Cyanometry – that’s a measure of the ‘blueness’ of the sky. At times, whilst painting this regiment, I wished I could have applied cyanometry’s ‘Linke Scale’ to those Prussian dragoon litewka coats. I’ve been agonising about getting the shade right ever since I started them. The staggering variety in shades of blue was complicated further by the sheer variety of blues depicted in other images. Research suggested that supply issues meant a considerable variation in the shade of blue actually used. My Greek friend Andreas reassuringly informs me that mine seem ‘about right’, aiming to be similar to Bavarian infantry blue. But, when I applied the varnish, my barely ‘about right’ shade maybe darkened a little…
Enough! I’m sticking with my blue now and that’s all there is to it! … To recap: the figures are Italeri’s apparently unloved “Prussian Light Cavalry” set. The horses that came with this set were so unlovable that I substituted them for Italeri’s Prussian Cuirassier horses instead. As a conversion, I added a few clay-modelled accoutrements to make them look a “bit” more like dragoon mounts.
The final result? I think the figures themselves, aside from some anatomical flaws, have real character and I’m quite pleased with them. They’re a nice contrast in both colour and style to the other regiments that have been tackled up to now.
The modest conversion process also provided a different challenge, especially my mounted jager figure:
Biography: Nr 5 Brandenburgisches Dragoner-Regiment (Prinz Wilhelm)
The regiment was reformed after 1806 into the Brandenburg Dragoon Regiment Nr. 5 on the 16th of October, 1807. Comprising squadrons of the former 5th Cuirassiers and of the 1st Prince William Dragoons.
In 1812, they were sent to Russia as part of the Prussian contingent compelled by Napoleon to accompany the Grande Armee on his invasion of Russia. The regiment saw few major encounters during the 1812 campaign and losses amounted to 35.
The following year, as the Coalition embarked on the Leipzig campaign against France, the regiment saw much more fighting. As part of the 1st Brigade, III Corps Reserve Cavalry, it was part of Swedish King Bernadotte’s Army of the North, fighting at Gröss Gorschen, Borna and Bautzen. The regiment was heavily involved at Dennewitz where the French were defeated. It is credited with riding over numerous French and Württemberg squares, a French battery (capturing four guns), and routing a Polish Uhlan regiment, securing flags and wagons along the way. As Napoleon was eventually forced to retreat to Paris, the 5th Dragoons were present at Oudenarde, Antwerp, Soisson and Laon.
1815 saw the regiment in the 1st Cavalry Brigade of 1st Army Corps, fighting in Belgium and France. Having been involved in the Prussian defeat at Ligny, the brigade as a whole was only at 2/3rds strength. When 1st Brigade joined the fight at Waterloo late on in the day, only the 5th Dragoons charged, routing disorganised French battalions in the final minutes of the battle. In the aftermath of Waterloo, a final minor action at Villers-Cotterets saw the regiment catch the fleeing French and capture artillery and munitions.
Notable battles: Dennewitz, Laon, Villers-Cotterets, Waterloo