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AUSTRIA

Background

The Infantry

The Cavalry

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

The Artillery

Organization

The organisation of the artillery was centered around the tactical role it was assigned. There were initially three field artillery regiments, a Bombardier Corps of men with additional training, and an Artillery Fusilier Battalion which provided the unskilled labour. A fourth field regiment was created in February 1802, partly from the now-disbanded Artillery Fusiliers, and the number of companies per regiment increased during the period. During the peace of 1806-09 the Austrian army was completely reoganized and the artillery was concentrated as an independent supporting arm after the French style, with the pieces organized into Brigade and Position Batteries. The Brigade Batteries consisted of eight 3pdrs. or 6pdrs. with their caissons and three baggage wagons, and were attached to the infantry brigades for close support. The Position Batteries consisted of either four 6pdrs. and two 7pdr. howitzers, or four 12pdrs. and two 7pdr. howitzers, or four 18pdrs. and two 10pdr. howitzers. These were allocated to Division, Corps and Army reserves respectively. Each had its caissons plus four baggage wagons.

From 1807 the field regiments received territorial designations: 1st Bohemian, 2nd Lower Austrian, 3rd Moravian and 4th Inner Austrian.

In wartime, the artillery regiments were split into small detachments to serve the 'battalion guns' (Liniengeschutz), attached to each regiment, with infantrymen providing the untrained artillery labourers; the gun were usually 3pdrs. The artillery reserve was crewed by the Bombardier Corps and personnel from the garrison or fortress artillery; reserve batteries usually comprised four guns and two howitzers. There were in addition 'cavalry batteries' of light 6pdrs. whose officers and NCOs were mounted but whose gunners sat astride a caisson or 'Wurst-wagen', and were thus much less mobile than proper horse artillery.* (See illustration below)



A team of 'cavalry artillery' moving into position (1809).


The 'cavalry batteries' could not be called true horse artillery in the strict sense as, although there were spare horses, not all the personnel was individually mounted most riding the 'Wurst' caissons and padded seat of the gun trail. These batteries in 1809 had five 6pdr. and one 7pdr. howitzer with their accompanyiong caissons, plus three baggage wagons and 24 munition pack-horses with twelve mounted pack drivers. ** (See illustration below)



Another example of 'Cavalry artillery' in action This painting shows how gun crews were carried in the so-called 'sausage-seat' in the gun trail.
(Ottenfeld)


Manning these batteries were four regiments of artillery, each of sixteen companies of Kanoniers a company usually manned four batteries. Each company had a full establishment of 187 personnel. The regiment's size was increased by several companies of Handlanger, a company of Bombardiers to man the howitzers, and in a few cases a Feuerwerkscompagnie.

The Transport Fuhrwesen Corps provided teams and drivers for these batteries. Thre Corps was divided into Fuhrwesencorps Artillerie-Bespanungdivision, each of 73 personnel and 180 horses, sufficient to move three batteries. The Fuhrwesecorps allocated to the Horse Artillery had 200 men and 200 horses to move two batteries. The ratio of artillery pieces to men was, at its peak, 3.5 to every one thousand men.

The guns (24, 18, 12, 6 and 3pdrs. 7 and 10pdr. howitzers, mostly bronze) had been superb when introduced in 1753, but had been overtaken in efficiency and striking power by more modern systems, like that of the French.


Table A: Barrel Lengths; Barrel and Carriage Weights

Piece Barrel Length
(inches)
Barrel Weight
(pounds)
Barrel / Carriage Weight
(pounds)
3pdr. gun 45 530 ?
6pdr. gun 58.25 912 ?
12pdr.gun 75 1,790 ?
7pdr. howitzer ? 617 ?
10pdr. howitzer ? 1,676 ?