Sunday, 7 March 2010
Von Mirbach Musketeer Regiment
Major-General Werner von Mirbach's regiment was in the first wave of Hessian troops to arrive in America and its experience followed the template for regiments in Howe's northern theatre army: Long Island, White Plains, Brandywine, Germantown, Fort Mercer, Monmouth and then garrison duty in New York. This list, however, illustrates how presence on a battlefield does not necessarily reflect active engagement. In his seminal work "The Hessians", Rodney Atwood uses von Mirbach's regiment as an example of how most Hessian regiments did very little fighting - apparently the regiment only saw action for the 40 minutes of the attack on Fort Mercer (in which it lost its colonel and 95 other soldiers dead and wounded). In other battles the regiment was a spectator, and this experience was common among the Hessian regiments in America. There were exceptions of course, notably the jaeger and grenadier battalions, and the Von Bose musketeers in the southern campaigns.
But many Hessian regiments appear in scenario orbats and so they need to be modelled, even if on the tabletop the Hessians often appear late in the day and add little to the British side. In the various "British Grenadier!" scenarios Von Mirbach are present at Long Island, Brandywine and Germantown, all in units of 24 figures. I recall commanding Stirn's Hessian brigade in the Knyphausen sector of Brandywine at the large National Army Museum game a few years ago - the brigade didn't arrive until the second day of play and by the time I moved them across the river the Americans were already well into their withdrawal.
I've already painted the Perry Miniatures marching and charging Hessian musketeers, so the firing figures were next on the list. I confess that I found these tricky to paint. Some of the faces lacked a bit of definition and the poses make it tricky to reach some of the torso areas. I corrected a couple of things I didn't do properly when I painted the Von Mirbach grenadier company for Von Linsing's battalion - here, the officers' lace is silver and I added white piping around the cuff buttons. The hat pompoms are red, although I have seen others paint them dark blue.
24 figures. Painted January-February 2010. Flags by GMB.