Saturday, 28 February 2009

Sovereign's Servant (Sluga Gosudarev) 2007

Short trailer with some of the battle scenes of this recent Russian epic set in 1709. I'd be interested to hear some of your views of this movie - I got very excited about it but I know Great Northern War buffs weren't overly impressed. It's certainly unusual to see battle scenes of this era on the big screen even if the end result is a bit 'dodgy' as we English say. Maybe it's what I call the 'Sharpe' syndrome - those people who really know the period hate it for the inaccuracies whereas everyone thinks it's wonderful. Most of the IMdb comments are to this effect too. Available on international DVD
Imdb on the movie

Early hussars (Les premiers 'Housards')

The late 17th century is not a period you normally associate with these colourful troops but like many other troop types the Hussar generally entered mainstream European warfare around this time. A failed revolt against

Habsburg rule in Hungary (1676-81) saw many of these light cavalrymen join the armies of first, France and then subsequently many other nations.
I don't suppose you'd find them in the order of battle but they were presumably used to harass lines of supply and so forth.

HISTORY (en francais) from here

En 1691, les déserteurs hongrois demandèrent à prendre du service dans la cavalerie étrangère du Roi de France. Demande refusée, les trouvant pittoresques dans leur costume et leur équipage. Quelques-uns furent engagés par des officiers de haut rang comme domestiques ou palefreniers. Un groupe de ces " domestiques " s'offrit au Maréchal de Luxembourg (duc de François Henri de Montmorency- Bouteville 1628-1695) d'aller inquiéter les arrières de l'ennemi et piller leurs convois. Le Roi Louis XIV apprit le succès de leurs entreprises. Il ordonna de former des compagnies de ces hussards. On confia cette tâche au baron de KRONEBERG ou CRONEBERG, un officier hongrois au service de la France. Ainsi fut créé à STRASBOURG le régiment de HUSSARDS ROYAUX sous la forme de deux escadrons de trois compagnies, chacune forte de cinquante hussards, dont Kroneberg fut le premier Mestre de Camp. Le baron de Kroneberg par ses indélicatesses et malversations fut relevé de son commandement et invité à quitter la France. André de MORTANY, un gentilhomme d'origine bavaroise, lui succéda jusqu'au 18 décembre 1697 où le régiment des hussards royaux fut incorporé dans le régiment de Cavalerie Royal- Allemand.En 1702, le marquis de SAINT-GENIES prend le commandement d'un escadron de 140 hussards, présent de l'électeur de Bavière à LOUIS XIV. En décembre 1707, il devient la propriété de Georges BOR, Baron de RATTZKY. Différentes orthographes sont cités RASCHI, RATTZKY. Il était en fait un aventurier tchèque du nom de RATKY ou HRADKI. Il faut préciser que son château natal de SALAMANZA en Hongrie n'avait jamais existé ! A sa mort en janvier 1743, le régiment prend le nom de ASPREMONT- LYNDEN. En octobre 1756 ses escadrons sont réformés et versés dans les régiments de BERCHENY, TURPIN et POLLERETZI.

Friday, 27 February 2009

The Vinkhuijzen collection of military uniforms

Thanks to Bill McHenry I have a whole load of new old uniform plates to look at - from the New York Public Library Collections. I didn't know about this source and I am very grateful for this link - some great and fascinating pictures all selected for date and nationality. A lot of gaps in my knowledge are being filled in. Thanks Bill. Images are Dutch pikeman 1670 and Austrian Cuirassiers of 1701.

Dragons 1721

Dragons d'Orléans : drawing by Parrocel (plate 49 of "Infanterie et Gardes françaises" vers 1721

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Pictures from 1988

1988 was a great year for those interested in this period. There was an exhibition on the Glorious Revolution at the National Army Museum which used Living History people (colour pic) to illustrate the various aspects of the army in 1688 as well as paintings and objects associated with the period. Also there were a few reenactments around the country including one at Littlecote House organised by the Marquis of Winchester's regiment (ECWS) in their guise as the First Foot Guards (b/w photo)

Those were the days...

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

strange attire?

A strange figure in the background of the painting by Jan Wyck of the Duke of Monmouth at Maastricht. See the whole image here

Over 100 hits a day

I'm really pleased to see this site is averaging over 100 hits a day. Thanks to all of you for visiting. Don't be shy about sending in your photos and ideas to

Monmouth at Maastricht

This painting by Jan Wyck is in my local art gallery in Bath and I keep meaning to have a look at it in the flesh. It is thought to depict the Duke of Monmouth at the siege of Maastricht certainly is a fine piece. Available as a print from Bridgeman art

Irregular miniatures 15mm

Quite a comprehensive range League of Augsburg 1685 - 1700 with lots of photos by Geoff Brown make this a really tempting option for those wanting 15mm figures. Website here

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Douglas' Regiment

Been looking to see what information there is on the web about this and other regiments in French service. There is an article by John Childs THE BRITISH BRIGADE IN FRANCE, 1672–1678.
Portrait from here
This image of pikemen is thought to be of the Douglas' Regiment.
'1667 Return to French Service now in a uniform of red coats with white
cuffs and a strength of 1,500 men'.
Dumbarton's Drums
On 30th June, 1667 Samuel Pepys met Lord George Douglas in Rochester and mentions seeing his Regiment; he records that "here in the streets I did hear the Scotch March beat by the drums before the soldiers, which is very odde."
Many other references to the "Scots March" appear in history, but whether the Regimental March, "Dumbarton's Drums", was one and the same thing cannot he proved with certainty. There is good ground however for such an assumption. The name derives from the time when Lord George Douglas, created Earl of Dumbarton in 1675, was Colonel, and the Regiment was known as "Dumbarton's Regiment". Royal Scots webpage

Trelawney's 1685

There's always been a fair bit of interest in the notorious Kirke's Lambs - who started life as the Tangier regiment - but what about the 'New Tangier Regiment'?
The 2nd Tangier Regiment was originally raised by the Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth in 1680. After his death Charles Trelawney became their colonel.
Extract from wikie. Trelawny entered the army in 1672, receiving a commission in the Royal English Regiment of Foot, raised by the Duke of Monmouth, which served in the French Army in the Third Anglo-Dutch War. On 13 July 1680, he was appointed major of the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Foot, raised as part of the Tangier Garrison. (Trelawny's eldest brother, John, a captain, was killed at Tangier in May of that year.) He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the regiment on 27 November 1680, succeeding Percy Kirke, and succeeded Kirke as colonel on 23 April 1682. He returned to England upon the evacuation of Tangier in 1684, where part of the regiment fought at Sedgemoor the following year. Trelawny was also returned to the House of Commons that year, as Tory Member of Parliament for East Looe, a seat he retained until 1699.
Biography by John Childs here
Also known as the Queen Consort's Regiment.
Trelawney's brother, a Bishop, gave rise to the famous Cornish song 'And shall Trelawney die?'
Uniform was red coat with yellow breeches and cuffs with yellow lace and brass buttons. White stockings. Stationed in Portsmouth after their stint in Tangier.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Rebellion in the late 80s

Aha! Embarassing photo from the 80s alert! I found this old photo of me wargaming the Monmouth Rebellion with Chris Scott, author of the new Armies of the Monmouth Rebellion book. He's on the left I am third from the left. Rob Turner is holding the stick. Figures were his Dixons and this being the late 80s they were pretty new on the scene and all the rage. Chris is a regular contributor to Miniature Wargames and has written many books on military subjects.

Bob Marrion

Interesting to see Bob Marrion illustrating the new Caliver book on the armies of Sedgemoor. Military Modelling used to feature his artwork a lot and they often covered this period. This picture accompanied a ground-breaking piece on the infantry of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand back in 1986 and captures the subject extremely well.

Funeral of the Duke of Albemarle 1670

Interesting view of musicians. Shows the development of the cravat through the various neckwear.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Monmouth fiction

More Rebellion-fuelled fiction than you can shake a rusty stick at here. Happy reading.

Redcoats repulsed. The battle of Philip's Norton 27 June 1685

Image search Norton St Philip
You asked for it! Here's an extract from my unpublished book 'The Days of King Monmouth'
Finally at Bath the various elements of the Royal army assembled. Kirke and Churchill from the south, the Guards from the east and the Portsmouth artillery train with Trelawney's from the south along with many militia units. After assembling his force of about 2,500 at Kingsdowne Hill, Feversham marched off from Bath in pursuit of the Rebels writing 'We shall follow the rogues very closely at the heels'. Splitting his command into two bodies, Feversham placed himself with the vanguard. This consisted of most of his horse, his dragoons and a detachment of 500 musketeers including 5 companies of grenadiers. The artillery train was still on its way, due at Westbury soon but Feversham felt his force was large enough to probe the Rebels with relative confidence.
On arriving at the outskirts of Norton St Philip Feversham received rumours that the Rebels were leaving and he decided to probe them in force in order to ascertain their intentions. He sent forward a party of 45 Grenadiers. Feversham claimed in an apologetic letter to James II later that they were so confident they advanced quickly in close order and found themselves 'at the entrance of the place within the very hedges, where was a barrier'.
Monmouth had made his usual precautions (fearful perhaps of another cavalry raid as at Keynsham) and had the main approach to the town guarded by a barricade and 50 musketeers under Captain Vincent. Feversham wrote 'I halted the party which I had sent to draw the enemy's fire, and as but two or three shots had been fired, I ordered my Lord Churchill to move forward a company of grenadiers...the Duke of Grafton commanded the detachment and showed great courage...for he marched at the head of the grenadiers company of his regiment of foot-guards of which Hawley is captain, and which advanced to the entrance of the village, where they encountered a very heavy fire'.
Wade describes the battlefield as taking place among the hedgerows bordering a lane that ran into the town - 'there is a long lane that leads out of a ploughed field into the town being near a quarter of a mile long. On each side the inclosures are surrounded with good thick hedges.' He goes on; 'The Grenadeers which were the forlorne hope of the King's army advanced through the lane up to the Barracade, which the Duke having notice caused his own Regiment to march through the Gentleman's court up to the side of the lane and attaque them in the flank, which was done, and the regiment being much superior in numbers wee fell with a good part of them into theyre reare so that they were all surrounded on all hands save the left flank by which way through the hedge many of them escaped'. Holmes' regiment was ordered to attack troops flanking Wade pushing them back 'from hedge to hedge'. On the Royal side, seeing that the Grenadiers were cut off and being shot to pieces troops were moved up to support them. Feversham noted among the Rebels 'five white standards and a battalion of pikemen, but all protected by hedges'.
'When' continued Feversham, 'I saw that the affair was serious and those ahead were certainly in great danger, I ordered the Horse Grenadiers to pass the barrier and cover their retreat, as this seemed absolutely necessary; and at the same time the musketeers to line the hedges. I was at the barrier when they told me of the Duke of Grafton's danger. I hurried on the Horse Grenadiers, who had already passed the barrier and they arrived just in time. For there was a considerable body of Monmouth's cavalry, who were approaching by another way to cut off their retreat'. These troopers though 'halted and even retired rapidly before the grenadiers'. The Quartermaster of Ashill fame led in the first 20 of the Oxford Blues and offered the Duke of Grafton his own mount as a replacement but the Duke mounted another, wounded horse.
Monmouth's cannon were originally drawn up before the George Inn in the town centre by the Market Cross (no longer there). These guns may have been leaving the town by the time of the first shots as Feversham states it took two hours for the guns to be brought into action.
Monmouth was already leaving Philip's Norton at the head of his column when the action started. Pessimistically Venner urged ('against all reason' stated Wade) Monmouth to withdraw and this was hotly debated and the decision overturned with gaps in the hedges cut to facilitate the advance of Monmouth's regiments. However as the Rebels prepared to attack, being able to take advantage of the rainy weather to balance out their lack of firearms, the Royal army began to withdraw from its position on the ridge heading off to Hinton Charterhouse. Lack of confidence in their cavalry prevented the Rebels from pursuing.
Excusing his retreat to the King Feversham said 'I once thought of remaining face to face with the enemy all the night but we had very heavy rain which would have caused much inconvenience, as we had no tents; so I decided, with the concurrence of the Colonels that the very best thing we could do was to march, which we did. Leaving Oglethorpe with 80 Horse dragoons to collect intelligence'.
So, with some sadness, at 11 pm the tired Rebels made great fires to make it appear that they were staying and slipped away from Frome. The Royal army retired to lick its wounds at Bradford on Avon. Casualties had been light on the Rebel side - estimated at 18. Many of them officers of the Green Regiment. Colonel Holmes lost a son and an arm which he reputedly amputated himself in the kitchen of the George Inn. The Royal army lost about 80 men. According to local reports many of the dying crawled off through the cornfields, their bodies to be found at harvest time.
One humourous anecdote: A rebel, a Frenchman, known as 'the Shevalier', who was a gamester and a ne'er do well was shot in the back by his own side. On being discovered dying by a Royal officer he is said to have said in broken English 'This was none of my foe that shot me in the back' to which the officer retorted 'By God, it was certainly none of your friends'.
According to local legend the lanes around Norton St Philip ran with torrents of blood as the rain poured down, washing over the doorstep of houses at the bottom of the hill.

Officer of dragoons 1685

Not sure who the artist is, but I like it.

Monmouth Rebels

Some of my crude artwork of the 90s is presented here to try and illustrate the fact that I don't think Monmouth's army looked much different than a conventional army of the time. Some lost shoes during the campaign but they would have been reasonably well dressed. How well trained they and their mounts were is another thing and obviously not all had pike or musket - some simply had sticks or swords and various polearms, the famous 'sythes' but clothing-wise they were generally well dressed and not in shirt sleeves. Some wore the red-faced purple coats Monmouth brought with him and some the red faced yellow of the Somerset Militia. The Rebels had no tents - they had to make do with sleeping in hedges and so on - they made huge fires at the ruins of Glastonbury abbey to dry their clothes - it being a very wet summer.

Monmouth's regiments

Monmouth set sail from Holland with about 1500 foot arms, 1500 cuirasses, 4 small pieces of artillery, 2oo barrels of gunpowder as well as match, grenades and other necessities such as swords and pistols. On board ship were about 83 persons plus Dutch seamen. A number of the officers were from the Anglo-Dutch brigade, some of whom were tricked into thinking they were going into service with the Elector of Brandenburg.
There were initially 4 regiments of foot each named after a colour.

Red - Monmouth's own. Commanded by the old Cromwellian Samuel Venner with Nathaniel Wade as Major.

White - commanded by ex-regular John Foulkes and Ensign James Fox both from the Earl of Bellasis's regiment in the Dutch service.

Yellow - commanded by Edward Matthews - an ex guards officer and a rake who also had London brewer Robert Perrot who had schemed to steal the Crown jewels as a Major.

Green - commanded by Abraham Holmes, a baptist and ex-Cromwellian Republican.

The Blue regiment was formed at Taunton later on and an Independent Company of the men of Lyme was also added to the list of foot.

Monmouth left behind on the ships 40 barrels of gunpowder and armour enough for 4 to 5000 men.

Photo is me on the right playing Nathaniel Wade and Paul Wiggins playing Ferguson (on the left) for a film for BBC Education 'What was the Pitchfork Rebellion?' I actually had a speaking part and felt really chuffed to play my hero Wade.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

English dragoons of the late 17th century

While on the subject of our favourite Lawson's here are a couple more really evocative pieces. Dragoons really were dragoons in this era, which I suppose means duplicate figures on the table - unless figure designers did a pairing like the Lawson Horse Grenadier below. Would that work?

Horse Grenadier 1685

The Royal Regiment of Horse was made up of three troops of 200 gentlemen and a troop of 60 Horse Grenadiers recruited from the usual commoners. Equipped with a long carbine 'strapt', sword, a pair of pistols, bayonet and grenades. Pic by me. Also a pic from the master himself Cecil C P Lawson - an excellent depiction of a Horse Grenadier c1688 which I think captures the concept perfectly.

Keynsham Bridge 1685

25 June. A small but decisive skirmish in the Monmouth Rebellion.
The Rebels were camped in the fields around Keynsham bridge, called Sydenham Mead. While there well-wishers gave them cheeses and they were noted to have wagons pulled by oxen. They were about to summon the courage to assault Bristol which had only a small garrison of militia and a very sympathetic populous when a troop of Oxford Blues led by the famous Theophilus Oglethorpe collided with the pickets of Monmouth's force. At the same time a probe from Bristol of 25 Horse Grenadiers led by Capt Parker forded the river upstream causing widespread panic among the rebels, who thought the main force of James II's army was nearby. The attack on Bristol was abandoned and the Rebels turned towards Wiltshire and an opportunity to take the second city was thwarted. One of the prisoners also spread news of the general pardon offered to the Rebels if they abandoned their enterprise. Good work indeed for a couple of troops of Horse...
The below artwork is interesting. It's from an old local history pamphlet on the town and seems to be done by someone who works in the British comic art tradition and gives a dynamic take on a subject not usually treated in this fashion.
On the affair at Keynsham Bridge from Conan Doyle's Micah Clarke
Keynsham's part in the Monmouth Rebellion article

Friday, 20 February 2009

Coureurs de bois

I've only fairly recently seen these images and I must admit I find them fascinating. I do think there is a place for Coureurs de bois in a 1690s force as there seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence they did exist at that time and did go on expeditions.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Cecil C P Lawson

Anyone interested in the early years of the British army back in the dark ages would go first to C C P Lawson A History of the uniforms of the British Army. Volume I. (a pdf file). Published in 1940 Lawson painstakingly redrew some of the key artworks for the period and his various volumes still contain information and leads that few have been able to come close to.
One of my daughters when she was little got at my volumes with a crayon ... but what the heck - they did need a bit of colour!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Marlborough's victories playing cards 1707

Been looking for the playing cards by Robert Spofforth celebrating Churchill's successes - as that's another contemporary depiction of troops from the time - there's some here where you can buy posters - this image of Tallard being taken prisoner back to England is interesting in its depiction of English grenadiers. You can buy facsimile packs of this set of cards here . Ideal for card-based WSS games methinks.

Gilles Boué plates

Gilles Boué is a writer,wargamer and artist whose uniform plates for the WSS and afterwards are here at Royalfigs. Also there are flags by him for the Louis XIV at Warflag, an excellent resource for anyone interested in wargaming this period including some incredible Blenheim photos and downloadable rules.

Monmouth Rebellion fiction 'The Royal Changeling'

It's been a fairly fertile ground for fiction, the West Country rising of 1685. There's been a lot - Conan Doyle's Micah Clark and classics like Blackmore's Lorna Doone have been set against these turbulent times and many many more. This novel is different in that it is in the fantasy genre and very good it is too. I normally hate fantasy but this was different.
I met the author John Whitbourn at one of our reenactments and he gave me a copy of this book and it is quite fascinating. He also wrote for our 1685 society journal The So-Ho gazette a true story of someone offering Monmouth a multi-barrelled gun on the eve of Sedgemoor which was sadly turned down.
(Monmouth's Stalin Organs - or Ingenious Inventions and Annoying Authors) The So-ho Gazette - Newsletter of the 1685 Society July 2000.
Anyway the plot of the Royal Changeling is
Invading England after Charles II's death, the Duke of Monmouth comes face-to-face with an old friend -- Theophilus Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe, in common with only a handful of others, knows Monmouth's background fully -- not only that he is Charles's son, but also that he has elven blood, and has allied himself with evil powers in order to take England's crown. In fact, he is being used as a cat's paw by one far more steeped in evil than himself...King Arthur, who would return to rule Britain and the entire world. Through London, Glastonbury, Sedgemoor, and many stranger places, unearthly battles rage, and the elves forsake their millennia-long neutrality... John Whitbourn's new novel fascinates with its grand sweep of war and intrigue, truth and fantasy. His characters have all the qualities and faults of Tolkien's heroes and villains, and yet they live and breathe in seventeenth-century England. With The Royal Changeling, Whitbourn shows himself to be a master of fantastic literature.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Battle of the Plains of Abraham 1759

I know it's Seven Years War but what the heck, it's a really well made film that anyone interested in linear warfare can enjoy, and sadly thanks to today's announcement of the cancellation of the 250th anniversary there's a lot of disappointed people who won't be able to enjoy watching the reenactment, in Quebec at least.

Flames of White demo

This something very good - I'll put their own explanation up as to what you are seeing:

In The Great Nordic War of 1718, young Norwegian ski troopers used their skills to defend against the attacking Swedish and Finnish soldiers, called 'Karoliners.' These members of the Holtaalian Ski Company were masterful at shooting accurately while skiing at full speed. King Charles XII of Sweden was shot and killed and General Armfeldt called for the Karoliners to retreat immediately. Of the 10,000 men who entered Trøndelag, Norway, only 2,000 made it back to Sweden alive. The Norwegian people did what they do best: accomplish a lot with very little.
This was shot in the historically correct locations in Aunegrenda, Norway.
The musical piece is world-class musician John McLaughlin.
We are now looking to turn this into a feature film. The script is complete and we have support from the Norwegian and Mid-Nordic Film Commissions, as well as the Holtaalian Ski Company, who has access to hundreds of historically correct uniforms, ski equipment, and working black powder rifles from 1718. We are looking for investor and studio backing. Contact Mike at Thank you.

More footage here

Monday, 16 February 2009

The chronicles of an old campaigner M. de la Colonie, 1692-1717

Another great comment from Corporal Trim that you might miss so I am posting it - these memoirs - I've never read them before - they're English... full of detail and free to download. A must for anyone interested in military matters of this period. The bits I have read are superb. Thanks Corporal Trim again...

Quebec reenactment cancelled?

It seems as if this years 250th anniversary reenactment of the Plains of Abraham battle is to be cancelled due to fears of a separatist protest. Presumably there will be some event or other taking place but it seems to me a sad development. News item here
More here

Watteau French infantry studies

Antoine Watteau did many pictures of French soldiers on the march, in the bivouac, and at rest. His studies are very human, it's not the great battles and sieges that interest him, more the picturesque qualities of the army of the end of Louis XIV period doing its everyday things.
I suppose it would be useful to reenact this period as one could probably pass as Seven Years War infantry too. Presumably the musket for use in this era is the famous M1717 - the first ordonnance firearm for the French army.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

French soldier 1710

As suggested this is another example of campaign shabbiness from the master Watteau.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Laroon's Meldert Redcoat 1707

Detail from Execution of deserters at Meldert Camp 1707. This rare study of a Marlburian redcoat on campaign drawn from life is quite shocking in a way. The clothes look shabby and not well tailored at all, looking quite shrunken and skimpy with the coat's skirts way above the knees. A sword slit seems to be part of the design of the coat of the figure in the foreground and the deserter. All in all these figures seem to be far removed from the image of the Marlburian soldier we have come to expect to see (mainly from the celebratory tapestries and paintings commissioned in the years after the events).

The Man In The Iron Mask

Who was he? According to the interesting wiki he could have been one of several people ranging from the Duke of Monmouth to a disgraced general. I thought the 1998 movie with DiCaprio et al was pretty good - the costumes were pretty anyway.

Grenadiers 1707

This image - a detail of The Arrival of Venetian Ambassadors at the Tower Stairs May 1707 by Luca Carlevaris is interesting in that it shows Grenadiers (presumably one of the Guards regiments as no other regiments were allowed in the capital) in a ceremonial role - wearing the sword belt baldric style and minus the cartridge box.

Steve the Wargamer's WSS project page

Some really great pieces to read on this blog - a size and price comparison of 15mm War of Spanish Succession troops (very useful), some interesting novels set in the WSS (a sort of Blenheim Sharpe) which I've never heard of before and lots more. Recommended.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Drabant 40mm at Old Glory

While on the subject of 40mms thought we should mention Drabant again this time through their UK distributor. Excellent quality miniatures that look worth the £4 but are they too expensive to wargame with? Well too expensive for me definitely but does anybody use these figures to fight tabletop encounters?

Holcroft Blood's Ordnance

I'm going to try and have a regular Friday feature on reenactors of the period. First up is one of the longest established groups for the era recreating the artillery of the late 17th century through to Marlborough's battles, Holcroft Blood's. I've known Roger, the group leader, since the mid 80s and what he doesn't know about artillery isn't worth knowing. With a fine collection of guns and equipment they have been central to all the major anniversary displays on the continent so I would definitely recommend them if you have an interest in this sort of thing.
Their website is very old school but in keeping with that there is a lot of information up there regarding uniforms and organisation that wargamers and so forth would find very useful.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Leopold I Prince of Anhalt-Dessau

I admit to having a soft spot for the 'Old Dessauer' (1676-1747). Maybe it's because he insisted on marrying his love, an apothecary's daughter and subsequently having a successful marriage which produced 10 children. Leopold and Anna Louise had a long and happy marriage, and the Princess acquired an influence over the stern nature of her husband which she never ceased to exert on behalf of his subjects, and after the death of Leopold's mother she performed the duties of regent when he was absent on campaign. Often, too, she accompanied him into the field. (wiki) He certainly created, with the adoption into the army the cadenced step and iron ramrod, a world-beating infantry. Here's a modern painting of him at the Battle of Turin and a plate of his regiment by Richard Knötel .

Prussian officer c1700

This fashionably dressed Prussian officer with his pagoda sleeves is interesting - he's wearing his sword belt under his coat with the hilt protruding through a 'sword slit' on his coat - something you never see on wargames figures but is quite common in period illustrations. Brandenburg-Prussian officers and ncos dressed in reverse colours (I think). I don't think I've seen a Brandenburg-Prussian wargames army for this period - anyone have one? I wonder if having an iron ramrod (from about 1700) would give you an advantage?
Noticed Reiver castings have a a small range in 28mm - and a nice new website.