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Hyphenated Wars


Historical Overview

Who Used What? Weapons of the German Campaigns of 1866

Uniform Plates and Painting Guides for the Hyphenated Wars

The Battle of Mentana 1867

The Battle of Calatafimi 1860

1870: Some Reading for Wargamers

15mm Figures for 19th Century European Wars

25mm/28mm Miniatures for 19th Century European Wars

Miniatures Rules for the Hyphenated Wars

Who Used What?

Weapons of the German Campaigns of 1866

Prussian movements in the campaign along the Main (Map by BerndH courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

By Arofan Gregory, copyright (c) 2018. All rights reserved.


I. Introduction

II. Prussian and Her Allies

    A. Prussia

    B. Mecklenburg-Schwerin

    C. Anhalt

    D. Brunswick

    E. Saxe-Altenberg

    F. Mecklenburg-Strelitz

    G. Bremen, Oldenburg, Hamburg, and Lübeck

    H. Lippe-Detmold

    I. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen

    J. Waldeck & Pyrmont

    K. Reuss-Schleiz (& Reuss-Greiz)

    L. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

III. Federal Forces

    A. Austria

    B. Bavaria

    C. Saxony

    D. Württemberg

    E. Hanover

    F. Baden

    G. Hesse-Cassel

    H. Hesse-Darmstadt

    I. Nassau

    J. Schaumburg-Lippe

    K. Reuss-Greiz (& Reuss-Schleiz)

    L. Frankfurt

    M. Saxe-Meiningen & Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

IV. What Color Is My Limber?

V. What About Cavalry?

^ I. Introduction

There are details of military history which sometimes seem to be of little or no importance to anyone but a minority of historical miniatures wargamers (and maybe gun collectors). This is one of them. There were a large number of different German "national" forces actually or potentially involved in the German campaigns of 1866, and it is particularly difficult to determine who used which rifles and which artillery pieces at a time when these things were in transition. An attempt is made here to provide some clarity on the topic. This is not a serious piece of research, but is intended only to help wargamers make as accurate a guess as possible in those cases where there is confusion or a lack of information. (Unlike historians, who can choose to remain silent, historical wargamers have to have an answer, even if it is just a best guess. Otherwise, you can't put the troops on the table.)

Wargamers like to lump weapons into broad categories (ie, "muskets"), and for much Horse & Musket wargaming, this works. Weapons production for much of the era was artisinal - it was a cottage industry by modern standards, even though the weapons manufacturers in Germany and Austria were often quite large. Gunsmithing was a skilled craft. In the second half of the 19th century, that changed as industrialized production took over. Military thinkers became increasingly concerned with weapons design and technical characteristics. Technological advances were having a huge impact on the battlefield during this period, and it behooves wargamers to recognize finer distinctions in their representation of weapon types for the late 19th century than they do for earlier Horse & Musket periods. Most rules sets for 1866 do this, but it sometimes leaves wargamers with questions of how to categorize specific units.

The Dreyse breech-loading "needle-gun" is often given as the reason for Prussian victory at Königgratz. Frankly, I think there were other factors at play that have often been neatly swept under this particular rug. Even so, its impact cannot be denied. But who was using it? And what else was in use? This article will look mainly at what can be determined regarding these questions and related ones for the other participants of the 1866 German War inside of Germany. There has been a lot of new material published recently on this topic, including the excellent Too Little, Too Late by Michael Embree. Much of what I present here is taken from that source.

I have focused on those nations that fielded contingents of a significant size, primarily to serve the "average" wargamer, by which I mean those using grand-tactical rules sets such as 1866, Fire & Fury derivatives, or similar. At the same time, I have included every state for which I have any information at all. I have found some wargaming resources which were incorrect in certain particulars, no doubt as a result of the paucity of information available on the subject. Hopefully this article will help. It is very much intended for a wargaming audience: I am not a gun collector, and while I appreciate the deep knowledge of some experts in historical weapons, many of the details are beyond me. If I make any mis-statements here regarding specific weapons, it is a product of my ignorance.* I extend my thanks to the members of the Blood & Iron Yahoo Group. The expertise available through that forum is impressive, and the members both knowledgable and responsive. They have helped me considerably in writing this article.

Different German states are divided into the Federal Forces (those remaining within the Austrian-led German Confederation) and those which sided with Prussia, which was in the act of creating the North German Confederation (it first came into existence in August of 1866). For those states whose forces were not involved in combat, and for some that were, there tends to be little information. I have used a "best-guess" approach in such cases, as the probability of fielding these troops for most wargamers is low. I have identified those places where I am making assumptions. In many cases - especially for the minor German states - I have relied on depictions of the forces in question, favoring Knötel's comprehensive series of uniform plates. This is not a reliable source, but - for wargaming purposes - it is better than nothing.

I will update this page as I learn more - there are some references I am actively pursuing but have not had a chance to consult. If you spot that I am wrong on any point, please contact me.

* One interesting fact I learned during my research: the Austrians, after converting Lorenz muzzle-loaders into breech-loaders, re-converted them back into muzzle-loaders for sale in Africa. If you fire one of the re-conversions, it is apt to explode next to your head. Nice.

^ II. Prussia and Her Allies

^ A. Prussia

NOTE: I have gone into a lot of detail in this section, because the Prussian army is obviously one which every historical wargame of the campaign will require, because it is a complicated topic, and because there is a lot of information on it. Other states involved in the conflict are not dealt with in as much detail.

The Prussians used the Dreyse needle-gun, adopted in 1841, in their front-line formations during this conflict. The version carried by the Prussian forces in 1866 was still the one originally issued, that had first been used in action (in a small way) during the 1848 revolutions in Germany (the troops in Denmark and presumably in the majority of other cases in 1848 used the Model 39 percussion muzzle-loading rifle-musket). There was an improved version of the Dreyse (Model 1862), but the only troops to receive this during the conflict were not committed to the fighting, and thus it had no impact on the war. The advantages of a breech-loading rifle are well-known, with higher rates of fire and the ability to remain prone in combat generally heading the list. The first version of the Dreyse had some significant failings, however, which tended to mitigate these advantages to some extent:

  • Limited range: The Dreyse was sighted to something like 600 meters, which was its maximum effective range. This was very short by the current standards as established by the Minié-type rifles of the conflict and later breech-loaders (the Lorenz had a range of 900 meters, the Chassepot 1200 meters). One can argue that this was not important in the 1866 war where engagement ranges were often much less, as opposed to say, the Franco-Prussian War. I would counter that Prussian troops on the attack still had to cross a significant beaten zone before the Dreyse's superior rate of fire could have an impact.
  • Breech failure: The early model of the Dreyse would vent hot gas at the breech after continuous firing. Given that the weapon was theoretically capable of firing 10 to 12 rounds a minute (one of its advantages, although 5 or 6 rounds a minute is probably a more realistic figure) this was a real problem. Purportedly, Prussian soldiers sometimes resorted to firing from the hip, not wanting to put their face too close to the escaping hot gasses, despite a design which was supposed to direct such gasses toward the barrel in case the breech failed to seal. (I would point out the difficulty of remaining prone while firing from the hip.)
  • Needle breakage/failure: As the gun was used in action, there was a tendency for the needle to break. When the needle got dirty, the gun would misfire. Prussian soldiers were trained to change these out quickly, and each man carried two spares. Apparently, the needle needed changing after every 12 shots to remain in pristine operating condition.

Some people would deny that these failings were significant or even existed at all. There is an excellent video regarding the Dreyse and the Lorenz on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5xH1YELizY. I leave it up to the reader to decide whether these criticisms of the Dreyse are valid. Regardless, it cannot be denied that the Dreyse gave the Prussians an advantage to some extent at least over foes armed with Minie-type rifled muskets.

The Landwehr seeing service in Germany were - even if trained on the Dreyse - issued the older (and unfamiliar) Minié-type muzzle-loaders for combat. This was true for the Prussian Landwehr at Langensalza, significantly. (I do not believe the Landwehr infantry of I Reserve Corps in the Army of the Elbe had the same issue at Königgratz.)

When it comes to artillery, we are faced with a complicated picture. Prussia had nine artillery regiments in 1866 (one Guard, eight Line). Each had three foot battalions and one horse battalion. Each battalion had four batteries of six guns apiece. This gives us a total of 144 batteries, of which 54 had been modernized (that is, equipped with Krupp breech-loaders) at the time of the 1866 war. Of the artillery used by the Prussian Army of the Main, half of the batteries had the older 12-pounder smoothbores. There were four types of Prussian batteries in the German campaigns: those with the breech-loading, rifled Krupp 6-pounder; those with the breech-loading, rifled Krupp 4-pounder; and horse and foot artillery batteries armed with bronze smoothbore muzzle-loading 12-pounders.

Embree gives us an order of battle for the Prussian Army of the West on June 16 of 1866, which lists the following artillery units:

    13th Infantry Division:

    • 3rd Foot detachment, Field Artillery Regiment No. 7, 4 batteries (24 guns)
    • 3rd and 4th Horse Artillery Batteries, Field Artillery Regiment No. 7, 2 batteries (12 guns)
    • Provisional rifled six-pounder battery (6 guns, captured from Hanover)

    Combined Division Manteuffel

    • 24 guns listed, no specific units - presumably the same as for the July order of battle, below

    Combined Division Beyer

    • 18 guns listed, no specific units - presumably the same as for the July order of battle, below

When we look at reenforcements sent to the Army of the West by June 26, we find two provisional 6-pounder batteries formed from captured Hanoverian weapons, and half of the 'Sally' battery from Fortress Artillery Regiment No. 4 of 4 guns. At Langensalza (27 June of 1866), we see Detachment von Flies with:

    Advance Guard:

    • 3rd 4-Pounder Battery of the Silesian Field Artillery Regiment No. 7 (6 guns)
    • Section, Erfurt provisional battery, Madgeburg Fortress Artillery Regiment No. 4 (2 guns)

    Main Body:

    • 3rd Horse Artillery Battery, Westphalian Artillery Regiment No. 7 (6 guns)
    • Section, Erfurt provisional battery, Madgeburg Fortress Artillery Regiment No. 4 (2 guns)

    Reserve (under Seckendorff):

    • 3rd Horse Artillery Battery, Field Artillery Regiment No. 7 (6 guns)
    • Section, Erfurt provisional battery, Madgeburg Fortress Artillery Regiment No. 4 (2 guns)
    • Sally Battery 'Erfurt' (2 guns)
    • Miscellaneous 7-pounder howitzers (2 guns)

If we look at the Order of Battle for the Army of the Main for July of 1866 (also in Embree), we see that there are the following artillery units listed:

    13th Infantry Division:

    • 3rd Foot Division, 7th Artillery Regiment - 4 batteries (25 guns)
    • 3rd Horse Division, 7th Artillery Regiment - 1 battery (6 guns)

    Combined Division Manteuffel:

    • 8th 6-pounder Battery, 6th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)
    • 8th 12-pounder Battery, 6th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)
    • 3rd 4-pounder Battery, 6th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)
    • 4th 4-pounder Battery, 6th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)

    Combined Division Beyer:

    • 1st 4-Pounder Battery, 8th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)
    • 1st 12-Pounder Battery, 8th Artillery Regiment (6 guns)
    • 12th 12-Pounder Reserve Battery (6 guns)

The Prussian contingent in II Reserve Corps (the Combined Prussian Division) contained the 2nd Reserve Field Artillery Regiment, with five 4-pounder batteries and three 6-pounder batteries, all of six rifled Krupp breech-loaders.

What can we make of this? If we ignore provisional units made up of captured Hanoverian weapons and fortress artillery, ignore II Reserve Corps (they only took the field on 20 July, in northeast Bavaria, and remained some distance from the main army), and account for duplication, we see a total of 15 batteries. The following table lists these, and what they consisted of. The weapon used by the horse artillery was the Model 1859, a bronze 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loader. Bronze 12-pounder smoothbores were also the ones being incrementally replaced in the foot battalions with the Krupp weapons (the regulation which started the process specified that three of each artillery regiments' 16 batteries should be replaced with the 6-pounder C/61 Krupp). The only 4-pounder in use at the time by the Prussians was the Krupp 4-pounder C/64.

13th Infantry Division, 3rd Foot Detachment, Arty. Rgt. 7 (AoM)4 batteries (@ 6 guns), type not stated (could plausibly be 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders, or Krupp 4- or 6-pounder rifled breech-loaders)
3rd and 4th Horse Batteries, Arty. Rgt. 7 (AoM)2 batteries (@ 6 guns), type not stated but likely 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders
Combined Division Manteuffel, 8th 6-pounder battery, Arty. Rgt. 8 (AoM)1 battery (6 guns), rifled steel breech-loaders
Combined Division Manteuffel, 8th 12-pounder battery, Arty. Rgt. 8 (AoM)1 battery (6 guns), bronze 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders
Combined Division Manteuffel, 3rd and 4th 4-pounder batteries, Arty. Rgt. 8 (AoM)2 batteries (@ 6 guns), rifled steel breech-loaders
Combined Division Beyer, 1st 4-pounder battery, Arty. Rgt. 8 (AoM)1 battery (6 guns), rifled steel breech-loaders
Combined Division Beyer, 1st 12-pounder battery, Arty. Rgt. 8 and 12th Reserve 12-pounder battery (AoM)2 batteries (@ 6 guns), bronze smoothbore 12-pounder muzzle-loaders
Advance Guard, 3rd 4-pounder battery, Silesian Arty Rgt. 7 (Det.von Flies)1 battery (6 guns), rifled steel breech-loaders
Main Body, 3rd Horse Artillery Battery, Westphalian Arty. Rgt. 7 (Det.von Flies)1 battery (6 guns), type not stated but likely bronze 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders

Of the 15 batteries, 6 are armed with Model 1859 bronze 12-pounder muzzle-loaders, 1 with 6-pounder Krupp breech-loaders, and 4 with Krupp 4-pounder breech-loaders, leaving only 4 batteries of unknown type. Embree tells us that half of the batteries in the Army of the Main were the older smoothbore 12-pounders. If half of the unknown batteries are bronze 12-pounders - 2 batteries - the others would be either 4-pounder or 6-pounder Krupp guns, with at least one likely made up of 4-pounders. (This assumes that the provisional batteries are excluded from Embree's reckoning. If we include them, then it is possible that all four of the batteries were equipped with the older smoothbores. Judging from the artillery assigned to the other divisions, I think this is unlikely.)

If we look at the provisional batteries and sections, it seems probable that the batteries armed with captured Hanoverian weapons would be using Krupp rifled 6-pounder breech-loaders (the weapon the Hanoverians used). The 7-pounder howitzers were likely left-overs from the reforms which brought the model 1859 12-pounder smoothbores into service (there were two in each heavy foot battery in preceding years). These are smoothbore, muzzle-loading weapons. The 'sally' batteries of the fortress artillery units of Detachment von Flies are described by Embree as smoothbores - this means they are not equipped with the rifled 12- or 24-pounder breech-loading guns issued to that arm. For game purposes, I would guess that slow, very heavy guns are called for - other countries such as Hanover and Denmark used 24-pounder smoothbore howitzers during this period. While classed as fortress artillery, they were sometimes used on the field, as at Langensalza.

This was an era where within the Prussian military and within Europe more generally the relative merits of rifled guns and smoothbores was being actively debated.* The Franco-Austrian War of 1859 was held as an example of the superiority of rifled artillery, while the American Civil War was used as an argument for the smoothbore. Prussian thinking (along with many other German states') was that, since the small bore of rifled weapons made them less effective at firing cannister, they should be supplemented with large gun-howitzers (the Model 1859 was the equivalent of the Napoleon 12-pounder in the American Civil War). The French answered this question by adopting the mitrailleuse. Although many attempts had been made, until Krupp came along no one had solved the problem of producing a breech-loading weapon in small enough sizes for the field artillery. Both Prussia and Austria had breech-loading fortress guns in 1866, as these were technologically feasible earlier.

As a cautionary note, there is a lot of both confusing material and unintentional misinformation out there on the web on this topic: I sincerely hope I am not contributing to it! Without recourse to the details, there is no way to understand this picture for wargaming purposes, and there is clearly no easy "realistic" generalization to be made.

When dealing with Prussian artillery of the period, be especially wary of people using "C/64" as if it uniquely identified a particular weapon. It does not. The "C/" designations represent series of guns of different calibers using a single basic design - the number is the notional model year. The Krupp C/61 series was made up of 6-, 12-, and 24-pounders, all breech-loading, rifled steel guns (all of the Krupp guns mentioned here are rifled, breech-loading, and made of steel). The 12- and 24-pounder versions were fortress guns, and not intended for field use. The C/61 field guns used the Swedish Wahrendorff "piston" breech mechanism requiring two-man operation. In 1862, the wedge block replaced the piston mechanism in 12- and 24-pounder fortress guns. The C/64 series included 4- and 6-pounder field versions using a wedge block requiring only a single man to operate. A new carriage was introduced, making the more mobile 4-pounder practical. (A battery of 4-pounder prototypes was deployed successfully in the 1864 war with Denmark.) The only C/67 gun of which I am aware is the 4-pounder, produced in time for the Franco-Prussian War. It was developed in response to failures of the C/64 4-pounder during the 1866 conflict. Because the Prussian guns of the 1870 war were the C/64 6-pounder and the C/67 4-pounder, these designations (without specifying the caliber) are often used to refer to the Prussian Krupp guns. In 1866, however, even the Prussians would have experienced difficulty in fielding a gun which did not exist until 1867 - both 4- and 6-pounders were still C/61s or C/64s. The C/61 6-pounder was ordered to replace the smooth-bore 12-pounder (the Model 1859) in 3 batteries of each artillery regiment (the foot batteries) starting in 1860; the 12-pounders had only replaced the lighter bronze smoothbores starting in 1857.

There was a lot of change going on very rapidly within the Prussian field artillery in the 1860s, which is one reason why so many 12-pounders were still in use in Germany in 1866. Note that while I use the "-pounder" terminology, officially the Prussians used "8 centimeter" and "9 centimeter" designations for the 4-pounder and 6-pounder Krupp guns, respectively. I believe this terminology was introduced only for rifled guns, where the weight of shot and the caliber of the gun do not neatly agree.

* In an 1860 piece titled "On Rifled Cannon" (http://marxengels.public-archive.net/en/ME1197en.html) Frederich Engels writes:

"Still, the arming of the whole French artillery with 12-pounders, even of a diminished range, would have given it a decided superiority over the old [Prussian] 6 and 8-pounders; and to counteract this, the Prussian Government, in 1859, resolved upon giving heavy 12-pounders to all its foot batteries. This was the last move in the cause of the smooth-bore gun; it showed that the whole subject was exhausted, and the defenders of the smooth-bore driven ad absurdum. There could, indeed, not be anything more absurd than to arm the whole artillery of an army with those lumbering, stick-in-the-mud Prussian 12-pounders, and that at a time when mobility and rapidity of maneuvering is the greatest desideratum of all."

^ B. Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Mecklenburg-Schwerin provided troops for the Combined Mecklenburg-Schwerin Division of the II Reserve Corps, which took the field on 20 July 1866 in northeastern Bavaria. Contingents from Saxe-Altenberg and Brunswick were also in this force. The Mecklenburg-Schwerin infantry used the Dreyse needlegun. There were two batteries of artillery, both assigned to the division, one consisting of six rifled 6-pounder Krupp breechloaders and the other of smoothbore 12-pounders. (Appendix V of the Austrian General Staff's "Österreichs Kämpfe im Jahre 1866", pp. 32-33, shows the second battery as also having Krupp 6-pounders.)

^ C. Anhalt

Anhalt troops formed part of II Reserve Corps, serving in the Prussian Combined Division. They fielded two infantry battalions. They are depicted by Knötel and others as using the needlegun, which makes sense as an ally of Prussia, serving alongside Prussian troops.

^ D. Brunswick

Brunswick also provided troops to II Reserve Corps, albeit reluctantly. They formed part of the Brunswick - Saxe-Altenberg Brigade in the Combined Mecklenburg-Schwerin Division. Depictions of the Lieb Battalion and the Line Battalions (there were two) show them with the Dreyse. I have never seen a depiction of the Landwehr Battalion which formed part of their contingent. They also provided a battery of 4 guns to the divisional artillery, which are listed in Embree as 6-pounders, presumably Krupp guns but possibly older muzzle-loading smoothbores. (Knötel depicts them in 1859 with smoothbores, for whatever that is worth.)

^ E. Saxe-Altenberg

Both battalions of the Fusilier Regiment spent most of the war garrisoning the Prussian fortress at Erfurt; they formed part of the Brunswick - Saxe-Altenberg Brigade in II Reserve Corps. I have never seen a depiction of their weapons, but Knötel shows all the other Thuringian Duchy forces (on both sides) with the Dreyse. My guess is that this was the rifle they used.

^ F. Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Mecklenburg-Strelitz had a single infantry battalion and a six-gun battery of Krupp rifled 6-pounder breechloaders. The infantry arm was presumably the Dreyse. They spent the war doing occupation duty in Saxony.

^ G. Bremen, Oldenburg, Hamburg, and Lübeck

Together, troops from these states formed the Oldenburg-Hanseatic Brigade as part of the 13th Division in the Army of the Main on 20 July, 1866. Troops from Lübeck, Hamburg, and Oldenburg are depicted by Knötel with the Dreyse, and others do the same, including troops from Bremen, so presumably this was the weapon they used.

^ H. Lippe-Detmold

The single infantry battalion from Lippe-Detmold was organized and trained as the Prussians, joining the Army of the Main in early July. Knötel has a plate covering the years 1861 to 1867. In it, the fusiliers are shown with the Dreyse. Other depictions concur. Given their organization and training, this is presumably the weapon they used in 1866.

^ I. Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen

Each of these principalities has a single fusilier battalion, both of which were committed to the force blockading the fortress at Mainz. Knötel depicts troops from both principalities wearing a Prussianized uniform with a green tunic and carrying the Dreyse.

^ J. Waldeck & Pyrmont

This principality had a single battalion, committed to garrison duty during the conflict. Knötel and others depict the troops in Prussianized uniforms and carrying the Dreyse.

^ K. Reuss-Schleiz (& Reuss-Greiz)

The story behind these two tiny principalities is amusing. Both are ruled by members of the House of Reuss. They each fielded a single battalion, both of which ended up assigned to the fortress of Rastatt in Baden, one "fighting" for the Prussians, the other for the Federal side. Neither saw any actual fighting. (The Federal fortresses at Mainz and Rastatt were garrisoned by non-Prussian, non-Austrian units as decreed on June 9, 1866 by the Bundestag, before some Confederation members had chosen sides. The House of Reuss had the curious tradition of naming all male sons of either line "Heinrich" - this wasn't just a brother-against-brother situation, it was a Henry-against-Henry one. As Embree comments, it has all the íngredients of a comic opera.) Knötel has a plate showing the forces of both, the junior line of the House of Reuss (Reuss-Schleiz) siding with Prussia, and the senior line (Reuss-Greiz) with the Federals. They wear the same uniforms. The only figure shown with a fire-arm is from the Federal battalion, and carries a Dreyse, so presumably that is what both battalions used.

^ L. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

Saxe-Coburg-Gotha provided a regiment of two battalions. It saw action both at Langensalza as part of the Advance Guard, and along the Main. The army was Prussianized (albeit with green tunics), and used the Dreyse.

^ III. Federal Forces

^ A. Austria

There were not a lot of Austrian troops involved in the campaign in Germany, although they comprised half of the 4th Division of the Federal VIII Corps. They were equipped in the same manner as their counterparts in Bohemia and Italy. The rifle used by the Austrians was the Lorenz rifled percussion musket of models 1854 and 1862, and it had a solid reputation. It was of variable quality due to the capabilites of different manufacturers, but it does not deserve all the poor reviews it received in the American Civil War (the Union inconsistently re-bored the weapon to .58 caliber, to take standard Minié-ball ammunition, and the Austrians used the war as a dumping-ground for the worn-out weapons left over from 1859.) It came in three lengths and several different configurations, suited for use by infantrymen, jagers, sharpshooters, cavalrymen, artillerists, etc. The events of the American Civil War had not been lost on the Austrians, and there were proponents of cavalry firepower within the Austrian establishment. However, due to shortage of weapons, only half of the light cavalry squadrons carried the carbine version of the Lorenz in 1866 (the remainder being armed with pistols). The standard infantry version was sighted to 900 paces, and had a higher muzzle velocity than most Minié-type rifles, making it more accurate. While not all the Austrian troops had the Lorenz during the 1859 war in Italy, by 1866 the replacement of the earlier Augustin was complete.

The artillery used in the German campaign was small in extent: only two batteries were present. While the order of battle Embree provides (from Baur-Breitenfeld's "Die Operationen des achten deutschen Bundes Corps in Feldzuge des Jahres 1866") shows both equipped with eight rifled 4-pounder muzzle-loaders apiece, in the text Embree explains that one of the batteries was equipped with eight 12-pounder rifled muzzle-loaders. This seems unlikely: other sources list 8-pounder rifled muzzle-loaders (which was the standard throughout the Austrian service for heavy field batteries) as equipping this battery, which is what I would use on the tabletop. None of the Austrian rocket batteries were present in Germany.

^ B. Bavaria

The Bavarian infantry used the Model 1858 Podewils muzzle-loading rifled percussion musket. It came in three lengths - a standard infantry version, a shorter version used by the jagers, and a third version used by sharpshooters. It had been adopted throughout the Bavarian service by 1862. There was a later breech-loading conversion, the Lindner-Podewils, but this was not used in 1866 by the Bavarian forces.*

The Bavarian artillery consisted of four artillery regiments. The 1st, 2nd, and 4th were foot artillery, and the 3rd was horse artillery. The 1st and 2nd each had two batteries of rifled six-pounder breechloading guns, three batteries of smoothbore twelve-pounder muzzle-loaders, and an additional seven batteries assigned to fortress service, which did not see service in the field. The 4th Regiment had two batteries of rifled 6-pounder breech-loaders, two batteries of 12-pounder smoothbores, and eight batteries assigned to fortress duty. The guns were grouped into eight-gun batteries, and these were assigned to "divisions" of two to four batteries for field service. The 3rd Regiment - the horse artillery - consisted of four six-gun batteries, all equipped with 12-pounder muzzle-loading smoothbores.

* There is sometimes contention as to which rifle the Bavarian forces used in 1870. While the breech-loading conversions of the Podewils were certainly used to equip the Bavarian military - it had been adopted in 1867, and was used in action in 1870, proving to be inferior to both the Dreyse and the Chassepot - examples of its replacement, the Werder, adopted in 1869, have surfaced in France in areas where the Bavarians were fighting during the conflict (purportedly it was carried only by four jager battalions, the 5th and three others). The Werder is said to be an excellent breech-loading weapon of the "tilting-block" type (similar to the Peabody and the Martini-Henry, but superior to either). I do not believe that any Bavarian infantry in the 1870 war were still using muzzle-loaders: if someone tells you otherwise, ask if they are familiar with the Lindner Podewils conversion, which might be the cause of confusion. The percussion hammer is still in place on the conversion, which may be the specific issue (it is known as a "percussion-cap breech-loader"). It still looks a lot like a rifle-musket, but there is an extension behind the hammer if you examine it.

^ C. Saxony

Although the Saxons all fought in Bohemia, I include them (briefly) here because they were a significant component of the overall Federal forces (and, just conceivably, could have gone west instead of east at the war's start, for a what-if type of scenario). Their infantry were armed with the Austrian Lorenz. Like the Prussians, their artillery was made up of a combination of Krupp rifled 6-pounder breech-loaders and smoothbore 12-pounders, and grouped into 6-gun batteries. The Horse Artillery used the smoothbore 12-pounders, other formations a mixture of batteries.

^ D. Württemberg

Württemberg provided a significant part of the Federal VIII Corps: the entire 1st Division. Their infantry rifle was the Model 1857 Vereinsgewehr, a muzzle-loading 13.9 mm rifled percussion musket designed in collaboration with Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt. It equipped both line and jager formations, and was sighted to 910 meters. Württemberg provided six artillery batteries: three in the 1st Division's artillery, each of eight rifled 6-pounder Krupp breech-loaders, two batteries to the Corps Artillery Reserve, each of eight 12-pounder smoothbores, and one horse artillery battery to the Corps Artillery Reserve, with eight Austrian rifled 4-pounder muzzle-loaders.

^ E. Hanover

Hanover was forced to mobilize its army in great haste, as it was being overrun by the Prussians. The resulting army - while not perhaps what it should have been on paper, and lacking many supplies, notably sufficient ammunition reserves - was impressive under the circumstances. The scarcity of ammunition was exacerbated by the fact that the infantry used three different calibers of Minié-type percussion rifle-musket: the Model 1842 (16.5 mm) and Model 1855 (16.1 mm) used by the line infantry, and the Model 1857 (15.7 mm) used by the jagers.

The Hanoverian artillery consisted of several batteries assigned to various formations at the brigade level, along with an artillery reserve (supplemented by an artillery park of presumably un-manned guns). The table below shows which equipment was used by each:

5th Foot Artillery - Meyer's (1st Brigade)Six 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders
9th Rifled 6-Pounder Battery - Laves' (2nd Brigade)Six rifled 6-pounder breechloaders
4th Rifled 6-Pounder Battery - Eggers' (3rd Brigade)Six rifled 6-pounder breechloaders
1st Horse Artillery Battery - Merten's (4th Brigade)Four 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders
6th Rifled 6-Pounder Battery - Müller's (4th Brigade)Six rifled 6-pounder breechloaders**
2nd Horse Artillery Battery - Böttiger's* (Artillery Reserve, but attached to the Reserve Cavalry at Langensalza)Four 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders
2nd 24-Pounder Howitzer Battery - Harttman's (Artillery Reserve)Six 24-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loading howitzers**
3rd Rifled 6-Pounder Battery - Blumenbach's (Artillery Reserve)Six rifled 6-pounder breechloaders**
Artillery Park (Artillery Reserve)Ten guns
* I have also seen this spelled "Röttinger."
** Some sources list 4 guns. There seems to be general agreement on a total of 42 guns, excluding the artillery park, so I have listed the higher figure.

^ F. Baden

Troops from Baden made up the 2nd Division of the Federal VIII Corps. Their infantry had given up the 1857 Vereinsgewehr and used the Dreyse needlegun. They had three batteries assigned to the division, each of six rifled six-pounder Krupp breech-loaders. Two batteries were assigned to the Corps Artillery Reserve: one horse battery of six 6-pounder smoothbores and one of six Krupp breech-loading 6-pounder rifles. An additional foot battery, armed with six 6-pounder smoothbores, was not with VIII Corps but assigned to the replacement detachment.

^ G. Hesse-Cassel

Of the forces made available in 1866 to the Federal forces, only two squadrons of hussars were deployed with VIII Corps as part of the 4th (Nassau-Austrian) Division, the rest being deemed unfit for field service and used to garrison the fortress at Mainz. The army was modeled on that of Prussia, and the infantry in 1866 are typically depicted with the Dreyse by Knötel and others. Within the fortress at Mainz, they had 29 guns distributed between 4 different types of batteries: Horse, Rifled, 12-pounder, and 6-pounder. Neither the number nor identity of batteries is given. Each has a strength of between 108 and 122 men, which makes me suspect a total of four batteries, one of each type (from a table in Appendix 11 of the Austrian General Staff's "Österreichs Kämpfe im Jahre 1866").

If I wanted to put these troops on the table, I would deploy a 6-gun battery each of 12-pound smoothbore horse guns, 6-pounder Krupp guns, 12-pounder smoothbore foot guns, and 6-pounder smoothbore foot guns (these latter could plausibly be Krupp guns). This is pure guesswork.

^ H. Hesse-Darmstadt

Troops from Hesse-Darmsdtadt (officially the "Grand Duchy of Hesse and By Rhine") made up the 3rd Division of VIII Corps. They used the Model 1857 Vereinsgewehr, like Württemberg. Hesse-Darmstadt had line infantry, jager, and a dedicated battalion-sized formation of sharpshooters. The jager and sharpshooters used variants of the Vereinsgewehr (there were were several shorter versions with a 500 mm barrel produced for cavalry, artillerists, and train/pioneers, and a 750 mm-barreled one for sharpshooters, all given the model-year 1860). The Hessian version of the Vereinsgewehr used a quadrant sight, calibrated to 1200 yards/1100 meters.

The artillery was made up of three foot batteries and a horse battery. The foot batteries each contained six 6-pounder rifled, breech-loading Krupp guns. The Horse battery had two 6-pounder Krupp guns and four 12-pounder smoothbore muzzle-loaders. The 2nd and 3rd foot composed the 3rd Division's artillery, while the 1st Foot and Horse batteries were assigned to the Corps Artillery Reserve.

^ I. Nassau

Nassau contributed a brigade and two batteries to the 4th (Austria-Nassau) Division of the Federal VIII Corps. They used their own variants of the Bavarian Podewils muzzle-loading percussion rifle-musket, the Model 1861, for both line infantry and jagers (in versions appropriate to type). One battery, attached to the division, was made up of eight rifled 6-pounder Krupp breech-loaders. The other battery, serving in the Corps Artillery Reserve, consisted of eight smoothbore 6-pounder muzzle-loaders.

^ J. Schaumburg-Lippe

This tiny state had an army of two companies, which formed part of the garrison of the fortress at Mainz after the principality was overrun by the Prussians. The only depiction I have seen is of a jager in a green tunic wearing a Bavarian-style raupenhelm. His rifle has a sword-bayonet. The Dreyse commonly used a sword bayonet, and given the location of Schaumburg-Lippe and the fact that some of its neighbors used the Dreyse, I think it is possible that this was the weapon carried, also. It could as easily be a Minié rifle of some description, as used in Hanover.

^ K. Reuss-Greiz (& Reuss-Schleiz)

See listing in Prussian and Her Allies, above.

^ L. Frankfurt

The Free City of Frankfurt (on the Main river, where the Federal Parliment met) had a single infantry battalion, which offered no opposition to the Prussians when they occupied the city (whatever rifle they carried, they didn't use it - probably a smart move). The battalion was disbanded. If forced to guess, I would pick the Dreyse, based on the Prussianization of the battalion's uniforms at this time.

^ M. Saxe-Meiningen & Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Both of these Thuringian duchies provided contingents which served as part of the Mainz garrison. Saxe-Meiningen had a single regiment of two battalions, and Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach a force of three weak battalions (1000 men total). Knötel depicts both forces in 1866 with the Dreyse. Like some other German states who were not enthusiastic about the war, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach attempted to stay neutral. Ultimately, it declared for Prussia, but provided all its troops to the Mainz garrison anyway.

^ IV. What Color Is My Limber?

Another picky detail for anyone painting wargame armies for this period - and one that many sources of uniform information seem to ignore - is the question of limber colors. I cannot claim to have a definitive answer to this question for even the combatants covered in this article. However, I can offer an approach which seems at least a reasonable one for those cases where the information just doesn't seem to be out there. (If I'm wrong, and you have better information, please let me know.)

The table below gives suggestions for painting the limbers of different countries' artillery. If I am uncertain, that is indicated, along with the often-slight reasons I have for suggesting a particular color.

My method for determining an obscure limber color has evolved over the years, but it has always had the goal of making whatever I end up with seem at least plausible. On a topic this arcane, the chances of anyone even noticing during the course of a tabletop battle are slight, the chances of them recognizing a color as incorrect even slighter, and the likelihood of them having any actual knowledge virtually non-existent. Avoiding jovial abuse from your gaming buddies is not the goal here - the goal is to feel satisfied that at least you tried.

PrussiaLight grey-blueColor may be more grey/darker than that of the Bavarians. This is the same color used for Napoleonic Prussian artillery.
AustriaOchre/yellowish-tanConsistent with Napoleonic period.
BavariaLight blue-greyIn some depictions, this color looks identical to the Prussians - in others, it appears to be a brighter, bluer shade. The guns in the Bavarian Army Museum at Ingolstadt use the greyer shade (There are pictures and videos online if you can't go in person. If you can go - do! The 30mm flats collection in the tower is second only to Kulmbach, and there is nothing online for it.)
Mecklenburg-SchwerinLight grey-blue, like PrussiansBased on depictions (confidence is very slight).
BrunswickLight grey-blue, like PrussiansBased on depictions. Consistent with Napoleonic practice. Confidence is good.
Mecklenburg-StrelitzLight grey-blue, like PrussiansConfidence is very slight. Based on Prussianized uniforms, and depictions of/similarity to Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
SaxonyLight grey-blue, like PrussiansThis is a break from Napoleonic tradition, where the Saxons had black limbers with bright yellow or bronze metalwork. However, all depictions I have seen show a Prussian grey-blue. Confidence is good.
WürttembergUnfinished woodIn the Napoleonic period, limbers were not painted. A Krupp gun found today at Tauberbischofsheim is the same, although the metal portions of the trail could have been painted blue-grey at some point. Confidence is fair.
HanoverLight grey-blue, like PrussiansKnötel shows a print of the Hanover Train in 1866 using a Prussian grey-blue for the wagons. Confidence is low.
BadenBavarian blue-grey (or Prussian light grey-blue)Based on depictions, and the Bavarian style of artillery uniforms worn in the Napoleonic period and later in the 19th century, I use a Bavarian-colored limber for Baden. It could be just as easily a Prussian-color, but period depictions from the revolution in 1848 make me favor the bluer shade, if there is a difference. I am confident it is one or the other.
Hesse-CasselLight grey-blue, like PrussiansBased on generally Prussianized military and depictions. Confidence is fair.
Hesse-DarmstadtLight grey-blue, like PrussiansBased on Prussianized military and depictions. Confidence is fair.
NassauOchre, like AustriansI base this guess on the use of Austrian-style uniforms, artillery organization in 8-gun batteries, and the use of Austrian guns for some batteries. (They were also in the same division in VIII Corps in 1866.) I have no solid information - confidence is low.

Note that Prussian limber colors are the default. This is based on the general tendency of northern countries (including Denmark and Sweden) to use this color for their limbers during this period. Many depictions mentioned here are from Knötel's Uniformekunde and the Deutsche Uniformen he published with Martin Lezius. Both are available online at www.grosser-generalstab.de, a fabulous resource also for many other periods, especially Napoleonics and Seven Years' War.

^ V. What About Cavalry?

Little mention has been made of cavalry in the preceding text. The use of cavalry forces during these campaigns was not unimportant, but it was considerably different from what was seen in such conflicts as the American Civil War. As with everything else on the battlefield, the role of cavalry was in a state of flux. Some military thinkers advocated the use of cavalry as a massed force to make the decisive final blow, and to pursue a broken enemy. Others were convinced that it had more utility as a form of mounted infantry. Because this debate was to continue for some time, even after the 1870 war, and because there was no vast frontier like the American West to be policed by mounted troops, there was no development of powerful cavalry firearms like what was seen in North America.

Cavalry intended strictly for battlefield use - uhlans and cuirassiers, and some other types - were only equipped with pistols, along with the lance and/or sword. Light cavalry and dragoons - intended for scouting duties as well as potential use in a pursuit, but not as a mounted infantry arm - were issued with carbines or other long firearms. The Austrians did not field any cavalry in this theatre of the war (and even their light cavary was only partially armed with carbines).

There were shorter-barrelled versions of the Dreyse and the Vereinsgewehr designed for cavalry use, and it is safe to assume that any state with infantry forces using them may have their light cavalry forces equipped with the equivalent carbine or some type of shorter firearm. The same would be true for the miscellaneous muzzle-loading percussion rifle-muskets in use by some states - a carbine of equivalent type would generally be available. (For the Bavarians, the depictions I have seen show the Chevaulegers with pistols, not carbines.) You have to be a bit careful - as the image below shows, there were some strange pistol-type weapons fitted with stocks and issued to cavalry. The one here is a "Zündnadel-kolbenpistole" from Brunswick, model 1860/61. Note that it is a breech-loading needlegun. Cavalry from Hanover are also depicted with weapons of similar dimensions. I would delve into this more deeply but the use of firearms by cavalry is so limited in this period that it does not demand treatment from a wargames perspective.

How the use of cavalry is portrayed on the tabletop is a matter for rules writers and gamers to decide. While there are instances in the war of cavalry acting dismounted, as infantry, they were relatively minor. Whether carbine-armed cavalry should be permitted this capability is a matter of how far gamers wish to push the "what if" envelope.

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