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 Post subject: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:55 am 
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The term "windage" had a much more different meaning to Civil War-era field artillery gunners and crews than it does today. Can anyone describe what "windage" actually meant and two good reasons why it had to be so assiduously maintained in combat?

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:22 pm 
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Just a guess at one reason/meaning. Does it have to do with the wind clearing the smoke from the cannon other weapons so weapons could be aimed more accurately? Maybe also keep the acrid smoke from tearing up the troops eyes?

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:03 pm 
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The gunpowder was laced with marijuana. Some commanders like McClellan preferred for the smoke to blow in his direction, while other commanders like Sherman preferred that it blow in the direction of his opponent's lines.



Just in case you're wondering, yes, I'm blowing smoke!

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:23 pm 
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Windage is what General Puffinhouser used to bellow at his troops.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Nice try, David, but not correct. I'm sure glad that I didn't say that windage had to be so assiduously broken in combat? Ned and Ernie would have had a field day with that!

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:58 pm 
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But seriously folks, its the gap between the round and the bore of the gun. The bigger the gap the easier to load the weapon, but the less efficient the charge as the energy escapes around the shell. The beauty of the Minnie ball - actually a conical bullet with an indention and soft led skirt at the bottom was it's diameter was smaller than the bore and easily dropped down through the barrel - but upon firing the soft led deformed and adhered to the rifling and greatly reduced the windage.

Rifles existed long before the Civil War (google Baker rifles) but it was the Minnie ball an invention of Claude-√Čtienne Mini√©, that made the mass use of rifles on the battlefield practical.

Generally my wife gets upset when I have windage.

Lt (vol) M. Lichtenberg
1/1/XIV Army of the Cumberlad


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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Yup! That's it, alright! And there's one more reason why it was important besides having the clearance to load.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:41 am 
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Windage also refers to the left/right adjustment to your aim on a rifle.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Care had to be taken in loading smoothbore guns that the Boarmann-type fuze on shell and spherical case rounds was on the top and toward the mouth of the gun, or the force of the propellant explosion would drive the fuze itself into the round and perhaps detonate it while still in the tube. If properly loaded the flame of the propellant passed over the top of the projectile by means of the windage gap and lapped the face of the round.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:23 am 
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Very interesting! As I am fighting against Lt. Lichtenberg around Glendale in the Peninsula, I hope his tactical skill does not match his knowledge of Civil War era firearms. Whatever the windage is on his damned yankee artillery it is working, lost 11 guns already.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:55 pm 
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windage played a major role back then same as it does today,,the direction of a mans piss, and that of his spit can be greatly affected by it.

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Great question General Meyer with some very good answers and here I was thinking it had something to do with whether
or not the men were to be allowed to have beans for supper. :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:20 pm 
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John Sheffield wrote:
Great question General Meyer with some very good answers and here I was thinking it had something to do with whether
or not the men were to be allowed to have beans for supper. :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I think that refers to "Down Wind" not "windage".

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 Post subject: Re: What's that all about?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:26 pm 
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:shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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