Friday, July 29, 2016

French Artillery

Today I show you my french foot artillery battery.

I'm quite happy with the unit and they are ready to deliver some steel to any thin red line that would appear.

It's composed of two 8 pdrs and a 6 inch howitzer.
In addition to the artilleryment, there is a command base with and officer and a drummer.
The unit is a mix and match of four different manufacturers:

The artillerymen from Brigade Games. I love the style of this company.
The guns and the officer are from Front Rank. A classic
The drummer comes from a limited edition of miniatures from the here and were purchased back in 2013.
Finally, the muskets are some spare parts from Eureka miniatures.

All of them painted using Vallejo Acrylics and sepia wash.
I still need to figure how to take some good pictures.















Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jean-de Dieu Soult and Brun de Villeret in Spain

Jean-de-Dieu Soult (1769 – 1851). 1st Duke of Dalmatia.

Soult was a son of a notary. Had a good education that ensured him the rank of sergeant in the army of the revolution. In 1799 was a General and in 1804 Marshal of the Empire.
In 1808, he was appointed commander of the II Corps and entered Spain. He won the battle of Gamonal (or Burgos) and was detailed by the Emperor to pursue the army of Sir John Moore. In 1809 fought at La Coruña (or Elviña).
He remained in Spain for the following 4 years invading Portugal in 1809 and retiring form it after the battle of Oporto, fighting at Talavera (1809) and achieving the great victory of Ocaña (1809).
In 1810, he invaded Andalusia, taking Sevilla but failing to conquer Cadiz. In Andalusia he tough 1,5 milions of francs worth of art including paintings of Murillo and Zurbarán.
In 1811 marched to Extremadura taking Badajoz but losing the bloody battle of Albuera.
In 1812, with Wellington’s victory at Salamanca, evacuated Andalusia and in the Burgos campaign sent Wellington back to Salamanca.
In 1813 was sent to Germany fighting at Lutzen and Bautzen but returning to Spain in the last offensive across the Pyrenees in the battles of Sorauren, San Marcial, Nivelle, Nive and Orthez. He was finally technically defeated at Tolouse.
With Napoleon at Elba he declared himself a Royalist but on the Emperor’s return he joined him fighting at Waterloo but with not the same commitment shown in previous campaigns.

Soult accompanied by Louis Bertrand Pierre Brun de Villeret (1773 – 1845), his ADC from 1805 to 1814 shared the campaigns of Soult and also had his own affairs. In 1812, he and 60 Baden soldiers fought 400 guerrillas in San Ildefonso, fighting during 3 hours losing 20 men and all the horses but conserving his dispatches.

CREDITS:

Soult is from Front Rank, the ADC on foot and Brun de Villeret are from Brigade Games not labelled as ADCs to Soult but the Uniform of Brun de Villeret is very obvious. All of them are really good miniatures that can be combined really well.

Miniatures painted with Vallejo and washed with Vallejo Sepia wash.






Tuesday, July 19, 2016

2eme Regiment Suisse, 3eme bon.

The regiment was composed of three battalions that started the war scattered through the entire Peninsula. I’m going to explain each battalion in detail. 

1st Bon.

1808
Was at Vitoria with 1174 men. Corps Dupont, 3rd dv. Frere, 1st brg. Godinot.

April: Moved to El Escorial.

June: Action at Valencia (28/06).

July/August: moves from Madrid to Burgos (831 men).

September: Fights at Osma (12/09) and Oña (21/09).

November: Fights at Gamonal or Battle of Burgos (10/11) in the 2nd Corps of Soult, 2nd dv. Merle, Lefebvre brg. Then moves from Reinosa to Santander (15/11).

December: At Leon with 644 men.

1809

January: Present at Corunna (16/11) but does not take an active role in the fight because the battalion has left several garrisons on the road. Fights at El Ferrol (24/01) losing two officers.

March: Enters at Portugal with the 2nd Corps (Soult), 2nd dv. Mermet, Jardon Brg. Fights at Chaves (25/03) and Oporto (29/03).

May: Battle of Oporto (12/05).

1810

January: After the withdrawal from Portugal the bon. garrisons the area Valladolid-Palencia.

November: Garrisons Zamora province were some skirmishes against Julian Sánchez guerrillas occurs at Puente Santo (21/11) and Fuente Sauco (24/11) in this last one only 50 men are involved.

1811-1813

Remains in the area Zamora – Salamanca. In 1813 returns to France. Only 127 men remain from the original 1174.

2nd bon

1808

Was at Abrantes (Portugal) with 755men. Corps Junot, Thomieres brg.

April: Moves from Lisboa to the Alentejo

July/August: Garrisons the fortress of Elvas.

With the convention of Cintra the regiment is returned to France.

1809

January: Arrives at Quiberon (24/01) with 315 men.

3rd bon.

Was at Catalonia with 580 men. Corps Duhesme, Chabran dv.

April: At Barcelona

June: Fights at the first battle of el Bruc (06/06) forming the vanguard of the brigade and taking several casualties.

July/August: a detachment of the 2nd bon. and further 150 men form the 3rd arrived at Catalonia as reinforcements in dv. Reille. The 3rd bon. fights at La Roca del Vallès (05/07) and the detachment of the 2nd at Roses (11/07). The 3rd bon. fights at the siege of Girona

November: The 3rd bon and the detachment of the 2nd are amalgamated in Barcelona counting around 400 men.

December: fights at the Battle of Molins de Rei (21/12).

1809

Remains as garrison troops in Barcelona, 7 Corps Saint-Cyr, dv. Chabran (484 men).

1810

Remains garrisoning Barcelona and Vilafranca del Penedès.

1811

Fights near Barcelona (19/03) and at the siege of Figueres (april). By the end of the year only 156 men are fit for duty.

1812-1814

In Catalonia until 1814 that returns to France.

Credits

I have only painted one battalion (of course). As I'm painting mainly units that fought in Catalonia, this unit should be the 3rd battalion of the 2eme suisse.

28mm miniatures from French Line Infantry from Victrix. Painted with Vallejo. The shadows and varnish are from The Army Painter. Flags from Maverick Model Flags

References:

Base de datos de la Guerra de la Independencia. Instituto de Cultura e Historia Militar.








Friday, March 11, 2016

Spanish Artillery 12pdr gun


Following the post about the Italian artillery, I post some pictures of my Spanish artillery. In fact, the gun and limber they are using are the same as the Italians because all were painted dark grey. The Italian driver can be removed to reuse the equipment with the Spaniards.

The Spanish artillerymen were the most professional arm of all the Spanish army and they performed really well during all the war.
CREDITS: Front Rank miniatures a painted with Vallejo paints.







Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sahagun 1808 refight

My friend Francesc and I refought the small batlle of Sahagun. We used Sharp Practice with 3 three groups of Elite British Hussars (the 15th) against two groups of average french dragoons (8th dragoons) and one group of poor chasseurs a cheval (the auxiliary chasseurs).
We supposed appaling weather conditions which basically allowed the british to get really close to the french.
The affaire was really close to the historical battle with the chasseurs fliing after the first charge and the halted dragoons shoting his carbines before receiving the charge.
At the end, a british victory (congratulations Francesc) but hard fought by the 8th dragoons.

NOTE: After watching frozen, my daughters put a troll in a balcony...lovelly ladies.




Thursday, February 18, 2016

Italian artillery and Italian Guard artillery train 1808

The “Corps d’Observation des Pyrennés Orientales” under Duhesme which entered Catalonia on February 1808, included several Italian troops. De 11th company of foot artillery (3 officers and 73 men) and a company of the Italian Guard artillery train (2 officers and 59 men) composed the Italian artillery, included in this corps within division Lechi. More artillery would follow under Saint-Cyr corps in 1809: 9th company artillery on foot, 1st company horse artillery, and 3rd and 5th artillery train companies. The Italian foot artillery fought in all the sieges that occurred in Catalonia: the three of Girona (1808-1809), Rosas (1808), Hostalric (1810), and Tarragona (1811) and in some battles as Molins de Rei (1808) or at the ambush of el Bruc (6/6/1808) were the 11th company was present with a section of 2 4pdrs. During the withdrawal to Barcelona from El Bruc one of the 4pdr was lost in the Llobregat while crossing the river.

THE MINIATURES
There are eyewitness accounts of the Neapolitan troops in Catalonia wearing its 1807 uniforms so I think that the Italian artillery were, at the time of their arrival in Catalonia, still wearing the old uniforms. In addition, the line artillery train was not created until 1809 so at the time when Duhesme’s troops entered Catalonia the only artillery train available was that of the Royal Guard.

For the artillerymen, I used Eureka miniatures French revolutionary artillery in regulation uniforms (superb miniatures) and for the mounted soldier of the train; I made a conversion between a polish lancer and a British artillery train driver (Front Rank miniatures). I know that the troopers wore high boots but I am not so good making conversions and using green stuff.

The gun (a 12 pdr) and equipment are from Front Rank and as the Italian artillery were painted dark grey, they will be used for my Spanish army as well (the driver is not glued).

As allways, miniatures painted with Acrílicos Vallejo.

REFERENCES

-          Ilari, Virgilio; Le truppe Italiane in Sagna. I do not have more information about this paper that I found as a pdf in Internet.
-          Martinien A. Tableaux par Corps et par Batailles des Officiers Tués et Blessés pendant les Guerres de l'Empire 1805-1815 , Paris 1899.
-      A lot of information about the Italian troops in Napoleon’s service can be found in at Jean-Pierre Perconte web HISTUNIF: http://www.histunif.com/