Thursday, April 21, 2016

Great Northern War. Danish army

My interests in the Great Northern War were recently revamped. I took from my library the boardgames “Peter the Great” (3W) on the battle of Poltava (with the additional Lesnaja scenario) and “On to Moscow” (SPI) on the whole russian campaign of Charles XII. 


As you can see from the older posts, I have a Swedish and a Russian armies in 1/72 plastic, mostly Strelets, Zvedza and some Mars.

I decided to add a Danish army to the lot. The Danish army is an interesting one, since from the peace of Travendal (1700) to the aftermath of Poltava it was absent from this war: however whole regiments were lent as mercenary units to Austria and the Maritime Powers in their war against Louis XIV and so Danish units can be used in a Blenheim refight. Moreover the infantry with their grey-white coats with multicolored cuffs, collars, trousers, gaiters and waistcoat they are a nice contrast with the swedish and the russian (and to add variety there are some regiments in red, blue and pale yellow). The cavalry used buff coats (it seems that Denmark was one of the last country to use this garment) with cuirass (one regiment also with helmet in a true Baroque fashion). So it is a very nice addition to any collection.

The informations on the uniforms can be found on the sites Tacitus and Northern Wars, as well as on the second volume of the Lars Hoglund book on the Great Norther Wars uniform which I used to obtain informations on the Russian uniforms.

As in the case of the other two armies, rather than to paint units at random I select a battle, in this case the Battle of Helsinborg (1710), a nice V&B scenario for which is given here by the Wyre Forest Wargame. Once again every regiment is depicted in two 40mmx20mm bases in such a way that 2 bases can represent a V&B linear base regiment (full scale) or each base can represent a battalion (battalion scale) at half-scale. The nicety of such a choice is that both in the regimental full scale and in the battalion half-scale, the terrain scale is the same. In the battalion scale the time scale is 1/2 hour instead of 1 hour and of course there is more detail. By the way the scenario provided by the WFG admits both the options (regimental and battalion scale).

Going to the miniatures, I have a box of the Mars Saxon Army which I used for the Russian commanders. I like these miniatures because they have a lot of details and a strong “personality” so I decided to use them for the bulk of grey-with clad Danish regiments, using some Strelets somewhere. For the red and pale-yellow clad regiments I instead plan to use the Zvedza Russian Infantry (really I have not yet decided..). The cuirassiers regiments will be done by using the Strelets Swedish & Drabant cavalry (which have some models with cuirass and helmet nonetheless) whereas for the dragoon regiments the Zvedza Swedish dragoon box seems to be appropriate.

By using three miniatures for each base with the contents of the box I can model three regiments (6 bases) plus the grenadier regiment (2 bases).

So, I am going to clean and prime them, it will be a long and interesting project….

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Korbitz, Part V. Hadik vs. Finck

After many months I finally get the time to finish the Korbitz refight. My camera still jammed I decided to took pictures with PhotoBoot: of course they aren’t the best possible but still help to understand the course of the action. 

I decided to represent all the battlefield north of the Triebitsch so both Lamberg and Brentano are deployed from the start.

The initial situation is the following:

seen here from the Prussian

and the Austrian perspective:

The whole affair is different from that between Wunsch and Zweibrucken: here the Austrian have a clear-cut superiority but they have only three turns to obtain a result.

The Austrian plan is to fix the enemy infantry with the, and the cavalry with Schallemberg command whereas Brentano shall turn the Prussian right with his Croats opening the road for Lamberg: since it is impossible to exhaust all the Prussian division because Zweibrucken failed to do it, to prevent a Prussian victory the battle Hadik must inflict more losses to the Prussian. The “butcher bill” of the action between Wunsch and Zweibrucken was 16-5 for the Prussian.

This is the situation after the first turn:

the cavalry battle is still undecided whereas the Austrian center has disarrayed the Prussian infantry: the two Prussian grenadier units of the second line move towards the Croats.

After the second turn the battlefield looks like:

the Prussian cavalry is exhausted and Hadik decided to send Lamberg to the right to exploit the success, since Schallemberg is one SP close to exhaustion. In the center the Prussian lose a Grenadier unit and retreats.

In the final third turn the Austrian pushes the attack but the Prussian cavalry resists to the attack of both Schallemberg and Lamberg cavalry: in the center Hadik exhausts the Prussian infantry. The last Prussian move is a retreat toward Meissen. 

Hadik was able indeed to exhaust both the Prussian commands, the battle being better managed that the Zweibrucken one: however Brentano, Schallamberg and the Infantry center are 1SP close to the exhaustion. the total losses are 22-14 for the Prussian which wins the battle. Again a superior Austrian-Imperial force fails to annihilate a Prussian force. The failure however was more from the strategic point of view: indeed Zweibrucken arrived piecemeal on the battlefield and Hadik was able to engage battle too late. In this sense I feel that the scenario was a good simulation of the frustrating situation the Austrian have to deal with in Saxony in 1759.