Organisation and Tactics of the Prussian Artillery, 1792–1848

Prussian Foot Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars, 1814

Elements of the first half-battery of a deployed Prussian 6-pounder battery of 1813. Only one of the two howitzers of the first platoon can be seen in the picture. The howitzers were placed on either flank of the battery, usually downwind, in order to protect the cannons in the other platoons from excessive smoke. Guns and howitzers did not normally fire together, because howitzers were much more difficult to load and aim than guns. Howitzers threw grenades at high trajectories whereas the cannons typically fired ricochet rounds at 0 degrees elevation. Only when cannister rounds were fired at attacking infantry or cavalry would the two gun types be able to fire in unison.

Available Figures

  • Prussian Foot Artillery 1814–1815, 1:72 HaT Industrie 8007
  • Prussian Artillery 1813–1815, 15mm Old Glory PLA-1
  • Prussian Limbers and Teams 1813–1815, 15mm Old Glory NAE-5
  • Prussian Artillery 1806, 1:300 Heroics & Ros
  • Prussian Artillery 1809–1815, 1:300 Heroics & Ros MPN4
  • Prussian Limbers and Teams, 1:300 Heroics & Ros MPN8
  • Prussian Pontons and Wagons, 1:300 Heroics & Ros MPN10

Organisation of a 6-pdr. Foot Battery

  • Batterie-Commandeur (Capitaine or Premier Lieutenant)
  • Hornist
  • Hornist

I. Halb-Batterie (half-battery)

I. Zug (platoon)

  • Halb-Batterie-Commandeur (Second Lieutenant Nr. 2)

1. Haubitze (howitzer)

  • Geschützführer (Feuerwerker)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

2. Haubitze

  • Geschützführer (Feuerwerker) – gun captain (fireworker)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

II. Zug

  • Zugführer (Fähnrich) – platoon commander (ensign)

1. Kanone (cannon)

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier) – gun captain (corporal)
  • Kanonier Nr. 1, stands to the right of the muzzle, sponges the barrel after each round fired, and rams home after Nr. 2 has placed the cartridge into the muzzle. This gunner is equipped with a combined sponge and rammer.
  • Ladekanonier Nr. 2, the loader, stands to the left of the muzzle. Upon the command "Kartusche in den Lauf!" Nr. 2 places a cartridge into the muzzle. The loader is equipped with a leather ammunition bag capable of holding three rounds.
  • Kanonier Nr. 3, stands to the right of the gun carriage. Upon the command "Feuer" Nr. 3 lights the charge with his linstock.
  • Richtkanonier Nr. 4, the ventsman, stands to the left of the gun carriage. Nr. 4 blocks the vent with his thumb while the cartridge is being rammed home. Upon the command "Schlagröhre hinein und richtet!" the ventsman primes the vent, adjusts the elevation and directs the lateral alignment of the gun. When the ventsman has finished his tasks, the gun captain may order the gun to be fired
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 5, assistant gunner, hands out the ammunition at the limber
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 6, assistant gunner, fills ammunition bags at the limber and carries them forward to Nr. 2
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 7, assistant gunner, stands to the right of the gun trail and adjusts the lateral alignment of the gun upon instructions from Nr. 4
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 8, assistant gunner, stands to the left of the gun trail and adjusts the lateral alignment of the gun upon instructions from Nr. 4
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 9, assistant gunner, lends a hand when the gun is limbered, unlimbered or manhandled
  • Hilfskanonier Nr. 10, assistant gunner, lends a hand when the gun is limbered, unlimbered or manhandled

2. Kanone

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

II. Halb-Batterie

III. Zug

  • Halb-Batterie-Commandeur (Second Lieutenant Nr. 1)

3. Kanone

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

4. Kanone

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

IV. Zug

  • Zugführer (Second Lieutenant Nr. 3)

5. Kanone

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

6. Kanone

  • Geschützführer (Unteroffizier)
  • Kanoniere Nr. 1 to Nr. 10

"Chef de Bataillon" and other modern simulation games deal with artillery fire in accurate command steps, giving the player a good understanding of artillery tactics.

Frequently Asked Questions

For further information and updates, please join us on facebook or in the Miniatures Forum.

Prussian Napoleonic Miniatures