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Re: Waterloo Hannoverians- Osnabruck Line Battalion

Hi Roger.

That's Mirliton not Tarleton. More accurately it's probably a peakless conical "sugarloaf" type stovepipe which kind of looks like a Mirliton and it has cords wrapped diagonally around it to enhance the mirliton look. I saw it in Haythornethwaite, he says it's "unusual" it's one of those things he tosses into his books without much explanation seemingly just to cause confusion. He does that sometimes, it's one of the really fun things about Haythornethwaite (Not).

Many of the illustrations in his books seem to be copys from other sources I've seen, Knotel or Funken or some such so I went looking for this one. There are several pictures of KGL and Hanoverian Light and even British Rifles officers wearing conical shakos with folding peaks and cords wrapped round them so that they look like Mirlitons. but the Grubenhagen picture is of a sergeant. haythornethwaite says the shako is peakless and he seems to imply that the whole battalion wore it. The closest I got to this in my search was a Knotel picture of a sergeant of the Light Battalion Hoya 1816 (I believe they were formerly the Grubenhagen light battalion). He does have a Mirliton type shako but it clearly has a folding peak.

I can't pin down the original source and there's no certainty they wore such a thing but if there's any chance that they did it's an interesting distinction.

I believe Hanoverian uniforms were based on KGL uniforms and in some cases were actually drawn from KGL stores. Hanoverian Feld Battalion uniforms were based on KGL Line which in turn were influenced by British Line. Hanoverian Light Battalion uniforms were based on KGL Light which were influenced by the British Rifles.

I've just read online that by the time of Waterloo the Hanoverian Light Battalions had become known as Feld Battalions but they still wore green uniforms and were still (at least one third) rifle armed. In "The Waterloo Companion" Adkins says that in the Feld battalions every 12th man was trained as a skirmisher but in the light battalions every man received such training. Anyway at Waterloo I've always known the Luneberg and Grubenhagen battalions as being the two light battalions present.

At Waterloo all of the Hanoverian infantry (with the exception of some of the sharpshooters and the Feldjagercorps) served as regular line infantry but the same goes for all of the British light battalions and the Rifles.

Re: Waterloo Hannoverians- Osnabruck Line Battalion

Hi Graeme.
Ah yes i got mixed up there, i know what shako you are refering to now. Thanks for the clarification.
Ah so the mont st jean site has basically put both the standard line battalions and light battalions together as one group then? The redcoats the line, the greenjackets as light, just like the rest of the army?
Having just the Feldjagers under the light heading, i had assumed the others as just line battalions.
Does make more sense for the greenjacket hannoverians to actually be light infantry, but as you say, serving like standard battalions on the day, just as the 52nd Oxfordshire Light Infantry did for example.
Certainly the un-uniformed mix of tunics and headwear on display among the Hannoverian battalions that day make for a interesting subject.
The Bremen battalion according to the mont st jean site have shoulder wings and also a mix of red and green jackets. Would this battalion of been a "light" battalion also do you think? Seems majority of Kielmansegges brigade may of been light battalions then. Think only the Verden look as if they are a normal line battalion, at least they seem uniformed that way, with redcoats and belgic shako.

Re: Waterloo Hannoverians- Osnabruck Line Battalion

Time for a reality check: here's a link to a reputable 28mm manufacturer with a huge range of (metal) Napoleonics, including Hanoverians:

Front rank make plenty of Hanoverians. But you cannot escape the fact that many of them look remarkably like British-uniformed infantry, regardless of caps etc. And, as mentioned above, you cannot escape the fact that the guys with caps are probably a 'modern' invention.

I've been a student of the Napoleonic Wars for 45 years, and have made the study of the Hundred days campaign a particular point of focus. Yes, the Hanoverians played an important part at Quatre Bras and Waterloo (KGL in particular). Yes, they have been under-rated in historical write-ups...well, until quite recently, I'd say that this is now being re-dressed. Look at the work of Peter Hofshroer (The German Victory, pub 2004) and subsequent publications.

I'll repeat my earlier view: It would be good for Strelets to produce one or two Hanoverian sets, preferably Landwehr, since Hanoverian Line look very much like their British counterparts. Beyond that is really hoping for too much.

Re: Waterloo Hannoverians- Osnabruck Line Battalion

I havent said there has to be lots of sets of Hanoverians. I even suggested mini sets if need be.
Im not looking for Hannoverians "on the march", "in attack", "shoulder arms", "order arms" etc etc

Just that they are represented in a good, quality manner in 1/72 plastic. Preferably in a mixture of poses, some fighting, some standing, like a normal set would have.
As you have pointed out, many metal figure manufacturers have produced Hannoverians, so then why not in plastic 1/72?
I was going to try Newline designs 20mm metal figures but they are just too small when put alongside their plastic cousins. Just about get away with kneeling poses and mounted officers/generals....but only just.

If its 1 or 2 sets made, thats absolutely fine. If its one big box of mixed troop types, thats fine. If its a couple of minibox sets, thats fine also.
Maybe just a greenjacketed field battalion box and a redcoated landwehr box as per your suggestion?

Me too!

I'm following the learned discussion with interest. As a Waterloo-fanatic, I would happily buy set(s)of well sculpted Hanoverians.


Re: Me too!

HI Roger.

Looking on the Mont-St-Jean site at the green uniforms of the Bremen battalion I see that one is listed as being for the sharpshooters. Many Hanoverian battalions had sections of sharpshooters, Adkin says "all line battalions had ten sharpshooters (sharfschutzen) per company. They formed up on the right of their companies".

They may have been rifle armed? I don't know any uniform details for the sharpshooters but I quite like the idea of some of them being in green jackets and caps.

For the other two green uniforms shown I noticed there was a mention of "ancien uniform" so I wondered if this was an older uniform of the battalion (I don't read French).

I went looking again, this site (link below) says that originally there were five light battalions:

Luneberg, Bremen-Verden, Grubenhagen, Osnabruck, and Calenberg, and also the Feldjagercorp and Harzer Schutzen Corp.

In 1814, (Adkin says February 1815, Typo?) the Hanoverian army was reorganised into ten regiments of one field battalion and three landwehr battalions.

At this time the five "Light" battalions were redesignated as "Feld" and became the field battalions of their respective regiments so the Mont-saint-jean site is correct in listing them as line. (At Waterloo Wellington broke up these Hanoverian regiments and placed the regular battalions in the 1st Hanoverian brigade, and all of the Landwehr battalions in three other brigades).

Both Haythornethwaite and Adkin list both Luneberg and Grubenhagen as being light battalions at Waterloo. Haythornethwaite just calls them "Light Battalion" while Adkin has them as "Field (Light) Battalion'.

Regarding the uniforms of the Bremen battalion this site says;

"Different sources disagree concerning its uniform. Haythornthwaite shows red jackets faced dark blue or black with some Light infantry details. Hofschröer says green jackets faced black with very dark blue trousers giving way later to red jackets faced black and dark blue trousers, but, Colonel Hugh Halkett says at Waterloo they were wearing green jackets with dark blue trousers."

I think you can take your pick with that one. In fact the site says that uniform details will be shown where known but then doesn't give a lot of detail, which tells me that no-one really knows much. The situation is obviously not as simple as I thought it was and, as you say, there's a lot of potential variation so pick your favourite source and paint your figures like that. :relaxed:

you cannot escape the fact that the guys with caps are probably a 'modern' invention.
True. But I think there's a lot of folks who WANT to escape that fact.

Take a look on TMP, the 28mm metal manufacturers are making Hanoverians in caps and it seems to me a lot of guys are buying them. It may have started as just a way to distinguish Hanoverian figures and then become the accepted convention for "this is how we do Hanoverians", which I think is fine. Now I think there's so many pictures appearing that people are starting to believe that's how they should be. Maybe that's a bit more of a problem but it's not the end of the world.

I do think they might sell as well in 1/72 and if Strelets make them I'll buy them then work out why I want them.:relaxed:

Re: Me too!

Hi Graeme
Thanks for that information. Lots of useful details there, thanks for that 👍.
Yes lots of potential variation, which is why I think they are a more interesting subject than given credit for.
Strelets would have a bit of room for some "artistic licence" you could say. A chance to allow the designers and sculpters to express themselves while still maintaining a degree of historical accuracy.

As for the cap issue. Yes I agree having all and every single Hannoverian battalion wearing caps is likely not to be a historically accurate representation, but mixing some in with the other headwear on display is perfectly feasable. Strelets have mixed headwear in some of the other Napoleonic recent sets such as with the British. Some Shakos covered, some uncovered and some wearing the forage caps.

So any potential set could employ this philosophy if so wished.

Thanks again Graeme.

Re: Me too!

There is much good stuff about Hanoverians in 1815 on the following blog: apologies if you already know of this and have read it....

Amongst other things the author accepts that the Feldjager may have worn green caps, but also suggests that while red caps may have been issued (effectively, as forage caps) to other units, their wear on parade and in battle may have been less-than-commonplace. A shako would be the regulation uniform when facing the enemy.

We will never know, and so artistic licence prevails. And I am quite happy with that...after all, nearly all my Napoleonic figures are much more uniform, and much less grubby, than they would really have been in the field.

Re: Me too!