Sonntag, 1. November 2015

Celle 2015 - The picture report (Waterloo anniversary)

Aufgrund des großen Interesses vor allem englischsprachiger User habe ich mich entschieden diesen Artikel, als auch den Abschlussbericht, der noch folgen wird, ebenfalls in Englisch zu verfassen.
Da es sich ja größtenteils um einen Bildbericht handelt, ist das ja auch für  Leser, die des Englischen nicht mächtig sind, sicherlich dennoch zum großen Teil nachvollziehbar.
Ich werde den BLOG aber weiterhin generell in meiner Landessprache verfassen, weil ich nicht die Zeit habe meine Gedanken immer ins Englische zu übertragen.
Wo es passt, und wo die Zeit dafür da ist, werde ich es tun.
Auf eine wichtige Sache des nachfolgenden Artikels möchte ich aber noch explizit hinweisen.
Was mich wirklich an der Ausstellung in Celle sehr überraschte, waren die Reproduktionen von Schlachtfeldplänen, die bereits kurz nach der Schlacht erstellt wurden.
Bemerkenswert an diesen ist vor allem, dass die Position der Brigade von Bylandt zwischen 11.30 und 14 Uhr in einer Linie mit den englischen Truppen dargestellt wird, also nicht vorgelagert, wie dies ja immer noch die meisten Publikationen darstellen.
Nach meinem Wissen sind diese Quellen bisher zum großen Teil, wenn nicht sogar gänzlich, vernachlässigt worden.
Wenn ich alleine an den Richtungsstreit von Peter Hofschröer und Hamilton-Williams denke, so erscheint mir, dass eine bessere Nutzung so wichtiger Quellen sicherlich einmal angebracht wäre.
Man sollte Geschichte nicht immer nur nachschreiben. Man sollte auch immer auf der Suche nach neuen Quellen und Erkenntnissen sein.

Between 2.6.2015 and 11.10.2015 there was a really great exhibition in the german town of Celle. Subject: Waterloo.
Central part of this exhibition was a really big Diorama, divided in two parts of 6 x 5 metres, with 15.000 28 mm wargaming figures.
In my former article I reported about the „making of“ of such an diorama.
Today it’s time to show pictures. A lot of pictures.

The Exhibition in Celle

But not only the diorama was a big thing. In fact the exhibition as a whole was really awesome.
In Celle you find a great fundus of original uniforms of the battle of Waterloo. Just opposite of the Bomann Museum there is the castle of Celle where uniforms of the former hannoverian army are permanently exhibited.

Really nice. Just keep it in my mind for a trip in the future.
Near Celle, only 20 km away, you can also visit the German Tank Museum in Munster: Kill two birds with one stone.
What do you want more?
But not only uniforms are in Celle. Weapons, drums, paintings, documents, a fantastic heritage of former times.
And all this stuff was part of the exhibition.
Two things impressed me, because I haven’t seen them before. In my opinion really new stuff about the battle of Waterloo.
Keep it in mind. I will show it to you, only a few pictures away. ;- ))
One of the jobs our team had to manage just before the start of the exhibition, was to build a diorama of a hannoverian square in 1:1 scale ratio with 28 mm figures. That was something like a teaser in ahead of the exhibition.

It was a combined task for some of our great painters. Here is the result.
In a seperate room in Celle there was also a really nice collection of film posters dealing with Waterloo and the napoleonic time.
Here is a small selection.

On the way to the mainroom you passed a nice diorama with flat figures showing hannoverian troops on parade during the official inauguration of the waterloo column.

Entering the mainroom you stood just in front of our diorama.
I really love this two pictures: British soldiers are on watch, guarding the diorama. Nice impression.

First part in the exhibition was the commemoration of the battle of Waterloo in the former Kingdom of Hannover. The part hannoverian troops played in the battle (a quarter of the allied army) was very important for the reputation of the kingdom. It was a really positive legacy and was praised with different stuff: Medals, the Waterloo Column in Hannover, paintings and so on.

Remark: Outside of the exhibition – in another room of the museum – I found this funny thing.
A beehive with a painting of a hannoverian soldier. It’s from 1830.

For visitors looking for military aspects, the selection of uniforms was impressive.
Uniform of a colour sergeant light company 7th Line KGL

Grenadier company 4th Line KGL

Officer Landwehrbattailon Verden (Verden Militia)

Uniform Sergeant 4th Line KGL with shako of 3th Line KGL

3rd Hussars KGL

Officer Horse Artillery KGL

Uniform Major General Carl von Alten KGL

Here you can see a original KGL drum and different weapons.
The drum of the 3rd regiment KGL

The sword of Major Hugh Halkett

Rifle M 1801 KGL

The stages of the battle were excellent documented. For example.
The defense of La Haye Sainte

The attack of Corps d’Erlon

The attack of the french cavalry.

Further you saw paintings of different commanders

Colonel Ompteda

General Carl von Alten

Also interesting:
An original demission of a KGL soldier

The standard of 4th squadron, 2nd Dragoon regiment KGL

Now the two things I have mentioned above.
Here you see an original splinter from the sidedoor of La Haye Sainte. It was something like a battle souvenir of Major Baring. Funny, isn’t it.

Part of the exhibition were different reproduced plans of the battlefield, showing the different stages of the battle. The originals are just around 1815. They are called: Plan of the field of Waterloo, von Brandis o.J. (1815)
Here you see two of these plans.

But let us have a more detailled glimpse.
Ah. Here is the plan showing the position of the troops between 11 ½ a.m. and 2 p.m.

And what did we see? Yes. The position of the dutch troops, the position of Bylandt‘s brigade.

Here, in this early source, you see that the dutch troops stood in the line of the allied troops. Not exposed.
A final proof?? Maybe.
Most pictures of Waterloo and several books – also our diorama ;-)) – neglect this aspect, insisting on the traditional point of view, that Bylandt’s brigade was the only allied brigade standing not on the reversed slope but in the direct sight of the french canons.
Bear the picture in mind, if you discuss about this aspect in the future. In my opinion that is a great source for historians.
Beside the big diorama of the battle, we had a small sidekick. The fightings around Hougoumont. Here are some pictures.

The diorama

As written above the diorama was divided in two parts. Two of the main stages of the battle of Waterloo were thematised.
On the left side the great cavalry attacks and the british squares.

On the right side the attack of Corps d’Erlon.

1) The great cavalry attacks and the british squares

French cavalry in attack lines. Wave per wave. Cuirassiers, carabiniers, lancers, chasseurs, line and guard cavalry. Here are pictures of the cavalry attack.

And now the squares. Battalion squares and combined squares (2 battalions forming one square).

KGL infantry trying to form a square and catched by the cavalry. We thought here to show the fate of Colonel Ompteda and his 5th KGL battalion, who was ordered to advance in line to recapture the farmyard La Haye Sainte and was surprised by french cuirassiers. The battalion failed to form square and it was destroyed.
A very dramatic event.

A green uniformed hannoverian regiment behind the 5th KGL (here we wanted to show that the Hannoverian infantry troops not only wore the british red uniform. Surely: The light battalions of the KGL wore green. But also the Lüneburg light battalion and the Grubenhagen light battalion).

In the right corner of the diorama the french guard (Chasseurs and Grenadiers) is marching to a new position.

Some horse holders in action.

The artillery in front of the squares is mostly abandoned, cause the artillerymen seeking cover in the british squares.

French artillery and first-aid places for wounded soldiers

British skirmishers in the orchard of La Haye Sainte.

The enemy of those skirmishers: La Garde. Vive L’Empereur.

The master himself. L‘Empereur and his general staff.
Ta-tatata- Ta-tata tata tata (you can hear the sound of the drums???)

2) The attack of Corps d’Erlon

The diorama on the right side shows the attack of corps d’Erlon.

The farmyard La Haye Sainte.

French infantry (part of the Division of Quiot) attacking the farmyard

The sandpit.

A place for those, who are wounded.

A british battalion in line and in column with supporting artillery in the front. Skirmish line from the sandpit.

Highland Regiments in line formation.

Dutch infantry trying to reform their line behind the hedges.

Hannoverian infantry (Brigade Best) in quarter distance column. Hannoverian infantry as massed column (Brigade Vincke). Best and Vincke combined their 8 battalions in a massed column during the early stages of the battle. In our diorama you see what happened. One Brigade is formed, and the other is marching to join the formation.

British artillery with wagons.

The british cavalry, supporting the lines, ready to attack.

The british general staff, with Wellington, Uxbridge, Picton, The Prince of Orange and so on.

The lanciers of Jaquinots 1st Cavalry Divison waiting for orders.

On a ridge in the foreground you see the grand battery of the french army, and also here first-aid places for wounded soldiers.

The divisions of Donzelot, Marcognet and Durutte are marching en echelon in massive column of battalions (each battalion of the Division is lined up one behind the other. Not to confuse with a column of attack, where two companies of one battalion are in the frontline and the other four companies are arranged in pairs behind the leading companies).
All these divisions are headed by skirmishers.

Oh yes. I love this part of the diorama. The fields, the tracks leading through, the skirmishers, the massed battalions.

So far the report about our mass diorama.Hope you like it.
A last part will follow.
With some more pictures of Hougoumont and the small report about the destruction of such a great diorama.

4 Kommentare:

  1. A great post of a fantastic exhibition - thank you!

  2. Hi Sparker,

    thanks for your words. Yes it was a good time in Celle and I like it to share my thoughts and pictures with all of you.

  3. Amazing! Is it true some of the figs might be sold? I'd be interested! You can send me an email at

    Thanks again for all these wonderful pics

  4. Hi Lord Hill,

    Thanks a lot. I will give your mailadress to Dirk. He's the owner of the miniatures.