Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas to You

Well another year has come and almost gone and again a really disappointing year for me. Although I have been doing a lot of DIY at home, I have just not had time to sit down and have a decent period where I can paint my little army, but as always I must try and get stuck-in next year. Well that’s the plan.
Things to do next year are as much as it was for this year. Finish off painting the Prussian Landwehr Infantry and Foot Artillery and to start a new regiment of Dragoons plus whatever else I can do.
With the blog, well that’s another thing that I have had little time for this year but hope to start building it up after the New Year. Still got plenty of work lined up for this and to start taking them dam photo’s that I never seem to get round to doing.

So thank you all for looking at my blog and hope that you have enjoyed what is on there at the moment. But please keep looking. So after all that, may I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and New Year. See you all very soon.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Marshals & Generals


Alexander CavaliƩ Mercer

Born: 1783 Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England

Died: 1868 Cowley, Devon, England

Rank: General

Alexander Mercer was born in Kingston-Upon-Hull, Yorkshire in 1783. His father was General Alexander Mercer of the Royal Engineers. So following in his father’s footsteps, Mercer went to the Military Academy in Woolwich, SE London and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Artillery in 1799 at the tender age of 16.
In 1798 he served in Ireland following the disastrous events of the Irish Rebellion. In 1806 Mercer was promoted to second captain (a rank unique to the Ordnance). In the same year, Mercer was posted to G Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery and joined Whitelocke’s ill-fated Buenos Aires expedition in 1807.
Mercer did not see any action in the Peninsular War and had to wait till 1815 before he saw action again in the Waterloo Campaign.

In 1815 Mercer was acting commander of what was officially known as G (Dickson’s) Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, but is usually referred to as Mercer’s Troop or Mercer’s Battery.
G Troop served on the 1807 Buenos Aires expedition, but the G Troop of Waterloo was formed from the amalgamation of two other RHA troops before leaving Colchester for Belgium. It picked the best horses from each and was regarded as an exceptionally fine unit. When reviewing the cavalry at Grammont on 29th May 1815, Blucher is supposed to have said “there is not one horse in this battery that is not fit for a field marshal”.
The troop had five 9-pounder guns, to replace the 6-pounders and a 51/2” howitzer. The troop had 80 gunners and 86 drivers with 226 horses.

Mercer’s Troop embarked for Belgium on the 11th April 1815, a few days after hearing of Napoleon’s escape from Elba. From the 1st May until the French invasion on the 15th June it led a quiet life in a small village of Strijtem, west of Brussels.
G Troop rode all day on the 16th June and arrived too late to take part in the Battle of Quatre Bras. On the 17th it covered the retreat from Quatre Bras, narrowly escaping capture by French cavalry. It was in action later that day at Genappe with the cavalry rearguard.

When G Troop arrived on the field of Waterloo, Mercer’s Troop briefly took up a firing position on the famous knoll behind the sandpit, which would feature in the fighting the following day. Mercer was still acting as rearguard for Wellington’s army, not realising that the entire army had halted on the ridge immediately behind him. His troop exchanged fire with arriving French batteries before he pulled back.
After a wet and sodden night, Mercer found himself without orders in the opening phase of the battle, as d’Erlon’s infantry attacked Wellington’s left. He was about to lead his troop into action on his own initiative when he was ordered to move to the right of Wellington’s line. Being in a quite sector, Mercer disobeyed orders to refrain from counter-battery fire. He engaged the French guns, attracting heavy fire from the superior French artillery in return. By mid-afternoon Mercer’s Troop was suddenly ordered into the hottest part of Wellington’s line, between the crossroads and Hougoumont. It deployed immediately behind the ridge road, which was on a low embankment. The bank gave them excellent cover from French artillery and increased the effectiveness of Mercer’s case-shot. The troop was between two squares of Brunswick infantry, whom Mercer regarded as unsteady. He was ordered to lead him men into the squares as cavalry closed in, but decided they would be safer at their guns. Unlike all the other batteries in the sector, the troop’s gunners never abandoned their guns to take refuge in the infantry squares.

From about 3.15 pm, after many massed French cavalry attacks, Mercer’s Troop caused terrible casualties amongst them with case-shot. Between these attacks to steady his troop’s Mercer rode in front of his troop on horseback. In one attack they came in columns, led by cuirassiers. Mercer’s Troop waited for them, double-loaded with case-shot over ball, and fired at 50 or 60 years. Mercer reported that the whole front rank fell with the round-shot tearing through the ranks behind. The ground became virtually impassable with the dead and wounded horses and men. In their final charge, the French cavalry stood little chance of reaching the guns. Shortly afterwards Wellington’s infantry advanced, leaving the guns on the ridge to engage masses of French troops in the valley below.
Towards the end of the action a battery of French guns established itself on the ridge to Mercer’s left and fired into their flank, causing devastating casualties amongst the limber-hoses. This battry was eventually driven off by fire from a newly-arrived Belgian battery. Due to its shortage of horses, the troop was unable to move when the general advance was ordered, ans Mercer slept under a limber, amongst the dead and wounded.

The Troop had 5 killed and 15 wounded and lost a total of 69 horses at Waterloo. It expended 700 rounds of ammunition. Sir Augustus Frazer said after the battle, “I could plainly distinguish the position of G Troop from the opposite height by the dark mass of dead French cavalry which, even at that distance, formed a remarkable feature on the field.”
Mercer’s Troop stayed on the battlefield until 3 pm the following day and when the ammunition and supply wagons rejoined him, the troop moved off towards Nivelles, leaving some guns and carriages behind for lack of horses. Mercer rejoined the army near Mons on 21st June, and marched with it to the gates of Paris without seeing any further action.
Apart from two months of leave in England, Mercer spent much of the rest of the year enjoying tourist pursuits in Paris.
Mercer was transferred to command D Troop RHA at Stains, also near Paris, in July 1815 and he returned with it to England in January 1816.

After the campaign Mercer was put on half-pay from 31st July 1816 until 1821. He was recalled to the peacetime army, he served twice in British North America, first as commander of the 6th company of the 5th battalion Royal Artillery at Quebec from 1823. He was breveted major in 1824, backdated to 1819. He returned to England in 1829 and held commends at Woolwich and Devonport. On 5th June 1835 Mercer was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. He once again served in British North America from 1837 to 1842, commanding the artillery in Nova Scotia during the 1837 border dispute with the United Sates. He was promoted to colonel on 2nd April 1846, to major-general on 20th June 1854 and then to lieutenant-general on 29th August 1857.
Mercer was Commandant of the Dover garrison before he retired from active service, but he was appointed Colonel Commandant 9th brigade Royal Artillery on 16th January1859, and as such Mercer never officially placed on the retired list. He was promoted to full General on 9th February 1865. He became an Author and artist.

Mercer married Frances Rice on 10th November 1813 at Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, while he was stationed in Woodbridge Suffolk. She travelled with him to France after his leave in November 1815. They had one son CavaliĆ© A. Mercer, who edited the Journel after his father’s death. Mercer and Frances lived in Berkshire at the time of the Waterloo campaign, but in later life Mercer lived at Cowley Hill near Exeter. He died there on 9th November 1868 and is buried at St David’s Church in Exeter.

Mercer wrote a Journal from April 1815 to January 1816. His journal of the Waterloo Campaign was published in 1870 after his death from original notes Mercer made at that time.

A Brittish 9 Pounder

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

How it all started for me - Part One

I just thought that I would tell you about how I ever got into the wargaming hobby and what I have collected over the years as a gamer.
So far back as I can remember I have always loved playing with toy soldiers. When I was very young I started to collect the Timpo plastic figures 54mm scale ranging from The Crusaders/Knights/Romans, Cow Boys and Indians through to the American Civil War and to the British Guards for the Queen’s Birthday parade. I had nearly 100 of all sorts of periods and as you do when you are little, had big battles with each and every one taking part on our front room floor or hall way. We did not have any green fields or rivers to march across and what were trees and bushes. We had slippers and table/chair legs for cover then.

Then by pure chance one Christmas in 1962 I had a couple of Airfix 1/72 box soldiers of the ACW Union and Confederate infantry sets. I can remember in the summer months of making battlefields in my Dad’s flower beds making sure that I did not kill any of his beloved flowers which he grew with pride. To this I then followed with the Artillery set and then in 1965 the Union Cavalry set.
It’s hard to imagine back then but Airfix was the only company producing HO/1/72nd scale models at the time. I must admit that at that time of my life, I did not know how Airfix would affect my youth into manhood.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

It's been a while

I did not realised how long ago I had posted anything on my blog, but I will get round to do something soon.
This weekend I went Christmas shopping in Norwich and had a great time but brought more for myself than for anyone else.
Remember that I had some birthday money given to me this year; well I have brought a few things out of that. Well after a long while thinking about them I went along to my favourite toy shop Langley and picked up a box of Hats Prussian Infantry Command set. Out of these fine figures I am going to use an officer and a drummer for my Prussian 6lb battery that I am finishing off. I have had a couple of goes with the camera to take some pictures of the one’s finished but none have come out any good to publish. But I will keep trying for you all.
Also I picked up another book bargain while I was away with the Waterloo Relics Book.  I have seen this book for years but was too expensive to buy. This I found for under a fiver.
As Christmas is fast approaching I must get the Prussian foot artillery finished and the first batch of Prussian Landwehr Infantry finished before then.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Birthday Boy

Another birthday has come and gone and this year there were no related items for my hobby. But the good news is that I did receive some cash which I will save and put to the new Hat Sets coming out early next year. The reason that I did not get anything for my hobby is that I did not pick up anything from SELWG this year to which my family usually buy up what I brought, for my Birthday and Christmas presents. Still I hope to do some Christmas shopping in Norwich next month and go to my favourite toy shop and buy loads of Hat figures.

On the painting side, not much is really happening although the Prussian Foot Artillery unit is almost completely painted. The first batch of my Landwehr infantry regiment is near completion as I only have the muskets to finish painting and then the stands. This has really been a very slow project this year but this is mainly due to DIY stuff at home and getting too tired after work to do anything. Still every little bit helps.

We are nearly at the end of the year and there are still no new figures for me as of yet. The good news is that Hat will bring out those Brunswick cavalry and Prussian Hussars next year in the first half.
So as we come to the end of the year, the total spent is now £46.03 pence on 14 items which most of that has gone on new paint tins, which I will need some more by the end of the year. I have so far spent more than last year.

  • 7 PAINT TINS £9,50
  • 1 PVA GLUE £1.00
  • 1 SET OF (9 pairs) EARRINGS £6.50
  • 2 FIGURES (Boxes) £13.74
  • 1 SHOWS (Entry Fee) £6.00
  • 1 DOORMATS £8.99

Monday, 17 October 2011

SELWG 11 Report

I was looking forward to this year’s SELWG as it is, at the moment the only show that I have been able to have time to go too this year.
It has been 40 years since South East London Wargame Group was formed and so I was hoping for the show to be that little bit extra in the way of the biggest show ever?
Well on a hot Sunday morning at Crystal palace Sports Centre, I arrived at 10.45 am and no queue to get in. GREAT!
The entry fee this year went up a pound to £6 this year which is still good value these days at a wargaming show. Once inside I do what I normal do, and do a quite walk round the trade stands. I did not have anything major on my shopping list but was looking for that little bargain. But walking around, I then realised that the crowds where not all that big, so it looked like the attendance was once again down even from last years? Although it did pick up in the afternoon. Still that was good for me as I could have a good look around the famous Bring and Buy stall. As usual, lots on offer but nothing that caught my eye.
One thing that is starting to standing out in wargame magazines and on other peoples blogs is that the 28 mm figures are taking over. I could not find one trader that was selling Hat 20 mm figures at all. There were a few with their latest products of WW1 Guns and Crews but nothing else.
The passion for our hobby was still there as people from all walks of life were buying books, figures and plenty of terrain pieces.
On the wargaming front, the tables were well down on last years and half of them were in fact participation games, which was a very good thing to promote our hobby. Most of the tables were of American Civil War and WWII battles with a few fantasy games thrown in, there was not much else on offer.
The best layout for me was from the Herne Bay & Whitsable Club with their WWI game “Krush the Kaiser”. Love the way the trenches and no-man’s land were made.
Over the years the layouts are getting more creative and sometimes they are better looking than the models/figures.
So as I walked back from the centre to catch my bus, empty handed, I am now thinking that I should pay a visit to Salute next year as I have not been for a couple of years now.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Napolenonic Source Book

Published by Arms and Armour

Pages 414 plus covers

Originally published in 1990 and written by Philip J Haythornthwaite, this book that is now in my procession has been re-printed back in 1999.
If you can recall, I found this book in a charity shop for a bargain price of just £3.
For most of the wargamers of this world, this book is there bible for uniforms and information, hence the title source book.

The book is packed from cover to cover with a load of information about Campaigns, weaponry, the nations involved and their commanders, plus there is over 200 illustrations including maps and charts. The only downside to the book is that all the illustrations are in black and white.

I must admit that after all these years of searching through books and now the internet that this book has filled in a lot of blanks about uniforms for me.

In the Campaign section it covers the periods from the French Revolution right through to Waterloo. The Weaponry deals with all the three arms, including their strategy & tactics both on land and sea. The warring nations deal’s with their armies and their leaders including medals. Commander’s is all about the commanders at that time. This book also has over 700 period and technical terms which is very useful.

In all you should have this book in your collection but not necessary your bible.
With all the reference books out there, it would be nice to have just one book with all the facts and figures that you need. Still I am very glad that I found this book.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


It’s been a while since I last did anything on my blog, so the good news is that I have now completed another eight figures of the Prussian Foot Artillery unit and now only six more to do. But it’s a poor count as my painting total for 2011 reaches just 18 figures and four cannons.
Although this year has once again flown by, I will try to finish off my Prussian Elba Landwehr regiment which I have not touched for a long while.
Still although the painting has been quite thin again this year, I am still hoping to beat last year’s total of 24 figures.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Marshals and Generals


Lord Edward Somerset

Born: 19 December 1776 England

Died: 1 September 1842 England

Rank: General

Lord Robert Edward Henry Somerset was the third son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort, and elder brother of Lord Raglan.
Edward joined the 15th Light Dragoons in 1793 and was made captain in the following year, and received a majority after serving as aide-de-camp to the duke of York in the Dutch expedition of 1799.
At the end of 1800 he became a lieutenant-colonel, and in 1801 received the command of the 4th Light Dragoons. From 1799 to 1802 he represented the Monmouth Boroughs in the House of Commons, from 1803 to 1823 he sat for Gloucestershire and from 1834 to 1837 was MP for Cirencester.

On the 17th October 1805, at the age of 28, Edward married Louisa Augusta Courtenay, daughter of William Courtenay, 8th Earl of Devon. In 1817 they had a son called Edward Arthur Somerset (1817-1886).

In the Peninsular War, he commanded his regiment at the battles of Talavera (27/28th July 1809) and Bucaco (27th Sept 1810). In 1810 Edward received a colonelcy and was appointed as a ADC to the King.
In 1811, along with the 3rd Dragoon Guards the 4th Light Dragoon fought a notable cavalry action at Usagre, and in July 1812 Lord Edward Somerset was engaged in the great charge of Le Marchant’s heavy cavalry at Salamanca.
Edward’s conduct on this occasion won him further promotion (he captured five guns at the head of a single squadron) and was made a major-general at the head of the 7th, 10th and 15th Hussars for the remaining campaigns.
At Orthes he won further distinction by his pursuit of the enemy, being made KCB, and received the thanks of parliament.

In 1815 at Waterloo, he was in command of the Household Cavalry Brigade, which distinguished itself not less by its stern and patient endurance of the enemy’s fire than by its celebrated charge on the cuirassiers of Milhaud’s corps.
The brigadier was particularly mentioned in Wellington’s despatches, and once again he received the thanks of parliament as well as the Army Gold Cross with one clasp for his services at Talavera, Salamanca, Vitoria, Orthes and Toulouse.

Edward died a general and GCB in 1842. Four years later in 1846, a Monument was erected to Lord Somerset on the Cotswold Edge at Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire.

Monday, 18 July 2011

More Good News

                                                             Picture by Patrice Courcelle, France

Some more good news for me today and that is HaT’s, 8197 Prussian Hussar’s set is also near completion and another set I cannot wait to get my hands on. But as I have already started painting some of my Prussian army for this year, these will just add to my list of units to paint for now.
This set also comes with separate arms and weapons including a bugle, but again no officer. There will be 12 figures in a set and now my buying list is starting to get long again.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Brunswick Cavalry

Some good news for me today and that is the HaT 8174 Brunswick Cavalry set are near completion and I can wait to get my hands on these. Although I have not even started to paint any Brunswick units yet, these will give the gaming table a real devils look as they are dressed in black with the skull and cross bones badge on their hats.
The set comes with separate arms and weapons including a bugle but no officer. The set also contains just one uhlan (lancer) figure per spure, so with 12 figures in a set we get just four lancers in a box. It’s a shame that HaT have done this but maybe in the future they will bring out a complete Uhlan set? I hope that these will be out very soon before the end of the year.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Prussian 6pdr Battery

At last my Prussian Army have some cannons to join the small Prussian army that I have already. Here is a picture of the finished painted battery of the 6-pounder Prussian foot artillery. All four have been painted from the HaT Box set 8007. Although it’s not one of their best kits that they have produced over the years, as there is no hole in the gun carriage for the limber to attach it too, no other plastic companies have had a go at making this one yet.
In time, I will add a 12-pounder and 7-pounder howitzer batteries for the foot artillery.
The four guns come with 24 crew members and I have also finished the first batch of these to serve the guns and I will get the picture up as soon as I can.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

1,000 hits

What a nice surprise today to see that I have now had over 1000 hits on my blog.
If you regularly look at my blog then I would like to thank you very much in taking a look now and then. I know that there is not much to see here at the moment but I am hoping that the weather is going to be kind to me this weekend so that I can take some picture of my little men.
I must admit that time is always against me with work and home life. There never seems to be the time these days to sit down and do some painting as I am always tired after a long day at work and the drive home.
Still as I have said before, I am still managing to do bits here and there. So keep looking and once again Thanks for looking in. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More figures please

In 2010 I spent a grand total of £45.55 pence on my hobby.
This year started off very slow for me and then I came to a gridding halt with my painting. But I have had some time, here and there to do a little painting.
We are nearly half way through the year and there are still no new figures for me as of yet, and I am still hoping that this year Hat will bring out those Brunswick cavalry and Prussian Hussars that I would love to have in my collection.
So in the first half of the year, the total spent is just £33.53 pence on 10 items which most of that has gone on new paint tins.

  • 5 PAINT TINS £6.80
  • 1 PVA GLUE £1.00
  • 2 FIGURES (Boxes) £13.74 
  • 1 DOORMATS £8.99

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Marshals and Generals


Sir James Kempt

Born: 1765 Scotland

Died: 20 December 1854 London

Rank: General

James Kempt was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the age of 18 he was gazetted to the 101st Foot in India in 1783, but on its disbandment two years later he was placed on half-pay. He then took a clerkship in Greenwoods, the army agents and then with Cox & Co. Kempt attracted the notice of the Duke of York, through whom he obtained a captaincy and then, soon after a majority, in the newly raised 113th Foot. But it was long before this regiment suffered the same fate of the old 101st, but Kempt was retained on full pay in the recruiting service.

In 1799 he accompanied Sir Ralph Abercromby to Holland and later to Egypt as an aide-de-camp.
After Abercromby’s death, Kempt remained on his successor’s staff until the end of the campaign in Egypt. In April 1803 Kempt joined the staff of Sir David Dundas, but in the following month he returned to regimental duty, and a little later received a lieutenant-colonelcy in the 81st Foot.
With this new regiment Kempt went under Craig, to the Mediterranean theatre of operations, and at the Battle of Maida on 4th July 1806, Kempt led the light infantry brigade which bore the brunt of the battle.

Kempt was employed from 1807 to 1811 on the staff in North America, temporary-colonel. By the end of 1811, he joined Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington’s army in Spain with the local rank of major-general, which was on 1st January 1812, made substantive. As one of Thomas Picton’s brigadiers of the fighting Third Division, kempt took part in the attack on la Picaruna fort at Badajoz and was severely wounded in April of that year.
On recovery he was given command of a light brigade of the 43rd and 2 battalions of the 95th Rifles including the 3rd Portuguese light infantry, just in time to fight the Battle of Vitoria on 21st June 1813. Kempt also led his brigade at the Battle of the Pyrenees at the end of July, and at the Battle of the Bidassoa, where his troops stormed French defences near Mont La Rhune on 7th October. He was again wounded while commanding his brigade at the Battle of Nivelle on 10th November.
In 1814, he led his brigade at the battles of Orthez and Toulouse.

After the first abdication of Napoleon, Kempt was transferred once again to North America, where the Anglo-American War of 1812 was still being fought. He commanded a brigade which was intended to attack the vital American post of Sackets Harbour in New York, but logistic problems prevented the attack being made before winter brought an end to campaigning in Canada. News of peace between Britain and America reached Canada in early 1815, and Kempt returned to Europe.

Kempt was appointed to lead the 8th British Brigade in the army Wellington assembled in Belgium to invade France in 1815. The 8th Brigade consisted of the 1/28th, 1/32nd, 2/79th Highland and 1/95th Rifles in Sir Thomas Picton’s 5th Division/
At the Battle of Quatre Bras, Kempt’s brigade was involved in heavy fighting and suffered 638 killed and wounded. At the Battle of Waterloo 18th June, his brigade was again in the thick of it and lost 681 killed and wounded. On Picton’s death, Kempt succeeded to the command of the division. Being a small man, he was quiet and unassuming but proved and excellent and popular officer.
Early in 1815 he was made K.C.B and in July for his services at Waterloo, G.C.B.

In 1828 to 1830 Kempt was Governor of British North America, and at a critical time displayed firmness and moderation. He was afterwards Master-General of the Ordnance. At the time of his death in 1854 he had been for some years a full General.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Painting Tips

There are lots of how to paint your figures on the internet and on blogs like mine. So this is how I paint my armies without getting paint all over my fingers.

For infantry and horses, I use plastic milk bottle tops. These you can find in your home right now and even family and friends might help you to collect these.
Now these come in all colours these days green, red, blue and now orange. Before using the tops give them a quick wash.
I use just three of the colours blue, green and red. Blue for musicians and their horses, flag bearers. Green ones I use for private’s and trooper’s horses, the red ones for officers/NCOs, This is so that I can easily see who I am painting.

To make your figures stay on top so they do not move around, I use a little bit of blue-tack (Pea size). You don’t need much to make them stay on the milk top and they are then easily removed with a simple twist while you hold the figures stand, once finished.

Clothes pegs are another great item I use, that you will also have in your house hold. These again are made in plastic or wood and they are really cheep to buy these days. My pegs are wooden and I use these to hold cavalry troopers, artillery cannons, limbers and wagons.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


For quite a while now, I have been going into Charity shops now and then just to see if there are any bags or boxes of old figures that I could use to fill up ranks or make new ones, but that has never happened to me as of yet. But at the weekend I went into one of the bigger Charity shops and to my surprise I found a classic paperback book by Philip J Haythornwaite “The Napoleonic Source Book” for a bargain price of just £3.
I know that a lot of wargamer’s use this as a kind of bible to the find out about a unit’s uniform colours involved in the Napoleonic Wars. As I was well happy to find this book and it was in great condition.
 I know that Haythornwaite has written over 40 books, most of them on Napoleonic Wars and most of them for Osprey paperbacks. 
To buy this book it will cost you £19.99 new if you are lucky to fine one or on Amazon for £5.80.
The Book contains over 400 pages which include Campaigns, weaponry, warring nations, commanders plus over 200 illustrations, quick references, facts and figures and much more.
I shall now try to find time to sit down and read this book and give you and review of this book as soon as I can.
So do pop into your local charity shop, you’ll never know what you might find!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Prussians are coming!

I thought that I would give you another update to what I have been doing. Well I have just come back from a week’s holiday which was fantastic with lovely sunny weather all week.
I took a trip to my favourite toy shop in Norwich, Norfolk UK and looking at all the boxes of soldiers, I was tempted to buy a couple of boxes.
They are HAT’S French Line Hose artillery 8039 and another box of their French Limbers 8205. Also while I was away, I picked up another two tins of paint and a bottle of PVA glue. So it turned out to be a very expensive week.

The Humbrol paints are now £1.60 pence each but I can pick them up for £1.35 pence each. Not much of a saving as this time last year they were £1.25 pence each.

As you can see that I have started to paint up the Prussian Foot Artillery from Hat. These are not bad figures although they have left off their coat-tails detail on their jackets. I have painted up all the four guns with this set and have started on some of the gun crew. As with the first batch of 12 Prussian Landwehr figures that I started this year, well I have not touched them now for a month, but hoping to restart soon.
Again this month I hope to put another general on the Marshal and General page which seems to be getting a lot of attention.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Marshals and Generals


Jean-Baptiste Jourdan

Born: 29 April 1762 France

Died: 23 November 1833 France

Rank: Marshal of France

Jourdan was born in Limoges, France into a surgeon’s family. He enlisted in the French royal army in 1778 as a private just before his sixteenth birthday.
Assigned to the Regiment of Auxerrois, he took part in the ill-fated assault at the Siege of Savannah on 9th October 1779 during the American War of Independence.
In 1782 Jourdan sick with fever, returned home from the West Indes, where he was serving. Bouts of illness with malaria gave him great trouble for the rest of his life.

In 1784 he was discharged from the army and set up a shop in the haberdashery business in his home town of Limoges. In 1788 he married a dressmaker in which they had five daughters.
When the National Assembly asked for volunteers, Jourdan was elected Chef de bataillon of the 2nd Haute-Vienne Battalion. He led his troops in the French victory at the Battle of Jemappes on 6th November 1792 and in defeat at the Battle of Neerwinden on the 18th March in the following year. Jourdan’s leadership skills were beginning to be noticed and it led to his promotion to general of brigade on 27th May 1973 and then to general of division two months later.

On 8th September at the Battle of Hondshoote, he led his division in which he was wounded in the chest. On 22nd September he was named to lead the Army of the North.
His first assignment was to relieve General of Division Jacques Ferrand’s 20, 000 troops in the garrison of Maubeuge, which was besieged by an Austrian-Dutch army commanded by Prince Josias of Coburg. This Jourdan archived on 15-16th October at the Battle of Wattignies and broke the siege.

In May 1794, Jourdan lead the Army of the Moselle north. This force was combined with the Army of the Ardennes and the right wing of the Army of the North to form an army which did not officially become the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse until 29th June 1794. With 70,000 men of the new army, Jourdan laid siege to Charleroi on 12th June. The 41,000 Austrian-Dutch army under William V Prince of Orange, defeated the French at Lambusart on 16th June and drove them south of the Sambre River.
Casualties numbered 3,000 for each army. Undeterred, Jourdan immediately marched on Namur to the east-northeast of Charleroi. Instead of attacking Namur, he suddenly swung west and appeared to the north of Charleroi. After a quick siege, the 3,000 Austrian garrison of Charleroi surrendered on 25th June. Too late to save Charleroi, Coburg’s 46,000 men attacked Jourdan’s 75,000 French the next day. The Battle of Fleurus proved to be a decisive French victory when Coburg called off his attacks and retreated

After Fleurus, the Allied position in the Austrian Netherlands collapsed. The Austrian army evacuated Belgium and the Dutch Republic was extinguished by the advancing French armies in 1795. On 7th June 1795, Jourdan’s army concluded the long but successful Siege of Luxembourg. Operations east of the Rhine were less successful that year, with the French capturing, then losing Mannheim.

In 1796 Jourdan’s Army of Sambre-et-Meuse formed the left wing of the advance into Bavaria. The whole of the French forces were ordered to advance on Vienna, Jourdan on the extreme left and MG Jean Moreau in the centre by the Danube valley, MG Napoleon Bonaparte on the right in Italy. The campaign began brilliantly, the Austrians under Archduke Charles being driven back by Moreau and Jourdan almost to the Austrian frontier. But the archduke, slipping away from Moreau, threw his whole weight on Jourdan, who was defeated at the Battle of Amberg in August.
Jourdan failed to retrieve the situation at the Battle of Wurzburg and was forced over the Rhine after a severe rear-guard action, which cost the life of MG Francois Marceau. Moreau had to fall back in turn, and the operations of the year in Germany were a failure.
The chief cause of the defeat was the plan of campaign imposed upon the generals by their government. Jourdan was nevertheless made the scapegoat and was not employed for two years. In those years he became prominent as a politician and above all as the brains behind the famous conscription law of 1798, which came to be known as the Jourdan Law.

When the War of the Second Coalition broke out in 1799, Jourdan was at the head of the army on the Rhine, but again underwent defeat at the hands of the Archduke Charles at the battles of Ostrach and Stockach in late March of that year.

Disappointed and broken in health, he handed over the command to MG Andre Massena. Jourdan went back to his political duties, and was a prominent opponent of the coup d’etat of 18 Brumaire, after which he was expelled from Council of the Five Hundred. However, he became formally reconciled to the new regime and accepted from Napoleon fresh military and civil employment.

In 1800 he became inspector-general of cavalry and infantry and representative of French interests in the Cisalpine Republic.
In 1804, Napoleon appointed Jourdan a marshal of France. He remained in the new kingdom of Italy until 1806, when Joseph Bonaparte, whom his brother Napoleon, made him king of Naples in that year, selected Jourdan as his military adviser.
In 1808, Jourdan followed Joseph into Spain, but Joseph’s throne had to be maintained by the French army, and throughout the Peninsular War the other marshals, who depended directly upon Napoleon, pain little attention either to Joseph or Jourdan.
Jourdan was blamed for the defeat at the Battle of Talavera in 1809 and was replaced by Marshal Soult. He was reinstated as Joseph’s chief of staff in September 1811, but was given few troops. After the disastrous French defeat at the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812, Joseph and Jourdan were forced to abandon Madrid and retreat to Valencia. Joined by Soult’s army, which evacuated Andalusia, the French were able to recapture Madrid during the Siege of Burgos campaign and push Wellington’s Anglo-Portuguese army back to Portugal.

In 1813, Wellington advanced again with a large, well-organized army. Repeatedly outmanoeuvring the French, the Anglo-Allied army forced Joseph and Jourdan to fight at the Battle of Vitoria on 21st June.
After the decisive French defeat, Jourdan held no important command up to the fall of the Empire. He adhered to the Bourbon Restoration of 1814, and though he re-joined Napoleon in the Hundred Days and commanded a minor army, he submitted to the Bourbons again after the Battle of Waterloo.

When Marshal Nay was sentenced to death, to give Jourdan credit, he refused to be a member of the court. He was made a count, a peer of France in 1819, and governor of Grenoble in 1816. In politics he was a prominent opponent of the royalist reactionaries and supported the revolution of 1830. After this event he was then to become governor of the Invalides, where his last years were spent. Jourdan died in Paris on 23rd November 1833 and was buried in Les Invalides.

Napoleon while in exile on Saint Helena he wrote,

I certainly used that man very ill, I have learned with pleasure that since my fall he invariably acted in the best manner. He has thus afforded an example of that praiseworthy elevation of mind which distinguished men one from another. Jourdan is a true patriot and that is the answer to many things that have been said of him.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I thought that I would give you an update to what I have been doing. Well I have nearly finished painting the first batch of 12 Prussian Landwehr figures, but I have not touched them for two weeks now.

The reason for this is that Spring is here and the garden beckons me with some DIY at the weekends.
At the moment there are no new figures for me to buy as HAT have still not said when the Brunswick cavalry or the Prussian Hussars will be in production. I hope that these might be out by the end of this year.That helps me a bit being late on the painting front and making room for the new arrivals. But I hope to get them Prussians done very soon.

This month I will put another general on the Marshal and General page, with some much needed photos of my painted figures.I would like to thank all those who have taken time to look at this blog but stay with us as I hope that I can improve on what I have at the moment.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Napoleonic Wargaming for Fun

Published by

Pages 171 plus covers

Originally published in 1980 and written by Paddy Griffith’s, this book has now been re-printed back in 2008. It is just one of a series of books being published through History of Wargaming. I got quite excited when I brought this book at SELWG last year, although I did not get my hands on it till Christmas from my partner. But I was just a little disappointed with it when I finally sat down and started to read it. This book includes no less than seven sets of rules, which is great. All of the rules are designed by Paddy Griffiths a well-known military historian. The book contains a wide collection of wargames for the Napoleonic period for newcomers and for the experienced wargamer.The sets of rules are for








For every game, in the book, there is a brief historical introduction with a complete set of rules for each. There is also a detailed explanation for playing the game with a play sheet at the back of the book. So the Skirmish game starts off the feel very well but then it starts to get a bit complicated with each set of rules from then on until the Generalship game where it could get you into a right old pickle trying to sort out orders to the whole army. I think that this book does need to be read again and to play each game as it comes, but at the end of the day, I think that I shall stick with my own set of rules.

Although the book has some updated contents, it is a shame that the picture are not. There are a total of 13 picture and diagrams in the book and they are all in black and white. That’s fair enough as it is a re-print of a book but surely with today’s technology the picture could be made to look better as most of them seem to be very black in print as you can not see what they are showing. The only colour picture is the front cover.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

News from the Front

Today, Hat has updated their set for the Napoleonic British Command set.
At this stage the set is still being put together and at the moment it contains a Sapper, Standard Bearer, Foot and Mounted officer with horse, Drummer and NCO.
They will all have interchangeable heads with Stovepipe, Belgic Shako and Bicorne for the officers. We still do not know what size this will first be made in or how many of each figure we will get in the set. The set looks fantastic and gives me something to look forward to in the future.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Marshals and Generals


Friedrich Wilhelm Baron von Bulow, Count von Dennewitz

Born: 16 February 1755 Prussia

Died: 25 February 1816 Prussia

Rank: General

Bulow was born in Falkenberg (Wische) in the Altmark and was the elder brother of two to Freiherr Dietrich von Bulow. He received and excellent education and then entered the Prussian army in 1768, becoming ensign in 1722. Bulow was then made second lieutenant in 1755.
He took part in the Potato War of 1778 and subsequently devoted himself to the study of his profession and of the sciences and arts.
Throughout his life Bulow was devoted to music, his great musical ability bringing him to the notice of King Frederick William II of Prussian he then became well known in fashionable circles of Berlin. During this period he never neglected his military studies, and in 1792 he was made military instructor to the young Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, becoming at the same time full captain.

Bulow took part in the campaigns of 1792-94 on the Rhine, and received for signal courage during the siege of Mainz the order Pour le Merite and promotion to the rank of major. After his promotion, Bulow went to garrison duty at Soldau.
In 1802 he married the daughter of Colonel von Auer, and in the following year he became lieutenant-colonel, remaining at Soldau with his corps.
With the misfortunes of his younger brother Dietrich, Bulow’s fortune and happiness was in turmoil. With the loss of two of his children was then followed by the death of his wife in 1806, and a further source of disappointment was the exclusion of his regiment from the field army sent against Napoleon in the same year.
The disasters of the campaign aroused his energies. He did excellent service under Anton Wilhelm von L’Estocq’s command in the latter part of the war, was wounded in action, and finally designated for a brigade command in Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher’s force.

In 1808 Bulow married the younger sister of his first wife, a girl of eighteen. He was made a major-general in the same year, and he then devoted himself wholly to the regeneration of Prussia. The intensity of his patriotism threw him into conflict even with Blucher and led to his temporary retirement in 1811, however, he was again employed.
In the build up to the War of Liberation, Bulow kept his troops in hand without committing himself to any irrevocable step until the decision was made. On 14 March 1813 he was made lieutenant-general. He fought against Oudinot in defence of Berlin, and in the summer came under the command of Bernadotte, crown prince of Sweden.
At the head of an army corps Bulow distinguished himself greatly in the Battle of Grossbeeren, a victory which was attributed almost entirely to his leadership. Later he won another victory at the Battle of Dennewitz, which for the second time checked Napoleon’s army in their advance to Berlin. This inspired the greatest enthusiasm in Prussia, as being won by mainly Prussian forces, and rendered Bulow’s popularity almost equal to that of Blucher. Bulow’s corps played a conspicuous part in the final overthrow of Napoleon at Leipzig, and he was then entrusted with the task of evicting the French from Holland and Belgium.
In an successful campaign he won a signal victory at Hoogstraten although he was fortunate to be supported, often very significantly, by the British General Thomas Graham, second in command to Wellington.

In the campaign of 1814 he invaded France from the north-west to join Blucher, and took part in the brilliant victory of Laon in March. He was made general of infantry and received the title of Count Bulow von Dennewitz. He also took part in the Allied sovereigns’ visit to England in June 1814.
For a short time, from 1814-1815, there was peace in Europe. Bulow was at Konigsberg as commander-in-chief in Prussia proper. He was soon called to the field again, and in the Waterloo campaign commanded the IV Corps of Blucher’s army.
He was not present at Lingny, but his corps headed the flank attack upon Napoleon Guard at the Battle of Waterloo, and bore the heaviest part in the fighting of the Prussian troops around Plancenoit which he captured. He took part in the invasion of France once again, but died suddenly on 25 February 1816, a month after returning to the Konigsberg command.
The King declared that the generals and officers would observe 3 days of mourning for Bulow. A statue of the victor of Dennewitz was erected in Berlin in 1822.

“Bulow was a stubborn and defiant man with a ferocious temper”.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

King's German Legion (Grenadiers)

KGL Grenadiers

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

Painted in Late 70’s

The Kings German Legion played a big part in Waterloo but these are the only figures that I have painted to date. These Airfix figure were the only ones you could buy in plastic back in the 70’s and they can still hold their own today. These were the sixth Airfix Waterloo set to come out in 1972. Although the uniform is near accurate on these, some of the detail is missing, but once painted they look great.
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

H60 Jacket
H34 Trousers, Belts, Straps, Shoulder wings, Hat cords, knapsack, Plume
H62 Backpacks, Hair, Musket
H64 Blanket Roll, Water Bottle
H25 Cuffs, Collars and piping on jacket
R21 Boots, Ammo Pouch, Hat
H33 Sword & Bayonet Scabbard
H61 Flesh
H53 Musket Barrels & fixings
R11 Firing Locks, Bayonets, Sword
H16 Hat Badge, Ammo Pouch Badge, Buckels
H80 Stand

Officers Notes
Epaulettes, Hat cords - Gold
Gloves - white.
Sword Scabbard - Silver

Thursday, 10 February 2011

News from the Front

A few days back, HAT on their web site has shown some roughs for a Napoleonic British Command set. At this stage the set is being put together and at the moment it contains a Sapper, Standard Bearer, Mounted and Foot Officer, Drummer and NCO. Now we do not know what size this will first be made in or how many of each figure’s we will get in the set.
Indeed I do not know if this set will be suitable for my Waterloo army. Let’s hope so.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Marshals and Generals


Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult

Born: 29 March 1769 France

Died: 26 November 1851 France

Rank: Major-General (Chief of Staff)

Soult was born at saint-Arnans-la-Bastide (now Saint-Amans-Soult near Castres in the Tarn) in March of 1769. The son of a country notary Jean Soult and his mother Jeanne de Calvet.
Soult had the best of education and wanted to become a lawyer, but due to his father’s death in 1779 when he was still a boy, it was necessary for him to seek his fortune, so he enlisted as a private in the French infantry in 1785.
His education ensured his promotion to the rank of sergeant after six year’s of service.
In July 1791 Soult became instructor to the first battalion of volunteers of the Bas-Rhin. He served with this battalion in 1792.
By 1794, Soult became adjutant-general (with rank of Chef de brigade). After the battle of Fleurne in 1974, in which he greatly distinguished himself for coolness, he was promoted to general of brigade.
On 26 April 1796, Soult married Jeanne Louise Berg and had three children. (One boy and two girls)

For the next five years, Soult was constantly employed in Germany under Jourdan, Moreau, Kleber and Lefebvre, and in 1799 he was promoted general of division and ordered to proceed to Switzerland. It was here that Soult laid the foundations of his military fame, and he particularly distinguished himself in Massena’s great Swiss campaign, and even more so at the Second Battle of Zurich. He went with Massena to Genoa and acted as his principal lieutenant throughout the siege of that city, during which he operated with a detached force without the walls, and after many successful actions he was wounded and taken prisoner at Monte Cretto on 13 April 1800.

The French victory at Marengo gave Soult his freedom, and he received the command of the southern part of the Kingdom of Naples. In 1802 he was appointed one of the four generals commanding the consular guard.
It is said that Soult disliked and despised Napoleon, but he had the wisdom to show his devotion to the ruling power. In August 1803, he was appointed to the command-in-chief of the camp of Boulogne, and in May 1804 he was made one of the first marshals of the Empire. He commanded a corps in the advance on Ulm, and at Austerlitz he led the decisive attack on the allied centre.
Soult played a great part in all the famous battles of the Grande Armee, including the Battle of Jena in 1806. But he missed the Battle of Friedland because on that day he forced his way into Konigsberg.
After the conclusion of the Peace of Tilsit, Soult returned to France and was made Duke of Dalmatia in 1808. The title displeased him, for he felt that his proper title would be Duke of Austerlitz, a title Napoleon had reserved for himself. In the following year he was appointed to the command of the II corps of the army with Napoleon intended to conquer Spain, and after winning the Battle of Gamonal he was ordered by the emperor to pursue Sir John Moore’s British army. At the Battle of Corunna, in which Moore was killed, Soult was defeated and the British escaped by sea.
For the next four years Soult remained in Spain and played a big part in the Peninsular War. In 1908, he invaded Portugal and took Oporto, but isolated and unable to move, Soult was eventually driven from Portugal in the Second battle of Porto by Wellesley, making a painful and almost disastrous retreat over the mountains, pursued by Beresford and Silveria.
After the Battle of Talavera in 1809, he was made chief-of-staff of the French troops in Spain with extended powers, and on 19 November 1809, Soul won a great victory at the Battle of Ocana.

In 1810 he invaded Andalusia, but he turned aside to seize Seville, the capture of Cadiz eluded him. This led to the prolonged and futile Siege of Cadiz, a strategic disaster for the French. In 1811 he marched north into Extremadura and took Badajoz. When the Anglo-Portuguese army laid siege to the city he marched to its rescue, and fought and nearly won the famous and very bloody Battle of Albuera on 16 May.
In 1812, after the Duke of Wellington’s victory of Salamanca, he was obliged to evacuate Andalusia. In the subsequent Siege of Burgos campaign, Soult was able to drive Wellington’s army back to Salamanca. There, Soult failed to attack Wellington despite a 80,000 to 65,000 superiority of numbers, and the British army retired to the Portuguese frontier. Not long after, he was recalled from Spain at the request of Joseph Bonaparte, with whom, as with the other marshals, he had always disagreed.

In March 1813 he assumed the command of IV Corps of the Grand Armee and commanded the centre at Lutzen and Bautzen, but he was soon sent, with limited powers, to the South of France to repair the damage done by the great defeat of Vitoria. It is to Soult’s credit that he was able to reorganise the demoralised French forces with a rapidity that even took Wellington by surprise.
Although often found wanting tactically – even some of his own aides queried his inability to amend a plan to take into account altered circumstances on the battlefield his performance in the closing months of the Peninsular War is the finest proof of his talents as a general. Although he was repeatedly defeated in these campaigns by the Allies under Wellington, many of his soldiers were raw conscripts, while the Allies could count greater numbers of veterans among their ranks. His last offensives into Spain were turned back by Wellington in the Battle of the Pyrenees and by Freire’s Spaniards at San Marcial. Persued into France soil, Soult was maneuvered out of several positions at Nivelle, Nive and Orthez, before dealing Wellington a final bloody nose at the Battle of Toulouse.

After the first abdication of Napoleon in 1814, Soult declared himself a Royalist, received the order of St. Louis, and acted as minister of war from December 1814- March 1815. When Napoleon returned from Elba, Soult at once declared himself a Bonapartist and was made a peer of France and acted as major-general (Chief of staff)
to the emperor in the campaign of Waterloo, in which role he distinguished himself far less than he had done as commander of an over-matched army.

At the second Restoration in 1815 he was exiled, but not for long, for in 1819 he was recalled and in 1820 again made a marshal of France. With the rest of his political career, Soult served as minister of war from 1830 to 1834, as Prime Minister from 1832 to 1834. He then became Prime Minister from 1839 to 1840 and 1840 to 1847, and again as minister of war from 1840 to 1844. In 1851 Soult died at his castle of Soultberg, near his birthplace.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year!

A Very Happy New Year to you all and another year has come and gone and looking forward to 2011.
What did you get for Christmas? This year Santa gave me a copy of Paddy Griffiths- Napoleonic Wargaming for fun, which I have just started to read and the DVD box set “Pacific” which I can not wait to see.

This year I hope to do loads of things which means I will probably run out of time doing them all, but getting back to painting is the first on my list and I will keep to what I should of painted last year, The Prussian army. Last year I only managed to paint the French Horse Grenadiers all 24 of them. Still at least I did do something but the pile of figures is now getting higher and with more sets coming out this year from Hat. I hope I can keep the momentum going and keep this blog up to-date.
Thanks for looking in last year but keep on looking as I hope to add loads of stuff this year.