I feel sorry for the men of the 2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment. In 1813 these German allies of Napoleon defected to the British. One would have thought that defecting to the eventual winning side would have been a fortunate move. However, things didn't turn out so well for the 2nd Nassau.
They were initially shipped to Britain, then in February 1814 they embarked to sail to the Netherlands. But two of their four transports struck a sandbank off the Dutch coast, and over 400 Nassauers perished in the disaster. To survive so many years of harsh campaigning in Spain, including saving the day at Medellin in 1809, and then to die in a shipwreck, seems an incredible stroke of bad luck.
When Front Rank advertised that their latest Netherlands release included Nassauers, I just had to have them for my army. Besides the beauty of these brand new figures, I also liked the fact that, with their defection, I could use them to fight on either the French or the Allied side in a conjectural battle. And their ornate uniforms would make a nice contrast with the rest of my army.
The 2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment wore a smart green uniform with yellow trim (the Hungarian knots on their trousers are particularly nicely modelled by Front Rank). The grenadiers are resplendant in fur colpack hats with red plumes. One special feature of Nassau units is their yellowish leather equipment.
I have produced my own flag for this unit, which is shown here. The central emblem is too big, but stands out well on the table-top. This is just a temporary flag, as I hope to replace this flag with the much nicer (and far more realistic) offering from GMB Design before too long.
Windrow, M. & Embleton, G.,Over, K., Military Dress of the Peninsular War, Ian Allan Ltd., Shepperton, UK, 1974.
Haythornthwaite, P., Uniforms of the Peninsular War 1807-1814, Blandford Press Ltd., Poole, UK, 1978.
Waterloo Campaign Nassauers
in Netherlands Service by Geert van Uythoven:
Histofig Nassau Uniforms:
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