Following my recent, brief departure into Jungle Green, normal service is now resumed with some more troops for my Seven Years War Hanoverian & German Allied army, starting with Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. Ferdinand was actually a Prussian officer, but in 1758 was appointed to command the combined Hanoverian, British, Hessian, Brunswicker, Prussian and Schaumburg-Lippe armies in western Germany, hence his inclusion here.
Born in 1721, Prince Ferdinand was the fourth son of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick (the House of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) and in 1733 became brother-in-law to Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, following Frederick’s marriage to Ferdinand’s sister Elizabeth Christine. Ferdinand soon entered Prussian military service and in 1740 the newly-crowned King Frederick II of Prussia appointed Ferdinand as Chef (i.e. Colonel-Proprietor) of the newly-raised Fusilier-Regiment ‘Braunschweig’ (IR 39).
However, the role of regimental Chef was partly business-enterprise and partly ceremonial and the Chef didn’t actually command the regiment in the field. He was actually commissioned into Frederick’s Garde Regiment (IR 15) and distinguished himself during the First Silesian War, being decorated with the Order of the Black Eagle. In 1744, Ferdinand was appointed as commanding officer of the prestigious 1st (Leibgarde) Battalion and during the Second Silesian War again distinguished himself, this time at the Battle of Soor, where he defeated Austrian troops commanded by one of his younger brothers! Another brother was killed at his side that day. Promotion to Major General followed in 1745 and King Frederick gave him the title-deeds to a more senior musketeer regiment, which now became titled ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ (IR 5). His old regiment was passed to his younger brother Frederick Francis and was re-titled ‘Jung-Braunschweig’.
Ferdinand was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1750 and with the outbreak of the Seven Years War (or ‘Third Silesian War’) in 1756, was given command of one of the columns of Frederick’s main army during the invasion of Saxony and subsequent march into Bohemia. Ferdinand did well commanding the right wing of the Prussian infantry during the Battle of Lobositz in 1756 and then performed magnificently at the Battle of Prague in 1757. Ferdinand was also involved in Frederick’s Rossbach Campaign, though wasn’t present at the battle itself.
When Frederick took his army east again to meet the Austrians at Leuthen, Ferdinand was left behind in western Germany with a few cavalry units and a new task; to take command of the Allied armies, following the departure of the disgraced Duke of Cumberland. Upon taking command on 9th November 1757, Ferdinand found an army completely demoralised by its defeat at the Battle of Hastenbeck and the subsequent surrender at Klosterzeven. Rapidly reorganising the army and putting fresh fire in their bellies, Ferdinand mounted an offensive only six weeks later, surprising the French in their winter quarters and forcing them back across the Rhine.
In March 1758, following his victory at the Battle of Krefeld, Ferdinand was promoted to General of Infantry. This was followed in November of the same year by a promotion to Field Marshal. However, defeat followed in April 1759 at the Battle of Bergen, though Ferdinand’s reputation was restored on 1st August 1759 thanks to his astonishing victory at Minden. When news of Minden reached London, a grateful King George II awarded Ferdinand with the Order of the Garter.
Ferdinand proved himself to be an excellent army commander. Despite being constantly outnumbered by superior French forces and often forced to sacrifice territory, he managed to win additional victories at Warburg, Vellinghausen and Wilhelmsthal, thereby frustrating French plans to reinforce the Austrians and threaten Prussia’s western flank. Once Ferdinand took command, Frederick never again had to bring his army west to face the French and could therefore concentrate on fighting the Austrians and Russians (and to a lesser extent, the Swedes). Ferdinand also proved to be a skilled political operator, dealing with all the different allied leaders and moulding their contingents into a single, unified army.
In terms of modelling, I’ve used one of the generals from the excellent Eureka Dismounted British Generals pack for Ferdinand himself. He wears an ornate version of the regimental uniform of his own Prussian Musketeer-Regiment ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ (IR 5). I’ve given him the light blue sash of the British Order of the Garter, as seen in the portrait above (albeit over the wrong shoulder) and painted his waist-belt silver to give the impression of a Prussian officer’s silver waist-sash.
A British general and the map table came from the same pack. The two mounted officers are re-purposed Eureka Prussian officers; one is painted in the carmine-red uniform of the Hanoverian Garde du Corps Regiment (the Garde du Corps rode dapple-grey horses) and the other figure is painted an officer of a Hessen-Kassel infantry regiment (I forget which regiment, sorry).
For ADCs I’ve used a pair of mounted officers; one Prussian (painted as a Hessen-Kassel officer) and one British, both by Blue Moon. Curiously, although Blue Moon and Eureka foot figures fit perfectly with each other (I’ve mixed both makes in the same gun-crews), the Blue Moon mounted figures are noticeably smaller than their Eureka comrades. They look fine when based separately as here, but I would definitely avoid mixing them on the same base. One other slight issue is that the Blue Moon British generals have their sashes modelled being worn around the waist. This is perfectly fine for the American War of Independence, but British officers of this period were still wearing their sashes over the shoulder (right shoulder for infantry and gunners, left shoulder for cavalry).
Lastly we have Hanoverian Major General Johann Daniel Victor von Scheele. At Minden Scheele commanded one of the two brigades of the Prince of Anhalt’s Division. However, on the day of the battle Scheele was ordered to take command of the division and his timely intervention on the left flank of Spörcken’s Division helped to save the British infantry and Hanoverian Foot Guards from being outflanked by French cavalry.
Scheele is modelled using a Eureka British officer figure and wears the scarlet coat with straw facings and silver lace of his own ‘Scheele’ Infantry Regiment (formerly the ‘Fabrice’ Regiment), along with the yellow sash of a Hanoverian officer.
That’s it for now! Hanoverian artillery to follow and then some more newly-painted Prussian Grenadiers, Guards, Cuirassiers and Hussars. To take a break from all the tricorn hats, I’m presently refurbishing and re-flagging my 28mm AWI collection at the moment and am also refreshing my knowledge of ‘British Grenadier!’ rules in preparation for an AWI game next week. This will be my first AWI game since December 2009, when we refought the Battle of Germantown (below). I’m really looking forward to it 🙂