Saturday, June 11, 2011

Holowczyn Project: the Repnin Division

In the last post I showed the contrasting informations about the Goltz cavalry and the Sheremetev troops which joined the battle. Now, one can ask: why? From a strictly wargaming point, the relevant informations are that Goltz was able to bring into the battle 8-10 cavalry regiments, in three distint groups, and that the first group, that under the command of Ifland, was composed by three regiments. As far as Sheremetev was concerned, he brought an handful of regiments, say 4-6 battalions, maybe with some cavalry. Then, why one would to know which regiments and exactly how many and where?

A good part of hour hobby is research, for manifold reasons: "I want to have exactly all the regiments which were present, and with the correct uniform" or "I would to unravel the details of the battle" or simply "I want to know the most about the battle". On the other hand, as a professional researcher, I know that the undetermined is a relevant part of every day life. In battle, an event which all the accounts of the participants describe as dominated by the chaos, this is a fortiori true.

I think that the important thing is to try to know the more is possible and then give a reasonable answer, which is not the truth, rather a reasonable well-approximated rendering of the truth (I say truth, reality is another matter..).

Going back to the Russian OoB, when one looks at the sources, none seems to rely on Russian sources. I have many recent Russian books on the Great Norther Wars, some of them clearly aimed at wargamers, but none of them gives more informations on the forces present at Holowczyn.   A further step would be to get the already mentioned PhD in Eastern Modern History but for me this is out of question.  

So I turned to the compromise of taking for my wargame the OoB in the Eglund's boardgame: it has 10 regiments in three brigades with Goltz and gives 1 regiment of cavalry to Sheremetev, which gives a little more "chrome". Moreover, when we look at the uniforms, there are some regiments with "unknown" uniforms or part of it. In such a case  I relied either on guesswork, or pure fantasy and at least in one case I painted a different regiment in place of the prescribed one.

With this in mind, I post the following pictures of Repnin and the Russian Infantry:

Prince Anikita Repnin (1668-1726): after the defeat at Holowczyn, he was degraded to the ranks, but was pardoned as a reward for his valour at Lesnaya and recovered all his lost dignities. Here is represented as CC with a trumpeter.

The brigade von Schweden from his division was comprised of the following regiments:

Rostovski, raised in Kazan 1700 as K. Gulitz  Regiment; the pikemen are from Strelets Peter the Great Guards, the fat-bellied officier is from Mars Saxon Infantry. The others are Zvedza with the kartuz obtained by simply cutting the tricorne.

Lefortski, raised in Moscow 1642 as an Old Foreign regiment, one of the few regiments which  still maintained the name of his Colonel after 1706. At Holowczyn his commander was Minstermann; it is one the red-coated regiments of the army.

Ryazanski, raised in Moscow 1703 as Colonel Kuper (probably Cooper) Regiment; on the left base the pikemen is Zvedza and the drummer Strelets.

Prince Repnin's Grenadier, raised in 1708 from the grenadiers of Butirski, Belgorodski, Nevski, Perejaslavski, Tveski, Schlusselburgski, Jamburski, Nisjegorodski and Jarovslaski regiments, at Holwczyn commanded by Taylor. The base on the left is Strelets (Peter the Great Dragoons), that on the right Zvedza.
The other Repnin's brigade, that of Von Chambers, was formed by the regiments:

Koporieschski, raised in Kazan 1703 from Streltsi as Colonel Skripitzin Regiment;

Tobolski, raised in Moscow 1703 as Prince Repnin Regiment;

Narvski, a three battalion regiment raised in Moscow 1704 as von Schonbeck Regiment;

Vjatski, raised in Kazan 1700 as P. Berners Regiment. Each brigade was supported by an artillery battery of probably three 8 pounders and one howitzer:

the miniatures are from Strelets, since when I painted them the Zvedza artillery was not yet on the market. Anyway I like them, the worst part being the guns.


peter said...

Could you use a brighter colour for your text please. It's almost unreadeble for me.
The pictures show some nice painted figures!


lekw said...

Another fantastic update. Following your progress.