The author was clearly quite exercised at the state of the Royal Regiment when he put pen to paper, setting out all that he saw wrong with it and what was needed to put it right. It appears that the Artillery did not get its fair share of the overall military cake and its officers were regarded almost as second class citizens. He points out that the artillery was in a far stronger position in terms of its importance in the army, of numbers of guns and their employment in Marlborough’s time than at the time of writing (over one hundred and forty years later). The book is dedicated to the Prince Regent in the hope that he, as “the harbinger of progress in the present day” will light a few fires in the right places. He sets out to show the ‘tardy’ progress of our Artillery compared with that of other nations. He highlights what he regards as three defects among others: firstly the proportion of Artillery in the Army is inadequate; secondly promotion is so slow that officers are “quite worn out” by the time they get to Colonel and he writes of “the paralysing decrepitude of worn out frames belonging to the superior officers of artillery;” (it took the author 51 years to reach the rank of major-general), and thirdly the separation of the Artillery branches of the Ordnance from the rest of the Service does not bode well for the Army at large. This is a very thorough review of the state of the British artillery, its weapons, its organisation and its officers and their career prospects. He also a hihgly technical assessment of the new musket (rifle) coming into service, the Minie, and compares its efficiency with models in service with other countries.
OBSERVATIONS OF FIRE-ARMS and the probable effects in war of the NEW MUSKET
This tome’s full title reads: “Observations on the Past and Present State of Fire-Arms and on the Probable Effects in War of The New Musket: with a Proposition for Reorganizing the Royal Regiment of Artillery by a Subdivision into Battalions in each Special Arm of Garrison, Field and Horse Artillery, with Suggestions for Promoting its Efficiency.”
A very thorough review of the state of the British artillery, its weapons, its organisation and its officers and their career prospects. He also a hihgly technical assessment of the new musket (rifle) coming into service, the Minie, and compares its efficiency with models in service with other countries.