Artillery Organisation

The Italian artillery were organised in two regiments, the first being foot artillery and the second horse artillery. Each regiment was made up of two battalions each comprising ten batteries.

Regimental Staff

The first (foot) regiment had a staff organised as follows:

Colonnello Colonel 1
Sotto Colonnello Colonel en seconde 1
Maggiore Major 1
Capo-Battaglione Chefs de Bataillon 3
Aiutante Adjutants 2
Aiutante-Sottufficiale Adjutant NCOs 6
Quartier mastro Quartermasters 1
Alfiere porta Aquila Eagle Bearer 1
Sergente porta Aquila 2nd & 3rd Eagle Bearers (Sergeants) 2
Tamburo-Maggiore Drum-Major 1
Total staff establishment 19

The horse artillery had a slightly different staff establishment as set out below:

Colonnello Colonel 1
Sotto Colonnello Colonel en seconde 1
Maggiore Major 1
Capo-Squadrone Chefs d'Escadron 2
Aiutante Adjutants 2
Aiutante-Sottufficiale Adjutant NCOs 6
Quartier mastro Quartermasters 1
Alfiere porta Aquila Eagle Bearer 1
Sergente porta Aquila 2nd & 3rd Eagle Bearers (Sergeants) 2
Tromba-Maggiore Trumpet-Major 1
Veterinario Veterinary Surgeon 1
Total staff establishment 19

Battery Establishment

As noted above, each regiment comprised twenty batteries (although I have my doubts as to whether this establishment was ever achieved in practice). Battery establishment varied according to the calibre of guns being served:

12 pdr. Foot Battery

These batteries were equipped with six 12 pdr field guns and two 8 inch howitzers and served by the following crew:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente-Maggiore Sergeant-Major 1
Sergente Sergeants 4
Caporale-Furiere Quartermaster-Corporal 1
Caporale Corporals 8
Tamburo Drummer 1
Primi-Artiglieri Gunners 1st Class 64
Artiglieri Gunners 48
Total establishment 130

Primi-Artiglieri were specialist gunners trained to aim, reload and otherwise serve their pieces. The ordinary Artiglieri simply provided muscle power in running the guns back into position.

8 pdr. Foot Battery

These batteries were equipped with six 8 pdr field guns and two 6 inch howitzers (though see the ordnance section below). The establishment was as follows:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente-Maggiore Sergeant-Major 1
Sergente Sergeants 4
Caporale-Furiere Quartermaster-Corporal 1
Caporale Corporals 8
Tamburo Drummer 1
Primi-Artiglieri Gunners 1st Class 64
Artiglieri Gunners 32
Total establishment 114

4 pdr. Horse Battery (with Howitzers)

These batteries were equipped with four 4 pdr field guns and two 6 inch howitzers and served by the following crew:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente-Maggiore Sergeant-Major 1
Sergente Sergeants 3
Caporale-Furiere Quartermaster-Corporal 1
Caporale Corporals 6
Maniscalco Farrier 1
Tromba Trumpeter 1
Primi-Artiglieri Gunners 1st Class 36
Artiglieri Gunners 26
Total establishment 78

4 pdr. (only) Horse Battery

These batteries were equipped with six 4 pdr field guns and no howitzers. They had the following establishment:

Capitano Captain 1
Tenente Lieutenant 1
Sotto-Tenente Second Lieutenant 1
Sergente-Maggiore Sergeant-Major 1
Sergente Sergeants 3
Caporale-Furiere Quartermaster-Corporal 1
Caporale Corporals 6
Maniscalco Farrier 1
Tromba Trumpeter 1
Primi-Artiglieri Gunners 1st Class 30
Artiglieri Gunners 18
Total establishment 64

On paper, therefore, the Italian artillery arm would have numbered about 3800 men manning 280 guns. There is no evidence of them ever having deployed anything like this amount of gunnery in the field. Italian divisions, like their French counterparts, tended to have an 8 pdr battery in each brigade with a 12 pdr battery, and perhaps a horse battery, in the division reserve.

The remaining batteries must either have been deployed as fortress artillery within Italy, or never actually have been formed. A combination of the two is the most likely.

Italian Ordnance

As close allies of France, the Italian army was equipped with the French Gribeauval system of artillery pieces.

However, many sources describe the Italians as fielding 6 pdr foot batteries when the Gribeauval system has only 12 and 8 pdr field pieces. This may be due to transcription errors, but I consider it quite possible that the Italians were (at least in part) equipped with captured Austrian pieces. There would certainly be plenty of these available after Napoleon's Italian campaigns, but I have no documetation to support this hypothesis. As always, if you can (dis)prove this theory please contact me.

Sources

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My thanks go to Marcello Marconi of Verona for checking and correcting the spelling of the military ranks & titles shown above.

See Also

Infantry Organisation
Cavalry Organisation