Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How many horses for an artillery train???

Hello all,

So, one of the advantages of working at a University is that the library service is (usually) excellent. so whenever I notice an interesting book I'll have it on my desk within a few days. Something I very much enjoy. And abuse :-). 
One of these less-than-work-related-reads was a book entitled "The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy, 1363-1477" written by Robert Douglas Smith. A great read with a ton of interesting details, highly recommend it.

Now, at the end of this book is an interesting transcript of a contemporary document listing the entire contents of a Burgundian artillery train from 1475. This is fascinating reading; for instance, it had six bombards, three of iron and three of copper alloy, all with mantlets and sleds for these but only twelve shots (stone balls) in total for all. This in contrast to the (smaller) courtaux-guns which each had 200 stone shots included in the train. Also noted are the number of 'crew' needed for such an artillery train; e.g. pioneers (400), millers (4), and miners (50) who travelled along with the guns.

I think you will agree that this document is a wealth of information!

But the single number that stunned me most was the total number of horses needed for the entire train (guns, ammunition, the 4000 dozen bow strings, the 1000 spades, three pavillions and one (large) tent for the Duke himself, etc.).
So, how many horses would you guess a train this size needed just for equipment?

The answer is 5.245 horses, excluding those among the additional 800 aides and workers lucky enough to ride rather than walk. Nearly six thousand horses. Good luck replicating that in 28mm! :-).

Now, if anyone wants the document I have a pdf copy of the transcript - contact me below and I'll email you a copy. It really does contain a ton of information regarding everything from how many crossbow bolts were transported to the wages paid each day.

All the best,

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also find this interesting:

Related Posts with Thumbnails