Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bavarian Commanders


The uniform of Bavarian Generals is pretty immediately recognizable. It was instituted in 1799 to replace the much disliked earlier Rumsford uniform designs.

The coats were conflower blue with red facings on the cuffs, collar, lapels, and turnbacks. White pants were worn, although later in the era, some officers adopted cornflower blue pants instead, especially for field wear. 

The collars, cuffs, and lapels were all heavily decorated with silver lace in a palm leaf pattern. As with all Bavarian officers, a sash of silver mixed with cornflower blue was worn about the waist. 

The officers shabraques were red with heavy silver lace borders. These are once again Piano Wargames figures by Lucas Luber; the figure on the left is meant to represent General Bernhard Erasmus von Deroy, and on the right we have General Carl Philpp von Wrede, accompanied by an infantry officer. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Bavarian "Horse Artillery" and Train


"Bavarian Horse Artillery" is somewhat of a misnomer. The first thing approaching this was a 2 gun section composed of the of Reitende Artillerie Kompanie in 1800. The horse battery was separated from the Artillerie-Regiment in May 1801, and the following year was reformed as an independent, 8 gun company. In March of 1804, the Horse company was disbanded and incorporated in to the Foot Artillery battalions. 

    From W. J. Rawkins, The Army of The Kingdom of Bavaria, 1792 – 1814  "Following the French occupation of Vienna Napoleon invited Maximillian Josef to accompany him to the Vienna Arsenal and presented him with Austrian guns, limbers, caissons and ancillary wagons and harnesses to fully equip two complete 6pdr horse artillery companies (Artillerie zu Pferd). This equipment with ‘wurst seats’ fitted to the gun trails was issued to two of the existing foot artillery battery converting them to horse artillery. The gunners rode on the wurst seats and the limber and the non-commissioned-officers were mounted on horse obtained fully trained from the cavalry who also provided to trained trumpeters for each company. 

    These new companies were initially organized in the same manner as the Austrian ‘wurst artillery’ but this was found unsatisfactory to Manson (the chief of the Bavarian Artillery arm), who disliked the weight that the wurst seat added to the light 6 pdr field guns which prevented the gun being laid by a single gunner. In 1806 the horse batteries were re-organised and began to be issued with new equipment specially designed by Manson and the companies ceased to be known as Artillerie zu
Pferd and were styled as ‘Leichte-Artillerie’, or ‘Mobile-Artillerie’.  

    The wurst seats were removed from the cannon trails in 1807 and replaced with Manson’s design for ammunition and tool caissons with a wurst seat on which the light artillery crews could ride. This system remained in use with the light companies until 1817."

The uniforms of these troops were the same as the foot artillery, except with a white plume on the Raupenhelm in place of the red of the Foot Artillery. 

Gunner's shabraques were dark blue with a deep yellow border, piped red. Officers shabraques were red with a broad gold border, piped red. A spare Bavarian Dragoon figure has been pressed into service as a mounted artillerist. These figures are all by Lucas Luber and Piano Wargames.  

In September 1806 the Bavsrian Artillery Train came under full military control as the ‘Führwesen-Bataillon’’. The new battalion was composed of eight companies, each divided into two "half-companies,  with one such assigned to each of the field artillery companies.

The limber and crew are by Lancashire Games, one of the few manufacturers I know of who do Bavarian limbers and train figures. I have no idea if the unusual seat atop the limber is correct; I am inclined to doubt it! 

As of 1806, the train uniform was a light grey jacket with cornflower blue collar, cuffs, and lapels, and grey facings piped light blue. White metal buttons and shoulder scales were worn. The breeches were light grey.  An artillery Raupenhelm was worn without a plume. 

As with the artillery carriages, the Bavarian limbers, caissons, and wagons were painted light blue with the metal fittings painted black. 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Battle of Stromschnellen Crossing, April 1809

 Two weeks ago, Czar Barry drove all the way down from Maine for the game. We played Battle Command, and it reminded me again just how much I like those rules (and the closely related Field of Battle, too... of course! I took the Austrians as FML Hiller, and Barry played the role of  Imperial ADC, General Jean Rapp. To keep everything simple, all the commanders were rated as LD 10.

Starting Deployment; the Austrian defenders hope to use the defensive terrain around the town of Sitzmark to but time for their wagon train to cross over the bridge, and their sappers to set the charges to blow the bridge thereafter, whilst exiting as many of their troops over the Stromschellen river before that. A Bavarian Division with supporting troops from the Wurttemburg Royal Guard enters from the left, a combined Baden and Hessian Division enters in the center, and a Wurttemburg Divisuion enters from the right. 

Confederation of the Rhine, 

General de Division Jean Rapp  LD10

Bavarian Division,  Crown Prince Ludwig  LD10

Bavarian Brigade  von Zandt

1 Jager DD6 CD 12

4 Line  DD6, CD 10

1 Bavarian Dragoon DD6 CD 12

6# FA Battery DD6 CD 12

Reserve Brigade  von Kornhold  LD 10

Wurttemberg Garde zu Fuss  DD 8, CD 12

Wurttemberg Gardes du Corps  DD8, CD 12

Wurttemberg Leibjager Garde  DD 8, CD 12

Wurttemberg 6# Horse Battery DD6 CD 12

Wurttemberg Division, Prince Wilhelm

1st Brigade  von Scharfstein  LD 10

2nd Light Infantry DD6 CD 12

3rd, 5th, and 6th Line  DD6, CD 10

6# Foot Battery DD6 CD 12

2nd Brigade  von Neubronn  LD 10

1st Fussjager DD6 CD 12

1st, 2nd, and 4th Line  DD6, CD 10

6# Foot Battery DD6 CD 12

Cavalry Brigade  von Wollwarth  LD 10

Wurttemberg Chevaulegers #2 "Leib" DD6 CD 12

Jager zu Pferd #3 Herzog Louis  DD6, CD 10

Baden and Hessen-Darmstadt Division Prinz Karl von Baden  L:D 10

Baden Brigade  Kister LD10

1 Jager DD6 CD 12

4 Line  DD6, CD 10

6# Foot Battery DD6 CD 12

Hessen-Darmstadt Brigade  Prince Emil  LD 10

3 Line Infantry  DD6, CD 10

6# Foot Artillery DD6 CD 12

VI Corps, FML von Hiller  LD 10

Saper Company  DD 8, CD10   (2 UI)

Advance Guard Division, GM von Nordmann  LD 10

Jager Battalion  DD8, CD12  Rifles

Grenz Battalion  DD6, CD 10

1st Erzherzog Karl Legion  DD6, CD 8

1st Vienna Volunteers  DD 6, CD 8

6# Cavalry Battery  DD6 CD 12

1st Division, FML von Kuttulinsky  LD 10

4 Austrian Line  DD6, CD 10

6# Foot Battery DD6 CD 12

Light Cavalry Brigade Weissenwolf  LD 10

1 Hussar  DD 8, CD 10

1 Uhlan DD6 CD 12

2nd Division, FML von Vincent  LD 10

4 Austrian/Hungarian Line  DD6, CD 10

6# Battery DD6 CD 12

Reserve Division, GM Rohan  LD 10

1 Grenadier DD8, CD 12+1

12# Foot Battery  DD6, CD 12+1

Cuirassier Brigade  von Schneller  LD 10

2 Austrian Cuirassier DD 8, CD 12+1

Wagon Train, Oberst Langsam  LD 8

4 Wagons  DD 4, CD 6

(2 UI)

Close up of the defender's position

The Wurttemberg Division advances swiftly, taking some casualties from the Austrian artillery.

The Baden Brigade advances on the Erdbeerenfeld farm, backed up by the Hessians.

The Wurttemberg Light Infantry takes the bulk of the casualties covering the advance of the columns.

Baden Jagers are in the farm complex already, and not a wagon has retreated over the river as yet!

Not to be outdone, the Bavarians press the attack as well, taking some point blank fire in the process. 

A Bavarian column supported by some Dragoons charge the crack Austrian Jagers; effective rifle fire drops many of the Bayern!

The Bavarian attack columns are repulsed in the center as well!

Oberst Von Langsam gets anxious as not a single wagon from his train has yet to cross the bridge!

Two Austrian Cuirassier regiments charge the Wurttemburg Dragoons!

Austrian Grenz charge the Bavarian Light infantry in the Hasenhüpferwald!

Austrian Jagers form square, with a regiment of Bavarian Dragoons in charge range! Two of the 4 wagons have finally crossed the river!

General Rapp receives a string of messages from the Emperor urging him to make haste, and thus a Wurttemberg Infantry brigade prepares to charge the Kaiserlick guns on the Harschberg. 

Bavarian artillery fire has blown a large hole in the Austrian left center; routers crowd the wagons seeking the relative safety of the far side of the river!!

Eagle's eye view of the field; the Bavarian Division has suffered heavy losses (upper left corner). 

View from the Confederation lines. 

Volley and counter-volley, charge and counter charge on the Harschberg!

The Wurttemberg Royal Guard Cavalry and Infantry charge into the previously opened gap in the Austrian defensive line!!

The Royal Footguards are routed, as the whitecoats begin to pull back, constricting their perimeter! All of the wagons have now crossed, but the bridge is not yet ready for demolition!

Wurttemberg infantry presses the attack!

Exit stage left, even!

The Footguards have rallied!

More Austrians pass over the bridge, as their sappers work furiously to prepare the last of the charges!

Austrian Cuirassiers chase off the Wurttemberg Dragoons and Jagers zu Pferd. 

The Austrians are out of Morale points, and constrict their perimeter further. The Sapper captain reports that the bridge is mined and ready to blow on the orders of FML Hiller. 

Wurttemberg Light Infantry makes a clever move to shoot the Austrian Cuirassiers in the flank. Evidently they had too much beer with lunch, as their fire is utterly ineffective!!

The Wurttemberg line infantry columns continue to press onward.

Austrian Uhlans charge the Wurttemberg Guards du Corps, as the Bad4rs advance through the Erdbeerenfeld farm complex. 

Situation in the center at the end of the game. The wagons have escaped, and the bridge is ready to blow on the next Event card, but the Austrians have taken heavy losses and will doubtless have to sacrifice more than a few of their units in Sitzmark town and beyond to allow for the destruction of the bridge; a minor victory at least to General Rapp!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Bavarian Foot Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars

 In 1799, the new Elector of  Bavaria, Maximillian-Joseph, ordered a reorganization of the Bavarian Artillery arm. In 1800, the Bavarian artillery consisted of a 10 company regiment, organized in to three companies each of Bombardier-Kanonier-Kompanienl; a single small  Reitende-Artillerie-Kompanie (nascent Horse Artillery). The book strength of the Artillery companies was 100, serving 8 guns. 

For the 1809 campaign, the strength of the Bavarian Artillery had risen to 13 companies. 1 mobile company served in the Tyrol, and the remainder was organized into 3 field divisions, each consisting of
one Leichte-Artillerie-Kompanie of six 6pdr field guns and two 7pdr howitzers, two Artillerie zu Fuß Kompanien each of six 6pdr field guns and two 7pdr howitzers , and one Reserveartillerie zu Fuß Kompanie of six 12pdr guns and two 7pdr howitzers.

In 1811, the Artillery was expanded again, and now consisted of 4 artillery battalions, each having the same organization as the 1809 field divisions, with the addition of a third Artillerie zu Fuß Kompanie. Thus, there were now 20 companies in total. 

The uniform coat was change from the traditional Bavarian scheme of grey with cornflower blue facings to dark blue with black facings in 1791. The Raupenhelm was introduced for the Artillery in 1800, and that time. The uniform was updated in 1804, and did not change significantly thereafter over the course of the Napoleonic Wars. 

Bavarian artillery carriages, limbers, etc, were painted light blue. The crew and gun figures are once more by Lucas Luber and Piano Wargames. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Snow Days, Zoom Plays, and a Package today!

We had a "snow day" with about 10" of snow on Tuesday. Left to right, Annie, Rowan, Maddie, and Brooke. What are they looking for so eagerly?

The package from Piano Wargames, of course!  The spoils of the Danube Campaign, Part 1 Kickstarter arrived today from Germany. Above are the French Chasseurs a Cheval; I got enough for 2 x 8 figure regiments like this; spare figures usually become Cavalry command figures or aides. 

French Dragoons; also enough for 2 regiments plus a few spares. 

French foot artillery.

A French Legere regiment.

A French Line regiment; once again enough figures for 2 units like this. When I eventually get around to painting them, I will have to decide if they will be French, or some other nation; candidates include Swiss, Berg, Dutch, etc. 

Kickstarter bonus figures - Berthier, and the final hours of Marechal Lannes. 


French ADC's and infantry officer. 

Austrian High Command

Austrian ADC's/Infantry officers


Austrian Chevauxlegers

Austrian Hussars; I resisted the Uhlans as I already have 2 units of same, and there were never more than 4 altogether. 

Got in a Zoom game this week with Tim hosting, and me as the English and David as the French at Crecy. The last of the 3rd wave of the French attack is seen just before they decide that the day is lost and quit the field. The Black Prince was captured twice, and rescued twice, while the French King wound up in English hand, and having to pay, well, a King's Ransom!