Monday, 29 September 2008

Big Mack

The encirclement and destruction of the Austrian Army at Ulm in 1805 has to be one of the high points of Napoleon’s career. Sadly for poor old General Mack it was his fate to be in charge of the 30,000 men that were forced to surrender there.

I have been fascinated by this incident since first seeing a painting of the surrender in a copy of “A History of Warfare” (by General Montgomery) in the late 1960’s. It shows a white-clad Austrian Officer slightly stooped, handing over his sword to the French while off to one side a Grenadier is trying to kick an unexploded shell away with his foot. The whole scene is crowded with an array of troops all in fantastic uniforms (this is from memory and I have no idea what the picture was).

So it seems fitting that this Hinton Hunt casting of an “Austrian General Mounted Holding Map” (AN102) should represent the unlucky General Mack trying to find some route out of his predicament. The figure is a vintage one that I stripped and repainted – to see how he looked before the uniform reissue click here.

10 comments:

Matt said...

Another very nice little piece.

Matt

Anonymous said...

"Big Mack"..... like it Ian :-) Great figure again, nice paint job.

Lee.

PS: I'm starting a new 'Crimean' blog.I'll let you have the link once its fully up and running and I'll place your link on there.

Stryker said...

Hi Lee

That's great news about your new blog - really looking forward to it!

Ian

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Much improved!

PS. Was this it??

http://www.art.co.uk/asp/sp-asp/_/PD--12561286/SP--A/IGID--1349932/The_Surrender_of_Ulm_20th_October_1805_1815.htm?sOrig=CRT&sOrigId=32531&ui=865E1518FF1D4E309BE57182A0AA7A16

Stryker said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks but that's not the one (although a very fine painting!). The thing that sticks in my mind is the Grenadier (Old Guard I think) kicking away a shell with his foot. I had a quick trawl through the images on that site but can't find it - possible it wasn't Ulm I guess!

Ian

David Spender said...

I have that edition of Montgomery's book and I'm afraid you have mis-remembered. The picture is of Borodino and shows Berthier receiving the surrender of a Russian general while a grenadier kicks a live shell out of harm's way. It's the same principal though!

Dave

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Aha... slaps head... of course!!

Here you go:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Battle_of_Borodino.jpg

...should have remembered it as it was the cover for the "bestest" book I was ever given as a boy - Great Military Battles edited by Cyril Falls

Stryker said...

Dave

That solves that little problem then - I guess the old brain isn't quite what it was. It does leave me with a bit of a problem though as I don't have any Russian Generals to paint up, or Berthier for that matter! Many thanks for your comment,

Ian

Stryker said...

Steve - yep, that's the one! Quite an amazingly busy picture and great to see it again. I guess it's a kind of military version of "Where's Wally?" Many thanks,

Ian

"Raglan" said...

Hi Ian,

I'm up and running! Heres the link:
http://crimeanwargameproject.blogspot.com/

I just hope I can do it justice and that its as lively as this excellent blog which has inspired me to start again :-)

Regards,

Lee.