Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Arquebusiers de Bergerac pass though Saxe-Märchen

Arquebusiers de Bergerac en route to their new bases 

The buildup of the French army continues, the Arquebusiers de Bergerac (from St Maurice) moved through Saxe-Märchen this last weekend, en route to join the Corps du Vin. (see above, in pokalems and with jackets packed)

This has led to a certain amount of unease - a large body of armed men moving throught the Duchy, and with Saxe-Märchen's own main forces elsewhere, who shall protect Saxe-Märchen?

In the event the Duke's Garde du Corps squadron was mustered to escort them, but this just highlighted that Saxe-Märchen had nothing to defend itself with.

"We should start to call up the Schonberg regiment, sire"

"Bah - that's far too expensive, all we need is a few cavalry and Gendarmes"

"Well, we could always ask for volunteers among the wealthier young blades to serve as cavalry, give them something to do and a dandy uniform, make em serve for nothing - a Free Corps ahaha"

"Sire, that is not quite what Free Corps means"

"Why not, keep em out all teh taverns - and God knows there are enough hunters and mountain men in the GrimmWald and Sonneberg to set up one of these new-fangled Jäger units - couple of Thalers a year for service when necessary. Yes, the GrimmWald Jägers has a ring to it"

"Very good sire, but we do need some form of regular force just in case we need to deploy quickly. The Bergerac were friendly, imagine if they were not! And most of the field artillery went with the French force"

The argument is carrying on, and on. The Duke is caught between the twin desires to to keep his pockets full and his arse safe...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Young Werther goes to war....

The speeches are done, farewells have been said, the troops are embarking, The force commander, Duke Werther's troublesome younger brother Leopold, has delivered his tear jerking faerewell speech (later to be picked up in song): 

And so, I go, To fight a savage foe, Although I know  
That I'll be sometimes missed by the girls I've kissed. 
In some Prussian land or French Dominion I shall do my bit, 
And fall for the flag if I must.  
Where the foreign sand is nice and handy, I'll be full of grit  
You won't see my heels for the dust. 
I'll do or die 
You'll know the reason why  
When told, of bold 
Leopold's last stand 
For the Märchenland.

....when The Duke's 18 year old son, Young Werther, espied Mme Charlotte, mistress of the Comte de Syrah, on the barge deck. His heart was immediately smitten and he felt all sorts of emotions (and other things) rise within him..

"Father", he says, "I want to go to war. I want to go with the army"

"What"? Duke Werther was stunned.

Up 'till now Young Werther had been an poetically inclined dreamer (according to the Duchess....a wimp according to Leopold). But still, mused the Dule, this may yet make a man of him, thought the Duke. Besides, we have an heir and spare....

"Good Idea - we'll make a man of you"  said Leopold.

 "Ja. Dis vill bu gut for ypu" boomed Graf Malthus, gruffly "You vill not be sorry".

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Kreisregiment Mosel comes ashore

Regiment Mosel, Inhaber Kolonel Schnott has a cold. Gezundheit!

The French flotilla has arrived at Driebrucken, and on board already is the Regiment Mosel, the Kreissregiment of the Bishopric of Wurstburg am Mosel. There was a bit of a shock when it was clear they were not wearing gaiters, another sign of the poor state of many of the Kreis-regiments in this hurried call-up.

The Mosel, along with the now-to-embark Saxe-Märchen regiments Driebrucken and Wahlheim, and the Swiss batalion Valais, (still coming down the Fluss after an altercation with the Frundsberg town clock) will form the Reichsarmee Brigade Imaginär of the French Corps du Vin, for the Big Push this year of our Lord 1757

Anyway, they have been allowed off the boat to relieve their thirst stretch their legs, and here is their colour party parading in the StadtPlatz.

The Gendarmes have noted an influx of ladies into Driebrucken , and note its unlikely to be for church on Sunday

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Taking inventory of the infantry

Colour companies of the Infantry Regiments Wahlheim and Driebrucken parade in Driebrucken StadtPlatz before embarking with the French fleet

The French barges were spotted this morning coming down the Fluss, and a messenger moved quickly to Driebrucken where the forces are being assembled to embark. 

With much pomp and ceremony, the bands and colours of the two Saxe-Märchen regiments going to war have paraded in the town square while sergeants make sure all the troops are roused, dressed and ready to go.

Later in the day, Duke Werther will have an Official Farewell Ceremony, but he is still riding down the North Way with the Malthus Lieb-Dragoons and his Garde.

As well as the excitement though, there is a certain amount of irritation and apprehension among the Driebruckeners - as they have the only regiment that was in any way organised (being on the main river, that is the one the parsimonious Duke keeps operational) they feel they are paying the price. The Wahlheim regiment has been rapidly re-constituted but some of the young men in it have scarcely seen a musket, never mind fired one in years. 

"Who is going to protect the river-front now?" they wonder. The Gendarmerie are scarcely large enough to cope with a busy Saturday night, never mind a world soon to be at war.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Sarkozy Hussars pass through KeinBrucken

There were amazing scenes late yesterday afternoon at Keinbrucken, when the Cross-Fluss ferry found that over 300 men and horses (also in poor condition, poor creatures - needing a good wash and dry-brushing) wanted to be transported over to the Saxe-Märchen side.

These turned out to be the reknowned Sarkozy Hussars, who found fame in  St Vignoble* service - one can only assume the French have twisted their arms as well for this campaign. They had apparently missed the French flotilla owing to too much carousing in Frundsberg upriver and are now racing to catch it at Driebrucken tomorrow.

(For a map of Saxe-Märchen, so you can follow the action, go here)
They have taken all the beds (free and occupied) in Keinbrucken and in Hamelet tonight. The innkeepers and tavernkeepers are rubbing their hands with glee, but their wives and daughters are finding its other things that are being rubbed......a Hussar is never happy unless in the saddle. So far the Gendarmerie report no major incidents except a rather large number of ladies flocking into the town

(*I rather like some of my fellow Imagi-Nationeer's units, so have press-painted them into the service of the Corps du Vin for this campaign. More will follow.....)

(By the way, the Hussars are painted a light-medium grey, but in the camera flashlight have a blue hue. I may try that colour lightened for some of  the French units. They are Perry plastic Napoleonic French Hussars by the way, who also come with a Mirliton hat option. I am using them for all my 7YW volunteer/Imagi-nation (as opposed to regular)  Hussar units, size wise they fit in well with my Front Rank, Foundry and Old Glory, they are a bit slimmer but its not really noticeable.)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ve Haff No Standards....

Graf Malthus leads the Leib Dragoner regiment out the South Gate towards the Wars 

".....und der horses are not yet schip-schape, dey need a gut vash undt dry brush, effrytink is being done in such a hurry"...grumbled Graf Malthus as he led the Saxe-Märchen Leib-Dragoner Regiment through Wahlheim and south onto the Schonburg road, en route to Driebrucken to embark with the French. "Und our bases are still Alte Schule und der Franch say they now need to be - vot is dis - flocked"

(Wahlheimers have a fairly rustic accent to those living in metropolitan Schonberg, you see...)

"Ja, Herr Graf" agreed his Aide de Camp, "Ve must pick the standard from Ruimpelstiltskin & Sohn as ve pass through Schonberg und meet der infantry regiments"

"Der Franch can get der flocked though, ve is Alte Schule...." harrumphed the gruff Graf.

Still, the old warhorse looked happy, reflected his Aide de Camp. Herr Graf hadn't really settled down since '48 and was clearly itching for a last campaign.

(For a map of Saxe-Märchen, so you can follow the action, go here)

(The Graf doesn't know it, but they will be in action far sooner than he thinks - getting  Saxe-Märchen's forces together in time has been very rushed - and I haven't yet decided on the colour of lapel lace or the devices on the mitres)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Meanwhile, back in France.....

The Duc de Pinotage and (ahem) staff watch the Corps du Vin fall in - Picture from P Joux's marvellous drawings

Darumadum, Darumadum, Darumadumdumadumdumadum.....

The drums are beating as the Corps du Vin falls in. The Duc de Pinotage reads the orders one last time. The Champagne and Alsace brigades are to proceed by main road to rendezvous on Soubise's north flank in 10 days time. The guns will go with them. The Bourgogne Chevauleger brigade is to take the smaller road to the south to ease the flow on the main road. The Dragoon brigade is to follow them.

He is to also take a fleet of barges down the River Fluss to pick up Reichsarmee regiments readied en route by various tinpot kingdoms valued allies - the Chasseurs de Bergerac, the Sarkozy Hussars, and the Saxe-Märchen contingent, and he needs to now embark the Regmnt Mosel (which makes up the remainder of the Reichsarmee brigade)

Just in case there is trouble, Pinotage decides to also embark the crack Swiss Batalion de Valais, and the heavy artillery - there is nothing like a battery or two of 12 pounders to focus a reluctant valued ally's mind - and they are such a pain to move by road anyway.

The Comte de Syrah is put in charge of the flotilla.

Syrah is most put out, as his mistress hates water, and that also means he will be missing the minuetting on the march.

"Good point" says the Duc. "You can take the String Quartet, that'll prevent lots of pointless prancing on the road.-  maybe they can learn Handel's Water Music on the voyage ahar ahar ahar"

The Duc wheezed at his jest and trotted off to supervise the packing of his bathtub......

Bugger - more like the "Music for Fireworks" thought the Comte, as he went to tell the lovely Charlotte that a boat trip was on the cards.....

Friday, 3 February 2012

Raising the Standards in Saxe-Märchen

The standard of the Driebrucken regiment

The standard of the Wahlheim regiment 

"We need new standards" said Herr Unterling the under-chief-cashier to Duke Werther nervously. "We hauled out the old ones and a lot of very fat moths tried to fly up, crashed on the floor and rolled away...."

"GottimHimmel" muttered Duke Werther..."how much now."

"Well, we need ones for both the battalions equipping for the campaign, so that's the DrieBrucken and Wahlheim, you may as well get one for your Garde grenadiers, and we need one for the Leib-Dragoner..."

"Can't old Baron Malthus pay for those horsey boys - he is Inhaber after all?"

"Well yes, but remember when you let him pay for the uniforms and he chose Salmon red facings for the coats...."

Duke Werther groaned....Old Malthus had a thing for pink, but he didn't think the populace would stand for the Life Dragoon regiment flying a pink flag....

"Oh alright then - what's the design to be"
"Oh, we thought we'd do the same as before, your Grace. - the Saxon Elector's pattern with the icon of Our Lady Of Blaue HoheKirchen on it, it is traditional after all and Rumpelstiltskin & Sohn said they could do them in a week as the old boy still has the pattern from the last flags we did for War of the Polish Succession - and the French said to be ready in a week..."

"Ah, the Blau Engel again eh - didn't old man Rumpelstiltskin use the Markgrafin Marlene, who was his mistress, as the model eh, eh.....caused quite a stir if I recall"

The Duke cheered up a bit. Aunt Marlene was defintely quite a character....

"Very well then, give me the cheque book and the bloody Ducal seal...."

"Here your Grace. Now, we need to discuss trousers for the Wahlheim regiment, they have none....."

(Standards courtesy Kronoskaf and Blue Nun....)