1809 Germanic Insurrection paraded

Why would someone paint these 1809 units? Well, the answer comes from several reasons. First, WR had some extra Brunswick miniatures from the 1815 era Brunswick army so a brief search of the Brunswick reading material zeroed in on the 1809 campaign. Those 25mm Minifig Leib guardsmen miniatures cover many possible unit projects so was a quick rabbit brainer. Second, WR has his Westphalian army and the 1809 actions of Jerome are, to say the least, interesting reading (see John Gill’s 1809 book noted below) in relation to these rebellions and raiders, Third, we have a tie in with the 1807 Danish army, which recently WR finally completed, but WR had a Danish infantry brigade all along. Fourth, WR expects he is the only rabbit on the local block with such a collection of oddball 1809 units, or in other words, miniature ownership status in low places… out by the trash cans, as these units truly act the part on the tabletop.

Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Oels.

Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Oels.

Die Schwarze Schar: WR’s black clad horde has the classical feel of the later 1815 era Brunswick corps but smaller in scale. Three battalions of line infantry plus one “hasty raised” battalion during the march from POW’s and “on the march” impressed recruit drive. Leading the German state tour was the Hussar regiment with a puny detachment of uhlans glued to their side. The Austrians supplied a small contingent of artillery (2x 6 pdr and 2x 7 pdr howitzers) for the Black horde to use. In general, the basic uniforms were similar to the 1815 era except for the Scharfschutzen company and the unlan squadron dressed in green.

WR’s force consists of: The classic nearly all black Hussar regiment (1×8), the ulhan squadron (1×1), 3 battalions of black clothed infantry (3×6), the recruit battalion (1×6), the Scharfschutzen company (1×2), and a small “horse in name only” battery of 4 cannon. Black raider corps headquarters (the Black Duke himself) with 2 ADC’s round out the Die Schwarze Schar.

Wilhelm I of Hesse Kassel

Wilhelm I of Hesse Kassel. He didn’t participate in the 1809 rebellion. His Hesse Kassel was dissolved by Napoleon in 1807 till 1814 when his lands were restored.

Kur-Hessischen Legion: This motley group of soldiers came from the former state of Hesse-Kassel (dissolved in 1807 by Napoleon to create parts of Westphalia). Raised as freicorps and supported by the Austrians during the early months of the 1809 campaign, the Hessians did see a bit of action north of the Danube theater till disbanded by the peace treaty of Zaiam. These “Hessians” fit right in with the other 1809 renegades.

WR’s force consists of the Garde-Grenadier battalion (1×6), Leichtes Infantry battalion (1×6), Leib-Dragoner squadron (1×1) and the gendarmerie styled Husaren squadron (1×1). A small detachment of artillery was provided to the legion. WR has painted up the later 1814+ era Hesse Kassel army if interested.

Major Ferdinand von Schill, 2nd Brandenburg Hussars.

Major Ferdinand von Schill, of the 2nd Brandenburg Hussars.

Von Schill’s rebellion: Save the best for last. Von Schill was a Prussian major in command of the 2nd Prussian Brandenburg Hussar regiment. Basically he rode the regiment out the Berlin garrison gate and didn’t return at nightfall. His raiding took him up to the Baltic coast where his small band of hussars and other “early nationalistic Germans” were finally cornered in the Baltic former Swedish town of Stralsund by the Danes and Dutch.

WR’s rebellious Prussians include the 2nd Prussian Brandenburg Hussar regiment of von Schill, several local Prussian “militia” battalions of raw recruits, and two “seized batteries” of cannon from a local artillery depot or fortress. Several other volunteer units, mounted chasseurs, forestry dudes for example, generally small in size, came and went during von Schill’s ride across Prussia, including several raised before the sharp “assault” of Stralsund.

Westphalia prisoners of war: Yep… two small battalions from the defeated Westphalian army formed after losing battles with the Black horde. The 1st and 5th I.R. representatives if memory correct. These turncoat Westphalian units are independent of the smaller and brief early rebellions within Westphalia itself caused by Friedrich von Katte (ex Prussian lieutenant) and Wilhelm von Dornberg (Garde Jager battalion commander). John Gill’s book mentioned below does an excellent coverage on the activities of these two patriotic German nationalists.

General view of Germanic 1809 Insurrection legions and rebellion forces. Black Brunswickers, Kur-Hessian legion, and rebellion of Major von Schill.

General view of Germanic 1809 Insurrection legions and rebellion forces. Major von Schill rebellious Prussians, Westphalian POW’s, the black Brunswickers, and Kur-Hessian freicorps (l to r).

Three Black Brunswick battalion and "reserve battalion of hasty raised infantry, their small "horse" battery and SS miniatures in front. Kur-Hessian Guard Grenadiers and light battalion alongside with token artillery support.

Three 1809 black Brunswicker battalions and “reserve battalion” of hastily raised infantry, the Black horde Hussars, a token Uhlan squadron, their small “horse-drawn” battery, and skirmishing  Scharfschutzen company in front. Kur-Hessian Guard Grenadiers, leichtes battalion, Leib-Dragoner and Hussar squadrons with their token Hessian artillery support in foreground.

Quick Brunswick and Brandenburg hussar uniform details for 1809 (by Knotel). Clearly seen the close similarities to the 1815 period with the line battalions and hussars. The 2nd Prussian Brandenburg Hussar regiment pictured below was slightly different, in minor details, during the later napoleonic war years.

Brunswick Knötel1Brunswick 1809 Knötel2nd Prussian Brandenburg hussars

Major von Schill's rebellion. Hasty rasied "militia battalions, 2nd Prussian Hussars (commanded by von Schill), the Duke of Brunswick headquarters and staff. Westphalian POW battalions trailing.

Major von Schill’s rebellion. Hastily raised “Germanic militia” battalions, 2nd Prussian Hussars (commanded by von Schill), seized artillery from Prussian arsenals, and the Black Duke of Brunswick headquarters with staff. Two Westphalian POW battalions trailing, who revolted from pansy Jerome. Prussian militia flags are conjecture.

Like many rebellions of the napoleonic wars, their end was foretold in death, hardship or a rare escape of fame. Major von Schill died in Stralsund. Friedrich von Kattie joined the ranks of the Die Schwarze Schar, Wilhelm von Dornberg exiled himself to Austrian territory, but the crafty Black Duke out foxed the Westphalian poor military leadership and sailed to England, then onwards to the Peninsular war with his Brunswick-Oels legion. WR has these somber black clad soldiers painted for service in his British peninsular army too. One must cover all bases when Brunswick units are concerned.

Death of von Schill by Dutch soldiers in Stralsund 1809.

Death of von Schill by Dutch soldiers in Stralsund 1809.

A nice blog posting on the trans Germany ride of Major von Schill and the May 1809 assault on Stralsund: Assault on Stralsund

Ferdinand von Schill sort of lies "in State" in Stralsund.

Ferdinand von Schill sort of lies “in state” in Stralsund.

Reading material: The two Osprey books on the Black Brunswickers covers the 1809 Black horde nicely. The Napoleon’s German Allies (5), covering the two hessian states, gives detail on the Kur-Hessian freicorps (legion) on page 28. John Gill’s book “With Eagles to Glory”, in Chapter 9 (pgs. 411-464), covers the entire subject of the Germanic 1809 rebellion and French response. Details on the Westphalian army organization, new regiments raised, Jerome’s actions, the battles and actions, and the formations in hastily formed French X Corps covered. If you paint up these units, expect your gaming friends to slowly shuffle away from the mere thought of engaging these rebellious units on the tabletop.


No rebellion in the warren but these guys always a surprise on the French line of communications. Nothing like taking your puny army of black garbed soldiers for a sea voyage to the Iberian peninsular or Berlin garrison hussar regiment out for a little ride across Prussia, both crossing some neighboring Germanic states borders and all along raising the flag of revolt while beating up some green Westphalian or Dutch occasionally. Even the Danes figured in on this Northern Germany and Baltic action. So, break your gaming habits with a little raiding warfare, while marching towards the port of embarkation choice.





2 thoughts on “1809 Germanic Insurrection paraded

  1. While I don’t own any of these disreputable fellows (well, Ok, I have a substantial force of “Black Brunswickers” in their 1815 uniforms), Joe has the Kur-Hessian Legion and a few others. A “raid” game with a similar conglomeration of third rate troops facing off against the less than competent Westphalians was one of the games of our 1809 barrage at Historicon 2009, run by Joe.

    • “Rabbit not along in this gaming world…. another gamer has the Kur-Hessian legion”. I can sleep well at night knowing someone has the same infliction of weird, one off units. Viva Joe!

      M aka wR

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