Talk:Congreve rocket

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Hello. In the History section, I have changed the word "invent" to "develop", on the basis that Congreve explicitly derived inspiration from existing Indian rockets. I would submit that "invent" suggests large amounts of creativity, when it is accepted that Congreve's rockets were a development from an exisiting invention. Alex DJS 16:27, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

It seems that the Mysorean Rockets used by Tipu Sultan have their own history, and they are not actually Congreve rockets (which developed from them). Shouldn't they have their own page? Centrepull (talk) 16:22, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree with you. Give them their own page; and as they inspired the Congreve rocket, provide a summary and link back with {main} or {see also}.Pyrotec (talk) 17:22, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Main Picture[edit]

The 'Russian Soldier' can't be firing a Congreve, unless he's suicidal, as the darn thing is pointing straight up. From that, and it's small size, it's clearly some kind of signaling rocket. Catsmeat (talk) 15:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)


Surely not? Shrapnel was not invented for some time, although the artillery were using spherical case in the Napoleonic Wars; the wikilink is to Fragmentation, which is not the same as shrapnel. Cyclopaedic (talk) 17:12, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Robert Emmet[edit]

The Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet article states "Congreve was inspired to work on iron-cased gunpowder rockets for use by the British military from prototypes developed by the Irish Nationalist Robert Emmet for use during Emmet's 1803 Rebellion" and goes on to mention the Mysore rockets as another possible source of Congreve's inspiration. For consistency, should Emmet be mentioned here, or removed from the Sir William Congreve article? --JaGatalk 21:48, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

In "Memoir of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet", written by TAE's grandson, the topic of the Congreve Rocket is addressed. Emmet's skills as an engineer and chemist enabled him to perfect the rockets, which he tested at night while secluded in the countryside. It is said the the English government wished to cover up Emmet's involvement, for obvious reasons, and instead attributed the work to Congreve, who the government had nominally employed in manufacture. Given this, I believe Emmet should be cited in this article, and in the Sir William Congreve article. 9hqPwKVLJu (talk) 19:20, 28 February 2013 (UTC)


The introduction claims "Congreve rockets were used effectively during the Napoleonic wars and the War of 1812". No source is mentioned however, and the type of effectiveness isn't mentioned at all - were they inflicting many casualties (wounded, dead) or was their effect more that of terror, i.e. gaining control of the area of battle? And more importantly, if there are sources, is this just assumed by historians noting their (mere) presence on the battlefield, or are there actual figures and/or detailed examples of their effectiveness? -- MiG (talk) 11:41, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

The WP:Lead, what you appear to call the "introduction", is not required to have references (sources) since it should not "tease" by mentioning material that does not appear in the body of the article. Its function is to introduce the topic and to summarise the main points of the article. Some of the information that you request above can be found in the article, together with sources. There are contemporary accounts by Congreve (which might be biased), but also of the use of Congreve rockets in Europe and North America 1810-15 against the local population. These are eyewitness accounts, not "historians noting their (mere) presence on the battlefield". This is only rated as a "start" class article, so it is in need of further development, but I suggest that you read it (not just the Introduction). Pyrotec (talk) 14:29, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
That refers to the Indian rockets, not Congreve's design. I'm wondering how his version performed during the Napoleonic wars. As for sources: almost all of them are books which don't seem to be available near me, and the single publically available article there just mentions "satisfactory results" (which could refer to either lethality or as a weapon of terror), but also "at North Point they were ineffectual, and at Fort McHenry they failed as a military weapon". Unfortunately it doesn't cite it's sources, hence my wondering about its validity. By the way, it seems a bit unfriendly to start with a remark on semantics, even more so if the WP:Lead article you refer to starts with "The lead section, also known as the introduction", establishing a valid alias :) -- MiG (talk) 07:33, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry: I don't understand a word of what you are saying after "By the way, it seems a bit unfriendly to start with a remark on semantics,". My point was the function of first part of the article before the Contents box is to introduce the topic and to summarise the main points. In most cases it does not need a source since is a summary of what appears later in the article. However, to return to your main question: I have a copy of an American publication (Museum Restoration Service, Alexandra bay, N.Y.) on Congreve and his rockets and one or two U.K. published sources. I will try and provide an answer here within the next week. Perhaps that first statement is a poor summary, if it is I will amend it. Pyrotec (talk) 08:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


I am currently reading a book about the Siege of Hamburg in 1814, and there appears to be clear evidence that Marshall Davout created a rocket troop, and rockets were used in the defence to some effect. This article only appears to mention use by the British, which seems then to be incomplete (talk) 09:51, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

It is certainly 'Anglo-centric' as the article is about the rockets developed by Congreve, as distinct from those of other countries. A very good book on all these developments is The First Golden Age of Rocketry - Congreve and Hale Rockets of the Nineteen Century by Frank H Winter ISBN 0-87474-987-5.
Having direct experience of Congreve's rockets, France and Denmark started experimenting with them; after seeing them in action at the Battle of Leipzig, the Austrians also started experiments. The chapter in Winter could form the basis for a separate article about these developments.
Denmark was an ally of France and in 1813, having seen rockets in action at the Battle of Göhrde on 16th September, Marshal Davout sent an officer to visit Danish Captain Schumacher to learn about rockets. Schumacher turned out to be cooperative, giving Captain Brussel de Brulard five of six samples of his rockets. These were let off in a firing test in January 1814 before French officers at Hamburg. One rocket behaved erratically but the others flew well. French rocket production began again, this time based on the Danish pattern, in Hamburg. However, the commander at Hamburg, Marshal Davout, was too demanding, and the men were pushed to such a limit that explosions were frequent. On 12 April 1814 Napoleon abdicated and soon after Hamburg fell. Most of the remaining rockets and equipment were turned over to the allies. Richard Tennant (talk) 11:23, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that explanation. It's just that according to Die Eisfestung - Hamburg im kalten Griff Napoleons by Gabriele Hoffmann (Munich, 2012) ISBN 9783492301831, rockets were used in defence of Wilhelmsburg (an island in the Elbe to the south (and these days part) of Hamburg. Unfortunately, Ms Hoffmann doesn't provide a primary or secondary source for that particular incident. (oh, and Hamburg never fell; war ended, Allies agreed to let the French march home) (talk) 21:01, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Battle of Guntur[edit]

The first use of rockets in war was made by Haider Ali's army in the Battle of Guntur against British in 1780. Colonel Congreve, although not present in this battle, came to know about the rockets and started experimenting. He developed the Congreve rocket which was first used in the British-American war of 1812 at Baltimore. Fracis Scott Key who witnessed the event and who later wrote American nation anthem included the words"rockets red glare" in the song (Read: Outer Space in Society, Politics and Law" by Christian Brunner and Alexander Soucek; Springer, Vienna,; 2011, pp.21. The information should be incorporated in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:57, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

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