Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Spanish Wallon

Many of the Imperial troops in the early war years were originally Walloons who served in the Spanish army. The Spanish forces were often found along the ‘Spanish Road’ that connected the Spanish Netherlands to Northern Italy. To maintain this road and to hold much of the rest of Europe in check, the Spanish, with the support of the Catholic League, conquered the Lower Palantine in the 1620s.
In the early years of the war, many of the Spanish troops still wore ruffs and wambus with 'bloomers'. The wambus was usually dark brown and dark red stockings were the most used color, but stockings were often striped. Early on Spain still looked like a 16th century army. Walloons often wore red coats and served as mounted harquebus or musketeers.
The Burgundy cross was commonly found in the colors of the troops and was often carried by the Walloon troops. The use of the cross originated when the Kingdom of Spain was integrated into the Hapsburg empire. Common color combinations were blue/white and black/white.

Unit History – Gil de Haas IR
The regiment, Gil de Haas, is based on one of the Wallon regiments present at the battle of Lutzen under the command of Pappenheim. Formed in 1632 by Pappenheim from the remnants, leftovers and survivors of earlier Imperial disasters, the regiment saw extensive service between 1632 and 1634. The unit was held in reserve at Weissenfels (November 1632), a major skirmish just prior to Lutzen. This Walloon regiment also arrived late to Lutzen and formed part of the force covering the Imperial withdrawal. In 1634, the unit was part of the Imperial corps in Bohemia under the command of Rodolfo Colloredo. The unit remained in Imperial service until 1641.

Unit History – Moriame IR
The regiment, Moriame, is based on one of the Imperialist regiments under the command of Pappenheim that was late to the battle of Lutzen. Formed in 1632, this Wallon Imperial regiment was part of Pappenheim’s expeditionary force in Saxony. Under the command of Moriame-Pallant, the unit was improvised from remnants, scraps, and survivors from earlier Imperial disaster and retained its ad hoc nature. The unit was held in reserve at Weissenfels (November 1632), a major skirmish just prior to Lutzen.
The unit was disbanded after Lutzen and Pappenheim’s death.

The attached colours are speculative but incorporate key elements of the flags attributed to the Spanish/Walloon troops. The figures are primarily Foundry ECW and TYW. The unit has been painted in a variety of colors to give the unit that very veteran feel.

Text: Uniforms of the Thirty Years War by Bill Boyle in Time Portal Passage Summer 2000

Battles of the Thirty Years War From White Mountain to Nordlingen, William P. Guthrie, Greenwood Press, 2002.

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