Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Artillerie Système Gribeauval

Of the old French guns of the De Valière system only the 4 pounders "à la Swédoise" were still in use as regimental pieces in the American War of Independence. Surplus guns were also furnished for the Americans.
Light De Valière 4 pounder "à la Swédoise" (Elite)

My model of a "Swedish" De Valière 4pdr is from Elite Miniatures with Front Rank wheels, because I thought that the original wheels were too large for this light gun.

4-pounder gun loading (Zens + Eureka)
6-pounder gun ready (Leesch + Foundry)
[Actually this gun is too modern for Yorktown, as are the artillerymen in the uniform of 1787.]
4-pounder gun firing (Zens + Eureka)
The French forces that came directly from France with General Rochambeau were equipped with the most modern artillery pieces of the Système Gribeauval.
The Allied artillery park at Yorktown consisted of 54 mortars, 8 howitzers, 8 twelve-pounders, more than 20 eighteen-pounders, and no less than 30 twenty-four-pounders. Many of the guns were brand new:  according to the inscriptions on the barrels they had been cast in France only in 1776 and 1777 (cf. John D. Grainger, The Battle of Yorktown, 1781: A Reassessment, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-84383-137-2). It was a considerable fire-power that defeated the British.
Siege Artillery
24-pounder cannon (Perry)

10-inch mortar (Front Rank)
[The mortar has got 2 mistakes on the barrel: a missing handle and ignition chamber (which I added myself).]
The models of my French artillery park are of different origin. The figures of Elite Miniatures, Front Rank Miniatures, and Perry Miniatures are traditional wargaming models which are a bit sturdier and not as much to scale as the other models. The latter are by Leopold Diez (Steinfeldstraße 69, 3100 St. Pölten, Austria), Martin Leesch (Karlstraße 9, 01445 Radebeul, Germany), and Zens Nürnberger Zinnmodelle (no longer existent).
Field Artillery
12-pounder cannon (Diez)
8-pounder cannon (Zens)
4-pounder cannon (Zens)
8-pounder howitzer (Leesch)