Friday, 27 March 2009
SYW - The campaign 'look'
I'm sure most of you have seen this illustration before but I think its worth re-showing because it portrays Prussian IR 27 (Asseburg) on the march to the Battle of Custrin. In 1758 a Russian army roved through Brandenburg sacking several cities. On August 15 they laid siege to the town of Custrin (modern Kostrzyn) in Poland. The siege lasted for ten days, being lifted only when a Prussian army led by Frederick the Great engaged the Russians and defeated them in a very costly battle.
There are a number of interesting observations in this illustration.
1) The campaign look of the troops. The officer looks 'regulation' but the rank and file marching behind him look very worn out. I have tended to think of SYW soldiers as pristine, with leather whitened and everything just right, whereas the campaign reality was probably quite different. Note that some of them are either not wearing gaiters or are wearing white ones.
2) The size of the musket is worth pointing out. Most manufacturers of SYW figures
don't make a large enough musket.
3) The Officer is carrying his spontoon point down.
I have no idea who the artist was or when it was painted. But I think he or she has
brilliantly caught the feeling for the period - a hot August day (from the shadows cast the sun is at or close to its strongest), crops uncut, and tired and thirsty troops, with the prospect, perhaps, of many miles of marching ahead.
I wish a manufacturer of miniatures made figures like these.