Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Lets Make Merry

Well it’s that time of year once again and another year which has flown by. This ends my second year on this blog of mine and I have done a little bit better this year in that I have started to look at the Marshals and Generals at Waterloo and Waterloo Medals.
I still have plenty to do to this blog and still needing those pictures of my painted armies for you to look at. So if you do look here now and then, please keep looking and sign up to this blog, so I know where you are looking from.
Although painting my little men has dried up for sometime now, I hope to get back into the saddle next year and really push myself.
In the mean time may I wish you and your families, where ever you are in the world


Friday, 10 December 2010

News from the front

I had some good news from HAT this week announcing that they will be bringing out two sets that I have been waiting for plus a surprise set.
We first saw the 8174 Brunswick and the 8197 Prussian Hussars line drawings way back in March 2008 and have not seen much in the way of progress. But they are now saying, on their website, that they are in the queue and due for release next year.
They have also said that they are bringing out a set of Napoleonic Mounted Officers. These include Russian, Spanish, Prussian and Prussian Landwehr mounted officers. These look promising but I hope that I can use the Prussian officers for Waterloo. Roll on 2011.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cost of my Hobby this year

In 2009 I spent a grand total of £134:10 pence on my hobby. That is so far, the most that I have splashed out on my hobby over the past six years.
This year started off very slow and then came to a gridding halt with my painting which is a great shame as you can never claim them hours back in your life.
There are no new figures for me as of yet, but I hope that next year Hat will bring out those Brunswick cavalry and Prussian Hussars that I would love to have in my collection. Total spent this year is just £47.75 pence on 13 items.

1 PAINT TINS £1:25
1 Metre GOLD CHAIN £1.64
4 FIGURES (Boxes) £23.19
1 SHOWS (Entry Fee) £5

Friday, 3 December 2010

Nassau Waterloo Medal

Nassau Waterloo Medal 1815. The Nassaus's contingent consisted of roughly 3000 soldiers and saw a lot of action during the battles of Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. The Medal was made of Silver and was 28.9mm in diameter. The ribbon was dark blue with gold yellow edging. On the front is a bust of Friedrich August.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Marshals and Generals


August Von Kruse

Born: 1779 Wiesbaden, Nassau (Germany)

Died: 1848

RANK: Major General

August Von Kruse was born in Wiesbaden in 1779. His father was Karl Friedrich Von Kruse a state official in the service of Nassau-Usingen. His mother was Philippina Catherina Von Bitburg, he was their only son.
Against the wishes of his mother and father, Kruse, at the age of 17 joined the military army. For seven years he served with Prince of Brunswick-Luneburg.
On the 1st July 1803, he accepted a commission as a captain in the Nassau-Weilburg military. At that time the army consisted of two companies and with the merger of the territories of Nassau-Weilburg and Nassau, the army expanded considerably. Kruse was then given the rank of major.
As an Allie to France, Nassau supported Napoleon in the Prussian campaign of 1806 and by the end of the campaign Kruse was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In the summer of 1808, Kruse commanded the 2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment No 88 and fought for the French in the Peninsular War. On 13th October1808, the regiment crossed the Spanish border. The Nassauers took part in 42 battles, including the Battle of Vitoria on 21st June 1813.
On 10th December 1813, as Napoleon’s empire started to fall apart in northern Europe, Kruse received secret orders from the Duke to join the British. Kruse carefully manoeuvred his men so they could march to the British lines, upon which he announced their change of allegiance.
In 1815 at Waterloo, Kruse commanded the 1st Nassau which was the 1st and 2nd Battalion’s of Line Infantry. They were positioned on the ridge in Wellington’s left center. Wellington was very familiar with Kruse’s actions in the Penisula War to comment to him prior to the battle, “I hope, General, that your actions today are as clever when you are fighting for me as they were in Spain when you were fighting against me”.
A small Dutch light infantry battalion was in the woods of Hougoumont throughout the daylong fight there. The 2nd Nassau Infantry, under Prince Bernard of Saxe Weimar, was on the Allied left at Waterloo.
Kruse was awarded the Grand Cross with Diamonds of the Imperial Russian Order of St, Anne, the Legion of Honour, Nassau’s silver Waterloo Medal and the insignia of a knight of the Royal Netherlands Military Willems-Order in his career.
As a reward for his services, in 1822 the Duke gave Kruse a farm by Eisenbach, in the Taunua. On his 143 acres of farmland, he experimented with new methods of construction and cattle breeding. Kruse did marry Baroness Henriette Von Dungern. She died in 1873. They were both buried on the farm.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I have just got back from a long extended weekend where I went and stayed at my caravan in Norfolk UK.
My partner loves going to TK MAXX which sells mostly fashion clothes and house hold goods. I always look in their toy department as they now and then, sell Revell’s and Aifix kits and hoped that one day I would see soldiers.
To my surprise this weekend they had a couple of boxes of Revell’s Prussian Infantry and the British Rifle sets selling at just £2.99 pence each.
This was such a bargain as they retail at £6.99 pence each. So I picked up another box of Prussian’s, another regiment has joined my Prussian army.
I go to a toy shop in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and they usually sell them at £5.75 pence each, so this was a real bargain. Total spent on my hobby to date is just £45.55 pence.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Birthday Boy

Well another Birthday has come and gone and the realisation that another year has flown by. Still I did manage to get something for my wargame as a present and that was a farm house by BB Wargames. This is a nice model and already painted. The roof and first floor can be removed, so you could use it as a ruined farm house.

Now I have been on their website and by looks of things they are mainly WWII buildings but some, like the farm house, can be use for other periods.
There are some ruined buildings that I might collect when I see them next at Salute or SELWG next year.

On the painting front, it has all dried up as the journey to work and back with the late nights takes its toll. I am glad that there are no new sets for me to buy as the pile of unpainted figures is still very high.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

SELWG 10 Report

I was looking forward to another day at the SELWG at Crystal Palace last Sunday the 17th October. Last year they returned the sports complex after a three year absence which seemed to be back in near full swing.
The sun was shinning and although I did not have much of a shopping list, I was hoping to pick up a bargin here and there and to see what, if any, new developments that might have been made since last year as I did not go to SALUTE this year.
Although the entry fee never seems to go up, you immediately saw that the numbers were well down. The trade stands were also not in great numbers as they had been last year and the gaming area seemed to be very airy. They did say in their programme that the extra halls that they had last year were unavailable for this year.
I must admit that it was nice to go round the stalls and tables without any pushing and shoving and their seemed to be plenty to see on the stalls but not anything that I wanted. Not many traders had Hat figures and the ones that did were in 28 mm form.
The only thing that I walked away from was two magazines of BATTLEGAMES.After a cup of coffee at the café I had a quick flick through the contents of these magazines and they seem to be a good buy.
There seemed to be a lot of books stalls this year and my partner picked up a book that is on my short list but I will have to wait till my Birthday to read it.
I could have brought plenty of terrain pieces but I would like to have a go at making these as the cost seems to me a bit steep on buying them.
On the gaming front there were just a couple of games that had fantastic layouts, which was a shame as I did not charge up my camera before leaving home so I could not take any pictures of them.
From Southend “keep your head down fritzie boy” was a WW1 game with plenty of figures and tanks. Too Fat Lardies “Terrible sharp sword ACW” was a small skirmish game.
The day seemed to go quickly as they always do at these show’s, but the recession has hit the hobby hard and I hope that next years show will be as it was last year.

Monday, 4 October 2010

SOLD- Waterloo Medal's

On Saturday the 26th September 2010 at the McTear's Auctioneers of Glasgow, two Waterloo Medals went to Auction.
The first medal was from Sergeant James Draffen of the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and was sold for £2,500, while a second medal was sold for £2,050.
This medal belonged to James Smith of the 1st Battalion of the 71st Regiment of Foot with the original ribbon still attached to the medal. Although I do not know the condition of the two, what a bargin for a bit of history.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hanoverian Waterloo Medal

The Hanoverian medal was instituted by the Prince Regent for award to survivors from Hanover to all ranks who served at the battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo 16th-18th June 1815.

The Medal was made of Silver and was 34.5 mm in Diameter. It was fitted with a steel ring and clip. The ribbon was crimson with dark blue edging.

The front shows the Bust of Prince George III facing right with the words – GEORG PRINZ REGENT 1815. On the reverse it has Laurels, standards with the words– HANNOVERSCHER TAPFERKEIT WATERLOO JUN XVIII. On the edge of this medal is impressed with details of the recipient. A total of 11,000 were made.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Brunswick Waterloo Medal

Authorised by the Prince Regent for the Battle of Quatre Bras and Waterloo the medal was issued to the contingent for the Dutchy of Brunswick.

The medal is made of Bronze and was 35 mm in diameter. The ribbon was gold yellow and pale blue striped. The front shows the Duke’s head who was mortally wounded on the 16th June 1815 at Quatre Bras. On the edging would be the recipient’s name. On the reverse side is a Loral reef with the date 1815 in the middle. A total of 6,000 were awarded to those who took part.

The 'Black Brunswickers' participated in many of the Napoleonic campaigns including Peninsular War.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Marshals and Generals


Prince Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick

Born: 1771 Brunswick, Germany

Died: 1815 Quatre Bras, Belgium

RANK: Lieutenant General

Prince Frederick William-Wolfenbuttel was born on 9 October 1771 in Braunschweig as the fourth son to Charles William Fredinand, Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg, and Princess Augusta of Great Britain.

Not much is known of the Prince early life or education but he joined the Prussian Army in 1789 as a captain and fought in battles against Revolutionary France.
On November 1802, in Karlsruhe, Frederick William married Princess Marie Elisabeth of Baden, daughter of Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden. The couple had three children before Marie died of puerperal fever four days after giving birth to a stillborn daughter on the 20 April 1808.

In 1805 after his uncle, Frederick Augustus, Duke of Olesnica had died and having no offspring, Frederick William inherited the Duchy of Olesnica.
In October 1806, Frederick William took part in the Battle of Jena-Auerstadt as a major general of the Prussian Army, to which his father was the field marshal. In this battle his father died from his wound he received and Frederick William inherited Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, as his eldest brother had died childless two months earlier. His other two brothers were mentally retarded.
After the defeat of Prussian in the Fourth Coalition, his state remained under the control of France, and was formally made part of the short-lived Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807. Frederick William fled to his in-laws in Bruchsal in the Grand Duchy of Baden, which had remained a sovereign state with the dissolution of the Holly Roman Empire in 1806 by Francis II, where he lived for the next few years.
In 1809 when the War of the Fifth Coalition broke out, Frederick William used this opportunity to create a corps of partisans with the support of the Austrian Empire.
This new corps was called the Black Brunswickers because they wore black uniforms and adopted the skull-and-crossbones as his badge in mourning of their occupied country. The Duke then became known as "Der Schwarzer Herog" The Black Duke. He financed this corps from his own pocket by mortgaging his property in Oels, and made his way from Austrian Bohemia through the French-allied states of Saxony and Westphalia to the North Sea coast.

Frederick William briefly managed to retake control of the city of Braunschweig in August 1809, which gained him status of a local folk hero. He then fled to England to join forces with his brother-in-law, later to be King George IV. His corps of originally 2,300 men was largely destroyed in battles in Spain and Portugal during the Peninsular war.

In December 1813, Frederick William returned to Braunschweig, after Prussia had ended French domination in Braunschweig-Luneburg. When Napoleon returned to France in 1815, Frederick William raised fresh troops including Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery for the Hundred Days campaign. The Brunswick corps was organised in two Infantry brigades, an advance guard of light Infantry, one battery of foot and one horse artillery, one regiment of Hussars and a squadron of Uhlans (lancers).

On the 16 June 1815 at 3.30 pm, Frederick William arrived at Quatre Bras and was immediately pushed forward into Bossu wood. Around the same time Lieutenant General Reille’s 16,000 Frenchmen began to advance. In their densely packed columns the French moved forward using the Charleroi to Brussels road as their axis. Opposing them was the Prince of Orange's 7,000 and the newly arrived 6,000 men of the Brunswick Corps. After a long fight, the Brunswickers were pushed back in some disorder. The Duke himself led a charge with his Uhlan squadron to cover the withdrawal of his men. While trying to rally one of his Infantry battalions the Duke was shot through the body and was killed by a musket-ball aged just 43. The Brunswick corps suffered 1,500 casualties.

The British Army nicknamed them the "Death and Glory Men"

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Waterloo Medal

The Waterloo Medal was awarded to all rank and file of the British Army who took part in one or more of the battles at Ligny (16th June) Quatre Bras (16th June) and the Battle of Waterloo (18th June 1815).
The medal was issued from 1816-17 to every solider present at one or more of these battles. They were also credited with two extra years’ service, to count for all purposes.

The medal was made of silver and was 37 mm wide. On the front of the medal bears a effigy of the Prince Regent’s head with the inscription ‘GEORGE P. REGENT’, and on the reverse side is a engraving of the seated figure of Victory with the words ‘WELLINGTON’ and ‘WATERLOO’ with the date ‘JUNE 1815’ at the bottom. All of the lettering was in large impressed Roman capitals, with stars at the beginning and end of the naming. The medal had a steel clip and ring, which was always prone to rust. The ribbon was of crimson, with blue edges.

A total of 39,000 were awarded. Out of these 6000 were issued to Cavalry, 4000 to Guards, 16000 to line Regiments and 5000 to Artillery. In addition to the supply personal, 6,500 were awarded to the contingent of the Kings German Legion.

This was the first medal to be issued by the British Government to all soldiers who were present at any of the three battles. The Waterloo Medal was also the first campaign medal to be awarded to the next-of-kin of the men killed in action.

It was also the very first medal to have the recipient’s name engraved around the edge by machine.

On Saturday 26th September a rare Waterloo medal is to be sold for charity. The medal belonged to Sergeant James Draffen of the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards. It has been in his family for more than 180 years. It is expected to sell at between £2,500 and £3,000 when it goes under the hammer. The money will go to Help for Heroes charity.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Found at last

Today I went to have a look at what is happening in Model Zone in Holborn, London. And what a surprise I had when I reached the store.
They have had a big supply of HAT figures in and I have finally found a box of the French Light Ambulance that I have been trying to buy for ages now. I also brought a box of Prussian Reserves to help build up my small Prussian army.
I have not brought a lot of things this year but the total now stands at £28 86 pence and we are now over half way through the year. Still I do have SELWG to look forward to in October.

Now with my holiday over I can start to settle down to do some painting as it now seems a hell of a long time ago that I last used a paint brush.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Lazy Summer Days

Well things have dried up here for a while. Since June I have failed to do any painting what so ever with my daughter's wedding, World Cup, looking after the gardens and now holidays in a week’s time. Spare time has disappeared.
So I have put every thing on ice and will make a start when I come back.
It’s not to say that I have not started on the Prussians but all I have done with the first batch is painted their trousers and coats. I think by now they have more dust than paint on them. With this year already whizzing by, I must finish them and take some photo’s which never seem to get done. But stay tuned to this channel.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Big disappointment in reading

I know that this is a little late in posting this, but this was a great disappointment to me.
Yep, I am talking about the June 2010 issue of Wargames Illustrated. Yes I know that two more issues have since been printed but I have just got round to reading the magazine.
This one was called Europe in Turmoil- The Napoleonic Wars. When I first learnt that Wargames Illustrated was going to do one on Napoleonic Wars with a free Osprey book, at last, I really could not wait for the magazine to come out. I had seen some of the other issues before and they looked really good.
So when the time finally arrived, I rushed out to my local newsagent with £4 in my hand and brought a copy. Although I did have a quick flick through I left it for a while before reading it.
The Issue held 123 pages which for £4 is good value for money, but when I started reading I realised that It was not a good buy.
First off we had six pages of “A German Officer in the age of Napoleon”. The Odyssey of Wilhelm Von Dornberg about his roll in the wars changing sides all the way through the wars to send up on the English and allied army at Waterloo.
Then can six pages of “Old Soldiers Never Die” A scenario using Republic to Empire set of rules.
This was followed by another six pages of “Creating a Kingdom-Westphalia”. A history lesson about how the German states in 1807 were made into one.
Battle of Leipzig 16-19th Oct 1813 came next in the book a total of ten pages wargaming the battle with report from America.
Then a article about Victrix models and the history behind the French Grenadiers, followed by two pages of how to paint them.
We then came along with two pages of the Project Hougoumont. A restoration project which needs 6.5 million to stop it falling down, and to get it up and running as a museum.
So by the time I had read through the Napoleonic pages first there was not much there to get my heart racing. The other thing that I learn was how the 28mm figures have grown in popularity over the last year and a bit. (I’ll keep to my 20mm ones)
But after all that I was glad that I got my free? Osprey’s Men-at-arms book 153 Napoleon’s Guard Infantry (1) as I do not have it in my collection. That in itself was a great read.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Marshals and Generals

French Marshal

Michel Ney, 1st Duc d’Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa

Born: 1769 Saarlouis, Then France, now in Germany

Died: 1815 Paris, France

RANK: Marshal of France

Ney was born on 10th January 1769 in Saarlouis, France. He was the second son of Pierre Ney, a master barrel cooper and a veteran of the Seven Years’ War. His mothers name was Margarethe Grewelinger.
Ney’s hometown was then a French speaking community in a predominantly German speaking portion of Lorraine and so Ney became bilingual, in both French and German.
Ney was educated at the College des Augustins, where after he became a notary in Saarlouis and then overseer of mines and forges.
Life as a civil servant did not suit Ney and in 1787 he enlisted in the Colonel-General Hussar Regiment. In the French Revolutionary Wars, he served in the Army of the North from 1792-94 and rapidly rose through the non-commissioned ranks. Ney saw action at Cannonade of Valmy, Neerwinden and many more.
In October of 1792, Ney was commissioned and transferred to the Sambre-et-Meuse in June 1794. Wounded at the Siege of Mainz, Ney was promoted to General of Brigade in August of 1796 and commanded cavalry on the German fronts.
During the battle of Neuwied on 17th April 1997, Ney led a cavalry charge against some Austrian lancers trying to seize some French Cannons. The lancers were beaten off, but Ney’s cavalry were then counter-attacked by heavy cavalry.
During the hand-to-hand combat, Ney was thrown from his horse and was taken prisoner of war. On 8th May he was exchanged for an Austrian general.
In March 1799, following the capture of Mannheim, Ney was promoted to general de division. Ney commanded cavalry in the armies of Switzerland and the Danube later that year and at Winterhur, Ney was wounded twice. Once in the thigh and in one of his wrist’s. Once he had recovered he fought at Hohenlinden under General Moreau in December of 1800. From September onwards, Ney commanded French troops in Switzerland and performed diplomatic duties. During that time Ney married Aglae Louise Auguie in Grignon, France on 5th August 1802. They had four sons together which the first being born on 8th May 1803 named Joseph Napoleon, 2nd Prince de La Moskowa.

On 19th May 1804, Ney received his Marshal’s baton and in the 1805 campaign Ney took command of VI Corps of La Grande Armee, and was praised for his conduct at Elchingen. In November that year, Ney invaded the Tyrol, capturing Innsbruck from Archduke John.
In the 1806 campaign, Ney fought at Jena and then later in the campaign, he successfully besieged Magdeburg. In the following year, Ney arrived with reinforcements in time to save Napoleon from defeat at Eylau, although the battle still ended in a draw. He then fought at Guttstadt and Friedland.
On 6th June 1808, Ney was made Duke of Elchingen. In August of the year, Ney was sent to Spain in command of the VI Corps, and won many minor actions.
In Banos 1809, Ney routed an Anglo-Portuguese Army under Sir Robert Wilson and in 1810 Ney joined Marshal Massena in the invasion of Portugal, where he took Ciudad Rodrigo from the Spanish and then Almeida from a joint British and Portuguese force. He quickly defeated the British on the River Coa and fought at Bucaco. During the retreat from Torres Vedras, Ney worsted Wellington in a series of rearguard actions (Pombal, Redinha, Casal Novo, Foz d’ Aronce), but was eventually removed from command for insubordination.
In 1812, Ney was given command of the III Corps for the invasion of Russia. At Smolensk, he was wounded in the neck, but recovered enough to fight in the central sector at Borodino. During the long retreat from Moscow, Ney commanded the rearguard. After being cut off from the main army, Ney managed to rejoin Napoleon and to his delight and for this action Ney was given the nickname “the bravest of the brave”.
Ney saw action at Beresina and helped to hold the vital bridge at Kovno, where the story goes that he was the very last man to cross the bridge and to leave Russia.

On 25th March 1813, Ney was given the title of Prince of the Moswowa. During the campaign of 1813, Ney fought at Weissenfels and was wounded at Lutzen. He commanded the left wing at Bautzen. Ney later fought at Dennewitz and Leipzig and was once again wounded.
In the 1814 campaign in France, Ney fought many battles and commanded various units. At Fontainebleau Ney became the spokesman for the Marshals revolt on 4th April 1814, demanding that Napoleon abdicate. Ney informed Napoleon that the army would not march on Paris, Napoleon responded with “the army will obey me!” to which Ney said, “the army will obey it’s chiefs”.

When Napoleon returned to France in 1815, Louis XVIII sent Ney to stop Napoleon from entering Paris. To show his loyalty to the King, Ney said that he would bring Napoleon back in an iron cage. On Hearing this, Napoleon sent him a letter telling him that he would receive him as after the Battle of the Moskowa. Despite Ney’s promise to the King, Ney joined Napoleon at Auxerre on the 18th March 1815.
On the 15th June Napoleon made Ney the commander of the left wing of the Army of the North. On the 16th Napoleon split his forces’ into two wings to fight two separate battles. Ney was to attack Wellington at Quatre Bras, while Napoleon attacked the Prussians at Ligny. Although Ney was criticized for not capturing Quatre Bras early in the day, at Ligny Napoleon ordered General d’ Erlon to move his corps to the Prussians’ rear in order to cut off their lines of retreat. D’Erlon began to move in position, but suddenly stopped and began moving away, much to the surprise and horror to Napoleon. The reason for the change in movement is that Ney had ordered d’Erlon to come to his aid at Quatre Bras. Without d’Erlon’s corps blocking the Prussians’ line of retreat, the French failed to have a complete victory at Ligny which aloud the Prussians to retreat. To be fair, Ney was d’Erlon’s direct superior and Napoleon never informed Ney of his plans.
At Waterloo Ney was again in command of the left wing of the army. At about 3.30 pm that day, Ney ordered a mass cavalry attack against the Anglo-Dutch line. Ney’s cavalry overran the enemy cannons but found the infantry had formed square for which the cavalry could not penetrate. Ney, without infantry or artillery support, time after time attacked the squares. The action earned him criticism, and some say that it led to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. There is still debate as to the responsibility for the cavalry charge and why it was unsupported. Ney’s cavalry also failed to spike Wellington’s cannons while they were under French control. (during a cavalry attack the crews of the cannons would retreat into the infantry squares for protection and when the cavalry was a safe distance apart, they would re-manned their cannons.
If Ney’s cavalry had spiked the cannons, the large loss of guns would of weaken Wellingtons army and could of caused him to withdraw his forces from battle.
Ney was seen during one of these charges beating his word against the side of a British cannon in furious frustration. During the battle he had five horses killed under him. There has been a theory to Ney’s action that day and that is for post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by his experiences in the 1812 Russian campaign.

When Napoleon was defeated and exiled for the second time in the summer of 1815, Ney was arrested on 3rd August and tried for treason by the chambers of peers on 4th December 1815. On the 6th December he was condemned, and executed by firing squad in Paris near Luxembourg Gardens on 7th December 1815. This event deeply divided the French Public. Ney refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right to give the order to fire, reportedly saying:
“Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last order to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her soldiers, FIRE!”

Ney’s execution was to set an example to Napoleon’s other Marshals and generals, many of whom were eventually exonerated by the Bourbon monarchy. Ney is buried in Paris at Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

After his execution, stories say that Ney had managed to escape to the United States. With the help of Masonic ties including the Duke of Wellington they helped him fake his execution and flee abroad. According to this account, the soldiers in the firing party put blood packets over his heart and then shot blanks at the Marshal. He was then smuggles to the United States and continued his life as a school teacher.
It is then said that a man called Peter Stuart Ney arrived in the States in 1816 and later taught in schools in North and South Carolina. He died in 1846 reportedly after uttering his final words, “Bessieres is dead; the Old Guard is dead; now please let me die.” On his grave stone in Cleveland, North Carolina, you will find the words…”soldier of the French Revolutionary under Napoleon Bonaparte.”

Nay was one of the original 18 Marshals of France created by Napoleon. He was known as “red face” or “ruddy” by his men and nicknamed “The bravest of the brave” by Napoleon.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Marshals and Generals

British General

Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill

Born: 1772 Shropshire, England

Died: 1842 Shropshire, England

RANK: General

Hill was born on 11 August 1772 in Shropshire. He was the second son of Sir John Hill and Mary Chambre.
Educated at a school in Chester, Hill then studied in the techniques of war in Strasbourg before he was commissioned into the 38th Foot (Stafford’s) in 1790. From there his career took off, serving as commander of the 53rd Foot (Shropshire’s) and then the 90th Foot (Perthshire Volunteers). He was then made staff officer in the defence of Toulon in 1793. He then travelled to Egypt, Ireland and Hanover.
In 1805 he became a major-general. In 1808, Hill was sent to Portugal where he began his long and distinguished service in the Peninsula War.
During the Peninsular War he served as a brigade commander at the battle of Vimeiro and then as divisional commander of the 2nd Infantry Division at Talavera. He contributed greatly to the success of the war by sweeping up the routed French army at Arroyo dos Molinos. When he was separated from Wellington at St. Pierre in 1811, he successfully defied the attacks of Marshal Soult with 15,000 men against Soult’s 30,000.
In May 1812, after the capture of Badajoz, Hill led a second raid that destroyed a key bridge in the Battle of Almaraz. While Wellington won the Battle of Salamanca, Hill protected Badajoz with a force of 18,000 men.
After the capture of Madrid, Hill had responsibility for an army of 31,000 Anglo-Portuguese and 12,000 Spanish troops during the campaign that centered on the Siege of Burgos. When the French massed superior forces against the British in the autumn of 1812, Hill safely brought his army back from Madrid, to join the main army under Wellington near Alba de Tormes.
Hill commanded the Right Column during the campaign and helped to win a decisive British victory at the Battle of Vitoria on 21st June 1813.
In December of 1813, during the Battle of the Nive, Hill performed what may have been his finest hour with his defence of St-Pierre d’Irube. With his 14,000 men and 10 cannons isolated on the east bank of the Nive by a broken bridge, Hill held off the repeated attacks of Marshal Soult’s 30,000 men and 22 cannons. He fought the battle with great skill and was seen at every point of danger, and repeatedly led rallied regiments in person to save what seemed like a lost battle.
He gained the reputation for a military mind that not only for victory but also looked after the concerns of his men, he was generally well-liked by his soldiers. This encouraged loyalty and cooperation amongst his subordinate officers. His military planning was meticulous and benefited from cunning foresight. As a person he was “Kind and Charitable” and became known to his men as “Daddy Hill”. On one occasion, he provided a wounded officer who arrived at his headquarters with a lunch basket, and when a sergeant delivered a letter to Hill, he sergeant was astonished when the general arranged for his supper and a place for him to stay the night.

At Waterloo Hill commanded the 2nd Corps. His corps had little involvement in the battle that day, only the 2nd Infantry division seeing action against the French. He led the famous charge of Sir Frederick Adam’s brigade against the Imperial Guard towards the end of the battle, his horse being killed under him. He remained in France for three years as Second-in-Command of the Allied occupation troops.
On 27th August 1815 the Dutch King William 1 made him a Commander of the exclusive Military Order of William.
He succeeded the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828 and served till 1839. Just before is death he was made Viscount Hill. He died at Hardwick Grange, Shropshire on 10th December 1842. He is buried in the graveyard at Hadnall, Shropshire.

Hill remained one of Wellington’s favourites and on his death the Duke wrote “Nothing ever occurred to interrupt for one moment the friendly and intimate relations that subsisted between us”
Wellington said of him “the best of Hill is that I always know where to find him”.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

At Last!

At last I have got my hands on a box of the Hat 8108 French Pontoon set.
I was on holiday in Norfolk, Uk, last week and took a visit to Norwich and to my favourite toy shop. They did not let me down and I picked up the box with such delight. My French army can now walk over rivers with dry boots at last. But there is still the painting to do.

It has been very quite on the painting front as there has been a lots to do at home. Still I hope in a week or two or even now after the World Cup, I hope to get down and finish off the first batch of Prussians. After buying the Pontoon set my spending tally is now up to £13.61 pence.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

French Fusiliers

French Fusiliers of the Line

Figures used: AIRFIX French Infantry- 42 figures and 1 mounted Officer in Box

Painted in Late 70’s

These are the very first Airfix figures that I started painting for my Waterloo French Army. These were Airfix fifth Waterloo set to come out in 1972 and although the first sets were okay with their sculpting, these are very poor but they are all that we had to wargame with back then. The Uniform is accurate on these for Waterloo and they are a joy to paint.
I have painted two of these Fusilier regiments the 1st and 2nd. But you can paint all four fusilier regiments by changing their pom-poms colour. These were painted before we had the internet and the only research I could do was at my local library, which did not have many books on Napoleonic uniforms at that time. These are a favourite of mine and I have painted these as other regiments which you will see later on in this section.

H= Humbrol
R= Revell

H25 Coat, Officers Jacket
H34 Trousers, Waistcoat, Coat-tails, Belts, Straps
H62 Backpacks, Hair, Musket
H64 Blanket Roll
H60 Cuffs, Collars and piping on front of coat
R21 Boots, Ammo Pouch, Hat
H33 Sword & Bayonet Scabbard
H61 Flesh
H53 Musket Barrels
R90 Firing Locks, Bayonets, Sword
H54 Musket Fixings, Bayonet & Sword Scabbard
H16 Chin Strap, Hat Badge, Ammo Pouch Badge, Buttons
H60 Pom Pom, (1st Green, 2nd Blue, 3rd Orange, 4th Violet)
H80 Stand

Officers Notes
Officers Coat- Blue
Coat-tails White trimmed with Red.
Gold Epaulettes
Gloves white.
Sword Scabbard-Gold

Friday, 9 April 2010

Marshals and Generals

British General

Sir Thomas Picton

Born: 1758 Poyston, Pombrokeshire, Wales

Died: 1815 Waterloo, Belgium

RANK: Lieutenant General

Picton was born in August 1758 in Poyston, Pembrokeshire in Wales. He was the younger son of Thomas Picton.
Picton obtained an ensign’s commission in the 12th regiment of foot (East Suffolk) in 1771 at the age of 13 but he did not join them until two years later.
The regiment was then stationed at Gilbraltar, where he remained until he was made captain in the 75th at the age of 20.
In January 1778, the regiment was disbanded five years later and Picton retired to his father’s estate for nearly twelve years.
In 1794 he volunteered for service in the West Indies and became aide-de-camp to the commander-in-chief, Sir John Vaughan. He was given the captaincy in the 17th foot and shortly afterwards he was promoted to major in the 58th foot, where he fought with distinction and acquired a reputation as a brutal disciplinarian. Under Sir Ralph Abercromby, who succeeded Vaughan in 1795, he was present at the capture of St Lucia after which he was promoted again to lieutenant colonel of the 56th foot he then took part in the capture of St Vincent.
He was appointed Governor of Trinidad, captured from the Spaniards, in 1797. His career then took a turn for the worst, when he was sent home in disgrace for condoning the torture of a local woman. In December 1803 he returned to Britain and was arrested to face charges by order of the Privy Council and promptly released on bail set at £40,000. At court on the evidence given, the jury decided that Picton was guilty, so he set about a retrial which he got in 1808.
With credible witnesses the jury reversed the verdict of the earlier trail.
Despite this setback his career continued to flourish. In 1810 he was posted to Iberia, Spain Serving under Wellington to command the 3rd Division and despite his faults Picton was extremely brave and was often in the thick of battle by leading his division from the front, dressed in black civilian coat and top hat throughout the Peninsular Campaign. At Fuentes de Onoro, Badajoz and Vitoria he won admiration for his courage.
In 1812, Picton and Craufurd were side by side for the last time. Storming two breaches of Ciudad Rodrigo, Craufurd and Picton’s second in command, Major-General Henry Mackinnon, being mortally wounded. At Badajoz, a month later, the successful storming of the fortress was due to his daring self-reliance and penetration in converting the secondary attack on the castle, delivered by the “Fighting” 3rd Division, into a real one. He was himself wounded in this engagement, but would not leave the ramparts. With his wound and an attack of fever, Picton returned to Britain to recoup his health.
At the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813, Picton led is Division across a key bridge under heavy fire. According to Picton, the enemy responded by pummelling the 3rd with 40 to 50 cannon’s and a counter-attack on their right flank causing the 3rd to lose 1,800 men as they held their ground. The conduct of the 3rd Division under his leadership at the battle at Vitoria and in the engagements in the Pyrenees raised his reputation as a resolute and skilful fighting general. By the time the British army had crossed the Pyrenees and reached Toulouse, Picton had grown weary of soldering. In 1813 he was knighted with the Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath and promoted to lieutenant general.
So at the age of 56 he retired and it took all of Wellington’s persuasive skills to get Picton to join him for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 by giving him command of the 5th Division.
Picton displayed all of his fire and determination at Quatre Bras, where his Division was badly mauled and where he was wounded before withdrawing to Waterloo.
Keeping his injury a secret, he led his Division to crush D’Erlon’s attack on the Allied centre when he was shot through the head by a musket ball. His last words were said to have been, “Come on you rogues, you rascals”. He became the most senior office to die that day. His body was brought home to London and buried in the family vault at St George’s, Hanover Square in London.

Wellington once called Picton, as rough, foul mouthed a devil as ever lived. He was certainly coarse, moody and impetuous but was also an able commander who had the respect of his men and Wellington valued above all his other Divisional commanders.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Prussian's are coming!

Well I have had a long think on which unit to paint next and I think that I will paint some more Prussian infantry. As I have had the box for a long time now collecting dust, I will paint my old Airfix figures of the Prussian regiment of Landwehr. The unit will be the 3rd Elba which had sky blue facings. (The picture on the box is the Silesian Regiment)
I know that Hat will one day, bring out their Prussian sets but for now I will use the Airfix box. Although the box contains 48 figures, it contains two flag bearers which as most of you will know that they did not carry any, although some say that they did carry some sort of flag at Waterloo. But being me, I will paint one of these up as I have done to the first set I painted, the 2nd Neumark Regiment back in 2005.

Over the next couple of days I am starting a new feature on this blog called “Marshals and Generals”. I plan to write up about all the Marshals and Generals of France and all the British and Allies Generals that took part in the battle of Waterloo.

It’s not long now to Salute 10 on the 24th April, and my shopping list is not all that big but you can never tell on what there will be on offer at the show.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

At last!

Last night I managed to finish the third and final batch of my French Horse Grenadiers which now means that I have finished all 24 horse and riders.
It has taken me nearly fourteen months to complete these, which I am not happy about. Still waiting for the sun to shine, so I can take some decent pictures of them.
So what about my next unit to paint? I think it’s about time that I brought the Prussian’s up to date with some more units as I am still in the mood for painting.
The smallest of my armies, I have one regiment of Landwehr and one regiment of Dragoons. Hardly the size of army to help Wellington out at Waterloo. Still it is a start, But which shall I do.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Is that all!

In 2009 I spent a grand total of £134:10 pence on my hobby. That is the most that I have splashed out on my hobby over the past six years. This year has started off very slow, but now I am back in the hot seat and started painting once again. There are no new figures for me as of yet, still the year is still young, and I still have loads of boxes to paint. Total spent is just £4.23 pence on three items in three months.

1 PAINT TINS £1:25

Monday, 22 March 2010

Another update

Last night I managed to finish the second batch of my Horse Grenadiers which now means that I have finished 16 of them now.
The third and final batch of eight, are well on their way and I still hope to finish these by the end of this month. I have been unable to take any pictures yet, but I hope to get these done as soon as I can.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Update on the Horse Grenadiers

At last I have finished the first 8 figures of the regiment and the second batch is also near complete. The last batch of 8, have also had a bit of paint on them. It has taken me far too long in doing these, that I am now going to make sure that I get these completely done by the end of this month. Well that’s the plan.
I hope to get some pictures done at the weekend of the first batch.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

News from the Front

Here is the first look at new figures from Italeri, Scottish Infantry of the Napoleonic wars from there website.
They are still at design stage but look really fantastic. They are going to be out later on this year and they are a real treat and I can not wait to see the finish product. We do not know at this stage, how many figures we will get in a box. I have two units painted at the moment from the old Airfix figures, the Esci Scott’s always looked too skinny and I have never purchased a box. So this new set could be heading to my collection. Well done Italeri.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

My Favourite Links

As you can see, that I have now added a few links that might help you if you are starting out in wargaming the Napoleonic’s period. is a plastic figure company that do many periods throughout history.
They also do different sizes, 20mm, 28mm and 35mm. Hat are a very good company and really cheap but the figure’s are of a very high quality. The amount of figures that they bring out each year is phenomenal. Well worth looking at before you buy from other companies. is a fantastic site for information about regiments and their uniforms for the Battle of Waterloo. But like all uniform sites, they do differ from other book sources and websites.
The last one is . This site will give you a look at all the 20mm plastic soldiers that are now out in model shops, from all the different plastic companies that are around the world. They give you information which could be valuable before you buy any figures for your army.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Wargame Campaigns

Published by C S G Publications

Pages 153 plus covers

Published in 1995 and written by C S Grant, this book provides you with all you need to know about setting up and starting your own campaign in any period in history.
If you are starting up your own campaign as a beginner or a veteran in this wargaming world, this book provides you with all the basic means to start you on your way or the book may give you some extra ideas to add to your own set of rules.
Wargame Campaigns covers Land, Sea and Air, starting you off with maps, movement, weather, armies and even personalities.
If you want to enter the world of politics and finance, there are ideas for them too.
This is another book that all wargamers should have in their bookcases.
It’s a real gem of information for the realism of war with sections on casualties, hospitals, prisoners and recruiting. And with all this, there is a section on how to keep campaign diaries and basic book keeping.
I do like the way Mr Grant has set out this book. It’s very easy to follow no matter how long you have been doing this hobby.
After reading Wargame Campaigns, it has certainly made me re-think about my own set of homemade rules.
With so many books out now about wargaming, rules and campaigns, will we ever have a set of rules that we will be happy with?

Monday, 1 February 2010

Just over One Year Old

Well the first month of this year is already over and we have just passed the blogs first anniversary. I can not believe how quick time has gone by and how little I have had time to add things to this blog. But I am hoping to add more stuff here each month. But if you have managed to stumble onto this blog and have taken a look, then thanks for that, but keep looking.
With the first month over I have already started to spend money on my hobby, by getting a tin of enamel gold paint. The last tin had been with me for years but finally dried up on me.

Things to look forward to this year and once again I will be at both Salute on April 24th and SELWG in October both are held in and around the London area.
I hope that HAT will bring out the Brunswick Infantry and Cavalry sets plus the Prussian Hussars that are on their list plus any others that are not shown.
The French Pontoon set from Hat has nearly been out a year now and I have still not seen the set at shows or in model shops as to date.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Painting Guide

French Young Guard Tirallieurs

Figures used: HAT 8034 Young Guard- 48 figures in Box

Painted in 2009

Before I started on painting this set, I cut all of the figures from spur and clean up any flash, which there is a bit on these. Then give them a good wash in warm soapy water. Once dry we can then start painting them.
Now I have no idea what you want out of this box but I usually use one box per regiment. As this box contains four spurs of the same figures, I then do not need to have all four officers in this set. So I have a Regiment of 45 figures.
Below is my painting guide to these figures painted in Enamel paints.

H= Humbrol
R= Revell

H25 Greatcoat, Officers Jacket
H34 Trousers, Straps
R75 Gaiters
H62 Backpacks, Hair, Musket
H61 Flesh
H53 Musket Barrels
R90 Firing Locks, Bayonets
H54 Musket Fixings
R7 Boots, Ammo pouch, Hat Peak
H16 Chin Strap, Ammo Pouch Badge, Buttons
R89 Hat
H60 Pom Pom
H80 Stand

Officers Notes
Officers Coat- Blue
Coat-tails Red trimmed with white.
Gold Epaulettes, Band around top of hat.
Gloves white.
Sword Scabbard-Gold

Thursday, 7 January 2010

What now for 2010

When you look at other war-gamer blogs, they always say what they have on their workbench for the coming month. Most have four or five projects going on all at once which, although this stops boredom, painting the same old colours each month, I could see this taking ages to complete if I was to do the same. The first thing that comes to mind is space to do these things.
Now 2009 was not a very good year for me in the painting game, although I did a lot better than the year before were I just painted one cavalry regiment of 17 troopers and horses.
Last year I painted a total of 45 figures which was the French Young Guard regiment.
The French Horse Grenadiers has had a painful and slow progress over the year.
To date I have done all of the 24 horses and nearly finished the first set of eight troopers with another eight close behind. The last eight have not been touched.
So for 2010 on my small workbench, I hope to get these done and a few more units as I am now well behind schedule. Where does the time go?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


I know it’s a bit late but A Very Happy New Year to you all and let’s hope that 2010 is going to be even better than last year!
So what did Santa bring you? Well once again he forgot to drop off any presents for me, but I did get two books from my partner.
The first one is from C S Grant called “Wargame Campaigns”. This book is about setting up your own campaign in any period. It has war gaming rules for a quick game to a full campaign. I have had a quick look at this book and I have already seen some changes that I would like to do with my own set of rules.
The second book that I received was called “The Eagle’s Last Triumph” by Andrew Uffindell. The book is about Napoleon’s last victory at Ligny 16th June 1815, two days before Waterloo. The Battle lasted for six hours with over 20,000 French and Prussian soldiers being killed or wounded. The book contains a number of maps, diagrams and order of battle.