Saturday, February 14, 2015

Der Finckenfang bei Maxen: November 20-21, 1759

Well, this is my first post ever about the Tricorne era, specifically the Seven Years War. It was prompted by some material that my friend Ingo in Dresden sent me, knowing of my interests

"I stumbled upon the battle of Kesselsdorf just west of Dresden, and the "Finckenfang" in Maxen, just south of Dresden in the third Silesian War when the Austrians won the battle and captured Prussian General Finck. Was in both small towns (villages) recently, both quite nice. I'm going to attach some pictures taken in the museum in Maxen, they have a nice exhibit on the battle."

Here's a bit more detailed background to the battle, which I was vaguely familiar with as a well known Prussian defeat, taken from the excellent Kronkskaf article on the battle:

"From July 1759, Austro-Imperial forces proceeded to the invasuion of Saxony, capturing Dresden and several other cities.Prince Henri  <of Prussia>  soon led a counter-offensive which allowed him to retake possession of most Saxon towns with the exception of Dresden.  On November 13, King Frederick II (Frederick the Great) arrived from Silesia where he had operated against a Russian army and made a junction with the corps of Prince Henri. Copunt Leopols Daun , the commander-in-chief of the Austrian forces, gradually retired towards Dresden, closely followed by Prussian forces.  On November 15, Frederick detached Finck's Corps to Maxen to cut off the communications of the Austrian Army with Bohemia. However, this manoeuvre placed Finck in an isolated position. Daun resolved to encircle and attack Finck's isolated corps."

Flats were my very first wargames figures, and they look especially grand in dioramas like this, don't they? By the way, Der Finckenfang bei Maxen more or less translates as the "Trapping of Finck at Maxen", the name by which the action is often referred to in German

More of the diorama at the Heimatmuseum-Maxen, as photographed  by Ingo. The battles of Friedrich der Grosse were one of the inspirations for the development of Zinnfiguren in the 18th century... I must resist getting pulled into another period almost as vast as the Napoleonic Wars!

Another display from the museum - the plates looks like ones from Funken by their style, as opposed the the Knoetel plates one might expect to see!

Another nice exhibit from the museum

The outside of the museum. From its website, admission is free, but it is open only very limited hours.

The side of the Museum building also gives a hint of what lies inside. The last two images from this short tourist guide article  on the museum.

Re-enactors at Maxen during 2009 - the 250th anniversary year of the battle. The surrounding countryside looks beautiful, too!

Painting of the Battle of Maxen. It hangs in the War museum in Vienna, celebrating one of Austrian Feldmarschal Daun's great victories.

Well, it turns out that I did once start a 7 Year's War project over 25 years ago, and here is the proof - this one unit of Prussian Musketeers!

I believe these are 25mm Garrison figures; I think I also have the lead for a unit of Prussian Cuirassiers and a Prussian foot battery somewhere, also by Garrison.

With no one else in my group being interested in the 7YW, this one unit was as far along as the project ever got!  I don't even recall which Regiment these troops represent.

Old School style bright green bases and block painting, with hand painted flag. Were I to do the Seven Year's War in the future, I'd be inclined to use a gridded board and simple rules. Or maybe "Die Fighting 2". Or...

Oh, and I would stick to just Prussians and Austrians for once!
(yeah, right... like THAT would happen, LOL!)


  1. A very interesting post Peter,
    In the past couple of years I started to read up on seven years war, if there was an AB compatible range of 15mm I would maybe do a couple of armie however I have enough naps to last me a lifetime.

    If you do jump in with both feet I look forward to seeing your troops come to life!

    1. Well, if I do, it won't be for at l;east 3 years - I have my Sopanish and British Napoleonics yet to do!

  2. Great stuff, Peter! I really enjoy seeing museum photos and battlefields snapped by others. Grant's Volume 5 Part 6 of Wargaming in History has a very good accounting of the Battle of Maxen.

    I think you are inclined to do the SYW , are you not? You already have "seed" unit ready for action. That is all the incentive I need to turn this into a full blown project. I am desperately trying to keep my 18mm SYW project strictly to Austrian and Prussian contingents as well.

    1. It has long been on the "someday, maybe" list. For the meantime, it will remain there!

  3. Hi,

    I'm pretty sure they are Hinchcliffe figures and they are still available if when you need more.


    1. Could be, but I own very few Hincliffe figures - indeed, the only ones I know of are my (glorious) 4 horse Assyrian chariots.

  4. I was thinking Hinchcliffe too, based on the musketeer pose. They are painted as the IR7 Regiment von Bevern or IR18 Prinz von Preussen Regiment.

    That museum is quite a nice find.


    1. Thanks for the ID('s), DAF! Looks like it's worth a visit if one is in the Dresden area!

  5. I think that if you start a new SYW project you should try a bit of home casting - Prince August are doing a new range just for what you want!

    Unable to resist a plug for my blog -


    1. I agree, I follow your blog already and I do really like the looks of the new PA figures!