Saturday, August 28, 2021

5th battalion, King's German Legion

Although my existing "British" army has a small contingent of cavalry of the King's German Legion, this is the first such infantry regiment in my collection.


The King of England was also, from 1714, the Elector of Hanover, under a personal union of the two states. The army of  Hanover was disbanded in July 1803, as a result of a combination of  invasion by a French cops under Marshal Mortier, and some double dealing diplomatic actions by the French. Before the month was out, plans were already begun to recruit a "King's German Regiment, and by December of 1803, the nucleus of the newly named  King's German Legion had formed.


The uniform of the Legion was essentially the same as their British counterparts, with just about the only distinction I could find that would be discernible on 28 mm figures being the addition of  silver stripes to the trousers of the officers. These are Old Glory figures. 


My battalion caries the 1815 version of their Regimental color, with the "peninsula" battle honor upon it. Tne Hanoverian army was disbanded a second time in 1867, when Hanover became part of the Prussian empire; the units of the former Hanoverian army were allowed to continue the traditions of the KGL effective in 1899. 


The maximum strength of the KGL was 8 Line battalions ("regiments") of 1,000 men each, 2 Light battalions also of 1,000 men each, 2 Heavy Dragoon regiments and 3 Light Dragoon regiments each of 500 men, 2 Horse Artillery and 4 Foot Artillery companies. The Heavy Dragoons were later re-designated as Light Dragoons, and the former Light Dragoons as Hussars. In addition to extensive service in the Peninsula and at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, units of the KGL participated in the assault on Copenhagen in 1807, the Walcheren expedition in 1809, operations in Northern Germany in 1813, and operations in Sicily and Genoa in 1814. 


22 comments:

  1. A fine rendition of an excellent body of troops Peter.

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  2. I have read in one book on the 1815 army that some of the KGL battalions were butchered to help bulk up the Hanoverian Army battalions. The Army of Hanover adopted the Prussian battalion organisation of four large companies and the KGL battalions were partially reorganised on those line. I think its either in the Rawkins book or the Partridge & Oliver book

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    1. The refence in your second comment explains that the KGL battalions decreased to about 600 men each after Napoleon's abdication, chiefly due to the discharge of enlisted men of non Hanoverian origin. With the return of Hanover to the King of England, each KGL battalion sent officers and NCO's to bolster the Hanoverian Landwehr battalions.

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  3. This link explains some of what happened in 1814/15 https://www.thenapoleonicwars.net/forum/general-discussions/waterloo-hanoverian-landwehr-company-types

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    1. Thanks, Drew; the units of the KGL were disbanded in 1816 with most of the men entering the Hanoverian army.

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  4. In your count of KGL units you forgot the two light infantry battalions. However, these are the first two units raised on December 19, 1803.
    The uniforms of these two first battalions are inspired by those of the 60 ° and 95 °. However, they have some differences with the British uniform.
    After the Emperor's first abdication, the battalions were reduced to 6 companies so that at Waterloo few battalions exceeded 600 men.
    The surplus officers and non-commissioned officers were transferred to the brand new Hanover army to strengthen their framework.
    https://centjours.mont-saint-jean.com/unitesKG.php

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    1. Yes, you're right, missed the 2 (very well regarded) KGL Light Battalions; I will add them. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you like them, Steve. I was happy with how they came out as well.

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  6. Great looking German/British unit!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks, Iain. The "Personal Union" of Hanover and Great Britain was one of s number of similar oddities of Monarchy!

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  7. I always like the historical notes that accompany your painting

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    1. Thank you David. It is historical wargaming after all, and I find it helps me place the units I paint in context to the wider tapestry of Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

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  8. Nice addition to your redcoats!

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    1. One more unit of British infantry to go, then... some rockets!

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  9. Great looking KGL Line, Peter! Very brave troops.

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    1. Thanks, Dean. Yes, the KGL as a whole gave excellent service throughout the Peninsular War, at Waterloo and Quatre Bras, and elsewhere!

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