“Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 9: Prussian Hussars)

This weekend we’re going to be refighting the Combat of Strehla, as per the scenario I posted last time.  The rules to be used, will of course be Tricorn.  I’ve finally got all the required Reichsarmee units finished, as well as some dragoons and hussars for Kleist’s Freikorps, as well as ‘Green’ Kleist himself.   I’ll talk more about the game and those new units in future articles.

Speaking of Tricorn, it seems that the community of players is growing!  🙂  The New Buckenham Historical Wargamers (NBHW) recently played a truly EPIC refight of the Battle of Dettingen 1743 (pictured below).  The game report can be found on Jabba’s Wargaming Blog and on the NBHW Facebook page.  Photo courtesy of Jabba.

Anyway, on to the Prussian Hussars…  I’ve got two new regiments to show off: the so-called Weisse Husaren (HR 4) and the Capucin Husaren (HR 6) (pictured below with HR 3, which I painted last year).  These are all 18mm figures by Eureka Miniatures.

I actually painted these a few months ago, over Christmas and New Year, in preparation for our January Kolin refight.  I could have cobbled together Zieten’s hussar division from the more elderly odds and sods in my collection, but decided that it would be nice to add some more units and actually match the order of battle.  They were very well-travelled regiments, so will see plenty of action.

Puttkamer, Georg Ludwig von (1715-1759).jpg


Above:  This regiment was for obvious reasons, commonly known unofficially as the Weisse-Husaren (‘White Hussars), though at the start of the Seven Years War the regiment had the official title ‘Puttkamer’ for its Chef (i.e. Colonel-Proprietor), Georg Ludwig von Puttkamer.  Somewhat unusually, Puttkamer also served in the field as the regiment’s Oberst-Commandant.  However, in 1759 and having been promoted to Generalmajor, Puttkamer was killed at the head of his hussars during the Battle of Kunersdorf and the regimental title passed to August Lavin von Dingelstädt, who was more of a traditional stay-at-home Chef.  The regiment changed Chef again in 1762 to Balthasar Ernst von Bohlen.

The regiment was fourth in seniority, though regimental numbers weren’t actually used until the 1780s, being finally formalised in 1806.  However, the anachronistic regimental numbers are often used in histories, as it makes regiments easier to identify when their titles kept changing.  This unit is therefore commonly referred to as Husaren-Regiment Nr. 4 (HR 4).

Above:  HR 4 had a number of other unofficial nicknames, including Bählämmer (‘Bleating Lambs’), due to their distinctive white pelisse jackets.  It must therefore have come as relief to later be referred to as Wölfe im Schafspelz (‘Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing’) or simply Wölfe (‘Wolves’) thanks to their impressive fighting reputation.

Above:  The reason these are very large 24-figure units, as opposed to my usual 12 or 16 figures, is that most Prussian hussar regiments were very large, comprising ten squadrons apiece.  Each hussar squadron started the war with around 115 men, though this number was increased during the war, varying by regiment.  In 1759 the Puttkamer Hussars were recorded as having around 145 men per squadron.  Most hussar squadrons were around the same strength, though the squadrons of HR 5 and HR 7 attached to Ferdinand of Brunswick’s Western Allied Army were around 25% stronger.  Dragoon and cuirassier squadrons were routinely around 25% stronger than hussar squadrons.  Tactically, these large regiments usually operated as two five-squadron battalions which would usually be grouped together, though could operate completely independently.

Above:  The uniform of HR 4 consisted of a light blue dolman jacket, decorated with mixed light blue & white lace and braid and white metal buttons.  Collar and cuffs were the same colour as the dolman.  Sources disagree as to whether the barrel-sash was red & white or light blue & white.  Breeches were buff and were worn with light blue charivari leggings edged with mixed light blue & white lace.  The pelisse was white, edged with white fur and decorated with more mixed light blue & white braid and white metal buttons.  Headgear was a plain black mirliton cap, dressed with white cords and a white tassel at the end of the ‘wing’.  The sabretache was white, edged light blue and with the royal ‘FR’ cypher in light blue.  The carbine cross-belt was white, while the sabre-scabbard and sabretache were suspended from red leather belts.  The shabraque was white, edged with light blue vandycking.

Above:  Officers of HR 4 had silver buttons and lace, as well as a silver lace ‘frame’ around the breast-braiding, silver edging to the ‘wing’ of the mirliton cap, silver cap-cords, a silver barrel-sash and silver edging to the vandycking on the shabraque.  Officers also had a different pattern of sabretache, being light blue with a white or silver zig-zagged edge and a white shield bearing a black eagle, with a gold crown above.  Officers also had a light blue rosette on the front of the mirliton and black fur edging to the shabraque.  NCOs wore much the same uniform as the rank-and-file, though with the light blue rosette and mixed black & white cords on the mirliton and silver laced edging to the cuffs.  Trumpeters had lace shoulder-wings and white lace edging to the ‘wing’ of the cap, as well as a white plume (Bleckwenn shows light blue threads mixed into the white plume).

Johann Paul von Werner – Pan na Bujakowie - Szkice z Dziejów Ziemi  Mikołowskiej


Above:  HR 6, known popularly as the Capucin-Husaren for the brown colour of its uniforms, resembling the colour of the brown habits worn by Capucin monks.  However, its official title at the start of the Seven Years War was ‘Wechmar’ for its Chef, Ludwig Anton Graf von Wechmar.  However, the regiment passed in February 1757 to Johann Paul von Werner, who held the title until his death in 1785.

Interestingly, both Wechmar and Werner were ‘hands on’ Chefs, serving also as Oberst-Commandant in the field (this seems to have been a ‘thing’ among Hussar Chefs) and this possibly explains their outstanding battlefield performance.  Werner in particular, had been a superb hussar officer in Austrian service, but was denied advancement due to his Protestant faith and therefore resigned from Austrian service to take the King of Prussia’s schilling.  His superb performance during the first two years of the Seven Years War led to his promotion in 1758 to Generalmajor and in 1761 to Generallieutenant.

Above:  Like most other Prussian hussar regiments, HR 6 had ten squadrons and like HR 4 was recorded in 1759 as having around 145 men per squadron.  I’ve therefore represented the regiment as 24 figures, grouped tactically into two 12-figure battalions.

7yw prussian hussarAbove:  The uniform of HR 6 comprised a brown dolman with yellow collar, cuffs, lace and braid with brass buttons, brown charivari edged yellow and a brown pelisse with white fur edging, yellow braid and brass buttons.  Breeches were buff.  The headgear was a plain black mirliton cap with white cords and a white tassel at the end of the wing.  Belts were same as those for HR 4.  The sabretache was brown with yellow lace edging and the ‘FR’ cypher in yellow.

The exact shade of brown is the source of some debate, with opinions ranging from a deep coffee-brown to mahogany, to a light fawn.  I’ve gone somewhere in the middle, using Humbrol German Camouflage Red Brown (160) as the base colour, with white mixed in for the highlight.

Above:  Officers of HR 6 had gold lace and braid in lieu of yellow, including a scalloped gold lace ‘frame’ around the breast-braid.  Cap-cords were gold and the ‘wing’ was edged and tasselled in gold.  Barrel-sash was silver.  The officers’ pattern sabretache was brown with yellow vandycking around the edge and a central white shield with black eagle and gold crown above. Another version shows gold wreaths instead of the yellow vandycking.  NCOs had the same uniform as the rank-and-file, though with gold lace around the cuffs of the pelisse, mixed black & white cap-cords and a yellow rosette on the front of the cap.  Trumpeters had mixed white & yellow lace and braid, lace shoulder-wings, gold cap-cords, gold lace edging to the ‘wing’ and a yellow plume with black threads mixed in.

Above:  When Werner was promoted to Generalmajor in 1758, he adopted a tricorn hat decorated with a black cockade and edged with gold lace and white ostrich feathers.  He also adopted a red shabraque with rounded corners, silver lace edging and silver ‘scalloping’.  The whole ensemble is shown on the right.

Bleckwenn also shows Werner as a general, wearing a red dolman with silver lace and braid, a tricorn hat with silver edging, pale straw breeches without charivari and black boots with silver edging and tassels.  However, he’s shown wearing the brown and gold pelisse of HR 6.

Above:  After painting HR 6, I vowed I would never paint another hussar… However, I have all the breaking-strain of wet tissue-paper and as mentioned above, I’ve been painting elements of Kleist’s Freikorps for tomorrow’s Strehla game, including Kleist himself and half of the Kleist Freikorps Hussar Regiment.  I’ll cover these fellas in detail in a future article, but I couldn’t resist showing them off! 🙂  They were also sometimes known as the ‘Jung-Kleist’ Hussars, to avoid confusion with the regular ‘Kleist’ Hussar Regiment (HR 1), who also happened to have Kleist as their Chef!

Above:  The Kleist Freikorps Hussars had possible the most GOPPING uniform of the Prussian Army, being a combination of orangey-red and yellow-green…  They should certainly stand out on the table!  Galloping alongside is ‘Green’ Kleist himself, who wears the two-tone green uniform of HR 1.

Anyway, it’ll be fun to see them in action tomorrow! 🙂

That’s it for now!  I’ve been a bit slow this month, but I’ve still got the Brandywine refight after-action report to post, as well as a stack of new Reichsarmee units and the report for tomorrow’s game.

Oh and a Happy 5th Birthday to Jemima Fawr! 🙂

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to “Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 9: Prussian Hussars)

  1. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    Another great report as usual. Regarding Hussars (in general) in the Seven Years War (SYW), I have always been interested in how they work in the different rules on the table.
    I remember the War Games Research Group (WRG) Horse and Musket rules 1685- 1845 used to count Prussian Hussars in the SYW as ‘regular light cavalry’ and all other nations as ‘Irregular light cavalry’ (all Hussars counting as regular light cavalry by the time of the Napoleonic wars). I think this was on the basis (according to the WRG) that during the SYW Prussian Hussars were used as ‘battle’ cavalry and trained to charge home, but, at the time other nations Hussars were mainly used in the ‘la petite guuerre’ rather than were reluctant o get too involved in combat on the battlefield. I quite like the distinction but not sure it is backed up by the history.

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Paul,

      I think that’s a reasonable assessment. The Prussian hussars were certainly trained and used as ‘battle cavalry’ in addition to the more traditional role. The Austrian hussars also fought in the thick of it on occasion, but more often than not their role in battles is frequently not mentioned, which does suggest that they were out scouting at the time (ditto French hussars). That’s generally why I tend to class most Prussian hussar regiments as ‘elite’ in my scenarios, as they seem to have been as hard-hitting as dragoons and therefore have the edge over Austrian hussars.

      French dragoons are an odd one. Examples of them fighting on horseback are as rare as hen’s teeth and they were still periodically ordered to fight on foot, so I don’t think they should be the battlefield equal of British, Prussian, Hanoverian or Hessian dragoons. I think I should probably class them as ‘Poor Dragoons’ (MR4 in Tricorn terms), alternatively fighting as Line Infantry (MR 4) or as a pair of skirmishers. Volunteer Dragoons would best be represented as Light Cavalry (MR4) or Poor Light Cavalry (MR3), same as Hussars.


  2. Tony says:

    Nice looking units, and thanks for the nod. Played another Tricorn game Friday night this time SYW.

  3. Jim says:

    I have to admit that I can’t resist colourful hussars, great challenges for the brush and a treat for the eye. Yours are splendid, I’m not sure how you managed to get these results with the speed with which you seem to paint. You must have better eyes than me!

    And compliments on your excellent taste in your choice of regiments! I chose all of the same regiments except HR2 Szekely instead of Kleist , but they have somewhat similar uniforms after all!

    I greatly appreciated your discussion about the combat capacities and size of Prussian Hussar regents and squadrons vis à vis those of the Austrians as I had been humming and hawing to myself about just these things the last two weeks. Your SYW project is a nice model for me, many thanks.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Jim! 🙂

      I don’t know about a treat for the eye, but I certainly need a treatment for the eye, as this bloody swollen eyelid is murder this week… 🙁

      I don’t know if you saw Part 3 of this series, but I already had HR 1, HR2 and half of HR8 in my collection from the 1990s. I also had half of HR4 and HR6 (the first regiments I painted), but they were old Lancashire Games Mk 1 figures, which are VERY small and I couldn’t buy more even if I wanted to, so HR4 and HR6 needed full replacement.

      As it happens, I still have half of HR8 (Old Glory figures) waiting to be painted and another 12 Old Glory figures I was going to use for the Swedish ‘Blue’ Hussars. They’ve been waiting in my Lead Dungeon since the 1990s!

      I could still do with getting a mix of HR5 and HR7 (with French standards, obvs) to fight alongside my Western Allied army.


      • Jim says:

        Aha- no I had not seen your early Hussar page, thanks. And oops, HR 1 Szekely, not 2…

        Your strategy is to paint ALL of the HR reg’ts, then? That is the best choice : )

        I recycled some Old Glory Nap, Saxon hussars for another SYW project, they work fine. I prefer the Eureka figures wth the much bigger horses. I also have mixed Eureka hussars for the various nations in order to get variety. Minor conversions with a tiny bit of putty and paint. The Russian hussars with mirliton are pretty useful as Prussians.

        Bravo for putting these lads out with their standards. Frederick was a parsimonious (miserly?) fellow but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be vainglorious!

        • jemima_fawr says:

          Well you’ve gotta catch ’em all! 😉

          The trouble with hussars is that the regiments are easily-identifiable from their colours at a distance, unlike cuirassiers and dragoons. It’s niggles my OCD when the wrong unit is on the table.

  4. Pingback: Jemima Fawr’s Review of 2023 | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.