Saturday, 31 December 2016

Loyal Lusitanian Legion

As I have found to be usual at the end of most of my projects I had a number of surplus figures, in this case twenty or so Portuguese lights. Since I have already completed all six of the early Cacadore regiments the only way I could use them was to put together a battalion from the Loyal Lusitanian Legion, or LLL as they were identified on their brass shako plates:

There are however two potential inaccuracies in that the lacing on the cuffs was pointed, as opposed to square as was the case with the Cacadore regiments, and it is doubtful that they wore the barretina - being raised and equipped in England they were almost certainly initially outfitted with the stovepipe. However, I can vaguely recall I read somewhere that they were depicted at some stage in Portugal in the barretina, although I can't now recall where I read this or if it might just have been wishful thinking on my part:

Oman probably does them something of a disservice when he describes them as an "abnormal force", but I suppose what he means is that they were almost a microcosm of an army within an army, nominally comprised as they were of three battalions of infantry with paper strength of a thousand men each, a regiment of cavalry comprised of three squadrons, and a battery of artillery (although it is doubtful whether the cavalry ever reached much more than squadron strength, due to the paucity of horseflesh):

As many might know the Legion was initially under the command of Sir Robert Wilson, who comes across as an independent adventurer, albeit a man of some capacity and who, it could be imagined, would relish having the three arms in a small mobile force which could strike and then move quickly. It is also not hard to imagine that this would not sit too well with Wellington, and Wilson departed fairly soon after the former's arrival to seek adventure elsewhere.

The Legion would ultimately be absorbed into the regular Portuguese army in the form of the 7th, 8th and 9th Cacadores, although it is interesting to note that the first battalion of the Legion was with Beresford defending the town and bridge at Albuera while the 8th Cacadores were with Wellington at Fuentes de Onoro, which does imply that even as late as mid-1811 the LLL continued to operate concurrently with the units into which they were to be eventually amalgamated.

There is a lot more to the LLL than that, and one book I have on the reading list for 2017 is Lillie and Mayne's book to flesh things out more.

All things considered it was just nice to paint something in green again and, above all, to have finished the Portuguese army. I'll try to get them all out for a group photo before moving on to the next project. I'm still struggling with that one, and know I need to paint some French, but the call of the Calpe Prussians and Saxons is increasingly hard to resist.

That's one for the New Year though, and I hope everyone who reads this has a happy and successful 2017!


  1. They look fantastic, Lawrence, and a very fine change of pace from the brown Cacdores! Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017 as well!

    1. Thanks Peter, and all the best to you and the family.

  2. Marvelous brush work Lawrence!
    Happy and safe New Year!


    1. Thanks Phil, and happy New Year to you as well.