Prussian Napoleonic Infantry, 1813–1815
Revell 1:72 Scale Figure Review
Prussian soldiers of the 9th (Colberg) Infanterie-Regiment wearing the 1813 field uniform with shako covers and rolled cloaks carried across the left shoulder. The miniatures are ideal for wargaming and dioramas.
42 Figures in 12 Poses – 22.5 mm equal 162 cm Height
- Captain or mounted Staff Officer (1)
- Lieutenant with drawn Sword (1)
- NCO advancing (2)
- Standardbearer advancing (1)
- Drummer advancing (1)
- Musketeer, march-attack (5)
- Musketeer, advancing (6)
- Musketeer, charging (4)
- Musketeer, standing with levelled Bayonet (5)
- Musketeer, ready to fire (5)
- Musketeer, standing, firing (6)
- Musketeer, loading, ramming the charge (5)
Officer’s Horse (1)
Wars of Liberation
Napoleon’s army of invasion withdrew from Russia in October of 1812 to avoid the harsh winter and the enormous supply problems associated with it. Unbeaten on the battlefield, the army was decimated by cold, hunger and relentless attacks by Russian forces and Cossack cavalry. The remnants of the Grande Armée dissolved upon crossing the Beresina, 26th – 28th November, many units were down to a handful of officers with very few men under their command. Prussia and Austria had been forced to provide an auxiliary corps for the invasion of Russia and they now had ample opportunity to extract their forces from the French army and enter into treaty negotiations with the victorious Russians. Prussia cautiously approached both sides about the issue, the Austrians sat back and observed the developments. Austria had challenged the French twice, in 1805 and 1809, and lost decisively, this time they wanted to be sure that another coalition would be successful before they joined it:
- 30th Dec. 1812. General Yorck allows his Prussian auxiliary corps to become separated from the Grande Armée, and is promptly engaged by superior Russian forces. Without authorization from the Prussian King, General Yorck enters into negotiations with Clausewitz and other Prussian patriots serving in the Russian army. Yorck and Russian General Diebitsch agree on neutrality status for the Prussian corps at the Convention of Tauroggen. A popular uprising begins in East Prussia and gradually spreads to other parts of the country.
- 22nd Jan. 1813. The Prussian court moves to Breslau in the province of Silesia, in an effort to evade French military authorities in control of Prussia. Secret negotiations with Paris continue at the same time that Scharnhorst and other patriots champion an alliance with Russian and Austria. The Government is divided on the issue.
- 28th Jan. Scharnhorst appointed chief of the Commission for Rearming Prussia.
- 2nd Feb. Russian forces cross the Vistula and advance on Berlin.
- 3rd Feb. Directive regulating the formation of Freiwillige Jäger detachments in all line regiments. Many Freikorps are raised. The famous Freischar Lützow is popularized by Theodor Körner, poet and freedom fighter, who serves in their ranks and writes stirring songs to support the cause.
- 9th Feb. Customary excemptions from military service are suspended, effectively resulting in universal conscription, even if only for the duration of the war and limited to certain age groups.
- 20th Feb. Berlin occupied by Russian Cossacks.
- 28th Feb. Alliance between Russia and Prussia. Freiherr vom Stein had been sent to Breslau as the Czar’s representative, demanding the formation of an alliance against Napoleon.
- 16th March. Prussian Declaration of War against France.
- 17th March. Landwehr Edict. Directive regulating the formation of the Landwehr militia, based on Scharnhorst’s publications supporting universal conscription.
- 20th March. Landsturm Edict. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau introduced the idea of an armed populace, but this was not fully implemented by the Prussian government. In light of the French revolution it is not surprising that the monarchy did not support the idea of a nation in arms.
- 2nd May. The Battle of Großgörschen (Lützen) results in a French victory, but Scharnhorst is confident that the engagement significantly improved the cohesion between Russian and Prussian troops. Scharnhorst is wounded in the foot. The bullet can be removed, but the General takes no leave to heal the wound, traveling to Vienna to negotiate with Austria, instead. Scharnhorst’s condition suddenly worsenes, he is taken to Prague to undergo surgery again, and dies there on 28th June 1813.
- 20th & 21st Mai. Napoleon prevails at the Battle of Bautzen. The allied army withdraws to Silesia.
- June-August. Armistice followed by unsuccessful peace negotiations at Prague.
- 12th Aug. Austria joins Russia, Prussia, Sweden and Britain in their Alliance against Napoleon.
- 23rd Aug. Bülow defeats Oudinot at Großbeeren.
- 26th Aug. Blücher defeats MacDonald at the Katzbach near Wahlstatt.
- 26th & 27th Aug. Napoleon defeats Schwarzenberg at the Battle of Dresden.
- 29th & 30th Aug. Vandamme pursues Schwarzenberg and attacks the Russians at Kulm. The Prussians counter-attack, and Kleist’s flanking action at Nollendorf results in a brilliant victory. Vandamme and 10,000 men are captured.
- 6th Sept. Bülow and Tauentzien defeat Ney at the Battle of Dennewitz.
- 3rd Oct. Engagement between Yorck and Marmont at Wartenburg.
- 8th Oct. Bavaria joins the Alliance against Napoleon.
- 16th, 18th & 19th Oct. Battle of Nations at Leipzig. On the 16th, Napoleon fights at Wachau without reaching a decision, but Blücher defeats Marmont at Möckern. On the 18th, approximately 255,000 allied soldiers launch an all-out attack against 160,000 men under Napoleon, achieving a complete victory. Saxon and Württemberg troops desert Napoleon during the Battle, going over to the allies. Leipzig is assaulted and taken on the 19th, Napoleon begins his retreat to France.
- 30th & 31st Oct. The remnants of Napoleon’s army encounter a Bavarian and Austrian army under General Wrede at Hanau, blocking their access to the Rhine crossings. At the Battle of Hanau, the French are able to defeat the enemy and continue their withdrawal.
- 1st Jan. 1814. Blücher and the 1st Silesian Army cross the Rhine at Caub, the advance on Paris continues.
- 31st March 1814. The allied armies march into Paris. Napoleon abdicates and is banished to Elba. France returns to its 1792 borders and Bourbon rule is restored.
- 1st March 1815. Napoleon lands in France and raises a new army.
- 16th June. Blücher is defeated at the Battle of Ligny, but he manages to evade Grouchy’s pursuit. Wellington defeats Ney at Quatre Bras.
- 18th June. Battle of Waterloo (Belle Alliance). Wellington is just able to maintain his position against determined French attacks, and the arrival of the Prussian army under Blücher turns the battle in favor of the allies. Gneisenau pursues and completely disperses the remnants of the French army. Napoleon is banished to St. Helena and dies there on 5th May 1821, aged 52.
The 1813 field uniform with the typical shako cover was issued to the guard and the original 12 line regiments initially. In 1815, reserve regiments, Freikorps and foreign battalions were taken into the line and numbered 13 to 32. These units should have received the new uniform as well, but in practise this was rarely achieved. The resources were not available to clothe and re-equip the men. Accordingly, many of the former reserve and Freikorps units continued to serve in their old uniforms at Waterloo.
Nicely detailed figures. Folds in the clothing, collars and facings, shako covers, rolled cloaks, canteens, gaiters, belts, buttons, pouches, sabres, muskets and metal fittings are well sculpted and easy to paint. The figures are noticeably shorter and slimmer than the Napoleonic miniatures from other manufacturers or even Revell’s own French Old Guard Grenadiers.
Useful historic poses. The figures appear very natural, because of the standard poses which have been used. All of the 42 soldiers make excellent wargame and diorama figures which may be deployed in firing, advancing, defending and marching units.
Prussian Musketiers, Grendadiers and Guards were distinguished by different shako plates and plumes. On campaign, plumes were not usually worn and shako plates were not visible underneath the shako cover. As a result, these figures can be used to portray all three of the above troop types. Prussian practise was to combine the grenadiers of the line into separate Grenadier Battalions which served as a tactical reserve. In 1814, the six existing Grenadier Battalions were permanently combined to form two Grenadier Regiments, named Kaiser Alexander and Kaiser Franz in honor of the Russian and Austrian Emperors, respectively. In 1815, these regiments joined the 7th (Guard) Corps, which was still in Berlin when the allied victory at the Battle of Waterloo ended hostilities.
Correct painting instructions on the box: Uniform and flag of the 9th (Colberg) Regiment, 1813–1815. Major Gneisenau and the garrison of the Pommeranian fortress of Colberg were among the few Prussian forces which successfully withstood the French in 1807. When the Prussian army was reorganized in 1808, two regiments were formed from the men of the Colberg garrison, Nr. 9 (1. Brandenburg) Leib-Regiment and Nr. 10 (Colberg) Regiment, to commemorate their gallant defense. During the armistice, 4th June to 12th August 1813, the Guard (Nr. 8) was taken out of the line and line regiments numbered 9–12 moved up one slot. Accordingly, the Leib-Regiment became Nr. 8 and Colberg Nr. 9. To fill the gap, a new 12th regiment was formed from two reserve battalions of the Leib-Regiment and the 3rd Battalion 6th (1st West Prussian) Regiment.
Good casting quality. Mould lines and some flash around bayonets, sabres and cloaks needs to be removed before painting.
Füsiliers not included. Following the reorganisation of the Prussian army, in 1808, Füsiliers were taken into the line regiments to form the third battalions. They had the same blue uniform as the Musketiers with the exception that their crossbelts were black and the ammo pouch was worn in front, not on the right hip. Instead of the sabre, Füsiliers carried the shorter Faschinenmesser, an engineering tool with a straight blade. The historically correct figure mix would have required 14 Füsiliers per box.
Freiwillige Jäger are not included, but are easily converted from line infantry miniatures. The 1813 directive regulated that the line regiments of infantry and cavalry were to include detachments of volunteer Jägers. The volunteer Jägers the uniform of their parent regiment, but of a green base colour, with black crossbelts, waist-belt with ventral ammo pouch, or regular infantry cartridge pouch on a crossbelt over the left shoulder. Instead of the sabre, Jägers were armed with the Hirschfänger sword-bayonet, hunting rifle, musket or carbine with socket bayonet.
- 1st and 2nd Battalion 2nd Garde-Regiment zu Fuß 1813–1815
Red collar and facings, white shoulder straps and brass buttons.
- Grenadier-Regiment Kaiser Alexander 1814–1815
Consisting of the Leib-Grenadierbattalion – two Grenadier Companies each from Nr. 8 (Leib-Regiment) and 1st Garde-Regiment – The 1st (Nr. 1/Nr. 3) and 2nd East Prussian Grenadier Battalion (Nr. 4/Nr. 5).
- Grenadier-Regiment Kaiser Franz 1814–1815
Consisting of the Pommeranian (Nr. 2/Nr. 9), West Prussian (Nr. 6/Nr. 7) and Silesian Grenadier Battalion (Nr. 11/Nr. 12).
- 1st and 2nd battalions of the 1st–12th Infanterie-Regiment 1813–1815 (one exception)
- 1st and 2nd battalions of 13th–32nd Infanterie-Regiment 1815 (several exceptions)
Facing Colours and Shoulder Boards of the Infantry Regiments
|Province||Collar & Facings||1st Regt.
|E. Prussia||brick-red||Nr. 1||Nr. 3||Nr. 4||Nr. 5|
|W. Prussia||carmine||Nr. 6||Nr. 7||Nr. 16||Nr. 17|
|Pommerania||white||Nr. 2||Nr. 9||Nr. 14*||Nr. 21*|
|Brandenburg||poppy-red||Nr. 8||Nr. 12*||Nr. 20||Nr. 24*|
|Silesia||yellow||Nr. 10||Nr. 11||Nr. 13||Nr. 15|
|Magdeburg||light blue||Nr. 26||Nr. 27*||Nr. 31*||Nr. 32|
|Westphalia||pink||Nr. 18*||Nr. 19||Nr. 28||Nr. 29|
|Rhineland||madder red||Nr. 22*||Nr. 23*||Nr. 25*||Nr. 30*|
Brass buttons, red turnbacks, cuff flap in the coat colour. Officers wore grey trousers with brass buttons and a red sidestripe. Units marked with an * are former reserve regiments, Freikorps and foreign battalions which were incorporated into the line in 1815 and which continued to wear their old uniforms at the Battle of Waterloo. Officers may have received the new uniforms ahead of their men, resulting in a variety of different uniforms being worn in the same regiments.
- Garde-Füsiliers (3rd Btl.) of the 2nd Garde-Regiment 1813–1815
- Füsiliers (3rd Btl.) of the 1st–12th Infanterie-Regiment 1813–1815
- Füsiliers (3rd Btl.) of the 13th–32nd Infanterie-Regiment 1815 (with the above exception)
- Freiwillige (volunteer) Jägers in the infantry 1813–1815
The sabre may be converted to a Hirschfänger sidearm by removing the basket; the musket may be used as is, or shortened to resemble a hunting rifle. Cartridge pouches were worn behind the right hip, or replaced by a ventral pouch.
- 1st and 2nd battalion 1st Garde-Regiment 1813–1815
- Garde-Füsiliers (3rd Btl.) of the 1st Garde-Regiment 1813–1815
The 1st Garde-Regiment had round cuffs with lace instead of a cuff patch. Füsiliers of the 1st Garde-Regiment would have to be converted as line Füsiliers, with the addition of the round cuffs. The regiment had red collars, red facings with white lace, white shoulder straps and buttons.
- Funcken, L. & F.: L’Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats du Premier Empire, pp. 125-127
- Haythornthwaite, Philip: Uniforms of Waterloo in Colour, plate 69
These Revell figures represent a large part of the Prussian infantry of the 1813–1815 period, at least 50 battalions with approximately 40,000 men. Possible conversion add another 25 battalions of Füsiliers and the 1st Garde-Regiment. Considering these numbers and the tremendous interest in wargaming the 1813 Leipzig and 1815 Waterloo campaigns, these figures are sure to be a success in the market.
The soldiers are well proportioned and they are sculpted in very natural and realistic looking poses. Campaign uniform is not only historically accurate, it is much easier to paint than full-dress. Most wargamers and diorama builders actually prefer figures in campaign uniforms, because they add flavor to the period and they are often multi-purpose troops, as is the case with these Prussian soldiers who can be painted as Musketiers, Grenadiers and Guards. All of the figures are solid wargaming types. If three or four of the musketier poses had been Füsiliers instead, this box would have been perfect. No doubt, collectors will be delighted to see Prussian Füsiliers, Jägers, Landwehr, Lützow’s Freischar and Artillerie zu Fuß done in similar quality and style.