the progress of the action, when the sheaf of fire should be shifted." 

314 Employment of Artillery. 

deared. Finally, they are charged with tactical reconnaissance in action 
and on the march, especially when the batteries are being brought up. 

Austria (1909) : * Each battery has a reconnoitering patrol, consistr 
ing of one officer, one artificer, and two corporals. These men are to be 
well instructed in signalling and telephone work. The commander of the 
artillery directs one or more patrols to report to him. One of them usually 
accompanies the point of the advance guard and picks out and marks routes 
by means of which obstacles may be avoided. In general, the duties o^ 
artillery patrols consist of ground scouting, reconnaissance of positions 
and of the objective, and local reconnaissance. Battery patrols are to 
remain in sight of their batteries; when necessary, they are to take along a 
telescope; if practicable, telephone communication is to be kept up be- 
tween patrols and their batteries. Patrols should make a written report 
accompanied by a sketch and legend. Communication is to be kept up 
with the infantry firing line. The patrols are to be sent out early enough 
to enable them to observe, from points permitting a good view, the prog- 
ress of the action from the moment when the advanced troops of both 
forces come in contact. When a fortified position is to be attacked, it is 
considered advisable to send out as soon as practicable the scouts that are 
to reconnoiter the objective. In general, two patrols are to work together, 
so that observations may be made simultaneously from two points. The 
leader of the patrol is usually to remain pretty close to the line of march, 
so that he can, without delay, report any information gained to the artillery 
commander; he is to send scouts to reconnoiter any ground that he can 
not cover in person. Command is considerably facilitated by accurately 
defining tasks. 

England (1908): The mounted men of the battalion staff or of 
the staff of the divisional artillery are specially trained as artillery patrols. 
They are to maintain communication between the commander of the artil- 
lery and the commander of the troops, reconnoiter positions, observe on the 
flanks, reconnoiter hostile positions, and observe the fire. They are also 
to observe the movements made by troops of their own force. 


The commander of the artillery should recoimoiter the 
position that is to be taken up, and the subordinate com- 
manders, who bring up their respective organizations, should 
reconnoiter the approaches to the position. **In all recon- 
naissances, care should be taken to avoid drawing the enemy's 
attention to the position that has been selected. The artil- 
lery commanders and the motmted men accompanying them, 

*3treffleur, 1009. 1. 

fPara. 406-410, German F. A. D. R. 

Reconnaissance Duties of Artillery Commanders. 315 

as well as patrols and scouts, should take advantage of any 
available cover. Special care is requisite in approaching the 
firing position. The reconnoitering commander should 
leave his companions behind when necessary, and should 
examine the position on foot.'* (Par. 400, German P. A. D. 

The hostile artillery is usually the first target. The 
commander of the artillery brigade should ascertain the ex- 
tent of the objective or the area within which the hostile 
artillery is supposed to be located, so that he can intelligently 
assign combat tasks to his regiments and have data available 
for selecting covered avenues of approach. The brigade 
commander need not ride over the whole position, as this 
would only tend to retard the reconnaissance work of the 
subordinate leaders. As soon as a regimental commander 
receives his orders, if practicable before this, he should as- 
semble his battalion commanders and have them begin their 
reconnaissance. It is a good plan to have the battalion 
commanders ride at the head of the main body. The farther 
they are posted ahead of their respective organizations, the 
more time they will have for reconnoitering. 

If the commander of the artillery brigade rides at the 
head of the reserve of the advance guard, the leading element 
of the artillery of the main body will be about 3 km. in rear 
of him. Hence, he can expect his batteries to arrive thirty 
minutes after he has despatched an order directing them to 
advance. Orders should be promptly issued, quickly trans- 
mitted, and clear. This is essential, for otherwise batteries 
might stand idle in rear of the position. Regiments and 
battalions are assigned to definite sections for combat and for 
observation. Whereas it is sufficient simply to assign a regi- 
ment to a section in which it is to go into position, battalions 
should be given more comprehensive instructions, which 
should specify, among other things, how communication is 
to be maintained with regimental headquarters. 

816 Employment op Artillbry. 

Each battalion commander should have his battery 
commanders come forward early enough to enable them to 
complete their reconnaissance by the time their batteries 
arrive. In accordance with whatever instructions he may 
have received from his regimental commander, the battalion 
commander should then indicate the general direction in 
which the batteries are to face, the sections they are to occupy, 
the objectives they are to fire upon or the areas they are to 
observe, and where observation stations are to be located, in 
case the position is masked. He furthermore should deter- 
mine the manner of going into position and the kind of posi- 
tion, whether fire is to be opened at once by each battery or 
when ordered, and how commimication is to be installed be- 
tween his observation station and the batteries. 

Battery commanders, who had best ride at the head of 
the battalion to which they belong, should, in the first place, 
make a detailed reconnaissance of the objective, or of the area 
assigned them for observation. Then each shotdd decide 
upon the position of his battery, the formation to be employed 
in going into battery, and the location of his observation 
station. The manner of going into position pursuant to the 
general directions given by the battalion commander, should 
be left to the discretion of the battery commanders. When 
special directions have to be given in this regard, the neces- 
sary orders should be sent back to the oflBcer bringing up the 
unit. Chiefs of platoon and chiefs of section may, like- 
wise, be brought up to examine the position. 

An officer charged with reconnoitering a position had best submit 
the result of his work in the form of a sketch that should, among other 
things, give such information as the map of the commander does not con- 
tain. It may be a good plan to attach to this sketch a profile showing 
estimated elevations. 

The message covering the reconnaissance or the reconnaissance sketch 
should show: 

1. How far the road on which the troops are marching can be used; 
where the road must be left (mile stone); and on what side of the road 
the artillery should march to avoid cutting infantry columns. 

2. What route should be followed; whether it is possible to keep up 
a trot; and whether the route is sheltered from the enemy's view. 

Reconnaissance Duties op Artillery Commanders. 317 

8. Location of the position, unless this is obvious from the sketch; 
how the artillery should go into position; any preparatory work that should 
be done (cutting down banks); nature of the ground; masks; observation 
by the enemy; and defiladed spaces. 

4. How far one can see from the position; the presumable position 
of the hostile artillery; and whether the approaches to the hostile position 
are visible. 

6. Where reserves and light ammunition columns should be posted. 

6. Whether covering bodies are required. 

France: The reconnaissance of the position, whether it is to be 
used for immediate action or for placing the artillery in readiness, is to be 
made by the various artillery commanders, thoroughly or superficially, 
depending upon the tactical situation. When the artillery is to accompany 
an infantry attack, this reconnaissance is to be made more quickly than at 
any other time. It may be advisable to employ a reconnaissance officer 
(officier orienteur), to assist a higher artillery commander. This recon* 
naissance officer gathers the necessary information in regard to neighbor- 
ing troops, and picks out points on the map to make it easier for his chief 
to find his way on the ground, in order that the latter may be enabled to 
devote his whole attention to the tactical situation. As far as practicable, 
the various commanders should make their reconnaissances simultaneously. 
To this end, it may be advisable for battalion commanders to accompany 
the artillery commander in order that they may quickly bring up their 
battery commanders. The latter, meantime, ride at the head of the bat- 
talion to which they belong and join their battalion commander as soon as 
he gets orders from the artillery commander to bring his battalion into 

The reconnaissance duties are distributed as follows: 

The artillery commander reconnoiters the enemy, in a general way, 
the objective designated by the commander of the troops, and the position 
assigned to him, and divides this position up between the subordinate 
units. According to the situation and task as specified in the orders he has 
received, he designates the battalion that is to open fire first, and assigns 
to the other battalions (posted in readiness or in observation) areas to be 

The reconnaissance made by a battalion commander covers all de- 
tails pertaining to the position of each battery. The battalion commander 
directs, when necessary, how the batteries are to go into position, indicates 
the battery that is to open fire first, and the position of the reserve. It may 
become necessary in a battalion, likewise, to keep certain batteries either in 
readiness or in observation. 

The battery commander reconnoiters the section assigned him, with 
particular reference to the manner of unlimbering, to fire direction, and to 
observation. Artillery is to utilize roads as long as possible when approach* 
ing a position. The formations used should be those best adapted to the 
ground encountered and to keep the movements hidden from the enemy's 

318 Employment op Artillery. 


The artillery position constitutes the framework upon 
which the arrangement of the other fighting forces as a rule 

The requirements that an artillery position should fulfill 
as to a field of fire, i.e., whether a good field of fire is necessary 
only at long ranges or also at short ranges, vary with the 
object in view and with the tactical situation. The nature 
of the ground will often exercise a decisive influence on the 
distance at which the artillery is posted from the enemy. 
(Example : Position of the batteries of the 1st Army during 
the battle of Gravelotte). The first consideration in select- 
ing a position is always the attainment of the maximum fire 
effect.* Cover against hostile view and fire may be a pre- 
requisite to the attainment of the superiority of fire. 

Every artillery position should be reconnoitered thor- 
oughly, but without useless expenditure of time, and with 
due regard to the objective and the distribution of one's own 
troops. But the reconnaissance can be made quickly and 
thoroughly and, at the same time, without attracting the 
enemy's attention, only if each and every leader confines 
himself strictly to his own affairs, i. e., if he refrains from 
bothering with details with which subordinates are charged, 
and if he sees to it that his subordinate leaders are brought up 
at any early moment by the shortest route to participate in 
the reconnaissance. The brigade commander should as- 
certain the extent of the objective and assign sections thereof 
to the regiments. As far as practicable, he should assign a 
separate road to each regiment. 

It is particularly important that the line face in the 
proper direction, as a change of front interrupts the fire and 
in long artillery lines is difficult and entails losses. To facili- 
tate supervision and fire direction, the batteries of a bat- 

*It«lyi Every position should fulfln two prime conditions, viz.. it should 
have an adequate field of fire, and permit good observation of that fire. Every- 
thing else, oven cover, is of secondary importance. 

Artillery Positions. 319 

talion are separated by intervals of thirty paces, and the 
battalions by larger intervals, if practicable. In the larger 
units, however, care should be taken from the very outset, 
to confine the size of these intervals to reasonable limits, in 
order that the available room may be utilized and reinforce- 
ments come intact into the line. Whether the various bat- 
teries are posted abreast of each other or in echelon depends 
upon the terrain,* the probable course of the action, and the 
effect of the hostile artillery fire. In a battalion of artillery 
whose batteries are posted in echelon, fire direction must 
not be impaired by large intervals and distances. The danger 
that artillery posted in echelon runs of being enfiladed and 
the drawback that its batteries have but a very limited field 
of action, must be reckoned with. Distances should be 
approximately as large as intervals between batteries and 
intervals between guns should be decreased in many cases. 

In a large battle, it may become necessary to post the 
artillery in two lines. The drawbacks incident to this ar- 
rangement, such as the depth of the target offered, the 
difficulty of recognizing the objective, of observing the fire, 
of communicating between the two lines, and of supplying 
the first line with ammunition, must be accepted, f 

■*Cf., the maps of battles of the Franco-German war, showing how the for- 
mation of the ground necessitated echeloning the batteries on the Folster Heights 
at Spicheren. Of. » the corps artillery of the IXth Army Corps at Vemdville, August 
18th, 1870; the artillery of the Xllth Army Corps at Fond de Givonne, and that of 
the Xlth Army Corps north-east of Floing (Sedan). 

tEzamples: Craonne, 1814; Lovtcha. 1877. Kuropatkin-Krahueb. I. 
p. 67. 

After the Prussian artillery had gained the superiority of fire at St. Privat. 
the artillery of the French Vlth Army Corps went into position in three lines, one 
above the other, north of the stone quarries of Amanweiler, to cover the withdrawal 
of its infantry. According to montlusiant each gun had only ten rounds of 
ammunition available. 

In a restricted sense, the position of the 3d Light Battery of the Vllth Army 
Corps at St. Hubert, in front of the long line of artillery at Gravelotte, may like- 
wise be dted as an example of the employment of artillery in two lines. 

320 Employment of Artillery. 

The two lines of artillexy should be separated according 
to the principle laid down on p. 343, for firing over infantry. 
At all events, this distribution might be found more practi- 
cable than to push batteries that arrive late on the battle- 
field, into the firing line by piece. 

Tactical and technical considerations should be har- 
monized in selecting an artillery position. If these considera- 
tions conflict with one another, tactical considerations take 
precedence. Artillery should strive to cooperate with the 
other arms without hampering their freedom of movement. 
Since the artillery is practically acting alone, for the time 
being, at the opening of an engagement, the other arms should 
treat it with consideration and allow the batteries as much 
freedom as possible in their choice of position. This is 
specially prescribed in the Russian regulations. The infan- 
try must subordinate its action and movements in all re- 
spects to the requirements of the artillery. This relation 
is reversed the moment the infantry goes into action. The 
artillery now becomes an auxiliary arm and must adapt it- 
self to the demands of the infantry fight. In pursuit or re- 
treat, it may be a good plan to despatch artillery under weak 
escort to gain flanking positions. 

Efficacy of fire is the principal technical requirement, A 
free field of fire devoid of cover that the enemy might utilize 
for his advance is desirable. When firing from a masked 
position dead angles can not be avoided. The tactical sit- 
uation determines what the extent of the free field of fire 
should be. Groimd that slopes gently toward the enemy is 
the most favorable. High points that draw the enemy's 
fire are better suited for observation than for gun positions. 
The conditions for observing the fire should be good. When 
the sun is nearing the horizon in rear of the battery, the target 
will usually appear silhouetted against the background. 
When the sun is above the target, when the light is bright 
and when the sun is low, observation is more difficult and may 

Artillery Positions. 321 

cause errors to be made in bracketing.* Commanding posi- 
tions are desirable, as they permit the terrain in front and in 
rear of the objective to be observed. The hostile fire effect 
should be minimized. Parapets covered with sod afford the 
best cover. Isolated gun emplacements are apt to show and 
should, therefore, be made as inconspicuous as possible. 
This may be accomplished by connecting them with a slight 

The effect of the hostile fire (see p. 223, supra) is re- 
duced by ground rising in respect to the enemy's line of sight, 
especially if the groimd is terraced, and by ground that limits 
the range of ricochets. Newly ploughed soil, fiuxows run- 
ning parallel to the front of the battery and marshy ground 
would have this effect. Positions near walls, piles of stones, 
and on rocky soil should be avoided. Intervals shotdd not 
be smaller than ten paces. Protection against flank and 
enfilading fire should be provided. 

The service of the guns should be facilitated by posting 
them on level, solid ground, f All parts of the position should 
be visible to the commander, and the line of guns should not 
be unnecessarily irregular. 

The position should be such as to enable the guns to 
move freely in any direction, should have covered approaches 
from the rear, and should enable the artillery to go into 
action imobserved. It should , moreover, permit each element 
to have its own commtmicating way to its reserve, so that 
caissons will not cross each other in coming up from the rear. 

The enemy's observation of fire should be made difficult. 
It is desirable to prevent the enemy from adjusting his fire 
accurately, and to compel him to search large areas. The 
more inconspicuous a position is, the better. Artillery 
should not be posted in the vicinity of conspicuous points, 
especially when these are indicated on the maps. 

^Thls disadvantage was particularly noticeable during the battle of Colombey 
The lower the sun sank, the more it blinded the eyes, and made it difficult to observe 
the fire and to lay the guns. HoFrBAUEB, Deutsche Artillerie, III. p. 16. 

tThe Prussian batteries (Yoss* and Stiimprs) posted on the Boten Berg at 
Spicheren. Qen. St. W„ I. p. 356. 

322 Employment of Artillery. 

Bright backgroiind — ^the skyline — is unfavorable, as the 
guns are silhouetted against it. Dark background increases 
the difficulties of adjustment. Batteries posted in front of 
woods usually betray their position by the flashes of their 
guns only.* It is not difficult to get the range to natural or 
artificial masks, but it is difficult to determine the relative 
position with respect to the objective of bursts visible in rear 
of the mask. When the mask consists of trees, the pro- 
jectiles passing through frequently burst prematiu^ely. (See 
p. 223, supra.) This is of special importance to shielded 
batteries posted in the open. A mask affords better pro- 
tection when it runs obliquely to the front of the battery that 
is sheltered behind it. This is likewise true of several rows 
of masks running parallel to the front of the battery. Hedges 
in rear of which a battery proposes to take position should be 
reconnoitered from the enemy's side to ascertain whether 
there are any gaps through which the guns can be seen. Em- 
bankments one meter high, when used as a mask, will often 
give better protection than epaulements. Extensive grain 
fields in front of a battery make it difficult for the enemy to 
observe his fire. Dummy emplacements or objects that 
slightly resemble guns (heaps of fruit, clumps of bushes) 
frequently lead an observer astray even after he has recog- 
nized them as such. An excited observer whose mental 
balance has been disturbed by the heat of action and the weight 
of responsibility resting upon him, is without doubt more prone 
to make such mistakes than one examining everything calmly 
with practiced eye and sober judgment. During the en- 
gagement of Tashihchiao (1904), the Russian artillery fired 
for the first time from a concealed position. The gim epaule- 

■^The German Artillery DriU Regulations of 1877. par. 198, cautioned artil- 
lery not to take up a position in front of woods, because of the conspicuousness of 
the target that it would present to the enemy. The Russian and Italian regiUaUona 
consider such a position positively unfavorable. With smokeless powder this li 
not true. Though "over" shots disappear in the woods and thus facilitate the 
enemy's adjustment of fire, it is usuaUy impossible for him to ascertain the distance 
of his objective from the woods and the interval of burst, unless he succeeds in plac- 
ing his bursts so that the objective is clearly defined against them. 

Artillery Positions. 323 

ments constructed in plain view on the heights very natur- 
ally drew the enemy's fire. 

At Weiszenburg, several Prussian batteries were engaged with a 
French battery that was masked by the trees that lined the chaussie,* 

The position of the village of Vionville made it impossible for the 
French batteries to observe their short shots directed at the Prussian bat- 
teries posted on the hill west of the village, t 

The 4th Light Battery and the 4th Heavy Battery of the 10th 
German Field Artillery were unable to maintain their position east of 
Mars-la-Tour under the fire of superior hostile artillery, because they 
were screened by the trees and the embankment of the ehavssie that ran 
within thirty paces along their front, t 

At Gravelotte some of the batteries of the 1st Army were so posted 
that they could just see over the tops of the trees in the valley of the Mance 
brook. This explains why the hostile artillery found it so difficult to hit 
these batteries. ^ 

The cutting down of a conspicuous poplar at Koniggratz decreased 
the effect of the Austrian artillery fire, which previous to this, had caused 
rather serious losses.^ 

A similar effect was produced by tearing down a house at Lovtcha.ll 
During the engagement of Blumenau (1866), the 2d six-pounder 
Battery (v. Schaper's) of the 4th Field Artillery, lost 25 men and 27 horses 
in its last position, because it happened to be posted on ground that was 
littered with a number of white stones. These attracted the enemy's 
attention and facilitated his ranging. The other three batteries of the 
reserve artillery, of which v. Schaper's Battery formed a part, lost 10 men 
and 10 horses only.® 

Hollows in front of a battery are of special value, as they 
catch and hide the enemy's short salvos, upon the proper 
determination of which the observation of fire largely de- 
pends. Even if the smoke-cloud does not disappear entirely, 
it is dissipated so quickly that the target may be seen through 
it, thus frequently producing the optical illusion of an over 
shot. A low crest in front of and parallel to the battery posi- 
tion has a similar effect. The ineffectiveness of the British 

*HoPFBAUER, Deutsche Artillerie, I, pp. 16 and 49. 

t/Wcf.. IV, p. 103. 

t Kriegsgeschichtliche Einzelschrifien, 25, p. 18. 

IfHoFFBAUER, Deutsche Artillerie, V. p. 69. 

^eschichte des Regiments Nr. Z, p. 36. 

IIKuropatkin-Krahmeb, I, p. 69. 

°Qeschichte des Jjt. Feldartillerieregiments, p. 194. 

324 Employment of Artillery. 

artillery fire directed against the Boer position at Colenso 
and against Lieutenant v. Wichmann's Battery at Lady- 
smith on October 30th, 1899, was largely due to this cir- 

When the guns are posted on sandy soil, the blast of 
their discharge raises a dust cloud that dissipates all the 
advantages of smokeless powder. This may be obviated 
by wetting the groimd or by covering it with canvass or with 

Concealment often suflBces to preclude all hostile fire 
effect, for an enemy who can not observe his fire can count only 
upon accidental hits. For this reason, masked positions are 
preferred to unmasked positions.* Positions may be de- 
fined as unmaskedy semi-masked, and masked, depending 
upon the degree of concealment afforded. 

In an unmasked position, the gtms are not concealed 
from vi6w and the line sights can be used in laying. 

In a semi-masked position, the guns are concealed from 
the enemy's view, but a man standing beside a gim can still 
lay it for direction. 

In a masked position, the gtms are so concealed that it is 
impossible for the gunners to aim directly at the target. 

As it takes two minutes to anchor the French field gun 
and as the latter, in addition, moves into position very slowly, 
the French prefer masked positions on principle. Depending 
upon the degree of concealment afforded their gims, the 
French describe positions by the following terms : 

^ArHllerisiische MonaUchefU, No. XI of 1907. —MilitOr-WochenblaU, N08.14. 
141. ISl. 154. 157. of 1906; Nos. 16. 19. 20, 22. 30. 31. 76. 116. of 1907; Nos. 93. 143. 
Of 1908; Nos. 9. 3d. of 1909. — Streffleur, June No. of 1909; see also article in the 
February and May numbers of 1909. entitled. EindrUcke vom artiUerisiUchen In/or- 

Necessity op Masked Positions. 325 

Sight defilade (defilement du maUriel) i. e., 

Dismounted defilade {defilement de V- ^semi-masked; 
homme d pied) J 

Mounted defilade (defilement d chevat) | 

Plash defilade (defilement d lueurs) i.e., [ - - 

withdrawn so far that the flash of the guns j 

is concealed. J 

Since field artillery in plain view exposes itself to annihila- 
tion,* unmasked positions are selected only when artillery 
accompanies an infantry attack, or when it is to sweep the 
immediate foreground and this is impracticable from flank- 
ing positions. Whenever the tactical end in view admits^ 
field artillery should invariably use masked fire, just as the 
heavy artillery does. Heavy artillery has more freedom in 
choosing its position than field artillery. Effective shrapnel 
fire forced the Russian as well as the Japanese artillery to 
fight as a rule in masked positions. This was practicable 
because all the fighting centered around field fortifications* 
In spite of this, both sides felt the absence of shields. Yet 
even after gun shields were introduced, the value of masked 
XX>sitions did not diminish. Batteries equipped with shields 
are insensible to shrapnel fire, though their ammunition 
supply and their movements may be hampered by such fire. 

*On June 27th, 1904, Just after the opening engagements, Ldeutenant-Colond 
Pabhenko, Russian Army wrote the following: "The use of unmasked artillery 
positions is henceforth out of the question." Colonel Namaoata, Japanese Artil- 
lery, similarly states: "We could not post our batteries in the open, for they would 
have been annihilated by the Russian rapid fire guns. To post a battery in an un* 
masked position spells its annihilation." The following is reported of the battle 
on the Yalu : "All epaulements stood out conspicuously and were visible at a great 
distance. It is not surprising that the twenty-four Russian field guns were silenced 
inside of twenty-five minutes and that, when they again opened fire during the after- 
noon, they were silenced in an hour." The guns, it is true, had no shields, but were 
in pits and therefore could scarcely be said to be posted in the open. But the batteries 
were clearly visible and their position became accurately known when they allowed 
themselves to be enticed into opening direct fire on a small body of Japanese pioneers 
who were reoonnoltering on the banks of the Yalu. During the attack on Nanshan 
HiU by Oku's Army, the Russian batteries posted in conspicuous positions were 
tOenced by 7 a. m., after a bombardment lasting only one hour. At Wafangkou* 
the 3d and 4th Batteries of the 1st East Siberian Rifle Artillery Brigade, posted in 
unmasked positions, were so shot to pieces that their firagments later fell into the 
bands of the victorious Japanese. 

326 Employment of Artillery. 

If one wishes to attack a shielded battery frontally, one must 
employ shell or use curved fire guns. In either case, careful 
adjustment of fire is requisite and this can only be obtained 
when the target or the dust or smoke-cloud produced by the 
bursting projectile is directly visible, otherwise the desired 
effect must be produced by searching an area, a procedure 
that entails an enormous consumption of ammunition. The 
closer the guns are posted to the crest, the sooner will the 
fire produce results. As the Russian and the French artil- 
lery show an unmistakable preference for masked positions, 
we would create unnecessary difficulties for ourselves were 
we to attempt to fight them from immasked positions and 
thereby permit them to bombard us with percussion fire. On 
the contrary, we must fight in masked positions and endeavor 
to force the enemy to leave his masked positions. Masked 
fire makes it more difficult to estimate the strength of the 
opposing artillery and, at the same time, deprives the higher 
commander of indications upon which he can base deductions 
as to the strength of the opposing forces.* This will not 
fail to produce an effect on a vacillating leader. 

Improvements in laying apparatus also facilitate change 
of target. It is unquestionably a disadvantage, however, 
that artillery can not see the slope in front of the crest in 
rear of which it is posted nor keep it under effective fire. 
When so situated, artillery requires the support of infantry 
in its front. It will be difficult for artillery when in a masked 
position, to take a hand in the infantry combat. A battery 
commander t must follow the general course of the action, 
direct his fire on the shifting targets common to field warfare, 
observe its effect, and also conduct the fire of his battery. 
Thus arises a conflict of duties that is hard to harmonize 

*Csicseric8 v. Bacbant. Colonel Austrian General Staff. "Die Schlacht" 
Special Supplement to Slreffieur, Vienna, 1008. On p. 159 of this, the author relates 
bow he succeeded In estimating the strength of hostile artillery by observing the balls 
of smoke of bursting shrapnel. 

tCaptain v. Habelmann, German Artillery. "Afif welchen Schvrierigkeiten 
haben wir beim Schieszen au3 verdeckter Sullung tu rechnen, und wie mfervdnden wir 
dieselben am beaten." Artilleristiache Monatahefte, 1908. July No. p. 37. 

Masked Fire. 327 

in actual war. If the battery commander leaves his guns 
to observe his fire, he can not exercise an influence on his 
battery; what happens when he is disabled? If he directs 
his battery in person, the effectiveness of his fire will depend 
upon the efficiency of the observer detailed by him, upon 
whom he must rely absolutely. The battery commander is 
personally responsible for the effectiveness of his battery; 
the maintenance of fire discipline, the exertion of every ounce 
of energy in critical moments, and the regulation of the am- 
munition supply require close communication between leader 
and his organization. For this reason, a single person should 
both conduct and observe the fire. In the French artillery, 
the commander is required personally to observe the fire 
and also to conduct it, whereas in the Austrian artillery, 
whenever conduct and observation of fire must be performed 
by two persons, the officer next in rank to the commander is 
charged with conduct of fire. The danger of mistakes is 
increased by this separation. While it can not be denied 
that such a procedure is practicable in a battery acting alone, 
it is not practicable in a long artillery line, as the observer 
will frequently not be aware whether the shot that he is to 
observe has been fired. The difficulties will, moreover, be 
increased when the battery commander is unable to conceal 
himself in rear of a mask (tree, bush) or other natural cover 
from the view and fire of the enemy, but is forced to kneel 
or lie down in his chosen station, as this naturally increases 
the difficulty of selecting suitable observation stations which 
permit a good view of the terrain. In spite of these difficul- 
ties, it will perhaps always be practicable to find a suitable 
observation station not far from the battery when the latter 
is acting alone. In Manchuria, more than two or three bat- 
teries rarely fired simultaneously from any one masked posi- 
tion, so that the difficulties encountered were comparatively 
trifling. The preference for masked positions is bound to lead 
to the employment of artillery in groups posted at wide in- 
tervals, but finds a limit in the restriction of frontage in 

828 Employment op Artillery. 

battle.* It will be comparatively easy to find observation 
stations for one, two, or three batteries, but not for a larger 
number of batteries. One will seldom be so forttmate as the 
Japanese were on the Yalu, where they found elevated ob- 
servation stations immediately in rear of their batteries. 

Conduct of fire becomes more and more difficult as the 
distance between battery commander and battery is increased, 
and it also becomes more difficult to judge the ground as it 
would appear from the battery. The errors that he is bound 
to make in determining the location of bursts on a flank of 
the objective, and the inaccuracy of his estimate or measure- 
ment of the difference in deflection between new targets that 
appear at ranges other than that to the objective fired upon 
previously, will be correspondingly greater. The foregoing 
demonstrates the necessity of providing observation wagons 
and observation towers on which the observer is protected 
by an armored shield. These observation stations however, 
should not be allowed to betray the position of the batteries, f 
Artificial means of communication are imcertain. Con- 
necting posts and visual signals suffice for transmitting short 
observations. At the present time, the telephone is the most 

*At the battle on the Shaho. batteries of the Illd Siberian Army Corps and of 
the Xth Army Corps (168 guns on a front of 14 km.) occupied an average ftont of 
600 m. each. In 1870-71, batteries occupied an average fkH>nt of 270 m. each, and 
at present, with a total frontage of 5.000 m. for an army corps, they occupy 180 m., 
each. At Tashihchiao, July 24th. 1904. Colonel Pashenko had two batteries In a 
position 500 m. In rear of the general line and fired against three and later on against 
thirteen Japanese batteries at a range of 4.000 — 5.000 m. On August 30th and Slst t 
at Liaoyang. Lieutenant-Colonel Slusharenko successfully fought with two bat- 
teries against two hostile artillery groups containing twenty-four and twelve guns 
respectively, at a range of 4,200 and 4,500 m. In this case, the observation station 
was 800 m. from the batteries. In both cases, the battalion commander, who was 
some distance fk-om the guns, conducted the fire and observed its effect. Communi- 
cation was kept up by means of signal flags. On August 30th. the position of the 
gims was betrayed by their flashes and by the dust raised by the blast of the dis- 
charge; on the Slst, the guns were so much better concealed that the Japanese 
had to have recourse to searching flre. v. Tettau. Achtuhn Monate, I, p. 317. 
note ♦ • ♦ . 

Eimelschrift 43-44. p. 40. See MilitOr-WochenblaU, 1906, Nos. 60, 61. 108. 
and 109. 

tThe Rhenish Hardware Co. manufactures an observation wagon equipped 
with a tower 10.5 m. high. The wagon complete weighs 1,756 kg. The same flrm 
manufactures an observation tower 5.6 m. high and equipped with armored shield, 
the whole contrivance weighing only 9.2 kg. 

Masked Fire. 329 

satisfactory medium for transmitting orders, but its use- 
fulness in the noise of battle is open to serious question.* 
But, be this as it may, timely measures should be taken to 
provide a substitute for the telephone. When visual signals 
are used, two extra men should be detailed for duty at the 
observation station. Flag signals are apt to betray the 
location of the station, and visual signalling requires more 
thoroughly trained men than the telephone. In addition 
to communication between observation station and battery, 
commtmication with the battalion commander must be pro- 
vided. Message cards pulled along a cord might perhaps 
suffice for this. 

The necessity of masked positions must unquestionably 
be recognized. The difficulties encotmtered in these posi- 
tions are not in indirect la3dng itself, which at long ranges 
is frequently much easier than direct laying, but in prepara- 
tion and conduct of fire in large units. 

In some test firings held in Holland, the following results were 
obtained: A 4-gun battery required 6, a 6-gun battery 7 minutes to set 
the guns parallel, 6^ minutes to adjust the fire with a single piece upon a 
target representing a gun, posted at a range of 3,000 m., and 8^ minutes 
slow fire to verify the deflection. The fire for effect began 16 minutes after 
the first shot, in the case of the 4-gun battery, and 17 minutes after the 
first shot, in the case of the 6-gun battery. The battery commander has, 
in addition, the following duties to perform: (1.) To determine how far 
in rear of the crest he shall post his guns to ensure that the trajectories will 
clear the crest; (2.) To reconnoiter and establish the observation station 
assigned him by the battalion commander; (3.) To establish communication 
between the observation station and the position of the guns; (4.) To as- 
certain the angle of site (i. e., the difference in level between guns and target) ; 
and (5.) To ascertain the deflection for the directing gun. 

«To quote f^om Prince Hohbnlobe on the battle of K5nlggr&tz {Ails meinem 
L0ben, III, p. 294) : "Entire teams rolled in their own blood. And the noise made 
hy shells was so deafening that in order to communicate with anyone we had to cup 
our hands and yell into his ears." And on the battle of Sedan (ibid.t VI. p. 181, 
el seg.): "The continual bursting of shells did not fail to produce a moral effect on 
the personnel of the batteries. « ♦ • Each gimner fired when he got ready; 
observation and correction were absolutely out of the question; soon the gunners 
did not even train the gtms, but blazed away into the air; and with such fire it was 
alike impossible to hit or to Impress the enemy." This battery suffered no losses. 

330 Employment of Artiu-ery. 

The guns must be so posted that the trajectories will 
actually clear the crest. Good clearance is especially im- 
portant in case it becomes necessary to fire on targets at 
short range.* The defiladed space in front of the crest de- 
creases as the distance the guns are posted in rear of the crest 

Masked positions have the disadvantage that artillery 
occupying them finds it difficult to shift its fire from one 
moving target to another, especially when the targets are 
not moving on a line perpendicular to the front of the line 
of guns. Of course, instead of following such targets, artil- 
lery may content itself with searching a specified area. 

But the disadvantages of masked positions are compen- 
sated by the following advantages: They make it possible 
to open fire unexpectedly, to shift guns, and to change posi- 
tion, and they facilitate the ammunition supply. From this 
it follows that artillery firing from a masked position is always 
imder control of its leader, whereas artillery firing from a 
semi-masked or an unmasked position is as much out of the 
leader's control as deployed infantry. The greater material 
cover afforded artillery by a masked position is of special 
value, the losses of a concealed battery amotmting to about 
one-sixth of those suffered by one in an unmasked position. 
The opponent will scarcely ever be able accurately to locate 
a masked battery either in direction or range, and it is out of 
the question to try for direct hits upon it. 

The best masked position is one in which the battery is 
posted from 200 to 300 m. in rear of the crest. The Russians 

■^'Rule for posting field howitzers model 98 (curved flre) : At all ranges, no 
matter what charges are used, post the guns in rear of the crest a distance equal 
approximately to 3 or 4 times the height of that crest above the position of the guns. 

"Rule for posting guns: For every meter of cover, post the guns 60 m. in 
rear of the crest when firing at a range of 1.000 m. (still farther to the rear for shorter 
ranges). 20 m. when the range is 2,(X)0 m.. and 10 m.. when it is 3.(X)0 m. or over." 

When the mask is but a short distance in fkt>nt of the guns, a glance through 
the bores will tell whether the projectiles will clear the mask. The line of sight of 
the gun drops below the axis of the bore by the height of a head at 100 m.. by the 
height of a body at 200 m., by the height of a mounted man at 3(X) m., and by 
double the height of a moimted man at 400 m. If the guns are still farther In rear of 
the crest, one can accurately compute from the range table, at what distance tn rear 
of the crest the guns should be posted in order that their flre will clear the crest. 

Posting Artillery in Groups. 331 

consider a position 400 m. in rear of the crest as the best. A 
battery can usually drive directly into such a position and is 
therefore quickly ready to open fire. In addition, it has great 
freedom of movement, the supply of ammunition is facili- 
tated, and, when necessary, it can limber up and move 
quickly into an unmasked position. Masked fire is prefer- 
ably employed against immobile targets, or when the enemy 
is to be deceived as to our strength and intentions. The 
masked position must unquestionably be abandoned when 
it becomes necessary to sweep the foreground effectively, 
when moving targets are to be followed, or when there is 
likelihood of endangering one's own infantry.* 

Masked fire is facilitated by posting the artillery in 
groups. (Par. 366, German F. A. D. R.). The advantages 
of this arrangement are obvious. "It makes it difficult for 
the enemy to determine our position and to adjust his fire, 
and consequently, diminishes the efficacy of his fire. It 
enables our artillery to bring a concentric fire to bear on the 
enemy, and, especially if the positions are masked, facilitates 
observation and conduct of fire in the various groups. In 
addition, the ground can be utilized to better advantage, 
since the various groups need not be posted on the same line.** 

Fire direction is the only thing that presents any diffi- 
culties when the artillery is posted in groups, for it is 
easier to direct the fire against decisive points and to change 
targets when artillery is posted in one line. Good telephone 
or visual signal communications (connecting posts are too 
tmcertain), and, above all else, plenty of room, are absolutely 
essential when artillery is to be posted in groups. When an 
army corps is acting alone, there will be plenty of oppor- 
timities to post artillery in groups, but when several army 
corps are engaged abreast of each other, this is out of the 

*On August 30th, 1904. during the battle of Liaoyang, the Sd Battery of the 
0th East Siberian Rifle Ari^Ulery Brigade, "advanced from its masked position to 
the crest to cover the retreat of the defeated infantry. During this movement, it 
lost half of its personnel and was able to bring only three of its guns into action." 
Binulaehriften, 43-44. p. 38. 

332 Employment of Artillery. 

question. It is advisable to keep battalions and itegiments 

At Mukd«n the artillery of the Japanese lat Army* 180 guoa, fought 
the Ruasian poeitiona from February 26th to March 7th, 1906, from a 
position that waa 14 km. long. The Japanese artillery was posted in five 
groups, as follows: 

1. 4 16 cm., 4 12 cm., 14 10 cm. howitzers, and 18 mountain guns; 

2. 8 batteries; 
8. 4 batteries; 

4. 2 batteries with a total of 8 guns; 

6. 7 batteries with a total of 40 guns. 

The chief of artillery of the Ist Army occupied an observation station 
on high ground and was connected by telephone with army headquartera 
and with the various groups. It is claimed that fire direction presented no 
difficulties on this occasion. 

An unmasked or a semi-masked position should be 
selected when fire is to be opened promptly and when the 
sheaf of fire may have to be shifted quickly, especially against 
mobile objectives. (Pars. 367 and 46^, German F. A. D. R.). 
The necessity of assigning several tasks to the same battery 
(contrary to the French practice of assigning a r61e to each 
group) quite naturally causes the semi-masked position to 
be looked upon as the principal artillery position. It has the 
advantage that the battery commander can direct and 
observe the fire from one point and that the guns can be 
quickly run forward to the crest, i. e., into an immasked 
position. That the position be absolutely concealed from 
the enemy's view is of less importance than that the fire of 
the artillery siu-prise him, and that any change of target be 
effected promptly and without loss. It is particularly for- 
tunate for the German artillery that in fixed ammtmition, 
the flash of discharge has been largely eliminated. 

It is absolutely essential that nothing be done that might 
give the enemy an idea as to the direction in which our guns 
are posted. To this end, due care should be exercised in re- 
cotmaissance and in moving into position; when there is 

Position in Readiness or in Observation. 333 

dust, the guns should move at a walk and should be unlim- 
bered and run noiselessly into battery by hand. When time 
admits, the initial direction may be given to one of the guns 
by means of the extension sight, and the other guns laid par- 
allel. If there is any chance of dust being thrown up by the 
blast of discharge, the ground should be wetted down in front 
of the muzzles. Cover should be utilized and the position 
should be as inconspicuous as possible. Artificial cover 
should be constructed when necessary. 

In order to enable it to go into action promptly and 
suddenly, artillery may be posted either in readiness, or in 
observation. When posted in readiness, the gims are not un- 
limbered, but posted immediately in rear of the prospective 
position. When posted in observation (position de sur- 
veillance) , the guns are unlimbered and posted either in a 
masked position or immediately in rear of the selected posi- 
tion. The principal thing is that artillery be actually con- 
cealed until the moment for opening fire. 

Guns are posted in readiness when there is still doubt 
about the position and front to be occupied. No hard and 
fast rules can be laid down as to the formation that batteries 
should use when posted in readiness. When the groimd 
between the locality where the guns are posted in readiness 
and the position they are eventually to occupy is visible to 
the enemy, one will frequently have to be satisfied with a 
reconnaissance made from a flank or even from some point in 
rear. If such is the case, the batteries should, at a prear- 
ranged signal, move rapidly straight forward into the position. 
It may be a good plan to cotmtermarch and to execute 
''action rear," so as to get the limbers qiiickly tmder cover. 
The closer the guns posted in readiness are to the position 
they are to occupy, the less occasion there is for moving them 
forward at a gallop. When they are very close to the firing 
position, they should be run up by hand. On roads, in rear 
of farm buildings and patches of timber, route coliunn will 
frequently be the most judicious formation for a battery 

334 Employment of Artillery. 

posted in readiness, and line of route columns at reduced 
intervals, for a battalion. But, whatever the formation, 
everything is prepared for action, the guns loaded, quadrants 
and sights removed from their cases. In addition, while the 
men bring up the guns, the target may be pointed out to chiefs 
of platoon and chiefs of section provided this can be done 
without attracting the enemy's attention. 

In a battalion, a position in readiness is taken up only 
when ordered by the battalion commander, but the method 
of unlimbering is left to the discretion of the battery com- 

It will frequently be easy for two of the batteries of a 
battalion to go into position, while the third battery will 
encotmter difficulties. In such a case, especially if but few 
objectives present themselves, it will be a good plan to move 
two of the batteries into position and to have them divert 
the enemy's attention from the third battery, which can then 
move forward rapidly as soon as the other batteries have 
adjusted their fire. 

When posted in observation, preparatory to occupying 
a semi-masked or tinmasked position, the guns should be 
directly in rear of that position. Care should be taken that 
the men who draw the guns into battery with the prolonge 
do not expose themselves. When the terrain is open, a few 
batteries will often be held in readiness while others are already 
posted in observation. The time until fire is opened is used 
to make preparations for firing (reconnaissance of objectives, 
determination of firing data) . 

Contrary to the practice of field artillery, heavy field 
howitzers fight almost invariably in masked positions. This 
enables them to open fire suddenly when least expected, pre- 
vents the enemy from locating them without considerable 
trouble, prevents him from ascertaining their numbers and 
the intentions of their commander, simplifies ammunition 
supply and facilitates changing position. Heavy flat tra- 
jectory guns that are to fire on mobile targets are almost 

Positions for Heavy Artillery. 335 

invariably forced to fight in semi-masked or in unmasked 

Heavy artillery will usually go into position in rear of the 
field artillery. It may often be desirable to have it go into 
position early, to enable field artillery to go into action under 
cover of its fire. It is important to select observation stations 
(pars. 359, 361, and 362, German H. A. D. R.) at incon- 
spicuous points as close as possible to the batteries, but out- 
side the limits of the probable zone of hostile searching fire. 
In order to minimize the effect of the hostile fire, unmasked 
observation stations should be placed at least 25 m. apart 
and masked observation stations at least 10 m. apart. Pla- 
toon and battery commanders' stations should be established 
accol-ding to the same principles. The character of the soil 
is of even greater importance than in the operations of field 
artillery, and special precautions should be taken to prevent 
throwing up dust. It will sometimes be necessary to take 
up a position in timber. In this case, the difficulties encoun- 
tered in moving into battery and in supplying ammtmition 
make it desirable to locate the position as close to a road as 
possible. All routes of approach should be carefully recon- 
noitered. Covered avenues of approach are important when 
the position lies within the zone of hostile shrapnel fire. 

A position is taken up about as follows (pars. 304-313, 
320-322, and 422, German H. A. D. R.) : The battalion 
commander, who up to this moment has accompanied the 
commander of the troops, sends for his battery commanders 
and informs them of the situation and the purpose of the 
action, and indicates the general direction of the fire and the 
approximate location of the observation stations. He like- 
wise designates the direction in which each battery is to face 
and the front each is to occupy ; gives orders for going into 
position, for protection of the batteries and for opening fire ; 
and, when necessary, indicates where the reserves are to be 
posted. The assistant observers (non-commissioned officers) 
establish the observation stations and the telephone squad 


Employment op Artillery. 

lays the telephone line. Each battery is brought into its 
position by its commander or by its senior lieutenant. 
The ammunition is deposited near the guns and the lim- 
bers and caissons move about 500 m. to the rear and take 

O ^Qbs9r¥aHonJtaHon of Bothy commandtrn 

Baffah'orf comrnoncfet 
. T^ephone Jine 




1 ^ 

I si Echelon ^ .^.i.. ^ 
Combat train and Umbtrs 

il V^icles p€r Batt^jf 

Light Ammunition Co/umn 
29 Vzhicles^of vs/hich 
Z^ore Caissons 

up a concealed position. Here they may be joined by the 
combat train and by the reserve. The light ammtmition 
columns move up and take post about 800 m. in rear of the 


At the same time that the commanders of the various 
artillery tmits are ordered forward, the batteries are usually 
directed to take up the trot, pass the infantry, and move for- 
ward to a certain point, or along routes previously recon- 
noitered. The commanders of the various artillery imits 

Advance to and Occupation of the Position. 337 

can not look after all the details and, in addition, they re- 
main in the selected position, so that much must be left to 
the discretion of the officers left in charge of the units.* It is 
especially important that cover be utilized, that communica- 
tion be kept up with the battery commanders, who have 
preceded their batteries, that steps be taken to assure the 
security of the batteries during the advance, and that a re- 
connaissance be made to ascertain whether the grotmd is 
passable. All artillery commanders, from the battalion 
commanders up, should remain in the proposed position in 
order that they may be able to keep the enemy and friendly 
troops in view, as the situation may change before the bat- 
teries arrive and the selected position would then no longer 
be suitable. A battery commander, on the other hand, 
should remain responsible for his unit, for he is better fitted 
than anyone else to help it over difficulties. He may, there- 
fore, find it necessary to ride back to meet his battery and 
personally lead it into the position. 

The roads should be used as long as possible, as the 
difficulties encountered when moving across country may 
considerably retard the advance . It is a good plan to advance 
simultaneously along parallel roads. It is seldom practicable 
to shorten the column by forming the command in double 
column, because, in the first place, the batteries will have to 
trot some distance to pass the infantry, f The artillery scouts 
are charged with the duty of ascertaining whether the ground 
is passable and the reconnaissance made by the other arms 
does not exempt the artillery from the responsibility of pro- 
tecting itself against surprise by taking proper measures on 
its own account. When advancing to the position, special 
attention should be paid to the use of cover. To this end, 
it is generally advisable to move in route coltunn until near 

*At worth, the batteries of the lid Heavy battalion of the 6th Field Artillery 
lost touch with their battery commanders, who had ridden ahead. Gtschichte dM 
FeldarHtl$rier$QimenU Nr. 5, p. 69. 

tWhen the route of an artillery column crosses that of an Infantry column, 
the latter passes in small bodies through gaps between artillery units and even 
through those between guns. 

338 Employment op Artillery. 

the position. (See p. 265, supra.) ; but it is not necessary 
nor advisable to adopt any uniform procedure. 

The gait depends upon the intentions of the commander, 
the tactical situation, and the character of the ground. The 
horses have not done their part, until they have brought the 
guns into position, even if it takes the last oimce of energy 
that is in them. Batteries should move at the trot, as a rule ; 
at the walk when crossing bad places ; at the gallop for short 
distances to hasten the advance, or to pass quickly over 
ground exposed to view or fire of the enemy. When used for 
any length of time, the gallop is apt to lag and comparatively 
little of gained by using it. In order that the battery may be 
brought in good order and with certainty into its appointed 
position, it may be advisable to move it at a slower gait the 
last part of the way. In dry weather, provided the tactical 
situation admits, it is a good plan to move into position at 
the walk, so as not to betray prematurely the presence of 
artillery by throwing up dust. 

Special efforts should be made to bring artillery secretly 
into position, unless the situation demands great haste, and 
to open fire suddenly and unexpectedly. The secret occupa- 
tion of a position loses in value, however, when parts of the 
artillery were obliged to expose themselves to the enemy's 
view during the advance, or when dust betrays the movement. 
The retardation due to secretly occupying a position may even 
have a deleterious effect. Therefore, when cover is lacking, 
rapidity of movement must compensate for the lack of 
secrecy in occupying the position. 

The manner of moving into position and of tmlimbering 
may be determined by answering the following question: 
**Does the tactical situation demand prompt action; is haste 
necessary or is it better to go into position only after thorough 
preparation, even if the occupation of the position is delayed 
thereby?** It will depend upon the answer to this question 
whether one moves into position openly as fast as the horses 
can go, or whether one utilizes all available cover, tmlimbers 

Occupation of the Position. 339 

tinder cover, and has the guns run up by hand. (See p. 269, 
supra.). When the enemy is already in position, prepara- 
tions should be made to cut down as much as possible the 
time between the appearance of the battery and the opening 
shot, and to avoid assembling a lot of men and horses in the 
battery position. When it is desired to put a superior 
number of batteries into position, to have them open fire 
simultaneously and to maintain order and coolness when they 
move into the initial position, it will be advisable, tmless 
haste is requisite, to place the batteries in readiness first. 
The advance of batteries into a position is often facilitated 
by the fact that the fire of other batteries diverts the enemy's 
attention, or that the movement is made under cover of the 
fire of heavy batteries. 

When a large unit has to unlimber to a flank (especially 
on debouching from a defile or after turning off a road) the 
leading elements should be assigned the longer routes. It is 
much simpler, to be sure, to post first the battery whose flank 
will rest on the road and to bring the others into position 
successively, but the battery at the tail of the column will 
not then be ready to fire nearly so soon. Since the leading 
battery will be ready to fire much sooner, this leads, especi- 
ally during peace maneuvers, to a second still greater mis- 
take, viz., opening fire by successive units. This mistake, 
which may imperil the deployment of the entire artillery 
force, does not, indeed, exact its penalty during peace man- 
euvers, but may lead to great inconvenience and serious 
losses in actual war in case some of the batteries are still 
marching in rear of the batteries that are already engaged. 

340 Employment op Artillery. 


Artillery fire should be utilised to the fullest extent 
at ranges that lie outside the zone of effective infantry fire. 
It is in exceptional cases only that artillery will fire at the 
extreme ranges laid down in its tables of fire. But such fire 
may be used in containing actions, occasionally in rencontre 
fights, in defense, to force the enemy to take cover and to 
compel him to make wide turning movements, and in pur- 
suit, to disperse distant hostile troops. At extreme ranges, 
observation is difficult and the effect of percussion fire is 
small. Besides, the striking energy of shrapnel bullets di- 
minishes more and more rapidly as the range increases, f 
Por the foregoing reasons, artillery should fight at ranges at 
which an effect commensurate with the expenditure of am- 
munition may be expected. J Percussion fire produces very 
little effect at ranges over 3,500 m., as the projectiles bury 
themselves in the ground and a large part of the explosive 

*ParB. 435-466. German F. A. D. B. 

tin addition, the depth of the beaten zone decreases rapidly from the moment 
the angle of the cone of dlBperelon becomes smaller than the angle of fall of the pro- 
iectUe, since the upper half of the sheaf of shrapnel bullets will no longer ascend. 
When firing on low targets, errors in adjustment make themselves more and more 
seriously felt as the angle of fall increases. Such errors may. under certain condi- 
tions, nullify the effect. 

^During the Franco-German war. 2,600 m. was the longest effecUve range* 
but on August 16th and 18th. 1870. this was frequently exceeded by some 500 m. On 
August 18th. the 1st Battery of the Field Artillery Regiment of the Guard even 
fired at 4,000 m. 

Engagement of Lagulin. July 31st, 1904: Two Russian batteries that had 
been imder fire for twelve hours, received shell fire from five Japanese batteries at 
ranges of 4,600 and 5,400 m. One of the Russian batteries lost 2 men killed and 7 
men wounded, the other only 2 men wounded, although the projectiles burst In- 
cessantly among guns and caissons. The observation station was close to the bat- 
tery. V. Tettau, Achlzehn Monale, I, p. 219. 

At Wafangkou the artillery fired at 4,200 m. ; at Tashihchlao. the 9th Artillery 
Brigade fired with fuzes set at the extreme graduation, and the Ist Brigade even ex- 
ceeded this; and Colonel Slusharenko's artillery fired at 4.300 m. on August 30th 
and 31st, and at 5.300 m. on October 12th. 

Russia s The best ranges as far as effect is concerned lie between 1.070 and 
2.500 m. In attack, the first positions selected are to be located between 2,500 and 
8.000 m. 

Itslyi The range should not exceed 3,000 m. If it can be avoided, no posi- 
tion that lies within the zone of effective infantry fire (under 1.200 and 1.500oa.) 
should be selected. 

Battle Ranges. 341 

effect is dissipated. Such fire is effective against artillery 
at 2,200 — 2,300 m. Shell bursts on graze. At a range of 
3,000 m., the effect of time shrapnel against any target is 
considered very satisfactory, and at ranges under 2,500 m., 
its effect is actually annihilating. Its effect does not increase 
materially as the range decreases. Bad roads and the desire 
to open fire at an early moment, may justify firing at the 
longer ranges. Artillery should not take up a position at 
extreme range from its objective. When the guns have a 
better range than those of the enemy, it may be a good plan 
to take up a position outside the zone of his effective fire. 
The Japanese artillery, which was numerically and ballistic 
cally inferior to the Russian artillery, always preferred to 
keep out of reach of the latter's time fire and, on the plains 
of Manchuria, fought almost invariably in widely dispersed 
positions and atlon^ranges (3,000 — 4,000 m., and occasionally 
even at 6,000 m.). Since it seemed dangerous to the Jap- 
anese artillery to change position, the Japanese infantry 
finally had to get along as best it could without artillery 
support. As the battle progresses, the ranges must of 
necessity decrease. It may be laid down as axiomatic that 
one's own infantry should never be without artillery support. 
Artillery can do justice to its duties and receive the full pro- 
tection of the other arms only if it keeps close to its infantry 
and understands how to adapt itself to the changing phases 
of the combat. At the decisive moment, artillery should 
not shrink from the severest infantry fire. A battery that 
has fired with annihilating effect for five minutes at a de- 
cisive point and is then captured, will have done more for 
its side than ten batteries that have kept up a well-aimed» 
but less effective fire from very distant well-chosen positions. 

During the RuMo-Turkish war of 1877-789 the Russian artillery 
fought at unusually long ranges and almost invariably neglected to support 
the infantry attack by occupying positions nearer the enemy, in which it 
would then have been exposed to losses occasioned by infantry fire. 

At Lovtcha» 92 Russian guns failed to silence 6 Turkish guns. The 
artillery fired at a range of 4,000 m. After the capture of the Turkish 

342 Employment of Artillery. 

advance position on the Red Hill, only a single battery was brought up 
into this position, though it was the first from which effective fire could 
have been brought to bear upon the enemy. "Unfortunately, the Turkisli 
rifles, effective up to 2,000 m., caused many of the commanders to come to 
the erroneous and disastrous conclusion that artillery neither could no 
should appear within the zone of effective rifle fire."* 

At Plevna, from September 7th to 11th, 1877, the Russians had 400 
field and 20 siege guns in action against 60 Turkish guns, but were able 
neither to silence them, nor to shake the defenders. The ranges ran all 
the way from 2,000 to 3,600 ro., although orders had been issued that the 
9-pounders, which were almost the only guns that produced any effect in 
this instance, should not fire at ranges over 2,400 m. Three batteries of 
the 16th Brigade even fired at 3,000 and 4,000 m., and, on account of the 
large angles of elevation used, four guns damaged their carriages and were 
disabled. "Severe losses occasioned by rifie fire," induced three other 
batteries of the same brigade to evacuate their position, which was some- 
what more advanced. The severe losses (sic) in this case, amounted to 2 
officers and 18 men. 

During the attack on Gomi Dubniac, the artillery of the Guards 
tbowed some sound tactical sense when it went into action at the outset 
at close range and endeavored to support the infantry. 

Heavy Artillery (pars. 396-399, German H. A. D. R.). 
The employment of heavy artillery is governed by the pur- 
pose of the action, the terrain, and cx)nditions of observation^ 
as well as by the necessity of cooperating with the field artil- 
lery. Thanks to the aid afforded by its excellent instruments 
for observation, long range fire presents no difficulties to 
heavy artillery. The battle ranges of heavy howitzers lie 
between 2,100 and 5,000 m. It is not advisable for these 
guns to approach closer than 4,000 m. to a target, since the 
effect of hostile shrapnel fire must be considered. Except 
at ranges of 2,100 m. and over, shell with delay action is 
incapable of penetrating the cover that is usually employed in 
the field. 

Heavy artillery should go into action at longer ranges 
when it is to facilitate the advance of the field artillery to 
effective ranges. 

*KuROPATKXN in the Russian Gen. St, W., I, p. 18. 

Firing over Friendly Infantry. 343 


The increase of artillery in all units does not permit 
gaps to be left for it in the firing line. Besides, artillery re- 
quires the protection afforded by advanced infantry, in 
order that it may be enabled to devote all of its energy to 
its principal task. Hence, it is necessary for artillery to fire 
over friendly infantry. 

It is impossible to specify definitely the ranges at which 
firing over infantry is permissible. At Pieters Hill (1900), the 
British infantry was told to advance until it could smell the 
fumes of the Lyddite shells. Colonel Kitchener is said to 
have told his artillerymen that he would not censiure them 

if two or three of their shrapnel burst in the ranks of his 
infantry. Curved fire guns can, at any rate, continue their 
fire longer than flat trajectory guns, but it must be remembered 
that the infantry may be endangered by shell fragments that 
fly to the rear. The character of the terrain and the feasi- 
bility of observing the fire will govern in each individual case ; 
the leader must decide, in view of the tactical situation, 
whether it is permissible to continue the fire according to 
the experience gained at target practice, or whether the fire 
should be discontinued. Even under most unfavorable con- 

*Par. 375, German F. A. D. A. 

344 Employment op Artillery. 

ditions, artillery can continue to fire longer over the heads 
of friendly troops when it is posted on low grotind and its 
objective is on high ground (line a-b in the figure), than when 
both are situated in a plain. But this becomes impossible 
when the objective is at c (figure) for example. In the latter 
case, the artillery would have to change jxjsition. Artillery 
may endanger its own infantry when the light is poor and it 
can no longer distinguish friend from foe on account of their 
neutral tinted uniforms.* 

Infantry posted in front of artillery must be protected 
against hostile shots that burst short and against the effect 
of projectiles that burst in the guns. Such premature bursts 
occur very rarely — only about one projectile (shell or shrap- 
nel) in 8,000 bursting before it leaves the gun. These pro- 
jectiles are not effective, however, up to 400 m. f In any 
event, the distance between infantry and its artillery should 
be such that the hostile artillery can not fire effectively upon 
both at once, i. e., at least 300 m. When it is impossible 
for the batteries to adjust fire by getting an "over" and 
"creeping" back, they can fire for adjustment over their 
infantry on level ground so long only as the shirmishers have 
not approached closer than 500 m. to the objective. For 
effect, they may fire until the skirmishers are within 300 m. 
from the target. It should be borne in mind that when a 
projectile passes less than 10 m. above a man's head, the 
atmospheric disturbance is very unpleasantly noticeable. 
With German field gims, firing at a range of 1,500 m., this 
occtu-s when the infantry is 300 m. from the objective ; at a 
range of 2,000 m., when it is 250 m. from the objective against 
which the fire is directed. Either of these distances (300 or 
250 m.) exceeds the depth of the entire (100%) zone of dis- 
persion of projectiles (which at 2,000 m. amoxmts to 136 m.), 

* Artillery of the let Army on the evenhig of Auguat 18th. 1870. Ho r VBAtJSB, 
Deutsche Artillerie, V, p. 126. 

tAccordlng to Austrian data, the proportion of premature bursta to rounds 
fired l8 as follows: 

1 to 803 shell (.33%) — effective up to 240 m. 
1 to 175 shrapnel (.67%) — effective up to 8(X) m 

Firing over Friendly Infantry. 345 

andof points of burst (120 m.), so that the infantry skirmishers 
are not in danger of being hit, unless gross mistakes are 
made by the cannoneers. In certain circumstances, the fire 
may be continued with percussion projectiles, whose points 
of burst are more easily observed with reference to one's 
own infantry. The objection that friendly infantry might be 
demoralized by projectiles that pass over it, is not well taken ; 
on the contrary, all shots so fired in action, will be considered 
a welcome assistance. But it is otherwise when the artillery 
fires by mistake into its own infantry. Then there happens 
what is so aptly described by Hohenlohe when he says, **To 
be sure, the men did not think of flight, but they were par- 
alysed by that feeling of despair that takes hold of a man when 
he must admit that the game is up." 

To quote from the German General Sta£F Account of the Franco- 
German war:* "The increased losses inflicted on the artillery by rifle 
fire, urgently demand that adequate protection be afforded that arm 
by pushing infantry to the front." The 33d and the 60th Infantry occu- 
pied Grav«lotte and the Ist Battalion, 67th Infantry, Malmaison, to pro- 
tect the artillery of the Ist Army, but as these organizations were almost 
on line with the artiUery, the latter suffered from the fire of French skir- 
mishers lodged in the edge of the woods. Efforts made to dislodge them 
precipitated an infantry fight.t At St. Ail (August 18th, 1870), the artil- 
lery of the Prussian Guards was several times forced to turn from the hostile 
artillery and against bodies of French infantry that had molested it, until 
finally some infantry that was pushed to within 400 paces of the hostile 
lines, supported it.t 

According to Hoffbauer,! artillery fired on its own infantry: In 
trying to fire over the latter when in close country the two opposing lines 
were not clearly distinguishable on account of dust, powder smoke, or bad 
light; during pursuits when isolated disordered bodies rushed after the 
enemy; and in enveloping attacks reaching far around the enemy's 
flank (attack on the trenches at Gorni Dubniac);J finally, in bringing up 
batteries out of a route column to reinforce artillery that is already engaged 
with hostile batteries that can not be clearly recognized on account of the 
nature of the terrain, or perhaps are entirely hidden from the view of the 

*Gen. St W., II, p. 924. rteum6 of the results of the battles around Mets. 
tMoiynoB, Krieo von 1870-71, p. 55. 
tOen, St. W., II, pp. 747 and 771. 
H Deutsche ArHllerie, V, p. 216. 
IPusTRBWBXJ, Russi3ch$ Garde, p. 130. 

346 Employment of Artillery. 

artillery units in rear. This actually happened to the artiUery of the Xlth 
Army Corps at Sedan.* 

The following statement appears in a British Memorial 
on the lessons of the war in the Far East : **The moral effect 
produced by artillery fire, which forced the defenders to take 
to cover and did not even permit them to raise their heads 
above the parapet, was so highly esteemed by the Japanese 
infantry, that it requested the batteries to continue firing, 
without regard to the losses thereby inflicted in its own ranks, 
until it had taken the position or unfurled small national 
flags as an indication that fire support was no longer needed. 
According to the opinion of the Japanese themselves, the 
losses inflicted in their infantry by their own guns were in- 
significant in comparison to the losses that the defender could 
inflict by delivering his fire undisturbed at a range of a few 
hundred meters when not kept down by the attacking artil- 

When the infantry wishes the fire to be still more effec- 
tively stifled, it should give the signal gz;, whereupon the 
artillery will direct its percussion or time fire upon the grottnd 
in rear of the hostile position in order to prevent or to in- 
terfere with any movement on the part of the hostile reserves. 
It is often not easy for artillery to decide when it should cease 
firing or when it should change targets. If this is done pre- 
maturely, the enemy will get an opportunity to bring a heavier 
fire to bear on the infantry, which is now thrown on its own 
resources ; f if it is done too late, the advance of the infantry 
will be facilitated for the time being, to be sure, but bodies 
of infantry that rush forward on their own initiative are 
very apt to run into the fire of their own artillery, as happened 
during the assault on St. Privat. J 

*HoFFBAUER, Deutsche Artillerie, YlII, p. 78. 

tHoHENLOHB, MUitOrische Briefe, II. p. 87. Attack on Vlllejoiian, Decem- 
ber lOth, 1870. Wald und Ortsgefecht, p. 212. The Russian assaults on Plevna 
likewise failed because the hostile fire was no longer kept down. 

XOeschichtB des Kaiser Fram Gards^renadUr-RegiminU, p. 118. 

Firing over Friendly Infantry. 347 

During the assault on Ste. Marie-aux-ChSnes, the bat- 
teries on the right wing were notified that the infantry was 
about to advance to the charge. Only one battery on the 
left wing kept up its fire and did not cease firing until informed 
that the village had been taken.* 

France: All the ground for a distance of 600 m. in front of the 
guns is considered within the danger zone. When the infantry has arrived 
within 500 m. of the objectives upon which the artillery is firing, the fire 
of the latter should be entirely discontinued or suspended. 

England: It is risky for artillery to fire over friendly troops 
at ranges under 1,400 m., and at longer ranges, on level ground, when the 
infantry is 600 yards, or in the case of heavy artillery 800 yards, from the 
objective. When the enemy occupies commanding ground, the fire can 
be kept up much longer. Field howitzers can continue firing with lyddite 
shell even when it would be dangerous to fire shrapnel. The responsibility 
for discontinuing the fire at the proper moment rests upon the artillery, the 
other arms must assist. 

Italy: Artillery is always to be protected by infantry pushed at 
least 300 — 400 m. to the front. This infantry should advance far enough 
to enable it to inflict losses on any hostile infantry that attempts to molest 
the artillery. 

Russia : The following is taken from one of General Gurko's orders : 
"Artillery can be most useful to the attacking troops by firing as vigorously 
as possible when the infantry fire usually dies down, especially during the 
attack proper. In this case, artillery should not shrink from firing over 
its own infantry." 

Combat Regulationa par. 48: "Artillery should avoid firing over 
other troops, but may do so when the distance to the enemy is still so great 
and the corresponding angle of fall of the projectiles so large that there 
is little probability of accidents, and when the use of artillery fire may 
materially contribute to gaining the object in view." 

Examples of artillery firing over friendly infantry: 

Worth (Gen. St. W., I, pp. 229 and 285): After the reverse suffered 
by the Vth Corps, the offensive movement of the French infantry was 
brought to a halt by the fire of the Prussian artillery. The range was 
1,700^—1,800 paces and Prussian skirmishers were in position 200 — 300 
paces from the target. 

Spicheren: (See Gen. St. W., I, pp. 313, 330 and 364). 

At Gravelotte, 20 batteries fired for dve hours over the almost 
entirely disorganized Vllth and Vlllth Army Corps, thereby enabling 
the infantry to hold its position on the left of the Mance valley. 

*0m. St, W., II, p. 759. 

348 Employment op Artillery. 

St. Privats When the skirmiBh lines of the Pnusian Guards had 
advanced to a point some 400 or 500 m. from St. Privat, 16 Prussian bat- 
teries posted 700 paces farther in rear and on lower ground, fired over their 
heads.* The 1st Infantry Brigade of the Guards and the skirmishers of 
two Saxon regiments, supported by the fire of 12 Saxon batteries posted 
700 — 800 paces directly in rear of them, advanced to the assault of St. 


During the RusM^Japanese war» the first assaults on Nanahan 
Hill failed because the Japanese artillery discontinued its fire too soon. 
The attack made by the 4th Regiment of Guards on October ISth, 1904. 
and the assaults on redoubts 16 and 17 at Mukden succeeded, because the 
artillery kept up its fire to the very last.^ 


Even in the days when guns were not provided with 
shields, it was found that battery niat6riel was not easily 
damaged and that batteries whose fire was silenced, were in 
most cases reduced to that state not because their guns were 
disabled, but because they were short of men and am- 
munition. Losses among the teams may deprive batteries 
of mobility, but the horses can be protected as much as pos- 
sible by sending the limbers to the rear, and by unhitching 
the caissons. When batteries advance with infantry and 
support it during the assault, the Umbers should remain with 
their gims, no matter what losses are suffered in consequence. 

At the battle of Vionvilie, August 16th, 1870, a number of batteries 
lost a large part of their officers (14 batteries of the Hid Army Corps, 24, 
those of the Xth Army Corps, 13 officers) and three-fourths of their can* 
noneers. As a consequence, many guns had to cease firing until reinforce- 
ments came up from the second echelon. 

At St. Privat the artillery of the Guard Corps lost one-fourth of 
the horses and one-fifth of the men with the fighting batteries. Killed and 
wounded should be removed from the batteries, as their presence lowers 
the morale of the personnel. 

Our losses in materiel were not serious, but, at the same time, the 
damage done to it by the French artillery was not inconsiderable. Four- 
teen Prussian guns were disabled during the Franco-German war, and six 
during the campaign of 1866. On August 16th, 1870 (Vionville), the 

•Gen. St., W. II. p. 876. 

t/Mif., II. p. 889. 

Xr. LOttwits, Dot Angriffsverfahren der Japaner, pp. 25^8. 

Artificial Cover. 


following dkinaEBi minor miBhapa excepted, was done to the German artll- 
lerjr (222 gana) : 6 trail flasks, 2 primer box«e, a number of poles, 1 limber 
chest lid, 1 Umber chest, 2 limbers, 1 axle seat and the laying Kear on one 

Gun Pit for Field Gun, Modal *96 (remodeled). 

(lime of construction I 2houn). 






/\\= // ^ 








§ ? 





The cover afforded by the shields of the field gun should 
invariably be augmented by earthworks (pars. 88-102, 
Gennan Manual of Field Engineering). The space between 
the shield and the ground should, in the first place, be filled 
with earth. During pauses in the firing, an epaulement 0.8 m. 
high can then be thrown up to give additional protection 
to the gim and its caisson body, the necessary earth for this 
being obtained by excavating a ditch in front. In case of 
frontal fire, the ditch should be located on the side of the gun 
on which the caisson body is not posted. When time admits, 
separate cover should be provided for each gun. In this case, 
ammunition is deposited beside the guns and the caissons with- 


Employment op Artillery. 

drawn. Care should be taken to provide shelter for the obser- 
vation stations. In prepared positions, several sets of gun pits 
are requisite, since the artillery will seldom be able to meet 
from a single position all demands made upon it. When 

Epaulement for Field Gun, Model '96 (remodeled). 

Sect ton b^a 

epaulements are unskillfully located, they frequently be- 
tray the position to the enemy, and are then more detri- 
mental than useful. In order to make them less conspicuous, 
it is a good plan to connect them by a thin parapet and to 

Artificial Cover. 


take precautions to prevent dust clouds visible at a great 
distance being raised at every shot. A breastwork may like- 
wise be thrown up in front of the guns. By digging a con- 

Gun Pits. 
(Time of conat uctiont 



Employment op Artillery. 

necting trench in rear of the connecting parapet, mentioned 
above, and by constructing splinter proofs and observation 
stations, the work may be further perfected in five hours. 



Cover frcffek 

•for gijut s^aod 





During prolonged spells of wet weather, water will accumu- 
late in the ditches and trenches and proper drainage must 
be provided. 

Artificial Cover. 


In providing cover for light field howitzers the first 
thing that should be attended to is the construction of 
trenches for the gun squads. These can be dug in forty min- 
utes. The caisson body of each howitzer is posted in rear 
of the trenches provided for the personnel. A pit and epaule- 
ment for a light field howitzer can be constructed in about 
two hours. 

Gun Pit. 

fl,- Gun pH (for mcrfars and 

A- Cover ireffch^s fot^un sfu^t/, 
Q . p// for Caisson bodtf 


Cover for Light Field Howitzer. 



Section b.a. 


Employment op Artillery. 

Cover for the heavy field howitzer is constructed simi- 
larly. "When not protected by shields, part of the men 
seek cover in the trenches on the flanks of the guns and the 
remainder in the magazines." (German Manual of Battery 
Intrenchments). Magazines should be provided for the 
ammunition, the projectiles and charges being stored s^v 

Cover for Heavy Held Howitzer. 

(WhMi tim* admiU, an ep«ul«niant ahould b* prttrictod In front.) 


(a) Artillery versus Infantry. 

Purely frontal infantry fire is ineffective against artil- 
lery at mid ranges; some effect can be counted upon at very 
close ranges only. Even in the latter case, infantry can do 
no more than deprive artillery of its mobility and endanger 
its ammunition supply. "If artillery does not wish to move, 
infantry can never drive it off the field. On the contrary, if 

Artillery Combat at Short Range. 355 

the intensity of the fire increases, it can not move for the time 
being, because many of its horses will be shot. But that does 
not spell its ruin, by any means, for so long as a few men remain 
with each gun and load and train cooly, the battery continues 
to exist and to retain its f uU power until the last man at each 
gun is disabled/** The full significance of these words 
is just beginning to be appreciated. Artillery — in particular 
its observation stations — is most susceptible to the fire of 
scattered groups of concealed skirmishers that are plentifully 
supplied with ammunition, since it has no means of repell- 
ing them, unless some of its own infantry is {pushed to the 

Examples illustrating ths artillery combat at short ranges. 

1. After the capture of Elsaszhausen at the battle of Worth,t 
Sylvius' Hone Battery engaged French infantry at a range of 600 m. and 
repelled a charge at a range of 80 m. with canister. During the assault 
on Froschweiler Ohnesorge's Horse Battery advanced beyond the 
firing line of its own infantry and prepared the assault by firing on the 
edge of the viUage at a range of 600 m. While in this position, the battery 
repulsed unaided a cavalry charge. The battery had lost 94 horses, was 
absolutely immobile and unable to move intb the bivouac assigned to it, 
though this was only 400 m. away, until fresh teams were brought up. 
The 5th Light Battery of the 11th Field Artillery unlimbered abreast of 
Ohnesorge's Battery, though a violent fire was directed upon it by French 
infantry and mitrailleuses. 

Out of an effective strength of 4 officers, 150 men and 207 horses, 
each, Sylvius' Battery lost 1 officer, 7 men, and 33 horses, and Ohnesorge's 
Battery, 12 men, and 94 horses. 

2. Stumpfs and Vosz' Batteries (Hid Army Corps) maintained 
their positions on the Roten Berg (battle of Spicheren) in face of French 
infantry lodged in trenches 700 m. away and supported by three batteries.]: 

3. The 5th Heavy Battery of the 7th Field Artiiiery went into 
position on August 14th, 1870 (battle of Colombey) at the little wood of 
Colombey, within 700 m. of unshaken French infantry. In addition, the 
battery received a heavy shrapnel and mitrailleuse fire, was able to fire 
only twenty-eight rounds of shell in return in ten minutes and was then 
obliged to retire, leaving two of its guns temporarily on the ground. Its 
losses amounted to 5 officers, 3 non-commissioned officers and 11 men.K 

*HoHBNLOHB, MUitdrische Briefc, III. p. 140. 
tHoPFBAUER, Deutsche Artillerie, II, pp. 53 and 67. 
tOen. St. TF.. I. p. 35. 

%G€9chicht$ d€8 7 Fetdartilleriereoiments, II, pp. 53 and 67. — KuNi, Kri$99' 
g^wthUhOMm BtiipUU, 7, p. 10. 

356 Employment of Artillery. 

4. Aitilltfy of the Vllth Army Corps at St. Hubwt (battle of 

6. During the opening engagements of the South African war, 
the Engliah artillery was diapoaed to occupy positionB at too great a range 
from the enemy, though in aome inatanoeap aa at the Tugela, the nature of 
the terrain forced it to do ao. On the other hand, it never hesitated a 
moment to advance closer to the enemy. Its losses were trifling. At 
Modder River, November 28th, 1899, it fired at a range of 1,600 m., at 
Magerafontein, finally, at 1,200 and 900 m. F<»' the conduct of the 
English artillery at Coienao, see p. 311, $upra. 

If the enemy actually penetrates into the battery, the 
personnel continues the fight with its small arms. This is 
by no means hopeless. Although it will rarely be possible 
to drive the enemy out of the battery in this way, time will 
be gained until other troops can come up. 

(b) Artillery veraua Cavalry.f 

In order to enable them to repel a cavalry charge, it is 
essential that the batteries receive early notice, through 
timely reconnaissance, of the impending charge, to give them 
ample time to make all needful preparations to meet it. 
Whether artillery can repulse a charge, depends upon 
mutual cooperation of all of its elements, upon good fire 
discipline. If cavalry advancing frontally to the charge 
is observed at an early moment, it is a good plan to cease 
firing upon the old target, get a 400 m. bracket upon the 
cavalry with time fire and open volley fire, distributed evenly 
over the entire objective, at the short limit of the bracket. 
The sooner the charge is repulsed, the shorter the interrup- 
tion of the activity of the artillery. The principal danger 
to the artillery does not lie in the first thin hostile line, but 
in the luiits following that line, and in hostile escadrons that 
may have been laimched against its flank. It is a good plan 

*KuNZ, Krieffsgeschichtliche Beispiele, 7, p. 23. 

tSee p. 209, supra. When repelling a cayalry charge, the EngliBh artillery 
■eta fuzea at 600 yards and fires at will, thereby keeping a certain zone under flre 
between guns and cavalry. No effect is obtained at the longer ranges; under 500 
yards, fuzes are set at zero. This procedure ensures a high rate of fire, but the rear- 
ward echelona — ^and these are the deciding factors in a charge — can approach al- 
most unscathed. 

Artillery Supports. 357 

to designate platoons or batteries to turn against such objec- 
tives. The fire should, therefore, be continued even after the 
leading hostile line has ridden through the battery. Even 
when the artillery receives timely notice of a flank attack, 
the task of repelling it is by no means easy, as a change of 
front can be executed but slowly, one piece at a time, after 
the trail spade of each has been pulled out of the ground. 
If engaged with hostile artillery at this time, the protection 
of the shields is dispensed with after such a change of front. 
In addition, the distances that have to be covered by the 
ammunition carriers increase as the caisson bodies can be 
moved but slowly, and a certain amount of excitement and 
nervousness among the personnel is unavoidable. A cav- 
alry charge from the rear presents still more imfavorable 

Cavalry will have scored a success, if it succeeds in tem- 
porarily silencing a long artillery line, or in dispersing the 
reserves and spreading disorder and panic. It is, at any rate, 
easier for cavalry to capture artillery than for artillery to 
ward off a well planned charge made by a large mass of 


Formerly the opinion prevailed that artillery should 
always be provided with a support, but our more recent regula- 
tions represent the view, based on lessons from the last 
campaigns, that artillery supports should only be provided 
when the artillery can not keep the foreground under effec- 
tive fire, when its flanks are exposed to the attacks of enter- 

*For examples ftx)m military history, see pp. 176 and 177, supra. Charge of 
French cavalry against artillery of the Xlth Army Corps at Sedan. KuNz, KrUgi- 
gBSchichtliehe BeispUle, 6. p. 24, et 89Q. In spite of the violent canister fire that met 
them, hostile escadrons penetrated the 3d Heavy Battery of the 11th Field Artil- 
lery. The men of this battery defended themselves with sidearms and sponges until 
infantry arrived on the scene. 

tPar. 371, German F. A, D. R. 

Journal des BcUnua mUitaires, March and April numbers 1005. 

858 Employment op Artillery. 

prising cavalry, or when it appears isolated and unprotected 
by the other arms. Cases like the one last mentioned occur 
when artillery is taken out of the route column when still 
a long distance away from the enemy and pushed forward 
into action, **when necessary" in the combat of the cavalry 
division (pars. 524, German F. A. D. R.), in pursuit (pars. 
521, German F. A. D. R.), and when a retreat is to be facili- 
tated by fire from a flank position or, when in pursuit (pars. 
516, German P. A. D. R.), **a pressure" is to be exerted on 
the hostile line of retreat. It is well worth considering 
whether cyclist detachments would not frequently suflBce 
for this purpose. The fact that the Germans lost gtms* 
in battle at Gravelotte, at Etrepagny, and at Beatme la 
Rolande only, undoubtedly influenced them somewhat in 
writing their regulations. The French and Russians, who 
had quite a contrary experience, lay far greater stress upon 
the necessity of artillery supports. Infantry and cavalry 
do not have the same value as artillery supports. Cavalry 
can reconnoiter to a great distance and can follow the move- 
ments of the guns without difficulty and is therefore able 
to protect them at the very moment when they are least 
capable of offering resistance, i. e., while on the march and 
while limbering and unlimbering. But cavalry does not pos- 
sess the same power of resistance as infantry. On accoimt of 
its more diversified combat activity, infantry is better able 
than cavalry to protect artillery effectively. This is due to the 
fact that infantry can fight on any terrain and against any 
arm of the enemy, whereas cavalry can only in the rarest 
cases afford protection against infantry approaching under 
cover. Hence, an artillery support that would meet all 
demands made upon it, should, strictly speaking, be composed 
of both arms. But this is impracticable, since an artillery 

^During the Franco-German war, the German' artillery lost six guns (KuNS« 
Kriegsifeschichtliche Beispiele, 7. pp. fiO-62). viz.. 2 guns of the 4th Heavy Battery, 
9th F. A., on August 18th. 1870. (ibid., 6. p. 23). 2 Bavarian Reserve guns on the 
retreat to Coulmlers (ibid., 5, pp. 70, 71), 1 gun of the 3d Heavy Battery. 10th F. A. 
at Beaune la Rolande (ibid., 5, pp. 73 and 76). and 1 Saxon gun at Etrepagny on 
November 30th, 1870 (Reilerei, pp. 227-234). 

Artillery Supports. 359 

support must not be made too strong, as it is withdrawn 
from participation in the actual engagement. Besides, 
the artillery supports will usually be furnished by the troops 
that happen to be in the vicinity. Batteries hunying to 
the battlefield had best be supported by cavalry; later, 
during the action, this can be relieved, if necessary, by in- 
fantry. In defense, it is less a question of making extended 
movements than of repelling attacks on the artillery, and the 
artillery supports are taken from the infantry as a matter of 
course. In this case, reconnaissance is performed by the 
divisional cavalry and the scouts of the artillery. An artillery 
support should be made as small as possible. A support vary- 
ing in strength from a platoon to a company of infantry or 
from a platoon to an escadron of cavalry, is suflBcient, as a 
rule, for a single battery. During an advance, the cavalry 
hurries ahead, reconnoiters and protects the artillery against 
surprise, but must take care, in case of an encounter with the 
enemy, not to get between the latter and the battery, as this 
will prevent the guns from firing. During a retreat, the 
cavalry keeps in close contact with the enemy and endeavors 
to retard his pursuit. 

In such circumstances, it is not easy for infantry to be 
on hand at the proper time. At Beaumont, Bavarian in- 
fantrymen were moimted on the caissons of the artillery.* 
To be sure, only a few men can be carried in this way and they 
can do little more than merely protect the guns against 
small bodies of cavalry, guard the unlimbering, and cover 
guns that are temporarily in a critical situation. But, since 
the caimoneers are now armed with the carbine, they can do 
as much. An artillery support composed of infantry follows 
the artillery as quickly as possible, and, above all else, 
endeavors to keep in touch with it. Infantry can best pro- 
tect a firing battery by taking up a position in front or to 
the right or left front of it. The French split up their support, 
placing one-half on a fiank of the battery for the latter's 

^Fgt additional examples, see p. 237. supra. 

860 Employment op Artillery. 

immediate protection and pushing the other half forward. 
This distribution has for its primary object the repulse of a 
cavalry charge directed against flank and rear. When hos- 
tile cavalry approaches, infantry should endeavor to prevent 
its getting to the gims by taking up a position in the vicinity 
of the battery. When engaged with hostile infantry, the 
artillery support should endeavor to select its position with 
a view to divert the hostile fire from the battery. 

Cavalry acting as an artillery support had best be posted 
to the right or left rear of the guns, as it can then take any 
hostile attack in flank and is as much as possible withdrawn 
from the hostile fire. When infantry approaches to attack 
the battery, the important thing is to seize the proper moment 
for charging, to ride quickly and unexpectedly against its 
flank, preferably at the moment when the infantry moves to 
the charge, and, when necessary, to dismount some men to 
fight on foot. When advancing to the charge against hostile 
cavalry, care should be taken to prevent being thrown back 
upon the battery in case of defeat, as the guns will then be 
aunble to fire. 

Former regulations prescribed that a mounted charge be made by 
the personnel of a horse battery for the purpose of covering the withdrawal 
of the battery against hostile cavahry. Such a charge was successfully made 
by the personnel of a horse battery at S«llershausen in 1806, and at 
Leipzig in 1813, to repel hostile skirmishers. At Novlon Porcien, 
September 3d, 1870, such a charge was made by the personnel of the 1st 
Horse Battery, 6th F. A.,* for the purpose of capturing prisoners. Such a 
handful of horsemen will scarcely be able to check a cavalry charge, and if 
the hostile troopers are so few in number that the forty-eight horse artil- 
lerymen could chase them away, a well aimed shrapnel would be much more 
effective. The danger that the enemy might enter the battery at the same 
time with the defeated cannoneers is, at any rate, greater than the chance 
of their success. 

The other arms should feel in duty bound not to abandon 
their artillery. An order issued by Blucher on April 6th, 
1813 to the Army of Silesia, deserves to be called to mind: 
It ran, in part, as follows: **When an engagement takes 
place, I demand that the troops of all arms of a brigade, as 

•Gen. St. TT.. III. p. 13. 

Provisions op Various Regulations. 361 

well as of any body of troops, regard each other as brothers 
in arms and do not abandon each other, and that they look 
upon their artillery as a sacred charge upon whose safety 
their honor depends. The commander of a body of troops, 
whether of infantry or of cavalry, who abandons a gun that 
happens to be in the vicinity, no matter whether it belongs 
to his unit or to another, tmless he has sacrificed at least 
half of his men in its defense, shall be court-martialed." 

Heavy field artillery does not require a support, as it 
has plenty of men that are not needed for serving the guns 
and are, in addition, armed with rifles. 

In France and Russia, supporting escadrons are attached to the 
batteries of cavalry divisions. 

Franca: Infantry is, as a general rule, posted on the flanks of a 
long artillery line, and also some 800 — 900 m. in front of gaps in that line to 
check the approach of hostile skirmishers. A company charged with this 
task will frequently be compelled to divide its men between front and flank 
of the line of guns. 

Russia : The artillery support is to repel any attack on the guns. 
Its firing line is posted abreast of the batteries, its reserves in close order 
in rear of the batteries or in rear of their flank and close enough to be able 
to bring help promptly. 

Austria! The commander of the artillery support (which is never 
smaller than half a company or half an escadron) is under the orders of the 
artillery commander if the latter is the senior in rank, otherwise arrange- 
ments for mutual codperation are to be made. In addition, to the measures 
to be taken by the commander of the troops, the artillery is to provide for 
its own safety by making suitable provision for reconnaissance. Upon 
evacuating a position, the artillery support remains behind until the guns 
have the requisite start. 

Examples: The batteries of the 6th Infantry Division, were sup- 
ported by two escadrons, and the corps artillery of the Xth Army Corps by 
the 16th Dragoons, during the advance to the battlefield of Vionville.* 

At Langensalza, thirty Prussian infantrymen prevented Cam- 
bridge Dragoons from taking two guns that were stuck in the mud in a 
sunken road.t 

At Vionville, an escadron of the 2d Dragoons of the Guard 
covered the withdrawal of Planitz' Horse Battery against three approach- 
ing French escadrons.t 

Sapignies, January 2d, 1871.11 

*HoFFBAUEB. Deutsche Artillerie, TV, pp. 24 and 58. 
tLBTTOW-YoBBECK, FeldzuQ vcn 1866, I. p. 812. 

tKuNZ, Reiterei, p. 130. 
iriMd.. p. 241. 

362 Employment of Artillery. 

At the battle of Grav*lottep the left flank of the corps artillery 
of the IXth Army Corps, at Vern^ville, was without support.* 



When reinforcements may be expected, sufficient room 
should be provided for the batteries that arrive late on the 
field, by appropriately curtailing the frontage and by closing in 
in each battalion, in order that an admixture of units may be 
avoided. On level ground, batteries that arrive late on the 
field should avoid going into position immediately beside 
or abreast of an objective upon which the enemy has already 
adjusted his fire. (Par. 424, German F. A. D. R.).t It 
may be advantageous to post the guns in echelon if it does 
not interfere with fire direction. To run guns up individually 
into an artillery line that is already engaged, interrupts the 
firing, considerably increases the density of the target offered 
and is only permissible in pursuit or when the enemy's fire 
is dying down. Artillery units should be maintained intact 
as long as possible or, at any rate, if broken up, reestablished 
during a change of position. Battalions or batteries that go 
into action within the limits of a command other than their 
own, are subject to the orders of the officer commanding 
in that locality. The same is true of heavy batteries, which 
in similar circumstances are subject to the orders of the senior 
artillery officer commanding in the new position. (Par. 
381, German H. A. D. R.). The brigade commander should 
regulate matters affecting conunand. It will sometimes be 
practicable to make room by moving batteries toward a 
flank, t but when this is impossible an attempt will have to 

*Gen. SL W., II, p. 707. — Hoffbaubr, Deutsche ArHUerie, V, p. 36. 

tThe Saxon 4th Light Battery reinforced the German batteries that were en- 
gaged with superior French artillery during the engagement at Villieni. November 
80th. 1870. Only four of the guns were able to go into position at first, and in a 
short time casualties reduced the gun squads to one or two men per gun. In spite 
of this, the battery maintained its position. Kbbtsch me b, OeaehichU dsr aOchMitditn 
Feldartillerie, p. 170. 

IHOHBNLOHB. MUUOrische Brief e. III, p. 196. 

Reinforcing the Firing Batteries. 


be made to close intervals between guns in each battery, 
(though even this is difficult), so that other guns may be 
posted in the intervals between batteries. 

At Worthy the four batteries of the 2l8t Infantry Division went 
into position at large intervals (total frontage, 600 paces), on the heights 
of Gunstett. As a consequence, some of the batteries that came up later 
had to move into these intervals, the heights not affording enough room, 
and two batetries found no room at all and were unable to go into action. 

After the capture of Elsaszhausen, the admixture of batteries of 
the Vth and of the Xlth Army Corps became still worse. (See sketch). 
The same thing occured in the very restricted position occupied by the 
Xlth Army Corps on the heights of St. Menges (battle of Sedan). 

At Gravelotte, some guns of the batteries of the lid Army Corps 
unlimbered in the intervals between batteries of the Vllth Army Corps, 
which were already engaged, but fired only from 1 to 15 rounds, so that 
difficulties in fire control did not become apparent.* 

In the following figure, a circle with single flag denotes a battery of 
the Ist Division, a circle with a double flag a battery of the 2d Division, 
and a black circle with a cross a battery of the corps artillery, either of the 
Vth or of the Xlth Army Corps: 


Position of the Artillery of the 

Vth and the Xlth Corps 

at Elsaszhausen. 



First Position of the 

Artillery of the 

Xlth Corps. 

*HoiTBAUBB, Devische Artillerie, V, p. 126. 

364 Employment op Artillery. 


Frequent changes of position intemipt the fire. To the 
time lost in moving from one position to another, must be 
added the time consumed in adjusting the fire in the new 
position. It is not advisable to change to a new position 
only a few hundred paces away from the old, as such a change 
does not appreciably influence the effect of the fire. And 
even if it does, such an increase is nullified by the cessation 
of the fire. The Austrians and Italians prohibit changes of 
less than 600 paces, the Russians, f changes of less than 600 m. 
In an attack, a change of position must bring about a 
material increase in effect, otherwise such a change had better 
not be made at all, unless there is danger that by remaining 
in the old position, touch ^ith the advancing troops will 
be lost. A change of position is made by order of the com- 
mander of the troops; when necessary, his permission is 
obtained. When the tactical situation demands an im- 
mediate advance, or when it is a question of making the most 
of advantages gained, artillery must disregard this regula- 
tion. When it does so, the commander of the troops should 
be promptly notified. In Manchuria — the country being 
very open — the artillery usually did not attempt to change 
position in the day time, as, at the very outset, during the 
first engagements of the campaign, advancing batteries had 
been severely handled, t A change of position was either 
effected by piece or postponed imtil dark. In face of gims pro- 
vided with shields, the difficulties attending a change of posi- 
tion are increased. At the battle of the Shaho, on October 
12th, 1904, two Japanese field batteries advanced by successive 

*Par8. 464 and 465. German F. A. D. R, 

What is stated here also applies to heavy artillery. It Is desirable that the 
latter accomplish all Its tasks ftom a single position. 

tThe first position is to be located firom 2,000 to 8,000 m. from the obJeetlTa. 
that for preparing the infantry attack, firom 1,000 to 1,600 m. and that for support- 
ing that attack, not less than 800 m. ftrom the objective. 

IBuBsiaa batteries on the Yalu, at Wafangkou. and at Tashihchlao. 

Changes of Position. 


pieces, the latter following one another at 400 m., over an 
area swept by hostile shrapnel, and suffered no serious loss. 
Of the 26 carriages, 16 were fired upon, but in spite of this, 
the loss amounted only to 3 men and 1 7 horses. At Yangtsu- 
ling, four batteries of the 2d Japanese Division were in a 
very short time deprived of mobility when they attempted 
to move closer to the enemy. At the Yalu, a Russian bat- 
tery that attempted to limber up, lost most of its horses in a 
few minutes. 

When the hostile artillery is superior and its fire has 
been carefully adjusted, it may be a good plan to move the 
gims either forward or to the rear, in order to diminish the 
enemy's fire effect, to mislead him and possibly to compel him 
to readjust his fire. In Italy, gtms are to be moved some ten 
or twelve meters in this manner, and in Russia, according 
to General Totleben, twenty to fifty meters.* It is unneces- 
sary, of course, to obtain permission from the commander of 
the troops for such a trifling change of position. The same 
is true of a change of position effected by running the gtms 
forward when defending a crest, in order to enable them better 
to sweep the forward slope. For short distances (about 50 
m.), when the ground permits, the desired result will be at- 
tained much more quickly by running the guns forward by 
hand, opening fire as soon as two or three guns are in battery. 
The necessary ammimition can be taken along on the axle 

^According to Rohne, Schiestlehre fUr die Artillerie, p. 95, when firing on artil- 
lery In position, wltb time shrapnel, model '91, the following hits per shrapnel may 
be expected: 



Intervals of Burst. 





















250 m. 

0.7 hits 
0.4 •• 
0.25 " 

366 Employment op Artillery. 

seats. It shotild be borne in mind that loaded limbers and cais- 
sons can be moved by hand by great exertions only. When 
considerable distance has to be' traversed in a change of 
position and when the ground is soft, it is always better to 
bring up the teams. This will no doubt increase the losses, 
but the moral effect and the advantage of getting all the guns 
simultaneously into position should not be underestimated. 
The commander of the artillery (battalion commander) 
turns over the command of the gims in the old position to 
the next senior officer, reconnoiters the new position, sends 
back his adjutant (or an orderly) with the order to move the 
batteries up, and meets the battery conmianders, who hasten 
forward ahead of their batteries, with orders for moving into 
the new position. A battery usually moves intact into the 
new position (in Russia also by demi-battery), but exposed 
areas devoid of cover may be crossed by a piece or by a pla- 
toon at a time. Units larger than a battery will effect a 
change of position by echelons, those remaining in the old 
position meantime keeping down the enemy's fire. Since 
artillery that is in the act of limbering up or that is in motion 
presents a very good target, the defender's artillery, even if 
temporarily withdrawn, will seize this opportunity to come 
again into action. Guns must at any rate be kept in readi- 
ness to fire in order to prevent the enemy from firing without 
interference. It is of the utmost importance that artillery 
changing position limber up under cover, even if this entails 
running back the guns first, that it use covered avenues of 
approach, at least for the batteries that move first, that the 
whole movement be made rapidly, and that the fire be re- 
opened promptly. 

From the foregoing, it appears that when a change of position is 
contemplated, the following measures should be taken: 

1. The new position and its approaches should be reconnoitered; 

2. The reserves and the light ammunition column should be notified, 
the limbers should be refilled, unless this has already been done, and the 
manner of limbering up should be specified; 

8. The batteries that are to move first should be indicated. 

Changes op Position. 367 

As many units should be kept back in the old position, 
as seem to be required in view of the intensity of the hostile 
fire. But, in any event, as many batteries should be sent 
forward to the new position as may be necessary to develop 
a strong enough fire power from the shorter range gained to 
facilitate the movement of the other batteries. Larger units 
(regiments) should change position by battalion. By doing 
this, time is gained and mixture of batteries is avoided.* 
When a change of position is made in order to support f he 
infantry attack, haste is generally necessary; it will then 
no longer be possible to make the most of available cover and 
losses will have to be borne. As the critical stage of the 
action approaches, batteries will have to go into action re- 
gardless of losses. 

The reserves and the light ammunition column follow 
the batteries as soon as the latter are in their new position, 
and take along any materiel that may have been left in the 
old position. 

During a retrograde movement, the artillery commander 
as a rule rides ahead to reconnoiter the proposed position. 
The other artillery leaders as a rule remain with their com- 
mands (par. 398, German F. A. D. R.), but send experienced 
officers ahead to receive orders and to reconnoiter the posi- 
tion. (Par. 521, German F. A. D. R.). These officers 
may also be directed to clear the road that is to be used of 
trains and wagons. The reserves and ammunition columns 
are sent ahead beforehand. Artillery leaders do not ride 
ahead to reconnoiter until their commands are approaching 
the selected position. 

The execution of a change of position will vary, depend- 
ing upon whether the enemy has gained the superiority of 
fire or not. In the latter case, in order to keep the enemy at 
a distance, it is usually advisable to withdraw by echelons. 

'While the artillery battalions of the Saxons were Intact north of Ste. Marle- 
aiiz-Oh6nes, scarcely two batteries of any one battalion were together In the position 
south of Ronconrt. The presence of light and heavy batteries of different degrees 
of mobility In one and the same organization, likewise contributed to the dlslntegra- 
tfon of units. 

368 Employment of Artillery. 

But when the enemy has gained the superiority of fire, it is 
ahnost invariably a mistake to withdraw by echelons, as 
this would enable the hostile artillery to turn all its fire on 
the batteries that have remained in position and prevent 
them from limbering. The gims should limber up suc- 
cessively, in order that the batteries may be enabled to take 
their places in the column without check or loss of time. 
The batteries that have been most exposed to the hostile 
fire begin to limber up first. To hasten the execution of the 
withdrawal, a separate route should be assigned, if practi- 
cable, to each battery. The movement is begim at the walk. 


The effectiveness of artillery is measured by the effect 
produced on the target within a certain space of time by a 
mass of its projectiles. This effect will make itself felt 
proportionately sooner when the fire is opened unexpectedly, 
when it is concentrated, both as to time and space (fire sur- 
prise, par. 436, German F. A. D. R. ), and when one succeeds 
in obtaining, even if only with part of the guns, a flanking 
effect. The employment of cross fire is then frequently a 
natural consequence. To obtain the maximum effect in 
the shortest possible time with the minimum expenditure 
of ammimition, is the guiding principle of modem artillery 
tactics. **Nothing but correct fire direction can harmonize 
the effect produced by the artillery with the intentions of 
the commander of the troops and with the actions of the other 
arms, especially with those of the infantry. Correct fire 
direction is the expression of tactical appreciation of the 
situation and of the purpose of the action. Correct fire direc- 
tion is the certificate written with a hail of iron by the 
artillery commander as to the appropriate execution of the 
orders received and the intelligent appreciation of the inten- 
tions of the commander of the troops. Finally, it is com- 

Fire Direction. 369 

plete proof of soldierly ability to shoulder responsibility and 
of capacity for using initiative."* 

The commander of the troops indicates in general terms 
the purpose of the action and the objectives. The artil- 
lery commander and the commanders of the higher artillery 
units assign objectives to elements of their commands and 
regulate the conduct and progress of the artillery action 
(fire direction) . The conduct of fire is the function of bat- 
tery and of platoon commanders. It is their duty to see 
that the orders given by the officers charged with fire direc- 
tion are intelligently executed. 

The Austrian regulations, after pointing out that artil- 
lery should always select the objective that is most danger- 
ous to the principal arm, add: **One of the most difficult 
and, at the same time, most important duties of the artil- 
lery commander during an action, consists of deciding in all 
phases of the fight, whether to combat the hostile artillery, 
which is retarding our own infantry, or the hostile infantry, 
whose defeat it is, after all, that decides the action." One 
of the principal duties of the officers charged with fire direc- 
tion consists in properly apportioning the work of heavy artil- 
tory and field artillery. Heavy artillery can best cooperate 
with field artillery by directing its fire against the target that 
is most dangerous for the time being, against the hostile 
field artillery, which fires as a rule from a masked position, 
and by keeping down the fire of the hostile field artillery, 
thereby releasing as many field batteries as possible to fight 
the hostile infantry. But it is essential that the positions 
of the hostile artillery be at least approximately known. To 
search a large area in which hostile artillery is beUeved to be 
located, leads to waste of ammunition. Field artillery 
should endeavor to combat these very effective howitzer 
batteries by firing shrapnel on them from a fiank. Later 
in the action, the heavy artillery should prepare the assault by 
turning its fire on the point of attack and endeavor to de- 

*Swis8 Artillery arid Engineer Journal, 1008, No. 1. p. 2. 

370 Employment op Artillery. 

molish supporting points and to annihilate infantry under 
overhead cover. (Par. 358, German H. A. D. R.). It is a 
waste of energy to put more batteries into action than are 
necessary to accomplish the object sought to be attained. 
In many cases, one can achieve the same result with a small 
number of guns firing rapidly as with a larger ntunber of 
guns firing slowly. This is particularly true when repelling 
cavalry. (Par. 438, German P. A. D. R.). 

Every opportunity to fire on the higher staffs and on 
observation stations (balloons) shoidd be utilized.* Machine 
guns should, when practicable, be put out of action at ranges 
that are outside their effective zone, i. e., at ranges over 
1,600 m. When opposed by deployed infantry, artillery 
should, as a rule, direct its fire first against the leading line, 
and turn any excess fire power that may be available against 
objectives in rear of that line. Infantry targets of consider- 
able width should be combated section by section, so that no 
part of the target will for any length of time remain tmtouched 
by fire. Even inferior artillery should endeavor, by con- 
centrating its fire, to obtain a superiority over at least a 
part of the objective. It is usually impossible to avoid 
distributing the fire among several targets, in order that 
some parts of the hostile force may not get into action un- 
molested. One should avoid dispersing the fire, for a numeri- 
cal superiority in batteries becomes effective only through 
concentration of fire. 

Batteries equipped with shields should be combated 
according to the same principles as objectives protected by 
artificial cover. One diffictilty is that there are very few 

*For this reason care should be exercised In posting headquarters' flags, which 
have also been adopted by other armies. They should be so posted that they will 
not draw the hostile Are on the staff. The death of General Douay at Welszenbuig 
and the wounding of Marshal MacMahon at Sedan exerted a marked effect upon 
the battles named. On September Ist, 1870, Marshal LeboeuTs staff waa fired 
upon. KuNZ. Noisseville, p. 89. Hoffbauer, VI, p. 105. The fire against 
headquarters' staffs Is conducted as laid down In par. 196, Oerman F. A. F. JR., which 
says: "Depending upon the degree of accuracy with which the range Is known, the 
three platoons or the six guns, as the case may be, fire by platoon In the one case, or 
by volley in the other, with time shrapnel at ranges progressively increased by 100 


Fire Direction. 371 

animate targets visible in a battery, that losses inflicted 
impair its firing but slightly, and that it is impossible in 
most cases to observe the target directly. Time shell of the 
hght field howitzer and percussion shell (without delay action) 
of the heavy field howitzer, promise the best and qiiickest 
results. On the target range, good results have been obtained 
with guns using alternately time and percussion fire. This 
may likewise hold good in actual service. The use of shell 
against hostile guns presupposes accurate adjustment and 
requires that the flash of the hostile guns be clearly per- 
ceptible or that the guns be visible and that the range be not 
too great, i. e., not over 2,500 m. It will frequently be prac- 
ticable to combat in this manner batteries provided with 
shields, when they advance to repel the infantry attack. 

Lieutenant^General von Reichenau and General Langlois advo- 
cate the adoption of a small caliber gun to be used to dismount guns. 
But, among other things, the drawbacks inseparably connected with the 
introduction of a special type of gun, the low ballistic qualities of small cal- 
iber projectiles and the difficulties of ranging with them argue against its 
adoption. When the hostile guns are visible, they can just as well be dis- 
mounted by the fire of the field gun. 

A battery should keep its sheaf of fire intact. It should, 
while developing the whole fire power of which it is capable, 
combat several targets only when it receives orders during 
the assault to prevent the silenced artillery of the defender 
from reopening fire. In a battalion, a change of target is 
ordinarily not made without orders from the battalion com- 
mander. When necessary, a battalion can switch all or 
a part of its fire to another section than the one assigned to 
it. Frequent changes of target impair the efficacy of the fire, 
as each change requires that the fire be again adjusted. A 
battery commander is justified in shifting the fire of his 
battery on his own initiative to another target when danger 
is imminent, or when important targets appear suddenly 
and remain visible for but a short time. 

At Worthy whenever the situation did not require a continuation of 
fire, the German artillery adjusted its fire on certain points west of the 

372 Employment of Artillery. 

village of Wdrth and on the road exits at the Albrechtshouae farm, and was 
thereby enabled at once to take under fire French columns and a mitrail- 
leuse battery that appeared at these points.* 


The pieces are loaded in rotation immediately after 
being fired, when that method of loading is specified. A 
•alvo (Lage) consists of a single discharge from each of the 
guns of a battery, fired n regular order from one flank to the 
other. When fire by salvo is used, as, for instance, in 
adjusting the height of burst, only one rotmd is made ready. 

Continuous fire {Flilgelfeuer) begins, as a rule, from one 
flank or the other. The guns, beginning with the one on 
the flank indicated in the command, are fired in regular 
rotation at the command of the chiefs of platoon, the first gun 
firing again when the last one has fired. Each round must 
be observed. This regulates the rate of ordinary fire 
(4-6 rounds per minute) . The rate of fire may be increased 
or diminished by the command **short" or "long" fire pauses. 
In fire by piece, the battery commander gives the commands 
for firing. It is therefore advisable to use this method of 
fire during adjustment so long as * 'errors in distribution re- 
quire interference of the battery commander or when targets 
are to be kept continuously under fire without expenditure 
of a large amount of ammunition." 

When a gun is not ready to fire, the chief of platoon at onoe directs 
his other gun to fire, or notifies the chief of platoon whose platoon is to 
are next. The delinquent gun does not fire until its turn comes around 
again. Whether the fiank gun that fired first will be able to take up the 
fire when its turn comes again, seems doubtful, as there is neither smoke 
nor noticeable recoil to show when the last gun fires, and as the noise in a 
firing battery is deafening. The History of the 18th Field Artillery 
states: "It seemed as if we were right in the midst of a thunderstorm. 
Everyone, oficers, non-comnusioned officers and cannoneers, was deaf 
as a doorpost. It was necessary to yell to make oneself understood even 
at short range. Our ears rang for days after the fight and any penetrating 
noise caused them to ache." 

^HoFFBAUXB, Deutsche Artilkri$, II, pp. 46 and 122. 

tPar. 133. Gerrrum F. A, D. R., and pars. 77-84. German F. A. F. R. 

Order op Fire on Field Artillery. 873 

Volley fire. Each gun, without reference to the 
others, fires from one to three rounds, at the command of its 
chief. In many cases, this class of fire may facilitate ob- 
servation and simplify judging of heights of burst. It makes 
it ix)ssible, moreover, in larger units, to distinguish the bursts 
of the various batteries. It is adapted for obtaining an effect 
quickly and for utilizing favorable moments in a rapidly 
changing situation. At the same time, it enables the bat- 
tery commander, even when its rapidity is increased, to 
retain control. But, it may easily lead to a greater expendi- 
ture of ammunition than contemplated and should, there- 
fore, be used for short periods only. Continuous and volley 
fire will be used alternately, as a rule, in fire for effect. 

Rapid fire (maximum about 25 rounds per minute) , en- 
ables a battery to develop its maximum fire power, but makes 
fire control difficult and entails a large expenditure of am- 
munition. It should, therefore, be used only in case of im- 
minent danger and when severe losses in personnel and ma- 
teriel have impaired the normal action of a battery. When 
rapid fire (either time or percussion) is used during calm 
or damp weather, such a dense smoke-cloud will be formed 
in front of the target that if the latter is low, it will be scarcely 
visible. If then the fire is directed at the lower edge of this 
smoke-cloud, the shots will fall short, and if the target is 
low and percussion fire is used, the results will be insigni- 
ficant on account of the limited radius of effect. Pauses 
in the fire are, therefore, necessary to let the smoke dissipate. 
The French contemplate blinding the enemy in this manner 
by smoke, dust, and fragments. 

Fire by battery {Salve*) is employed in adjustment, 
either concentrated or distributed to facilitate observation — 
for example, when several batteries have the same target, 
when conditions for observation are unfavorable, and when 
the smoke ball of a single projectile can not be seen with 

*Simultaneott8 discharge of all the guns. The term **flre by battery** was 
■elected for want of a better term. — Tran$Uuof. 

374 Employment op Artillery. 

sufficient clearness ;* and in fire for effect to produce a great 
simultaneous effect on the target, f since the effect is increased 
when a number of projectiles strike the target simultaneously. 
When fire by battery is used against animate targets, it is 
distributed. The battery commander gives the commands 
for firing. After firing one roimd (time fire), the pieces 
are reloaded at the command of the battery commander. 
The long pauses between successive discharges by battery 
are a drawback, but the great effect produced in a short 
time and the facility of observing the fire are an advantage. J 


Fire by piece is used in the adjustment and when the 
battery commander desires to keep the fire under control, 
for example in firing on moving targets and to take advantage 
of good conditions of light and observation. 

Ordinary fire may begin as soon as a bracket has been 
obtained. It should be ordered not later than the moment 
of passing to fire for effect. Rapid fire should be used for 
very brief periods only, as it unduly taxes strength and 
accuracy of the cannoneers. Fire by battery {Salve) may 
be employed in adjustment when the conditions for obser- 
vation are unfavorable and to avoid mistaking the bursts of 
other batteries for those of one's own battery; to verify 
whether the guns are properly laid on the target announced 
when firing in larger units ; and to take advantage of favor- 
able moments that occur diiring the action. In a critical 

*Beobachtungssalven, literally, observation salvoe. The term salvo here 
means simultaneous discharge of all the guns of the battery (platoon). — Translator. 

t Wirkungs$alven. 

tSKO BE lev's orders to his artillery during the battle of Lovtcha state: "Aa 
soon as our troops advance to assault the Ryschaja Gora. lire by battery should be 
employed as long as possible, until the forward movement of our troops necessitatee 
a cessation of fire." Kuropatkin. I. p. 59. 

Fire by battery was used as a signal for making a simultaneous attadc at Goml 
Dubniac. Pustrevski. Russische Qarde, p. 125. The attack was to be made at 
the ninth discharge. The scheme failed. Fire by battery was likewise used aa a 
signal to widely separated advancing troops. Kunz, Otlians, p. 217. 

fPars. 14S-151, Qtrman H. A, F. R. 

Rate of Fire. 375 

situation, the battery commander is able to keep better 
control by employing fire by battery. The drawback of 
this class of fire lies in the unavoidable pause between suc- 
cessive discharges and in the fact that it is impossible quickly 
to correct an error in direction in any one gun. The last 
mentioned disadvantage may be obviated by using a rapid 
salvo (the so-called Rollsalve), in which the guns are fired 
rapidly in rotation. 


The rate of fire of a single gun depends upon the time 
consumed by the piece in returning into battery after a 
shot is fired, and upon that consumed in setting the fuze 
of the next shrapnel. When several guns are considered, 
the rate of fire during adjustment (adjustment of height of 
biu-st) is governed by the necessity of observing each burst 
(field gtm model '96 : time of fiight of projectile at 1,500 m., 
4 seconds, at 3,000 m., 9 seconds) and of making the requisite 

The expenditure of ammimition and the rate of fire 
depend upon the object of the action and upon the im- 
portance of the target. A dangerous target, as well as a 
favorable one, and the necessity of utilizing fleeting moments 
increase the rate of fire. But accuracy of lajdng and of 
setting fuzes should, in no circumstances, be impaired by 
even the most rapidly delivered fire. Timely change from 
slow fire to accelerated fire interrupted by pauses, must form 
the rule and will be best calculated to avert waste of am- 
mimition. The effect produced by the fire in actual war 
will be the best guide. The great effect produced by time 
shrapnel makes it unnecessary, as a rule, to increase the rate 
of fire for any length of time. When practicable, longer 
pauses are made. When an effect is to be produced sud- 
denly at the critical moment, and to take advantage of rap- 
idly passing opportunities, these pauses should be shortened 
as much as the reliable service of the guns permits. 

376 Employment op Artillery. 


In firing, it is less important to obtain the maximum 
eflfect, a matter that would entail painfully accurate adjust- 
ment and much time, than to obtain a sufficient effect in the 
shortest possible time. One should endeavor to obtain this 
effect not so much by saving ammunition, as by saving time. 
The better the conduct of fire, the sooner will an effect be 

Fire for effect is preceded by fire for adjustment, f 
The latter has for its object the prompt determination of 
the data required for fire for effect, namely the range, the 
corrector and the proper distribution. In France, Russia, 
and Austria, time fire is used in adjustment, the fire being dis- 
tributed over the whole target. Adjustment by percussion 
fire does, indeed, enable the batteries to go into position 
with loaded guns, and this is an advantage, but observation 
of the quickly rising, dirty-white cloud of burst depends to a 
great extent upon the terrain. At any rate, adjustment by 
time fire is quicker, as no bursts are lost, as it is easier to 
observe the snow-white ball of smoke, which descends im- 
mediately upon becoming visible> and as the very first round 
is frequently effective. In Germany, the 100 m. bracket 
is obtained by firing, frequently with one piece only, at two 
limiting distances (one short, the other over). This is fol- 
lowed by time fire, beginning at the inferior limit of the 
bracket. To obtain a 100 m. bracket when adjusting by 
time fire, the two guns of a platoon fire in rapid succession 
with the same elevation and corrector. With low points of 
burst, this method of adjusting presented no difficulties. 

The French obtain a 200 m. bracket by firing salvos 
of four shots with the same elevation and corrector. A 
verifying salvo is then fired at the inferior limit of the bracket. 

^RoBKOTBN, Die heutige Feldartillerie, I. p. 209, et seq. Captain H. ScHBsr- 
MDR. Austrian Artillery, Ober die Schieszregeln der FeldarHllerie der konHnentalen 
Qroezmdchte, Mitteilungen Uber Geoenstdnde dee Artillerie und Genietoesens, 1909, 
VI. p. 405. 

tin Ruflsla and Germany against immobile and mobile targets, in France* 
Austria and Italy, against troops and immobile targets. 

France. 377 

It is easier to get the gunners in the target when using a 
single gun; but firing several shots certainly facilitates 
observation, and the somewhat greater expenditure of am- 
munition is negligible. If in percussion shell fire, one de- 
sires to obtain a 50 m. bracket, one must reckon with the 
fact that errors in observation multiply.* 


(See p. 223, supra, ei 8eq,) 

Provisions of Various Regulations. 

France: The salvo, rafale fire, 

and fire at will (d volorUS) are used. 

'^ ^ ^ The latter is employed against 

XX XX ZOuU targets that suddenly appear at 

ranges under 500 m., and is discon- 
tinued as soon as the desired effect 
is obtained. The salvo corre- 
sponds to the German salvo (Lage), 
0* ^ which begins with a flank gun. In 

N^ v V '74 nn *^® salvo, all the pieces have the 

X X X X ZIUU same elevation and are fired in turn 

A vX ''X *X from the flank indicated in the 

1^ ^ command, the intervals between 

I I the shots being about 2 or 3 sec- 

I I onds. The rafale consists of a 

series of shots, usually 2 or 3, flred 

rapidly by each gun independently 

of the others, all guns using the 

2 2 2 2 same elevation. Salvos, either 

vy XXX Z300 ^^"^® ®' percussion, are used in fire 

for adjustment {tir de reglage). 
X 1-4 BurstB during adjustment, ^he methods of fire for effect (iir 

d*efficaciie) are: 

♦As Lieutenant-General Rohne points out (in Artillerieschieszspiel and in the 
article tyber die ZuverlSssigkeit des EinscMeszens, in Archiv fiir die ArtilleHe und 
Ingenieuroffitiere, 1897), tne difficulties in adjustment increase as the length of the 
bracket decreases, behig greatest when it is desired to determine the range acciu*ately 
to within 26 m. "This may be explained by the fact that the closer the bursts -are 
to the target, the more difficult it is to decide whether they are short or over. Be- 
sides, the trajectories of two projectiles flred at.franges differing by only 50 or 
26 m., may frequently overlap, due to dispersion, thus leading to incorrect determi- 
nation of range in spite of accurate observation." 

Under the assumption that one-tenth of all^observations are in error when the 
mean dispersion in depth is 50 m.. Lieutenant-GeneralSRoHNS computes that of 
one hundred 200 m. brackets obtained by two shots percussion fire, only about 


Employment of Artillery. 

1 . Progressive fire (iir progressif) ; 

2. Progressive fire with sweeping (iir progressif asee fauehags); and 

3. Fire at a single range (le tir sur hausse unique). 

1. Progressive fire. This begins after a 200 
m. bracket has been obtained.* By means of this 
fire, it is intended to beat a broad and deep zone 
in rapid fire, two shots being fired by piece at four 
elevations, differing by 100 m., and beginning at 
one smaller by 100 m. than the inferior limit of 
the bracket. For example: Suppose that the 
target is located within a bracket whose limits are 
2,100 and 2,300 m. After this has been obtained, 
each piece fires two shots, fire at will, at 2,000, at 
2,100, at 2,200, and at 2,300 m. At 3,000 m., the 
beaten zone of a shrapnel is 150 — 180 m. deep, so 
that when employing progressive fire (without 
sweeping), a battery can cover with its fire an area 
100 m. wide and 560 m. deep. 

In progressive fire, two shrapnel fragments or 
bullets per minute fall within the space that is 
taken up by the German company column ( Kom- 
pagniekohnne) which has a width of 12 m. and a 
depth of 17 m. This, of course, gives nothing but 
an approximate idea of the density of the hail of 





I I I 


I \ I 

* I • 
I I I 



leventy-one are correct, in other words, that more than a fourth of the total number 
are false. Out of one hundred 100 m. brackets, each obtained by three rounds, only 
about fifty-two are correct, hence about half of the total number are false. Accord- 
ing to General Sabudski. Russian Army — Die Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung und ihrt 
Anioendung * * * auf die Theorie des Einschiestens, translated by Lieutenant 
Ritter von Eberhardt — from 10.1 % to 30.7 % out of 12,000 rounds fired at the Rus- 
sian Artillery School of Fire, were observed incorrectly. 

Military history furnishes many instances of failure to adjust fire correctly. 
The 3d and 4th Batteries 5th Field Artillery, fired at the same target, the former with 
an elevation of 1.600 m., the latter with one of 2,250 m. Neither battery hit any- 
thing. The correct range was 2.000. 

*R«sresslv« fir« (Hr regressif) begins with the longer limit of the bracket 
and continues until the battery commander observes bursts In front of the target. 
In this method of fire, he can do this much more readily than if he begins firing at a 
range that will give bursts short of the target, as the smoke-clouds of these will then 
obscure those of the succeeding shots. Regressive fire makes it easy for the battery 
commander to eliminate inefiPective ranges. 



fragments. When the fire is actually directed upon a company, the latter's 
losses soon increase until they become annihilating. In his Instruetian 
mithodiqtie (p. 78), S. Laithbz assumes that a battery will fire forty-eight 
rounds in forty seconds. This would mean one fragment to every area 
1 m. wide and 6 m. deep. According to official figures/ progressive fire 
(32 rounds) directed against a front of 100 m., at the targets named, will 
produce the following losses per 100 men: 

1. Infantry standing 
in single rank. 

2. Infantry lying down in single rank. 


without knapsack! with knapsacks 

carried on backs 
At of the men 

used as head- 

2,000 m. 45 

2,000 m. 19 



3,000 " 33 

3,000 " 16 



4,000 " 21 

4,000 " 13 


5,000 " 14 

3. Artillery. 


without shields 

with shields of French pattern. 

2,000 m. 
3,000 " 
4,000 " 




When the cannoneers take shelter behind the shields, the above 
losses are reduced three percent. Accounts of the campaign in Morocco 
state that of all men struck by shrapnel bullets or fragments at ranges under 
2,500 m., 10^ were killed outright, 20^ very seriously, and 70^ slightly 
wounded; that the latter were able to leave the field without assistance 
and that they recovered rapidly. 

^Tbsouodb. Cours elementaire de ttr en campagne, Paris, 1908. 


Employment op Artillery. 

2. ProgTMsiT* fir« with sw^aplng (tir progreanf avee fauehage)^ 
This is used when a target of considerable breadth is to be attacked. In 
this method of fire, each piece fires three rounds at each of four ranges. 
After each round fired at the first ]| 

range, each piece is traversed to iq^ ^ %i2 

the left by three turns of the hand- 
wheel, i. e., its direction is changed 
by T50JT o' the range. This pro- 
cedure is then repeated at the other B 
three ranges, except that at the ^^ 
second each piece is traversed to 
the right, at the third to the left, 
and at the fourth back to the right. 

3. Fire at a single range ([e 40. 
tir 8ur hausse unique). This is 
employed when an accurate ad- 
justment has been secured. This 
fire produces the necessary effect 2 

with the minimum expenditure of 



ammunition. It is used chiefly for demolishing obstacles and materiel and 
for annihilating a specially dangerous or stubborn enemy, whether this be 
to prevent a partially defeated enemy from moving, or a moving target from 
crossing a particular zone. The French progressive fire takes errors of ad- 
justment into account and brings out the characteristic properties of rapid 
fire guns most clearly. At a single command, the storm of fire starts auto- 
matically. After 32 or 48 rounds, as the case may be, a pause occurs in 
the fire. It is impossible to adjust the height of burst, and it is difficult to 
distinguish one shot from another at the various ranges. On the other 
hand, a whole area is swept, and an effect produced that, while not the 
maximum attainable, is sufficient. The moral effect is tremendous, as 
a rafale without sweeping lasts two minutes only, and with sweeping 
three minutes only. The effect should not be judged by the hits on any 
one target, for, in spite of the latter's distribution in depth, the whole 
body of troops constituting the target is, as a matter of fact, swept by the 

In contrast to the French progressive fire, the German volley is 
fired at one elevation only. This facilitates observation and determina- 
tion of the intervals of burst, but requires accurate adjustment. The 
German method of fire is characterized by the endeavor to obtain maximum 
effect with minimum expenditure of ammiuntion. 

Holland: The firing regulations combine the German and the 
French methods of fire, taking from the former the volley {Gruppenfeuer) 
and from the latter the progressive fire with sweeping (tir progreasif avee 
fauchage). In sweeping fire, each piece fires three rounds at a single 
range. The first round is fired with the line of sight normal; before firing 
the second, each piece is traversed to the right by a full turn of the hand- 
wheel, and before firing the third, it is traversed by two full turns to the 

France; Austria. 381 

Fire for Effect. 

tir progreasif avac fauchag* 

ZOOO i2 Roundr 

In 2 nuDUtes: 32x300. In 3 minutes: 48x300. 

Fragments and bullets = 

In 2 minutes: 9,600. In 3 minutes: 14,400. 

In 1 minute: 4,800. In 1 minute: 4,800. 

left. In sweeping a broad zone, five rounds are fired by each piece. The 
first round is fired directly to the front; before firing each of the two suc- 
ceeding rounds, each piece is traversed to the right by one full turn of the 
handwheel; before firing the fourth round, each piece ia traversed to the 
left by four full turns of the handwheel; before firing the fifth round, each 
piece is then traversed to the right by one full turn of the handwheel. 
Another full turn of the handwheel will then bring each piece back to the 
original direction. 

Austria-Hungary I General principles: "1, An effect, even if 
but moderate at first, should be obtained quickly for the purpose of gain- 
ing the superiority of fire, and this efTect should be promptly augmented 
by correcting the firing data during the fire for effect. When the situation 

382 Employment op Artillery. 

demands it, fire for effect may be began with firing data that are only 
approximately correct. 

''2. The method of fire used should be that best adapted to the 
circumstances of the case. To this end, the fire should, as a rule, be con- 
trolled directly by the battery commander. When necessary (fire surprise) 
in firing on targets that are visible for brief periods only, gunners should 
independently make the necessary corrections. 

"8. Each element of the battery may be assigned a separate section 
of the target, which it must keep under fire." 

A first lieutenant assists the battery commander in conducting fire. 
Methods of fire: 

1. Salvo (Lage), In this, the pieces fire one round each in regular 
rotation from one fiank of the battery to the other. 

2. Progressive fire (Streuen): Each piece fires shrapnel at ranges 
differing from each other by 100 m., a sone about 400 m. deep being swept. 
Chiefs of section give the commands for firing. This method of fire cor- 
responds to the French tir progresiif. 

8. Volley fire (Einulfeuer): This corresponds to the German 

"volley fire" (Gruppenfeuer). 

4. Fire by battery (Salve): In this, all the guns of the battery 
are simultaneously discharged. It corresponds to the German "fire by 
battery" {Salve), and to the "salvo" of the U. S. A. D. R. of 1891. 

5. *'Ausfeuern," corresponds to the German *'Rohre frei," and 
to the "Loaded guns. Rapid fire" of the U. S. A. D. R. of 1891. 

6. Firm hy pimcm (Batteriefeuer): This corresponds to the German 
"fire by piece" (Einzelfeuer), and to the "fire by piece" of the U. S. A. D. R. 
of 1891. 

7. Ordinary fire {Geschiltzfukrerfeuer), corresponds to the German 
"ordinary fire" (gewoknlichen Feuer), except that commands are given and 
corrections are made by chiefs of section as in France, whereas this is 
done by platoon commanders in Germany. 

"During adjustment, the fire is usually distributed from the very 
start over the whole target, so that each gun covers a front about 20 m. 
wide. The adjustment is usually effected by firing platoon salvos (2 
rounds), but in certain circumstances, battery salvos may be used for this 
purpose. The same kind of fire (time or percussion) that is to be used in 
fire for effect is generally used in fire for adjustment. In adjusting by time 
fire (and this is the rule when the fire is directed against troops), low points 
of burst should be used. A long bracket — 200 or 400 m. — is first sought* 
and then reduced to 100 m. 

"The adjustment may be expedited by letting the elements of the 
battery fire at different elevations. This is called "progressive adjust- 
ment" {skalieries Einschieszen). It should be used when the range has 
been measured, when previous firing on another target furnishes data in 
regard to the range, or, finally, when it is desired to obtain quickly data 
for fire for effect at long ranges on targets that are distributed in depth or 

Austria; Italy; Russia. 383 

movins. In this class of fire, the platoons of the battery fire at ranges 
differing from each other by from 100 to 400 m."* 
The methods of fire for effect are: 

1. Salvos (Lagen); 

2. Progressive fire (Streuen) — ^in case of guns; 

8. Ordinary fire (GesckiltzfUhrerfeuer) — in case of howitzers; 
4. Short range fire ( Nahfeuer). 

In firing salvos, it is permissible to make corrections of 50 or 100 m. 
until effective salvos are obtained. The elevations may also be changed 
from time to time. Against moving targets, the fire begins with the limit 
of the bracket toward which the target is moving, or, if this is not apparent, 
with the mean of the bracket. 

Progressive fire is generally used against moving targets. A 200 m. 
bracket is first sought. Each gun then fires one round at each of four 
ranges, differing by 100 m. and beginning with one smaller by 100 m. than 
the inferior limit of the bracket. The Firing Manual prescribes still 
another method, regressive fire (ins Kurze streiLen), in which each gun 
fires one round at each of four elevations, beginning with the long limit of 
the bracket. 

In close range fighting, shrapnel set to burst 275 m. in front of the 
muzzle is used at ranges from 300 to 500 m. At closer ranges than these, 
shrapnel with fuzes set at zero are used.t 

Italy (Provisional Regulations): Projectiles are used a? in Ger- 
many. Kinds of fire: Fire by platoon and fire by battery (i. e., simul- 
taneous discharge of all the pieces of the platoon or battery, as the case may 
be); fire by piece; progressive fire. Fire at a single range, either by pla- 
toon or by battery (simultaneous discharge of all the pieces). Fire by 
platoon at several ranges may be used in bracketing the target. Fire by 
piece may be used in fire for adjustment. Progressive fire is of two kinds: 
In the first, each piece fires one round (time fuze) at each of four ranges 
differing by 50 m., beginning with the shortest range of the four; the second 
(called per serie radoppiate)^ is like the first, except that each piece fires 
two rounds at each of the four ranges. In general, a 200 m. bracket is 
considered sufficient for time fire, and one of 100 m. for percussion (shell) 

Russia (Provisional Regulations): The methods of fire may be 
divided into two general classes, viz., salvos and volley fire. Salvos are 
fired by battery, by demi-battery, or by platoon. In any salvo, the pieces 
are fired in regular order from one flank of the battery (demi-battery or 
platoon) to the other and back again. There is one exception; the bat^ 
tery salvo may also begin with some specially designated piece other than one 
on a flank. The battery may pass from demi-battery or platoon salvos 

*Artilleri9ti8che Monatschefte, 1900. p. 372, etseq. 

fDie Feuermtgkeit der 8 cm, FeldkanonenbaUerien. A study for artillery 
officers. KarlEisNEB. Lieutenant-Colonel Austrian Army. 2d Ed. (with two 
plates) Vienna, 1000. 

884 Employment op Artillery. 

to battery salvos, and from platoon salvos to demi-battery or battery 
salvos and vice versa. Continuous fire may be accelerated or retarded 
by specifying what the interval between consecutive shots is to be. When 
this interval has not been indicated, shots follow each other at from two 
to three seconds. This still allows the burst of each to be observed. 

Volley fire is delivered at the maximum rate. Each piece is fired 
as soon as it is ready, the number of rounds to be fired being specified, ex- 
cept in imminent danger, for the immediate defense of the guns, when the 
number to be fired is not announced and fuzes are set at zero. 

Adjustment by time fire is the rule at ranges over 2,000 m., a 200 m. 
bracket being sought. Progressive fire is used for effect, the ranges used 
in this, differing by 120 m. Series differing regiilarly by the same amount 
are not to be used, in order that the enemy may not recognize the kind of 
fire employed. 

In firing on advancing troops, after the bracket has been obtained, 
the elevation and corrector are reduced three or more sight divisions (120 
m. or more); but, in certain circumstances, the target may be allowed to 
run into the fire. 

England! The adjustment of fire is effected by one platoon (in 
exceptional cases by a single piece), the two pieces of which simultaneously 
fire one round (time fuze) each at elevations differing by 800 yards (270 m.). 
During the firing, the bracket may be narrowed to 100 m. Progressive 
fire: In this, each piece fires three rounds at each of three ranges differing 
by 100 m., the initial range, which is the shortest of the three, being an- 
nounced in the command. This procedure may be repeated several times. 
Progressive fire with sweeping is executed like progressive fire without 
sweeping, except that the direction of each piece is changed by two degrees 
after each round. 


"Ammunition is the life of artillery. One of the prin- 
cipal duties of a commander of troops (commander of ammu- 
nition columns and commander of artillery groups) consists 
of disposing the ammunition columns (and ammunition 
dep6ts) during the advance as well as during the action in 
such a manner as to secure to each artillery battalion as much 
ammunition as the fulfillment of its task will, in all pro- 
bability, require. 

*'Such a disposition of the ammunition coltunns is, in 
addition, the best means of shifting the center of gravity of 
the artillery combat — ^without protracted and frequently 

*3uppl0ment to MilitHr^WochenblaU 1872. 

Expenditure of Ammunition. 


impracticable displacements of entire bodies of artillery — ^to 
the areas that, in view of the tactical situation, are recog- 
nized as the decisive ones. 

**It is the duty of all artillery commanders to make both 
ends meet, and to see that ammimition is replenished without 
loss of time and without causing complaint from the ammuni- 
tion columns." (Provisional Austrian A. D. R.). 

At Grosa-Gorschen the Prussian artillery (136 g^uns) fired an 
average of 61 rounds per gun, at Ligny (192 guns) 47, and at Konig- 
gratz (672 guns), 69 rounds per gun. 

At Soiferino, the Austrian artillery (368 guns) fired an average of 
29 rounds per gun, and at Koniggratz (672 guns) 29 rounds per gun. 

During the Franco-German war, the German batteries named had 
the following ammunition available: 

With the battery. 
Total. I Per gun. 

Light battery 942 

Heavy battery 798 


With the battery and amm. columns. 
Total. I Per gun. 



The average number of rounds expended per gun was as follows: 
Vionville 94, Coulmiars 67.6, Gravelotte 56.5, Sedan 55.8, and Worth 
42.6 rounds. 

At Vionville, the batteries of the Hid Army Corps expended the 
following ammunition: Two batteries 825 rounds each, two batteries 
1,040 rounds each, and the others 1,164, 1,148, 925, 844, 735, 584, 562, 552, 
470, and 432 rounds, respectively. The batteries of the Xth Army Corps, 
expended 1,048, 785, 677, 603, 597, 475, 444, 332, 259, 255, 248, 175, 157, 
and 141 rounds, respectively. The batteries of the IVth, the IXth, and 
the Vlllth Army Corps that participated, expended 585, 400, 289, 211, 65, 
and 38 rounds, respectively. There were in all 37 German batteries en- 
gaged at Vionville, and they expended a total of 19,650 rounds of am- 

The two artillery ammunition columns of the Hid Army Corps were 
the only ones at hand. The 1st ammunition echelon of the Xth Army 
Corps, comprising two ammunition columns, was delayed by other troops 
on its march and did not arrive until the morning after the battle. Am- 
munition frequently ran short therefore, as all the batteries had to re- 
plenish their supply from the two ammunition columns of the Hid Army 
Corps. The severe losses among the personnel and teams made it impos- 

An aver- 
i age of 

per gun 

886 Employment of Artillery. 

Bible for the batteries to send back their reserves to replenish the supply, 
and the caissons of the ammunition columns had to be sent, one after an- 
other, to the batteries, to be emptied there. Under these drcumstances, 
losses were unadvoidable. 

At VionTilU, August 16th, 1870, of the artillery of the Illd Army 

One light and one heavy battery expended over 700 rounds 

One light and two heavy batteries expended over 800 rounds 

each; } 139 rounds 

Five light batteries and one heavy battery expended over 900 I 

rounds each. j 

At Gravelotte* August, 18th, 1870, the average number of rounds 
expended per gun was as follows: In the Guard Corps 94, in the Hid 
Army Corps 46, in the Vlllth Army Corps 65, and in the IXth Army 
Corps 50 rounds. 

At Magersfontein (1899), four English batteries expended 164, 
167, 168, and 208 rounds of ammunition, respectively, per gun. 

Russo-Japanes* war.* "The large expenditure of ammunition ia 
due to the fact that existing conditions, which diminish or make it diffi- 
cult to obtain an efifect, frequently compel artillery to fire though it knows 
that a part of its projectiles will not produce an effect. To this category 
belong fire by battery (simultaneous discharge of all the guns) to facili- 
tate observation, and searching fire, which must be used in attacking 
targets that are both wide and deep, and also against targets located in 
areas that can not be observed or whose position can not be accurately 
determined because they are not plainly visible, i. e., masked. 

"In the Russo-Japanese war, it appeared clearly how the tactical 
demand for artillery effect in circumstances that made it technically diffi- 
cult to obtain, led to a great expenditure of ammunition. The principal 
factor in this was the endeavor to silence the hostile artillery. The Jap- 
anese batteries often ceased firing when they were severely bombarded. 
But very soon they opened up again, and thereby forced the Russian bat- 
teries to double the intensity of their fire in order to silence them. As is 
well known, batteries were put entirely out of action in exceptional cases 
only, and so the game went on merrily for whole days, cost a large amount 
of ammunition, and produced but trifling results. 

"The meagre results produced by the ammunition expended by the 
Japanese artillery when preparing the infantry attack on prepared posi- 
tions, is just as astonishing. So long as the advance of the Japanese in- 
fantry did not force the Russian infantry to fire, it sought cover in its 
trenches and suffered practically no losses at all. 

"During the nine days fighting at Liaoyang, an artillery brigade 
expended a total of 15,933 rounds of ammunition. The mobile amount 
of ammunition available within a corps amounted to 17,644 rounds. 
Hence, a period of nine days' fighting failed to exhaust the supply." 

*08ic8erlc8 V. Bacsant, Unur neuea Feldg$seh1Us, p. 27, el seq. 

Ammunition Supply. 


At the battle on the Shaho during the winter of 1904-05, 200 rounds 
per day were made available for each field gun and 80 shell and 40 shrapnel 
per day for each field mortar. 






of rounds 


of rounds 
per piece 
per day. 

TMhihchiao, July 24, 1904 

2d Btry., 9th East Siberian Rifle 

3d Btry., 9th East Siberian Rifle 

1st Btry., 9th Arty. Brig. 
2d " 

1st & 2d Btrs., 
3d Btry., 
4th " 
5th Btry., 

1st Btry., 31st Arty. Brig. 
One Btry., 31st Arty. Brig. 

Sixteen btrs., 1st & Hid Siberian 

A. C. 
Four and one-half btrs. 36th Div. 
Three btrs., 9th, Arty. Brig. 
One btry., 
Three btrs., " 














" July 24, 1904 


Liaoyang, August 30, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


" August 31, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


" August 30, 1904 


August 30 & 31, 1904... 
Shaho» October 14&15. 1904 



Mukden, March 5, 1905 


" March 3, 1906 


March 9, 1905 



At the beginning of the 19th Century, the Prussians 
allowed 100-150 rounds per gun (1842: 7-pdr. howitzer, 
114 rounds = 979 kg.; 12-pdr. 133 rounds = 941 kg.; 6-pdr. 
1 50 rounds =654 kg. ) . During the Franco-German war, there 
were 157 rounds of ammunition (weighing 769 kg.) available 
for each heavy gtm. At the present time, 280 rounds of 
ammunition, weighing 1,918 kg., are carried in the battery 
and in the light ammunition column for each field gtm. 


Employment op Artillery. 

Supply of Projectilttt — in t«nns of th« total numbor available. 

Smooth-boro Guna, Cy42. 

Round shot. 




6-pdr 66 

12-pdr 59 



Rifled Guns. 

Round shot. 




9 cm. C/61, until 1866 — 
after 1866 — 

9 cm. C/73 — 

since 1884.... — 

1896 — 











Shell is carried in the limber of the first store wagon 
only. The limbers and caisson bodies of a field battery 
(guns) carry shrapnel only — each gun and each caisson limber 
containing 36, and each caisson body 52 rounds. A field 
battery has the following ammunition available :* 

In the gun limbers, 6 X36 shrapnel =216 shrapnel 

In the caissons, 6 X (36 + 52) shrapnel=528 shrapnel 
In the 1st store 

wagon 36 shell. 

Total 780 rounds, i. e., 744 shrapnel, 36 

shell, or 130 rounds per gun. 

*In a light field howitzer battery, each gun Umber contains 24 shrapnel, each 
caisson limber. 20 shrapnel, and each caisson body, 32 shell. Hence the battery has 

In the gun limbers 6 z 24«144 shrapnel 

In the caisson limbers 6 z 26=-156 shrapnel 

In the caisson bodies. 6 z 32 (shell) —192 shell 

Total 300 shrapnel. 192 shell 
In addition, the limber of the first store wagon contains 26 shrapnel. 

Ammunition Supply. 389 

According to the experience of the Franco-German war, 
this ammunition was about sufficient for an action lasting 
one day. Of thirty-seven German batteries engaged at 
Vionville, only ten had each expended more than the 
amount of shrapnel at present carried by a field battery. 
If we assume that a battery will fire four rounds per minute, 
the ammunition of the firing battery will last two and a 
quarter hours. When the employment of rapid fire is con- 
sidered, a supply in the firing battery of 300 rounds per gtm 
does not appear to be excessive. The light ammtmition 
columns of the artillery battalions constitute the first am- 
mtmition reserve of the artillery commander, who indicates 
when and where they shall move. In case the ammtmition 
columns are not as yet up, the artillery commander assigns 
parts of the light ammunition columns to the battalions 
that need the most ammunition. The light ammunition 
column of a field artillery battalion (guns) consists of two 
shrapnel sections, each of three platoons, each platoon of 
two caissons, and of one shell section of three platoons, each 
of three caissons. (Par. 116, German P. S. R.). From this 
it follows that a field artillery battalion (guns) has available, 
1.056 rounds of shrapnel and 792 rounds of shell, a field 
howitzer battalion, 174 rounds of shrapnel and 1,044 rounds 
of shell.* 

A heavy field howitzer battery carries ammunition in 
eight caissons only, each of the latter containing thirty-six 
rounds of shell. In addition, a battalion has available a 
light ammunition column (par. 118, German F. S. R.), 
which consists of eight platoons (in all 24 caissons) and carries 
for each battery six times thirty-six, or 216 rounds of shell. 
Hence, there are 432 rounds of shell available for each howit- 
zer in the battalion. 

*Tbe composition of the light ammimltlQn oolunin of the hone artillery bat- 
talion of a caTalry diylsion, la somewhat different. 

390 Employment op Artillery. 

The German firing battery has only one caisson, or, 
including the light ammunition column, only 2}i caissons 
available per gun, whereas the French, the Italian, the 
Russian and the American fir ng batteries each have three 
caissons available per gun. On account of the great weight 
of its projectiles, a greater niunber of caissons is provided for 
each heavy field howitzer, there being two available in the 
firing battery and reserve, and 3j4, inclusive of the light 
ammunition colimm. Assuming a rate of fire of five roimds for 
every two minutes, a battery will have exhausted the contents 
of its caissons in two hours. The contents of the light am- 
munition coliunn will tide the battery over another hour and 
a half, provided the rate of fire remains the same, and the 
heavy artillery ammunition columns carry an additional 
eight hours* supply. Although such a high rate of fire 
will be exacted in exceptional cases only, the figures given 
show the advisability of moving the ammunition coliunns 
luiinterruptedly during the advance, so as to shorten as 
much as possible, the distance that separates them from the 

A French field battery has 1,248 rounds of ammunition available, 
or 312 rounds per gun. Gun and caisson limbers contain 24 rounds each, 
and caisson bodies 72 rounds each. 

4 gun limbers, @ 24 rounds= 96 rounds. 

12 caissons, @ 24-1-72 rounds= 1,152 " 

Total 1,248 rounds. 

Two of the caisson bodies carry shell (obus explasifs). Hence the 
battery actually carries 1,104 rounds of shrapnel {obu8 d bailee) and 144 
rounds of shell. 


The position of ammunition columns in a route column. 
See p. 800, supra, 

* Timely replenishment of ammunition is of the utmost 
importance. Every artillery cx)mmander is in duty boimd 

♦Pars. 513-521, German F. S. R.; pars. 62-79, German Train Reg.; para. 441- 
400, German F. A. D. Rr, and pars. 430-439, German H. A. D, R. 

Replacement op Ammunition. 391 

constantly to regulate it within his command. In addition, 
all officers and men charged with replenishing ammunition 
should be animated by the firm determination to supply 
the firing batteries with ammunition, even when orders or 
directions to that effect have not been issued." (Par. 441, 
German, F. A. D. R.). 

The ammunition supply of field artillery is replenished 
first from the reserves, then from the light ammunition 
column. The limbers are sent to the rear under cover as a 
rule, and remain with the guns only when a position is to 
be occupied for a short time. Before they are sent to the 
rear, gun limbers are partly or wholly emptied, and caisson 
limbers are always emptied. Visual signal communicatiions 
established between the battery and the reserve, which is 
posted about 500 m. in rear of the battery. Gun limbers are 
promptly refilled at the reserve. One caisson corporal 
proceeds to the firing battery, takes charge of the signal 
communications, and informs the commander of the reserve 
from time to time how much ammunition is on hand. The 
combat train, including the first store wagon, joins the re- 
serve. The light ammunition columns are posted not more 
than 600 m. in rear of their respective battalions. The com- 
mander of a light ammunition column establishes com- 
munication with the battalion commander, with the reserve, 
and with the ammunition column in rear, and informs him- 
self as to the amount of ammunition on hand. Com- 
manders of batteries, of reserves, and of light ammunition 
columns endeavor to arrange that batteries changing position 
go with full caissons. When it is impracticable to transfer 
ammtmition on account of the loss of time that this would 
involve, full caissons of the light ammunition columns may 
be exchanged for empty caissons of the reserves. 

"No fixed rules can be laid down as to how firing bat- 
teries are to be supplied with ammunition. As a rule, an 
attempt should be made to have the caissons drive as close 
up to the line as the available cover and the hostile fire admit. 

392 Employment op Artillery. 

The commander of the light ammtmition column should 
cause timely reconnaissance to be made with this end in 
view. Lulls in the action will, in many cases, enable caissons 
to drive clear up into the battery. When caissons are 
obliged to remain farther oflF, it will depend upon circum- 
stances as to how ammtmition should be transported from 
them to the gims. As far as practicable, this operation should 
be supervised by an officer. When the nature of the ground 
and the distance to the firing battery admit, caissons may be 
unlimbered and the caisson bodies, partially emptied, if 
necesssary, run into battery by hand by the personnel 
of the light ammunition column, the men during the move- 
ment utilizing the cover afforded by the caisson body. When 
this is impracticable, the caissons are emptied, and the am- 
munition carried to the guns by the men of the light ammuni- 
tion column. When circumstances imperatively demand 
it, caissons must be driven clear into the battery under fire. 
In this, it is of course essential that the caissons move un- 
expectedly and rapidly, and that they be quickly emptied 
and brought off to the rear. 

"The empty caissons, or, if imlimbered, their limbers, 
move back to the position of the light ammunition column. 
AH the men belonging to the light ammunition coltmm, 
except those that have been kept in the firing batteries to 
replace losses, follow assembled in caisson squads.'* (Pars. 
454 and 455, German F. A. D. R.). 

**When the battalion approaches its position, the bat- 
tery reserves are moved by their respective commanders to a 
point in rear of their batteries and are there posted tmder 
cover as soon as the position is occupied. Battery reserves 
should pay special attention to communication with their 
batteries, and to cover, at least from the view of the enemy. 
They should be posted about 300 m. in rear of their batteries. 
In exceptional cases, all the reserves of the battalion may 
be united and posted together." (Par. 328, Gennan P. 
A. D.R.). 

Replacement of Ammunition. 393 

The ammunition of the heavy howitzer batteries is 
taken f om the caissons of the firing battery and deposited 
near the guns. Limbers and caissons move to the rear to 
the reserve, with which they may be consolidated. In order 
that they may be secure from fire directed at their battery, 
they must go about 500 m. to the rear. This applies likewise 
to the reserve. The combat train joins the reserve. The 
commander of the reserve establishes personal commimica- 
tion either by means of orderlies or by means of visual 
signals with the battery and takes timely steps to ensure 
that filled caissons reach it. The light ammunit on columns 
attached to the heavy howitzer battaUons follow in rear of 
those of the field artillery, or at the tail of the combatant 
troops. With the approval of the commander of the troops, 
the commander of the heavy artillery directs the light am- 
munition coliunns of the heavy artillery to move forward. 
This order is usually issued at the same time that the heavy 
artillery moves forward from its place in the route column. 
The light ammunition coltmin of a heavy artillery battalion 
is posted about 800 m. in rear of the batteries. Empty 
caissons of the batteries and battery reserves are exchanged 
for filled caissons of the light ammunition column. Empty 
light ammunition columns move back to the ammunition 
column, where they are refilled. 

The ammunition columns of an army corps* are assigned 
to both the 1st and the lid echelon of trains and columns. 
The light howitzer ammunition column is with the 1st 
echelon. When an engagement is imminent, a whole or half 
of an ammunition coliunn and a field hospital or two may march 
as a combat echelon ahead of the field trains or just in rear of 

*An ammunition train comprising Z infantry and 4 artillery ammunition columns 
(one of the latter containing ammunition for light flold howitzers) conBlsta of 1,180 
men, 1,165 horses, and 185 carriages, and takes up a road space of 3,815 m. 

An ammunition train comprising Z infantry and S artillery ammunition columns 
eonsiflts of 997 men, 972 horses, and 146 carriages, and takes up a road space of 
8,200 m. 

The ammunition train of a heavy hovjitzer battalion consist of 8 heavy artillery 
ammunition columns with a total strength of 860 men, 810 horses, and 163 carriagesf 
and takes up a road space of 2,600 m. Each one of the caissons contains 36 rounds of 
shell weighing 11,606 kg. 

894 Employment op Artillery. 

the troops. The senior officer with this combat echelon 
commands it, unless a commander has been specially desig- 
nated. (Par. 447, German P. S. R.) 

The ammunition columns with the lid echelon, relieve 
those of the 1st echelon or replenish their ammunition 
supply, and bring up ammunition from the advanced base 
or from the transport of the line of communications. 

The commander of the ammunition columns regulates 
the movements of the artillery ammunition columns in ac- 
cordance with orders issued by the corps commander, or, 
when they are attached to divisions, in accordance wdth 
orders issued by the division commanders. But this does 
not relieve him of the responsibility of moving the columns 
forward on his own initiative when a battle has begun. 
The orders for the forward movement of the ammunition 
columns should be given as soon as it appears probable that 
a serious action will be fought. It is only by doing this 
that an orderly replenishment of ammunition can be assured. 
When the ammunition columns are brought up too late, it 
may be impossible to avoid sending their caissons directly 
up into the firing batteries to cover a pressing need of am- 
munition. The commander of the troops informs the com- 
mander of the artillery of the time and place of the probable 
arrival of the artillery ammunition columns. From these 
the light ammunition columns are refilled as far as practicable 
on the battlefield. When time is pressing, artillery am- 
munition columns or parts thereof may be brought up to 
the firing batteries, and filled caissons may be temporarily 
turned over to the troops. 

After an action, the ammimition, men, horses, and ma- 
teriel required by batteries to make good expenditures and 
losses, are, as a rule, taken directly from the artillery ammimi- 
tion columns, which are brought up for the purpose. After 
every engagement, commanders of artillery units have to 
render a report to the commanders of troop units of which 
their organizations form a part, specifying whether or not am- 

Replacement of Ammunition. 395 

munition has been replenished, and if not, the reasons for 
not replenishing it. (Par. 74, German Train Regulations). 
Artillery ammunition columns are required to supply 
ammunition to troops of other units than their own when re- 
quested to do so and the situation of their own unit permits. 
Light ammunition columns do this only when ordered to 
do so by the commander of the force of which they form a 
part. Empty ammunition colnmns of the combat echelon 
and of the 1st eschelon return to the lid chelon, half a col- 
umn at a time. As soon as two empty half-columns have 
thus joined the lid echelon, no matter whether they are 
parts of infantry, artillery, or heavy artillery ammunition 
columns, they are, in general, sent to the rear to refill. 
They are refilled at the advanced base, or from motor trucks, 
railway cars or other transport of the lines of communication. 

During the Franco-German war it was very often necessary for 
ammunition columns to supply units other than their own with ammunition. 
At Vionville, for example, the ammunition columns of the Hid Army 
Corps issued ammunition to a number of batteries of the Xth Army 
Corps, and the batteries of the Xth and of the Vlllth Army Corps, 
which did not arrive on the field until the afternoon, supplied ammunition 
to the batteries of the Hid Army Corps. 

At St. Privat, August 18th, 1870, the ammunition train of the IXth 
Army Corps first took station near Villers-aux-Bois, and was later brought 
forward to the battlefield. The ammunition columns advanced as far as 
Vern^ville, where mounted men of the various batteries received the cais- 
sons destined for their respective batteries, and took them to their batteries. 
A rendezvous position was designated for the empty caissons 500 paces 
in rear of the firing batteries. The caissons that were sent forward later, 
sent their teams back to this position. * 

The 1st Echelon of the ammunition column of the Guard Corps 
detrained at Kaiserslautern on August 4th, 1870, the lid Echelon at 
Mayence on August 8th, 1870. The latter reached Dieulouard on August 
17th, after a series of hard marches. On the same day, the 1st Echelon 
reached Sponville, immediately in rear of the Guard Corps, which was 
concentrated at Mars-la-Tour. On August 18th, the ammunition columns 
(1st Echelon) were first posted near Doncourt, and later between Habon- 
ville and Batilly. The lid Echelon, meantime, had marched via Thiau- 
court to the battlefield, a distance of 56 km. 

At 2 p. M., August 19th, 1870, all the ammunition columns had been 
emptied of their contents, had furnished 114 men and 205 horses to re- 

"^HoFFBAUER, Deutschc Artillene, V. p. 186. 

396 Employment of Artillery. 

place losses in the batteries, and were in march via Pont d Mouason to 
the field ammuntion park at Hemy. As they were unable to obtain am- 
munition here, they continued their march to Saarlouis. After receiving 
their ammunition, they marched westward, learned that the Guard Corps 
formed part of the Army of the Meuse, found the trail of that corps and 
hurried after it without specific orders, completing their teams on the way 
by requisitioning horses. On the 29th, the first of the columns again 
reached the army corps, and by the 31st all of them had rejoined. The 
1st column had covered 338 km. in 10 days, the last 375 km. in 12 days. 
One day should be deducted from the 10 and 12 days respectively, as it 
was taken up in receiving and packing ammunition. On September 6th, 
the columns again marched toward Saarlouis, and on the 19th they arrived 
in front of Paris, having traversed about 540 km. in 14 days. The columns 
marched both morning and afternoon, cooked a meal at noon, and went 
into bivouac each night covered by their own men, who were armed with 
the rifle.* 

The 1st Artillery Ammunition Column of the 1st Army Corps was 
brought forward to Remilly on August 31st, 1870 (battle of NoisseviUe). 
It utilized the nighc from August 31st to September 1st, to replenish the 
ammunition of the batteries, marched the next forenoon to Saarlouis, 
returned the succeeding night, and arrived again in St. Barbe, after a 
night march of 45 km. The column had covered 136 km. in 48 hours. 
"Considering the hard forced marches demanded by the pressing nature 
of the circumstances, it is not surprising that a good many horses dropped 
dead in their tracks, and that many others strained tendons and muscles.t 

a. France:^ The ammunition of the caisson bodies of the gun 
sections is used first. These caisson bodies contain 72 rounds apiece; 
they are upended 50 cm. to the left of their respective guns, and their 
doors opened. The ammunition contained in the caisson bodies of the 
5th and 6th caissons (caissons de premier ravitaillement), which are posted 
on the flanks of the battery, is transferred to the caisson bodies of the gun 
sections as the latter are emptied. The other six caissons of the battery 
are posted about 500 m. in rear of the firing battery and form the battery 
reserve, one ofldcer commanding all the battery reserves of the battalion. 
Full caisson bodies from the battery reserve replace the two caisson bodies 
of the 5th section (caissorts de premier ravitaillement), which then return 
to the battery reserve. Here they are refilled from the limbers, if the 
caissons of the ammunition columns are not as yet up, the contents of 
the gun limbers being, in any case, used ^as a last resort. If the 
battery commander desires to use shell, he orders up from the reserve 
the two caisson bodies containing it (144 rounds), and indicates where they 
shall be posted. The battalion commander, when informed by the com- 
mander of the reserves that a battery is running short of ammunition. 

*HoHBNLOHB, MilitSrischeBriefe, III, p. 121. 
tHoFFBAUBR. Deutsch^ ArHlUrie, IV, p. 130. 
tInstrucHon sur U remplaeement de$ munitions, VIII, 1902. 

Replacement of Personnel and Materiel. 397 

may direct the deficiency to be supplied by the issue of ammunition belong- 
ing to other batteries. 

The battery reserves replenish their supply from the three echelons 
ofthe corps ammunition park. A number of artillery ammunition sections 
of the 1st echelon are pushed forward and posted 1,000 or 1,600 m. in rear 
of the battery reserves. From this position, caissons are then sent to the 
battery reserves, where they are emptied, their contents being transferred 
to battery caissons. Empty ammunition sections go back to the lid 
echelon, 15 km. away, where they are refilled, while full sections are again 
sent up to the 1st echelon. The ammunition of the lid echelon is replen- 
ished in a similar manner from the Hid echelon, and that of the latter from 
the artillery park of the army. 

Each piece has available in the corps, 501.5 rounds of ammunition, 
distributed as follows: 

With the battery 312 rounds. 

1st echelon 62.6 rounds 

lid echelon 62.6 

Illd echelon 64.3 " ) 189.5 " 

In the 
corps park 

Total 501.5 rounds. 

b. Austriia: Each infantry division,* has 4 field artillery ammuni- 
tion columns consisting of 24 caissons each, and 4 howitzer ammunition 
colunms consisting of 12j!aissons each. The caissons of the 1st and 2d 
columns are armored, so that they can be exchanged for battery caissons. 
The ammunition in limbers may be unloaded beside the guns. The cais- 
son bodies of the batteries are emptied and replaced by full caisson bodies 
of the 1st and 2d ammunition columns. The ammunition of the caisson 
limbers is transferred to the gun limbers as soon as the latter are emptied. 


* 'Every battery engaged with the enemy should strain 
every nerve and utilize all its resources to remain ready to 
move or to fire at any moment. * * (Par. 461 , German F. A. D. 

Batteries are never withdrawn while tmder fire, but 
supported by pushing others up into the line. Even severe 
losses do not in themselves justify evacuation of the posi- 

*A cavalry dlvlsioii has a cayalry ammuziltlon column that carries both small 
arms and artillery ammunition. 

tPars. 461-463. Oerman F. A. D. R. 

398 Employment of Artillery. 

tion. If a battery that has succumbed in the fire fight were 
to be withdrawn, the battery that replaced it, might perhaps 
not produce an effect at all, as it must first adjust its fire, 
but would in all probability break down while going into 
position, there being no more vulnerable target than a bat- 
tery in the act of unlimbering. Besides, the forward move- 
ment of the teams with a view to bringing off the guns would 
invite the enemy to redouble the intensity of his fire, unless 
the terrain affords cover to the movement. 

Each battery possesses sufficient materiel in its battery 
reserve for keeping the guns and their limbers fit for action 
a long time. When a battery is tmable to make the neces- 
sary repairs with the means at its disposal, the commander 
of the reserve takes timely steps to procure what is needed 
from the light ammimition column. The latter is obliged 
to turn over to the batteries not only any materiel that they 
may require, but also to replace their losses in men and horses, 
even if this entails disintegrating the ammunition column. 
When necessary, the battalion or the regimental commander 
may direct another battery to furnish what is needed. So 
far as practicable, such assistance should be rendered even 
to batteries belonging to another unit. In so far as possible, 
repairs should be made during the action, but when this is 
impracticable, repair work should be started as soon as the 
action is over. Spare parts and tools for making repairs 
are carried in the first store wagon of the battery reserve. 
In addition, there is available with the field train, the second 
store wagon with field forge. Artillery should therefore be 
specially interested in quickly bringing up the field train as 
soon as an engagement is over. 

Losses among the cannoneers are first replaced from the 
men attached to the caissons. A battery thus has a Uttle 
more than an extra set of cannoneers. As a last resort, 
the drivers are used as cannoneers. A battery can continue 
its fire — ^though at a considerably reduced rate — so long as 
two men still remain with each gun, or three with each how- 

Replacement of Personnel and Materiel. 399 

itzer. When a battery is about to succtimb, its commander 
may stop the firing in order to refit, so that it may be able 
to take a hand in the infantry fight during the later stages 
of the action. (Par. 374, German F. A. D. R.). Chiefs 
of section are more difficult to replace than any other men of 
the battery. 

** Capable chiefs of section {Geschiltzfuhrer) are by no 
means ntunerous in a newly mobilized battery, because in 
the artillery the corps of non-commissioned officers is drained 
to a far greater extent than in the other arms, by details 
to new organizations. When, in addition, the few remaining 
professional non-commissioned officers are disabled in the 
first battle, the problem of providing substitutes becomes 
really embarrassing."* 

An endeavor should always be made to shelter the teams 
as much as possible from hostile fire, but it will be impracti- 
cable to protect them altogether against losses. When the 
batteries desire to change position, or to accompany the 
attack, the teams must be brought up ; and it will be impos- 
sible to move to the new position without suffering some loss 
en route. 

The loss of saddle animals is particularly serious. "In the en- 
deavor to render the combatant part of the battery, the guns, as ready and 
fit for service as possible, I assigned almost all the horses of the permanent 
establishment, including all available saddle horses, to gun teams and 
drivers on mobilization. As the horses that came to the battery by pur- 
chase (augmentation horses) were almost without exception untrained to 
go into a six-horse team or to work under the saddle, I assigned them to 
the reserve and combat train. But, at Mars-la-Tour, we lost all of our 
officers' horses, and the greater part of the mounts of chiefs of section, 
trumpeters and non-commissioned officers. Where were substitutes to 
be obtained? We did find a few suitable mounts among the gxm teams, 
and used them, but the best of these were gone and there seemed no way 
out of the dilemma."t The battery lost 23 of its 126 horses. 

In 1870-71, a horse battery consisted normally of 150 men, and 207 
horses, and a field battery of 151 men and 126 horses. At Vionville, six 
out of twelve field batteries lost more than 40 horses each, and three horse 
batteries lost respectively, 59, 41, and 70 horses. In spite of this loss, all 

*Bbrbndt. Au$ meiner DienstzeiU p- 74. — See p. 426, mpra. 

400 Employment of Artillery. 

but four of these batteries were able by the morning of August I8th, to 
turn out with complete six-horse teams. 

On August 18th, 1870, the batteries of the Hid Army Corps, had to 
take part in the battle of Grmv^lotte, after having made a long march. 
The ammunition columns had furnished 171 horses to the batteries and 
were obliged to replace these by requisitioning others on their march to 
the rear. 

In the future also, we shall make frequent use of the 
expedient of drawing on the ammunition columns for teams,* 
for a battery that has lost half of its personnel and horses, 
can not bring its guns into position without immediate as- 
sistance. Each caisson of the ammunition colunm can with- 
out difficulty spare two horses, until others arrive from the 
rear, as it will still have four horses, which suffice to draw 
the empty caisson. In addition, led horses are available. 
Each artillery ammunition column could thus furnish 50-60 
horses, and all the field artillery ammunition columns of 
an army corps, about 350-420 horses. 

■^be horse depOts are to replace disabled horses of various headquarters or 
infantry (including machine gun companies), of pioneers (Including bridge train), 
of corps telegraph detachments, of telephone detachments, and of field supply 
depdts of the army corps. In urgent cases, the coriM commander may direct machine 
gun batteries, cavalry, field artillery, heavy artillery, ambulance companies, and 
train organizations of the army corps, to draw horses from the horse depOts.'* (Par- 
117, Oerman Train Regulations). 




Artillery, regardless of the losses it may suflfer in con- 
sequence, should always combat the target that makes it 
most diflficult for the infantry to attain the object of the 
action. The hostile infantry is the principal target. Artil- 
lery should engage the hostile artillery only to the extent of 
preventing the latter from firing undisturbed. In order to 
place modem artillery out of action, numerous curved fire 
guns must be brought into action, and even then this object 
will not be completely attained, for some of the hostile bat- 
teries will be able, again and again to develop their full fire 
power. The victor will find on the battlefield but few bat- 
teries that are shot to pieces. He is much more apt to find 
them immobilized. The regulations of the nineties still 
insisted that the success of the infantry attack depended, in 
the main, upon the attainment of the superiority of artillery 
fire.* But, he who waits until this superiority is gained 
will never get to attack. 

The artillery combat is no longer a special act of the 
drama of the battle. It will not so much precede as accom- 
pany the infantry attack to the very last. Close coopera- 
tion between artillery and infantry is more necessary than 
ever before. 

*G«rmanyi Par. 344, F. A. D. R. of 1899: "A planned atack has a chance 
of succeeding only when the superiority of fire, in the first place that of artillery, has 
been gained." 

Par. 82. Part II, /. D. R. of 1899: "In the first place, the superiority of artil- 
lery fire should be gained, to smooth the way for the infantry." 

Frances /. D. R. of 1904 (German guns without shields being considered 
the targets) : "Artillery during the preparatory stage : An attempt should be made 
to overwhelm the hostile artillery as quickly as possible, but without engaging more 
force than absolutely necessary. * * * It is not until the preparation is con- 
sidared sufficient that (he commander of the troops gives the order for the attack,** 

402 The Attack. 

England I F. A. D. R. of 1907: "The artillery and the infantry 
must cooperate, the former by firing rapidly when it sees that its own in- 
fantry has trouble to advance, and the latter by taking advantage of this 
period of intense artillery fire, to gain ground to the front. The closest 
cooperation of guns with the infantry firing lines is essential. Communi- 
cation between infantry and artillery commanders is of the utmost im- 
portance and the way should be paved for it whenever circumstances 
admit. All orders for the infantry attack should be communicated to the 
artillery commander and arrangements made to have the guns continue 
their fire until the last possible moment. Infantry is most effectively 
supported by concentrating the fire of guns and of howitzers upon the point 
to be attacked. The shrapnel fire of the guns will nail the enemy to his 
trenches, force him to keep down, interfere with his aim, and divert his 
attention from the advancing infantry. The fire of the howitzers, whether 
it consist of shrapnel or of lyddite shell, will sweep the interior of the enemy's 
trenches and their approaches, and retard the movement of his reserves. 
Should the attacker's artillery be forced to discontinue its fire in view of 
the superiority of the hostile artillery fire, it must open fire again at any 
cost, when it becomes necessary to help the infantry ward off an attack, 
or to repel a counter-attack. When the infantry has approached so close 
to the hostile position that it masks the fire of its own artillery, the latter 
should continue its fire at a greater elevation in order to sweep the ground 
in rear of the hostile position and to prevent the advance of hostile re- 

The fusion of infantry and artillery preparation is the 
basic principle of the new tactics. Nothing but mutual 
cooperation of infantry and artillery, directed by the com- 
mander, will assure success. The danger that the artillery 
combat may degenerate into an ineffective cannonade, is 
obviated by the demand that the infantry force the defender, 
while the artillery combat is still in progress, openly to en- 
gage his troops, especially his masked batteries, so that they 
will form targets for its own artillery-. It is very difficult 
for artillery to combat advancing infantry from a masked 
position, especially when it is not a question of hitting a 
few targets, as on the target range, but one of hitting groups 
of numerous targets,* and the observations of the battery 

^General Richtbr, Beitrag zu dem ZusammentDirken der Infantrie und Feld- 
artillerie bei der 5. japanischen Division in der Schlacht von Mukden. JahrbUcher fUr 
Armee und Marine, July number 1009. In 1896. General Lanoxx)I8 stated that In- 
fantry could never unaided gain the fire superiority over the defender, because its 
action alternated between movement and firing, whereas the defender fired unin- 
terruptedly, and that artillery unaided was Just as little capable of effectively pre- 
paring the assault. For. he argued, as soon as artillery directs its fire against the 

Cooperation of Infantry and Artillery. 403 

commander, who is some distance away from his guns, 
can not be used in the battery without risk of error. Par. 
374, German I. D. R., is particularly important. To quote: 
** Although an attempt should be made to gain beforehand a 
superiority of artillery fire, the execution of the infantry attack 
should not be made absolutely dependent upon it. The tactical 
situation is the governing factor.'' The drill regulations of 
the field and heavy artillery enimciate similar views. But 
there is unquestionably great danger of the infantry attack 
bolting to the front, of advancing too hurriedly, before the 
artillery has created the conditions upon which success is 
predicated. A warning against the ''headlong attack" is 
justified, even in peace times. Before Mukden, General 
Oku made the following statement in one of his orders: 
"The infantry must advance, no matter how slow its progress. 
When it is not as yet possible for the infantry to advance, 
the artillery should hold its fire. The advance of the in- 
fantry and artillery must proceed simultaneously." This 
statement is now embodied in the Japanese regulations. 

An attempt will now be made to present a detailed 
statement of the demands of the two arms in attack. 

1. The occupation of the position and the adjustment 
of fire take time. In a rencontre, it will frequently be im- 
possible to avoid engaging the artillery prematurely (par. 
357, German I. D. R.) when the advance guard requires the 
support of artillery in order to fulfill its mission, or when an 
attempt is to be made to clear up the situation by means of 
artillery fire." (Par. 361, German I. D. R.). When at- 
tacking an enemy deployed and in position on the defensive, 
the premature advance of the infantry must not impel the 
artillery to precipitate and hurried action.* The infantry 

point of attack, the defender, utilizing all the natural and artificial cover available^ 
would withdraw Arom its fire, unless the Infantry of the attacker advances to dose- 
range and threatens an immediate attack, thereby forcing the defender to come out 
from his cover and to present to the artillery firing over its own infantry a welcome 
target for its death-dealing shrapnel. 

*The attempt made at Oravelotte by the Ist Battalion, 8th Field Artillery 
which was posted in readiness, to go prematurely Into position in order to divert 
the hostile fire from the recklessly advancing infantry is of questionable utility and 
should be avoided. 

404 The Attack. 

should not advance iintil the artillery is ready to support it 
with fire. 

The artillery must demand such protection of infantry 
in its vicinity as to enable it to go into position quietly and 
unmolested. As the first positions of the artillery will gen- 
erally be masked or semi-masked, it has little to fear from 
the frontal fire of hostile infantry, but may be molested by 
small hostile detachments and machine guns, which will 
endeavor to bring oblique fire to bear on batteries that have 
pushed recklessly forward. In a rencontre, it is the duty 
of the advance guard to secure the selected artillery posi- 
tion and its observation points. Important points, particu- 
larly commanding heights that he in advance or on a flank of 
the artillery position, should be promptly seized. *'The 
flanks and rear of the artillery position are particularly 
vulnerable to the daring and sudden operations of small 
detachments. In open country, artillery in position protects 
its own front by its fire. It is only in case the artillery line 
is long that a small infantry force is required in front to pre- 
vent the enemy's patrols from annoying the artillery. Small 
detachments of infantry posted at considerable intervals 
suffice for this purpose." (Par. 448, German, I. D. R.). 

2. The advance of infantry past or through artillery 
lines, must not materially impair the artillery fire. In any 
event, the infantry and artillery commanders concerned 
should agree beforehand on the time when and the place 
where the movement is to be made. (Par. 445, German 
I. D. R.). In many cases, it will be practicable to pass 
at one bound through the batteries that are not as yet 
engaged but ready to fire. When the guns are in a masked 
position, they can resume firing as soon as the infantry 
has cleared the crest in their front. 

3. The artillery should demand that infantry force 
the defender to man his parapets and to offer targets to 
shrapnel in order that it may be enabled thereby to distin- 
guish masks and dummy works from the true position. The 

Cooperation op Inpantry and Artillery. 405 

artillery must, in the first place, know how close its in- 
fantry has gotten to the hostile position. It is a good plan 
to attach artillery officers to the infantry (par. 376, German 
F. A. D. R.) . This is the only method that ensures that the 
results of the infantry reconnaissance will be communicated 
to the artillery and that the infantry will seek hostile obser- 
vation stations and direct its fire upon them. Observation 
stations are the eyes of artillery that is posted in a masked 
position; when these are put out, the fire effect ceases. 
Batteries in masked positions will then be forced to leave 
their cover and may be annihilated. This attack against 
observation stations is a new and important element in 
modem combat. Par. 593, German F. S. R., emphasizes 
this point particularly, by saying: "The outcome of the 
combat of two lines of artillery that are numerically approxi- 
mately equal, depends largely upon the use of that arm and 
upon the cooperating activity of the infantry. It is no longer 
possible to accomplish anything with frontal fire, but it is 
practicable to interfere with the movement of hostile guns 
from the masked to the unmasked position and to rob the 
hostile artillery of freedom of movement and to cripple its 
ammunition supply service.* 

4. The artillery may and should demand that all the 
wishes of the infantry be communicated to it. 

The infantry demands — 

(a) That during the advance that has been begun to 
give the artillery a chance, it be not left without support 
and at the mercy of the hostile artillery fire, in other words, 
that the hostile artillery be silenced, or at least completely 
occupied. The activity of a hostile battery posted in a 
masked position may be crippled by firing upon its obser- 
vation station. This should be sought at points permitting 
good view, its firing battery being perhaps posted in what 
wotdd seem to be an entirely unlikely place. In many cases, 
a doud of smoke projected in front of a hostile battery in a 
masked position, may suffice to cripple its activity. 

*HoFFBAX7BB, DeuUthe ArtUUfU, III. p. 00. 

406 The Attack. 

(fe) That the artillery render it all possible assistance, 
to enable it to overcome a crisis, and that the artillery pre- 
vent the hostile infantry from firing undisturbed. 

(c) That the artillery protect it in critical situations, 
particularly after a successful assault, by hurrying forward 
into the captured position. 

(d) That the artillery support it in the combat for the 
possession of villages. 'In partictdar they (the higher artil- 
lery commanders) should see that the maximum effect is 
obtained at the right time and at the proper place, by con- 
centrating and accelerating the fire. To this end, they must 
constantly observe the enemy and the conduct of their 
own troops and supplement their own observations by in- 
formation gathered by officers' patrols and scouts." (Par. 
426, German F. A. D. R.). 

For the commander of the troops to inform the artil- 
lery commander against what point he intends to launch 
the decisive attack (par. 470, German F. A. D. R.), by no 
means solves the question of mutual cooperation. The 
artillery commander should carefully observe the leading 
infantry line in order that he may perceive at once where 
assistance is needed. Infantry detachments that have 
prematurely rushed forward and that can facilitate the ad- 
vance of the following units, require effective artillery sup- 
port. A check in any movement or an advance by groups 
or other units, is always an appeal to the batteries to furnish 
support with their fire. 

The difficulties of providing cooperation between in- 
fantry and artillery are due to the elimination of powder 
smoke and the adoption of neutral tinted uniforms, which 
makes it impossible to distinguish friend from foe at all 
times with certainty (though ''assault guidons'' may help), 
and to the drctunstance that, while we have a signal {go) 
directing artillery to increase its range, we have none in- 
dicating that artillery is to concentrate its fire upon certain 
points. In England it has been proposed to indicate the point 

Cooperation op Infantry and Artillery. 407 

upon which fire is to be concentrated, by means of the colored 
ball of smoke of a special projectile. Morse signals are not 
clear enough and are liable to be misunderstood. The Swiss 
have adopted a very good scheme, which consists of holding 
aloft all signal flags to indicate to artillery that it is to in- 
crease its elevation. To give each leader in the skirmish 
line authority to indicate the points against which the fire is 
to be directed, would not be permissible. This authority 
belongs properly to the officer commanding a combat section — 
usually a regimental commander. In many cases, it will be 
advisable to direct some artillery unit (for example a bat- 
talion) to support the advance of the 1st infantry regiment 
against the line a — b. It is only by issuing orders in this 
form that cooperation of infantry and artillery can be ensured, 
otherwise that cooperation will be entirely a matter of chance. 
The operation of the scheme mentioned is facilitated by the 
fact that the relative strength of the infantry and artillery 
of a division is such that an artillery regiment will naturally 
be assigned a combat section equal in extent to that assigned 
to an infantry brigade. Telephone lines that connect the 
different brigade headquarters with division headquarters 
on the one hand and with the headquarters of the artil- 
lery regiment on the other, prepare the way for mutual co- 
operation. But visual signal communications must be 
maintained in addition, as interruption of the telephone 
service is inevitable. Mutual visibility of the troops con- 
cerned does not suffice, as this might give rise to mistakes, 
and as the fire of the artillery would be governed more by the 
movements of the enemy than by the effect of his fire, which 
the artillery can not in every case perceive. Moreover, 
the artillery might frequently direct its fire against points 
that the infantry does not intend to attack or that it can not as 
yet capture. 

Artillery reconnaissance officers sent ahead keep up 
communication with the various infantry headquarters and 
transmit the necessary technical information in regard to the 

408 The Attack. 

targets, the distance of the firing line from the enemy, the 
location of hostile machine guns, etc.. One ofiScer at each 
headquarters will rarely suffice for this work, and two will 
therefore be sent in most cases, one remaining at the head- 
quarters of the infantry tuiit, the other accompanying the 
advancing infantry line. Panoramic sketches on whidi the 
various parts of the target are indicated by means of letters, 
will often prove useful, if sent back promptly. If artillery 
reconnaissance officers are disabled or not available, in- 
fantry officers perform their duties. It requires strict at- 
tention on the part of the infantry to make its work harmonize 
with that of the artillery. Every opportunity, as when the 
hostile infantry is forced under cover by a burst of fire, 
should be utilized for advancing. This is particularly 
emphasized by the French (see p. 460, infra), who are of the 
opinion that the fire of their artillery can overcome any 
check produced by hostile fire, bring the advancing troops 
almost unharmed close to the enemy, and protect them against 
any counter-attack. The defender is to be blinded by smoke 
and by a hail of shrapnel. "Every rafale of the artillery will 
either cause the most advanced line to make a rush, or the 
troops of the rear line to come up to the firing line in order 
to reinforce it, or carry it forward as much as possible. Thus 
the rafale becomes a veritable shield for the infantry (veri- 
table bouclier de Vinfanterie),'' Langlois. 

In infantry combat exercises, by far too little attention 
is paid to utilizing this moment for advancing by long rushes 
of strong groups under cover of the smoke-clouds of a rafale. 

Field and heavy artillery should likewise cooperate 
under the direction of the commander of the artillery, who 
regulates their reconnaissance and fire action. The long 
range and certain action of the heavy howitzer, which fires 
shell model 1904, whose radius of action is very great, should 
be utilized to silence, one section at a time, shielded batteries 
whose position has been recognized, or to keep down the 
fire of such batteries (by distributing the fire over their entire 

Artillery in a Rencontre. 409 

front), in order to relieve as many field batteries as possible 
from this work and to enable them to direct shrapnel fire 
against the hostile infantry position and against hostile curved 
fire batteries in masked positions. The attention of hostile 
batteries that have been silenced or that have not as yet been 
taken tmder fire, should be occupied. Field artillery will 
frequently be able to take advantage of the cover afforded 
by the fire of the heavy artillery to go into position. Finally, 
the commander of the troops demands that the point of 
attack be kept tmder effective fire. Fortified villages offer 
less resistance to heavy shells than do supporting works of 
low profile. 


In a rencontre in which a route column deploys against 
an enemy who is still in the act of advancing, the advance 
guard is to gain time and room for the deployment of its main 
body, throw the enemy upon the defensive, and dictate his 
course of action. The principal share of this task falls to the 
lot of the field artillery. The commander will find it very 
diffictdt adequately to protect his rapidly forming artillery 
lines with infantry, which marches more slowly, tmless heavy 
howitzer batteries, which are able to play a powerful part 
in such a situation, have been brought into position at a 
timely moment. The unexpected collision of two opposing 
forces, which often happens at maneuvers, produces a critical 
situation. A skillful commander will be able, in many cases, 
to hasten the entry of the troops into action by making proper 
preparations, but it will be unavoidable sometimes to accept 
battle in a tactically unfavorable locality. The endeavor 
to terminate the fight as quickly as possible by launching the 
troops promptly, is characteristic of the rencontre. When 
this desire animates both opponents, it leads quite naturally 

•Para. 476-482, German F. A. D. B., para. 414-428. Oerman H. A, D. R., and 
TakUk, V. p. 198. Bt $€q. 

410 The Attack. 

to a piecemeal launching of the troops by battalions; when, 
on the other hand, one of the commanders decides to stand on 
the defensive, a lull favorable for a united launching of the 
troops will occur. 

Modem field artillery has imparted an entirely new char- 
acter to rencontre fights such as the combat for the heights of 
Gorze during the battle of Vionville, and the actions incident 
to the invasion of Bohemia. 

A commander who desires to avoid being surprised by 
hostile fire while he is on the march, must take steps to keep 
himself informed, by extensive reconnaissance, of the measures 
taken by the enemy. But to reconnoiter only within effec- 
tive range (4 km.) does not suffice; the reconnaissance should 
extend for at least double that distance (i. e., 8 — 10 km.), 
as time must be allowed for transmitting messages to the rear 
and for ordering and taking counter-measures. This requires 
that the cavalry assigned to the unit be pushed far ahead. 
As patrols are not strong enough to penetrate the hostile 
screen, the divisional cavalry, reinforced if necessary, must 
be used for this purpose.* The French scheme of surround- 
ing the force with a belt of independant detachments im- 
doubtedly has its advantages. The difficulties encountered 
in reconnaissance produce a protracted period of tmcertainty 
in regard to the actions and intentions of the enemy. This 
uncertainty exerts, above all else, a hampering influence on 
the actions of the artillery. The commander should always 
ask himself the question, where will my troops come tmder 
artillery fire ? when can I fire upon the hostile route column 
(fire surprise) ? t and where will the covering forces collide ? 

*\A commander who desires to derive the utmost benefit 
from his rapid fire guns, must seek to get them ready for action 
as early as possible, i. e., ahead of the enemy's artillery." 

*3tT€SUuT, February number of 1009: Hobsbtzkt, BindrUekB vom Artii- 

tif we assume that It will take 40 seconds to adjust the flre with three bracket- 
ing shots, and 80 seconds for giving the necessary commands and for laying, the 
first round for effect (time flre) can be flred two minutes after the first shot. 

Artillery in a Rencontre. 411 

(Horsetzky). This naturally results in posting artillery 
in readiness, for the purpose of at once protecting the infantry, 
which would otherwise be defenseless at the mercy of the 
hostile artillery fire. This is also advisable when infantry 
is crossing difficult ground or broad valleys, and when the 
weather is hazy.* The difficulty of following the infantry, of 
moving from one position to another, lies in bringing up the 
artillery at a timely moment. This requires that the next 
position be reconnoitered early and that orders be trans- 
mitted by signals. If possible, the artillery should be in its 
new position by the time the infantry has reached the next 
crest. Whether the batteries should change position si- 
multaneously or by echelons depends upon the situation. The 
movement by echelons, if properly timed, affords the best 
protection to both artillery and infantry. 

The employment of the artillery of the Vth Army Corps atNachod, 
growing as it did out of the position the artillery occupied in the column, 
is very instructive.t 

At 5 A. M., June 27th, 1866, the Prussian advance guard and the 
head of the main body were 16 km. apart. The early occupation of the 
Wenzelberg plateau was considered desirable, but as the distance to the 
nearest supporting troops was great and could not be increased except for 
the most pressing reasons, the advance guard commander decided to post- 
pone the departure of his advance guard an hour. At 8 a. m., when the 
leading elements of the support reached the height south of Wysokow, the 
head of the reserve was still 4 km. from the road fork east of Wysokow. It 
was expected that by 9 A. M., 1}4 battalions, 6 escadrons, 2 batteries, and 
2 pioneer companies would be on the battlefield of Wenzelberg. At this 
time, the elements of the column were disposed as follows and resumed 
their march after a long halt: 

Wunck*8Cav.Brig. (8 esc, 1 btry.) at Sackish, 10 km. from the heights 
of Wenzelberg; 

Main body (12 bns., 8 esc, 6 btrs.) at Gellenau, 12 km. from the 
heights of Wenzelberg; 

Reserve (3 bns., 8 btrs.) at Lewin, 15 km. from the heights of Wen- 

The result of assigning so few guns to the advance guard, which was 
entirely dependent upon its own infantry until 11:30 A. m., and of pushing 

*It should be remembered that In hazy weather the light oondltlons may 
change e'very few moments. 

tKOBNB, KHHsche Wandtrungen, I. p. 2, et seq. 
Bat) ex MSB. DU FeldartiUtrie im Beo$gnuno9kampf. 

412 The Attack. 

it still farther forward, was that it had to cover entirely too much front 
(6 bna., and 2 btrs., on a front of 2,600 m.), and that the artillery, which 
usually arrived a battery at a time, was split up and never succeeded in 
gaining the superiority. General von Steinmets had 90 guns, 30 of them 
smooth-bores, whereas his opponent had 88 guns, all of them 
There were in action: 


8 A. H. 8 guns 

9 A. M. 32 " 
Noon 80 
1 P. If. 80 



2 " 80 

2:30 P. M. 80 " i 74 " 

12 guns 
12 " 

18 *' (Horse btry. of the Cav. Brig, arrives) 
26 " (Ohnesorge's Btry. silenced) 
38 " (One btry. of 12-pdrs. can bring only 2 of its 

guns into action) 

If orders had been issued in time, the artillery of the reserve could 
have arrived on the field between 12 o'clock Noon and 1 P. M. 

The advance guard batteries remained in action. The successively 
arriving batteries of the cavalry brigade and of the main body suffered 
severe losses in going into action uncovered and were temporarily silenced. 
It was not until the batteries of the reserve arrived in one body, that the 
scales were turned. 

**At the beginning of the fight, the advantage will rest 
with the commander who understands how to ensure to 
himself freedom of action by gaining a start over the enemy 
in preparation for action. The artillery can materially assist 
the commander of the troops in this, by making dispositions 
and movements promptly." 

As a preparatory measure, the artillery should be taken 
out of the main body and brought up to the tail of the advance 
guard, and the light ammunition columns should be brought 
up into the gap left in the main body by the artillery. In this 
way, a higher state of preparedness for launching the force 
is attained. In many cases, it will likewise be practicable 
to prepare for the development of the infantry by having 
the head of its subordinate imits turn out of the column. 

The distance between advance guard and main body 
will be decreased by bringing up the artillery of the main 
body. It is, consequently, just as well to dispense with a large 
advance guard, and to have the entire column of the army 

Artillery in a Rencontre. 413 

corps follow in rear of a single battalion* pushed forward 
1,000 m. The German P. S. R. (par. 169) therefore very 
properly recommend that only the most necessary disposi- 
tions for protection be made, in order that the development 
forward may be hastened. 

That there is danger that the main body may suddenly 
come under artillery fire, can certainly not be denied, but 
this danger may be obviated by energetic reconnaissance 
and by a proper employment of the advance guard artil- 
lery. The purpose of the distance between advance guard 
and main body is, above all else, to give the commander of 
the troops time, in case of collision with the enemy, to decide 
what to do. 

An infantry attack undertaken without artillery support 
worth mentioning, runs danger of being converted into dis- 
aster when exposed to a sudden burst of hostile artillery 
fire. If the attack, in such a case, is made with energy and 
dash, the disaster will be all the worse. As a rule, troops 
do not easily forget such an experience. Colonel Csicserics 
von Bacsanyt states: *Trom the Russo-Japanese war, we 
may draw the conclusion that, after the opening battles of a 
war, an army will have to use a certain circumspection, not 
to say caution, during the preparatory stage of combat. 
The Russian defeats are interesting proof of the fact that 
an army that is not prepared to use this necessary delibera- 
tion is very apt to become quite unenterprising in spite of 
the dash carefully inculcated in time of peace (the bayonet 
cult), and loses nearly all its effectiveness in spite of all 

The advance guard is to gain the time and room nec- 
essary for the deployment of its main body. The artillery 
position selected by the commander of the force must, above 
all else, be secured. The advance guard may find itself in a 
situation that forces it to overcome unexpected resistance 

*It should be borne in mind that the German battalion of 1,066 men is here 
meant. — Translator, 

\DiB SchlachU p. 24. 

414 The Attack. 

quickly, or to hold captured supporting points stubbornly 
even against superior numbers. The artillery attached to 
the advance guard may, with advantage, be used for these 
tasks. In order to keep the enemy in the dark as to one's 
intentions and dispositions, it may be advisable to post 
the elements of the advance guard artillery at wide intervals 
and in masked positions. 

The artillery mast make the best of the terrain it finds. 
No time should be wasted in looking for ideal positions. 
Our improved laying apparatus is of great assistance. At 
present, the governing principle is to utilize the artillery 
fire power to the utmost to sweep every spot of the entire field 
of battle. It is the duty of the officer charged with fire direc- 
tion to assign combat sections in such a way as to ensure the 
attainment of the maximum fire effect. It is desirable not 
to begin the artillery combat tmtil the infantry is about to 
advance, so as to keep the enemy in the dark as long as pos- 
sible. But this design will have to be abandoned when the 
advance guard requires artillery support in order to fulfill 
its mission, or when an attempt is to be made to force the 
enemy's hand by means of artillery fire. 

An attempt should be made to bring all the artillery 
of the main body into action at once. But cases may arise 
in which the commander will unhesitatingly send into action 
the successively arriving artillery units, in order to secure 
an advantage gained by the advance guard or to reap the 
fruits of such an advantage. No commander will volimtarily 
dispense with the assistance of his heavy artillery, especially 
when he desires to make his field artillery available for 
carrying through the fire fight. The most important target 
of the heavy artillery is the hostile artillery, which will fre- 
quently take up unmasked positions so as to get the maximxim 
effect against moving infantry targets. (Par. 426, German 
H. A. D. R.). Observation is a preliminary condition, and 
the commander of the troops and the commander of the artil- 
lery must cooperate to the end that favorable observation 

Artillery in a Rencontre. 415 

stations will not be occupied with a fractional part of the 
field artillery. 

* 'Since information in regard to the enemy's situation 
and the terrain is indispensable to the decisions of the com- 
mander, it is obvious that favorable observation points 
will play a prominent part. That these observation points 
will exert a powerful attraction on the hostile fire for these 
very same reasons should always be borne in mind, especially 
by heavy artillery. Accordingly, the observation stations 
of the latter should be selected with this in mind, and, if 
time admits, protected. In a great many cases, an observa- 
tion station not located in the best and, consequently, most 
conspicuous locality, may, therefore, be just as useful.*' 

In a rencontre, the commander will frequently decide 
to concentrate his force under cover of the advance guard, 
which has been reinforced by the artillery, to let the enemy 
advance, and then to bring about the decision by launching 
all his retained forces in one body. The defensive r61e 
thus forced upon the commander generally lacks the advan- 
tages that would otherwise accrue from deliberately choosing 
and strengthening a position. 

During the fluctuations from offensive to defensive and 
back again, a frontal fire fight ensues, in which the last fresh 
forces turn the scale. Compared with the delibertely 
planned attack, the rencontre presents greater difiiculties to 
the commander, while it is easier for the troops. 

'*If the enemy has gained a start over us in preparedness 
for action, prudence is advisable. The commander will 
then avoid a serious fight until an adequate force of artillery 
is available." (Par. 482, German F. A. D. R.). In actual 
war, the commander and the infantry will perceive that the 
enemy has gained this start in deployment for action, only 
when superior hostile fire apprises them of the fact. Hence, 
this theoretically correct evasion of a fight, is confined to a 
few exceptional cases. If it does occur, infantry that sud- 
denly finds itself in a critical situation is justly entitled to 

416 The Attack. 

demand support from artillery. Batteries provided with 
shields can be silenced in a short time by curved fire 
only. Moreover, modem guns are capable, up to a certain 
point, of compensating an inferiority of numbers by an in- 
creased rate of fire. 



An enemy who does not attack, renounces the initiative 
for the time being and permits his opponent to reconnoiter at 
leisure, to make his dispositions, and to coordinate the ad- 
vance of his infantry with the action of his artillery. In 
difficult country, the attacker is at liberty to postpone his 
advance until nightfall. One is, therefore, justified to a 
certain extent in speaking of a ''planned attack^ Portable 
intrenching tools enable troops quickly to construct cover 
that considerably increases their power of resistance. It is 
important for the commander of the troops and the com- 
mander of the artillery to decide whether the enemy really in- 
tends to stand on the defensive, so as to use the groimd to 
the best advantage and to let us attack, or whether he simply 
desires to make us believe — as the French propose to do — 
that he will stand on the defensive, only to fall upon us 
later, better prepared for action than we are. 

A numerical superiority in guns makes it easier to gain 
the victory. This superiority is obtained by latmching more 
imits (infantry divisions) than the enemy, and by bringing 
up the artillery of organizations that are held in reserve for 
the time being. The concentric attack enables the assailant 
to bring more guns into action than the defender. The 
effect produced by the assailant's guns will be enhanced, 
moreover, when the defender's artillery is confined to a small 

An accurate knowledge of the hostile position upon 
which to base measures for the attack, can not be gained 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 417 

by cavalry reconnaissance alone. Masked batteries can be 
recognized only under favorable conditions. Smokeless 
powder enables the defender to keep his dispositions hidden 
from hostile view. As a rule, it will be necessary to launch 
infantry in order to obtain the information required as a 
basis for the decision, to determine the extent of the hostile 
position and to recognize any advanced posts to which artil- 
lery may perhaps have been attached. The best plan would 
be to entice the enemy to open fire,* and to cause him to 
make movements that would enable us to draw conclusions 
as to the manner of occupation of his position.! The re- 
connaissance from a distance is replaced by forced recon- 
naissance by fire. In this, the area in which the hostile artil- 
lery is presumably located is swept by decoy batteries in 
order to induce a reply, or the hostile infantry position is 
taken under fire. The surest way to force the enemy to 
occupy his position and to disclose his artillery, is to push 
forward one's infantry. While the purpose of reconnais- 
sance may be served by surprising the enemy with artillery, 
the commander is not justified in bringing artillery into 
action at decisive ranges except when immediate advantage 
is taken of the results achieved. 

In this connection it is interesting to examine how the combat was 
initiated at Weiazenburg, at Vionville, at Verneville (August 18th, 1870) 
and at Beaumont. In all these cases, the hostile artillery fire proved to be 
the best means of alarming the troops that were surprised, t 

To latmch the bulk of the force prematurely, before the 
necessary information in regard to the hostile main position 

*At worth, on the morning of August 6th, 1870. a battery attached to 
Prussian reconnoiterlng troops, opened fire at 2,500 — ^3,200 m. and Induced a French 
mitrailleuse battery and a light battery to reply, while a number of other hostile 
batteries and hostile infantry showed themselves without, however, coming into 
action. The object of the reconnaissance had thus been gained. 

tAt the battle of Splcheren. August 6th, 1870, a strong show of artillery 
an Winter and Qalgen Hills would, in all likelihood, have demonstrated shortly 
that we had to deal not with a retreating enemy but with one in position. 

The bombardment of the Boer {positions at Magersfontein and at Colenso. 
on the other hand, did not. in the least, affect the Boer measures, as the English 
artillery was icept far in rear and the infantry did not advance to effective range. 

XTakHk, V, p. 190. 

418 The Attack. 

has been gained, can have nothing but a harmful effect. 
Before the batteries of the main body are sent into action, 
data must be obtained in regard to combat sections and front 
to be attacked. The reconnaissance develops of itself into 
the preparatory stage of the action, in which the artillejrr 
bombards the hostile positions recognized as advanced posts, 
in order to enable the infantry to capttu^ them. To this 
may be added, the task of diverting the hostile fire from col- 
umns that are in the act of concentrating. This task 
usually requires further reinforcement of the artillery. In 
any event, artillery must do its utmost to draw the hostile 
artillery fire upon itself. By doing this, the artillery will 
give the infantry the necessary protection and support for 
the advance. So long as the attacking infantry is defenseless 
at the mercy of hostile artillery fire, the assailant's artillery 
must endeavor at least to keep the defender's artillery from 
firing undisturbed. The greater the effect of the hostile 
artillery fire on the attacker's infantry and the stronger the 
cover of the defender's infantry, the more insistently will 
the attacker demand artillery support for his infantry. 
From this it follows that the defender's artillery will likewise 
have to do its utmost to prevent the batteries of the assail- 
ant from developing their full fire power against the de- 
fender's infantry. * The action of the opposing artillery forces 
of throwing themselves into the breach for their infantry, 
explains the existence of the artillery combat that initiates 
a battle. As the infantry fight progresses, the artillery 
commander should designate some parts of the artillery to 
direct their fire upon the hostile infantry. (Par. 469, 
German P. A. D. R.). The French divide their artillery 
into groups from the outset, according to the task each is to 
perform. In the various battles of the Franco-German war, 
the German artillery succeeded in thoroughly defeating the 
French artillery after short resistance. Accordingly, the 
German artillery was able to do pretty much as it pleased. 
The theory of the artillery duel, of the separation of artil- 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 419 

lery and infantry preparation of an attack is based upon the 
experience of the Franco-German war. This theory proved 
no longer tenable even during the campaign of 1877-78, 
and during the Boer war (at Colenso, Magersfontein, and 
Paardeberg) . The positions supposedly held by the enemy 
were for days deluged by the fire of numerous guns, and when 
the infantry finally attacked, the enemy's artillery and in- 
fantry were almost as strong as ever and repulsed the attack.* 
The theory of the artillery duel is still less tenable to-day, 
when gims equipped with shields can not be silenced by flat 
trajectory guns alone. It is idle therefore to talk of the 
"silence of death reigning" on the side of the vanquished. 
It is the purpose of artillery fire to cripple the hostile artil- 
lery, to "nail" it down to its positions, to prevent it from 
changing position, and to interfere with its ammunition 
supply service. 

The artillery commander should take his measures 
with a view to opening fire as suddenly as possible with the 
bulk of his batteries. (Par. 486, German F. A. D. R.). 
For this reason, the orders for reconnaissance of the enemy 
and of the terrain by artillery leaders, and those for bringing 
up the artillery, should be issued as early as possible. When 
the situation does not require that the batteries go im- 
mediately into action, they remain posted in readiness. 
The attacker should take care that he does not lose the ad- 
vantage that simultaneous and sudden action of his artillery 
gives him. The orders should either indicate when the artil- 
lery is to come into action, or specify that all artillery units 
govern their conduct, as regards time, by that of a designated 
unit, usually a regiment. When large forces and diversified 
terrain are considered, it is, of course, not to be expected 
that all of the batteries will be able to go into position at the 
same time and to open up simultaneously. But with careful 
reconnaissance work and judicious distribution of combat 

*The last artillery duel occurred on the Yalu. At Liaoyang, on August 30th, 
1904. the Japanese artillery bombarded the Russian artillery for sixteen hours 
without producing any result. 

420 The Attack. 

sections and objectives, discrepancies in time will be pro- 
protionately small. 

During the Franeo»G«nn«n %rar the inefficiency of the French 
batteriee enabled the Gennans to mass their artillery little by little, a weak 
artillery force being able to hold its own against superior numbers. The 
4th Light Battery, 12th German F. A., moved through Lacretelle (battle of 
Sedan), and at a range of 1,860 m. held its own against the fire of six 
French batteries.* 

The longer the range f at which the fight is initiated, the 
more impenetrable will be the veil that hides the dispositions 
of the enemy, and the more must the advantage of the pre- 
paredness for action of the defender's artillery come into play. 
Diffictilties of observation are felt most on the attacker's side 
and impart to long range fire more the character of a contain- 
ing cannonade. 

During the artillery combat, the artillery of the attack 
should not come to such close range as to give the artillery 
of the defense too great an advantage. The necessity of 
obtaining an adequate effect against the well masked hostile 
artillery, whose position is usually difficult to recognize, 
determines the range beyond which it is not profitable for 
artillery to fire. At ranges over 4,000 m., one can count 
upon crippling the hostile artillery under favorable conditions 
only, and by expending a large amotmt of ammtmition. But 
the fire of a superior number of gtms should be able, in any 
case, to coimterbalance the preparations made by the de- 
fender. The advantages possessed by the defender dwindle 
as the range decreases, and are compensated by the attacker's 
superior number of gtms. With modem materiel and means 
for observation, the first position of the attacking artillery 
might, therefore, be located anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 m. 
from the enemy. 

^HoFFBAUVR. Deutseh€ ArtiUeru, VIII, pp. 28 and 38. 
tdee p. 340, 9upra, 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 421 

At the battle of Gravelotte, the frontage of anny corps 
varied from 2.5 to 4 km. In rencontre fights, the frontage 
was greater, the Hid Army Corps at Vionville, for example, 
covering a front of 4.5 km. The twenty-four batteries of an 
army corps at present cover a front of 2,500 m. At the battle 
of Gravelotte, August 18th, 1870, some of the batteries of 
the lid Army Corps were unable to come into action on ac- 
count of lack of room, and others moved their guns into 
the small intervals between the gims of the artillery of the 
Vllth Army Corps. In the latter corps, Ukewise, three 
batteries (the 3d and 4th Light and the 3d Horse) were held 
back in rear of the village of Gravelotte on account of lack 
of room.* On the east front at Sedan, the problem of finding 
room for the artillery was much more diflficult. Of the artil- 
lery of the fotu- army corps (Guard, IVth, and Xllth, and 
1st Bavarian Army Corps) engaged there, nineteen batteries 
were unable to go into action for want of room, f 

If the army corps had had as much artillery at that time 
as they have at present, 51 batteries, i. e., more than half 
of the entire artillery, would have found no room for coming 
into action. But, on the other hand, more force was employed 
than was necessary. 

For the passage of Infantry through Artillery Lines, see 
Tactics, I, Krueger's translation, p. 316. 

For Changes of position, see p. 364, supra. 

"As soon as the commander of the artillery has been 
informed by the commander of the troops against what point 
the decisive attack is to be made, or in case he himself per- 
ceives this, an overwhelming fire, if practicable, from flank- 
ing positions, should be concentrated against it. Then and 
not later, any artillery tmits that may have been retained, 
should be brought into action." (Par. 47, German P. A. D, 
R.). An artillery tmit will find it difficult to adjust its fire 
upon a point that is already being fired upon by other 

*Ge8chichte des FeldartUUriereoimenU Nr, 7, p. 248. 
fKuNz. Kri€g8ii€tehleMH€hs BeispUtt, 6. p. 7. 

422 The Attack. 

artillery units. Pauses in the firing will frequently have to 
be made and utilized for this ptirpose. 

"While the infantry gradually draws within assaulting 
distance of the enemy, the fire of the attacker's artillery 
must continuously contribute to shake the defender's in- 
fantry. The batteries that can be spared from this duty 
should keep down the fire of the hostile artillery that is 
firing against the attacking infantry. If new hostile bat- 
teries, or others that have been silenced but come again 
into action, turn against the attacking artillery, the latter 
should combat them only to the extent that it can do so 
without diminishing the support afforded its infantry 
(Par. 471, German P. A. D. R.). 

« * *» 

General Langlois estimates that the preparation of an infantry 
attack against the objectives mentioned will require the following number 
"of rounds of shrapnel per meter of front attacked: 

Shelter trenches 3 — 4 rounds of shrapnel (o6tt8 d miiraUle (90 mm.) 

Edge of village 2^—3 

Edge of woods 2 — 2K " 

Uncovered position.l — l}i 

ff >» 

The heavy field artillery should direct its fire against 
hostile batteries that are recognizable and that are also being 
combated by the field artillery. Hostile batteries that are 
able to bring effective fire to bear on the attacking troops 
should by all means be rendered harmless. As soon as this 
has been accomplished, the heavy batteries should direct 
their fire upon that part of the hostile position which has 
been designated as the point of attack. The principal task 
of heavy artillery consists of making the field artillery avail- 
able as quickly as possible for combating the hostile in- 
fantry. The more batteries we succeed in relieving from the 
artillery combat and turning against the point of attack, the 

A clear conception of the situation is requisite to enable 
one to decide at the very start, how many batteries will be 
required to keep down the defender's artillery, so that prompt 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 423 

success may be assured, as more batteries than are abso- 
lutely essential to perform the first task must not be with- 
drawn from the second and most important task, that of 
firing on the point of attack. It is an advantage when the 
point of attack can be bombarded from a commanding or, if 
practicable, flanking position, since a change of position 
will then be unnecessary so long as the conditions necessary 
for certain fire control make it possible to distinguish friend 
from foe, and there is no danger of the fire endangering one's 
own troops. As soon as the attacking troops get close to the 
hostile position, the artillery should likewise sweep the ground 
in rear of it, in order to make it more difficult for the enemy 
to bring up his reserves. Judicious distribution of duties 
between various artillery units in action is one of the most 
important tasks of the higher artillery commanders. It 
requires that the latter possess full information of the inten- 
tions of the commander of the troops and that they correctly 
estimate the tactical situation. 

The commander of the artillery will finally have to 
designate a part of his force for the duty of keeping down the 
hostile artillery. The unit designated should, if necessary, 
develop its full fire power for the purpose, or remain in readi- 
ness for combating newly appearing hostile batteries. The 
bulk of the field and heavy artillery should be used for di- 
rectly preparing the infantry attack. 

The crises that occur in every battle are best overcome 
by boldly launching the artillery into action. It may there- 
fore even be advisable for single batteries or even single pla- 
toons to advance to the closest effective range for the purpose 
of accompanying the infantry attack* It is immaterial 
whether the artillery fires at 2,000 or at 1,000 m. as there 
is virtually no difference in its fire effect at the two ranges. 

♦Examples: Kwz, KrieosgesehichtlicheBeispiele, 7. — Weiszenburg: let and 
2d Light Batteries, and 3d Heavy Battery 5th F. A. Kunz. ibid., p. 4. — Balck, 
WORTH. — Kunz, ibid., p. Q (this Is very instructive). — Colombey: 5th Heavy Bat- 
tery 7th F. A. — Kunz, ibid., p. 10. The artillery of the 1st Division at Bellecroix, 
p. 11. PnissiaQ batteries going into position at St. Hubert (August 18th. 1870), 
KuNS, ibid,, p 23. 

424 The Attack. 

If the batteries remain at long ranges, they are apt to lose 
touch with the advancing infantry, in consequence of which 
they will be endangered more than would otherwise be the 
case, and will come too late to occupy a captured position. 
The batteries that follow the infantry constitute supporting 
points in case of a reverse. They will be able to arrive in 
the captured position close upon the heels of the victorious 
infantry and will secure the position. It is scarcely to be 
expected that artillery fire from a position far in rear will 
repel an offensive return made simultaneously and ener- 
getically all along the line after the taking of the position, when 
it is remembered that observation of this fire is made very 
difficult, especially in close country, because friendly troops 
are closely engaged with the enemy. Artillery that is 3,000 
m. away from the hostile position and does not limber up 
until the moment the assault begins, throws upon its infantry 
the entire burden imposed by this situation. Retiring 
infantry will usually not find the support necessary to enable 
it to face again to the front until it reaches its own line of 
guns. The moral effect produced on the infantry by artil- 
lery that follows upon its heels should not be underestimated. 
"What matters it, if the battery is disabled temporarily, so 
long as the thunder and lightning of its gims close at hand 
electrifies the infantry to charge or induces it to hold the 
position. After the victory is won, the battery will again 
come to life, for its gtms still remain intact. But, if the 
sacrifice was made in vain, the artillery that remained till the 
last will have covered the retreat of its infantry. After 
such a brave fight, its capture, though a bitter loss, will be a 
glorious end." 

The demand that artillery accompany the infantry 
attack, is based principally on the lessons of the Franco- 
German war. It dates from the time when artillery fire 
superiority was looked upon as a condition precedent to the 
success of any attack, and when the attacking artillery, 
after fulfilling this task, could take any liberties it pleased. 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 425 

The French count strongly upon their accompanying bat- 
teries {batteries d* accompagnement) , but their employment is 
practicable only when the terrain permits an advance. Even 
in the Russo-Japanese war, the artillery refrained from ac- 
companying the infantry attack when the ground was open, 
because such an operation was bound to lead to useless 
losses. Mountain and machine guns endeavored to perform 
the duty that had formerly been assigned to field batteries, 
and such guns are able to occupy positions that artillery can 
not reach. This is still more true since gun shields have been 
introduced. A few effective gtms of the defender's artillery 
are at present capable of crippling whole advancing batteries.* 

It is impossible to state specifically how closely these 
batteries should approach the enemy, as this will depend 
largely upon the character of the grotmd. On level ground, 
the batteries should advance to within about 1,000 m. of the 
hostile position. At ranges tmder 1,000 m., firing over the 
heads of the infantry is attended with some risk. The new 
artillery position should be reconnoitered beforehand — ^just 
as is done in any other change of position — ^with special 
reference to the position of friendly infantry, f When this 
is not done, especially when the batteries accompany the in- 
fantry across a valley, they may run upon the hostile position 
without being able to find a field of fire, or may hamper their 
own infantry. 

As each change of position interrupts the firing, and as 
the hostile artillery must not be given an opportunity 
to open effective fire, more batteries than are absolutely 
necessary for the purpose, should not be brought forward 
to accompany the infantry. Batteries that occupy the poor- 
est positions, and batteries that still have adequate teams 
are first considered in connection with this duty. 

*Seethe essay of General Richtbr in ArtilleHstUche Monatshefte, IX. 1007, p. 
249. The author suggests that guns mounted on automobiles accompany the in- 

t Advance of the artillery of the 1st Infantry Division across the valley of the 
VaUidres brook near la Planchette (battle of Colombey). The batteries unllmbered 
when 300 m. in rear of their infantry, and successfully fought hostile skirmishers at 
ranges varying flrom 900 to 1,000 paces. Hoffbauxr, Deutsche ArtiUerie, III. p. 81. 

426 The Attack. 

At Elsaszhauaen (battle of Worth), the victorious German infantry 
was attacked by fresh French troops and thrown back. The French 
attack was finally stopped by the fire of three batteries of the Xlth Army 
Corps, and the gallant forward movement was succeeded by wild flight. 

At Vionville, batteries of the Xth Army Corps — Lancelle's (2d) 
Heavy Battery, Richard's (6th) Light Battery, and Berendt's (5th) Light 
Battery — covered the retreat of Wedell's Brigade after its attack had been 
repulsed by the French. The batteries lost heavily. Berendt's Battery 
did not withdraw until the last of the infantry came abreast of it, and then 
the only thing that enabled it to limber up at all was the charge made by 
the 1st Escadron of Dragoons of the Guard. 

When the infantry attack has failed, the artillery, 
especially that which is farthest advanced, must cover the 
withdrawal of the infantry. The latter usually halts when 
it reaches these advanced batteries. 

It is only when the infantry rushes forward to the assault 
that the artillery can think of changing position, for then 
the defender's guns have more important work to do than to 
pay attention to a few advancing batteries. But available 
cover should be utilized anyhow, because the ground in rear 
of th eadvancing infantry is endangered by hostile shots. 

While burst of fire and advance alternate, the infantry 

worms itelf closer and closer to the enemy's position. When 

the ground is level and time fire is used, artillery can, at all 

events, furnish this support until the infantry gets within 300 

m. of the enemy's position, and when percussion fire is 

used, until the infantry gets within about 150 m. of the 

enemy's position. But then, at the most critical moment, 

the support rendered by the artillery ceases; it can only 

direct its fire upon the ground in rear of the hostile position 
and interfere with the movement of hostile reserves, and 

the infantry has to bear the bnmt of the action. In the 
opening fights of the Boer War, the advancing infantry was 
supported by the fire of its artillery until it approached to 
within 300 or 400 m. of the enemy, when that fire was discon- 
tinued. As a result, the attacks failed. Much is at stake, 
and the infantry must expect to have a few short shots burst 
in its ranks. (See p. 343, supra) . 

Attack on an Enemy Deployed for Defense. 427 

In preparing the assault, it may be a good plan after the 
hostile position has been vigorously bombarded, and pro- 
vided both arms are working in complete harmony, to shift 
the fire occasionally to the ground in rear of the hostile 
position, to let the enemy resume his fire, and then to batter 
him again with fire. In case the assault succeeds, all the 
artillery that is still able to move, should quickly hurry into 
the captured position. 

"As soon as the infantry has penetrated into the position, part of 
the batteries should hurry forward into the captured position to assist 
the infantry in holding it. In such a case, the artillery should executa the 
change of position independently. The remaining batteries should con- 
tinue to fire on the retreating enemy. If he gets out of effective range, 
they should move after him at a rapid gait, should deluge him with fire and 
should prevent him from halting and reforming. At this moment, when all 
the troops press forward to the captured position and all energies must be 
bent upon robbing the enemy of the last remnant of resistance, every con- 
sideration of distribution and maintaining units intact is forced into the 
background." (Par. 473, German F. A. D. R.). 

The artillery will find clearly visible targets only by 
moving into the captured position. The thunder of its guns 
coming directly out of the hostile lines will not fail to produce 
an effect on the troops that are still struggling. The bat- 
teries that have advanced into the hostile position will 
therefore have to protect the infantry as it reforms, repel 
offensive returns, and engage hostile batteries that attempt 
to interfere with the occupation of the captured position. 
While the fight continued to rage within the village of St. 
Privat, a tremendous mass of artillery was being formed 
on the heights south-west and north-east of that village. It 
is not difficult to imagine what the course of the battle at 
this point would have been if Picard's Grenadier Division 
(French) had arrived on the scene in time and had taken a 
hand in the fight. During the battle of Worth, such an 
offensive return was actually made at Elsaszhausen by the 
French, and a German battery was involved in the resulting 
retrograde movement, but the French advance was shattered 

428 The Attack. 

by the fire of the other German batteries.* The French 
contemplate making such oflfensive returns even to-day. In 
such a critical situation, they reason, something must be 
risked. In case the attack fails, it is, above all else, essential 
to impart to the infantry the necessary stamina to face again 
to the front, and to beat back the hostile pursuit. 

Victory is followed by the pursuit, in which the artil- 
lery, owing to its latent power, is able to do particularly 
effective work. In pursuit, every available gun must be 
employed at the most effective range. While a part of the 
artillery still deluges the enemy with a hail of fire, the re- 
mainder, in conjunction with the pursuing infantry or cav- 
alry, must push after the enemy and open fire at once when 
the artillery that remained behind loses sight of the targets. 
In this way the enemy is prevented from making a stand 
and from reforming his troops, and his defeat may be con- 
verted into rout, f The conduct of a vigorous ptu*suit re- 
quires all the energy of which the leaders are possessed. At 
such a time, they must demand the impossible almost, 
and should not shrink from treating their troops with severity* 
Artillery commanders should not await orders for changing 
position. They should anticipate the orders of the com- 
manders of the troops, for the latter will usually not give 
orders other than to advance, and an order to halt will always 
arrive soon enough. It will often be a good plan to fire on 
the most distant hostile troops, as these will be most easily 
thrown into confusion. J It will frequently be impracticable 

♦Balck-Kunz, ScMacht von Wdrth, p. 130. 

tCLAFSBWiTZ, On War, IV. Chapter 12: "Nothing makes a worae impres- 
sion on a soldier, than for the thunder of the hostile guns to become audible again 
at the very moment when he is about to compose himself to rest after a hard march. 
When this is repeated for some time, day after day. It may produce a panic This 
iS invariably an admission that one is forced to obey the dictates of the enemy and is 
incapable of offering resistance : this consciousness Is bound to undermine the morale 
of the army."' 

tJapanese Regulations: "After an action that has been fought to a successful 
conclusion, the artillery should pursue the enemy with fire, which should be dis- 
continued in case of absolute necessity only. An attempt should be made to fire 
first upon the head of the retreating hostile columns, so that the other parts of these 
columns may be damaged as soon as they enter the tone of fire. In pursuit. It Is fre- 
quently within the province even of battery commanders, to order any change of 
position that may become necessary. Enfilading fire may produce a decisive effect. 
But care should always be exercised to prevent running out of ammunition." 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 429 

to keep organizations intact. It will likewise be no longer 
possible to issue orders to each tinit for changing position. 
To advance rapidly is the only mandate. Flanking fire 
is especially effective. Horse artillery operating with 
cavalry is particxilarly adapted for exerting a pressure on the 
line of retreat of the enemy. There is no time for careful 
reconnaissance and for taking up covered positions; a bold 
advance even beyond the infantry line is in order. All this 
changes as soon as the enemy takes up a rallying position. 
The pursuit then again resolves itself into an attack. To be 
sure, one will not have to proceed as cautiously as when con- 
fronted by a fresh opponent, and one can confidently expect 
that the enemy will not hold his ground very long as a rule. 
But if, on this account, one were entirely to disregard proper 
caution, one might experience an unpleasant reverse. 

During a pursuit, it is of the utmost importance that 
ammunition be brought up, in order that the artillery may 
not find itself in the anomalous position of being on hand but 
unable to fire. In a ptu*suit on a large scale, the higher 
artillery commanders should give this matter their special 


A fortified field position consists of shelter trenches of 
low relief, cut deep enough to afford protection to the oc- 
cupants against artillery fire when they themselves are not 

*Par8. 488-500. German F. A. D. R. and pars. 440-460. Qerman H. A. D. R. 
Cf. Taktik, V. p. 237 and historical rteumfi of the views entertained in regard to 
the employment of artillery against fortified positions, p. 248. — General von Hoff- 
BAi^R, German Artillery. Zur Verwendung der Haubitzen im Feld und Positions- 
kriege, Berlin. 1901. — Captain Krisak. Angriff auf befestigU Feldstellungen, Berlin. 
1901. (This contains complete solution of a map problem). — Major Mktbr, 
Artilleristische Erkundung (einer befestigten Feldstellung fUr den Zweck der FustarHh 
Isrie)* Berlin. 1901. — Lieutenant-General Rohnb. Die Mittoirkung der Artilleris 
beim Angriff auf eine befestigte Feldstellung, Supplement 6 and 7 to Militdr' Wochen* 
blatt, 1901. (This contains a theoretical discussion and a map problem). — Colonel 
VOQ GianrcKi, Der Kampf um befestigte Feldstellungen, 1901 . (Problem and Initiation 
of the attack). Major Hoppbnbtbdt, Der Kampf um befestigte Feldstellungen, 
Berlin. I90fi. 

430 The Attack. 

firing, and permitting of easy lateral communication. 
Splinter-proofs may be constructed when additional protec- 
tion is desired. These afford protection against the shells 
of flat trajectory guns and against the shrapnel of curved 
fire guns of medium caliber. To the foregoing shelter for the 
firing line should be added cover trenches for the supports^ 
breastworks and expedients for the comfort of the troops 
when the position is occupied for any length of time. To the 
latter category belong latrines, cooking pits, dressing stations, 
wind shields constructed of shelter tents, etc., etc. It is 
likewise desirable to construct obstacles that force the enemy 
to employ pioneers to clear the ground before he can assault. 
Similar preparations are made for protecting the artillery. 
Under favorable conditions, defenses against which the fire 
of flat trajectory guns will be powerless can be constructed 
by an infantry division in about eight hours. This means 
that a fortified field position has been created, in the attack 
of which the assailant requires the vigorous cooperation of 
heavy guns to annihilate the hostile artillery and to batter 
the point of attack. When such a position is, in addition, 
provided with obstacles, it can not be taken by assault 
without the aid of pioneers. The characteristic features 
of such a position are its strength in front, the inconspicuous- 
ness of all its works, and its security against direct fire, but 
on the other hand, the weakness of its flanks and the sen- 
sitiveness of its rearward communications owing to the 
meagre mobility of the defenders. It would be a mistake, 
however, to attack every position strengthened by shelter 
trenches as one would attack a fortified field position. This 
would be necessary only when the defensive works are pro- 
vided with obstacles, splinter-proofs, and cover trenches and 
afford complete protection to the defenders when they are 
resting. A defender attacked with inadequate forces, may 
perhaps not have strengthened his position in this manner 
until he has learned the necessity therefor while repelling 
the attack. This was true at Plevna, on the north-west 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 431 

front at Port Arthur, and at 203 Meter Hill. The assailant 
will rarely, at the very start, know of the presence of such a 
position, and it is to the defender's interest to prevent the 
hostile reconnaissance, to make the works inconspicuous by 
throwing up low parapets only, and to mislead the assailant 
by constructing dummy intrenchments and masks. The order 
for the attack on the position recognized as the main posi- 
tion, will then have to be based upon and delevop from the 
failure of the troops initiating the fight. 

* There is considerable difference in the strength of 
fortified field positions, depending upon whether they have 
been fortified superficially, or whether several days have 
been spent in strengthening them with all the means avail- 
able. The attack of such positions will differ accordingly. 
It will frequently be impossible to approach the hostile 
position except under cover of darkness. Large combats 
of position may last several days." (Pars. 440 and 441, 
German H. A. D. R.). The stronger the position, the more 
extensive the preparations, and the more protracted the 
fight, which in many cases will last a number of days. 

The attack should seek to bring such a concentric fire 
to bear on the part of the hostile position designated as the 
point to be attacked, that the advantage accruing to the de- 
fense through preparation of a selected battlefield will be 
neutralized. The sooner the assailant gains his object, the 
better. But when opposed by an energetic defender, noth- 
ing will be left to the attacker but to utilize darkness for 
his advance, and daylight for battering the enemy. The plan 
of attack is based upon extensive reconnaissance that each 
arm makes according to its particular needs. Success is 
assured only by a planned, detailed reconnaissance whose 
results are arranged and classified at headquarters. But the 
defender will not without a fight permit the attacker to re- 
connoiter, and the latter will be compelled to employ a strong 
force in order to gain favorable observation points. (Pars. 
406 and 373, German I. D. R.).* As hostile advance troops 

*See Balck, NachtgeftchU iind NachtH^nQti^ Berlin. 1010. 

432 The Attack. 

will oppose this reconnaissance and as it will be difficult, 
even with the best glasses, to. find the works of the defender, 
an idea of the situation will be gained gradually only. When 
the hostile position is extensive, it will be a good plan to 
divide the ground occupied by the enemy into sections for 
the purpose of reconnaissance. 

It is, in the first place, important to ascertain by balloon 
reconnaissance, or imder cover of cavalry that is pushed 
forward, the extent of the position, the location of its flanks, 
and whether they rest on impassable obstacles, and to deter- 
mine whether the enemy is holding the foreground with ad- 
vanced troops or is confining himself to his prepared posi- 
tions. Important conclusions may be drawn from the fact 
that the enemy is observed to be intrenching or collecting 
troops in rear of his position. The hostile fire sets a limit 
to the reconnaissance work of cavalry and artillery patrols 
toward the front. But the defender will, likewise, endeavor 
to prevent the patrols of the assailant from ascertaining 
where the flanks of the position rest and by the fire of small 
infantry detachments force the troopers of the assailant 
to make more and more extensive turning movements. 
Nevertheless, information must be gained either by dis- 
motmting troopers and letting them gain good points of 
observation on foot, or by force with the carbine or the lance. 
If the cavalry does not succeed in solving this problem, 
nothing remains but to resort to a forced reconnaissance with 
infantry and artillery. The defender could not commit a 
greater blunder than to reply to this artillery fire, which can 
have no other object than that of reconnaissance, imless he 
desires to draw the attention of the assailant to points at 
which a serious defense is not contemplated. In most cases, 
accurate information in regard to the strength with which 
the position is held and the disposition of the defender's 
artillery, will not be gained until the attack is initiated, 
until the infantry advances, forces back the covering troops 
and captures advanced positions. The defender will, 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 433 

however, frequently let his artillery fire from positions 
that are not to be occupied at all during the real defense. 
The desire to keep the artillery out of action until the situation 
is cleared up is not always capable of fulfillment, for field 
and heavy artillery will often have to be sent into action 
for the very purpose of clearing it up, and to break down re- 
sistance offered by the enemy in villages. 

The reconnaissance is to determine above all else, the 
location of the hostile main position, to identify masks and 
dummy intrenchments, and to ascertain the position of 
machine guns and searchlights. According to the Firing 
Regulations for Heavy Artillery (pars. 78 and 84), the artil- 
lery reconnaissance is to determine — 

"The type and extent of the hostile artillery position — 
whether the artillery is posted in rear of a crest (distance in 
rear) or in the open, in echelon or in line; the position of 
obstacles, other troops, reserves, higher staffs, signal and 
telegraph stations, and machine guns; movements of any 
kind ; the location and extent of shelter trenches and other 
field works and the presence of overhead cover and obstacles ; 
the character of the terrain in the vicinity of the targets ; 
balloons and balloon ascension stations. It is important to 
identify masks and dummy intrenchments. In all cases, it 
must be specified what parts of the targets it is most import- 
ant to combat, and what parts are most favorable for the 
purposes of observation. 

'Troperly fortified positions appear as fine lines that 
closely follow the contour of the groimd. Conclusions as to 
the location and extent of such positions may be drawn from 
breaks in the continuity of color or regularity of the ground, 
movements in the trenches or in any visible commtmicating 
ways. Shelter trenches are frequently not made out until 
their parapets are manned, and masks and dununy works 
are generally not perceptible until this occurs. It is diffi- 
cult and sometimes impossible to recognize splinter-proofs. 
But it is always safe to asstmie that overhead cover was pro- 

434 The Attack. 

vided, if the defender has had any time at all to prepare his 
position for defense. Observation loopholes, gaps in the 
hostile line, and slight mounds overtopping the rest of the 
work may indicate the presence of such cover. Wire en- 
tanglements in plain view often facilitate the finding of 
shelter trenches and their subsidiary works. 

"The most difficult task consists of finding the curved 
fire batteries of the enemy and such of his flat trajectory bat- 
teries as are not to cover the immediate foreground of the 
position with their fire. In many cases, their position can 
be approximately fixed by conjecture only. The other bat- 
teries likewise seldom reveal any of the cover constructed 
for their protection, and can be located only when they are 
firing and by the movements of single individuals (observers, 
for example) , or by protruding epaulements. This frequently 
applies also to batteries of field artillery. 

* 'Smoke, dust, and the flashes of the gtms, sometimes make 
it possible to get the direction to a masked artillery position 
by directing a battery commander's telescope upon them. 
The range and location of the target may likewise be approxi- 
mately determined by intersection. Conclusions as to the 
position of masked batteries may also be drawn from the 
surroundings of the target, the character of the groxmd, 
road communications, location of observation stations, etc. 
While it is impossible to ascertain the exact position 
of a masked target, it is perfectly feasible to determine the 
limits within which it must be located. It may even be 
advantageous to determine that the target is not located at 
certain points, in order to reduce to the smallest size the 
area that will have to be taken tmder fire. In many cases, 
information of the location of the target can be gained by 
means of balloon reconnaissance only . " 

The reconnaissance initiated according to arms and 
sections, should be begun as early as possible, and it is there- 
fore a good plan, if one has information of the existence of a 
fortified position, to bring the observation wagons up to the 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 435 

advance guard. Sufficient time should be allowed for re- 
connaissance. The commander of the troops can not decide 
whether to attack at once, or whether to wait for darkness, 
until a detailed reconnaissance has furnished him with the 
basis for a decision. A change of plan occasions loss of time 
and is usually difficult of execution. 

Even when the hostile position is to be approached under 
cover of darkness, it is advisable to bring at least the heavy 
artillery into position tmder cover of advanced infantry while 
it is still light, and to have it open fire. To concentrate 
artillery at night requires that special preparations, similar 
to those of siege operations, be made. Each battery 
must have accurate information as to the route by means 
of which it is to reach the position. It is not permissible 
to move elements of a column of artillery past the other 
elements. Before the march begins, the various elements 
should be arranged in column in the order in which they are 
to be used. Long columns should be divided, and stretches 
of road swept by hostile fire should be passed either by a 
piece or a small group at a time, or turned. A disabled car- 
riage should not retard the march of those following. It is a 
good plan to place auxiliary teams in readiness at difficult 
places of the road.* 

The commander of the artillery of an army corps is 
charged with the duty of directing the artillery attack. For 
this purpose he will have at his disposal, if one battalion of 
heavy artillery be included, 126 flat trajectory guns and 34 
curved fire gtms, viz., 

2 1 field batteries, in alll26 guns, with 281 shrapnel and 56 
shell per gun; 

3 light field howitzer batteries, in all 18 guns, with 223 
field howitzer projectiles (model 05) per gun ; 

4 heavy field howitzer batteries, in all 16 guns, with 422 
shell (model 04) per gun. 

(Timely requisition should be made for replenishing the 
ammunition from the dep6t.) 

*For details, see NachiQefechte und NachtUbunoen, pp. 219 and 249. 

436 The Attack. 

The order for opening fire (FeuerbefeM) is based upon the 
result of the reconnaissances. 

In order for the attack to succeed, superior artillery must 
be brought into action at the point where the decision is 
sought. The commander will often be able from the map 
to decide upon the division into combat sections, and, in 
case heavy artillery is attached, assign a section to it during 
the advance or during the development for action. The 
artillery should be so disposed as to enable it to bring a con- 
centric fire to bear on the principal supporting points of the 
hostile position. The observation station of the heavy artil- 
lery should be selected with especial care and due regard 
should be had to this in posting the field artillery. By far 
the most important consideration will be to cripple the hostile 

Frontal and, if practicable, flanking shrapnel fire of 
field guns should be employed against hostile batteries of 
field and heavy artillery posted in masked positions, unless 
the latter are such as to preclude obtaining an effect, and 
percussion shell fire of howitzers against visible field bat- 
teries. (Pars. 426-452, German F. A. D. R.).* This is at 
this stage so important that curved fire gims are not available 
for other duties than these. At the same time, field guns 
attack observation stations, machine guns, and balloons. 
To employ flat trajectory guns against shelter trenches from 
which no one is firing and which may not be occupied at all 
is a pure waste of ammtmition, for if no one is firing from such 
trenches, there is nothing to prevent our infantry from ad- 
vancing. Besides, even if the trenches are occupied, direct 
artillery fire does not dittu'b the occupants in the least. So 
it is better, in any event, to wait until the hostile parapets 
are actually occupied by firing skirmishers and then to direct 
shrapnel fire upon them. Unoccupied trenches, because 

* During the battle of Dhomokos. May 17th. 1897. a TurldBh 12 cm. howltcer 
battery firing at 3.000 m.. quickly silenced four Greek field batteries, inflicting on the 
latter a loss of 25% of their personnel. The Turkish howitzers were provided only 
with common shell and shrapnel, v. d. Ooltz, Dtr Thessaliache KrUg, 1898, p. 198 
ArtilleristUche Monatshefte, 1908, p. 205. 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 437 

they are very apt to be mistaken for other lines, are at best 
difficult to recognize. 

It is especially important to place an adequate supply 
of ammunition in readiness. This will be simplified by the 
fact that a change of position need not be considered. The 
light ammunition columns of the heavy artillery deposit their 
ammtmition at suitable points and then bring up the ammuni- 
tion of the heavy artillery ammunition columns, which are 
in the meantime unloaded at designated points. 

The artillery of the defense must not allow the hostile 
infantry to cross unmolested the zone of effective artillery 
fire — extending from 4,500 — 1 ,500 m. If it suffers the hostile 
infantry to do this, it will have committed an irretrievable 
blunder, and will have failed to fulfill its principal mission. 
The advance of the attacking infantry will necessarily cause 
the defender to move some of his batteries from their masked 
positions to a position from which their fire will command 
the immediate foreground. The attacking artillery will 
now be able to combat successfidly the defender's batteries. 
In order to do this, it is absolutely essential that the assail- 
ant's artillery work hand-in-hand with its infantry. A 
separation of artillery combat and infantry attack is a pure 
waste of ammunition. (See p. 41 8, supra) . If the defender's 
artillery at once begins the artillery combat, it is absolutely 
essential that its fire be kept down before one can enable 
one's infantry to make a lodgment at close range. 

When the contending forces are large, especially when 
the defender's position is strongly fortified and furnished 
with heavy artillery, it will rarely be feasible for the attacker 
to open fire simultaneously with all his artillery. In many 
cases, some of his batteries will not be able to go into posi- 
tion until they can do so imder cover of the fire of other bat- 
teries. It may likewise be advisable to retain some bat- 
teries or battalions in readiness for combating hostile artil- 
lery that has not as yet been located, or for creating a sudden 

438 The Attack. 

During the Russo-Japanese war, the most effective way 
to attack advancing infantry was fotxnd to be flanking shrap- 
nel fire from masked batteries located in adjacent combat 
sections, even when this fire was delivered at long ranges. 
Such batteries (or even guns or platoons) are very difficult 
to locate and to hit, and can be crippled only by fire from 
flanking positions. (See p. 448, infra). 

But one will not be able to cotmt on completely silencing 
the defender's artillery. When the latter is unable to con- 
tinue the fight against the superior artillery of the attacker, 
this does not necessarily mean that it will not come into 
action again when the assailant advances to the assault. 
The assault will succeed only when the attacker manages 
to silence the defender's artillery permanently and to bring 
curved fire to bear on his infantry in its splinter-proofs* and 
cover trenches. In this work,the howitzers are assisted 
by the shell fire of gun batteries. When the attack consumes 
several days, the attacker should endeavor to move his 
field artillery to close range under cover of darkness. But 
the longer the defender is able to divert the curved fire of 
his opponent from the infantry position, by means of the 
fire of batteries posted in masked positions, the more difficult 
will it be for the attacker's artillery to shake the defender's 
infantry sufficiently to permit an assault to be made. So 
long as the attacker's infantry has not as yet approached to 
close range, and the obstacles in front of the position are still 
intact, the defender will occupy the position only with small 
well concealed observation detachments and machine guns, 
and hold the bulk of his infantry farther in rear in cover 
trenches. This is prescribed in Russia. The position can 
not be considered ripe for assault unless it is made impossible 

*To produce an effect, a regular bombardment of splinter-proofs requires the 
expenditure of a good deal of ammunition. If the center of Impact lies In the center 
of a target 4.5 m. wide, 200 rounds of shell may suffice to hit 10 spllnter-proofli 
located within a shelter trench 150 m. long. When the center of Impact lies 15 m. 
short or over, a rather favorable condition, only 4 or 5 hits may be expected flrom 
200 rounds fired. To destroy 7 out of 10 spUntei^proofs. would, therefore, require 
the expenditure of 400 rounds of shell. 

Attack on Fortified Positions. 439 

for the defender's infantry to stay in these cover trenches.* 
The closer the attacker approaches the position, the more 
strongly must it be occupied by the defender. 

The task of shaking the defender may be accomplished 
most quickly by compelling him to expose himself to small 
arms and shrapnel fire. This object may be attained by 
directing the fire upon the ground in rear of the position and 
by discontinuing it temporarily, only to resume it suddenly 
according to an accurately regulated plan determined upon 
beforehand. The defender's infantry will frequently line 
its parapets in the expectation that an attack will be made 
especially when the attacker, by showing his infantry, 
gives the impression that the assault is about to begin. 
The attacker's infantry likewise should not let this oppor- 
tunity to develop its full fire power escape. The above de- 
scribed method of combat should be regulated all over the 
battlefield by one person. It may be objected that the de- 
fender will be familiar with this scheme and will not leave 
his cover but will be satisfied to have observation posts 
observe the ground over which the attack will be made. 
From a purely theoretical standpoint, this objection is well 
taken, but the fear that they may occupy their parapets 
too late, that a negligent observation post may fail to notify 
them of the impending attack, and the desire to get a breath 
of fresh air, will, in most cases, induce the defenders to 
leave their cramped splinter-proofs. In order thoroughly 
to shake the enemy, however, the fire must be continued 
during the night. The obstacles are destroyed by infantry 
and pioneers during lulls in the firing. Artillery projectiles 
are capable of destroying comparatively insignificant ob- 
stacles only. When it becomes necessary to disable search- 
light plants and machine guns, single guns are brought 
forward by hand for the purpose, and intrenched. 

*The artillery preparatioxi against a Russian field position would seem to be 
particularly difficult, requiring much time and ammunition on account of the dis- 
tribution of the targets in depth (extensive obstacles and numerous splinter-proofs, 
the latter being usually constructed in rear of one another). See sketch in Taktik, 
y. p. 805. 

440 The Attack. 

When the assault is imminent, the fire against the point 
of attack must be so regulated and, during the last stages 
of the fight, so increased, that the defenders will not dare 
to raise their heads above their parapets to face the combined 
infantry, machine gun, and artillery fire of the assailant, and 
will find seoaity from the latter's curved fire neither in their 
fire trenches nor imder their splinter-proofs. 

After the attacker's artillery has repeatedly interrupted 
its fire for irregular periods for the purpose of causing the 
defenders to relax their attention, and has deluged them with 
fire whenever they occupied their parapets, it may be ad- 
visable to initiate the assault during one of these lulls. This is 
especially desirable when the assault is to be made under cover 
of darkness. But it may likewise be a good plan to latmch 
the assaulting troops from their positions at the same moment 
(watches being accurately set beforehand), to direct the fire 
of the artillery upon the ground in rear of the hostile position, 
at the same instant, and to designate several batteries ot 
keep down the fire of hostile batteries that come again into 
action, or to repel counter-attacks made by hostile reserves. 
In case the attack fails, the defender must again be driven 
under cover by intense artillery fire, in order that the attack- 
ing infantry may be enabled to make a lodgment on the 
ground it has gained. 


The attacker seeks to reconnoiter quickly and thor- 
oughly. This is opposed by the defender, who not only 
tries to prevent the hostile reconnaissance, but also endeavors 
to gain for himself, as soon as possible, information in re- 
gard to the direction of the opponent's attack. Both tasks 
require the use of small advanced detachments of all arms 
in the foregroimd of the position, especially in front of the 
flanks, t As these detachments are to deceive the enemy and 
are apt to become seriously involved and to retire too late, 
if too strong in infantry, the leading r61e must be played by 
the artillery, which can produce an effect at long range, 
force the enemy to deploy and to disclose his hand. The 
assignment of infantry and of machine gtms is governed in 
this case by the amoimt of protection required by the artil- 

The French favor the employment of advanced detachments of all 
arms4 In these, the difficulty will ever be to withdraw the batteries 
without making them suffer severe losses. The disadvantages of such 
advanced detachments become apparent when the attacker advances on a 
broad front. In judging the merits of such detachments, it is instructive 
to study the conduct of the artillery of the Austrian Hid and Xth Army 
Corps in the advanced position on the Bistritz (Koniggratz). The two 
batteries of the Hid Army Corps were quickly silenced by the four bat- 
teries of the Prussian 8th Division, which came simultaneously into action, 
and forced, as were also the infantry supports, to retire. The eleven bat- 
teries of the Xth Army Corps, however, inflicted heavy losses on the 
successively appearing batteries of the 4th Prussian Infantry Division, 
and were able to reach the main position unmolested. 

The failure of Douay's isolated division at Waiszenburg, on the 
other hand, stands in marked contrast to the success of the operations of 
the German advanced detachments on the 

*ParB. 001-614, Oerman F. A. D. A., and pars. 601-619. Q$rman H, A, D, R, 
tSee TakHk, Y. p. 280. 
tllHd., p. 277. 

442 The Defense. 

The line on which the artillery is to fight the decisive action 
forms the framework of every defensive position. The artillery 
will rarely be able to accomplish all its tasks in a single 
position. A single, central position will usually be advan- 
tageous for a weak artillery force only. Such a position be- 
comes a disadvantage to a strong artillery force, as the hostile 
guns will have a concentric fire effect upon it. The first 
position should be selected with a view to enabling the artil- 
lery to command the approaches and to force the hostile in- 
fantry to deploy. It is likewise important in selecting this 
position, to consider where the attacking artillery will 
probably go into position and whether fixe can be brought to 
bear upon it while it is moving into position. An oppor- 
ttmity may, at the same time, offer to draw the attacker onto 
unfavorable terrain. In the defense of hill positions, the 
artillery of the defender is usually posted in rear of the crest, 
but in order to sweep the forward slope of the height when re- 
pelling the infantry attack, it will be obliged to leave its 
masked position and advance farther to the front. This is 
fatal when the attacking artillery has obtained good adjust- 
ment, and it is usually better, therefore, to send the batteries 
into action at anotHer point. When the batteries can make 
use of farm buildings or of patches of timber, they will fre- 
quently be able to maintain their positions and to bring 
flanking fire to bear on the forward slope of the height held. 
(See p. 448, infra). 

As the defender is pretty much in the dark imtil the 
direction of the hostile attack becomes known to him, he 
is usually imable to designate at the very start where his 
artillery is to go into position. The artillery must, in con- 
sequence, be posted in readiness, in order to avoid being 
forced to undertake a hasty change of position when the 
enemy advances. In any event, the artillery should prepare 
to meet an attack from several directions, and this it will 
rarely be able to do in a single position. The defender should 
endeavor to have his heavy howitzer batteries open fire 

Artillery Positions. 443 

before the hostile artillery does so. Their target is, in the 
nature of things, the attacker's artillery. This enables the 
defender's field artillery to devote itself to combating the 
advancing hostile infantry and to keeping down the fire of 
the ciirved fire batteries of the attacker. Heavy flat trajec- 
tory guns, on account of the effectiveness of their shrapnel, 
should be kept in readiness to fire oh the routes leading to 
the position, and on the flanks to oppose hostile turning move- 
ments. Artillery posted in readiness should utilize the time 
until fire is opened, for carefully examining the position, re- 
pairing roads and ascertaining ranges, particularly those to 
the probable artillery positions of the enemy and to points 
in the direction in which the hostile infantry attack will, in 
all likelihood, be made.* 

Gun pits, masks, and epaulements should be constructed 
in adequate numbers to enable the artillery to meet attacks 
from the directions in which they will probably be made. 
Frequently it is overlooked that by placing a gun in a pit, 
the line of sight is lowered and the field of fire in consequence 
decreased. When time admits, it is advisable to take a 
look at the position from the front, as its shortcomings will 
be most clearly apparent from that side. Gun pits with 
epaulements that can be recognized as such a long way off, 
are worse than none, as they make it easier for the enemy to 
observe his shots and therefore facilitate his adjustment. 
But the artillery commander should not use gun pits simply 
because they have been dug, for, should the attack come from 
a direction other than that anticipated, the batteries might be 
forced to move into position obliquely and with insufficient 
intervals. The firing position is taken up as soon as the 
direction of the hostile attack becomes known, if practicable, 
before the enemy has brought his guns into battery. Cov- 
ered terrain and ignorance of the enemy's measures, make 
it difficult to recognize this moment ; if the artillery hesitates 

*See corps orders Issued on January 11th. 1871, for the defense of the Lisalne 
position. Kvnz, Enucheidungskdmpfe dea Generals wm Werder, I. p. 178. 


444 The Defense. 

too long, it might have to go into position under the fire of 
the hostile artillery. If, on the other hand, it goes into posi- 
tion prematurely, it may have to change front or position, 
perhaps, at a critical moment. 

Artillery should, on principle, be protected by infantry 
that is pushed to the front to prevent hostile skirmishers 
from taking part in the fight against the defender's artillery. 
Aside from considerations of terrain, it will be advisable to 
push the infantry line about 600 m. beyond the position of 
the batteries, and to keep the troops destined as immediate 
supports in close proximity. But the terrain exercises a 
decisive influence on the location of the supports. When 
the foreground affords adequate cover to supports and re- 
serves, the sheltering features generally restrict the field 
of fire and impair the effect of the artillery. But when the 
ground is open and sloping toward the enemy and the in- 
fantry reserves have to be kept in rear of the artillery, the 
infantry will find few favorable conditions for its action. The 
supports that must be pushed forward to the firing position 
are obliged to cross terrain devoid of cover, and this dis- 
advantage increases with the distance to the main position. 
The commander will rarely be able to harmonize the require- 
ments of the two arms, as every compromise is only too apt 
to work a disadvantage to one of them. But since the in- 
fantry must conduct the fight from start to finish in its posi- 
tions, its wishes should be given the most attention. It is a 
good plan to keep curved fire batteries in rear imtil data for 
their employment have been obtained. In large units, 
when the situation is not as yet cleared up, it may be advis- 
able to hold out all the artillery as a reserve. This may also 
be done when a cotmter-attack on a large scale is contemplated 
and the conunander is not stu-e that he will be able to with- 
draw batteries from the fight for this task. 

At B«aune la Rolande, one infantry brigade and six batteries of 
the Xth Army Corps were posted at Marcilly as a reserve. When the 
French envelopment made itself felt on the right flank, four of these bat-> 
teries went into action to support the right wing. 

Opening Fire. 445 

On the LiMune, the strong reserve that was kept out needed artil- 
lery to enable it to carry out an independent mission which would, in 
all likelihood, have consisted of a counter-attack. On account of the 
great extent of the position and the absence of roads, it was doubtful 
whether artillery could have been withdrawn from action, and especially 
whether it would have arrived in time at another point. It was, therefore, 
entirely consonant with the requirements of the situation to form the re- 
serve of all arms. 

At Worth, the artillery of the French reserve was no longer able 
to come into action. 

At Gravelotte, August 18th, 1870, French batteries did, indeed, 
succeed in coming into action between Moscow and Point du Jour, during 
a lull in the fight and under cover of dusk, but, at Vionville, August 
16th, 1870, batteries of the Vlth Corps in vain attempted to go into posi- 
tion east of Rezonville. 

With the first shot fired by the defender, the uncertainty of 
the attacker vanishes. The commander of the whole force 
therefore generally reserves to himself the right to direct 
when fire shall be opened, but in particular cases may dele- 
gate this right to the commander of the artillery. No oppor- 
tunity should be neglected to surprise with fire artillery that 
is in motion. While the defender is ready for action in his 
position, the attacker's dispositions are still in progress of 
developing. Favorable opportunities, such as are presented 
by imlimbering artillery and by suddenly appearing columns 
of infantry, pass rapidly. If one were to get the commander's 
I)ermission by telephone, to open fire in such a situation, 
one would perhaps invariably come into action too late. 
It is therefore advisable in such cases to allow greater lati- 
tude to artillery of the defense. The duty of keeping at a 
distance hostile reconnoitering detachments should prefer- 
ably be entrusted to the advanced infantry alone. To open 
fire prematurely betrays the position; to open it unex- 
pectedly enhances the effect. Artillery of the defense should 
fire at distances beyond effective shrapnel range in exceptional 
cases only. 

We say, the defender should force the attacker to deploy 
as soon as possible. This is eminently correct when the 
principal object is to gain time. But when a decision is 

446 The Defense. 

to be brought about, the first consideration is to inflict dam- 
age on the enemy. In this instance, it is proper to open fire 
at long range in exceptional cases only, for example, against 
a defile. But it is generally better to let the enemy approach 
to effective range, for to open fire at long range would 
be playing into his hands, as he is naturally desirous to draw 
our fire. If the enemy knows that the position has been 
occupied and proceeds cautiously, he will perhaps bring artil- 
lery into action beyond effective range. This will likewise 
induce the defender to open long range fire, which will be 
exceedingly embarrassing to the attacker's artillery, as it 
will be obliged to change position. 

Known ranges can be utilized and the initial superiority 
of the artillery made permanent only when fire is not opened 
until the enemy gets within shrapnel range. When practi- 
cable, one should avail oneself to the fullest extent of the moral 
effect produced by the sudden burst of fire of a mass of 
artillery at effective range on an enemy who is still in route 
column. When the hostile artillery is decidedly superior 
numerically, it may be advantageous to dispense entirely 
with artillery fire, to save it up for repelling the infantry 
attack, and to remain in readiness in order to deluge with 
fire carelessly advancing hostile artillery and isolated hostile 

But this will be a bitter pill for the defender, who 
thereby yields to the attacker's artillery such complete con- 
trol over the battlefield, that its fire may produce results 
Uke those obtained on the target range. These tactics were 
used in many of the fights waged by the Boers against the 
British in South Africa. 

When batteries provided with shields are posted in a 
masked position and can change position without being 
observed by the enemy, they can hold their own even against 
superior numbers ; the danger of their being silenced is very 
slight. It is only when the hostile artillery is very much 
stronger numerically and when the terrain does not permit 

Repelling the Attack. 447 

firing on the hostile artillery, that the batteries, if ordered 
to do so by the commander of the troops, may withdraw 
temporarily from the hostile fire, i. e., either move back and 
remain in readiness, or withdraw their personnel under 
cover. There will then be opportunities to overwhelm with 
fire carelessly advancing hostile batteries or to direct fire 
upon uncovered gtms of the attacker. 

If the defender takes up the artillery combat, he should 
use all the artillery force at his disposal; the attacker, who 
is obliged to bring his forces into action gradually from the 
route formation, must be combated from the outset by the 
greatest available superiority. In view of the special ad- 
vantages that usually assist the attack, the defender's artil- 
lery will but rarely be able to count upon winning a decisive 
victory over the attacker's artillery. The defender will 
have gained quite a good deal if his artillery and that of the 
attacker are evenly matched. The more evenly matched the 
opposing artillery forces, the more easily will the defender be 
able to withdraw a part of his artillery from action, in order 
to employ it against threatened enveloping movements or 
during an offensive movement made by his reserve. 

Heavy artillery should, in the first place, join the field 
artillery in combating those parts of the hostile artillery 
that are recognizable. Then the heavy artillery should 
direct its fire against hostile batteries whose fire has become 
most annoying. 

When superior hostile fire forces some parts of the 
defender's artillery to cease firing temporarily, the other bat- 
teries, particularly those of the heavy artillery, should con- 
tinue their fire, increasing its intensity. 

WhQn the infantry of the opponent advances to the at- 
tack, the heavy artillery of the defender generally continues 
to fire without abatement on the artillery of the attacker 
and thereby makes it easier for its field artillery to combat 
the hostile infantry. The batteries that accompany the in- 
fantry attack likewise afford good targets, as they generally 

448 The Defense. 

go into position uncovered. The Austrians contemplate 
posting single giuis or platoons in the infantry position for 
the purpose of repelling the assault, and unmasking them at 
the last moment. This is also recommended in England, 
as it appears preferable to moving guns up by hand. Field 
artillery will frequently have to leave cover and go into posi- 
tion uncovered, in order to fire upon the attacking infantry 
without regard to the fire of the hostile artillery. When this 
happens, gun pits and epaulements are an advantage. Bat- 
teries that can not fire upon the hostile infantry, turn against 
the artillery. It is preferable for the purpose of warding 
off the assault, to move artillery out of the positions that it 
occupied during the artillery combat. The enemy will de- 
vote his attention to the abandoned positions anyway and, 
besides, his fire is adjusted upon them. A defense seeking 
a decision, must be combined with a counter-attack, which, 
like any other attack, must be supported by artillery fire. 
Since the hostile counter-batteries will usually go into posi- 
tion uncovered, in order to save time, they offer good targets 
for the defender's heavy artillery. The problem of disposing 
artillery for the coimter-attack is a difficult one. The 
English often designate for this duty batteries that, while 
they participate in repelling the attack, are to keep themselves 
in readiness to cooperate in a cotmter-attack and quietly to 
reconnoiter their position. But it is doubtful whether they 
will be available at the right time. Since it is not a good plan 
to hold out an artillery reserve, one will have to wait imtil 
batteries are available for supporting the counter-attack. 

If the commander decides to await the assault, the bat- 
teries remain in their positions. The howitzer batteries con- 
tinue to fire on the assailant's artillery, especially on the bat- 
teries that accompany the assaulting troops. It is better for 
the artillery to operate from a flank position (for example one 
resting on a village), than from within the infantry lines, as 
its activity will not be hampered and its fire will not be 

Heavy Batteries. 449 

masked in the former case by retiring skirmishers and as the 
hostile artillery will have difficulty in damaging it. (See p. 
453, infra). Whenever attacking Japanese infantry was ex- 
posed to such fire, its attack failed. 

*' During the assault, the artillery should hold on firmly 
until Ike last moment. This course will reject the greatest glory 
upon the artillery, even if it should lead to the loss of the guns.'' 
(Par. 514, German F. A. D. R.).* In case the attack 
succeeds, all the batteries should concentrate their fire upon 
the assaulting infantry, so as to cooperate with the reserves 
in driving the enemy out of the position. Batteries that are 
unable to take part in the fight of the infantry, prevent 
hostile artillery from advancing into the captured position. 

The heavy artillery endeavors, in conjunction with the 
field artillery, to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment 
in the captured position. The commander of the troops 
decides whether this shall be done from the position the artil- 
lery occupied during the action or from the rallying position. 
When there is no longer any chance of using the guns, the 
situation existing at the moment will decide whether the men 
should use their rifles or whether the batteries should retire 
into another position. The distance between batteries and 
the crest under cover of which they are posted, governs. 
When posted close up, they can not sweep the immediate 
foreground and the men must have recotu*se to their rifles, 
in the event that the assatilt extend to the position of the bat- 
teries. It is impracticable for the batteries to turn their fire 
upon a point of attack lying laterally with respect to their 
position. When the batteries are posted a greater distance 
in rear of the crest, it is doubtful whether they will be able 
to distinguish friend from foe well enough in the fluctuating 
fight, to permit them to fire safely. And even if these heavy 

*The heroic stand made by the Austrian artlUery at KOniggrtttz Is a model 
worthy of imitation. In this case, the Austrian artillery left 187 guns in the hands 
of the enemy, but covered the retreat of its army. 

450 The Defense. 

batteries were to succeed in retiring into a new position, they 
would scarcely have time to take up a masked position, and 
would, if coming into action in the open, fall an easy prey to 
the shrapnel fire of the batteries brought up by the victorious 
enemy. When the battle terminates in the defeat of the 
defender, his heavy batteries are the first spoils that fall into 
the hands of the victor. 


The conditions under which a tinit may have to break 
away from an enemy are so various, depending upon the 
distance to the enemy and the mobility of one's own artillery 
that it is impossible to formtilate rules that would fit every 
case. When artillery still has an adequate amotmt of am- 
mimition and a sufficient number of teams, it is particularly 
suited to stem the pursuit of the enemy and to enable the 
other arms to reform. In conjunction with cavalry that 
has been left in rear, the artillery then forms the screen 
xmder cover of which the infantry reforms in route formation. 
If the guns are lost in the effort to facilitate the retreat of the 
other arms, in the attempt to avert disaster, such loss can 
not but redoimd to the honor of the artillery. 

When the artillery can be withdrawn from action in 
time — ^at the latest perhaps just before the assault — ^and into a 
position in rear, it will most effectively prevent the enemy from 
spreading out and his batteries from advancing. The artil- 
lery must comply with two requirements. The one to reach 
the rallying position in time, the other, not to deprive the 
infantry prematurely of support, least of all, at the point 
where the enemy is pressing most violently and where re- 
sistance must be kept up longest. The batteries that have 
farthest to go are first withdrawn. By doing this, the bat- 
teries can take their proper places in the route columns 
without being delayed. Artillery can be of use in the with- 
drawal of other troops only if it has reached a rallying position 
within effective range of the enemy. When the rallying 
position is too close to the enemy, the artillery will soon be 
forced to make another change of position ; when it is too far 
away, the retreating troops will be without the support of 

*Par8. 618-521, OermanF. A. D. B. and para. 620-622. Qerman H. A. D B. 

452 Retreat. 

the artillery, which is withdrawn from them for some time. 
A distance of 3,000 m. between rallying position and main 
defensive position would be very appropriate. It is desirable 
to have the rallying position located so that the fire may be 
directed from it upon the old defensive position, in which 
the enemy will luidoubtedly linger for some time in order to 
reform his disordered troops to some extent at least. 

The batteries that remain behind will usually find them- 
selves in a very critical situation, and their \vithdrawal is 
possible only when covered by the other arms. When this 
assistance is wanting, the batteries will break down under the 
pursuing fire of the enemy, and their retreat will be converted 
into rout. It is always difficult to withdraw the batteries 
when they are exposed to hostile fire. While artillery units 
are still within the zone of effective hostile fire, it is impera- 
tively necessary, as a rule, for battalion and battery com- 
manders to remain with their respective conmiands. The 
brigade and regimental commanders ride ahead to reconnoiter 
the new position and battalion commanders despatch ex- 
perienced officers ahead for a like purpose. 

While battery and platoon commanders are doing their 
utmost to ensure the gims getting off at all, by properly- 
distributing the available horses, by quickly removing from 
the teams those that are disabled, by detailing uninjured 
men where severe losses jeopardize the proper execution 
of orders, by causing repairs to be made so as to save all that 
can still be saved, and by devising means how best to with- 
draw the remnants from the fire, the battalion commander 
has kept in close touch with the tactical situation. He de- 
cides whether all the batteries shall withdraw simultaneously 
or whether some of them shall remain in action to cover the 
retreat of the remainder, what road shall be followed, and 
how the battalion shall enter the column. Besides, he must 
consider from what direction the most imminent danger 
threatens, take suitable measures to ward it off, and apply 
to the nearest troops for assistance. The battery commanders 

Retreat. 453 

are too completely occupied by affairs in their immediate 
domains to pay any attention to tactical measures of security. 
In moving into the rallying position, care should be taken 
that the enemy's attention be not drawn to the position it is 
proposed to occupy. 

During the subsequent stage of the retreat, the artillery 
should occupy rallying positions in rear of which the retiring 
troops can find time and room to reestablish order in the 
various units and to form route column. When this is once 
accomplished, the artillery attached to the rear guard should 
increase the distance between the retreating columns and the 
pursuing enemy. Positions in rear of defiles are especially 
suited for this purpose. It is important that an adequate 
supply of ammunition be placed in readiness, that routes to 
the rear be thoroughly reconnoitered and that several 
parallel routes to the rear be found, so as to facilitate the 
withdrawal into a new position. 

Increased attention should be paid to the flanks, since 
the most dangerous interference with the retreat threatens 
from these directions. When suitable flank positions can 
be found and occupied by the artillery, the retreat can be 
materially facilitated, as the enemy will be forced to make 
changes of front that will cause him to lose considerable time. 

Particularly profitable tasks await the heavy artillery 
during a retreat when the hostile artillery shows a disposition 
to press forward in pursuit. Heavy artillery is preferably 
assigned to the rear guard for the purpose of delaying the 
enemy. It is important that it retire by echelons from one 
rallying position to another, that sufficient ammunition be 
made available, and that lines of retreat, preferably a sepa- 
rate one for each battery, be reconnoitered. **When heavy 
artillery undertakes to combat the pursuing infantry, it 
may be quickly overcome or overtaken on a flank by the latter 
and lose its mobility in consequence. Besides, it would 
have to engage the infantry principally from unmasked 
positions, which, as the guns have no shields, would be more 

454 Retreat. 

or less of a useless sacrifice. Heavy artillery can not con- 
sider taking up immasked positions unless it succeeds in 
registering its fire on crests before the latter are reached by 
the hostile artillery or unless such unmasked positions are out 
of range of the hostile guns. 

* It is in rear guard actions more than anywhere else that 
heavy artillery will find plenty of opportunities for disabling 
hostile batteries that push forward precipitately or go into 
action recklessly. By combating them, heavy artillery will 
render its own field artillery and infantry the greatest service. 
For the field artillery, relieved of all anxiety in regard to the 
hostile artillery, can concentrate its fire that much more 
effectively on the piu^uing infantry, and the infantry can 
break off the action much more easily, since the pursuing 
infantry — so we learn from military history* — ^will never, by 
means of its legs alone, be able to overtake retreating in- 

Light ammunition columns and combat trains should 
usually be sent ahead to previously designated points, in 
order that they may not hamper the batteries dining the 
withdrawal, but battery reserves of field artillery should be 
sent ahead in exceptional cases only. The battery reserves 
of heavy artillery, on the other hand, should be sent ahead, 
and the ammunition deposited near the batteries must be 
repacked in the caissons. 

*Friedkbich, p. 66.