Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Wargaming With the Regiment Karrer

To follow-on to Ralphus' post for the benefit of our wargamers, this would be an excellent regiment to depict if you are into skirmish gaming, the "Pirate" era, or early colonial actions (either against native forces or foreign troops). And it definitely offers a change from the more usual Compagnies Franches de la Marine that are seen.

The Regiment Karrer was actually paid by the Compagnie des Indes, not the War Ministry, and was considered a colonial regiment, the French equivalent of a British East India Company or Dutch East Indies regiment. From the official history of the unit: "On 15 December 1719, in Besançon, was formed in the pay of the Compagnie des Indes, a battalion raised in Alsace, by the Chevalier de Karrer, who serves in the colonies and will graduate in 1762."

For those strictly interested in gaming with this regiment, while it's past did include the mutiny at Louisberg, it also participated in garrison duty in many far-flung outposts of the Kingdom and would make a colorful addition to any force. I have taken the liberty of providing the colours of the regiment at the top of the post. These are in a .gif format and can be copied into Paint or similar and scaled with your printer for your use. The size of the colours at this time should be 2.8 meters square, or roughly one and one-half times the size of whatever figures you are using (although slightly larger flags are always colorful and can add to any wargame). Please note that the colours would have been mounted to a plain, spear-topped staff and decorated with gold cords with tassels and the familiar French white cravatte (which became the official decoration after Louis XIV's ascendancy in 1661 to replace the earlier "field signs" used by commanders in earlier wars).

For those with an interest in further reading regarding the Compagnies des Indes, which is actually quite fascinating and will remind you a bit of today's Wall Street scandals, I recommend the following Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_Company

The Company was originally founded at La Salle's request in 1684 as the Compagnie du Mississippi and, among many other things, was responsible for the founding of the city of New Orleans in 1718. I have found geneology records on the internet which show marriages to soldiers from the Regiment Karrer in old New Orleans, so it is likely that at least some portion of the Regiment was also stationed there during its history. At any rate, great post by Ralphus (as usual) and a great subject to add a little color to your colonial-era wargaming.


Addendum: Sharp-eyed reader's will have no doubt noticed a difference between the drapeaux shown in Ralphus' illustration and mine, the text is in opposite directions! I'm not entirely certain I can explain this, but will try. In researching the history and colours of this regiment I came across three illustrations and one written description. The version that I have chosen to picture is from Tom Gregg of the North American Vexillogical Association and is based on written descriptions in "Les Uniformes et les Drapeaux de l'Armée du Roi", Marseilles, 1899. The other version that I found was on a WikiMedia Common illustration by Edwin Lindemann of an amateur German vexillogical group, and is supposedly based on the same written source, but combines elements of both drapeaux into one single illustration, with the fleur de lis now in the cross instead of the cantons (common for a Royal regiment, which Karrer was not). The credit for the illustration even states that it is "revised" but offers no additional details. And finally, Ralphus' illustration, which actually matches Tom Gregg's, but with the text running in opposite directions, almost as if nailed to the staff inproperly, except that the fleur de lis are still in the correct locations and facing the right way. I cannot explain this difference. I have chosen to go with Tom Gregg's NAVA illustration as it most closely matches the text description in the previously mentioned book. So, if you choose to use these for your modelling or gaming purposes, you can at least quote the sources for the colours.

1 comment:

Tony Myers said...

Bill, is there a book dedicated to the Karrer Regiment's history? My 5th Great grand father was a member of this regiment and served in Louisbourg and Louisiana and I am gathering as much info as I can for a family presentation. Thanks,