Tuesday, November 27, 2012

French Cavalry

The French cavalry regiments in the Seven Years War had an establishment of 2 squadrons for a total strenght of nearly 200 troopers, brigaded in three or even fours at time. In the Volley & Bayonet basing, cavalry is based either on a 3"x 3" "Brigade base" of 10 squadrons or in a 3"x 1.5" "Regimental base" of 5 squadrons.

With Austrian and Prussian regiments of 5 squadrons, I based each single regiment on a 3"x 1.5" base, collecting the two-regiment brigade on a sabot base. The only exception was the super-large 10 squadrons DR 5 Bayreuth which had the honour of a single "Brigade base" for himself. 

To represent the French Brigades I choose to base each regiment on a small 1"x 0.8" base with four figures each and then put three regiments on sabot base with the brigade name (normally the oldest regiment in the brigade). In this way I can represent historical brigades by simply putting the appropriate regiment on the sabot.

The original lot allowed me to get five regiments (two blue coated - Royal Etranger and Royal Piemont- , two red coated - Fitzjames and La Reine- and one white coated - Bourbon Busset-): I added a blu-coated regiment with bearskin, namely the Rougrave regiment (ex Royal Liegiois).

The six "small" bases:

and the "sabot" with the slot for the regiments and the brigade name:

The two Brigades: first, the brigade La Reine, at Rossbach in the first line of the  left wing and formed by the "La Reine", est. 1635, 14th in the 1759 list, "Bourbon-Busset", est. 1666, 23th in 1759 list and "Fitzjames", est. 1733, 56th in 1759 list, disbanded 1763. Fitzjames, an Irish regiment, is those with the yellow-coated trumpeter whereas Bourbon-Busset is typical grey-white coated french cavalry regiment.

The Brigade was routed by the Prussian cavalry, Fitzjames losing two standards and the kettle-drums. 
The second brigade was formed by one regiment present at Rossbach, the "Volontaire Liegeois, 1756" (later Rougrave, 1758) ranking 61th in 1759, disbanded 1763. Is a typical "german" regiment (indeed belgian) with bearskin cap. The other two regiments weren't at Rossbach (indeed no blue-coated regiments apart Rougrave were at Rossbach!): Royal Piemont, est. 1670, ranking 10th and Royal Etranger, est.1635, 6th. The base accordingly represent a "Royal Etrangere Brigade" which was present nowhere. 

Finally, a tribute to one of the most-maligned SYW commanders: He, the loser of Rossbach. 

Charles de Rohan (July 16, 1715, Versailles-July 4, 1787, Paris), prince de Soubise, duke of Rohan-Rohan, seigneur of Roberval, and marshal of France from 1758, a military man, a minister to the kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, and a notorious libertine. The last male of his branch of the House of Rohan, he was also the great grandfather to the duc d'Enghien, executed by Napoleon in 1804. 

He was neither a military genius nor a jerk: the coordination of the French and Imperial armies at Rossbach was simply beyond his (and Hildburghausen) capabilities; indeed he later successfully defeated the Allied at Lutterberg and Joannisberg, becoming Marshal of France in 1758.

This is the only portrait I found of him, a well-known one:

and this is his depiction in my miniature army:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Frenchmen...

After a long break (one day I'll tell you of my new house and how I moved all the furniture alone to the 5th floor..) more french units from the e-bay lot; first of all two artillery bases, one representing a field artillery "battalion" (in V&B terms), the other an heavy (i.e. 12 pdr) "battalion". The number of horses tells the difference.

The original lot comprised also two hussards regiments, Nassau and Bercheny. I added standard bearers and trumpeters in tricorne to get this:

Royal-Nassau Hussards, est. 1758 from a former free-corps; it was not at Rossbach but was present at Sanderhausen, Lutterberg and Minden. Disbanded 1776.

Bercheny Hussards: raised 1719, the oldest hussar regiment in Louis XV army. Not at Rossbach but present at Hastenbeck, Krefeld and Lutterberg. In 1791 it became the 1st Hussar Regiment and was present to all the main Napoleonic campaigns till 1815 when it was disbanded after Waterloo.

Looking at the Rossbach OoB, there are 6 swiss infantry regiments: thus I decided to paint them. I had many stripes of Heroics&Ros Prussian infantry primed in red to represent Russian infantry in summer uniforms (the still-to-come Zorndorf project): it tooks few seconds to convert them into red-primed swiss. The first two swiss regiments (both at Rossbach) are the Diesbach and Planta regiments:

Swiss Regiment Diesbach, raised on January 1, 1690 across the 13 Swiss cantons. It was ranked 90th and was under the command of Diesbach de Steinbruck. It was at Rossbach, then Sanderhausen, Lutterberg Bergen and Corbach.

Diesbach with Planta in foreground. The regiment Planta was raised according to the ordinance of January 28, 1677 across the 13 Swiss cantons. It ranked 63rd and was under the command of baron de Planta and d'Arbonnier from August 10 1760. At Rossbach, Lutterberg, Minden and Warburg. This time I tried to handpaint the flags, just for fun...