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Thread: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

  1. #1
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    Default The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    I've always wondered what was the differance in use and weapons between Musketeers and Fusilliers. In the game, there are both, Prussia even has both musketeers and fusilliers, but the fusilliers act as light infantry (Were they used like that?) and the French fusilliers act as line infantry.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    I always thought it was just the way they were trained..?

    For ex Napoleon's fusilliers are said to have been the most mobile and made use of quick firing drills. Thats what is said that is not 100% certain but I believe that is right for that period of time..
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    As both words come from french, but without beeing an expert, I'd just add:

    Fusilliers, french Fusilier, soldier armed with a "fusil", a gun.
    Musketeers, french Mousquetaire, soldier armed with a "mousquet", a musket.

    I'd guess that according to that ethymology, the musketeer is an older version of the fusilier
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  4. #4

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    Ahem..


    The Fusiliers made up the majority of a line infantry battalion, and may be considered the typical infantryman of the Grande Armée. The Fusilier was armed with a smoothbore, muzzle-loaded flintlock Charleville model 1777 musket and a bayonet. Fusilier training placed emphasis on speed of march and endurance, along with individually aimed fire at close range and close quarters combat. This differed greatly from the training given to the majority of European armies, which emphasised moving in rigid formations and firing massed volleys. Many of the early Napoleonic victories were due to the ability of the French armies to cover long distances with speed, and this ability was thanks to the training given to the infantry. From 1803, each battalion comprised eight Fusilier companies. Each company numbered around 120 men.
    In 1805, one of the Fusilier companies was dissolved and reformed as a Voltigeur company. In 1808, Napoleon reorganised the Infantry battalion from nine to six companies. The new companies were to be larger, comprising 140 men, and four of these were to be made up of Fusiliers, one of Grenadiers, and one of Voltigeurs.
    The line Fusilier wore a bicorne hat, until this was superseded by the shako in 1807. The uniform of a Fusilier consisted of white trousers, white surcoat and a dark blue coat (the habit long model until 1812, thereafter the habit veste) with white lapels, red collar and cuffs. Each Fusilier wore a coloured pom-pom on his hat. The colour of this pom-pom changed depending on the company the man belonged to. After the 1808 reorganisation, the First company was issued with a dark green pom-pom, the second with sky blue, the third with orange and the fourth with violet.
    From wiki, like I said the mobilization in training is there.
    Parcus es vinco of fecal res
    "The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane." Tesla
    "France has more need of me than I have need of France." Napoleon
    "Its better to fight for something then live for nothing." Patton

  5. #5

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    You're both right i guess.

    A "fusil" is a kind of musket in french (the slender version of the weapon, with a silex firing mechanisms, who appeared at the end of the XVIIth century, opposed to the older and heavier muskets. That also mean "rifle" in french, but in the napoleonic era and earlier it's, usually, just a silex musket).

    So, after the adoption of the fusil, the line soldiers became known as "fusiliers" in french (users of the fusil).

    Then, the word was taken from the french to design troops somewhere else in europe too. I guess that in that case, the different training and use of the soldiers might have played a role along with the cutural domination of french in the era.

    Edit

    I should add that in english "fusiliers" could be translated as either musketeers or riflemen, depending of the era.
    Last edited by Keyser; March 16, 2010 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    A Fusil is a shortened musket, they fell out of service but units kept the name, much like grenadiers no longer using grenades...

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  7. #7

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoomBunny666 View Post
    A Fusil is a shortened musket, they fell out of service but units kept the name, much like grenadiers no longer using grenades...
    No, at least in french.

    A fusil is a silex musket and/or a rifle, the word never fell out of use (while the original weapon did of course) as modern assault rifles are still called fusils nowadays.

    A shortened musket is, in french, either a "carabine" (carbin) or a "mousqueton" (mostly the same thing, though a carabine could be a specially designed short weapon, while mousquetons are more likely to be the adaptation of a regular musket (or rifle)).
    Last edited by Keyser; March 17, 2010 at 09:45 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    From memory I think the Prussians formed regiments of 2 Musketeer battalions with one Fusilier battalion. The Fusiliers were nominally light infantry trained but not sure if they always had that function. I must look it up There were jaeger companies attached to each regiment so they were the most able light infantry .
    some details here
    Prussian Infantry : Napoleonic Wars : Uniforms : Organization : Preußische Infanterie
    http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Prussian_infantry.htm#prussianinfantryorganization
    Last edited by Jihada; March 17, 2010 at 04:41 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jihada View Post
    From memory I think the Prussians formed regiments of 2 Musketeer battalions with one Fusilier battalion. The Fusiliers were nominally light infantry trained but not sure if they always had that function. I must look it up There were jaeger companies attached to each regiment so they were the most able light infantry .
    some details here
    Prussian Infantry : Napoleonic Wars : Uniforms : Organization : Preußische Infanterie
    http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Prussian_infantry.htm#prussianinfantryorganization
    The Prussian Fusiliers were not frequently used at all in a light infantry capacity post-1806. Pre-1806 does not appear to be any different, but there's more room for debate.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Difference Between Fusilliers and Musketeers?

    Quote Originally Posted by ♔EmperorBatman999♔ View Post
    I've always wondered what was the differance in use and weapons between Musketeers and Fusilliers. In the game, there are both, Prussia even has both musketeers and fusilliers, but the fusilliers act as light infantry (Were they used like that?) and the French fusilliers act as line infantry.
    There was no difference, by the time of the Napoleonic wars the terms Musketeer and Fusileer were synonyms.

    About a century before the difference was that a Musketeer was armed with a musket, and a Fusileer was armed with a fusil. But that distinction was long passed and both classes were now armed with the standard infantry weapon.

    The employment of the term varied from nation to nation. The French called the men of the battalion companies in their line regiments 'Fusileers', the Prussians reserved the term 'Fusileers' for men in battalions which were designated to provide the skirmisher role in their divisions, although in fact all Prussia troops of that period were trained to operate as skirmishers when necessary. The British only used the term for privates of the 23rd Foot, though they were trained no differently to other regiments it was just a historic throw back.

    French soldiers in the centre companies of their Light Regiments were called 'Tiralleurs' (literally) sharpshooters.

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