Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Régiment de Touraine

The regiment had been established in the 17th century in the province of Touraine (capital: Tours on the river Loire). It had fought in all wars since then and was among the forces that Saint Simon brought from the West Indies to Yorktown. At this time it was commanded by Colonel H. Liamont, vicomte de Poudeux. You can see him in front of his regiment.
The regiment with full flank companies

Colonel H. Liamont, vicomte de Poudeux
The regiment had two batallions (1,000 men), and was not brigaded together with any other regiment. It was stationed on the left flank. 
The uniform consisted of the traditional white coat, waistcoat, breeches and garters. The facing colour war a light pink, which appeared on the cuffs and the linings of lapels, collars, shoulder straps and on the badges on the turnbacks. At least this was the uniform according to the new regulation of 1779.
Fusiliers and Chasseurs (left flank of the regiment)
 Whether the regiment already wore it, is doubtful as they came from the Caribbean and probably would not have had the time to adopt the new outfit. But I decided to have them in this uniform because I needed an attacking regiment for the storm on the Star Redoubt at Yorktown, and the Perry figures of attacking Frenchmen show the cut of the more modern uniform. The horizontal pocket flaps are wrong anyhow: As the regiment had silver buttons, the pocket flaps ought to be vertical. But there are no  figures which show these. And I have given up the idea of absolute accuracy.
Of course there are other flaws that I cannot be held responsible for - or only partially: The chasseurs wore their hair tucked up (and not in a queue as the figures do), and their bayonette scabbards ought to be on the left side next to the sabre, and they did not have epaulettes, of course. Well, I could have scraped off the epaulettes, I could even have remoulded their fashion of wearing their hair. But shifting their bayonet scabbards to the other side would have been too much for me. So I left the figures as they are.

The most common hair colour in central and southern  France is dark brown or black (and was more so at a time of limited mobility). So I painted my soldiers from the Loire Valley with dark brown (Van Dyke brown) hair.
The colours of the regiment were the traditional of one per batallion. The first batallion carried the King's Colours, a white cross on a white field, the second batallion the regimental colours, showing the white cross and coloured quarters, in this case blue-orange-green-red. The tassels repeat these colours. By the way, the flags are my usual do-it-yourself product, using steel rod, wine bottle metal covers, and heads by Front Rank.
The King's Colours
Regimental Colours
At Yorktown this regiment took part in the attack on the Fusilier or Star Redoubt to the Northwest of the town, which guarded the coastal road from Williamsburg. This may well have been a feint to divert the attention of the British from the digging of the 1st parallel in the south. The redoubt was defended by 120 men of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and 40 Royal Marines. The French attacked three times. In vain: It was a rather bloody affair, the French were repulsed and suffered heavy losses.

However, this seems to be the economy of strategy. What counts is success, not human lives. And Yorktown was a success: It put an end to the war and finally resulted in the Independence of the United States. Thanks to the French artillery. And perhaps even to the sacrifices of the Régiment de Touraine.

1 comment:

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Lovely!! Love the Liamont casting..