Currencies

What's New?

90mm Kit Spare Part No.035 - Drum sling x2
90mm Kit Spare Part No.035 - Drum sling x2

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.034 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.034 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.033 - Cap sling
90mm Kit Spare Part No.033 - Cap sling

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.032 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.032 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.031 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.031 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.030 - Tulip Plume holder, helmet
90mm Kit Spare Part No.030 - Tulip Plume holder, helmet

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.029 - Plume
90mm Kit Spare Part No.029 - Plume

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.028 - Plume
90mm Kit Spare Part No.028 - Plume

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.027 - Plume
90mm Kit Spare Part No.027 - Plume

£0.85


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.026 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.026 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.025 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.025 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.024 - Sword
90mm Kit Spare Part No.024 - Sword

£1.90


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.023 - Lance
90mm Kit Spare Part No.023 - Lance

£2.95


---------
90mm Kit Spare Part No.022 - Axe
90mm Kit Spare Part No.022 - Axe

£0.85


---------
No.278 Rifle - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.278 Rifle - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.279 Backpack - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.279 Backpack - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.85


---------
The Black Watch Piper Napoleonic circa 1815 - 230mm in size Kit
The Black Watch Piper Napoleonic circa 1815 - 230mm in size Kit

£127.75


---------
Old Toy Soldier Magazine 2019 Volume 43 Number 2 - Thomas Toy and Popular Playthings Space Figures
Old Toy Soldier Magazine 2019 Volume 43 Number 2 - Thomas Toy and Popular Playthings Space Figures

£8.95


---------
No.269 Hat - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.269 Hat - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.85


---------
No.272 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.272 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.276 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.276 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.274 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.274 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.275 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.275 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.273 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.273 Head - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£0.60


---------
No.268 Flag - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm
No.268 Flag - Kit, unpainted Scale 1:32/ 54mm

£2.50


---------

Tradition of London

2019 Christmas set - The
British Army - The Crimean War
- 54mm Painted in Gloss

£113.95

Painted in Gloss


SKU: Christmas-set-2019

Viewed 121 times

Shop Location: A-28-2


Description

2019 Christmas set - The British Army - The Crimean War - 54mm Painted in Gloss

Tradition of London is proud to present its Christmas Set for 2019: The Crimean War, 1854

This 6-figure set comprises an officer and private of both the 93rd Highlanders and the 33rd Regiment of Foot, together with the British commander, Lord Raglan, and an officer of his staff. Though resplendent in British scarlet and blue, this small vignette represents a decisive moment on the army’s long road to modernity.

The figures are made in England of quality white metal and meticulously hand-painted in gloss enamel to the highest standards.

This special limited edition “Christmas 2019 Set” is only available during the year of issue.

Size 54mm - Painted in Gloss - Price code D

165 years ago, the British Army found itself in the most unlikely of alliances with their age-old adversaries, the French. The two nations had despatched a joint expeditionary force to the Balkans in support of the Turks, with the aim of curbing Russian expansion into the fragmenting Ottoman Empire. Having embarked with grand ambitions, the Allies arrived in Bulgaria in June 1854 only to find the Russian forces withdrawing before they could be brought to battle. Under pressure from a vocal populous back home, and with need to justify the expense of the expedition, the Allies agreed to mount a punitive attack on the Russian Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, and so set sail for the Crimea.

The resulting campaign would prove a wake-up call for a British Army that had too long rested on the laurels of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington had died in 1852, and few sought to change a system that had served the nation’s greatest solider well. Despite the greater accuracy of the recently issued rifled muskets, the British infantry continued to fight in formations inherited from the Napoleonic Wars. Tactics and attitudes (and in some cases, officers), were unchanged since 1815, and had their Russian opponents been similarly armed, the outcome might have been very different. It was, in greater part, the discipline and steadfast determination of the British infantry that saw the war successfully concluded, in spite of the systemic failures of their commanders and commissariat.

The stoic determination of the British soldiery is reflected in the composition of this Christmas set, for both regiments depicted were to distinguish themselves in the line of battle.

It was not simply tactics that harked back to past campaigns. The 33rd Regiment of Foot could boast a long association with the late Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, stretching back to 1793 when he joined as a major by purchase. The regiment served under Wellesley in India, gaining the battle honour of ‘Seringapatham’ in 1799, but their proudest honours would be won at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, under the by then Duke of Wellington. In recognition of their close ties with the late, great commander, Queen Victoria had bestowed upon them the title of 33rd (The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment in 1853.

It was with the name of a national hero newly embroidered on their regimental colours that the 33rd advanced at the Battle of Alma on the 20th September 1854. Dug in on the heights overlooking the river, Russian forces barred the Allies’ advance on Sevastopol, with the formidable Greater Redoubt as the key to the defences. Placed at the centre of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division, the 33rd advanced straight up the slopes into the waiting Russian guns, but an error in deployment caused the lines of the Light Division to merge and muddle with those of the neighbouring 2nd Division.

Seeing the confused morass below, the Russian infantry attacked down the slope, but were driven back by the sheer weight of the British rifled volleys, whose Minié bullets out-classed the archaic Russian smoothbores. The British then doggedly fought their way up the ridge, with the 33rd being the first to breach the redoubt’s embrasures. Greatly depleted by the assault, the Light Division could only briefly hold the redoubt, before being driven back down the slope by a Russian counter attack. It took the arrival of the British second wave, composed of Guards and Highlanders, to reinforce the attackers, then drive the defenders from the heights, putting the Russian Army to flight. Victory was achieved with great valour, but at great cost. Of the 2,002 British casualties, the 33rd accounted for 239; the highest of any British unit engaged.

The power of the Minié bullet would be demonstrated once more, when the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot formed up in line at Balaclava, barely one month later. The British had established their supply base in the bay at Balaclava, in order to lay siege to Sevastopol. Both sides were aware of the weakness of this arrangement, as the base lay outside of the main perimeter of the Allies’ lines, and required separate defences of its own. The Russians were quick to take advantage of this error, and launched an attack in force on 25th October 1854, with the aim of destroying the British supply lines and crippling the siege.

The Russian infantry began by attacking the screen of earthen redoubts that formed the harbour’s first line of defence.  These redoubts had been built too far forward, so could not be effectively supported from the rear, and without reinforcement their Ottoman defenders were soon driven back. A force of 4,000-6,000 Russian cavalry was then able to pass through the line of captured redoubts, and the Allies scrambled their own cavalry to resist an attack on the harbour itself.

The Russian cavalry commander, Lieutenant Genral Ryzhov, now chose to split his forces. With the imposing masses of British Light Brigade to his right, and the Heavy Brigade to his front, the most direct route to Balaclava lay to his left. Sparsely defended by a screen of British and Turkish infantry, a Russian victory appeared a foregone conclusion. Ryzhov launched the 12th Ingermanland Hussars, over 400 strong, to sweep away this fragile line of men. The already shaken Turkish infantry fired a volley, then fled, leaving only 93rd (Highland) Regiment in the Russian’s path.

The 93rd formed up in line, two deep, with nothing but Balaclava and the Black Sea at their backs. The action was witnessed by the war correspondent for The Times, William Howard Russell, and it was Russell’s description of the Highlanders that would ripple down the centuries. From his vantage point alongside Lord Raglan on the Sapouné Heights, the journalist had a clear view of what followed:

‘The Russians dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses’ feet: gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel’.

But it wasn’t the steel bayonets that stopped the cavalry. Sir Colin Campbell commanded the 93rd, and had seen the effect of their Minié rifles at Alma, so chose to deploy his men in firing line, rather than receive cavalry in square as the British had at Waterloo.  This meant every one of the regiment’s 500 rifles could be brought to bear, and they were sighted out to 1,000 yards.

Surprisingly, for an action so famous, accounts vary as to the number and range of the ensuing volleys. The first may have been at the extreme range of 800 yards, and seemed to have little effect. A second, at perhaps less than 500 yards, took a heavier toll and caused the hussars to wheel away to their left. Seeing the cavalry appearing to prepare to outflank him, Campbell calmly wheeled his right rank company round to deliver a final volley. That third decided the matter. The Russian cavalry retreated, and Balaclava was saved.

The phrasing of Russell’s Balaclava despatch was gradually condensed, and by the time the artist Robert Gibb unveiled his iconic oil painting of the 93rd’s triumph in 1881, its title of ‘The Thin Red Line’ had already entered the national lexicon.

The Russian reverse at Balaclava was consolidated when the British Heavy Brigade charged into the remaining body of Russian horsemen and put them to flight. That day would have gone down in military history as a resounding success, had not the Light Brigade then mistakenly ridden to their infamous destruction in the ‘Valley of Death’.

And what of the overall commander of these gallant regiments, whose vague orders contributed the Light Brigade’s doomed charge?

Field Marshall Fitzoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, possessed great personal courage, but had spent almost this entire career in the shadow of the Duke of Wellington. Accustomed to the role of aide, rather than commander, his appointment to lead the Crimean expedition at the age of 66 owed more to his sheer longevity and close association with Britain’s greatest soldier, than to his actual fitness for the task at hand.

Like the 33rd Regiment of Foot, Raglan’s ties with Wellington stretched back to some of his greatest victories. Raglan had begun his military career in 1804 when, at the age of 26, he was commissioned as a coronet in the 4th Light Dragoons. By 1808 he was a captain in the 43rd Regiment of Foot, and just two months later was appointed aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. The British army sailed to Portugal shortly thereafter, and Raglan was present at all of Wellington’s great Peninsular victories from the Second Battle of Porto in 1809, through to invasion of France and the Battle of Toulouse in 1814.

Raglan’s position, as aide-de-camp did not restrict him to the administrative duties the title might suggest. One of his most daring exploits was at the Siege of Badajoz in 1812, which went down as one of the bloodiest in British Army history, with over 4,800 dead and wounded. The approach of a relieving army left insufficient time to breach the defences completely, and the British were obliged take the citadels’ formidable defences by storm. Heavy casualties ensued as ‘forlorn hopes’ tried to force their way in, both through the partial breaches and by scaling ladder. Raglan (then Major Lord Fitzroy Somerset), was the first man mount the breach of the Saint Vincent Bastion, in a single a assault that cost the British some 600 men.

Though he survived the Peninsular Campaign intact, Raglan was not so lucky on the field of Waterloo. Wellingtons’ mounted aides were conspicuous targets, and Raglan fell foul of a French sniper’s bullet, which shattered his right arm. He was taken to a nearby farmhouse, where the arm was amputated, but not before Raglan had displayed his sangfroid by insisting on removing the ring that his wife had given him. Only married the year before, Raglan’s wife was none other than Emily Harriet Wellesley-pole: Niece of the Duke of Wellington.

Raglan remained Wellington’s secretary for many of the great Duke’s subsequent appointments and then succeeded his late commander as Master-General of the Ordnance in September 1852. In October that year he was raised to the peerage, as Baron Raglan of Ragland in the County of Monmouthshire, and that would have been the climax of a spotless career, had not the Crimean campaign occurred.

It is sad to reflect that such a life of service should end in the quagmire of the Crimea, where officers at all levels found themselves out of their depth, through a lack of professional planning. When in leading role of commanding officer, Raglan proved cautious and indecisive, and contributed to the slow advance of the Allies and the missed opportunities for a speedy victory. As the cruel Crimean winter set in, and the Siege of Sevastopol dragged on, the strain of responsibility in the field took their toll on the old man. Politicians and press were highly critical of his handling of the campaign, and much of the blame for the suffering of the common soldier was laid at his door. The final straw came on the 18th June 1855, when badly co-ordinated assaults on the city were repulsed with heavy losses. Raglan died on the 28th June, from a combination of dysentery and depression.

The war in Crimea spluttered on until the Treaty of Paris was signed on 30th March 1856, and though the Allies could claim victory, they’d paid a heavy price. Of the 107,63 British service men engaged in the conflict, 40,462 had become casualties, of which 17,850 died of disease. A slew of public and Army Board enquiries would ensue, and from them emerged the foundations of the modern British Army: from the abolition of purchased commissions and advances in military medicine, to the overhaul of army transport and the adoption of rifled cannon.

Reform was in the air, and the army that Wellington had forged would have to embrace a new spirit of professionalism if it was to protect a growing empire, yet to reach its apogee.

Happy Christmas!

Text: Paul Cattermole for Tradition of London, 2019





Tradition of London

2019 Christmas set - The British Army - The Crimean War - 54mm Painted in Gloss

£113.95

Painted in Gloss


SKU: Christmas-set-2019

Viewed 121 times

Shop Location: A-28-2


Description

2019 Christmas set - The British Army - The Crimean War - 54mm Painted in Gloss

Tradition of London is proud to present its Christmas Set for 2019: The Crimean War, 1854

This 6-figure set comprises an officer and private of both the 93rd Highlanders and the 33rd Regiment of Foot, together with the British commander, Lord Raglan, and an officer of his staff. Though resplendent in British scarlet and blue, this small vignette represents a decisive moment on the army’s long road to modernity.

The figures are made in England of quality white metal and meticulously hand-painted in gloss enamel to the highest standards.

This special limited edition “Christmas 2019 Set” is only available during the year of issue.

Size 54mm - Painted in Gloss - Price code D

165 years ago, the British Army found itself in the most unlikely of alliances with their age-old adversaries, the French. The two nations had despatched a joint expeditionary force to the Balkans in support of the Turks, with the aim of curbing Russian expansion into the fragmenting Ottoman Empire. Having embarked with grand ambitions, the Allies arrived in Bulgaria in June 1854 only to find the Russian forces withdrawing before they could be brought to battle. Under pressure from a vocal populous back home, and with need to justify the expense of the expedition, the Allies agreed to mount a punitive attack on the Russian Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, and so set sail for the Crimea.

The resulting campaign would prove a wake-up call for a British Army that had too long rested on the laurels of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington had died in 1852, and few sought to change a system that had served the nation’s greatest solider well. Despite the greater accuracy of the recently issued rifled muskets, the British infantry continued to fight in formations inherited from the Napoleonic Wars. Tactics and attitudes (and in some cases, officers), were unchanged since 1815, and had their Russian opponents been similarly armed, the outcome might have been very different. It was, in greater part, the discipline and steadfast determination of the British infantry that saw the war successfully concluded, in spite of the systemic failures of their commanders and commissariat.

The stoic determination of the British soldiery is reflected in the composition of this Christmas set, for both regiments depicted were to distinguish themselves in the line of battle.

It was not simply tactics that harked back to past campaigns. The 33rd Regiment of Foot could boast a long association with the late Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, stretching back to 1793 when he joined as a major by purchase. The regiment served under Wellesley in India, gaining the battle honour of ‘Seringapatham’ in 1799, but their proudest honours would be won at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, under the by then Duke of Wellington. In recognition of their close ties with the late, great commander, Queen Victoria had bestowed upon them the title of 33rd (The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment in 1853.

It was with the name of a national hero newly embroidered on their regimental colours that the 33rd advanced at the Battle of Alma on the 20th September 1854. Dug in on the heights overlooking the river, Russian forces barred the Allies’ advance on Sevastopol, with the formidable Greater Redoubt as the key to the defences. Placed at the centre of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division, the 33rd advanced straight up the slopes into the waiting Russian guns, but an error in deployment caused the lines of the Light Division to merge and muddle with those of the neighbouring 2nd Division.

Seeing the confused morass below, the Russian infantry attacked down the slope, but were driven back by the sheer weight of the British rifled volleys, whose Minié bullets out-classed the archaic Russian smoothbores. The British then doggedly fought their way up the ridge, with the 33rd being the first to breach the redoubt’s embrasures. Greatly depleted by the assault, the Light Division could only briefly hold the redoubt, before being driven back down the slope by a Russian counter attack. It took the arrival of the British second wave, composed of Guards and Highlanders, to reinforce the attackers, then drive the defenders from the heights, putting the Russian Army to flight. Victory was achieved with great valour, but at great cost. Of the 2,002 British casualties, the 33rd accounted for 239; the highest of any British unit engaged.

The power of the Minié bullet would be demonstrated once more, when the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot formed up in line at Balaclava, barely one month later. The British had established their supply base in the bay at Balaclava, in order to lay siege to Sevastopol. Both sides were aware of the weakness of this arrangement, as the base lay outside of the main perimeter of the Allies’ lines, and required separate defences of its own. The Russians were quick to take advantage of this error, and launched an attack in force on 25th October 1854, with the aim of destroying the British supply lines and crippling the siege.

The Russian infantry began by attacking the screen of earthen redoubts that formed the harbour’s first line of defence.  These redoubts had been built too far forward, so could not be effectively supported from the rear, and without reinforcement their Ottoman defenders were soon driven back. A force of 4,000-6,000 Russian cavalry was then able to pass through the line of captured redoubts, and the Allies scrambled their own cavalry to resist an attack on the harbour itself.

The Russian cavalry commander, Lieutenant Genral Ryzhov, now chose to split his forces. With the imposing masses of British Light Brigade to his right, and the Heavy Brigade to his front, the most direct route to Balaclava lay to his left. Sparsely defended by a screen of British and Turkish infantry, a Russian victory appeared a foregone conclusion. Ryzhov launched the 12th Ingermanland Hussars, over 400 strong, to sweep away this fragile line of men. The already shaken Turkish infantry fired a volley, then fled, leaving only 93rd (Highland) Regiment in the Russian’s path.

The 93rd formed up in line, two deep, with nothing but Balaclava and the Black Sea at their backs. The action was witnessed by the war correspondent for The Times, William Howard Russell, and it was Russell’s description of the Highlanders that would ripple down the centuries. From his vantage point alongside Lord Raglan on the Sapouné Heights, the journalist had a clear view of what followed:

‘The Russians dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses’ feet: gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel’.

But it wasn’t the steel bayonets that stopped the cavalry. Sir Colin Campbell commanded the 93rd, and had seen the effect of their Minié rifles at Alma, so chose to deploy his men in firing line, rather than receive cavalry in square as the British had at Waterloo.  This meant every one of the regiment’s 500 rifles could be brought to bear, and they were sighted out to 1,000 yards.

Surprisingly, for an action so famous, accounts vary as to the number and range of the ensuing volleys. The first may have been at the extreme range of 800 yards, and seemed to have little effect. A second, at perhaps less than 500 yards, took a heavier toll and caused the hussars to wheel away to their left. Seeing the cavalry appearing to prepare to outflank him, Campbell calmly wheeled his right rank company round to deliver a final volley. That third decided the matter. The Russian cavalry retreated, and Balaclava was saved.

The phrasing of Russell’s Balaclava despatch was gradually condensed, and by the time the artist Robert Gibb unveiled his iconic oil painting of the 93rd’s triumph in 1881, its title of ‘The Thin Red Line’ had already entered the national lexicon.

The Russian reverse at Balaclava was consolidated when the British Heavy Brigade charged into the remaining body of Russian horsemen and put them to flight. That day would have gone down in military history as a resounding success, had not the Light Brigade then mistakenly ridden to their infamous destruction in the ‘Valley of Death’.

And what of the overall commander of these gallant regiments, whose vague orders contributed the Light Brigade’s doomed charge?

Field Marshall Fitzoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, possessed great personal courage, but had spent almost this entire career in the shadow of the Duke of Wellington. Accustomed to the role of aide, rather than commander, his appointment to lead the Crimean expedition at the age of 66 owed more to his sheer longevity and close association with Britain’s greatest soldier, than to his actual fitness for the task at hand.

Like the 33rd Regiment of Foot, Raglan’s ties with Wellington stretched back to some of his greatest victories. Raglan had begun his military career in 1804 when, at the age of 26, he was commissioned as a coronet in the 4th Light Dragoons. By 1808 he was a captain in the 43rd Regiment of Foot, and just two months later was appointed aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. The British army sailed to Portugal shortly thereafter, and Raglan was present at all of Wellington’s great Peninsular victories from the Second Battle of Porto in 1809, through to invasion of France and the Battle of Toulouse in 1814.

Raglan’s position, as aide-de-camp did not restrict him to the administrative duties the title might suggest. One of his most daring exploits was at the Siege of Badajoz in 1812, which went down as one of the bloodiest in British Army history, with over 4,800 dead and wounded. The approach of a relieving army left insufficient time to breach the defences completely, and the British were obliged take the citadels’ formidable defences by storm. Heavy casualties ensued as ‘forlorn hopes’ tried to force their way in, both through the partial breaches and by scaling ladder. Raglan (then Major Lord Fitzroy Somerset), was the first man mount the breach of the Saint Vincent Bastion, in a single a assault that cost the British some 600 men.

Though he survived the Peninsular Campaign intact, Raglan was not so lucky on the field of Waterloo. Wellingtons’ mounted aides were conspicuous targets, and Raglan fell foul of a French sniper’s bullet, which shattered his right arm. He was taken to a nearby farmhouse, where the arm was amputated, but not before Raglan had displayed his sangfroid by insisting on removing the ring that his wife had given him. Only married the year before, Raglan’s wife was none other than Emily Harriet Wellesley-pole: Niece of the Duke of Wellington.

Raglan remained Wellington’s secretary for many of the great Duke’s subsequent appointments and then succeeded his late commander as Master-General of the Ordnance in September 1852. In October that year he was raised to the peerage, as Baron Raglan of Ragland in the County of Monmouthshire, and that would have been the climax of a spotless career, had not the Crimean campaign occurred.

It is sad to reflect that such a life of service should end in the quagmire of the Crimea, where officers at all levels found themselves out of their depth, through a lack of professional planning. When in leading role of commanding officer, Raglan proved cautious and indecisive, and contributed to the slow advance of the Allies and the missed opportunities for a speedy victory. As the cruel Crimean winter set in, and the Siege of Sevastopol dragged on, the strain of responsibility in the field took their toll on the old man. Politicians and press were highly critical of his handling of the campaign, and much of the blame for the suffering of the common soldier was laid at his door. The final straw came on the 18th June 1855, when badly co-ordinated assaults on the city were repulsed with heavy losses. Raglan died on the 28th June, from a combination of dysentery and depression.

The war in Crimea spluttered on until the Treaty of Paris was signed on 30th March 1856, and though the Allies could claim victory, they’d paid a heavy price. Of the 107,63 British service men engaged in the conflict, 40,462 had become casualties, of which 17,850 died of disease. A slew of public and Army Board enquiries would ensue, and from them emerged the foundations of the modern British Army: from the abolition of purchased commissions and advances in military medicine, to the overhaul of army transport and the adoption of rifled cannon.

Reform was in the air, and the army that Wellington had forged would have to embrace a new spirit of professionalism if it was to protect a growing empire, yet to reach its apogee.

Happy Christmas!

Text: Paul Cattermole for Tradition of London, 2019





Tradition of London

2019 Christmas set - The British Army - The Crimean War - 54mm Painted in Gloss

£113.95

Painted in Gloss


SKU: Christmas-set-2019

Viewed 121 times

Shop Location: A-28-2


Description

2019 Christmas set - The British Army - The Crimean War - 54mm Painted in Gloss

Tradition of London is proud to present its Christmas Set for 2019: The Crimean War, 1854

This 6-figure set comprises an officer and private of both the 93rd Highlanders and the 33rd Regiment of Foot, together with the British commander, Lord Raglan, and an officer of his staff. Though resplendent in British scarlet and blue, this small vignette represents a decisive moment on the army’s long road to modernity.

The figures are made in England of quality white metal and meticulously hand-painted in gloss enamel to the highest standards.

This special limited edition “Christmas 2019 Set” is only available during the year of issue.

Size 54mm - Painted in Gloss - Price code D

165 years ago, the British Army found itself in the most unlikely of alliances with their age-old adversaries, the French. The two nations had despatched a joint expeditionary force to the Balkans in support of the Turks, with the aim of curbing Russian expansion into the fragmenting Ottoman Empire. Having embarked with grand ambitions, the Allies arrived in Bulgaria in June 1854 only to find the Russian forces withdrawing before they could be brought to battle. Under pressure from a vocal populous back home, and with need to justify the expense of the expedition, the Allies agreed to mount a punitive attack on the Russian Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, and so set sail for the Crimea.

The resulting campaign would prove a wake-up call for a British Army that had too long rested on the laurels of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington had died in 1852, and few sought to change a system that had served the nation’s greatest solider well. Despite the greater accuracy of the recently issued rifled muskets, the British infantry continued to fight in formations inherited from the Napoleonic Wars. Tactics and attitudes (and in some cases, officers), were unchanged since 1815, and had their Russian opponents been similarly armed, the outcome might have been very different. It was, in greater part, the discipline and steadfast determination of the British infantry that saw the war successfully concluded, in spite of the systemic failures of their commanders and commissariat.

The stoic determination of the British soldiery is reflected in the composition of this Christmas set, for both regiments depicted were to distinguish themselves in the line of battle.

It was not simply tactics that harked back to past campaigns. The 33rd Regiment of Foot could boast a long association with the late Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, stretching back to 1793 when he joined as a major by purchase. The regiment served under Wellesley in India, gaining the battle honour of ‘Seringapatham’ in 1799, but their proudest honours would be won at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, under the by then Duke of Wellington. In recognition of their close ties with the late, great commander, Queen Victoria had bestowed upon them the title of 33rd (The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment in 1853.

It was with the name of a national hero newly embroidered on their regimental colours that the 33rd advanced at the Battle of Alma on the 20th September 1854. Dug in on the heights overlooking the river, Russian forces barred the Allies’ advance on Sevastopol, with the formidable Greater Redoubt as the key to the defences. Placed at the centre of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division, the 33rd advanced straight up the slopes into the waiting Russian guns, but an error in deployment caused the lines of the Light Division to merge and muddle with those of the neighbouring 2nd Division.

Seeing the confused morass below, the Russian infantry attacked down the slope, but were driven back by the sheer weight of the British rifled volleys, whose Minié bullets out-classed the archaic Russian smoothbores. The British then doggedly fought their way up the ridge, with the 33rd being the first to breach the redoubt’s embrasures. Greatly depleted by the assault, the Light Division could only briefly hold the redoubt, before being driven back down the slope by a Russian counter attack. It took the arrival of the British second wave, composed of Guards and Highlanders, to reinforce the attackers, then drive the defenders from the heights, putting the Russian Army to flight. Victory was achieved with great valour, but at great cost. Of the 2,002 British casualties, the 33rd accounted for 239; the highest of any British unit engaged.

The power of the Minié bullet would be demonstrated once more, when the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot formed up in line at Balaclava, barely one month later. The British had established their supply base in the bay at Balaclava, in order to lay siege to Sevastopol. Both sides were aware of the weakness of this arrangement, as the base lay outside of the main perimeter of the Allies’ lines, and required separate defences of its own. The Russians were quick to take advantage of this error, and launched an attack in force on 25th October 1854, with the aim of destroying the British supply lines and crippling the siege.

The Russian infantry began by attacking the screen of earthen redoubts that formed the harbour’s first line of defence.  These redoubts had been built too far forward, so could not be effectively supported from the rear, and without reinforcement their Ottoman defenders were soon driven back. A force of 4,000-6,000 Russian cavalry was then able to pass through the line of captured redoubts, and the Allies scrambled their own cavalry to resist an attack on the harbour itself.

The Russian cavalry commander, Lieutenant Genral Ryzhov, now chose to split his forces. With the imposing masses of British Light Brigade to his right, and the Heavy Brigade to his front, the most direct route to Balaclava lay to his left. Sparsely defended by a screen of British and Turkish infantry, a Russian victory appeared a foregone conclusion. Ryzhov launched the 12th Ingermanland Hussars, over 400 strong, to sweep away this fragile line of men. The already shaken Turkish infantry fired a volley, then fled, leaving only 93rd (Highland) Regiment in the Russian’s path.

The 93rd formed up in line, two deep, with nothing but Balaclava and the Black Sea at their backs. The action was witnessed by the war correspondent for The Times, William Howard Russell, and it was Russell’s description of the Highlanders that would ripple down the centuries. From his vantage point alongside Lord Raglan on the Sapouné Heights, the journalist had a clear view of what followed:

‘The Russians dash at the Highlanders. The ground flies beneath their horses’ feet: gathering speed at every stride, they dash on towards that thin red streak topped with a line of steel’.

But it wasn’t the steel bayonets that stopped the cavalry. Sir Colin Campbell commanded the 93rd, and had seen the effect of their Minié rifles at Alma, so chose to deploy his men in firing line, rather than receive cavalry in square as the British had at Waterloo.  This meant every one of the regiment’s 500 rifles could be brought to bear, and they were sighted out to 1,000 yards.

Surprisingly, for an action so famous, accounts vary as to the number and range of the ensuing volleys. The first may have been at the extreme range of 800 yards, and seemed to have little effect. A second, at perhaps less than 500 yards, took a heavier toll and caused the hussars to wheel away to their left. Seeing the cavalry appearing to prepare to outflank him, Campbell calmly wheeled his right rank company round to deliver a final volley. That third decided the matter. The Russian cavalry retreated, and Balaclava was saved.

The phrasing of Russell’s Balaclava despatch was gradually condensed, and by the time the artist Robert Gibb unveiled his iconic oil painting of the 93rd’s triumph in 1881, its title of ‘The Thin Red Line’ had already entered the national lexicon.

The Russian reverse at Balaclava was consolidated when the British Heavy Brigade charged into the remaining body of Russian horsemen and put them to flight. That day would have gone down in military history as a resounding success, had not the Light Brigade then mistakenly ridden to their infamous destruction in the ‘Valley of Death’.

And what of the overall commander of these gallant regiments, whose vague orders contributed the Light Brigade’s doomed charge?

Field Marshall Fitzoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, possessed great personal courage, but had spent almost this entire career in the shadow of the Duke of Wellington. Accustomed to the role of aide, rather than commander, his appointment to lead the Crimean expedition at the age of 66 owed more to his sheer longevity and close association with Britain’s greatest soldier, than to his actual fitness for the task at hand.

Like the 33rd Regiment of Foot, Raglan’s ties with Wellington stretched back to some of his greatest victories. Raglan had begun his military career in 1804 when, at the age of 26, he was commissioned as a coronet in the 4th Light Dragoons. By 1808 he was a captain in the 43rd Regiment of Foot, and just two months later was appointed aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. The British army sailed to Portugal shortly thereafter, and Raglan was present at all of Wellington’s great Peninsular victories from the Second Battle of Porto in 1809, through to invasion of France and the Battle of Toulouse in 1814.

Raglan’s position, as aide-de-camp did not restrict him to the administrative duties the title might suggest. One of his most daring exploits was at the Siege of Badajoz in 1812, which went down as one of the bloodiest in British Army history, with over 4,800 dead and wounded. The approach of a relieving army left insufficient time to breach the defences completely, and the British were obliged take the citadels’ formidable defences by storm. Heavy casualties ensued as ‘forlorn hopes’ tried to force their way in, both through the partial breaches and by scaling ladder. Raglan (then Major Lord Fitzroy Somerset), was the first man mount the breach of the Saint Vincent Bastion, in a single a assault that cost the British some 600 men.

Though he survived the Peninsular Campaign intact, Raglan was not so lucky on the field of Waterloo. Wellingtons’ mounted aides were conspicuous targets, and Raglan fell foul of a French sniper’s bullet, which shattered his right arm. He was taken to a nearby farmhouse, where the arm was amputated, but not before Raglan had displayed his sangfroid by insisting on removing the ring that his wife had given him. Only married the year before, Raglan’s wife was none other than Emily Harriet Wellesley-pole: Niece of the Duke of Wellington.

Raglan remained Wellington’s secretary for many of the great Duke’s subsequent appointments and then succeeded his late commander as Master-General of the Ordnance in September 1852. In October that year he was raised to the peerage, as Baron Raglan of Ragland in the County of Monmouthshire, and that would have been the climax of a spotless career, had not the Crimean campaign occurred.

It is sad to reflect that such a life of service should end in the quagmire of the Crimea, where officers at all levels found themselves out of their depth, through a lack of professional planning. When in leading role of commanding officer, Raglan proved cautious and indecisive, and contributed to the slow advance of the Allies and the missed opportunities for a speedy victory. As the cruel Crimean winter set in, and the Siege of Sevastopol dragged on, the strain of responsibility in the field took their toll on the old man. Politicians and press were highly critical of his handling of the campaign, and much of the blame for the suffering of the common soldier was laid at his door. The final straw came on the 18th June 1855, when badly co-ordinated assaults on the city were repulsed with heavy losses. Raglan died on the 28th June, from a combination of dysentery and depression.

The war in Crimea spluttered on until the Treaty of Paris was signed on 30th March 1856, and though the Allies could claim victory, they’d paid a heavy price. Of the 107,63 British service men engaged in the conflict, 40,462 had become casualties, of which 17,850 died of disease. A slew of public and Army Board enquiries would ensue, and from them emerged the foundations of the modern British Army: from the abolition of purchased commissions and advances in military medicine, to the overhaul of army transport and the adoption of rifled cannon.

Reform was in the air, and the army that Wellington had forged would have to embrace a new spirit of professionalism if it was to protect a growing empire, yet to reach its apogee.

Happy Christmas!

Text: Paul Cattermole for Tradition of London, 2019





  View our Toy catalogue!

Video Showroom in Stockholm

 
Max Postage UK £15.00 - EC £20.00 - Overseas £30.00

Tradition of London sells not only our own produced in the UK, Toy soldier and Model figures, but also those of Au Plat d' Etain CBG Mignot, Tradition Scandinavia, Steadfast Soldiers, Bravo Delta Aircraft Models, King and Country, W. Britain, William Britain Classics Collection along with books from Osprey and and our own Tradition Magazine. 

‘The Signing of the Armistice’. 

Marking the final centenary year of the First World War, Tradition of London is proud to present
Depicting the momentous event that took place in the Forest of Compiègne on the 11 th  November 1918, the set includes all six signatories of the famous armistice that ushered in a ceasefire at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. 


Painted  or  Unpainted



 

The British Army Napoleonic War 1803-1815
In our 54mm Model Soldier Series
Painted or Unpainted Casting/Kit

 

Find your nearest ToL Dealer!

  View our Toy catalogue!

View Tradition Magazine Index 1-76

Tradition of London Producer and seller of Toy soldiers and model figures