A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Graf Leberknödel

As fine a figure of a man as ever sat a horse. Something of a celebrity joins my armies this morning. Here is the 22-year-old Hans-Joachim, Graf Leberknödel, general commanding the brigade of the Duchy of Stralsund-Rügen, my unofficial extension of the Confederation of the Rhine. His military experience is not vast - he served on the staff of Count Essen, the Swedish governor, during the Siege of Stralsund, where he was officially described as "very polite", and was subsequently made Colonel in Chief of the Franzburg Jaegers when the Stralsund-Rügen army was raised to provide the troops required by the new Duchy's membership of the Confederation. What he lacks in years is more than made up for by the fact that he is Duke Friedrich's son-in-law.

Here we see him posing for the official portrait, with his favourite horse, Millefiori, a gift from his mother and the doting taxpayers of Franzburg. It is rumoured that his military wardrobe cost slightly more than the Duchy's artillery train. All he needs now is for the remainder of his brigade to come back from the painter, and glory awaits. Or at least a proper parade.

Humble old S-range figure, scavenged during one of my final dalliances with eBay, and humbly painted in appropriate Old School style by moi. The brown border to the base identifies him as a brigade commander (division commanders have white, corps and army commanders have a border in the national colour) - it's a useful feature for spotting commanders on the battlefield, but the colour coding, and why I adopted this system, are lost in the depths of time. So I just keep it going - some military traditions, after all, are not to be questioned.

Speaking of questions, I had a very pleasant email from a gentleman in Poland, wanting to know a little more about the Duchy, and asking where I got the information - could I recommend any books? His English was excellent, flawless, but, though he had some doubts, he had not completely picked up on my hints that this particular piece of history is entirely a self-indulgence of my own, and - well - bullshit, really.

If you wish to read a little more of this little-known niche area of Napoleonic history, click on the Imagi-nation label on the right hand side of the screen - no, down a bit...


  1. That's a great bit of old school painting - just right for the figure!


  2. My grandma, who grew up on a farm and was full of Mecklenburg lore, used to say "Hans-Yokem" was a name for a horse, not a person.

    Later on I learned about Hans-Joachim von Ziethen and all that.

    The other side of the family would name all turtles, and frogs, "Fred." Or pretty much any animal needing a name.

  3. Ian - many thanks - I like painting generals. These days I am happy to get others to paint the troops, but the generals are personalities, and I like to do them myself.

    Mekelnborg - as it happens, I understand that the young Count was named after Von Ziethen, since he also is a Brandenburger by birth. Was it traditional to call horses Hans Yokem in Mecklenburg? - were they named after Von Ziethen as a folklore thing? I used to have an elderly neighbour who had two cats, named Bonaparte and Kaiser Bill. He couldn't remember why Kaiser Bill, but he said Bonaparte was named because he used to eat snails. Made perfect sense at the time.