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


Saturday, 31 October 2015

1809 Spaniards - Granaderos a Caballo de Fernando VII


I'm very pleased to welcome another new cavalry unit. The idea for this lot first occurred to me last year - it was the subject of a post on this blog in Sept 2014. There have been a few delays along the way, but here they are, and today I've even got them based up and provided with a flag. All they need now is the regulation (light cavalry) 160mm x 110mm sabot and they will be ready to fight.

The figures, as you will see, are Hinton Hunt conversions. Though "Horse Grenadiers" suggests elite heavy shock cavalry, similar to the French Old Guard regiment, these fellows were nothing of the sort - the title was in all probability merely an attempt at bravado. The historic unit they represent was one of the new regiments formed after 1808. Coronel Fernan Nuñez raised them in Extremadura, and in February 1809 they are described as the Regimiento F Nuñez, while a return from Sevilla, in April of the same year, describes them as Husares. Though they were clearly a light cavalry regiment, similar in style and dress to the line regiments of cazadores a caballo, their title appears to have firmed up as the Granaderos a Caballo de Fernando VII by May 1809.

They have a proper campaign history - the unit fought at Ocaña and elsewhere. By 1810 they had become the Husares de Fernando VII, and pelisses were added to the uniform. In my army they'll be brigaded with the mounted cazadores and the husares, which is where they rightly belong.

12 comments:

  1. Wow and double wow. Lovely, lovely figures and very beautifully turned out they are too. Congratulations on a wonderful regiment.

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  2. Great looking figures , I've always had a soft spot for Spanish Napoleonic Cavalry , Tony

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  3. Very nice Tony - I can't help thinking that you must have one heck of a load of Spaniards now?

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  4. Thank you, gentlemen, for appreciative comments.

    Ian - the Spanish Situation is complicated by the fact that I have armies which are suitable for (a) 1812 and (b) 1809, and the various units are each suitable for either or both of these.

    I'll make some effort to tabulate what the OOBs are for the two armies, and which units go with which - nothing too detailed, but it will be useful for me as well. At present, I may well finish up with a Spanish army which has more cavalry than the real one had, but that's a headcount issue rather than numbers of units. My standard cavalry units are all the same size - 10 figures at 33:1 is three-hundred-and-something men in each regiment. If you look at proper historical Spanish OOBs for the Guerra de Independencia you see lots of regiments listed, but some of them are only present at a strength of a few dozen men - I imagine there were a lot of provisional groupings on campaign. Rather than attempting "mixed" units my preference is to deploy a small number of stronger units - did that make any sense? I thought I knew what I was talking about there, but having read it I'm not so sure...

    Regards - Tony

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  5. Another great looking unit Sir. Love the colours for the trumpeter!!

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    1. Pretty exotic, eh? Fighting men had different ideas of colour in those days. He looks a bit like what in Liverpool used to be referred to as a "big girl's blouse". He is a Horse Grenadier, after all - at least that's what it says on the barracks door.

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    2. They're right pretty, but that's why we love Nappies, isn't it?
      Your explanation of how you design your OOBs made perfect sense to me (not necessarily a good sign). I usually do something similar, counting up all the odds and sods and substituing an equivalent number of whole units. It looks better and is easier to manage.

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    3. Just to kick over my own house standards, there are small groups which I *do* field explicitly - not in the Spanish army, but elsewhere. For example, the odd company of 5/60th or Brunswick-Oels jaegers to thicken up the skirmish screen in the Anglo-Portuguese army appears correctly (not least because it would be a shame not to paint them up), but they take their place in the brigade in a converged "battalion" which includes the light companies of the other regiments present. These provisional (small) "light infantry" battalions for each line brigade appear in both Anglo-Portuguese and French armies - I understand that it was standard practice to group the light bobs together, and some officer would be given command of the voltigeurs for a brigade in the French army (Capt Martel's memoirs give an example where a major of the 6eme Leger had this job in the 1st brigade of the 1st division of the Armee de Portugal). I also find it gives a practical way to deploy the light infantry in Commands & Colors - in my games, French "legere" are simply line infantry, but each brigade has a small, converged voltigeur battalion who have the full light infantry capability. That gets around the odd rule where two battalions standing next to each other have different firepower, because the LT unit gets an extra die because of the dark uniforms...

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  6. They are quite splendid, Tony. The colours are wonderfully vibrant.
    But can they fight? :)

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    1. Probably not, but that may not be their main purpose. They will undoubtedly score colonel and founder a great many brownie points with his absentee monarch, the central Junta and the ladies of Cordoba. I did a little checking (now there's a surprise), and it turns out that Fernan Nuñez is actually a place - the colonel was the duke of this place, and just to be correct his full monica is Carlos José Gutiérrez de los Ríos y Sarmiento de Sotomayor (1779-1821), 1st Duque de Fernán Núñez, 6th Marqués de Castel-Moncayo, 5th Marqués de Alameda, 11th Conde de Barajas, 4th Marqués de Villanueva de las Achas - which is enough of a name to spread among quite a few people, really.

      You may read about him and his family (in Spanish), and see a picture of him, at

      https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducado_de_Fernán_Núñez

      In my army, since I have republican tendencies, he will simply be Col the Duke of Fernan Nuñez, though I suppose he might get a shot at commanding the brigade, since he obviously has all the right qualifications. This will require the production of a suitably poncified staff figure, I suspect.

      And so one silly project spawns another (albeit smaller) one.

      Fight?? Not if we can help it!

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    2. It seems that El Ducado was also noted as something of a composer, and met his end at the early age of 44 when he fell off a horse in Paris, 1822. There appears to be some story that he was a favourite of Fernando VII - whatever that means. I'll draw a hasty veil over that, in case I get letters from Spanish lawyers.

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    3. The fun to be had creating a staff figure like that! I great sideline for the painting table. Can't wait to see him.

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