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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Swedish six-rank formation?         Reply with quote

Could anyone help me locate a primary source evidence for the late 17th/early 18th century infantry formation where, in an array of six ranks, the first and last two were shot while the third and fourth were pikes? At first I went out to find when this formation came into being and whether they would have applied to mid-17th century situations, but in the process I lost track of original references and now I'm wondering about whether such a formation even existed because the only illustration I have on it is from a secondary source.
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Micha Hofmann




Location: Bonn, Germany
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 8:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm afraid I do not know any primal source, but maybe this formation was part of a "firing by extraduction"-maneuver as described here?

http://syler.com/drillDemo/CombinedArms/MsktrExtraduction.html

If nobody else here comes up with an answer, maybe you could take a look at the sources of this formation guide ( shown in the guides main menu ) or just ask the Guides creator, Mr. Barry L. Siler

Good Luck

Micha
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David Evans




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Formations...         Reply with quote

It sounds more like a very late 17th Century thing as the number of Pike within a unit dropped downwards. The Mid 17th Century saw a doctrine that taught 2 musket to 1 pike with 6 ranks per body. The Pike would hold the centre whilst the musket would hold either wing. Some drills would have the musket formed into a single body across the front of the pike, firing by whatever method the divisional commander saw fit. As the number of pike dropped, they were increasingly relagated. By 1685 an English regiment could have as few as 100 pike in 11 companies of 600 men
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2006 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, it's definitely not firing by extroduction. I'm asking about it precisely because it's so different from the pike-and-shot formations we're all so familiar with--a pike core with lateral wings of shot. In the formation I'm talking about the shot were placed before and behind the pikes, not to the sides.

As I recall, the formation seems to have been introduced only after the development of the bayonet because it was a shock formation--the musketeers with their bayonets charged together with the pikes after an initial volley. I don't know if this is correct or if it is merely a misinterpretation of the "normal" formation of pike in the center and shot on the wings.

And I'd particularly appreciate if anyone could point me to a Swedish infantry manual in use at around the time of Charles XII because I remmeber the formation being mentioned in connection with his army.
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Barry Siler




Location: California
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Dec, 2006 8:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found something resembling that in Col. William Barriffe's 'Military Discipline: or, The Young Artilleryman..." I've a reproduction of the 1661 edition, but that portion of the edition was picked up almost entirely from a 1635 printing.

This source, however, shows your configuration only as part of a larger formation.

Chapt CVI, pg 119, has two ranks musketeers, four ranks pike, followed by two ranks musketeers, but as sleeves for a core division in which there're two ranks pike, then four ranks musketeers, and finally two ranks pike. Col. Barriffe refers to the entire formation as the plesium or long square.

Chapt CX, pg 141, has essentially the reverse of the above formation, with the core division being two ranks musketeers, two ranks pike, a big open area with only the ensign in the center, then two ranks of pike and finally two ranks of musketeers. The two sleeves are pike, musket, pike. Col. Barriffe states that musketeers may "fire any way according to direction or they may fire by extraduction."
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Dec, 2006 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's interesting. I've read a copy of Barriffe once before but currently I don't have it handy in my possession, so if it's not too much trouble can I prevail upon you to provide any other remarks by Barriffe upon the formations--especially if he has anything to say about when, where, and how he thought they should be used?
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jul, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah. Found the place where I originally saw the picture:

http://www.algonet.se/~hogman/stridsformeringar.htm

Look at the second picture from the top, along the right edge--that's the mixed six-man file I was talking about. I can't read Swedish, however, so I don't know if the text has any further information about it. Interestingly, one of the later pictures about infantry formations display a conventional pike-and-shot array without any indication whatsoever of the mixed formation.

Can anybody enlighten me?
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jul, 2008 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Ah. Found the place where I originally saw the picture:

http://www.algonet.se/~hogman/stridsformeringar.htm

Look at the second picture from the top, along the right edge--that's the mixed six-man file I was talking about. I can't read Swedish, however, so I don't know if the text has any further information about it. Interestingly, one of the later pictures about infantry formations display a conventional pike-and-shot array without any indication whatsoever of the mixed formation.

Can anybody enlighten me?

Have the book from which the image is taken. It shows a file which is part of a Swedish "karre" i.e a square, such files would also be used in an ordinary line formation if the commander wanted to improve his ability to repel cavalry. The later was known as a "späckad" (lit. bristling) line.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jul, 2008 6:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What's the earliest instance of its use, then? (Or at least its earliest firmly-dated appearance in manuals/regulations?) And do we have any idea of how commonly it was used?
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