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Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:35 pm
by Amesburysaint
Hi , first post.

I want to do some SP battles involving a Royal Marine landing party against the French.
I was trying to find some historical examples but was struggling.
Can anyone help?

Thanks
Andrew

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:03 pm
by BaronVonWreckedoften
Hi Andrew,

Potentially, you are looking at two distinct forces: EITHER an ad hoc landing party organised from amongst the RM detachments (calculated at roughly one marine per gun on each ship) serving aboard one or more Royal Navy warships, which would probably include sailors and naval guns landed from the ships, and which would be tasked with a raid or cutting out expedition; OR a special formation - typically called a battalion - raised from companies based ashore in the UK, which would be carried aboard a Royal Navy squadron in addition to their normal complements, and used for larger raids, eg to reduce a fort, possibly acting in conjunction with other British or allied forces. This latter type of unit was first established during the American War of Independence, when two Marine battalions (they didn't become "Royal" until 1802) were landed in Boston and took part in the actions at Lexington/Concord, and Bunker Hill, performing as regular line infantry battalions; they were disbanded during the AWI and are not linked to their Napoleonic versions.

Three Royal Marine battalions were formed during both the Peninsula War, and the War of 1812; it is not clear if these had flank companies as such (although the AWI-era battalions certainly did) but may well have deployed "flankers" in the same way that line infantry battalions stripped of their own flank companies would select marksmen from the centre companies, "regimental" guns, rockets, etc. A breakdown of their exact structure, timeline and service can be found here:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mar ... onic_Wars)

I know North America wasn't part of your remit, but during the War of 1812, some of the RM battalions served alongside (and occasionally odd companies were combined with) Colonial Marine formations:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_Colonial_Marines

Hope that helps; links to specific actions should give you some ideas. Bear in mind that a principal role of Marines aboard ship was to act as marksmen, so having 6-figure groups of skirmishers/light infantry, as part of a force that included 8-figure groups of formed troops, would be perfectly normal.

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:07 pm
by BaronVonWreckedoften
Here is a third link that gives you battalion and company breakdowns and lists a few more actions ashore (apparently you can only put two links in any individual post):-

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military ... rines.html

Come back if you want more information.

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:50 pm
by Capt Fortier
For some examples or inspiration, have a look at Tom Pocock's Stopping Napoleon: War and Intrigue in the Mediterranean or Chris Hall's Wellington's Navy: Sea Power and the Peninsular War 1807-1814

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:35 am
by Dragoon
I’ve used Hornblower TV series, for a frigate you would get no more than 10.
So for SP use 8 plus a sergeant and perhaps a corporal.
Supported by a number of seamen.

I suppose it depends on the task. Usually a midshipman to command the sailors and the sergeant tactfully suggesting he would look after his marines.

You could try marine history for successful actions.

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 6:09 am
by BaronVonWreckedoften
Dragoon wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:35 am
I’ve used Hornblower TV series, for a frigate you would get no more than 10.
I would say that was for much smaller vessels; a typical 28-gun frigate would merit 29 marines, led by a subaltern (if there were enough to go around) or a sergeant. The film HMS Defiant with Sir Alec Guinness and Dirk Bogarde, depicts such a vessel and the Marines (under Sergeant Kneebone - Bryan Pringle) are correctly depicted in their pre-Royal uniforms with white facings and cocked hats.

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:58 am
by Captain Reid
Even Cruizer Class sloops like HMS Swallow carried 20 marines (sergeant, corporal, 18 marines), basically a sixth of the total manpower aboard.

Interestingly, it was not the number of marines (directly) but the rate of the ship that determined if one or more marine officers would be assigned.

Re: Royal Marines Napoleonic War

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:41 pm
by Capt Fortier
Also have a look at some earlier posts - esp. Naval Landing Party