21eme Regiment de Ligne
  Ecole de Soldat 4 (English)
Lesson IV

Quatrieme Leçon


244. Wheelings are of two sorts of description, wheeling on a halted, and wheeling on a moveable pivot.

245. Wheelings on a fixed, or a halted pivot, are used for wheeling from line into column, or from column into line.

246. Wheelings on a moveable pivot take place, in the changes of direction of a column when marching, as often as it may be necessary to wheel to the reverse flank.

247. When a wheel is made on a fixed point, the pivot man simply turns on his fixed point, marking the time.

248. In wheeling on a moveable pivot, the pivot man takes steps of six inches, in order to clear , or disengage the ground for the succeeding platoons, or subdivisions. This is necessary, in order that the subdivisions of a column may be enabled to change their direction without losing their distances, as will be explained under the head of the Discipline of the Platoon.

249. In both cases mentioned, the man on the wheeling or outer flank must always take steps of two feet.

250. The movements, or species of wheeling, termed Turning to the Right (or Left) (Tournez à Droite or à Gauche), takes place in the changes of direction of the column of march only when the wheel is made on the (pivot) flank where the director is, that is, on that he is marching on. Great care must be taken not to confound this species of wheel with that on a moveable pivot.


Wheeling on a Halted Pivot

Conversions de Pied Ferme


251. The instructor shall place a well disciplined man on the wheeling flank, to conduct it, and shall command:

1. By platoon, to the right wheel               (Par Peloton à Droite).

2. = March                                            (=Marche)


252 At the second word, the soldiers shall step off with the left foot, and turn, at the same time, the head a little to the left, their eyes fixed in the direction of those of the men who are on their left. The man on the pivot shall only mark time, turning gradually and conforming himself to the movements of the wheeling flank; the man on the outer, or wheeling flank, who conducts it, shall step the pace of two feet; shall, from the first step, bring forward the left shoulder a little; shall cast his eyes on the ground he is to go over, and, from time to time, along the rank wheeling; and he shall always feel the elbow of the man next to him, but this lightly, and without ever pushing or pressing upon him.

253. The other soldiers must keep up the light touch of the elbow on the side the pivot is on, and resist all pressure coming, from the wheeling flank; they must conform to the movement of the flank, each man proportioning his step to his distance from the pivot.

254. The instructor shall make the rank describe a circle, once or twice, before he halts it, in order to render the principle understood; and he shall carefully watch that the rank wheels straight, and does not open out from the centre, or break; or displace the pivot.

255. He shall make the rank wheel to the left on the same principles, and he will command a halt as follows:

1. Squad                                  (Peloton)

                        2. = Halt                                    ( =Halte)


256. At the second word the rank will halt, and none shall stir until a further command is given.

257. The instructor shall go to the reverse flank, and shall place the two outer men on that flank in the direction he chooses to give to the rank, leaving sufficient space between them and the pivot, for the others to place themselves in, and he will then command:

By the left (or right)       (A gauche(or à Droite))

=Dress                          ( =Alignement).


258. At this command, the rank shall dress on the line which the two placed men indicate as a base line, conforming to the prescribed principles of dressing.

259. The instructor will then order

 =Front                          (=Fixe)

which shall be complied with, as directed No.239.

260. Observations on the principles or wheeling

Observations relatives aux principes des conversions

To turn the head a little towards the wheeling flank, and to fix the eyes in the line or the eyes of the men who are towards that flank; because that without this attention it would be impossible for the soldier to regulate the length of his step. in such a manner as to conform to the movements of the wheeling flank.

To keep up the light touch of the elbow, on the side next to the pivot; in order that the files may not open in wheeling.

To resist a pressure coming from a wheeling flank; because that if this principle were neglected, the pivot man, who ought to be a fixed point. would be liable to be thrown out of his situation by pressure.


Wheelings on a moveable pivot

Conversions en marchant


261. When the recruits wheel with accuracy from a halt, the rank shall be brought to wheel on a moveable pivot.

262. For this purpose, in order to cause the rank on the march to change direction on the (reverse) flank opposite to that on which the director is, the instructor commands:

 1. To the right (or left)                 (A droite(or à Gauche) Conversion

 2. =March                                 (=Marche)


263. The first word of command shall be given when the rank is within two paces of the point where the pivot is to commence circling.

264. At the second word, the wheeling shall be executed as on a halted pivot, excepting that the touch of the elbow is kept up from the reverse flank, and not from the pivot flank; that the pivot man, in lieu of turning on his point, shall conform himself to the movement of the reverse flank describing the larger arc of a concentric circle; that the pivot man shall feel lightly the elbow of the man next to him; that the pivot man takes steps of six inches, gaining ground advancing and moving on a point of the circumference of a small circle; and that he shall, thus, clear or disengage the initial point of his wheeling, the middle of the rank curving a little towards the rear.

265. The wheeling being effected, the instructor

shall command:

1. Forward                          (En Avant)

2. =March                          (=Marche)


266. The first word of command shall be pronounced two paces before the wheel is finished.

267. At the second word of command, to be given at the instant the wheel is effected, the man directing the flank that has just described the larger sweep of a circle, shall move straight forward, and the pivot-man, with the other men composing the rank, shall resume the step of two feet, directing the head to the front.


To change direction on the pivot flank

Changer le direction sur le cote du guide

268. This is effected by the following command:

 1. Left (or right) shoulders forward        (Tournez à gauche(or à droite))

 2. =March                                                         (=Marche)


269. The first word shall be given when the rank is within two paces of the initial point of wheeling, as mentioned formerly.

270. At the second word, to be given at the instant when the rank is to commence turning into this species of wheel, the director on the pivot flank shall turn to the left, or right, on the march, and shall, without rendering more slow, or quickening the cadence of the time, and without lengthening or shortening the measure of the step, prolong or move forward in the new direction; the rest of the rank shall quickly conform to the new direction in which the director is moving, but without running; and for this purpose each man shall advance, or bring forward the shoulder farthest from the director is oil, shall touch the elbow of the man between him and the director, placing himself on the same alignment with the director, and turning his head and eyes, then, to the front each man shall arrive thus successively, on the alignment of the director on the pivot flank, to which this species of wheel has been made.

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Commanding Officer
Chris Perko
Algrave Hall
Hassock Lane North
Derbyshire DE75 7JB
The Adjutant
Chris Durkin
7 Lowcroft Crescent
Oldham OL9 9UU
Position of the Regiment
25th May
1790 Regiment Guyenne at Lyon
1792: Journal militaire:1st battalion arrived Besancon
1793 Landau, siege until 28th December.
1794 At Nice, General Kellerman formed a Polish battalion with men found in the 21eme demi-brigade, 9 companies of 3 officers and 70 men.
1796 Evening, Massena's division (21e) along left bank of the Ellero, from Mondovi to the Tanaro.
1798 Into garrison at Amiens, 2nd battalion at Nantes (formed March 1797), 3rd at Dunkirk
1799 Magnano, towards Brescia.
1800 Pas de Suse, and town of Suse.
1801 Battalion expeditionnaire formed on the Ile de Re, with 140 of the 21eme, 106 56th Line, 59 5th Light, 58 Colonial depot Ile de re, 28 legion Loire, 119 cannoniers 5th Foot artillery, on the frigate l'Africaine.
1803 Bruges Camp/Ostend, 3/4 battalions Flessigne until July 1804.
1804 3rd and 4th battalions to Cologne.
1805 Crossed the Danube at Pressberg, one battalion at Bruick, other in villages of Regelbrun, Arbestal, Collesbrunn, Willfersnauer, and Schadendorf, until 5th January 1806.
1806 Division Kreus Munster
1807 Division at the Hohenstein camp until 5th June.
1808 Juliers
1809 Division left Ebersdorf for Vienna
1810 Brunswick, until October.
1811 Stade
1812 Division Thorn
1813 Order to form 1st Corps, 1st division, 33rd Provisional demi-brigade (2/12, 2/21) forming near Erfurth, united into corps at Wittenberg.
1814 Bergen op Zoom
1815 Lille

1815 Between Quatre-Bras and Waterloo.
Waterloo 1985
Boulogne 1991 on the Video page.

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