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Thanks for the view of the full set of French Dragoons in attack!
These are fine-looking figures. I like the 'sword resting on shoulder' poses in the third line, and the horses encumbered in some cases with a variety of different tools (I am assuming a pistol in its holster on the other side). This reflects the role of dragoons as outpost/picquet troops in the days when they were still more 'infantry' than 'cavalry' in many European armies. Dragoons might also be combined with grenadiers to form assault units, so again the tools would have come in handy.
This tactical role does in fact cause me a slight problem with this set though, since although it would be wrong to say that French dragoons of the early 18th century did not occasionally resort to their swords for hand to hand combat, it would be more usual to leave this role to the 'proper' cavalry (Maison du Roi and Line cavalry), who were better mounted and better trained to take on enemy Horse, and who in any case had this as their key tactical role. If you were to have asked a French dragoon of circa 1705 what his primary weapon was, I bet he'd have said his musket.
But nonetheless, a good looking set...leaving the main question: when will these and the other cavalry sets be available to buy??
Yes, great looking poses of both men and horses. This is gonna be a set with lots of flexibility in applications, I reckon.
It's interesting to see that the horses are sculpted off the bases. I'd love to see a video of the process of figure production from conception to release.
One more precious expansion of the WSS range. You offer us rich possiblities to combine or arrange vivid sceneries of WSS on the tabletop or in vignettes and large dioramas.
Please, please give us a hint when we will receive this and the other sets in our shops.
Hope that Brexit won´t have serious consequences for your well organised distribution system.
As to the use of firearms John Tincey in his Osprey book on Blenheim says that "French cavalry tactics were to advance at a slow and controlled pace, to halt and fire their pistols at close range, before charging home with the sword" (similar to French cavalry tactics a hundred years later a Leipzig). So what you said about the Dragoons may apply to French horse in general.
This set might in part be inspired by John Wootton's painting of the battle of Blenheim: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Blenheim_(1704)@01.JPG (French Dragoons in action on the left, but note that most seem to be using pistols, not muskets)
Yes the Wootton painting is a very interesting one, isn't it? Alas, it poses more questions than it answers.
The infantry in blue coats shouldn't be Dutch guards (they were not present at Blenheim, to the best of my knowledge). They also shouldn't be Prussians (no regiments had yellow cuffs according to all available sources, all had red distinctions). That would leave infantry from Anhalt-Bernburg (Hessian, but also not present at Blenheim).
The cavalry looks British, but as you have pointed out, they shouldn't have been equipped with a cuirass at that time and it should have been worn under the coat (I have some doubts about this practice though). This would leave the Danish Livregiment Ryttere, which was present at Blenheim.
The French Dragoons are also most interesting: Yellow coats, red cuffs and a cap with a red bag + possibly fur lining? Who might they be? There weren't that many dragoon regiments so oufitted, which leaves La Lande (not present), Listenois (present, but had blue distinctions and were on the other side of the battlefield with the Elector of Bavaria), Lesparre (not present) and Mestre de Camp General (who had yellow uniforms - red cuffs, yellow bag and fur lining on the cap - but should have switched to a red uniform with blue distinctions well before the battle).
The big question always is, how accurate was the painter in depicting the troops? As you said he may have shown uniforms from a later period, this happens quite often. Unfortunately, these paintings are as close as we get to the true thing. Any written documents, orders, recollections tend to be as conclusive or inconclusive as the paintings. Perhaps Jan van Huchtenburgh may be the most reliable painter here as he actually did accompany Eugene on his campaigns.
Great uniform and order-of-battle analysis there, Flambeau. Thank you!
Large-scale paintings of battles in the first half of the C18th were often allegorical and painted to a commission, so the depiction of Blenheim here needs to bear in mind the questions (a) who was Wootton trying to impress/please and (b) who paid him to carry out this work? Candidates would clearly include the Georgian Royal Household and leading noblemen, including the House of the Duke of Marlborough.
Whatever the case, I'm now working out which unit of yellow-coated French dragoons will feature in my French WoSS armies!
Thank you, Minuteman.
That is indeed the crucial question with regard to most paintings. We have to keep in mind that these were commercial products, executed to please the client. So there's always the danger of something fanciful being added to the painting. That said, they remain a valuable source of information.
As to yellow dragoons: Lesparre were present at Oudenaarde, Listenois at Blenheim and Malplaquet, and Mestre de Camp Général at all four of Marlborough's major battles (if we assume they retained their old uniforms). Some time ago I made a list of all regiments that participated in these battles from the available orders of battle to see which ones I might paint, comes in handy :slightly_smiling_face:.
Letrun's book on the French dragoons (Vol. 1, 1669-1749) is a good source of information and well worth buying.
For anyone interested in something else here's a link to the order of battle of Almanza
Thank you Flambeau. I have literally, in the last couple of days, taken delivery of the Letrun book on French dragoons, and it is a gold-mine of information.
All we need now are some sets of Strelets French dragoons to purchase and paint!