Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Thuringian Battalion

I set this post in the page a couple of weeks ago.
While I have been slow to produce new troops Craig has sent me some pics of a really interesting battalion from his late Prussian army.

I'll let Craig explain the details . . .

Thuringian Battalion
An unusual unit that I have in my 1813 Prussian collection is the Thuringian Battalion, sometimes known as the 2nd Light Bn/ Lieb Regiment. My copies of Osprey, Smith, and Summerfield indicate that they were recruited from Duchal Saxon troops captured in May 1813 (in Saxe-Weimar), as well as other German deserters and POW. The text indicates that they wore a mix of (French style) uniforms, as well as Prussian and British uniforms and equipment. They also drilled according to the French regulations in which they had been trained, which meant an organisation of six companies rather than four. The battalion featured in all the major actions of Yorck’s Corps in the Autumn 1813 campaign in Germany, and according to most accounts, seems to have performed well.
Having played for some years against my mates JB and JP, both of whom have a predeliction for "exotic" troops, (as opposed to my army of Prussians in a consistent shade of dark blue and dark grey) I was tempted by the thought of some brighter colours in the unit. I decided upon 6 bases of 6, each with a couple of figures in the Prussian kollet with sky blue facings to reflect cadre or early recipients of the Prussian uniforms, and the remainder in the Duchal Saxon uniforms as later arrivals. I was concerned that it might look a bit too patchwork, or as someone warned,” if the companies are all different, it will just look like you’ve assembled a battalion from leftovers”.
The Osprey plate indicates a figure which looks reasonably Prussian, although the dark blue jacket is British in manufacture. That was easy enough to do with standard Prussian musketeer figures. My limited research for uniforms for the Duchal Saxons yield a mix of Green with yellow facings (Saxe-Weimar), and Blue with red facings (Saxe-Coburg, Saxe-Meningen and Saxe-Althausen). Some of the lads on the GdB siteb provided me with links to some really useful online sources
Here is one of the companies close up. Apart from the fellows in the Prussian issue uniforms, I have included a chap from Saxe-Weimar in the front rank, and two Saxons in the second rank.
Thuringian Hesse Anhalt
This company has included in the front rank a fusilier from Saxe-Meningen In the second rank you can glimpse a Schwarzburg regiment fusilier.
Thuringian Saxe-Meningen

This is how the whole battalion looks as one. I think the mix of uniforms looks ok, given that it has the consistency provided by the Prussian issued uniforms in each element. The officer figure and drummer are of course in Prussian issue uniforms. The battalion carried no colours.
Thuringian battalion

There are also figures representing uniforms from Lippe, Waldeck, and Hesse-Anhalt.
Thuringian battalion
And because they were used in Prussian service as light infantry, I have created a set of duplicate skirmish bases.
Skirmish line
Painting this unit posed some interesting questions, and has provided a more colourful addition to the mass of landwehr that is the dominant troop type in the 1813 Autumn Campaign orbat.

I think this is an excellent battalion and I may do something similar myself at some point to add a wee bit of interest to my Prussians army.


carojon said...

You've got to have these irregular units on the table. They really add to the campaign look of an army. Nicely done

Sun of York said...

Brilliant idea and something I can put my leftovers towards in the future.

Jonathan Freitag said...

You're right! Very interesting polyglot battalion.

Kurt Baird said...

It is wonderfully painted units like these made out of AB that is slowly eroding my first love of OG 15s. Fantastic post, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Like looking back on your first girlfriend, it is units like these that are slowly eroding my first love of OG 15s. Thank you for sharing - Kurt.

Ray Rousell said...

Very very nice! Its always nice to have a little colour and a bit of difference in a unit!

Gonsalvo said...

fascinating unit. Definitely good for those suffering from "the Prussian Blues"! :-)

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Yes! What a wonderful assemblage of figures and uniforms. And, probably reasonably accurate too. The more I read, the more I think "uniform" was a flexible concept in those far off days before relatively cohesive nation states, mass production, and colorfast dyes came to the fore. The Prussian army in the 1813-1815 period is especially interesting and thought provoking, but one finds something similar with many of the Reichsarmee contingents during the mid-18th century too.

Best Regards,


Johnny Rosbif said...

Interesting history lesson, and a lovely addition to the tabletop!

Gary Amos said...

This is dangerously close to wargaming reflecting history! ;O)

Nicely put together unit and about time we saw more like this - course I'm probably considered a bit odd!

Phil said...

Great work, this unit is really nice, and interesting!


It's a very nice looking unit.adds a bit of variety. I do like the skirmishers

Monty said...

Very interesting historical abstract. Seem to be an unique unit.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, especially with the lack of uniformity!

Always amazed what you squeeze out of those 15mms!

Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) said...

This kind of research and figure representation really puts the game into historical context. Nice report, well executed.

Craig said...

Gentlemen, thank you for your kind comments. It was enjoyable researching and creating this somewhat eclectic unit, and then to be able to share it with all of you. The AB figures are very smart. I was particularly taken with the Saxon figures which I first saw here on Paul's site, and this unit gave me a chance to have a go at them. And it does break up the dark blue ;)

Ian said...

These look great and I think the mix works fine.