Sunday, 26 April 2015

Grand Duchy of Warsaw - 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment

This week has been taken up with a lot of work finishing off the Talavera table so the figure painting schedule had to be adapted slightly to account for the time. With that work done it's back to the Poles.

The second battalion of the 4th Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry Regiment completes the Polish infantry component at Talavera.

For more information on the history of the Grand Duchy's involvement in the Peninsular War, see my previous post on the 1/4th.

As previously the battalion is composed of figures from the Warmodelling range of figures with an AB French officer with sword drawn at the front and my Colour is from Adolfo Ramos' range of flags, a link to which is in the side bar.

Strictly speaking, these chaps should see no action in the forthcoming games as they were held in reserve by Sebastiani throughout the 28th July, so I'm probably going to have to come up with a suitable penalty if the French players decide to make use of them.

I hope you like the cameo close up, that heads up the post. I am quite keen to let the figures do all the work, so I have been messing about with a banner like header using the figures. Let me know what you think.

The Grand Duchy of Warsaw, 4th Infantry Regiment drawn up for battle on the Talavera table

Next up, we are into the "donkey wallopers" with the Vistula Legion Lancers, followed by Westphalian Chevau Legere and then probably the best cavalry on the table, Fane's British heavy dragoons. However I have another trip to Paris lined up this week and I am keen to get the "Night Attack" scenario finished off with the third and final test game. So I might be mixing things up a bit.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Talavera - New Table, Part Two

Last month I unveiled the northern end on the Talavera table and the construction needed to create the northern valley and the Cerros de Cascajal and Medellin.

Given I intended to play through the next two scenarios based on the northern sector, I created a bit of terrain construction space in the project plan to put together additional items needed which included the Pajar de Vergara gun redoubt, additional stream sections for the Portina, covered in my stream building tutorial, extra road sections and some more small olive style trees.

With the redoubt and streams covered off I decided to take advantage of the excellent April weather we are having in the south west this year to build some new roads, based on some bought versions I already had. 

Nothing very tricky here, just some cleaning cloths cut up into 50mm wide strips together with a couple of corner sections, covered in PVA based sealant that is put round bathroom tiles, mixed with a very fine sand to give a bit of texture. The sealant is already brown, but needed a touch of my emulsion, used on the stream sections to darken it down, and I ran my rut making device over each strip before they dried in the sun. The rut making device was simply three cocktail sticks taped together and drawn along through the sealant.

The roads dried very quickly in the afternoon sun
Below is a comparison on the left with my bought roads and my new home made strips. I went for a lighter static grass to tie in better with my mat and decided to jolly them up a bit with the added tufts and occasional grass in the middle of the road, a very familiar aspect of driving in Devon!

So with the bits and pieces constructed I thought it might be fun to get some of it on the table to get an idea of the final look, before it is graced with a shed load of troops.

The view of the southern section of the table looking north. The German Division deployed behind the trees on the right
You can now see the Portina stream running the length of the table on its way to the River Tagus and leaving the table nearest to camera through the outskirts of Talavera, with the first indications of enclosures and buildings.

The British right flank, with the extreme right showing the enclosures of the outskirts of Talavera occupied by Portago's division.
The Pajar can be seen as a small rise surmounted by the gun redoubt in a slight clearing amongst the trees, with the Talavera road leading off to the right heading up to Casa de Salinas.

The Pajar redoubt looking a bit sparse minus its gun crews, but will be a nice centre piece objective for this flank

The olives are placed in the neat lines often associated with their planting and give an impression of the broken terrain, with limited visibility, that the German Division and Portago's Spanish will have to cope with.

The open ground nearest to camera is where the Guards charged to far exposing Wellesley's centre
The picture above is the view south towards the British right flank as would have been seen by the French command on the Cerro de Cascajal, with the Pajar de Vergara in sight.

The view to the south from the foothills of the Sierra de Segurilla with Valdafuentes Farm nearest to camera

So the stage is set for the actors to take their call. I hope you can start to imagine the colour and pageantry with the two armies lined up facing each other. All projects should begin with the end clearly in mind, with a plan to get you there step by step. Today the Talavera project took a big step forward, and having the whole table set up is a huge incentive to get on with the painting.

The view south from the French lines with Cerro de Casacajal in the foreground
We will continue the journey through the scenario plan with the third and final play test of the Night Attack, before moving on to the Dawn Attack scenario. I then thought I might make two additions to the game plan by looking at doing a redux version of the Afternoon Attack and braking it into fights for the northern and southern ends of the table, which will suit players wanting to use a smaller collection of figures and fit perfectly into my build plan, and then we will do "Talavera Max" with the Afternoon Attack as a whole eventually playing all the scenarios and the final Afternoon Attack as a linked mini campaign with the results of each carried forward to the next.

The road to Talavera from Casa de Salinas

The outskirts of Talavera provides plenty of cover for its Spanish garrison
Also I am eagerly awaiting my new 6 x 4 foot terrain mat so I can take some games out on the road, and start with some scenarios at the Devon Wargames Group and later some show venues, which will give a chance to show the collection and C&G II in action. All part of sharing the love!

General Portago's view of the Pajar de Vergara redoubt and the roads in to Talavera

Next Up the 2/4th Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry Regiment

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Portina Stream - terrain build tutorial

Back in October 2013 I put together some stream sections for my planned Vimeiro game using a very versatile material, roofing felt. I have had questions about these simple bits of terrain so thought I would run through the construction.

The Portina, not significant in its effects, was significant in being a central feature and marking the front lines in the northern sector.

The battlefield of Talavera has quite a bit more water running over it than at Vimeiro and so I needed some more stream sections. This is part of a general project to get the terrain done for the southern sector which was started with the completion of the Pajar Vergara gambions done in conjunction with the Spanish artillery.

Later I will be adding to my small olive tree collection and I plan to do some more cloth roads to add to my current collection.

The banks constructed with the water area covered in dried PVA. The 2/4th GDW Regiment look on, awaiting their turn with the brush.

The Iberian peninsula is land covered in mighty rivers with many small tributaries and streams leading into them and so having plenty of these little bits of terrain is really useful.

As before, I cut lengths of roof felt and then added little off cuts along the edges fixing them with general purpose glue. I should say that I work with the smooth side of the felt rather than the gritty weather protected side.

The next stage was to paint a layer of PVA glue on the water section which makes that area smooth and slightly textured giving an impression of water.

Once dry I covered the banks in PVA and added the sand and grit for texture.

The new sections with older ones for comparison

The next stage was to take a jar of household water based emulsion in a suitable dark chocolate brown and paint the whole sections. In the UK I like to use the Craig & Rose 1829 Edinburgh range of chalky emulsion 100ml tester jars, clove brown. It really dries dark and washes out of the brush easy.

Once dry I then dry brushed the ground work with a light brown and cream shade of acrylic paint and painted the water area a dark green (citadel dark angels green - they probably have a new name for that colour now).

Once the green is dry I added a coat of gloss varnish to give my water a bit of shinny depth. I should add that if this was a wider water course I would shade the green lighter from the centre to the banks to create a shallows effect near the ground work.

Once the varnish was very dry, I then started to paint PVA along the banks and add two shades of static grass plus a few grass tufts of various shades to create an impression of reeds and rushes at the water edge.

Finished section with static grass and tufts giving a nice variation for the eye

The finished sections can be seen below on the cutting board. In 18mm these little sections represent a noticeable stream as pictured in the photo heading this post.

The really great thing about these roof felt streams is that they remain flexible and I am able to get them to conform with my rolling terrain mat and with little dressmaker pins suitably disguised with a piece of clump foliage pin them in place so they don't get moved around in the heat of battle and they secure the mat in the bottom of the valleys. The pins also make sure the sections of stream stay aligned and the clump foliage softens the joins.

Note the little bits of clump foliage front left, centre right, on the stream sections covering a pin that holds everything in place and takes the eye away from the joins

So that's the Portina done, just some roads and trees to come.

Next up, Talavera, the complete table build and the 2/4th Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Talavera - Night Attack, Game Two

So on with the scenario play tests and the second run through of the second scenario, "Talavera Night Attack".

The object of these series of game tests is to find the optimum settings for each army that closely matches the historical performance recorded. Once that picture has emerged we can then consider how best to link the games and recreate the battle as a whole.

In the first game the French struggled to dominate the British/KGL brigades and take full advantage of the surprise despite having better numbers of troops engaged than historically. This suggested that the British needed their combat capability adjusted down and so to test the theory, the British quality rating (a combination of experience, morale, training and ability) were reduced, based on their experience to a default setting of C-, bringing the bulk of their units slightly below the default French setting of a C rating. In addition we reduced the British responsiveness to attack which would determine how many men in each unit could open fire and engage in combat as the battle progressed.

This game has the British at their worst possible setting and the French unchanged from the first game and as you will see this dramatically changed the end results.

Talavera Night Attack Game One

So the orders of battle illustrating the combat ratings are as follows:

Talavera - Night Attack
As of Game Turn: 1 (22.00)

Division Rowland Hill - Defend
[ 512] Major General Rowland Hill - Active B- [950 paces]

Brigade Richard Stewart - Defend
[ 514] Brigadier General Richard Stewart - Active B [450 paces]
[ 529] 29th Foot 0/ 598 C+ [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 530] 1/48th Foot 0/ 807 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 531] 1st Battalion of Detachments 0/ 609 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]

Brigade Ernest Baron Langwerth - Defend
[ 510] Brigadier General Ernest Baron Langwerth - Active B- [350 paces]
[ 519] 1st KGL Line Battalion 0/ 604 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 520] 2nd KGL Line Battalion 0/ 678 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]

Brigade Sigismund Baron Low - Defend
[ 511] Brigadier General Sigismund Baron Low - Active C+ [450 paces]
[ 522] 5th KGL Line Battalion 0/ 610 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 523] 7th KGL Line Battalion 0/ 557 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]

Brigade Rufane Donkin - Defend
[ 516] Colonel Rufane Donkin - Active B- [350 paces]
[ 537] 2/87th Foot 0/ 599 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 538] 1/88th Foot 0/ 599 C- [sk] Line SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 539] 5/60th Rifles 0/ 273 B- [sk] Open Order Rifled Musket

0/ 5934 Bayonets
0/ 5934 Total of all arms

At 22.00, with visibility at 200 paces, the French columns descend into the Portina valley
Talavera - Night Attack
As of Game Turn: 1 (22.00)

Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Attack
[ 105] General de Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Active D+ [650 paces]

Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Attack
[ 106] General de Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Active B- [400 paces]
[ 191] 1/9me Regiment de Legere 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 192] 2/9me Regiment de Legere 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 193] 3/9me Regiment de Legere 0/ 587 C- [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 194] 1/24me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 195] 2/24me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 196] 3/24me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 587 C- [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]

Brigade Pierre Barrois - Attack
[ 107] General de Brigade Pierre Barrois - Active B [450 paces]
[ 199] 1/96me Regiment de Ligne. 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 200] 2/96me Regiment de Ligne. 0/ 587 C [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]
[ 201] 3/96me Regiment de Ligne. 0/ 587 C- [sk] D.Comp.Col. SB.Musk.[1st]

0/ 5283 Bayonets
0/ 5283 Total of all arms
3 Standards present

(Note for this test game the French are fairly vanilla with all battalion strengths taken as an average for the brigade. This was because I added back in their individual Voltigeur companies that had been distributed to the Voltigeur battalions for day time combat.  In game three the battalion strengths will be randomised on the average using the C&G software).

All French columns are still on track to attack the Cerro de Medellin. The objective area is indicated with the little markers
For this test my younger son Will, on a week home from working in Paris and keen to demonstrate his mastery of French, was appropriately running the French with Steve M taking the unsuspecting British/KGL.

As before we had all units set up on blinds with the first four moves simply seeing how the three French regiments would navigate themselves across the Portina Stream. The blinds enable a limited amount of re-positioning when units are revealed. I also tried out a slight variation from the last game by allowing the French to nominate a regulating battalion for each regiment that allowed the other battalions in visible range to move with it and maintain station. Of course, if the regulating battalion went off course so did the others following its lead.

First contact, the 9th Legere meet the 5th and 7th KGL on the lower slopes
Will's die rolling was much better than mine in the first game and he succeeded in getting all his battalions across with the 9th Legere making first contact with Low's KGL. Steve opted to set up his battalions side by side rather than one behind the other and with the harsher musketry response rules in play only managed to issue fire with 5% and 4% from each battalion.

The Germans rush to their arms as the alarm is called
The 9th Legere replied in kind from the front of their columns and charged home, causing both battalions to recoil 150 paces facing the enemy. With the first firing all the British units were on alert and Will was keen to keep the initiative by feeding more of his battalions forward whilst the two KGL brigades were being dealt with.

The 9th Legere charge Low's KGL brigade as other French columns infiltrate the British lines
As the fight developed on the forward slopes with Langwerth's KGL brigade contacted by the 96th Ligne, the game clock ticked over towards midnight and Steve was already casting an eye for the arrival of the British commander in the area, General Hill, bringing with him, Stuart's brigade and the veteran 29th Foot.

The spearhead regiment meet the first resistance
Langwerth's brigade resisted the first attacks by the 96th Ligne with a well directed volley from the 1st KGL, unfortunately the 2nd KGL were not quite as vigilant and their firing was unable to prevent the French columns charging in and they too were forced back leaving the 1st KGL to carry on alone.

With the KGL in retreat the 24th Ligne challenge Donkin's brigade on the summit
As the 9th Legere was dishing it out to Low's KGL the 24th Ligne advanced onto the summit and the objective area to be met by the Irish brigade under Colonel Donkin. The 2/87th were the first battalion to open fire but were only able to inflict minimal casualties on the 1/24th Ligne who matched them with a volley from the front of their column.

Supported by the 2/24th Ligne the two columns charged forward. The 2/87th put out a feeble defensive fire and, when attempting to do the same to the 2/24th Ligne, broke back 300 paces off the summit with their brigade commander, Colonel Donkin, in hot pursuit.

Langwerth's 1st & 2nd KGL struggle to hold back the 96th Ligne with Low's KGL brigade broken
As the 1/88th and 5/60th Rifles struggled to deal with five French battalions converging on the summit objective, General Hill and his leading battalions approached the rear slopes of the Cerro de Medellin, very conscious of the volume of firing going on ahead of them.

At 24.00 General Hill leads Stewarts brigade onto the Cerro - To little to late?
Will was keen to "seal the deal" before the British reinforcements could challenge his possession of the objective and threw two battalions at both the 2/88th and 5/60th with the Rifles unable to contest the ground in open order, falling back immediately.

The 88th made a final fight of it but numbers and brigade morale had taken its toll and after one round of combat they joined the 87th in headlong retreat, leaving General Hill to accept defeat.

The 88th Foot and 60th Rifles are pushed off the summit as the French consolidate their hold
This proved to be an overwhelming and concentrated attack by the three French regiments with only the 96th Ligne held up on the lower slopes by the 1st KGL who, gaining the honours for this combat, refused to be forced back and managed to break 3/96th Ligne with its firing and stop the regiments forward progress. For the French, the 9th Legere lived up to their epithet "Incomparable" with the third battalion grabbing the honours, but all three battalions making their presence felt in the centre of the French attack.

I thought this might be the worst case set up for the British compared with the best case played in the first game and I now feel what the optimum setting looks like to give both sides a competitive set up to be tested in game three together with few final adjustments. I have a mind to see if we can't break up the French formations with an additional tweak to the movement rules and thus increasing their chances of arriving piecemeal and less coordinated.

French victory as the British are cleared from their hill with fifteen minutes to spare
In the actual fight, French forces were back in their own lines licking their wounds by just after 1am and in our game they had secured the Cerro fifteen minutes ahead of that end point. The final order of battle shows the results of the night's action and a very battered and bruised British force having its army morale pushed down to 72% and suffering twice the casualties for the French.  The French not only won the battle on the statistics but also captured the objective in force and able to contest General Hill's reinforcements.

[D] denotes Dispersed and removed from the field
[W] denotes No Advance
[R] denotes Halt or Retire

Talavera Night Attack
As of Game Turn: 11 (00.45)

Division Rowland Hill - Defend
[ 512] Major General Rowland Hill - Active B- [950 paces]

Brigade Ernest Baron Langwerth - Defend [No Advance]
[ 510] Brigadier General Ernest Baron Langwerth - Active B- [350 paces]
[ 519] 1st KGL Line Battalion 39/ 565 C- [sk] Good Fresh
[R] [ 520] 2nd KGL Line Battalion 84/ 594 C- [sk] Poor Exhausted

Brigade Sigismund Baron Low - Disengaged
[ 511] Brigadier General Sigismund Baron Low - Active C+ [450 paces]
[D] [ 522] 5th KGL Line Battalion 149/ 461 C- [sk] Broken Tired
[D] [ 523] 7th KGL Line Battalion 110/ 447 C- [sk] Broken Tired

Brigade Richard Stewart - Defend
[ 514] Brigadier General Richard Stewart - Active B [450 paces]
[ 529] 29th Foot 0/ 598 C+ [sk] Good Fresh
[ 530] 1/48th Foot 0/ 807 C- [sk] Good Fresh
[ 531] 1st Battalion of Detachments 0/ 609 C- [sk] Good Fresh

Brigade Rufane Donkin - Defend [Retire]
[ 516] Colonel Rufane Donkin - Active B- [350 paces]
[R] [ 537] 2/87th Foot 86/ 513 C- [sk] Broken Exhausted
[D] [ 538] 1/88th Foot 124/ 475 C- [sk] Poor Exhausted
[ 539] 5/60th Rifles 8/ 265 B- [sk] Ex'lent Fresh

600/ 5334 Bayonets
600/ 5334 Total of all arms
16 Standards present

Talavera Night Attack
As of Game Turn: 11 (00.45)

Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Attack
[ 105] General de Division Francois Amable Ruffin - Active D+ [650 paces]

Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Attack
[ 106] General de Brigade Claude-Marie Meunier - Active B- [400 paces]
[ 191] 1/9me Regiment de Legere 4/ 583 C [sk] Ex'lent Fresh
[ 192] 2/9me Regiment de Legere 7/ 580 C [sk] Ex'lent Fresh
[ 193] 3/9me Regiment de Legere 50/ 537 C- [sk] Good Tired
[ 194] 1/24me Regiment de Ligne 52/ 535 C [sk] Ex'lent Tiring
[ 195] 2/24me Regiment de Ligne 2/ 585 C [sk] Ex'lent Tiring
[ 196] 3/24me Regiment de Ligne 0/ 587 C- [sk] Good Fresh

Brigade Pierre Barrois - Attack
[ 107] General de Brigade Pierre Barrois - Active B [450 paces]
[ 199] 1/96me Regiment de Ligne. 0/ 587 C [sk] Good Fresh
[R] [ 200] 2/96me Regiment de Ligne. 76/ 511 C [sk] Average Tiring
[D] [ 201] 3/96me Regiment de Ligne. 194/ 393 C- [sk] Broken Exhausted

385/ 4898 Bayonets
385/ 4898 Total of all arms
3 Standards present

Talavera Night Attack
Major victory for the French Army
As of Game Turn: 11 (00.45)

The British Army has suffered losses of:
[ 33%] 1983 men of all arms
incl.[ 4%] 259 prisoners of all arms
[ 33%] 1983 bayonets
Honours: [ 519] 1st KGL Line Battalion

The French Army has suffered losses of:
[ 14%] 778 men of all arms
incl.[ 2%] 136 prisoners of all arms
[ 14%] 778 bayonets
Honours: [ 193] 3/9me Regiment de Legere

Thanks to Steve and Will for a fascinating and well contested second play test that provided great entertainment and lots of learning points for yours truly. I hope you enjoy the read Will, when you get back to Paris this weekend.

Next up, additions to the Portina stream - terrain build and 2/4th Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry Regiment.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Grand Duchy of Warsaw - 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment of Infantry

Poland is one of those countries that, over the centuries, has found itself in the unfortunate position of being surrounded by powerful neighbours often seen by them as a buffer between opposing power blocks and a useful possession to supply manpower and wealth. This position has often led to its partition and forced Poles into a struggle for unification and recognition of its borders.

Such a partition between powerful neighbours occurred in November 1795 when the country was divided up between Russia, Prussia and Austria and its King, Stanislas Augustus, forced to abdicate and an early retirement in Russia.

France, alone, opposed this partition and became the natural refuge for Polish exiles and a recruiting base for the nucleus of Polish legionary units fighting for France against the occupiers in the years following.

The culmination of the rise of Napoleonic France reached its pinnacle with the defeats of Russia, Prussia and Austria in the campaigns of 1805, 1806 and 1807 and the signing of the Treaty of Tilsit between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander of Russia and King Wilhelm of Prussia on a raft moored in the centre of the River Niemen.

Treaty of Tilsit - 7th to 9th July 1807

One of the results of the treaty was the creation of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw under the nominal control of the King of Saxony, not quite the position the Poles had struggled for over the years, having pressed Napoleon for the reconstitution of an independent Poland set up on the borders of 1795. The creation of the Duchy, though not meeting the expectations of Poles was to prove a future source of tension between France and Russia and one of the principle causes for a return to war between the two empires in 1812.

The Grand Duchy infantry 1809-12 - Grenadier of the 4th Regiment 1b (One interpretation!)
Note the change to a czapka seen after Spain

A new Polish army of about 40,000 men was established under the command of General Poniatowski constructed on the French model and contained twelve infantry regiments each of three battalions, seven cavalry regiments and three artillery battalions each of four batteries. The new army incorporated units from the former Legion du Nord but saw the former Italian Legion left separate from the Duchy's army and renamed the Legion of the Vistula consisting of three infantry regiments of three battalions and an uhlan (lancers) regiment.

In the spring of 1808, Napoleon ordered the Vistula Legion into Spain, later reinforced by a Second Legion bringing the force up to four infantry regiments, a battery of 8 lbr guns and the uhlan regiment. This force was followed in the August by the best units of infantry in the Grand Duchy's army, the 4th, 7th and 9th regiments each of two battalions.

With the re-invasion of Spain in November 1808, the Grand Duchy Infantry regiments were part of Lefebvre's IVth Corps, 3rd Division under GdD Valence

French 4th Corps In the Tagus Valley Mid-December 1808
Commanding Officer: Marechal Lefebvre

lst Division: General de division Sebastiani
lst Brigade: General de brigade Roguet
28th Line Infantry Regiment (43/l,050)
32nd Line Infantry Regiment (64/l,623)
2nd Brigade: General de brigade Pouzet
58th Line Infantry Regiment (42/l,335
75th Line Infantry Regiment (45/l,000)
Artillery: (4/2l0)

2nd Division: General de division Leval
Madrid Garrison:
Nassau Infantry Regiment (l,l42)
Baden Infantry Regiment (940)
Prince Primate (Frankfurt) Battalion (366)
Polish Artillery (64)
Detachment: General Chasse
Dutch Infantry Regiment (48/907)
Det. Dutch Hussar Regiment (4/56)
Det. Prince Primate Battalion (3/54)
Det/Hesse-Darmstadt Infantry Regiment (l2/442)

3rd Division: General de division Valence
lst Brigade: General de brigade Vonderweidt
4th Polish Line Infantry Regiment (25/850)
7th Polish Line Infantry Regiment (52/l,750)
2nd Brigade: General de brigade Schramm
9th Polish Line Infantry Regiment (56/l,630)
Artillery (8/250)

Cavlary: General Maupetit
5th Dragoon Regiment (30/430)
Westphalian Chevauxleger Regiment (28/400)
Dutch Chasseur a Cheval Regiment (l6/320)
Division: General Lasalle
9th Dragoon Regiment (27/474)
l0th Chasseur a Cheval Regiment (22/443)
5th Chasseur a Cheval Regiment (23/426)
Polish Lancer Regiment (33/600)
3rd Dragoon Division: General Milhaud
l2th Dragoon Regiment (24/422)
l6th Dragoon Regiment (20/304)
2lst Dragoon Regiment (23/3l8)

Balagny, Campagne de l'Empereur napoleon en Espagne (l808-l809)

By February 1809 IVth Corps was under the command of GdD Sebastiani and along with I Corps under Marshal Victor was detailed to follow up and pursue Spanish forces operating to the south of Madrid

IV Corps: Général de division Sebastiani 1st February 1809

1st Division: Général de division Sebastiani (5,660)
28th Line Regiment (3)
32nd Line Regiment (3)
58th Line Regiment (3)
75th Line Regiment (3)
19/6th Foot Artillery (0/0/0/1)
8/7th Foot Artillery (1/5/6/84)
13/7th Foot Artillery (1/3/2/20)
Dutch Horse Artillery (4/6/5/48)
9th Artillery Artisan Company (0/0/0/6)
2/6th (bis) Train Battalion (0/0/1/15)
3/11th Principal Train Battalion (1/3/5/102)
Dutch Train Company (2/5/4/58)
Det/Light Mule Train Battalion (1/0/0/20)

2nd Division: Général de division Leval (3,127)
2nd Nassau Regiment (2)
4th Baden Regiment (2)
Hesse-Darmstädt Gross und Erbprinz Regiment (2)
Frankfurt Battalion
l/2nd Dutch Line Regiment
2/4th Dutch Line Regiment
(2 battalions formed into the 2nd Dutch Line after
14 June 1809)
Artillery:(figures as of 1 February)
2nd Baden Foot Artillery (5/0/0/84)
2nd Hessian Foot Artillery (1/0/0/37)
2/6th (bis) Train Battalion (1/0/0/98)

3rd Division: Général de division Valence (3,915)
4th Polish Regiment (2)
7th Polish Regiment (2)
9th Polish Regiment (2)
3rd Polish Foot Artillery (3/0/0/98)
Det/6th (bis) Train Battalion (0/0/0/94)

Cavalry Brigade: Général de brigade Maupetit (1,781)
5th Dragoon Regiment
3rd Dutch Hussar Regiment
Polish Lancer Regiment
Artillery Total (30 guns)

* Numbers are officers; sergeants; corporals, musicians; and gunners.
Oman, A History of the Peninsular War

The two Polish battalions can be seen in reserve behind Leval's 3rd German Division during the afternoon attack.

The corps was reorganised by the time of Talavera with the the second and third divisions exchanging titles. Only the 4th Polish Regiment under Colonel Comte Felix Potocki, joined the rest of IVth Corps at Talavera, being attached to Leval's "German Division".

GdD Valence and the other two Polish regiments of the now 2nd Division were left at Toledo to watch General Venegas and the Army of La Mancha.

This decision to leave the Polish troops as a strategic reserve was mirrored with the deployment of the 4th Polish Regiment being left in tactical reserve during the Battle of Talavera. All through the campaign the French and certainly King Joseph were torn between the anticipated arrival of Soult's forces in the rear of the allied army and the threat to their own rear and a potential attack on Madrid by General Venegas. This explains the conservative retention of cavalry and infantry reserves (King Joseph's personal guard) not being thrown against the allied line during the battle.

The choice of the Poles to be in the reserve seems to have been a good decision if their fighting record is anything to go by and certainly the 4th Regiment would give a very good account of itself in the following year at Fuengirola where 300 members of the regiment defeated ten times their number of an Anglo-Spanish force sent against them.

The wargamer has an interesting time trying to piece together the various, often contradictory, written and visual references on the infantry of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw with a preponderance of sources focusing on the later period of Polish activities from 1812 with their recall and re-uniforming in time for the invasion of Russia. 

Vistula Legion Infantry

The three Polish regiments were described as being in a very ragged state when, after being raised, they marched into Paris on their way to Spain and were entertained by the Imperial Guard. The units were issued with French uniform articles and most sources seem to agree that they entered Spain wearing bell topped shakos rather than the Polish style czapka issued to them later for the 1812 campaign in Russia. Thus I have opted to use the Warmodelling Vistula Legion infantry, suitably adapted but having a very early French style of dress with appropriate shakos and knee high leggings typical of French units earlier in the period. The flag is from Adolfo Ramos.

The shakos needed a Polish eagle painted over the brass plate above the peak (not seen on Vistula Legion infantry - see the two uniform illustrations for comparisons) and I had to scratch build a Polish eagle with raised wings to put on the standard pole. By no means perfect I am pleased with the overall look of the first battalion and they will make a very suitable reserve unit for the IVth Corps when set up on the table.

Sources consulted for this post include
Talavera, Wellington's First Victory in Spain - Andrew W Field
Napoleonic Armies - Ray Johnson
Poles & Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars - Nafziger, Wesolowski, Devoe
Napoleon's Polish Troops - von Pivka, Roffe 

Next up Talavera Night Attack, Game Two and the 2nd/4th Regiment Grand Duchy of Warsaw Infantry.