Prussian Landwehr Cavalry

Advancing (Lances Upright) | Charging | Kurmark Landwehr

The figures in the lists below are designed to represent Landwehr cavalry in the "regulation" uniform. Those of you who know something of this arm of the Prussian cavalry will be aware that this uniform was not standard throughout the landwehr cavalry regiments. Two regiments, one Silesian, the other from Brandenberg, must have had a wealthy benefactor as they were provided with the full Polish lancer uniform. Several other regiments adopted versions of the regulation uniform but gave it regimental distinctions. One Brandenberg regiment used the Landwehr cap; two others from the same province were issued with the British stovepipe shako and were provided with a very distinctive saddlecloth (more later). Another common variation was to make the regulation uniform in a different coloured cloth. One regiment from East Prussia had light blue litewkas, a Pommeranian regiment made theirs out of dark grey cloth. Having said this, the regulation uniform was worn by most regiments. I have made a rough estimate of the ratio of regiments which wore the regulation uniform to those that did not. Across most provinces it is 3:1 in favour of the regulation uniform. This means that approximately 75% of the landwehr cavalry regiments wore this uniform.

Most regiments had Prussian blue litewkas with grey cavalry overalls, usually without the red stripe down the outside seam. The litewkas had collars in the provincial colour but cuffs were mostly left in the coat colour. Shoulder straps seem to have denoted the seniority of the regiment within the province and were usually white or red. All leather equipment and belting was made of black leather. The saddle cloth was usually a sheepskin with a scalloped edging (not dog-toothed) in the provincial colour. These sheepskin saddle cloths were generally black but some provinces (e.g. Silesia) seem to have issued white sheepskins. The sword scabbard was white metal. The equipment attached to the saddle was coloured as follows: canteen and roll covered in grey cloth with black straps; forage bags canvas coloured; the pouch was black leather. After the 1813 campaign the white over black lance pennon became standard, before this many regiments had the white over black but others had provincial pennons (e.g. several Brandenberg regiments had red over white pennons). When on campaign, shakos were generally covered in the weather-proof cover common in the Prussian army. Some regiments painted the Landwehr cross on the shako covers.

Preparing the Figures

I do not provide lances with these figures. Almost 25 years of painting and gaming has taught me that white metal lances cannot take the strain of a good game. There is nothing more annoying than flaking paint on a bent lance! I recommend that you make the lances out of brass or steel wire. This is available in most good hobby stores. Cut the wire into 5.5cm lengths and grind the ends to a point, sharp at one end and rounded on the other. Electric bench grinders are cheap and readily available in most DIY stores. I recently bought myself a new bench grinder for less than 20. Lance pennons can be made out of pewter sheet (available from Sylmasta Ltd. PO Box 262, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3FR, tel. +44 (0)1444 415027, or you can wait until Graham at GMB designs finishes his sheets of Prussian pennons.

Prussian Landwehr Cavalry: Advancing (Lances Upright)

Code Description
PCL1 Trooper looking forward

Prussian Landwehr Cavalry: Advancing
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PCL2Trooper looking down slightly, lower hold on lance
PCL3Trooper looking forward, slight turn of the body to the right
PCL3bAs PCL3 but looking left
PCL4Trumpeter, holding trumpet
PCL5Regimental officer, sword arm upright, looking right
PCL6Squadron officer. Two arm variants
PCL7Version of PCL2 bareheaded
PCL8Version of PCL1, bandaged head

Prussian Landwehr Cavalry: Charging

Code Description
PCL9Charging squadron officer. Two arm variants
PCL10Trumpeter, blowing trumpet
PCL11Charging trooper, couched lance, looking forward and slightly to the left
PCL11bAs PCL11 but looking right
PCL12Charging trooper, couched lance, looking down length of the lance. More twist to the body than PCL11
PCL13Charging trooper. Lance arm extended as if lunging with lance
PCL14Enthusiastic trooper. Lance arm raised
PCL15Casualty. Trooper falling, designed to fit falling horse H13
PCL16Bareheaded version of PCL13
PCL17Version of PCL12 with bandaged head

Prussian Landwehr Cavalry: Kurmark Landwehr

When I did the research for the Landwehr cavalry I conceded that I would have to give some representation to the non regulation uniforms that formed 25% of this branch of the cavalry (see intro.). The question was which uniform to pick? The pressure from the client base was for the polish lancer uniform worn by two of these regiments, but other options also had their attractions; e.g. one, possibly two, regiments from Newmark (another province of Brandenberg) wore a version of the Prussian guard Cossack uniform, enticing! In the end I opted for the Kurmark regiments because I knew more about them, I could place them in the proceedings! I always feel happier sculpting someone I know. There is a fabulous action picture of the 1st regiment in action at Dennewitz, charging a square of Italian infantry (Knotel) which finally helped me reach my decision.

These figures wear a combination of regulation and non-regulation items. They wear the standard dark blue cavalry litewka and grey cavalry overalls. As usual the facing colour only appears on the collar, not the cuffs. Their equipment also follows the standard form with all leather items in black. The two items which make them look different are the shako and the shabraque. The shako was probably a customised British stovepipe shako. One reference says they may have been captured French hussar shakoes but more credible sources do credit the British with the original source. This shako was black but the top rim was laced in white. Where the plate would have been, there was now a large black and white Prussian cockade, centre in black and outer rim white. A second smaller Prussian cockade was placed at the top of the shako on the white rim, also with a black centre and white outer. The two cockades were joined by a line of ribbon with a black centre and white edging. The ribbon ended in a button which helped hold the large central cockade in place, most sources show this in white metal. The chin scales attached to the shako were yellow metal.

The shabraque was almost certainly a "hand-me-down" from a pre 1806 cavalry regiment. Unusually for a Prussian shabraque of this period it has pointed ends. It was light blue in colour, almost the colour of the dragoon's coats. It was edged with two lines of red lace but also had a small heart shaped motif in red sewn into the bottom corners of the shabraque.

As was common in many Landwehr formations, both foot and horse, the officers chose to keep to regulations and did not wear the uniform issued to the men. In Knotel's picture of the 1st regiment at Dennewitz, a squadron officer appears in the left foreground of the picture, he wears full regulation uniform down to the sheepskin shabraque with rounded corners.

For officers use use figures in regulation uniforms from the two sets above.

Code Description
PCL18Trooper sitting erect, head turned slightly to the left
PCL19Trooper sitting erect, looking forward, lance held closer to body
PCL20Trooper, head and body both turning right
PCL21Trooper, leaning forward slightly as if looking at or controlling horse
PCL21bAs PCL21 but looking left
PCL22Trumpeter
PCL23Version of PCL20 bareheaded
PCL24Version of PCL18, bandaged head

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