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Hougoumont, the turning point of the Battle of Waterloo

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Sadurian Mike
635595.  Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:49 pm Reply with quote

Nobody likes a smartarse.

;o)

 
Celebaelin
635604.  Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:26 pm Reply with quote

I think Ney and Grouchy sort of gave up because they didn't want to fight the Russians again (it was those total dudes the Guard Jaegers that did it, I swear).

 
Sadurian Mike
635605.  Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:38 pm Reply with quote

I have a soft spot for the Russians, not just in the Napoleonic era but from the early medieval and through WWII as well.

Who couldn't love those Russian heavy cavalry?



Well, the French Eagle-bearer aside, of course.

 
Sadurian Mike
635606.  Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:56 pm Reply with quote

I've found a rather good and well detailed account of the struggle for Hougoumont. It emphasises the repeated (and unsuccessful) attacks made by the French all day and how the attacks drew off French troops that would have been better used in the main battle.

It also casts some doubt as to whether the tale of Lt. Legros battering down the locking bar of the gates is true, and instead describes how the French troops broke in by following one of the British withdrawals from the fighting outside the walls.

Finally, it briefly covers Victor Hugo's rather coloured account of the battle in "Les Miserables", a book I haven't read (nor seen the musical).

http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/battles/c_hougoumont.html

 
Celebaelin
635607.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:05 am Reply with quote

It's time for some investigation I feel - there seems to be a discrepancy here. Most depictions of Life Guards and Chevalier Guard show them with the more usual Russian cavalry helmet as worn by their cuirassier and similar to that worn by their dragoons. However my uniform books and that painting show a different variety of plume for the Chevalier Guard and Life Guards. The Life Guard image I found is hosted by Tripod so unfortunately I can't post it.

I've done a bit more digging and it depends on the date - there was a uniform change in 1812 (which included the addition of a metal breastplate)



Russian uniform changes of the period tended to make units rather difficult to tell one from another, which was good for the battlefield as the enemy didn't know exactly what they were getting into, but is rather monotonous when you're having to paint a wargames army.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Sadurian Mike
635608.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:08 am Reply with quote

Indeed, they also have the blackened cuirass which, I feel, is so much more stylish than the rather flashy polished steel of their French counterpart.

I am getting the urge to start painting up wargaming units again....

 
Sadurian Mike
635609.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:10 am Reply with quote

I have found a couple of pictures of a good model of the farm which shows off just what an extensive structure it was (larger than La Haye Saint).

These are wargaming models, but they are relatively accurate (we wargamers are a picky lot when it comes to accuracy, we would fit in well in the QI-style demand for things being just right).



 
Celebaelin
635610.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:14 am Reply with quote

Don't get me thinking like that - I've got an 85% complete modified mounted elf wizard and a barely started semi-scratch built version of the same figure on a Pegasus on my shelf and they mock me every so often for my inability to see anything through to completion.

 
Sadurian Mike
635611.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:21 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
I've done a bit more digging and it depends on the date - there was a uniform change in 1812 (which included the addition of a metal breastplate)

Russian uniform changes of the period tended to make units rather difficult to tell one from another, which was good for the battlefield as the enemy didn't know exactly what they were getting into, but is rather monotonous when you're having to paint a wargames army.

I tend to paint everyone for 1812 for consistency except where there is a "must have" unit that is anachromistic.

My major weakness (one that I have to agree with opponents with bribes of coffee and biscuits) is a unit of Bavarian Ulhans. I use them in an 1812 French-allied army, but they weren't raised until 1813/14, after the defection to the Other Side (Austria in this case).

 
Sadurian Mike
635612.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:23 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Don't get me thinking like that - I've got an 85% complete modified mounted elf wizard and a barely started semi-scratch built version of the same figure on a Pegasus on my shelf and they mock me every so often for my inability to see anything through to completion.

My modelling room is now completed (I will probably post photos, just to show what a sad git I really am) so, once the move to Rugby finally goes ahead I shall be able to crack on with all those half-completed projects.

Who knows? I might even finish one.

 
Celebaelin
635613.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:34 am Reply with quote

Re being picky - it's an attention to detail thing generaly (!) speaking. I have a batallion of pre 1809 Russian Jaeger (in stovepipe hats no less) which I've used alongside cuirassier with breastplates. I feel no particular guilt about it. *twitch*

If my army has a weakness in terms of proportion (other than the fact that when one of my nephews was younger he 'borrowed' some of my line infantry and they didn't all make it back - and you can't buy them any more) it's that I have way too much cavalry (I like to ring the changes) and not nearly enough of it is Cossacks.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:37 am; edited 2 times in total

 
Sadurian Mike
635614.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:36 am Reply with quote

The trouble is that Napoleonic cavalry are so damned colourful that you end up wanting to deploy them all. It's not fair.

 
Celebaelin
635615.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:44 am Reply with quote

Russian hussars are a singularly uncolourful (well, drab) bunch for hussars - oddly that always depressed me. So much so in fact that in my early teens I painted one squadron in a fictitious semi-luminous green uniform. Really quite vile.

 
Sadurian Mike
635616.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:56 am Reply with quote

You ought to go French (or Bavarian). Once you go French there is no going back.

 
Celebaelin
635732.  Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quote

My regular opponent had the French - anyway, I enjoyed the challenge!

 

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