Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year From The General

Well another year has passed us by and it has not been a great year for me in terms of my hobby.
It seems that a lot of people on their blogs are already writing lists of projects to do with figures to paint for 2017 and if you do follow this blog then you will know that I have never done this as it would put pressure on me to complete certain tasks that I set myself at the start of the year.

So all I can say is that I must start painting again as I have only painted 35 figures over the past four years. That does bother me as when I started to do this blog, I set out to paint about 100+ figures a year.

So what has happened in 2016? Well I did do a lot of reading which I have never done before and that seems to be a substitute for not painting. Collected a few terrain pieces and I have even cleared up my little wargaming cupboard.  Also another reason why I have failed to do anything is that there has been no new figures to collect over the past couple of years. If and when the plastic companies do then it might just light that spark which I need.

Still a new year is about to start and I would like to wish you all especially my followers all the very best for 2017. I will keep this blog up to date with the lapels that I have started and hope to add some pictures of the units I have painted over the years.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Thank You Family

Out of my lovely presents for Christmas I did manage to be given these this year.
Top Left is the Osprey book 476 “Napoleon’s Swiss Troops”.  Finding information about this lot is very hard to find on the internet. So I asked for this in hoping that it will give me the answers that I am looking for. Top right is a paperback book by Donald Featherstone’s “Wargaming Campaigns”. Although I now own quite a few of his books which I have been building up over the last few years, this one is another John Curry re-print in 2009. In the centre is the S&A Scenics “vineyard” terrain piece that my partner picked up for me at this year’s SELWG. Although it’s for 28mm scale, it fits in just right for my 20mm armies.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas From The General

Well it’s that time of year once again and another year that has seemed to fly by. I would like to thank my eight followers once again this year and maybe I’ll have some more next year? 
If you are one of the many people that have taken a look at my blog over the year then I wish you all the best for the coming year and hope that this blog has been some interest to you.
So if you are visiting friends or family over the Christmas period I hope that you will be treated to some lovely gifts this year. 
It has not been a great year for me once again as I have still not had the desire to start painting any of my figures that are nearly or half finished. But I hope that I can take up the rains and start once again to build up my painted armies. Although I have published more editorial on the blog this year, I hope to do even more for 2017.

A Very Merry Christmas to You and Your Family

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Visit Your Local Library

While I was out shopping a few days ago, I visited my local library in the high street and found that they had a second hand books sale on. Taking a quick look through the many books on offer I found this book by Correlli Barnett “Bonaparte”.
I have never heard of the author but at just twenty pence for the book I have taken the chance to read this book. The book is not in very good condition as it looks as if it’s been in a damp place for storage but after all it was published in 1978. The A4 book has fifteen chapters of the life and times of Napoleon. This has now been added to my little pile of books that is now growing to read.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Airfix Waterloo Farm House - Part Three

The first Airfix Waterloo set was first shown to us back in 1975 and was called ‘Waterloo Assault Set’ where it contained the farm house and the eight boxes of figures plus the accessories which had two uncovered wagons and farm equipment. Version two came out in 2008 and was titled ‘The Battle of Waterloo Set’. This set now contained nine boxes of figures including the Prussian Infantry set which came out in 1979, two paint brushes and paints with a tube of glue. Version three came out in 2015 and was titled ‘Waterloo 18th June 1815 Gift Set’ and this re-released by Airfix to commemorate the 200th bicentenary of Waterloo. Nothing new added to this set just the same as the second version but in a different box and so this was a great disappointment.  Will Airfix ever bring out new Napoleonic figures? I very much doubt it as there are so many other plastic companies out there that are making them and are still making new sets.

Picture's from plastic soldier review site

Model: A50174 Waterloo 18th June 1815 Gift Set -Scale: 1/72

Contents of set:

- Farmhouse - Diorama Base: L580mm x W580mm
- Highland Infantry - British Cavalry Hussars - British Infantry - British Artillery
- Prussians
- French Imperial Guard - French Cavalry - French Artillery - French Infantry
- Farm Accessories
- 22 x Acrylic Paints - 2 x Brushes
- 1 x Poly Cement

‘I am often asked whether we should not now, in these days of European unity, forget Waterloo and the battles of the past. My reply is, history cannot be forgotten and we need to be reminded of the bravery of the thousands of men from many nations who fought and died in a few hours on 18th June 1815 and why their gallantry and sacrifice ensured peace in Europe for 50 years’. - The 8th Duke of Wellington 2015.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Marshals and Generals


Louis Friant

Born: 18 September 1758 – Morlancourt, Somme, France

Died: 24 June 1829 – Seraincourt, France

Rank: Colonel-in-Chief

Louis Friant was born in the village of Morlancourt, 8 km south of Albert near the river Somme. He was a son of a wax-maker but not following in his father’s footsteps he enlisted in the Gardes Francaises in February 1781 at the age of 22.
Friant rose to the rank of Corporal before he left the service in 1787 but then volunteered for the Garde Nationale of Paris during the outbreak of the French Revolution in September 1789. He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel of the 9e battalion de Paris in September 1792. Friant was wounded in the left leg on 16 December 1793 while leading his battalion on the German frontier under the Army of the Moselle.
On returning back to duty as Colonel of the 18e Demi-Brigade in March 1794, Friant took part in the great victory of Fleurus on 26 June 1974, a short distance from the future battlefield of Ligny/St-Amand. He was for a while acting-commander of a brigade in July and then a division in August in the same year. He was at the sieges of Maastricht in October 1894 and Luxemburg in April the following year. He was promoted to General de Brigade on 13 June 1795.
After serving as Military Governor of Luxemburg for a sort period, Friant served with the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse in 1796 along the Rhine. In January 1797 at the age of 39, he joined Bernadotte’s Division of the Army of Italy. He saw action at the Battle of the Tagliamento on the 16 March 1797 and assumed command of the 5th Brigade, 3rd Division with the 30e and 55e Ligne from June 1797.

In the Egypt campaign Friant commanded the 2nd Brigade with the 61e and 88e Linge of General Desaix’s division in Egypt, taking part in the Battle of the Pyramids in July 1798. He was temporally promoted to General de Division on 4 September 1799 and succeeded Desaix as commander in Upper Egypt after Desaix returned to France. Friant took a lead role in the suppression of the great revolt in Cairo in March – April 1800 and was confirmed as General de Division and named Governor of Alexandria in September 1800. He fought the British at the Second Battle of Aboukir 8 March 1801 and defended Alexandria in August the same year. At the end of 1801, Friant returned to France and became the inspector general of infantry. By this time General Davout had married one of Leclerc's sister’s, and with Friant also being married to one of Leclerc's sisters and they had a son called Jean Francois Friant, the two generals became brothers-in-law.
In 1805 in the Ulm-Austerlitz campaign, Friant’s Division earned reputation for rapid and effective marching. This quality was put to excellent use when the Division was sent from Vienna to reinforce the Grande Armee at Austerlitz, marching 70 miles in 46 hours and arrived just in time to counterattack the Allies at Telnice and Sokolnice on the morning of 2 December 1805. In the fighting along the Goldbach stream, Friant had three horses killed under him. He was awarded the Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honor on 27 December 1805.

In October 1806 in at the Battle of Auerstadt where Davout was in command of the III Corps of 26,000 men and defeated the Prussian main body of 63,000. Friant’s Division advanced on the right, turning the Prussian left flank. The infantry of Friant and Gudin who were standing in square, withstood and shattered a large cavalry attack led by Blucher himself.
In the Polish campaign, Friant’s Division fought successfully at the Ukra River on 24 December 1806. At the Battle of Eylau, Friant’s Division arrived to reinforce the French right on the morning of 8 February 1807, helping to turn a near-defeat into a stalemate. Friant suffered a musket shot to his right side at Eylau. Friant was named Comte de I’Empire on 5 October 1808. 
In the 1809 campaign, Friant’s Division fought with distinction at the battles of Teugen-Hausen, Abensberg, Eckmuhl and Ratisbon in April of that year.
At the Battle of Wagram on 6 July 1809, Friant was wounded in the shoulder by a shell fragment during the successful storming of the Square Tower at Markgrafneusiedl.

In the Russian campaign of 1812, Friant commanded the 2e Division of Davout's I Corps. In August 1812, after General Dorsenne's death, he was nominated as commander of the Grenadiers à Pied de la Vieille Garde. Friant remained at the head of his Division. He was wounded yet again at the Battle of Smolensk 17 August and severely wounded during the capture of Semenovskaya village at the Battle of Borodino 7 September 1812. Incapacitated and left behind at Gzhatsk, he was still there with his wounds unhealed when the retreating army returned to Gzhatsk at the end of October.
Friant returned to France to recover from his wounds in January 1813. He returned to the front in June 1813, commanding the Old Guard Division at the Battles of Dresden 26 August, Leipzig 16–19 October, and Hanau 30 October 1813.

In the 1814 campaign in France, Friant and his 1st Division of the Old Guard fought a successful defensive action against Gyulai's Austrians at Bar-sur-Aube on 24 January. Friant took part in Napoleon's surprise counter-offensive against Blücher's Army of Silesia, gaining victories at Montmirail 11 February, Château-Thierry 12 February, and Vauchamps 14 February 1814. Friant's Old Guard was the core and reserve of the Emperor's masse de manoeuvre. They were committed to battle in the bloody and indecisive clash at Craonne 7 March 1814, the reverse at Laon 9–10 March, the recapture of Reims 13 March, and the defeat at Arcis-sur-Aube 20 March.

During Napoleon's exile, Friant was retained as commander of the Grenadiers à pied de France. In the campaign of the Hundred Days, he was appointed as Colonel-in-chief of the first Grenadiers à Pied of foot of the old guard. His men made the final assault on Ligny as darkness fell on 16 June 1815.
On 18 June, at Waterloo Friant led his 3800 Old Guard Grenadiers in the final, fateful attack on Wellington’s Allied center, where he was wounded once again. He was admitted to retirement on September 4, 1815, at the age of 57 years where he had served in 34 years of campaigns.

He died on 24 June 1829, aged 70. His name is on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Wagons - Part One

Wagons were the most important item for an 18th Century army. Without these no supplies could be sent to the front or to keep the army on the march. The wagons would carry all sort of equipment that any army might need on campaign such as ammunition, pontoon & bridging equipment, wheelwrights, blacksmiths or even ambulances. The cargo would also be musket cartage's, power, flints, dry food, water, fodder for the horses and much more. The logistics for any Napoleonic army must have been immense with the number of men and even camp followers that went on campaign.
In the Peninsula War the Royal Horse Artillery ‘A Troop’ which was called the chestnut troop due to the colour of the horses, contained five guns and a 5-5 Howitzer with 162 men. Each of the guns needed one Ammunition wagon. Also there were another three wagons for the troop which was for ammunition, baggage and forage for the horses.

So why do we not see many wargamers using them on their battlefield tables? The answer could be one of two things the lack of space with a small wargaming table would defiantly be the biggest answer. The second answer is that there are not many of the plastic companies out there that make them for us till now. There are many metal companies that make wagons but not many for 20mm fans.

When I started wargaming back in the early 70’s the only plastic company around then was Airfix. They brought out the very first plastic wagon set which were in fact the ‘Wagon Train’ set number 01715 for the cowboys and Indian figures that they had put into production back in 1962. The set made in brown plastic contained just one covered wagon pulled by four horses which was very basic and under scale for 1/76. 

Picture from Plastic Soldier Review Site
Atlantic then brought out a ‘Pioniers Wagons’ set number 1052 sometime in the late 70’s.  This set is very hard to find as the company went out of business in 1984. So I am glad that I brought a set back then as they were my main wagon supplies for my army back then. The set contained four covered wagons made in brown plastic each pulled by two oxen. This then was a great set to have which also included barrels shovels and pick-axes and a little lantern which could be attached to the back end of the wagons which I think was a nice touch.

Imex was the next plastic company to produce wagons back in 1997 all made in light brown plastic. They produced two sets the first being a ‘Chuck Wagon and Prairie Schooner’ one wagon of each was covered and pulled by two horses and then in the same year ‘Munitions and Ambulance Wagon’ set number 514. The munitions wagon had an open top with two horses and the ambulance had a covered top again with two horses with two stretchers as accessories. Although this set was for the American Civil War. Another nice set which again I have in my collection and in the painting queue. Imex also produced to more wagon set in 2004 which was a box containing two ‘Conestoga Wagons’  and a ‘Wagon Train’ set 610 which contained 8 Conestoga wagons, one chuck wagon and one Prairie Schooner. All of the above was produced as an American History Series. These can still be brought in model shops and on the Internet.

We had to wait for Italeri in 2000 to produce the very first Napoleonic wagons with a box called ‘Napoleonic Wars Accessories’ set number 6017. This was for the French army. It’s just a shame that it only had one wagon which can be covered or uncovered. The wagon is pulled by two horses and with a driver in blue plastic. The accessories included infantry sitting around ready to move off or resting after a long march.

Picture from Plastic Soldier Review Site

HaT then in 2006 produced the best Napoleonic wagon set to date for the French. Box number 8106 ‘French Baggage Wagons’ in light grey plastic contains three wagons which again can be covered or uncovered pulled by two horses each with driver. At the same time they have produced ‘Ammunition Caisson’ box number 8101, ‘Wurst Wagon’ 8102, ‘Light and Heavy Ambulance’ numbers 8103/8104, ‘Field Forge’ 8107 and ‘Pontoon Wagons’ 8108. All of these sets have three of each.

HaT on their web page have in the pipeline sets for the Prussians including Ammunition Caisson, Baggage and Limbers for the artillery. These have been in production for a long while now but hope that these will be produced in the near future.

Picture from Plastic Soldier Review Site

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Birthday Boy!

Yes, it’s was my Birthday this week and where the hell did that last year go. As you can see that I did get a couple of war game related items for which I am truly grateful for. In the picture on the left is the good old Conflix 28mm Merchants House and yep I do already own one of these but another one will make any village/town look even better now. It’s just a shame that Conflix have not made any more to add to this collection. On the right is from 4Ground 28mm five Mature Orchard Tress & Bases. These will be for my La Haye Sainte Farm project.

Looking at my blog yesterday I see that I have now had over a total of 27,300 hits. If you are one of these, then I thank you for your time in looking around my blog. I have a few items to put up on here but they will appear here later next month.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Lance

The lance is one of the oldest cavalry weapon and it is still in use today even though it’s now for ceremonial duties only around the world. A Lancer was a type of light cavalryman who fought with a lance. Lancers were used in mounted warfare by the Assyrians as early as 700 BC and then by the Greeks, Persians, Gallic, Han-Chinese, Nomadic and the Romans.
The lance was used widely in Asia and Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by armoured cavalry, before being adopted by the light cavalry particularly in Eastern Europe. But by the mid-seventeenth century the lance had almost disappeared from warfare. The lance was mainly a Polish weapon, and by the late Revolutionary Wars to the early Napoleonic period the French, Russian and Austrian armies employed Poles and adopted their Polish style uniform for most of their lancer regiments.
The first lancers were raised in the French army in 1807. Napoleon Bonaparte was so impressed with some Polish soldiers he saw armed with lances that he decided to arm French horsemen with the weapon. The length of the lance gave the soldier the ability to stab his foes at a longer distance than he could with a sword. This made the lancer greatly feared.
The lance was 275cm long and its blackened shaft was made of hardwood such as ash or deal. The bottom has a steel ‘shoe’ to protect the wood when the lance was rested on the ground. The center of the shaft has a Hungarian whitened leather grip and a loop for the fingers called a martingale. The lance was usually decorated with a small flag called a pennon. This dove tailed shaped flag was usually red over white but other combination of colours were used depending on nation and their regiments. The steel point was made with a flattened diamond section which allowed it to easily penetrate an enemy soldier’s body. It is secured by long steel straps called langets which made it harder to chop off the point with a sword. The lance weighed three kilograms (about six pounds, ten ounces)
Lance Tip
Not all the soldiers in a lancer regiment carried the lance. It was confined to those who were in the front rank. Soldiers in other ranks carried swords, pistols and short muskets called carbines. During the Napoleonic Wars many of the nation’s Austrian, French, Polish, Prussian and Russian fielded cavalry armed with the lance. They allowed the light horsemen to hit hard during the attack and with the use of the lance they had greater reach to poke the infantry in square formation although with limited success.
In many of the Napoleonic armies the lancer regiments were called Uhlans especially in the Austrian and Prussian service and they offend used the Polish style of dress with the distinctive ‘Czapka’ cap.
It was only the British army that was without Lancers during the Napoleonic Wars and this was to prove them costly when the French used them with good effect during the battle of Waterloo.
At Waterloo the British did not have any lancers in the army but after seeing them in action and what damage they could do they were finally introduced into the army but not until the following year in 1816.

At Waterloo according to historian Alessandro Barbero, he said that the French lances were "terrifyingly efficient." 
Commander of the French 1st Corps, 4th Division General Durutte, who saw the battle from the high ground in front of Papelotte, would write later, "I had never before realized the great superiority of the lance over the sword."

Monday, 10 October 2016

SELWG 16 Report

The SELWG annual Wargaming Show has come and gone and it is the only show that I have been able to get to this year.
Set in the lovely grounds of the Crystal Palace Park in the sports centre the autumn sun was shining as I arrived just before 10:45am. After paying my entry fee and picking up a programme I set off for the trade stands first as I always do at this show.
Although I did take some war funds with me I knew that there would not be any figures for me to buy as I have a back log of painting to do before I can see what figures I need, although saying that I am still waiting for HaT to produce the Elite in Greatcoats sets.
The top floor looked busier than past shows and after a look at the the first lot of traders I came to the Harfields stand. I love these guys as they always seem to have what I have wanted in the past.  Looking through their two big trays of plastic soldiers I came across a packet of Italeri French wagons.
There were two wagons in this packet one blue and one in silver with the same coloured horses to match. (I hope to write a piece on transport on this blog soon) When I returned home to take a proper look I found that most of the pieces were there and I had four extra horses. For two and a half quid it was worth it.
I did try to get to the bring and buy stand but as always it was very busy and I had to come later on in the day to see what was on offer. Here I brought a hard back book from Philip J Haythornthwaite called “Napoleon’s Military Machine” for just three pounds. I saw this book in a book shop many years ago when on holiday in Scotland and wished that I had brought the book then. So now it’s in my collection. 

In the main hall it did not seem so busy and looking around the trade stands was quite a pleasant experience. The only thing I brought here was from Products of War with small circle bases for another project I am thinking about.
After lunch I made my way around the gaming tables but there was no displays that really jumped out at me. There seems to be a lot of participation games which is a good thing really for up and coming gamer's. But for me no Napoleonic's? Oh well maybe next year but I did enjoy the show.  Here are a couple of pictures of the show.

Here is a picture of what I thought was the best in that it was a participation game with hundreds of lovely painted figures.
The table belonged to the NEWBURY & READING WARGAME SOCIETY and the games was called 1066 And All That!

SHIPWAY WARGAMES was another table full of painted figures and a great demo. The Austrian - Prussian War of 1866.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

More Goodies

I have found a few more bargains while I have been on holiday once again. The first piece I found was at a car boot sale and it is a sculptor about six inches high of a figure of Napoleon. There is a gold sticker on the bottom that say’s it is from an Italian Sculptor known as G. Ruggeri and up for grabs for a mere £3.
Now I am not an expert on these sort of things but I just wondered if I had brought something that might be worth a few bob more than £3. So on to the Internet and googled for this Sculptor’s name.
For a couple of days I could not find any reference to the little statue but I did find a site that was an auction house in America and saw the little fellow there. But looking at the little information that was available the statue was made of resin and on the original pieces there was the sculptor’s name and a triangle with some numbers on the little plinth. I knew that my little fine did not have any of these so a copy it is but I think it was still worth the £3 I paid for him.

The next bargain was once again another paperback from “The Works” here in the UK. The book is by the author Barney White-Spunner called “Of Living Valour” the story of the soldiers of Waterloo.
I know another book about Waterloo but there are so many of them out there these days and they are all different in their own way. So another book to read?
Yep! That seems to be the norm this year as I am already reading a book by Peter Snow called “To War with Wellington” from the Peninsula to Waterloo which was kindly lent to me by my brother. The book is sometimes gory but it is a fascinating insight into the soldier’s life on the march and in battle. Just finished reading the chapter about the Pyrenees 1813.

Looking forward to SELWG on Sunday 9th October at Crystal Palace. I know that there will be no new figures for me as Hat seems to be taking ages in producing the French Elites in greatcoat but I am hoping to find something new to keep my interest going.

Sunday, 4 September 2016


You might have noticed that there has been no posts since January of this year. The reason for that is that I went AWOL (Absent With Out Leave).
Well the truth is that in January I was offered a contract job for just for six weeks and to get some pocket money I said yes. But after the six weeks I was offered another six weeks and then another until my final day of work was at the end of August. It seemed unreal to go back to work after being retired since the end of April 2014 but it was great fun although travelling by public transport was an eye opener for me.
So what now! Well I have time on my hands once again and I am currently enjoying an autumn holiday for two weeks. After that I shall sit back and think on what to do next.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a charity shop and found this lovely book called “Napoleon’s Immortals-The Imperial Guard and It’s Battles 1804-1815” by Andrew Uffindell. Now I have already told you about charity shops and car boot sales before here on this blog and if you have time visit one of them, you might be very surprised at what you can find in them.
The book is a hard back cover published in 2007 and it is in very good condition. The book has not been read and the wrap round cover has not a mark on it. The retail price is £25 and I got the book at a bargain price of just £3. I have looked on Amazon and they are selling second hand copies at £3.42 pence plus £2.80 pence for P&P.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

WATERLOO By Tim Clayton

Published by Abacus (2015)

Pages 680 plus covers

First Published in 2014 by British publishers Little, Brown Book Group, "Waterloo", four days that changed Europe's destiny contains seventy-six chapters set in three sections. 
They are Part One: Preparations which is all about Napoleons escape from Elba on 26th February 1815 to the horror of the British Government. His journey through France and how he picked up his supporters on his return to Paris. Wellington waiting to invade France with the Allies for early July, and much more. 
Part Two is all about The Invasion of the Netherlands. The France army gets their marching orders and cross the border. The slow march through Charleroi as the Prussian outposts pull back and the taking of all the villages on their way. The Prince of Orange at Quatre Bras with the Battles of Ligny and Wavre. 
Part Three is all about The Battle of Waterloo.

From newly discovered sources of letters and diaries from The Emperor Napoleon, The Duke of Wellington, and from ordinary officers and soldiers of the three armies. It tells the story of the four days of the Battle of Waterloo with its extreme weather and brutal fighting. The book also offers two sections of full colour pictures with black and white maps of the battlefield at certain time; the author makes the fog of war central to the narrative as we are thrown into the chaos and din of battle. The last greatest battle of the horse and musket period. This book is great for information as the French advanced through Belgium again it is great for setting up little skirmishes to the larger battles.  

Thursday, 14 January 2016

La Haye Sainte

The farm of La Haye Sainte was built before 1536 by the Moitomont’s family from Braine l'Alleud. In 1618 they sold the farm to Jean Glibert. At that time the farm had 60 hectares of fields and meadows. The farm has been sold and gone through a couple of family heirs since then but at the time of Waterloo, the farm was rented to a man called Pierre Moreau. Moreau fell into despair having seen the farm after the battle and from 18th August 1815 until late into the 19th century the farm was in habituated by the family of Martin Viseur. In 1889 Théodore de Dobbeleer moved in and his descendants still run the farm to this day.

The whole complex of the farm of La Haye Sainte measured about 360 yards long and 80 yards wide. The farm consisted of a series of white washed outbuildings and walls made from red brick around a cobbled courtyard which was a typical layout in that farming region. The main entrance stood parallel on the Brussels road where the main gate was vaulted by a small roof.  On the inner side on top of the main gate was a dovecot. Going right of the main gate of the farm were a few small pigsties. On the Left hand side of the gate near the corner of the south/east wall was a small duck pond and a little further on a large barn with a grey slated roof with which was attached to the southern/western wall of the farm.
Through this barn there was a passage way for carriages, and it was for this reason that the barn had two gates, one in the east and one in the west-side. The first one ended in the courtyard, the second one in the fields adjoining the farm. In the northern part of the farm was mostly formed by the 17th century dwelling-house. Between this house and the pigsties was a small door leading out to the main road. This door too was covered by a small roof.  There were no windows on the east wall of the house. On the southern side of the house there are two doors the main door has some stone steps leading into the house. There are three large barred windows. On the grey slated roof there were two rows of dormer-windows; those of the upper row, four, were a bit smaller than those in the lower row, three in all. There was a large chimney stack on the east side of the roof with two smaller chimneys on the north and south side. On the northern side of the house there was a covered brick porch with another three large barred windows. The roof was the same as the south side.
Against the house there was a small stone construction, containing a natural well, which has since the battle dried up. In the same wall there were a door and three larger and one smaller barred window’s. On the west side of the house was formed by stables which continued in an L-shape towards stables on the west side and which ended at the large barn. The front of the stables were directed towards the courtyard there were ten doors, smaller square openings and some larger rectangular ones. The extreme south end of the stables was formed by a vaulted gate, which led from the courtyard to the fields on this side of the farm. The northern wall of the stables probably contained a few openings but there were no windows on the west wall. In 1815 the roofs of buildings might have been covered with red slate tiles.

The farm itself measured 60 yards long and 50 yards wide. On the north side of the farm there was a kitchen-garden which was bordered by hedges on its north and west side. On the east side there was a single storey dwelling perhaps a gardener’s cottage.  It had a pointed roof with grey slated tiles with white walls. Between the garden and the farm building itself there was a small open area and a terrace. The kitchen-garden measured 70 yards wide and 40 long.  
In 1815 there was an orchard on the south side of the farm; it leaned against the Brussels road and its east side was a bit longer than her west side. Having a width of 80 yards, here it measured 200 yards long. The orchard was completely bordered by a hedge, except for its north side facing the farm. Today, the orchard is a meadow and there are still some hedges on the south and eastern sides of the field.

La Haye Sainte stood in the middle of Wellington’s line during the battle of Waterloo and was situated on the Charleroi to Brussels road nearly a mile from Hougoumont. During the battle the farm escaped relatively unharmed; only the barn had been set on fire during the battle. This is the reason why it has kept so many of its original features.

The first soldiers to occupy the farm were the Hanoverian Light Infantry on the evening of 17th June. In the pouring rain they killed all of the livestock and ducks that were in the farm yard and they ripped down the doors to the barn and the main doors to the courtyard for firewood to cook with. They also raided the wine cellars in the farm house. The Hanoverians moved out in the early morning of the 18th.
To take their place the King’s German Legion were told to hastily fortify the farm in the morning of the battle. The troops were from the 2nd Light Battalion commanded by Major Georg Baring and a part of the 1st Light Battalion of the KGL. Although the barn doors had been pulled down and used as firewood, the main gates to the complex were still in-tack and put back into place.
All of Barings pioneers had been ordered to go to fortify Hougoumont and so that left him to do the best he could, making loop holes with their bayonets and firing steps from anything they could find against the farms inner walls.
Major Baring posted three of his six companies in the orchard, two in the buildings and one in the garden. Baring was supported by the ½ Nassau Regiment and the light company of the 5th Line battalion of the KGL during the battle.

Both Napoleon and Wellington realised the importance of the farms position and it was fought over and around for most of the day.

The first attack came from d’Erlon’s Corps at about 1 pm marching in columns the French stormed towards the orchard while a second French battalion column headed past the orchard for the main farm buildings itself. Threatening to be cut off the 200 riflemen among the fruit trees ran back to the wide open barn, Major Baring's horse collapsed with a broken leg. The riflemen pushed pass the French at the west barn entrance in a fierce scuffle and thanks to the men in the farm yard passing forward loaded Baker rifles to those in the barn, they were able to produce unbroken fire that the French didn’t dare enter the farm.
The French managed to surround La Haye Sainte and despite taking heavy casualties from the farm, they attached the centre of  Wellington’s line.
At 3 pm Napoleon ordered Marshal Ney to capture La Haye Sainte, while he was engaged with the 8,000 cavalry attack on the allied squares on the Brussels side of the ridge. He then failed to take the farm.
At 5.30 pm Napoleon re-issue orders for Ney to take the farm as the French had by then worked up close to the buildings by this time. By 8 pm Marshal Ney, heavily supported by artillery and some cavalry which was left after the failed charge, took personal command of the infantry regiment and with a company of engineers, captured La Haye Sainte after a furious assault.
The light battalion of the KGL which occupied the farm, had used up all of its ammunition and had to evacuate and retreat. Wellington was unable to send in reinforcements as they were still in square over the ridge. The French had manged to bring up some guns and started to fire from the farms cover, but riflemen of the 95th who were in the sand pit to the east of the farm, started to pick the gunners off and the guns soon fell silent.
By 7 pm thanks to the French garrison in La Haye Sainte, the imperial Guard was able to climb the ridge and attack the allies on the Brussels side of the ridge. This final attack was beaten back and then it became a rout an hour later as the French army realised that the Prussians were coming fast from the east. During the French retreat, La Haye Sainte was recaptured some time before 9 pm when Blucher met Wellington at La Belle Alliance.

The Storming of La Haye Sainte by Richard Knotel

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year to my eight followers 
and to whoever flicks through this blog through the year all the very best for 2016.

I have now had a total of 20,875 hits on this blog and that means that 8,727 hits were made last year. Although I have managed to put a few more post up on here this year, it has not been a productive one.
I have painted a total of 35 figures for the whole of 2015 but that may be due to not having any new figures to look forward to from HaT and alike and it does not look good for 2016 either for new figures.
So what are my plans if any for this year? Well I would like to paint more this year as I do have a good stock of figures to paint but my fire to do so is in question. I am still reading at the moment and a book that I have finished some while ago will be up on here shortly. But once again I would like to thank you all for looking in and hope that if you are a wargamer, that you have had a better year than me.