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Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 12:38:20 AM   
moet


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(May be this is already explained somewhere...)

I would like to know how the troops are acting differently in SoW Waterloo compared to SoW Gettysburg and how those differences impact the way the player has to give his orders. It seems to be a lot of details going on under the hood that are not explained in the manual.
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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 2:01:25 PM   
jomni


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For me the biggest difference is the cavalry charge. They are not just scout troops in Waterloo and are very potent shock troops.

So the trick is to use them properly by attacking infantry who are not able to form squares. Most of the time the horses will force the enemy to form squares. If this happens then you send in your arty and infantry to shoot at them until the retreat. They can only shoot back with 1/4 of their forces when in square formation so they are at a disadvantage.

< Message edited by jomni -- 6/27/2015 3:02:21 PM >


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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 3:23:57 PM   
Gunfreak

 

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American civil war battle was an infantry thing, with arty coming in second and cav a distant 9th.

Napoleonic wars was a combined ghing with all 3 branches working close.

Of course, not all battles were like that, some battles were mostly infantry affairs with some artillery.

For every major battle there was often 3-10 smaller fights, cav did some times and some times not take part in these. And if cav did, it was almost never heavy cav. But light cav and dragoons (wether you want to call dragoons heavy is up to you )

In tactical differences, most officers were pros not volunteers, like those in the acw. Most had studied war, not that that gave a garantee of quality.


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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 3:30:34 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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I understood the reason of different tactical cav use was the Minié bullet.
The aim of Napoleonic muskets (and their users) was terrible. Cavalry could survive a charge on infantry even in square without too many losses.

With the aerodynamically shaped Minié bullet, aim got better and that reduced cavalry effectiveness to a scouting function.
The square as anti-cav defense wasn't used anymore (or very little) in ACW.

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/27/2015 4:45:50 PM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 4:14:47 PM   
Gunfreak

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyhigh

I understood the reason of different tactical cav use was the Minié bullet.
The aim of Napoleonic muskets (and their users) was terrible. Cavalry could survive a charge on infantry even in square without too many losses.

With the aerodynamically shaped Minié bullet, aim got better and that reduced cavalry effectiveness to a scouting function.
The square as anti-cav defense wasn't used anymore (or very little) in ACW.


Not quite, like alot of myths about the acw it was less about hardware, more about terrain and command.

Here was little use of cav during the american revolution, and they used smoothbore muskets. But forests, rivers, streams, corn fields, stone walls etc. Does not make good cav ground.

Also the minie ball while had a long range, could rrarely use it.

A few battles, like pickets charge, fredricksburg did have long wide open fields, most battle were fought at less then 200 yards.

At that range the rifled muskets would be more effective then muskets but not by a huge margin.

And in the end its was the user not the weapon, yes the Springfield or Enfield could hit a man at 500 yards, most shooters could not.

A musket can hit a man sized target almost 100% at the time at a 100 yards, if the shooter can use it well, even at 200, a good shooter can hit more then he misses.

The problem was lack of training. Russian soldiers had 4
rounds a year to train with.

Most other nations had just a few more.

The british light division in spain ad almost infinite number of rounds to train with. Not just the rifles but regular light infantry with muskets to.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 6:17:25 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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Terrain or shooting skills don't matter - the weapons just got more efficient so an unskilled soldier could more easily wipe a cavalry man from his horse mid-19th century than in the Napoleonic days.
That's hardly a myth - it's a fact.

If you were cav man and you had to charge into a line of 300 unskilled soldiers holding muskets or 300 similarly unskilled soldiers holding rifled muskets with Minié balls - well what would you choose eh?

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/27/2015 7:20:32 PM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 7:13:05 PM   
Gunfreak

 

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Nope, terrain, same terrain as awi, same lack of cav.

You dont need to form square if you are in the woods, and during the acw many battles were fought fully or partly in woods, or in hills, or woody hills, or with streams and rivers.

Same terrain as awi.

Rifled musket had no effect on the effective use of cav in the acw.
It had slightly more during the crimean war. But even there cav could be used very effectively.

If the were unskilled, it wouldn't mater unless you have auto aim, training has much more to say.

Even today most hunters cant hit a moose at 500 yards with bipod and scope.
hiting 300 cavalry charging at you, with artillery going of ans smoke, an untrained unit would run with in seconds.

At fredrickburg and gettysburg infantry gad stone walls to rest the weapons on, but even there rifled musket fire only got effective at 200 yards, and long range arty and canister still dud most of the damage.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/27/2015 9:57:00 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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I have no idea what awi is.

In the Crimean War, the Russians still had old school smoothbore muskets. It was clear the Minié was much better of course. I don't know which Russian cavalry action you are refering too which was effective against English or French infantry with Minié rifles?
I think the US observers there got so enthousiastic about the Minié that they took it state-side.

When technology changes on the battlefield, also tactics change - and with better rifles, horseback cav just became a less effective offensive instrument.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/28/2015 9:26:33 AM   
Gunfreak

 

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American war of independence = AWI

Ok a list.


1.The rifiled musket could hit a man at 600 yards, probebly only 1 man out of 100 could do it, so a regiment of 600 men would get 6 hits, lets say 10 because if random bullets getting lucky.

2. If the unit is infantry it would get hit sevral times before making contact, and bt then could have lost a 100 or more, in theory.

3, most soldiers didn't shoot to kill, they fired above or below the target, this is constant no mater how good the weapon was, most soldiers didn't use it to kill, it was like that in roman times, middle ages, thirty years war, napoleonic wars, acw, ww1 and ww2. Only during the vietnam war and later with new training would a majority of soldiers shoot to kill(and that brought with it a whole bunch if new problems )

4. At 100 ish yard, the hit rate of a rifled musket and musket is about the same, again going to the, it's the shooter not the weapon that counts.

5. Terrain, A, cav doesn't charge in woods, water or hills, most acw battlefields wers that. B, a rifle that can kill at 600 yards doesn't help in a forest were you can only 70 yards.

If America looked like Europe, there would be less cav then during the napoleonic wars. (Kinda like FPW)

But not to that extent.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/28/2015 4:10:20 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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Look, give 200 soldiers a smoothbore and 200 other soldiers of equal talent and training a rifled musket, and the riflers will hit more targets because the rifle has longer range, and reloads quicker. It's just a better weapon. Just saying, let's keep the shooter variable the same and with better weapons, more will be hit.

The rifle for a large part rendered the bayonet less useful, because in ACW there were way less bayonet kills than in Napoleonic wars. This is because the rifle just could hit more targets before a charge was required.

Even at 100 yards a rifled battallion could hit more charging cavalry than a musket battaillon, no matter the terrain. Cavalry was just no longer that much offensive material.

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/28/2015 5:11:15 PM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/28/2015 4:38:27 PM   
Gunfreak

 

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There were almost no bayonet kills in the napoleonic wars. With the exception of fighting in towns and redouts. Infantry almost never made contact with other infantry.
cavalry was used effectively in the fpw, infact the last great cavalry charge in that war was so effective, people continued to think cav could be used, leading to 40 years later cavalry getting cut down by machine guns in ww1.

There are so many myths about the acw AND the napoleonic wars, and many many of them center around technology. (Often as an excuse for other things like lack of training or leadership skills)

There were lots of fights during the acw between smothbore and rifiled muskets, training and elan won or lost the day not rilfed barrels.

Sevral southern units had smoothbores to the end of the war. Didn't effect them, because of terrain, when most fights are with i 150 yards it doesn't mater.

The rifled musket was superior to the smothbore in range (not in the rate of fire as you claim )

But it wasn't magic.
the American civil war was fought mostly by and with amateurs, it was fought over hills, streams, cornfields and forests that more then anything dictated how the war was fought.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/28/2015 5:07:51 PM   
danlongman

 

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I would imagine the difference would be more apparent in open terrain
but I feel that Gunfreak is correct and when most battles were fought
in closed terrain (think The Wilderness, Chickamauga, Chancellorsville)
The man was more important than the musket. If more had been fought in
open terrain things might have been different enough to be remarkable.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/29/2015 12:04:09 AM   
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It's a combination of 'all of the above', I think. Civil War infantry formed square on a few occasions in response to a cavalry threat, but that was usually just an attempt by the cavalry to delay them. IMHO the most important factor was lack of cavalry training in the shock role, and hence troopers capable of reliably doing it. Good horsemen do not necessarily make good heavy cavalry, and it takes a long time to train soldiers as such even if you can equip and find suitable horses for them. Ditto lancers, although I recall there were some lancer regiments? In view of the terrain and small-arms factors mentioned previously, probably nobody thought it was worth the effort as the men would be more useful in other roles.

< Message edited by Hertston -- 6/29/2015 1:04:25 AM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/29/2015 9:28:19 AM   
PresbyterJohn

 

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Only one person has mentioned the Franco Prussion War and that has to be the reference point for a discussion on how to use cavalry in the later part of the 19th century. Professional armies with a full spectrum of training in their ranks going at it over the same terrain as Napoleon.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/29/2015 10:06:34 AM   
CaptCarnage

 

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Well I looked into the Franco Prussian War and actually I didnt find much effective use of cavalry offensive tactics like in Napoleonic wars. Certainly not against the breech loaded rifles of the Prussians.

I did not verify the reliability of www.francoprussianwar.com but this what it says about cavalry use:
"The Prussians had reformed their cavalry service, no longer letting it be the field of the elite, but opening it up to advancement by merit and using it for skirmishing and screening . The French still made use of heavy cavalry with the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War had shown to be outdated with the longer range of rifles and cannons."

People in WW1 thought that bright blue and red outfits would be good as well but that was more thanks to lack of lengthy wars on the continent against worthy opponents after the Napoleonic wars.

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/29/2015 11:20:58 AM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/29/2015 1:38:17 PM   
Gunfreak

 

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A few Points.

1. Made use of heavy cav in the charge of the LIGHT brigade.
2. Light brigade was british not french.
3. it was not rifles(russians didn't have any) nor any longer range of artillery(was not that much longer then Napoleonic) but the fact the light brigade charge into a thunnel of heavley intreched guns.
4. Charge of the heavy brigade from the same war was effective.
5. Search von bulows death ride during FPW. He made a succesfull charge of cavalry, in a war were almost all infantry was armed with breachloaders, a much more effective weapon then rifled muskets.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/29/2015 5:08:14 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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You mean von Bedrow's Death Ride? Barely half returned from that. They were badly mauled and in fact I understand that the success of this cavalry charge made some Europeans think cavalry actually still deserved a role - which does not mean it should have had one.

This article explains another cavalry charge in the Franco-Prussian War which is described as "courageous" but more in the way of "senseless" because it completely failed - thanks to breach loaders.
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84335

I still stick with this quote about the 3 arms:
"Massed infantry was deadly to cavalry, but offered an excellent target for artillery. Once the bombardment had disordered the infantry formation, cavalry were able to rout and pursue the scattered foot soldiers. It was not until individual firearms gained accuracy and improved rates of fire that cavalry was diminished in this role as well. Even then light cavalry remained an indispensable tool for scouting, screening the army's movements, and harassing the enemy's supply lines until military aircraft supplanted them in this role in the early stages of World War I."

During the Napoleonics, the battefield was well balanced with its Inf, Cav and Arty offensive and defensive capabilities, but with the arrival of rifles and beyond, Cav shifted to a different role.


< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/29/2015 10:59:45 PM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 9:41:16 AM   
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It's interesting that the (successful) charge of von Bredlow's brigade is used as an example for both sides in the arguement about the effectiveness of melee cavalry at that time. Some only consider the action in isolation from the rest of the battle and I think this is limiting in the arguement.

Also I don't really have any interest/knowledge in the American wars but I'm not sure if anything other than what are technically dragoons were ever used in battle. However I can't even begin to completely describe the breadth of types and uses of mounted troops in the gunpowder eras in Europe/Africa/India.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 10:16:43 AM   
CaptCarnage

 

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Well - the main thing here is that I said technological improvements provided a change in role for cav (mostly recon and deep-raiding where speed is required) whereas Gunfreak said it was not that but terrain that changed Cav role. And yes in ACW cav was used as dragoons.

I think the Prussians already reverted their cav to this role in the FPW.

But anyway, if battlefield technology didn't change the role of cav in the 19th century then when did it change?

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/30/2015 11:17:38 AM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 1:29:20 PM   
PresbyterJohn

 

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I think that in Europe you see a continuous change in role for mounted troops. From heavy lancers (knights) and mounted men-at-arms changing tactics in response to bodies of pikemen mixed with the first man-portable firearms, you see changes roughly every hundred years. Each major cycle of war in Europe sees new tactics and roles for mounted troops. Only during the golden years of Napoleonics do you see the paper-rock-scissors situation for each branch of arms on the battlefield.

Also I don't want to counter my own point too quickly but cavalry are also the arm in some armies which most resist change due to their cost of re-equiping and traditions. Prussia still had cuirassiers (well trained and equipped) in the Franco Prussian War for example. I think it most likely that in the American wars dragoons were the easiest to train, and there were probably no traditions of "big men on big horses" hacking bits off infantry and gunners.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 6:06:43 PM   
Redmarkus5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Prester John

I think that in Europe you see a continuous change in role for mounted troops. From heavy lancers (knights) and mounted men-at-arms changing tactics in response to bodies of pikemen mixed with the first man-portable firearms, you see changes roughly every hundred years. Each major cycle of war in Europe sees new tactics and roles for mounted troops. Only during the golden years of Napoleonics do you see the paper-rock-scissors situation for each branch of arms on the battlefield.

Also I don't want to counter my own point too quickly but cavalry are also the arm in some armies which most resist change due to their cost of re-equiping and traditions. Prussia still had cuirassiers (well trained and equipped) in the Franco Prussian War for example. I think it most likely that in the American wars dragoons were the easiest to train, and there were probably no traditions of "big men on big horses" hacking bits off infantry and gunners.


Added to those observations is the fact that the Cavalry regiments were often home to the higher class of officer - they were see as the elite units of the army, home to the oldest military families with a lineage going back to the mounted knight. This no doubt further entrenched their traditions and made change and adaptation even less likely.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 6:09:59 PM   
Redmarkus5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyhigh

Well - the main thing here is that I said technological improvements provided a change in role for cav (mostly recon and deep-raiding where speed is required) whereas Gunfreak said it was not that but terrain that changed Cav role. And yes in ACW cav was used as dragoons.

I think the Prussians already reverted their cav to this role in the FPW.

But anyway, if battlefield technology didn't change the role of cav in the 19th century then when did it change?


Don't forget that in 1914 and 1915, large bodies of Allied cavalry were still being held behind the line ready for the big breakthrough. Cavalry were used extensively (and very effectively) by the Soviets forces in WW2 and the Germans also employed cavalry troops - both SS units and mounted fighters recruited in the East. Major cavalry formations in combat didn't fade away until the Cold War.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 6:39:51 PM   
CaptCarnage

 

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That is all true but the question is: how were they used?
As shock troops to try and rout battered infantry (like on a Napoleonic battlefield) or as mounted infantry to reach positions more quickly than infantry could (like in some ACW cases or WW1)

The topic of discussion is not whether horses were used or not (they are still used in some countries with riot police), but evolving cavalry tactics (and why they evolved).

< Message edited by Skyhigh -- 6/30/2015 7:40:33 PM >

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 6/30/2015 8:25:56 PM   
Redmarkus5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyhigh

That is all true but the question is: how were they used?
As shock troops to try and rout battered infantry (like on a Napoleonic battlefield) or as mounted infantry to reach positions more quickly than infantry could (like in some ACW cases or WW1)

The topic of discussion is not whether horses were used or not (they are still used in some countries with riot police), but evolving cavalry tactics (and why they evolved).


well, they were used (our intended to be used) in a variety of roles:

- The Soviets used cavalry as shock troops (mounted with sabres) against enemy troops on the march or in the open and also to exploit breakthroughs or conduct deep recon.
- During the Boer wars both sides used cavalry as mounted infantry.
- WWI British cavalry were expected to attack LoC after the infantry had made a gap in the front, again using sabres.
- German Uhlans acted as scouts during the advances of 1914.
- Polish lancers in 1939 acted as shock troops against infantry (not against tanks, as widely reported).

You name it and the cavalry did it. But I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make?

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 7/1/2015 9:33:32 AM   
PresbyterJohn

 

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Not that I intended to answer the original question but perhaps the answer goes something like this.

In the American wars the only cavalry were dragoons, who did not evolve into melee heavy cavalry and were never as well trained in their role as European heavies. They only served as light dragoons with their roles in battle imposed upopn them by local conditions and necessity. On the other hand during the Napoleonic era the different types of cavalry fielded in Europe were often well drilled and trained in their specific roles. Irregular mounted troops also went into battle in Europe so I acknowledge that too.

Some part of the answer must also acknowlege the difference between European professional/standing armies and the American milita tradition. Just how much training does a replacement milita infanteer need versus European regular heavy cavalry.

In the back of my mind I have this sense that wars in the Americas were more like medieval wars where troops had to be back for the harvest or everybody starved, so training to use a pointy stick was about as complicated as it got from the general staff point of view. But then I'm obviously bias and probably would be quite at home in the officers mess of a heavy cavalry regiment (with all the negatives thereof implied). As such I don't think I know the answer but hopefully can explore the nature of the real answer.

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RE: Differences between ACW and Napo tactics - 7/1/2015 12:20:11 PM   
Cav Trooper


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyhigh

Look, give 200 soldiers a smoothbore and 200 other soldiers of equal talent and training a rifled musket, and the riflers will hit more targets because the rifle has longer range, and reloads quicker. It's just a better weapon. Just saying, let's keep the shooter variable the same and with better weapons, more will be hit.

The rifle for a large part rendered the bayonet less useful, because in ACW there were way less bayonet kills than in Napoleonic wars. This is because the rifle just could hit more targets before a charge was required.

Even at 100 yards a rifled battallion could hit more charging cavalry than a musket battaillon, no matter the terrain. Cavalry was just no longer that much offensive material.


Actually, the rifle took longer to reload than the musket did during that time, i.e. pre minie period, but both had their issues. And if you reference Chandler, and a few other sources, there were less bayonet wounds than firearm wounds. The psychological factor of the bayonet was the strength of that weapon.

But the days of the Calvary as a "shock troop" was eclipsed after Waterloo due to improvements in doctrines, training and general improvements in training. It is similar to the demise of manned AT guns in modern times.

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