Friday, 3 April 2015

The Tots (The 17th Dragoons)

After finishing my first platoon last Sunday, I thought I could fit in six riders of the Tots (Perry miniatures) which I need for the „White Plains“ and thereafter. In my adolescent naivety years ago,  I painted six in the SYW outfit with black cuffs, purely out of aesthetically reasons. Now, I added another six, this time in their 1768 warrant costumes. The horses I painted as Appaloosa mix, which could possibly the stock of the 17th at that time.

„...The 17th Light Dragoons can trace their formation back to General Wolfe‘s victory at Quebec in 1759. ...
The Light Dragoons main distinction from their heavier cousins was in the type of horse employed. Rather than use the big and burly heavy cart cobs the Light Dragoons preferred the use of smaller, leaner hunter horses. 
Originally, the Light Dragoons were not equipped with swords of any sort rather their main armament was a carbine that could have a bayonet fitted, pistols and an axe. They were trained to be able to fire from the saddle. Speed and agility (of rider and horse) were prized over strength and sturdiness. These attributes would prove to be valuable ones in the small scale actions common to colonial campaigns for a long time to come.
The evocative Death‘s Head emblem has been used time and again by desperadoes and tribes from time immemorial. Its first use as a regimental emblem seems to have been by a German unit of Hussars known as the ‚Totenkopf‘ Hussars. As many British units and soldiers had served in Germany at around this time as part of the Seven Years War (1756 - 1763). It is probable that they saw this emblem and revelled in its associations of piracy and plunder - perfect values to a Light Cavalry unit. Indeed, down to the present time the regiment is still commonly referred to as ‚The Tots‘. ...“

Other names would have been, „Death or Glory Boys“ or „The Horse Marines“.

Some of the old boys