Born in 1775 in Signes, France, Jean-Baptiste Sourd enlists in the French Army at the age of 17, in 1792. He serves in the Italian campaign during which, in the midst of a cavalry engagement, he succeeds in disengaging general Massena, hard pressed by Austrian cavalrymen.
Russian gunnery has never been known for its efficiency, but it has been known for substituting mass for accuracy. The Russian army distinguished itself by the size of its gun batteries: typically, 12 or even 14 guns where other nations fielded 6 or 8. In battle, the guns per 1,000 men ratio was, correspondingly, quite high; At Eylau it was around 6, Borodino over 5, while in other armies the ratio seemed to have been in the 2.5 to 3.5 range.
The Hougoumont scenario, from the Hundred Days Campaign Manual, was played in Brussels during its “Napoleonic Special” session. The table was quite spectacular: Hougoumont castle, robust and noble – and faithfully reproduced – was eye-catching to say the least.
Once a traditional cavalry weapon; the lance was discarded Western in Europe for approximately two centuries. It continued to be in use towards the East, and remained a favourite weapon in Poland, whence its use spread: in the beginning of the nineteenth century, the lance had come back into fashion in Western Europe.