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Wagram 1809 Campaign research

Posted by Mr. Cryns on 16 Mar 2017, 11:48

For the Wagram campaign of 1809 including Napoleons crossing of the Danube, the battles of Aspern-Essling, Wagram and all events around this, back in 2005 I started to do a lot of research for WRG wargame campaign by Mr. Bos and me.

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This old and huge handcolored drawing representing the battle of Aspern-Essling is displayed inside the Essling granary museum.

At this moment Wolfgang Meyer/Geschichte in Miniaturen is working on a huge Danube 1809 diorama. At the same time Mr. Dodson and Marc the Plasticfan are planning to build their own 1809 campaign, while this week the Aderklaa 1809 diorama by Stephane got some interesting feedback by Krugi3 concerning uniforms and rural architecture.

About battle action and uniforms I have not much to offer you. There is plenty of books and website information available to all of us. My research focussed on those items that make diorama and scenery building so interesting: architecture of houses, impressions of fieldcrops and vegetation in early summer, the look of the marchy Lobau island, local costumes of the Austrian people, their tools and civilian wagons, Austrian army camp, French camping huts and last but not least:

Napoleons 3 pontoonbridges crossing the Danube which all seem to be made of Austrian military pontoons and civilian river boats. but of course Wolfgang, Patrick and his Austrian researchers know much more about this than I do.

So those are the subjects I have to offer you in pictures I took a while ago and I will try to display them here as organized and structured as possible.

Research trips:

I made two trips to Austria: one to Vienna in the winter of 2005 where I visited the Heeres Geschichtliches Museum Wien, the Museum der Stadt Wien and (because of the Turkish siege of 1683) I payed a visit to the Weinberg. around Döbling north-west of Vienna. The other visit was in 2009, a biketrip around the Marsfeld north east of Vienna, across the Danube, where the battles of Aspern-Essling and Wagram took place, including the Lobau island, many villages and some nearby medieval walled towns like Gross Enzersdorff and Hainsburg to the east.
I visited five small museums in Aspern, in Essling, in Deutsch Wagram, in Gross Enzersdorff and in Hainsburg. After that I went to nearby Hungary where I photographed additional information in the Szabadteri Neprajzi Muzeum (open air museum Skanden). Finally in 2010 I visited the Hadtorteneti Muzeum (army museum) in Budapest.

VILLAGE HOUSES ON THE MARSFELD

krugi3 wrote:Aderklaa was (and is still today) a small hamlet, the houses from the pic of the book are probably too big (a second floor is maybe exaggerated, even today not common)

I think Krugi3 must be correct. I photographed old houses in many different villages and towns and most of them had no second floor at all.

The typical house of the Marsfield area villages like Aspern and Essling must have looked like this:
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(I took this picture in the Hungarian open air museum so in fact this must be a Hungarian house)

Such houses are situated parallel to the street.
It has only a ground floor.
A roof made of wooden shingles.
A yellow-cream painted plastered wall.

My image may show a Hungarian house but todays appearance of the Marsfeld houses show many similarities:

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All these buildings have the wooden shingles removed by terracotta rooftiles. Rooftiles will have been in use already in 1809 though thatch roof seems to be a third possibility to cover a house:

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The open air museum gives us a clear impression what wooden shingle roofs have looked like:

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Some houses are build around a corner:

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A painting from the medieval town of Hainsburg from early 20th century makes clear even many city houses had only a groundfloor. Many houses must have been build at least partly from wood and it shows a barn entirely made out of wood:

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All of this makes the way other gamers and modelers represent the village houses even more unlikely:

Here is a great Aspern-Essling game table of the Wargames Holiday Center by Andy Thomlinson and Doug Birnie:

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Most houses look very British:

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They must have just used what was available in their club.

This next one is inside the Essling Granary museum diorama :eh: , so build by local people who should know what their own traditional houses must have look like :(
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They cropped the ground plan of the houses but not the height to fit all of the battlefield inside one glass covered table.

Aspern as represented by Monsieur le Rosbif & Johnny Frog (is that OUR Rosbif?)
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The Maidstone Wargames Society created a fantastic 6mm Aspern-Essling wargame table:
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but sadly, their Aspern village looks like they used typical British and German style houses produced by Hardcover Design:

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It looks like almost nobody payed some specific interest in Austrian rural architecture and that may also be because sources that we use to consider as being reliable, just like Krugi3 mentioned, exaggerate the appearance of the houses in German style with the gables situated towards the road, like this one:

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The best and greatest representation of Essling by someone who calls himself Jaeger2009 shows, apart from some specific multi floor stone buildings like the granary and the townhall/monastery, those typical one floor village farmhouses, situated parallel to the street, in combination with separate wooden barns:

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My deepest respect for 'Jaeger2009 of whom I know nothing at all except that I can enter his Photobucket territory where all of us can see his brilliant work.

To be continued soon with more rural village architecture.

All feedback is welcome of course :-D
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Mr. Cryns  Netherlands

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Posted by krugi3 on 16 Mar 2017, 12:56

Great topic!

As I am from Austria I assure you, that only a very few Austrian people know how an Austrian rural building in 1809 would look like. And I agree, the diorama in the Essling granary is not good (the Austrians are mostly French napoleonic or british AWI Grenadiers! Formations are completely unknown).

Here's a little attempt on my side to show the French grand battery at Wagram (high corn, worn uniforms):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9svf_yxd3M

And a link to the museum in Wagram that's worth visiting:
http://www.wagram1809.at/index.htm

Greetings from Austria
Thomas Krug
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TKR172/info
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krugi3  Austria
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 16 Mar 2017, 13:43

Hello Mr C.

Your kind offer of this information only crossed my mind this week and how wonderful if you to take the time to post. I know that it takes ages to get the pictures up and running etc.

Fantastic stuff, especially about the houses.

I have the Austrian troops but need to paint them but this will inspire me to start.

I have an urge to see Vienna and then do a little light detective work somewhere near ?

I shall have to treat the Feldmarschall.

Brilliant stuff. I look forward to your next submission and in the meantime. Thank you again for making the effort.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Wolfgang Meyer on 17 Mar 2017, 12:57

Hi Mr. Cryns,

thank you very much for this beautiful report on the Marchfeld.

best regards,

Wolfgang
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Wolfgang Meyer  Germany
 
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Posted by FredG on 18 Mar 2017, 12:37

C M Dodson wrote:...............I have the Austrian troops but need to paint them but this will inspire me to start........,


May I recommend this Chris. It's highly unlikely to break the bank :P

http://www.thehistorybookman.webeden.co ... 4/10915799
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FredG  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Michael Robert on 18 Mar 2017, 16:17

Hi Mr Cryns,

your contribution and research is, as so often, a treasure. Thank you very much.

I have been several times to Vienna and surrounding régions. The houses you suggest correspond definitely to the country houses of my memory and some old Holiday pictures of Neusiedler See etc.
Of course, Vienna has much more to offer than just souvenirs of Wagram and Aspern-Essling battles.
If you like music or pastry, nice cafés, beautiful inner city for pedestrians only, palaces of on empire. Nice countryside with good wine. Lots of good memories :occasion:

Michael
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by C M Dodson on 18 Mar 2017, 17:46

Hello Mr Fred G.

Thank you very much for thus link. I have ordered it, before everyone else does!

Amazing value and free postage.

I hope there is no catch and that it arrives in bits!

Only joking.

Thank you again. It was a very kind thought.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Peter on 19 Mar 2017, 20:36

I have this nice book about the battle and a lot of uniformplates:

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;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Mr. Cryns on 20 Mar 2017, 12:24

Gentlemen, thanks to all of you for your great input!

Krugi3: thanks for your links, good you remind us of the fact the Erzherzog Carl Haus is an interesting item that should not be missed in my list of historic buildings. :yeah:

Mr. Dodson: when I imagine what your Aspern-Essling project is probably going to look like I understand why these pictures of old houses are interesting you. I will post some more of them here today :-D

FredG: that looks like a book I don't know yet and I would like to posses it myself too. :thumbup:

Peter: Yes that is a great book I once bought in Paris before it was available in the Netherlands. It has a great contemporary black&white map of Lobau Island inside.

Now: An addition to the single floor houses:
This monumental relief shows Deutsch Wagram in 1772:

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Notice the brook running through the central street and the single floor houses. But many gables are directed towards the street. I have no idea how reliable this image is.

TWO FLOOR HOUSES

Besides the standard single floor farmhouse or rural village house, around the Marchfeld and environment of Vienna, other types of rural architecture with two floors can be found.

There is a type of farm building that reminds us of the Belgian farms of the Waterloo campaign: several buildings with one or two floors positioned around a central court. The gables of house and barn are directed towards the street. The court is closed with a wall and arched gate.

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Notice the use of wood of the second floor gable, this must have been common back in the early 1800's. Look at the three supporting stones projecting from the gable supporting two arches, and below that a very low arched gate leading to the winecellar.

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Some similar court-farm buildings:

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A gate from 1807:

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Some two floor non-farm village and town houses:

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Notice the square gates above: at least the left one is modern.

This is a street inside the townwalls of Hainburg:

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Townhalls, residents and monasteries have their own style and architectural proportions but all of these are single exceptions:

Like the Erzherzog Carl Haus at Deutsch Wagram:
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Recently it was painted yellow like so many rural buildings:

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(these two pictures were not taken by myself but linked from the internet)

Just like in Tirol, some walls are decorated with (Catholic) fresco's:

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Next week: Churches and a visit to the dungeon of death.
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Mr. Cryns  Netherlands

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Posted by C M Dodson on 22 Mar 2017, 11:49

MR Cryns, wonderful stuff. I am tempted to ditch Quatre Bras and get stuck in!

However, fed up as I am with painting Nassau units I will keep to the plan.

These pictures are inspirational. I have just got back from sking in Austri and the style is very familiar p.

Many thanks also to Fred G. My book arrived this morning and is fantastic. The only snag is it is electronic but at the price it is a small snag at most.

Looking forward to the next instalment.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 22 Mar 2017, 15:14

Thank you Peter. Ordered today at £19.00 in the UK through E Bay.

Free p and p. Marvellous.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by FredG on 23 Mar 2017, 08:56

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FredG  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 23 Mar 2017, 11:21

Oh no! Never mind, I understand my copy is bound in gold leaf and signed by his Majesty.

Best wishes,
Chris
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