Monday, December 17, 2007

Prussian Brigade Organization

The Grand Review of the Prussian army has caused me to give more thought to a more permanent organization for the army, with regiments designated to a specific brigade that is commanded by the same general in each battle. This will give each brigade its own unique identity and over the course of time on the tabletop, it can develop its own unique history and traditions. With respect to conducting wargames, if a particular scenario only requires two infantry brigades, then I will already have the brigades packed away in their own boxes and I can pull the brigades that I need from the storage shelves without having to spend time sorting the regiments out for the upcoming game.

The brigades will be loosely divided into infantry battalions from the same manufacturer. Thus all of my Potsdam figures will be in one brigade, all of the RSM/Minden Miniatures will be in one brigade (since they are similar in size), all of the Elite Miniatures will be in one brigade, and all of the Surens/Stadden, "The Old School Brigade" will be in one brigade. The Headquarters establishment will be comprised of (1) the Guards Brigade (Surens and Staddens) which, in turn, will be augmented by a smaller detachment of pioneers and jager zu fuss; and (2) Colonel Moller's artillery reserve. I list both Brummers and 12 pound field guns in the reserve, with the 18 crew serving one or the other type of gun, depending on what I choose to use in my order of battle for a particular game day. I am contemplating adding a battalion of Potsdam Langen Kerls decked out in blue coats, and red breeches and waist coats. This is more or less a fictional unit that I may, or may not, add to my collection after I take care of the other elements in the OOB.

My proposed organization begins with King Freidrich II as the overall army commander. Reporting to the King are Colonel Moller's artillery battalion, the Guards Brigade, von Seydlitz as the overall cavalry commander, and two infantry wings (consisting of two brigades each) commanded by Prinz Moritz and the Duke of Bevern.

I find that writing all of this down on paper or journal gives one a better sense of what is needed to complete the order of battle. The one thing that really stands out to me is the fact that I need to start working on command stands for the infantry brigadiers and the wing commanders. The cavalry generals are all pretty much set on their new 2" diameter round bases. Over time, I will also substitute my older Elite Miniatures French cannon with proper Berlin Zinfiguren SYW Prussian cannon.

Headquarters - Koenig Friedrich II

Guards Brigade - von Saldern
IR6 Grenadier Garde Regiment (Surens) - 60 figures
IR15/III Third Battalion of Guards (Staddens) - 60 figures
Potsdamer Riesengarde (forming - Staddens) - 60 figures
Jager zu Fuss Battalion (Perry) - 48 figures
Pioneers (forming - TBD) - 48 figures

7 pound howitzer with 5 crew

Artillery Reserve - Colonel Moller
3 by 12-pound field artillery with 18 crew (Foundry)
3 by 12-pound Brummers with 18 crew (Foundry)

Left Wing - Prinz Moritz von Anhalt-Dessau

Manteufel's Brigade
IR34 Prinz Ferdinand (Minden) - 60 figures
IR35 Prinz Heinrich Fusiliers (RSM) - 60 figures
IR42 Margraf Friedrich Fusiliers (RSM) - 60 figures
IR49 Diericke Fusiliers (forming - Minden Miniatures) - 60 figures

7-pound howitzer - 1 howitzer and 5 crew

Hulsen's Brigade
IR5 Alt-Braunschweig (Potsdam) - 60 figures
IR18 Prinz von Preussen (Potsdam) - 60 figures (work in process)
IR20 Bornstedt (Potsdam) - 60 figures
Alt-Billerbeck (5/20) Grenadier Btns (Potsdam) - 60 figures

2 by 6-pd regimental guns - 8 crew

Right Wing - The Duke of Bevern

von Manstein's Brigade
IR19 Margraf Karl (Elite Miniatures) - 60 figures
IR25 Kalckstein (Elite Miniatures) - 60 figures
(19/25) Heyden Grenadier Btn (Elite Mins.) - 60 figures
IR27 Meyerinck (forming - Elite Miniatures) - 60 figures

2 by 6-pd regimental guns - 8 crew

von Oldenburg's Brigade
IR7 Bevern (Stadden) - 60 figures
IR12 Alt Darmstadt (Stadden) - 60 figures
IR13 Itzenplitz (Stadden) - 60 figures
IR24 Schwerin (Suren) - 60 figures

2 by 6-pd regimental guns - 8 crew

Cavalry Wing - Lt. General von Seydlitz

Heavy Brigade - von Schonaich
CR2 Prinz von Preussen cuirassiers (Elite Min.) - 60 figures
CR8 von Seydlitz cuirassiers (Surens) - 60 figures
CR13 Garde du Corps (Elite Miniatures) - 36 figures

Light Brigade - von Zieten
DR2 Jung Krakow Dragoons (Surens) - 36 figures
DR5 Bayreuth Dragoons (forming - Surens) - 36 figures
HR2 von Zieten "Blue" Hussars (Staddens) - 12 figures
HR5 von Reusch "Black" Hussars - 36 figures (plus 12 more forming)

2 by 6-pound horse artillery battery with 10 crew (Hinchcliffe)


  1. I must really organise my , albeit smaller forces , over this winter quarters period of the year. Photo super too!

  2. I dont know why I came up anonymous- this is rather odd!

  3. Impressive. I've chosen to not have permanent brigades for my Saxe-Bearstein troops; but your plan is a good and impressive one.

    -- Jeff

  4. Wow, that picture really turned out nicely. I posted this from The Other Place today and I couldn't see the picture that I attached until I arrived at Schloss Seewald this evening. Hmm, after looking at those lads, I may just have to go ahead and paint a unit of them afterall. I'm getting tired of painting those darn bears.

  5. While I don't always comment I am still enjoying your blog enormously. The organisation of your army is most impressive. I have two questions. First, did the Prussians form permanent brigades during the eighteenth century or is it more a Napoleonic system even if you don't use terms like Division and Corps? Second, I see the sense of basing the brigades by manufacturers but does this give a mix of firing, marching, advancing battalions i.e. could you have organised brigades by action e.g. all firing? I've not the least desire for you to change anything - I'm just trying to get behind the thinking process to add to the pleasure of a nother window into what you're doing.
    Do I sense a need for some sort of sense of completion before the Austrians start recruiting?

    Merry Christmas

    Duke of Baylen

  6. In its own way, your OOB is as impressive written as in the 'Grand Review' visual form.

    The 'Potsdam Langen Kerls in blue coats, and red breeches and waist coats' look fine & impressive in 1:1 scale8


  7. The Prussians seemed to have had an "ad hoc" brigade organization during the SYW. By that I mean that there were "brigades" of regiments but I don't think that they were permanent organizations from year to year, unlike Napoleonic or ACW organizations. The brigades became components of "wings" (advance guard, left and right wings, etc.).

    One reason for organizing my army into permanent brigades is that I have now reached the point (with 16 battalions painted) where I can no longer expect to use all of my troops in every battle. If we have a bigger game, usually predicated by having more people show up for the game (or if it is a larger convention or special Big Game event that requires everything) then maybe I can use all the figures.

    Many a time I have had to remove, reorganize battalions for a particular game, depending on the troop points allowed. So it occurred to me that a permanent "modular" organization would enable me to quickly pick and choose regiments for a particular battle. I merely take "Box No. 1 - Hulsen's Brigade" off the shelf and pack it into my car. Then off I go. Everything that I need is right there, prepacked and ready to play.

    Once I resolved to have a permanant brigade, then I had to decide how to divide the battalions and assign them to brigades. That is when I hit on the idea of sorting them by manufacturer. I have enough variety where I can actually do that, as noted in the list.

    All of my Potsdam Miniatures are in the firing line pose, so that brigade will all be firing away. The Staddens/Surens tend to be marching as are all the other figures. I only have 3 battalions of Elite Miniatures, so I realized that I would need one more battalion of these figures to fill out the brigade. So I will either paint up the Meyerinck Regiment, or maybe one of the Double Blue freikorps battalions for more variety.

    Cavalry is an entirely different matter because it takes up so much space. I have 60 Crusader Prussian cuirassiers that I'm reserving for future use, but these lads may never see the painting table, what with all the other Prussian cavalry available. Also, I DO need to paint Austrian cavalry, soon and fast.

    I keep telling myself that I must paint Austrians, but Teddy Bears and more Prussians always seem to get in the way. It's a good thing that Dennis Smail is helping me out, otherwise the Austrians would be in quite a pickle. The lack of troops is the reason why the Austrians have negotiated an armistace with the Prussians - they can't compete with them on the battlefield. At least not yet.

  8. Dera Alte,

    Glad to see the site staying interesting and developing. I love the mix and the inspiration.


  9. The photo's a really nice resource in that the men are just about the same size as a 30mm figure - so they give a good indication of what detail is really noticeable.

    And in my case its pointing out that my decision not to paint the straps around the gaiters was a bad one.

  10. Dear Alte,

    A standardized organization armies makes sense to me also. Thanks for sharing it, and giving some insights into your reasons.

    The local lads and I are working on the French and Indian War with , and a standard organization helps track the history, or tell the story, or the units and officers involved in our table-top campaigning.

    And your storing the figures by brigade is a very seet idea. Even when they stay primarily in one basement, it lets you easily pull out the forces you need, already organized by their command structure and ready for distribution to players and placement on the table. The organizer does the work on the fron end, but then is saved time in all subsequent games.

    By the way, thanks so much for your blog. I've been lurking quite a while, but find it inspirational. It's a place I come for a break from everyday concerns, and a trip to my hobby!


  11. Another very interesting post. I've organised my (much smaller) units into brigades and wings for some time and the Prussian army I have just started is likewise, with two two battalion regiments grouped to give four musketeer and one grenadier battalion per brigade. I store them by brigade too, and it is very convenient. I think you will get more pleasure out of your reviews and parades when the groupings have a meaning and a history - I certainly do.

    Best wishes,