Saturday, 10 June 2017

General Uprising

Wallmoden's Corps of 1813 consisted of about 25,000 men, of whom something like 3,000 were cavalry composed more or less exclusively of hussars and cossacks. I've made a start on some hussars, but all I have to show at the moment is their commander. He is Major General Wilhelm Caspar Ferdinand von Dörnberg, or "Uprising Dörnberg" as he became known for his part in an abortive attempt to kidnap Napoleon's brother, Jerome, the new-crowned King of Westphalia, in 1809.




I can't say that I know a great deal more about him. After escaping from Germany, Dörnberg wound up in Britain and eventually rose to command the Brunswick Hussars in Spain. The British anglicised his name to William de Dornberg. Volunteering for service in Russia in 1812, by the following year he was in North Germany where he was given command of a brigade of Hanoverian hussars, stiffened by the 3rd Regiment of Hussars of the King's German Legion, which had been hurriedly sent over from Spain.


Dörnberg's only other claim to fame, at least far as the Anglosphere is concerned, is his failure to pass on early intelligence that Napoleon's army was about to invade Belgium in June 1815! However, he seems to have made up for this by leading numerous gallant charges at the head of the 3rd British Cavalry Brigade at Waterloo.


Vintage 20mm Napoleonics connoisseurs will instantly recognise the figure I've used as the Alberken/Minifigs version of the Earl of Uxbridge. I thought he'd be just the ticket for Dörnberg, however, after I found a portrait of him made in 1813 held in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection. This can be seen here.


The first squadron of the hussars he is to command are now quite advanced and so with a little bit of luck I may be able show them off next weekend.

Till then

WM

Edit: I've added another shot to give a slightly clearer view of his face. Alberken commanders can be a bit vague in the face department, but this one's not too bad.

16 comments :

  1. A finely painted figure there sir !

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    1. Cheers, Tony. He's lacks the finesse of HH commanders, so I've gone for something a little more impressionistic!

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  2. Yes! You have really nailed "it" with ol' Doernberg here. He has that certain vintage something about him. Can't wait to see the hussars he is slated to command.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Thank you, Stokes. He's not posh, but he has plenty of dash!

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    1. Cheers Phil. It's a curious uniform. The Roder portrait seems to have him decked out as an officer of the 3rd KGL Hussars, which is surprising as he never seems to have held a command within that regiment. Nonetheless, that's how I've painted him!

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  4. Yet another little gem of a figure Matt, I especially like the Leopard skin shabraque, and the almost golden highlights on the horse, very effective and very skillfully done :)

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    1. Thank you, 'Lee. The horse is another yellow undercoat effort ã la Stokes!

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    2. Beautiful piece of work, Wam. Those Alberken comnand are all over the place with proportion, but they have a real vicacity and you have brought this out.

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    3. Cheers, LG. Yes, he's something of a proto-Hinchliffe, is he not? He's got Peter Gilder stamped all over him.

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  5. Dashing, I say! I am anxious to see his followers.

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    1. So am I, Captain. There's nowt so fiddly as hussars!

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    1. Thank you, ABC, I'm glad you enjoyed him. He was a puzzle at first. I had no idea that British officers' busby bags could reach such epic proportions.

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  7. I agree with Lee that that Leopard skin is very good. I've tried a couple of these myself but got nowhere near the effect you have achieved - well done!

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    1. That is spectacularly generous of you to say so, Ian, and also interesting as my belief is the exact opposite. I think your leopard skins are somewhat better than mine!

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