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Osprey Men-at-Arms 152 : Prussian Line Infantry 1792-1815

At the beginning of our period, the battalions of the Prussian Line usually fought in a linear formation three ranks deep, their tactical objective being to overwhelm the enemy with their superior rate of fire before deciding the issue by a well-timed bayonet attack. By the end of this period, the preferred formation for the Line battalions was the column, two half-companies wide and between eight and 12 ranks deep. The responsibility for conducting the fire-fight to wear down the enemy was now given to the skirmish elements and the artillery; the function of the formed battalions was to provide support for the fire line, and to conduct the decisive bayonet charge. A number of historians see such a change as a revolution in warfare, but it could be argued that this is something of an exaggeration. The major and most significant difference was not so much in the face of battle, but rather in the scale. Whatever the change, however, one feature shared by every battle fought by the Prussian Army in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars was the determined and bloody nature of the fighting. The fighting spirit and ability of the infantry remained consistently high throughout this period. Peter Hofschröer examines the background and uniforms of the Prussian Line infantry from 1792-1815 backed by a wealth of illustrations throughout including eight full page colour plates by Bryan Fosten.

    Contents
  • Historical Development
  • Organisation
  • The Common Soldier
  • The Officer Corps
  • Drill and Tactics
  • Uniforms
  • The Campaign of 1812
  • Scharnhorst
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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