Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Marshals and Generals


Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Von Ompteda

Born: 26 November 1765 – Ahlden an der Aller, Hanover

Died: 18 June 1815 – La Haye Sainte, Belgium

Rank: Colonel

In 1771 at the age of six, Ompteda was sent to his uncle Dietrich Heinrich Ludwig Von Ompteda to be educated and when he was 12 years old in 1777 he joined the Royal Corps of Pages at Hanover. In 1781 he became a lieutenant in the foot guards. In 1793 Ompteda rose to command a grenadier company in the French Revolutionary Wars and was badly wounded at Mont Cassel, and then in 1794 he sailed to England with Field Marshall Wilhelm Von Freytag.

By 1803 he was a major in a regiment of the Hanoverian guards, and when the Convention of Artlenburg dissolved the Hanoverian army on 5 July 1803, he was one of the first to join what was to become the King’s German Legion. In 1805 he led an unsuccessful expedition to northern Germany during the War of the Third Coalition. A year later he and his battalion was moved to Gilbraltar.
In 1807 his battalion was moved again and shipped out to Zeeland, where they fought against Denmark in the Gunboat War, known as the English Wars. On his return journey his ship sank off the coast of the Netherlands and he was taken prisoner in Borkum until being freed in a prisoner exchange in 1808.

In 1812 Ompteda was made lieutenant Colonel and in 1813 he was put in command of the Legion’s 1st Light Battalion KGL. By 1815 he was a Colonel and a brigade commander in General Charles Alten’s division within Wellington’s army.

Ompteda was killed at Waterloo after being ordered by the Prince of Orange into a counter-attack in column with the 5th Line Battalion to retake La Haye Sainte.
As the 5th Line Battalion under colonel Ompteda was on its way to reinforce the defenders of La Haye Sainte, the French cavalry attached to Jean-Baptiste Drouet, d'Erlon's Corp I rode them down; only a few of the intended relievers survived. Ompteda was shot at point blank range. He was 49 years of age.
After a six-hour defence, without ammunition, or reinforcements, the KGL were forced to abandon the farm, leaving the buildings in shambles and their dead behind. A total of over 4,000 cavalrymen and soldiers were said to have been buried in the communal grave opposite the farm after the battle.
There is a plaque to Baring , Von Ompteda and the KGL on the outer wall of La Haye Sainte.

Allessandro Barbero describes Ompteda's final moments as follows in his excellent re-narration of the battle of Waterloo:
"Suddenly, the order came to deploy in line and advance at a walk; when his men were some sixty yards away from the enemy, Ompteda had the bugler sound the charge and urged his horse into the midst of the thick line of French skirmishers. The tirailleurs scattered. Colonel von Ompteda was encircled by enemy infantry, and the French officers, amazed by his courage, shouted to their men to take him alive; but Ompteda, who was by then beside himself, started aiming sabre-strokes at the heads of the men surrounding him, and someone lost patience. When lieutenant Weatherly regained consciousness, the colonel lay dead two steps away from him, with his mouth open and a hole in his throat."

The Plaque at La Haye Sainte

Monday, 30 January 2017

Thank You World On Another Year

Today I celebrate nine years of blogging and hasn’t time flown by. But although I have not done any painting for nearly two years now, this blog has turned out more as a history lesson than a war-gaming blog.  This is not what I wanted to do but a general progress on how my armies are being collected and painted for the Waterloo campaign.
Still I am grateful for my eight followers although I have lost one over the last year or so and I have now had over 10, 000 hits in the last year and 31,000 over the nine years.

Looking over my posts I have frighten myself in that over the last nine years I have only painted a total of 472 figures. I have yet to pick up the paint brush but I hope that I will do soon. I take my hat off to other war-gaming bloggers who seem to have endless time to paint, make terrain and war game and visit shows around the country how they do this I will never know. But as we say good-by to the first month of 2017, I hope that this year is going well for you all and let’s hope that I can turn the corner in this fantastic hobby and start to enjoy myself when I started painting my little men all those years ago.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

More News From The Front

WATERLOO 1815 have announced that they are in production of a new set, number 041 titled “Napoleonic French Foot Dragoons”
The set is going to be a full box of dismounted dragoons and the set looks very promising. To see the masters of this set go to their Facebook Page. The set contains Marching and Action figures plus an officer, drummer with their colours. Although Waterloo 1815 boxes are a bit expensive, I think that they will be a great set for those of you who battle Napoleonic’s. I am not sure but I think that I read somewhere that a regiment of Dragoons did in fact march to Waterloo as there was not enough horses to go around the French army at that time.
These are far more better than the Strelets set 009 “French Foot Dragoons and Polish Grenadiers” which contains half dragoons and half Polish Grenadiers.

Monday, 23 January 2017

News From The Front

Over the weekend on the HaT forum, there has been talk about figures that are on the "INCOMPLETE LIST OF MASTER FIGURES".
HaT are saying that the figures that are on their list for future release will be produced some time in the near future. Although I have been waiting for so long for the figures that I need for the Waterloo campaign, it’s good news for me at long last and they say that there will be more to come on this list.
Here is the list that I would like HaT to produce ASAP.

8234French Light Infantry in Greatcoats = These will be just the marching figures and are in the queue ready for dispatch.
8294 – 1815 French Line Infantry - Marching = In queue ready for dispatch.
82951815 French Line Infantry - Command = Moulds Lost? BOTHER!

Prussian Landwehr Infantry mixed set with Marching, Action and Command figures. These are now for Crowdfunding. The masters look really good but I am at the moment sticking with my humble Airfix sets that I have already painted.

The Prussian Limbers/caissons/wagons and the Brunswick Infantry are still in development.

There is another French Elites in Greatcoats set to come and the Dutch/Belgium Carabiners both are at unfinished stages. Lets hope that there are going to be a few more surprises in the coming week.

Friday, 13 January 2017

French "AN IX" Cavalry Pistol 1801

In 1800, Napoleon was concerned about order and organization of his army and appointed a Commission composed of artillery officers and arms inspectors, whose task was to define a weapon system that could replace that of  the 1777 model. The work of these specialists reflected in the regulation of 21 Pluviôse AN IX (February 11, 1801), signed by General Saint-Germain, an artillery officer who served as general manager of the arms-manufactures since AN VII (1799). Inspired in part from the 1763-1766 model, but based on the other weapons manufactured during the Revolution, this pistol is shorter than its predecessor and was produced by four manufactures, those of Charleville, Saint-Etienne, Maubeuge and Versailles.

The “AN IX” cavalry pistol was introduced from 1801 until 1807 and it replaced the disappointing 1777 model pistol. It gave rise to a remarkable weapon, intended for the light cavalry – like the Hussars and Chasseurs, each of the troopers having two pistols in holsters on each side of their saddles.

The muzzle loading single shot flintlock pistol weight was 1.290 kg and the length was 352 mm including the barrel of 207 mm. The pistol had brass furniture which includes the buttcap, barrel band, triggerguard and sideplate with the stock made from walnut. It had a tapered 8 ¼ inch round barrel smoothbore in .690 diameter which would fire a .69 caliber lead ball which must have given the rider quite a jolt when it was fired. A small steel ramrod was fitted onto the bottom of the stock with brass fittings. The rate of fire was between two and three rounds per minute with the effective range of 5 to 10 metres. By 1807 approximately 33,000 pairs had been produced. The “AN IX” pistol continued to be used in Napoleon’s cavalry as he made sure his army had the best firearms of the day until the end of his reign in 1815.

The Function of the flintlock pistol: the cartridge made of paper filled with gunpowder and a lead ball is taken from the ammo pouch. The cock is placed in the half cock position and the frizzen opened. The cartridge is then bitten tearing off the end, a small amount of the powder is placed in the pan, the frizzen is then closed. The lead ball, along with the rest of the powder is placed in the barrel, followed by the paper. This is then rammed firmly down the barrel. The rammer is then placed back in its receiver. The cock is pulled into the full cock position and the weapon is then ready to fire. On pulling the trigger, the cock holding the flint forward striking the frizzen and exposing the powder in the pan. At the same time the flint strikes the metal of the frizzen a spark is caused setting off the powder in the pan which in turn sets off the powder in the barrel causing an explosion which them forces out the lead ball and paper wad from the barrel.