zondag 5 april 2020

German auxiliary troops in Dutch pay: 1 Mecklenburg-Schwerin

In 1787 the Prussian army had to save the house of Orange from the revolutionaries (or patriots as they call themselves) who had to fled to France.
The ruling house of Orange was thus saved but according to the Stadtholder William V, too little troops were available to hold the patriots in check.

So on the 5th of May 1788 a treaty with Mecklenburg-Schwerin was closed to deliver troops to the Dutch of appr. 1.000 men in 3 battalions.

In the summer of 1788 the organisation of this korps was:

Commanding officer: Generalmajor Von Gluer

Grenadier Battalion: Oberstleutnant Winter

Infantry regiment von Gluer: Generalmajor Von Gluer consisting of 2 battalions:
1st musketier battlion: Generalmajor von Gluer
2nd musketierbattalion: Obertsleutnant von Pressentin

On the 31st of August 1788 the korps arrived in the Netherlands after a journey of  more then a month; they departed on the 28th of July.
After that they had a peacefull and easy service as the patriots didn't show up until in 1792 the French revolution arrived.

The organisation was the same although Oberst von Pressentin became the commanding officer of the korps, the infantry regiment and of the first musketier battalion.
The second battalion received Oberstleutnant von krievitz as comanding officer.

As the French declared war on the Dutch (technically only on the ruling house of Orange) in 1793, for the Mecklenburg-Schwerin Korps the peacefull service was over.

In 1793 the strength of the korps was:
Grenadierbattalion: 13 officers and 285 men (298 total)
1st musketier battalion: 13 officers and 282 men (total 295)
2nd musketier battalion: 13 officers and 284 men (total 297)
a grand total of 39 officers and 851 men (890 total)

The strength of the korps gradually declined a little through losses, desertion but also new recruits were added so in December 1794 the total strength was 847 officers and men.

But in january 1795 the strength of the korps was:
Grenadierbattalion: 13 officers and 272 men (285 total)
1st musketier battalion: 13 officers and 262 men (total 275)
2nd musketier battalion: 10 officers and 253 men (total 263)
a grand total of 36 officers and 787 men (823 total)

In 1795, in the year disorganisation through the Dutch State and army spread (and changed to the Batavian Republic), the korps declined in strength significant so that in December 1795 the total strength in men was 667 so al loss of 120 men against the strength of January 1795.
In January 1796 the regiment went home.

Regarding the war record; they formed part of the garrison of Grave in 1793, went with the field army in March 1793 but did not fight and went into garrison again in Bois le Duc ('s Hertogenbosch) and in april 1793 to Bergen op Zoom. In April 1794 they went into garrsion in Maestricht and stayed there until this city surrendered in november 1794. They were exchanged with French prisoners and came in january 1795 in Utrecht (without arms and equipment).

For the wargamer the following information regarding uniforms and flags: the uniforms look similar to the Prussian army or German units (in formal dress) of the AWI period (so for wargames maybe these could be used to portray the Mecklenburg-Schwerin troops. Some pictures:


Notice that somethings white lacings is shown on lapels. I have the impression this is used on older uniforms but the FR period uniforms are without lacing.

Regarding colours; the 2 musketier battalions had each two flags; one avancier colour (in white) and one retirier colour in blue. Both battalions ha imho the same flags and both flags hat the same motifs/coat of arms; see underneath.

Mecklenburg-Schweriner Truppen in den Niederlanden 1788-1796 (K-U Keubke, H. Köbke)
Mecklenburgers onder Nederlandshce vlag 1788-1796

zaterdag 28 maart 2020

Austrian Freikorps 1793

According to the Arteria plates there was a Slavonisch-Croatisches Freikorps which would give some colour to the Austrian revolutionary 28mm army. Underneath the picture:

I tried to find some suitable figures and I found the Wargames Foundry russian pandour characters which led me to this unit (well, close enough for me)

maandag 27 januari 2020

Dutch light infantry in the French Revolution

In the beginning of the French revolutionary period the Dutch army lacked light infantry so after 1793 they added and expanded some units.
Information on the light units is below:

Van Bijlandt
The sole light infantry on the budget for 1792 was the jagerbattalion of Bijlandt (which was renamed from the jager unit of the disbanded Salm legion) consisting of a battalion staf and one grenadier and 4 jager companies.
In 1793 it received a second battalion (from the 2nd batalion of the disbanded Regiment infantry nr 11 Van Dam and so now the Van Bijlandt battalion was expanded to a regiment.
I do not know the theoretical strength of the 2nd batalion (which as Van Dam it would be 1 grenadier and 6 line companies) but probably it would be the same as the 1st battalion (1 grenadier and 4 light companies) as Van Dam had losses in the 1793 campaign.
Probably the first battalion was a real jager battalion while the second battalion was seen a a light battalion and dresed accordingly. 

5th Waldeck
Waldeck delivered to the Dutch 2 line regiments of 2 battalion but also a light battalion which as it first was on half pay in Waldeck, it was taken in service in 1793 and so arrived before the 1793 campaign.
As far as I know, the 5th battalion consisted of 1 jager company and 6 light infantry companies. The uniforms which are know show the difference between jager and light coompanies.

Jagers van Mathieu
This was raised on the 1st of January 1794 but as its commander, Louis Mathieu died in June 1794 its name changed into Korps Jagers Von Heydte. I dont know its strength but probably it had the same strength as the Van Bijlandt.

Garde Walen (Battalion de Perez)
According to Sabron this battalion was used as light troops. Being the former 3rd battalion of the regiment Walen (Walons) it became an independant battalion in 1793.

Field strength
According to Sabron the field strength of various light troops in the beginning of the campaign of 1794 were in officers and men:
Van Bijlandt jagers           198
5th Waldeck                      280
Walen van Perez               280
jagers van Mathieu           277

Some impressions of the uniforms of the various units:

Starting with the Van Bijlandt jager:


Strange is, that the officers of the Bijlandt jager show a more purple facings while the other ranks and the last picture of an officer show red.
The "jassenboekje" shows a dark red on collar, lapels, cuffs and epaulettes with coppper buttons. The trousers are grey.

The Van Bijlandt light battalion:
The 5th battalion Waldeck
The first picture underneath is in my opninion the "normal" Waldeck uniform in blue coat and yellow facings in the period the 5th was on half pay in Waldeck

The uniform in blue and yellow in the pictures underneath are imho the light companies in campaign dress and I think was worn by all the other Waldck regiments

 What follows is the green jäger uniform of the jager company of the 5th battalion. The officer in the second picture wears a 'normal"bicorn; the ranks show a wide brimmed hat.

Jagers van Mathieu/Von Heydte
Raised in 1794 it shows almost the same uniform as Bijlandt, just the facing colour is blue (grey-blue ?) The black and white picture show in the middle an officer in jager uniform.
The "jassenboekje" don't show the bleu facing on the lapels but only blue cuffs. The rest of the uniform incuded trousers is plain green.

Garde Walen (or bataljon de Perez) 
As said earlier, although the picture underneath show a normal line infantry dress, according to Sabron this battalion was calssed as light troops. The normal line uniform is blue with white facings.

maandag 16 september 2019

The regiment De Meuron

The VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compacnie) or Dutch East-Indian Company) had hired the Swiss regiment de Meuron.
After the British conquered the Dutch possessions this regiment went into British pay,

The regiment had in it's VOC time a regimental (2 examples underneath ) and colonels flag as can be seen underneath. This is the normal dutch practice; white colonels' and coloured regimental on.

And an uniform picture (officer, line and sapper):

dinsdag 20 augustus 2019

The back of Dutch FR uniforms

Most of the pictures of the FR Dutch units are taken from the front.
Some pictures of their back are underneath.
Guard grenadier and drummer

Guard officers

zondag 10 februari 2019

Demo at the Ghent Wargames Show (Warcon)

We try each year to have a demo at the Warcon (Ghent) wargames show.
The show is very friendly and growing in traders and clubs each year.

This year we took an 1793 French Revolution game with us.
Some pictures underneath:

woensdag 30 januari 2019

Batavian Army 1795-1806 (1)

Some information about the Batavian army.

So starting with the organisation and changes during its existance.
The information is from the book:
"De uniformen van de Nederlandsche Zee- en Landmacht hier te lande en in de koloniën" from F.J.G. ten Raa ('s Gravenhage 1800)

Infantry organisation changes
July 8th, 1795 in the service of the Batavian Republic
6 Halve Brigades each 3 battalions each 1 grenadier and 8 fusilier companies
4 batallions jagers each 6 companies
Regiment Saxen-Gotha of 2 battalions each 1 grenadier and 6 fusilier companies
1st Regiment Waldeck of 2 battalions each 1 grenadier and 6 fusilier companies
2nd Regiment Waldeck of 2 battalions each 1 grenadier and 6 fusilier companies
5th battalion Waldeck 1 grenadier, 6 Musketier and 1 jager company
          5th Waldeck changed on August 19th 1800: grenadier company dissolved
September 22nd 1795 a 7th half brigade of same strength as first 6 in the service of the province of Holland and Utrecht
March 1st 1796 the 7th half Brigade in the service of the Batavian Republic
March 29th 1802 For the colonies a 22nd battalion was raised from the 1st Marine battalion, a 23rd battalion from the 2nd marine battallion. Each of 1 grenadier and 8 musketier companies. The 5th battalion Waldeck becomes a colonial unit.
October 21st 1803 The halfbrigades formation were dissolved; the battalions became independant battalions 
there existed now:
21 battalions of infantry (numbered 1 to 21)
4 battalions of jagers
June 11th 1805 The seperate line battalions were regrouped into 8 regiments of the line
each of:
2 field battalions each of 1 company of grenadiers and 4 companies of fusiliers
1 garrsion battalion of 4 companies of fusiliers
the jager battalions were regrouped into 2 light regiments 
each of:
2 battalions each of 1 company of company d'elite and 4 regular companies
(on august 10th 1805 the companies d'elite were renamed in Karabiniers)
June 11th 1805 A guard corps is raised with the title: Lijfwacht van zijne Excellentie der Heere Raad-Pensionaris
The infantry component consists of
1 battalion Grenadiers consisting of 8 companies
2 companies Garde-lichte infantry
Cavalry organisation changes
July 8th, 1795 from the old regiments there were raised 4 cavalry regiments each of 4 squadrons each of 2 companies
Regiment Dragonders
1st Regiment Cavalerie
2nd Regiment Cavalerie
Regiment Huzaren
October 20th, 1803 Regiment Dragonders were renamed as Regiment Dragonders van Linie
1st Regiment Cavalerie became the 1st Regiment Lichte dragonders
2nd Regiment Cavalerie became 2nd Regiment Lichte dragonders
June 11th 1805 2nd Regiment Lichte dragonders is disbanded
Regiment Dragonders van Linie becomes 1st Regiment Dragonders
1st Regiment Lichte Dragonders becomes 2nd Regiment Dragonders
June 11th 1805 A guard corps is raised with the title: Lijfwacht van zijne Excellentie der Heere Raad-Pensionaris
The cavalry component consists of
2 companies of Garde Dragonders 
1 company of Garde Huzaren
Artillerie organisation changes
July 8th 1795 artillery of the line 4 battalions each of 6 companies
horse artillery 1 brigade of 2 companies
pontonniers 1 company
January 15th 1800 artillery of the line 4 battalions each of 5 companies (1 company disbanded)
July 26th 1804 artillery of the line becomes: regiment of Artillerie te Voet 4 battalions each of 6 companies
June 11th 1805 regiment of Artillerie te Voet 3 battalions each of 6 companies
June 11th 1805 A guard corps is raised with the title: Lijfwacht van zijne Excellentie der Heere Raad-Pensionaris
The artillery component consists of
1 company foot artillery

maandag 31 december 2018

The Swiss guard -Zwitserse garde- (Dutch flags 3)

Although normally when you hear Swiss Guard you think of the French or Papal Swiss guards, other  smaller countries as the Dutch Republic also had Guards of Swiss origin.

The Dutch Swiss guards were raised in 1749 although Swiss troops (regiments or independent companies) were already in Dutch service for years.

The Swiss Guard consisted in the FR period of two battalions , each of 4 companies.
In the budget of 1792 the regiment is mentioned as consisting of just one battalion but with 8 companies. Probably on campaign the 2 battalion structure was chosen.
The first company was called the Leib company (or the Prinzen company as the prins of orange was its owner.
This company wore the colonels flag; it is not know if the first company of the second battalion when in the field did the same or that this had just a company colour.

The Swiss Guard (as other Swiss in Dutch pay) didn't have a grenadier company but grenadiers were included in the companies itself. As the grenadiers formed probably a separate grenadier company in each battalion in the field, the amount of grenadiers in a company was appr 15 to 20 grenadiers.
According to Sabron in 1794 the field battalion of the Swiss was theoratically 504 men which I think was 7 companies (6 musketeers and 1 grenadier) so a company was appr 70 men.

Underneath are some pictures of the Swiss guard of the FR period.

As said the Swiss guard had a flag per company of which the first was the white colonels' one, other companies had regimental flags; it is not known if all those flags ( in total 8) were carried in the field.

The two flags are one the left the colonels flag, on the right the regimental.
Both pictures from the Landesmuseum in Zürich.

A better picture of the Colonels flag which is since some years in the Dutch Military Museum is underneath.

Sometimes is shown the colonels flag worn by a grenadier. This is possible as maybe the grenadier company in the field was the Leibcompany (?). Underneath a picture but the flag is a little bit different.

Notice the blue/white hanging bag on the bearskin. Normally, I think the bag would be in the colour of the lacing.
Also, which is different from Dutch grenadiers, is the hanging tail. Dutch grenadiers had the hair tucked under the bearskin cf the reglement. Maybe a mistake by the painter?