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Directions for numbering and detaching 15 men to the service of a light 6 pounder mounted upon a new pattern carriage.
Great Britain, 1807.
Physical Description:
1 v. (216 p.) : ill. ; 17 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
UF155.G74 D57 1807
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
The block-trail gun carriage was designed in 1775 by Thomas Desaguliers, chief firemaster at Woolwich Arsenal from 1748 until his death in 1780. It was introduced, in 1777, for the light six pounder and heavy three pounder field artillery under the direction of Marquis Townshend, Master of the Ordnance. William Congreve, Commander of the Royal Military Repository (and father of the rocket inventor), wrote a drill manual for it. The block-trail carriage placed the whole gun's centre of gravity forward and lightened the weight on the trail so that one man could traverse it unaided. This improved the rate of fire and its accuracy as well as giving the equipment far greater maneuverability. Until the end of the eighteenth century the artillery had always struggled to keep up with other arms in the field but the block-trail, by allowing the dispositions illustrated in this manual, finally made this possible. During the Peninsular War most guns were mounted on this new pattern carriage.
Bound in contemporary half leather and marbled boards.
Manuscript manual, in pen and brown ink, on the deployment of a light six pounder field artillery. The text, in a single hand, may have been copied by Richard Cooper, whose inscription (dated 29 Oct. 1807) appears at the front of the manual. It appears to be written as a fair copy, neatly framed in a double ruled border of lighter brown ink. The manuscript sets out, and illustrates, the dispositions for the gun, limber and gun crew, either advancing or retreating, both in and out of action, in situations as varied as getting through a defile, over ditches, through bad roads, up and down precipices, and embarking or disembarking flat boats. It also includes the dispositions for ammunition and stores as contrived by William Congreve. It concludes, following a list of the alterations made to the carriage and limber in 1776 by the Master General of the Ordnance, Viscount Townshend, with a comparative assessment of the old and new carriages. The text is illustrated with 30 diagrams drawn in pen and black ink, with numerical annotations (indicating the proper positions of the 15 artillery soldiers) in pen and reddish ink.
Subject Terms:
Artillery -- Great Britain -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Artillery drill and tactics -- Great Britain -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Congreve, William, 1743-1814.
Desaguliers, Thomas, 1721-1780.
Gun-carriages -- Great Britain -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Ordnance -- Great Britain -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Townshend, George Townshend, Marquis, 1724-1807.
Military manuals.
Ink drawings.
Cooper, Richard, fl. 1807.

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