2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

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joemann
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2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:54 am

I have recently started building this division based on my understanding of the general rules of FOG (including the historical order of battle rules). I have just received the ToE book and looking at the Army list for the Anglo-Dutch army am a bit confused. Since I am new to the hobby, I would appreciate some advice.

I had arrived at the following structure for the 2nd Dutch-Belgian division:

Division Commander: de Perponcher

First Brigade: one Officer attachment (van Bijlandt)

Dutch Militia: three battalions (1723 men) combined in one small unit, represented by 4 bases.
Dutch Jagers (809 men) and 7th Belgian line (701 men) combined in one small unit, represented by 4 bases.

Second Brigade: one Officer attachment (Saxe- Weimar)

Regiment Nassau-Usingen: three battalions (2709 men) considered as one large unit, represented by 6 basis.
Regiment Oranje- Nassau: two battalions (1750 men) considered as one small unit, represented by 4 bases

Artillery: one horse battery (8 guns) and one foot battery (8 guns) considered as one small unit, represented by 2 bases.

Questions:
1. How do you represent the combined Jager/ line unit ? They are different types (light vs line) and have different characteristics.

2.The infantry contingent of 7700 men would be represented by 3 small and one large units. The historical order of battle chapter recommends that a contingent of 5000 men or more consist of two large or three small units. Is this mandatory? If so which units should I combine and -see Q1- how do represent this on the table?

3. The general FOG rules and the ToE list both result in 18 bases for the infantry contingent which is reassuring. However, the repartition between the units is different. ToE requires 6 militia bases instead of 4 and a maximum of 8 bases for the Nassau brigade instead of 10 at which I arrived using the general rules.
This is not difficult to change but it doesn't feel right looking at the historical order of battle. How do you resolve a conflict between the two approaches ?
I suppose you just agree with a future opponent on the list?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by adonald » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:18 pm

Questions:
1. How do you represent the combined Jager/ line unit ? They are different types (light vs line) and have different characteristics.
Buy a line unit and add a Skirmisher attachment. The Portuguese should be the same with four line infantry battalions and one Cazadore light infantry battalion in a brigade.
2.The infantry contingent of 7700 men would be represented by 3 small and one large units. The historical order of battle chapter recommends that a contingent of 5000 men or more consist of two large or three small units. Is this mandatory? If so which units should I combine and -see Q1- how do represent this on the table?
It is not mandatory. I have analysed the Anglo-Portuguese lists and there is no relationship between the actual formations, the 'historical order of battle' conversion factors, and the units specified in the Lists.
How do you resolve a conflict between the two approaches ?
Take the one that suits you best, but if you use something that doesn't follow the Army List restrictions, be prepared to be whinged at. The Historical Order of Battle guidelines are divirced from the Army List books. There can be no expected reconciliation.

Alastair Donald

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:07 pm

This is very helpful.Thank you.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:35 pm

One thing does not exist ...the Nassau LIGHT regiment or about 3000 men ...it should be a light infantry brigade but it does not exist in the rules .The light regiment was in ngreen . the other regiments in blue with shako similar to french . So the prussian shot them in the back at Waterloo thinking they were french :D .

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:32 am

In the above list the Nassau units are all line infantry (reformed). I suppose I could add a skirmish attachment to the Oranje-Nassau unit which had a Jaeger company (177 men)attached.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:32 pm

The second infantry regiment of Nassau Usingen had 3 bataillons of near 900 men . At 4bras they are part of the 2nd DB division and the first to make contact with the french . It was a light infantry regiment and deployed in skirmish . They should be Light, average, drilled . Not line poor ....

Why such a unit does not exist in FOGN is still a mystery . Most were veterans of napoleoninc war but ;..on the french side . They learned their trade in Spain vs the british . The regiment defected in 1813 and so went over to the british army .

At Waterloo, Hougoumont was held by 200 british guard and ....one bataillon of the 2ng Nassau Usingen regiment . That's for the poor rating and for the lonely guards that, if you follow the legend, all alone held Hougoumont . 200 guards, 600-800 Nassauers :D

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:12 pm

I looked it up and you are right.Thank you for pointing this out. It would seem logical that the TON army list provide the possibility to have a Nassau light infantry unit. Could this be part of the errata? I also agree with you that in general the allies of the English are often underrated. Luckily this seems to be changing as more and more research becomes available.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by edb1815 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:42 pm

bahdahbum wrote:The second infantry regiment of Nassau Usingen had 3 bataillons of near 900 men . At 4bras they are part of the 2nd DB division and the first to make contact with the french . It was a light infantry regiment and deployed in skirmish . They should be Light, average, drilled . Not line poor ....

Why such a unit does not exist in FOGN is still a mystery . Most were veterans of napoleoninc war but ;..on the french side . They learned their trade in Spain vs the british . The regiment defected in 1813 and so went over to the british army .

At Waterloo, Hougoumont was held by 200 british guard and ....one bataillon of the 2ng Nassau Usingen regiment . That's for the poor rating and for the lonely guards that, if you follow the legend, all alone held Hougoumont . 200 guards, 600-800 Nassauers :D
I posed this quesiton in another thread. If I recall correctly the authors did not have the sources that considered the N-U 2Rgt as light infantry. I think the primary sources from the Netherlands confirm they were designated as "light" infantry, perhaps the question is whether they performed as such in battle. As you suggest they did, at least the elite companies that were detached to Hougoumont. However the question is how many veterans of Spain were in the regiment in 1815 and how much time did they have to drill in large formations prior to June 16th. I am now reading an excellent book by Edwin Mulwijk about the mobilization of the Netherlands field army including the Nassau units. They did have supply issues and had to change to British muskets shortly before the battle! There was also a lack of space to train at more than battalion level manuvers. Very interesting reading. Clearly they were light infantry though.

With a historical oob you don't have to follow the dictates of the army lists, I think the rules even state this when giving the suggested troop ratios (scale).

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:59 am

If I remember correctly the whole regiment acted as SK and was used as SK .

Por or average is another question .Did they hold hougoumont or not...or would you consider only the 200 british guardsmen ...Papelotte , where the 2 other bataillons were did hold for a long time but they were not british :shock: so they had to be reinforced


so perhaps conscript poor :D

IMO average drille light infantry would be OK and for the british as they were, most of them only unblodied units ...superior veterans :lol: :lol: :lol:

OK average drilled ........

A OOB might be unhistrorical but he allied unis were not that poor ...Nassau Light nfantry did hold Hougoumont, the 7th belgian infantry regiment had some guards veterans ....so for a 4 days campaing you can be a little more accurate .

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by KendallB » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:55 pm

Remember that "POOR" is Morale, not skill! They may well have had veterans in the ranks in enough numbers to be classified higher than conscripts, but what was their overall happiness like? Fighting ex-allies and the like.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:22 pm

High morale if you consider holding hougoumont for a whole day with a few british guards.

High morale if you consider that they stopped Ney or delayed him long enough against all odds ...

Average would be good .

Reread what they have done at 4bras . see http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleoni ... hinfantry1

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by KendallB » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:51 am

Still doesn't forgive you for confusing a Morale grading for a Training grading.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:47 pm

KendallB wrote:Still doesn't forgive you for confusing a Morale grading for a Training grading.
I don't see in his previous posts where he confused the two gradings. The only point he makes -and I tend to agree with him- that the overall qualifications for the Dutch-Belgian- Nassau troops during the 1815 campaign seem low compared to their actual performance. In the case of Hougoumont the Nassau troops did very well both in terms of morale (they stayed and fought) and probably in terms of relative fighting skills since the French did not succeed. Of course the English Guards were also there and deserve a higher rating than the Nassau troops but the difference appears to important. Hougoumont was not an incident because the same Nassau troops also performed well at Quatre Bras.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by KendallB » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:29 pm

[quote="joemann"]...Of course the English Guards were also there.../quote]
2nd batallion, 2nd Foot Guards i.e. Coldstream Guards.

A Scottish regiment, I thank you.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by terrys » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:43 pm

Clearly there is a difference of opinion about the quality and abilities of the Nassau regiments during the Waterloo campaign.
I suspect that there is much more information available in German and Dutch about these regiments - especially of the 2nd Nassau-Usingen Light Infantry Regiment.

In general, where we have no evidence, we take at face value the designation of a regiment to be 'line' or 'light' infantry. There are many instances of supposedly 'line' infantry regiments acting in a skirmisher role - the question we have to ask ourselves is: "Were they as effective in this role as 'real' light infantry". I'm still not convinced that this regiment was as capable at performing a skirmisher role in comparison to the other very capable light infantry regiments that took part in the campaign.....but I'm willing to listen.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by joemann » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:53 pm

It seems that there is no issue about the 2nd Nassau Ussingen regiment nominally being a light infantry regiment. The question Terry raises is whether they were used in this role and how capable they were in doing so.

I have tried to find information that could justify the inclusion of a Nassau Light infantry unit with upgraded ratings in the TON army list.

In particular I have consulted: "Waterloo- Netherlands correspondence" edited by John Franklin and " the Waterloo archive - volume II: German sources" edited by Gareth Glover which contain translations of reports of contemporary Dutch, Belgian and German participants in the 1815 campaign.

As to whether the regiment was used in a light infantry / skirmish role I have found quite a lot of evidence.

First of all there is the official report of the Chief of Staff of the 2nd Division ( van Zuijlen van Nijevelt) to the Quarter-Master General (de Constant- Rebècque) dated October 25, 1815.
This report on the battle of Quatre Bras contains several examples of the use of the 2nd Nassau regiment as light infantry. For example:

"Around 2 o'clock (...)the first Nassau battalion was formed in line in front of the wood, the companies of Captains Werneck and Frittler were deployed as Tirailleurs. These troops were the object of repeated attacks by the Lanciers of the Garde Impériale, but led by His Serene Highness himself, they managed to repel these attacks with great composure. However, the enemy force increased in numbers so as to leave the battalion in the plain;It was ordered to occupy the edge of the Bois de Bossu."

At a later stage in the battle (counterattack to recapture Pierepont farm) "the entire second Nassau battalion deployed as skirmishers under the command of the said Colonel (the author of the report himself) penetrated into the wood which was heavily occupied by the French Garde Impériale, and after a heavy fire succeeded in getting hold of the height assigned as the objective of the attack."

I could add some more quotes but I believe that the above shows clearly that the regiment was used in its role as light infantry. I would also add that the circumstance that the regiment was mostly deployed in or around the Bois de Bossu indicates that its hierarchy also considered that it was more suited to fighting in loose formation than the line and militia regiments that could also have been used. This is also the case at Waterloo where the 1st battalion was used to occupy Hougoumont and the surrounding woods and orchard.

As far as the quality of the regiment (and its sister regiment Oranje Nassau) is concerned, It performed well both at Quatre Bras and at Waterloo.
The following quote is from Gareth Glover:

"Many British sources claim the laurels for the defence of the chateau complex solely for the British Guards, a calumny that needs to be squashed.
It is very clear from their evidence that Major Buesgen's 800-man battalion had displaced the Guards detachment from the chateau and orchard early on the 18th. (...). During the first French attack in brigade strength, Buesgen's 400-man detachment inside the chateau's enclosure was the only force to keep this outpost in allied hands. It continued in its defence, jointly with the Foot Guards who soon after moved back into the compound. Those Nassau troops thus should have been allowed a share in the laurels earned by the gallant defenders of Chateau Hougoumont."

In Ugo Pericoli's "Armies at Waterloo" (1973) it is stated that: "Both at Quatre Bras and on the extreme left wing at Waterloo these (Nassau) battalions contributed more to the French defeat than any other infantry allied to the British."

I believe that the above justifies a Nassau light infantry unit average/drilled. However, since I have no experience playing FOG I do not know how this will play out in a real game. Looking forward to your reactions.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:21 pm

You were quicker than me ...but I still have to organise my tournament next week-end

so they keep me busy

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by shadowdragon » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:50 pm

I've just started building this division and this is what I'm going with....

The 3/2nd Nassau Rgt seems to have been landwehr, so I'm combining it with the DB militia bns. That gives me (according to the wiki Order of Battle strengths) 2492 militia (6 bases). The remainder of the 2nd Nassau should be categorized as light infantry - lacking any strong evidence to the contrary - but I'm using the 'DB light' line* in the list for them. At a strength of 1864, with the jager company, that's 4 bases. The Orange-Nassau Rgt seems to have had very limited ammunition - even at Quatre Bras, so I'm content using the 'poor' Nassau line of the army list for them. At a strength of 1522 I will have 4 bases. That leaves the DB jager and line battalions (1451 for 4 bases) with a skirmisher attachment.

The artillery is one battery of field and one of horse...I will likely do one base of each and use the 'field' guns line of the list or use the field battery as an attachment and combine the horse battery with another for a horse artillery unit.

So, in terms of figures...

27th Jager Battalion - 1 line and 1 skirmish base....but will do a 2nd skirmish base so I have the option to combine with another Jager unit for a light unit (e.g., if I'm using to represent the light infantry in the Indies brigade*)
7th Line Battalion - 2 line bases
5th, 7th and 8th Militia Battalions - 4 line bases
1/2nd & 2/2nd Nassau Rgt - 2 line and 2 skirmish bases (plus 2 more skirmish bases)
3/2nd Nassau Rgt - 2 line bases
Orange-Nassau Rgt - 4 line bases
1 Field battery
1 Horse Artillery battery

figures at the post office. :-)

* Note: only 2nd Nassau regiment & the Indies brigade have sufficient light infantry to warrant a unit of 4 bases of light infantry. The list allows a maximum of 8 bases. All other brigades or regiments had a single battalion of light infantry which I would represent as a line unit (by combining with the line battalions in that brigade) with a skirmisher attachment.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by hazelbark » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:37 pm

I have Perponcher's division as follow in my OB
* 7th Belg & 27th Dutch Small Average Drilled Line No attachment 1510
* 5th, 7th, 8th Militia Small Poor Conscript Line No attachment 1723
* 2nd Nassau Large Poor Drilled Line No attachment 2709
* 1 & 2 Orange‐Nassau Small Average Drilled Line Skirmish attachment 1760
* 6lb Battery Dutch Small Average Drilled Line No attachment

I forget why I thought to put the batteries in their own unit and not as attachment. I think I felt the division needed more resilience.

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Re: 2nd Dutch-Belgian Division at Quatre Bras

Post by bahdahbum » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:17 pm

Hy
first have a look at this : http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleoni ... wards.html

You will find usefull information

The fench did not try to go on their right flank and cross the small bridge because there were some SK there and the french cavalry decided it was too dangerous to try .

You might also have ONE figure of prussian cavalry, 2nd regiment of silesian hussars ( 50 men ) who were cut from their lines during the fights of the 15th . They helped here and there .

The second Nassau-Usingen regiment had 3 bataillons . No landwehr at all .Many historians state that it is a LIGHT infantry regiment but Terry is not convinced it was used as a light infantry regiment . It had a green uniform while the rest of the nassauer's had a french style uniform ( and were shot at by the prussians at Waterloo ). The debate is stil open .Many of the officiers had seen some years of service in french service .

Now many of the nassauers either from Nassau -Usingen or Orange-Nassau were conscripts with 6 weeks training ( same as the brunswickers ). but they did perform well .

If you read the article ( see the link ) you will notice that the 7th belgian line bataillon was a pretty good one . In our game we had it mixed with militia in a small unit WITH officer and one art attachment and it worked rather well .

You might note tha Perponcher, the dutch-belgian chief of staff did order the units defending "le bois de Boussu" to deploy in one long SK line . When the french cavalry threatened the line, they just retreated in the woods and the fench cavalry did not pursue them . So we decide to deploy them in extended line with SK capacity to retreat in the woods if charged by cavalry . It also worked well and the french had to sent in jerome's division as historically .

By the way, Napoleon did forbid Ney to use the guard cavalry :D

Do as you whish

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