Our 1812 campaign is set to continue this week, which has inspired me to paint further additions to the Grande Armée. Reading through campaign narratives and looking at OOBs, I realized that nobody in our gaming group has painted any Württembergers, which comprised a full infantry division and roughly half the cavalry in Marshal Ney's III Corps. And so, I present to you, the 1st Brigade of the 25th (Württemberg) Infantry Division: 4 line infantry battalions from two regiments under the command of Generalmajor von Hügel.
The miniatures are from AB. I am a huge fan of the AB range which are a pure joy to paint. My only complaint is the limited number of poses, which comes across especially with these " minor nations' " forces.
The Württemberg contingent is a great modelling project for our Napoleonic campaigns. It was some 12.000 strong (plus additional home guard units) and took part in Napoleon's 1807, 1809, 1812 and 1813 campaigns. In 1813, during the battle of Leipzig, the Württembergers switched sides and were on the anti-French side in 1814.
The contingent remained pretty much unchanged in terms of its composition or size during this period and, although there was some change in uniforms, this was pretty minor (the front of their vests had the regimental colours prior to 1812 and the caterpillar helmets were exchanged for shakos in 1813). The contingent was the third largest force in the Confederation of the Rhine, yet unlike many of the other forces in the Confederation, the Württembergers had a very good reputation and were constantly used as front line troops. The light infantry and cavalry in particular were considered as elite units by contemporaries.
|I have used this book plus internet sources to research the Württemberg contingent. Though only covering 1809, most of the stuff in the book still holds true for 1812|
King Friedrich of Württemberg took great pride and devoted much attention to his army, which was organized along French lines and employed French tactics early on. The commanders were more-or-less chosen by merit and the king ensured that the force had good equipment and ample supply (outstripping French units in these regards at least in 1809). Though under French command, king Friedrich never let anyone forget whose force this was and managed to keep his men together as an operational unit. This competent force served as a power chip for Friedrich to gain the favour of Napoleon and, at the same time, secure Friedrich's power at home.