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Interesting quotes there. Which I too believe I have read before.
Firstly, who said a firing line had to be defensive? As is in this case, it was offensive also. Yes they probably loaded the musket and attached the bayonet before advancing, thats just sensible, but you are assuming that they knew for certain the 1st volley and charge would work. What if it didnt? Are you saying they would have to stop, take off the bayonet to then reload, reattach bayonet and then fire & advance again? All the while the French are doing what?? Nah dont buy it. Just isnt common sense.
Typical British practice when in a defensive position, was to wait until the French were well within 100yards, (the smoothbore muskets of most if not all European powers had poor accuracy), fire off a few volleys and then charge with the bayonet. No pause for fixing them...moment last volley had been fired they were ready to charge. All part of the idea of breaking the French line and sending them fleeing. British troops had often fared better & stood fast against French columns than other nations had. A fact Marshal Soult tried to point out to Napoleon in 1815...to no avail. Soult knew only too well the quality of British troops and Wellingtons ability from his time in the Peninsular.
Secondly, yes as you have said, that is not a Napoleonic drill transcript. 1859. 44 years after Waterloo. Things change. Especially in warfare. It also mentions light infantry....not line. They had a slightly different drill, taking into account the ability to skirmish and provide a screen. Terrain may also play its part.
The next quote is simply about movement in general. This now also just insinuates that Strelets has messed up with the Shoulder arms set as bayonets are moulded on them. Not unfixed as that quote says. But I think the idea was for them to be portrayed on a battlefield, not a parade ground. I like those figures, maybe not the banjo guy though!
The next quote does not mention that they did not have bayonets attached either. It is refering to their advance upon the French. No advance would be made without bayonets fixed. You even hinted to this when referring to my quote. To do so would be ill prepared.
As for the ACW set....well thats not Napoleonic is it? What happened in European armys of the early 1800s and what happened in American ones in the mid 1800s is not much of a comparison. Look at the technology appearing in the ACW, the weaponry was changing. Rifled weapons with increased range, such as the sharps rifle. Weapons which could fire more than one round at a time. Even artillery was much changed. Look at the pistols the officers had. Im sure the British officers in the Peninsular War would of loved a army or navy Colt.
The socket bayonet used in the Napoleonic period was purposefully designed to allow muskets to be fired and reloaded whilst still attached. It was a redesign from the older plug bayonet which was placed inside the barrel meaning you could no longer fire.
Hence the new type that was offset to the side with the "flat side" facing the barrel. One to not interfere with firing and two not to interfere with reloading.
Also, when it comes to reloading, a ramrod was not inserted directly from above but at a slight angle away from the bayonet. It is how i have seen demonstrations done here in the UK, even when a bayonet wasnt even attached!!
So you would have to be really clumsy to stab through your own hand. Also bayonets of the period were not as sharp along the sides as one today might be. These days they are much more knife like. Back then it was more about the point rather than the edges.
Yes it is very possible that someone might just bump their hand against it and bruise or suffer cuts, these would simply be occupational hazards. From what I can tell of life in general back then, health & safety wasnt as big a thing!!!
Either way this is a discussion that could just go in circles. Fascinating as the topic is, it is irrelevent now as the set has been made. Those who didnt want bayonets will be happy, those who did will either have to ignore the set or somehow try and glue on some form of bayonet....not an easy task. I say always mould bayonets on, least then there is the easier option to keep them or trim them off.
the discussion is very interesting.
I am of the opinion that the unfortunate name of the new STRELETS Set 278 has unfortunately aroused false expectations.
Because of this designation, many people had expected figures to build fire lines and squares. But what has now been created would have been better called "British Infantry Defending Buildings and Fortified Positions". Under this title, the figures are ideal for the defense of Hougoumont.
But they are not useful as a "firing line" in open field combat. Because mounted bayonets would be essential for this.
The unfortunate choice of the name led to false expectations ... and now some people are very disappointed (me too :disappointed: ) ...
But let's be honest; for Hougoumont (behind the walls) these figures are very useful. Because there the bayonets were only a hindrance when the rifle was pushed through the loopholes. That's why it was certainly not put on there ..
And if you look at it that way, then STRELETS has again created a set that is unique. :thinking_face:
Because there are quite a few real Fire Line Soldiers on the market ... right?
On the other hand, it wouldn't have been bad to make the muskets with the bayonets attached. Then you could still use them in Hougoumont and simply detach the bayonets (if required). That would have been the better solution. :confused:
Probably when firing through loopholes or windows. But I think they may of still used the bayonets when defending the wall from above. Would be a helpful weapon in getting rid of those that tried to scale the walls.
Some poses with flank company shoulder rolls would of certainly helped to paint up some foot guard light companys for Hougoumont, but there arent any moulded.
Yes it is possible to sort through other sets to obtain suitable figures, but then that is a expensive way of doing it, getting multiple sets for just a few poses. Same as it would of been if someone only wanted marching figures. Imagine trying to get enough marching poses out the newer Italeri British set where theres only 3 in a box!! Thankfully, Strelets made a set dedicated to just that. And I thought that was the whole point of the recent Nap sets....they are performing a singular maneuver or task. Thus a much more economically viable proposition for the customer.
Also if we are going to just say theres already suitable poses dotted around here and there, the project as a whole may as well be dropped. For all nations. As there are sets out there that may have a pose marching or at shoulder arms etc already.
Thing is even without the bayonet, there is something rather unsatisfactory about those muskets. They just look wrong. The poses are not the most convincing either. As someone else has said, a few of the poses look more like they are out shooting grouse!!
And we still come back to the same issue.....we asked for Napoleonic firing line sets. This set, as you have pointed out isnt really suited to that. Not for on a battlefield.
Yes some of us have had our expectations disappointed, but as I say, the request was for firing lines. This is what is ment to be the British set, hence being titled as such....and thus this effort is what Strelets gave us.....hence the disappointment among some.
I may buy 1 box to see if I cant use some of the poses. The wounded will find use. Their muskets look slightly better. The Sargent is a brilliant pose. But on the whole, its a set that i will pass on.
Hopefully other nations sets are better, but for proper British firing lines, I myself will look elsewhere among what plastic sets there are and of course metal...unless Strelets wants to do a true firing line as a part 2?!