Battle of Waterloo

Battle of Waterloo

tiistai 21. huhtikuuta 2015

Prussian I. Army Corps - Belgium June 1815

Von Ziethens I. Army Corps, Belgium June 1815

It has truly been a while since I have published any of my projects in these pages. I've managed to finally finish off the main body of my 1815 Prussian I. Corps under the stout leadership of von Ziethen. Below you can see the OOB for the Waterloo campaign as well as pics of the various regiments and battalions of the army corps. I have yet to acquire and paint 3. and 4. Infantry brigades as well as the Corps Artillery reserves, but I'm pretty happy with this sizeable force as it is.

Please not that whereas most brgades of other European forces consist of 4-6 battalions, Prussian brigades exceed this and should be considered Divisions in all regards. The Prussian "Brigade" consisted of 9 infantry battalions, of which 3 were line, 3 reservists of the parent line regiment and 3 were landwher battalions. On top of this, the "brigade" was supported by various skrimish companies, a foot artillery battery and usually an attached cavalry regiment. This pushes the Prussian "brigade" to a hefty 11+ units each.

The idea behind such large formations was purely tactical. The Prussians wished to have balanced "combined arms" forces, which would be implemented on the brigade level instead of the usual division level. Furthermore, due to the restrictive implementation of the French ruling on Prussian armed forces, the "brigades" had to be trained so as to make the numbers appear small. This meant that while on paper a brigade would only consist of 3 line battalions at all times, the Prussians would train reservists under the tutelage of the parent regiment, thus effectively duplicating numbers! On top of this hastily armed and trained landwher woud futher bolster the numbers, making each brigade on paper three times larger in real life! Cunning Prussians indeed.

I have taken some liberties with recreation of the OOB. Namely, I have replaced the Uhlan regiment with the 1st Dragoons in the 1st Cavalry Brigade and added the 1st Life Hussars into the 1st Infantry Brigade, shifting the 4th Hussars into the 2nd Brigade (sources vary on their operations in this army corps). However I feel this is justified as Army Corps commanders have the liberty of assigning their assets as they see fit. Enjoy!

I. Corps group shot

I. Army Corps - General Lieutenant von Ziethen

1. Infantry Brigade - General Major von Steinmetz

12th Infantry Regiment "Brandenbourg Line" (3 battalions)
24th Infantry Regiment "Brandenbourg Reservists" (3 battalions)
1st Westfalian Landwher Infantry Regiment (3 battalions)
1st Silesian Schutzen (2 companies)
1st "Life" Hussars (3 squadrons)
Foot Artillery Battery

2. Infantry Brigade - General Major von Pirch II

6th Infantry Regiment "West Prussian" (3 battalions)
28th Infantry Regiment "Berg" (3 baattalions)
2nd Westfalian Landwher Infantry Regiment (3 battalions)
4th "Silesian" Hussars (3 squadrons)
Foot Artillery Battery

Reserve Cavalry Corps - General Lieutenant von Roeder

1. Brigade - General Major von Treskow II

1st Dragoon Regiment (4 squadrons)
2nd Dragoon Regiment (4 squadrons)
5th Dragoon Regiment (4 squadrons)

2. Brigade - Colonel Lutzow II
6th Uhlan Regiment (3 squadrons)
1st Kumark Landwher Regiment (3 squadrons)
1st Westfalian Landwher Regiment (3 squadrons)

Army and Army Corps Commanders

Field Marhsal Blucher and his trusty Chief of Staff von Gneisenau (left) General Major von Ziethen and his ADC in Kurassier white uniform and green markings indicating his ADC status (right)

1. Infantry Brigade

12th Infantry Regiment "Brandenbourg Line"
24th infantry Regiment "Brandenbourg Reservists"
1st Westfalian Landwher Regiment

1st "Life" Hussars (according to some sources 3 squadrons were attached to 1st Brigade)
1st Silesian Schutzen Battalion (-) these companies are split into both infantry brigades.
Foot artillery batteries (9 pdr) of 1. and 2. infantry brigades.

2. Infantry Brigade

6th Infantry Regiment "West Prussian" (1st and 2nd Btn in picture only)

28th Infantry Regiment "Berg" (these troops still wear their old white French uniforms due to shortage of clothing!)
2nd Westfalian Landwher Regiment

4th Silesian Hussars (some sources suggest this was either with 1. Inf  or 1. Cav brigade, I have taken the liberty of attaching it to 2. Inf Brigade)

1.Cavalry Brigade

1st, 2nd and 5th Dragoons charging under GM Treskow (Again, this brigade should not have the 1st Dragoons, rather the 3rd Uhlans)

2. Cavalry Brigade

6th Uhlan, 1st Kumark and 1st Westfalian Landwher led by Colonel Lutzow!

This has been a blast to paint! Although the Prussians are not as flashy as many of the other napoleonic forces, I have enjoyed painting Prussian Blue and have the upmost respect for the sheer pragmatism which the Prussians were forced to implement in their uniform distribution and material purchasing. Vorwarts!

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