Why is the 12-pounder Napoleon cannon important?

The “12-pounder Napoleon” was widely admired because of its safety, reliability, and killing power, especially at close range. It was the last cast bronze gun used by an American army. The Union version of the Napoleon can be recognized by the flared front end of the barrel, called the muzzle swell.

Who invented the 12-pounder Napoleon?

Louis Napoleon
The new 12-pounder had been invented by Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, himself a notable gunner. While in exile after Napoleon’s downfall, Louis was schooled as a military engineer from his 15th year while serving in the Swiss Army.

How did the Napoleon cannon work?

Because of their physical and psychological effect, Emperor Napoleon increased the number of 12-pounders in his artillery and fondly called the cannons his belles filles (beautiful daughters). Gribeauval cannons fired canister shot for close-range work and round shot at more distant targets.

How far can a Napoleonic cannon shoot?

According to a National Park Service release, one of the most common was the 12-pounder Napoleon, which got that name from firing a 12-pound solid shot. The typical range for the Napoleon was about 2,000 yards.

Why is it called grapeshot?

In artillery, a grapeshot is a type of ammunition that consists of a collection of smaller-caliber round shots packed tightly in a canvas bag and separated from the gunpowder charge by a metal wadding, rather than being a single solid projectile. When assembled, the shot resembled a cluster of grapes, hence the name.

How much did a 12 pounder cannon weigh?

Length: 1.91 m. Weight: 626 kg (with carriage: 1,200 kg). Metal ball or explosive shell 4.1 kg.

What does a 12 pound cannon weigh?

How many cannons did Napoleon have at Waterloo?

At the Battle of Waterloo, the French deployed 252 large guns, as opposed to the Allies’ 156. 80 of the French cannons were assembled into a Grand Battery at the centre of their line, while others were deployed to bombard the Allied strongpoints of Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte.

Did cannon balls explode?

Did pirate cannon balls explode? No. They were simply large, heavy, deadly pieces of metal. The vision of exploding cannonballs surely infuses thoughts of centuries-old conflicts on the high seas with drama and intrigue, but this idea fails to accurately reflect reality.

Did cannon balls explode on impact?

Contrary to Hollywood films and popular lore, these cannonballs did not explode on contact. These shells and spherical case shot were designed to explode only when a flame reached the interior charge. Another widely held misconception is that black powder becomes unstable over time.

What is cannon grapeshot?

Grapeshot, cannon charge consisting of small round balls, usually of lead or iron, and used primarily as an antipersonnel weapon. Grapeshot was widely used in wars of the 18th and 19th centuries at short range against massed troops.

How big was a 12 pounder Napoleon gun?

The Model 1857 12-pounder Napoleon with its bronze barrel made up 40 % of the cannons on both sides. The U.S. version of the Napoleon could hit a target up to 1,700 yards (1,600 m) away.

When did the canon obusier de 12 become rifled?

The smoothbore “canon obusier” was soon superseded by rifled cannons, which had much more accuracy and range, with the developments of Antoine Treuille de Beaulieu and the introduction of the La Hitte system in 1858. Napoleon III had his existing guns, such as the Canon obusier de 12, rifled to accommodate the La Hitte system.

What was the purpose of the Napoleon cannon?

The Napoleon was commissioned by Louis Napoleon of France to replace several cannons in similar sizes. In 1857 Ames Manufacturing Company produced the first of several variations of this design. Some were made with handles, and muzzels were made both with and without a swell.

Is the 12 pounder Napoleon still in service?

M1857 12-Pounder “Napoleon” at Gettysburg National Military Park, 2005. The bronze barrel has a green patina because it is not in service and is not polished.