Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Kellerman and the 2nd Heavy Cavalry

Francois Etienne de Kellerman was noted for his daring and skillful exploits during the Napoleonic Wars. He was born in Metz and served for a short time in his father's regiment of Hussars until 1791 and returned to the army in 1793 where he again served under his father's command in the Alps, and in 1796 he rose to the rank of chef de brigade.

In the latter part of Bonaparte's 1796-97 Italian campaign he attracted the future emperor's attention at Tagliamento. He was made general of brigade and continued in Italy in the armies of Rome and Naples under Macdonald and Championnet.
At the Marengo he commanded a heavy cavalry brigade with which he conducted one of the most famous cavalry charges of history, which, with Desaix's infantry attack, decided the issue of the battle defeating three Austrian grenadier battalions. Then rapidly reforming his troopers, charged and routed an Austrian dragoon regiment. The dragoons stampeded through the Austrian army, causing a general rout that effectively ended the Austrian's battle.


Kellerman's Brigade

2e Heavy Cavalry               12 Figures.    Grade: Line 
20e Heavy Cavalry             12 Figures.    Grade: Line
21e Heavy Cavalry             12 Figures.    Grade: Line

The 2nd Heavy Cavalry

Putting together a unit of French Heavy Cavalry for Marengo was not as easy as I first thought. There is a very limited choice of figures with virtually none available that I felt would fit in with what I already had. Plus with cost constraints meaning I had limited funds to spend. First of all I had to do a little research on what the Heavy Cavalry looked like at this battle. There were a few contradictory images online and in book reference, but here are some that I used as reference for painting this unit.

As I really want to concentrate on my Austrian army I didn't want to spend too much time and money on these, but I also wanted something that would be of similar quality to my other units. I had a few suggestions from the TMP Napoleonic forum which included using Spanish troops as my French, and with a lot of help from Mike at Warmodelling UK, I have managed to put together two units of twelve cavalrymen each using their Spanish Cavalry range, all at a very cheap price. Unfortunately Mike is no longer supplying Warmodelling miniatures so the next and final unit will have to be ordered from Spain.

The figures themselves are reasonably good, but with the slight roughness that lower the quality of Warmodelling's figures, and some of the horses didn't look like they were from the same sculptor. Also a couple of the figures are holding pistols (I may change these if I can get more sword-bearing spares).

I've painted these a little quicker than they deserve, but with increasing arthritis pain in my hands, and decreasing eye-sight quality, they were a bit of a struggle. I also hate painting horses for some reason, and this is probably the very first mounted unit I've completed.

The flags still need to be done, with new artwork needed, and then a visit to the printers.

I hope you like them. And comments as to whether these work as Heavy French Cavalry or not are welcome...

I also found this very nice image of French Generals suitable for this period...

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Gardanne and the 44e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne

Gen de Div. Gardanne
44e Demi-brigade

Gaspard-Amédée Gardanne had become governor of Alessandria in 1799, but in July of that year the city was besieged and Gardanne was forced to surrender, being taken as a prisoner of war. Before long he was exchanged for Austrian General Mack and released. Once back in Paris, Gardanne assisted Bonaparte with the coup d'état.
In early 1800 Gardanne was promoted to Général de Division.  He joined the Army of the Reserve in April 1800 and then took command of a new division in June. Leading his division, he fought at Montebello.
On the 13th of June 1800, Gardanne was in command of the advanced guard and had positioned himself to lead his troops in to Alessandria with just the creek separating the opposing forces. Neither side was aware of each others strength, and the terrain favoured the advancing Austrians, but Gardanne distinguished himself nonetheless.
Gardanne later received a sabre of honor for his conduct at Marengo and he went on to serve with the Army of Italy until the summer of 1801 when he returned to France.
Gardanne was in command of Saxon troops in Silesia in 1807 when he fell ill and died.

Gardanne's Brigade

44e Demi-brigade de bataille              3x 30 Figures.    Grade: Line 
101e Demi-brigade de bataille             2x 30 Figures.    Grade: Line
Skirmishers                                          12 Figures.         Grade: Line
44e Demi-brigade, 1st Battalion

Regimental History
1642: Created
1645: Named Regiment Mazarin-Italien
1651: Renamed Regiment Anjou-Etranger
1660: Renamed Regiment de Orleans
1791: 44e Regiment de Infanterie
1793: 44e demi-brigade de bataille (formed from the following):
2e bataillon 22e Regiment de Infanterie
2e bataillon Volontaires de la Correze
5e bataillon Volontaires de Rhone-et-Loire
1796: 44e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de ligne (formed from the following): 
92e demi-brigade de bataille (2e Bat 46e Regt d'Inf, 5e Bat Vol de la Haute-Saone and 2e Bat Vol d'Eure-et-Loir)
2e and Depot bataillons 44e Regiment de Infanterie
The 44e Demi-Brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne fought at Marengo with its battalions split between Gardanne's Brigade and Dampierre's Brigade according to the army list that I am working from (which appeared in issue 290 of Wargames Illustrated). According to this list there were three battalions with Gardanne and a further one battalion with Dampierre, although I was of the impression that the regiment would only have three battalions. To remedy this I think that for one of the battalions I will not include a flag, unless I find it the meantime that there were more than three battalions in a demi-brigade.

The Chef-de-Brigade for the 44e at Marengo was either Francois-Joseph Offenstein or Adrien-Joseph Sauder, but I've found conflicting sources for who was in command at that time.

This unit has been built using Blue Moon's 1805 French in Greatcoats and command figures from AB. The Blue Moon command figures have an Eagle Bearer rather than a standard flag so rather than convert the figures I used the AB range. They mix quite well as you can see.

For comparison purposes here is the Blue Moon battalion alongside the previous battalion I've completed, which uses Warmodelling Miniatures. The Blue Moon are noticeably smaller and in more regimental poses, bur they should look fine on the same tabletop.
While painting these I had a look for some inspirational images on the internet and found these pictures.