Tuesday 20 December 2011

Cavalry Brigade Henkel - Jena 1806

Regiment of the Day

Today we look at the Cavalry Brigade Henkel, comprising of the most rightly famed Krafft Dragoons, which fought with Grawert's 1st Division, as part of Hohenlohe's Southern Army Group at Jena, 1806.

3 bases of Saxon Dragoons (medium cavalry), representing the Krafft Dragoons under the command of Henkel. Figures by Eureka 18mm, from their 300 club.

The animation on these troops is rather superb I think, well worth a little extra effort on the paint job !

For the colours for these uniforms, red jackets are the go for Saxon Dragoons, with the collars, cuffs and lapels in regimental facing colour.

Sources of information are not easy to come by for these guys - the various Dragoon regiments appear to have used either black or dark green as the facing colour. 

No lace on trooper's bicornes, gold lace on the officers bicornes.  Not 100% sure about the plumage on these - so I have used white for the rank and file, and black over yellow for the musician and std bearer. Still looking for a suitable flag for this unit.

The bugler, I have reversed colours on him - I think that one is actually accurate for a change, and bold yellow chevrons the length of the sleeve. (or gold lace perhaps ?)

Whilst it is hard to find hard references for the Saxon cavalry in 1806, there is a wealth of data available for the SYW Saxons. This makes it easy to make some educated guesses to fill in the blanks.

For example, here are some plates from the excellent http://www.kronoskaf.com site :

SYW Saxon Officer of Dragoons
Musician of same regiment - with reversed colours.

And a fine selection of SYW flags for various Dragoon regiments .. if I cant find a decent match for the Krafft Dragoons, I may put togther something similar to one of these instead :

A draft horse looks on in awe at the powerful steeds of the Krafft Dragoons.


  1. Hi Steve!

    First, I think these are great looking figures, well painted, and I love the red coats of the Saxon Dragoons/Chevau-Legers. Excellent job with the dappling of the greys, especially!

    I have 3 sources for the Saxons - Knoetel, the Osprey by von Pivka, and Nafziger "Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars" (four if you count Funken, but they don't illustrate any pre 1810 uniforms). I couldn't find the Kraft Dragoons listed anywhere, and Nafziger includes a rather complicated table delineating the various evolution of the Saxon Cavalry regiments from 1763 to 1815. Let us assume that the regiment had black facings; that would make it the Prinz Johann regiment from 1804 on according to all the above (maybe Kraft was the acting colonel?).

    The Osprey confirms reversed colors for the trumpeters in 1806, which I found surprising as the Saxon army of this time was closely modeled after the Prussians, where such frippery was frowned upon, LOL.It also confirms white plumes for the men, red for the trumpeters (typical of German/Prussian practice), and NCO plumes white tipped black, officers white with a black base (again, like the Prussians of the time. Both Nafziger and the Osprey indicate facing colored shabraques with lace and cipher in ? button color for LC/Dragoons, and specific regimental patterns for the HC (covered in both books, and very snazzy!).

    Having said that, the Osprey illustrates an NCO of the Prinz Clemens Chevau-Lagers in 1806, which should therefore have a light green shabraque, but instead - it is red like yours! Yikes!

    As for the standards, Keith Over has all the Saxon flags pretty well detailed, and includes the info necessary for the Prinz Johann flag. I'd be happy to scan in the information for you and send it along for reference.

    It is amazing how difficult it can be to answer seemingly basic questions definitively... and we have it great compared to 50 years ago when the hobby was in its infancy!

    Have to push for that visit to Dresden! :-)

  2. Great answer !! I have to run now, but Ill get back with more detail soon.

    Krafft Dragoons, Got it here :


    "Dragoon Regiment Nr. 11

    Assigned to Generalmajor Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck’s brigade of Hohenlohe’s Prussian-Saxon army, Dragoon Regiment ‘Krafft’ Nr. 11 later surrendered at Prenzlau.

    20.05.1789: Tschirschky, Generalmajor Karl-Wilhelm von [1]
    05.11.1793: Voss, Oberst [later Generalleutnant] Ludwig-Ernst von (1734-1811)
    19.08.1806: Krafft, Generalmajor [later Generalleutnant] August-Friedrich-Erdmann von (1748-1822)

    I think the 11th have black facings. Real interesting info on the plumage though !

    Thanks for such a detailed followup - good stuff !

  3. Steve,

    Now I see the problem - Kraft #11 is a *Prussian* DR, rather than a Saxon one. I suggest you rename the unit depicted the Prinz Johann regt (either Chevau-Leger or Dragoons; the Saxons were pretty loosey-goosey about terminology for their non Heavy Cavalry regts, it seems), which they are pretty much correctly painted for.

    The Prussian DR#11 would then have the usual light Blue coats for Prussian Dragoons. Knoetel gives DR #11 "zitrongelb" (lemon yellow) facings w/ white metal buttons in 1806 (pretty cool combo!), DR #12 has black facings and white buttons.