Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

1809 Spaniards - more on Granaderos Provinciales

After being assured by all sorts of specialists that it is no longer available, anywhere, I ordered up this book direct from the publisher, and after a brief delay it turned up. Well now.

Apologies for the photographs - no flash because the book is
printed on shiny paper, and the binding is such that I
will surely wreck the  poor thing if I try to force it flat on the
My Spanish is kind of plodding, but I can find my way around if no-one is in a hurry. I found a fair amount on flags (of which more some other time), and also on those mysterious Provincial Grenadier chaps. There is evidence throughout the plates that the Provinciales had rather simplified versions of the the line infantry uniforms (minimal piping throughout), but there is no mention of any downsized version of the grenadier cap - in fact the plates show a pretty standard looking bonnet.

Provincial Grenadiers at Medellin - fine big, furry hats
with flammes; that'll do for me
More of them, this time in 1802 with the earlier blue
uniform - again, normal grenadier headwear
It's not conclusive, certainly, but that's good enough for me - I have spent enough time dithering around on this - my provincial grenadiers will have normal bearskin caps, complete with appendages.

While I was looking over the boxes of collected grenadier castings which will form my elite battalions, I noted that I had carefully included a very fine standard bearer figure in each battalion. The reasons, of course, are [1] all my battalions have a standard bearer and [2] Falcata included one in the boxed sets. However, now I come to think of it, what flag would such a fellow carry? The provincial grenadiers were formed into permanent battalions, so some sort of flag might be expected there, but the line and the guard grenadier units were "converged" (ooh - I have a vision of them being forced through some kind of blending machine) from the grenadier companies of battalions in the brigade, so they would not be expected to take any regimental colours away from their parent units, despite pictures to the contrary on the Front Rank site and elsewhere. Unless the grenadiers got a flag of their own to play with, I don't think the standard bearer would have anything to do, and these converged units did not have any permanent status such as might justify a flag.

OK - decree No.2 for today is that my provincial grenadier battalions will have a standard (of some sort) but the converged line grenadiers will not.

There you are.

Two decrees in one day.  


  1. Sounds like a plan. Sometimes we have to make arbitrary decisions based on limited evidence, common sense, gut feeling and a a desire to gratify one's self. My wife and I made an offer on a house today after seeing eight others. I'm not sure which of the four categories listed above we drew on the most.

  2. Hurrah!!

    The celebrations are widespread amongst my Spanish Army, especially for the regt of provincial grenadiers who go so far as to throw their (normal) bearskin caps in the air.

    Seriously, thank you for all the hard work and expense you have gone to. It has moved my knowledge along significantly. I intend to return to my own Spanish Army after the summer possibly for a little change of organisation, I may well be bothering you to pick your brains again then.

    All that remains now is to await the painted results.


  3. The Grenadiers of the line were officially the first half of each first battalion. AFAIK each company had its own colours, this being a hang over from the previous century, much the same as British and Prussian Regiments had, though they only took two on parade or campaign. Each brigade paired up the grenadiers into battalions and the second half of the 1st battalions into another battalion. Two brigades formed a division along with one of the huge Light Regiments. The light regiment never served together but with split up with a third of each allocated to the three brigades. So you end up with a Line Division formally of two Brigade of 5 Musketeer battalions and a third of the Light regiment and a Grenadier brigade of two converged Grenadier battalions and a third of the Light Regiment. The light regiment was used to supplement the Spanish battalions integral skirmishers to give them an effective skirmisher capability.

    1. From 1768, according to regs, the two battalions of each line regiment each carried a single colour - coronela for the 1st and sencilla or ordenanza for the 2nd. Unofficial hangovers from the previous century are news to me - interesting - what are your sources for this? My army is based on the OOB at Ucles (the Vanguard, 1st and Reserve Divisions).

  4. Regarding the Provincial Grenadiers they would have carried flags, one Kings and One regimental flag but the exact design is a mystery. I just used generic ones from the line regiments off Warflag.

    1. Why would a single battalion have carried two flags? I don't follow this. There may have been extra colours of non-reguation form - there are Bueno illustrations of standard bearers (which I am sure you know well) of Oviedo Mil Prov and a couple of similar units carrying (e.g) a blue flag with a vertical cross plus a provincial motto of some sort. I'll dig these out and put on a future post.

      Regards - Tony

  5. PS would you give me the full details of where you got the book off line so I can order a copy for myself Drew

    1. Have a look at