The Battle of Lobositz 1756: A ‘Tricorn’ Playtest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Above:  Feldmarschall von Katte deploys…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions – The Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusions – The Scenario

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

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

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

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

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Games, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 7 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

Historical Background

Frederick II

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The Prussian Army – King Frederick II

(Excellent – 3 Messengers)

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

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

Right Wing – Generallieutenant von Kleist (Average)

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

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

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

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant Freiherr von Kyau (Poor)

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

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant von Katzler (Average)

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

Cavalry Division of Generallieutenant von Schwerin (Excellent)

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

Prussian Breakpoints

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

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

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

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

Prussian Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Austrian Army – Feldmarschall von Browne

(Average – 2 Messengers)

Advance Guard – Generalfeldwachtmeister Hadik (Excellent)

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

Right Wing Cavalry – Feldmarschallieutenant Radicati (Average)

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

Flank Guard – Generalfeldwachtmeister Draskowitz (Excellent)

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

Right Wing Infantry Division – Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Wied (Average)

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

Infantry Division of Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Lacy (Excellent)

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

Centre Infantry Division – Feldmarschallieutenant Stahremberg (Poor)

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

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

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

Left Wing Cavalry – Generalfeldwachtmeister Löwenstein (Average)

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

Austrian Breakpoints

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

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

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

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

Austrian Notes

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

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

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

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

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

Terrain Effects

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

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

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

Deployment & Fog Of War

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Posted in Eighteenth Century, Games, Scenarios, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 8 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War British & Hanoverian Armies, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 10 Comments

Reinforcements For King Louis! (Part 2)

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

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

I dedicated the month of April to painting nothing but French cavalry and managed to get 60 of them done; four 12-figure brigades of ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 ChevauxlĂ©ger 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 ‘ChevauxlĂ©gers’ meaning ‘Light Horse’ or ‘Cavalerie LĂ©gĂšre’ meaning ‘Light Cavalry.  However, these terms are misleading.  French ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers.  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-LiĂšgeois‘ 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-LiĂšgeois’ were a foreign regiment.  

The ‘Bourbon’ and ‘Beauvilliers’ Regiments both wore grey-white coats with red facings and linings, while the ‘Volontaires-LiĂšgeois’ 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-LiĂšgeois’ 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 LiĂšgeois’ 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 ‘PenthiĂšvre’ Brigade at Rossbach consisted of the ‘PenthiĂšvre‘ Regiment (here in the centre), ‘Bussy-Lameth‘ Regiment (here on the right) and ‘Saluces‘ Regiment (on the left).  ‘PenthiĂšvre’ 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 ‘PenthiĂšvre’ 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 ‘PenthiĂšvre’ Brigade.  All three regiments had royal blue saddlery.  The ‘PenthiĂšvre’ 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 ‘PenthiĂšvre’ Brigade.  The ‘PenthiĂšvre’ 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 ChevauxlĂ©ger 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, Tricorn (18th Century 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 RĂ©giment (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 FĂŒsilier Regiments and Grenadier Battalions.  These are all Eureka 18mm figures.

Above:  The FĂŒsilier Regiment ‘MĂŒnchow’ (IR 36) (known as ‘Alt-MĂŒnchow’ from 1758) was named for Gustav Bogislaw von MĂŒnchow, 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 HĂŒlsen’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 ‘MĂŒnchow’ FĂŒsiliers, like most Prussian FĂŒsilier 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 ‘MĂŒnchow’ FĂŒsiliers, showing the plain white back to their FĂŒsilier caps.  Note that Prussian infantry officers never wore FĂŒsilier or Grenadier caps and always wore hats.

Above:  The FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers wore the typically simple FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers (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’ FĂŒsiliers, showing the plain lemon yellow back to the regiment’s FĂŒsilier caps.

Above:  The FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers 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’ FĂŒsiliers 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 FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers, showing the unusual rose pink coat-linings (visible as turnbacks) and the plain rose pink backs to the FĂŒsilier caps.

Above:  The FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers 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’ FĂŒsiliers, showing the backs of the FĂŒsilier caps.  The regiment initially had Pioneer Caps, which were lower than the FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier-type cap.  Sources disagree as to when the FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsiliers. 

Sources disagree further on the colouring of the FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers (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 FĂŒsilier 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’ FĂŒsiliers (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, Tricorn (18th Century 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/FĂŒsilier Battalions (especially FĂŒsiliers, 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 FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsiliers.  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 FĂŒsiliers).  Again, the height to eye-level is virtually the same for all three and the ‘build’ is the same as for the Musketeers.  The FĂŒsilier 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 FĂŒsilier 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-WolfenbĂŒttel-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 Ă©lite 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 FĂŒsilier 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, Tricorn (18th Century 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 WĂŒrttemberg, 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, WĂŒrzburg 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 (FrÀnkischen 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 WĂŒrzburg ‘Red’ Infantry Regiment.  As discussed last time, the excellent WĂŒrzburg ‘Red’ & ‘Blue’ Regiments were not officially part of the Reichsarmee, but were instead raised within Franconia by the Prince-Bishop of WĂŒrzburg to serve as auxiliaries with the Austrian Army.  WĂŒrzburg 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-WĂŒrzburg.

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 FĂŒrstenberg 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 (SchwÀbischen Kreis)

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

Above:  Kreisinfanterieregiment FĂŒrstenberg was raised mainly in the Principality of FĂŒrstenberg 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 FĂŒrstenberg 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 FĂŒrstenberg Regiment are very similar to other Imperial contingents, such as the Red WĂŒrzburg, 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 WĂŒrzburgers described earlier, with white coat and breeches, red lapels, cuffs and turnbacks, white metal buttons, white hat-lace and red-over-white pompoms.  However, FĂŒrstenberg 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 FĂŒrstenberg 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 OrdinĂ€rfahne, 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 OrdinĂ€rfahne 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 OrdinĂ€rfahne, which in the case of FĂŒrstenberg were red-white-red-white-red-white from top to bottom.  For example, Alt-WĂŒrttemberg 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 WĂŒrttemberg, as shown here.  I covered the WĂŒrttemberg Artillery uniform in my previous post on the WĂŒrttemberg 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 WĂŒrzburg, 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 KurfĂŒrstin 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-ZweibrĆ«cken), 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-WĂŒrzburg 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 WĂŒrzburg 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, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 10 Comments

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

The Rot-WĂŒrzburg 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 WĂŒrzburg ‘Red’ Regiment, which was raised by the Archbishop-Elector of WĂŒrzburg, 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 WĂŒrttemberg 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 WĂŒrttemberg 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 WĂŒrttemberg 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 WĂŒrttembergers 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 WĂŒrzburg 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-WĂŒrzburg) from its facing colour.   Unlike so many Imperial contingents, the Prince-Bishop of WĂŒrzburg paid close attention to his tiny army and the WĂŒrzburgers 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-WĂŒrzburgers 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-WĂŒrzburg (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-WĂŒrzburg Regiment, alongside similarly-superb Hessen-DarmstĂ€dt Kreis-Infanterie Regiment, held their ground and withdrew from the field in good order.

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

Following Frederick’s withdrawal from Bohemia after his defeat at Kolin, Rot-WĂŒrzburg 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-WĂŒrzburg was assigned the key task of holding Leuthen Church.  Rot-WĂŒrzburg 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-WĂŒrzburg 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-WĂŒrzburg reduced to a single battalion, the Bishop of WĂŒrzburg 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’.  WĂŒrzburg 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 OrdinĂ€rfahne for the 2nd Battalion.

As the WĂŒrzburgers 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 BrĂŒhl ChevauxlĂ©gers, the Prinz Karl ChevauxlĂ©gers and the Prinz Albrecht ChevauxlĂ©xlegers

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 ChevauxlĂ©gers (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, ‘ChevauxlĂ©gers’ 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers (captured at Pirna), which was mounted on heavier German breeds.

The ChevauxlĂ©ger 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 WĂŒrttemberg Leib Grenadier Ă  Cheval Regiment and the Prussian ‘Kleist’ Freikorps Dragoon Regiment.

The Graf BrĂŒhl ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 BrĂŒhl ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 OrdinĂ€rstandarte 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers wore a uniform very similar to that of the Graf BrĂŒhl ChevauxlĂ©gers, 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 OrdinÀrstandarten were ponceau red.

The Prinz Karl ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 ChevauxlĂ©gers 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 OrdinÀrstandarten 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, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules) | 12 Comments