#WaterlooRemembered Day 2 Forgotten foreign forces - The King's German Legion. In the first interview of the series I speak to Hailey Stewart about the KGL & Brunswick troops who played a key yet neglected role in the campaign. Please share widely, post questions and comments, and thank you to everyone who has listened so far. Join me tomorrow when I will be speaking to Alicia Laspra about Spain during this conflict. https://anchor.fm/the-napoleonicist/episodes/Waterloo-Remembered-Day-2-Forgotten-Foreign-Forces---The-Kings-German-Legion-ef2g22
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This is an issue in which I did not agree with Brendan Simms after lengthy discussions. As I wrote in our Waterloo book, three thirds of the men in LHS were armed with muskets, as not all men in the Light Battalions were armed with the Brown Bess, and there were the men from the 5th Line Battalion, KGL and the Nassauers. In my opinion ammunition was generally not available at the moment or too difficult to bring over to LHS. Musket ammunition could not be used in the Baker Rifle as the latter had a smaller caliber of .653 copared to .75.
Unfortunately the myth of the 42 survivors from the 2nd Light Battalion, KGL is repeated again, although this is corrected in Brendan Simms' recommended book "The Longest Afternoon" (pp. 60f.) and long before that in our own book on the Hanoverians at Waterloo to nearly 50% of the men. For the recruiting, composition and motivation of the KGL I recommend Jens Mastnak's book "Die King's German Legion 1803-1816, Lebenswirklichkeit in einer militärischen Formation der Koalitionskriege." As illustrations of the fighting at La Haye Sainte were mentioned I add a print after the famous painting by Northen from our collection to this post.
Interesting to hear foreigners to speak about German troops. The KGL was a bit in a turmoil before the campaign, Clinton again commenting very well about this.
Die Königlich Deutsche Legion - has a special status being part of the British Army, while the Brunswick troops or indeed those of Hannover - as well as those from Nassau - are independent sort of Allies.
The Brits and German units had a very long tradition to fight side by side, from the War of the Spanish Succession - to the 7YW - to the AWI - to the French Revolutionary Wars and finally the Napoleonic Wars (and didn't fight units from Hannover also at Culloden moor?).
Paul Demet did write a very good book for the French Revolution and assessing those German troops well, in - We are accustomed to do our duty - very highly recommended.
There is also nothing new that the Brits monopolize true allied victories into heroic victories of their own - the battle of Höchstädt springs immediately to my mind on this, in case vulgo- Blenheim (Blindheim).
La Haye Sainte wasn't considered initially that important as it was, Baring's soldiers did not even know that they would have to defend it the next day and burned the barn door to keep warm.
And I cannot see a serious attack on LHS - to take it, just when the French mounted one and did it, too late, they could have done that with ease much earlier.
I won't comment if Wellington and Blücher had respect for each other, there I hope this will be discussed in another podcast as well.