Differences between 18th century warfare and Napoleonic wars?

Dec 2016
107
Spain
#1
I would like to ask your opinion about which were at least the main differences between 18th century warfare and Napoleonic wars period in European theatres and most famous battles/wars. As an example, you may compare Seven Years War and battles such as Rossbach and War of the Third Coalition, battle of Austerlitz, to give just an example of what I want to compare. I am interested to know if there were big changes from the first period to the another in terms of infantry/cavalry units/tactics and the use of artillery and ballistic technologies.
 
Oct 2015
874
Virginia
#3
In addition to the size of the mass armies of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars vs the Seven Years War et al, there is also a distinction in tactics and "operations" due to the organizational development of divisions and army corps. The smaller armies of the 1750's-60's generally moved and fought as unities, armies of 100,000 had to be subdivided into divisions and corps, which could move independently and concentrate on the battlefield.
 
Likes: Scaeva
May 2011
515
UK
#6
In addition to the size of the mass armies of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars vs the Seven Years War et al, there is also a distinction in tactics and "operations" due to the organizational development of divisions and army corps. The smaller armies of the 1750's-60's generally moved and fought as unities, armies of 100,000 had to be subdivided into divisions and corps, which could move independently and concentrate on the battlefield.
This was not a development of the Napoleonic wars. There were 100,000 man armies throughout the wars of the 1700s, as were the use of divisions and corps
 

Poly

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
6,698
Georgia, USA
#8
Heavy cavalry like Prussian cuirassiers worse armour

Napoleons artillery were much better than say the British artillery at Culloden.
 
May 2011
515
UK
#9
Heavy cavalry like Prussian cuirassiers worse armour
for ceremonial purposes not for any practical purpose, and they continued to throughout the Napoleonic wars, as did the French heavy cavalry, so there is no change here at all


Napoleons artillery were much better than say the British artillery at Culloden.
if you are talking about tactics and training? then certainly the artillery of Napoleon's army was renowned, but there was hardly any technological difference in the guns used at the Battle of Austerlitz and the guns used at the Battle of Fontenoy
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,382
#10
Massive changes in the basic drill of maneuver, infantry could move from line to column very quickly in Napoleonic wars and could maneuver around the battlefield relatively easily. In teh 7 years war they could only with greatest of difficulty. Battles tended to start at 2 in the afternoon as it took that long to deploy form marching to fighting formation. It;s drilling and knowledge of ways of changing formation , direction and marching were just vastly changed. 7 years wars most armies did not march in time, (cadence marching, this was a Prussian super power) Artillery was much lighter, guns could be easily moved around the battlefield. Seven years war it took huge amounts of time to deploy for battle, adjusting troops once the battle stated was really really hard, moving artillery around the battlefield really hard.