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Thread: Infantry Unit Tactics, Tasks, Weapons, and Organization

  1. #301
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Shameless self-promotion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Snowshoes come in various designs
    I am dipping my toes into freelance writing and just got a piece up in Snowshoe Magazine on this topic. Thought I might as well advertise.
    -------
    The Morphology of Snowshoes | Snowshoe Magazine

    Expect for those which are either solid-bodied (such as those made from a single plank of wood or from injection molded plastic) or emergency devices made from bundled boughs, snowshoes include a one or two piece frame within and upon which additional components are attached. The frame shape as seen from above tends to be the most distinctive identifying feature for raquettes. […]
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  2. #302
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    I'm still confused there's such a thing as a Snowshoe magazine.

    Still, after having a glance at the article I cannot but wonder if the Russian wicker overshoes of days gone by wouldn't qualify as snowshoes as well, being meant for harsh winter (inevitably deep snow) and increasing the footprint a lot.

    Not sure about details, but they might have been variations of the lapti.

  3. #303
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    Default Battles on Snowshoes

    1757 Battle on Snowshoes ("The French in their reports claimed the British had a distinct advantage due to their snowshoes") and 1758 Battle on Snowshoes ("The battle was given its name because the British combatants were wearing snowshoes");

    but Bob Beavor's book shows what looks like a French colonial soldat, a Canadian militiaman and an Indian warrior - on snowshoes (Hurons / Michigans, to my eye).



    So, the question is whether at least some of the French-side combatants wore snowshoes.

    Just addressing the 1757 battle, I can see the regulars from the Languedoc regiment not having snowshoes. However, Langlade and his Ottawas not having snowshoes in January - not likely.

    Does anyone know the material facts ?

    Regards

    Mike

  4. #304
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I'm still confused there's such a thing as a Snowshoe magazine.
    There is a magazine of everything on the Internet. Also, Rule 34.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Still, after having a glance at the article I cannot but wonder if the Russian wicker overshoes of days gone by wouldn't qualify as snowshoes as well, being meant for harsh winter (inevitably deep snow) and increasing the footprint a lot.
    There is also the waraji in Japan which is sometimes used in the winter by climbers (well, trekkers, at least). Snowshoes in the North American sense typically combine traction and flotation. The lapti and waraji are essentially traction devices when used in ice and snow. As far as I know, prior to the Atlantic exchange Europeans had skis only for flotation and the native peoples of North America had snowshoes only for the same (I do not know about Japan). The going theory relates this to differences in groundcover. The forested areas of North America were not welcoming to skis, though the longer types of snowshoes glissade pretty well.

    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  5. #305
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    So, the question is whether at least some of the French-side combatants wore snowshoes.

    Just addressing the 1757 battle, I can see the regulars from the Languedoc regiment not having snowshoes. However, Langlade and his Ottawas not having snowshoes in January - not likely.

    Does anyone know the material facts ?
    I don't know for sure, but that one has puzzled me, too. The two options I have come up with are that: 1) the AAR was doctored and 2) everyone on the French side of things removed their snowshoes in the course of setting up the ambush because of how much they added to their profiles. Their powder was wet and if the lampwick or whatever they were using for their bindings was, too, it would have frozen up while they lie in wait and they would not have been able to refasten it. In any case, refastening the bindings under fire doesn't seem very feasible to me, anyway.

    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  6. #306
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    Default Matt: Plausible Explanations

    French after action reports, written by regulars, tended to mention only the regulars - and noted Canadian militia and Indian allies only in passing. E.g., snips from an English translation of Contrecoeur's report of Braddock's Defeat:

    ... on the 9th of the month he sent Monsieur de Beaujeu against the enemy and gave him for second in command Monsieurs Dumas and de Lignery, all three of them being captains, with four lieutenants, six ensigns, 20 cadets, 100 soldiers, 100 Canadians, and 600 savages, with orders to hide themselves in a favorable place that had previously been reconnoitred. The detachment found itself in the presence of the enemy at three leagues from the fort before being able to gain its appointed post. Monsieur de Beaujeu seeing that his ambuscade had failed, began a direct attack. He did this with so much energy that the enemy, who awaited us in the best order in the world, seemed astounded at the assault. Their artillery, however, promptly commenced to fire and our forces were confused in their turn. The savages also, frightened by the noise of the cannon rather than their execution, commenced to lose ground. Monsieur de Beaujeu was killed, and Monsieur Dumas rallied our forces. He ordered his officers to lead the savages and spread out on both wings, so as to take the enemy in flank. At the same time he, Monsieur de Lignery, and the other officers who were at the head of the French attacked in front. This order was executed so promptly that the enemy, who were already raising cries of victory, were no longer able even to defend themselves.
    ...
    The enemies have lost more than a thousand men on the field of battle; they have lost a great part of their artillery and provisions, also their general, named Monsieur Braddock, and almost all their officers. We had three officers killed and two wounded, two cadets wounded. This remarkable success, which scarcely seemed possible in view of the inequality of the forces, is the fruit of the experience of Monsieur Dumas and of the activity and valor of the officers that he had under his orders.
    Langlade (pretty decent bio here) was there (as a commissioned ensign in the Colonial Marines in 1755), but without mention in Contrecoeur's report. Langlade received a better press from the British !



    Edward Willard Deming's well-known oil painting, "Braddock's Defeat" (left) shows Langlade (far left) commanding Wisconsin and Michigan tribes in July 1755.
    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 12-01-2012 at 02:46 AM.

  7. #307
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    The Ciaspolada has become a rather big event. Ciaspole is a regional Italian/Raetoroman word for snow shoes.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

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