Forthcoming Saxon artillery book
Posted by Martin on November 23, 2009
I’ve been having an occasional correspondence with Stephen Summerfield over the last couple of months as he’s been putting the final touches to his next book. Over the weekend, I received final publication details from Stephen along with a PDF of some sample pages.
The book is entitled Saxon Artillery 1733-1827 and will be published by Partizan Press, hopefully this coming December though the run-in to Christmas might affect that date. When Stephen started on this book, it was envisaged as an 80-90 page paperback but it has grown into a 216 page hardback monster. The cover blurb reads:
The strong links of Saxony with the Polish crown caused her to become the battleground for the competing powers of Austria, Prussia and Russia for centuries. Efficient artillery was essential but in the 1740s was
neglected due to the prohibitive costs of ordnance and maintaining a standing army. This contributed by the annexation of Saxony by Frederick the Great in 1756 and the absorption of her soldiers into the Prussian Army. The remnants of the Saxon Army fought with distinction with their Austrian and French allies.
This unhappy experience of the Seven Years War (1756-63) led to the M1766 Hoyer system that was first used in the War of Bavarian Succession (1777-78). The gun carriage and elevating system of the M1766 4-pdr Schnellfeuergeschütz regimental gun probably influenced the design of the Austrian M1780 Wurst guns. The M1766 Granadstück based upon the Russian Unicorn was a long barrelled howitzer that could fire an early form of spherical case [Shrapnel].
The 1809 campaign showed the Saxon Army and its ordnance had to be transformed from that suited for 18th Century to Napoleonic warfare. The main influence on the M1810 gun tubes was the French AnXI with the carriages derived from those of the Saxon M1766 Hoyer System. These excellent guns performed well in 1812 and especially at Gross Beeren (23 August 1813) where they dismounted 9 Prussian guns.
The century of Saxon ordnance development is illustrated with 66x 1:24 scale plans, 64x 1:30 scale plans and 64 details drawn from contemporary sources. These are enhanced by 34 photographs, 38 contemporary plates and 32 uniform plates with 78 separate uniforms shown in colour. In addition there are 3 maps, 34 OOBs and 22 tables.
So you can see that the scope of this work is extensive. If the sheer scale of this book and the fact that it covers a period far greater than the Napoleonic wars puts you off purchasing, then there’s another option open to you. Stephen has been working with figure painter Ged Cronin to produce a series of colour plates/plans of Napoleonic Saxon artillery equipment. Some of ther plates are 1:60 scale and some are 1:24 scale and they come with a variety of additional notes and historical uniform plates. Contact Ged for more details.