Thursday, July 28, 2011

92nd Gordon Highlanders

The 92nd, Gordon Highlanders, are unarguably one of the finest units the British Army has had during its many years of armed conflict around the globe. The 92nd was formed from out of the 75th, which entered service in 1787 and was official reorganized as the 92nd in 1794. Standing at the forefront of many campaigns it survives in the current age as the amalgamated Highland Battalion of the British Army. Not only did they fought nobly in the Napoleonic Wars, the 92nd then spent long term service in India, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Africa and other famous campaigns. They were the strong arm of Queen Victoria and earned that right through their courage and strength of arms.
Command Section

In 1810 after only twenty years of service, the 92nd Gordon Highlanders joined Wellington in Lisbon, Portugal in an effort to drive the victorious French legions back to their homeland. In 1812 this push became a reality and the 92nd fought spectacularly. They added six battle honors to their colors in a very short while, a testament to the ferocity of the fighting.
Stand Fast

When the Emperor of France returned, so too did the 92nd return to the front from their recuperation at home. It was reported that at an Officer’s ball in June, four Sergeants entertained guests by dancing highland reels. The very next day they saw action at Quatre Bras where one of the Sergeants was killed and almost half the battalion was wiped from muster due to casualties sustained.
Perry Miniature back left

It was on the field of Waterloo however that the 92nd earned even further fame and everlasting glory. They were originally placed in reserve behind the Netherlands Brigade, the Dutch contingent to the Allies. As French columns pressed into them, the Netherland troops began to fall back. It was here across the din of battle the Highlanders heard their commander shout"92nd you must charge, for all the troops to your right and left have given way.” And with that, the 92nd further sealed their march of glory.

92nd, you must charge!

The sound of hoof beats was soon heard as British cavalry joined the charge. With their distinctive bearskin caps, the 92nd soon realized that the men next to them were of the Scots Greys, fellow countrymen. With a resounding cry of “Scotland Forever,” the units merged to one as highlanders held on to the Grey’s saddles and straps to be propelled forward smashing into the French with terrible shrieks.
You can follow their route by the blood they left
Lone French Line Fusilier prepares to meet the Highlanders

But the work of the Highlanders was far from over. Their Brigade commander reportedly exclaimed “You have saved the day Highlanders, but you must return to your former position, there is more work to be done.” In another five hours of fighting the 92nd formed into squares and repealed wave after wave of French cavalry. The French broke upon the bayonets of the 92nd and other British battalions for hours, eventually melting away to the screams of the dead and dying.

As the Prussians began arriving on the field the whole of Wellington’s Army was ordered forward with the 92nd bravely leading the way.
Scotland Forever!

The 92nd Highlanders had one of the most illustrious careers in the British Army. They marched in India for over 41 years throughout their rotations standing on the tip of the Northwest Passage. They stormed Khandahar in Afghanistan to the shrill of their bagpipes. They routed the Mahdists in the Sudan in blinding sandstorms. And they were pressed into hard action in both World War One and Two.  Their motto is the galic term “Bydand,” which means “Steadfast.” And this has been hard won throughout the ages.
The models seen here are mostly Victrix and built as they came. A box of 6 metal Perry Highlanders fill in some gaps, notably in the rear ranks.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Fourth Regiment, Waterloo

The King's Own Regiment at Waterloo

The Fourth Regiment of the British Army was formed July 13th, 1680. In 1715 the Regiment received the distinctive title, “The King's Own Regiment of Foot.” Its service extended from its founding all the way through to the 1950s. Along this path, the Fourth collected an impressive service record including Culloden, Bunker Hill and in the Napoleonic wars, illustrious campaigns in the Peninsula, such as Badajoz and Salamanca. They are depicted here as they would have appeared later on 18 June, 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.

The King’s Own Regiment arrived on the Waterloo battlefield with reported deplorable equipment despite their high spirits. They had been on their way to the Americas when ordered to turn around to face the return of France’s Emperor Napoleon. There was no time to refit and repair broken gear. Veteran troops such as the 4th were highly sought after by Wellington in the planning and organizing Britain’s finest defense.

Colonel Brook

During the battle they fell beneath the higher organization of the 10th Brigade under Sir John Lambert. The 4th Regiment played a supporting role early in the battle, located behind the British main lines near the infamous Sir Thomas Picton’s Division. After Picton’s death, the 4th moved into the British front lines around 3 o’clock. At this time they came under fire from French Light Infantry or “Voltigeurs,” springing from the newly captured La Haye Sainte Farm. They remained under the French guns exchanging fire for the rest of the battle.

Voltigeurs move forward
The Fourth responds to French Fire

After the French Old Guard was repulsed following their 7 p.m. attack, the King’s Own charged alongside the remnants of Wellington’s and Blucher’s newly fielded armies in their steady advance. With banners waving  in the wind, the 4th advanced over the broken French army and pressed home the allies attack. Casualties of the Fourth Regiment at the Battle of Waterloo were recorded officially as 10 officers, 114 men killed and wounded, no small skirmish. Yet the victory gained has gone down in history as one of the finest.

The Fourth is depicted here in a two file battle line opening up on the French. I have chosen to show them in covered Belgic shakos. The models themselves are mostly Perry Bros. Miniatures from Perry’s “British Line Infantry box set.” This is a great set that was constructed pretty much as it came.  Some firing arms also come from Victrix Plastics; Waterloo British Infantry Centre Companies which fit almost interchangeably with the Perrys.

The banners were drawn off of a Victrix rule sheet provided in their boxed set. As with most of my colors, I have scaled it to the right size and painted over to match the colors with the models. 

Stand Fast Fourth

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