Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion

01 Mar

1tes und 2tes Westpreussisches Infanterieregiment

1tes und 2tes Westpreussisches Infanterieregiment
[Knötel, Uniformenkunde, Band II. Nr. 45]

After a few weeks the Prussian Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion for my Möckern (Völkerschlacht of Leipzig) project are finally finished. All minis are Calpe in 28mm (with the exception of the French casualty on the skirmisher base, which is a Perry plastic).

While the Knötel print to the left depicts the Musketiere from both the 1st and 2nd Westpreussische Infanterieregimenter, these can be seen as good representations of the minis painted here, since the only difference was the colours of the swordknots.

Now the regiment had quite an illustrious career during the Befreiungskriege seeing action at Möckern (the one in April 1813 not the one I am painting for), Königswartha, Groß-Görschen, Bautzen, Dresden, Culm, Wachau, Leipzig. In 1814 they ended up in Paris after long campaigning and were called up in 1815 once more to fight at Ligny and many of the smaller battles leading to it and later on into France.

At Möckern (Leipzig) they fought with 582 men, which translates into 29 minis and four skirmishers at Republic to Empires 1:20 ratio.

I have to admit, that while this is not the largest Napoleonic unit I ever painted, this is the largest I painted in one go (as opposed to small batches) and this was a huge mistake. When painting every single colour takes at least an hour, you start to lose interest somewhere along the route. Anyway… they are now finished and I am happy with the results. But as a result though the next things on my table are smaller batches. Already finished four Austrian Jäger (they are awaiting their varnish and basing) and next are Prussian and French officers.

As you know I have been painting units from von Yorck´s advance guard at Leipzig for some time now, but this is the first regular unit with a flag for me. All the others have either been Landwehr and Reserves with non-regulation flags, or Schützen and Fuisiliere without any. It is strange what a change something like a different type of flag can be, but it really was for me when done. Together with the posh (at least for Prussian standards) grenadier uniforms, it was a real joy to see them done. I hope they will do me proud on the table. One thing that left me slightly irritated was the colours of their flag, yellow on blue, which I would rather associate with Silesia. If anyone can shed some light into this I would be more than happy to hear why this is so.

Now photographing these mini gave me a huge headache. With their muskets in front of their bodies, I arranged the minis in a way, that they would not interfere with one another no matter in which formation I placed the bases. Unfortunately, this also meant, that I would always end up with at least two faces being obscured by a musket. In the end I gave up, so the majority of photos will by group shots this time. Hope you can forgive me, since you will be able to click them for larger versions!

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (skirmishers deployed)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (skirmishers deployed)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (command base)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (command base)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (first coy base Nr.1)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (first coy base Nr.1)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (first coy base Nr. 2)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (first coy base Nr. 2)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (skirmishers)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (skirmishers)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (top view)

Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion (top view)


9 responses to “Westpreussisches Grenadierbattalion

  1. Dalauppror

    March 1, 2013 at 13:09

    Stuning unit !!!

    Best regards Michael

  2. Paul

    March 1, 2013 at 14:22

    Really nice unit Burkhard!

  3. vonpeterhimself

    March 1, 2013 at 22:36

    Another great unit Burkhard to help cleanse the world! 8O)

    I feel your pain of painting the unit all at once. Probably the most efficient method but you certainly need to toughen up or turn off during the painting. I’m generally not tough enough!! 8O)

    Perhaps the flag comes from the previous unit(s) used to form the Westpreussisches infantry regiments post 1806. If I get a chance later I may check that theory. Or maybe it was just a flag conveniently at hand from the old army … or perhaps someone just liked the flag!

    Dont feel too bad though. All the regular units of my 3rd brigade will have black and white flags. All very Prussian I guess, but a bit of colour here or there wouldn’t have gone amiss! 8O)

    von Peter himself

    • Burkhard

      March 2, 2013 at 23:10

      Thank you, vP!

      This will definitely be the last unit this size painted in one go… the next one will be at least two batches!

      Your musing on the flag could well make sense. If you find out anything, I would be most interested to know!

      But you are right… The other units will have much more subdued flags as well. So this should be a nice change in the end!

      • vonpeterhimself

        March 3, 2013 at 01:58

        Right, flag stuff here we go …

        It didn’t take too long to sort out as all the answers are to be found in Dr Stephen Summerfield’s book Prussian Infantry 1808-1840, Volume 1 Line & Guard 1808-1814.

        First from page 158 regarding the West Prussian Grenadier Battalion:
        “On 21 January 1803, Grenadier battalion von Brauschitz was formed from two grenadier companies of IR 52 (von Reinhardt) and IR58 (von Courbiere). Participated in the defence of Danzig (1807). In 1808, these formed the West Prussian Grenadier battalion.”

        From page 97 regarding Infantry colours:
        “IR7 (2. West Prussian) were given the colours of IR58 (von Courbiere) that had first been presented on 20 February 1797 by Frederick William II. In March 1812, the West Prussian Grenadier battalion were issued with the Ordinarfahne that had been returned by 1/IR7 (2. West Prussian).”

        There are a lot more details on why flags came and went over the years, the number of flags owned by battalions, the number of flags taken to war etc but the above explains where the flags came from. The above explains where the blue and yellow flags came from for both IR7 (2. West Prussian) and more importantly for this discussion the West Prussian Grenadier Battalion.

        von Peter himself

  4. Monty

    March 2, 2013 at 01:56

    Great looking lads, Burkhard. I like your mix of close ups and group shots.

    32ish figures at a go? That is just crazy!

    • Burkhard

      March 2, 2013 at 23:11

      Thank you, Monty.

      As you say… 32 was crazy and it will be the last time I will do such a huge unit in one go!


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