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AUSTRIA

Background

The Infantry

The Cavalry

Organisation & Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

The Artillery

Uniforms

The artillery uniform was styled on that of the infantry, including the use of the combed helmet 1798 - 1803 (with a red crest for the rank-and-file), the jackets brown with red facings* (light blue facings for the Handlanger Corps); prior to 1798 a low round hat was worn, and from 1803 the Korsehut was the official head-dress, but bicorns were permitted officially from 1806 (having been worn at least since 1802), and these continued to be the most common head-dress throughout the remaining campaigns.

Note: * See image top left margin


Austrian artillery c.1809, showing the jacket and 'Oberrock' of 'roe-deer brown' and the bicorn hat usually worn at this period in preference to the 'Corsehut'; the black-over-yellow plume was the national insignia, as was the 'Felzeichen' (green oak sprig) befind the cockade. The driver of the Fuhrwesencorps (at right) wears his with yellow facings and the shako, though the latter was never universal.
(Print after R. von Ottenfeld)


In the above illustration, the artillerist holds the sponge staff and ramrod, the double-ended staff with which the piece was swabbed and the projectile and charge rammed down the bore. The swabber usually being made of sheepskin, and the dimensions of the staff obviously varying with the calibre of the piece.
(a) A selection of priming wires, pushed down the vent to puncture the charge bag for the insertion of firing tube, thus making ingnition more certain. The types illustrated are typical of those used by all nations.
(b) Thumb-stall of leather, worn by the ventsman to protect himself when serving the hot vent. It was possible for the leather to burn right through during the course of an action.
(c) Tompion, inserted in the muzzle to protect the bore when not in battle
(d) Portfire case of leather to contain and protect lengths of quick-match or portfire
(e) Water bucket, used when sponging out the piece; leather buckets were also used. The buckets were suspended under the gun's axle tree.
(f) Portfire cutters, used to trim off the burning end of the match when there was a pause in the firing. Normally attached to the right side of the trail, just behind the barrel. The simple spring-loaded hand cutters shown above were also used.
(g) From left to right: a portfire holder with quick match inserted; two linstocks with slow match
(h) Another type of linstock for holding the slow match; the match was lit and the stock was thrust into the ground on the gun position, and portfires were ignited from it throughout an action
(i) Powder scoop, used to measure loose powder before the advent of fixed ammunition, and still used for mortars during the Napoleonic period
(j) Straight and crooked hand spikes, for inserting in the iron brackets on the trail and levering to traverse the piece
(k) Wormhead and 'ripper', used to draw faulty charges, and to clean out any residue of cartridge.

The Fuhrwesencorps wore light grey with yellow facings, and the infantry Casquet until the introduction of a 'round hat' in 1798, from 1803 - 1805 the jacket became white for drivers and grey for craftsmen, with a Korsehut worn until the introduction of the shako at about the same time as for the infantry, but the former hat was retained in many cases throughout the period.


Table F: Percentage of hits

Piece Range
(in yards)
Percentage
of hits
6pdr. gun 520 82
6pdr. gun 950 40
6pdr. gun 1,200 17
12pdr. gun 600 87
12pdr. gun 950 40
12pdr. gun 1,300 17

Table G: Approximate range limits (yards)

Piece Maximum
Range
Effective
Range
Canister
3pdr. 900 350-450 300
6pdr.
Field Artillery
1,000 400-500 400
12 pdr. 1,200 700 500
7pdr.
howitzer
1,350 700 500