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"Landwehr on the March" Topic

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651 hits since 15 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 In the TMP Dawghouse15 Jan 2019 9:49 p.m. PST

"After Napoleon's disastrous campaign in Russia at the end of 1812, Prussia saw its chance to throw off the domination of France, and began mobilising its forces. On 17 March 1813, the Am Mein Volk (‘To My People') proclamation was published and sent throughout the country, explaining why Prussia had just declared war on France. On the same day the Landwehr was mobilised, whereby every man between 17 and 40 was liable to military service, and when there were insufficient volunteers men were conscripted by drawing lots. This massively increased the size of the Prussian Army (by about 120,000 in six months), although initially providing for so many new soldiers was very difficult. Naturally the quality was well below that of the regulars, but in time the Landwehr proved itself to be a very useful part of the state's armed forces, and took part in many actions including the final showdown at Waterloo.

Out of necessity the Landwehr infantry uniform was simple, and so cheap, but presaged the simpler and more practical uniforms of a later age. There were many variations, particularly in headgear, but a common costume was a Litewka coat and a soft, (usually) peaked cap (the Schirmütze) with a cockade and the Landwehrkreuz (‘Landwehr Cross'). Breeches and boots or clogs (initially) were worn, often covered by trousers on campaign. This is the look used in several previous sets of Landwehr, and the same has been adopted for this set. Happily everything about this uniform is correctly done here, so not only are they accurate, but they mix well with Landwehr sets made by other manufacturers. Officers were entitled to wear the same uniform as their colleagues in the regular infantry, but many, like the man in this set, chose the similar Litewka to their men…."




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