Saturday, February 7, 2015

British Generals part 2

My second group of British Napoleonic generals are from a set by Wargames Foundry, focusing on British commanders at Waterloo.

Here's the whole set of 10 figures. They are clearly heavily inspired by the 1978 Osprey men at Arms "Wellington's General;s" by Michael Barthorp.

Here is the "Iron Duke" himself, with an ADC and an officer of Dragoons.  

Wellington was known as a rather dapper dresser, and the understated style of his dress as seen above became quite famous.

He held an amazing number of titles, being made a Knight of the Bath (thus Sir Arthur Wellesey) in 1804, Viscount Wellington in 1809, Earl of Wellington and then later Marquess of Wellington in 1812, and Duke of Wellington in 1814. 

Wellington held still more foreign titles, as well as honorary appointments as Field Marshal of the armies of Austria, Hanover, the Netherlands, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, and Spain!

Here is Henry Paget, Earl of Uxbridge (1812), in the ornate uniform he wore at Waterloo. 

He served  as a Lt. Colonel of Infantry (80th Regiment) in the Duke of York's ill fated campaign in Flanders in 1794, before transferring to the cavalry, where he commanded the 7th Light Dragoons. He commanded a brigade of light cavalry and served, with distinction in the otherwise disastrous campaign of 1799 in the low countries, and was promoted to major General in 1802.

Promoted to Lieutenant General in 1808, he commanded a Division of cavalry under Sir Thomas Moore, and once again served with distinction during the difficult retreat to Corunna. After his return to England, he left his wife and eloped with Wellington's sister in law. Not surprisingly, he was not welcome in the Peninsular army under Wellington's command, and never returned there.

Despite the above family issues, he was appointed command all of the Cavalry in the Anglo-Allied army for the Hundred Days campaign. Very late in the Battle of Waterloo, a cannon ball stuck him in the leg, which was amputated shortly thereafter. According to tradition, he was not far from Wellington at the time of his injury, and exclaimed to him "By God sir, I've lost my leg", to which Wellington replied, "By God sir, so you have!" Said leg was later buried in Waterloo, and a shrine erected, becoming quite a tourist attraction, and later the cause of a diplomatic incident - it's macabre history is told here on Wikipedia.

Sir Roland Hill, seen above, was perhaps the most trusted and best liked of Wellington's subordinates.

He joined the army at age 18, and came to notice serving as an ADC at the same siege of Toulon in 1793 where a certain Corsican general of Artillery first came to prominence! He served in Egypt in 1801 at the head of his own 90th regiment of foot. Rising to Major general, he commanded a brigade in Hanover in 1805 and then in the Peninsula under Wellesey, then Moore, and then Wellington again. 

Promoted to Lieutenant General in 1812, he was one of the few officers Wellington trusted with independent command. He commanded the 2nd Division and later a Corps in both the Peninsula and again during the 100 Days campaign. Reliable and energetic, he was also a kind man who was beloved by the soldiers under his command. 

Sir Thomas Picton joined the army, on paper at least, as an ensign at age 13. He first saw active service in the West Indies, where he remained until 1803. He was promoted to major General in 1808.

Picton commanded the 3rd Division throughput the Peninsular War, playing important roles at the battles of  Busaco and the sieges of Badajoz and Cuidad Rodrigo. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1812. Hmm, I need to paint the edges of this base, don't I?  I was running low on my Litko bases and so used some very old tan masonite for this, and the unpainted light color really shows!

Picton was called to command the 5th Division during the Waterloo campaign, and was badly wounded in the fierce fighting at Quatre Bras. He concealed his injuries and led his Division again at Waterloo, where he was killed by a bullet to the head.

Picton was famous for his disdain for uniform regulations, and fought the Waterloo campaign entirely in civilian dress, including his famous top hat, which is preserved in the British national Army museum. I have chosen to give him a dark green coat here to help this unique character stand out more on the tabletop!

Finally we have this un-named British General officer, reading a map, and perhaps seeing the English sounding village of Waterloo near Brussels. He wears his lapels fully buttoned up, and thus all but invisible. 

He wears a regulation British General's uniform, although the white feathers on his hat are supposed to be reserved for higher ranking general officers.

The rear view shows the crimson sash worn by all British officers, and some of the gold lace detailing on the tail of his jacket. 

With the change in plans to running Ligny at Historicon, after this post there will a hiatus in posts about red coats and regimental histories, while I switch to a 5 month span of Prusso-mania!



  1. Another beautiful set of generals Peter, my favourites is the 'Iron Duke', as well as Sir Picton, always impressive...very nice job!

  2. Lovely set of commanders for the British. For all the lovely uniforms, Picton's green civilian coat is a stand out.

    1. Thanks, Dean. It should probably be grey or black, but I thought the green was more fun and would stand out more.

  3. A second fine batch of British commanders ready for battle. I enjoyed the brief bio on each too!

  4. A lovely collection Peter, and I am looking forward to your Prussians over the coming months.