Friday, 24 March 2017

Talavera 208 - Bassecourts Spanish 5th Division, 1st Battalion, Reina (Reyna) Regiment

5th Division: Major-General Bassecourt
1st Real Marina (Royal Marines), 1st Battalion
1st Real Marina (Royal Marines), 2nd Battalion
Africa Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion
Reyna Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion
Murcia Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Murcia Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion
Provincial de Siguenza (Militia)

Progress continues on this the last division required to complete the orders of battle for Talavera 208, with the addition of the 1st Battalion Reina (Reyna) or Queen's Regiment in English.

The Reina Regiment was the second regiment of line infantry in seniority founded in 1537 originally titled the Galicia Regiment changing to Reina in 1789.

For a look at the reforms and issues affecting the recruiting of men into the Spanish army up to and including the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars see the post on the Africa Regiment.

The uniform illustrated for the regiment bears a distinct resemblance to the 1st Rey or King's Regiment differing principally in the colour of the lace and buttons, being silver/pewter rather than brass/gold.

Reina Regiment No.2
As with the Africa Regiment, though to a lesser extent, the problems with understrength numbers affected the Reina at the outbreak of war if the numbers recorded for the regiment on the 20th May 1808 are accurate, with the regiment recording a strength of all three battalions amounting to that of just one.

Spanish Army of Andalusia 20 May l808 
In Grenada:
Malaga Infantry Regiment (37/50l)
Reyna Infantry Regiment (33/788)
l/Reding III Infantry Regiment (28/875)
2/Reding III Infantry Regiment (29/892)
Montesa Cavalry Regiment (3)(23/328)
lst Cazadores de Aragon (40/l,300)
Voluntarios d'Espana (3 sqns)(l9/20l)
Source - Clerc, Capitulation de Baylen, Causes et Consequences, Paris, l903

By June of 1808 and the rush of enthusiasm to take up the fight against the French invaders the Reina were showing a doubling of their numbers across the three battalions

Reina Infantry Regiment (3)(70/1,530)
Source - Oman, Spanish Army June 1808

The Regiment was in action in the July of 1808 with the 1st Division of General Castanos' army as the French Imperial forces suffered their first major set back in three glorious years of steamrollering over the rest of Europe when General Dupont was forced to surrender at Bailen thus shattering the myth of Napoleonic invincibility.

The strength of just 795 men again barely equating to one battalion that alone three.

The Surrender at Bailen - Jose Casado del Alisal
Spanish Forces at Baylen, 17th July l808
Commanding General: Lieutenant General Francixco Xavier Castaños
Chief of Staff: Major-General T. Moreno
Artillery Commander: Mariscal de campo Marques de Medina
Engineer Commander: Colonel Bernardino de Loza

lst Division: Lt. General T. Reding
3/Wallon Guard Infantry Regiment (852)
Reina Infantry Regiment (795)
Corona Infantry Regiment (824)
Jaen Infantry Regiment (922)
Irlanda Infantry Regiment (l,724)
Reding #3 (Swiss) Infantry Regiment (l,l00)
Provincial de Jaen (500)
Voluntarios de Barbastro Infantry Regiment (39l)
Tercio de Tejas (436)
lst Voluntarios de Granada Infantry Regiment (525)
Cazadores de Anteguera (343)
Montesa Cavalry Regiment (l30)
Farnesio Cavalry Regiment (l50)
la Reina Dragoon Regiment (l45)
Numancia Dragoon Regiment (l40)
Olivencia Dragoon Regiment (l35)
Utrera Lancer Regiment (54)
Horse Battery (6 guns)
Foot Battery (4 guns)
Sappers (2 cos)(60)
Source - Oman

A different regiment but with similar facings, this grenadier provided
inspiration for painting my Reina grenadiers
All three battalions remained with Castanos's 1st Division as his army became the Army of the Centre in October of 1808 and as the Spanish army as a whole moved up in the wake of the retreating French to the River Ebro, prior to the Emperor's intervention.

As the Spanish were driven back by the second French invasion the Reina found themselves part of the scratch force detailed to defend Madrid at the Somosierra Pass. The Spanish defences were brushed aside as Napoleon forced his way into the Spanish capital.

Battle of Somosierra Pass, 1808 by Horace Vernet
Spanish Forces Defending Somosierra, Army of the Reserve, November l808
lst Voluntarios de Madrid (l,500)
2nd Voluntarios de Madrid (l,500)
Guardias Walonas (500)
Jaen Infantry Regiment (2)l,300)
l/,3/Corona Infantry Regiment (2)(l,039)
Cordoba Infantry Regiment (l,300)
Badajoz Infantry Regiment (566)
l/,3/Irlanda Infantry Regiment (2)(l,l86)
Reyna Infantry Regiment (2)(927)
Provincial de Toledo (500)
Provincial de Alcazar (400)
3/Voluntarios de Sebilla (400)
Principe Cavalry Regiment (2)(200)
Alcantara Cavalry Regiment (l00)
Montesa Cavalry Regiment (l00)
Voluntarios de Madrid Cavalry Regiment (2)(200)
Artillery (22 guns, 200 gunners)

The remains of the Army of the Centre fell back south east of Madrid at Cuenca and General Castanos was replaced by the Duke of Infantado who eager to respond to the Emperor heading off to the north-west in pursuit of Sir John Moore's British army made plans to advance on Madrid, only to see his Vanguard division taken apart at Ucles on the 13th January 1809.

Fortunately for the Reina, they missed that defeat, remaining with the 1st Division but reporting a very weak return on the 11th January.

Spanish Army of Cuenca, 11th January l809
lst Division:
Reyna Infantry Regiment (3/13/27/8/459)
l/,3/Africa Infantry Regiment (5/38/24/ll/736)
l/,3/Burgos Infantry Regiment (5/l2/34/l4/47l)
l/Sevilla Infantry Regiment (l/l4/25/-/l67)
3/Sevilla Infantry Regiment (l/8/8/4/94)
Provincial de granada (0/7/l2/l/l63)
Provincial de Bujalance (l/3/5/4/92)
Provincial de Cuenca (-/l2/l6/8/602)
Provincial de Diudad Real (2/3/8/2/258)
Provincial de Plasencia (l/3/5/2/l73)
Volontarios de Valancia (lt inf)(2/l7/l5/9/303)
Cazadores de las Navas de Tolosa (3/3l/4l/9/492)
Tiradores de Cadiz (l/l6/27/4/787)
* Figures are Chiefs, Officers, Sergeants, Drummers & Soldiers
Numbers are men present, not effective strength.
Source - Gomez de Arteche y Du Casse, Guerra de la Independencia

On the 4th of April along with the other units that would form the 5th Infantry Division at Talavera, the Reina were transferred to join General Cuesta's Army of Estremadura, now reduced to the one battalion, but at least at an effective strength.

Forces Passed to the Army of Estramadura from the Army of the Centre by order of the Supreme Central Junta. (battalions)(strength)
Division: Mariscal de campo de Echevarri
l/Reyna Infantry Regiment (l)(795)
l/Africa Infantry Regiment (l)(838)
lst Real Marina Infantry Regiment (2)(6l5)
l/,2/Murcia Infantry Regiment (2)(l,229)
2/Cazadores de Barbastro (l)(85l)
Cazadores Voluntarios de Valencia y Albuquerque (l)(83l)
Provincial de Siguenza (l)(l,08l)

My Reina regiment are composed of figures from AB supplied by Fighting 15's and with a Coronella from GMB Flags.

I have modelled my first battalion with half the companies composed of grenadiers.

So there we are four down and three to go, work goes on next with my home regiment, the boys from Murcia.

Sources referred to in this post:
The Armies of Spain and Portugal 1808-14 - G.F.Nafziger & M Gilbert
Spanish Army of the Napoleonic Wars (1) 1793-1808 - Rene Chartrand & Bill Younghusband


  1. Proper Spanish. White uniforms, bicornes, outrageous grenadier caps !


  2. Really nice. I give in think I'm going to have to re-base my 15mm napoleonics. I have tried base using napoleon at war, but it seemed the figures were too spread out, although that might be where I placed them on the stand. Do you still the exact base size as shown in napoleon at war rule book?


    1. Thanks for your comments chaps, glad you like 'the Queen's own'.

      Hi Grahame, great glad to hear it. Get them based and out on the table.

      I stuck with the NaW basing because I liked the look of the units, only reducing my artillery batteries to two bases. They work well with C&G II which relies on an established footprint of one inch to fifty paces or about thirty-eight yards, so my six base battalion groups will represent battalions of 6-700 men on that ground scale.

      The base diagrams can be found using the link in the right column - 'basing guide'. Hope that helps.


  3. Muy buena presentación y muy lindas figuras ¡felicitaciones! Saludos desde la República Argentina, Carlos.

    1. Gracias Carlos, me alegro de que haya disfrutado de la lectura.

  4. More lovely looking Spanish in white with bicornes, what more could you want!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain, I am really enjoying putting these last few units together and I am glad I left the Spanish to last as I agree there is nothing quite like them in the Napoleonic period, save perhaps the Prussians of 1807, but they don't gat to wear the white.