Saxon Army Resources
In readiness for the first releases in the Calpe range of Saxon 1813 figures, I’ve decided to start compiling a special page of research resources. Mainly, these will be to aid my painting and the organization of units. If you discover any ones I don’t mention here, please feel free to add comments below.
Knotel uniform plates
One of the best researched and most beautifully illustrated uniformology resources is the series of plates painted by the father-and-son Knotel team. Just search through the page for “Sachsen”.
Knötel and Lezius Sturm cigarette cards
A total of 18 illustrations from an extensive German cigarette card collection of German uniforms created by Herbert Knötel and Martin Lezius.
The uniform plates of Alexander Sauerweid
The camera wasn’t around in Napoleonic times, so the nearest you can get to a photographic record of history comes from contemporary artworks of the period. Alexander Sauerweid was a well-known artist of the period and he drew a number of plates of the new Saxon army uniforms introduced in 1810. The French influence on the Saxons at this time is clear:
- The Saxon army in 1810: a set of 30 plates covering many of the units that were active in the 1813 campaign.
- The Saxon army in 1811: a smaller set of ten plates focussing on staff and cavalry uniforms.
A series of plates produced in Augsburg between 1802 and 1810. They cover many nations but the following are specifically of Saxon soliders (though, sadly there’s little annotation to enable correct identification of the units and dates so I’ve added my own conjectural notes here):
- Infantry: these look like guard grenadiers of 1806 (Plate 41).
- Infantry: almost certainly line infantry, 1806 (Plate 42).
- Heavy cavalry: again, almost certainly 1806 (Plate 43).
- Light cavalry: again, 1806 (Plate 44).
- Infantry: line infantry from 1810, I think (Plate 45).
- Light infantry: again, probably 1810 (Plate 46).
- Heavy cavalry: 1810 again (Plate 47).
- Light cavalry: and, again, 1810 (Plate 48).
- Artillery: probably 1810 (Plate 49).
Lienhart and Humbert uniform plates
A set of five plates covering the Saxon army throughout the Napoleonic Wars:
- Volume 5, Plate 40: mostly infantry.
- Volume 5, Plate 41: line and light infantry, grenadiers and some cavalry
- Volume 5, Plate 42: more cavalry
- Volume 5, Plate 43: Last of the cavalry plus artillery
- Volume 5, Plate 44: Engineers and staff
Original Saxon uniforms in German museums
At least three museums in modern-day Germany have original items from Saxom uniforms in their collections:
The Saxon Army 1810-13
Written by Howard Giles, with sketches by Geoff Gibbs, this was first published as a pamphlet by the Napoleonic Association in 1979. The Napoleon Series site now hosts an online version of this work but the navigation between the individual sections doesn’t work, so here are links to each one:
- Part I: Infantry – Leib Grenadier.
- Part I: Infantry – Line Infantry.
- Part I: Infantry – Light Infantry.
- Part II: Cavalry – Light Cavalry
- Part II: Cavalry – Heavy Cavalry.
- Part III: Artillery
- Part IV: Staff and Other Troops
- Part V: Colours and Standards.
- Part VIa: Orders-of-Battle – The Campaign of 1812.
- Part VIb: Orders-of-Battle – Germany 1813.
- Appendix 1: Saxon Casualties at Gorodetschna.
There are very few English language books about the Saxons (let alone ones in print):
- Napoleon’s German Allies: Saxony, 1806-15 v. 3 (Men-at-arms)by Otto von Pivka (Osprey, 1979) ISBN: 9780850453096.
- Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Warsby Nafiziger, Wesolowski and Devoe (Emperor’s Press, 1991) ISBN: 0962665525. Sadly, this book is out of print but you might be able to pick up a second-hand copy via Amazon.
Peter F. has reminded me that his French friend Frederic Berjeaud has been working on a book about the Saxons for some time. Frederic now has his own Web site and is selling draft versions of his book in sections. Peter tells me “there is simply no better source for info. on the Saxons.” High praise indeed!
Here’s an interesting thread about various issues of 1813 Saxon uniforms (mainly infantry facing colours) on the General de Brigade forum. It demonstrates the complexity of this topic but mentions a number of useful reference points.