Wednesday 28 September 2022

The New Hampshire Regiments

This week sees the completion of the three New Hampshire infantry regiments for the American Revolution that I mentioned in my last post.

Organised in May and June 1775 the 1st formed at Medford, Massachusetts, from Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties, the 2nd formed at Exeter drawn from Strafford and Rockingham counties and the 3rd formed at Fitzwilliam with men from Cheshire, Hillsborough, and Cumberland Counties. Each regiment consisted of ten companies and all three regiments were immediately adopted into the Continental Army and assigned to the Main Army. 

All three regiments were brigaded together they fought in the Siege of Boston, the Defense of Canada, Lake Champlain, Trenton-Princeton, Saratoga and Philadelphia-Monmouth. Reduced to eight companies in 1777 they were raised to nine companies a few months later and were engaged against the Iroquois in 1779. They were assigned to the Highlands Department and then to the Northern Department 1781.

The 3rd was disbanded January 1781, while the 1st and 2nd were reorganised and consolidated in March 1783 to form the New Hampshire Battalion. The Battalion was disbanded in January 1784.

The uniform in the 1778-79 period (and probably latter for some men) was a green coat and waistcoat with green or straw pants, and it fits in well with my intention to do a number of units away from the blue coats that is so common in the collections of others in our group.

Standards for the regiments were difficult to determine. The only known standard was the buff flag carried by the 2nd Regiment and I paired it with a Stars and Stripes. Another flag attributed to the 2nd Regiment, but no evidence seems to exist that it was carried by it, was the blue version of the buff flag and decided that since the 1st and 2nd Regiments were so closely associated I have given to the 1st and I have paired it with a Bunker hill flag. The flags of the 3rd Regiment are pure conjecture and the yellow flag was taken from a blog that I would credit if I could recall its name and it too was paired with a Liberty Tree flag.

 Below, three shots of the 1st Regiment.

Below, three shots of the 2nd Regiment.

Below, four shots of the 3rd Regiment.

Monday 26 September 2022

New Arrivals

Not much to show on the gaming front. That is not to say that nothing is happening, it is just that nothing is finished. Three battalions of New Hampshire infantry for the AWI are nearing completion, but not yet based. They should appear a little later this week.

But on Wednesday this bundle of goodies arrived from the Perrys - my first purchase since May.

It contained five infantry command frames for the AWI American infantry, along with their associated mounted officers, artillery sets and limbers and four FPW gun sets. Also included are three boxes of Napoleonic Allied plastic cavalry, plus 8 frames of horses and three sets of Allied cavalry command frames that will allow me to build three regiments of Russian and three of Prussian dragoons. 

The boxes of cavalry stayed on the shelf for a day and a half before before the temptation became too great and I had to assemble the first batch. Such a lovely set these are, permitting the creation of four cavalry types from the one box: Prussian dragoons and volunteer Jägers, and Russian dragoons and mounted Jägers. There are so many legs, bodies arms and heads on the sprue that if you buy enough spare horse frames and a command frame you can build two regiments from the one box and still have lots of bits over to join the multitude of spare heads, hats, arms, weapons and other accoutrements already in little boxes for future potential projects.

Of course I didn’t really need to assemble these. I already had two full battalions of AWI Americans plus two of Turcos - that is thirteen days painting - assembled and in the queue. Now normally I would not have as many figures pre-assembled, because assembly can be a tedious process and my rule of thumb has always been ‘just assemble what you need to paint next day’, which for me means six foot or three mounted figures - a manageable quantity. But in this post-COVID work environment I am working from home two days a week now to try to save some commute time and gas (one team of three in my area at work has been working so efficiently remotely that they have been into the office no more than five days in the last two and a half years), and last week there was a particular series of online meetings to solve an IT issue. This involved three one-hour sessions of making a change, wait fifteen minutes for the server to update then test, then repeat…so after the first couple of fifteen minute waits we had exhausted the conversational subjects like the weather, the war in Ukraine, sport and the upcoming royal funeral and there were long periods of silence which became the perfect time to assemble plastic figures - with the mute on of course. But I digress.

Anyway on Friday afternoon I’m in the middle of assembling the Russian dragoons and the phone rings…the landline. What you say, you still have a landline? Yes we do, in part because there are still some people we know who prefer to use it - the mother-in-law for one (and I have used this as a point of discussion as to why we should get rid of it) and in part because her indoors doesn’t like cell phones (although this is a senseless argument now that we have had three COVID shots and have the 5G chip firmly implanted in our systems). But again I digress.

So the phone rings just as I have started to glue the head on a horse and I have applied a little too much glue and it is taking forever to set…you know what it is like to hold it in place as still as you can until the glue takes and that 30 seconds seems like an eternity. So I put the figure down and answer the phone which is in the other room and isn’t hands free. I should have known better that a call at 4:00 in the afternoon was not going to be anyone I know. It is of course a scam caller. 

“I am from Windows,” says the liar on the other end. Now despite the annoying interruption I am in a good mood because it is the start of a long weekend, so I string him along for a full ten minutes pretending to be a computer dummy, but being very cooperative. Then I ask my favourite question, “is your mother proud of you?”

“Why do you ask?”

“I am just interested how any mother could possibly be proud that their son is a lying, cheating, scumbag thief like you.”

Call ends and I am happy to have robbed him of ten minutes of his life that he will never get back.

I returned to my figure assembly and I now have one 12 figure unit of Russian and the same of Prussian dragoons assembled and in the queue.

Sunday 18 September 2022

2em régiment de tirailleurs algériens

A few months ago a local retailer had a 30%  discount on their Perry Miniatures plastics stock. This was too much for my inner magpie to resist and the single box of ACW Zouaves that they had in stock were quickly snapped up. Then I though, “but I already have four regiments of zouaves, do I really need more?” And the answer was no, but they might work for French Zouaves for the any of the wars of the Second Empire. 

I have used these for the Zouaves in the Crimea and plan to use them for the Franco-Prusssian War. I don’t really need  a second unit of Zouaves, but what about some tirailleurs algériens in their summer uniform of blue jackets and white trousers? Why not indeed, and the tirailleurs served in the Crimea too.  

Tirailleurs algérien porte fanion

There is a lot wrong with using the figures for the FPW - they are armed with Minié rifles and not the Chassepôt, they should have a sword bayonet instead of the standard socket bayonet and the drum carried is completely wrong. But since they have an ability to serve in three possible conflicts in the Second Empire, I have decided to overlook these faults.

By buying another six command frames I could make the single box of 42 figures into three battalions of 18 figures each. I also figured that I could solve the sword bayonet issue by taking the leftover facine knives from the Prussian infantry sets and trimming them careful with a scalpel. A few spare eagles from some French cavalry cavalry sets were also put to good use with the standard bearers.

I chose to create the 2nd Regiment that was formed in 1842 with its garrison at Oran. Raised from the indigenous population with European officers the 2nd had a deep and varied history. Throughout the 1840s and early 1850s it participated in the conquest of Algeria earning battle honours at the Siege of Laghouat in 1852. More honours were awarded for action at Sevastopol in the Crimean War and at Solferino. A part of the regiment went to Mexico where they fought in the Battle of San Lorenzo in 1863. 

The regiment came to France in 1870 with a ferocious reputation and fought at Froeschwiller on 6 August, defending the eastern corner of the Bois de Froeschwiller. For seven and a half hours they resisted the attacks of the Bavarian I and II Corps, were blasted by the massed German batteries finally were smashed by the assault of the Prussian 59th Regiment. Of the 84 officers and 2,220 men that had been available for action that morning, 76 officers and 1,359 were casualties. They fought at and surrendered after Sedan. Some of the depot companies were formed into regiments de marche and fought in the Republican armies in the Loire campaigns.

Tirailleurs algérien at Froeschwiller (although this is the charge of the 3rd regiment)

After the Franco-Prussian War the regiment was involved in the conquest of Madagascar and again in Algeria at the Battle of Ksar el Azoudj in 1903. It was heavily engaged in the Great War in many of major actions, including Charleroi, the Marne, the Argonne, the Meuse, Champagne, Verdun, Moreuil and Ternier. 

In the Second World War they were initially incorporated into the Vichy forces in North Africa, but joined the Allies in 1943. After the War they were involved again in Madagascar, Indo-China and in Algeria. With the granting of Algerian independence the regiment was disbanded.

I am pleased with the way these chaps came up. I particularly like the way the blue came out (especially on the officer and standard bearer). There are two more battalions assembled and waiting in the painting queue.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Prussian Infantry on Parade

Just over a year ago I started this Franco-Prussian War project with the intention of building up the Prussian VII Army Corps, battalion for battalion, and a cavalry division, regiment for regiment. 

This week sees the completion of the infantry component of that force: 24 line battalions and one jäger battalion, sixteen stands of skirmishers plus some 30 casualty figures. In all that is 654 figures…all Perry plastics.

So without further ado, here are the latest additions:

The Fusilier Battalion, 77th Regiment…

…all three battalions of the 73rd (Hanoverian Fusilier) Regiment…

…another nine skirmish stands…

…a few battle casualties…

…and a parade of the full corps in all its glory.

The Thirteenth Infantry Division, with the 25th Brigade (13th and 73th Regiments) in the first two rows the 26th Brigade (15th and 55th Regiments) to the rear, all formed in double column of companies at close intervals. The 7th Jäger battalion, on the right, is attached to this division, while the divisional cavalry, the 8th Hussars, are on the left.

The Fourteenth Infantry Division, with the 27th Brigade (39th and 74th Regiments) in the first two rows  the 28th brigade (53rd and 77th Regiments) in the rear. The 15th Hussars, the divisional cavalry are on the right.

Finally the full corps, with Thirteenth Division in the left, Fourteenth to the right with the Jägers and skirmish divisions deployed forward.

Next up is the first of the French infantry.

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Trooping the Colours

Four weeks ago, when I finished the last unit of the Swedish Army in Finland, I promised a parade when time permitted. Well time has permitted so here it is.

Ooops…not that parade…that is the real Swedish military band that I watched during a changing of the guard at the Swedish Military Museum in Stockholm back in May 2015….

Here is MY parade…counting sixteen infantry units, two cavalry and nine artillery (172 foot figures, 24 mounted and seven guns).