Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

Article available for download

Posted by Martin on May 1, 2010

I’m delighted to announce that my article about building a late-Naoploeonic Prussian army that originally appeared in Wargames Illustrated 268 is now available for you to download for free from BfK. My thanks to Dan and his colleagues at the magazine for granting permission for this to happen.

As with any article you write, things happen to it during the production process so that the final, edited version is different to the one originally submitted. I’m not complaining because such changes are usually to do with professional quality control and add polish to the finished item. However, on re-reading the published version of the article, I think it’ll be helpful for me to add a few explanatory notes.

The main clarification I’d like to make concerns the example Orders of Battle in the article. The guys at Wargames Illustrated did some lovely pictorial representations of these rather than print my rather prosaic text. These are great but did lead to some questions about the details of the brigade structures, so here’s some more specific detail to accompany them.

Firstly, von Zieten’s Upper Silesian Brigade serving with Blucher’s Second Corps during the Spring 1813 campaign. The OOB is as follows:

  • Silesian grenadier battalion.
  • First Silesian infantry regiment (three battalions).
  • Second Silesian infantry regiment (two battalions).
  • One battalion from the Lieb regiment.
  • Two companies from the Silesian Schutzen battalion.
  • Neumark dragoon regiment (four squadrons).
  • First Silesian hussar regiment (two squadrons).
  • Second Silesian hussar regiment (two squadrons).
  • Foot artillery battery No. 11.
  • Foot artillery battery No. 13.
  • Horse artillery battery No. 9.

Secondly, von Kraft’s 6th Brigade serving with Bulow’s Third Corps during the Autumn 1813 campaign:

  • Colberg Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
  • 9th Reserve Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
  • 1st Neumark Landwehr Infantry Regiment (four battalions).
  • 1st Pommeranian Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (four squadrons).
  • Foot artillery battery No. 16.

Next, von Kraft’s 6th infantry brigade serving with Borstel’s second corps in 1815:

  • 9th (Colberg) Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
  • 26th (Elbe) Infantry Regiment (three battalions).
  • 1st Elbe Landwehr Regiment (three battalions).

And finally, the 3rd cavalry brigade serving with Borstel’s second corps in 1815:

  • 4th Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (six squadrons).
  • 5th Kurmark Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (four squadrons).
  • 4th Elbe Landwehr Cavalry Regiment (six squadrons).

Secondly, a few people have asked me about the “Painting Your Prussians” panel. I’d like to clarify that I didn’t write that section or paint the 15mm figures featured in it. So I can’t really provide helpful answers about the paints and techniques used. If you want to know how I paint 28mm Prussians, the answer is simple: watch this space! I (fairly) regularly write posts about what I’m painting, my techniques and the paint, brushes and other equipment I use. And, perhaps foolishly, I aim to include work-in-progress photos where possible.

Thirdly, I devoted a section of the article to the discussion of how many wargames rulesets don’t do justice to the Prussian army – especially in terms of command and control. In general, I stand by that argument but now that I’m becoming increasingly familiar with the Republic to Empire rules, I feel the need to say some more about how these particular rules treat Prussian forces. I won’t do that in this posting simply because of time constraints at the time of writing but I promise to devote a post to this topic in the near future.

7 Responses to “Article available for download”

  1. Cyrille Monnet said

    Thank you for making these articles available.

  2. Howdies Martin

    The article was a damn fine article. I have spoken to several personages about it and they have all been highly complementary. One Napoleonic gamer, for whom the Prussian army would be the last one he would collect, even enquired whether a followup article was in the wings.

    It’s a shame that the pdf still has that stoooopid flag in the background. Nothing wrong with the flag in itself, it’s just that it is inappropriate!. The hierarchy at Wargames Illustrated need to revisit that executive decision. Aren’t they aware that there were many more nations than Britain and France fighting the Napoleonic Wars? And that a British or French background to an article on Prussians or Russians or Austrians or …. … … is just plain silly. All IMHO of course. 8O))

    I wait with much interest any thoughts on Republic To Empire. Particularly on the special command and control rules for the Prussian army.

    von Peter himself

  3. David Walker said


    I was also one of those with an interest in napoleonics running back a few decades who has had their assumptions about the Prussians well and truely challenged. Very well done.


  4. Hi
    Congratulations for your article and many thanks to you and WI to make it available free. I am also in Napoleonics but in other scale (1/72 plastic that I started in the 80’s) but I follow regularly your site and I like it!
    Best regards

  5. Bob Brown said

    I enjoyed your article about the Prussian Army very much and I would like to ask you about your experiences in using a Prussian force (for example a brigade in 1812 attack formation) during a wargame. Despite numerous attempts I’ve never met with any success, even against an 1813/14 French army.
    Following on from this perhaps you could find the time to spend a few hours gaming here in Keighley?
    I have a fair sized late Prussian army (30 units or so), lots of French stuff as you’d expect. Mostly Elite figures; much-modified Grand Manner rules, although I like to try umpire moderated free style play if I can.
    Let me know if you’re interested.

    Regards, Bob Brown

  6. figvfig said

    Thanks for that article Martin,
    I have a number of prussians painted but unused because although I was keen on building a small force, the composition of the prussian forces/brigades I could not make head nor tail of, and I worried how rule mechanics would influence outcomes. I noticed that not many others (none) had prussians either so I dont think I have been alone in my thinking, I at least I got around to buying and painting them. To get to the point, that article helped me not only shake of my prussian blues but allowed the lil guys to see light of day again, maybe even get based up and run some drills. Anyway they asked me to thank you from saving them from another year guarding the bottom shelf in the linen closet.

    trippy dave and the boys

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