*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 18, 2019, 12:21:40 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent

Author Topic: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength  (Read 395 times)

Offline olicana

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 640
    • Olicanalad's Games
Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« on: August 13, 2019, 01:45:53 PM »
I'm struggling to conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength and how to base things. The nub of my question is to do with how best to base a whole battalion of the 95th Rifles as part of the Light Division.

I'll start by saying what I know of British light infantry tactics and how I represent it on the table.

I have a pretty god handle on how musket armed light infantry battalions 'usually' operated when skirmishing (e.g. usually 50% out front in skirmish order [SO] with 50% formed in close order [CO] some way behind as a rally point: My light battalions are 24 figures strong represented by 36 figures. 24 are based in CO on four bases; 12 are based in SO on 4 larger bases. When skirmishing, I remove the two outer stands of CO troops (leaving the two flag / command stands in the centre as the 'rally point') and deploy the four SO stands out in front.

I have a pretty good idea how Rifle companies were used when attached to line brigades (e.g. to supplement the light companies of the line battalions when thrown out as skirmishers). I just add a stand or two of riflemen in SO to the battalion light bobs.

What I can't conceptualise, is how the 95th Rifles operated when part of the Light Division because they appear in this formation at battalion strength. I guess, because I don't see the rifle as a volley weapon, I can't see them operating as musket armed light battalions with a substantial proportion formed up in CO as a rally point for those thrown out to skirmish.

This might be due to a lack of imagination on my part – can anyone help me out? How did a battalion of riflemen 'usually' operate when skirmishing as part of the Light Division?

Thanks for looking,

James

Online vodkafan

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 2025
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2019, 08:56:59 PM »
I am going to base mine using the 3 -2-1 system : singles on 25mm base, 2 figures on  30mm, 3 figures on 40mm.
I did think about basing them in pairs but could look a bit monotonous .
I am going to build a wargames army, a big beautiful wargames army, and Mexico is going to pay for it.

2019 Painting Challenge :
figures bought: 387
figures painted: 45
6 vehicles painted
4 terrain pieces scratchbuilt

Offline Mindenbrush

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • mad scientist
  • *
  • Posts: 855
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 01:06:12 PM »
I thought the 95th were distributed to various divisions to use their longer range against French skirmishers, officers, drummers and artillery crews.
When part of the Light Division it seems they were also dispered amongst the other regiments when in combat.
http://www.peninsularwar.org/map_coa.htm
Wargamers do it on a table.
YNWA - It is not a badge, it is a family crest

Offline olicana

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 640
    • Olicanalad's Games
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 01:46:42 PM »
Hi,

I've posted this topic to TMP to see what that avails. Here's a link to thoughts there. The Hundred Days isn't really my thing but, it sheds some light perhaps.

http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=513153

Offline gustav

  • scientist
  • Posts: 211
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 02:12:06 PM »
to be honest I have not read or have a copy of particular regs / drills for the 95th so I have no direct evidence, so I may well be wrong. 

However, my understanding was that they operated just as you describe as per any other light regiment when in "battalion mode".  Having a rifle notwithstanding, that same tactical approach was used.  Indeed was it not really the light battalions that in fact used the 95th approach / tactics that were developed by Moore at Shorncliffe ?





Offline Cubs

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 3434
  • "I simply cannot survive without beauty ..."
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 03:26:16 PM »
When firing 'in line' as opposed to skirmishing the rifles adopted what was called 'chain order'. The reserve was only a quarter of the unit strength, held back behind the firing line. The 'firing line' wasn't a continuous line such as musket armed infantry would adopt, but consisted of groups of 4 riflemen acting together, spread out across the front in clusters to form an open line, so that as a man fired and then retired to reload, the next man would step up to fire and so on, providing constant fire to the front. Presumably it acted in the same way as skirmishing pairs to the extent that the front man would not fire until the man directly behind him had loaded and was ready to fire, thus ensuring that each 4-man group always had a loaded weapon ready to bear.
'Sir John ejaculated explosively, sitting up in his chair.' ... 'The Black Gang'.

Paul Cubbin Miniature Painter

Offline vtsaogames

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 559
    • Corlears Hook Fencibles
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 05:12:37 PM »
At Albuera Major General William Stewart (2nd Division) ordered the Buffs into line as they came up, with the grenadiers on the left and the other companies reversed from their accustomed places. This was referred to as "clubbed". (I find it interesting that they had a name for it.) As a result the battalion was not able to change formation as drilled, since line drill assumed the companies were in a certain order from left to right. This is one more reason they may not have been able to form square when the Vistula Lancers charged. One of Stewart's staff watched this deployment with horror and thought it was because Stewart had previously been with the 95th at Shorncliffe. That indicates to me that the light regiments were able to maneuver with their companies in various places in line, something beyond the ken of average line units.

Stewart was the senior brigade CO in the 2nd Division and took command when Hill went home to England to recover from illness. He seems to have been in over his head at Albuera. This is from Oliver & Partridge's "Battle of Albuera - 1811".

Note that the 95th fought at Waterloo as a battalion. They did likewise at the first battle of New Orleans when Jackson attacked the Lead British brigade. Much of the resulting night fighting was at extremely close range, including some actual hand-to-hand. I presume they fought in line and weren't bothering to patch their ammo, turning the Baker rifles into smooth-bores for all practical purposes.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 05:17:06 PM by vtsaogames »
No good deed goes unpunished

My blog: http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

Offline huevans

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 637
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 06:55:43 PM »
Interesting comment about not patching.

IIRC, the 95th held a gravel pit off the La Haye Sainte road. I always imagined them kneeling in semi cover at the lip of the pit and picking off officers as the French attacked.

Offline vtsaogames

  • mad scientist
  • Posts: 559
    • Corlears Hook Fencibles
Re: Can't conceptualise 95th Rifles tactics at battalion strength
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 09:26:18 PM »
The Waterloo Companion says 6 companies of the 95th (annoyingly, does not indicate which battalion) were  in Kempt's Brigade of Picton's Division. I assume these were the lads who were in the sandpit.  Adam's Brigade of Clinton's Division went into the center in the early evening. Along with the 52nd and the 71st, it included the 2/95th and 2 companies of the 3/95th. The diagrams show the 2/95th on the left of the 52nd and the 3/95th on the right of the 71st, both in line. This would indicate that the 2/95th was involved with the repulse of the Guard.