Lutzow's Freicorps

Heavy Infantry

NB: Release date 1st March 2006.

Lutzow's Freicorps was an army in miniature. It encompassed a full regiment of infantry in three battalions, each supported by a company of volunteer riflemen. In addition, one of the four companies of the second battalion was made up not of musketeers, but of Tyrolean riflemen. The mounted element was a mixed regiment of light cavalry made up of two squadrons of uhlans, two of hussars and one of mounted jaegers. The corps also had a battery of nine guns.

This corps was raised primarily by Major von Lutzow following the Royal decree of February 3rd 1813 allowing the formation of these volunteer corps. The freicorps had a long tradition in the Prussian army dating back to Frederick the Great. Their function was to raid and harass the enemy lines of communication. Lutzow's corps is the best known, not only because it was the largest of these formations, but also because it attracted recruits from the artistic community. As a result poems and songs were written and pictures painted about the exploits of the corps. During the armistice of 1813, the corps continued its raids behind French lines. At one point the corps was cornered by Confederation of the Rhine troops and almost wiped out. Only some of the mounted troops managed to escape. Such was the reputation of this corps that it was soon back to full strength!

In 1815 the infantry was used to create the 25th infantry regiment. The mass of the cavalry was used in the formation of the 6th uhlan regiment. One hussar squadron was used to augment the newly formed 9th Hussars.

Prussian Lutzow's Freicorps: Heavy Infantry

This first release of figures is designed to form the three infantry battalions that were at the core of the formation. My advice is that you ignore the Tyrolean rifle company which formed part of the 2nd battalion and have three full strength battalions. When I release the light infantry later this year you can add a light company to each battalion making the light company for the 2nd battalion a Tyrolean company. This is a more "table friendly" arrangement for the gamer as it does not leave you with a weakened 2nd battalion and cuts down on the number of skirmishers which some rule sets dislike.

All uniform and equipment for this corps was black. The only other colour was the red piping on collars, cuffs and shoulder straps. The men liked to add extra little touches of red to their uniforms so they often changed the colour of their neck stocks to red or added red neckerchiefs. There was no regulation forage cap so men tended to provide their own. Most were militarised versions of civilian hats. The version I have chosen for the forage cap figure is from Patrice Courcelle's "Ceux qui Bravaient L’Aigle – Les Planches De La Belle Alliance No. 2." I could have chosen several versions of forage cap but his was the one most readily accessible to those of you seeking painting references. No standards were carried by any part of the corps and there is no evidence that the infantry drummers used the swallow's nests prevalent in the rest of the Prussian army.

Note that figures are supplied unpainted.

Code Description
PLZ1Mounted officer, shouldered sword. Wears the shako
PLZ2Mounted officer wearing the forage cap and rolled greatcoat. Holds sword down by right leg
PLZ3Foot officer advancing shouldered sword
PLZ4Foot officer advancing, sword.held across body, looking left
PLZ5Foot officer advancing shouldered sword, looking down
PLZ6NCO. The lace stripe across the strap is silver
PLZ7Drummer drumming
PLZ8Advancing, levelled musket
PLZ9Advancing, levelled musket, rolled trousers
PLZ10Advancing, musket held at high porte across body
PLZ10bAs PLZ10, head turned to the left
PLZ11Advancing, musket held at high porte and to the right if the body
PLZ11bAs PLZ11 but facing right
PLZ12Enthusiastic figure. Two part casting
PLZ13Casualty figure, falling forward
PLZpk1Versions of PLZ8 (bandaged head), PLZ9 (forage cap), and PLZ10 (bareheaded)

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