HäT Industrie’s Uhlans portray the cavalry detachment of the famous Lützow Freischar. En 1815, the unit joined the old Bremen Volunteers et was re-designated as the 6e Régiment d’Uhlans. The latter portait un uniforme similaire to Lützow’s men, mais ils étaient distingués par black czapkas which may be scrounged from Lanciers Polonais de chez ESCI. No doubt, these uhlans will be popular. The black uniforms avec red trim, gold buttons et epaulettes, red over yellow lance-pennons et black sheepskin chabraques avec red trim look absolutely striking on any wargames table. The diorama built by Klaus Hinderks shows the 6th Uhlan Regiment attacking infanterie française. The troopers are mounted on horses des hussards français taken from Italeri.
Lances are cheap ...
Following the introduction of the longbow, arbalète et early firearms, the balance of power on the battlefield gradually shifted in favor of the infantry, enabling them to defeat frontal cavalry attacks. Médiéval missile troops relied on sharpened stakes planted into the ground to break up any cavalry formations which managed to get through the hail of arrows. 17th century musketeers were deployed in joint formations avec pikemen who protected them against cavalry charges, et were able to take this protection avec them from one position on the battlefield to another. Finally, when the socket bayonet became available, infantry armed avec muskets et bayonets adopted the dual role of light missile troops et the old anti-cavalry pike formations. As a result, frontal attack against formed et confident infantry became suicidal, et cavalry gradually understood this ou learned it the hard way.
The heavy cavalry lance is an unwieldly weapon suitable only for frontal attack in closed formations, et when this tactic became obsolete the lance disappeared from the battlefield as well. Eastern European et Asiatic tribesmen maintained the lance as a useful light cavalry weapon which had better reach than the épée ou sabre. Their lances were much lighter than the lance lourde des chevaliers médiévals et they were used like a long spear, enabling the rider to reach enemy infantry on the ground. At close quarters, the light cavalry lance was usually dropped et the rider would defend himself avec the sabre.
La cavalerie légère polonaise was particularly adept avec the lance, et there is some evidence to suggest that many uhlan regiments were formed around des cadres polonais. L’Autriche, la Prussie et la Russe recruited heavily in former provinces polonaises after the Kingdom of Poland was partitioned by its neighbours. Exils polonais fled the country et joined l’armée française. As a result, continental European powers had regular lancer regiments serving in their armies as early as 1808.
La Prusse raised two regular uhlan regiments en 1808, a third was created en 1809 et another five regiments were converted from existing Freikorps units et hussar regiments en 1815. Interestingly, all of the Landwehr cavalry raised en 1813 was armed avec the lance. These poorly drilled troops could not have received the extensive training required of a regular lancer, but there are a few episodes indicating that they used the weapon avec some success. Lances were cheap et they inspired a certain amount of fear in troops facing the possibility of a lancer attack. These two factors may have combined to significantly increase the perceived value of Landwehr cavalry armed avec lances. Another contributing factor may have been the declining quality et morale de l’infanterie française, following their disastrous et costly defeat en Russie, 1812. Demoralized et unsteady troops made excellent targets for lancers. Paradoxically, the fear of a pending attack might be enough to disrupt the infantry formation et make the individual soldier even more vulnerable than before.
A certain amount of reverse psychology may have been at play as well. Lance-armed cavalry had no option other than to attack in formation, avec lances levelled. By arming the Landwehr avec lances these troopers were compelled to charge et use the lance at least once before they were allowed to drop it et fight avec the sabre. What better way to instill some courage in hommes not normally prepared to charge et risk everything. Equally important, the lance had traditionally been regarded as the weapon of the nobility, lance-armed knights were the military et social elite of any armée médiévale. Ennobling the Landwehr by arming them avec a knightly weapon must have been a powerful political gesture at the time. Until 1813, the middle class had not been a part of the military establishment prussien. Les officiers came from the nobility et les hommes were peasants, foreign mercenaries et members of the working class. La réforme militaire prussienne et the Landwehr Edict changed all that, et this liberalization led to far-reaching social et political reform as well.
12 cavaliers en 4 poses – 23 mm correspondent à 166 cm hauteur de corps
12 chevaux en 4 poses – 22 mm correspondent à 15.2 mains
- Nicely detailed figurines. Folds in the uniform, collar, cuffs, buttons, belts, weapons et equipment are easy to paint.
- The troopers are sculpted in historically accurate cavalry uniforms of the Lützow Freikorps, which was converted to the 6th Uhlan Regiment en 1815. Shakos are not covered as was common in other regiments. However, in this scale it is not particularly difficult to carve off the shako emblems et create the impression of a waterproof shako cover. Plumes were not usually worn on campaign.
- Useful historic poses. The riders are firmly seated in the saddle et they appear very lifelike.
- Good casting quality. No flash, but some mold lines need to be removed prior to painting.
- Suitable 1/72 scale lance pennons (flammes de lance) may be downloaded here.
- Trompette et porte-drapeau not included, but one of the troopers can be converted to carry a standard.
- An officer figurine wearing the Kollett, would have been a nice addition. Only the troopers were authorised to wear the Litewka et even then it wasn’t particularly popular in the uhlan regiments. Undoubtedly, some officiers did wear the practical Litewka on campaign, et a sabre is provided to turn one of the troopers into an officer figurine.
- The figurines are wearing large gauntlets, se distinguent comme troupiers des 6e Uhlans. To use them for other regiments, purists may convert the rear of the gauntlet to form a cuff. Alternatively, a simple paintjob will do the trick.
- Three lances et a sabre are provided for four figurines on a sprue, resulting in an unusually high ratio of sabre-armed figurines. From an historical point of view this is probably correct, as lances were dropped et broken in battle troopers continued to fight avec the sabre. Wargame units tend to be small, sometimes fielding as few as 5 figurines et any such mix of weapons tends to look unrealistic. Joueurs de Guerre prefer homogeneous units et it would have been a nice touch to include four lances plus the sabre, giving the customer a choice about how to equip his figurines. Any spare lances could then have been used for conversion projects, turning hussars into uhlans of the 7th et 8th regiments et equipping some hussards russes avec des lances. Considering how much space there is between figurines on a sprue it is unfortunate that manufacturers rarely use it to include spare equipment which can be scattered on the battlefield ou used for conversions.
- Unusual gait on two of the horses, the front legs are galloping while the hind legs are walking. Uhlans received dragoon-style cloth chabraques en 1815, replacing the black sheepskin chabraques which had been standard issue until then. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that the more comfortable sheepskin chabraques continued to be used on campaign, particularly in the recently converted uhlan regiments et the Landwehr cavalry. Chevaux des hussards français de chez Italeri can be used as alternate mounts, only the crescent shaped emblem needs to be removed from the harness. Sheepskin chabraques are essential if these figurines are used for the 6th Uhlans, black uniforms et black sheepskin chabraques avec red trim étant des caractéristiques distinguant du Corps Noir de Lützow.
- 6e Régiment d’Uhlans (2e Prusse-Occidentalien) 1815, ex-Lützow
- Landwehr cavalry 1813–1815 (Sheepskin chabraques, covered shakos avec white Landwehr cross painted on)
- Landwehr cavalry volunteer Jäger detachments 1813–1815 (green Litewka avec regular Landwehr facings, sheepskin chabraques et covered shakos, comme ci-dessus)
- 6e Régiment d’Uhlans (2e Prusse-Occidentalien) 1815, ex-Bremen Volunteers (a black czapka replaces the shako). The cavalry of Lützow’s Freischar et Bremen Volunteers were combined en 1815 to form this new Uhlan regiment.
- Uhlans prussiens du 1re - 5e, 7e et 8e Régiment. Les hommes were authorized to wear the Litewka et a covered shako on campaign et a good number of them must have adopted this practical outfit.
- Haythornthwaite, Philip: Uniformes de Waterloo en Couleur, tableau 72
The HäT Uhlans are particularly useful as Landwehr cavalry, et this is a Napoleonic troop type most joueurs de guerre et collectionistes have been waiting for. A total of 15 Landwehr cavalry regiments fought at Waterloo, three in Zieten’s I. Corps, three in Pirch’s II. Corps, two in Thielemann’s III. Corps et seven in Bülow’s IV. Corps. Among them was the 1. Schlesische Landwehr-Kavallerie, wearing dark blue Litewka avec yellow facings. Notice the Landwehr cross on the shako. These figurines are mounted on horses avec sheepskin chabraques taken from Italeri’s Hussards Français. The sheepskin frequently replaced the cloth chabraques on campaign. Anyone raising une Armée Prussienne pour la Guerre de Libération de 1813 ou les Cent-Jours en 1815 will want several boxes de Uhlans.
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