Prussians at Leipzig – 1813

prussians_finished Whilst building my 6mm Napoleonic’s, I decided that my Prussians would be part of a historic formation. I decided that the Battle of Leipzig worked as it was in 1813 when the Prussian rebuilding was finished and the later Prussian army was starting to approach its peak. 1813 also gave me the chance to work in some other troops as well if I felt the desire. The Battle of Leipzig occurred in 1813 and on the one side were the Prussians, Russians, Austrians and Swedes. Perfect. Plenty of variety available for the future.

I had checked George Nafziger’s Order of Battle for Leipzig looking for something to fit. I had painted the first Prussian battalion (my test painting effort shown above) as the 1st battalion of the West Prussian regiment. II Corps of the Prussian Army was therefore the logical choice. I will need to buy more figures to make this up (great excuse for a wargamer) but what I have now gives me a good start. The Order of Battle of II Corps and my painting information for them is shown below.

These are being done for Polemos General de Division wargame Rules available from Baccus. I started doing the Prussians using Heroics and Ros figures so all the Prussians will be from that manufacturer. At the moment I have sufficient for 6 battalions of regular Infantry, 4 battalions of Landwehr, 4 squadrons of Dragoons and 3 batteries of artillery. I will need to get more.

The Prussian Corps were part of the Army of Bohemia under the overall command of General Prinz Schwarzenberg.

The OOB is below:

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Naval engagements First Schleswig War

In 1848 war broke out between Denmark, Prussia and Sweden over Schleswig, part of the joint Schleswig-Holstein duchies of northern Europe. The main reason for the conflict was nationalism and whether Schleswig should be more closely tied to Denmark than it was with the German population of Schleswig wanting no such thing.

As this war was in 1848, it was fought during a transitional period for naval warfare with the wooden walls of the Napoleonic times soon to be replaced with the steel sides of mid to late 19th Century. One of the neat things about researching for this conflict is that it occurred as Australia was starting to develop an identity through the 19th Century and moreover, as Australian newspapers were developing the craft and trade.

The National Library of Australia has a beta test project running at the moment where they have digitised many old Australian newspapers, going back to the early 18th Century. Subsequently, as Australians have always been a bit curious about how the other folks live, there was always demand for articles of world news, both from Europe and interestingly, from Asia as well.

Heading to the National Library’s newspaper research site and searching on “Naval engagements First Schleswig War”, many links to articles appear. One such article is this one:

Danes and Germans, for Schleswig; a collision took place at Flensburg but the result was not known. The Danish government has called on England to assist her against the Germans. Fears were entertained in Hamburg that the Danes would blockade the Elbe except to English vessels.

This article came from the The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, dated Saturday, 12 August 1848, and was one of the pieces brought up with the search mentioned above.

The Hobart Courier of Wednesday 9 August 1848 provided a good roundup and summary of the war up to that point, noting, with regards to some of the Danish and Prussian ships, that:

Elsinore, April 19.

This evening the Prussian ships lying at anchor in the roadstead have been laid under embargo by the Danish ships of war.

Another letter from Messrs. A. Von Duers and Co., to the Hamburg Assurance Company, dated Elsinore, April 19th, 10 o’clock at night, says, ” All German vessels are at this moment being detained.”

A traveller who is well-known to us and who returned yesterday from Copenhagen, informs us that the feeling in Denmark, although very excited, is by no means so inimical to individual Germans as is generally supposed. He says he travelled through Zealand, and although he always spoke German, he did not meet with the slightest insult, either in the country or in Copenhagen.

On his application to the Minister of War for permission to go on board the Dronning Maria, his request was immediately granted in writing, and on his mentioning the name of some Hamburgers with whom he was acquainted, he was not only allowed to speak to them, but was permitted afterwards to send them all that they required-clothing, books, &c. The prisoners were kept in strict discipline, but treated with great mildness. The non-commissioned officers receive 12 pence a-day besides their rations. The major in command on board is a very humane man, and is on very good terms with the prisoners; he even permits them to enjoy themselves in playing at cards-smoking is, of course, prohibited.

A private letter from Flensburg positively denies the reports of the bad treatment which the Schleswig-Holstein troops are said to have met with in that city. Both the German and Danish troops are equally well received by the citizens ; few excesses were committed against the Germans on their retreat, and the report that scalding water, &c. was poured upon them was quite without foundation. A miller, who took some Germans under his protection, was seized by the Danes with all his people, but was  afterwards liberated. The inhabitants of Flensburg have maintained a decidedly neutral position. The wounded among the Danes and the Germans are tended with equal care, and honourable treatment is given alike to both.

Go have a look at the site, research the news from this war as if it was happening now.

More Blog Searches

There have been some more interesting searches here in Thomo’s Hole … although the number of times folks are searching here and not finding something is getting smaller. Seems my readership is still a mix of general readers, friends, acquaintances, the boss and wargamers.

So, what were the unsuccessful searches over the last two weeks or so? Some interesting ones this time:

  • hms ashanti
  • korean schools
  • Naval engagements Danish-Prussian War
  • Naval engagements First Schleswig War
  • Naval engagements Second Schleswig War
  • Puma IFV

So, some interesting ones there and ones that will have me doing some research this weekend. HMS Ashanti is a fairly easy one … that would be a Tribal class British destroyer and rather a well known one so that will probably be first article off the ranks.

The Puma IFV will also be fairly quick as well.

Korean schools is an odd one I guess. Not sure if this is for Korean schools in Australia or Korean schools in Korea. I am guessing that it may be the first one and if it is, then as far as I know, there are no specific Korean schools in Australia. Most Korean school students in Australia seem to head to Australian schools but I’ll check with my Korean friends. Of course, it could also be someone searching for Korean language schools in Australia and if that is the case, then try looking at http://en.askedu.net/Australia/Korean_1.htm

Now, the remaining searches. They are really interesting ones and are fascinating questions for me, knowing so little as I do about those particular wars. I mean I know they occurred and have a general idea what happened but I have never really read about them in any detail. I can see I shall have to spend more time on this. A trip into Conway’s for the Schleswig Wars will also be necessary as I am sure that there may have been something – and the second Schleswig War was fought in 1864 so Conway’s volume 1 will cover that time period.

The Danish-Prussian War was in 1849 and I believe it was in 1824 that Henri-Joseph Paixhans developed explosive shells which were used in Naval vessels (and unlike the previous explosive shells which needed to be fired from howitzers, these could be fired over flat trajectories – such as a gun on the side of a wooden warship fired). Of course, explosive shells and wooden warships are a combination where the only winner is going to be the shell. I believe these shells were used in 1849 (remember, La Gloire and Warrior did not come along until 1859 and 1860 and the true steam powered ironclads a few years after that). So, there was naval combat in the 1849 Danish-Prussian War, so I will need to look that up.

OK, looks like there will be some interesting pieces coming up here in the near future as well.