Saturday, 11 January 2014

Austrian Uhlans: a wargaming whim

During the Napoleonic Wars there were four regiments of Austrian lancers (Österreische Ulanen), raised respectively in 1791, 1798, 1801 and 1813 and composed mainly from Poles and Ukrainians from Galicia. The 4th Regiment was not involved in the conflict, but the first three ones took part in the 1805 and 1809 campaigns.
In 1813, the 1st and 2nd Uhlan Regiments were in the Italian theater and do not fought in the Campaing of Leipzig, and the 3rd Uhlans was attached to the Wrede's Bavarian army (the Bavarians defected to the Allies on 8 October 1813) and was routed at Hanau on 30-31 October (See here for the Napoleon's Battles Scenario)

Austrian Uhlans fighting French Light Guard Cavalry at Hanau
The Uhlans wore a green (initially grass green but later changed to dark green) jacket with red lapels, collar and cuffs and yellow buttons and dark green trousers with red stripes and strengthened with black leather on the bottom. White belt and black cartridge box. The only regimental distiction was the Czapka's color:
     Regiment No. 1 (Merveldt) : Yellow
     Regiment No. 2 (Schwarzenberg) : Dark Green
     Regiment No. 3 (Erzherzog Karl Philipp) : Scarlett
     Regiment No. 4 (Kaiser Franz) : White
The uhlans carried 2 pistols, curved saber and a lance. The lance pennons were black over yellow..

There are infinity of pictures in internet and in many uniform books depicting the Austrian Uhlans uniform. Below, you can see a very detailed picture: a Boisselier's plate taken from the Brown Digital Repository depicting the 2nd Regiment (Schwarzenberg).

As shown in the first picture (Hanau), I own an Austrian Uhlan unit, made by painting the old Esci 'Polish Lancers' French Cavalry Set 218 adding them a large plasticine plume. They have not seen much fight, which is a shame because they wore a very nice and colorful uniform!

Next: The reason behind this whim!


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  1. That is a lovely uniform - the czapka really sets it off. Dean

  2. Very nice, including the history, wasn't familiar with where they were deployed.

    Those Esci Polish Lancers (together with their Scotts Greys), were the first wargaming figures I ever bought... great figures!