Military Time

More About Mortars

More About Mortars

Soldiers of the Pennsylvania National Guard on a training exercises in 2024 (DVIDS) In the immense literature on the subject of war, warfare, and warfighting, mortars rarely get the attention that they deserve. Here at The Tactical Notebook, which has published more than thirty articles about the Joe Rogan of infantry ordnance, we have done much to remedy this sorry…

Bracketing

Bracketing

Alexandre Percin (1846-1928) In the middle years of the nineteenth century, gunners in the service of the king of Prussia developed a technique for placing projectiles onto a target.  On 9 November 1870, at the battle of Coulmiers, Lieutenant Alexandre Percin of the French field artillery found himself on the receiving end of artillery fire adjusted by means of this…

The American Revolution

The American Revolution

Howard Pyle, The Battle of Bunker Hill Delivered in the form of academic lectures, The American Revolution explores the great events that led to the creation of the United States of America.  It is thus an excellent resource for those who would like to learn a little about the political, economic, social, and religious context of the American War of…

Did this Photo Fool Ernst Jünger?

Did this Photo Fool Ernst Jünger?

Early in 1930, The Face of War made its debut on the shelves of German bookshops. Printed on plain paper of modest dimensions, this anthology would not, at least by today’s standards, qualify as a coffee-table book. Nonetheless, lest readers doubt that the Schwerpunkt of the work lay with the nearly two hundred ‘optical documents’ it contained, the editor of…

Photographic Fakery

Photographic Fakery

The photo at the top of this page has often been used to illustrate accounts of the First World War, and, in particular, the offensives conducted by Australian, British, and Canadian forces in France or Flanders in the middle years of that conflict. Indeed, the authors of captions appended to this picture (or portions of it) often describe the gesture…

Artillery for the Levant (1925)

Artillery for the Levant (1925)

105mm Mountain Howitzer (Schneider and Company, 1917) In 1925, in a long article proposing reforms to French infantry units stationed in the Mandate of Syria, Lieutenant Colonel Abel Clément-Grandcourt provided a brief sketch of the ideal artillery component of that force. The only sort of batteries to serve in Syria, he argued, should be mountain batteries.1 These, moreover, should be…

Building a Big Battalion

Building a Big Battalion

Infantry Battalion Proposed by Lieutenant-Colonel Clément-Grandcourt Between 1923 and 1925, Lieutenant Colonel Abel Clément-Grandcourt (1873-1948) wrote a series of articles for the Révue d’Infanterie that proposed, among other things, changes to the structure of the infantry battalions of the French forces stationed in the Mandate of Syria. These reforms, he argued, would improve the ability of these units, which were…

Madsen Gun Squads & Platoons

Madsen Gun Squads & Platoons

The five squads of a possible Musketen platoon Of the three tables of organization for Musketen companies that I have found, only one describes the structure of elements smaller than a company. (This is the establishment, dated 24 February 1917, that provides a framework for a Musketen company armed with Lewis guns.) Because of this, trying to figure out how…