227 : Half a Brigade of Grenadiers

After reading John Gill’s new book (see the previous post), my immediate thought was that I needed to get more Austrian grenadiers painted up. The Grenadier Reserve featured heavily in the Battle of Znaim and in the actions leading up to it. I was itching to see some of that on the tabletop.

I only had one base of Hungarian grenadiers completed (see Post 128), painted as grenadiers of Benjowsky Infantry Regiment No. 31 with emperor yellow facings. At Essling, they were part of an improvised brigade of grenadiers that Archduke Charles ordered to assist in the attack on the Great Garden and Granary. This ‘improvised brigade’ was, in fact, an on-the-spot grouping of two battalions from one brigade and two battalions from two other grenadier brigades – two Austrian and two Hungarian battalions.

I didn’t have any Austrian grenadiers painted and I certainly wanted to see what the Pendraken Austrian grenadiers looked like painted up. I set myself the task of completing one battalion of Austrian and one battalion of Hungarian grenadiers. That would provide half of a brigade on the way to completing a full brigade. But which brigade? Which facing colours?

As I mentioned back in Post 128, my battalions of 12 grenadiers would have the facing colours of just two rather than their actual three regiments. This, of course, had the advantage of restricting one base of figures to one facing colour, meaning also that the based miniatures could, potentially, be more useful for other games with a different ratio of figure to men. However, what with the Habsburg command moving and mixing units about before and after Wagram and producing improvised brigades here and there, matching the facing colours within battalions seemed much more important than making sure that my first two battalions were in the same brigade at any one time.

As a result, I finished off the Hungarian battalion as the Scharlach battalion by matching the IR31 grenadiers with yellow-facings with a base of IR51 grenadiers with dark blue facings. My Austrian grenadier battalion choice was heavily influenced by two of the line infantry regiments that I had painted up. They were painted as the Portner battalion with the facing colours of IR44 and IR46, madder red and dark blue.

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