Wednesday, January 2, 2008

When I started down the track of painting up a Austrian army it was more or less not a firm decision, a friend of mine gave me a heap of models that he was not working on anymore and I took them with the intention of painting up a few units as a supplement to jchadertons Austrians army.

After painting up the 1st regiment I was hooked and started to take a closer look at the Austrian army. I chose 1809 as a period since it seemed an appropriate time to look at the Austrians since we see them take on France alone, and even though they lost the campaign seem to be the turning point in the 1st empire.

Anyway I got a hold of Bowden, Rothenberg, Schinde, Eysturlid, Petre and Arnold. I figured its a good start for a reading list for the Austrians with the Osprey's by Hollins it gave me a good grounding to understanding these men in white and their leaders. I also just ordered Thunder on the Danube by Gill and I'm looking forward to reading that edition.

I don't know German though i hope to learn it in the next few years but even so id say it would help only a little if I wanted to read Krieg and i hope that one day a certain person decides to seek and publish that book (you know who you are good sir!)

As a novice when you read threads on tmp or other sites you are given an impression of the Austrians as slow bumbling idiots who are doomed to failure even before the battle is joined. But when you look at them closely they are far from it. Their failures are significant but you have to give it to them for consistency, they never gave up and in most cases took the opportunity to stick it to the French even when they were meant to be fighting for them!

Add to the book reading the histofig website and the napoleon series website both offer and invaluable source for understanding the organisation and structure of the Austrian army. Also if you have the funds I also recommend Magweb which gives you access to empires eagles and lions a truly fantastic resource.

So with the reading underway I had to pick an OOB to work with. At 1st I considered a formation from the main theatre of operations, but their OOB's changed so much and Bowdens OOBs while good seem not to be what was actually in the field when you read petre closely.

Anyway the formations where huge anyway and I was wanting something a little different, so looked at Italy. The campaign there was to and fro and while the commanders where not brilliant the battles where interesting.

So I settled on 8th Korp. It has a nice composition or regular infantry and cavalry that can also form the basis of most Austrian formations in both the Bavarian stage and the later Danube stage.

The Korp is listed as having 5 brigades at the outset of hostilities Schinde shows a different OOB to Bowden factoring the removal of one brigade to assist the uprising in the tyrol.

I decided to run with the bowden OOB on the basis I can then make up the battle OOB's as needed and even look at doing some of the forces in the tyrol as well.

So My next post will introduce Brigade Collerdo with some unit histories and so on.

8th Korp Army Commander

Cheers BBC