Saturday, 11 July 2015

RP No 171 Napoleonic Prussian - 1st East Prussian 2nd Battalion Line




Good God, I hear you cry. A newly painted unit on Ray's blog?? 
Whatever next?
Do you remember that little thing called a paint brush, well I've not used any of mine since April? Until this week that is! It's not that I couldn't be bothered or lost my mojo, I just couldn't find a spare
minute to get the brush out!!! And to make matters worse, the figures are not even for me, they're for His Nibs next door, Postie!


Its back to Napoleonic's for this unit, who are the 1st East Prussian line, 2nd Battalion


Revolutionary Wars:
During the French Revolutionary Wars of the 1790's the 1st East Prussian Infantry regiment was yet to be formed. The regiment that would become the 1st East Prussian infantry was the No.2 line infantry regiment 'Ruechel' under the command of Oberst Ernst von Rüchel. During the 1790's the regiment was part of the Prussian forces used to combat France. The No.2 fought well in the brief Prussian effort, but after the battle of Valmy they were sent back to Prussia as Prussia tried to conserve it's resources and soldiers.

Invasion of 1806:
In 1806, Prussia entered into the War of the Fourth Coalition in fear of France from their defeat of Austria. At the start of the Invasion the No.2 was attached to L’Estocq’s Corps with 4 other infantry regiments. L'Estocq and his chief of staff, Gerhard von Scharnhorst, commanded some 15,000 troops based at Thorn in December 1806 and at Freystadt in January 1807. Harassed by Marshal Ney, L'Estocq marched his troops from February 2 – February 8 through snowy and forested East Prussia; it has been described as "a model of the way in which a flank march in the face of a near and powerful adversary should be conducted".

The Russian troops of Bennigsen were hard-pressed by Marshal Davout in the Battle of Eylau (February 7-February 8, 1807). Leading the last operational unit in the Prussian army, L'Estocq was only able to bring eight battalions, twenty-eight squadrons, and two horse artillery batteries (estimated at 7,000-9,000 men) to the battle; the rest of his soldiers were defending against Ney.Upon the small Prussian contingent's arrival at Preußisch Eylau, Bennigsen wanted it split up to reinforce his weakened Russian troops. Scharnhorst, however, advised L'Estocq to strike with his cavalry around the Russian lines at Davout's exhausted troops; the sudden attack threw the French into disarray. Following the battle, L'Estocq's corps retreated to Preußisch Friedland to maintain coalition communications with Russia.


1806/1807 Reforms:
Following the defeat in 1806 Prussia was forced to reorganize and downsize it's army. Six of the remaining infantry regiments were chosen to be reformed, and were each given a light infantry battalion, to complete them. The No.2 with it's new 3rd battalion became the 1st East Prussian Infantry Regiment.The new army was organized into six peace-time brigades, and the 1st East Prussian were put into the East Prussian Brigade.

Russia 1812/1813
When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 there were 14,000 Prussian infantry attached to the auxiliary corps of the Grand Army. the six regiments were assembled from assorted battalions of multiple Prussian army regiments. The No.1 infantry regiment of the Prussian forces in Russia was mad up of the 2nd battalion/1st East Prussian Regiment, the 1st Battalion/2nd East Prussian Regiment, and the Fusilier battalion of the 1st East Prussian regiment. Unlike most of Napoleon's army the Prussian forces returned home mostly unharmed, saved by the Convention of Tauroggen.

War Of Liberation:
In 1813 the war of the 6th coalition started, and Prussia mobilized it's army for war. During the first battle of the campaign the 1st East Prussian Regiment had just returned 
from combat in Russia, and had two of it's battalions (2nd battalion and fusilier battalion) in the "1st 
Combined Infantry Regiment". At Lützen they were on the left flank under Generalmajor von Hünerbein, but were driven back like the rest of the army.

After Lützen the 1st East Prussian battalions were put back together and put in Generallieutenant von Yorc's Korps, in Oberst von Zielinsky's 1st Infantry brigade. The regiment was in the center of the Prussian line, and took heavy casualties first from the artillery barrage of the Grand Battery, and
then the successive French assault. The regiment was in the thick of the fighting for the entire day, but was beaten back to the village of Bautzen. The 1st East Prussian regiment was then present at the battle of Leipzig.

Battle of Leipzig:

At Leipzig, the 1st East Prussian Regiment was attached to the I. corp under Generallieutenant von Yorck, in the 2nd Infantry brigade (under Generalmajor Prinz CarlvonMecklenburg-Strelitz). At the time of Leipzig, the regiment had 1,840 men in total, or about 600 men per regiment. During the battle, the regiment was positioned on the allied right flank, and was ordered forward on the first day of fighting, to take the city of Möckern. The village was heavily fortified, and had a manor, palace, walled gardens, and low walls. Each position was turned into a fortress with the walls being loopholed for covered fire by the French. The ground to the west of the position was too wooded and swampy for emplacement of artillery. A dike ran east along the river Elster being 4 meters high. The bloody street fighting took a heavy toll on both sides, and the battle hung in the balance until Prussian cavalry charged and secured the field. Overall, both sides suffered around 9,000 casualties. For the next three days of the battle the regiment stayed on the right flank, and pushed to try to encircle Napoleon's forces, and even helped secure the village of Leipzig itself.

Paris:

After the battle of Leipzig, the regiment continued on the allied advance through France, fighting in the battles Brienne,The six day campaign, Craonne, Reims, and Paris. The unit was then sent back to Prussia. For reasons unknown, the regiment was not part of the army involved with the 100 days campaign, and so it's service to the kingdom of Prussia ended at the battle and occupation of Paris in 1814.











65 comments:

  1. Glad your mojo returned! Now time to paint some figures of your own.
    And thanks for the history lesson. You really know your stuff.

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    1. That's the plan Alex, but is it 15mm or 25mm next up on my painting table??

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  2. Cool, nice looking Prussians Ray, and great historical background...

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    1. Thanks Phil, now we just need to game with them.

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  3. Good work
    I am playing around with some 15mm Prussians too ;)

    Good fun
    It must be this 200th Waterloo thingy or something in the water ;)

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  4. They look great Ray. Very nicely done!

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  5. I've not painted anything since the first of February!

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    1. So you're in the Bad Boy club as well then, Steve?

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  6. You saw them in the corner and googled paint brush to figure out what to do with them right? Thanks for this history Ray I enjoyed it.

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  7. A fine job, Ray, very sharp!

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  8. Good to get the paint back out and make some smart looking Prussians - and as they are for Postie at least you'll still get the chance to push them around the table in a game.

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  9. Great to see you back doing what you do best - great job Ray, even if they are not for you!

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    1. Cheers Sir M, I did actually enjoy painting the buggers!

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  10. Great looking Unit and like Michael and the other say great to see you painting again.

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    1. Thanks Simon, the brush and his pals will hopefully be making another appearance this week!

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  11. Exellent looking unit Ray

    Best regards Michael

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  12. Very nice painting Ray and a cracking looking unit. Only 16 figs to a Battalion? what rules is he using do you know?

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    1. We use a home set written by Postie, 16 man infantry, militia have 12's and 12 figure horse regts, makes for a good game.

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  13. Hooray! The brushes are back in action! Good looking Prussians.

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  14. Great work Ray, you need to get it out more often
    Cheers

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    1. You're right I do, and the paintbrushes as well!

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  15. Not since April? Good gosh, indeed.

    PS. I'll save you a slice. Which do you want? Tim's meat and cheese, or my veggie heaven delux?

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  16. Great painted unit Ray! Keep them coming!

    PS: I even can't find my brushes because there is so much dust on them! ;-)

    Greetings
    Peter

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  17. Hello Ray,I enjoyed the reading,and I like those painted and well based figures very much. How can you bear to part with them. I think one should play wargames like kids marbles the winner keeps the other guys stuff. He,He, He! BB

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    1. I'll suggest you're idea to Postie, not sure he'll go with it???

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  18. Lovely painting Ray, good to see you doing naps, and Prussians at that! How can stand to see them leave you??? I believe a good part of the Prussian army was back home keeping an eye on their allies Austrian and Russia during the 1815 campaign if I remember right.

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    1. Its painful Paul, painful, he has got a few more for me to paint up as well!!

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  19. such great uniforms they have and thanks for the historical info, Ray!

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    1. No probs Dez, glad you enjoyed the post!!

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  20. A bit of history and background is always a nice touch when viewing figures and superbly done as well.

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  21. Up to your usual standard I see.

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  22. Splendid work as always, Ray. I'm in a bit of a painting slump myself.

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  23. ...and Napoleonics no less! What is the world coming to?!

    Lovely work Ray, they look suitably efficient and of sound financial credit. :)

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    1. I've not painted Naps in a while now, I won''t lie, Prussians are pretty boring to paint up!

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  24. ...and Napoleonics no less! What is the world coming to?!

    Lovely work Ray, they look suitably efficient and of sound financial credit. :)

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