Monday, February 7, 2011

Austrian (Hungarian) Line [and Grenadiers], part 1

The 15 (in 1809) "Hungarian" line regiments of the Austrian army were in fact recruited from Hungary proper as well as Croatia and Siebenburg (Transylvania). Conscription was not allowed in these territories, and the organization of a Hungarian regiment was somewhat different from that of its German counterparts. First, at least nominally, the wartime strength of the companies was higher, 200 men as opposed to 180 for their German counterparts. There were three field battalions of six companies each in a Hungarian regiment, no depot battalion, and a slightly smaller "reserve division" (invalids) of 640 men. There were no Hungarian "reserve battalions" like there were in 1808/09 for the German regiments. Once again, each regiment also had two Grenadier companies of about 145 men each in wartime, which were brigaded into separate battalions assigned to the Army Reserve Corps.

IR #31, Benjowski, was recruited in Transylvania (bleah!), and has kaisergelb (Emperor Yellow) facings and white buttons. Once again reference is made to the Histofig site for the various shades of facing colors. It is depicted in the shako which began to replace the helmet starting in 1806, the transition continuing over several years, and starting with the Hungarian units.

The Hungarian regiments also had tight fitting medium to light blue paints, tucked in to low boots, unlike the high gaiters that the German regiments wore with their own white pants. There were decorated with yellow-mixed-with-black braiding down the outside seams, and also in decorative "Hungarian knots" on the front of the pants.

A final, rear view of the Benjowski regiment; note the distinctive arrangement of the canteens.

The next unit is IR #34, Davidovich, with krebsrot ("crab-red") facings and white metal buttons.

Hungarian regiments had pointed cuffs instead of the rounded cuffs of the German regiments. They should also have only one button at the point of the cuff (unlike the 2 buttons on the round German cuffs), and then a strip of white lace decoration extending down from the button towards the edge of the cuff ending in a fringe, termed baerentatzen, or a "bear's paw". Even in 25mm scale, I couldn't really depict these effectively, so it looks like 2 buttons.

A final, rear view of IR Davidovitch; I think the Hungarians look extremely smart with the light blue pants setting off the white coats, don't you? All of the figures in this post are once again the excellent Sash and Saber figures. Add to your 25mm ranges, guys...  please?!  In fairness, though, I have to say that the Austrian range is probably their broadest - German Line in Helmet, Hungarian Line in Shako, German and Hungarian Grenadiers (all with command packs, too), Artillerists, Chevau Legers, and 6# guns, 7# howitzers. Really need those 6 pounder Cavalry guns, though, and...

These chaps are from IR #48, Vukasovich - stahlgrun ("steel green") facings with yellow metal buttons. Note once again the fairly minimal ornamentation of the drummers uniform: just the facing colored wings with white lace borders and central rosette.

The Vukasovich regiment presses the attack!  Note the lace bands on the top of the shako of the officer and NCO. The details of the arrangement displayed the wearer's rank.

These are Hungarian Grenadiers, by their yellow facings belonging to IR #2 and/or #31.Their bearskin caps originally lacked a peak (or visor), but by this time it had been added, at least to newly supplied caps. I'll cover the Grenadiers in more detail in a future post, but as these fellows are also Sash and Saber castings, I opted to include them in this one.

As I have mentioned previously, by my own conceit as de facto Kaiser of my wargames armies, my Grenadier units are unique among the infantry in carrying the white Leibfahne.  This bears the arms of the Austrian Empire on one side, same as the yellow Ordinarfahne, but the other side bears an image of the Virgin Mary.

This picture shows the rear of the bearskin caps, nicknamed fauteuil ("armchair") by the French for its shape. The rear of the cap was usually in the facing color, with wavy white lace bands of somewhat varied patterns decorating the cloth backs.

A final shot of the Hungarian Grenadiers. All of the buildings in the pictures in this post, aside from the Church, are Hovel's Northern European buildings, once again painted by me.

That's it for today; good gaming to you all!

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