Legio Wargames

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By smacdowall, Mar 16 2018 05:21PM

It has always puzzled me how the Danes managed to provide so many troops for the Dutch, English and Austrian armies during the War of Spanish Succession, while fighting a bitter war with Sweden at the same time. Perhaps the cash from hiring their troops out was worth more to the war effort than the troops themselves.


When looking around at the miniatures we had to refight Oudenarde I realised that although we had a good contingent of Danish foot we had no Danish horse. This needed fixing as the Danes provided a significant body of horse to the Maritime Powers — something in the region of 4000 men.


Danish Cavalry Brigade
Danish Cavalry Brigade

I have therefore painted up a small brigade of Minifig 15mm Danish cavalry in Dutch pay, drawn from three regiments. This is nothing like the full contingent of Danish mounted troops serving with the Maritime Powers but at least they will have some representation in our upcomming battle.


Livregiment til Hest
Livregiment til Hest

First up is the Livregiment til Hest (Life Regiment of Horse). Their uniform is recorded as red coats with yellow lining but like most Danish Horse, they went into battle wearing thick elk skin coats. I decided that my Danes would wear the protective elk skins with cuirass to differentiate them from other troops rather than thier uniform coats. Blackened cuirasses were worn by all Danish horse from 1707 and some regiments are recorded as wearing them earlier. Saddle blankets were usually red, trimmed with the lining colour, although officers might have their's trimmed with gold or silver.


Livregiment close-up
Livregiment close-up

Minifigs do not make cuirassiers without pot helmets. The troopers came from the cavalry command set — presumably intended to be officers of horse. They do not have sashes so they can pass as troopers. The trumpeter and standard bearer come from the Austrian cuirassier command set -- the standard bearer having his lobster pot helmeted head decapitated to be replaced by a tricorn head from my spares.


Speculative cavalry standard
Speculative cavalry standard

I could find no reliable information about Danish cavalry flags from the early 1700’s so I made this one up, based on a later Napoleonic flag.


Danish Brigadier
Danish Brigadier

Officers occasionally wore reversed colours but I decided to paint the brigade commander in the uniform red coat while giving the trumpeter a yellow one. The brigadier is a Minifig Austrian cuirassier officer with his pot helmet replaced by a feather-trimmed tricorn from a French King’s Musketeer in my spares box.


2nd Sjaellandske
2nd Sjaellandske

Next up are two squadrons from the 2nd Sjællandske. I particularly like the unusual violet facing colour of this regiment. I think it is a particularly pleasing visual combination together with the dark buff elk skin coats.


Württemberg-Oels Dragoons
Württemberg-Oels Dragoons

The final squadrons are from the Prince of Württemberg-Oels’ Dragoons. The Danes seem to have increasingly treated their dragoons as cavalry rather than mounted infantry. By the end of the war most dragoon regiments had been reassigned and equipped as cuirassiers. An eyewitness account has Würtemberg-Oels Dragoons in white-grey coats with yellow lining while another source has them in blue. I gave the officer an orange sash as the unit was serving in the Dutch army.


I got much of the uniform information from the excellent tacitus website. This is a great resource for the Great Northern War (and other conflicts). It includes the details of those Danes in the pay of the English, Dutch and Austrians.






By smacdowall, Feb 18 2018 07:39PM

There are a few more units I want to paint up for the second part of our Battle of Oudenarde game in May. Mostly I need to flush out my French army and I have painted up a few more battalions which I may post pics of later. Taking a break from the French I have turned my attention to some missing Allied units.


Foremost amongst these is Van Goor’s Dutch battalion. This unit was part of the contingent sent to the upper Rhine valley to reinforce the Imperialists in 1703 and went on to fight at the Schellenberg and Blenheim. I have been slowly building Baden-Baden’s Imperialist army for campaigns on the Rhine led by Johan Winjand van Goor was sent to reinforce the Imperial Army of the Markgraf Ludwig von Baden-Baden. A previous semi-historical scenario involving them can be found here.



Van Goor was killed leadin the assault up the Schellenberg
Van Goor was killed leadin the assault up the Schellenberg

Van Goor died leading the first assault on the Schellenberg in 1704 after which command passed to Frederik Thomas van Hangest-Genlis d’ Yvoy. At Oudenarde the unit (regiment of foot number 14) was known as Regiment d’Yvoy following the usual practice of the time when units were known by their Colonel’s name.



Dutch 14th Regiment of Foot - Van Goor/d'Yvoy
Dutch 14th Regiment of Foot - Van Goor/d'Yvoy

The regiment’s uniform of light grey coats with red cuffs, waistcoat and breaches if fairly well attested to. It took me some time to find a source for a possible flag. I found it in the excellent CD of the uniforms and flags of the Dutch army available from Baccus (in German but with plenty of illustrations and regimental lists which need no translation).


d'Yvoy's regimental flag
d'Yvoy's regimental flag

The flag illustrated is for d’Yvoy which would be correct for Oudenarde but possibly not for earlier under Van Goor’s command in 1703/4. The phoenix rising from the fire and the motto “Ex Cinere Revivo” (more or less rising from the ashes) may refer to the regiment being re-recruited back up to strength after the heavy casualties of the 1704 campaign. I decided that if I took off the ‘Y’ monograms, which presumably were personal to d’Yvon, then it could also pass for van Goor even if the motto and image seem to suggest otherwise.


My painted version of the flag
My painted version of the flag

I find painted flags look so much better than printed ones. I copied the image from the Baccus guide and painted it with acrylics on paper, simplifying it a little to make it easier. The motto was the hardest part and you can just about make out the writing. I was very happy with the result once the two sides were glued together around the flag pole (using white glue).


Van Goor's Dutch and Sturler's Swiss
Van Goor's Dutch and Sturler's Swiss

The miniatures are all Minifigs 15mm with the exception of the officer on the left of the line who is Dixon. Supporting them in a rear line is Sturler’s regiment of Swiss in Dutch service. These two regiments fought together in the same brigade at Schellenberg, Blenheim. Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.


Grenadiers on the right
Grenadiers on the right

Minifigs do not make a marching Dutch grenadier. In order to keep the ranks consistent I chopped the tricorn head off a Bavarian in march-attack and replaced it with a Dutch grenadier’s head from another miniature.






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