Repnin's Grenadiers in a desperate fight against the
well disciplined Swedish attackers. Models and flag from Warfare Miniatures.
Work continues on our club project for the Battle of Holowzcyn and the Great Northern War. This week’s output from the painting desk is a key Russian infantry unit, Repnin’s Grenadiers, participating in both Holowzcyn and the more famous Battle of Poltava. For those of you in possession of Osprey’s great book on Poltava, info on both Holowzcyn and this unit can be found in that volume.
The Uniform plate from which I took inspiration.
The unit is built using models from Warfare Miniature’s coming Great Northern War Russian range. These have not yet been released, but since we’re doing a rather large club project on Holowzcyn for the coming Lincon Gaming Convention, May 14-17th here in Sweden, Barry Hilton from Warfare Miniatures was kind enough to sell us a few spins from his master moulds.
The mounted officer is trying to induce discipline into the line of grenadiers,
as they face a fierce "Gå På" doctrine charge by the Swedes.
Prince Repnin is an interesting character, and worth a few lines in his own right.
Anikita Repnin (Аникита Иванович Репнин) was born into a Russian noble family, and his friendship with Pater I would result in a career trajectory taking him to the rank of field marshal and in receival of a prince title.
Prince Anikita Repnin - 1668 to 1726.
At the age of 16 Repnin came in contact with Peter for the first time, as he was assigned to the only eleven years old future Tsar as his footman. Peter enjoyed Repnin’s company, and two years later, promoted Repnin to “Officer of the Playbuddy Battalion”.
The Streltsy - a conservative force in the face of Peter I's many innovations.
During the Streltsy Revolt in 1689, which was a reaction from the conservative forces against Peter’s many innovations to “westernize” Russia, Repnin was by Peter’s side as they took refuge in the Trotsky Convent. At this pint a strong friendship had developed, and after they both took part in the campaign against Azov, Peter promoted Repnin to the rank of General.
Executions at the Red Square during the Streltsy Revolt in 1689.
With the outbreak of the Great Northern War, Repnin was sent to the Baltics with 19 infantry regiments to honor the alliance with Poland-Saxony and August II. Repnin’s forces participated in the battle of Düna (Daugava), in which the Russian troops fought like lions, but were next to annihilated because they refused to surrender.
In his effort to reduce the Streltsy Revolt,
Tsar Peter took to refined methods of torture and mass executions.
After Düna, Repnin even took part in the battles of Nöteborg, Nyenskans and Narva, but it was in 1708 at Holowzcyn where his soldier-luck would run out. The overwhelming routing of his troops and his failure to stem the Swedish tide during the battle had enrage the Tsar. Peter court marshalled Repnin, and stripped him of all titles, demoting him to the rank of private in the army.
The Battle of Düna in 1701.
The Russian force was next to annihilated as they refused to surrender.
The loyal Repnin took this standing up, and actually fought as a private in the subsequent Battle of Lesnaya in 1708. His colleague, General Golitsin, appealed to the Tsar, highlighting Repnin for promotion and the Tsar’s forgiveness. Peter eventually gave in, and reinstated Repnin with all his titles.
The order of Saint Andrew.
During the Battle of Poltava the following year, Repnin commanded the Russian center with excellence, and was awarded the Order of Saint Andrew. In 1726, after Russia’s main enemy for Baltic domination, Sweden, had been effectively beaten, Repnin died in the conquered town of Riga, having been promoted to Field Marshal the year before.
Thank you very much for reading!