Saturday, 10 May 2014

Colonel Suzzoni's 2nd Tirailleurs Algériens - 1870

Captain Viénot leading the 2nd Tirailleurs forward after Suzzoni's death.

My recent visit in France also afforded me a much welcome opportunity to drop by Paris and pay a visit to my friend Franck, the owner of Forgotten & Glorious Miniz.
Franck has a really lovely WW1 French range, from which I’m using the Turco heads for my Franco-Prussian War Tirailleurs Algériennes conversions. 

Armed with the much needed extra Turco heads and some words of encouragement from Franck, I returned back to Scandinavia to finish what has been started.

Adding some extra brush strokes to the Warflag print

www.warflag.com offers a comprehensive downloadable list of flags from MacMahon’s army of the Rhine. Here I found the battalion and regimental flags for the Tirailleurs.

The downloaded file came out nice enough when printed, but I added a few brush strokes of highlight in an attempt to breathe extra life and color into the flag.

 
 “A la gloire du 2eme Tirailleurs”. Monument at Woerth.

Before the batttle of Woerth, Colonel Suzzoni of the 2nd Tirailleurs had asked his men to not give ground and, if need be, die where they stood. The 2nd would obey their Colonel, as they defiantly absorbed losses exceeding 80% - including Suzzoni himself. It is said that the 2nd counter-attacked the Bavarians no less than three times during the battle of Woerth.

Tirailleurs wearing the standard blue trousers. 
The white version seems to be for summer campaigns.
The turban was not used in the field.

Fascinated as I’ve become of these elite French colonial units, a second battalion and also a command-based figure of Suzzoni is now part of future plans. The second battalion will probably be Colonel Gandil’s 3rd Tirailleurs – might sport them in the regular blue trousers for variation.

The Tirailleurs at the Battle of Malakoff in 1855, during
the Crimean War.

The tirailleur units took part in all of the Second French Empire’s campaigns, such as the Crimean War, Franco-Austrian War, Mexican adventure and the war of 1870.
The most elite of these men were drafted into a special unit, attached to the Imperial Guard. 


Rear shot of the unit, showing the characteristic big bag packs.

In other words, the tirailleurs were war seasoned men, who’s eyes had seen what war meant in the 19th century. Here are a few original photos, showing among others men from the 2nd Tirailleurs. There is certainly no "green recruit" look about their faces. The Germans understandably feared them.






For those of you interested in the tirailleurs I recommend this thread from the Armchairgeneral forumLoads of history, also covering the tirailleur's participation in WW1.

Thank you very much for reading.

22 comments:

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    1. Thanks Andrew, appreciate your visits on the blog!

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  2. Excellent post, beautiful units and presentation!

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    1. Thanks Phil, it was nice to finally finish this work in progress. Glad you liked the presentation, those old photos of real soldiers leaves an impression, right?

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  3. Great post - excellent figures - well done.

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    1. Cheers Pierre, glad you liked it! It was very rewarding to see this famous and, in paintings, often depicted French unit come to life. It's been something I've wanted to do for a long time, Franco-Prussian aficionado as I am. Next up, Volontaire de l'Ouest using Perry metal zouaves. Don't quite know how I'm going to solve that Sacre Coeur banner :0)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Phil - happy you liked the post!

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  5. Outstanding brushwork! Conversion and painting is striking.

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    1. Thank you very much for the kind words Jonathan - the conversion work left me a little bit more comfortable in using Green Stuff, so the future will hold more endeavors in this putty.

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  6. Excellent painting and great finish on the flag too!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher - it's actually a technique inspired by Peter Smith of thegreatitalianwars.blogspot.com. I've got some way to go yet before reaching Peter's excellent quality, but it was great fun to try it out using the Foundry 3-step paint system for the green.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thank you very much for the kind words and the visit, appreciate it!

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  8. Excellent looking unit Soren: it is great to see it finished; look at those faces: these guys are all seasoned veterans. In the next unit maybe you can use an algerian officer in turkish dress; it is very rare to see any of these guys

    Cheers

    Franck

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    1. Merci Franck, and thanks for those great heads making it all possible. I'm hoping to do the next unit quite soon, mixing in more Algerians. Also the next unit will be carrying a Tricolore and I'm gonna try out the Victrix Napoleonic Old Guard arm with musket and pennant instead of the bugler arm used here. BUT - first I'm going to get cracking at a unit of Volontaire de l'Ouest using Perry Metal Zouaves.

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  9. Excellent stuff Sören! The conversion and painting is truly superb.

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    1. Thanks very much Jonas! Needn't say that I've got some unpainted Landsknechts starring at me on my painting table, but Franco-Prussia-Mania took over after the visit to Gravelotte. I'm forecasting some lace & pike later this summer :0)

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  10. Stunning conversions and painting Sören !!!

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    1. Cheers Micke, hope to venture into more Green Stuff add ons in the future!

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  11. These are just superb Soren, excellent paint work, and a very informative report on the tirailleur's.

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    1. Thanks Chris, quite a rough bunch these when you get down to read about them. +80% losses at Wissembourg, and still standing fast - no wonder they were sprinkled with Legion D'honneurs!

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