Monday, August 1, 2016

Austrian Armeekorps, 1809


Austrian Reserve Corps: Heavy Cavalry and Grenadiers.
See below.

In a kind of blog conversation with Bob Cordery, I promised to look into what an Austrian Army Corps might look like using our respective game systems.  Both of us are exploring ideas for staging large-scale Napoleonic battles on small playing surfaces.

The notion is, of course, not new, as I have described in my posting immediately preceding this one. However, so far as I know, both Bob and I have developed features unique to our respective game systems.  In this posting I shall explore how an Austrian Armeekorps might look under our respective systems.

Austrian Armeekorps.  More anon...
To start with, let us look at the establishment of a couple of Austrian formations.  The first is an Army Corps that fought at the Battle of Abensburg, April, 1809.

VI Armeekorps: 

Feldmarschall-Leutnant (FML) Johann von Hiller

Reserve Artillery: FML Karl von Rouvroy:   3 x 12pr Position Bty (each 6 guns [cannon])
   1 x  6pr Position Bty (6 guns)

1st (Line) Division:

FML Friedrich Kottulinsky
 
 Brigade: General-Major (GM) Otto Hohenfeld)
      IR14 Klebek Infantry (3 Bns)
      IR59 Jordis Infantry (3Bns)
      1 x 6pr Brigade Bty (8 guns)
 
 Brigade: GM Nikolaus Weissenwolf
      IR4 Deutschmeister Infantry (3 Bns)
      IR49  Kerpen Infantry (3 Bns)
      1 x 6pr Brigade Bty (8 guns)
 
 Division Artillery:
      1 x 6pr Position Bty (6 guns)

2nd (Line) Division:

FML Franz Jellacic (Note: Jellacic detached to Munich)
   
Brigade: GM Josef Hoffmeister (Brigade attached to FML Vincent - see below)
      IR31 Benjavsky Infantry (3 Bns - Transylvanian/Hungarian)
      IR51 Splenyi Infantry (3 Bns - Transylvanian/Hungarian)

       1 x 6pr Brigade Bty (8 guns)
   
Brigade: GM Konstantin Ettingshausen (Bde detached at Munich)
      IR32 Esterhazy Infantry (3 Bns - Hungarian)
      IR45 De Vaux Infantry (3 Bns - Italian)

      1 x 6pr Brigade Bty (8 guns)
   
Division Artillery:
      1 x 6pr Position Bty (6 guns)

Light Division (a.k.a. 'Advanced Guard')

FML Karl von Vincent
   Brigade: GM Dollmayer von Provencheres (Bde detached at Munich)
      GzR5 Warasdin-Kreutzer Grenz (2 Bns)
      4th, 5th, 6th Vienna Freiwilliger (3 Bns)
      CLR3 O'Reilly Chevauleger (8 Sqns)
      1 x 3pr Grenzer Bty (8 guns)
      1 x 6pr Horse Bty (6 guns)
   Brigade: GM Arnaud von Nordmann
      GzR6 Warasdiner-St George Grenz (2 Bns)
      CLR6 Rosenberg Chevauleger (8 Sqns)
      HR7 Liechtenstein Hussars (8 sqns)
      1 x 3pr Grenz Bty (8 guns)
      1 x 6pr Horse Bty (6 guns).

Some notes:

1.  You can see that quite a bit of this Corps had been detached prior to the Abensburg action: a Brigade each from 2nd and Light Divisions detached (I suppose) under 2nd Div HQ (Jellacic); and the remaining 2nd Div Bde placed under von Vincent's command.

2.  I have mentioned the Transylvanian/Hungarian regiments specifically as they wore a uniform distinguished from other line infantry by their blue pants.

3. In general the Light Div cavalry were light - chevaulegers, hussars or uhlans - but occasionally a dragoon regiment might be attached.


4. In general grenadiers and cuirassiers were reserved for the aptly named 'Reserve Corps'.  See below.



5.Total establishment strength of VI Armeekorps was about 35,600, of which maybe 20,000 were engaged at Abensburg.

6.  It is probably worth mentioning that this design was Archduke Charles's own, and appears to have been a formal, possibly permanent, arrangement. The other Army Corps were very similarly - almost identically - organised. Despite his wishes, though, exigencies of the campaign led to detachments and attachments that made rather a mess of his tidy system.

Austrian I Reserve Corps under the 'Cordery' system.  The
II Reserve Corps list below would remove 2 Grenadier and
 2 Cuirassier units.  Note that this formation is not over-furnished
with artillery! 

II Reserve Armeekorps

FML Michael Kienmayer

1 Brigade: GM Konstantin Ghilian Karl d'Aspre

   - Puteani Grenadiers (2 coys each from IR14, 45, 59)
   - Brezinczinsky Grenadiers (2 coys each from IR20, 34, 41)
   - Scovand Grenadiers (2 coys each from IR4, 49. 63)
   - Kirchenbetter Grenadiers (2 coys each from IR34, 37, 48 - Hungarian)
   - Scharlach Grenadiers (2 coys each from IR31, 32, 51 - Hungarian)
   1 x 6pr Bde Bty (8 guns)

2 Brigade: GM Andras von Schneller

   - CR1 Kaiser (Franz) Cuirassiers (6 Sqns)
   - CR6 Gottesheim Cuirassiers (6 Sqns)
   1 x 6pr cavalry Bty (6 guns)

3. Brigade: GM Josef von Clary

   - DR4 Levenehr Dragoons (6 Sqns)
   - DR3 Wurttemburg Dragoons (6 Sqns)
   - 1 x 6pr Cavalry Bty (6 guns)

Notes:

1.Overall establishment strength of II Reserve Armeekorps, based on this list, was very close to 8000 all ranks.  However, instead of just the 5 grenadier battalions in II Reserve, I Reserve Corps had as many as 12 - a much more powerful outfit.  Possibly II Reserve had some battalions detached.

2. It appears that the reserve formations were named for the purpose: to reinforce success, or restore a crumbling line, or perhaps as a specially designated masse de rupture against a stretched enemy.

3.  Having discovered something of the real ability of the commander of this formation, one feels that he would have been rather wasted in the role.  Michael Kienmayer had a fine military record, notably as a cavalry commander, and was holder of the Military Order of Maria Theresa (not an easy award to achieve!).  Later in the 1809 campaign, he was appointed an independent command in Saxony/Northern Bohemia, where he organised an XI Armeekorps out of the troops already operating in that area.  Two days after Wagram, he beat General Androche Junot at the Battle of Gefrees, and, with 15,000 troops, by and large outmanoeuvred and forced back more than double his numbers of Saxons and Westphalians sent against him. 

Now, I have included these lists to show where the following come from.  We'll begin with the Bob Cordery system, which I think makes a very good 'fit' for the Austrian orders of battle.   Bob bases his system around a Division sized formation of all arms, infantry regiments comprising 6 figures, cavalry 4, and the Divisional Artillery. 1 cannon with a two-figure crew.  Divisional HQ comprises a mounted general figure.  For reference, here's a link to Bob's article in this topic.

Adapted to an Austrian Army Corps of the 5th Coalition, we might have something like this:

Austrian Army Corps:

   - 1 x Corps Command/HQ element (GoC plus ADC, say)Corps artillery reserve: 
   - 1 x 12pr artillery (2 figs, 1 gun)
1st Division:
   - Division GoC
  - 4 x  Infantry Regiment each with 6 figures (24 figs)
  - 1 x 6pr Brigade artillery (2 figs, 1 cannon)
2nd Division:
   - Div GoC
   - 4 x Infantry Rgt each with 6 figures (24 figs)
   - 1 x 6pr Bde Artillery (2 figs, 1 cannon)
Light Division/Advance guard:
An Austrian Army Corps under Bob Cordery's system:
 Advanced Guard leading two 'Line' Divisions. I see I have
 forgotten the freiwilliger.  No very serious an omission...
   - Div GoC
   - 2 x Grenz Infantry each with 6 figures (12 figs)
   - 1 x Freiwilliger Infantry with 6 figures
   - 2 x Light Cavalry Rgt each with 4 figures (8 figures)
   - 1 x 3pr Grenz OR 1 x 6pr Horse artillery (2 crew, 1 gun)


Notes:

1.  This formation comprises 5 command figures, 66 foot, 8 horse, 8 gunners and 4 cannon.  I admit that seems like a lot of cannon, but the original formation had 96 pieces - 18 x 12pr, 16 x 3pr, and 62 x 6pr. The single gun I currently use is a clear under-representation, even with 4 gunners.

2.  Rule sets like Shako recognise that, Austrian foot and horse unit establishments being quite large, an extra element was added to each in their TOandE.  Instead of 3 elements, Shako Austrian line infantry were given 4 and light cavalry in particular given 3 cavalry elements instead of two. Something similar would not be out of place in the Bob Cordery system.  An alternative organisation would then have 8-figure line infantry units, and 6-figure cavalry.  Irregular, semi-regular and light infantry remain at 6 figures per unit.

Austrian Reserve Corps:

Austrian Reserve Corps under Bob's system.
As I have just the one 12-figure Cuirassier unit, I have
had to eke them out with Dragoons to obtain 4 regiments.
   - Corps Command HQ
   - 4 x Grenadier Infantry each with 6 figures (12 figs)
   - 2-4 x Cuirassier Cavalry each with 4 figures (8 figs)
   - 2 x Dragoon Cavalry each with 4 figures (8 figs)
   - 1 x 6pr Bty (2 crew and 1 gun)

While I believe Bob Cordery's system is an excellent 'fit' for Austrian orders of battle, I am less sanguine about my own.  Ostensibly more flexible, I suddenly find myself with having to make some uncomfortable decisions.  The main reason for this is the eclectic sort of collection I have.  The majority of the army comprises Minifigs figures, but there are Warrior, possible Hinton Hunt (or maybe they are  Freikorps) knock-offs picked up at a bring-and-buy sale, other metal figures even more obscure provenance (though they look like originals) and a few plastics (hussars and grenz).  Wishing to mix types within each formation as little as possible, I have had to made some pretty tall compromises: 

Several years ago, I came up with this:

Austrian Army Napoleonic Wars:

I Corps
   - 3 x Infantry Divisions @ 24 figures;
   - 1 x Jager Brigade @ 12 figures; 
   - 1 x Uhlan Brigade @ 12 figures; 
   - 1 x 6pr gun. 
   (Total 100 figures) [All Minifigs]
II Corps:
   - 2 x Hungarian Infantry Divisions @ 24 figures; 
   - 1 x Hungarian Grenadier Division @ 24 figures; 
   - 1 x Freikorps Jager 'Division' @ 18 figures; 
   - 1 x Chasseur (Chevauleger) Brigade @ 8 figures; 
   - 1 x 12pr gun.  
(Total 102 figures) [Grenadiers possibly Hinchliffe. Freikorps are Minifigs; the others of unknown manufacture.  Artillery Minifigs crew, scratchbuilt piece]

III Corps:  
   - 3 x Infantry Divisions @ 24 Figures; 
   - 1 x Jager Brigade @ 12 figures; 
   - 1 x (Light?) Dragoon Brigade @ 12 figures; 
   - 1 x 6pr gun. 
(Total 100 figures) [All Minifigs]

IV Corps
   - 2 x Infantry Divisions @ 24 figures; 
   - 1 x Grenz 'Division' @ 24 figures,
   - 1 x  Hussar Brigade @ 16 figures; 

   - 1 x 6pr gun.
(Total 92 figures) [Line Infantry: Hinton-Hunt (?) knock-offs (?), Grenz  HaT plastics; Hussars Italieri plastics, artillery Minifigs]
...
IV Army Corps under my system.  Guns reduced from 4 to 1 is probably
too stringent, and the Advance Guard is over represented.  Points to Note:
1. The right hand Division in the picture represents the formation drawn
up in masse formation:
2.  The Grenz being specialist light infantry, half the formation may be
deployed in skirmish order.
3. The 16-figure hussar unit is a nod towards the 8-squadron light
cavalry regiments favoured by the Austrians. 

V Corps

   - 2 x Infantry Divisions @ 20 and 18 figures;
   - 1 x Grenadier Division @ 16 figures;
   - 1 x Grenze Division @ 24 figures;
   - 1 x Hussar Brigade @ 16 figures;
   - 1 x 6pr gun. 

(Total 98 figures) [Infantry Warrior; Grenz HaT plastics, Minifigs Hussars (yet to be acquired) and artillery]
I Reserve Corps:

I Reserve Corps under my system, minus
the light guns. That needs a rethink! The more
distant Grenadier Division is below Establishment
at just 20 figures.  
   
- 2 x Grenadier Divisions @ 24 and 16 or 20 figures; 
   - 1 x Cuirassier Brigade @ 12 figures; 
   - 1 x (Heavy) Dragoon Brigade @ 12 figures;
   - 1 x 12 pr heavy gun; 

   - 2 x 3pr light guns.
(
Total 76 figures). [Minifigs figures, 12pr gun scratchbuilt; 3pr guns Revell Plastic 7YW pieces, crews Minifigs]

Grand Total: 568 figures, not counting generals and their staffs.

You will see from this that I have had to play a little fast and loose with the historical precedents, but at least you can see some sort of connection with them.  The only actual Army Corps that had grenadiers attached was the IX, four battalions of which were attached for Archduke John's operations in Italy.   For his invasion of Poland, Archduke Ferdinand d'Este had a brigade of cuirassiers attached to his VII Corps.  He would have needed them against Poland's famed cavalry.  At any rate, the grenadiers in my army are so placed as in keeping with line infantry figures of the same, or similar, make or style.  


IV Armeekorps.  Metal line infantry, Minifigs command and
artillery; plastic grenz (HaT) and hussars (Italieri).  The
'logistics' element is actually a limber team bought
at a bring-and-buy many years ago.

I appreciate this is rather a long posting with a lot to chew on.  I hope the meal is tasty enough!




16 comments:

  1. Why isn't this showing on the reading list?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    Wow! That is some analysis! As well as being very informative (I now know much more about the way that the Austrian's organised their armies and the range of troops that they used) it was very interesting, and even if I had no great interest in Napoleonics I would have enjoyed reading it.

    I found your photographs particularly helpful as I tend towards being a visual learner and always find diagrams and illustrations easier to understand than text. Your notes were also very helpful.

    I don't have many Austrian figures as yet (enough for one Infantry regiment so far!) but I am becoming convinced that I am going to need one at some point in the future.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge. I am sure that others will be equally appreciative.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bob. Took a bit of a while, but it was worth it. Helped my own thinking a bit, too! Looking back over it, I am tempted to redo the 'Cordery' VI Armeekorps picture with chevaulegers and Freiwilliger units added, as per spec. The 'Freiwilliger' are actually Minifigs 'Tyrolean jager' figures, which are actually quite versatile, a paint job converting them to volunteer, landwehr and freikorps type units. Having said that, omitting such types altogether from your Army Corps as I have done here would not make the formation atypical at all.

      Something else I should mention. You will note that most of my Austrian army have the crested helmet. In fact by 1809 this headgear was in the throes of being phased out, the change to the double-peaked shako for the line infantry becoming regulation a couple of years earlier. I simply like the helmet, which gives the Austrian army a distinctive character all of its own.

      Delete
  3. Some nice thoughts on organising! And flock the Grenz please ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Work in progress, Mark... :-) For a given value of "progress".
      Cheers...

      Delete
  4. "In a kind of blog conversation with Bob Cordery".

    That way lies madness! :O)

    A very informative post, though.

    Kind regards, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was still trying to find time to think about an response to the last post so I'll just make a quick, nearly thoughtless combined thought here.

    I like the inclusion of divisional (Brigade) artillery.

    The main problem I have with having just a corps battery is that each is essentially a grand battery, there is no option for a corps to distribute its artillery which it might want to do on the defensive, if in broken or hilly ground where their isn't a good field of fire for a massed battery or if detaching a force. It becomes the default rather than a choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the system I have in mind does offer the option, but only on an ad hoc basis. Your observation is otherwise quite correct.

      The problem I have with scaling in this way is that to depict artillery down to company level requires a heck of a lot of cannon compared with your other figures. I have noticed this with 'Fire and Fury'/Age of Eagles', Paddy Griffith's Nap for Fun rules, if you're playing an army level game, and my own set. You could fudge it as I have done with the 'Cordery' system, where the 4 guns I have suggested represents 96 cannon. But 4 cannon seems a lot against maybe 80 figures of the other arms.

      That's fine as far as that goes, but we have also fudged the other arms' numbers as well. For that reason - leaving aside matters of expense! - I am looking for my own system at other options.

      One is, as I have said before, to allow 'detachments' down to single batteries from the 'central pool' so to speak. This isn't quite historical, since the odd company was organic to Divisions and/or Brigades, depending upon the army. But there will arise occasions in which a given Div artillery simply has to be placed separately from the rest.

      Another idea - not one I like, actually, but let's shove it out there - is to subsume Brigade and Divisional artillery within their respective formations, the single piece representative of the Corps Reserve only.

      Under my rule set, each French Division would be allowed one die shooting (representing a single company) at 'medium' artillery ranges ('heavy' 6pr through to 9pr), this even though no battery is depicted. This is precisely similar to the building in of battalion guns in a Division or Brigade-level game, even though battalion guns aren't shown. But the three companies of an Austrian Division seems to me too many to subsume, so I would probably place one 6pr gun on table with 3 crew figures. This would only very slightly over-represent the 22 cannon of a given Austrian Division.

      That seems to lead to an inconsistency, and I don't want to give my Austrians 25 guns neither!

      I think you have given me another posting to write...
      Cheers
      Ion

      Delete
  6. Very interesting. I've been looking at Austrian Napoleonic armies recently and came up with the following rough ratios (1813 onwards). They tended to be fairly consistent whether it was Leipzig, Italy or France.

    There are about 3 infantry battalions for every artillery battery (it ranged from 2.5 to 4).This is all types of battery- foot, horse, position etc.
    There are 1 to 1.2 squadrons of cavalry for every infantry battery.
    The cavalry were about 30% light (hussars/uhlans),40% medium (dragoons) and 30% heavy (cuirassiers).
    The infantry were 16% light (jaeger+grenzer), 72% line and 16% grenadier. Landwehr were generally rare as the Habsburgs were worried about arming the masses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info.

      With rare exceptions, the Landwehr weren't very useful, militarily, neither - certainly not a patch on the Prussian. I think those ratios are very useful to know, or at least have a line on. If for this or that reason one can not get the organisation quite as historical, the ratios will give some sort of guide.

      My Austrian Army comprises
      4 Grenadier units/formations
      12 Line infantry
      2 Grenze
      1 Jager
      1 Frei/korps/Landwehr (same figures as the jager, but painted a darker grey, with red facings. Since they can be present, I suppose them to be a reasonable quality outfit. But it also has only 18 figures...)
      1 Cuirassier Unit
      2 Dragoon
      1 Chevau-leger (8 figures only)
      1 Hussar (16 figures)
      1 Uhlan
      8-11 cannon:
      2 x 12pr (scratchbuilt)
      6 x 6pr (Minifigs)
      2-3 x 3pr (Revell 7YW plastic - a tad tiny in 25mm scale)

      Considering that an infantry 'Division' represents about 12 battalions, and an army corps about 28 battalions and about 16 squadrons (roughly); we could expect something in the order of 9-12 batteries, bearing in mind some had 8 and others 6 cannon. I count 96 cannon (13 batteries) in the VI Corps organisation I list earlier. I have half an idea the brigade batteries acted as a pool of battalion guns at times, but that would need to be investigated.

      Given my figure scale, I have also to bear in mind that my army corps represent forces of strength 17000-20000, half to maybe a little more of an actual strength of about 35000. With this in view, I am minded to increase the Austrian artillery to two pieces per corps (except the Reserve Corps), each with 3 crew figures (each therefore representing 24 cannon). This for the same scale ratio of all arms. If I go down this track, I'll probably have do the same for the French. That will probably add at least 50% to the artillery inventory for both armies...

      Some thoughts to add to my next posting (currently in draft).

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info.

      With rare exceptions, the Landwehr weren't very useful, militarily, neither - certainly not a patch on the Prussian. I think those ratios are very useful to know, or at least have a line on. If for this or that reason one can not get the organisation quite as historical, the ratios will give some sort of guide.

      My Austrian Army comprises
      4 Grenadier units/formations
      12 Line infantry
      2 Grenze
      1 Jager
      1 Frei/korps/Landwehr (same figures as the jager, but painted a darker grey, with red facings. Since they can be present, I suppose them to be a reasonable quality outfit. But it also has only 18 figures...)
      1 Cuirassier Unit
      2 Dragoon
      1 Chevau-leger (8 figures only)
      1 Hussar (16 figures)
      1 Uhlan
      8-11 cannon:
      2 x 12pr (scratchbuilt)
      6 x 6pr (Minifigs)
      2-3 x 3pr (Revell 7YW plastic - a tad tiny in 25mm scale)

      Considering that an infantry 'Division' represents about 12 battalions, and an army corps about 28 battalions and about 16 squadrons (roughly); we could expect something in the order of 9-12 batteries, bearing in mind some had 8 and others 6 cannon. I count 96 cannon (13 batteries) in the VI Corps organisation I list earlier. I have half an idea the brigade batteries acted as a pool of battalion guns at times, but that would need to be investigated.

      Given my figure scale, I have also to bear in mind that my army corps represent forces of strength 17000-20000, half to maybe a little more of an actual strength of about 35000. With this in view, I am minded to increase the Austrian artillery to two pieces per corps (except the Reserve Corps), each with 3 crew figures (each therefore representing 24 cannon). This for the same scale ratio of all arms. If I go down this track, I'll probably have do the same for the French. That will probably add at least 50% to the artillery inventory for both armies...

      Some thoughts to add to my next posting (currently in draft).

      Delete
  7. Archduke P,
    I am a little late to this party, but where could one find your "Big Battles for Small Tables" rules? After exhausting myself on so many different Napoleonic Rules, I'd really like to read over yours - your approach is quite refreshing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still very much a work in progress, Steve - and not much progress at that. If you follow the 'Big Battles for Small tables' label you will get some idea of the mechanics i am considering. But I think I need far more work on reaction testing, and activation of units/formations (especially for solo play).

      My original thought was to stay with the 50% rule for unit morale, and reactions to be limited to the outcomes of close combat. But because I don't have formal subunits within the Division, that doesn't seem to work as well as in the old rule set we used 40 years ago.

      At the moment I have a posting in draft about artillery, and my thoughts concerning how much artillery I want with my armies. The question is turning out to be more vexing than I first imagined!

      I hope to follow in a later posting with some preliminary ideas on the questions of morale and unit activation.

      Cheers, and thanks for your interest!
      Ion

      Delete
    2. If you were going to be playing with Battalions as standard maneuver units then I would say the 50% rule for unit morale was not only appropriate but necessary. Using a Division, you have much more "wiggle room" for using a "random number generator" (IE a die). A D10 would probably do the trick and quite simply I might add.

      The thing with the Divisions, in my humble opinion, would be the aggregate loss of strength due to shirkers, malingerers, casualties, and also entire battalions retreating, then possibly reforming and rejoining the line.

      I'm reading about DBN now (yes I'm THAT frustrated with Napoleonic rules sets) and the way they handle artillery is solid.

      Very keen on where you take your rules sir!

      Delete
    3. I should probably clarify; the 50% rule should remain in effect, but not as the sole arbiter of a formation's status. Had I a formal regimental system (6-figures per, say) then it probably would have worked out well enough. A Division reduced to 16 figures (33% losses) would be feeling pretty sorry for itself and would have begun to crumble after any further losses.

      With no formal subdivision, the divisions are so much the more robust and other methods are called for.

      On the matter of what random number generator to use, as much as possible I want to stay with the good old hexahedral D6...

      Delete