Kurmark landwehr infantry source material
Posted by Martin on February 10, 2008
In my recent post about Kurmark landwehr infantry casualty figures, I listed some basic uniform details about provincial colours for cuffs, collars and cap bands as well as data about distinctive shoulder strap colours for battalions. Well, nothing tells a complex story better than a picture, so here are a couple of relevant Knotel plates (click on the thumbnails to see them full size).
The Knotels were not contemporary artists, so their plates cannot be classed as primary sources but they are widely acknowledged as experts in their field. They had access to primary source material across the great libraries, museums and collections of Europe so a high (but not total) level of confidence can be placed in their plates. Both these plates show landwehr infantry from several provinces and illustrate well the variations from official uniforms that were common on campaign.
As an example, look at the presence (or otherwise) of the provincial colours on the cuffs of the litewka. In the left-hand plate (Band 17, No. 37) we see several figures (including the Kurmarker on the right) with no distictive colour on the cuffs at all; yet the same plate clearly shows a Silesian with completely yellow cuffs. Now compare with the right-hand plate (Band 2, No. 18) and note how many of the cuffs here are piped with the provincial colour.
So, unless you have access to source data for the specific unit you’re painting, there’s room for interpretation. In my case, I’m going for the more colourful option of cuffs fully in the provincial colour – at least for the second battalion. I might opt for piping on one or more of the other battalions in the regiment though.