Friday, 27 February 2009

Pike and Musket Organisation of Swedish battalions

Grimbsy Mariner, on his blog last week, threw me into a panic over the organisation of a Swedish battalion in the Great Northern War. In particular he had, like me, put his pikes in a block in the centre with grenadiers on the flanks. He had read that this was wrong, however, saying that: "Poltava, The Battle That Shook Europe" makes reference to pikes scattered through the battalion. However, Pat Condray in his booklet "Swedish & Russian Armies of the Great Northern War" (1990) is less clear. He talks about pikes being a third of the company strength and deployed either in the center of the battalion, the center of the company or across the width of the battalion."
After a lot of web trawling I cam across this which offers two alternative deployments:

I will happily stick to my pikes in the centre approach as a result, as the alternative smaller pike blocks would only work if you were using 6mm or 10mm figures I reckon.


  1. Sorry about that. It made me panic because I them relaised I'd have to spend more money on completing my battalions!

    I think which ever formation we choose is both right and wrong at the same time.

    As long as it looks good is fine by me.

  2. Something I did notice looking at your blog.....

    That photograph heading this post looks as though I got the yellow right, the blue just a little too light, the webbing I've got too light and not brown enough and as for the pike....

  3. Hi. I recently discovered your blog, as I'm into 1/72 GNW plastics, and it has been very usefull especially the uniforms. Your work is very apreciated!
    As for the formations, I'm not an expert but I think it depended on the type of enemy they were facing. In the wikipedia article I think alternative A is more anti-cavalry oriented, while alternative B anti-infantry or against a mixed but more infantry based forced.
    Don't forget pikemen had an important anti-cavalry role, so scattering them in the battalion provides a more efficient protection for the infantry.

  4. I've just started building my 1/72 scale GNW armies using the Zvezda line of figures. I was reluctant to do this period in plastics only because I didn't have any way to get the paint to stick. Then a friend put me onto Aleene's Tacky Glue, I prime the figures first with that and then prime them white and paint. No problem whatsoever with the paint chipping off. The Zvezda figures are absolutely beautiful!

  5. Iused to use 1/72nd figures exclusively for wargaming but I don't think my eyes are up to them now. I agree that all the Zvezda figures I have seen ar excellent.

  6. I know this has been commented on many, many times, but I still can't help but wonder what was on Zvezda's collective mind when they included so few pikemen in their GNW sets. I've partially made up for this by converting some of the musketeers, but still...

  7. The Revell Thirty Years War sets were the same!