Monday, 21 April 2008

The Margravate of Dunkeldorf-Pfühl: Guard artillery

Today's snapshot of the Markgraaf's army depicts the Guard Artillery. Composed of 12- pounder guns and 7" howitzers, it's the heavy-hitter on the battlefield. Although too small to represent in this scale of image, the gun crews wear a silver roundel on their tricorn representing a cannonball; those of the howitzer detachment have the badge of a pewter "grenade, fired proper."


The gun crew's badge derives from the custom of allowing the very first shot of any engagement to be fired by the guard battery when it is possible to do so. To mark this, that first shot to be fired is a silver-plated cannonball. A reward of ten Margravate Thalers is given to the person who recovers it either during or after the battle. Since the sum is a considerable portion of a year's wages for a soldier (and more than the value of the ball), it adds a certain degree of eagerness to scour the area of the battlefield where the silver shot fell during and after the engagement. Some colonels don't like the practise as it leads to units becoming fragmented as men drop out to search, but it's a Military Tradition, which has a force all of its own...


abdul666 said...

A *royal* look indeed, with the blue - red association!
And an excellent piece of 'Military Tradition'.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I like the look of the uniform . . . and the tradition of the silver ball.

-- Jeff