Two new sections join the my Early WW1 German collection.
Minis from the new Mutton Chop Early WW1 German infantry blisters.
This week I’ve been adding two new infantry Sections (Korporalschafts) to my Early War German army, using new additions to the Mutton Chop WW1 German range, released at Salute. I couldn’t attend this year, so a big THANK YOU to Jesper for carrying home these minis from the Excel event, where Michael and he hosted a Medieval-themed participation game.
Attacking with colors flying was not uncommon in 1914.
Source: Preussischer Kulturbesitz.
Besides loving to paint greatly sculpted and cast miniatures (like these - Paul Hicks rarely lets one down!), one of my other big passions is German history from 1864 – 1945 and how it impacts European and World history.
The section with Ensign.
The flag is from GMB's Franco Prussian range.
European history is a complex and bloody affair, and while much can, and have been said, about the atrocities of WW2, I feel it is equally important to highlight and separate the positive dynamics of German Unification in 1871, from what was a tragedy in the 30ies and 40ies.
Searching a German antique bookshop site,
I found the actual Exerzier-Reglement in its 1906 edition.
With that said, I look back at one of the things most fascinating to me from the period. The quality and independent ability of the German officers, and how they were supported by a doctrine granting them higher independence and on the ground flexibility – naturally with an imbedded German DNA to attack. Something that I my opinion sets apart the German army from all its adversaries in the wars of this era.
The section with bugler and officer.
The German Advance Guard doctrine fully accepted and integrated two mayor focal points: That wars were wages on the move, and the fact that Post-Napoleonic battles, with their enormous masses of troops, could not be directed centrally. The realization of these two important factors is best shown in the German Officer’s tactical doctrine Handbook – the Exerzier-Reglement.
Naturally the Exerzier-Reglement kicks off with a little greeting
from Kaiser Willy.
In the Exerzier-Reglement, officers are urged to take initiative and exercise independent judgment of the situation, often most crucial to a battle, namely the initial engagement between the Advance Guard of two forces. The priorities for the officer were to attack, defend or withdraw, and how best to deploy his troops to meet the required action.
Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Based on the limited information at hand, the Advance Guard commander would be expected to either a) brush aside smaller enemy contingents and allow the advance to continue, or b) when encountering larger enemy contingents, to act as a screen while the main German force formed up behind him, and finally c) while pursuing any of the objectives a or b, to collect as much information on enemy position and strength while securing key strategic points in the surrounding terrain, ensuring that the German army would have the best outset and initiative in the case of a ensuing engagement.
The composition of the German Advance Guard Regiment.
1: Cavalry reconnaissance screen.
2: A point company as spearhead
3: Advance battalion
4: 1st Battalion of the Regiment
5: Artillery Section
6: Rest of the Regiment
Here we must keep in mind that reconnaissance information, even in 1914, often travelled by horseback to the central high command, which had little chance of an overview, and even less time to act on the received intelligence.
Early WW1 Germans on the march.
In many battles, like Königgrätz (1866), Mars-la-Tour (1870) and the early campaigns of 194, this gave the German doctrine some decisive advantages over their adversaries, who’s doctrines favored the Napoleonic approach.
Thank you very much for stopping by for a read.
Any comments are welcome!
Your brushwork is amazing. Can I ask what ruleset you have based these figures for? It looks very effective.ReplyDelete
First of all, thanks for the nice comment on the brushwork :0) Rules: We're working on our own set of company level rules. The idea is that, instead of hovering in the sky as the armchair general, you'll get your feet on the ground as the company commander, with 3 platoons (Zugs) under you. In the scenarios we're working on, you'll be tasked with limited goals on a small part of a historical battlefield - like "hold that bridge" or "take that farmstead". While you strive to achieve your specific goals in the scenario, historical events happening "off table" will affect your game through stratagem cards that is mixed into the activation card pile. We're starting the play testing next month, should be interesting!Delete
I wish you well with your rules, they sound like the most realistic miniatures rules ever! I served for 12 years so I appreciate your idea of a limited objective and outside events. Very interesting and good luck.Delete
Thank you very much - these kind of comments are a great encouragement to the team behind the rules:0)Delete
Awesome brush work Sören! Really love your basing for this period. I'm really tempted to borrow that style. The ensign is just great! Thanks for the interesting read as well!ReplyDelete
Thanks M, if you at some point decide to dive into the wonderful world of ww1 feldgrau, be sure to do it with the Mutton Chop range - they are absolutely gorgeous!Delete
I must say that your new sections are awesome, excellent paintjob Sören!ReplyDelete
Thanks a lot Phil, good minis make for a good paint job - so credits must go to Paul Hicks for sculpting this amazing range! Let's hope he also decide to do 1914 French infantry, so we can replay those fateful battles of august and september!Delete
Lovely painting on some fine sculpts, Soren. Always nicely accompanied by a brief history lesson. That 1906 book is quite a find too - it looks to be in pristine condition considering its age.ReplyDelete
Cheers Dean, yeah the officers handbook was a catch - I had to chance my language settings in Ebay to German, but then a whole new world opened up when I started searching!Delete
They look absolutely wonderful, bravo Sir.ReplyDelete
Thank you very kindly Michael! Appreciate the visit and the comment :0)Delete
Excellent paintjob! Well, the "Auftragstaktik" or "mission orientated taktik" give the officer in charge at all level of command the freedom to operate and not simply to follow a strct plan ord order. This made german military so good on the tactical level. It even encourages NCO and privates to take the initiative if the situation was changing or an opportunity aroused.ReplyDelete
I really like how you do your blog and often give your readers historical background!
Thanks for leaving such a nice comment. I can only agree with you! They excelled at the tactical level, and if you go the Franco-Prussian War which was the real stress test of the Prussian General-Staff system, you'll see how they also outshone their opponents on the strategic level. I'm sure Clausewitz would have been pleased to see the fruits of what he planted, it became more than an idea, it really became the backbone of Prussian for a range of generations, and I'm sure Bismarck would not have been able to unite German when he did, if he hadn't had this well constructed "engine" to rely on. It's a real shame that Otto got sacked by Wilhelm. He was one of the few characters that could have set Europe on a better course in 1900-1913.Delete
Great insights on German doctrine from both of you!Delete
Lovely painting as always of some superb sculpts (once again). Great find on the book as well:)ReplyDelete
Cheers Steve, thanks for dropping by with such a nice comment! The book was a real find, and has contributed greatly to the ideas that have come up, during the work on our Company level ruleset. Hope to share more later this year :0)Delete
Great stuff Soren, you have captured the look of those Germans perfectly with your colour choices!ReplyDelete
Thank you very much Chris, the Feldgrau is really quite an enigma - happy you find that I've unlocked it's code :0)Delete
I hadn't considered including colours - good call :-)ReplyDelete
Ahh, thanks Stephen - actually me neither, the idea came up when Mutton Chops added this new command blister to the range. It's fully supported by photos of the period, so they actually did charge "old school" with colors flying... right into the hailstorm :0)Delete
Stunning paint work Sören, love the basing !ReplyDelete
Cheers mate - rounded edges on the 50x50mm bases, with thanks to our friends at Warbases!Delete
Fantastic painting Sören! This force is coming together very nicely indeed. Interesting bit of background as well.ReplyDelete
Cheers Jonas, yes if I keep with my current painting schedule I'll have this collection plus the 15mm Ostfront ready for action as gaming picks up after the summer holidays.Delete
Those looks excellent! I really like the multi basing!ReplyDelete
Thanks Christopher, appreciate it - this idea of having the company commander on a separate base plays together with the rules we're currently developing. German officers will generate more command points, but thus also be more critical to loose.Delete
Outstanding brushwork, Soren! You make every model come to live with your beautiful highlighting.ReplyDelete
As for me, I have my own assault planned on the morrow; Machu Picchu!
Now that sounds exciting - What scale and manufacturer will you be going with???Delete
No new wargaming period, Soren. I am in Machu Picchu, Peru NOW enjoying full scale experience.Delete
You lucky devil, that totally flew over my head :0) Amazing and majestic place judging from what Google images offers. Enjoy, and please share some good pics on the blog when you're back home. Safe travels!Delete
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