Prussian Napoleonic Dragoons, 1808–1819

HaT Industrie 1:72 Scale Figure Review

Prussian Napoleonic 1. (Königin) Dragoons

Prussian 1st (Königin) Dragoons. Light blue Litewka and shabraque; Crimson collar, shoulderstraps, piping on cuffs and edging on the shabraque.

Contents

  • 12 riders in 4 Poses – 23 mm equal 166 cm height
  • 12 horses in 4 Poses – 22 mm equal 15.s hands

Part man, part animal, infantry on horseback

That's how Frederick the Great described the dragoons, an arm which started out as mounted infantry and gradually evolved into full-fledged cavalry. They remained multi-purpose troops even then, backing the light cavalry skirmishers and patrols, fighting on foot when that was required or charging into battle alongside the heavy cavalry.

After the Catastrophe of 1806 and during the War of Liberation, Prussian soldiers received practical and cheap uniforms, because a large army of new recruits and eager volunteers had to be clothed with whatever was available. Gone was the splendor of previous decades, but Scharnhorst's and Gneisenau's far-reaching military reform did much more for army morale and ultimate victory over Napoleon than a set of fancy uniforms could have achieved. Commoners were more readily commissioned as officers and a large number of them joined the army. These citizen soldiers took to their new leadership role with great enthusiasm, and their successful involvement in national defense provided them with increased political power after the war, absolutism was on the way out.

Evaluation

Nicely detailed miniatures. Folds in the uniform, collar, cuffs, buttons, belts, weapons and equipment are easy to paint.

The troopers are sculpted in historically accurate campaign uniforms, wearing shako covers and the practical Litewka in place of the more attractive full-dress Kollett.

Useful historic poses. The riders are firmly seated in the saddle and they appear very lifelike.

Good casting quality, very little flash.

Trumpeter and standardbearer not included.

An officer figure wearing the Leibrock (coatee) would have been nice. As an acceptable alternative, one of the troopers may be painted to represent an officer in the Litewka, not altogether uncommon.

Unusual gait on two of the horses, the front legs are galloping while the hind legs are walking.

Historical Employment

  • Prussian Dragoons 1808–1819
    1. Königin Regiment – light blue Litewka, crimson facings, white buttons
    2. 1. West Prussian Regiment – light blue Litewka, white facings, white buttons
    3. Lithuanian Regiment – light blue Litewka, red facings, yellow buttons
    4. 2. West Prussian Regiment – light blue Litewka, red facings, white buttons
    5. Brandenburg Regiment – light blue Litewka, black facings, yellow buttons
    6. Neumark Regiment – light blue Litewka, rose facings, white buttons
    7. Rhenish Regiment (1815) – light blue Litewka, yellow facings, white buttons
    8. Magdeburg Regiment (1815) – light blue Litewka, white facings, yellow buttons
  • Volunteer Jäger detachments in the cavalry 1813–1815

Conversions

  • Landwehr cavalry 1813–1815

Bibliography

HaT Industrie's Prussian dragoons in campaign dress offer a welcome alternative to the typical paradeground figures available in 1:72 scale. The figures are very versatile, they may be converted to Landwehr cavalry after 1813, simply by replacing the sword with a lance. The light blue Litewka with red, white, black or yellow facings looks very good on these figures, and the troopers are easy to paint, because there is so little fancy detail to worry about. Wargamers will require a good number of these figures to raise the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th dragoons as well as the 15 Landwehr cavalry regiments which fought at Waterloo.

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Prussian Napoleonic Miniatures