Monday, 17 November 2014

1st Regiment, King's German Legion Hussars

Officer of the 1st KGL Hussars - see the link
for more information on the KGL cavalry

Probably one of the finest and well known regiment's that served in Wellington's Peninsula Army is the 1st King's German Legion Hussars. Their quality in terms of knowing their role as a light cavalry regiment to act as "eyes and ears" for the army whilst performing their picket work as well as being a reliable and formidable opponent on the field of battle was noted right from the start of their posting to the peninsula.

King George III of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover
The King's German Legion was formed within months of Napoleon's takeover and dissolution of the Electorate of Hanover in 1803, the Elector being King George III of Great Britain. Many officers and men of the Hanoverian army responded to this takeover by immediately heading for Britain where they were quickly formed into a mixed corps of infantry, cavalry and artillery units under the command of Sir Colin Halkett and Colonel Johann Friedrich von der Decken.'s_German_Legion

The KGL 1st Light Dragoons/Hussars landed at Lisbon in May of 1809 providing a small contingent of about 80 men to the force that marched on Oporto that month. It was in the summer of that year that the regiment made its proper debut in the Talavera campaign under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich von Artenschilde, brigaded with the 23rd Light Dragoons under the command of Brigade Major General George Anson and will make it's table top appearance in the Casa de Salinas scenario.

See below for the British order of battle to be completed

Division Lieutenant General Sir Alexander McKenzie

McKenzie's Brigade
2/24th Foot (Warwickshire Regt.)
2/31st Foot (Huntingdonshire Regt.)
1/45th Foot (Nottinghamshire Regt.)
McKenzie's Brigade Light Battalion

Donkin's Brigade
2/87th Foot (Prince of Wales Own Irish Regt.)
1/88th Foot (Connaught Rangers Regt.)
Donkin's Brigade Light Battalion

Anson's Brigade
23rd Light Dragoon's
1st KGL Hussars'sCavalry/c_1stKGLLightDragoons.html

The 1st Hussars provided a core of veteran light cavalry to the British army and was eventually attached on a semi permanent basis to the famous Light Division. During their advanced picket duties on the Portuguese/Spanish border they gained a reputation for being a reliable early warning of any French aggressive intent and General Craufurd's Light Bobs would rarely take notice of a galloping British light dragoon approaching their positions, but a KGL hussar was good reason to sound the stand to.

A notable battle honour for the 1st Hussars is their contribution at the Battle of El Bodon in September 1811.

My regiment is composed of the excellent AB figures which offer two styles of British hussar, the first wearing peakless busbies and using shabraques (saddle cloths) as seen more often used by British hussar regiments; and these the second option of peaked busbies and saddle blankets which were more practical on campaign and depicted being used by the KGL.

These chaps will be featuring in a lot of games to come, so I hope you like them.

Next up - here come the Irish!


  1. They look awesome, and as inspirational as the other work you produce. If I may ask: how many hours have been spent on preparing, painting and basing the regiment?

    1. Hi Blancard, thank you. I can usually turn round a 12 figure cavalry regiment or 28 figure (including skirmishers) battalion of infantry in about a week. I paint most evenings and will paint a lot at weekends. The process is methodical in that you have to get the priming and first block colours on and then the whole process speeds up with second and third highlights. That's the fun bit when you see the model suddenly "pop" as the details starts to jump out. I think a lot of irregular painters who would like to be more regular find finding the fun hard and thus paint every now and then.

      So specifically in hours I guess about an hour to two max in an evening and maybe eight hours at weekends, other activities permitting, and weekends are usually spent highlighting and basing.

  2. The painting is splendid, but I particularly like the rocks on the bases- very naturalistic! What are you using for those please? Thanks, Simon

    1. Hi Simon, thank you. The secret of the bases is covered in a little tutorial I did a while back with some Portuguese dragoons in the side bar under, Bases - a how to guide.

    2. Thanks- I shall look it up!

  3. these figures are a real beauties! lovely painting and basing...marvelous!

    1. Hi Phil, thank you, glad you like them.

  4. FANTASTIC brushwork on these KGL. Great history lesson too Like Simon noted, the ground cover look especially Iberian.

    1. Thanks Jonathan, glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. Replies
    1. AP, you're too kind. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Stunning paint job, fantastic basing and great historical background...I love this post!

    1. Hi Phil, Cheers mate glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Nicely done. I have mine in Battle Honors, but since my infantry are Eureka/AB, I've been tempted to replace them. AB is hard to ignore as being the very top.

    1. Thanks VLE. I tend to go for AB for my cavalry as I think their horses are second to none and they really look great on the table. I am looking to try out the Blue Moon cavalry at some time as some of their sculpts look quite eye catching.