Friday, 26 June 2015

Jäger Corps von Creuzbourg

Beside an infantry regiment and an artillery company, and later a Freibattalion, the hereditary Prince Wilhelm von Hessen-Cassel and Count of Hessen Hanau sent a Jaeger Corps to North-America. A small unit of it took part in the Saratoga campaign, but evaded captivity. Later the full strength corps was stationed in Canada. The jaegers seem to have enjoyed the free life in the forests there, as about half of them stayed in North-America after the war, and did not return to Germany.
The uniform of the corps was similar to other German jaeger units, wearing green coats with red facings. But there were significant differences in many details. First of all their turn-backs were green like the Brunswick jaegers'. Furthermore they wore buff breeches and leather gaitors. And all their leather was of natural light brown colour. Minor details were brass buttons and green cockades. Officers' rank was signified by a silver sash shot through with red and blue thread, a silver hat-band, and a silver shoulder strap on the right shoulder. NCOs had silver hat-bands with a red centre, and silver lace on the upper end of their cuffs. Privates had red hat-bands.
The jaegers were armed with short-barreled jaeger rifles of Hesse-Hanau production. These had walnut stocks and brass fittings, an eight sided barrel, and iron rammers with brass ends. The rifle slings were of red-brown leather.
a jaeger rifle of Hesse-Hanau production (over-all length 1.11 m)
As side arms the jaegers carried "Hirschfänger", long hunting knives. Jagers had no bayonets, and were therefore usually accompanied by light infantry or grenadiers. Officers carried swords.
Musicians were buglers. They wore the normal jaeger uniforms,  adorned with silver/red/blue lace on the shoulders, so-called "swallows nests", and around the cuffs.
Unfortunately the Perry figures I used, do not show the right type of horn. It ought to be the "Sauerländer Halbmond" (Sauerland Half-moon), instead of a horn used in par force hunting which the illustrations of Hessen-Cassel jaegers of 1786 and 1789 show.
Sauerländer Halbmond
But altering the figures seemed too complicated for my tinklering abilities. So my Hessen-Hanau buglers must have borrowed their horns from their Hessen-Cassel colleagues.
Another problem could easily be solved (at least to my taste): The Hessen-Hanau Jaegers wore leather gaiters which lasted throughout the war. There was no need to change legwear to overalls, which the existing Perry figures show. I just painted a dark line above the knees and added metal buttons to the gaiters.
The Colonel
The Jaegers

On picket duty