TFB Miniatures announced new kit:
The Fatal Charge
Scale: 75 mm
Nice, except for the fellow on the far right. IMHO I hardly think a soldier would be charging enemy lines with his weapon shouldered. A low port charging position would be more appropriate.
I recognize that banner - 1st Regiment of the Irish Brigade.
included was the “Fighting 69th” New York.
I’m not an expert on the Civil War, but I’ve seen many depictions of battles by an artist named Don Troiani, and he is highly respected for his knowledge of how those battles were fought. In his works, he does depict troops advancing under fire with their weapons shouldered. Again, I’m not an expert, but I’d bet Troiani is correct. Hopefully someone knowledgeable on Infantry practices in that war will comment. In the mean time, take a look at some of the artist’s work on line, he’s very good.
…after looking at Troiani’s painting of the Irish Brigade charge at Fredericksburg, I’d say that’s where the inspiration for these figures originated.
Charging after a volley, the musket (or rifle) with fixed bayonet is no more than a spear, as reloading while charging is impossible. The vignette implies a charge of the front line as one of the standard bearers is being shot. A shouldered weapon (as depicted) cannot immediately be used either offensively (bayonet thrust), or defensively (to parry). Ever see illustrations of medievals, or ancients, charging with spears over their shoulders? It is even cumbersome and off-balancing to run with a weapon in this position. I think if that was me, I would me more like the rear standard bearer, with weapon in both hands, and screaming like hell!
I get your point, but further research into depictions of troops advancing under fire in the Civil War (including the Cyclorama at Gettysburg NMP), show numerous examples of them doing so with their weapons shouldered. I totally agree it doesn’t seem to make sense, but highly qualified historic artists (who are experts in that period and agonize over the most minute detail), would not continually show battlefield behavior that wasn’t authentic. As I said, I’m not a Civil War buff, so I’m hopeful someone with more expertise reads this and chimes in on why troops would advance with weapons shouldered.
Hmmm…and that’s probably why there were so many casualties during the ACW - they didn’t have proper drill!
Maybe …I just emailed Mr Troiani asking why troops would attack with their weapons on their shoulder. He just responded that there was no reason for troops to assume the “charge bayonets” stance until they were really close. At Fredericksburg the Irish Brigade took enormous casualties before they got anywhere near the Southern line. As an aside, a couple of years ago I stopped in Gettysburg and walked the path of Pickett’s assault from the jump off point to the Angle. At a quick march pace, it took me 14 minutes to cover that ground. 14 minutes in an open field facing massed artillery firing canister and then small arms fire from the Union Infantry! No wonder casualties were so high. Braver men than I…Anyway the vignette does pay tribute to the Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg, unbelievable courage.
Interesting discussion – I claim no expertise either but imagining the reality, only the front rank would be in charging positions because if the ranks behind were too, there’d likely be some unfortunate “friendly spearing” up the backsides of the guys in front. So maybe the question is more whether the flag-bearers would be right at the front, or one or two ranks back?
Good point! (No pun intended) That could very well explain things. One very positive result of this little discussion is I know a lot more about the Battle of Fredericksburg than I did a few days ago. Always good to learn something.
I can’t attest to the accuracy of this illustration, but these British Napoleonic’s are charging with fixed bayonets at high port:
These French have the right idea, too, with a low port carry:
These guys are really getting into it!:
These ACW Confederates are charging high port:
These guys look pretty determined!
4 - 1…I win!!
And there’s this re ACW tactics;
“The common drill manuals only briefly touch on bayonet drill. It’s there to give the soldier basic understanding of the bayonet but little about how to actually use the thing in combat. To do that, you’ll need an actual bayonet manual. I know of two, McClellan’s and Keltons. I have a copy of Kelton’s. The thing on bayonet combat is there is no rigid orders, you do as you see fit to survive. A bayonet charge would usually have the soldiers “arms port” and then advance at the double quick or the run. When the soldier got to the enemy lines, he won’t need an order to lower his bayonet. What you see at most reenactments, which is the order of “charge bayonet” and then slowly march forward in a line, is pure fantasy. The position of “charge bayonet” is actually the guard position. What the soldier would do next - parry, thrust, volt, etc, would depend on what his opponent was doing.”
well, there’s no doubt where the inspiration for the figures came from. I’ll let it go at that. So much for “The Spirit of the Bayonet” (that’s what the DI’s called it in basic), never used it in combat.