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Back Issue, No. 12  :  July 1998

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Units and Uniforms:

Cannons at a Rapid Gait
The British Royal Horse Artillery, 1793-1815
Popularly referred to as "flying artillery," Britain's Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) was a virtually autonomous arm of service under the Board of Ordnance. This caused no end of disputes with field commanders, including Wellington, over who controlled assignments and promotions. Initially armed with 4-pounder cannon, the RHA batteries, called "troops," became standardized in 1809 with five 6-pounder guns and one 5.5" howitzer. At its height, the RHA consisted of fourteen troops, including two with rockets -- the first battlefield use of this weapon in Europe. Better powder and a superior exploding shell called "shrapnel" gave the British gunners a distinct edge in combat. By 1815, an improved 9-pounder gun with an innovative single block trail carriage equipped four of the troops at Waterloo. Although often used as a "fire brigade" and rushed from reserve to critical points in the battle, the RHA never lost a gun to the enemy.
By Arnold Blumberg 

Featured Scholar

A Maverick Talks "Horse Sense"
Owen "Mike" Connelly is a former U.S. Army Ranger who served in Korea. He is better known as a leading professor of history at the University of South Carolina since 1970, and as a respected author of several major works that have been used as textbooks on the French Revolution and Age of Napoleon. Perhaps his most widely-known book is Blundering to Glory which argued that Napoleon's success was due to his ability to improvise during a battle rather than work from a set plan. An avid equestrian, Connelly's personal experience with horses has provided him with special insight and opinions about the cavalry, which he shares with us in Napoleon magazine's sixth interview by correspondence, conducted by June Burton.

Culture & Politics:

Napoleon and the Jews
Was the French Emperor an enlightened ruler in a bigoted era? Or, did he emancipate the Jews of Europe for cynical, self-serving purposes? Historian Ben Weider enters this debate using primary sources that may indicate what Jews at that time thought about Napoleon. Weider is convinced that had General Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt been successful, the state of Israel would have come into existence 150 years before the United Nations mandated the partition of Palestine in 1948.
By Ben Weider

Departments:

  • Travel: England's Fort Nelson Artillery Museum
  • Napoleonic Calendar: Upcoming Events
  • EHQ: Your Mail Order Source for Books, Miniatures, and Games
  • Game Review: Napoleon's Eagles Card Game
  • Napoleonic Library: Reviews of Selected Titles
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