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Raise high ze black flags my children! - The Prussian Army of 1813-1815

Raise high ze black flags my children! - The Prussian Army of 1813-1815

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Project Goals

Tutoring 14
Skill 13
Idea 16
1 Comment

Having recently got the Napoleonic bug and wanting a change from French I quickly decided I would like to start creating a Prussian force. Already having a few boxes of Prussians from Warlord Ga,es and a pre-order of Wargames Atlantics Prussian Reservists.
There’s two main choices for The Prussian Army of the Napoleonic Wars. The army of 1806 in all its splendour or the Army from the later 1813-15 campaigns (you could also count the force Prussia sent as part of the Grand Army’s invasion of Russia in 1812).
As I already have a few boxes of Landwehr and the Prussian Reservists I’ve already picked the later period, thankfully there’s a good selection of plastic kits too.

The Prussian Army upto 1806

Perry Minatures 1806 PrussiansPerry Minatures 1806 Prussians

Highly drilled and disciplined the Army at the start of the Napoleonic Wars was one of the most powerful and on paper skilled forces in Europe.

Unfortunately the Army of Fredrik the Great hadn’t really moved on, equipment was outdated and the same training and tactics from 40 years ago were still in use. Some early signs of this began to show at the Battle of Valmy and ultimately ended  in the Battle of Jena–Auerstedt  during the War of the Fourth Coalition where Davout’s III Corps (27,000) spectacularly beat the main Prussian force of (65,000) at Auerstedt while Napoleon was busy at Jena.

The resulting debacle and defeat left Prussian significantly weakened loosing land and becoming heavily indebted.

The reformed Army

Heavily shocked by this defeat reforms of state and of the army began, with Scharnhorst leading the military reforms. A reorganisation committee was formed and of 143 generals only two eventually remained, conscription was introduced and the officer corps was reopened to the middle class.
The Krümpersystem was introduced, seeing troops rotate from regular units into reserve formations allowing the Prussian Army to get around the limits enforce on them by the French following their defeat. Having a trained reserve provided the army with a more reliable backbone that could be called upon when needed, it being much easier to retrain a soldier that to train a soldier from scratch.
Prussian tactics also change moving away form the heavily drilled and displaced force into one emphasizing combined arms and the ability to march fast.
Following Napoleons retreat from Russia Prussian finally rejoined the war in 1813 as part of the Sixth Coalition, with the Army and reserves mobilising first in East Prussia, joined by the freshly raised Landwehr before this was replicated by the rest of the country.


I’ve a few goals I want to achieve with this Army build.

  • Painting
    • I want to experiment with some speed painting
    • I also want to try and up my skill level, particularly with the more detailed units and characters.
    • Try out some alternative painting methods, such as paint triads.
  • Research
    • Delve into the history of the Prussian Army of this period
    • Dig into some of the uniforms and try and follow these as practically as possible, but not button count or become overly concerned.
  • Build a Army
    • Build a army that “historically accurate”, to the extend that units existed and are somewhat historically correct as a bit of a drive for the above research
    • I don’t want to create an exact historical force
    • I want to create a flexible and reusable force, that could be used in the 1813 campaigns or be equally as happy at waterloo
  • Have a spring clear out of figures in boxes turning them into painted minis.

Perhaps most importantly of all I want to have fun along the way.

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Cult of Games Member

Cool project, looking forward to following your progress.

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