Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hold ya horses Boney, I haven't even started on the Old Guard yet!

Napoleon orders forward the Old Guard, only to find there is none.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

All quiet of the Western front

I'm afraid after many years of groaning, my computer at home has finally given up the ghost. This means there might be a little delay in war gaming/painting madness for a while.
The French are coming on great guns though, with the next batch of Voltigeurs being covered with mud as I type, ready for their new bases.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Voltigeur tries his luck.

A voltigeur sees his chance and takes a pot shot at a British Colonel.

Leading from the front

Unlike the British Officers who tended to buy their commissions and come from high born families, the French Officer rose through the ranks by acts of shear bravado and example. Jumping around in front of the troops like a mad man they made an obvious target for a rifleman and many paid the price.

"They are among us!"

A good cavalry commander, of whom the French had many, knew exactly how to deal with skirmishers.
Way out in front of the battle lines, a rifleman had to keep his wits about him in order to keep his head.

Voltigeur detachment

A small detachment of Voltigeurs prepare to jog out in front of the Battalion and take up skirmish positions.

Lieutenant Simmons

Lieutenant Simmons senses the time is right and orders his company forward after the withdrawing French.

In the bag

Riflemen trade shots with Voltigeurs on the other side of the river. Riflemen were famous for their good humour in battle and these two take bets on who can bag the mounted officer.

An oldie, but a goodie

There's forty shillings on my bum, for those who'll volunteer to come, to list and fight the French todayyyyyyyyy, Over the hills and far awayyyyyy.( To be sung in a Northern folk twang. )

Take another step back Harris, and I'll shoot you myself!

The thin red line.

Rifleman Blunt

Not the sharpest tool in the box, rifleman Blunt advances in the open. It looks like Louis will get his third man after all.

The Sly Old Voltigeur

A veteran of many skirmishes, Louis takes his time and waits for the new recruits of the 95th to show themselves. Two kills under his hat today, can he make it a third before wisely retiring.

Voltigeur Officer

Sub-Lieutenant Marcel of the Voltigeur Company.

A Grenadier

A French Line Battalion was made up of six Companies. Four of these were centre or Fusilier companies, named after the weapon they carried. However, the other two companies in the Battalion were called 'Flank' companies and were seen as the elite. Grenadiers were one such Flank company, they were the largest men chosen for their size and strength. They would be used to assault building or bridges, where real muscle power would carry the day. Their names stems back to the days when the biggest, strongest men were chosen to throw grenades. The weapon dropped out of favour but the name remained.
Voltigeurs, literally meaning vaulters, were the smallest most agile men in the Battalion. They would be sent out in front of the advancing unit to skirmish and weaken the enemy line. Although these men were not armed with the rifle like the 95th, they were good shots and knew their weapons well. The French were known for sending vast hordes of Skirmishers forward in advance of their units.

A French Voltigeur Skirmishing

Two weeks with the Rifles

Hello, I'm back from my two weeks in Crete. While I was there I caught up with a book I've had for ages, ' Rifles' by Mark Urban. It follows the story of the 95th Rifles through their history and the many colourful characters who noted down their exploits along the way. Being surrounded by similar terrain to that of the Iberian Peninsula, I started to scribble away.

I found the book and It's characters a great source of inspiration, but couldn't resist drawing up the opposition as well. As I am painting up and reorganizing my French forces, I started to get carried away with Voltigeurs, the French light Infantry of the Battalions.