Sunday, January 29, 2023
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Among the many attractive things about the digitally sculpted figures being produced by Lucas Luber of Piano Wargames in Germany, is the inclusion of special figures for the high command of the nations he is covering. In the case of Hessen-Darmstadt, there were 3 such figures. From the right of the photo, a Hessian field officer, painted wearing the blue facings of the Leib regiment, Prince Emil of Hessen-Darmstatdt, and Prince Georg of Hessen-Darmstadt.
From The Napoleon Series (as translated from the original French):
"In 1812, Prince Émile of Hesse, the most brilliant of the Grand Duke’s sons, was at the head of the Hessian contingent: his regiments were at Smolensk, Moskowa, Krasnoi, Berezina; they shared all the woes of the army and deserved to be reunited with the Imperial Guard. In this campaign, Prince Émile gained genuine popularity; he inspired one of the most beautiful songs dedicated to German veterans of the Grand Army:
“General! General! Your image shines in our hearts, as in a hurricane of battles it dazzled, terribly, the eyes of the enemy, great image always luminous! — Napoleon understood you, and he understood how to choose men! — His eagle gaze went to the bottom of his heart; of what price you were for him, your exploits showed it. — Hello, our general! You live in our hearts, you are the pride of veterans, the golden mirror of heroes, great immortal image!”
Prince Emile and Colonel Schönberg themselves led this attack, during which the Hessians drove many enemies from the houses and gardens of the village, and captured 150 men.
The Leib Regiment pursued the enemy on Groß-Görschen, supported by the division’s artillery. On another part of the battlefield, the village of Kaja, lost by the French, was recaptured and lost again … Finally, Marmont decisively makes himself master with 16 battalions of the Young Guard: it was victory; an attempted night attack carried out by the Prussian cavalry on the bivouacs of the victorious army was immediately stopped by a regiment of the Young Guard.
The Hessians, engaged during the whole day, suffered significant losses: the fusiliers had a third of their officers and 324 men hors-de-combat; the brigade had 1 officer and 78 soldiers killed, 12 officers (including Colonel von Follénius) and 421 wounded men; finally, 846 missing men… The Hessian battery which accompanied the infantry in the attack on Klein-Görschen on difficult terrain, cut off by numerous ditches, fired 111 rounds of 6 and 80 rounds per howitzer: it was so clearly distinguished that it received 5 stars of the Legion of Honor, 2 for officers and 3 for gunners; however, during the battle itself, 8 artillerymen deserted; 9 others desert on 5 May… Eleven knight’s crosses (4 for officers, 7 for soldiers) rewarded the valor of the battalions of the Hessian fusiliers at Lützen." The Hessians were lightly engaged at Bautzen, forming part of Ney's Corps, which did not arrive on the battlefield until late in the day.
The Hessians fought at the Battle of Leipzig "Around nine o’clock, the allies carried out a concentric attack on the city of Leipzig in large masses: the shells rained on the Hessians, whom Prince Emil led to a more sheltered position on the promenade which separated the city from the suburbs; the 1st Battalion of Fusiliers and the 1st Battalion of the Leibgarde pushed back for a moment the enemy who forced the gate of Kohlgarten: but the Swedes took these battalions from behind… The Leib Regiment fortunately released them.
At noon, we abandoned the suburbs; two grape shots fired by the Hessian pieces made the assailants retreat further; meanwhile the Swedish artillery arrived, so that the attack was resumed by the allies on the gate of Grimma, where Baden and Hessian competed in courage and devotion. The two pieces of Hessian cannon that remained with the brigade were heading towards the Elster bridge, from which they were only a few meters away, when the latter blew up… The Hessian artillerymen then spiked their two pieces, crossed Elster swimming and rejoined their battery in Lützen the next day.
Finally yielding to numbers, the Hessians retreated while fighting in the streets of the city; the Austrians had already entered through the Saint Peter Gate and had reached the market place… the Prussians were also emerging from all sides… Prince Emile could no longer continue a fight that had become useless: he ordered a cease fire, stopped and assembled what remained of soldiers, had their arms piled: 45 officers and 200 men were thus taken prisoner; in the three days of the battle the contingent of Darmstadt lost 3 officers and 22 men killed, 12 officers and 169 soldiers wounded, without counting more than 150 missing men; the 1st Fusilier Batallion had only two-thirds of its strength; the Leib Regiment numbered on the morning of 16 October, 20 officers and 440 men; of this number 16 officers and 81 soldiers were prisoners, all the rest were killed, wounded or disappeared… the two flags of the regiment, torn and buried in Leipzig, did not fall into the hands of the enemy."