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PRUSSIA

Background

The Cavalry

The Artillery

Organisation &Tactics

Arms & Equipment

Flags & Standards

Bibliography & Sources

The Army

The Infantry (Cont'd)

The standard firearms of the infantry, excepting the vast quantities of foreign material used, were the old .60 'Nothardt' musket, re-bored to the standard European calibre .72 and the so-called new Prussian musket. This latter weapon was issued from 1809 and, in an age when the mass fire of infantry was more important than individual accuracy, it proved to be a very effective tool in the hands of the regular soldiers. the effectiveness of the musket was indicated by tests that were instigated by Scharnhorst. It was found that a target 6 feet high and 100 feet long was hit by bewteen 2/3 and 3/4 of the musket balls fired at it from 100 paces. At 200 paces the fraction had fallen to 1/2 and at 300 paces to 1/4 or less. At 600 paces only 1% of the shots fired hit the target.

It was the practice at this time always to carry the bayonet affixed to the musket. The Musketeers and grenadiers invariably followed this custom, but in view of their different role, the fusiliers were not so rigid in their outlook. Owing to the scabbard being made redundant, it was finally discarded.

As had been noted, the Grenadiers were detached to form seperate elite battalions. The Musketeers were envisaged as pure line infantry, and the fusiliers' special function was to provide a light infantry element within the regiment.



1. 2nd Ostpreussisches Inf. Regt. Grenadier; c.1815,2. Line Fusilier of the 2nd Ostpreussisches Inf. Regt. wearing greatcoat; c.1812, 3. 3rd Silesian Line Infantry Regt. Musketeer; c.1812, 4. Silesian Schutzen; c.1812, 5. Field Officer; c.1811, 6. Field Officer of the Guard; c.1813, 7. NCO of the Guard; c.1813, 8.Infantry, 1st Regiment of the Guard; c.1812.