Saturday, 2 March 2013

1st Lancers "Reina Isabella", British Auxiliary Legion

The British Auxiliary Legion raised 2 regiments of lancer cavalry.  The first regiment, named "Queen Isabella" recruited in the south of England, having its headquarters at Kingston-upon-Thames in Middlesex.  Apparently many Poles and Germans joined, who proved to be excellent horsemen.  The second regiment, called the "Queen's Own Irish Lancers" recruited mainly in Cork, Ireland.  The northern provinces of Spain where the BAL was engaged was not really good cavalry country, and the two lancer regiments do not appear to have had many opportunities for classic charges.  In fact, it seems that it took some time after their arrival in Spain in July 1836 for the two regiments to be fully mounted. 

On instance of a decent cavalry action is described by Brett in his "The British Auxiliary Legion in the First Carlist War".  On 1 October the Carlists attached the BAL's lines at San Sebastian, which the Carlists had been besieging for some time.  The Carlist attack began with an artillery bombardment that was particularly accurate as it was being directed by a BAL deserter who had served in the Royal Artillery.  Once the BAL's own guns had conducted some effective counter-battery fire (which managed to kill the BAL deserter in charge of the Carlist guns), the 1st Lancers were ordered to charge the Carlists who were attacking the flank of the BAL's position.  The charge made the Carlists retreat, but they then took position behind their own breastworks, which the cavalry were unable to attack.  The lancers in turn then took heavy casualties from the Carlist guns .  The limitations on cavalry were noted by the journalists attached to the BAL.  The correspondent of the Cork Evening Standard wrote the following day that "cavalry are of no use in this country."  

These figures are from the Perry First Carlist War range.  Save for the absence of csapska  covers, I expect these figures could also be used for the Sikh Wars and perhaps a few other things.  The lance pennants are from Adolfo Ramos.  These are the last Carlist War figures I'll be painting for a while.  I'll be concentrating on the AWI and 1815 for the next few months.

12 figures. Painted September/October 2012. 



Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Dashing and lovely. It's always a pleasure to behold 19th century British lancer units in miniature.

Best Regards,


Silver Whistle said...

Wonderful painting Giles, on both the riders and horses. The historical background is always a nice and interesting touch, with your posts.
Look forward to seeing more of your AWI.

Mericanach said...

Excellent stuff as always, Giles.

Phil said...

Great looking lancers!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Once again fantastic work Giles!


Bluewillow said...

lovely Giles,


David said...

More excellent brushwork, Giles. A pleasure to pop in as always!