Monday, 13 July 2009
Princesa Regiment - 2nd Battalion
This is the companion second battalion of the line regiment I posted about a few weeks ago. The figures are largely the same and the only distinction between the two battalions is the flag, which for this second battalion is less ornate. I like the parade ground look of these figures. The battalion that I am currently finishing off is a really battered unit in mud splattered greatcoats and a mix of headgear. Perhaps I should have painted these "at attention" figures as Guardsmen...
I apologise for the lack of decents posts recently - work has taken over again. I have yet to post pictures and a report of the large game I had with the Perries a couple of weeks ago. The reason is that I want to post some more FCW troops first, which should help identify the various figures in the game. To set the game itself in context, I'll use this post to sketch the Royal Expedition of May 1837, which provided the basis for the scenario we played.
Carlist strength was particularly strong in the northern provinces. In 1835 the Carlists developed a strategy of launching columns from their Basque heartlands into the Spanish interior in an attempt to rally supporters to Don Carlos' cause and find new recruits. These columns were very mobile but relatively small. They could tie up Isabelino forces and fight small-scale actions, but lacked the numbers to engage their enemies in strength. Nonetheless, these "expeditions" were successful in bringing the war into the southern areas of Spain and drawing pressure away from the other Carlist armies in the north and east. One of the last, and certainly the most dramatic, Carlist expedition was the "Royal Expedition" of 1837.
The Royal Expedition seems to have been prompted by an overture by the Queen Regent that an end to the conflict could be brought about by a marriage of Queen Isabel to Don Carlos' eldest son. Carlist fortunes were riding high at this time, as an Isabelino force and the British Legion had suffered a bad defeat at Oriamendi in March. Don Carlos began a march from the north down to Madrid to meet the Regent and discuss this proposal, taking with him an army of some 12,000 men under the command of his 26-year old step-nephew Don Sebastian. The expedition reach Madrid in September, after engaging Isabelino forces at several points on the way. However, by the time Don Carlos arrived for his audience with the Regent, the Isabelinos had changed their minds about coming to terms and Don Carlos was refused entry. Wary of being intercepted by the main Isabelino armies, which had been ordered to hurry to Madrid's aid, the Carlists did not attempt to take the city but turned around and moved through the Castile region to link up with reinforcements. The Carlists were pursued by Isabelino forces under General Espartero. The Carlists were finally halted at the battle of Aranzueque, which prodiuced a notable Isabelino victory and forced the Carlists into full retreat. What had begun as a victory march on Spain's capital had ended as an embarrassing defeat. Our game was set in the latter stages of the expedition, with Don Carlos fleeing the pursuing liberal forces and trying to save himself and his army from capture.
I'll post a couple more units over the next few days to clear the backlog (I'm still only posting pics of stuff I painted in May!) and then hopefully will have a report of the game some stage early next week. Lots more ECW coming up too.
20 figures. Painted May 2009. Flag by Adolfo Ramos (via North Star).