The Black Brunswickers were raised in 1809 to fight Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Germany. These Brunswickers were distinctively attired in black wool uniforms, black leather belting and wore silver death heads on their shakos, quickly earning the nickname ‘The Black Legion’ or ‘The Black Horde.’
During the Waterloo campaign, they were placed under the Duke of Wellington’s command and joined the Allied forces of the Seventh Coalition in Belgium.
The regiments were heavily engaged at Quatre Bras on June 16, 1815, where their commander, Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, lost his life. The corps lost over 500 men in this engagement, and only two days later they were again engaging the French as part of the Anglo-Allied army at Waterloo.
Wellington held the Leib and Light Battalion in Reserve just north of the Chateau Hougomont. By midafternoon, the regiments were moved forward to support the Allied right wing, and were formed into squares where they stood in place taking heavy casualties from artillery. At about 4:00 P.M., 4,800 French Horseman charged their positions hoping to break the center right of the Allied line, but the Brunswick squares stood fast. Late in the day, the Brunswickers were repositioned to the center of Wellington’s line facing the last gasp attack by Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. Facing these veterans, the Brunswick regiments broke and fell back in disorder, but were rallied by their officers in time to participate in the Allied “General Advance” that swept the French Army from the field.
Our new release of ‘Black Brunswickers’ will allow you to form a firing line or to build a square to repel your French Lancers!