Lieb Garde

Lieb Garde
The Leib Garde of Hesse Seewald

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Prinz Heinrich Fusiliers IR5 Are Now Recruiting

Prinz Heinrich Fusilier Regt. IR5 (click to enlarge)

PRESS RELEASE: Ministry of Defense

Subject: Recruitment of a new fusilier regiment for the Hesse Seewald Army.

(Gotha) The Ministry of Defense announced today the formation of a new regiment of fusiliers that will be placed on the establishment as IR5. Defense Minister Colonel Otto Bauer announced that His Grace, Prinz Heinrich von Hesse Seewald would be designated as the inhaber of the regiment.

"We are looking for young men, aged 16 to 25, who are of good spirit and fortitude to join the new regiment of fusiliers in the Hesse Seewald army. This will be the first time that the Army has employed fusiliers, so there is much opportunity for good men who seek employment in the service of His Highness, King Georg Ludwig II."

The new regiment of fusiliers is very smart looking with their traditional green coats with red facings, nicely offset by straw-colored waistcoats and breeches. The fusilier mitres have a red mitre bag trimmed in white piping. The rear base of the mitre is Hesse Seewald Green. All buttons and emblems are silver in color. Regimental musicians follow the convention of wearing reverse colors: i.e. red coats with green facings.

Colonel Bauer reports that the first three companies of fusiliers have completed their training and have been assigned to the Garrison of Gotha until the regiment is brought up to its full complement of 5 fusilier companies and 1 grenadier company.

Reporters for the Gotha Times noted that the new fusilier regiment will have a total of 6 companies, compared to the usual 5 companies of the other line infantry regiments in the Hesse Seewald Army.

Colonel Bauer informed our reporters that henceforth, all regiments will add a sixth company in order to bring the regiments up to a wartime footing. Accordingly, the standard organization of all line infantry regiments will be 5 companies of musketeers/fusiliers and 1 company of grenadiers. As our readers well know, the grenadier companies are hived off from the regiment and amalgamated into standing grenadier battalions of 4 companies.

At the present time, the grenadier companies from regiments IR1, IR2, IR3 and IR4 combine to form the Rochling Grenadier Battalion, listed as IR8 on the army rolls. A second standing grenadier battalion, to be commanded by Colonel Gerhard Uchlander, is now forming and will include the grenadier companies from IR5, IR6, IR7 and Garrison Regiment No. 1.

No Convention, But Lots of Painting

Since I couldn't make it to the SYWA convention this weekend, I decided that I should reward myself with a painting binge. I have completed 18 Prussian fusiliers ( out of 30), however, they are painted as Green coated Hesse Seewald Prinz Heinrich Fusilier Regiment IR5. They have green coats with red facings, straw colored breeches and waistcoat, silver buttons and mitre front plate, red mitre bag with green base.

Please refer to the posting ahead of this one to view a picture of the Prinz Heinrich Fusilier Regiment.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Breakfast in Potsdam

The Scene: the King's Study at Potsdam. The time is 6:30 A.M. Friedrich is waiting for his morning tea. The servant, Otto Schmidt, walks into the study carrying a tray of tea service, toast and jam.

The Prussian Minister of State, Count Schadenfreude, is seated in a chair talking with the King.

Fritz: " oh, there you are Schmidt! Just set the tray on my desk. I've much work to do and won't be seated at the table .

Schmidt juggles the heavy service tray with one hand while pushing the door open.. Friedrich' s pet Whippet, Biche, races over to Schmidt, hoping to find a biscuit. The startled servant does a half spin as he tries to avoid Biche, who has now raised up on her hind legs, fore paws on Schmidt's arm. Tails are wagging.

The tea cup and a plate slide off of the tray and shatter on the floor.

Schmidt: " I am so sorry Your Highness! Please forgive me."

Schadenfreude: "Meissen pottery! Expensive stuff it is."

Fritz: " Made in Saxony, is it not?"

Schadenfreude: " Yes, but it is a bit over rated if you ask me."

Fritz: "Precisely, a little bit like the Duchy of Saxony, don't you agree?"

Count Schadenfreude emits a little cackle as he laughs at the King's joke.

Schadenfreude: "Your Highness, I wish to convey some information that I have received from sources in Gotha and Dresden."

Fritz: ( his ears perk up) "Do tell, my dear Count, what is going down there on the Saxon border."

Schadenfreude: " Well Sire, it appears that Hesse Seewald is building up stores of grain, munitions and other war materials. Dresden is quite apprehensive about these developments."

Fritz: "Hmm, yes, I have heard rumors of war rumblings. That block head Georg Ludwig aced me out of a herd of 600 of the finest horses from the Celle Stables in Hanover. Seydlitz was not happy about that development. "

Schadenfreude: ( continuing his conversation ) "Yet there is much opportunity for Prussia in this unrest, Sire."

Fritz: " There is a powder keg that only need a lit match to force events in My favor. Your thoughts, my dear Count."

Schadenfreude : " Quite coincidentally powder kegs have been on my mind of late. There is quite a large one at the Saxon depot in Torgau and I know just the person who could do the job. She is..."

Frederick interrupts the Count, putting one finger to his mouth to indicate silence. "Tisk, tisk Schadenfreude . I do not need to hear the details. Just make it so!"

Schadenfreude : "I understand, Sire. All will be taken care of in short order."

Fritz: " I have come to expect no less from you Dear Count. You may leave now. There is much work ahead of us."

Friedrich waves off Count Schadenfreude towards the doorway. The count bows and backs his way out of the study.

Fritz: "oh and Schadenfreude, send for Winterfeldt. We need to start mobilizing soon."

Count Schadenfreude nods in understanding and exits the room. Biche ambles over to the King seeking a comforting scratch behind her ears. As Schadenfreude leaves, he hear a muffled cackling behind him in the King's Study.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Hesse Seewald Army Goes on Maneuvers

IR4 Birkebeil in front row and IR1 von Glasenap in the second row. (click pix to enlarge)

Now that there are a symmetrical four line infantry battalions (plus one guard battalion), the Kronprinz Friedrich has decided to give the brigade a workout on the Marchfeld so that the new recruits could participate in brigade maneuvers.

IR3 Holstein in front row and IR2 Charlottenburg in the second row.
At least that is what Kronprinz Friedrich wants the rest of the world to think, that the Heer is going on  Spring Maneuvers. In reality, he plans to march the brigade from Gotha east to the Saal River and the Saxon border.

Reports have come back to the capital, in Gotha, of a mysterious band of brigands, clad in all black uniforms, burning farm houses and barns on both sides of the Saal. If that is indeed the case, then the Kronprinz is prepared to cross the Saxon boder and hunt down these near-do-wells, who undoubtedly are in the employ of Saxony.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

IR4 Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment Is Ready

King Georg Ludwig conducts a practice review of the new Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment, IR4 on the  army rolls.

Colonel Andreas von Birkebeil contemplated the world with disapproval. He had reached the conclusion that it was no place for a gentleman.

This discovery percolated through his mind while he gazed out the window of the War Ministry and watched the newest regiment in the Hesse Seewald army form up on the parade ground below. The soldiers were fitted out in dark green coats with straw yellow facings and waistcoats, white knee britches and black gaitors.

He was rather pleased with their initial appearance, but this was offset to some degree by his displeasure in not seeing the bases terrained and based. That would come in due time. For now though, the regiment, HIS REGIMENT, formed into pelotons and went through their paces on the parade ground.

"It is a hard world," he said aloud to no one in particular, "made somewhat better when one is backed up by 600 armed and well trained men."

There was the sound of the clatter of horse hooves on the cobble stone parade ground, and this quickly grabbed von Birkebeil's attention. It was the King, arriving in his wicker chariot to inspect the regiment. No one had bothered to tell him that the King was going to review the regiment today. Someone was going to pay for this surprise, as von Birkebeil always liked to stay two steps ahead of everyone else, by owning information that nobody else had.

He really wasn't ready to have King Georg Ludwig of Hesse Seewald come unannounced to inspect his regiment. Nonetheless, the King looked to be pleased with what he saw. It was a fine looking regiment indeed.

Here are a couple of closer view of the von Birkebil regiment:


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment Is Being Raised

IR4 Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment

The Quartermaster General of the Hesse Seewald Heere, Ernst von Jung, paid a visit to the training barracks to view the progress of the new Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment, that is now forming. He watched as the three new companies (of a five company establishment) went through their paces on the parade ground and was pleased with the progress being made.

He noted that the regimental tailor, Herr Haberdasher of the renowned firm, Minden & Saville Ltd., was busy going over bolts of Elven Green cloth and Rucksack Yellow that would be used to outfit the rest of the regiment.

Von Jung: "Guten tag, Herr Haberdasher! How are the uniforms coming along?"

Herr Haberdasher: "It was slow going at first as I had to measure all of the recruits and order sufficient material to sew the jackets and small clothes, but now the pace seems to be picking up and I should have Company No. 4 kitted out and ready to go within another day."

Von Jung: " And what about Company No. 5; how are their uniforms coming along?"

Herr Haberdasher: " We have enough cloth and green dye, but we are missing sabots, of all things. I was certain that we had plenty of stock on hand."

Von Jung: "The lads can not march and fight without shoes/sabots. The King will not be pleased to hear about the delay. What do you propose to do about it?"

Herr Haberdasher: "I will have to send Captain Joachim Birkebeil of Company No. 5 to Prospectberg to see if the lumber yard has the timber that I ordered awhile ago."

Von Jung: "And what is your back up plan? What if the lumber yard did not reorder the wood, what shall you do? The King expects to have the regiment filled out and ready to train by next week."

Herr Haberdasher:" then I shall cut my own lumber and make my own sabots. It is not an easy task, but it can be done. You may inform His Majesty that the Birkebeil Regiment will be up to full strength by the middle of next week."

Von Jung: "Very good news, Herr Haberdasher, very good news indeed. You know that there may be a new war on the horizon. I would imagine that the Quartermaster's department can keep you fairly busy as the King has authorized the further build up of the army."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paint It Black - The Regulators

The Regulators -you don't want to run into them on the road.

For a number of years, the Saale River valley has been terrorized by a gang of cutthroats  who ply their trade of robbery, arson, mayhem and murder. They have no favorites, terrorizing Saxons and Hesse Seewalders alike. Their appearance, clad in all black from head to toe, makes them terrifying to behold. Their coats have red facings and they wear buff colored small clothes, suggesting that they are an organized band of mercenaries, rather than your run of the mill highwaymen. Perhaps they are even a Freikorps in the employ of some foreign power. There origin and their master are unknown, making them all the more terrifying.

Whenever there is an explosion, or a building catches fire or farms are looted and livestock run off, you can be sure that these men in black, known as The Regulators, have left their calling card at the scene of the crime.

Black Hussars galloping down a Saxon road. Are they Regulators, or just your run of the mill hussars?

At times, it is reported that a mysterious black coach, trimmed in red was seen in the vicinity of the unfortunate event. Nobody knows who rides in that coach and its occupant makes sure that it stays that way. Even when the Black Coach and The Regulators are nowhere to be found, people just automatically assume that they are behind whatever mayhem is going on in the countryside. There are rumors that a beautiful lady, with golden blonde hair and clad in black and red clothing, rides in the Black Coach, but nobody has ever seen her face; or at least, nobody who is still living has seen her face.

So who are these Regulators? Who do they work for and what are their aims? Who is this mysterious Lady in Black? The Saxons say that they work for Hesse Seewald or even the King of Prussia. The Hesse Seewalders say that they are in the employ of the Saxons or the Archbishop of Wurzburg. Theories abound, but no one knows for certain.

Yet you, my dear readers, are about to be let in on the secret. Not the whole truth, mind you, but enough to capture your imagination or maybe to make you feel a little bit uneasy the next time you have to travel down a lonely road in the middle of the night.

Her name is Milady de Winter.

She enjoys making trouble. She is an assassin for hire who will show no mercy to anyone unlucky enough to be her designated victim. We cannot say for certain that she works for any single person or power, but once she has you in her sites, your days on this Earth are certainly numbered.

All will be revealed to you dear readers, in good time, when we are ready to tell you more. Let us just say that if one were to seek the match that would light the tinder of war, that Lady de Winter would be your be your huckleberry.

The Black Coach approaches Torgau on a dark, moonless night.

Even as we tell you her story, be aware that the Black Coach is on the move, crossing the Saale River and entering Saxon territory. The Black Coach is headed for the Saxon amoury and powder magazine at Torgau. What better place to light the tinder than at one of Saxony's supply magazines.

Candidates for my Saxon Army

It is inevitable that eventually I shall feel compelled to paint and build an army of Saxons to fight against my Hesse Seewald army. As such, I've been scowering the Internet looking for figures that would be compatible with the Minden Miniatures figure range.

One option is to simply use Minden Prussian figures. This is historical imagination building, so I don't feel the need to be excruciatingly accurate in the uniforms. Close enough will do. Recently though, an exciting option has emerged:

Savoia Command Figures

Savoia fife and drums ( hmm, I like that name for some reason)

A beautiful array of musketeers in Savoia kit

These figures are sculpted by "John D" and are based on some of the Crann Tara Miniatures dollies that were designed by Richard Ansell. So the compatibility with Crann Tara, Minden and Fife & Drum is assured. You can find more information about the sculptor and his figures by visiting the Making Miniatures blogspot site:

The figures can be purchased through the Crann Tara web shopping site.

John D also makes some nice Fusiliers de Morliere that are in various skirmishing poses.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gathering Supplies for the Coming War

Field Bakery of the Hesse Seewald Heere are very busy these days. Click pictures to enlarge view.

From the Munden Times   February 20, 1750

(Munden, Hesse Seewald) Local farmers report that agents of King Georg Ludwig II are purchasing all of their excess grain at very favorable prices. Farmers are happy with this development as it seems to have pushed the price of grain up by 50 pfennings per bushel. Area Flour Millers are also reporting an uptick in their orders for processed flour.

"My mill is so busy that we have to run operations six days per week," said Andreas Berkebeil, a local flour miller. "I would open the mill on Sunday, if I could," he added.

From the Herzeberg Guardian

(Herzeberg, Hesse Seewald) Officials of the Herzeberg Armory announced that they are accepting applications from anyone interested in entering their apprentice program. Qualified young men between the ages of 12 and 18 are eligible to join the apprentice program. The Armoury is also reported to be hiring labourers for tasks such as wood cutting, charcoal preparation and other non-skilled labour.

From the Celle Clarion

(Celle, Hanover) The cost of purchasing a horse these days seems to have increased over the past several weeks. Clarion Journal reporter, Uwe Blap, reports that prices for good Hanoverian horse flesh have increased 40% in the past two weeks alone. Prices tend to be rather stable (no pun intended) unless there is a spike in demand, as one might find as a precurser to war.
Blacksmiths shod the horses at the Celle Stables.

What could be driving the market prices so high?  Reporter Blap writes that agents of King Georg Ludwig II of Hesse Seewald have been active buyers of the world famous Celle Stallions. These agents have reportedly purchased 600 head of horses over the past month, enough to mount an entire regiment of cuirassies or dragoons.

From the Gotha Daily News

A New Regiment to be Raised by Graf Birkebeil For Hesse Seewald Service

The grenadier company of the new Birkebeil Regiment (IR4) show off their new togs at the press conference held outside the Royal Palace in Gotha today. The staff artist apologizes for the poor sketch quality, but he was in a hurry to meet a tight deadline and his hand was not very steady.

Spokesmen from the royal palace press agency have released details of a new regiment that King Georg Ludwig II has authorized to be raised.

Local businessman and flour exporter, Andreas Birkebeil, confirmed today that he will underwrite the financing for a new musketeer regiment to serve in the Hesse Seewald Heere. Herr Birkebeil's eldest son, Jakob, will be the inhaber for the new Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment. The royal palace news room confirmed that the regiment will number fourth in the Hesse Seewald military establishment, taking on the identifier "IR4 Birkebeil Musketeer Regiment."

Herr Birkebeil has allowed the Gotha Daily News  sketch artist to present preliminary drawings of the colorful new uniforms, which will be in the traditional Hesse Seewald Elven Green with yellow facings and waistcoat. The breeches will be white and the gaitors will be black, in accordance with Hesse Seewald Quartermaster's Regulations.

The Royal Tailors of Minden Miniatures provided the materials and dyes to needed to create these new uniforms.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How All of The Trouble Began

February 17, 1750 News Flash From The Gotha Zeitung:

(Gotha, S-G) The Herzog of Saxe-Gotha, Karl V, died this afternoon when he was thrown from his horse whilst on a hunting expedition with a party of friends and dignitaries. Among the notables and witnesses was one Count Schadenfreude, the emissary to the court representing His Highness, King George Ludwig II of Hesse-Seewald. 

Hesse-Seewald is strategically located between the city of Kassel on the Weser and the city of Gotha and occupies the major east-west road from Leipzig to Kassel. The Principality is well known for its famous Herzeberg Armoury which has long produced arms and armour of the highest quality. King Henry VIII of England purchased his famous golden armour from the Herzeberg Armoury in the 16th Century. In recent years, the armoury has been known for its fine muskets and fowling pieces. 

Hesse-Seewald is also well known for its well-drilled army, commanded by King George Ludwig II and his son, the Kronprinz Friedrich. The Hesse-Seewald Army is organized along the lines of the Prussian Army, and received notable distinction for its performance in the recently concluded Second Silesian War, as an ally of Prussia. 

There are rumors that the Princes of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Weimar and Hesse-Seewaldt have a mutual treaty that ensures that their territories will be inherited by one another if the ruling prince were to die without issue. If this is indeed the case, then the citizenry of Gotha may have a new sovereign ruler, since Karl V dies without issue and the Herzog of Saxe-Weimar's only heir is a daughter, the princess Anne. Salic Law prevents the daughter from inheriting the ducal title of Saxe-Weimar. This would seem to position the House of Seewald to acquire both Gotha and Weimar in one fell swoop. 

The emissary from France, le duc de Legerdemain, told reporters at the Gotha Zeitung that he suspects foul play and that there is more to the premature death of Karl V than meets the eye. 

Count Kaunitz of the Imperial court in Vienna, who was also a member of the hunting party, was heard to say that "The Seewald's will inherit Gotha and marry into Weimar "over my dead body." 

To which Count Schadenfreude was reputed to have said, "well then, suit yourself". 

According to our sources in Potsdam, the Prussian court has been informed of the news from Gotha. When asked for his reaction, His Majesty King Friedrich of Prussia was overheard to have said simply, "well now, very interesting, very interesting.” 

Our reporters in Dresden have informed us that there has been considerable activity around the Saxon military base at Pirna. King Augustus of Saxony has been known to have a keen interest in the activities of the small "Saxon Duchies" ( i.e. Meiningen, Coburg, Hildburghausen, Weimar, Altenberg, and the portion of Saxe Gotha that is isolated on the east side of the Saale River in Thuringia).

The Gotha Zeitung will continue to follow this story and cover it in its usual manner of "fair, balanced and unafraid." Or at least until told otherwise by men in bluecoats and red lapels. Please stay tuned for further information.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mapping Hesse Seewald

Approximate area of Hesse Seewald shown in red line on the map.

The next step in the construction of my Hesse Seewald kingdom is to create a map so that we can see where it is and how it relates to potential allies and enemies. 

The map above gives us a starting reference point. Obviously, there is no Hesse Seewald on this map, so I need to create it by taking bits and pieces from the alphabet soup of little countries in the targeted area. My general concept was to locate Hesse Seewald directly to the east of Hesse Kassel as both states are sister countries with a common origin.

Looking at the map, the central core of the country includes the states of Eichsfeld, Eisenach, Muhlhausen, the Duchies of Gotha, Weimar and Erfurt. The principal loser of land in this group is the Bishopric of Mainze ( an ecclesiastical state with no army and hence is of no consequence). Gotha will be acquired via marriage as will Weimar. Erfurt is extracted from Mainze once again.

Saxony will be a bit bent out of shape when it loses the narrow finger of land that points due west towards Hesse Kassel, following the Unstrut River. In fact, the Saxons will be evicted from all land west of the Saale River and north of the Unstrut. Some of the other small principalities such as Schwarzenburg, Rudolstadt, and Sondershausen will be acquired at the convenience of his Majesty Georg Ludwig. 

Hand drawn map transferring the boundaries from the first map onto the final map.

This all seems like a size able central core, but the Hesse Seewald domains are still dwarfed by those of Saxony and Hesse Kassel. Having Friedrich II of Prussia can have its advantages in this regard. As King Georg Ludwig II always says, "never trust a Saxon, but for God's sake always keep one eye on the Prussians."

Now that I have the rudimentary outline of the Hesse Seewald boundaries, I can take some thin drawing paper and trace over the outline of our lands and then draw up the theatre map for the coming conflicts. More of that anon.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hesse Seewald Jagers

The Royal Foresters, or Hesse Seewald Grunwald Jagers

(Please click on the picture to enlarge the view to its full splendor)

Pictured above is a company of the Royal Foresters that are currently doing service in the employ of the Veringte Frei Stadt ("VFS"). The gentleman seated on the horse on the left is Prinz Karl Friedrich, one of King Georg Ludwig's sons. He has been sent to the VFS to learn the military arts and the king sent along two companies of his jagers to accompany his son and learn the latest in light infantry tactics from the veteran VFS army.

Two companies of jaguars = 24 figures

(The figures are from the Fife & Drum AWI range - Continental firing line figures, although I think that I see one militia figure in the front row, far right).

It is said that Napoleon once saw a company of the same jagers  while on one of his Italian campaigns and that he was so enamored with the green/red/tan color combination that he adopted it for his Consular Guard Chasseurs a Cheval. Now you know the true story.