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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Jun, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: History of artillery carriages and limbers?         Reply with quote

I recently came across this image in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Limber1461.jpg

which seems like it's really a facsimile of a gun-and-limber assembly from 1461. But then it got me wondering: is the cart shown in the picture really a "limber" as we understand it? And where should I look if I want comprehensive and accurate information about the development of artillery carriages and limbers before the 18th century? Finally, I keep hearing the demonstrably untrue assertion that artillery limbers did not exist before the 18th century, but might there be a grain of truth in this--that is, was there an innovation in the first half of the 18th century that dramatically improved the mobility of guns of all sizes, or is the whole thing just a mistaken reference to the Gribeauval reforms?
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Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 13 Jun, 2008 2:55 am    Post subject: Re: History of artillery carriages and limbers?         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I recently came across this image in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Limber1461.jpg

which seems like it's really a facsimile of a gun-and-limber assembly from 1461. But then it got me wondering: is the cart shown in the picture really a "limber" as we understand it? And where should I look if I want comprehensive and accurate information about the development of artillery carriages and limbers before the 18th century? Finally, I keep hearing the demonstrably untrue assertion that artillery limbers did not exist before the 18th century, but might there be a grain of truth in this--that is, was there an innovation in the first half of the 18th century that dramatically improved the mobility of guns of all sizes, or is the whole thing just a mistaken reference to the Gribeauval reforms?


Regardless of what the caption says that's not a 15th Century cannon. Since it's taken from a 19t century work i'm not he least surprised at it's poor quality. Looks more like a Napoleonic or mid-late 18th Century cannon with 'Medieval' details added.

Limbers were around well before the 18th century You can see one in this painting of a 1514 battle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=8706860

And there is a Dürer print of an almost identical limber in use.


And the same style of limbers in a 1530 print


One thing to keep in mind is that the Gribeuaval reforms tend to be abit exaggerated in their importance by many writers . Several of his 'inventions' had been introduced in other armies some 50-60 years earlier.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 20 Jun, 2008 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: History of artillery carriages and limbers?         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Regardless of what the caption says that's not a 15th Century cannon. Since it's taken from a 19t century work i'm not he least surprised at it's poor quality. Looks more like a Napoleonic or mid-late 18th Century cannon with 'Medieval' details added.


Ah. Too bad. I'm not as familiar as I want to be with 15th-century great ordnance, so I guess I have a right to beg forgiveness for having so easily mistaken the picture for a genuine medieval article.


Quote:
Limbers were around well before the 18th century


I'm already quite aware of that, but before this I had no pictorial references whatsoever to show me what they looked like--except for that spurious Wikipedia image. You've tripled the size of my picture collection on the subject overnight!
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