The Rheinbund Regiments 1807-1810

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MDH
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The Rheinbund Regiments 1807-1810

Post by MDH » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:26 am

1. Not covered in our lists are the regiments (and in 1809 a division) created by Napoleon from the various small states of Germany. In the 1805-07 list of allied contingents we cover Hessians, Nassaurs and troops from Wurzburg and Berg. But after 1807 in 1809 Napoleon created further regiments ( collectively called the Rheinbund regiments - there were seven in total) . These are well covered in chapter 8 of John H Gill’s “ With Eagles to Glory” which I am drawing on here .

2. A full Corps of 30,000 was to be raised with a first Division from Baden, with the Second formed of troops from Hesse and Berg . But so many went to Spain in 1808 that this proved impractical. But others were to form a third division and were mustered at Wurzburg under French General Rouyer. Various Corps assignments were posited– Massena and Davout for example - but these did not work out as planned with them never actually joining front line Corps in 1809 on the Danube or participating in any major engagements. However there were 4 regiments that did participate generally in the rear echelons of the campaign and some who fought in the Tyrol against the Tyrolian revolt, suffering significant casualties and earning praise.

3. Troops from Nassau formed the 2nd Rheinbund ( those that had not gone to Spain). The 4th Rheinbund comprised contingents from the many Saxon Duchies , the 5th from Anhalt and Lippe, and the 6th from Reus, Waldeck and Schwarzburg .

4. Hitherto I had not thought of covering these – they were small regiments, rarely operating together not forming part of a Corps and more importantly with such diverse uniforms in small numbers ( White, shades of blues and greens, shakos, bicornes, Corsican hats different cuts of coat ) that only a master figure modifier and sculpter could take them on via adapting existing ranges, as they were not available. But that cunning devil :twisted: Alan Perry has produced a wonderful 25mm range covering the contingents ( no fee for the plug :D ) and I have been tempted to buy yet more 25mm tin to model them :roll: . (I have yet to find any 15mm for the Saxe etc contingents .) I may go back for the nice early Wurzburg types later.

5. The 2nd Regiment I can already do from my existing Nassau figures but the rest can be constructed from his range. To do so I have needed to get 16 packs of six ( 96 figures) only one of which is duplicated - so 15 different figure groups :lol: . Quite how I will mix them on their bases I am not sure yet but I will stick some photos on this thread when they are done ( sometime in 2015). The Perry site has many of them shown painted and my edition of Funcken seems to cover a good many so some fun painting is in prospect. Not sure yet about flags I’m not very good at those these days. So far no joy on the web . Sometimes I find I can save an image (invariably not ones designed for wargames at all) into Word and then size it right down for 15mm as well as 25mm.

6. But how to classify them ? They are Line Infantry not light infantry. But are they unreformed or reformed? I have concluded the latter because they were mostly newly raised with the express intention of adopting French regulations and drill so not trained in the old ways, even if not that well trained to begin with in the new. Napoleon in a review of one regiment in Vienna commented unfavourably on their drill – they had no books of regs and drill in German, only French, so orders had to be translated .

7. Quality? Nothing better than average and some poor. The Nassau troops had gained some experience in 1807 so they would be average. The others had none before 1809. The Saxe duchies seem to have done better than the others in low level ops so average or poor, for the 4th, 5th and 6th.

8. Drilled or conscript? Could be either except the Nassau regiment which would be drilled by 1809.

9. Unit sizes,? Gill very helpfully gives a detailed table of numbers by contingent down to companies. The 2nd Nassau had 1,550, so small unit. The 4th (saxe Duchies), 2,368 so a large unit . The 5th had 840 rising to ,1,260 so small but the 6th only 969 . So too small. So my approach is to combine the 5th and 6th into a single large unit. Then as a division it would have the required minimum of three units , one small two large 16 bases in all.

10. What about attachments? Gill gives the full breakdown of companies . The 2nd ( Nassau ) and the 4th ( Saxe Duchies) have many Voltigeur and/or Fusilier companies so either could have a skirmish attachment, one with rifles for the 4th , Nothing for the 5th/6th . But one only if formed as single division.

11. Artillery ?Nothing in their own right . In the Tyrol the Bavarians attached 2 guns on one occasion to one of the regiments in a small action , but 2 guns is not sufficient and there were no native artillery attached. However if one or more of these units forms part of a larger division say of Bavarians or French ( substitute for the maxima of any of those types) than the overall attachment rules apply as for the Corps List but use a French or Bavarian artillery base as the attachment . If fielding all three regiments/units then they must be in their own division with their own French Commander .

12. Quality of commander? Having read his biographical details on Wiki he certainly had a distinguished career being honoured by Napoleon and the French King after the first empire later ,and so would be justified in being skilled. To reflect the problems of commanding a polyglot force of German speakers, if with a French Corps, I would classify him and his division as allied , as a way of modelling the language problem of this newly raised formation- not so if part of a Bavarian formation.

13. For which lists could they be optional troops? I would say for the French Corps D’armee of 1809 ( page 16) and the Army of Bavaria list of 1809 (page 27. )

14. Unit name German Rheinbund Infantry /all Line Infantry/ all reformed /Nassau contingent/ Average Drilled, minimum 0 maximum 4 bases/ Saxe Duchies contingent / Average drilled or poor drilled , minimum 0 maximum 6 bases / Anhalt etc Contingents/ Average Conscript or Poor Drilled , minimum o maximum 6 bases.

15. Anyone already had a go at this? And/or with a different take?

Mike Horah

hazelbark
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Re: The Rheinbund Regiments 1807-1810

Post by hazelbark » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:59 pm

MDH wrote:1. Not covered in our lists are the regiments (and in 1809 a division) created by Napoleon from the various small states of Germany. In the 1805-07 list of allied contingents we cover Hessians, Nassaurs and troops from Wurzburg and Berg. But after 1807 in 1809 Napoleon created further regiments ( collectively called the Rheinbund regiments - there were seven in total) .
Always liked these and have some painted, but as you see they see more garrison duty on line of communications than being in the big action.
6. But how to classify them ? They are Line Infantry not light infantry. But are they unreformed or reformed?

7. Quality? Nothing better than average and some poor.

8. Drilled or conscript? Could be either except the Nassau regiment which would be drilled by 1809.
Again I think about right. Mostly slightly worse than the standard fare for the 09-12 campaigns. Reformed, Drilled, Poor with options to downgrade to conscript.

9. Unit sizes,? So my approach is to combine the 5th and 6th into a single large unit. Then as a division it would have the required minimum of three units , one small two large 16 bases in all.
I think these often would also be just added into another division.
10. What about attachments? Gill gives the full breakdown of companies . The 2nd ( Nassau ) and the 4th ( Saxe Duchies) have many Voltigeur and/or Fusilier companies so either could have a skirmish attachment, one with rifles for the 4th , Nothing for the 5th/6th . But one only if formed as single division.
I would think so, but Terry once told me the integral light companies were included in reformed firing and those were not represented by attachments. I think attachments might be too much quality here.
13. For which lists could they be optional troops? I would say for the French Corps D’armee of 1809 ( page 16) and the Army of Bavaria list of 1809 (page 27. )
I thought they kicked around in the Russian campaign too? And certainly as you pointed out and I snipped a variety got sent to Spain. I think there was a small division of Baden troops at Talavera. Also some types were at Wagram too as you note.

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