Thursday 30 December 2021

Finnish Karelian Dragoons

Having completed our epicurean tour of Central Otago and returned to gun city (Auckland has had an up-tick in shootings in recent months) it is back to the painting.

The first thing to do was to complete the horses on a unit for the Swedish Napoleonic collection, the Finnish Karelian Dragoons.

Three more line infantry battalions, a couple of light infantry units, another cavalry regiment and a couple of guns sets for this Swedish collection await their turn on the painting table.

Sunday 26 December 2021

Merry Christmas Addendum

To follow on from the earlier Christmas Day post here are just a few shots to record our lazy Christmas Day.

After a late breakfast we walked along the waterfront under clear blue skies and in brilliant sunshine.

We then took in the gondolas to the crest of the hill above the town for these gorgeous views.

Lunch and dinner were simple affairs in the room: bread, cheese, salad, olives, fruit and wine…a far cry from the usual heavy ham and turkey and it took only minutes to prepare.

The evening was closed out by another pleasant walk around the waterfront. A lovely peaceful day.

Saturday 25 December 2021

Merry Christmas

As the first light of day strikes us on Christmas Day here in New Zealand I am in a luxury hotel room. Like many Aucklanders who were kept contained within our provincial borders for 100+ days we have embraced the freedom granted and fled the city, in our case south to Queenstown for a few days over Christmas. 

On our flight down we had the clearest view I have ever had of Mount Cook (Aoraki) the highest point in  New Zealand at 3,724 metres (12, 218 feet).

We actually arrived here on Thursday after an alarmingly early 04:15 start. After a quick visit to the supermarket to stock up on a few delicacies and some bottles of Central Otago Pinot Noir we headed to Arrowtown for lunch. It is a lovely little place, but suffering from the lack of tourists, both local and international. Christmas decorations were low key, with just a single tree in the public areas. 

The Christmas tree at Arrowtown

A while later we checked into the hotel and spent a lazy afternoon eating olives and fresh Otago cherries while sampling Pinot Noir, reading and listening to London Grammar and the angelic voice of Hannah Reid. A Thai dinner closed out the day.

Christmas Eve started with a leisurely breakfast before driving south to Cromwell for a delicious lunch at the Stoaker Room and a visit to a cherry orchard to stock up on my favourite of all the summer fruit.

Lunch: a magnificent piece of porchetta for me, roast cauliflower for her indoors

Then followed a visit to one of the many wineries along the way for a tasting and an emptying of the wallet. To close out the afternoon we stopped at the Onsen Spa for a soak in a hot tub with magnificent views over the Shotover River a hundred feet below.

After a gorging of cherries, we finished the day with dinner at a local Indian restaurant and a drink in the hotel bar.

Christmas Day will be a quiet affair since much of the place will be closed. Gifts have been exchanged and I am the proud owner of two new pairs of socks…still don’t understand how that balances out against that piece of jewellery. With most restaurants closed we will either take out as a picnic or consume in the room what we bought in the supermarket on Thursday.

All the best to all who read these ramblings.

Thursday 23 December 2021

Regiment von Bose

The weekend saw the last of battalion of my Hessian brigade for the AWI completed. This unit is Musketier-Regiment von Bose. Raised 1701 it fell under under the patronage of General-Major Carl Levin von Trümbach in 1775, then under General-Major Carl Ernst Johann von Bose in 1778. 

The regiment saw a reasonable amount of action during the war including  Forts Clinton and Montgomery, Connecticut Farms and Springfield, Guilford Court House, Green Springs and Yorktown.

And with the brigade complete, it’s time to break out the John Philip Sousa records, shake the dust off the fife and drum corps and have a good old fashioned parade! Here is the whole brigade formed up in fighting formation.

…No I don’t own any Sousa records (nor do I own a record player any more for that matter).

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Hanoverian Hussar Regiment, No. 15

I have completed the first of the cavalry regiments for the Franco-Prussian War. In Prussian service most of the light cavalry, the hussar and dragoon regiments, were assigned to infantry divisions as escort cavalry while the heavy regiments, the cuirassiers and uhlans, formed the core of the cavalry divisions. 

This regiment, the Hanoverian Hussar Regiment, No. 15, was the divisional cavalry attached to 14th Infantry Division.

The regiment had a solid history dating back to 1803 and the founding of the King’s German Legion. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars the veterans of the KGL were repatriated and the three hussar regiments were formed into the King’s Hussars and Guard Hussars in the Royal Hanoverian Army.

In 1866 the two regiments fought at Langensalza where the Royal Hanoverians inflicted the only tactical victory over the Prussians in the war. When Hanover was annexed by Prussia the two regiments were merged and became the 15th Hussars in Prussian service.

In 1870-71 the regiment was present at Spicheren, Colombey,  Bois de Vaux, Gravelotte, Metz, Diedenhofen, Montmédy, Longwy, Noidant le Rocheux vor Langres, Dannemarie and Sombacourt. While the list of actions is significant the record of casualties for the entire war (5 killed, 7 wounded, 1 missing and 15 died of disease) indicates that the regiment saw little serious action.

In the Imperial Army the regiment was renamed Hussar Regiment "Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands" No. 15 in 1898. Twelve men from the regiment went in China 1900 where they fought in the Boxer Uprising. In the Great War it fought in the Marne campaign before transferring the eastern front where they fought around the Masurian Lakes in 1915. It was disbanded in 1919.

The regimental standard for this regiment has still not arrived and will be ‘presented’ in the fullness of time.

Sunday 19 December 2021

Retreat from Moscow

 Today’s game, the last for the year, was a Retreat from Moscow game, where the five each each took command of a single unit (in some cases two units) of retreating French, while I played the Russians. The details of the scenario can be found here.

It was a fun four or five hours on a lazy summer’s day. Rather than describe the action in detail I will just add a number of images here in no particular order.

 Unit of militia are intercepted by two French units, while Napoleon’s sled passes behind on the road.

A closer view of the militia 

The infantry close in around the Emperor 

One of  Marbot’s sleds races through the snow

A French unit prepares to fight off some militia 

The Russian Jägers face off against the French infantry 

The French cavalry

The French see off the Jägers and militia cavalry

The starting positions of the French

The French cavalry in full retreat

The Jägers, supported by some militia artillery prepare to advance

The Emperor is escorted from the town

The Emperor makes for the bridge

Three of the French units (plus the Emperors) have crossed the bridge

The Cossacks, the militia cavalry and the peasants are nipping at the heels of the French rearguard.

In the end the Emperor escaped along with most of the French. Only the French cavalry were lost.

Saturday 18 December 2021

Regiment Prinz Carl

Raised in 1702 Musketier-Regiment Prinz Carl, named after its patron, Prince Carl, fought at White Plains and in the Chesapeake Raid.

Completed last Friday, this is battalion number three of the four I am doing for this collection.

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Completion of the Prussian 39th Regiment

Over a month ago I posted images of the First Battalion, Lower Rhine Fusilier Regiment, No 39. Since then I have worked in the Second and Third Battalions. They have been sitting on the painting table for two weeks waiting for their basing to be completed, a task that is now completed.

The completion of these two not only finishes the regiment, but also the whole of 27th Brigade, 14th Division, VII Corps.  At the start of the 1870 campaign the brigade was led by Major General Bruno Hugo Karl Friedrich von François. Of Huguenot descent von François would be better known as the father of Hermman and Curt von François, the former a corps commander on the Eastern Front in 1914, and the latter an explorer in Africa who founded Windehoek, but in 1870, at the age of 54, the father had built up a solid combat record in the Prussian Army.  A major in the Danish campaign of 1864, two years later he was  made colonel of the 58th Regiment, in Stienmetz’s V Corps, and led it brilliantly at Nachod and Skalitz. Awarded the Pour le Mérite for his actions in 1866 he made major general prior to the 1870 campaign and was given command of the 27th Infantry Brigade. In his first action in that war at Spicheren on 6 August 1870 while personally leading the assault on the Rotherberg he was struck by five mitrailleuse bullets and killed. For the rest of the campaign the brigade was led by Colonel Pannewitz of the 74th Regiment. 

Here then are all six battalions of 27th Brigade.