Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mustering the Troops: Germans and Allies

The lead pile at my house representing the German colonial forces in the Herero War of 1904 is even larger than the one discussed in a prior post for their Herero adversaries.  This is due, in part, to a greater variety of troops in the field, as well as more options for depicting them than are available representing armed Africans in European clothing and appropriate uniforms for this period.  The Order of Battle for the Germans, as of now, includes the following figures and sets:


Askari Miniatures –   4 German Shutztruppe command
                                -    10 German Shutztruppe infantry
                               -     4  German Shutztruppe field artillery crew
                                -    Krupp 77mm field gun
                                -    4 German shutztruppe mountain artillery crew
                                     Krupp 75 mm mountain gun
                                -    4 mules
                                -    limber

Tiger Miniatures – 5 German Shutztruppen advancing at trail
                              -   5 German Shutztruppen advancing at high port
                               -  5 German Gun Crew in Slouch Hats
                              -   75mm Krupp Mountain Gun (EX-13)
                              -   75mm Krupp Field Gun (EX-010)
                              -  2 German Camel riders in Slouch Hats (sans camels)
                                  on horses from a set with riders in pith helmets

Pulp Miniatures    - 5 German Colonial officers and NCOs
                                - 5  German Colonial Rifles
                                 - 4 German Hvy and Lht. Maxim Gun teams
                                -  5  German Seebattalion troops in field caps (to be painted as Schutztruppen)

Matchlock            - 1  German S.W. Africa Field Force Wounded
  (in transit)          -1 German S.W. Africa Field Force Mounted Officer
                               - 2 German S.W. Africa Field Force Mounted Rifleman
                               -2 GERMAN S.W. AFRICA FIELD FORCE   TWO WALKING WOUNDED
                               -1 GERMAN S.W. AFRICA FIELD FORCE   SITTING WOUNDED)

Brigade Games       - 4 (2) German Shutztruppe Command
                                 - (4 German sailor command
                                - 8 German sailors I
                               -8 German sailors II
                              - 3 Hvy Maxim gun sailor crew

Northstar Miniatures – 2 Boer wagon driver and voorloper
                                        - 4oxen

4Ground                      - Boer Jawbone wagon

Copplestone Castings:- 2(5) German officers
                                        -10 German marines

Foundry                    - 3 Native Horse (DA 15/6)
Total: 46 infantry, 5 mounted cavalry, 3 native horse, 7  machine gunners (3 of them sailors), 13 artillery, 2 noncombatants, 11 marines, 20 sailors = 107

Comments:  Some of these sets came with figures in sun helmets or fez that are not appropriate for Southwest Africa.  I have not yet seen the Matchlock figures, which I believe are the same as Falcon miniatures in the US but seem to have a different selection that does not completely overlap.  I understand from a personal communication with Roy Jones, a longtime champion of tabletop wargaming in this period and the author of the excellent Herero Wars blog, that a number of the Falcon miniatures offerings were designed to fill needed gaps and he recommends them highly.

I continue to hope that German figures will be produced in kord waffenrock or kord litewka uniforms, some of them in field caps.  I also would like to see a heliograph unit, and if one does not appear soon, I may be compelled to decapitate the excellent set from Perry's Sudan range and replace the heads with Germans in slouch hats.  More mounted troops, and better choices for native auxiliaries, are also needed.  If a German personality set is contemplated by any manufacturer for this period, my votes would go for Maj Estorff in his short beard and long mustaches, Governor Leutwein in his gray home uniform and field cap, Maj. von Glasenapp of the Seebataillon in a field cap, and Lt. General Lothar von Trotha as he appears in an historic photograph taken in Windhoek with Leutwein in 1904.  Herero and Nama command figures are also needed (Samuel Maharero, Hendrick Witbooi, Assa Riarua and Jakob Morenga would be my choices).

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