Thursday, 1 February 2007

1st Grenadier Battalion

The British army formed composite battalions from the grenadier companies of various line regiments. Such units were of "elite" grade as they consisted of some of the best troops in the army. Two such grenadier battalions served in the AWI. I call this the first simply because it is the first one I have finished. That said, it is not quite finished as eventually I will add 8 more figures to bring it up to a total of 32. The Monmouth scenario for "British Grenadier" calls for two grenadier battlions with 32 figures each. Brigaded together under Cornwallis, those units combined would have made a terrifyingly efficient opponent. Other scenarios require battalions of 20-24 figures.

I painted this battalion quite early in my AWI career without much attention to the facings. I simply picked facings that I liked rather than trying to work out which regiments would historically have contributed troops, athough the regiments that fought at Bunker Hill are mostly represented here (such as the buff-faced 52nd Foot on the extreme left of the line), since the unit was painted primarily for that scenario. The command figures were painted with blue facings on the basis that they are formed from the most senior regiment in the unit, which would probably have had the royal facings. I will adopt a far more methodical approach for the second battalion, which will be in a "charging" pose as opposed to the "marching" pose shown here. These figures are a mix of Foundry and Perry. The Foundry figures have backpacks and longer coats, whilst the Perry figures have cut-down coats. Painted at various times in 2004. 24 figures.


Grand Duchy of Stollen 1768 said...

Frightening looking grenadiers there! Did these battalions carry any kind of standards or marker flags on campaign?

Best Regards,

Stokes Schwartz

Anonymous said...


No, no flags of any sort. The Monmouth Historical Society used to have one on display that they said was captured from the 2nd Grenadiers at Monmouth Courthouse, but even they have now stopped claiming this (I think it's been identified recently as beign from a PA Continental unit).

Anonymous said...


Correct on the senior regiment having blue facings, as it would have been the 4th Foot (at least until 1778/9 when they went to the W Indies).

The number of grenadier battalions varied from one (1775, 1782-3), through 2 (late 1775, 1777-1781) to 4 (1776). The number of companies usually varied from 10 to 15, but the 3rd and 4th battalions in 1776 had 7 and 3 (one was the double-size 42nd company) respectively. I can find you the make-up of any battalion at any period of the war if you want to vary the facings within a unit. At full strength, the 1st and 2nd (c.1777-8) would have had 12 companies each, around 750 all ranks EACH. As you rightly said, formidable opponents.