Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Landgraviate of Nassau-Ringgwurm

  His Excellency,  Matthias St. Hubertus von Loseth-Pfaffenhofen,  Duke of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen and  Landgrave of Nassau Ringgwurm-auf-dem-Skree. (1679-1758)

Followers of my other blogs on the War of the Austrian Succession,  Les Reves de Mars and Will ye Go to Flanders, will be aware that I have been dreaming up a suitable imaginary enemy for the Marquis de Sangfroid and the Bishopric of St. Vignobles.  

And here it is.

Nassau-Ringgwurm-auf-dem Skree is a small principality that I based upon a lot of picturesque little enclaves that I remember coming across during a couple of trips to Germany travelling up and down the Rhine.

While extremely modest in size, it is very strategically placed at a narrow bend where the small River Skree- since filled in- once flowed into the Rhine from the east.  Nassau-Ringgwurm made its fortune on controlling, protecting- and of course taxing- the traffic that plied up and down the Rhine laden with goods to and from the North Sea.

click to enlarge

Like it's rival, St. Vignobles just down river on the west bank of the Rhine, it prospered well from this trade and from the vineyards that grew along the hillsides.

As was the case with many rulers of the time, the Landgrave found himself wearing many feathered hats.  As Duke of Avenberg-Pfaffenhofen, he also ruled lands within the Hapsburg domains.  Thus Nassau-Ringgwurm's obligation to serve with the Reichsarmee whenever called upon to uphold the rights of the legitimate ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, the Empress  Maria Theresa.

The Nassau connection makes sense geographically and historically, and it also allows me to establish a special relationship with Holland as part of the Nassau family connection.   After all, they don't want to see business suffer!

The army itself was not large.  A regiment of infantry consisting of two battalions, a Jager corps, artillery, and  a dragoon regiment.  As such it will form part of my larger Pragmatic Army.

Due to the Landgrave having served under the Old Dessauer during Marlborough's campaigns in the War of the Spanish Succession, like other smaller states in the region such as Hesse and Wurttemberg, he looked to Prussia as a model for the infantry.  So the uniforms and flags largely followed the Prussian model. 

I've always liked the Prussian uniforms- in fact my first 18th C. wargaming venture was a Prussian army made up of Freikorps 15 figures in 1985- but don't really need a Prussian army for the western theatre of the WAS.  So, this will satisfy my yearnings to paint Prussians!

The exception to the Prussian theme will be the cavalry.   I have a bunch of very nice Dutch cavalry figures from Eureka miniatures, but have been able to find nowt but diddly-squat about standards for the War of the Austrian Succession.  So, I've decided that the Landgrave has acquired a regiment of dragoons for service with the United Provinces, with a flag once again based on the Prussian pattern.  I'm not so crazy about the Eureka horse sculpts as they seem a little short in the leg.  I suspect I'll be replacing them with Front Rank horses, who fit the riders very well.

The flags will all feature the central motif of the House of Nassau-Ringgwurm, that being the white lion of the medieval Landgrave of Ringgwurm supporting the arms of Nassau, a connection arising as a result of judicious marriage arrangements in the aftermath of the Reformation.

The plan is to extend the story of the forces of Nassau-Ringgwurm well into the Napoleonic Wars, where they will find themselves fighting for- and later against- Napoleon as a contingent of the Confederation of the Rhine.

For the plates and flags I am indebted again, as always, to David and his indispensable blog Not by Appointment. I doubt I'd be doing these blogs if it wasn't for David kindly making his templates available to the world at large.  May his vectors always draw smooth.