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 | 9 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

“Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 4: Some Prussian Reinforcements)

In addition to all the new Seven Years War armies and units recently mentioned, I’ve also been building up my Prussian army with a load of new infantry units from Eureka Miniatures.  My existing Prussian army was built for a couple of show demo-games we did in the 1990s of the Battles of Lobositz and Kolin, where on both occasions, the Prussian Army was relatively small when compared to Frederick’s other battles, so needed expanding for other historical refights.  I worked out that for the Battle of Leuthen I’d need to add another ten Musketeer/Füsilier Battalions (especially Füsiliers, of which I only had four battalions), three Grenadier Battalions, two Cuirassier Regiments and two Freikorps Battalions.

Our Lobositz Demo Game

Six months later, I’ve managed to paint six Musketeer Battalions (3 regiments), eight Füsilier Battalions (4 regiments), three Grenadier Battalions and some other bits and pieces.  The Cuirassiers are still waiting to be painted and I still need to find some decent Freikorps figures. 

I could still do with painting some more… The Battle of Prague would require an additional eight Füsilier Battalions, four Musketeer Battalions, three Grenadier Battalions and two Dragoon Regiments…

As previously discussed, my original SYW collection consisted of Lancashire Games (Mk 1 & Mk 2 – the Austrians also have Mk 3!) and Old Glory 15s figures, with a few bits and pieces by Freikorps 15.  A couple of very nice ranges by Blue Moon and Eureka have appeared since the 1990s and I really liked the look of the Eureka figures (an added attraction being that you can buy them individually, so no waste due to packing policy).  In theory these latter two ranges are 18mm, while the others are 15mm, but from experience I know that ’15mm’ and ’18mm’ figures often turn out to be no different.  I was collecting and selling AB Napoleonics when they were still 15mm and they’re still the same figures now the kewl kidz call them ’18mm’.  They also stand next to Old Glory 15mm perfectly well on the wargames table, so I was perfectly happy to buy Eureka 18mm figures unseen, even though I had dark warnings of them being ‘too big’…

Above:  Here’s a comparison of Prussian Musketeer figures by (Left to Right) Old Glory 15s, Eureka, Lancashire Games Mk 1 and Mk 2.  Bear in mind that the cast-on Eureka bases are actually a little thicker than the others – as much as 1mm thicker compared to Old Glory 15s.  Also note that the Old Glory are in a sort of lunging-forward/crouched pose.  Height-wise they’re all much the same.  The Lancashire Mk 1 figures are the skinniest, while the Mk 2 are the chunkiest.  Eureka and Old Glory 15s are very close in terms of build, with the Old Glory figures having somewhat oversized heads and hats.

Above:  Here’s a comparison of Prussian Füsiliers.  Lancashire Mk 1 on the left, Eureka in the centre and Lancashire Mk 2 on the right (I don’t have any Old Glory 15s Füsiliers).  Again, the height to eye-level is virtually the same for all three and the ‘build’ is the same as for the Musketeers.  The Füsilier caps are quite radically different for all three, however and does accentuate the height-difference.  

Above:  Lastly, here’s a comparison of Prussian Grenadiers.  Old Glory 15s on the left, Eureka in the centre and Lancashire Mk 1 on the right (I don’t have any Lancashire Mk 2 Grenadiers).  again, the Old Glory 15s and Eureka figures are very close in size, though the Lancashire Mk 1 figures in this instance are very weedy and un-Grenadier-like!  However, the Eureka figures have clearly been modelled using British grenadier heads, as the cap has the upturned false ‘peak’ above the eyes and the pompom is more of a British-style tassel than the Prussian ‘mushroom’ shape.  The cap is also generally smaller than the Füsilier cap shown above, when it should be larger!  These are therefore, definitely the weakest of the Eureka Prussians (I absolutely love the Musketeers and Fusiliers).

Above:  Although I’ve already got a King Frederick army command group, it suddenly occurred to me that I could do with having another Prussian army commander for those occasions when the King wasn’t present.  I still have quite a few spare Old Glory 15s generals, so picked out this map-reading officer (I think he’s actually an Austrian figure, as the same chap appears among my Reichsarmee generals) and three other Prussian officers to accompany him. 

There are a number of independent Prussian army commanders I could have chosen, but I decided to go for August Wilhelm, Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (more often known as the ‘Duke of Braunschweig-Bevern’ or simply ‘Bevern’).  A competent enough commander and an excellent subordinate commander to Frederick, Bevern had a mixed record as an independent army commander, first winning an astonishing victory at Reichenberg, but later being defeated at Breslau, where he was captured by Grenzer.  He was freed after six months and redeemed himself in operations against the Swedes and Russians before finally distinguishing himself at Reichenbach.

Above:  There was no officially-designated uniform for Prussian general officers during this period, so generals wore a version of their own regimental uniform.  In Bevern’s case, this was Musketeer Regiment ‘Braunschweig-Bevern’ (IR 7), whose distinguishing features were rose pink facings, poppy red linings, straw-coloured small-clothes and silver buttons without buttonhole lace.

Judging from his expression, he appears to be shocked by something he’s just read, so instead of a map, I decided to have him reading his favourite Berliner red-top, ‘Die Sonne’.  The headline ‘HAB DICH!’ presumably refers to King Frederick’s capture of the Saxon Army.

Above:  I’ve wanted some Prussian Horse Artillery ever since I started my SYW collection, but ‘back in the day’ Old Glory sold them as bags of fifteen guns and crew, but I only wanted three guns max!  Consequently, these were included in my first test order of Eureka figures and were the very first Eureka figures I painted.  The gun is taken from my massive stash of spare Old Glory 15s guns.

Legend has it that at the Battle of Zorndorf in 1758, Frederick observed mounted Russian gunners moving their guns rapidly in support of cavalry and immediately ordered the creation of such a corps.  This tale is curious, as the Russian Army had no horse artillery establishment, so perhaps it was a local idea or perhaps an emergency idea?  Who knows…?  In any case, the ‘Brigade’ (a battery of 10 guns) was formed on 1st May 1759 and in August of that year was in action at the titanic Battle of Kunersdorf… Where it was captured by the Russians… 

Undaunted, Frederick immediately reformed the Brigade of Horse Artillery and it went into action again in November at the Battle of Maxen… Where it was captured by the Austrians…

So Frederick raised the Brigade a THIRD time and this time it wasn’t captured… Chiefly because he was extremely reluctant to risk it in battle after the previous experiences!  However, by 1761 small detachments of horse artillery were being used to good effect in support of cavalry raids and the like, which served to give the horse gunners excellent experience in this new field of warfare. 

By 1762, the carefully-husbanded Brigade of Horse Artillery had grown to 22 guns; six were taken to Pomerania with Prince Henry’s army, while the remaining sixteen remained with the King’s army.  Then, at the Battle of Reichenbach, all sixteen guns were allocated to the Prussian cavalry corps which was riding to the relief of Bevern’s beleaguered corps.  There at long last, a large force of cavalry was closely supported by rapid, accurate and powerful artillery and finally showed what horse artillery could achieve on the battlefield.  Every army in Europe suddenly paid attention… 

Above:  The initial uniform of the Prussian Horse Artillery was essentially unchanged from their original Artillery uniform; a plain dark blue coat with poppy red linings and piping on the pockets and cuff-flaps, brass buttons, straw small-clothes, white belts, red neck-stocks, white hat lace and pompoms coloured yellow/blue/red/white.  Only their tall heavy cavalry boots (replacing the usual shoes and gaiters) and straw-coloured gauntlets marked them out as mounted troops.

Above:  As mentioned above, the Horse Artillery initially wore the same pompoms on its hats as the rest of the Artillery branch.  However, in 1762 there was a general order for Prussian mounted troops to adopt a short white feather plume as a national field-sign in order to aid battlefield recognition (the Austrians adopted their yellow & black plume at much the same time).  This order probably wasn’t carried out until just AFTER the Seven Years War, but what the hell, as they look lovely… 😉

Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick

Above:  The Musketeer Regiment ‘Braunschweig’ (IR 5) was named for its Chef (colonel-proprietor), Prince Ferdinand von Braunschweig.  It was often known as ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ (Old Brunswick) to differentiate it from the ‘Jung-Braunchweig’ (Young Brunswick) Regiment (IR 39 – see the next article). 

Note that at this time Prussian regiments were known by their title and not by a number.  While there was an order of seniority, the regimental numbering system was not actually formalised until 1806.  However, with changes of Chef and title, it can be very difficult to track regiments through history, so almost all histories will refer to the later regimental numbering system (it’s the same with the Austrians and Hanoverians, though the British were actually using numbered regiments by this time).

The regiment’s grenadiers were detached and spent the duration of the war with Grenadier Battalion 5/20.

Above:  The ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Regiment’s uniform had straw-coloured cuffs, collar, shoulder-strap, lapels and small-clothes, though some sources suggest that this colour had changed to white.  The linings and piping on cuff-flaps and tail-pockets were poppy red.  The junior ranks had a pair of orange lace buttonholes below the lapels.  The ‘metal’ colour was yellow and officers had gold ‘Brandenburg’ buttonhole lace on the lapels and cuff-flaps.  Pompoms were coloured (from top to bottom) red/white/straw.  The flag-staves were cherrywood (not that Prussian officers’ and NCOs’ pole-arms were always coloured the same as the flag-staves).

The flags are by Fighting 15s.  As discussed here before, I used to paint all my own Prussian flags freehand (out of necessity), but life is now far too short to be painting them when there are so many lovely printed flags available and if all else fails, I have my own laser-printer.  Again as previously discussed, Prussian battalions in reality each had five flags, with one of the 1st Battalion’s flags being the Leibfahne, which had a white field.  Long after the Seven Years War, the Prussian Army rationalised this to two flags per battalion and in mid-1813 reduced this to one flag per battalion, as shown here.  If I was starting this army again today, I would probably use two flags per battalion, as I’ve done with my new French army.  However, I’m in no mood to go right through the army, adding standard-bearers and flags (particularly as that would mean getting rid of my lovely old painted flags), so I’ll stick with the existing theme.

Above:  The Musketeer Regiment ‘Itzenplitz’ (IR 13) was named for its Chef, General August Friedrich von Itzenplitz.  The regiment was regarded as an élite corps, not least by Frederick himself, who rated them third-best after the two Guard regiments (IR 6 & IR 15).  This superb battlefield performance was undoubtedly down to the guidance of their Chef, an enlightened and humane officer who expected a great deal from his men, but took interest in their welfare and a very dim view of brutal officers.  This approach was quite at odds with the typically brutal Prussian approach to training and discipline and puts me in mind of Sir John Moore’s humane approach when he created the 95th Rifles.

Sadly, General von Itzenplitz was mortally wounded at the Battle of Kunersdorf in 1759 and ownership of the regiment changed to Friedrich Wilhelm von Syburg, with the regiment being known as ‘Syburg’ from that point forth.  The regiment’s title changed again in 1762 to ‘Kaiser Peter III’, when the Tsar of Russia was made Chef in honour of their new alliance.

The regiment’s grenadiers were detached for the duration of the war, being assigned to Grenadier Battalion 13/26 (which I have covered previously).

Above:  The ‘Itzenplitz’ Regiment’s uniform was very similar to that of the ‘Alt-Braunschweig’ Regiment above, except that the straw colouring was distinctly more pale in shade and the ‘metal’ colour was white.  The lace buttonholes below the lapels were white and there were an additional two lace buttonholes on the cuff-flaps.  The officers had no lace on the lapels.  Pompoms were yellow.  The flags are again by Fighting 15s and the flag-staves were light brown wood.

Above:  The Musketeer Regiment ‘Markgraf Karl’ (IR 19) was named for its Chef, Karl Friedrich Albrecht, Markgraf von Brandenburg-Sonnenburg.  Markgraf Karl also happened to be Grand-Master of the Johanniter Order, which is the Brandenburg/North German Protestant offshoot of the Knights Hospitaller of St John and consequentially, the regimental flags featured the Maltese Cross of the order.  The regiment put in a solid performance throughout the war and curiously included a lot of Irish soldiers.

The regiment’s grenadiers were detached and served with Grenadier Battalion 19/25.

Above:  The ‘Markgraf Karl’ Regiment’s uniform had poppy red cuffs, collar, linings and piping on pockets and cuff-flaps.  The coat didn’t have lapels, but the breast and cuff-flaps were decorated with buttonhole lace.  The lace was made of mixed orange and white threads, so I’ve depicted it as pale orange.  The ‘metal colour was yellow, the neck-stocks were red, the small-clothes were straw and the pompoms were coloured orange/white.  The officers’ coats were heavily decorated with gold buttonhole lace.  

The flags are again by Fighting 15s.  The flag-staves were simply described as brown.

Anyway, that’s enough for now.  I’ll leave the new Füsilier Regiments and Grenadier Battalions for next time, but here’s a taste:

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Prussian Army, Shako Rules | 11 Comments

Happy 3rd Birthday Jemima Fawr!

Where has the last year gone?!  Perhaps it’s a consequence of Covid Groundhog Days, but it only seems like a couple of months since I was writing my 2nd Birthday post!  Looking back at that post, I see that I was looking forward to having a big Napoleonic game following lockdown… Ah well, so much for that plan… Maybe this year…?

Thankfully things do now appear to be heading in the right direction, so the clubs should be opening up again soon and we’ll be playing games once again (playing with someone else is so much better than constantly having to play with yourself, I’m sure you’ll agree).  That said, we did actually manage to re-open the Carmarthen Old Guard club briefly last Autumn and I did manage to play a 15mm Burma game that I completely failed to take photos of.  Phil Portway also invited me over for a cracking refight of the Battle of Medellin 1809…  Suffice to say, following the glorious victory by General Cuesta’s Spanish Army, he probably won’t be inviting me over again…

Medellin 1809 fought at Phil Portway’s place, October 2020

As mentioned at the time, the very linear 18th Century nature of the Medellin game and the use of Shako 2nd Edition rules, which I hadn’t played since using a modified version of the 1st Edition to run a massive 18th Century campaign during the 1990s, prompted me to dust off my Seven Years War collection (and in some cases crack open the rusted-shut lids).  Since then I’ve painted over 1,000 figures, including whole new Württemberg, Bavarian and French armies.  I’ve also expanded my existing Prussian and Imperial armies and have repaired and spruced up my Austrian and Swedish armies.  I’m presently just starting a new Seven Years War ‘Western Allied’ army (Britain, Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Brunswick and Schaumburg-Lippe-Buckeburg).  A few of the lads in the club have reciprocated with new Russian and Ottoman armies, so I’m looking forward to running a whole new 18th Century campaign once this bloody pandemic is over.

One unexpected consequence of the pandemic and lockdown is that the stats for this blog absolutely sky-rocketed immediately after the start of lockdown in March 2020 and have only kept climbing!  In the first year I received 20,000 hits on the blog, which I was perfectly happy with.  I then had 40,000 hits in the second year, bringing the total to 60,000 and since then I’ve received another 65,000 hits, bringing the total to over 125,000!  My ‘followers’ (I prefer to call them ‘supplicants’ or perhaps ‘disciples’) have also doubled in the last year to over 80.  The only explanation I can find is that desperate times bring desperate means to find entertainment…   Or sleep…

So while still not exactly viral, this blog (having become a persistent yeast infection last year) is probably now resistant to modern antibiotics.

With light finally appearing on the pandemic horizon, we’re finally able to look forward again and make plans.  To that end, the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare’ show has been confirmed for 27/28th November, at its new venue of Ascot Racecourse.  I’m not sure if I’ve previously mentioned it, 😉 but thanks to my Cassinga Raid 1978 game, I’m the reigning demo-game champion for ‘Warfare’ (for two years running by default – thanks Covid! 🙂 ).  Consequently, I’m going to defend my title this year with a 10mm American Civil War refight of the Battle of Murfreesboro (also known as the Battle of Stone’s River).  So once the Seven Years War itch has been scratched, I’m going to be buying and painting figures and building terrain for that project and hopefully get it done by Autumn.

In the meantime, I’ve still got a vast heap of pictures, articles and scenarios in the crypts of Fawr Towers, so there will be plenty to post here on the blog, even if we don’t manage to get wargaming again for a while yet!  Sorry if the Seven Years War doesn’t float your boat, but I will get back to all things Olive Drab, Khaki Drill, Jungle Green, Dunkelgelbe and DPM again soon, I promise! 🙂

In the meantime, thanks for looking! 🙂

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‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 2): The Reichsarmee

In Part 1 I looked at some of the German and Saxon-Polish units raised from within the Holy Roman Empire to directly support the Austrian Army in the field during the Seven Years War.  this time I’m profiling some of the units raised by the bewildering array of German statelets comprising the rump of the Empire, which were then brought together to form the colourful, ramshackle hullabaloo that was the Reichsarmee.

I’ve always held a soft-spot for the bloody awful armies of European history, partly because the attractiveness of their uniforms and spectacle on the table is usually in direct inverse proportion to their battlefield effectiveness, but mainly because you’re expected to lose… And if you ever manage to win with them, your opponent will never hear the end of it (particularly if they inflict a catastrophic hoofing of legendary proportions)…

… Will they, Phil…? 😉 

The military and political structure of the Holy Roman Empire and the Reichsarmee is a truly colossal subject and there’s little point in me repeating what Kronoskaf has to say on the subject, so follow the links in this paragraph if you want to look at the details. 

In a nutshell, the Holy Roman Empire was divided up into ten ‘Imperial Circles’ (Kreisen) or Districts, with each district being required to provide the Reichsarmee with a contingent of Foot and Horse, the number of whom would be based on the population of the district.  Each duchy, principality, county and bishopric within the district would then be required to provide a set portion of the contingent, again based on their population.  The only parts of the Reichsarmee to be formed centrally from Imperial taxes would be the Imperial General Staff and the Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsartilleriereserve).

In some instances, the wealthier duchies, principalities and bishoprics managed to raise complete units, led, trained and equipped to a good standard and in some cases were simply regular units taken from their own standing army.  Austria in particular, simply allocated units from its own massive army (most notably two regular Cuirassier Regiments, two Hussar Regiments and a number of Croat Battalions) and also donated regiments that it had hired from Imperial German states such as Mainz, Würzburg and Pfalz.

However, in the majority of cases, units were cobbled together from a myriad of tiny contingents (some contingents were as small as one man!) and were very badly led, trained, equipped and motivated.  To make matters worse, units from different districts were often using completely different drill manuals.  On top of all of this were the underlying tensions between Protestants and Catholics lumped together in the same units, which led to serious problems with regard to motivation and discipline.

Consequently, with one or two exceptions, the Reichsarmee were frequently more of a hindrance than a help on the battlefield, but they are spectacularly colourful and never fail to be interesting!  I’ve still got a long way to go before I finish my own Reichsarmee, but in the short-term I’m aiming to complete the order of battle for the Battle of Rossbach.  Here’s what I’ve completed thus far:

Franconian District (Fränkischen Kreis

The Franconian District managed to raise three regiments of infantry (Varell, Ferntheil & Cronegk), one of Cuirassiers (Bayreuth) and one of Dragoons (Ansbach) during the Seven Years War.  All five regiments were raised from a multitude of tiny contingents and had a very poor fighting reputation.  Thus far I have two of the three infantry regiments painted and the two cavalry regiments waiting in the lead-pile, while the third infantry regiment (Cronegk) has yet to be painted.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Ferntheil’ (became the Hohenlohe Regiment in 1759).  All three Franconian Infantry Regiments wore the same Prussian-style blue uniform, so I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Infantry figures.  The regimental facing colour was displayed on lapels, collar, shoulder-strap, turnbacks and Swedish-style cuffs for all three regiments.  The Ferntheil Regiment had ponceau red facings, the Varell Regiment had sulphur yellow and the Cronegk Regiment had white.  

Each regiment had two battalions, each consisting of six companies and a detached grenadier company, for a full paper strength of 1,940 men (which may also include the regimental artillery detachment).  In the event, the Ferntheil Regiment managed to field over 1,500 men in 1757 and increased that to over 1,800 in 1758, despite the disastrous Battle of Rossbach.  With such a large establishment, I’ve gone with Austrian-style 16-figure battalions.

Above:  The Ferntheil Regiment (became the Hohenlohe Regiment in 1759).  All three Franconian infantry theoretically regiments carried colours of a common pattern.  Each battalion officially carried three colours; the 1st Battalion having the Leibfahne and two Kompaniefahnen, while the 2nd Battalion carried three Kompaniefahnen.  The pattern was changed in 1757, with the new flags being issued in 1758, so these flags are wrong for Rossbach (more of which later) and the older type was probably therefore carried.  However, no description or surviving example of the older type has been found, so these will have to do!

Both types of 1757 Pattern colour had the Imperial Double-Eagle on the obverse and a large ‘CF’ cypher on the reverse.  The Leibfahne was the same for all three regiments, having a plain white field.  The Kompaniefahnen had a field divided into three horizontal bands; the central band was blue, while the top and bottom bands were in the regimental facing colour.  These flags were from a sheet of Reichsarmee flags produced by Andy Grubb (of ‘Grubby Tanks’) in the 1990s.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Varell’.  Continuing the saga of the colours… The Franconian regiments became a laughing-stock, as the old colours were withdrawn and the regiments instead carried bare staves!  Worse was to come in 1758, when the new colours were to be issued.  New colours are traditionally dedicated with a religious service and in Germany this involved the ceremonial nailing of the colours to the staves and a lavish celebration.  However, first the Protestant and Catholic contingents argued with each other regarding the nature of the religious service and then the officers argued with their lords and masters about who was going to pay for the celebrations!  Consequently, these colours were never actually issued and the Franconian regiments instead carried the older colours, which as mentioned above, we have no record of…  So what the hell, I’ve used the 1757 Pattern colours…

Above:  The Varell Infantry Regiment.  All three Franconian infantry regiments had white small-clothes, black neck-stocks, white belts, black cartridge-pouches, black gaiters, brown scabbards and white hat-lace for the rank-and-file.  NCOs had hat-lace in the facing colour.  Officers had silver sashes woven with red and black threads.  The regimental ‘metal’ colour (i.e. buttons and officers’ hat-lace) was yellow for Ferntheil and Cronegk and white for Varell.  Hat pompoms were striped white/blue/facing colour – Pengel & Hurt shows this with the facing colour at the top of the pompom, while Kronoskaf reverses the order, with white at the top.  

The detached Franconian grenadier companies didn’t fight at Rossbach, so I’ve not painted them yet, though I will eventually need to do them for other battles, when they were massed as an ad hoc grenadier battalion.  They wore the same uniform as their parent regiment and in most cases, the headgear was a brown bearskin with yellow metal front-plate and the bag coloured by regiment.  The odd one out was the Varell Regiment’s 2nd Grenadier Company, who wore a Prussian-style mitre with red bag, yellow band, yellow piping, white pompom and brass front-plate.

Above:  The Franconian District Artillery Arm supplied each of the three infantry regiments with four 3pdr guns.  Those from the Nuremburg Arsenal are known to have been mounted on red carriages, so it’s probable that this was the common colour of Franconian gun carriages.  The uniform was based on the Austrian artillery uniform, though with blue instead of brown coats and with the addition of lapels.  However, the ‘metal’ colour (buttons and hat-lace) was probably yellow, rather than the white shown here, as these are actually gunners from the Reichsreserveartillerie, who seem to have worn the same uniform with white ‘metal’.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Artillery for these chaps.

Above:  The Würzburg ‘Red’ Infantry Regiment.  As discussed last time, the excellent Würzburg ‘Red’ & ‘Blue’ Regiments were not officially part of the Reichsarmee, but were instead raised within Franconia by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg to serve as auxiliaries with the Austrian Army.  Würzburg had already met its Reichsarmee commitment, providing nine companies of infantry, two of cuirassiers and two of dragoons.  However, Austria immediately sent the ‘Blue’ Regiment to the Reichsarmee as part of its own district contingent and this was joined in 1760 by the ‘Red’ Regiment.  In 1761 the two regiments were amalgamated into a single three-battalion regiment, titled Kaiserlich-Würzburg.

Bavarian District (Bayerischen Kreis)

The Imperial Bavarian District consisted not only of the Electorate of Bavaria itself, but also the Archbishopric of Salzburg, parts of the the Palatinate (Pfalz), the City of Regensburg and a few very minor counties.  It managed to raise two regiments of infantry (the Kurbayern and Salzburg Regiments), but not a single one of the 2,400 horse it was meant to raise.  As mentioned in my previous article on the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps, Bavaria was strapped for cash at the time and had hired ten battalions to Austria, so there probably wasn’t the will to divert men and resources to raise units that weren’t going to bring cold, hard cash into Bavarian coffers.

Nevertheless, Bavaria did raise the three-battalion Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Kurbayern’ for the Reichsarmee, simply taking the entire Pechmann Regiment from its standing army, along with the 1st Battalion of the Holnstein Regiment

Above:  The Pechmann Infantry Regiment depicted in the uniform it wore until June 1757; namely an Austrian-style coat in dark blue with straw facings and small-clothes, with yellow ‘metal’.  I painted these (using Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures) in the 1990s, in line with the best available research at the time; the booklets by Pengel & Hurt.  However, more recent research has revealed that the Pechmann Contingent of the Kurbayern Regiment changed its facings in June 1757 to align with the colourings of the Holnstein Contingent.  Consequently, the lapels, cuffs, collar and shoulder-strap changed to ‘pale red’ (also known as ‘old rose’; a dull pink shade).  The turnbacks remained straw, so the uniform looked very much like the uniform shown below for the Holnstein Contingent.

Above:  The Holnstein Regiment contributed its 1st Battalion to the Kurbayern Regiment.  Again, I painted these in the 1990s, following Pengel & Hurt.  However, more recent research research has shown this uniform to be wrong in two areas.  First, the shade of red should be ‘pale red’  as described above (Pengel & Hurt just described it as ‘red’) and second, the turnbacks should also be pale red.  The combination of red facings with straw turnbacks may have been Pengel & Hurt getting confused by the second uniform worn by the Pechmann Contingent.

The Kurbayern Regiment also included two Grenadier Companies (probably both from the Holnstein Regiment) and an artillery detachment with six 4pdr guns.  On paper the regiment amounted to a little under 1,800 men.  However, in May 1758 the regiment counted fewer than 1,400 men with the colours.

Above:  The Kurbayern Regiment’s Artillery Detachment wore the standard Bavarian Artillery uniform, namely a light grey coat with blue facings, yellow ‘metal’ and straw small-clothes.  Gun-carriages were painted light blue with black ironwork.  For these I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Artillery figures.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment Salzburg was formed from contingents raised by the Archbishopric of Salzburg and the other counties of the Imperial Bavarian District, such as the City of Regensburg and some enclaves of Pfalz.  The regiment numbered 1,468 men in total, but sources disagree regarding its organisation.  It seems to have numbered two battalions, with four companies apiece, plus a detached grenadier company and an artillery detachment with two or four 3pdr or 4pdr guns (with red carriages).  Again, I painted these in the 1990s, using Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures.  For some reason I only painted one strong (16-figure) battalion, but it should really consist of two 12 figure battalions.  Perhaps I only had these figures spare at the time?

Above:  Sources agree that the Salzburg Regiment wore a white Austrian-style coat with red cuffs, lapels, turnbacks and shoulder-strap, yellow metal buttons, white breeches, black gaiters and an unlaced hat with red-over-white pompoms.  However, Pengel & Hurt’s description (on which these are based) shows white waistcoats and white buttonhole lace on the lapels, while Kronoskaf shows a red waistcoat, a red collar and no lace (making them look almost identical to the Fürstenberg Regiment shown below).  Officers wore silver sashes striped with red, while the grenadiers wore brown bearskin caps with red bags.

The various contingents making up the Salzburg Regiment all seem to have brought their own colours with them, featuring a wide variety of designs and motifs.  The Reichsarmee flag-sheet produced by Grubby Tanks included two Salzburg flags as described by Pengel & Hurt, one of which is shown here, being a black Imperial Eagle on a brown field.  However, recent research suggests that the flag should actually be white and it was merely age which had turned the flag brown before it was described many years later.

Swabian District (Schwäbischen Kreis)

The main player in Swabia was the Duchy of Württemberg, though there were numerous other small states making up the Swabian District.  They raised four regiments of infantry (Alt-Württemberg, Baden-Baden, Baden-Durlach and Fürstenberg), a cuirassier regiment (Hohenzollern), a dragoon regiment (Württemberg) and regimental artillery.  Thus far I’ve managed to paint the Fürstenberg Infantry Regiment and the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers.

Above:  Kreisinfanterieregiment Fürstenberg was raised mainly in the Principality of Fürstenberg and Bishopric of Augsburg (four companies from each), with the City of Augsburg, Abbey of Kempten, Abbey of Weingarten and Monastery of Ochsenhausen each providing a company, for a total of five musketeer companies and one grenadier battalion per battalion and a total full strength of 1,690 men.  I must admit that these battalions are a little strong and should really be 12 figures apiece rather than 16.  The grenadiers were also normally detached and were sometimes massed into ad hoc grenadier battalions, or assigned to guard key locations in the rear.  It was late, I’d probably been drinking and got a little carried away… The attached grenadiers do look good though… 🙂

Above:  I used yet more Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures for the Fürstenberg Regiment and I do love them, as they’re packed full of detail and character.  However, there are a couple of ‘issues’ with them.  First, their cast-on bases are ludicrously small and simply won’t support the figure, which makes basing them a total pain in the arse, as many figures need to be propped up until the glue cures before you can move on to the next figure.  That means that basing the unit takes the best part of an hour, compared to literally one minute for Eureka figures (which have nice, large cast-on bases).  Secondly and as mentioned here before, Old Glory 15s now come in packs of 25 figures with only enough command figures to form a single unit with one flag (they used to come in bags of 100 with enough command figures to make 12 figure units).  Consequently I’ve padded these out with command figures from my enormous stash of spare Austrian grenadiers.

Above:  With their white coats and red facings, the uniforms for the Fürstenberg Regiment are very similar to other Imperial contingents, such as the Red Würzburg, Salzburg and Kurtrier Regiments, as well as many Austrian regiments.  However, this does mean that you can sneak them in at the back of an Austrian army to make up the numbers if needed!  The details of the uniform are almost identical to those of the Red Würzburgers described earlier, with white coat and breeches, red lapels, cuffs and turnbacks, white metal buttons, white hat-lace and red-over-white pompoms.  However, Fürstenberg had no collar on the coat and had red waistcoats instead of white.  The Grenadiers had brown-black bearskins with a white metal front-plate and red bag.

Above:  A rear view of the Fürstenberg Regiment.  Note that the drummers’ uniforms are not known, so I’ve arbitrarily gone for reversed colours of red coats with white facings. 

The flags were carried on black & white spiraled staves with gold finials.  These are taken from the Kronoskaf article and were then printed on my own laser printer.  I’ve given the 1st Battalion a white Leibfahne and the 2nd Battalion a yellow Ordinärfahne, though in reality each battalion probably followed the usual practice of having two flags per battalion – one of each type in the 1st Battalion and a pair of Ordinärfahne for the 2nd Battalion. 

A lot of Reichsarmee regiments used this pattern of flag, with the local arms being displayed on the breast of the Imperial eagle and the specific regiment being identified at long range by the combination of horizontal coloured ‘flames’ on the Ordinärfahne, which in the case of Fürstenberg were red-white-red-white-red-white from top to bottom.  For example, Alt-Württemberg had a similar design with black-black-white-light blue-black-black, Baden-Durlach had black-red-orange-orange-red-black and Baden-Baden had black-black-red-white-red-black-black.

Above:  The Kreis-Cuirassier Regiment ‘Hohenzollern’ comprised four squadrons, formed from 61 tiny contingents, amounting to a little over 600 men at full strength.  Like most of the Reichsarmee regiments raised from many small contingents, the regiment’s battle record was absolutely awful and on one memorable occasion they were routed by just two squadrons of Prussian hussars!  For these chaps I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Cuirassier figures.  I particularly like the ‘comedy’ figure, who is either trying to pull someone else’s pallasch out of his guts, or he’s committing seppuku due to his shame at being in such a bloody awful regiment.

Above:  The Hohenzollern Cuirassiers wore a uniform very similar to that of the Austrian cuirassier regiments, being a white coat with red facings (including lapels), white metal buttons and straw small-clothes.  However, sources are not clear on whether or not the regiment was actually equipped with cuirasses and they are usually depicted without.  the hat had white lace with a black cockade and red corner-rosettes.  Horse furniture was red with a double stripe of white lace around the edge, though with the outermost edge being red (I was clearly a bit lazy when I painted these).  Officers had silver hat and shabraque lace and an Austrian-style gold and black sash.  Trumpeters’ uniforms from the period are not known, but Kronoskaf gives a uniform from 1794, being a red coat with ‘false sleeves’ and white facings, all laced silver.

Out of necessity, I was still always painting my own flags in those days, but the Regimental Standard of the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers is a very simple design to paint, being a simplified version of the Arms of Swabia on an oval; the left half being black with a white ‘iron cross’ and the right half being yellow with three black leopards, flanked by green palm branches on a white field and fringed in gold.  Squadron Standards were the same, but with a yellow field.  Staves were brown and finials gold.

Above:  The Swabian District Regimental Artillery wore blue uniforms with red facings, white buttons and red small-clothes and had yellow-painted guns.  I haven’t painted any of those yet, but the district contingent was supplemented by regular artillery from the Duchy of Württemberg, as shown here.  I covered the Württemberg Artillery uniform in my previous post on the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps.

Electoral Rhenish District (Kurrheinischen Kreis)

Kurpfalz Effern Regt

The ‘Electoral Rhenish’ (Kurrhein) District is so-called as it contained the dominions of four of the seven Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire; namely all three of the Ecclesiastical Electors (the Elector-Archbishops of Köln, Mainz and Trier) and the Count-Palatine of the Rhine (Elector of the Pfalz). 

Kurköln Leibregiment

Of these, the Palatinate had a reasonably-sized  and well-trained standing army (for Imperial Germany), though was contracted to send large chunks of it to France and Austria during wartime.  The Archbishop of Mainz had a very small standing army, but like the Archbishop of Würzburg, he paid close attention to its upkeep and it was very well-trained, with an infantry regiment being contracted to the Austrian Army.  The Archbishop of Trier had no standing army, so had to raise a regiment in wartime.  The Archbishop of Köln (Cologne) meanwhile, was contracted to provide France with an auxiliary corps, but instead simply trousered the cash to maintain his lifestyle in a manner that even the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath & Wells might find extravagant…

Kurpfalz Leib-Dragoner

In total, the District managed to raise five infantry regiments (Kurmainz Regiment, Kurtrier Regiment, Kurköln Leibregiment, Kurköln Wildenstein Regiment and Kurpfalz Effern Regiment), one cuirassier regiment (Kurpfalz Cuirassiers) and District Artillery.  Austria also reinforced the Reichsarmee with the two Pfalz regiments serving with the Austrian Army (the 2nd Battalion of the Gardes zu Fuss and the Kurfürstin Leibdragoner Regiment).  In addition to this total was the Mainz Lamberg Infantry Regiment serving with the Austrian Army, where it was generally known as the Mainz Infantry Regiment and not to be confused with the Kurmainz Regiment of the Reichsarmee.  There was also the Pfalz Merckel Hussar Regiment, which consisted of four squadrons and appeared at a few battles, but details of which are elusive.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Kurtrier’ was hastily raised for the war from raw recruits and was therefore considered ‘very poor’ by the French Marshal Soubise.  Nevertheless, in 1762 the regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Freiburg.   The regiment was quite small by Austro-Imperial standards, having two four-company battalions and no grenadier companies, numbering a little over 1,000 men.

Above:  The Kurtier Regiment again followed the popular Imperial theme of white coats with red cuffs, lapels and turnbacks (no collar) with white metal buttons.  Neck-stocks were black and small-clothes were white.  The hat lacked pompoms, but had white scalloped lace edging and a black cockade.

Instead of the usual variations on the theme of Imperial double-headed eagles, the regiment’s flags featured the arms of the Elector-Archbishop of Trier on a white field with a light blue border and light blue stave.  I’m afraid that I can’t remember where I found these, but I printed them off on my own laser-printer.

The figures are once again Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry.

Above:  A rear view of the Kurtrier Regiment.  The regiment’s drummers are described as having light blue coats with red facings and white metal buttons, along with light blue small-clothes.

Above:  Although I haven’t yet painted the Kurmainz Infantry Regiment, I did paint this mounted officer to represent General Johann Georg Baron von Wildenstein, who was Colonel of the regiment and who rose to command the Kurrhein contingent of the Reichsarmee.  The Kurmainz Regiment fielded a whopping four battalions and two grenadier companies, for a total of well over 2,000 men.    

My Baron Wildenstein figure wears the regimental dress of the Kurmainz Regiment; namely a white coat with green lapels, cuffs and turnbacks with yellow metal buttons, green waistcoat, black neck-stock and straw breeches.  He wears gold officers’ hat lace, but the rank and file had white hat lace with a white pompom.  The grenadiers wore an Austrian-style bearskin cap with brass plate and green bag, piped an tasseled yellow. 

Upper Rhine District (Oberrheinischen Kreis)

Nassau-Weiburg Regt

The Upper Rhine contingent of the Reichsarmee was very sparse, comprising only three regiments of infantry (Hessen-Darmstadt, Nassau-Weiburg and Pfalz-Zweibrūcken), a District Artillery detachment and no regiments of horse.  This number of men fell a very long way short of what they were meant to provide to the Reichsarmee.  A possible reason for this shortage is that the Rhineland states were taking enormous sums of cash to provide regiments to the King of France.

Thus far I have only painted a single unit for the Upper Rhine District: The superb Hessen-Darmstadt Regiment.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment Hessen-Darmstadt (also known as the Prinz Georg Regiment) comprised only a single battalion and Grenadier Company, amounting to 674 men at full strength.  The regiment was nothing short of superb and distinguished itself at Rossbach where it, along with the Blau-Würzburg Regiment, withdrew from the disaster in good order.  The Grenadier Company would normally be detached and as a consequence (and in common with all other Reichsarmee grenadier companies) didn’t fight at Rossbach.  However, in February 1759 the regiment was captured along with an Austro-Imperial army at Erfurt and only the detached Grenadier Company escaped, as it was assigned to a completely different force.

Above:  The Hessen-Darmstadt Regiment’s uniform was a dark blue, Prussian-style coat with white metal buttons, white facings (no lapels), white aiguillette on right shoulder and heavily laced with white buttonhole lace.  Neck-stocks were red and small-clothes were white.  The hat had a black cockade and white pompoms, but sources disagree over the hat-lace; Kronoskaf says white hat-lace, while Pengel & Hurt say no hat-lace.   Officers had silver buttonhole lace, silver scalloped hat-lace, silver gorgets and silver sashes striped with red.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Infantry figures.

Above:  Sources differ markedly over the details of the grenadiers’ mitre cap.  My only source at the time was Pengel & Hurt, who described a silver front with a blue enameled disc bearing the Hessian lion rampant in red and white.  Knötel meanwhile showed a plain brass front, while Kronoskaf shows a plain silver front, though pierced to reveal a white cloth backing.  All agree that it had a white band, blue bag, white piping and a white pompom.  I must admit that I am rather pleased with those tiny stripy lions! 🙂

Above:  As you can tell, I was still painting my flags in those days and these are quite spectacular!  However, I’ve based them the wrong way around; the white Leibfahne should always stand on the right!  I’ll have to have a word with my 1990s self…

That’s it for my Reichsarmee regiments as they currently stand.  I still haven’t painted anything from the Lower Rhine or Upper Saxony Districts, so will leave those districts for another time when I’ve got something to show.  I’ve presently got five Reichsarmee cavalry regiments waiting in the lead-crypt, so hope to get them done soon.

Reichsarmee Generals

General officers of the Reichsarmee initially wore a version of their own regimental dress (such as General von Wildenstein above, in the dress of his own Kurmainz Regiment) or some other concoction of their own design.  However, the inevitable confusion this caused soon resulted in an order for all generals of the Reichsarmee to adopt Austrian-pattern general officers’ dress of white coat with red facings and small-clothes, heavily laced with gold. the exact pattern of which indicated the rank of the general. 

The portrait on the right shows the Prinz von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the first commander of the Reichsarmee during the Seven Years War, in the uniform of an Austrian Field Marshall.

Here are some of my Reichsarmee generals in Austrian uniform.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Generals.

Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsreserveartillerie)

As mentioned above, the only centrally-organised and funded elements of the Reichsarmee were the Imperial General Staff and the Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsreserveartillerie).  While each Imperial District was required to provide its own light regimental guns, the Imperial Artillery Reserve would provide the position batteries.  These were mostly 12pdrs, but howitzers, 6pdrs and even 3pdrs are also recorded as part of the Reserve. 

The guns themselves came mostly from the arsenals of Würzburg and Bamberg in Franconia, with additional guns coming from the city of Nuremberg and Bavaria.  The Franconian guns are recorded as being mounted on red carriages, while the Nuremberg guns were red or ‘red and white’ (perhaps red carriages with iron fittings painted white or vice versa?  The Hessians were known to use white carriages with red fittings), with some 3pdrs being plain wood and 6pdr carriages being painted blue-grey.  Bavarian gun carriages were painted light blue.

Above:  I’ve gone for the majority ‘Franconian Red’ option with regard to gun carriage colour.  I’ll paint some other colours when I paint the next batch.

Above:  The uniform of the Imperial Artillery Reserve was a dark blue coat with red cuffs, lapels, turnbacks, collar and shoulder-strap with white metal buttons.  Small-clothes were dark blue.  Neck-stocks and cross-belts were black, though waist-belts were white.  The hat was laced white, with a black cockade.

Above:  I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Artillery and simply painted on the lapels.

Anyway, that’s enough for now! 🙂 

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Austrian Army, Seven Years War Minor German States, Shako Rules | 8 Comments

‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 1): Imperial Auxiliary Troops of the Seven Years War

The Rot-Würzburg Regiment defends Leuthen Churchyard against the Grenadiers of the Prussian Garde, 5th December 1757

First an apology to lovers of all things Jungle Green, Khaki Drill and Olive Drab and/or tracked; I’ve still got stacks and stacks of WW2 and Cold War stuff to post here (and more besides), but I’m on a bit of a Seven Years War roll at the moment…

As mentioned a few months (and 800 figures) ago when I rediscovered my SYW mojo, I kicked it all off by painting the Würzburg ‘Red’ Regiment, which was raised by the Archbishop-Elector of Würzburg, in return for Austrian cash, to serve as an auxiliary corps under Austrian command.  This regiment was one of many raised by the states of the Holy Roman Empire to fight in the Seven Years War.  These regiments fall generally into two groups; first, those raised at Austrian (and sometimes French) expense to serve as auxiliary units under the command of the Austrian Army (or occasionally the French Army) and second, those raised to serve as part of the Imperial Reichsarmee.  

I started painting a Reichsarmee/Imperial Auxiliary force back in the 1990s and at the time painted eleven battalions, generals and four regiments of cavalry.  Since November I’ve added a further 29 battalions, plus artillery and generals and there’s still plenty more to come, particularly in terms of cavalry and a few infantry battalions to complete the order of battle for the Battle of Rossbach.  I’ll probably then add some more infantry and cavalry units for the later battles featuring the Reichsarmee.  In the meantime, here are a few of the units I’ve already painted:

Imperial Auxiliary Corps Serving With The Austrian Army


In addition to maintaining its treaty commitment to the Reichsarmee, the Duchy of Württemberg also raised an Auxiliary Corps of ten infantry battalions, three grenadier battalions and a company of artillery essentially to serve as a mercenary force in order to swell the Duke’s coffers.  Serving initially with the Austrian Army (disastrously so at the Battle of Leuthen), the French later paid for the corps and at one point, the Duke even considered accepting offers from the British to fight on the other side! 

Followers of this blog will probably remember that I painted the entire Württemberg Auxiliary Corps in my first personal painting challenge last November, so I won’t go into detail again here.  Just follow the link (or click on the photo) back to the earlier article.  I will at some point expand this army to include cavalry, which did fight when under French command.  I’ve got a pile of spare Old Glory Austrian Horse Grenadiers who will make passable Württemberg Horse Grenadiers and some spare Austrian Cuirassiers who might become the Cuirassier Regiment ‘Von Phull’.


Again in addition to maintaining its commitment to the Reichsarmee, the Electorate of Bavaria raised a divisional-sized Auxiliary Corps of ten battalions at Austrian expense, bringing badly-needed cash into Bavaria’s struggling treasury.  Although badly hammered at the Battle of Leuthen and perpetually under-strength, the corps operated under Austrian command for the duration of the war. 

As with the Württembergers and as regular readers will know, I recently painted the entire Bavarian contingent as a personal painting challenge, with the ultimate intent of completing the order of battle for the Battle of Leuthen.  I won’t therefore go into details of regiments and uniforms here.  Just follow the link or click on the picture above to the relevant article.


In addition to its commitment to the Reichsarmee, the Prince-Diocese of Würzburg signed an agreement with Austria to supply two regiments of infantry, each numbering a little over 1,800 men (two battalions (each of six companies) plus two grenadier companies per regiment).  Provided that the Bishop raised one regiment at his own expense, Austria would pay all costs for the second.  The first regiment was raised in 1756 and was known as the ‘Red’ Regiment (Roth- or Rot-Würzburg) from its facing colour.   Unlike so many Imperial contingents, the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg paid close attention to his tiny army and the Würzburgers proved to be excellent troops.

Joining the garrison of Prague alongside another Imperial auxiliary regiment, the Mainz ‘Lamberg’ Infantry Regiment (which I will be painting soon!), the Rot-Würzburgers were soon in action during the successful defence of the city against the Prussians in 1757.  

In the meantime, the second regiment, entitled the ‘Blue’ Regiment or Blau-Würzburg (again reflecting the regimental facing colour) was raised and sent to reinforce the Reichsarmee in Franconia, where it was soon in action against Prussian raiders.  In August 1757, the Reichsarmee combined with Marshal Soubise’s French army and the combined armies invaded Prussian-occupied Saxony.  Despite his defeat against the Austrians at Kolin and his subsequent retreat from Bohemia, Frederick was swift to respond and his army smashed the combined Franco-Imperial Army on 5th November 1757 at the Battle of Rossbach.  The Reichsarmee in particular was very quick to break, though the Blau-Würzburg Regiment, alongside similarly-superb Hessen-Darmstädt Kreis-Infanterie Regiment, held their ground and withdrew from the field in good order.

Sadly I haven’t yet painted Blau-Würzburg, though they are on my ‘to do’ list.

Following Frederick’s withdrawal from Bohemia after his defeat at Kolin, Rot-Würzburg was assigned to a field army for the Austrian invasion of Silesia.  The regiment’s finest, though bloodiest hour came on 5th December 1757 at the Battle of Leuthen when, with the Austrian left flank collapsing, Rot-Würzburg was assigned the key task of holding Leuthen Church.  Rot-Würzburg held their position against ever-increasing odds, until at last Frederick committed the grenadiers of his Garde Regiment (as shown in the painting at the top of this article) and the regiment was finally thrown out of the position.  Rot-Würzburg had suffered the loss of 24 officers and 755 men killed or captured during its defence of the churchyard and only 217 men remained unwounded.

Both regiments were rebuilt and fought in numerous other engagements and both eventually served with the Reichsarmee, though there was apparently a bitter enmity between them.  Nevertheless in 1761, with casualties and expenses rapidly mounting and with Blau-Würzburg reduced to a single battalion, the Bishop of Würzburg was forced to amalgamate the two regiments into a single regiment.

Imperial uniforms mostly fell into one of two camps: ‘Prussian Style’ and ‘Austrian Style’.  Würzburg uniforms were very much in the Austrian camp, being indistinguishable from Austrian ‘German’ infantry uniform and I’ve therefore used Old Glory 15s Austrian (German) Infantry figures.  The coats and smallclothes were white, with red lapels, cuffs, turnbacks and neck-stocks (no collar or shoulder-strap).  Buttons were white metal.  Hats had white lace and red-over-white pompoms.  Grenadiers had brown-black bearskins with a front-plate (variously described as brass or white metal) and a red bag with white piping.  Officers had yellow silk sashes.  Drummers had the same uniform with the addition of white-laced red swallows’ nests.

The flags are taken from Kronoskaf, and are interpretations based on a surviving description of the flags.  I’ve used the images to create flags that I then printed on my laser-printer.  I don’t know how many flags each battalion carried, but I’ve followed the usual pattern of a white Leibfahne for the 1st Battalion and a (red) coloured Ordinärfahne for the 2nd Battalion.

As the Würzburgers went with the large Austrian-style six-company battalion organisation, I’ve gone with large 16-figure units for these chaps.  The Grenadier companies would normally have been detached, but I’ve attached them to the right flank of each battalion simply because a.  Old Glory 15s are now only supplied in packs of 25 figures and b. I have an enormous stash of spare Austrian grenadiers! 🙂 


Saxony was very quickly knocked out of the war by Frederick’s invasion of 1756, with the Saxon Army being conscripted en masse into the Prussian Army.  However, a number of regiments remained within Saxon-ruled Poland and the King of Saxony placed a number of these under Austrian command, namely the Karabiniergarde, the Graf Renard Uhlans, the Graf Rudnicki Uhlans, the Graf Brühl Chevauxlégers, the Prinz Karl Chevauxlégers and the Prinz Albrecht Chevauxléxlegers

The two Saxon-Polish Uhlan regiments proved to be superb light cavalry and highly skilled in the petit guerre of scouting and raiding, though didn’t take part in any major battles (which is fortunate, as I can’t find any decent figures for them).  However, the others were assigned to Marshal Daun’s main army in Bohemia and excelled themselves at the Battle of Kolin (with the exception of the Karabiniergarde, who were routed by Prussian Dragoons).  Saxon cavalry throughout history have often been among the best in Europe and these regiments were no exception to that rule.  They fought on with the Austrian Army throughout the Seven Years War, even after the re-creation of the Royal Saxon Army, though by the end they were apparently ‘dressed in rags’. 

The Karabiniergarde was one of two Saxon Guard Cuirassier regiments, the other being the Garde du Corps.  It had been assigned to the Warsaw Garrison since 1754 and therefore escaped the surrender of the Saxon Army at Pirna in 1756.  At full strength the regiment had 514 men organised into four squadrons, though the contingent sent to join Marshal Daun’s Austrian army in Bohemia had only around 350 men organised into two squadrons, hence the small size of the unit shown here.  The remainder were presumably kept back to garrison Warsaw.

These figures are Freikorps 15 figures, painted by my mate Gareth Beamish for the late Doug Weatherall’s collection and now in my own collection.  I’ve recently given them a new standard using the Kronoskaf image and printed on my own laser-printer.  However, the uniform doesn’t match the one described in the Kronoskaf article, as the Karabiniergarde is there described as having white/silver hat lace and edging to the horse furniture and its trumpeters were dressed in red coats with white facings and lace. 

There is a very good reason for this mistake… Back in the pre-internet 1990s, our ONLY source for Saxon uniforms was the 1970s-vintage booklet by Pengel & Hurt.  I’ve just had a look and this booklet doesn’t actually mention the Karabiniergarde at all and the uniform shown is therefore the one described in Pengel & Hurt for the Leib-Cuirassiers.  Doug had labelled them as ‘Leib-Carabiniers’, so had understandably got the two regiments confused.  We’ve all been there… Anyway, I won’t be correcting them, as these lads fought hard for Doug and I won’t dishonour them now! 🙂 

The Saxon Chevauxlégers (above) are often defined in wargame army lists as ‘light cavalry’.  However, while the literal translation obviously means ‘Light Horse’, the French definition of that term simply meant anyone lighter than a fully-armoured gendarme!  So in the French army, ‘Chevauxlégers’ were the main heavy cavalry type, being routinely issued with cuirasses and armoured skull-caps and classed heavier than Dragoons; not exactly what might be termed ‘light cavalry’. 

In the Saxon Army, the troopers of the Chevauxlégers were given the title of ‘Dragoon’ and clearly filled that niche in the Saxon order of battle, being used for scouting but also eminently capable of charging hard in the line of battle, so I class them as Dragoons rather than putting them on a par with Hussars.  However, there is one small fly in the ointment in terms of classification, in that the three regiments shown here were initially mounted on Polish horses which were normally classed as light cavalry mounts.  However, once assigned to the Austrian Army they would have received Austrian remounts.  There was a fourth regiment, the Graf Rutowsky Chevauxlégers (captured at Pirna), which was mounted on heavier German breeds.

The Chevauxléger Regiments were each organised into four squadrons, with 762 men at full strength.  When committed to the Austrian Army in 1757 they were fairly close to full strength and in 1759 they actually exceeded 800 men per regiment!  One of the eight companies (i.e. half-squadrons) in each regiment was designated as the elite Carabinier Company, though I’ve never found any information regarding special uniform distinctions for these men and they were probably dressed the same as the rest.

I painted these sometime around 1997/98 for our demo game of the Battle of Kolin (back in those days I’d paint all my flags!).  I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Dragoon figures for these troops and I really like them.  Lovely sculpting and stacks of character!  However, I ended up with a whole pile of spare Horse Grenadier figures (the old pack contained roughly 22 Dragoons, with command figures for two regiments and eight Horse Grenadiers).  But no matter, as those figures will eventually become the Württemberg Leib Grenadier à Cheval Regiment and the Prussian ‘Kleist’ Freikorps Dragoon Regiment.

The Graf Brühl Chevauxlégers wore an iron grey coat with lapels, cuffs, turnbacks, collar and waistcoat in bleumourant (a bright shade of light blue), white metal buttons and a white aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Breeches and gloves were straw-coloured.  Neck-stocks were red.  Belts were white.  Horse furniture was bleumourant with white-red-white-red-white lace edging and ‘AR3’ cyphers in red, edged white, on the rear corners and holster-caps.  The hat had a white cockade and bleumourant rosettes in the corners.  Pengel & Hurt describe yellow hat-lace (gold for officers), while Kronoskaf describes white hat-lace (silver for officers).  Officers wore silver & crimson sashes.

The trumpeters and drummers of the Graf Brühl Chevauxlégers wore bleumorant coats with white facings and yellow lace on lapels and cuffs, as well as yellow lace swallows’ nests on the shoulders.  Most unusually, they are recorded as being mounted on piebald horses.

The 1st Squadron carried a white Leibstandarte decorated with the arms of the Kingdom of Poland in the centre and ‘AR3’ cyphers in the corners.  The other three squadrons each carried an Ordinärstandarte in bleumourant decorated with a large crowned ‘AR3’ cypher in the centre, above a green palm wreath, with corner medallions comprising the heraldic badges of Saxony, Poland, Lithuania and the Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire (a ceremonial office held by the Elector of Saxony).  Staves were silver and the finials were gold.

The Prinz Albrecht Chevauxlégers wore a uniform very similar to that of the Graf Brühl Chevauxlégers, except that the distinguishing colour this time was green (described by Pengel & Hurt as grass green) and the horse furniture had plain white cyphers, with yellow stripes on the white edging instead of red.  Kronoskaf and Pengel & Hurt again disagree on the colour of the hat-lace; P&H again say yellow, while Kronoskaf says white.

The trumpeters and drummers of the Prinz Albrecht Chevauxlégers again followed the same pattern, having green coats with white facings.  The lace this time was white.  Their horses again were piebald.

Standards were of exactly the same pattern as before, except the Ordinärstandarten were ponceau red.

The Prinz Karl Chevauxlégers had very different colourings to the other regiments, having bright green coats with cuffs, turnbacks, collar and waistcoat in poppy red, yellow metal buttons and a yellow aiguillette on the right shoulder.  Pengel & Hurt and Kronoskaf disagree on the lapel-colour; P&H says green lapels, while Kronoskaf says red.  Breeches and gloves were straw-coloured.  Neck-stocks were red.  Belts were white.  Horse furniture was bright green.  Pengel & Hurt describe the edging as plain yellow, though Kronoskaf describes yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow lace edging.  This time there were no cyphers on the horse furniture.  The hat had yellow lace (gold for officers), a white cockade and red rosettes in the corners.  Officers wore silver & crimson sashes.

The trumpeters and drummers of the Prinz Karl Chevauxlégers had poppy red coats with green facings and yellow lace, this time including upward-pointing lace chevrons on each sleeve.  There was no specified horse colour for the trumpeters and drummers of this regiment.

The standards again followed the same pattern, though the Ordinärstandarten were now poppy red.

Saxon general officers all wore a standard regulation uniform which came into service from 1753.  It consisted of a ponceau red coat with cuffs and collar in the same colour.  The collar, cuffs and pockets were edged in a double row of gold lace, as were the front seams of the coat.  The waistcoat was straw-coloured and had another double-row of gold lace down the front  seams, with a line of red between the gold.  Breeches were straw and white gloves were usually worn.  The hat was edged with straight or scalloped gold lace and split white ostrich feathers, with a white cockade held in place with a gold strap.  The sash was mixed silver and crimson.  Horse furniture was crimson with gold lace edging.

This figure was originally a Prussian general by Old Glory 15s.

Anyway, ’nuff for now!  Next time I’ll post up some units of the Reichsarmee.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Austrian Army, Seven Years War Minor German States, Shako Rules | 12 Comments

Reinforcements For King Louis! (Seven Years War French Army)

As mentioned last time, I’ve been setting myself painting challenges to keep the painting-mojo going during the continued lockdown and lately these have been tied to my renewed interest in the Seven Years War, which has lain dormant since the 1990s.  I started last November with the ‘Württember’ Challenge, which was followed in December by a Carmarthen Old Guard painting challenge which I used to catch up with my Napoleonic Russians.  Then came ‘Bavarianuary’, followed closely by ‘Frogruary’ and now we’re into the month of ‘Marsch!

The ‘Marsch!‘ challenge is to paint anything Germanic during the month of March, so I’ve been painting some more Seven Years War Prussians, as well as some German and Swiss regiments for my new French army for the Seven Years War.  OK, sneaking in the Swiss is a bit of a cheat, but I needed them to finish off the First Infantry Line of the Battle of Rossbach orbat… Some of them were German… probably… or spoke German… or could perhaps order a beer in German…

Above:  The Swiss ‘Planta’ Brigade for the Battle of Rossbach orbat, consisting of the ‘Planta‘ and ‘Reding’ Regiments.  All Swiss regiments in French service had the same basic uniform of red coat, royal blue facings and white ‘metal’ (i.e. buttons and lace).  The uniform differences were very minor and took the form of button-placement on the breast and pockets, the presence or otherwise of a collar, red smallclothes (i.e. breeches and waistcoat) instead of blue and lace on the waistcoat; much of which is almost impossible to spot in 15mm.  However, their traditional Swiss style of flag, with radiating ‘flames’ in psychedelic colours, does make the regiments reasonably easy to tell apart on the wargames table.

Above:  The ‘Planta’ Regiment.  Swiss regiments were known by the shortened form of the name of their Colonel, which in this instance was Louis-Auguste Baron de Planta de Wildemberg.  As mentioned above, there wasn’t much in the way of uniform details to tell one Swiss regiment from another, but this regiment’s uniform lacked a collar and had blue piping on the breast-buttonholes.  There were three buttons on each cuff and three arranged horizontally on each pocket.  There was also white piping on the seams of the blue waistcoat.

These are French infantry figures by Eureka Minitures, with flags by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Planta’ Regiment.  Some Swiss regiments had very ornate flag-designs, but this one was relatively simple, with four ‘flames’ in each canton, coloured black, yellow, blue and red. 

I’ve not been able to identify the drummers’ livery for any specific Swiss regiments and they weren’t authorised to wear the King’s Livery, but one picture of a drummer belonging to an unidentified regiment shows simply the regimental coat in red with blue facings, decorated with strips of silver or white lace.  The drummers of the Swiss Guards also followed this colour scheme, though were very heavily laced with silver.  I’ve therefore gone with this scheme, though might simply make up some livery for a future regiment (I have another four Swiss regiments to paint).

Above:  The ‘Reding’ Regiment.  The regiment’s Colonel throughout the Seven Years War as Antoine Baron de Reding de Frawenfeld.  

Note that as with the French infantry I painted earlier, I’ve used French infantry figures without turnbacks, as this was their style of dress at the start of the Seven Years War, being barely unchanged since Marlborough’s day.  However, the uniform steadily changed as the Seven Years War went on, with the skirts of the coat being turned back, bearskins being adopted by grenadier companies and some regiments adding lapels to the coat.  These changes were fairly haphazard, so it would probably not be unusual to see a regiment at the end of the war still dressed in this manner.

Above: The ‘Reding’ Regiment.  Like the ‘Planta’ Regiment above, the ‘Reding’ Regiment had fine blue piping on the breast-buttonholes and three buttons on each cuff.  However, it differed in having a plain waistcoat without piping or lace, a blue collar, a blue shoulder-strap on the left shoulder and five buttons on each pocket.

Above:  The ‘Reding’ Regiment had relatively simple flags, with four ‘flames’ per canton, coloured red, white, green and yellow.  The white Colonel’s colour also had ‘flames’, but all in white.

That’s the First Line now completed for the Battle of Rossbach! 🙂 On to the Second Line…

Above:  As if the Swiss weren’t colourful enough, here’s the German ‘La Marck’ Brigade, consisting of the ‘La Marck’, ‘Royal Pologne’ and ‘St Germain’ Regiments.  This brigade was one of four in the Second Line at Rossbach.  In addition to the Germans, one brigade was French, consisting of all four battalions of the ‘Mailly’ Regiment and the remaining two brigades were Swiss; the ‘Wittmer’ Brigade (‘Wittmer’ and ‘Diesbach’ Regiments) and the ‘Castellas Brigade (‘Castellas’ and ‘Salis de Mayenfeld’ Regiments).  So that’s twelve more battalions to paint to complete the Second Line… 🙁  In fact there was a Third Line with another eight French battalions and Touraine’s detached corps, with yet another eight battalions, but two lines will do for now!

Above:  The ‘La Marck’ Regiment.  The regiment initially had two battalions as shown here, but increased to three battalions in 1760.  Most German (and all Scottish) regiments in the French Army were clothed in Turquin blue uniforms.  The exact shade is a little hard to pin down, being depicted in art as everything from dark blue to bright sky-blue, but it was apparently the middle-blue colour used to clothe the entire French Army in the latter half of the 19th Century, so that makes the shade somewhat easier to pin down.

Above:  The distinguishing features of the ‘La Marck’ Regiment were pale yellow lapels, cuffs and collar.  The lapels, cuffs and pockets had white lace buttonholes.  The turnbacks were also initially yellow, but changed to blue in 1757 and white in 1760.  The waistcoat and breeches were blue until 1758 when they changed to white and then back to blue in 1760.  The ‘metal’ colour was white.

Above:  The ‘La Marck’ Regiment unusually had whitened leather belts, when almost all other regiments in the French Army had natural buff leather.  The cartridge-pouch remained natural leather, while the sword and bayonet scabbards were blackened leather instead of the usual dark brown.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘La Marck’ Regiment.  I couldn’t find any information on the colonel’s livery worn by the regiment’s drummers.  However, Jase Evans dug out the livery for the ‘La Marck’ Cavalry Regiment of the War of Spanish Succession, which was grey-white, with black cuffs (with white buttonhole lace) and black ‘Brandenbourg’ lace decorating the other buttonholes.  Lacking any other information, this livery seemed like a good bet.

The figures are again by Eureka Miniatures, while the spectacular flags are by Maverick Models.

Above:  The ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment.  This regiment consisted of only one battalion and was commanded and partly-officered by exiled Polish supporters of Louis XV’s father-in-law, the on-off-on-off former King of Poland, Stanislaw Leszczynski, who now resided in French territory as Duke of Lorraine.  The bulk of the regiment was made up of German-speaking troops from Alsace-Lorraine and other German territories.

Above:  The ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment again had uniforms of turquin blue, this time with ‘red’ cuffs, turnbacks and collar.  The red is usually depicted as an appropriately Polish shade of crimson, so I’ve gone with that colour.  The collar had white lace edging and the buttonholes on the breast and pockets were also decorated with lace, as were the buttonholes on the blue waistcoat.  Breeches were white and the ‘metal’ colour was also white.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘Royal Pologne’ Regiment.  Note that the belts and equipment were natural buff leather, with scabbards of dark brown leather, in the style typical of French infantry of the period.  As a ‘Royal’ regiment, the regiment’s drummers wore the King’s Livery.

The figures are again Eureka Miniatures.  I stuck the flags together from images taken from the relevant page on Kronoskaf and printed on my own laser-printer.

Above:  The ‘St Germain’ Regiment.  This regiment had only a single battalion before being disbanded in 1760.

Above:  The ‘St Germain’ Regiment was dressed in turquin blue coats like the rest of the brigade, with blue waistcoat and breeches to match.  The regiment’s distinguishing colour was pale yellow, which was displayed on the collar, cuffs and turnbacks.  The coat and waistcoat were also decorated with white lace buttonholes on breast and pockets.  The ‘metal’ colour was yellow.

Above:  A rear view of the ‘St Germain’ Regiment.  Note the four lace buttonholes on the pockets and the small red (heart-shaped) decorations where the turnbacks are buttoned together.  Again, I couldn’t find any information on the colonel’s livery for this regiment, but Jase Evans came up with the livery of the St Germain-Beaupré Cavalry Regiment of the War of Spanish Succession, which consisted of a yellow coat with blue cuffs, smallclothes and lace.  It’s as good a guess as any, so I’ve gone with that scheme for the drummer.

The figures are again by Eureka Miniatures, with the flags this time by Fighting 15s

Anyway, that’s if for now.  If you’re wondering what happened to our resident troll, he still occasionally rants away in the Spam Folder where only I can point and laugh at the sad little onanist.  I suppose it’s safer for him to be sitting in his mum’s basement, sending anonymous abuse to a blog about toy-soldiers than being out in public, shouting at pigeons, stampeding horses and scaring children.  He was amusing for a day, which I suppose is all that a pathetic waste of human life such as ‘Martin’ can ever hope to be.

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Shako Rules | 9 Comments

Another Blast From The Past: The Battle of Auerstädt 1806 at the AB Figures Wargames Weekend 2000

While having a rummage through an old campaign chest filled with mouldy old rule-books and the like, I recently came across two old copies of Wargames Illustrated (November & December 2000).  These two magazines contain my article on the AB Figures Wargames Weekend 2000, where we played the Battle of Auerstädt 1806 at 1:20 ratio, using General de Brigade rules, on a massive 16×16-foot playing area (consisting of three parallel 16-foot tables), in a barn at Mike Hickling’s place in Carmarthenshire (Mike was then the UK manufacturer and distributor for AB Figures).

This was the second of three such Wargames Weekends; the first in 1999 was the Battle of Eggmühl 1809 and the third and final weekend was the Battle of Fuentes de Oñoro 1811.  The game itself was played 6-7 May 2000, though we’d put on the central section (the opening clash at Hassenhausen) on a much smaller table as a demo-game at the Wargames Association of Reading’s ‘Warfare 99’ show the previous November.  

The players were Colonel Simon Millar (Davout), Dave Brown (Gudin), Martin Gane (Friant), Colin Allen (King Frederick-William III), Dave Balfour (Schmettau), Julian Travis (Wartensleben) and John Rich (Blucher), with me as the ‘Holy Roman Umpire’ (‘Neither Holy, nor Roman and least of all an Umpire’) and Mike Hickling providing the venue, scenery and inordinate quantity of troops (most of which were based and flagged by me and I painted roughly one-quarter of the Prussian army).

Clearly it was all down to the quality of the scenario-writing 😉 , but it remains one of the best, most finely-balanced games I’ve ever been involved in.  Sadly I’ve lost all my photos of the three AB Figures Wargames Weekends, so all these photos are ones I set up at one of Duncan McFarlane’s Wargames Illustrated photo-shoot days in Newark.  The photos here show the historical situation at two stages of the battle around the village of Hassenhausen, rather than a recreation of our game.  I used the smaller ‘Hassenhausen’ scenario table I’d used for the ‘Warfare’ show, as the full 16×16 foot terrain would have taken a truck to get to Newark and a full week to set it all up and take it all down again:

Above: The village of Hassenhausen at 0930hrs.  As the morning mist lifts, Davout and his staff, escorted by a squadron of the 1st Chasseurs, ride forward to assess the situation of Gudin’s Division, just as Blücher launches a huge, yet foolhardy and unsupported cavalry assault on the squares of Petit’s Brigade (12e & 21e de Ligne).  In the distance, the Prussian infantry of Schemttau’s Division (Schimonsky’s and Alvensleben’s Brigades) starts to deploy around the village of Taugwitz.

Above: As Petit’s squares hold back the Prussian horsemen, the first battalions of Friant’s Division arrive to stabilise the situation.  However, yet more Prussian infantry are beginning to appear from the misty valley of the Lissbach; this is Wartensleben’s Division (Renouard’s and Wedell’s Brigades).

Above: The view from Spielberg, behind Blücher.  The Queen’s Dragoons, having already mounted two failed attacks, reform their lines as the ‘Heising’ Cuirassiers have a crack at the squares.  In the distance, the Prussian advance guard infantry (the massed Schützen of Schmettau’s Division, the ‘Schack’ Grenadier Battalion and 2nd Battalion of the 33rd ‘Alvensleben’ Regiment) skirmish with Gudin’s Voltigeurs in the copse below Hassenhausen.

Above: The scene at 1100hrs.  With Blücher’s cavalry assault beaten off, Friant extends the French line to Gudin’s right, as far as Spielberg (in the left foreground).  Schmettau’s Division is now fully engaged with Friant and Gudin and the bodies are beginning to pile up.  Reinforcements arrive in the form of Prince Henry’s Brigade of the Prince of Orange’s Division.

Above: The view from behind Prince Henry’s Brigade as Schmettau’s Division assaults the French line between Hassenhausen and Spielberg.  On the right, King Frederick-William III and his staff, escorted by the Gardes du Corps, move forward for a closer look.  In the distance, Friant moves a regiment to extend his line further out to the right and Vialannes’ cavalry also move to envelop the Prussian left flank.

Above: On the Prussian right flank, Wartensleben’s Division is now fully engaged with Gudin around Hassenhausen as Prince William gather’s all remaining cavalry regiments in an attempt to envelop Davout’s left flank.  However, Davout has moved Morand’s freshly-arrived division to that sector and the Prussian cavalry once again runs into a mass of squares.  In the foreground, Renouard’s Brigade from the Prince of Orange’s Division moves up in support, but to little effect…

Sorry, but those are the only photos I’ve got 🙁 I’m sure the photos for the three AB Figures games must be here somewhere (it’s such a long time ago that they were PROPER photos, printed on paper and living in a packet!), so I might one day be able to post the actual game photos here.

If you’re interested, the full game report and scenario is in Wargames Illustrated #158 (November 2000) and you can also find a slightly truncated scenario (minus the Prussian Reserve Korps) in the General de Brigade Scenario Book #3 ‘The Glory Years’.  That book also contains my full Battle of Eggmühl 1809 scenario from the 1999 AB Figures Wargames Weekend (which Wargames Illustrated also printed earlier in 2000, but accidentally deleted a chunk of the Austrian orbat).

Posted in 15mm Figures, Games, Napoleonic Wars, Warfare (Show) | 7 Comments

Happy Frogruary!

As the terminally bored and bewildered followers of this blog will know, when not playing with myself I’ve been setting myself various painting challenges throughout the latest lockdown in order to keep the painting-mojo going while wargames clubs are closed and wargaming opportunities are non-existent.  The sudden renewal of my interest in the Seven Years War prompted me to finally finish a couple of armies that had remained unpainted since the 1990s, starting with the Württemberg and Bavarian Auxiliary Corps for the Battle of Leuthen.  So in the spirit of the ‘Movember Challenge’, I decided to set myself the ‘Württember Challenge‘ in November, followed in January by ‘Bavarianuary‘.  There was also a concurrent Carmarthen Old Guard Lockdown Painting Challenge, so I also got some Russian Napoleonics finished, as well as some more Prussian and Imperial units for the Seven Years War.  All in all, I managed to paint 552 foot, 3 horse and 12 guns (all 15mm) in three months, which is pretty good going for me! 🙂

All this frenzied SYW activity has prompted a renewal of interest for the period in the club.  As part of this, there’s interest in a resurrected Europe-wide campaign like the epic campaign I ran at WASP in the 90s, so a couple of the lads are presently painting Russian armies, while Phil has anointed himself as ‘Shadow of God Upon Earth‘ and has just taken delivery of a gigantic Ottoman army that he now has to paint.  However, we’ll need a few more armies for a Europe-wide campaign, so I’ve recently invested in a large French army from Eureka Miniatures that will be followed in good time by a British/Hanoverian army.

So with ‘Bavarianuary’ completed, I got stuck into ‘Frogruary’…

I always like to paint a historical order of battle, as it gives me a clear objective and satisfies my deep-seated obsessive-compulsive need to make lists and then tick things off the list.  That then forms the core of an army and I can then add special or specific units for scenarios when required.  I’m therefore painting the order of battle for the Battle of Rossbach, the only encounter between the French and Frederick the Great’s main Prussian army.  Although it ended disastrously for the French, I’ve already got the Imperial and Austrian contingents for Rossbach and most of the French units turned up again at later battles in western Germany, so it’s a good place to start.

Here’s a little painting aide-memoire I made for myself, taking bits and pieces from the excellent Kronoskaf website and some stuff scanned and sent to me by my mate Jase Evans.  This shows the first line of infantry regiments at Rossbach and served as my painting list for Frogruary.  The regimental uniform is shown at the top, then the flags and then the drummers’ livery (where known) and any notes.

I had fourteen painting-days available to me during the month and I can usually churn out a 12-figure battalion per day on average, so I thought I’d paint all twelve white-coated battalions over twelve days (saving the Swiss for later) and then have two days left over to paint the artillery.  In fact, the simplicity of the infantry uniform meant that I was able to gain two extra days, so used those days to paint all my French generals and ADCs.

Above:  The first brigade to be painted was the Royal Roussillon Brigade, consisting of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Roussillon Regiment and three battalions of the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment.  French infantry brigades almost always consisted of four battalions and were known by the title of the senior regiment in the brigade.

Note that as my army is modelled on the early part of the war, I’ve used the Eureka French Infantry figures without turnbacks.  This does give them a very old-fashioned look and aside from the style of officers’ hair/wig-styles, they are virtually indistinguishable from the troops who fought in the Wars of Spanish, Polish and Austrian Succession.  The style of uniform changed very rapidly during the Seven Years War however, with tails being turned back, lapels being added and the grenadiers (who until this point were virtually indistinguishable from the rest) adopting the bearskin cap.  These changes were already happening in 1757, though sadly Eureka don’t do any grenadiers in bearskin caps apart from the Grenadiers de France Regiment, who wore a very different style of coat.  I will start mixing some other styles into my army, starting with the German ‘La Marck’ Brigade, which will have coats with turnbacks.

These are absolutely lovely figures, all marching in the standard and rather old-fashioned French drill pose of the period, with the left hand grasping the neck of the musket-stock and the musket carried at the slope on the left shoulder.   The officers and NCO figures are very similar, but have longer sword-scabbards and are either carrying a spontoon or a musket in the crook of the right arm, with the officers being distinguished by a gorget at the throat and a slightly different design of spontoon-blade.  My one criticism is that the metal used by Eureka, while giving exquisite casting detail, is rather soft when compared to the tougher but more grainy pewter we used when casting AB Figures in the UK.  This means that the thin flagpoles are very bendy and need replacing before I start (I use 0.8mm brass rod).

Above:  The 1st Battalion of the Royal Roussillon Regiment.  French uniforms of the period are reasonably well-documented, but there are still some massive, yawning gaps in our knowledge.  The thorniest one is the subject of drummers’ livery (more of which later), but the second one is facing colours.  Very occasionally, the facing colour will be precisely described, albeit usually in archaic terms, but more often than not they’re just described for example, as simply ‘red’, which going by old paintings of French soldiers, could be anything from pink to dark crimson!

In the case of Royal Roussillon, the cuffs, collar and waistcoat are simply described as ‘blue’, which in most cases with the Royal French Army means a ‘royal blue’ shade.  Most depictions of Royal Roussillon show quite a light shade – probably akin to the light Turquin blue worn as the coat-colour of German regiments in the French Army.  Soldiers from Royal Roussillon are shown in a painting from 1748 that was presumably painted from life, an extract of which is shown here on the right.  I’ve mixed up this shade using Humbrol 25 blue, 89 mid blue and 34 white.

Note that as a Royal regiment, the drummers wore the King’s Livery of blue with red facings and red/white lace in a ‘chain’ pattern.  No other nobles were permitted to use blue as the ground colour for their livery.

Above:  The observant will have noticed that the 1st Battalion of the Royal Roussillon Regiment is depicted in the painting at the top of this page.  However, that painting actually depicts the North American theatre where the 2nd Battalion of the regiment was stationed, so the painting isn’t actually correct.  The 1st Battalion of any French infantry regiment carried a white Colonel’s Colour, paired with a coloured Ordonnance Colour, while the 2nd and subsequent battalions each carried a pair of Ordonnance Colours.  The painting therefore shows the pair of colours that would have been carried by the 1st Battalion in Europe, rather than the 2nd Battalion in America.

Note also that in the majority of regiments, the central cross would be plain white, meaning that the Colonel’s Colour was usually a very boring white cross on a white field.  However, the cross of both colours here is decorated with fleurs-de-lys.  The flags are by Fighting 15s.

Above:  The Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment was actually a German regiment in French service (‘Deux-Ponts’ = Zweibrücken), though when raised at the start of the Seven Years War was initially dressed very much in French style, with an unbleached wool coat faced red (for which I’ve used Humbrol 60 signal red), rather than the Turquin blue coat of most German regiments.  A German-style uniform of Turquin blue with crimson facings and much more elaborate flags were authorised almost immediately, but the new uniform doesn’t seem to have appeared until 1760 at the earliest, while the new flags possibly weren’t delivered until after the war.  The uniform changed again after the Seven Years War, with the facing colour changing again to yellow, so the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment of the American War of Independence looks very different to this one.  The waistcoats are described in most sources as white, but some say ‘possibly yellow’; give me an inch and I’ll take a mile, so I’ve done mine in yellow. 🙂

Note that unusually for a Royal regiment, the King authorised the Duc des Deux-Ponts to dress his drummers in the Duc’s own livery.  However, nobody seems to know what this livery looked like, so I’ve just done them in the King’s livery.

Above:  The Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment started the war with two battalions, but this was very soon increased to three.  French brigades were almost always maintained at four battalions, hence they were paired with the single-battalion Royal Roussillon Regiment.  In 1758 this increased again to four battalions, but in 1760 was reduced back to two battalions.  The flags here are printed by Maverick Models, who produces an excellent range of flags and also gives options for ‘textured effect’ and even a self-adhesive option, which is something I’ve not seen since the days of Revo Flags in the 1980s.  He also very kindly offered to re-size them to my specifications, so I went for something a little larger – 20mm at the hoist instead of 15mm.  This makes them a bit bigger than the Fighting 15s flags, but there was some historical variation in any case, with surviving examples ranging from 6 feet 6 inches to 9 feet square.

Above:  The next brigade to be painted was the St Chamond Brigade, consisting of two battalions of the La Viefville St Chamond Regiment and two battalions of the Cossé-Brissac Regiment.

I suppose I should explain why I’m using two flags per battalion instead of my usual single flag, as two flags in every 12-figure battalion is rather ostentatious…  Basically, it’s because in most cases, there isn’t a lot of visible uniform detail to tell one regiment from another, so the flags are a key element in that.  However, in the vast majority of French regiments, the Colonel’s Colour is basically a plain white flag, which looks very boring and really needs to be paired with an Ordonnance Colour  I noticed this when my friend Jase Evans painted his SYW French army back in the 90s and decided that if I ever did them, I’d give them two flags per battalion.  The British are another case in point – they just don’t look ‘right’ without a King’s Colour and Regimental Colour in every battalion.

Above:  The La Viefville St Chamond Regiment, like so many others, officially had ‘red’ collar, cuffs and waistcoats.  However, the shade is usually depicted as crimson or a dark pink shade and in the 1770s officially became ‘crimson’, so that’s what I’ve gone with (for which I used Humbrol 153 insignia red).  It’s only very subtly different to the usual poppy red, but it helps to break the monotony.  The drummers’ livery for the regiment is described simply as ‘yellow’.  Nothing more is known, so I added crimson lace to the yellow coats.

Above:  The La Viefville St Chamond Regiment, like the vast majority of French regiments, wore coats made of unbleached white wool.  Variations in region and quality meant that the exact colour of the coat could sometimes vary slightly from regiment to regiment, but the colour is usually depicted or described as ‘pearl-grey’, ‘drab’, ‘beige’ or ‘cream’.  What it was not was dyed a uniform shade of grey, which is what was once depicted in older uniform books and wargames armies.  When I did my 28mm French troops for the War of Spanish Succession, I used the translucency of the Humbrol white enamel over a Humbrol 64 light grey base to successfully achieve that shade.  However, the current recipe for Humbrol seems to be more opaque and makes it look too bright white.  I’ve therefore mixed a touch of Humbrol 64 light grey into the white and am very pleased with the resulting shade.

Above:  The Cossé-Brissac Regiment, like so many others, had red collar, cuffs and waistcoat.  Although many regiments had very similar uniforms, they were sub-divided by the regimental ‘metal’ colour (i.e. buttons and hat-lace) and each regiment had its own unique placement of buttons on the breast, cuffs and tail-pockets.  While officers had true metal wire lace, the hat-lace of the rank-and-file was ‘false gold’ or ‘false silver’ lace, being a combination of silk, wool and sometimes metallic wire.  To be honest, it doesn’t look very metallic in reality, so I simply use yellow or white paint for the rank and file as it looks much better than trying to use metallic paint.

The drummers’ livery for the Cossé-Brissac Regiment was yellow, with black cuffs and silver/white lace.

Above:  The Cossé-Brissac Regiment.  The gaiters for all French infantry regiments were made from bleached canvas, each secured with buttons up the side and a brown leather garter below the knee.  In paintings and reenactor photos they often look whiter than the coat, so I’ve used a basecoat of Humbrol 103 cream and the highlight of pure white.  The garter is Humbrol 98 chocolate brown.

Above:  The Piémont Regiment, being a large regiment of four battalions, was a brigade in its own right.  Being the fourth most-senior infantry regiment of the French army, Piémont was regarded as something of an elite corps.  However, that didn’t help them at Rossbach when, at the head of the French column, they became the target of virtually every Prussian gun, suffering over 1,000 casualties in just that single day!

The regiment was somewhat monochrome with black cuffs, white waistcoats and no collar, particularly when combined with their simple black and white flags, but I think they look rather striking.

Above:  Although not a ‘Royal’ regiment, the Piémont was a provincial regiment rather than a ‘Gentleman’s’ regiment, so its drummers wore the King’s livery.

I should mention that hat-cockades at this time generally did not identify the national affiliation.  This happened during the 1770s, when all French hat-cockades were ordered to be white.  At the time of the Seven Years War the majority of French hat-cockades appear to have been black, but evidence is sketchy at best, with white and sometimes other colours appearing in paintings, descriptions and anecdotes.  There is however, reasonably good evidence for the Piémont Regiment having white cockades.

Above:  With the white-coated infantry done, I moved onto the artillery for a splash of colour.  These chaps are depicted with their coats, belts and swords removed and working only in their red waistcoats, which makes painting them a very easy process.

Above:  As I’ve got a massive stash of guns by Old Glory 15s, I decided to use those instead of buying guns from Eureka.  I was looking forward to a nice phalanx of lovely red guns  and had been saving an old tin of Humbrol 60 signal red for the purpose, as it was from an old bad batch that was much darker than the usual bright shade.  However… Once again, I have learned not to just read the Osprey book, but to check online for the latest research… 🙁

Had I read Kronoskaf more closely, I would have learned that the French were painting their gun-carriages blue from at last 1741 and possibly as early as 1732! 🙁  Oh well… these artillereurs are clearly traditionalists…

Above:  A couple of the Eureka gunners had bloody enormous rammers that were impossibly floppy and would never be able to stay stiff for long on the table, so needed drastic surgery…

[…Which reminds me; do the French have a word for double-entendre…?]

The huge artillery-tools are perfectly accurate for the larger calibre guns, but I wanted something a bit shorter and less prone to bending and breaking, so I cut off the heads, drilled them out along with the hands and replaced them with brass rod.  In retrospect I should also have done the same to the men with shorter tools, as they are also ridiculously floppy…

[oh for goodness’ sake…]

Above:  I did six guns and crews in all; four light guns and two heavies.  Here are the two heavies, including the converted rammers.  I gave the light guns three crewmen apiece – partly to accentuate the difference in calibre, but mainly because I’m a cheapskate.

Above:  Lastly here are Les Generaux!  One army commander and staff, six divisional commanders and two ADCs.  Unfortunately, in painting these I may have just started the Great Gold Paint Famine of 2021…

Above:  “Sir!  Here’s the menu from the local Ottoman take-away.  What do you want and do you want to go halves on the rice?”

A close-up of my Army Commander (the central mounted figure).  I’ve painted him as a Maréchal de France, so he has three rows of gold lace on his cuffs, as well as lots of extra gold lace up the seams of his sleeves and down his back.  The uniform for French general officers had been standardised by this time, namely a royal blue coat, heavily laced with gold, with red waistcoat and breeches, but despite orders from the King to dress themselves properly, generals were still often a law unto themselves and waistcoats, breeches, etc could be different colours such as yellow or blue, and/or made of rich materials such as velvet.

Standing at the front-left are two dismounted Lieutenant-Generaux; note the two rows of lace on their cuffs.  It’s bloody difficult to paint at this scale and with my middle-aged eyesight, but the gold lace should be ‘volute’ or zig-zag in style.  the other three figures on the base are Aides-de-Camp, who at this time were ordered to wear a very plain, all-blue uniform with very simple gold lace buttonholes on the breast and cuffs, though senior officers could wear a strip of gold lace all the way down the breast, as modelled by the mounted ADC on the right.  curiously, the Osprey book shows an ADC in a plain blue coat without lace and red waistcoat and breeches, yet the text describes the regulation uniform shown here.  There’s no explanation, but he might be a supernumerary ADC, paid for by the general from his personal funds rather than by the King (these were permitted).

Above:  Another Lieutenant-General supervises the deployment of his troops as another pair of Lieutenant-Generaux chat in the background.

Above:  Yet another Lieutenant-General supervises his troops as he dabs his nose with a hanky (I do like this figure).  Behind him a pair of Aides-de-Camp look on as a Maréchal-de-Camp (i.e. a brigade commander, identified by the single row of gold lace on his cuff), armoured with a steel cuirass beneath his coat, draws his sword and prepares to run away…

Anyway, that’s it for Frogruary as we start the month of ‘Marsch!’, which is devoted to painting all things vaguely Germanic, starting with a brigade of Swiss (German-speaking, obviously) and a brigade of Germans in the service of King Louis XV. They’ll probably then be followed by some more Prussians…

Anyway, that’s it for now.  But this isn’t just goodbye, this is ‘Bonjour‘.  Bonnet du Douche and Chambourcy Nouvelle!

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War French Army, Shako Rules | 25 Comments