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Strangely enough , bayonet to bayonet action was in fact quite rare in the Napoleonic wars, one side almost always broke and ran, often after a few volleys had been exchanged. There are exceptions one was in the peninsular when a British and French battalion marched over a hill right in to one another and a big bayonet to bayonet melee ensued. That is not to say it did not happen when fighting house to house or storming a fort because it did, but in open battle , one side ran when faced with the prospect of being bayoneted, and a very sensible choice too .
I was thinking more along the lines of, as you say, within an urban type setting or siege type situation, rather than on an open field of battle because yes it was indeed rare for infantry v infantry to resort to such measures.
But there were times when a town or village formed part of a Napoleonic battlefield & holding/taking them was very important. Not to mention sieges on fortifed towns like Badajoz. Then of course there is the fierce melee at the Great Redoubt at Borodino, and the defense and attacks of the farms etc during the 100 days campaign (Plancenoit being especially bloody and fierce).
Whenever somewhere had to be held or taken, there are times when the soldiers were in direct face to face contact. Whether fending off men on siege ladders, men who were trying climb up & over breaches or garden/courtyard walls, to melees in streets & alleys.
Bayoneting yes, but using the butt end of the musket/rifle just as much as the front end, also pushing against one another using the muskets for leverage.
Once within a building or other confined space etc, they would of been grappling with one another, stabbing, slashing, bludgeoning, not just shooting. Chance/time to reload was not always available whether in a courtyard, street or within a building.
In the case of La Haye Sainte, the 2nd KGL light battalion actually ran out of ammo. While they did have to withdraw, they still had to fight off the French whilst escaping.
For open battlefields, cavalry would be better for more direct contact. So cavalry slashing downwards, horses trampling and of course trooper v trooper in hand to hand "sabre clashing" are all possibilities. Not to mention the terrified infantrymen caught in an attack, doing their often futile best to fend off death from above.
There are certainly instances where a Napoleonic soldier could not just shoot, reload or run.
Dearest Strelets Team,
Nothing makes me happier than to see your Post Cards from Ukraine communications to your Hobby Family each week. Such a relief; such a relief!
And this week I've got to say your WWII American and Japanese Masterful Masters are really cool. I've always wanted Americans I could use to reenact the movie "The Sand Pebbles." I have your Set M112 US Navy w/Anti Aircraft gun and now your new sets with so much hand to hand combat will work perfectly for The Sand Pebbles. Especially with helmet, ammo belts and leg gaitors. I don't paint so if you produced these in the light color as your Navy Set M112 I'd be happier than a Clam at High Tide!
I included a link below showing especially a screen shot I like plus many more of the movie. I hope you can paste the URL into your browser and see the wonder job someone did. Link:
дякую і будь сильним - GC