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  • #176098
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Yes well, life is a funny thing ain’t it?

    You believe you have all the information, all the resources available, and can find the necessary (as determined by someone, somewhere) equipment to proceed.

    Then you find out, bit by bit, detail by detail, that such efficiency may exist, at a base level, but what if you want something, just a little bit more special?

    We know the Ospreys ranges provide a smattering of coverage for common subjects. However, those and others appear, given more modern exposure and research, to have followed the path of least resistance and recited well known norms of advice and culture.

    No I’m not for once suggesting that it is all easy and available. But take a look at the list of considerations if for instance, you want to represent Russian units of 1805-1807, the so called ‘Glory Years’ of the French Empire against whom they fought, dodged and avoided, but occassionally ambushed quite successfully too.

    Much of the gaming lore ‘doctrine’ follows the discovery of ‘Regulations’. Those cited by Viskovatovs’ excellent work create their own mysteries, as depicted so well by known authors here, Mr Gingerich for example.

    So, to sum up, in building a force or army, does one accept at face value the multiple anomalies and mysteries, or simply utilise the available gaming figures and reproduce an ‘army’ as styled? Or can you delve deeper, seek truths to mysteries, and the multiple anomalies, and clarify each by each till there is no further solution to be found.

    Some of the questions that aren’t answered by the basic texts include:

    • Did basic infantry regiments still wear bicornes in 1805? Was it all, or some? By the unit, or by ‘Inspections’?
    • Given the issue of regulations, how long before units received new uniforms and equipment? Changed their ‘formations’ integrity to Imperial wishes?
    • When artillery are concerned, were they instantly reorganised with new troops and ordnance? Or did it take a while?
    • Did the cavalry instantly change uniforms from Paul designs to Alexanders upon his accession? Those are quite some changes.
    • Did Generals, who habitually wore regimental uniforms, suddenly adopt the ‘new’ versions? Did this affect those who may have been ‘promoted’ generals but those who didn’t actually hold a senior role?
    • Given the bicorne debate and questions, what of the ‘Grenadiers’ and their mitres? Versus shakos? There were the Grenadiers of musketeer regiments; then the Grenadiers of Grenadier regiments. And the ‘other battalions’ (the second and third) of ‘Fusiliers’ who by tradition had a smaller type of mitre. Same question as applied to musketeers and bicornes.
    • Even the simple jaeger drag us unto the mire. They had tricornes, or bicornes, then some, not all, were issued ‘tophats’ with wide brims in 1802. Who and how long did they last? Citation of regulations just gives you “when the infantry received the [revised] shako, so did the jaeger” school. But did they?
    • Drums changed shape and design- regimental colours used to be displayed on rims; yet drums were supposed to last and be issued for 20 years services. Were they ever modified?
    • Similar question about flags/ banners. Extra curly topic- they were issued new and fresh to ALL REGIMENTS by Paul in 1797 AND remained in hand, some as much as 60 years later- basic reply is they weren’t replaced unless disaster struck OR bravery shown. And punitive hardship was metered out to regiments who clearly failed to fight ‘to the death’ to save them!

    Well these are some of the issues of my last couple of years research. Having watched newer authors come along and cause dissent and discussion among us for the French or Brits (uniform lace and buttons anyone?), I’ve kept a really open mind on who and what the Russians I’ve chosen to depict looked like.

    And they’re not quite those perfectly aligned, uniform and full dress chaps you’d expect to see. Unlike those ‘prize’ competition armies of 15mils marching about like pike blocks, all identical and depicting 1812 most of the time,

    and no, I didn’t want that.     Cheers ~d

    #176127
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Upon trawling blogs once in a while, recovering (and tired) after some minor surgery and barred from doing anything ‘physical’- does that include model painting..? Well in this case yes, as it was eye surgery.

    Found this bloke in France and somewhat pleased he reached the same conclusion about Russian uniform;

    https://atelierpa.blogspot.com/2022/01/peinture-recente.html

    Russian musketeers in 1803. I will consider that some regiments still wore the hat in 1805 (mark AB).

    https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/a/AVvXsEiSwPaBydQxZ84lVJ3vRUjzQ42Py85VMpJrhACVsiXrvHQgMc7Zw8VkshnpZJvVVu5n_UeeWuJErEcEkknD11Z1-LhvEoZ3Xcl7dvJbKZ8TfVZIgmcqfg6OCVBiypUp6KgQOCRRgXIac5o8q5YywwlJCuiGc-dvwvNMvwyeivNZ272CMJ4eOERCiteD=s320

    [Edit:] Along with a comment about snow covered bases, I’ve tried in the past and will continue to trial first to see IF it possible to create something realistic.

    I have already, last year completed a unit of WF jaeger:-

    3rd Bn- 7th Jaeger Wargames Foundry

    cheers

    #176167
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    >>26/07/2022 at 00:37

    Ok I see, an ‘edit’ doesn’t trigger a new_message facet … oh whelllll….

    #176204
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Missing Person(s)

    Committing to the ‘Russian’ elements of the 4th Column (I’d prefer ‘Corps’ as the battle line naming, as ‘columns’ were a separate marching OB…).

    One subordinate is given as:- Advance Guard: Maj. Gen. Wodniansky by our friend JG and others. Unfortunately I am unable locate such a person. And now knowing that Russians use a ‘phonetic’ style of indexing it is probably not surprising if this is an ‘anglicised’ naming, such is why I cannot find him.

    Mikaberidze ‘Russian Generals’ only has 880 of them; and the ‘summary’ on N-S by same author (surprise!) also has nothing.

    To add further confusion, old research recites another ‘person’ in charge, and given the rather small force (just two battalions, one of those an amalgamation of much reduced manpower), is potentially likely- Lt. Col. Manakhtin (of Novgorod Musketeer Regt.)- one of the regiments involved.

    – Duffy cited this and then most recenty I found in  “Lieutenant General Miloradovich’s Report to General Kutuzov“ confirms it.

    Maj. Gen. Wodniansky was cited in the generic OB of the battle by Nafziger, which lists are also quite prone to errors and distortions.

    So stretching the lead on Wodniansky being possibly Austrian, yet leading Russian troops (a situation I felt unlikely given the general animosity between the two commands) there is indeed:

    Wodniansky von Wildenfeld, Johann Joseph Freiherr

    born in Prague/ Bohemia and ‘Oberst’ until 1805 when he was promoted GM during the campaign.

    https://www.napoleon-series.org/research/biographies/Austria/AustrianGenerals/c_AustrianGeneralsW.html#W41

    Given I haven’t seen any other mention of him, I’m guessing he hung around HQ somewhere as a support officer near Miloradovich, Kollowrath or Kutuzov, the only commanding Generals present after His Excellency had ‘left’ with his crew.

    BTW the presence of  some ‘Erzherzog Johann Dragoon Regt.’ (one- the Colonels Division) in the so called ‘Advance Guard’ was in my reading a token ‘patrol’ of what was probably the 4th Column Headquarters escort/ security troop. Goetz cites their inactivity once the French had taken Pratze village. I’ll be using just 4 figures to represent them.

    cheers d

    #176314
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    I think a lot of this can be answered by my page, understanding that if something isn’t there it’s because there is no indication that it was.  BTW I try to concentrate on things not found in Viskovatov, particularly that now presented by Leonov, Belev, Popov, and Kibovsky. But to respond:

    • Did basic infantry regiments still wear bicornes in 1805? Was it all, or some? By the unit, or by ‘Inspections’?

    Never seen any documented claim that they did. Some of the new Caucasus regiments were supplied bicornes from the arsenal due to lack of shakos, but I would take that as indicating the bicornes all been turned in.

  • Given the issue of regulations, how long before units received new uniforms and equipment? Changed their ‘formations’ integrity to Imperial wishes?
  • Some changes were immediate (i.e. beginning of the year), some due on term. Sometimes centralized manufacture and sometimes local. Facings, for example, could probably be changed in a week by the regimental tailors, but the 1808 changes were delayed a year because the administration was trying to figure out seniority. Most of the major changes occurred between 1801-5 and 1808-11. So, while uniforms in the wars against Turkey, Austria, and Sweden must remain guesswork, the situation was much more static in the big campaigns.

  • When artillery are concerned, were they instantly reorganised with new troops and ordnance? Or did it take a while?
  • There is a misconception that Russian Artillery went through a major change in the period. Instead, it kept evolving, but was essentially the same stuff thing as under Paul. There are two reasons for this, I think. One is that Arakcheyev was a political animal and so constantly touted the shortcomings he was correcting, and two some people believe the Russian had to catch up to the superior French artillery (rather than that the French had to reform to the European 6lbr/12lbr standard).

  • Did the cavalry instantly change uniforms from Paul designs to Alexanders ahis accession? Those are quite some changes.
  • Well they had 3 1/2 years  (Jan. 02 to mid-05)to get it done. The 1812 reorg lagged quite a bit, as noted by LPK.

  • Did Generals, who habitually wore regimental uniforms, suddenly adopt the ‘new’ versions? Did this affect those who may have been ‘promoted’ generals but those who didn’t actually old a senior role?
  • There was already a green (white for cavalry) coat for officers “at large”. The common general’s coat was quite expensive, so they probably kept it in the wardrobe as much as they could. The plainer green undress coat was introduced in 1811 to address this problem. I believe they introduced the coat after encountering the French and having their generals occasionally unrecognized and so ill-treated.

  • Given the bicorne debate and questions, what of the ‘Grenadiers’ and their mitres? Versus shakos? There were the Grenadiers of musketeer regiments; then the Grenadiers of Grenadier regiments. And the ‘other battalions’ (the second and third) of ‘Fusiliers’ who by tradition had a smaller type of mitre. Same question as applied to musketeers and bicornes.
  • Perhaps the biggest unsettled Russian uniform question out there. Guess we have to build two sets of regiments. (Or use magnets to make replaceable heads;-) Haythornthwaite managed to put 3 contemporary illustrations of fusilier miters in his Osprey. The form under Alexander appears to have very similar contours to the grenadier version, albeit with brass strips and no pompon. I would assume the grenadier regiments were either all shakos or all miters.

  • Even the simple jaeger drag us unto the mire. They had tricornes, or bicornes, then some, not all, were issued ‘tophats’ with wide brims in 1802. Who and how long did they last? Citation of regulations just gives you “when the infantry received the [revised] shako, so did the jaeger” school. But did they?
  • I’m afraid LPK managed to break a lot of gamers hearts when they declared that top hat an extremely fleeting existance of less than a year.

  • Drums changed shape and design- regimental colours used to be displayed on rims; yet drums were supposed to last and be issued for 20 years services. Were they ever modified?
  • Well, the wooden hoops could easily be repainted. LPK do note the Jaeger version was supposed to be smaller, and note the reuse of dragoon versions which had an embossed imperial eagle design.

  • Similar question about flags/ banners. Extra curly topic- they were issued new and fresh to ALL REGIMENTS by Paul in 1797 AND remained in hand, some as much as 60 years later- basic reply is they weren’t replaced unless disaster struck OR bravery shown. And punitive hardship was metered out to regiments who clearly failed to fight ‘to the death’ to save them!
  • While there are a number of nuances, the general outlines are simple as you say. Everyone got flags in 1797 and then new regiments got new flags with about a score of award reissues. Most garrisons got 1800 patterns, which then showed up when some were converted to line. Don’t know why people find it obscure.

    Well these are some of the issues of my last couple of years research. Having watched newer authors come along and cause dissent and discussion among us for the French or Brits (uniform lace and buttons anyone?), I’ve kept a really open mind on who and what the Russians I’ve chosen to depict looked like. And they’re not quite those perfectly aligned, uniform and full dress chaps you’d expect to see. Unlike those ‘prize’ competition armies of 15mils marching about like pike blocks, all identical and depicting 1812 most of the time, and no, I didn’t want that. Cheers ~d

    #176328
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    >>26/07/2022 at 00:37 Ok I see, an ‘edit’ doesn’t trigger a new_message facet … oh whelllll….

     

    No, it opens your post so that you can edit it. Like every other edit button, everywhere.

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #176333
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    No, it opens your post so that you can edit it. Like every other edit button, everywhere.

    Obvious contrarian– you have acheived both. Computerised files also change their metadata, which primarily includes their date and time written/changed/archived.

    I noted, for reference, that making a change to the text, which should be a change to the file/record itself, makes no difference to the metadata of said entry. Unlike most other systems and environments I’ve worked with for nearly 40 years. To not differentiate, is to obfuscate or even lose ‘changed’ data because, internally, it appears no record is kept.

    Anyway it was only an unimportant comment to the populace so no sleep shall be lost.

    JONATHON- Thanks I wasn’t really asking the questions, I was developing the base line of what must be answered  to create a non-standard, unique and non-heterogenous force.  But thanks all the same; as you rightly say, on your web site (++ others and books 🙂

    cheers dave

     

     

    #176335
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    As I delved here and there, I wonder JONATHON, is there more depth to the staff around commanders, like the French? My commands there include 1:1 named and known staff, but I’m at a loss to decypher the Russians methods. OB usually only have generals names and little else.

    I’m not referring to the snoopy Imperial toadies, but actual working stiffs who will give ‘weight’ to at least my 3 Divisional Commanders for 1805 (and/ or 1806-7)  Kutuzov; Miloradovich and Dokhturov.

    I’ve captured an array of Austrian, Prussian and Russian command figures to utilise on the eastern fare…

    #176384
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    What I know about that is due to my OB work. Particularly Borodino thanks to Vasilyev and Yeliseyev. There were lots of ADCs and Orderlies attached to the Hq’s. I think that, like all armies, they were sometimes friend’s sons given some shelter from the front lines. Certainly, the L-g. was well represented, but I suspect a lot of the catty comments come from other ADC’s and Orderlies who thought of themselves as hard working and deserving (or from Tolstoy dealing with his own grudges in later years).

    #176399
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Thanks Jonathan, sorry about the ‘o’ earlier!

    While the Russian ‘General Army Staffs’ are well documented as to personalities, I wondered how far down the chain such reached

    Yes I’d not discount nepotism anywhere (nor the ‘Lodge’ factor); just looking for some reality in my modelling. So perhaps I’ll stick with suitable dressed/ coloured regimental officers as support ‘teams’ on command bases.

    regards dave

    #176430
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    Looking over my page at the info on adjutants, I think I left 0ut a footnote. LPK states that the aiguillette was not suppressed in 1807, and theb in early 1812 was it removed from only the common uniform, contradicting Viskovatov.

    #176431
    Avatar photoJonathan Gingerich
    Participant

    Crap! looks like I made a mistake in overlooking the hat of the L-g Jaeger battalion. It was the brimmed “top hat” model and appears to have remained so in the early era.

    [Ok – my notes are a little disorganized. I looked again. Viskovatov says the top hat was replaced by the shako in 1804. LPK say the 1804 order specified the heavy L-g. foot regts. and there is no indication when they were replaced for the L-g. Jaeger although by the 1806 expansion into a 2 (and soon 3) batt. regiment. they probably were. So I guess it can be justified either way for Austerlitz.]

    #176432
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Crap! looks like I made a mistake in overlooking the hat of the L-g Jaeger battalion. It was the brimmed “top hat” model and appears to have remained so in the early era.

    >>I think I left 0ut a footnote.

    Your footnotes are other peoples books! I’ve poured over them each and every topic- absolutely no point reading them all when researching minute detail in one area. Good stuff!

    Really? Do you wish to clarify?

    I was really heartened to see even illustrators had managed to give all the Guard Infantry the ‘new’ shako and this included the LG Jaeger battalion. Why given its position as a minority in the Guard, would they NOT have received the ‘new issue’ headgear. I would have [more clearly]  understood more likely that they did not receive the ‘experimental’ version issued line units.

    This single battalion regiment, who put on such a good show of all the Russian army at Austerlitz, (taking 5 French battalions to weed them out of Blasowitz) and perhaps its half Guard battery supports, may be one of the ‘ad-hoc’ strays to my pot-luck Russian force.

    cheers dave

    #177982
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Not ready to launch onto that project above [still to complete a gradual WIP battalion of the 5th Eger/ Jaeger].

    However, on the matter of artillery I just clocked a mistake I’d made about a particular ‘battery’ composition. Not understanding the nuance of Russian translations, I’d taken the term Battery-company to be just an exotic clarification into English.

    Then I re-read an old resource I’d captured, no idea where from – “Artillery 1800-1812; Imperial_Russian- _di_Diego_Bozzolan” which recites the regulations for artillery as (cleaned up text):

    19 March 1803 –
    These battalions, increased by an additional five new ones, were each brought to an establishment of two Battery-companies:

    [Batareinaya, meaning Heavy or Positional]
    4x medium 12-pdr guns,<br>4x light 12-pdr guns an<br>4×20 pdr gun-unicorns;

    with 1 staff officer,6 officer,24 NCO , 50 bombardiers,50 gunners, 150 handlanger.

    What I’d read didn’t mention heavy guns, so I’d assumed this was a 6 pounder battery.  Seems not.

    “were each brought to an establishment of two Battery [Batareinaya, meaning Heavy or Positional] companies and “

    The original separation of the words ‘Battery’ before the explanatory Russian and ‘company ‘ after seems to cause a problem for readers. Whilst I have some of the pieces, for reasons I’ve highlighted elsewhere, I can’t obtain the heavy 12 pounders of the same brand.

    Part Two

    That portion of research relating to the ‘unicorns’ seems misleading but has been cleared up. The allusion ot the 1757 models having something to do with those in use in Napoleonic times is erroneous. Why then shown or talk about them in the same context. If the device was dropped (some say within months of effective issue) in that era, let it stay there. Its technical and unique assessment being negative, it apparently had no lineage to those normal unicorns used later on.

    Clarification appears in https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/on-canister/ and https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/howitzers-long-and-short-technical-question/ .

    cheers dave

    #179373
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    (3d Artillery Regt.) Battery-Company:

    Col. Kudryatsev. (Who apparently ran away from the battle!).

    In the days setting sun, reflecting off the snows, the battery sans pieces rests after their matt spray was applied.

    I had to correct the pompoms to add the white bases, but overall I am pleased to have them done. The ‘snow’ -two layers of pure white aquarium sand is rock hard -dabbed into fluid PVA looks good to me.

    regards dave

    #181710
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Personalities- you can’t escape them…

    On a brief review (more like a re-acquaintance) on this story- https://battlefieldanomalies.com/the-battle-of-austerlitz/

    and boy what a story… but I won’t go there… a certain Russian Major Toll gets cited, as he is up front with the 4th Columns avant-garde. As the ‘second enemy contact’ of the Russians [Centre], quite relevant to my ‘Allies OB’.

    Not much of a bio on wiki,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Wilhelm_von_Toll nor inside Russia that I could find on Yandex (which now only sometimes accepts foreign connections). Also only a single portrait of him by Dawe.

    This biblio note from Duffys Austerlitz-

    T. Bemhardi DenkwUrdigkeiten aus dem Leben des Kaiserl. Russ. Generals . . . von Toll, 4 pts. Leipzig 1865. Compiled from the verbal recollections of a Russian staff officer.

    Anyone seen it translated or printed? Duffy partly extrapolates Toll with Tolstoy and his fictional War And Peace epic.

    Not even Mikaberidze covers him. Toll is the source and recipient of the story about Alexanders horrifying flight from the battle, subsequently found in tears beneath a shading tree,

    thanks d

    #181720
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    The Baron (later Count) von Toll was a leading Russian army-level chief of staff (like Berthier or Belliard), military theorist (like Thiébault or Jomini) and logistics expert (like Mathieu Dumas or Daru, but von Toll was actually good at the job). If you go to the Russian wiki for him (and its linked on-line sources) and use google translate, you will get a good idea of his biography.

    In 1805, von Toll served as a major in “His Imperial Majesty’s Suite for Quartermaster Affairs” (then a general staff, topographic and supply service combined). At the end of July he was posted to Count Buxhöwden’s headquarters as a senior staff officer. When the Austrian and Russian forces combined in late November, he was attached to the Allied Supreme headquarters as a staff officer under Prince Volkonsky, with whom he had served under Suvarov in Italy. On the day of battle, he was assigned as headquarters liason and guide for the 4th Column (Kollowrath’s and Miloradovich’s divisions). For his outstanding service at Austerlitz, von Toll was awarded the Order of Saint-Vladimir 4th class.

    by George Dawe (1781–1829)
    Von Toll in ~1820
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Karl_Wilhelm_von_Toll.jpg

    by Anton Alekseyevich Shumeyko (1980- )
    Von Toll in ~1825
    https://museum.mintrans.ru/storage/faces/big/1636617896_3577.jpg

    by Pyotr Vasilyevich Basin (1793-1877)
    Von Toll in ~1830
    https://cdn2.picryl.com/photo/1907/12/31/rusportraits-v4-035-graf-karl-fedorovich-toll-1777-1842-fb9df5-640.jpg

    Unknown (modern) after Basin
    http://www.brdn.ru/images/faces/489.jpg

    ==========

    I found only one link between the von Toll’s and the Tolstoy’s : the famous writer’s “3rd cousin twice removed” Sofiya Dmitriyevna Countess Tolstaya (1854-1917) married von Toll’s grandson Sergey Aleksandrovich Count Toll (1848-1923). There could be a closer relation through marriage or a maternal line, but the Tolstoy’s were among the best Saint Petersburg families, and the von Toll’s of the lower status Baltic so-called “German” nobility.

    That said, the writer Tolstoy would have known of von Toll as one of the leading officers in the Russian service, but von Toll had retired to his estates in Estonia before the Tolstoy was 14 years old. Von Toll was a friend and correspodent of Pushkin.

    #181731
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Well my, you do get busy don’t you! Fantastic increase in knowledge, though as yet no-one seems to document the day to day affairs of duty.

    Obviously a fairly talented bloke- I read Yermelev being ascerbic about him like others in competition for power and prestige…

    Maybe Duffy’s interpretation of  passing of knowledge was a little off by a few years.

    Well that kind of seals the deal and I have another ‘floating’ officer [and his noted single cossack escort]  to arrange sometime later. I’ve hardly advanced the Russian corps much in last few months, but will need to put Some thought into this man! I’m guessing I am starting with a white uniform, scarlet facings etc. he’s only a Major after all!

     

    Thanks again, regards dave +++

    #181744
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    Yermolov and von Toll were competitors in many ways, including “politiking” for favor and advancement. Both were intelligent, skilled, experienced, brave, cunning and rather aloof.

    Свита ЕГО ИМПЕРАТОРСКAГО ВЕЛИЧЕСТВА по Квартирмейстерской Части
    HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY’S Suite for Quartermaster Affairs

    In 1805, field-grade officers (majors, lieutenant colonels & colonels) had a double-breasted dark-green coat, with collar and slit cuffs both of black velvet. Red piping was along three sides of the collar and on the cuffs. Skirt turnbacks were red with black velvet piping. The coat lining was red. Buttons, aiguillette, and embroidery on the collar and cuffs were gold. Pants were of white cloth or whitened deerskin. Boots reached to the knees and had silver spurs. White gloves without cuffs. Black silk kerchiefs. Hats were as for the Army infantry, with high plumes and buttonhole loops of narrow gold galloon. Canes, sashes and swords the same as for the Army infantry. Shabraque and holsters of dark-green cloth with one row of gold galloon all around. On campaign, likely to have telescope, maps, compass, notebook, etc., with hair powdering likely optional.
    See : https://marksrussianmilitaryhistory.info/V12.htm

    http://grenadier.us/l.jpg

     

    #181752
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Thanks!

    Yes typical rookie mistake, “assuming” I knew a uniform! So I shouldn’t have quoted something late at night when I knew I really didn’t know!

    Ok, I have also consulted the tome ‘L’Armee Russe sous le Tsar Alex…’ **  this morning as well and as you cite…
    HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY’S Suite for Quartermaster Affairs…

    Thanks for your continued support! Great to have a community that cares to share… 🙂

    regards davew


    ** Ken Trotman Publishing 2016- reprint Edited Dr. S Summerfield of 1950 articles from La Sabretache (authors Gayda and Krijitsky).

    #181973
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    From Dr. C Duffy Austerlitz 1805:

    Monakhtin commanded a small so-called ‘advance guard’ of three battalions of Russians and a handful of the Austrian Erzherzog Johann Dragoons [actually 1 company or half a squadron].

    Kollowrath and Miloradovich trailed behind with the main body of Austrian and Russian infantry. Major Toll was sounding the way ahead in the company of a single cossack. As he rode down through Pratze village he espied some troops moving over the ground beyond. He took them for the rearmost elements of Prebyshevsky’s column, …

    I’m bound to have a suitable officer figure; but I wonder… would said cossack likely be from the Body Guard Regiment, perhaps? Given the SHQ status of the Major after all…? I have no spare model cossacks currently.

    And he did hug the desperately distraught Emperor as well- they were of similar age and means they were chummy…

    Thoughts? regards dave

    #181980
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    The Life-Guard Cossacks formed with the Chevalier Guards (Malyutin’s 2nd Column). There were only 6 other Cossack regiments at Austerlitz, all Don Cossack : none were with 4th Column nor the Headquarters.

    These 6 regiments could be asked to loan an experienced NCO to accompany a headquarters staff officer. At full strength, there would have had a total of 30x старшiи урядникъ (starshii uryadnik / senior Cossack sergent) and 30x младшiи урядникъ (mladshii uryadnik / junior Cossack sergent). But the regiments were at about 1/2 strength at Austerlitz and may have resisting requests that took away scarce NCO’s.

    As a major of HIM’s Suite for Quartermaster Affairs (and not from a family with more than 500 “souls” of serfs), von Toll would have been given the pay, allowances and social rank of a lieutenant colonel of army cuirassiers : 765 rubles/year pay (compare to 8 rubles/year for a ranker), 4 horses with tack and upkeep and 4x деньщикъ (den’shchik / non-combattant personal servant) paid for by the government.

    A very typical arrangement of his “campaign household” would be 1 valet/batman/cook and 1 palfrenier (English maybe “wrangler” ? – higher status than “groom”, lower status than “stable-master” or “equerry”) taken from his family’s estates, plus 1 hired Cossack driver and 1 hired Cossack picquier (English – maybe “trailblazer” – he rode in front and acted as guide and bodyguard), with a two-horse light carriage or cart. These Cossacks would be retired or “un-affiliated” long-service rankers or sergeants, available to be recruited for such work in all major Russian cities. Only the picquier Cossack would accompny von Toll on the battlefied.

    The picquier could legally wear his old uniform if honorably discharged or retired. Otherwise, the regulation uniform for a деньщикъ of HIM’s Suite for Quartermaster Affairs then was a dark green single-breasted cloth caftan (like Cossacks’) or coat (like soldiers’), with cloth covered buttons, lining and trim on the skirt and tails also dark-green; with black falling collar and round cuffs; a black kerchief; a gray-beige greatcoat without shoulder straps; white clothe pants; knee-high black boots with iron screw-in spurs if mounted; officer pattern hat with button and buttonhole loop of narrow galloon with a cockade of black tape.
    But, in the field, the picquier might have worn anything.

    For me, I would do the picquier as a retired урядникъ of the Don Ataman’s regiment : dark blue caftan and dark blue pants striped sky blue tucked into black boots without spurs, off-white cape with hood, black fleece cap but without cords or plume, gray hair and long gray moustaches, a red lance with red leather sling but without pennon, white “girdle” sash with a pistol, a yatagan stuck in the right boot, black leatherwork, german-silver metal work, sword “à la turque” with red leather swordknot, red leather nagaika hanging from the left wrist, saddlecloth dark blue piped sky blue.
    And, I think he should have been decorated. So, on a St-George ribbon, the “other ranks” silver medal for distinction at Izmail in 1790.
    https://www.etoretro.ru/data/media/5305/1364309006f7a.jpg
    But I do 40mm, so these details can be attempted.

    “hug the desperately distraught Emperor”
    Maybe. Same age, had met before, but not known to be “close”. Alexander did have a romantic, emotional, somewhat irrational character – leading to religious extremism late in his life. If I were Russian, my emotions would have run high that day – but more toward anger against the Austrians.

    #181982
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Wow, thanks again amazing detail and once again far more than I expected to obtain. The officers entitlements truly amazing and rewards! I’ll follow your advice on the cossack servant, some way in the future but I will consider which range may be suitable.

    Whilst von Toll will become part of the 4th Column ensemble, it is something I’m likely to tackle as an homogenous force once I have a few more Austrians out of the way.

    but more toward anger against the Austrians.”

    I’m unsure about the placement of this. The Russians accepted some subordination to Weyrothers planning (it seems); Büxhowden wasted 30,000 vital men in limbo most of the day (it appears to me) and the irrational hubris of the Russian ‘command’, who (apart from Kutuzov) melted away when pressed across the board, seems to have been a contagion of indecisiveness and bloodyminded impulsive behaviours.

    Otherwise, I recognise the stoic actions of many Russian and Austrian line and subordinate commands who fought some very tightly balanced affairs.

    My sincere thanks again, dave

    #181993
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    The Russian generals included some really good ones : Kutuzov, Bagration, Dokhturov, Langeron, Miloradovich, Rosen, Arakcheyev (artillery), Wittgenstein (cavalry), Uvarov (cavalry) – and some less stellar : Buxhöwden, Przhibyshevsky, Essen-2. They had done very well against the French at several battles during the retreat after Ulm. Bagration’s Schöngraben was a masterpiece of economy of force, deception, terrain choice, tactics and then heroism when needed – and against the best of Napoléon’s team : Murat, Lannes, Oudinot (seriously wounded), Suchet. Napoléon wrote to Murat and Lannes, “Il m’est impossible de trouver des termes pour vous exprimer mon mécontentement ….”

    Kutuzov did not want to fight at Austerlitz. Kutusov wanted to continue to draw the logistically challenged French further east and north (away from good roads and rich villages), attack their lines of communication from the north with Bennigsen’s Northern Army, link up with Essen-1’s Lithuania Army, and finally pick a good defensive position and fortify it to fight a blood bath of a defensive battle, likely somewhere between Katowice and Krakow in Galicia in late January.

    Not counting the invasion forces in Pomerania and the Adriatic for the planned descents on Hanover and Naples, nor the Moldova army watching the Turks and the Reserve Corps watching the Prussians, the Russians had two *more* field armies already mobilized against the French at the time of Austerlitz:
    — Lithuania Army under Essen-1 : 30 battalions, 42 squadrons, 15 Cossack regiments, 156 guns – coming from Olmutz, about 50 km to the northeast
    — Northern Army under Bennigsen : 39 battalions, 55 squadrons, 6 Cossack regiments, 144 guns – coming from Breslau, about 225 km to the north
    See : https://runivers.ru/lib/book8034/457996/

    Instead of Kutuzov’s plan, the Austrians (really their Major General Franz von Weyrother) imposed the idea of heroically giving an offensive battle at Austerlitz on the very impressionable young Alexander. They then made a very mobile, complicated and choreographed battle plan completely unsuited to the Russians’ manner of fighting (and repeatedly shown to be unable to beat the French).

    So …. like Bagration, I would have been angry with the Austrians after the battle.

    ================

    In case you are interested, the officers of HIM’s Suite for Quartermaster Affairs at Austerlitz ….
    — Lieutenant General Petr Kornelovich Sukhtelen (Jan Pieter van Suchtelen, Grave in Holland 1751 – Stockholm 1836) : chief-of-staff at the Supreme Allied Headquarters
    — Major General Loggin Ivanovich Gerard (Ludwig Johann von Gerhard, Saint-Petersburg ~1755 – died on campaign against the Turks 1807) : chief of staff at Kutuzov’s Headquarters
    — 9 colonels, lieutenant colonels & majors (including “our” von Toll)
    — 9 subaltern officers

    #182014
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Wow… yes I concur on every point! Of course the Russians would blame anyone else, I can see that.Yes Kutuzov was the most intelligent and yet like Suvorov, undermined by politics.

    Amazing isn’t it that Weyrother was responsible for Hohenlinden -1800; then Austerlitz -1805. You could and I do consider them ‘connected’ events.

    And the political shift in 1799 undid Suvorov; imagine what may have transpired had Alexander NOT joined the Army, leaving Kutuzov to manage affairs.
    – –

    Thanks for the extras… 🙂

     

    #182087
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    See : https://runivers.ru/lib/book8034/457996/

    Just looked this over- an amazing array of data for Russian readers- the translation of the ToContents gives a tantalising glimpse as to the depth and breadth of subjects…

    Just woWSer !!!

    [Just been infected with something… so going to spend some MORE time on researching… cheers d

    PS- hope you like the ‘new’ avatar- was a ‘screened’ shot of the Colonel in his element, perhaps as they were still in reserve c: 0800 hours at Austerlitz. Yes thats a real naked tree in the background (ie Winter), right outside our windows!

    #184336
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Well I have the others, so I had to get ‘The Official Russian History’ as cited. Haven’t seen a review so here’s mine- all from a categorical research and gaming application…

    To follow…

    Review

    1805: TSAR ALEXANDER’S FIRST WAR WITH NAPOLEON – THE RUSSIAN OFFICIAL HISTORY

    Author- Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky, A. I.
    Phillips, Peter G. A. translated. 2022

    Publishers Blurb:
    Russia’s involvement in the campaign of 1805 is remembered mostly for the disaster at Austerlitz. However, Kutusov’s campaign on the Danube included a number of successful minor actions and the hard-fought Battle of Dürnstein; Russian troops were also engaged as part of the 3rd Coalition in Germany and around the Mediterranean. Translated by Peter Philips, the Russian staff history of the campaigns details all of these operations, drawing extensively on original correspondence and reports to do so. As such, it is a valuable aid to anyone seeking to understand the performance of the Tsar’s armies in the Napoleonic Wars.

    A follow-up volume, covering the campaigns of 1806-1807, is planned for release in 2023
    – –

    Having received this notable book from Helion I was amazed how little of it there is. Next I did a quick scan- about the primary author- Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky – almost as interesting as the history itself; and then the Introduction by Alexander Mikaberidze; a noted Georgian historian now resident in the US and greatly entrenched in translating and producing Russian and other contemporary histories.

    Then I picked some select pages out of sequence to examine. I was looking for something. And it wasn’t too long before I found it. You don’t find this in the publishers blurb at all. After all that may hurt sales!

    Both the associates- Phillips and Mikaberidze sections contained warnings about the ‘depth’ and accuracy of information, based around the premise of this ‘Official’ history being edited and changed by Tsar Nicholas of Russia who commissioned it prior to 1846.

    The primary warning included “…there are points that need to be born in mind regarding his accuracy, precision and reliability. The work was commissioned by the Tsar and was published on condition that the Tsar had editorial control, that he could and did, censor the manuscript. Criticism of strategic decision making or of Alexander I’s behaviour is thus, almost entirely absent.”

    Further a statement that pleased me somewhat “Many of the reverses and failures in this campaign are blamed almost entirely on Austrian incompetence, which is clearly unjust…”. This corroborates my own aging view of the hysteria of history writers (British) for some time.

    The last piece of evidence I sought in my quick scan was the ‘truth’ about Alexanders actions after the French assault on the Pratzen ‘Heights’ unfolded. According to this ‘official’ version, Chapter 15 p119, it is stated that “he rode with them.., in the morning coming under fire… the Emperor remained with the 4th Column until their final defeat… Eyewitnesses testify to His complete composure… Kaiser Franz noted his fearlessness…”.

    Enough of that, total lies. The Emperor went ‘missing’ some time after 9am; the 4th Column not defeated until near 11am; both Austrians and adjacent Russians put up a fight that could have turned the tables on Napoleons plans (considering the heights were meant to be devoid of enemy and the infantry Divisions of Soult had no cavalry scouts or vedettes to precede them).

    He was discovered by an Imperial Staff Officer, devoid of all Aides and attended only by his personal servant, some distance from the battlefield before the Coalition Army started to dissolve.

    Thus in light of this knowledge, one must read the rest of the book as ‘massaged’ history, or to use a favourite flame, it lies as equally as much as the maligned Bulletin does!

    Having put that to rest, one can now read the build up, history of events and communications between many parties, and the ‘fog of war’ that continued to exist in many ways. Kutuzov received a dozen different views on the demise at Ulm, yet it was days before Mack (en parole) appeared and sacrificed himself by giving the single truth. Kutuzov, already the wary fox, knew he had a fight coming. He was all for avoiding too hasty a conflict, and it wasn’t old age that caused this.

    End of Part One.

    -davew

    Spoiling your fun with Russians (v2)

    #184362
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Review

    1805: TSAR ALEXANDER’S FIRST WAR WITH NAPOLEON – THE RUSSIAN OFFICIAL HISTORY

    Author- Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky, A. I.
    Phillips, Peter G. A. translated. 2022

    Part Two
    The book follows the general timeline we all expect. The slow progression of Austrian and Russian movements, realignments and reactions well documented. However some caution is needed here as again, within the major battle, the Russian version flips actions unlike any other I’ve read. More later.

    The fascinating role of Kutuzov- given carte blanche and full authority by Alexander, yet subordinated to the Kaisers ‘directions’, not quite a Supreme Generalissimo like Suvorov was declared in 1799.

    Yet it is apparent his political skill was every bit as poignant. He managed both, unreasonable directions (orders) and managed to direct once any higher command from Austrian influence was over, on their Generals. The 3 main officers supported and coordinated with Kutuzovs wishes and directions.

    There is a lot more divulged around the ‘secret accords’ between Prussia, Sweden and all other parties.
    In reading this I felt a little confused, as much of what is written about this complicit ally seemed to recite more about the Prussian antagonism in 1806 than 1805. At least that is what I took from it. AM I confused or did the Russian history ‘merge’ the period and actions. I’d not read before that Prussia actually had troops standing on Austrias border waiting to invade Napoleons rear LOC.

    Certainly the secret pacts are laid bare due to the distance of time and a lot of explanation given. This also includes the then public information of Napoleons counter measures to keep Prussia subdued.

    Alexander was the first monarch to leave Russia in 80 years since Peter the Great, so that required special organisation at St. Petersburg as well. An expansion of the army ‘reserve’ was ordered as precursor to further increases a year later.

    Useful information following the path of Kutuzovs army, various units and an overview of his strategic working is welcome. Placing Prince Bagration in the familiar role of rear-guard, sometime later replaced by another confidente, GM Miloradovich who performed equally well it seems.

    Full page and clear maps (8) are used extensively to display and explain the complicated movements across major unfordable rivers of Central Europe with troop deployments (en marche) dated for their progress. Whether it is true or not, Kutuzov is credited for a rare display of prescience by Coalition commanders in countering Napoleons aims to entrap him. Certainly his reports as cited are frank and clear, so like Suvorov he appears a man of his word.

    The full detail contains much on this trek, so let us move to the battle. The final rest stop for Kutuzov, then in full public view of the Emperor at Olmütz, where all the Russian forces and Austrians, treated somewhat as auxiliaries, encamped for a few days rest and reorganisation. Affairs were still difficult it is stated, as no supplies could be obtained locally and Austrian supply trains coming through Hungary, as usual slowly.

    Apart from unit details, movements by ‘columns’ organised in the Austrian manner, a new strategy for attacking the French was planned and executed. Sadly we do not get much tactical detail of how they came to this decision, and the impression is given that there was a no-mans land between the armies. I personally doubt that with a host of Cossacks and Austrian light cavalry available this was so.

    The Emperor Alexanders first appearance on a [minor] battlefield (Wischau) brought the first of notable reactions in the headstrong leader- quiet, sullen and did not eat all day is cited.

    Nevertheless the well documented and mixed up advance and overnight encampment of the Coalition army is the same. Disagreement on the morning effects are revoiced, yet an army that stands-to at 0600 and doesn’t move its’ reserves forward until after 0900 seems a little shortsighted. Nothing about orders or explanations is unchanged from the narratives we know.
    The OB by Columns is given here.

    Of the great battle most events follow the cycles and waves of action, though it is apparent the author has interpreted or inserted French meanings where they know them in hindsight. Some are incredibly wrong- Bernadottes First Corps certainly did not ‘lead’ any advance; some commanders are swapped in places and troops again exaggerated strengths.

    The author promotes ‘manoeuvres’ by troops under the names of Generals much like we are accustomed too in British historical writing. However in cases like Büxhowden, who we plainly understand never left his secure position near Augezd, kilometres from any fighting until 1500, these are futile citations. The lower commanders took these actions, not the perenial figurehead. However the units are cited time and again

    The battle lasts 15 pages including two maps. Plenty of detail, as cited above, some mixed up. They would have the French Guard cavalry assaulting the Russian Emperors BodyGuard infantry before their cavalry overrun the 4eme de Lignes battalion square near Stare Vinohrady. Getting the sequence wrong means the ‘if and buts’ change… nevertheless the result remains the same and the losses of the Russian Guard were a compromise for allowing both their artillery and infantry component to retreat quickly.

    One important omission in my mind, if glorifying actions was important, seems to be the fine actions of the sole BodyGuard Jager Battalion- whose efforts to hold Blasiowitz (closely supported by a half company of artillery) held up Lannes advance for at least half an hour, adequately completing their mission AND retiring in good order with losses. Completely overlooked in this history.

    The aftermath of the 1805 campaign is also covered, plus chapters on the other deployed Russian involvements from Hanover to Naples.

    In Summary
    Whilst not many revelations, in the context of a ‘massaged’ history, certainly parts of enlightenment appear useful, several OBs provided, useful clear context maps and while mitigating the losses and humiliation, deflected onto the Austrians, a ritual eulogy of praise for Alexander I appears (there must have been bad blood around St.P for years?), and sanctimonious denial then praise of his 1813-14 rage against France in mitigation.

    Will I be buying the second volume- undoubtedly.
    regards
    davew
    © 2023

    #184365
    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    My attitude for all historical projects is that the game is actually science fiction, happening in an alternate universe close to — but not quite — ours.

    I mean, if you think about it, this is implied by the very act of wargaming, isn’t it? Having different outcomes to historical battles… Playing battles that didn’t happen, but could have…

    This way, I can justify having three complete Zouave regiments in my 1863 ACW Confederate army just because it looks cool.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #184378
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Spoiler ignored…

    #184379
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    That’s the problem with any history of course. Even the most objective historian brings their own background to it, even when they scrupulously attempt to acknowledge and avoid that inherent bias affecting their work. When we have ‘Official’ histories  they are rarely attempting to be completely impartial. In the best cases they seek to provide a straight descriptive version of events but they rarely leave their national social and cultural baggage at the door.

    When you have an absolute monarch in the mix it’s hardly strange he might have snipped things critical of his elder brother. (or made bad things up in more recent Royal family commentaries).

    Whether this actually happened of course is irrelevant, once the accusation has surfaced it is almost impossible to put aside the thought that this may not be an unslanted narrative.

    This publication, with acknowledgement of potential problems, is however very welcome. Danilevsky was still a lot nearer to the events and people involved than we are today, even if he himself was too young to have been present and is not a primary source. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia says he approached his histories uncritically with no analysis of the military art. I bet he identified no norms at all! The horror!

    #184398
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Agree Guy. Thanks

    #184401
    Avatar photoGuy Farrish
    Participant

    You’re welcome.

    Interesting review.

    Thank you.

    #184406
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    cheers again… I see theres another ‘review’ out there  being touted that overlooks pretty much everything IMO… thats for the other campers I guess… d

    #185177
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    _ Reading another current memoire, Bennigsens Vol1 now, I found a really enlightening snippet in the footnotes from that ‘Gen Robert Wilson’, [whom I do not have a really high opinion of, as his comments often seem, curt, shall I say…].

    Writing 3 days after the battle of Eylau [paraphrased a bit] –

    “says on the ‘realignment’ of their left- there was confusion, but it was caused by their ‘Standards’ [colour parties] moving out of the battle line, per regs, but they did not stop at 100 paces behind the line; being handled by junior officers- ie boy officer cadets properly of no military experience, thus the men continued to go back out of alignment; on being accused of cowardice they responded that they were following the alignment of their colours”.

    Given that- and I’d already organised how I was going to model/ create standards in units, they shouldn’t be in the front line… [despite many assertions that they were found there or close to…].

    The unexplained logic is that they are used as alignment when advancing; they are placed in ‘reserve’ after battle formation (ie lines) and used as a rallying point, 100 paces to the rear, should the worst happen. Same as the French, I cant recall the Brits any longer…

    Is this the specific understanding of the Russian Army methods? If so I imagine I will change my proposed style of basing the colours and put both of them in the rear rank of a single musketeer element after all. There is no practicable way of depicting 100 paces to the rear in ‘normal’ gaming terms, perhaps as skirmish elements.

    Thoroughly enjoying the book and a review will come in due course, d

    #185216
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    Are you reading from this work?
    Confronting Napoleon: Levin Von Bennigsen’s Memoir of the Campaign in Poland, 1806-1807: Volume I – Pultusk to Eylau
    Alexander Mikaberidze & Paul Strietelmeier (editors)
    Warwick, England : Helion & Company Ltd., 2023
    I am sorry, but I don’t have this book.

    In early 1807, Wilson was a 29-year-old lieutenant-colonel (by purchase, then exchange into the 20th Light Dragoons), acting as an aide de camp to lieutenant-general Lord John Hely-Hutchinson (1757–1832), a British diplomatic representative to Prussia and then to Russia. Wilson (and Lord Huchison’s younger brother) had been sent to Bennigsen’s headquarters as observers when the battle of Eylau took place.

    Here is Wilson in 1805, as a “knight” of the Austrian Maria Theresa Order (won at Villiers-en-Couché in 1794 when he was a cornet in the 15th Light Dragoons):
    https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/41512/sir-robert-thomas-wilson-1777-1849-general-and-politician

    The story you relate comes from a letter from Wilson to Hutchinson sent from Königsberg on 11 February. It was published in 1862 on page 413 in Appendix 5 to Volume 2 of:
    Life of General Sir Robert Wilson …. : From Autobiographical Memoirs, Journals, Narratives, Correspondence, Etc.
    Rev. Herbet Randolph (editor – and Wilson’s nephew)
    London : John Murray, 1862

    Wilson could not have seen any of the events he describes, nor have known much of the details of Russian infantry drill (having no Russian, limited French, and having met the Russian army only 1 week earlier). But Wilson relates that one “Bicherdorff …. aide de camp to the emperor” will confirm the story. I think we can conclude that this was Wilson’s informant, although no mention of the story is included in “Bicherdorff’s” own memoirs. This officer was actually ….
    Бенкендорфъ Александръ Христофоровичъ
    Benkendorf Aleksandr Khristoforovich / Alexander Karl Wilhelm von Benckendorff
    04.07.1782 – born at Revel (modern Tallinn), son of a Baltic German general and governor of Riga & a lady-in-waiting to Paul I’s wife, the Baroness Schilling von Cannstadt
    04.07.1798 – listed as a corporal in the Life-Guard Semyonovsky regiment
    31.12.1798 – commissioned as a guards ensign and named a Wing-Adjudant to HIM (similar to an “officier d’ordonnance près de Sa Majesté” in Napoléon’s service)
    07.10.1799 – promoted guards sub-lieutenant in HIM Headquarters Staff
    29.11.1800 – promoted guards lieutenant in HIM Headquarters Staff, joined General Sprengtporten’s secret inspection tour of Russia
    01.01.1805 – awarded Saint-Anne 3rd-class, for service in Georgia with General Tsitsianov
    01.10.1805 – assigned to the Hannover invasion force under General Tolstoy
    29.03.1806 – promoted guards staff-captain in HIM Headquarters Staff, assigned to the Imperial headquarters
    13.02.1807 – awarded Saint-Anne 2nd-class & the Prussian Pour-le-Mérite and promoted guards captain in HIM Headquarters Staff, for distinction at Eylau, and then assigned to the Russian embassy at Paris
    02.03.1808 – promoted colonel in HIM Headquarters Staff, age 25
    And he went on to very interesting career – including leading a “flying column” in 1812 and being the head of secret police under Nicolas I. But exactly how much of Russian infantry drill was known to Staff-Captain von Benckendorff might be questioned.

    I do not know of the Russians ever sending banners to the rear, expecially prior to making a charge, Actually, I know of this only among the British in this era, and then to prevent capture when the unit is threatened with being routed. And 100 paces to the side or rear would often foul a formation behind or to the flank of the unit intending to charge.

    I checked Petre, von Lettow-Vorbeck, Mikhailovsky-Danilevsky, regimental histories and some memoires for the units that possibly were so observed by Staff-Captaint von Benckendorff. Not surprisingly, there is no mention of any unintended retreats while chasing mistakenly displaced banners.
    — Kostromo Musketeers with von Baggovut in Serpellen
    — Stary-Oskol Musketeers with von Baggovut in Serpellen
    — Belozersk Musketeers with Kamensky-2 in reserve on the Russian left
    — Ryazan Musketeers with Kamensky-2 in reserve on the Russian left
    — Uglich Musketeers with Kamensky-2 in reserve on the Russian left
    — Sofia Musketeers with Kamensky-2 in reserve on the Russian left

    On balance, I think Staff-Captain von Benckendorff might have been making a “manly” excuse to a foreign observer, perhaps for the greatly weakened Kostromets and/or Stary-Oskolets bugging out of Serpellen when they were taken from front the by Saint-Hilaire’s men and in their left flank by Friant’s crack division.

    They really didn’t need any excuse. One the best regiments in the Russian army, von Baggovut’s own Estonian forest rangers of the 4th Jäger regiment, was so shattered by Friant’s advance that their officers could not collect more than isolated half-platoons until they made it back to Königsberg.

    #185233
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Are you reading from this work?

    Yes, ok thank you- the detail of ‘which units’ eluded me as the detail wasn’t in the substantive text by Bennigsen either.  But yes Kamensky-2 and Ostermann are indicated on the left flank. I can see why they were forced back anyway- in an entirely defensive role as Davouts men arrived and expanded the contest.

    I had neither the intention nor interest to re-study Wilson as I carefully explained.. {we better not Brit-bash here} to validate the premise. So I just used a ‘nominal’ rank that hes known by. I don’t use honours and gratifications that weren’t current for my troops, and hate it lazy authors cite when such and such, when they weren’t at the period discussed. Using that method one could just as easily cite them all as ‘deceased xx’ instead.

    Obviously neither was Mikaberidze who cites the explanation in footnote. See how stuff gets multiplied out of proportion !!!

    I find little to criticise in these ‘reworked’ memoires compared to others I have read for 40 odd years… even compared with the ‘Official History’ [Massaged…].

    In gaming I was about to radically alter my proposed ‘Banner Group’ basing methods for two intial Russki units [Miloradovic/ Kutuzov 1805] as Seroga called it in another place… whew… dodged a grenade there!

    “manly” excuse to a foreign observer”- yes I’ll buy that as a highly likely alternative. It no doubt came with a smirk that Wilson wouldn’t have understood, was irony…

    Interesting bio work on the ‘special agent’- another of the von Toll ilk.

    My sincere thanks once again!
    I just tried a Chateau Mont Redon ‘Reserve’ Blanc and recommend it! Made in Chateauneuf du Pape and of unspecified varietals, but I have a feeling it is quite near the Marsanne/Rousanne blends I had many a bottle of 30 odd years ago… wonderful stuff – But I’m yet to look it up!).

    Santé ! d

    #185933
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant


    In 1805, von Toll served as a major in “His Imperial Majesty’s Suite for Quartermaster Affairs” (then a general staff, topographic and supply service combined). At the end of July he was posted to Count Buxhöwden’s headquarters as a senior staff officer. When the Austrian and Russian forces combined in late November, he was attached to the Allied Supreme headquarters as a staff officer under Prince Volkonsky, with whom he had served under Suvarov in Italy. On the day of battle, he was assigned as headquarters liason and guide for the 4th Column (Kollowrath’s and Miloradovich’s divisions).

    **Edit made below regarding figures used (10june2023)_dw

    So, from the year beginning to now, although I only started these two weeks ago and have persevered to complete them, along with the Avant-Garde commander, Lt. Colonel Monakhtin (to follow).

    HIM SQA Major von Toll (1805) ©dww 2023

    Trust this meets expectations. They are 98% complete, just some lace repairs, addition to chapeau and perhaps the cossck eyes need irises too!

    I’ve used an ‘old’ Russian officer of 1790s to represent him, even tho he was only a 20 something officer. The main figure is a Eureka Models (Australia) Russian infantry regimental officer (one of several they make) from their ‘Wars of the French Revolution’ 1799 [ie Suvorov] range.

    The escort ‘starshii uryadnik’ is a SYW cossack, taken from a Casting Room Miniatures (ex-Wargames Foundry ranges) Characters pack, as his servant and protector, 28mm figures.

    They will be based as they are seen here, if advancing the guard in front.

    I decided not to remove the curls but perhaps should as the impression of a wig isn’t as he should appear I imagine.

    cheers dave

    #185940
    Avatar photoHeroy
    Participant

    Very, very cool – I really like the contrast of the officer and the Cossack.

    Hair powdering for Russian officers was not abolished per regulations until late 1809 (short hair for other ranks had been mandated at the end of 1806).

     

    #185968
    Avatar photoOotKust
    Participant

    Thanks for that- I may just tone down the colour of the curls a bit more; still have to correct I think the unusual lace arrangement on chaperons (according to some artwork I saw).

    You will note I haven’t followed your advice exactly for colours- the cossack seemed a bit dowdy/ dull so I used the crimson/ raspberry to give it some highlights. His award is just a blob of gold; and he has no recognisable sabre- I guess being a SYW figure- part of a sample set I wasn’t sure I would use, but with the ‘large’ size 28s… he fits in with the officer.

    von Toll could get some extra highlights but I think the single cast dark green is quite effective; there are nuances of shade variation depending upon which direction you are looking at.

    I tried really hard doing multi-coloured layering on the faces of all figs to achieve ‘features’ and interest. Still need to work on that. Just about impossible on the ‘tiny’ 25mm Minifigs, bit same may work there.

    His coat facings are a little exagerated, but you probably wouldn’t see red piping on black if it wasn’t.

    Overall an interesting project that kept me going* and I thank you for your support and advice. Strange to create ‘command’ figures when the substantive troops are still just a pro-forma lead pile. I have enough on hand for the Russian ‘avant-garde’ (two bare battalions from 3 weak originals) made with Eureka [musketeers] and Hinchliffe [grenadiers] figures. I’m a bit worried what they may look like side by side on the table one day!

    *The winding down of my French Armée ‘plans and projects’ for a while pending the publication of Paul L Dawsons exposé on  what might really be the French, after 30 years of diligently if erratically adding voltigeurs to every unit I possess etc. may need to be undone.

    But I have  my Kaiserliks to bring up to readiness and of course the French ADCs and Etat-Major, not to forget La Garde, can also continue unabated.

    Regards d

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