the italians AT gross-beeren
(august 23, 1813)

The full 15th Division


Italians were present at Leipzig as well as in the battles of Gross-Beeren and Dennewitz. The 15th Division (Fontanelli) of the French IV Corps (Bertrand) comprised three infantry brigades and its strenght at Gross-Beeren time has been estimated by combinating the  numbers given by Nafziger and Zucker in their respective books (see below) which are based on the '1st August state' and taking into account the attrition (1% per day). Some rounding up and down was necessary to acomplish the requeriments of Napoleon's Battles and at last I arrived to the following numbers (items between parenthesis are Napoleon's Battles figures)
    Line Infantry 5,290 (44)
    Ligh Infantry 2,013 (16)
    Milan Guard 537 (4)
    Foot batteries 2 (2)

The Order of Battle at Gross Beeren was (numbers between parenthesis are Napoleon's Battles figures):
1st Brigade

2/,3/,4/1st Italian Light Regiment (16)
1st Milan Guard Battalion (4)
2nd Brigade (Saint-Andrea)
    3/,4/1st Italian Line Regiment (11)
    2/,3/,4/4th Italian Line regiment (13)
3rd brigade (Moroni)
3/,4/6th Italin Line Regiment (10)
    2/,3/,4/7th Italian Line Regiment (10)
    1/1st Italian Foot Battery
(1 no necessary)
    13/1st Italian Foot Battery
(1 no necessary)
    5th,6th Italian Train Companies
    Sappers, Marine artisans...

There are not specifically designed Italian figures, so it becomes necessary to find similar ones amongst the existent. At 1813, the uniforms of the Kingdom of Italy followed the Regulations of 1812. These uniforms can be seen at HISTUNIF.

1) The basic color of Italian Line Infantry was the white. They wore a white long-tailed coat similar to the pre-1812 French habit, white breeches and black under-knees gaiters. The regimental distinctions were carried in collar, lapels, cuffs, turnbacks and piping. Voltigeurs and grenadiers had, respectively, green ad red epauletes whereas fusiliers had white shoulder straps.
(See the excelent painting conversion of Adam Parson)
2) The uniform for Italian Light Infantry had a green short-tailed habit with white turnbacks, green trousers and black gaiters. Facings were carried at collar, cuffs and piping of green lapels. Voltigeurs and carabiniers wore green and red epauletes respectively, and center companies wore green shoulder straps.
3) The Guard of Milan wore a sky-blue long-tailed habit similar to line infantry with red facings.
4) The Italian Foot Artillery wore a green long-tailed coat with black, piped red, lapel and collar and red turnbacks and cuffs. Green breeches and black shako and gaiters.

The HISTUNIF site describes the 1812 Regulations and color plates for all the uniforms.
Using the above  information  with the given in The Plastic Soldier Review showing the actual posibilites (i.e. miniatures in the market) I made the following choices:

    44 Line Infantry HAT 8095 1808-1812 French Line Infantry
    16 Ligh Infantry ESCI 227 French Line Infantry
    4 Milan Guard HAT 8095 1808-1812 French Line Infantry
    0 (+2) Foot batteries ZVEZDA 8028 French Foot Artillery

The guns are from Newline Designs  painted following the Thierry Melchior's table found at Soldats du Premier Empire site. The flags were form Warflag.

See a scheme of my choices and my painted miniatures

Italian Line
HAT 8095
French Line Infantry

Italian Light Infantry ESCI 227
French Line Infantry
Guard of Milan HAT 8095
French Line Infantry
Italian Foot Artillery ZVEZDA French Foot Artillery


Napoleon at Dresden. The Battles of August 1813
George Nafziger
The Emperor Press , Chicago, 1994

1813: The Year that Doomed the Empire.
Special Study Nr.1
Operational Studies Group.