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"Unusual Austrian Line inf. flags?" Topic

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wryeone01 Feb 2005 3:23 p.m. PST

I recently purchased an Austrian 15mm army, gorgeously modelled, but with one oddity; some of the Line Infantry units' flags had been pained with red backgrounds. The seller assured me he had seen it in a book somewhere, but was vague about where. I know that someone (Dave Hollins?) once mentioned seeing an ordinarfahne with a blue background, but red? I haven't run across anything to suggest that particular variation before.

Any theories? Or is it time to just overpaint?

And was it light or dark blue, Dave? :)

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Feb 2005 3:27 p.m. PST

/begin heresy/

You could just leave 'em be....

/end heresy/

wryeone01 Feb 2005 3:55 p.m. PST

I'm just looking for a reason to do that, however flimsy.

As if they didn't have a hard enough life, being Essex, and all...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx01 Feb 2005 4:21 p.m. PST

The two blue Ordinarfahnen were from IR32 Esterhazy and covered the period 1802-6. I have not seen them as they were in a recent exhibition catalogue - but this was the very wealthy Esterhazy magnate family! The unit facings are himmelblau, roughly Hungarian trouser blue, so it is probably that shade. I will try to locate them on my next trip out there.

However, the pattern was the 1792 complicated shield on the Doppeladler or the 1806 with the shields round the edge - the 1804 was never issued.

I suppose this red background might be a confusion either with comments about the spiral colours on the staff or a copy of a Hungarian flag from the later 19th century, some of which did use red. It is however most likely to be the Erzherzog Karl Legion flags in MAA299 - either 1st battalion in Plate D3 (reconstructed from a description) or the flag on p.23, which was also carried by an EKL battalion (not 2nd) at Wagram. These peculiar flags, which usually have a background of a single colour or some wide horizontal stripes in two colours (such as the yellow/blue of 2nd batt. EKL at Wagram) with an eagle or shield with Hungarian or local arms on it, are Insurrection or Freikorps units. There are some more, which were phootographed (in b/w of course!) at the 1909 exhibition, which I need to dig out of the Bildarchiv. Amongst those is an 1806 Ordinarfahne from IR16 Lusignan, which only has yellow flames round the outside pointing in.

As Osprey do not seem to want a book on Austrian flags, I will put something in one of the mags one day!

Incidentally, the Grenadier battalions only carried a Leibfahne in 1805 and otherwise, it was just one Ordinarfahne, usually a spare in the depot.

wryeone01 Feb 2005 4:49 p.m. PST

Wow, thanks, Dave. From the sounds of it, the painter was probably confused with later hungarian units. I painted up an EKL flag based on MA299 and I don't see how the painter could have confused the two.

I think an article would be very warmly recieved, at least by the handful of Austrian fans out there. As an army, it's an acquired taste for sure.

Come to think of it, Osprey's miserliness in this area is one thing, but I'm somewhat surprised that the Wargame flagmaking companies don't put more effort into offering a wider variety of flags for the Austrians - unlike figures, your production costs for a sheet of flags would have to be pretty low, and what wargamer doesn't like buying custom flags?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx01 Feb 2005 5:32 p.m. PST

They probably don't know what there is and think, with some degree of justification, that there were three patterns (1792, 1804 and 1806) and that will do. I think Austria is comfortably established at No.3 these days, which is not bad when you look at Quarrie's view in his 70s Wargames book or consider that Ian had to get Aspern and Wagram into one Campaign in 1994.

It is a complex subject - I often wonder which nationality they have in mind when there is talk of "National Characteristics" - but we are gradually peeling back all the layers of myth.

Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Feb 2005 9:02 a.m. PST

IR32 Esterhazy's ?????


(Just finished to paint this regiment last weekend... with yellow backgrounded flags!!


wryeone02 Feb 2005 10:32 a.m. PST

Well, they would have had a yellow background in the later half of the wars, so don't worry, Soldatets. They'll be fine.

And the National Characteristics argument is a strange one, I admit. I think folks tend to forget that game mechanics are abstractions reflecting things beyond the immediate battlefield on the table, rather than any empirical reality. As one conversation I recall went,

"Why did they put the guy with the 3" command span in charge of the largest division?"

"Well, it's not like he had 3" tattooed on his forehead"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx02 Feb 2005 10:40 a.m. PST

Soldadets - you are okay outside 1802-6 as there is a fragment of an IR32 standard saved from Dresden, which I have seen and that is the standard style.

Personal logo Lluis of Minairons Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Feb 2005 3:38 p.m. PST

wryeone & Dave Hollins - Thanks to both for your support (sniffff). You're right, as I was building an Austrian Corps from a later period I shouldn't mind, but (historical or not) it would have been a great chance to personalize "my" IR32.

Er... mmmm... maybe that flagbearer wouldn't mind to be re-commissioned into another Hungarian regiment... I'm going to ask him ;-)

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