Wurst News!

Good news for 10mm Austrian Napoleonic collectors came at the beginning of November. Simon of Redline Miniatures kindly contacted me with an image of an Austrian gun with a wurst seat – still unfinished and with some detail still to be added. The Austrian guns with wurst seats for transporting members of the gun crew differed slightly from the regular Austrian guns – the 6-pdr gun barrel lost its backweight, for example. It was really great to see something new on the horizon for 10mm Austrian Napoleonic armies. And such an iconic and distinctive piece – quite incredibly – not included in any 10mm range so far.

A Novel Battle of Wagram

Works of fiction based on the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 are few and far between so it didn’t take much persuading to curl up in front of the fire with Gilles Lapouge’s 1986 novel The Battle of Wagram. 308 pages later with only 35 still to go, the Austrians finally make their assault across the Inn in April 1809. With the first shots of the epic battle and Napoleon’s legions fanning out across the Marchfeld, the Viennese on-lookers appear to already know ahead of Archduke Charles’ orders to take up defensive positions that the battle is going to be named after the rather inconsequential village of Wagram. The story, in fact, took its inspiration from the Saxon hussar regiment and the Austrian cuirassier regiment that shared the same colonel proprietor that fought one another at Wagram – although this event is not actually portrayed in the novel. It’s more the tension between the husband and wife who share proprietorship of the two regiments and the attempts of the protagonists to deal with modern concepts of loyalty to nation rather than loyalty to one’s prince. The dilemma is highlighted by the Austrian officers who find themselves serving in their prince’s Saxon regiment allied to their nation’s enemy, France. It could be said that in Lapouge’s novel death and conflict on the battlefield of Wagram gives rise to nationhood and a new world order. As would be expected, there are military bloopers all over the place, a glowing example being the reference to French lancer uniform long before the French acquired any lancer regiments in their army. A substantial period is covered but dates are not freely given so a familiarity with the relevant campaigns is good to have even though Lapouge invests much in describing the military situation. Sadly however, it grates that military manoeuvres are related with the knowledge of hindsight – although poor Davout looses out to Soult as according to a Prussian cornet it was Soult who beat the Prussians at Auerstädt.
POST 114