Thursday, December 30, 2010

Volontaires de Bretons part two

The figures are all Foundry (I think!) and prussian to boot! I could not find any French figures that really captured the look I was after and these seemd to fit the bill! The WAS is a side project to my 7YW and WSS French Armies.

Like all of my light regiments I have added a mule train instead of a wagon, I am yet to paint a colonel for the regiment and i will seek out a suitable figure that I can convert to suit.

I will also add some horse holders and maybe some skirmisher hussars and a swede 6pdr.

The research for these guys has taken a while, the figures have been complete since November and have already had thier first action clashing with bruce's Prussian 5th hussars in some orchards.


Volontaries de Bretons

Voluntaries de Bretons

Created by order of October 30, 1746 at the initiative of a Breton gentleman "with only the cape and sword" without a family fortune from the region of Leon, Olivier de Kermellec Penhouët. He served in 1712 as second lieutenant at Denain, then served in a Regiment of the French Royal Navy until 1743 (foreign posting or fortress?). During this time he became lieutenant colonel. Two years later he is the head of a regiment of the Royal Grenadiers. His family had a great history of serving with the French guard.

He applies the methods of Prussian discipline and "dressing" of troops to his commands, in 1746 he wrote to the Minister of War "this way to serve looked a little rough in the beginning, it was a little murmur, one begins to make itself and the board is made there that to support it. " In September 1746 he made the following request to the Minister: "the approval to raise a regiment of light infantry half horse half foot under the title of lost children ... or a regiment of grenadiers, like the German princes, it would be composed of deserters, with an amnesty for deserters who enlisted, which would be lifted in two months and that would be the terror of the enemy."

It was decided at Versailles that the regiment would be composed solely of Britons. In principle, the regiment is composed as follows:

2 grenadier companies of 50 men each.
8 rifle companies of 100 men each.
6 companies of hussars of 50 men each.
A total of 900 infantry and 300 cavalry.

The grenadier companies were composed of: a Captain in first, second captain, two lieutenants, two sergeants, three corporals, three lance-corporals, one drummer and forty grenadiers.

For the rifle companies, two captains, three lieutenants, four sergeants, two cadets, a coxswain, six corporals, four men, six lance-corporals, two drums, seventy-five riflemen.

Companies Hussars: a captain, a lieutenant, an ensign, a sergeant, three sergeants, a trumpet, and forty five hussars.

The Staff consisted of a Colonel, a Lieutenant Colonel, a Major, Major-2 assists, a chaplain and a surgeon.

The regiment was also comprise a carriage of ammunition and two guns at the "Swedish".

The King awarded Kermellec 100 Francs for the raising of the regiment, then 300 Francs for clothing and equipment of infantry; weapons to be provided free by the Royal Stores. The order states that "the regiment is to be always ahead of the army without tents or crew, nor any recourse to military hospitals.”

Many records of the Regiment have disappeared, and it is difficult to give the proportion of Brittany members incorporated into the regiment, but what is certain is that the Kermellec repeatedly made use of force to get men. Thus volunteers Britons were supplemented by hired German bounty men whose exercises created incidents with the Austrian recruiters operating in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire. Some officers were also recruited from the Rhine region.
The regiment was ready in Spring 1747 and sent to the army in Flanders under the command of Marshal Saxe, who commanded the French light troops. After the review of 13 June, "Kermellec Legion” as they are called, are assigned to the Earl of Lowendal’s command whose mission is to capture of Bergen-op-Zoom in July 1747.

The "Kermellec Legion" commence daily skirmishes in which they act bravely. They participate in the service of their trenches with grenades while the rest of the regiment guarded the body of the saps providing many skirmishes with the enemy. The Count of Lowendal wrote: "they have 5 or 6 wounded or killed, the enemies have 40". During the combat at Wouda, the "Kermellec" lose 52 killed, 82 wounded, and 2 officers M le Chevalier Pons and M Gadeville. In this case Voluntaries Britons had supported 70% of total French losses, 74 killed and 122 wounded which gives an idea of the part taken in battle by the Britons. On 17 September after a successful assault Berg-Op-Zoom fell. The Bretons pursued the remnants of the garrison that fled to Steenberg. Following this coup, on October 30, the King decides to increase the strength to 1,500 men by increasing the companies to 100 fusiliers and four companies of 50 Hussars.

Royal satisfaction came too late to reward Mr. de Kermellec, he was killed by a bullet from Croatian skirmisher on October 30 1747, he perished along with 12 of his men, defending a artillery convoy from enemy light troops.
During the campaign the Britons Volunteers suffered heavy casualties and the regiment was sent to Saint-Ghislain for replenishment, it receives its new Colonel Antoine Joseph de Neufville, Baron Blaisel who was then Lieutenant Colonel of Arquebusiers de Grassin now commands the light troops, his appointment is on November 3, 1747. Replenished during the winter, the regiment was sent to Mons in April 1748. It remains on the Denner, opposite Breda to watch the enemy, while Marshal Saxe prepares investment Maestricht. They remain there until the war ends and peace was signed October 14, 1748.

It should be noted that already on September 1 the number of volunteers Breton had been reduced by 1,500 men to 980 men. On 10 October, a second reform leads to 640 men and 1 December, the number is no more than 340 men. The Bretons are the third brigade (two infantry companies of forty men each and two of cavalry, under the command of M. De Saint Marsaud).
The body was removed on 1 August 1749 from the French establishment. Men are paid into the Voluntaries de Flandres, the Arquebusiers de Grassin and Voluntaries de Morliere.

Headdress: black Mirliton flame the same colour, yellow trim and tassels, brush and white, cockade, brass button. Officers’ tricorne, silver lace, black cockade

Hair: natural-wrapped black.
Stock: black.
Shirt: White
Jacket: royal blue (lighter than it is today). Lace: Ventre de biche (light tan),brass buttons.
Fusilier justaucorps: ventre de biche (a mid tan colour) blue lace
Barrel sash: fawn and red.
Trousers: royal blue, yellow lace.
Boots: black leather, black laces.
Pelisse: fawn, royal blue amenities.
Harness: Black or brown leather (leather scorched).
Metal fittings and buttons: brass
Sabre: branch brass guard, leather handle, brass handle reinforcement.
Scabbard and bayonets: brown leather, brass sleeve reinforcements.
Belts: Buff.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chasseurs de Fischer part two

I have painted a battalion of Chasseurs de Fischer, plus some Chasseurs a Cheval to add to my light infantry advance gaurd brigade. All the Front rank figs for the infantry with a few conversions on officers and musicians (the Mirliton heads are from the Perry Hussar packs which I may change later on). The cavalry are foundry and I am awaiting the command before they are finished.


Chasseurs de Fischer Part One

The Chasseurs de Fischer
Johann Christian Fischer born January 17 1713 in Stuttgart , † July 1 1762 in Kassel ) (Jean Chrétien Fischer) He was the son of an accountant in a tobacco factory in Stuttgart, Georg Albrecht Fischer and his wife Christine Magdalene, nee Faber, a student at the University of Giessen.

After the death of his father in 1737 he entered the French Army, first as a valet of Count du d'Armentières. In 1741 he served as a groom under François-Marie de Broglie in Bavaria and Bohemia. In 1742 he became an adjutant of Count Maurice of Saxony (Marshal de Saxe) during the Bohemian campaign at the siege of Prague. Each day the grooms grazed the officer’s horses on the islands in the Moldau. A unit of Austrian Hussars forded the river with the intention of carrying off the horses, Fischer organised the grooms and fought them off successfully. For his conduct on this occasion is was rewarded and promoted to subaltern and permitted to organise a band of volunteer chasseurs under Marshal de Saxe.

On the 1st of November 1743, the volunteer corps is recognized by ordinance and named “Compagnie Franche des chasseurs”, formed of 45 foot and 15 mounted men. The compagnie then became the “Corps mixte des cavaliers, fantassins et chasseurs de Fischer”, formed of 400 foots and 200 mounted men.
For the services Fischer rendered in 1743 for the Comte de Saxe He received thanks for his exploits and was rewarded with the protectorate of the marshes of Belle Isle and de Noailles.

The Fischer chasseur corps was so successful during the War of Austrian Succession that these mixed corps were also created
* In 1744, the Arquebusiers de Grassin;
* In 1745, the fusiliers de la Morlière;
* In 1746, volontaires de Gantès, volontaires bretons and volontaires de Dauphiné
* In 1747, volunteers of Hainaut, then the royal volunteers

In 1744, under Count Maillebois, Fischer’s Chasseurs operate first in Flanders, and from there, passed in Alsace during the siege of Freiburg and Breisgau, and in winter they also operate in Hessen and Wetterau. In Butzbach he procures from the Abbey of Arnsburg 60 heavily laden wagons with grain, hay and straw.

In 1745 he was at the vanguard of the army of the Palatinate and entered Frankfurt, where he took, with a bold stroke, the editor of the local Gazette, whose differences had displeased the government of Louis XV. In Flanders, with the army of Marshal Saxe, Fischer continues the exploits of a partisan warfare, and offers outstanding intelligence to the French Army during the campaign.

In 1747 increased to 600 men 400 chasseurs and 200 chasseurs a cheval. After the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom, where he distinguished himself, the king granted him on September 15, 1747 a commission to hold the rank of lieutenant-colonel of infantry and cavalry.

In 1749 a grenadier company was added to the Chasseurs, Bearskin caps were worn. Because the treaty of AIX THE CHAPEL in October, 1748 the unit is reduced to 104 men. The Chassuers de Fischer are the only light corps remaining in the army.

During the period of peace in 1754, the Fischer Chasseurs were used to try to halt the activities of notorious smuggler Mandrin. Fisher surprised them at Gueunand (Saone-et-Loire), but despite his superior numbers, could not capture him.

In 1755 at the request of the King, Johan fischer raised a corps of wholly German troops in Pondicherry called the “Compagnie des Indes”, a corps of German volunteers who subsequently serve in the war in America and India.

During the Seven Years' War his reputation would be at its peak. The corps was increased to eight mounted chasseurs a cheval companies and seven chasseurs and one grenadier company by prescription of July 8th the enrollment is increased to 1200 men.

With two hundred men in July 1757, he took Hildesheim, Marburg, Ziegenheim, entered Göttingen. Einbeck. He raised contributions, took prisoners, captured war materiel and supplies. In August he inflicted a serious defeat on the Hanoverian light infantry, who lost one hundred and two killed and twenty-seven prisoners and they capture two colours. At the end of September, he fights at Halberstadt. On the 1st of October he brings the corps to Nordhausen , and on 15 December they enter winter qauters in Buchholz and Schwarmstedt.

On 23 June 1758 in the Battle of Krefeld , the French light troops under Fischer warn Louis de Bourbon that the Brunswick corps commanded by Marshal Ferdinand of Brunswick have encircled the French. During the battle Fischer gets a cut in the back and shot in the leg, for his actions he was promoted to lieutenant general. In September 1758 he is in Narzburg, he receives 6000 Thalers contribution from the city, he also holds the same contribution on Katlenburg. At Ziegenheim, they also take 14 cannons and 60 000 bags of flour.

After the Battle of Bergen (April 13, 1759), he defeated the Prussian rearguard at the river crossing Arloff und Hungen, they cut to pieces a grenadier battalion, two squadrons of dragoons, and compelled three squadrons of Reg Finckenstein dragoons to lay down their arms. They captured two Finckenstein standards, the Finckenstein kettledrums and their regimental pay chests. Fischer is for his exploits promted to brigadier general 21st April 1759. His unit fights at the Battle of Minden , which the French lose. On 2 September 1759, he became a Knight of the Order of Merit, given by the French monarchy to its Protestant Officers.
On 20 May 1760 was at Elberfeld and moved on 5 June to Duisburg. At the battle of Warburg at 31 July 1760 the Fischer Corps are almost destroyed. On 15 October 1760 they formed the vanguard of French in the Battle of Kloster Kampen , and again suffered heavy losses. The troops winter quarters in Mettmann environment and then withdraw to France after the victory of Clostercamp (October 16, 1760).

In spite of Johan Fischer’s services rendered to the French army, he was envied by many and loved by few. Under Marshal de Broglie Fischer he suffered a semi-disgrace (a case of missing contribution money). On the April 27, 1761, Louis XV signed a order giving the Chassuers de Fischer to the Marquis de Conflans. The Fischer corps was then renamed Dragons-Chasseurs de Conflans, then in 1763 the Legion de Conflans, which later became the 5th Hussards in 1776.

Fischer is cashiered and now part of the intelligence and information service, before the battle of Wilhelmstal in Hanover, he bribed a certain Herr Goldberg and was misinformed by him of the movements of the enemy, the French lose the battle after being encircled and suffer heavy casualties. Fischer is reproached by a French Prince Soubise, he is challenged to a duel and was wounded and dies three days later at Landwerhagen on the 1 July 1762, (Some accounts have him dying of a fever I suspect from infection from the wound suffered).

General Pajol concludes the very short notice he devoted to Fischer: "His life should be written with details and widespread in the army as an example and encouragement."

The Prince Soubise builds him a marble grave monument in Kassel. (I am yet to find its actual location)

If anybody can add to his story it would be greatly appreciated, also I could find no images of Johan Christian Fischer.

Uniform details
1744 Dark green coats, vests trousers, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet cuffs, collar, epaulette, dark green mirliton, white border, yellow fleur de lys, black belts

1757 grenadier green cuffs, vests, trousers, yellow buttons, scarlet cuffs, collar, epaulette, white fringe, black fur grenadier cap with fluer de lys brass plate.

1759 Dark green coats, vests trousers green cuffs, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet collar, orange epaulettes, dark green mirliton, white border, yellow fleur de lys, black belts, grenadier black fur grenadier cap with fluer de lys brass plate.
1761 Dark green coats, vests, trousers, yellow buttons no lace, scarlet cuffs, collar, tricorne white border, , black belts, green epaulette brown fringe (Dragons-Chasseurs de Conflans)

Chassuers a cheval
1744-49 Pelisse scarlet lined with gray furs, yellow lace, Dolman dark green, scarlet cuffs, yellow lace, Scarlet Hungarian trousers, black hussar boots, Mirliton black, white feather and cockade, yellow fleur de lys, Sabretache scarlet, with yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, shabrache scarlet, yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, yellow and scarlet barrel sash, black belts, brown saddle leatherwork and horse furniture, black sabre scabbard, brass fittings.

1749-53 Pelisse green lined with brown furs, yellow lace, Dolman dark green, scarlet cuffs, yellow lace, Scarlet Hungarian trousers, black hussar boots, Mirliton black, white feather and cockade, yellow fleur de lys, Sabretache scarlet, with yellow lace (one source has orange), yellow fischer symbol, shabrache green, yellow lace, yellow fischer symbol, yellow and scarlet barrel sash, brown leatherwork, black sabre scabbard, brass fittings

1753-61 Organisation

a staff with 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 major, 2 aide-major d'infanterie, 2 aide-major de cavalerie, 1 aumônier (Chaplian), 1 chirurgien-major (surgeon), 1 maréchal-des-logis (logistics officer) , 1 auditeur ( pay clerk), 1 prévôt(gendarme ou policier officer), 1 greffier (clerk of the court), 2 archers (gendarme ou policier) and 1 exécuteur de justice (privilege de prevote et de justice).

-1 company of 3 officers and 60 grenadiers.
The grenadiers company: 1 capitaine, 1 lieutenant, 1 sous-lieutenant, 2 sergents, 3 caporaux, 3 ansepessades, 1 tambour and 41 grenadiers.

-8 companies of 3 officers and 71 fusiliers.
Each company of fusiliers: 1 capitaine, 1 capitaine en 2nd., 1 lieutenant en 1er., 1 lieutenant en 2nd., 1 sous-lieutenant, 4 sergents, 4 cadets, 1 fourrier, 1 capitaine d'arme, 6 caporaux, 6 ansepessades, 2 canonniers, 2 charpentiers, 2 tambours and 72 fusiliers.

-8 companies of 4 officers and 40 Chassuers.
Each company of dragoons:1 capitaine, 1 lieutenant, 1 cornette, 2 maréchaux-des-logis, 4 brigadiers, 2 cadets, 1 trompette and 43 cavaliers.

Lieutenant-colonel commandant & capitaine en 1er de toutes les compagnies – Jean Chrétien Fischer
Aide-major de cavalerie – M. Thomas Fischer
Aide-major d'infanterie – M. Orbs
( I need to add more officers yet)

I have found no information for a standard yet, can anybody help?

Arch. War. - Pinard, Chron. Hist.-mil., VII, 527. –
E. of Ribeaucourt, Life millet. AD Fischer. –
R. Dupuy, Hist. 12th fighter, 1891, p. 18, 19.
Pajol wars under Louis XV, V, 366 and 367.
Funck-Brentano, Chuck, 1908, p. 270 ff.
Mouilard Plates
Pengel and Hurt