Tuesday 28 July 2015

Antoine-Louis Decrest de Saint-Germain

Of noble decent, Antoine-Louis Decrest de Saint-Germain was born in Paris on 8 December 1761. In 1778, he joined the gendarmerie de Lunéville, but was expelled in 1784 for indiscipline – at which point he transferred to the Légion étrangère de Waldemer.

By 1190, he had joined the garde nationale parisienne and gained a captaincy in the cavalry the same year. At the outbreak war, he served in the Army of the North (1792) and commanded the legion des Ardennes as a lieutenant colonel in the Army of the Ardennes in 1793. However, in April 1794, his family background probably led to his arrest, but he was to escape the Guillotine and rejoined the army a year later – as colonel of 23e régiment de chasseurs à cheval.

Saint-Germain led his regiment in campaign on the Rhine and received his first recorded battle wound when a cannonball broke his right foot on 20 September 1796. Following his recuperation, he was wounded again at the battle of Wiesbaden on 22 Apr 1797, suffering a couple of fractured ribs and a broken left arm whilst leading a cavalry charge. However, he was well enough to serve under Michel Ney at the battle of Hohenlinden on 3 Dec 1800, where he had four horses killed under him over the course of two days.

In April 1805, Saint-Germain was named general of brigade and given a command in Nansouty’s 1st Heavy Cavalry Division with whom he served in he wars of the Third and Fourth Coalition. Joining the Légion d’honneur in May 1807 and made baron in January 1809, Saint-Germain led a cuirassier brigade at the battle of Aspern-Essling. He was promoted to general of division in July the same year and given command of 2e division de cuirassiers.

Here we see him represented here in 28mm as commander of 1re division de cuirassiers de la Grande Armée, a position he had gained in 1811. To his flanks are an Imperial Orderly and a senior officer of the Horse Artillery.

Saint-Germaine was wounded again leading a charge at the battle of Borodino in 1812, but recovered to participate in the battle of Hanau in 1813 as a count of the Empire and commander of 2e corps de cavalerie de la Grande Armée. 

His final field command was in 1814 during which year was part of Grouchy action that caught Blucher’s rearguard at Vauchamp. He then moved to MacDonald’s command, under whom he distinguished himself at an action at the bridges of Barse against Prince Schwarzenberg.

At the restoration in 1814, Saint-Germain was made chevalier de Saint-Louis and inspecteur-général de cavalerie and then inspecteur-général de cavalerie of 15e et 16e divisions militaires in 1818. He retired in 1826 and survived until 4 Oct 1835. The name, Saint-Germaine, is inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe.

Monday 27 July 2015

For Mother Russia II

I managed to squeeze the other half of the elite company I started in May for next year's big project - Russian 3rd Division c.1812:

They are painted to represent the elite company of 1st battalion, Reval (Tallinn) regiment. The other companies will all be on eight figure bases, but as the two halves of the elite company deploy at either ends of a line, I chose to split them into two, four figure bases. 

28mm figures by Foundry Miniatures, which although expensive when purchased in small numbers, become very competitive when the bulk discounts are factored in.

Next up for this unit will be the 1st company, which is the command stand.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Big Brother IX - End of Phase 2

The completion of 3e régiment de cuirassiers brings phase 2 to a close. So here are a couple of group shots of the full regiment with the brigade commander:

Divisional commander and photos of the two brigades done to date are not far off.

Sunday 19 July 2015

Big Brother VIII

Apologies for the month lull, but fresh back from my hols, I finished off the last touches to the fourth and final squadron of 3rd Cuirassiers.

Again, I've gone for colouring to suggest a younger mount for the trumpeter of the second line squadron - inspired by my week in Lipica Stud Farm.

Here is the second half of 3rd Cuirassiers ranked up:

I'll pop up some photos of the full regiment in the week and, once the Divisional commander is painted, the first two brigades.