Napoleonic Reinforcements: Swedish Corps Commander & Artillery

As I was on a roll with the reasonably obscure Russian Mounted Jäger, I decided to continue the theme of obscure Napoleonic subjects with some Swedes.

As briefly mentioned during my discussion of my Swedish army for the Seven Years War, I do actually own the complete Swedish Corps for 1813, organised for Napoleon’s Battles rules.  This amounts to five 24-figure infantry brigade-units and two 16-figure cavalry units.  We’re not exactly spoilt for choice with decent 15mm Swedish Napoleonic figures, so this army represents the last gasp of Minifigs figures in my collection.  I might post some pictures of them here one day… Or maybe not…

However, I recently noticed that the corps commander and three artillery batteries had disappeared since their last outing some 15 years ago, so I ordered some new artillery crew from Old Glory 15s and rummaged around in my AB figures spares box to find some figures that might serve as a Swedish general and his staff.  Let’s start with the artillery…

Above:  As was the case with their grand-dads during the Seven Years War, the artillery arm of the Swedish Army wore what was quite possibly the most boring uniform of the age…

For the Svea Artillerieregimente, this uniform was plain blue with buff belts and brass buttons.  The Vendes Artillerieregimente jazzed this up with a white collar and the Göta Artillerieregimente were positively psychedelic with a yellow collar.  Uniformology rarely gets any more exciting than this…

During the 1813 Campaign, the Göta Regiment provided the two 6pdr foot batteries supporting the Swedish Corps’ 1st Division, while the Svea Regiment provided the 6pdr foot batteries supporting the 2nd Division and the foot batteries (one 12pdr battery and a 6pdr battery) of the corps reserve.  The Wendes Regiment provided two horse batteries for the corps’ cavalry brigade.

Above:  These are most definitely not the best models in the world, but they look the part with their distinctive Swedish round-hats, resplendent with yellow plumes and cockades! 🙂

Note that the officers have white ‘brassards’ wrapped around their left arms.  While such items were fairly common during the period as a field-sign to identify friendly troops (especially when fighting as a coalition, such as in 1813), these were a traditional feature of Swedish officers’ dress at least as far back as the Seven Years War, as seen in this 1798 portrait of General Stedingk, the general officer commanding the Swedish Corps in 1813.

Above:  There is some disagreement regarding the colour of Swedish gun-carriages.  during the 18th Century they had traditionally been painted light blue with yellow fittings (whether yellow metal or painted yellow is a matter of debate), though the fittings were painted black by the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

However… My trusty old Rawkins booklet said that Swedish gun-carriages of the era were painted ‘bluish-green’.  This is at odds with the Swedish Army Museum at Stockholm, which displays a 6pdr gun on an original light blue carriage, which saw action at Leipzig in 1813.  A series of prints from 1825 (one of which is shown here), also clearly shows light blue carriages still in use.  I had originally painted my Minifigs artillery in dark blue-green, but decided this time to go with light blue for the replacements.

Above:  As mentioned above, I decided to go rummaging through the AB figures Lead Dungeon for my General Stedingk.  I wanted an officer in a cocked hat with a tall plume and decided to use a spare British officer figure.

However, in retrospect, I think he’s too ‘campaigny’ for a Swedish general (compare to the Knötel picture at the top of this article and the painting on the right) and the double-breasted coat and cross-belt don’t really work.  I’ll probably replace him with an 1806 Prussian officer or maybe do some *gasp* ‘modelling’ and stick an 1806 Prussian head on a French general’s body.  Ah well… It was worth trying…

I’m happier with his entourage, however.  I used two 1806 Prussian cavalry figures; an officer of hussars wearing mirliton and an officer of dragoons.

The hussar officer is painted as an officer of the Mörner Hussar Regiment and as can be seen, he fits the bill really well.  The only inaccuracy is that his plume is on the wrong side, but I bet you didn’t notice until I pointed it out! 🙂

I actually have the Mörner Hussars (Minifigs models) in my Swedish Corps, but they are all wearing shakos, with plumes on the left side, which seems to be confirmed by one or two eyewitness watercolour paintings.

It seems that the Mörner Hussar Regiment probably deployed to Germany wearing mirlitons, but then transitioned to shakos (or perhaps the mirlitons were retained for full dress?).  Much the same thing happened in the infantry, with round-hats in many units apparently being replaced during the campaign by both French-style and Russian-style shakos.

This hussar figure was in the spares box due to having a broken sabre, but after carving the remains of the sword off his hand he just looks like he’s pulling at the reigns with both hands and the fact that his scabbard is empty is hardly noticeable, so I’m perfectly happy with him.

Above:  The third figure in the group is painted as an officer of the Skånska Carabinier Regiment.  Nafziger and others list this regiment as being present in 1813 (though not at Leipzig), though other source suggest it may have been converted to hussars in 1807.  To be honest, I lost the will to live by this point and given the general blue & yellow scheme, he could be an officer of the Swedish general staff (for whom I’ve never found any uniform information), so what the heck… 😉

As a ‘gentleman’ said to me on a Facebook Napoleonic Wargaming page this week, “If you can’t be bothered to get it right, you may as well be playing Warhammer…”

Ah well, in that case, The Emperor Protects… 😉

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Napoleonic Minor States, Napoleonic Wars, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Napoleonic Reinforcements: Swedish Corps Commander & Artillery

  1. Nick says:

    Another good read

    As they are your toys your rules let them count rivets

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Nick! Indeed! 🙂 As I think this blog demonstrates, I like to get things right (occasionally), but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of compromise, ‘near enough’ or ‘artistic licence’. I’m old enough to remember when vast swathes of history were simply not touched by model figure-ranges, so we simply had to make do with what we did have and ‘conversions’ were often simply a different paint-job. It didn’t make it ‘fantasy’ or ‘warhammer’.

      As it happens, the pompous idiot in question was deriding GMB Flags, for a. making the central designs on British Colours larger than they were historically and b. making French flags larger than they were historically. My point was that a. GMB asked his customers what they preferred to buy and b. a lot of historical flags (especially French Napoleonic flags) were really small. Duchy of Warsaw flags could be as small as 50cm square (around 4mm when compared to an 18mm figure) and look utterly rubbish when depicted accurately. We want to actually see them!

  2. Nick says:

    Another good read

    As they are your toys your rules let them count rivets or space orcs

  3. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 6): SYW Austrian Artillery & Staff | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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