Forum Replies Created
A simple update of a set of Imperial Etat-Major ADC’s and the beheaded figure above. The ‘important’ chaps are (Minifigs 25mm)- Capt. Lejeune (yes the painter) and Capt. Girardin- both ADC’s attached with Mal.Berthier however rubber-banded to the main man; the Chasseurs officer becoming an ADC to Bessieres; well naturally!
Whell, in a dialogue that could come straight from comedians ‘The Two Ronnies’ – The Worm That Turns subplot, a year later I unveil the pretence of these nearly finished… with changes.
So in a turn that was anticipated if not expounded, the three men are one, plus two new men. Sortof. Only Bessiéres ADCs this time.
Comparing this old view with the updated versions, 99% complete now:-
The new- Chef de Escadron Barbanegre of the Grenadiers á Cheval- Premiere ADC to Bessiéres; Duty ADC for 2 decembre 1805 Capt. de Laville (a Piedmontaise) and a much younger Capt. Desmichels of the Chasseurs á Cheval in surtout. He had been honoured by promotion AND with ‘the cross’ [OLH] for valorous conduct with his regiment earlier in the campaign. Not bad for a lowly Sous-Lieutenant who commenced the campaign!
These three fine gentlemen will support Marshal Bessiéres throughout the day. This brings a small and delicate matter of balancing the whole entourage in a suitable manner for gaming purposes. As these complete the vignette some progress must be made.
And in a throwback pose, we have, to assist Marshal Berthier, Major-General of La Grande Armée, a new Capt Girardin d’Ermenonville, now in regulation uniform as the Premiere ADC to Berthier, and Capt. Lejeune refined from previous in prosaic hussar dress:-
These fellows carried important messages to and from the Imperial staff all day and into the evenings, both of December 1st and 2nd.
Some others are in the pipeline, but I promised myself I would get these fellows mounted and based before much longer!
If I ever commented on things like that – which I don’t because it draws the ire of the faithful).
Re your completion of something – I add my applause. An achievement not to be sneezed at. Nice job.
Completely understand Guy. Yes I sometimes, once considered what effect it/ comments or restating matters may have, but I can’t be bothered worrying about that any longer. Extremism seems to be the thing, rather than substance nowadays.
My reply was written off the cuff, rather than wait another day because I felt the point I’d been making was missed by the reply. Nothing personal, just the facts.
Even though I was a ‘follower’ [aka the faithful] I’ve seen the light… heh heh.
Thanks for applause.
Your situation is probaby common- I’m working ever so slightly forward between other disasters or mayhem, so similar.
As Chairman of the House Committee, in the absence of the Home Minister [who works a begrudging role at local Hospital] I have to manage affairs round here.
That doesn’t always include modelling time, which means I can be found sniffing paints at the desk at 2300 or so. But at least I’m awake then…
One of the things about the ‘youth’ of Napoleon and his commanders is that in 1805 at 36, he was more battlefield and campaign experienced than just about any opponent, even if they were creer [career] soldiers and 70…
thanks for commenting, however with the above I believe with respect you are lingering in the past.
I’m glad you read my item but the point was, he wasn’t alone.
Did he have so much experience? Hmmm, Toulon, his first, ’96 ok was a trying time, taking risks he got away with it.
Tried some politics and muck-raking in Paris, while swooshing around the salons. Then a gleeful Directory was keen to see him take the Army of Italy across the East…
Following, return and coup, very much in the ‘public’ state of mind he had support of both civilians and military. Diplomacy wasn’t particularly good, because he didn’t have any better international reputation than John Wayne. But he did ‘coerce’ Helvetia and Northern Italy to go his way despite guerillas as we came to know them.
Then 1800 came the stealth mission on over the Alps assault on Austrias’ citadel in Sardinian controlled lands and a near run thing at Marengo. His bacon saved by Desaix who fried his own…
Despite the propaganda, it was not the death knell of the wars he’d hoped for. No, that had to wait until December when another very articulate and enterprising, modest even, general sealed the Austrians fate by marching virtually to the gates of Vienna. Yes he never forgave Moreau for overshadowing his greatness.
Exactly 5 years later, and another major war, with significant battle to boot, far beyond Vienna as now he had an intimidated Russia to contend with…
“he was more battlefield and campaign experienced than just about any…”
No, not really, a lot yes, but not more. And he had superior help around him.
Austria and Russia both had significant resources, and many experienced officers and generals- some way to old it is true [Suvorov must have been exhausted at his age and no wonder the pressures he received he died shortly after] and despite the poor ‘gaming qualities’ assigned them, actually held N. to account many times.
FML Kienmayer was superb throughout the Ulm/ Austerlitz campaigns. Both strategically and in battle, he wasn’t beaten and successfully supported Kutuzov who’s ‘reverse’ psychology outwitted N. Had he been listened too Austerlitz would not have been fought.
Prince Bagration was every bit the equal of Ney and Murat. Bennigsen worked miracles in 1806/07 despite the ultimate lack of resources and replacements. The decisions made were blatently political- the Tsar simply could not have withstood another embarrassing major defeat.
I don’t fault N. as a man or leader- however his own self-belief turned mysticism and propaganda effectively downgraded his enemies for two hundred years.
I think, despite myself being a 12 yr old fanboi originally, we now realise he was, just a man, with incredible talents for sure, perhaps a genius in part, but not the superman that he’s often represented as.
(and who the **** sells rocks in fluid measures?)
Since the atmosphere is ridden with scented smoke already… I’ll bite- I’m pretty sure they’re citing a cubic measure, as in space filler, not liquid per se….
Recycler & Hobbyist– Yes, apart from ‘snow white’ aquarium sand for my ‘snow’ [not snorting…] I’ve hand picked, cropped, cleaned, dyed and dried, walked and selected from beaches/ rivers/ mountains and tbh the odd garden all the ground trifle, lichen and ‘trees’ I need.
Woodland Scenics used to be a bargain, so were Heki, and my ’80s/’90s organised games were all the more impressive for getting away from the 1960s ‘orchards’ of stunted growths and sawdust on glued string !
[Redux… Progress you say?]
Well, very little I suppose… again, only been 8 months huh? In a manic display of exhausted frustration to complete something, anything WIP, these guys won.
Yes I’ll take applause for actually doing something,
French sapeurs and associates in working arrays.
From l-r we have the line troops (reversible construct/ deconstruct); walking help; workers plus a hand; and just workers.
… even if they still need a little retouching of the bases (scenic on acetate) and a matt spray sometime…
well that was a bust… citing the location of an academic pdf…
(And as I write this, I am disappointed that my Essex package containing my Republican French troops hasn’t yet arrived).
Wow you’re quick Tony!!
Yes agree, of course we’ve learnt so much more now…
I too was panicking this week* about a small packet of Austrian goodies from Perry- a bit taken aback that their guns are so wacking big tho! I mean, hell… the Wurtz 6 pdr is the same size as my Russian 12’s!
*Sodding PostOrrifice had been sitting on the package for 3 bloody weeks- their ‘notifications’ being useless and I’d been there to pick up important mail the week before- no card/ notice at all from them.
I shall have to delete this no doubt before continuing…
Just a brief modelling update.
Despite the slightly excessive Empire style uniforms, I’ve decided to try some sample paints using the FN and DWN series of Miniature Figurines™ 25mm to obtain a cadre of men and horse.
Down playing some of the uniform elements; schapska cords and flounders minimised; large front plate ditto etc. removing aiguillettes and perhaps removing some epaulettes from the foot (manufactured as ‘voltigeurs’ yet having no complementing ‘fusilier’ in adequate uniforms).
The Legion is referred to in documentation above and others as composed of “chasseurs”- a good indication to me that they were a light corps- auxiliaries in parlance as we used to say, not line troops anyway, so the downplayed epaulettes isn’t such a big deal after all.
A small regiment of lancers will also add a little spice to the legion, so some time next year perhaps…
Well the soldiers have passed inspection so will shortly be on their way to new home/s and fighting new battles.
I have the Russians to meld into existing units and a very few new ones (artillery battery was really the only near complete item in the original set).
Thanks to those who replied,
Interesting comments on Davout from a later journal-
“Marshal’s military career”.
Davout is characterized by the constancy of his successes, he was never defeated. They were spread in his conversations and letters attributing this spotless glory to ‘Fortune’ -or fate, not the horse!.
Speaking one day with an aide-de-camp, he praised Marmont’s great strategic science; the officer noted that, despite his science, Marmont had always been beaten, while Davout had never been beaten.
“The Duke of Raguse,” replied the marshal, “was more learned than I was, but I was happier.”
Must admit I’ve liked Mortier all along, but not found that… “je ne sais quoi” moment yet.
[Edits 23/10- clarity and correction of titles.]
I’ve been somewhat slow in my research lately, but here’s another translated missive, some may say mutilated, from Davouts Memoires Page138, a report to Major-General Berthier.
Preamble for same:
Davout- AN XIV (1805)
This first form of military training under the First Consul gave infinite care, both for the organisation of the troops and for the choice of the men called gave order to them, for an object of the greatest importance.
They became the core of what went later, to be called the Grande Armeé… The troops of the Camp of Bruges have formed the 3eme Corp in three divisions under Friant, Gudin, and Morand, which came under Marshal Davout had to march on all future battlefields, as Austerlitz, as Auerstaedt etc. –
86. TO THE MINISTER OF WAR, Major General.
Oggersheim, 4 vendmiaire an XIV (26 septembre1805)
M le Marchal,
I have the honour to give an account to Your Excellency that there consequence of orders of His Majesty, that you transmitted to me, I took possession of Manheim in the morning General Eppler took 1,000 infantry men and 400 horses today; has Heidelberg, and will push its outposts to there or Neckarmund.
The division of General Bisson passed the Rhine at nine o’clock with means of boat craft which I have organised; he will be in Manheim before midday and take position between Heidelberg and Manheim, as Neckarhausen.
The division of General Friant will pass tomorrow and come to occupy this position. The division of General Bisson will occupy that of Neckarmund. 3eme division will pass on 6th, that of General Nansouty on 7th, if it arrives with me as promised.
I did not speak to Your Excellency about artillery before this moment, because I well have the cannon pieces, but I lack the soldiers and the horses of the train, as promised to me, because I still have not received them.
Ammunition for infantry and equipment for the park appears to be driven by carters and horses of requisition. I believe I have to send you, M le Marchal, a report to me made by a gunnery sergeant [!] commanding on the behaviour of these convoy crews. There was desertion of horses and men, many horse swaps, and the few that remains there mostly need to be reshod.
The promises for the carters [charioteers?] being paid are without execution, no money has [been] made available; finally there is much disorder in this part.
I advise you that carts and wagons of requisition attached to this army by the Treasurer-General; the men are not paid, and there was the abuse for the horses requisitioned for the artillery.
All divisions arrive in arrears [underpaid] of balance and of gratifications and indemnites of the march promised by the Emperor, as well as the sums which owed unpaid for capotes and shoes, also missing in gratification. The payer has still not arrived, despite all orders which I have to given him. Everybody in this Corps d Arme desperately is in need of the most money.
We were supposed to take, in execution of your orders, four days of biscuit on our march; but still nothing has arrived. I will search Heidelberg and Manheim to remove this obstacle by making the most possible biscuit.
It appears that the bad routes of the Ardennes have broken almost completely the shoes of my divisions, and that of by consequence is not possible to count on the resource of the ready-to-wear clothes promised supplies to all divisions; I will do my best to remove this obstacle by by making the countries of my left a resource.
Troops arrive in the best mind, and the best proof, there were few desertions; that there was they are not as fatigued as they could been expected.
I promised myself to pay the fees of all the boatmen of both banks which I use in the passage of troops. I plead Your Excellency to approve this measure and at the same to keep my promises. I must also request that it is necessary that the Emperor puts funds at my disposition as service of secret accounts [services] and for any extraordinary case [issues] I will use it with economy and for services of His Majesty.
I plead, M le Marchal, to take utmost consideration of the different objects of my letter here.
P. S. I have 500 to 600 requisition horses for the intendant’s service [train]; the carts are all uncovered, most in bad condition and intended to carry biscuits they don’t have.
I ask Your Excellency to let me know if his intention is for them to follow us.
I would add that then, being of no use, they increase the obstacles, since it will be [more] fodder and subsistencies to be obtained [by us].
Very interesting and telling comments on the ‘advance’ into Germany, before Ulm and just over two months before Austerlitz.
Clearly matters were not resolved with the train and intendance services.
We see in every Corps many of the horse companies are down to half strength, [some by design it is true] and as Davout later points out he kept his lighter Divisional pieces and opted to leave the heavy 12 pounders behind, which took more horses than available to move.
-d17/10/2023 at 06:04 in reply to: [Fr 1805] Men of ‘La Garde’ and Staff (Etat-Major). #191614
File this under ‘Other Leaders’…
Davout- A Character Reference
I was asked about Davout from people who know about him, but not much after a surprise assault on history again.
PLD launched another grenade, this time target Davout, of which I have some scepticism, despite the ‘data’ compilation… my personal conclusions were as follows.
That is mainly from unwarranted critics. He was mistrusted and appeared cold with compatriots, not liked by the clique of Boney mates of military machismo as such in the early days and as the youngest Marshal stood up to them with his aristocratic education, panache and abilities.
Bourienne apparently made sarcastic comments on the young General, which Buonaparte recklessly made public and got back to Davout who held a lifetime grudge- probably indifference as much as anything more caustic.
He was devoted to his men [indeed he never failed Napoleon either], and they returned the feelings. Most of his Generals were with him nearly a decade form 1803 onward; yes he shot a few deserters, thieves and brigands. Just like Wellington. He commuted as many death sentences with clemency. He didn’t hesitate to criticise his compatriots behaviour, but he didn’t do so by writing acrid texts or memoires after the fact.
He didn’t ‘steal’ from occupied territories by levying his own taxes (unlike Bernadotte/ Ney/ Augerau and Massena/Murat) among the rest. He did exert those pressures and levies that Napoleon made him apply but no more.
In fact he was the near perfect political counter to hostile territories, which is why he commanded in Germany 1806-07. then Poland 07, later the Siege of Hamburg 1813 etc., where his good natured, if hard working clemency and relationship building stood him in good stead, with both Nap and the frenemies.
Contrary to what PLD has written as ‘observations’ it will take a lot to overturn. My thoughts are he’s gone a bit on data and countering any logic with “well thats not what this says…” mentality.
Davouts mixed reputation isn’t really clear- it is to me but then I have my own bent…hey I even like Ney!
Contrary to what PLD has vented about Davout, he was known to look after, feed, organise, reform and support his fighting men and officers at all times. He asked a lot, but they were willing, hence the 90kms 3 days/ nights force marches from Vienna to reach Austerlitz at 0800 on the morning… and other vigorous efforts on all their parts. He shared their misery at times, but didn’t expose himself like some of the more dramatic leaders.
I hadn’t taken a lot of interest, despite having his bio by Gallagher, until I started fully researching his actions at Austerlitz, read the reports he made, and his ‘memoires’ which are written as family notes- never meant to be published by his son or grandson did so 60 years after events. Hence why he’s been added to my 1805 Grand Armée.
He made that victory even more probable by his aggressive and considered assaults that held back, or pinned, the Russian ‘assault columns in situ while the heights were taken 2-3 kms in their rear!
The battle may not have been that conclusive if he hadn’t been there. And again- like Auerstedt- against a significantly greater force than his meagre one division (Friants) on hand could be expected to achieve. Davouts battleground was an ‘encounter’ amongst Napoleons set-piece affair.
To be complete- other misunderstood characters abound- Duroc, Savary both mates of Nap; Eugene exemplary in command and leadership under Naps tutelage (look at 1812 Retreat example); Lannes stood up to Nap and spoke his mind, where others folded (ie Soult). Moreau is subject to Naps wrath because he was a loyal republican- despite his partly aristocratic background, he supported the revolution and principles.
He neither agreed with Naps coup nor supported his Government- that was the source of problems and why he left. Etc… He apparently didn’t conspire against Nap, but he was approached by those who would, and that was enough to taint him.
Don’t forget Ney was a student of Moreau and the Armée du Rhin. As such he was taken on as part of the ‘politics’ of melding a single fighting French Army under one leader… He was at the centre of Hohenlinden, with Grouchy, under Moreau and no pansy then either. He brought his own skills to Nap, not the other way round.
Anyway enough for now, d
I draw on the gaming cloth using pastel chalks. Yukky greens and some blue streaks.
Is that what the AFVs are crossing, tad difficult to see in that pic, but I believe you.
Personally never used chalk, not sure my 40+ yr old billards beize would survive the effort… cheers dave
I shall come back to the Russian strengths. I checked through and don’t get the numbers you do, not that I’m claiming any primacy of information or accuracy.
Some months down the track and I’ve been chastising myself for not properly following up!
I [still] haven’t completely made an analysis, but I see enough different ‘states’ and numbers to be thoroughly confused by what I may represent, knowing I’ have to live within the doctrine of “minimal extras” outside my main French army.
And I’ve already purchased models on my original premise… details to follow, d
How many impossible things can you believe before breakfast? All the best, John.
How about nearly impossible?
Again, my father, this time deployed in combat, Southern Tunisia past the ‘Tebaga Gap’ left hook offensive, in 1943 was under fire from the DAK again.
This time tho, their long range ‘medium 210mm’ shells were those doctored by Mr. Schindlers workers who replaced the explosive with Czech papers.
After the CB died away (the enemy were retreating to Tripoli?). My father and crews examined the shells that arrived- they landed in the soft desert sand in 18″-24″ deep impression all around their battery. They knew what they were but not why.
At this time our Division, I hesitate to conjour the word elite, but were picked for mobile strategic assaults and moves, were officially a ‘Corps’ with several British Army units under command (including armor). As our Divisional artillery was limited to 3 regiments of 25pounders (72 in service guns), to equal any German ordnance, we had 10th Medium Battery Royal Artillery as well. They provided distance reach beyond what our guns could provide, especially CB.
Sadly I never knew and my father didn’t either as had died 10 years before in ’86, until it came out in Schindlers List. Had that been real explosive, theres chances I may never have existed (b:57)!
Called as you see it- no interest to me but I have mentally noted in the past.
And frankly I’ve only been looking at books again since my ‘resurgence’ back into completing model ‘armies’ [or three maybe] since 2018- a gap of two decades in fact…
They and Helion, while doing a good job on some, seem to ‘pump and dump’ old tripe in new covers and expect all and sundry to buy, buy, buy. Well, new suckers anyway.
[Disclaimer- yes I own about 10 total from both now.]
He retells the familiar story of people being killed by air blast, “without a mark on them”,
Strangely, my father. a veteran (to use the current term for working soldiers) of WWII 2NZDIV Artillery in North Africa *probably Tunisia but I’m not sure he explained*, told me of a dead Ghurka frozen in place next to a track. He was in a kneeling pose with rifle held at 45º as if he was guarding something, just off to the side of track they were travelling along; instead of passing by they stopped to check him- stone cold dead and not a sight of injury, though he acknowledged it was night and they were using torches. A most bizarre incident and he/they concluded only explanation perhaps a result of the previous nights DAK barrage?
Minifigs Horses- Adapting and Utilising. © dww 2021-23. All Rights Reserved.
See the full catalogue album by DaveW, on Flickr.
For the illustrations I have teken myself rather than annotating all the pics the number of the scale ruler cutting mat nearest the horses head is the same as their ‘N’ number in catalogue- N being for Napoleonic of course, not Horse!
Also note that the ‘A’ variant (for Alternative?) horse are not all the same pose type either. A very few are ‘reversed’ as to poses.
Part Two – Commanders, Other Officers and Regimental Officers and ADC’s.
I’m being cautious and not heading these as ‘Generals’ horses, as while that is one area of application, and perhaps singlely important in games, there are many other types of ‘officer’ abundant in the period who utilised identical or close looking equipment. Some are associated by type or by ‘regiment’.
This is where your own individual research comes into play.
While humans like to adopt the notion that once things are ‘made’ there is an unbroken continuum, this period shows us that nothing, not even cast in stone (or lead in this case) is ‘fixed’ forever.
While several of the most useful and popular officers horses are given earlier, we’ll touch here on a wider variety. However let’s start with the easiest first.
N 33 Napoleon’s Horse, a much gilded horse blanket and decoration that is useful for him (original seen in Musée d’ armée), but also other senior, meaning Marshals and ‘dignitaries’, or commanders-in-chief.
Yes I have an unused one left!
With a suitably dark crimson colouration (they were not scarlet) and a toning down of the fringes and lace, any commander-in-chief can use these to differentiate them from subordinate generals.
The fringes can be slightly filed down gently, or even ‘filled-in’ with modelling putty to a degree that makes them less ostentatious.
Now, looking at both the catalogue and range of horses, you will note that Minifigs, rather bizarrely I think, doesn’t specify many ‘Generals’ horses to use.
Yes they do make a ‘recommendation’ in the print catalogue, but who apart from me uses one?
Sure you can do your own research etc. but still strange that given the development of our hobby, so much is supplied ‘ready to go’ except identification of these important animals. So what to do?
Well thankfully we are covered.
So what do ‘plain generals’ use? Well it’s not exact as the French design but so close no-one will know- the classic N 6 British Officer Heavy Cavalry (Holster/Walking) and N 6A British Officer Heavy Cavalry (Holster/Standing)- see next photo below for N6A.
It is a smaller horse blanket, classic two (double) tiered holster caps with lace.
Note that Minifigs didn’t make the ‘A’ variant an exact copy of the ‘N6′ per note above!
N 6A British Officer Heavy Cavalry (Holster/Standing) and N 12 Variant
While Minifigs recommends N 12 French Officer Dragoon/ Cuirassier/ Carabinier horse (see below) with triple tiered holster caps for ‘Generals’, this really only applies to a smaller proportion, and later period subset of them. Shown here with comparative N6A type.
So this N6/ 6A are the go-to horses for most French Generals, commanders, regimental officers and most of the ‘staff’ known as ‘Etat-Major’ across the structure of armies-
as Chiefs of Staff,
their assistants Adjutant-Commandants (renamed by Consul Bonaparte from Adjutant-General (a term that lead to much confusion apparently),
and their staff subordinate officers or ‘Adjoints’, and the various (unless depicting ‘corps’ type dress) supporting bodies and corps.
But like having a single figure to represent a lot of generals it does get tedious looking at them. So N 6A British Officer Heavy Cavalry (Holster/Standing) presents, as noted a standing horse suitable for the variety and need for ‘support’ officers.
The distinction between the two is the design of the horse blanket being longer and more pointed corners, with distinctive double row of lace not shown on the ‘N6′. Add corner lace embellishments depending upon your period of depiction.
Adjoints would come to be treated similarly to the ‘Aide-de-camp’ corps and use more of the N15/16 Cavalerie legere type of equipment by regulations*. [*Noting that regulations could and were completely disregarded where expense or distance became factors].
It is useful for mainly cavalry generals and the staff- the ‘Reserve’ made up of Cuirassier regiments; Dragoon brigades and Divisions; and the all important ‘corps’ of La Garde Imperiale, where every regiment was commanded by a General officer* (certainly from 1806), while some senior ranks of their cavalry regiments also used them. A rather mixed bag (more to follow on this). Again I prefer to show commanders in more static poses than galloping around the field!
To drive home the ‘differences’ you can choose to paint out or not paint the second layer/ line of lace depicted by the N6A to downgrade the effect.
Conversely this horse is useful also for trumpeters and officers of the Garde ‘Grenadiers’. Why? Because I believe they erred in their research when they recommend an associated horse, N 13 French Officer Empress Dragoon/Horse Grenadier.
This horse is similar to the N12 horse, but with curved triple tiered holster caps instead of angular.
Now, this is the correct horse type for Guard “Empress Dragoon” officers as specified after about 1807/08 (even though the regiment was raised (two squadrons only mounted) are an 1806 development), and according to period artwork were initially supplied with dark green coloured Grenadiers á Cheval twin holsters. Also the Gendarme de l’elite officers used them.
It was also used, in the Consular/ early-Empire for Guard Generals- this may be inferred from the Minifigs ‘Officers’ wording but I’m not sure.
It appears from 21stCentury research that many early/ copied illustrations confused ‘regimental’ and General officers, and thus manufacturers have done the same. While various ‘regimental’ equipment was used, and changed, Generals and ‘staff officers’ also used ‘some’ attributes of the regiments they commanded.
In the discussion around schabraques and holsters the Grenadiers á Cheval, and Gendarmes de l’elite (from 1804 in the Guard establishment but also as used by the ‘line’ corps)- for the former used the angular form, and the latter the round ones.
Whether this ‘cross-over’ occurred deliberately or accidentally as a matter of records made later I’m unsure. The former corps used gold and aurore distinctives; the latter silver and white.
(Both these will be addressed in the ‘Heavy Cavalry’ section later.
N 3 British Officer, Life Guard/Heavy Dragoon
Another horse useful for lower echelon generals and many regimental officers and ADCs is the N 3 British Officer, Life Guard/Heavy Dragoon. This was a particularly common form by the French during the Revolution and Consular periods, and possibly earlier. So keep these in mind!
Consisting of a standard horse blanket and single holsters, a demi-schabraque of partial sheepskin was applied over the holsters providing a waterproof cover to them.
You can paint them more or less fancy, or increase the sheepskin cover as a ‘demi-schabraque’ as they were noted by Rousselot, I think.
Another early era version is made in the form of a ‘troopers type’ N 5 British Heavy Cavalry (Holster), similar to the officers with N6/6A.
Plain horse blanket with single ‘old fashioned’ holster cover. In this case I’ve used one for my 1805 Cuirassiers (trompette 12eme Regiment) who utilised a vast array of extant stores and material inventory left over from the later Revolution and Consular periods. Or at least so we were led to believe before now. Clarification perhaps, in waiting… till 2024.
The core ‘12′ Cuirassier regiments under the Empire organised as army ‘Reserve’ divisions from 1803 integrated both men, stores and equipment from all their ‘Cavalry’ regiment predecessors while others converted to Dragoons, taking their ‘stores’ with them.
As items were replaced and revised under a more diligent Empire from 1804 onwards, so these regimental variations faded from view.
The horse equally fits in for regimental officers or ADCs to generals of all kinds and corps. ADCs were often just seconded ‘regimental’ officers on assignment, at first at least, and thus took their ‘regulation horses’ with them. While others were permanent and adopted the decorative ‘dress’ regulations that became the vogue.
Nevertheless a useful variant for most in this category. Notwithstanding touching on the heavy cavalry here, the next section deals with these more comprehensively.
Finally, to finish with another commanders ‘special’ as we started, the ultimate in wealth and decadence I guess is the tiger skin-
N 32 Murat or other Marshalls (sic).
While I have no use for a Murat, I’ve given my 30 yr old painted version to the officer commanding my Mamelukes compagnie.
http://IMG_4916 by DaveW, on Flickr
Thus- You really do need to examine photos of actual living tigers to get a reasonable painted ‘effect’ on this prancing pose.
http://N33 Mameluke Officer on Tiger skin
If any further clarification is required, please just ask.
Hi. Thanks for letting me know, there are 4 replies stuck in the spam folder. Probable cause, more links than the anti-spam likes. If they are all similar, should I just release the most recent one? (Sorry for the hassle)
Yes thats fine.
Ok I’ll perhaps include less links in future if thats the limitation, though I was trying to not overload your server capacity.
I suspected that my ‘touch’ too many times may have been the cause. No drama, no hassle… ;-)) d
… so I had to start putting away all the ‘extras’ from painting desk and focus, focus, focus, much better than before. Poor Berthier never did get his gold lace done!
However, I have Bessiéres command well in hand and finishing touches like recovering paint slips and colour mismatches (how many French cockades on chapeau and shakos have I done in 45+ years and still I tremble and slip when doing the odd ones). His retinue, plus the ‘associated’ officers by regimental uniform colouring, Grenadiers á Cheval, shall be completed this week. I’ll base something or be damned… That and I have pics to load for a fella… regards d
Depth of field is shite, the gamut, everything French that is 95+% completed, from all over – at least so many elites of differing kinds, maybe I’ll get one or two based by Sunday!
The engineer sappers should be easiest- PVA didn’t work as well as expected on acetate, so the CA Super will have to come out!
Excepted- handful of ex-Brunswick in greatcoats being ‘groomed’; fusiliers firing, will be a down the track a bit… ditto new second squadron Garde horses for exisiting Grenadiers. A few Generals and Etat-Major in the distance, had their hair done today!
On this topic- linking https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/dominic-lieven-napoelonic-lecture/ for the yootoob ‘lectures’…
Most elucidating, satisfies my period ‘social’ needs if not military ones directly_,
Reprise___ “It’s never too late”
Yes well,.. searching for my own text this is the actually first time I’ve seen this post so many thanks for the links…
I will say ‘interesting’ game.
My disclaimer- actually I don’t do much ‘solo’ gaming per se.
The map concept and play perfectly acceptable.
What I may however contest, is our liberal interpretation from ‘artistic’ maps and portrayals of battles. These nearly always, unless time-lapsed properly, have many ‘fudges’ of size/ position/ timing/ annecdotes.
In this case, I believe the very width of the battlefield is too extreme. From my viewing in 1984- the QB crossroads/ village to Gemioncourt is about the size of an average sports stadium (pick your own). Now I realise that changes over the last 250 years were significant- however this small valley is quite compact and until ‘modern’ times, largely untouched- ie the roman road being historically significant, it still had original cobblestones we were told. And they looked it.
The hills SE of the farm are quite sharp, and did not look cavalry friendly at all. The slopes are more like escalades, a la Borodino. “Formed” infantry could not maintain order at all. Skirmishers it wouldn’t matter as that is their forté.
Looking at this map gives a good impression of the terrain (it appears to be a genuine geographical survey). I’d take the troop positions as tokens only.
The ‘roman road’ still had its edges- bristling tall spiky hedges both sides, raised embankments about 18″-24″ high below, transversely impassable to cavalry or wheeled troops. And of course the bare minimum 8 feet or so wide. So if used, a column of 4 or two horses maximum.
The slope looking from Gemioncourt West uphill to the Bossu was broad and even, the stream insignificant in 1984. Regrettably I never made it to the wood to examine it’s composition, but it did appear to be maintained as a ‘coppice’ wood- cleaned and cleared of undergrowth and debris as is the custom European wide. (As described by both sides as ‘open’ in many memoires).
For all the angst against Neys actions, the only wonder I have is why some reconaissance wasn’t made further West, and indeed East along the Piermont/ La Thule ridge that would have compromised the flank of any advance from the North.
As I haven’t studied it for years I won’t suggest any further, cheers d
PS- If you want to try counters, someone offers this set on line…
Merely a cross reference to my separate article (being progressively updated with new or revised information) https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/minifigs-horses-adapting-and-utilising/#post-191251
given the similarity of equipment supply to uniforms. After all, we can’t not have cavalry in our forces, can we?
Hi all/ Brian
Have added pix of the set of figures discussed above, starting from IMG_6925 by DaveW], on Flickr and 3 following ones, with captions giving what details I can…
Email still not functioning so txts best thing going,
Hey I’ve been saving the planet for years!
Plastic pockets have been my friends since the 80s too!
>>Hope this isn’t too overwhelming or boring to read again… cheers dave
Computer restore driving me nutz so I had to start putting away all the ‘extras’ from painting desk and focus, focus, focus, much better than before.
Poor Berthier never did get his gold lace done! However, I have Bessiéres command well in hand and finishing touches like recovering paint slips and colour mismatches (how many French cockades on chapeau and shakos have I done in 45+ years and still I tremble and slip when doing the odd ones).
His retinue, plus the ‘associated’ officers by regimental uniform colouring, Grenadiers á Cheval, shall be completed this week. I’ll base something or be damned…
That and I have pics to load for a fella… regards d
Skip… What size are these? 15mm?
On his behalf- yes, based on previous posts.
>>These and still a few odd units are usually put together in my battles as a corp. Nice little army.
Yeah nice Skip- saves the rest of us doing them [joke!].
Have two friends who have dissimilar quantities- one in 15mm locally with entire force, who will only use them as a body, consequently few games played; another in UK who has a small portion + cossacks in 28mm, and because they ‘look’ Russian, get used that way too!
They seem to have been a hard-as* bunch trying to outdo their Russian leaders/ paymasters, so I pity any French who get in their way!
I’ll chuck some of my pure white aquarium sand on those river sections- it is what I wanted initially as we were into more ‘Italian theatre’ gaming for some time.
Then belt out a few more sections to give me a good 1.5m length and trail, cheers d
The light / heavy distinction was very real. I
I wasn’t suggesting otherwise. However horses moved at the same speeds, in the same ways, under systemic conditions. Lesser or better trained riders affected this as much as other factors.
Thus attributes for each; light cavalry were capable of defeating heavies.
Gamings ‘factoring’ is often out of kilter to the realities of the period. But I’ll not pursue the matter further.
Just a catch up but so many built-on beliefs colour views, and books replaced by internet have to an extent made this a lot worse, however-
- I don’t buy the light/ heavy horse issue- it was movement, action and celerity at a time and place that mattered most.
- All troops do things to discomfort enemy or protect themselves, sometimes outside their ‘role’.
- Nearly all impetuous activity is reality based- what will work for a squadron locally may not for a regimemt in battle.(Kellermans charge/ assault at Marengo the more remarkable despite him acting like a gamer- his formation was ‘disordered’ as not in correct ‘ranks’ and of mixed units- but falling on the flank of marching infantry, under cover of smoke, noise and treelines- brilliant!).
- And despite the years of ‘Britsih’ superiority driven down our throats, it is evident that most nations or some leaders at least, also adopted variable tactics and roles as necessary- debasing the ‘nationality’ issue considerably.
- Finally, on E3- whist I applaud the mechanisms (used them for about 5 years with a hi-brow group) I consider the values given/ exhibited a bit off.
Nice one Guy, next round….
Suites me perfectly. We are more about the story of the game/campaign and having a good time, and not getting top honors in tournaments. Finally my buddy can start to paint his hordes of lead troops…
Sweeeet… agree- just pointing out that the greatest negative comments will come from that quarter- we also play the period, not the rules___
Hmm, seems an extreme case and shouldn’t be highly [or commonly] repeatable.
Nearly everyone had small arms- that doesnt mean they all delivered fire from the saddle. Certainly, specialists existed in several forms, but a norm, no.
If ‘factoring’ is to blame, the latitude is taking things too far. If you hit a cow on the road, will your car flip over just because that happens in movies??
[I had an accident and hit a dog at speed who crossed my path, unable to avoid it. He was fatally injured, so was our American style stationwagon. Impact crushed the bumper into the radiator which punctured- ergo we were hors de combat. So was the dog…].
Lancers have to arrive in order to inflict casualties and disorder, otherwise it is just the [same] morale imperitive present on recipients.
Its late and I’m probably not explaining welll, cheers
This sounds like a set of rules that would be good for a neophyte who doesn’t know the ins-and-outs of Napoleonic
Though I don’t believe I’ve got v2 anyway, a reading of v1 was enough to permit me to give them a ✅ as an entry level set for Dummy’s oops neophytes.
As Norm says, the ‘guidance’ by rules is the training needed to not take contrarian actions because the rules don’t prohibit them.
Those whose thrill is competitiveness, won’t like them, period.
Charge aboard a ship?
Ahh Patrice- the 8th Hussars at the Tegel again!
I’ve been gaming the period off and on for fifty years. (sobering thought) and it remains one of my main interests.
Surprised I am to read this Guy. Didn’t expect you’d do such a thing. Ditto me, around so long… now only interest (dabble others but little time spent). Not like friends who literally still own and create 10-20+ armies, or lead piles.
Anyway, on the subject you are correct AFAIAC. The Colonial thing is a bit jaded; and your dismissive of Cossacks I’d say further from the reality; in certain conditions, than we now can understand how they worked. Not just Russian accounts [1806/07] but corroborating memoires from the French side as well. And that include instances of their firing pistols mounted at close range to intimidate and annoy possible targets.
Another example, sadly mistreated in English texts is the ‘charge of the precious Constantine Uhlans’ at Austerlitz. Claims of their being lancers found to be false, as lances had not been issued* despite their being trained and organised under an Austrians tutelage.
What of the claims of lance wounds to certain French? Reading accounts we find that Cossacks charged ‘on the flanks’ of the line regiment, in support so to speak. These being mistaken for the substantive unit, seem to be the cause of the error.
*Russian records show the regiment, 400 men down at the battle, were only issued (and trained with them) in 1806, after return to St.Petersburg. No doubt Konstantine got a ‘please explain’ ultimatum, after the Emperor had bigger fish to fry.
Dragoons- well the very first combat in 1805 campaign against Austria (demobbed Army of the Coasts of course!)- was the so called ‘Action of Wertingen’- and that involved two significant corps of men- dragoons dismounted assaulting a village held by Austrian Grenadiers (agreed it was a foward outpost…) because this cavalry Division had outstripped any infantry support, per orders, a recconnaisance in force. Effective against a defensive enemy- yes. The foot winkled them out, the mounted regiments harrassed and/ or attacked their retreat and thence open field positions.
The second corps of note, were the ‘fast’ infantry who came up in support- on the enemies flank- known as Oudinots Grenadiers (or Reserve/ United Grenadiers etc.)- they were the first French infantry in combat role of the campaign. Dupas Brigade IIRC. [Their first role had been non-combative – to make a lot of noise and distraction near Thuringia with some of Murat Cavalry Reserve to dupe the Austrians into believing that was the French line of march].
Secondly you have as I cited elsewhere, a small handful of Austrian Chevau-Leger, another form of dragoons- dismounted with loaded carbines in the deep darkness circa 0300 of a Winter night on Dec 2nd, walking into Tellnitz village and surprising sleeping sentries (Tir du Po) who should have known better, taking some prisoner*. (Stutterheim).
This ‘created’ the French backlash that saw two additional battalions of the 3eme de ligne woken and quick marched from their slumber in or near Sokolnitz to reinforce the other single battalion [3eme] and one company of ‘expert’ skirmishers from Tir du Po -this company remained detached throughout the entire battle. Thus this minor incursion by foot troops created a stronger defence of the village.
So apart from Iberia, yes they did work in that fashion sometimes. I dont have other incidents to hand or memory however.
One should discount the single dismounted dragoon company taken at Wishau by the Russian advance as a sacrificial unit, a political move again to dupe the ‘Coalition’ into believing the Grande Armée was falling apart and ripe for attack (nearly true tho!).
With all due respect to Gen Slade, I’m afraid I discount anything written by Haythornthwaite now- his uniform anthologies reek of respeak and often lack sources; and Osprey I have little faith any more, having had to renew my acquaintence in my new mission role; things like Russian shakos; uniform colours (many) etc.
The source of your consternation Guy I am unaware, but have seen horrendous interpretations by ‘rule writers’ that I prefer to gloss over. Analysis by non-European sources seem particularly agregious at times and the more modern, the greater variation. As I cited one example, they couldn’t even get the right terrain for a certain battle scenario- yet expect people to pay for their rules and ‘systems’ for dummies formats! Hell no!
My force- yes I have one ‘official’ dismounted dragoon battalion [yet to be refurbed s/h] as a token stand-in for some unit of legere in battles. Otherwise, my main battle consists of the 6 regiment 3rd Dragoon Division – of which I have completed 4 of the regiments in full- attached to Soult IV Corps.
BTW the French used a cut down musket, musketoon called, so could/would outrange carbines. As you say, was it the shot or the puff of smoke that caused enemy to wither? Only NCOs were issued any form of carbine, or legere officers as well.
Happy to take yearly donations/subscriptions via bank transfer if anyone prefers, but that does mean more commitment on the users part.
Certainly bear that in mind Mike thanks.
Only 50 years hobbyist, is that commitment, or is it time I should be…..
be careful with that- heat and varnish dont go together nicely…
I’m still happy with ‘solid fibre’ board (as we used to call the dense cardboard, not corrugated) for my bases; add ‘texture’ to already flat landscapes, just my 2£ worth… but do show us your results!
Looks like clear plastic with water printed on it – a bit blue for my taste but works OK in the battle pic here.
Hmm, not for me- better view when you copy out the original
The Light Cavalry
Easy one first. Let’s look at the light cav so necessary and popular among gamers.
Light Cavalry- N 14 French Chasseur/Hussar/Line Lancer (Charging) and N 14a French Chasseur/Hussar/Line Lancer (Standing).
The normal pose cited as charging, or galloping perhaps as best modelled is a long stride pose that does create a few concerns with basing models. However it is a useful and generic horse as described for troopers, elites and some variation of Revolutionary units. Also can be used for variety if making ‘mounted’ gunners for early/ nearly all French horse artillery.
While the ‘Standing’ model isn’t for every unit, they can be mixed in.
Where I need and use these are amongst the many generals and command elements that exist- not galloping around the games table but in need a quiet and reflective stop and view of other events.
So trumpeters, guards or guides get these horses. The sheepskin wasn’t all that widespread in pre-Napoleonic years, so other horses come into use as well.
A variation I indulge for ADC’s horses is the other shown- N9 British Light Dragoon (Charging) horse with rounded schabraque corners. (There is also the N9a British Light Dragoon (Walking) variant.
Not typical ‘Empire’ but certainly they were seen under French during the Revolution and Consular-1805 campaign. You can also cheat and paint the effect of a rolled/ folded up corner of normal schabraque which is often depicted in artistry.
The next model is N 15 French Guard Lancer/Scout Lancer (Cantering) and N 15a French Guard Lancer/Scout Lancer (Standing).
As cited these are directed as ‘Guard’ horses. However, many other units and corps also used the plain schabraque and in particular officers and NCOs, ADC’s and some entire units who had alternative sources of supply used them. (Home Guards/ militia and of course other European states (Baden etc).
Again the walking version is preferable for ADCs and command figures. While not a lot of officers would carry a portmanteau, it seems the sensible ones did carry them if they were likely to be separated from their supply lines or dinner table- and what self-respecting light cavalier wouldn’t be out marauding anyway?
Our third version are the actual officers horse N 16 French Officer Chasseur/Guard Lancer
is the most ubiquitous and widely used horse for any light cavalry officer, often NCOs, ADCs and even generals with suitable added painted laces.
Even heavy cavalry generals are known to have used them pre-Empire. Thus these are certainly NOT just for ‘Guard’ troop types.
Our next addition, the ‘specialist’ horse furniture N 17 French Officer (Leopard Skin Type/Galloping) and N 17a French Officer (Leopard Skin Type/Standing) of wealthy and elite officers.
You will find these amongst all those other light cav types above- again and later into the Empire more used by commanding officers, ADCs to Corps commanders and Marshals, as well as elite company officers etc.
Even the odd cuirassier general/commander used them in the Rev-Consular and Empire periods! [Which is not a subtle way of saying you can give your figures a variation which was used in artwork we see!]
This brings to a close the most commonly seen tack, horse furniture as it is known, in the French and satellite armies.
Just to add ink to the water that flows past, here another obscure quote from the man, showing that even in ‘safe’ arenas as homelands, uniform supply still wasn’t consistent:
On October 8, 1811, the Emperor wrote, from Utrecht, to General Lacuée, Comte de Cessac, Minister Director of the War Administration, in Paris: “I have just reviewed the 18th, 56th, 73rd and 124th… I do not understand that by spending so much money my troops must be so badly dressed ”
(Correspondence of Napoleon, t. 22, letter 18169; General correspondence of Napoleon, t.11, letter 28798 (gives by mistake the 93rd instead of the 73rd, but on the original, it is indeed the 73rd).