Demo Game Progress… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021 (Part 2)

As discussed last month, I’m booked in to put on a demo game at the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare 2021’ show over the weekend of 27/28 November. 

At the last ‘Warfare’ in 2019 I won the trophy for the Best Demo Game with my Cassinga Raid game and this time I’m doing a refight of the American Civil War Battle of Murfreesboro (also known as Stones River), using Pendraken 10mm figures and Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules, with a slightly expanded version of Rich Hassenauer’s scenario from his Great Western Battles 2nd Edition scenario book for Fire & Fury. 

Here’s my version of the scenario map.  As I’m using 10mm figures with an increased ground-scale, I’m able to bring the small flanking action between Zahm’s Union cavalry and Wharton’s Confederate cavalry onto the table, as well as part of Breckenridge’s Confederate division that starts the game off-table in Rich’s original scenario.

To build the terrain, I’m using 2’x2′ high-density polystyrene boards (the product is called MD-FRA) which I get from a manufacturer in the UK by the name of Eccleston & Hart, who provide an excellent product, very cheaply and very quickly.  They also put a few extra boards in the pack to act as ‘buffers’ against damage in transit, which can also then be used to make scenery. 🙂

The boards arrived in the form of a ‘Black Monolith’…

I’m using two thicknesses of polystyrene board; the base-boards are 20mm thick and the top-layer is 10mm thick.  I cut the rivers out of the 10mm boards and then glue them onto the baseboards using PVA glue:

It needs to be emphasised at this point that this is a job that requires a lot of space and can get VERY messy!  Thankfully we’ve had a long period of unseasonably dry and warm weather here in normally-soggy Wales, so I was able to do it all in the garden.  Mrs Fawr very unkindly took some photos of me in action and clearly photoshopped out my hair (obviously)…

Oh and I had ‘help’…

After ungluing the dog, the next stage was to mark out the position of roads, railway and hills:

Then the messiest stage of all; cutting out the hills, smoothing them off with a sanding-block, gluing them on to the boards and then using the sanding-block to carve out the roads and fords:

The next stage will be some terrain-detailing in the form a rocky outcrop (the ‘Slaughter Pen’) in the centre of the table and some hasty Confederate breastworks.  Once those are done I’ll paint the whole board with PVA and coat it in fine sand for a bit of texture (I find that it also adds toughness and rigidity to the boards) before painting and flocking.

In the meantime I’ve also been making good progress on the figure-painting front, with three Union infantry brigades completed:

Lastly, I’ve painted a command base for Morton’s special Pioneer Brigade (posed here with some of the infantry from the last photo).  This brigade was formed from the massed regimental pioneers from all the regiments of the Army of the Cumberland.  The Pioneers didn’t carry regimental colours, but a flag (probably the brigade headquarters flag) is recorded for them later in the war and that’s good enough for me…

With the glorious weather now starting to break, I’m very pleased to report that the biggest terrain jobs are now complete.  As the weather gets colder and wetter I can do all the painting and flocking indoors, one board at a time.  However, the initial cutting, carving and gluing phase always needs a lot of space in order to lay out the full map and check the alignment of roads and rivers, but that’s now done! 🙂

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Scenery, Warfare (Show) | 12 Comments

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’: My 15mm SYW Hanoverian & German Allied Army (Part 2)

As discussed last time, I’m booked to put on a 10mm American Civil War game at Warfare 2021 in November, so I’ll have to put my 15mm Seven Years War project on hold for the moment while I paint a load more Blue & Grey and build the scenery.  However, I did this week manage to finish off all the Hanoverian infantry in my lead-pile before moving on to the ACW.  Once Warfare is out of the way I’ll come back to this army to do the cavalry, artillery and generals and with luck I’ll be able to play a French v Allied SYW game in early 2022.

In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that I’m building a ‘Western Allied’ army for the Seven Years War.  This British-funded army was mainly Hanoverian, though also included contingents from Great Britain, Brunswick, Hessen-Kassel, Schaumburg-Lippe and Prussia.  I’m using the order of battle for the Battle of Minden as my immediate ‘to do’ list and have already completed the British infantry contingent for that battle (i.e. Von Spörcken’s 3rd Column, shown above), as well as the Hanoverian Foot Guards, the Sachsen-Gotha Regiment and Von Scheele’s Hanoverian Brigade from the Prince of Anhalt’s 4th Column.

Above:  I’ve now completed the three battalions of Wissembach’s Brigade, which formed the second line of the Prince of Anhalt’s 4th Column at Minden, so here’s the whole formation in all its glory.  Scheele’s Brigade (which I covered in Part 1) forms the first line, while Wissembach’s Brigade forms the second line.

Above:  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt-Bernburg is commonly referred to as the ‘Prince of Anhalt’ in most English language accounts, which leads to all sorts of confusion, as there were seemingly dozens of princes of various branches of the Anhalt family (the House of Ascania), including one who at Minden was commanding a brigade on the French side!  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt was also known by his family name of von Bährnfeld.

On the eve of the Battle of Minden, Prince Carl Leopold was commanding the 4th Column of the Allied army, consisting of the brigades of Scheele and Wissembach.  However, the Prince proved to be derelict in his duty as General of the Day, when he failed to adequately establish a picquet-line in front of the Allied army.  Consequently, the French were able to form up completely unobserved in the early hours of the morning and even a warning from a group of French deserters failed to stir the Prince into action until it was too late! 

The Commanding General, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, later alleged that the Prince of Anhalt had failed to execute his orders to attack.  However, in the Prince of Anhalt’s defence it would seem that no such orders were ever issued by Prince Ferdinand.  Nevertheless, Carl Leopold undoubtedly failed to act on his own initiative and allowed the French to occupy key terrain.  In exasperation at Carl Leopold’s inaction, Ferdinand eventually ordered General Scheele to take command of the Prince of Anhalt’s division and it was therefore Scheele, not the Prince of Anhalt who led the counter-attack to relieve Spörcken’s beleaguered command.

Above:  Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt-Bernburg held a commission in the Army of Hessen-Kassel and was Chef of the Hessen-Kassel ‘Prinz von Anhalt’ Infantry Regiment.  There was no prescribed uniform for Hessian general officers, so he wears the uniform of his regiment, namely a dark blue coat with red facings and silver lace edging to the lapels, cuffs, cuff-flaps and hat.  As in the Prussian Army, general officers probably had white ostritch feathers along the upper edge of the hat. 

This is a 15mm Prussian general officer figure by Blue Moon (Old Glory).

Above:  Wissembach’s Brigade.  This consisted of three single-battalion infantry regiments; the Hanoverian ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment, the Hanoverian ‘Estorff’ Regiment and the Hessen-Kassel ‘Erbprinz‘ Regiment.

Above:  The Hanoverian ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment changed hands several times over the course of the Seven Years War.  From 1756 to 1759 the inhaber was Friedrich Ludwig von Stolzenberg, though shortly after the Battle of Minden, Stolzenberg retired and the title passed to Carl Detlev von Marschalk.  However, Marschalk died in October 1760 and the title changed again to Georg Christian von Craushaar.  Some time after the Seven Years War the regiment was given the designation 4-B.  As discussed last time, many histories of the Seven Years War refer to these post-war regimental numbers (as well as the post-war Prussian and Austrian regimental numbers), even though they were not in use at the time, as it enables the reader to more easily keep track of regiments whose titles kept changing.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment had black facings (lapels and cuffs) with white buttons and lace (silver for officers).  However, like the other black-faced regiments of the Hanoverian Army (such as the ‘Reden’ Regiment discussed last time), the waistcoat, coat-linings and flags were of a different colour, which in this case was straw.  Hat pom-poms were red-over-black.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm British infantry figures.  I discussed the generic details of Hanoverian infantry uniforms and the differences with British uniforms in part 1.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment had three lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  The Regimental Colour was straw-coloured, matching the colour of the regiment’s waistcoats and coat-linings, which are here visible as tail-turnbacks.  The Colour had an intricately-painted scene, showing the seated Greek goddess Athena offering a laurel wreath to an armoured knight on foot, all contained within a large blue laurel-wreath.

Above:  The ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment’s grenadiers had the usual mitre caps, though these differed slightly from the normal pattern, in that the ‘face’ of the cap was red, rather than the the facing colour (black).  Instead the false ‘flap’ was coloured black and was decorated with the ‘GR’ cypher in white, along with other white lace decoration.  The face of the cap was decorated with more white lace and a large electoral crest badge in white metal.  This was all topped off with a white tuft.

Above:  The rear of the ‘Stolzenberg’ Regiment’s grenadier caps were also non-standard, having a red band instead of the usual facing-coloured band.  This was however, decorated in the standard manner, with white piping and a white metal grenade badge.

Above:  The Hanoverian ‘Estorff’ Regiment actually started the war as the ‘Brunck’ Regiment, having Heinrich Joachim von Brunck as its inhaber.  However, he retired in 1759 and the title passed to Ludolph von Estorff.  The regiment was later assigned the number 12-B.

Above:  The ‘Estorff’ Regiment had grass green as its facing colour and the regiment’s waistcoats and coat-linings were coloured the same, as was the Regimental Colour.  Buttons and lace were white (silver for officers).

These again are Eureka Miniatures 18mm British infantry figures and the flags are again by Maverick Models.  Note that Maverick Models usually refer to the initial name of the regiment, so this one is listed as ‘Brunck’.

Above:  The ‘Estorff Regiment’ had two lace buttonholes decorating each tail pocket.  The Regimental Colour was again decorated with an elaborate painted scene, showing a rocky island in a blue sea, being struck by bolts of lightning coming from grey clouds in an otherwise white sky.  This was then surrounded by a green palm wreath and topped with a blue scroll and crown.  The corners were decorated with crowned ‘GR’ cyphers.

Above:  The grenadiers of the ‘Estorff’ Regiment had mitre caps with the front face, ‘flap’ and headband in the facing colour.  The face was decorated with a large white metal electoral crest, while the flap featured the running horse of Hanover; probably embroidered in white.  The back of the cap was red with white piping and the whole lot was topped off with a white-over-red tuft.

Above:  The Hessen-Kassel ‘Erbprinz‘ Regiment.  The regimental Chef was Prince Frederick, the Hereditary Prince (Erbprinz) of Hessen-Kassel.  In 1760 the Prince succeeded his father Landgraf William VIII of Hessen-Kassel to become Landgraf Frederick II and the regimental title was changed to the 4th Guard (Vierte Garde) Regiment.

Landgraf Frederick II of Hessen-Kassel

Hessian infantry regiments were initially single large battalions, each of ten companies totaling 950 men at full strength.  This therefore translates as a large unit of 16 figures for ‘Shako/Tricorn’ (like the Hanoverians).  Each company included a corps of eight grenadiers, which on campaign would be formed into a detached grenadier company of 80 men and grouped with other such companies to form ad hoc grenadier battalions of variable strength. 

However, in 1760 the new Landgraf Frederick II (who also happened to be a serving Prussian general) reorganised the army along Prussian lines, splitting each infantry regiment into two small battalions of five companies apiece.  The grenadier component was expanded to two full companies.  In wartime the two grenadier companies would now be paired at the start of a campaign with the grenadiers from another regiment, forming one of six permanent, Prussian-style grenadier battalions.

In theory the infantry regiments were each expanded in 1760 by an additional 200 men, but in reality this strength-increase was totally absorbed by the massively-expanded grenadier component and the infantry battalions remained weak.  There was therefore absolutely no tactical advantage gained from splitting the regiments into two battalions and Ferdinand of Brunswick actually commented that it made absolutely no difference if the Hessian regiments fielded one or two battalions.  In wargame terms, I’m therefore happy fielding the pre-1760 16-figure battalions to represent Hessian regiments right through the whole war and don’t plan to paint a separate late-war Hessian army.  I will however, need to add extra grenadiers for the post-1760 army (though I haven’t yet painted any Hessian grenadiers).

Above:  The Erbprinz‘ Regiment initially had dark blue coats with lemon yellow lapels, cuffs, collar, turnbacks and hat pom-poms, with white metal buttons and white lace edging around the lapels, collar and hat.  There were also three pairs of lace buttonholes on each lapel, three buttonholes below each lapel, four buttonholes on each sleeve, three buttonholes on each tail-pocket and two buttonholes wither side of the small of the back.  Waistcoats were lemon yellow, neck-stocks were red and belts were white.  In common with other Hessian regiments, breeches were initially dark blue with white stockings visible above the gaiters (which were black on campaign and white on parade).  At some point during the late 1750s, the breeches changed to lemon yellow, though I’m going with the dark blue ‘look’ for all my Hessian regiments.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm Prussian infantry figures and the flags are again by Maverick Models.  Not much is known about Hessian flags of the period, but they didn’t adopt the ‘Prussian’ style (carried during the American War of Independence) until well after the 1760 reorganisations and in most cases, probably not until well after the end of the Seven Years War.  Maverick’s reconstruction of the flags features the cypher of Landgraf William VIII.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Erbprinz’ Regiment.  Some sources suggest that the turnbacks may have been red rather than yellow.  Hessian drummers are known to have worn reversed colours during the 1740s and early 1750s, but by the time of the Seven Years War had changed to the standard blue regimental coat, with the addition of red and white lace.

With the reorganisation of 1760, the regiment adopted a new uniform to go with the new title.  The facing colour was changed from yellow to rose-pink, the lace edging was removed from the collar and lapels and the number of lace buttonholes was reduced (three pairs on each lapel, a pair below each lapel, a pair on each sleeve and one either side of the back).  The waistcoat and breeches became white.

Ab0ve:  Wersabé’s Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion (shown on the right) forms up alongside Maxwell’s British Grenadier Battalion (shown on the left).  As discussed in my article on the British Army, the Allied grenadiers at Minden were all massed into a single brigade as part of Wangenheim’s Corps and the Hanoverian grenadiers were all massed in a single battalion under the command of one Lt Col Wersabé.  I’ve not found any information on the composition of this battalion, but it was known to be an ad hoc unit, simply formed from whatever grenadier companies were present, apart from those of the Fuβgarde, who were always used as headquarters guards.

Above:  Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.  As mentioned previously, Hanoverian grenadiers battalions of the first half of the war were ad hoc affairs, formed from whatever was available on a given day.  They were therefore of extremely variable strength and composition and this is therefore a conjectural wargames unit, comprising a figure from each of the six line regiments painted thus far, plus another six selected at random from the nine other regiments present at Minden.  It’s possible that all fifteen regiments were represented and a large 16-figure unit might therefore be more appropriate, but I’ve kept it as a conservative 12-figure unit.

Above:  Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.  From 1759, the Hanoverians formed three permanent Grenadier Battalions at the start of each campaign, though these proved to be rather weak (roughly half the strength of a line infantry battalion), so in 1760 the strength was fixed at 500 men per battalion.  In 1762 a massive increase in the strength of each regiment’s grenadier company enabled an increase to six grenadier battalions.

Above:  A rear view of Hanoverian Grenadier Battalion ‘Wersabé’.

Above:  The military-minded Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe was nobody’s fool and knew that if his tiny country were to go to war, it would always be as part of a coalition and there was therefore no point in building a balanced army of all arms.  The core of the Army of Schaumburg-Lippe was therefore built around a small though excellent Artillery Corps, serving guns designed by the Count himself. 

Count William of Schaumburg-Lippe

Supporting the guns was a single battalion-sized infantry regiment, titled the ‘Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment consisted of seven companies, with a theoretical full strength of 800 men, though in reality fielding 675 men (this discrepancy may be due to infantrymen being detached to serve the guns).  At Minden the regiment was tasked as artillery guards, though it fought as infantry in the line of battle at a number of other engagements.

Some sources state that the regiment included two companies of grenadiers, wearing Prussian-style Füsilier caps.  While the Grenadiers certainly existed, they were actually completely separate units, being deployed as headquarters guards and in support of the Schaumburg-Lippe Carabiniercorps engaged in the petit guerre.

Above:  The Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Regiment had a relatively simple uniform consisting of an unlaced dark blue coat with red Swedish cuffs, turnbacks and collar and white metal buttons.  The hat had white lace edging and red-over-white pompoms with a black cockade (silver lace for officers).  Neck-stocks were red, smallclothes and belts were white and gaiters were black.

These are Eureka Miniatures 18mm Prussian infantry figures.

Above:  By sheer luck, just as I was painting the Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Regiment, two gentlemen, Boris Brink and Volker Scholz posted their reconstruction of the regiment’s flags on the excellent Kronsokaf website and I was able to adapt their superb drawings into a set of flags that I could print on my laser-printer… Then they changed their designs, so I printed them off again and stuck them on my figures… And now they’ve changed the design again, in line with their latest research! 🙂 

But never mind, I’ll leave these flags as they are! 🙂

Anyway, that’s it for now!  Back to the ACW…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Shako Rules | 4 Comments

Demo Game Plans… The Battle of Murfreesboro at Warfare 2021

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it previously… but I have the signal honour to be the reigning holder of the trophy for Best Demo Game at the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare’ show…  OK, I might have mentioned it once or twice, but I think I got away with it…

That was in 2019, but nobody turned up to challenge me in 2020 (they must have had something else on, or something…), so I’ve kept the trophy by default.  However, Warfare is definitely on this year, at its new venue of Ascot Racecourse over the weekend of 27/28 November, so I finally have to take the trophy back! 🙁 

That said, I’ve decided to mount a robust defence of my title and Mark M has badgered me into doing an ACW game this time, using my collection of 10mm figures and Fire & Fury 2nd Edition rules. 

After much trawling about for scenarios, I’ve settled on the Battle of Murfreesboro (a.k.a. Stone’s River), which took place on 31st December 1862 in Tennessee.  The battle features in both the 1st and 2nd Editions of Rich Hasenauer’s ‘Great Western Battles’ scenario book for Fire & Fury and was a hard-fought engagement, infamous for having the highest casualty-rate (as a percentage of the combatants engaged) of the war.  A few people have recommended it as their favourite battle to wargame and specifically as their favourite Fire & Fury scenario, so it seems a good bet.  The terrain is also fairly straightforward and once built should all fit in the back of my car (a critical design feature)! 🙂 

As I’m using 10mm figures with an altered ground-scale, I’m able to include a larger portion of the battlefield on an 8×6-foot table.  This means that I can have some of the off-table Confederate reinforcements actually on the table at the start and can also include the little cavalry action that took place on the flank of the battle.  I’ve therefore re-drawn Rich Hasenauer’s original scenario map at my altered scale (1 inch in the rules becomes 20mm in my version, so distances are reduced by 20% and I can get more map on the available table-space). 

Here’s my revised version of the scenario map.  As I’m able to fit more of the battlefield onto my 6×8-foot table, Zahm’s Union cavalry brigade and Wharton’s Confederate cavalry brigade are now both on the table, along with most of Breckenridge’s Confederate division:

I’m going to use the same construction method as last time; namely 2-foot squares of high-density polystyrene with terrain features such as rivers cut out of a thinner layer of polystyrene that will then be glued on top.  This is far easier and looks a lot better than trying to cut rivers etc out of the base-board itself.  Here’s what the terrain for my previous game looked like in its ‘raw’ unpainted state, with the river-valleys and trenches cut out of the top layer, which was then glued down onto the base layer:

Last time I used 25mm thick base-boards, with 12mm thick boards glued on top, but this time I’m going with 20mm base-boards and a 10mm top-layer, then more 20mm boards to make the hills.  

Although the battlefield wasn’t covered in snow, it was still very much a winter battlefield, being fought on New Year’s Eve.  I’m therefore going to use muted, wintry/dead shades of Woodland Scenics flock for the grass, farmland and woodland areas. 

I’m also going to use a lot of bare tree armatures (again by Woodland Scenics) for the woodland.  Instead of using bases, the trees will be ‘impaled’ on sewing needles and these can then be stabbed into the terrain-boards.  This doesn’t damage the boards and does look very effective, as the trees blend seamlessly into the terrain, as can be seen in this shot of the Cassinga game:

In terms of troops, I’m using my own collection of Pendraken 10mm figures.  I thought I already had enough, but needed ‘a few bits and pieces’… I now suddenly find that I have a packed painting-schedule from now until November! 

Strictly speaking, both sides would have been very much in ‘winter mode’, with the Union troops in particular being equipped with greatcoats, as shown in the picture above.  The Union Army in the Western Theatre also tended to wear slouch-hats alongside the ‘classic’ peaked blue forage caps, which can also be seen above.  However, I don’t plan to make specific ‘winterised’ or ‘westernised’ armies, as that way lies madness, so my existing troops will have to do! 

That said, as my existing Confederate army is geared toward the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, the flags are almost all of the classic Confederate ‘Battle Flag’ type, which was hardly used in the Western Theatre at this time.  I’m therefore making a stack of new brigade command stands, divisional leaders and corps leaders for my Confederates, featuring the various designs of flag that were used by the Army of Tennessee.  I should mention at this point that Leon at Pendraken very kindly did a special order for me of thirty cavalry standard-bearers, for use as headquarters flag-bearers.  Thanks Leon! 🙂 

Regiments within the same division tended to have the same design, so here’s a flag-sheet I’ve knocked up which will hopefully make the Confederates look rather more in keeping with the Western Theatre (below).

My Union regiments don’t need any alternate flags, though I am going to make a new command stand for Morton’s special Pioneer Brigade, featuring a blue & white flag with crossed axes that was recorded as being used by the Pioneers of the Army of the Cumberland some time later (below).

In terms of senior commanders, I need a Union army leader base for General William Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland and featuring the headquarters flag of the Department of the Cumberland, which was the Stars & Stripes, though with ‘D.C.’ at the centre of the stars and an eagle superimposed on the stripes (below).  This flag probably postdated the Battle of Murfreesboro, but what the hell…

I’d also like to do some theatre-specific Union corps and divisional leader stands, but the organisational history is slightly complicated and the details of flags are pretty vague.  Here’s all the information I’ve got…

The Army of the Cumberland had been formed in October 1862 from the former Army of Ohio and at the same time was confusingly also designated as the Union Army’s XIV Corps, consisting of a whopping TWELVE divisions!  The Army of the Ohio had been divided into three unofficial corps, numbered I, II & III.  However, these were now re-named as ‘Grand Divisions’ or ‘Wings’, designated ‘Right’ (the old I Corps, under Alexander McCook), ‘Left’ (the old II Corps, under Thomas Crittenden) and ‘Centre’ (the old III Corps, under George Thomas). 

Neither the former corps of the Army of Ohio or the new Grand Divisions appear to have been given headquarters flags, which is rather boring from a wargamer’s perspective… However, in January 1863 (roughly a week after the Battle of Murfreesboro), the Grand Divisions were given formal Army Corps designations by Washington; McCook’s ‘Right Wing’ became the new XX Corps, Crittenden’s ‘Left Wing’ became the new XXI Corps and Thomas’ ‘Centre Wing’ retained the XIV Corps designation.  So I thought I might paint some commanders for the XIV, XX & XXI Corps, as even though they’re anachronistic for Murfreesboro, they’ll give it a Western flavour and will come in handy for later Western battles such as Chickamauga…

While the Army of the Cumberland doesn’t appear to have standardised its badges and headquarters flags to quite the same degree as the standardisation that happened in the Army of Potomac during May 1863, Rosecrans did apparently issue some direction on the design of flags as part of his General Order No.91.  However, the only part of this order I’ve managed to find online just covers the subject of hospital flags. 

McCook’s XX Corps HQ certainly had a headquarters flag at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863 (shown above), which was apparently blue with a gold or black eagle and gold fringe (light shining through the flag in the photo above makes it look pale).  I can’t find anything out about the divisional HQ flags.  In 1864, XX Corps absorbed the remnants of the XI & XII Corps and adopted the five-pointed star badge and HQ flags used by XII Corps under the Army of the Potomac.  

In 1863, XIV Corps HQ is known to have used a flag identical to McCook’s flag above, though with ’14’ at the centre.  Rosecrans’ General Order No.177, dated 1st August 1863 states that the divisional HQs of XIV Corps had previously used bright blue flags with black stars (the number of stars equaling the number of the division), but that they were now to be changed to dark blue flags with with white stars.  The stars were arranged vertically near the hoist.  XIV Corps changed its flags twice again before the end of the war.

XXI Corps was known to be using a system of red, white and blue horizontally-striped flags by September 1863.  The Corps HQ flag had a black eagle in the centre with ’21’ in a shield on the eagle’s breast (right).  The three divisional HQs didn’t have the eagle, but instead had either one, two or three black stars near the hoist.  The corps HQ flag had a gold fringe, while the divisional HQ flags did not have a fringe.

I can find the flags for XXI Corps available to download online, but nothing for XIV Corps or XX Corps for that period, though later flags are available and I do already have the staff for XII Corps, which could be used for XX Corps from 1864.  Or I could paint some new flags based on the descriptions for 1863… Decisions, decisions…

[Edited to add:] The Black Monolith of polystyrene has arrived!  Let terrain-building commence…

Posted in 10mm Figures, American Civil War, Fire & Fury (Brigade), Games, Warfare (Show) | 6 Comments

‘Hannover Siegt, Der Franzmann Liegt’: My 15mm SYW Hanoverian & German Allied Army (Part 1)

“Hanover wins, the Frenchman lies down.”

As mentioned recently, I’m presently building a British-Hanoverian-German Allied army for the Seven Years War, using the order of battle for the Battle of Minden 1759 as my initial ‘To Do’ list.  Having finished the British infantry, I’ve now moved on to the Hanoverians, by way of some other allied contingents.

Hanoverian Infantry Uniforms

At first glance, Hanoverian infantry uniforms look identical to the British, but there were quite a few subtle and not-so-subtle differences and I know a few people who have used Prussian and/or Austrian infantry figures instead of British infantry figures to represent Hanoverians.  Eureka don’t do specific Hanoverian figures and none of the available options are perfect, but the big cuffs with deep v-shaped slashes, the voluminous coat-tails, the buckled cross-belts and the officers with sashes over the shoulder make British infantry the nearest match (I can live with the belly-boxes).

Button and Lace Colouring: In the British Army, only the officers (and sometimes the NCOs) followed the regimental ‘metal’ colour; either silver or gold.  The rank-and-file always had white metal buttons and white hat-lace, regardless of regimental ‘metal’, while the coat-lace followed a regimental pattern and colouring, which was often quite intricate.  In the Hanoverian Army, the buttons of all ranks followed the regimental ‘metal’ colour and the other ranks’ lace on both hat and coat was either plain yellow or white accordingly.

Lace:  Hanoverian coats and waistcoats were initially laced very heavily, in much the same manner as the British.  However, in 1759 they removed all the lace from the waistcoat as well as all the lace edging from lapels, cuffs, cuff-flaps and pockets, plus around one-third of the buttonhole lace, leaving only three pairs of buttonholes on each lapel, a pair of buttonholes below each lapel, one buttonhole in the top corner of each lapel, two buttonholes above each cuff and two or three buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  From an aesthetic point of view, this does make the facing colours of Hanoverian units really stand out when compared to the British, whose heavy lace tends to blur out the facing colours.

Waistcoat:  British waistcoats were invariably coloured red and were heavily laced, but Hanoverian waistcoats were usually coloured to match the regimental facing colour and in 1759 they removed all the lace.  A few Hanoverian regiments (mainly those with black facings) had waistcoats of a different colour.

Breeches & Gaiters:  In the British Army breeches were usually red (blue for Royal regiments).  In the Hanoverian Army they were invariably buff.  They were also described as ‘Chamois’ or ‘Straw’, though were a deeper yellowy shade than the ‘straw’ facings.  The Hanoverians also seem to have used white canvas gaiters for all forms of dress, including campaign dress, whereas the British adopted darker colours for campaign dress (settling on black by 1759), retaining white gaiters purely for parade dress.

Hats:  As mentioned above, Hanoverian hats were laced according to button colour.  The cockade was black.  Unlike the British, Hanoverian hats were decorated with three small very pompoms; one above the cockade and one at each side-corner.  Although British infantry figures don’t have these decorations, their small size meant that I found it easy enough to simply represent them by adding a blob of paint of the appropriate colour at the top of the cockade and in the corners of the hat.  A sprig of oakleaves (or other greenery) was also often added as a field-sign, but these would not have been universal (certainly not in winter!), so I’m not bothered if it’s not there.

Equipment:  Personal equipment was much the same as the British, consisting of a pale buff leather cross-belt buckled at the front, a buff waistbelt and a black cartridge box.  However, unlike the British, all companies were armed with a ‘hanger’ (short sword) and not just the Grenadiers.  They also don’t appear to have used belly-boxes like the British, which is a pain when using Eureka British figures!.  The lack of a hanger on the figures isn’t obvious, but the belly-box is impossible to hide and I just have to live with it.  However, Hanoverian muskets were banded, so the wrongly-banded musket on Eureka’s British infantry actually fits! 🙂

Grenadier Distinctions:  Like the British Grenadiers, Hanoverian Grenadiers wore mitre caps and brass match-cases on their cross-belts as a mark of their élite status.  In most cases the caps roughly conformed to the British theme, having the front-piece and headband in the facing colour, the ‘bag’  in red and the piping and tuft in the lace colour.  However, some regiments diverted from that theme, having the front-piece and/or band coloured red instead of the facing colour.  Some regiments decorated their caps with a lot of metalwork, with at least one regiment having a Prussian-style all-metal front-piece.  Also note that while the British Grenadiers adopted shoulder ‘wings’ during the early 1750s, the Hanoverians do not appear to have followed suit.

Officers’ & NCOs Distinctions:  Hanoverian officers followed the general theme described above, though with expensive metallic gold or silver lace.  A yellow sash was worn over the right shoulder and a gorget was worn at the throat (which was gold for all regiments).  Hanoverian officers would also be clean-shaven, while the rank-and-file (unlike the British) had moustaches.  Hanoverian NCOs didn’t wear sashes like their British counterparts, but wore straw-coloured gloves and carried polearms as their ‘badge of office’.

Drummers’ Livery:  Hanoverian drummers, unlike their British counterparts, did not wear reversed colours.  Instead they wore the standard regimental uniform, with the addition of facing-coloured ‘swallows’ nests’ on the shoulders and lace decoration down the sleeves.  They did not have ‘false sleeves’ on the back of the coat.  They also wore standard hats and did not wear the short mitre cap worn by British drummers (grenadier drummers presumably wore standard grenadier mitre caps).  I’ve therefore used Prussian drummers for my Hanoverians.  Drums were brass, often decorated with the Badge of Hanover and with hoops painted in diagonal stripes of red and the regimental facing colour.

Above:  The Foot Guards (Fuβgarde) Regiment.  This regiment was unique in the Hanoverian Army for having two battalions, though after the war the line infantry regiments were also paired up to create two-battalion regiments.  As discussed last time, at the Battle of Minden, the Hanoverian Foot Guards were grouped with the British infantry under the command of Lord Spörcken’s 3rd Column.  The Hanoverian ‘Hardenberg’ Regiment also somehow became attached.  This combined force carried out an astonishing unsupported attack against the French army and then ripped the heart out of the French cavalry counter-attack.  The Foot Guards and ‘Hardenberg’ Regiments captured numerous French cavalry standards during the action. 

Above:  The Foot Guards Regiment had dark blue facings and waistcoats with yellow lace and ‘metal’.  Pompoms were yellow-over-white.  I haven’t painted any grenadiers for this regiment, as they were perpetually assigned to the security of headquarters and baggage and were never assigned to a combined Grenadier Battalion in the field.  

All Hanoverian infantry regiments carried a Colonel’s Colour of a standard pattern, which consisted of a white field, with the Arms of Hanover on the obverse and the Arms of George II on the reverse, with a crowned GR cypher in each corner on both sides.  This was paired with a Regimental Colour, which in the case of the Foot Guards was a white field with the Badge of Hanover and crowned GR corner-cyphers on both sides.  However, I’ve no idea if the regiment had a single Colonel’s Colour carried by the 1st Battalion (German-style) or if each battalion had a Colonel’s Colour (British-style).  I’ve opted for the British style, with each battalion having a Colonel’s Colour and a Regimental Colour.

Above:  A rear view of the Foot Guards Regiment, showing the obverse of the Colonel’s Colours (note that the central device is now the Running Horse badge of Hanover rather than the Royal Arms).  The tail pockets each have two lace buttonholes.

Above:  The ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Infantry Regiment started the Seven Years War as the major part of the Army of the Duchy of Sachsen-Gotha, though was organised along Hanoverian lines.  On 15th April 1757 the regiment was placed under Hanoverian command as an auxiliary regiment,  paid for by the British, though still formally belonging to the Duchy of Sachsen-Gotha.  The regiment at this time wore white coats with green facings and waistcoats, with white lace and metal.  However, on 25th January 1759 the regiment was formally transferred to the Hanoverian Army and received new red coats, still with green facings and white lace & metal.  The old white coats were turned into new waistcoats and so this regiment was one of the few whose waistcoat did not match the facing colour. 

At Minden the regiment acted as artillery guards with Major Haase’s 2nd Column.  After the war the regiment became half of the 9th Infantry Regiment, being designated 9-A.  As with many Seven Years War armies, the post-war regimental numbering system is often used anachronistically in histories, as it’s often easier than using regiment names which often changed (although as it happens, ‘Sachsen-Gotha’s regimental title never did change).

Above:  As discussed above, the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Infantry Regiment had green facings that are actually described as dark green.  However, artistic depictions often show them wearing quite a bright shade and that’s reflected in this Regimental Colour by Maverick Models.  I’ve therefore given them a middling shade of green, so that the flag doesn’t look too far removed from the facing colour!  Lace and metal was white and the pompoms were red-over-green.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Infantry Regiment.  Note that the tail-pockets had two lace buttonholes.  The regimental colour featured a lion holding a sword in its paw, surrounded by a laurel wreath, with a white scroll above.

Note that Hanoverian battalions were very strong, typically fielding over 800 men (over 1,000 for the two ‘New Battalions’) and considerably stronger than their British and French counterparts.  Consequently, I’ve done these as 16-figure units (like Austrians) rather than the usual 12 figures typical of British, French and Prussian battalions in the field.

Above:  A Grenadier of the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Infantry Regiment.  Although they typically had much stronger battalions than the British, the Grenadier ‘corps’ of a Hanoverian battalion was far weaker, with only 65 men, equating to roughly a single figure in game terms (it wasn’t strong enough to be termed a ‘Company’).  In the early part of the war the Hanoverian Army just created ad hoc grenadier battalions from whatever was at hand (like the Austrians) and these varied wildly in strength from around 200 men to over 1,000 men.  From 1759 onward, three permanent Grenadier Battalions were formed for the duration of each campaign, though these were weak units, numbering only 400-500 men at the very most.  I think I’ll rationalise this for campaign purposes as two ‘normal-sized’ 12-figure units (I’ve encountered the same problem with the Swedish Army in Germany; four grenadier battalions, but each only 300-350 men strong).

Above:  The brigade of Major General Johann Daniel Victor von Scheele (also spelled ‘Schele’ in many sources) formed the first line of the 4th Column, which was in turn commanded by Lieutenant General Prince Carl Leopold of Anhalt-Bernburg.  The brigade consisted of three Hanoverian infantry regiments; ‘Scheele’, ‘Reden’ and ‘Hardenberg’.  However, as mentioned above, the ‘Hardenberg’ Regiment somehow managed to get itself entangled with Spörcken’s column during the approach march and was sucked into Spörcken’s attack. 

With Spörcken heavily engaged and seemingly about to be be overrun by French cavalry, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick (the C-in-C of the Allied armies) ordered Scheele to take his remaining two battalions, as well as those of Wissembach’s brigade in the second line (the Hanoverian ‘Stolzenberg’ and ‘Estorff’ Regiments and the Hessian ‘Erbprinz Friedrich’ Regiment) in an effort to relieve Spörcken’s right flank, which was in danger of being turned (it’s not clear what the Prince of Anhalt was doing at this moment or why he’d just had his entire division handed over to Scheele!).

In the event, the French cavalry struck Spörcken’s left flank, not the right, yet it made little difference as the magnificent British and Hanoverian infantry held their ground until Wutginau’s Hessians stabilised the situation.  This remarkable action was one of the most celebrated infantry actions of the 18th Century and is still commemorated every 1st August by the successors of the British regiments under Spörcken’s command.

Above:  The ‘Scheele’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment had actually been titled titled ‘Fabrice’ until 1757, when the former inhaber (Colonel-Proprietor), Colonel Georg Philipp von Fabrice retired and the regiment was passed to Major General Johann Daniel Victor von Scheele.  After the war the regiment became half of the 2nd Infantry Regiment, being designated 2-B.

Above:  The ‘Scheele’ Infantry Regiment had straw-coloured facings and waistcoats with white lace and metal and red-over-yellow pompoms.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Scheele’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment had three lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  The Regimental Colour matched the facing colour and featured piled trophies of war, surrounded by a laurel wreath.

Above:  A Grenadier of the ‘Scheele’ Infantry Regiment.  Note that for some reason, this regiment was one of a few which didn’t use its regimental facing colour for the front-piece of the mitre cap, instead using red.  The rear headband was coloured straw, however.

Above:  The ‘Reden’ Infantry Regiment.  At the start of the war this regiment was titled ‘Knesebeck’ for its then inhaber, Ernst Friedrich von dem Knesebeck, but the regiment was passed in 1758 to Johann Wilhelm von Reden, who owned it for the rest of the war.  The regiment was designated 3-A in the post-war numbering system.

Above:  The ‘Reden’ Infantry Regiment had black as its facing colour, with white lace and metal and black-over-red pompoms.  However, Hanoverian regiments with black facings invariably had waistcoats and coat-linings of some other colour and in this case the waistcoats were white, as were the coat-linings.

Above:  The ‘Reden’ Infantry Regiment‘s white coat-linings are visible here in the form of tail-turnbacks.  Note that this regiment had three lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket. 

As with the waistcoats and linings, regiments with black facings never had a matching Regimental Colour and in the case of the ‘Reden’ Regiment, the Regimental Colour was red.  The central device was an elaborate painted scene, showing an armoured knight standing on green grass, under a blue sky, in front of a fortress tower, from which a volley of flaming shells is being fired.

Above:  A Grenadier of the ‘Reden’ Infantry Regiment.

Above:  The ‘Hardenberg’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment kept the same inhaber and title throughout the Seven Years War, namely Christian Ludewig von Hardenberg.  It was designated 6-A in the post-war numbering system.  As mentioned above, this regiment became tangled up with Lord Spörcken’s column during the approach-march to Minden and ended up fighting alongside the British infantry and the Foot Guards during their legendary engagement, capturing several French cavalry standards.

Above:  The ‘Hardenberg’ Infantry Regiment had orange facings and waistcoats with white lace and metal and red-over-orange pompoms.  The orange shade is described as ‘light orange, almost buff’.

Above:  The ‘Hardenberg’ Infantry Regiment had two lace buttonholes on each tail-pocket.  The Regimental Colour was orange and featured a lion, holding a curved ‘Falchion’ sword in its paw, standing on piled trophies of war, with a blue scroll above and a flower in each corner.

Above:  A Grenadier of the ‘Hardenberg’ Infantry Regiment.  This regiment’s mitre caps had a lot of white metal decoration on the front; the ‘flap’ was all metal and embossed with the running horse, while the main part of the front-piece featured the Royal Arms in metal.

Models & Flags

The figures above are all 18mm British infantry figures by Eureka Miniatures.  The flags are by Maverick Models.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Seven Years War Minor German States, Shako Rules | 1 Comment

The Battle of Lobositz 1756: A ‘Tricorn’ Playtest

As mentioned last time, we recently had a playtest of ‘Tricorn’ (my Seven Years War variant of ‘Shako’ Napoleonic rules).  I decided to go for a historical scenario (The Battle of Lobositz 1756) rather than a random ‘pick-up’ battle, as I felt it would give us a better idea of how the rules fitted the period. 

This was sharply demonstrated during the game set-up and even before Turn 1, when it was realised that having deployed the two armies in their accurately-scaled historical positions, the two batteries of heavy guns, which were both recorded as performing accurate and damaging fire before the main engagement, were both out of range when using the standard ‘Shako’ rules and artillery ranges! 🙂 

I particularly wanted to test an idea for abstracting battalion guns in the game.  This works by increasing the firepower of musketry (4, 5, 6 to hit in Shako terms) while reducing the movement speed for any unit accompanied by a battalion gun (from 4 inches to 3 inches per turn when in line formation).

Another idea (which we always used when playing ‘Shako’ at W.A.S.P. during the 1990s) is one adopted from ‘Napoleon’s Battles’ rules, which is ‘winner losses’ for cavalry.  This inflicts a single casualty on a cavalry unit when they win a mêlée (maximum of one such casualty per turn).  This represents the accumulation of attritional casualties during combat, as well as men detached to escort prisoners, squadrons detailed off to pursue and accumulated fatigue on the horses.  In ‘Shako’ the winners of a mêlée do not suffer losses, but we found that this resulted in endless to-and-fro cavalry battles and/or élite heavy cavalry units simply ploughing their way through a weaker enemy formation and still being as fresh as a daisy at the end of it. 

The incorporation of the ‘winner losses’ rule meant that even élite cavalry would eventually be worn down by repeated charges and could then become vulnerable to the injection of fresh enemy cavalry into the fight.  Additionally for campaign purposes, players were more inclined to keep a portion of their cavalry fresh and in reserve to conduct post-game pursuit of the defeated enemy.  However, Phil and Mike were not over-keen to adopt this concept and were happy with the existing rules for cavalry becoming ‘blown’ for a turn after combat, so I agreed to play the rules as written and see how it panned out.

Above:  The bulk of the Austrian infantry were deployed in ‘ambush’ positions on the left wing, behind the walled parkland, ornamental lakes, fishponds, boggy streams and reed-beds along the valley from Sullowitz to Lobositz.

Above:  Another view of the Austrian left wing.  Löwenstein’s powerful cavalry wing is just off-table, though could be immediately brought on to table (in two columns) once an ADC delivered orders to Löwenstein, whose figure is visible on the table-edge, behind the far flank of the infantry.

Above:  The Austrian right wing consisted of a number of infantry regiments under the command of Wied, plus four grenadier massed battalions, a position battery with pitifully-few heavy guns and Lacy’s recently-arrived division.

Above:  A closer look at Lacy’s command, plus two of the four grenadier battalions.

Above:  A detachment of the Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenzer skirmishes forward of Lacy’s main line.

Above:  Radicati’s Austrian cavalry division forms up behind the sunken road to the west of Lobositz.

Above:  Hadik’s Advance Guard Division (wrongly assumed by Frederick to be a rearguard covering the Austrian retreat), consisting of the massed Carabinier (élite Cuirassier) and Horse Grenadier (élite Dragoon) Companies plus the Hadik and Baryany Hussar Regiments, forms up on the plain and is immediately taken to task by Kyau’s Prussian cavalry, who have been ordered to mount a reconnaissance in force into the valley.

Above:  Draskowitz’s Grenzer, reinforced by some grenadier companies and Hungarian volunteers, harass the left flank of the Prussian army from the steeply-sloped vineyards of the Lobosch.  Frederick is forced to send Bevern with several regiments to eject the Grenzer from the mountain.

Above:  The view from behind the Prussian centre.  As Bevern begins his ascent of the Lobosch on the left, Kleist’s infantry deploy into line, while Schwerin and Katzler deploy their cavalry.

Above:  As Kleist’s line advances past Frederick’s headquarters at Wchnitz, four batteries of heavy guns follow him down the road.  On Kleist’s right, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick deploys the rest of the Prussian infantry as two more heavy batteries open fire from the Homolka Spur.

Above:  Attended by his staff, Frederick awaits news of the cavalry clash.

Above:  As his few heavy guns open fire on the approaching Prussians, Browne sends an aide with orders for Radicati to support Hadik.  A second aide is dispatched with orders for Löwenstein to bring his cavalry to the centre with great haste!  Neither ADC was seen again and the cavalry remained unmoving…  More ADCS were dispatched…

Above:  Feldmarschall von Katte deploys…

Above:  And so it begins… Hadik and Kyau clash on the plain.  

Above:  Kyau has a massive advantage in terms of quality and quantity and with Radicati’s cavalry still stationary behind the sunken road, Hadik doesn’t fancy his chances against the mass of Prussian cuirassiers!  

Above:  On the Prussian left, the battle is initially even between the Prussian Gelbe-Reitere (so-called due to wearing dark yellow coats instead of the usual pale straw colour) and the massed Austrian Carabinier companies, but the Carabiniers eventually fall back.  Next to them, the massed Austrian Horse Grenadier companies fare badly against the ‘Rochow’ Cuirassiers led by their talented Colonel, Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz.  The ‘Baryanay’ Hussars are similarly beaten off by the Prussian Leib-Carabiniere.  So Round 1 goes to the Prussians.

Above:  But what’s this?!  Having not been engaged in the initial combat, Hadik’s own regiment, the ‘Hadik’ Hussars charge alone and unsupported against the Leib-Carabiniere, who are blown following their combat against the ‘Baryanay’ Hussars!

Above:  Astonishingly, the ‘Hadik’ Hussars throw the Leib-Carabiniere back in disorder!  In their panic, the fleeing Prussian horsemen disorder the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons and the ‘Hadik’ Hussars use the confusion to retire back to the safety of their own lines.

Above:  On the opposite flank, Bevern’s infantry come under intense skirmisher fire from the Grenzer hidden among the vines, rocks and stone walls on the steep slopes of the Lobosch.  However, casualties are remarkably light.

Above:  Waiting behind the skirmishing Grenzer is a stronger line of formed troops.  Draskowitz has placed his strongest element, the combined companies of grenadiers and Hungarian volunteers, in the centre with Grenzer formed on the flanks.  The position is very strong and Draskowitz is optimistic that he might be able to hold the position, or at least inflict significant damage on the Prussians. 

Above:  As the battle rages on their flank, Kleist pushes forward onto the plain as the guns move up, ready to deploy and bombard the waiting Austrian line.

Above:  Frederick watches as the battle for the Lobosch unfolds.  He is alarmed that he has misread the situation and that the Austrians now seem to be making a stand, though is confident that they would crumble in the face of his army, just as they had in the last war.

Above:  On Frederick’s right, Moller’s battery on the Homolka Spur hammers away at the Austrian battery, but to little effect.

Above:  Katzler’s Prussian cavalry division forms column to the right and moves around the back of Wchnitz and the Homolka.  Descending through the saddle and into the plain, Schwerin is intending to follow his orders and move across the plain (cleared by Kyau) to engage the Austrian battery and the left flank of Wied’s Austrian infantry.  However, Kyau has not yet cleared the plain…

Above:  As its supporting artillery opens fire on the approaching Prussian cavalry, the Austrian left wing waits for orders… Two ADCs can be seen galloping over the bridge on the west side of Lobositz, yet both fail to reach their destination… A suspicious-looking group of Grenzer deny all knowledge, yet are sporting very nice new pelisses…

Above:  Hadik’s cavalry mill around blown following their previous combats and are in danger of being swept away by the freshly-rallied Prussian cuirassiers.

Above:  However, the Austrian gunners earn their pay as they ignore the incoming fire from the Homolka and accurately bounce some round-shot through the Prussian cuirassiers, stalling their advance.

Above: Things are about to get very hot for the Austrians, however…

Above:  With the Gelbe-Reitere damaged by Austrian guns, the Austrian Carabiniers charge again and throw back the yellow-coated Prussian horsemen, who rally at the foot of the Homolka, disrupting Prince Ferdinand’s attempts to get his infantry into some semblance of order!  The Prussian ‘Rochow’ Cuirassiers meanwhile, utterly rout the Austrian Horse Grenadiers, though this remains the only bright spot for the Prussians at this time, as the heroic Austrian hussars throw back the combined unit of Gensd’armes and Garde du Corps and completely crush the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons!

Above:  On the Lobosch, Bevern’s Prussian infantry finally engage Draskowitz’s main line, though casualties are now starting to mount.  The Grenzer skirmishers have fallen back, though continue to be an irritant. 

[Something I noticed here is that in Shako 2nd Edition, skirmishers can only suffer a single casualty before being removed from play.  In 1st Edition they dispersed on their third casualty, which I prefer, as it makes them much more of an irritant]

Above:  Schwerin’s division of Dragoons and Hussars follows Katzler onto the plain.  Katzler has formed his cuirassier division into line near Sullowitz, though is waiting for Kyau to clear away Hadik’s cavalry!

Above:  On the Lobosch, Bevern has decided to go in with the bayonet rather than engage in a fruitless firefight.  However, his supporting battalions are too far to the rear to provide any meaningful support and the centre battalion (1st Battalion of the ‘Kleist’ Musketeers) is beaten off with heavy losses by the Austrian grenadiers and Hungarian volunteers.

Above:  However, the 2nd Battalion of the ‘Kleist’ Musketeers defeats a battalion of the Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenze and the other Grenzer are starting to waver in the face of determined Prussian attacks.

Above:  Having pushed well forward of the flanking divisions, Kleist completes his orders and halts his infantry as the heavy guns deploy within effective range of Wied’s line.

Above:  Down on the plain, the cavalry battle continues.  The Austrian Carabiniers have pushed too far and are charged by the vengeful Gelbe-Reitere.   The Carabiniers are broken, but Hadik’s astonishing run of luck continues as the ‘Baryanay’ Hussars throw back the ‘Rochow’ Cuirassiers! 

Above:  As the hussars fall back to rally yet again, Hadik (who has now suffered in excess of 50% losses) somehow manages to keep his division in the battle, though his men are now demoralised!  

Above:  The carefully-ordered lines of cavalry from the start of the battle are only a distant memory as the Prussians try to re-order their lines amid the chaos!

Above:  Katzler’s cuirassiers have also now become embroiled in the swirling cavalry battle.  Schwerin’s cavalry also now attempt to deploy onto the plain, but rallying cavalry keep getting in the way.

Above:  It’s not only the cavalry… Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick’s infantry have become utterly disordered by the combined effects of terrain and stampeding cavalry.

Above:  Back on the Lobosch, Bevern’s aggressive tactics have finally broken Draskowitz’s defenders.  However, it wasn’t without cost, especially in the ‘Kleist’ Musketeers.  Although the Grenzer have been beaten off, Bevern still has to fight his way through the difficult terrain of the Lobosch, so it’s going to be some time before his division can join the main attack.

Above:  Draskowitz’s boys run for it!  They had hoped for support from Lacy or Wied, but that support was not forthcoming, due to yet more Austrian command and control problems!

Above:  As Kleist waits for the flanking divisions to move up, his heavy guns hammer Wied’s Austrians.  In the distance, Moller’s battery on the Homolka has ceased fire and Moller is moving his guns forward, to more closely support the attack.

Above:  Here they come again!  As the Austrian ‘Erzherzog Joseph’ Dragoons charge the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons frontally, the indefatigable ‘Hadik’ Hussars strike yet again at the left flank of the Prussian Leib-Carabiniere.

Above:  The view from the Austrian side: The green-coated ‘Erzherzog Joseph’ Dragoons clash with the Prussian Dragoons.  The ‘Cordua’ and ‘Stampach’ Cuirassier Regiments finally cross over the sunken road to provide support.

Above:  The view a short while later:  Prince Ferdinand’s attempts to get his infantry into some semblance of order are frustrated yet again by Kyau’s recoiling cavalrymen! 

Note the arrow marker next to the grenadiers at the lower-right; this indicates that the unit is marching in column to its left.  These days I tend to base my SYW units in line on a single base, as they rarely used any other formation unless it was an open column of platoons or companies, whose depth equalled the frontage in line (which is what they’re doing here).  Basing them on a single base also helps to demarcate the separation between units deployed in long lines.  It’s also a lot less fiddly and speeds up movement enormously.

Above:  The view from the other side of the cavalry battle:  The Gensd’Armes and Garde du Corps, having destroyed the newly-arrived Austrian ‘Cordua’ Cuirassiers, are rallying behind Katzler’s fresh cuirassier regiments and the ‘Bayreuth’ Dragoons.

Above:  Pulling back, we can see Radicati’s remaining regiments; the ‘Erzherzog Joseph’ Dragoons and the ‘Stampach’ Cuirsassiers rallying at the sunken road, along with the ‘Baryanay’ Hussars, following their successful charges against the Prussian horse.  However, the ‘Cordua’ Cuirassiers have been swept from the field, Löwenstein is still refusing to move from the left flank and there are still an awful lot of Prussian cavalry on the plain!

Above:  The heroic ‘Hadik’ Hussars, having rallied behind the Lobositz battery, charges yet again!  Kyau’s Prussian cavalry are demoralised and the Gelbe-Reitere are rallying and have already taken heavy casualties.  They are completely swept away by the hussars’ charge!

Above:  Further mêlées on the plain see the Prussian ‘Markgraf Friedrich’ Cuirassiers and ‘Brandenburg’ Dragoons thrown back by the determined Austrian counter-attacks, but the fresh Prussian Leibregiment zu Pferde (here on the left) destroys Radicati’s remaining regiments, leaving the ‘Baryanay’ Hussars feeling very lonely…

Above:  The ‘Hadik’ Hussars rally behind Browne’s headquarters at Lobositz.  At this moment an ADC gallops past to inform Browne that Löwenstein’s cavalry is at last on the move!  However, it’s still going to take some considerable time for the Austrian horse to move from the extreme left flank to the centre.

Above:  With only Hadik’s two weakened hussar regiments left to oppose them, the (mostly) fresh divisions of Katzler and Schwerin can now comply with their orders and engage the left flank of Wied’s line in front of Lobositz.

Above:  Although the ‘Alt-Dessau’ Musketeers are still being arsed about by the milling horsemen, the rest of Prince Ferdinand’s division has finally got itself into some semblance of order and is advancing on Wied.  The grenadiers of Ferdinand’s second line have shifted position to the left and have turned back into line formation (the arrow markers have been removed).  They will now move forward to provide support to Prince Ferdinand’s own regiment in the first line.  The 3rd Battalion of the ‘Alt-Dessau’ Musketeers is similarly shifting to the left, to provide rear-support to the single battalion of the ‘Zastrow’ Musketeers.

Above:  On the left flank of Prince Ferdinand’s first line, the ‘Hülsen’ Musketeers have crossed over the stream to link up with Kleist’s division on their left.  Behind them and just out of shot, the ‘Quadt’ Musketeers have also crossed over the stream and are moving up to provide rear-support.  Seeing the artillery deploying near the culvert, Wied shifts the fire of his artillery onto that point, doing nothing to the Prussian guns, but inflicting casualties on the ‘Zastrow’ Musketeers as the Austrian roundshot bounces through their line.

Above:  On the Austrian right, Wied’s and Lacy’s infantry remain unmoving as orders fail to get through, despite the short distance from Browne’s headquarters! [Phil’s luck in dice-rolling for the hussars was definitely cancelled out by his dice-rolling for the ADCs!]  Wied’s infantry have been hammered hard by the Prussian guns, but now the guns start to fall silent as Kleist resumes his advance and Bevern finally emerges from the vineyards of the Lobosch.

Above:  On the Austrian left, the bulk of the whitecoats remain unmoved (quite literally) by the cavalry battle in front of them.  To their rear, Löwenstein’s cavalry had started to move, but it was all too late.

It was at this point that Phil’s personal morale broke and we ended the game with Browne withdrawing from the field to fight another day.  

Conclusions – The Rules

Even though it was slightly disappointing as a game in that the main infantry lines didn’t come to grips, it did serve the purpose of thrashing out the finer points of the rules and scenario and we had a lot of fun doing it, which were the main points of the exercise.  It was great to have a game after all this time and my thanks to Phil and Mike for such gentlemanly company!  

Anyway, here are the changes to the rules that arose from the playtest:

1.  Artillery/Infantry:  Scrap the idea of incorporating Battalion Guns into the infantry musketry movement rules.  It seemed an interesting idea, but there were too many ‘fudges’ that had to be made.  e.g. If we’re marking units without battalion guns, would that be by unit or by division?  If units enter terrain impassable to artillery, what happens to the guns, etc, etc.

2.  Artillery:  With regard to the above; Add a new class of Battalion Gun artillery to the standard Shako rules with a shorter range, lower firepower and better mobility than the existing Light Foot Artillery class in ‘Shako’.  In previous games it was found that standard Light Foot Artillery was FAR too powerful (using ‘Shako’) when deployed in the quantities that SYW armies fielded (averaging at one gun model (eight actual guns) for every four battalions fielded).  we incorporated a few separate Battalion Guns into this game and found that they worked really well – providing relatively short-range support without dominating the game.

3. Artillery:  Increase the Long Range bracket of Heavy Foot Guns to 36 inches.  Note that historically, there was a bewildering array of gun-barrel weights/lengths and carriage-sizes within each class of shot-weight, leading to many oddities such as Heavy 9pdrs easily out-ranging Light 12pdrs.  I don’t want to add any more artillery classes to the game, but players could keep the standard ‘Shako’ rules for Light 12pdrs and perhaps use the 36-inch range with Light Artillery firepower for Heavy 9pdrs and the like.

4.  Cavalry:  Reinstate the Winner Loss rule for cavalry; At the end of the Mêlée phase, each cavalry regiment that won its mêlée applies a single casualty (even if it fought more than one mêlée in the turn due to a breakthrough charge), representing attritional combat casualties, cumulative fatigue, men detailed off to escort prisoners, etc.  Where more than one regiment contacted one target, only one regiment (of the owning player’s choice) takes the winner loss.  In campaign games these can be counted separately from ‘proper’ casualties and will be reinstated after the battle.

4.  Skirmishers:  Skirmishers take three hits before dispersing, as per ‘Shako’ 1st Edition.

5.  ADCs/Messengers:  ADCs travel at a standard rate of 16 inches per turn.  Upon arrival at their target general, they roll 1D6 and apply the following results: 1 = ADC did not get through.  2 = Implementation of the order is delayed by 2 extra turns.  3 = Implementation of the order is delayed by 1 extra turn.  4-6 = Order is implemented as per the standard rules (immediately for divisions on Reserve orders, or in the following turn for all other divisions).  ADCs are ‘teleported’ back to the Army HQ and may be used again on the following turn.

Conclusions – The Scenario

1.  Battalion Guns:  In accordance with the changes to Battalion Gun rules above, delete the ‘Very Light Guns’ (these were our playtest Battalion Guns) and add the following numbers of Battalion Guns (in brackets) to each of these divisions: Bevern (2), Kleist (1), Ferdinand (2), Wied (2), Lacy (2), Stahremberg (2) & Kolowrat (3).  N.B. Lacy’s number includes Draskowitz’s guns.

2.  Orders & ADCs:  The limits on orders available to the Austrians at the start of the scenario seems too restrictive.  However, simply allowing the Austrians to do whatever they want from the start will almost certainly result in a general advance as they use their superior numbers of infantry to simply bottle in and defeat the Prussians.  It’s worth remembering that the Austrians started this battle in ‘ambush’ positions, in a foggy valley-bottom, with very little clue about Frederick’s strength or intentions and were waiting for Frederick to come to them.  Phil did have a VERY bad run of luck with his ADCs and using ‘Shako’ 2nd Edition ADC rules meant that statistically they would almost certainly die on a long gallop to the far flank (which all but one did)!  I think therefore that my amended ADC rules will help in this regard, though I am tempted to allow Attack orders to be issued to Lacy and Löwenstein’s divisions from the start, simply in order to allow Lacy to support Draskowitz and Löwenstein to support Radicati & Hadik (as they did historically) before those formations are overrun by the Prussians.

3.  Alternative for Radicati:  For reasons that aren’t clear, part of Radicati’s division was deployed on the flank with Löwenstein.  So as a scenario-balancing option, the Anspach Cuirassiers and the Erzherzog Ferdinand Cuirassiers could be transferred back to Radicati and deployed in the centre, behind the sunken road.

Anyway, that’s all for now!  Sorry for the long wait since the last article, but I’ve got my ‘Tricorn’ rules-notes and Quick Reference Sheets waiting to be posted, along with the first of my Hanoverians, some painting and terrain-building for my forthcoming ACW demo-game and some other bits and pieces besides.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 6 Comments

The Battle of Lobositz 1756: A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’ (SYW variant of ‘Shako’)

At long last, I’ve had a game and not just with myself!!! 🙂

As discussed before, at W.A.S.P. we played a lot of mid-18th Century battles (War of Austrian Succession and Seven Years War) during the 1990s, using our own conversion of Shako Napoleonic rules.  We played a number of large historical refights, including a couple of demo games and I even ran an epic worldwide War of Austrian Succession campaign with multiple players in multiple countries (God what I would have given for e-mail back then…). 

The original version of Shako actually included a Seven Years War variant, but I didn’t like it at all and so wrote my own.  I dug it out again last year following a Napoleonic game with Phil using Shako 2nd Edition and tweaked a few things, added a few things before having a solo playtest.  That (along with some ideas provided by Shako’s authors and my mate Phil) provided more food for thought and the rules were tweaked again in time for our playtest game.  Although the rules have Shako at their core, we now refer to our version as ‘Tricorn’.

As neither Phil or Mike have played a Seven Years War game before, I thought it might be appropriate to start with the first major European battle of the war, the Battle of Lobositz.  I’ve actually fought this one a few times before, as we ran it as a demo game around the UK show circuit in 1996 or thereabouts, where it won a couple of Best of Show prizes.  It’s an interesting battle, not least because it was tightly constrained by the terrain and not at all like the ‘line them up and charge’ caricature of 18th Century battles.  It also came very close to being Frederick’s first defeat.

Historical Background

Frederick II

By the 1750s, King Frederick II of Prussia‘s position was looking increasingly precarious.  Empress Maria Theresa of Austria had never recognised Prussia’s seizure of Austria’s northern province of Silesia during the War of Austrian Succession, while King George II of Great Britain viewed Prussia as a French proxy and was suspicious of Frederick’s intentions toward George’s Hanoverian lands.  Britain also whipped up Russian suspicion over Prussian intentions in Poland and Lithuania and in 1755 managed to bring Empress Elizabeth of Russia into the growing anti-Prussian coalition.

However, in a remarkable piece of diplomacy, Frederick managed to not only convince George of his good intentions toward Hanover, but also managed to forge an alliance between their two countries, which was formalised at the Convention of Westminster in January 1756.  This British volte-face incensed both the Austrian and French courts, who put aside centuries of mutual enmity to form a new anti-Prussian alliance in the Treaty of Versailles of May 1756.

With Austria, France and Russia all slowly mobilising for a joint assault in 1757, Frederick decided decided that he was not going to just sit and wait for them to attack at a time and place of their choosing.  Quickly mobilising his own army, in August 1756 Frederick launched a pre-emptive strike on the Electorate of Saxony, having suspected that they were secretly a part of the anti-Prussian coalition.  He suspected correctly; Saxony had secretly agreed to expand its army from 18,000 to 40,000 men for the attack on Prussia.

Almost the entire Saxon Army had concentrated in a strongly-fortified camp at Pirna and Frederick had no choice but to besiege the camp.  However, spies soon reported an Austrian relief force forming at Prague, so leaving an army to continue the siege, Frederick moved with 28,000 men up the Elbe to block any Austrian advance.

Browne

The Austrian Field Marshall Maximilian Ulysses Count von Browne had planned to make a demonstration in the Bohemian mountains west of the Elbe and south of Pirna, distracting Frederick’s main army while slipping a relief force down the eastern bank of the Elbe to aid the Saxon escape across the river.  However, having detected Frederick’s move south, he recalled the relief force and concentrated his 33,000 men at Lobositz, where Frederick’s army would emerge from the mountains. 

Early in the morning of 1st October 1756, as Frederick’s army approached Lobositz in thick fog, the Prussian columns came under musket fire from Grenzer concealed among the stone-walled vineyards of the Lobosch; a steep-sided extinct volcano guarding the exit onto the Lobositz floodplain and dominating the Prussian left flank.  Frederick ordered Bevern to take seven battalions and force the Grenzer from the heights.  In the meantime, the leading infantry battalions were coming under fire from an Austrian battery near Lobositz.  Frederick ordered his artillery commander, Colonel Moller to establish a large battery of heavy guns on the Homolka hill near the village of Wchinitz, which dominated the plain on the right flank of the Prussian infantry.

As the fog started to disperse, a few Austrian cavalry could be seen on the plain.  Frederick immediately assumed that Browne must be in retreat and that this was his rearguard.  General Kyau was ordered to take his cavalry, along with that of General Katte, and mount a reconnaissance-in-force, to clear away the rearguard and locate Browne’s main body.

Hadik

As Kyau descended into the valley, the Austrian ‘rearguard’ under General Hadik, consisting of the massed elite companies (Carabiniers and Horse Grenadiers) of the Austrian heavy cavalry, plus the Baryanay and Hadik Hussar Regiments, was initially driven back by the Prussian charge.  However, the Prussian horsemen suddenly found themselves under heavy fire from previously unobserved artillery on their left and right, grenadiers around Lobositz and Grenzer hidden along a sunken road to their front!  As they tried to avoid these new threats, they ran into the boggy ground near Sullowitz, where they came under intense fire from the previously-unobserved Austrian infantry there!  To make matters worse, the Austrian General Radicati was waiting at the sunken road with the Archduke Joseph Dragoon Regiment  and the Stampach and Cordua Cuirassier Regiments, who quickly repulsed the shocked Prussian cavalry.

Gessler

Watching from the Homolka, General Gessler, the overall commander of the Prussian cavalry, stung by a recent rebuke from the King for not acting on his own initiative, immediately ordered every cavalry squadron in the army to move down onto the plain and renew the attack!  Horrified, Frederick is said to have exclaimed “My God, what is my cavalry doing?! They’re attacking a second time, and nobody gave the order!”  

Sure enough, Gessler’s horsemen were shot to pieces and repulsed by the Austrian cavalry, who had now been reinforced by Löwenstein’s seven regiments, brought in from the left flank.  As his defeated horsemen streamed to the rear, Frederick scented defeat and suddenly discovered that he had ‘business to attend to in the rear’…

Bevern

However, the Prussian heavy artillery was doing considerable damage in the centre, where the Austrians were completely out-gunned.  Up on the Lobosch, both sides had been fighting all day and had now run out of ammunition.  In furious frustration, Bevern ordered his infantry to go forward with the bayonet and the attack was completely successful, finally driving back Draskowitz’s Grenzer and Lacy’s regulars and sweeping on down to Lobositz itself.  

As the Austrians barricaded the gates, Colonel Moller ordered his howitzers to direct their fire onto the town, which was soon ablaze from end to end, burning Austrians and Prussians alike.  Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick’s infantry were also now engaged and with all opportunity to relieve the Saxons now long-passed, Browne ordered his army to withdraw.

So as at Frederick’s very first battle at Mollwitz in 1741, a Prussian victory had been snatched from the jaws of defeat by the superlative quality of its infantry.  Nevertheless, it took some considerable effort for Ferdinand and Bevern to convince the King that he had won the first battle of the war!

These orders of battle use the standard format for Shako/Tricorn, with Morale Ratings (MR) shown in square brackets.  Guards and Heavy Cavalry have [6/2], Elite Infantry and Dragoons have [5/2], Line Infantry and Light Cavalry have [4/1] and Poor Infantry and Skirmishers have [3/0].  Note that some units are rated as elite and have a MR one level higher than normal (quite a lot of the Prussian line infantry at this early stage of the war are rated as elite).

Units listed as having 16 figures are rated as ‘Large’ under Shako/Tricorn rules and can therefore absorb an extra hit.

The Prussian Army – King Frederick II

(Excellent – 3 Messengers)

Left Wing – Generallieutenant Prince von Braunschweig-Bevern (Average)

I. Bn/27th ‘Kleist’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/27th ‘Kleist’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/7th ‘Bevern’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/7th ‘Bevern’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/13th ‘Itzenplitz’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/13th ‘Itzenplitz’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion 5/20 ‘Jung-Billerbeck’ – 12 Figs [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion 3/6 ‘Kleist’ – 12 Figs [5/2]
1 Very Light Battery

Right Wing – Generallieutenant von Kleist (Average)

I. Bn/30th ‘Blankensee’ Musketeer Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/30th ‘Blankensee’ Musketeer Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/17th ‘Manteuffel’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/17th ‘Manteuffel’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/36th ‘Münchow’ Füsilier Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/36th ‘Münchow’ Füsilier Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
4 Heavy Batteries
1 Very Light Battery

Centre – Generallieutenant Ferdinand, Prince von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (Excellent)

I. Bn/21st ‘Hülsen’ Musketeer Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/21st ‘Hülsen’ Musketeer Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/3rd ‘Alt-Anhalt’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/3rd ‘Alt-Anhalt’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
III. Bn/3rd ‘Alt-Anhalt’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/9th ‘Quadt’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/9th ‘Quadt’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/5th ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/5th ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Musketeer Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion 17/22 ‘Puttkamer’ – 12 Figs [5/2]
Grenadier Battalion 24/34 ‘Grumbkow’ – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/20th ‘Zastrow’ Infantry Regiment (elite) – 12 Figs [5/2]
2 Heavy Batteries
1 Very Light Battery

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant Freiherr von Kyau (Poor)

11th Leib-Carabiniere Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
8th ‘Rochow’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
10th Gens d’Armes Cuirassier Regiment } – 16 Figs [6/2]
13th Garde du Corps Cuirassier Regiment }
2nd ‘Prinz von Preussen’ Cuirassier Regiment (Gelbe-Reitere) – 16 Figs [6/2]
I. Bn/5th ‘Brandenburg’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]
II. Bn/5th ‘Brandenburg’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant von Katzler (Average)

5th ‘Markgraf Friedrich von Brandenburg’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
3rd Leibregiment zu Pferde Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
6th ‘Baron von Schönaich’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
7th ‘Driesen’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant von Schwerin (Excellent)

4th ‘Katte’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]
3rd ‘Truchsess’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]
3 Sqns/1st ‘Székely’ (Green) Hussar Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]

Prussian Breakpoints

Each division must check when it’s losses reach the number of morale points shown below.  The values represent the total Frontal Morale Rating (FMR) of the division in brackets, followed by the divisional test-points of one third, half and two-thirds:

Bevern (40) – 14/20/30
Kleist (26) – 8/13/19
Ferdinand of Brunswick (58) – 19/29/44
Kyau (34) – 12/17/26
Katzler (24) – 8/12/18
Schwerin (14) – 5/7/9

Likewise, the army must check when its losses (in terms of completely broken divisions) reach the levels shown below.  The total FMR level of the army is shown in brackets, followed by the test-points for one-quarter, one-third and half losses:

Prussian Army – King Frederick II (196) – 49/65/98

Prussian Notes

1.  This order of battle bears little resemblance to the theoretical pre-battle orders of battle and is based primarily on where units ended up fighting and under whose command they were fighting (don’t you just love 18th Century armies…).  There are as many different versions of the order of battle as there are accounts of the battle, so this is my best guess.

2.  Kyau is under enforced Attack orders, with a pre-determined command arrow going directly toward the centre of Hadik’s command and pushing on across the centre of the Sunken Road, with the tip of the arrow 6 inches beyond the Sunken Road. This may not be changed, except by a change of order from the King, as per the normal game rules. Note that Katte’s cavalry division was also swept up in the madness of Kyau’s charge, along with the Brandenburg Dragoons from Schwerin’s command, so they have all been combined into Kyau’s command for scenario purposes. This disastrous event was caused by the morning mist, which lingered in the valley after dawn, resulting in Frederick ordering Kyau to mount a reconnaissance in force. As the mist lifted, they came under fire from the Austrian guns and attack from Hadik’s command and the supporting Prussian cavalry also threw themselves into the charge. The mist then lifted completely and the Prussian horsemen suddenly realised that they were in a very sticky situation!

3.  All other Prussian commands may be given any orders at the start of the scenario.

4. Bevern’s command have abandoned their battalion guns in order to get to grips with the Grenzer on the slopes and vineyards of the Lobosch.  Bevern’s battalions therefore fire and move as per the standard rules and may not recover their battalion guns.  Five battalions are deployed in Bevern’s first line, with his remaining battalions being deployed no closer than 12 inches to the rear (they may not therefore provide rear support in mêlée unless they close up).

5.  The two Heavy Batteries under Prince Ferdinand’s command (known collectively as ‘Moller’s Battery’) are already deployed and ready to fire on the Homolka. The remaining batteries are limbered on the road to Kleist’s rear and have yet to be deployed.

6.  Prussian regiments at this time were not numbered and were instead known by the name of their Chef (e.g. ‘Itzenplitz’) or by a historical title (e.g. Leib-Carabiniere) or in the case of combined grenadier battalions, by the name of their Commanding Officer.  However, there was an established order of seniority, which eventually became a formalised numbering system in 1806.  Most histories written after 1806 refer to the regimental number and it does make units easier to identify if they changed their Chef.  It also makes battle maps easier to label!

7.  Some sources identify the hussars as belonging to the 2nd ‘Zieten’ (Leib) Hussars.

8.  The 13th Garde du Corps Cuirassiers were still only a single squadron at this time, so are absorbed into the strength of the 10th Gens d’Armes Cuirassiers with whom they were brigaded.

9.  The Heavy Batteries are classed as Army Guns and do not have any targeting restrictions.  The Very Light Batteries are surplus battalion guns (after one battalion gun has been factored in to each infantry battalion) and must be used to support the division to which they are attached.

The Austrian Army – Feldmarschall von Browne

(Average – 2 Messengers)

Advance Guard – Generalfeldwachtmeister Hadik (Excellent)

Combined Carabinier Companies (Cuirassiers) – 16 Figs [6/2]
Combined Horse Grenadier Companies (Heavy Horse) – 12 figs [6/2]
ii) ‘Hadik’ Hussar Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
30th ‘Baranyay’ Hussar Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
Detachment, 2nd Banal Grenz Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]

Right Wing Cavalry – Feldmarschallieutenant Radicati (Average)

1st ‘Erzherzog Joseph’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]
14th ‘Cordova’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
10th ‘Stampach’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]

Flank Guard – Generalfeldwachtmeister Draskowitz (Excellent)

1 Bn, Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenz Infantry Regiment (formed) – 12 Figs [3/0]
Detachment of Grenadiers and Hungarian Volunteers (formed) – 12 Figs [5/2]
Detachment, Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenz Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]
Detachment, Karlstädter-Oguliner Grenz Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]
1 Bn, 2nd Banal Grenz Infantry Regiment (formed) – 12 Figs [3/0]
Detachment, 2nd Banal Grenz-Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]
Detachment, 2nd Banal Grenz-Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]

Right Wing Infantry Division – Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Wied (Average)

1st Combined Grenadier Battalion – 12 Figs [5/2]
2nd Combined Grenadier Battalion – 12 Figs [5/2]
I. Bn/10th ‘Jung-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/10th ‘Jung-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/37th ‘Joseph Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/37th ‘Joseph Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment – 12 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/8th ‘Hildburghausen’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/8th ‘Hildburghausen’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
1 Heavy Battery
1 Light Battery
1 Very Light Battery

Infantry Division of Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Lacy (Excellent)

I. Bn/36th ‘Browne’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/36th ‘Browne’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/20th ‘Alt-Colloredo’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/20th ‘Alt-Colloredo’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
3rd Combined Grenadier Battalion – 12 Figs [5/2]
4th Combined Grenadier Battalion – 12 Figs [5/2]
Detachment, Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenz Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]
Detachment, Karlstädter-Lykaner Grenz Infantry Regiment – Skirmishers [3/0]
1 Very Light Battery

Centre Infantry Division – Feldmarschallieutenant Stahremberg (Poor)

I. Bn/1st ‘Kaiser’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/1st ‘Kaiser’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/33rd ‘Nikolaus Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/33rd ‘Nikolaus Esterházy’ Hungarian Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/50th ‘Harsch’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/50th ‘Harsch’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/17th ‘Kolowrat’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/17th ‘Kolowrat’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
1 Light Battery
1 Very Light Battery

Left Wing Infantry Division – Feldzeugmeister Kolowrat-Krakowsky (Average)

I. Bn/29th ‘Alt-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/29th ‘Alt-Wolfenbüttel’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/27th ‘Baden-Durlach’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/27th ‘Baden-Durlach’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/11th ‘Wallis’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/11th ‘Wallis’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/47th ‘Harrach’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/47th ‘Harrach’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/49th ‘Kheul’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/49th ‘Kheul’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
I. Bn/35th ‘Waldeck’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
II. Bn/35th ‘Waldeck’ Infantry Regiment – 16 Figs [4/1]
1 Very Light Battery

Left Wing Cavalry – Generalfeldwachtmeister Löwenstein (Average)

15th ‘Anspach’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
2nd ‘Erzherzog Ferdinand’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
21st ‘Trautmansdorf’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
12th ‘Serbelloni’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
6th ‘Liechtenstein’ Dragoon Regiment – 16 Figs [5/2]
29th ‘Brettlach’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]
8th ‘Carl Pálffy’ Cuirassier Regiment – 16 Figs [6/2]

Austrian Breakpoints

Each division must check when it’s losses reach the number of morale points shown below.  The values represent the total Frontal Morale Rating (FMR) of the division in brackets, followed by the divisional test-points of one third, half and two-thirds:

Hadik (23) – 8/12/18
Radicati (17) – 6/9/13
Draskowitz (23) – 8/12/18
Wied (34) – 12/17/26
Lacy (32) – 11/16/24
Stahremberg (32) – 11/16/24
Kolowrat-Krakowsky (48) – 16/24/36
Löwenstein (41) – 14/21/31

Likewise, the army must check when its losses (in terms of completely broken divisions) reach the levels shown below.  The total FMR level of the army is shown in brackets, followed by the test-points for one-quarter, one-third and half losses:

Austrian Army – Browne (250) – 63/84/125

Austrian Notes

1. Again, this order of battle bears only a passing resemblance to the theoretical pre-battle orders of battle and is based primarily on where units were deployed and under whose command they were fighting (e.g. Wied was sent to command the right wing, leaving his own infantry with Stahremberg and then having a very confused command relationship with Lacy, who in turn had a confused command relationship with Draskowitz! Most of Radicati’s cavalry meanwhile, were placed under Löwenstein’s command).

2. Radicati starts the scenario under Reserve orders, while Hadik and Draskowitz may be given any orders. All other formations must be on Defend orders at the start.

3. Draskowitz’s command does not have any battalion guns.

4.  Austrian regiments at this time weren’t actually numbered, but were instead named for their Inhaber.  The numbering system was introduced in 1769.  However, most histories include the later regimental numbering system as it makes the regiments easier to track through changes of Inhaber and also makes maps easier to label, so I’ve included regimental numbers here.  Roman numerals are used (e.g. ii) ‘Hadik’ Hussars) for those regiments disbanded before 1769.

5.  The Heavy and Light Batteries are classed as Army Guns and do not have any targeting restrictions.  The Very Light Batteries are surplus battalion guns (after one battalion gun has been factored in to each infantry battalion) and must be used to support the division to which they are attached.

Terrain Effects

Note that some terrain effects have been changed for scenario purposes from the standard rules:

* The vineyards of the battlefield were criss-crossed by low stone walls and were an absolute nightmare for the Prussian infantry to fight through.  Any stationary defender therefore gains a +1 cover modifier and a +2 melee modifier if they are defending uphill of an enemy.  Note that the contour immediately above the Lobosch vineyard is classed the same, as it was a rock-strewn, scrubby nightmare.  The uppermost contour of the Lobosch is impassable.

The town of Lobositz consists of three built-up sectors.  All other villages consist of a single built-up sector.  None are prepared for defence.

Deployment & Fog Of War

As so often happens with historical scenarios, the players will often know at least the basic historical outline of the battle.  However, if this is not the case, some ‘fog of war’ (in this instance, quite literally fog) can be added during the deployment and initial order-writing phase:

  1. Deploy the Prussian army as per the map, but for the Austrians, deploy only Hadik’s and Draskowitz’s divisions, plus the Austrian battery in the centre.
  2. Both sides write their orders.  Kyau’s Prussian cavalry must mount an immediate attack order as described in the Prussian notes, though all other Prussian formations may be given any orders.  On the Austrian side, Hadik and Draskowitz may be given any orders, while Radicati is on Reserve orders and the others are on Defend orders.
  3. Once Prussian orders have been written and command-arrows drawn on the Prussian map, the remaining Austrian forces are deployed on the table.

As it happens, during our refight, Phil (playing Browne’s Austrians) had an appalling run of luck with his ADCs when trying to change orders.  We were using the 2nd Edition Shako rules for ADCs, where each ADC rolls on each turn to see what happens to him.  No fewer than four of Phil’s ADCs failed to make it through to their destination, only one ADC successfully delivered an order and the sixth one plodded his way at half-speed (stopping to pick flowers, have a drink at a wayside tavern, chat to passing friends, etc) to the far left flank, only delivering his packet of orders when it was FAR too late to have any effect! 

As funny as this was to us on the Prussian side, it meant that Phil didn’t have much of a game, so in retrospect it may be better to either remove the Austrian order restrictions or simply use the Shako 1st Edition ADC rules, whereby ADCs move at a standard rate to their destination and always get through.

Objectives

To achieve a total victory over the enemy, each side must break the enemy’s Army Morale.

A partial victory can be achieved by the Prussians if they clear the Lobosch AND the town of Lobositz of the enemy, while retaining control of the Homolka, thereby securing their exit from the mountains.  Any other result will be an Austrian partial victory.

Anyway, that’s enough for now!  Next will be a report of our play-test.  That will be followed by my Shako conversion notes and play-sheets for ‘Tricorn’.

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Games, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules | 8 Comments

“King George Commands And We Obey”: My Seven Years War British Army

Sorry for the sparsity of posts over the last few weeks.  Mrs Fawr has been cracking the whip… 🙁  Thankfully however, my rate of painting has been maintained and I’ve been making good progress on my new ‘Western Allied’ army for the Seven Years War, starting with the British. 

I always like to use a historical order of battle as a ‘To Do’ list, so I arbitrarily picked the  order of battle for the Battle of Minden 1759.  At this stage of the war, the British contingent in Germany was small, consisting of only six infantry battalions, a combined grenadier battalion, six regiments of cavalry and a brigade of artillery.  As the war went on, the British presence in Germany was more than doubled, so there are plenty of further options for army expansion, including Highlanders and Foot Guards.

Above:  At Minden, the British infantry battalions were grouped in two brigades under the command of Major Generals Waldegrave and Kingsley, along with the two battalions of the Hanoverian Foot Guards Regiment, who were attached to the left of Waldegrave’s brigade in the first line (the Hanoverian ‘Hardenberg’ Regiment – not shown here – also somehow became attached).  This force was designated as the 3rd Column, under the command of the Hanoverian General of Infantry Lord August Friedrich von Spörcken

At Minden, Spörcken’s column formed up in its (exposed) allotted position well ahead of the rest of the Allied army.  Then, whether through a misunderstanding of orders or sheer impetuosity, they advanced alone against the entire French army, even leaving behind their regimental artillery in their enthusiasm to get ‘stuck in’!  Immediately taken to task by a huge mass of French cavalry, Spörcken’s infantry, alone and unsupported, completely defeated the French horse, taking numerous standards.  It was an astonishing achievement and won the regiments involved a very well-deserved Battle Honour.  Later in the battle, the British infantry picked roses to wear in their hats as a mark of celebration and the ‘Minden Rose’ has been worn (and even eaten!) by their descendant regiments on Minden Day (1st August) ever since.

Above:  Lord von Spörcken is shown here wearing the regimental uniform of his own Hanoverian ‘Spörcken’ Infantry Regiment (numbered 2-A under the post-war numbering system).  There was no stipulated uniform for British or Hanoverian general officers during this period, so they invariably wore a version of their own regimental uniform.  A 1770 portrait of Spörcken shows him wearing the dark blue facings of the Hanoverian Foot Guards Regiment, of which he became Colonel during the winter of 1760/61. 

The uniform of the ‘Spörcken’ Regiment consisted of the usual British-Hanoverian scarlet coat, with facings and waistcoat coloured ‘pale straw’, with gold buttons, lace and aiguillette.  By 1759 the Hanoverian Army had simplified its infantry uniform somewhat, removing all the extraneous lace edging to lapels, cuffs and waistcoat and just leaving the buttonhole lace.  However, as a general officer, he’s retained some gold lace on his waistcoat.  His breeches are a darker shade of yellow-buff and the yellow sash, worn British-style over the shoulder, was the ‘badge of office’ for Hanoverian officers.  

Above:  Lord von Spörcken.  I couldn’t find information on Hanoverian infantry officers’ horse furniture, but assumed that it followed the British pattern of being coloured according to the regimental facing colour and then edged in the regimental ‘metal’ colour.

Above:  Waldegrave’s Brigade at Minden.  This brigade formed the first line of Spörcken’s command and consisted of the 12th Foot (Napier’s) formed on the right, with the 37th Foot (Stuart’s) in the centre and the 23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers) on the left.  As mentioned above, they were further reinforced on their left by the Hanoverian Foot Guards.

Above:  12th Regiment of Foot (Napier’s).  The standard British infantry uniform of the period was the classic red coat with half-lapels, large cuffs with a deep v-shaped slash, voluminous coat-tails turned back to reveal the lining colour (which always matched the facing colour on cuffs and lapels) and a matching red waistcoat, all very heavily decorated with lace that changed slightly in terms of colour and positioning from regiment to regiment.  Most regiments wore red breeches, though ‘Royal’ regiments wore blue and some regiments wore other unofficial colours.  Gaiters were white for full dress, secured with a black strap under the knee.  However, brown, grey or black gaiters were worn on campaign, with black becoming standard in 1759.  Neck-stocks were white.  Belts were buff (a paler shade than that used by the French).  Hats were always edged in white lace, regardless of the regimental ‘metal’ colour and the only other decoration was a black cockade. 

Officers wore lace of the regimental ‘metal’ colour, as well as an aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Their badge of office was a crimson sash, worn over the right shoulder.  Officers coat-tails were not normally turned back.  Some officers also wore fashionably buff waistcoats.

The 12th Foot had yellow facings and yellow ‘metal’.  Note that the rank-and-file always wore white metal buttons.  Only the officers (and sometimes NCOs) wore buttons of the regimental metal colour.  The regimental lace was white with a wide central yellow stripe, so I was considering painting it in a pale yellow shade, but in the end just went with plain white.

Above:  12th Regiment of Foot (Napier’s).  Note that the tail-pockets were edged with the regimental lace and the cuffs had a ‘ladder’ of buttonhole lace running up the lower sleeve.  This was the most common arrangement of lace on British infantry uniforms.  Note also that the 12th curiously didn’t use ‘reversed colours’ (i.e. a yellow coat with red facings) for its drummers and instead issued them with a red coat, albeit with ‘false’ sleeves on the back and extra lace decoration on the sleeves.

I’d better mention here that I realised after painting this (my first) regiment that the muskets have been wrongly modelled with barrel-bands.  The British Brown Bess musket of course lacked such things.  There’s not much I can do about them, but I didn’t paint the bands on subsequent units.

Above:  The Grenadier Company of the 12th Regiment of Foot (Napier’s).  The grenadiers were almost always separated from their parent regiment on campaign, so they’re unbased here, awaiting basing with the rest of Maxwell’s Grenadier Battalion (see below).  Although the actual role of grenade-lobbing was long gone, the traditional and distinctive items of grenadier dress; the brass match-case on the cross-belt, the ornately decorated mitre cap and the basket-hilted short sword were still worn.  Lace ‘wings’ had also been added to the shoulders during the 1750s.

The grenadier cap was invariably fronted with the regimental facing colour, with the back of the cap being red, though with the lower band being of the facing colour.  Above the brow was a false turned-up flap, which was usually red and was decorated with the white running horse badge of Hanover (which at this scale looks like a badly-inflated balloon animal), edged with the motto ‘Nec aspera terrent’.  Above the flap was usually the crowned royal ‘GR’ cypher, flanked by sprays of foliage.  Some regiments had ‘ancient badges’ in lieu of the cypher.  The sides and rear were then piped in white and the cap was topped with a woollen tuft (often in the shape of a bursting grenade) which was usually white, but could have other coloured threads worked into it.  In the case of the 12th, the cypher and foliage were embroidered in red and the Roman numeral ‘XII’ was embroidered in red on the back, with a red grenade badge separating the ‘X’ and the ‘II’.  The regimental number was flanked by more red foliate embroidery and there were white ‘flames’ embroidered up the red segments of the cap’s rear.

Above:  37th Regiment of Foot (Stuart’s).  The 37th had yellow facings like the 12th, but this time had white ‘metal’.  The regimental lace was a complicated pattern, being mainly white, but incorporating fine yellow lines and blue zig-zags (I just painted it white!).  Unlike the 12th, the lace of the 37th formed a ‘herringbone’ pattern on the lower sleeves and coat-tails and is clearly shown in the photo below.  This style of lace was fairly uncommon, but was also used by the Royal Artillery.

In terms of organisation, each battalion consisted of nine ‘battalion’ or ‘hat’ companies and one grenadier company.  In peacetime these companies would number 81 men of all ranks and in Ireland the number was far lower, with only 37 men per company.  In wartime these companies would theoretically be expanded to 114 men per company, though with the exception of a few Scottish regiments, would hardly ever reach that strength.  In any case, not all men would be deployed abroad and a field strength of 50-70 men was far more common.  I’ve therefore organised these at ‘field strength’ of 12 figures (roughly 400-800 men) for ‘Shako’ rules, as that seems to be typical for British regiments in Germany.

Above:  37th Regiment of Foot (Stuart’s).  Like the 12th Foot, the drummers of the 37th did not wear reversed colours and instead wore red coats with yellow facings, though decorated with additional lace on the sleeves.  Note that British drummers of all companies wore a mitre cap that was very much like that of the grenadiers, though was a few inches shorter and lacked the tuft on the top.  They also sometimes had a different embroidered design on the front, though I’ve gone with the usual ‘GR’ cypher here.  Many of these cap designs are not known, though a design showing ‘piled trophies’ was popular.

Above:  The Grenadier Company of the 37th Regiment of Foot (Stuart’s).  The grenadiers of the 37th wore a cap very similar to those of the 12th above, with cypher and foliage embroidered in red.  However, the regimental number ’37’ was embroidered on the rear band in Arabic rather than Roman numerals and the back lacked the embroidered ‘flames’.  Note also the ‘hat company’ Sergeant, carrying a pole-arm and wearing a sash around his waist.  The Sergeants’ pattern of sash was crimson with a central facing-coloured stripe.

Above:  23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).  The three Fusilier Regiments (7th, 21st and 23rd) were authorised during the late 17th Century to operate as grenadiers and would therefore wear grenadier-style uniforms, including mitre caps for the whole regiment.  In theory the cap was meant to be shorter than that of the grenadiers, though paintings from the period show no appreciable difference other than the tuft, which tended to be smaller for the Fusiliers and larger and grenade-shaped for the grenadiers.

Above:  23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).  The 23rd wore blue facings and as a Royal regiment also had blue breeches, though waistcoats remained red.  The regimental lace was white with thin black and red lines, though again, I’ve just painted it plain white.  The 23rd were one of the few regiments authorised to wear an ‘ancient badge’, in this case the three feathers of the Prince of Wales.  For the battalion companies, this was flanked by yellow foliage and the ‘flap’ seems to have been in the facing colour.  The detached grenadier company (not shown here) seems to have had a red flap and white foliage, as well as a grenade-shaped tuft.  Officers’ mitres were invariably embroidered with expensive metallic thread and as a consequence were usually replaced by hats in the field (but that’s boring…).

Note that as a ‘Royal’ regiment, the 23rd DEFINITELY had yellow ‘metal’ (confirmed by my own visits to the RWF Museum at Caernarfon Castle), though Kronoskaf mistakenly lists white metal, so beware of this trap if you’re painting them!

Above:  23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).  The 23rd had lace ‘ladders’ on the lower sleeves and lace edging to the tail pockets.  The regiment’s drummers meanwhile, wore Royal Livery, which was a red coat, faced with blue and heavily decorated with golden-yellow lace with thin lines of purple running through it (I’ve just painted it yellow).

Above:  23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers).  The 23rd’s mitre caps were decorated with the regimental number ’23’ in Arabic numerals.  Note also that the battalion companies lacked the shoulder wings of the grenadier company (these would be added in later years, but were not a feature of the uniform at this time).

Note that as these figures lack shoulder-wings and belly-boxes they would actually be perfect for Hanoverian grenadiers… I just wish I’d realised that before buying British grenadier figures for the Hanoverians…

Above:  The Hanoverian Foot Guards Regiment.  This regiment uniquely put two battalions into the field and I thought I’d include a picture of these here, as they were part of Spörcken’s command, but I’ll cover the Hanoverians in detail in a future article.  The uniform style was very similar to that of the British infantry, but there were quite a few subtle and not-so-subtle differences, which I’ll cover next time.

Above:  Kingsley’s Brigade formed the second line of Spörcken’s command at Minden, though the intense nature of the fighting during the French cavalry attack meant that they had no better a time of it than Waldegrave’s Brigade.  The brigade again consisted of three British infantry battalions; the 20th Foot (Kingsley’s) on the right, the 51st Foot (Brudenell’s) in the centre and the 25th Foot (Home’s) on the left.

Above:  20th Regiment of Foot (Kingsley’s).  This regiment had pale yellow facings and white ‘metal’.  The pale yellow shade is akin to a  primrose flower, though Kronoskaf and Maverick Models have gone for a more pale cream shade for the Regimental Colour (i.e. the flag), so I’ve aimed somewhere between the two, as in reality the facing colour would exactly match Regimental Colour.  The regimental lace was white with thin red and blue stripes.  From a distance, the lace where it lies on top of the pale yellow facings looks quite red and I did consider painting it as red or pink on the cuffs and lapels, but in the end decided to just stick with white (again).

Above:  20th Regiment of Foot (Kingsley’s).  The tail pockets were edged with lace and the lower sleeves had the ‘ladder’ design. On this occasion the regimental drummers wore reversed colours.

Above:  The Grenadier Company of the 20th Regiment of Foot (Kingsley’s).  Again, the 20th used the ‘GR’ cypher as their badge, but the embroidery colour is not recorded, so I’ve gone with black to make it stand out from the pale yellow and look a bit different from the others.  The back of the cap was once again decorated with the regimental number and both the Roman ‘XX’ and Arabic ’20’ are recorded, so I’ve gone with ‘XX’.

Above:  51st Regiment of Foot (Brudenell’s). It should be noted that this was the second regiment numbered 51st to have fought in the Seven Years War.  The first iteration had red facings and was captured in 1756 at Fort Oswego in North America.  This is therefore the second iteration of the 51st, which was raised in September 1757.

Sources are confused regarding this regiment’s facing colour.  Some say ‘gosling green’, which was a horrible pale khaki shade, famously worn by the 5th Foot and often referred to as ‘gooseshit green’.  Others meanwhile, describe it as ‘dark green’ and a number of paintings show it as quite a grassy shade.  I’ve erred toward a darkish grassy shade, roughly matching the Regimental Colour supplied by Maverick Models, which also matches the colour plate in Stuart Reid’s Osprey book on the western allied armies.  Stuart Reid also makes the case for green breeches in this regiment, so given an inch, I’ve taken the proverbial mile and gone with the green breeches look! 🙂

Above:  51st Regiment of Foot (Brudenell’s).  The lace colour for the regiment was generally white, though the exact pattern of lace is unknown.  Again, this regiment had lace edging to the pockets and ‘ladders’ on the sleeves.  The regimental ‘metal’ colour was white and the drummers wore reversed colours.

Above:  The Grenadier Company of the 51st Regiment of Foot (Brudenell’s).  Again, this regiment wore the ‘GR’ cypher as it’s badge, this time embroidered in white and flanked by white foliage.  The rear band was decorated with the Roman numeral ‘LI’.

Above:  25th (Edinburgh) Regiment of Foot (Home’s).  This regiment had ‘deep yellow’ facings and white ‘metal, though the officers’ gorgets were gold.  The regimental lace was white, though edged with thin lines of dark blue, yellow and red.  The ‘deep yellow’ shade is difficult to pin down, though it’s also described as ‘almost buff’.  That said, I’ve studied surviving samples of the facing cloth and it doesn’t look any different to the yellow of the 12th or 37th.

Above:  25th (Edinburgh) Regiment of Foot (Home’s).  Again, the 25th had lace edging to the pockets and a ‘ladder’ pattern on the lower sleeves.  The regiment’s drummers wore reversed colours.

Above:  The Grenadier Company of the 25th (Edinburgh) Regiment of Foot (Home’s).  Again, this regiment used the ‘GR’ cypher as it’s badge, this time embroidered in white and flanked by white foliage.  The rear was decorated with the regimental number, though both ‘XXV’ and ’25’ are recorded.  I’ve gone with ‘XXV’.

Above:  Maxwell’s Grenadier Battalion.  The grenadier companies of the six British infantry battalions were detached and grouped as a combined grenadier battalion under the command of one Major Maxwell and were brigaded with Hanoverian, Hessian and Brunswicker grenadier battalions as part of Wangenheim’s Corps on the left flank.

Above:  Maxwell’s Grenadier Battalion.  Note that I made a mistake with the ordering of the regiments here.  I’ve lined them up in the usual order of seniority for most nations; the senior regiment (12th) on the right and the junior (51st) on the left.  However, I completely forgot that the British alternated seniority by flank, starting with the most senior on the right flank, but then having the second most senior regiment on the left and then alternating on each side, with the most junior in the middle!  The order from the right flank to the left flank should therefore be 12th, 23rd, 37th, 51st, 25th, 20th.

Above:  Maxwell’s Grenadier Battalion.  When the reinforcement wave of a further six regiments arrived (5th, 8th, 11th, 24th, 33rd & 50th), a second grenadier battalion was formed.  However, all twelve regiments were apparently mixed up and I can’t for the life of me discover how they were mixed.  I’ll probably just create a new battalion using the six new regiments.  The grenadiers of the two Highland regiments (87th and 88th) remained with their regiments.  The three Foot Guards battalions sent to Germany massed their grenadier companies in a half-strength Guards Grenadier Battalion of only three companies.

These models are all Eureka Miniatures 18mm figures and the flags are by Maverick Models.  

In the next SYW instalment I’ll be looking at the first of my Hanoverian, Hessian and Schaumburg-Lippe troops…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Shako Rules | 10 Comments

Reinforcements For King Louis! (Part 2)

Following my recent, though blessedly brief descent into olive-drabness, I’ve now recovered my senses and am feeling much better now, thanks for asking!

Having started my French Seven Years War project in ‘Frogruary‘, the army is now complete (for the time being), as I’ve got enough troops for a game.  I’ve still got a 12-figure regiment of hussars and eight more infantry battalions waiting to be painted, but I’ve moved on for now to the ‘Western Allied’ Army (the combined armies of Britain, Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippe).

I dedicated the month of April to painting nothing but French cavalry and managed to get 60 of them done; four 12-figure brigades of Chevauxlégers and one 12-figure regiment of Dragoons.  These are all 18mm figures by Eureka Miniatures and the flags were all made and printed by me, utilising the picture files on Kronoskaf and my own laser-printer.

I say ‘brigades’ because the vast majority of French line cavalry regiments were absolutely tiny, formed of only two squadrons, which were invariably understrength at around 120 men apiece, so only 240 men or so for an entire regiment.  Consequently, a regiment is represented here by a single base of four figures and they are then grouped together into 8, 12 or 16-figure brigades, with a brigade being treated in game terms as a regiment.

I’ve only given an officer, standard-bearer and trumpeter to one regiment in three (the senior regiment in each brigade, based on the order of battle for the Battle of Rossbach).  This does make things rather easier, as the details of flags and livery for a lot of French regiments are simply not known.  As it happens, the vast majority of Chevauxléger regiments were dressed very much the same, in grey-white coats with red facings, white ‘metal’ and royal blue saddlery.  The only difference being the design and colour of lace edging on the saddlery and waistcoat.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that the bulk of France’s cavalry arm were referred to as ‘Chevauxlégers’ meaning ‘Light Horse’ or ‘Cavalerie Légère’ meaning ‘Light Cavalry.  However, these terms are misleading.  French Chevauxlégers of the time were very much heavy cavalry, fighting in the line of battle, riding heavy horses and often wearing a cuirass under the coat and an iron skull-cap under the hat.  The term was a historical one dating back to mediaeval times, differentiating the relatively lightly-armoured retainers from the fully-armoured Gendarmes (knights).  That said, the ‘light’ part of the title was falling out of use during this period, with ‘Cavalerie’ often being used (though not formalised until 1791).  Nevertheless, I have seen figure manufacturers list these in their catalogues as ‘light cavalry’ due to their misunderstanding of the terminology, so it can be rather baffling when you are collecting a SYW French army!

The performance of the French cavalry arm was generally dismal throughout the first five years of the Seven Years War and the bulk of the blame was placed on the 32 ‘Gentlemen’s Regiments’ of Chevauxlégers.  Consequently from December 1761 the cavalry were reformed, with the Gentlemen’s Regiments being disbanded over the following year and absorbed into most of the 15 existing Royal Regiments, 5 newly-raised Royal Regiments and 10 regiments belonging to ‘Princes of the Blood’.  Most of these regiments now doubled in size to four squadrons apiece.

Above:  The ‘La Reine’ Brigade at Rossbach was formed from the ‘La Reine‘ Regiment (in the centre), ‘Fitz-James‘ Regiment (on the left of the picture) and ‘Bourbon-Busset‘ Regiment (on the right).  ‘La Reine’ was a Royal Regiment, ‘Bourbon-Busset’ was a Gentleman’s Regiment and ‘Fitz-James’ was a foreign regiment, being the sole Irish cavalry regiment in the French Army’. 

‘La Reine’ and ‘Fitz-James’ notably wore red coats with royal blue facings and linings, though ‘La Reine’s coat lacked lapels.  ‘Fitz-James’ was one of a few regiments that adopted bearskin caps in 1758 and although my army is based around the Battle of Rossbach in 1757, I can never resist a bearskin…  ‘Bourbon-Busset’ wore the very common combination of grey-white coat with red facings and linings.

Above:  The ‘La Reine’ Brigade.  The ‘Bourbon-Busset’ and ‘Fitz-James’ Regiments both had royal blue saddlery, while ‘La Reine’ had red.  The lace edging for ‘La Reine’ was blue with a white chain pattern, while that of ‘Bourbon-Busset’ was blue with a yellow chain pattern and ‘Fitz-James’ had a green & white check pattern.  ‘La Reine’s shabraque and holster-covers were decorated with a yellow fleur-de-lys badge.

Above:  The ‘La Reine’ Brigade.  As mentioned above, I’ve only done command figures for the senior regiment in each brigade.  Consequently the standard here is that of the ‘La Reine’ Regiment, having a red field scattered with small fleurs-de-lys, the Queen’s crowned cypher in each corner and emblazoned with the universal sun motif and white scroll bearing the motto ‘Nec Pluribus Impar’, edged with a fringed of mixed silver and gold threads.  Staves always resembled a tournament lance and were usually coloured to match the standard’s field colour, though royal blue was also common.  The trumpeter wears the Queen’s livery, which was essentially the reverse of the King’s livery, being a red coat with blue facings and heavily laced in a blue & white chain pattern.  French cavalry musicians commonly rode greys.

While not shown here, ‘Bourbon-Busset’ carried a standard of the ‘stock’ pattern of the sun motif and scroll above, surrounded by a wreath and a fleur-de-lys in each corner, with the field in red.  ‘Fitz-James’ carried the same design with a yellow field.  Livery for ‘Fitz-James’ is given as a yellow coat with green facings, presumably laced as per the saddlery, though nothing is known of the livery for ‘Bourbon-Busset’.

Note that in the vast majority of cases, buttons and hat-lace were of white ‘metal’, small-clothes and gloves were buff leather and belts were of natural reddish-buff leather.  Cloaks were carried rolled behind the saddle and were of the same colour as the coat, with the lining colour showing at the ends of the roll.  Cuirasses and iron skull-caps were issued to be worn under the uniform, though were not always worn.

Above:  The ‘Bourbon’ Brigade at Rossbach was formed from the ‘Bourbon‘ Regiment (in the centre), ‘Beauvilliers‘ Regiment (on the right)and ‘Volontaires-Liègeois‘ or ‘Raugrave’ Regiment (on the left).  The ‘Bourbon’ Regiment belonged to a ‘Prince of the Blood’, while ‘Beauvilliers’ was a Gentleman’s Regiment and the ‘Volontaires-Liègeois’ were a foreign regiment.  

The ‘Bourbon’ and ‘Beauvilliers’ Regiments both wore grey-white coats with red facings and linings, while the ‘Volontaires-Liègeois’ wore royal blue coats with yellow facings and linings, white buttonhole lace, bearskin caps and white belts.

Above:  The ‘Bourbon’ Brigade.  Saddlery was royal blue for all three regiments.  The lace edging for the ‘Bourbon’ Regiment was white with two crimson stripes, speckled white.  ‘Beauvilliers’ had yellow lace with a red chain pattern.  The ‘Volontaires-Liègeois’ had plain yellow lace, though the shabraque and holster-covers were decorated with three fleurs-de-lys arranged in a triangle, with a crown above.

Above:  The ‘Bourbon’ Brigade.  Again, I’ve only done command figures for the lead regiment, namely the ‘Bourbon’ Regiment.  ‘Bourbon’s trumpeters had yellow-buff livery with crimson facings, white buttonhole lace and crimson saddlery with white lace edging.  ‘Bourbon’s standard was of the ‘stock’ pattern, featuring the sun motif with white ‘Nec Pluribus Impar’ scroll above, surrounded by a wreath and four fleurs-de-lys.  The field colour was blue.  

The ‘Volontaires Liègeois’ had a ‘stock’ standard with crimson field.  Their livery is not known.  ‘Beauvilliers’ had ‘stock’ standards with an aurore field.  Again, their livery is not known.

Above:  The ‘Lusignan’ Brigade at Rossbach was formed from only two units, the ‘Lusignan‘ Regiment (in the centre) and ‘Descars‘ Regiment (on the right).  I had four figures spare, so I also painted the ‘Montcalm‘ Regiment (on the left) from the ‘Poly’ Brigade (which was in the third line at Rossbach and the remainder of the brigade is still on my ‘to do’ list).

All three were Gentlemen’s Regiments and had grey-white coats with red facings and linings.

Above:  The ‘Lusignan’ Brigade (plus ‘Montcalm’ Regiment).  All three regiments had royal blue saddlery.  ‘Lusignan’ had lace consisting of alternating yellow and blue squares, while ‘Descars’ had red & yellow checked lace and ‘Montcalm’ had a red and green check pattern.

Above:  The ‘Lusignan’ Brigade (plus ‘Montcalm’ Regiment).  ‘Lusignan’ carried a standard which had a white field on the obverse side with the ‘stock’ golden sun design.  The reverse had a plain red field with a white scroll carrying the motto ‘Nec terrent, nec morantur’.  The livery for ‘Lusignan’ is not known, so I’ve gone with a grey-white coat and saddlery (to match the white field of the standard), decorated with the blue & yellow regimental lace.

The ‘Descars’ Regiment had ‘stock’ standards with aurore fields, while those of ‘Montcalm’ are not known.  Musicians’ livery for ‘Descars’ or ‘Montcalm’ is not known.

Above:  The ‘Penthièvre’ Brigade at Rossbach consisted of the ‘Penthièvre‘ Regiment (here in the centre), ‘Bussy-Lameth‘ Regiment (here on the right) and ‘Saluces‘ Regiment (on the left).  ‘Penthièvre’ belonged to a Prince of the Blood, while the other two were Gentlemen’s Regiments.  The ‘Saluces’ Regiment became the ‘Seyssel’ Regiment in 1759, while ‘Bussy-Lameth’ briefly became the ‘Ray’ Regiment in 1761, shortly before its disbandment.

All three regiments wore grey-white coats with red facings and ‘Penthièvre’ was one of a few regiments to adopt bearskin caps in 1758.  ‘Saluces’ had plain grey-white coat and cloak linings instead of the usual red.

Above:  The ‘Penthièvre’ Brigade.  All three regiments had royal blue saddlery.  The ‘Penthièvre’ Regiment had blue lace edging with a central yellow stripe, while ‘Bussy-Lameth’ had violet lace with a buff central stripe and ‘Saluces’ had white lace with red edging and a red chain pattern.

Above:  The ‘Penthièvre’ Brigade.  The ‘Penthièvre’ Regiment had red standards, with the obverse side being of the ‘stock’ pattern and the reverse showing Bellerophon mounted on Pegasus, with a white scroll above, bearing the motto ‘Terraque, marique’.  The regiment’s musicians wore red livery, decorated with the regimental lace.

The ‘Bussy-Lameth’ Regiment carried crimson standards of the ‘stock’ pattern.  Livery is not known. 

The ‘Saluces’ Regiment had red standards, though with a black border within the gold fringe.  The obverse had the ‘stock’ design, while the reverse was decorated with a lion, surmounted by a scroll bearing the motto ‘Animo major quam viribus’.  Musicians’ livery is not known.

Above:  The ‘Apchon‘ Dragoon Regiment (which became the ‘Nicolai’ Regiment in 1761).  Dragoon regiments were much stronger than the bulk of the Chevauxléger regiments, each having four squadrons with a little over 700 men at full strength.  Consequently, this is represented by a single unit of 12 figures. 

French Dragoons were still classed as mounted infantry and until 1755 included companies of permanently-dismounted infantry.  The Dragoons would operated in concert with the Hussars and light infantry on the flanks of a battle, as well as in the advance guard, rearguard and ‘Petit Guerre’, sometimes fighting dismounted.  However, like the dragoons of other nations, they were increasingly used as mounted cavalry.

It would be nice to have dismounted Dragoons as an option, but Eureka don’t make them at present and nor do Old Glory 15s or Blue Moon.

Above:  The ‘Apchon’ Dragoon Regiment.  Most French Dragoon regiments at this time wore red coats, with a few wearing blue.  The coat lacked lapels but was heavily decorated with white buttonhole lace for all regiments.  The waistcoat would be coloured to match the coat or the facing colour and was also heavily laced in white.  Headgear was either a tricorn or the traditional French Dragoon’s ‘Pokalem’ stocking-cap.  Instead of tall cavalry boots, Dragoons wore infantry-style gaiters in black.

In 1762 the newly-raised ‘Schomberg’ Dragoons were issued with green coats and brass helmets, creating a fashion that would later be adopted by all French Dragoon regiments.

The ‘Apchon’ Dragoons initially had a plain red uniform, with no contrasting facing, lining or waistcoat colour.  The regimental lace, which was used to decorate the edge of the saddlery and the ‘turn-up’ of the pokalem, was of alternating blue and aurore squares.  However, in 1758 the regiment adopted light blue cuffs and waistcoats.  The coat linings (visible as tail-turnbacks) remained red, though the turnbacks were decorated with light blue heart-shaped badges.  The red cloak was also given a light blue lining.

Above:  The ‘Apchon’ Dragoon Regiment.  All Dragoon regiments carried swallow-tailed guidons.  Those of the ‘Apchon’ Dragoons were green and decorated with the golden sun and a red scroll with the motto ‘Nec pluribus impar’.

Instead of trumpeters, Dragoon regiments had drummers, reflecting their role as mounted infantry (this was common in most nations’ dragoon regiments, even the ones who had abandoned the mounted infantry role).  The drummer here is accompanied by a hautbois (oboe player).  The livery is not known, so as always, you can’t go far wrong with the colour of the guidon (green), decorated with regimental lace.  When inventing livery, bear in mind that only Royal regiments were allowed to have blue livery (of the King’s pattern).

That’s all for now.  Next time I might have the first of my Seven Years War British and Hanoverians ready to show off, or I might have to delve once again into olive-drabness…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Shako Rules | 6 Comments

Cold War Canucks, Eh? 4th Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group in the 1980s

I promised a little while ago that there would be some breaks from the wall-to-wall Seven Years War coverage and that the Olive Drab would return!  So even though I’m still painting tricorns and lace, here’s a look at some of my 15mm Cold War Canadians.

For most of its existence, the 4th Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group (4 CMBG) was the land component of Canadian Forces Europe.  It’s held a great interest for me since I read Kenneth Macksey’s superb book ‘First Clash’ in my teens and then passed through CFB Lahr in West Germany, on my way to an exchange trip to Canada in 1989.  ‘First Clash’ was originally written as a training manual for Canadian soldiers and dramatised the events of an actual exercise in West Germany, going into enormous wargame-friendly detail regarding the course of the battle.  4 CMBG therefore became my very first ‘Ultra-Modern’ wargames army in 1/300th scale (back when such things really were ‘Ultra-Modern’ rather than the distant history they are now).  I lost interest in 1/300th gaming a very long time ago, but couldn’t help slowly building up a force of 15mm Canadian vehicles using QRF models YEARS before any suitable infantry figures were available.  I also wrote some Cold War Canadian orders of battle and TO&Es

Then, just a few years ago, QRF finally brought out their Canadian infantry models and they were soon followed by more models from Team Yankee and Armies Army (this latter range was bought by PSC, but is presently out of production and has been sold on, but will hopefully reappear).  So at long last, it’s possible to build a full Cold War Canadian force and do games in 15mm! 🙂 

Anyway, first some historical background…

In 1957 the brigade, then designated as 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group (4 CIBG), was deployed to West Germany, replacing 2 CIBG as Canada’s contribution to 1 (Br) Corps of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) and NATO’s Northern Army Group (NORTHAG).  In 1959 and with 4 CIBG about to be rotated back to Canada, the decision was taken to leave the four permanent Canadian Brigade Groups in place as regional organisations.  This meant that 4 CIBG would become the permanently forward-deployed brigade and sub-units would then be rotated through it from the other brigades.  With three strong infantry battalions (each with four rifle companies), a strong armoured regiment (with four strong squadrons of Centurion Mk 11 tanks), a field artillery regiment (M101 105mm howitzers), an engineer regiment, a nuclear-capable missile battery (Honest John tactical missiles) and a recce squadron (Ferret armoured cars), 4 CIBG was one of BAOR’s strongest brigades and often referred to as a ‘Light Division’.

4 CIBG became fully mechanised from 1965 to 1966, adopting new equipment such as M113 armoured personnel carriers, Lynx recce vehicles and M109 self-propelled 155mm howitzers, being re-designated in 1968 as 4 CMBG.  However, in the same year, Pierre Trudeau‘s newly-elected administration brought about wholesale cuts and reorganisation, most notably combining the traditional three-Service structure into a single-service Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), later shortened to Canadian Forces (CF). 

The funding for Canadian Forces Europe was reduced by half; 1 Canadian Air Division in West Germany, having only just been reduced during the previous administration from twelve to six fast jet squadrons, was further reduced to three squadrons and retitled 1 Canadian Air Group (1 CAG).  One of 4 CMBG’s three mechanised infantry battalions, one of its four armoured squadrons and the missile battery were also disbanded.  Around a third of 4 CMBG’s remaining personnel, including a full infantry battalion, armoured squadron and artillery battery, were withdrawn to Canada, to be flown over to West Germany during build-up for war.  At a stroke therefore, the forward-deployed strength of 4 CMBG had been dramatically reduced from 6,700 men in 1968 to 2,800 in 1970.  The Canada-based brigades also lost their heavy armour and their NATO reinforcement role.  On top of all of this, 4 CMBG was transferred from NORTHAG in Northern Germany to the US-led Central Army Group (CENTAG) in Southern Germany, where it took on an ill-defined reserve role for the US VII Corps and II (GE) Korps.

All these shenanigans caused massive dismay within NATO and accusations that Canada wasn’t pulling her weight within the alliance.  In response, the Trudeau administration offered a brigade as a wartime reinforcement to NATO’s AFNORTH Command in Norway or Denmark (this was in addition to Canada’s standing commitment of a single battalion group to ACE Mobile Force (Land)).  This brigade, known as the Canadian Air-Sea Transportable (CAST) Brigade Group, was to be equipped with the new and wholly inadequate Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) family of wheeled armoured vehicles; chiefly the Grizzly APC and Cougar Direct Fire Support Vehicle.  Widely derided in the Canadian Forces as ‘Hong Kong North’ (a reference to Canada’s doomed reinforcement of Hong Kong in 1941), the CAST Brigade mission would eventually be abandoned in 1988.

During the 1970s it soon became apparent that the remaining Centurions were reaching the end of their days, being increasingly unreliable and wholly inadequate in the face of the new generation of Soviet threats such as the T-64 and T-72 main battle tanks.  Despite governmental reluctance to invest in heavy armour, Trudeau was finally persuaded (with the help of a German offer linking German tanks to a wider trade deal) to replace the Centurion with a new main battle tank.  Several options were considered, with Leopard 2 being the preferred choice, though not yet available.  Leopard 1 was therefore chosen as an immediate interim option until funding and production capacity enabled the hoped-for upgrade to Leopard 2. 

In 1977, 35x ex-Bundeswehr Leopard 1A2 were leased for the Royal Canadian Dragoons to begin Leopard conversion training in Germany, followed in 1978/79 by the purchase of 114x Leopard C1 (this number included some turretless driver-training models), plus Leopard-based Taurus armoured recovery vehicles and Beaver bridgelayers.  The infantry also got some new toys to play with, as their M113-mounted M40A1 106mm Recoilless Rifles were replaced with the considerably more capable BGM-71 TOW ATGM (16 M113-mounted TOW launchers per battalion in 4 CMBG, with half that number in Canada-based units).  The guns of 4 CMBG’s artillery component were also upgraded, from M109 to longer-ranged M109A1.  The older M109s were cascaded down to units in Canada, where three additional M109/M109A1 regiments were formed.

The election of Brian Mulroney‘s administration in 1984 brought about a re-emphasis on Canadian defence and the immediate return of 1,000 men to the forward-deployed element of 4 CMBG in West Germany.  This meant that the three armoured squadrons could now be permanently manned, with a fourth ‘flyover’ squadron mooted, which would theoretically take over the stored reserve tanks (though it doesn’t appear that this was ever practiced during exercises).  There were also numerous incremental upgrades to 4 CMBG’s vehicles and weaponry, including the creation in 1987 of a whole new 4 Air Defence Regiment, one battery of which was assigned to 4 CMBG, equipped with twelve M113 vehicles mounting the revolutionary ADATS missile system. 

There also even wild talk of equipping the two mechanised infantry battalions of 4 CMBG with a British-conceived turretless 120mm tank destroyer designated ‘Chimera’ to supplement their TOW ATGMs.  Each battalion would receive sixteen Chimera, which would then be paired with the sixteen M113 TOW carriers already present.  However, the Chimera project never got any further than the concept stage in 1984/85 and the idea was soon quietly shelved without any prototypes being built, though it makes a very interesting ‘what-if’.  4 CMBG did however, receive a boost to its anti-tank capability in the late 1980s, with the adoption of the potent M113A2 TUA (‘TOW Under Armour’), which represented a massive advance over the old M113 TOW carrier.

The Canadian Defence White Paper of 1987  brought even greater changes to 4 CMBG; most notably the re-establishment of 1st Canadian Infantry Division, the headquarters of which was formed in West Germany in 1988.  4 CMBG, along with some divisional elements, would now be the forward-deployed element of an entire division, with 5e Groupe-Brigade du Canada (one Light Armour Regiment (Cougar & Lynx), two Light Mechanised Infantry Battalions (Grizzly) and an M109 regiment) becoming the follow-on brigade, alongside further elements such as an additional artillery regiment of M109 and a divisional recce regiment equipped with Lynx.  This meant that the much-derided CAST Brigade mission to AFNORTH was now finally ditched.  The supporting 1 Canadian Air Group also now reverted to its previous title of 1 Canadian Air Division and would be similarly reinforced from Canada during the build-up to war. 

The long-held plan to purchase Leopard 2 didn’t materialise until well into the 21st Century (and a wholly different range of world problems), though with the recreation of 1st Canadian Infantry Division, plans were put in place to purchase a further two squadrons of Leopards, thus allowing Militia units to gain proper tank experience and to provide additional tank support for 1st Canadian Infantry Division.  However, the Cold War ended before these plans could be implemented.  Other abandoned plans included the purchase of a light section/platoon-level ATGM such as MILAN, the replacement of M113 with a tracked MICV and the purchase of self-propelled mortar vehicles such as the M125 81mm mortar carrier.

Nevertheless, despite all the political machinations, defence cuts and problems caused by under-manning and inadequate equipment, the Canadian Forces, as one of only two all-volunteer armed forces in NATO (the other being the UK, with the USA becoming the third in 1973), maintained very high standards of discipline and training, were highly motivated and were very well-regarded by their NATO allies throughout the last two decades of the Cold War.

Above:  The single Canadian tank regiment in 4 CMBG was crewed by the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) until 1986, when they were replaced by the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) (VIII CH).  The regiment had three tank squadrons (A, B & C Sqns) equipped with Leopard C1 and a recce squadron (D Sqn) equipped with Lynx.  Each tank squadron was still organised along WW2 lines, with a Sqn HQ of 3x Leopard C1 and four Troops, each with 4x Leopard C1, for a total of 19x Leopard C1 per Squadron.  The HQ Squadron had another 4x Leopard C1, bringing the regimental total to 61x Leopard C1.  Curiously, most published sources list 77x Leopard C1, which must presumably include the stored reserve tanks and which might have been used to form a fourth tank squadron in wartime.

In game terms, each of my model vehicles, aircraft and heavy weapons represent 2-3x actual items, while a stand of troops represents a headquarters or infantry section/squad.  The unit shown above therefore represents an Armoured Squadron Group consisting of the Armoured Sqn HQ, three Armoured Troops and supporting elements (a Mech Infantry Platoon plus artillery FOO, engineer section and air defence Blowpipe section) following on in M113s.  The fourth Troop has been detached to form part of a Mechanised Company Group (see below). 

Above:  The Leopard C1 was largely based on the Leopard AS1 which was in turn developed for the Australian Army from the basic Leopard 1A3.  The Leopard 1A3 was the first model to adopt a ‘square’ welded turret instead of the rounded cast turret of earlier models and had spaced armour, giving it much the same level of armour protection as the Leopard 1A2, but with greater interior space.  The Leopard AS1 and C1 both adopted the superb Belgian fire-control system developed for the Belgian Army’s Leopard 1BE and improved it further by adding a laser rangefinder, though the Canadians did away with the Australian modifications for fighting in a tropical environment.  The Canadians improved the design further by adding a low-light TV (LLTV) system which, while not up to the standard of the thermal imaging systems then in development, still gave it a considerable night-fighting advantage over most other tanks then in service.

Above:  As previously discussed in an earlier article, I’ve used the excellent Team Yankee Leopard 1 plastic kits for most of my Leopard C1s, though I’ve also got some older metal Leopard 1A3 models by QRF.  QRF have since produced a ‘proper’ Leopard C1 model in metal (as well as a Canadian Centurion Mk 11 if you want to go ‘old school’).  The distinguishing features are the cage-mount for the LLTV camera replacing the IR searchlight box on top of the gun-mantlet and the use of a C6 GPMG (Canadian-made FN MAG) mount in lieu of the MG 3 used by the Germans and most other nations.

Unlike all other Canadian vehicles, which used a standard three-colour camouflage scheme, the Canadian Leopards were factory-painted in the standard NATO ‘Yellow-Olive’ (RAL 6014) infra-red-absorbing paint scheme, so looked much the same as West German or Dutch Leopards, apart from the black Maple Leaf emblem on the turret sides.  I use Humbrol 155 US Olive Drab over a basecoat of Humbrol 75 Bronze Green for Yellow-Olive.  The crews weren’t allowed to re-paint these tanks or even touch up scrapes, lest they ruin the IR-absorbing properties.  However, the Canadian Leopards were sent back to the factory in the late 1980s, where they received a new paint-scheme in the new standard NATO three-colour camouflage scheme of green, black and red-brown.

Note that the Maple Leaf emblem had a white edge when painted on tanks, but was usually plain black without the white edge when painted on other AFVs.  Other markings included small Canadian flags, weight discs and NATO tactical markings painted front and rear (either in true colours or low-visibility black) and callsigns painted in large black figures on the hull sides and rear.  However, as I swap these hulls with other turrets to make Dutch and German Leopards, I’ve left off the hull-markings and have instead painted the callsign on the turret rear.

One other thing worth mentioning is that according to veterans and photographic evidence, the crew never wore crew helmets, only the black Royal Canadian Armoured Corps beret.

Above:  The Squadron Group’s attached infantry platoon dismount from the M113s and move forward.  The callsign 42B on the M113 indicates the 3rd vehicle of the 2nd platoon of the 4th company of the infantry battalion to which it belongs.  The full platoon of four vehicles would be marked 42, 42A, 42B and 42C.  The armoured regiment followed the same pattern, with A, B, C & D Squadrons having 1, 2, 3 & 4 as their squadron callsign.  The RHQ used 9.

The M113s are painted in the standard Canadian three-colour camouflage scheme that was in use from the 1960s to the 1990s.  Each type of vehicle had a mandated camouflage pattern, though the precise application of the pattern did vary from vehicle to vehicle.  There was once a fantastic website called ‘Armoured Acorn: The Canadian Armour Website’, which had graphic representations of all the mandated camouflage patterns, as well as a lot of actual examples and variations seen in the field, PLUS graphical orders of battle for various NATO and Warsaw Pact armies, as well as a lot of WW2 stuff.  Tragically however, the site is now long-dead, though some of it can still be found via the Wayback Machine at this link.

The base colour was a bluish grey-green that tended to fade to the blue (some vehicles I saw parked up in Canadian bases in 1989 were almost turquoise!).  I use Humbrol 78 (Cockpit Green) for this colour, which is a little bright, but doesn’t look anywhere near as bright on the table as it does here in these photographs!  The other colours were khaki-green (for which I use Humbrol 159 Khaki Drab – my standard WW2 British tank colour) and black (which I heavily highlight with Humbrol 67 Tank Grey).  I should add that all my vehicles get a final dry-brush of Humbrol 72 Khaki Drill.

Note that Canadian M113s almost always had a spare roadwheel attached to the glacis, though the Team Yankee kit doesn’t include a spare wheel.  QRF however, now produce a Canadian M113 in metal, which includes a spare wheel.

Units based in Canada were meant to reverse the grey-green and khaki-green, thus making khaki-green the dominant colour.  Grizzlies and Cougars seem to have been painted that way as standard and I’ve seen photos of M109s painted both ways, but I don’t recall ever seeing a photo of a Canada-based M113 variant or Lynx painted in the ‘Canada scheme’.

Some photos show the khaki-green part of the scheme as brown and restored vehicles often have red-brown in lieu of khaki-green.  In the case of old photos, this is sometimes an artefact of the colour film processing, but some units did started using brown paint once the Leopards had adopted the NATO three-colour camouflage scheme.  In the case of 8th Hussars, there are photographs of them on parade in 1981 using additional bands of dark red-brown as a fourth camouflage colour.  These seems to be a scheme unique to that regiment and they don’t appear to have used it once the regiment deployed to 4 CMBG in 1986.

Above:  The 1st Troop of Lynx recce vehicles from the armoured regiment’s D Squadron moves forward (‘4’ indicating D Squadron and ‘1’ indicating the 1st Troop).  Although administratively a part of the Armoured Regiment, D Squadron was actually a brigade recce asset (having replaced the former independent Brigade Recce Squadron of Ferret armoured cars) and would therefore be separated from its parent regiment in wartime to conduct Brigade recce tasks.  Close recce tasks for the regiment were actually therefore performed by the RHQ’s own Lynx Troop (which presumably had ‘9’ callsigns, though I’ve not had this confirmed). 

Above:  D Squadron Lynxes move through a village.  Sources disagree regarding the number of Lynx operated by 4 CMBG.  Veterans tell me that D Squadron RCD had three Troops, each with seven Lynx (Troop HQ with one Lynx and three patrols of two Lynx), while the RHQ Lynx Troop is described as having four patrols of two Lynx.  However, published sources repeatedly state a total of 20x Lynx for the regiment, although usually then stating that they were all massed in D Squadron, ignoring the RHQ Lynx Troop, so that can’t be right.

The Mech Infantry Battalions each had a Close Recce Platoon also equipped with Lynx.  This is described in most sources as having 11x Lynx, organised into an HQ of 2x Lynx and three patrols of 3x Lynx.  However, some sources suggest 9x Lynx, organised into an HQ of 1x Lynx and four patrols of 2x Lynx.

In game terms I use 3x model Lynx for each of the D Squadron Troops and 4x Lynx for the Close Recce Troop/Platoons.  These models are resin & metal models by Team Yankee.  I’ve also got four metal models by QRF for my infantry Close Recce Platoon.

Above:  A Mechanised Infantry Company dismounts from its M113s.  One Mechanised Infantry Battalion, the 1st Battalion Royal 22e Régiment (1 R22eR – known colloquially as the ‘VanDoos’), was permanently assigned to 4 CMBG throughout the 1980s.  The other battalion in 4 CMBG was the 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (3 RCR) until 1984, when they were replaced by 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2 PPCLI or ‘Princess Pats’) until 1988, when 3 RCR returned to 4 CMBG.

Canadian infantry battalions were strong, being still organised along WW2 lines with four rifle companies and a support company.  The British Army by contrast had long since reduced the strength of its battalions (in most cases) to three rifle companies, in line with virtually all other NATO armies.

Canadian infantry companies were organised along the classic ‘triangular’ theme; each of three platoons, with three sections apiece.  Each infantry section at full strength (which it rarely achieved) had ten men led by a Sergeant, with a Master Corporal as 2IC.  The section organisation was reminiscent of that employed in WW2, with a Rifle Group of seven men (including the Section Commander) armed with C1 Assault Rifles (FN FAL – also known as FNC1) and a Gun Group of three men (including the Section 2IC) equipped with a pair of C2 Light Machine Guns (also known as the FNC2, being a heavy-barreled version of the C1 fitted with a bipod and fed with 30-round magazines).  Some units such as the PPCLI experimented with splitting the section into two equal ‘Fireteams’, each having one of the C2s.  The Section would also be issued with M72 66mm Short-Range Anti-Armour Weapon (Light) or SRAAW (L) for point-defence against enemy armour.

Canadian C1 Rifles generally had natural red-brown wood furniture on the butt, pistol-grip, foregrip and carry-handle.  C2 LMGs lacked the foregrip furniture surrounding the barrel, but had a strip of wood attached to each leg of the bipod.

In Mechanised Infantry Sections, one rifleman would be designated as the M113 Driver and would be equipped with a C1 SMG (Canadian version of the British Sterling SMG) and things could be complicated further in defensive battles by dismounting the Browning M2 .50-Cal HMG from the M113 (which carried a tripod for that purpose) and re-allocating men to operate the weapon.

In 4 CMBG each section would be further burdened with a Carl Gustav 84mm Short-Range Anti-Armour Weapon (Medium) or SRAAW (M), which would be allocated to the Rifle Group.  Units based in Canada however, would normally have only one Carl Gustav per platoon rather than one per section.

The organisation and weaponry changed radically at the end of the 1980s with the adoption of the C7 Assault Rifle (an improved Canadian version of the M16) and the C9 LMG (Minimi).  The Section was now split into two equal fireteams, each including a C9 LMG and an M203 40mm Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher.  One fireteam also carried the section’s Carl Gustav.  However, this change only really took effect in the 1990s (though I was given weapon training on the C7 during an exchange visit in 1989).

The standard Canadian Combat Uniform was introduced in 1963 and continued with minor modifications until the 21st Century and the introduction of CADPAT camouflage uniform.  The uniform was plain greyish olive green (a colour defined as Olive Green 107) and the baggy pockets on the jacket and trousers were designed to be big enough hold C1 rifle magazines in lieu of ammo pouches on the webbing (which curiously didn’t have front ammo pouches, though a chest-rig was issued to C2 LMG gunners).  However, the 1982 Pattern webbing finally brought back the much-missed ammo pouches and the jacket was modified at the same time, deleting the lower pair of front pockets.  Boots were black leather.  I use Humbrol 86 Light Olive, with quite a lot of white mixed in for the highlight.  Humbrol 155 US Olive Drab for the webbing.  

The US M1 Pattern helmet would typically be covered with a US Mitchell Pattern helmet cover (the classic ‘Vietnam’ style).  This was reversible, with (appropriately enough) a maple leaf foliate pattern on one side featuring brown twigs, various shades of green leaf and occasional copper-brown dead leaves.  I use Humbrol 80 Grass Green mixed with the same quantity of white for the base shade, Humbrol 160 German Camouflage Red Brown for the twigs, Humbrol 76 Uniform Green and 116 US Dark Green for the green leaves and Humbrol 62 Leather for the dead leaves, secured with an olive drab elastic band, for which I use Humbrol 155 US Olive Drab. 

The reverse side of the Mitchell Pattern cover was a ‘cloud’ pattern in five shades of sand and brown designed for use in arid terrain, though I’ve seen photos of Canadian troops using the ‘arid’ side in areas of dead grass and leaves (presumably during winter).  During the 1980s Canadian troops also started receiving US Woodland Pattern helmet covers and the photo showing a .50 Cal team near the top of this page shows two men; one wearing the Mitchell Pattern cover and his mate wearing the Woodland Pattern cover.  Of course, these were frequently covered in the field with scrim, camouflage netting, foliage and other ‘garnish’.

Soft headgear consisted of a soft, brimmed ‘Combat Cap’ (i.e. a bush-hat) in olive green or a British-style beret (pulled down over the right ear, with cap-badge over the left eye).  Berets were rifle green for most regiments and corps, though the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps wore black, the Canadian Airborne Regiment wore maroon and the Royal Canadian Military Police wore scarlet.

Above:  The platoon would ride in four M113 APCs, with the Platoon Commander’s vehicle also carrying a Weapons Squad, consisting of a C5 General Purpose Machine Gun (the venerable Browning M1919 .30 Cal re-bored to 7.62mm) and an M19 60mm Mortar, which was a simple hand-held light mortar, very much like the old WW2 2-inch mortar it replaced.  In Canada-based units the Platoon Weapons Squad would also include the platoon’s solitary Carl Gustav.

The Company Headquarters rode in another two M113s and in some cases also included a fourth Weapons Squad, with another C5 GPMG and M19 Mortar.  With the change to new small-arms  at the end of the 1980s, the C5 GPMGs were replaced with the superlative C6 GPMG (FN MAG).  Taking a leaf out of the British Army’s book, C6 GPMGs could be fitted with mortar sights to enable indirect fire.

In game terms the whole company is represented by 1x Commander stand, 9x Infantry stands (3 of them with Carl Gustav), 1-2x C5 GPMGs and 1-2x M19 Mortars, with 9x M113s.  Up to 3x Infantry stands may be swapped out for M2 HMGs dismounted from the M113s.  That might seem like a lot of M113 models, but any attached FOOs, Blowpipe teams, Pioneers and Engineers will also utilise them.

Above:  Mechanised Infantry Companies rarely operated in isolation and would invariably have elements attached from the battalion’s Support Company and might also swap platoons with the armoured regiment to form combined-arms Groups.  Here we have a Mechanised Company Group, which has swapped out one platoon for a tank troop.

The models here are metal Canadian infantry figures and plastic M113 & Leopard kits, all by Team Yankee.

Above:  Each mechanised battalion had a Support company consisting of a Mortar Platoon, Anti-Tank Platoon, Recce Platoon and Pioneer Platoon.  The Mortar Platoon (as shown above) consisted of eight C3 81mm Mortars carried by M113 APCs, which in game terms becomes four of each.  Despite what Team Yankee and other wargames army lists might tell you, the Canadians never managed to obtain a self-propelled mortar carrier such as the M125 (81mm mortar carrier based on the M113) and the mortars would therefore have to be dismounted to fire.

Support Company callsigns mostly began with a 5: Mortar Platoon was 52, AT Platoon was 56 (or sometimes 55) and Pioneer Platoon was 58.  The exception was the large Recce Platoon, which even though it was subordinate to the Support Company, had callsigns starting with 6.

The mortars and crews here are metal figures by QRF, while the M113s are plastic kits by Team Yankee.

Above:  The Anti-Tank Platoon was equipped with sixteen (or eighteen – sources disagree) with TOW ATGM launchers mounted on M113s.  A lot of wargame rules and army lists refer to this combination as the ‘M150’, but it would appear on deeper investigation that the ‘M150’ designation was never officially applied in the US Army, Canadian Forces or NATO generally.

Tactically these would normally be split up on a mission basis, with most companies and squadrons in the battlegroup having 2-4 M113/TOW vehicles assigned.  The mechanised infantry companies benefitted not only from the boost to their anti-tank capability, but also from the night vision capability provided by the TOW launchers.

As mentioned above, 4 CMBG upgraded its AT Platoons during the late 1980s and replaced the M113/TOW combination with the new M113A2 TUA (TOW Under Armour).  This vehicle was also adopted by the Norwegian Army as the NM142 and had an armoured turret fitted with thermal sights and a ready-to-fire TOW 2 missile mounted in a box on either side of the turret.  A C6 GPMG was fixed coaxially to the outside of the righthand missile box and could be fired from within the turret.  The turret was offset to the left and the standard M113 commander’s cupola (without HMG) was shifted to the right.  Note that all M113A2 TUA were delivered to 4 CMBG already painted in the new NATO three-colour scheme and exercise photos from 1989 show them working alongside older M113s still painted in the former Canadian three-colour scheme.

[Edited to add that Butler’s Printed Models have just released the M113A2 TUA! 🙂 ]

Above:  When fighting a defensive battle, a proportion of the battalion’s TOW teams would be dismounted from their M113 and a tripod was provided for that purpose.  The M113A2 TUA was also equipped with a dismountable launcher.  Dismounting TOW isn’t an option in Team Yankee rules (yet another reason not to play them), so of course they don’t produce models for dismounted TOW teams…  QRF thankfully fill that capability-gap!

Above:  An M577 command vehicle belonging to the battlegroup Headquarters Company (9 callsign).  Note that this camouflage scheme is slightly different to that of the M113 or Lynx, but this is the mandated scheme for the M577 and all such vehicles would be painted the same.  This is a very nice little model by QRF, though looks a little small next to this rather over-scale Team Yankee Lynx!

The Lynx is an engineering recce vehicle belonging to 4 Canadian Engineer Regiment (4 CER), hence the 11 callsign (for the 1st Troop of the regiment’s 1st Squadron) and the commander’s standard Canadian Forces rifle green beret.  The regiment was equipped with M113 Dozers and Beaver armoured bridgelayers (based on the Leopard 1 chassis and known in German service as the Biber).  Sadly I can’t get M113 Dozers or Beavers in 15mm, though Armies Army briefly sold the M113 Dozer before the range went out of production.

Mechanised Infantry Battalion Pioneer Platoons also operated the M113 Dozer.  These would have 58 as their callsign.

Above:  1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (1 RCHA), in addition to its four batteries of M109A1 self-propelled 155m howitzers, also included an Air Defence Troop, equipped with fifteen Blowpipe SAMs.  In wartime these SAMs would be distributed among the various sub-units of 4 CMBG.  Their transport officially consisted of M151 MUTT jeeps, but ‘First Clash’ describes Blowpipe teams being carried by M113 and they were probably carried in the infantry’s M113s. 

The rather underwhelming performance of Blowpipe as revealed by the Falklands War of 1982, where it was used by both sides, led to the much-improved Javelin (not to be confused with the US anti-tank weapon of the same name), which was adopted by 4 CMBG in the late 1980s.  Happily, Javelin was visually identical to Blowpipe, so we can use the same models. 🙂 

These models are taken from the Team Yankee Canadian M113 pack.  For some reason and as mentioned above with regard to the mortar platoon, the Team Yankee game-writers like most heavy weapons to be vehicle-mounted, so the Blowpipe gunners are ‘based’ on a plinth enabling them to be fixed firing their Blowpipes from the top-hatch of an M113 (they do the same thing with their British Blowpipe gunners).  This of course, is bollocks.  Blowpipes would ALWAYS be dismounted to fire.  I’ve therefore cut down the plinths to make a thin base under their feet and stuck them onto normal card bases.

Canadian Forces Europe also included two Airfield Defence Batteries (numbered 128 & 129), equipped with 40mm Boffin Guns (hydraulically-operated naval Bofors Guns) and more Blowpipe SAMs.  Blowpipe Troops and Batteries were also formed in the three M109 regiments back in Canada to support the three Canada-based brigades.  

Above:  The anaemic air defence element of 4 CMBG meant that the brigade would invariably be supported by air defence elements from the US VII Corps or II (Ge) Korps.  In ‘First Clash’ the brigade was under US VII Corps command and was therefore supported by a US Air Defence Artillery (ADA) group consisting of M163 Vulcan Air Defence System (VADS) and M48 Chaparral SAM vehicles.  These model Vulcans are by Team Yankee (the US M113 pack contains all the necessary parts for the M163), while the Chaparrals are by Butler’s Printed Models.  If under II (Ge) Corps command the support would more likely come from Flakpanzer Gepard and Roland SAMs.  The Gepard model below is a metal model by QRF.

However, in 1988 the extremely expensive Canadian Low-Level Air Defence Project finally bore fruit with the arrival of the super-advanced Air Defence Anti-Tank System (ADATS) and the creation in West Germany of 4 Air Defence Regiment RCA.  4 Air Defence Regiment absorbed the two existing Airfield Defence Batteries (renaming them as 127 & 128 Air Defence Batteries), which were now each equipped with four ADATS vehicles and eight radar-guided Oerlikon GDF twin 35mm guns.  A new 129 Air Defence Battery was formed for the air defence of 4 CMBG, equipped with twelve ADATS vehicles (three Troops of four).  The 1 RCHA Blowpipe/Javelin Troop was also absorbed into 129 Battery and was now transported in M113 (three launchers per vehicle).  A further ADATS battery (119 Air Defence Battery) was also formed in Canada.

Most unusually and as the name suggests, ADATS also had a secondary anti-tank role and its laser-guided missiles were capable of defeating 900mm of homogenous steel armour, which is on a par with TOW 2.  Note that while the cancelled US version of ADATS also included a co-axial 25mm cannon, the Canadian version was only fitted with missiles.

As my Cold War armies are strictly limited to 1984/85, I don’t have any ADATS in my collection, but the Team Yankee ADATS models are very tempting…

Above:  444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron  was assigned to 1 Canadian Air Group/Division at CFB Lahr, tasked with providing tactical helicopter support to 4 CMBG.  It had a unique organisation of twelve CH-136 Kiowa Light Observation Helicopters, whereas the squadrons assigned to the other three Canadian brigade groups had a 6/6 split of CH-136 Kiowa and CH-135 Twin Huey.  The Kiowas of 444 Sqn would provide 4 CMBG with liaison, light transport, reconnaissance, artillery forward observation and forward air control support.  For heavier transport or anti-tank helicopter support the Canadians would have to rely on their US and German allies.

This is a pretty rare model from the Entex ‘Pocket Pak’ range and is actually about 1/110th scale rather than 1/100th, so is slightly small, though not prohibitively so.  The model is of very poor quality, but beggars can’t be choosers!  The canopy is moulded in a horrible emerald green transparent plastic and the side-windows are moulded as part of the fuselage, so I’ve just painted over the lot and used my black/gun-metal/silver method for painting windows. 

I’ve also attached a spare Minigun (some M113s in Vietnam were fitted with miniguns, so they’re always spare on the Team Yankee M113 sprue).  Canadian Kiowas in reality were probably unarmed, though the Canadians did conduct Kiowa/Minigun trials and there is a photo of a Canadian Kiowa firing a minigun (which is suspended from a test-rig beneath the aircraft).  So as always, if you give me an inch I’ll take a mile…

Sometime around 1989, the traditional paint-scheme of olive drab and grey with full-colour markings was modified, with a leaf-green shade replacing the grey and the markings being replaced by subdued versions in black.  In photos of the later scheme, the dark olive drab bands often look brown compared to the brighter green bands.

Anyway, that’s more than enough olive drab for now!  Tricorned service will be resumed shortly… 

Posted in 15mm Figures, Battlefront: First Echelon, Battlefront: WW2, Cold War, Cold War - NATO Armies, Painted Units | 25 Comments

“Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 5: More Prussian Reinforcements)

I hope everyone is in fine fettle?  Last week, Mrs Fawr and I managed to finally have a holiday (in Devon), where the pubs were OPEN and the weather was glorious! 🙂 However, we’re now back in the People’s Glorious Republic of Drakefordistan which is behind the curve as always, but yesterday we finally caught up with civilisation as the pubs reopened here as well! 🙂  The Carmarthen Old Guard will also be reopening next week, so (fingers crossed) it seems that sanity and wargaming (two words not normally found in the same sentence) are finally starting to return.   I hope it’s all heading in the same direction wherever you are.

However, one small fly in the ointment was that we returned to find that our furry nemesis (generally known as ‘The Little Bastard’ or ‘The Black Beast of Aaaargh!’) was feeling sicker than a regimental tailor of Neapolitan hussars who had just been shown the new uniform designs by Murat… 

This is decidedly not a happy Little Bastard…

‘Thankfully’ and thanks to our long-suffering and much-bitten vet Bronwen, The Little Bastard is now on the mend and is making my life a living hell, as usual.

‘The Drugs DO Work’… What a difference a day makes. The Little Bastard is now back to her usual evil self.  Here seen devouring the remains of one of Royal Mail’s Finest…

Anyway as discussed last time, in addition to creating some new Seven Years War armies, I’ve been expanding my Prussians.  Last time I looked at some new officers, Horse Artillery and Musketeer Regiments and compared the respective size of my old Lancashire Games and Old Glory 15s figures to my new Eureka figures.  This time I’m looking at some recently-painted Füsilier Regiments and Grenadier Battalions.  These are all Eureka 18mm figures.

Above:  The Füsilier Regiment ‘Münchow’ (IR 36) (known as ‘Alt-Münchow’ from 1758) was named for Gustav Bogislaw von Münchow, who had been the regiment’s Chef since its creation in 1740. 

The regiment was heavily engaged in the first campaigns of the war and had a good battlefield reputation.  At the Battle of Kolin in 1757 the regiment was in Hülsen’s vanguard division and as the army turned to face the Austrians, it found itself as the leftmost infantry regiment in the line.  The regiment performed superbly, capturing the key Krzerczhorz oak-wood, but did so alone and unsupported and was soon forced back by increasing Austrian pressure.  As the regiment fell back it came under fierce attack by Austrian cavalry and by the end of the day had lost 931 men. 

Reduced to a single battalion, the regiment battled on and fought in Frederick’s great victory of Leuthen.  The regiment was restored to two battalions in 1758, but in 1759 had the misfortune to be assigned to Finck’s corps, which surrendered en masse at the Battle of Maxen.  In 1760 the regiment was reformed as a single battalion, as part of the garrison of Schweidnitz.  However, in 1761 the Austrians once again recaptured Schweidnitz and the regiment went into the bag for a second time.  It was not re-raised until after the war.

The regiment’s grenadier companies spent the war massed as part of Grenadier Battalion 35/36.

Above:  The ‘Münchow’ Füsiliers, like most Prussian Füsilier Regiments, had a relatively simple uniform, devoid of lapels and lace.  The coat had white Swedish cuffs, white collar, shoulder-strap and small-clothes, poppy red linings, black neck-stock and yellow ‘metal’ (i.e. buttons, officers’ hat-lace and cap metalwork). 

The regimental colours had grey as the distinguishing colour.  I normally get my Prussian flags from Fighting 15s, but they only do the post-SYW lilac version (which was presumably adopted when the regiment was reformed after the SYW).  I’ve therefore printed these flags myself, using the picture files from Kronoskaf.  The flag-staves were white.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Münchow’ Füsiliers, showing the plain white back to their Füsilier caps.  Note that Prussian infantry officers never wore Füsilier or Grenadier caps and always wore hats.

Above:  The Füsilier Regiment ‘Jung-Braunschweig’ (IR 39) was first raised in 1741 with Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick as its Chef, but in 1745 the colonelcy was passed to Ferdinand’s youngest brother, Prince Frederick Francis of Brunswick (King Frederick of Prussia was married to their sister, Elisabeth Christine).  From 1755 the regiment was officially known as ‘Jung-Braunscheig’ to avoid confusion with Prince Ferdinand’s new regiment, Musketeer Regiment ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ (IR5).  However, in 1758 Prince Frederick Francis of Brunswick was killed at the Battle of Hochkirch and the post of Chef remained vacant for the rest of the war.

The regiment was heavily engaged throughout the early part of the war, being present at the Battles of Prague, Breslau, Leuthen and Hochkirch.  While not being one of the legendary regiments, it performed consistently well and managed to avoid any major disasters.

The regiment’s grenadier companies served in Grenadier Battalion 12/39.

Above:  The ‘Jung-Braunschweig’ Füsiliers wore the typically simple Füsilier style of uniform, without lapels or lace.  The coat had lemon yellow Swedish cuffs, shoulder-strap and collar with white ‘metal’ and poppy red linings.  The small-clothes were also lemon yellow and the neck-stock was black.  The uniform is almost identical to that of the ‘Prince Henry’ Füsiliers (IR 35), who used sulphur yellow as the distinguishing colour.

Note that a few SYW uniform books, most notably ‘Uniforms of the Seven Years War’ by Mollo erroneously include an ‘Officer of the 39th Regiment’.  However, they’ve got their Brunswicks confused, as those plates are based on this famous portrait of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick (right), wearing the regimental uniform for Musketeer Regiment ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ (IR 5), with straw-coloured facings (including lapels), matching small-clothes and gold ‘Brandenburg’ lace.

The flags are by Fighting 15s.  The regiment’s flag-staves were painted lemon yellow to match the facing colour.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Jung-Braunschweig’ Füsiliers, showing the plain lemon yellow back to the regiment’s Füsilier caps.

Above:  The Füsilier Regiment ‘Kreytzen’ (IR 40) started life as part of the army of the Duchy of Sachsen-Eisenach.  However, in October 1740, as the newly-crowned King Frederick II of Prussia began preparing for war with Austria, his uncle the Duke of Sachsen-Eisenach gave him the regiment as a demonstration of his allegiance and loyalty in the coming war. 

At the start of the Seven Years War the position of Chef was held by General Johann Friedrich von Kreytzen and the regiment bore his name (briefly becoming ‘Alt-Kreytzen’ in 1758) until 1759, when Kreytzen died of an asthma attack while in camp near Neisse.  The position of Chef then transferred to General Georg Carl Gottlob von der Gabelentz and the regiment was therefore known as the ‘Gabelentz’ Füsiliers from then on.

The regiment fought well at Prague and Kolin in 1757, but then suffered a run of bad luck, starting with being captured during the unsuccessful defence of Schweidnitz later that same year.  The regiment was quickly exchanged, but in 1758 at the Battle of Zorndorf  its 2nd Battalion was routed by hussars while on detached duty defending an artillery battery.  Worse was to follow in 1759 at the Battle of Paltzig, where the regiment as a whole suffered very heavy losses.  The regiment once again suffered heavy losses in 1760 during the Siege of Dresden at the hands of Austrian Grenzer.

The regiment’s grenadiers spent the war massed as part of Grenadier Battalion 37/40.

Above:  The ‘Kreytzen’ Füsiliers wore one of the more spectacular uniforms of the Prussian Army and were presumably regular participants in the annual ‘Potsdam Pride’ Parade.  As with most Füsilier regiments, the coat for the rank-and-file was fairly plain, lacking lapels and lace.  The Swedish cuffs, shoulder-strap and collar were coloured rose pink and the ‘metal’ was white.  Most unusually, the linings were also coloured the same as the facings, instead of the usual poppy red colouring.  The small-clothes were also rose pink and the neck-stock was black.  Officers’ coats were a little more spectacular, having the addition of rose pink lapels and silver ‘Brandenburg’ lace on the buttonholes.

The flags, which are by Fighting 15s, reflected the rose pink theme and were of a unique design, featuring the chain of the Order of the Black Eagle in lieu of the usual wreath surrounding the central medallion.  The staves were white.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Kreytzen’ Füsiliers, showing the unusual rose pink coat-linings (visible as turnbacks) and the plain rose pink backs to the Füsilier caps.

Above:  The Füsilier Regiment ‘Diericke’ (IR 59) was created on 26th November 1758 from the Prussian Army’s Pioneer Regiment, in honour of their heroic performance at the Battle of Zorndorf, where they not only fought as infantry but also captured two Russian batteries.  The regiment is sometimes referred to as Füsilier Regiment ‘Sers’ for its Colonel, Philipp Loth von Sers.  However, Colonel von Sers was never the Chef.  That title was given to Christian Friedrich von Diericke on the date of the Füsilier Regiment’s creation.  However, the former unit may however have been referred to as Pioneer Regiment ‘Sers’, as it was standard practice to refer to units by their commander’s name if there was no designated Chef (e.g. in the case of combined Grenadier Battalions and artillery batteries).

The Pioneer Regiment was organised much the same as a regular infantry regiment, though instead of Grenadiers it had two companies of Miners.  When the regiment became a Füsilier Regiment the Miners were split off to form a separate Mining Corps and the Grenadier Companies were not formed until 1782. 

The regiment went on to fight at the Battle of Paltzig, where it suffered heavy losses.  This was followed by the Battle of Kunersdorf, where the regiment was used as a rearguard to cover Frederick’s withdrawal, but was overrun and mostly captured.  The survivors formed the core of a new regiment, which went on to fight for the rest of the war without further disaster.

Above:  The ‘Diericke’ Füsiliers were yet another regiment who wore a plain coat without lapels or lace, but who managed to pull off a striking colour scheme, thanks to their choice of small-clothes.  The coat was very plain, with blue Swedish cuffs and shoulder-strap (matching the coat colour), no collar and white ‘metal’.  Officers had silver Brandenburg lace on the breast, cuffs and pockets.  The only splashes of colour were the poppy red linings and piping on tail-pockets and shoulder-strap.  Neck-stocks were black.  The main colour was provided by the small-clothes, which were coloured dark orange.

The flags are again by Fighting 15s.  The distinguishing colour was earth brown, reflecting their original role.  The flag-staves were white.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Diericke’ Füsiliers, showing the backs of the Füsilier caps.  The regiment initially had Pioneer Caps, which were lower than the Füsilier pattern, being dark orange, piped white, with a white pompom on top of the crown and a silvered front plate that was distinctly lower than that fitted to the Füsilier-type cap.  Sources disagree as to when the Füsilier caps were issued, but there are several surviving examples in Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian collections that had been captured at Paltzig and Kunersdorf, so it seems very likely that they were issued very close to the regiment’s creation and there are suggestions that the caps were being issued to the Pioneer Regiment even before its conversion to Füsiliers. 

Sources disagree further on the colouring of the Füsilier cap; all agree that the crown of the cap was dark blue, but they are split over whether the band was dark orange or ‘light red’ (i.e. a light crimson shade).  There are also disagreements re the colour of the metalwork, as the surviving examples are all brass, without a trace of the silver paint that was normally applied to regiments with ‘white’ metal.  I’ve gone with white metal, as it doesn’t seem likely to me that they would be the only unit in the Prussian Army to have a cap plate that didn’t match the button colour.

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 4/16 was formed from the Grenadier companies of Musketeer Regiments ‘Kalnein’ (IR 4) and ‘Graf zu Dohna’ (IR 16).  As previously discussed, Prussian regiments weren’t known by numbers at the time of the Seven Years War (not until 1806, in fact) and were instead known by a designated title (e.g. ‘Garde’), the name of the regimental Chef, or in the case of units without Chefs (e.g. artillery units and combined Grenadier Battalions), by the name of their Commanding Officer. 

In this instance, the battalion went through five COs (and associated names) through the course of the Seven Years War; Polentz (1756-57), Kleist (1757-58), Willemey (1758-59), Beneckendorff (1759-1762) and Thielau (1762) and clearly illustrates why it’s invariably easier to identify units by their anachronistic numbers!

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 4/16, like the majority of Prussian Grenadier Battalions, was formed at the start of the war from four Grenadier Companies – two each from two regiments.  These pairings remained unchanged for the entire war, though different pairings were used in other wars (in the case of the War of Austrian Succession/Silesian Wars, the pairings had changed with each new phase of the war).  There would therefore be two different uniforms used within each battalion:

On the left we see the grenadiers of IR 4, whose coat had no lapels, but the breast and cuff-flaps were decorated with white lace buttonholes.  The officers of IR 4 had an unusual scalloped gold lace edging to the coat front-seams, collar, pockets and cuffs.  Pompoms were red/blue/red.

On the right are the grenadiers of IR 16, whose coat had red lapels, with buttons unusually arranged in threes and no lace decoration.  The officers had gold lace buttonholes, arranged in threes as mentioned.  Pompoms were white with black ‘freckles’ and a red centre.

Both regiments had straw small-clothes, poppy red linings and Brandenburg cuffs, no collar, blue shoulder-strap, red neck-stock and yellow ‘metal’.

Above:  A rear view of Grenadier Battalion 4/16, showing the rear of the caps.  These were straw with a red band for both regiments.  It’s impossible to paint the piping details in 15mm, but IR 4 (here on the right) had blue/red/blue piping, while IR 16 (here on the left) had blue/white/red/white/blue piping.  I find that with complicated lace colours, it’s often best to look at the picture from across the room and see what colour it looks like from there!

Note that Prussian Grenadier Battalions DID NOT CARRY FLAGS!  I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… The only exceptions were the 3rd Battalion of the ‘Garde‘ Regiment (IR 15), who all wore grenadier caps and the ‘Grenadier-Garde‘ (IR 6), which was a single-battalion regiment (the descendant unit of King Frederick-Williams’ ‘Potsdam Giants’) who again all wore grenadier caps.  The first Prussian combined Grenadier Battalions to receive flags were those formed in 1813!

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 17/22 was formed from Musketeer Regiments ‘Manteuffel’ (IR 17) and ‘Prinz Moritz’ (IR 22).  This was another well-travelled and hard-fighting unit that got through a whopping six COs and changes of title during the Seven Years War: Puttkamer (1756-57), Wrede (1757), Kremzow (1757-59), Von der Tann (1759-60), Wobersnow (1760) & Rothenburg (1760-62).

Above:  Grenadier Battalion 17/22.  The grenadiers of IR 17, here on the left, had white small-clothes, lapels, shoulder-strap, collar and Brandenburg cuffs and red & white ‘toothpaste-stripe’ buttonhole lace (which I’ve painted as salmon-pink, as that what it looks like at a distance).  The officers had gold Brandenburg lace buttonholes.  Pompoms were red/white/green.

The grenadiers of IR 22, here on the right, had poppy red lapels and Brandenburg cuffs (no collar), a blue shoulders-strap piped red and lace edging to the cuffs, as well as two lace buttonholes below the lapels.  The officers instead had gold Brandenburg lace buttonholes on the lapels and cuff-flaps.  Small-clothes were straw.  Pompoms were red/white.

Both regiments had yellow ‘metal’, red neck-stocks and poppy red linings.

Above:  A rear view of Grenadier Battalion 17/22, showing the cap detail.  The grenadiers of IR 17, here on the right, had an all-white cap.  The lace was white, decorated with red dots and here depicted as salmon-pink.

The grenadiers of IR 22, here on the left, had a blue cap with a red band.  The lace was white/blue/white, here simply depicted as white.

Above:  No. II Standing Grenadier Battalion (45/48/gIX).  As discussed before, the Grenadier Companies of Garrison Infantry Regiments and a few higher-numbered Füsilier Regiments (IRs 41, 44, 45 & 48) were permanently grouped as Standing Grenadier Battalions during peacetime, in order to supplement the garrisons of various key fortresses.  In wartime they mostly took to the field with the army.  These battalions were known as Nos. I to VI Standing Grenadier Battalions, but could also be known by the name of their CO.  In some instances they are referred to in histories by the regimental numbers of their component parts (e.g. Grenadier Battalion 41/44 instead of No. III Standing Grenadier Battalion).

Despite being heavily engaged at a number of large battles including Prague, Breslau, Leuthen and Hochkirch, this battalion managed to only burn through two COs: Ingersleben (1756-57) and Unruh (1757-1762).

The battalion was originally formed from the two Grenadier Companies of the ‘Dossow’ Füsiliers (IR 45) and one company each from Garrison Infantry Regiment IX and Garrison Infantry Regiment XIII.  These last two regiments had only one Grenadier Company apiece.  Then in July 1755 (some sources say May 1756), Garrison Infantry Regiment XIII was re-titled as the Füsilier Regiment ‘Erbprinz von Hessen-Kassel’ (IR 48).  The new IR 48 still had only one Grenadier Company, so the organisation of No. II Standing Grenadier Battalion remained unchanged apart from the slight change of sub-unit titles.

Above:  The uniform for the grenadiers of the ‘Dossow’ Füsiliers (IR 45), here on the left, was the same as the uniform of their parent regiment; poppy red Brandenburg cuffs and linings, no lapels or collar, blue shoulder-strap piped red, yellow ‘metal’, white buttonhole lace on breast and cuff-flaps, red neck-stock and white small-clothes.  The officers had gold buttonhole lace (some sources show the officers’ lace as only a pair of buttonholes below the breast, a pair on each pocket and none on the cuff-flaps).  Pompoms were yellow/black/red.

The uniforms of the other two companies, here shown on the right, were identical to each other, being based on the uniform of Garrison Infantry Regiments IX & XIII, but differing in very small details.  The uniforms did not change when GIR XIII became IR 48.  the coats were very plain, having black Swedish cuffs and collar, with blue shoulder-strap, poppy red linings, yellow ‘metal’, no lapels and no lace.  Neck-stocks were black (though for some reason I’ve painted them red…) and small-clothes were white (note that the parent regiments had dark blue small-clothes).  The Officers had gold scalloped hat-lace, but no lace on the coat.  Pompoms were yellow/black/light blue.

Above:  A rear view of No. II Standing Grenadier Battalion, showing the cap details.  The grenadiers of IR 45, here shown on the right, had white caps with a blue band and lace coloured the same as the pompom (I’ve tried to do yellow piping within red – I should have just gone with orange).

The grenadiers of GIR IX and GIR XIII/IR 48, here shown on the left, had red caps with a brass band and piping again in the pompom colourings (which I’ve done as yellow within light blue – I should have stuck with just light blue).

Enough for now!  I’m presently just finishing off the first division of French cavalry, so they’ll be posted here soon.  I’ll also try to get some Cold War stuff photographed while I’m at it.  The Frogs should all be painted by the end of this weekend, so then it’ll be on to the British and Hanoverians…

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Shako Rules | Leave a comment