This time I come back to my beloved Girona 1684 project. As you may notice, I really like painting small scenes and command bases, and it just so happens that my French forces needed a leader, and his leader was Bernardin Gigault, Marquis de Bellefonds (1630–1694), or just Marshall Bellefonds as will call him.
The miniature of him is a nice Reiver Castings miniature on horse, from his 1672 Franco Dutch range I think, he is labelled as Marshall Turenne. I painted him to resemble a little bit to the painting of the true Bellefonds portrait, with a light blue band and a red fabric in the background.
By the way, the full account of the battle of Girona 1684 is here on the blog :
Coming back to our Marshall, he commanded the French army in Catalonia in the campaingn of 1684,
he went on campaing that spring, with the objective of the town of Gerona, Girona in Catalan. some important actions were the crossing of the river Ter, where he attacked several times before capturing it after the orderly withdrawal of the Spanish defenders to Girona Bellefonds finally seized Pont-Major at night at the cost of some 1,000 casualties against 150 Spanish, and he fortified it, and formally initiating the siege of Gerona.
With the arrival of artillery and reinforcements, Bellefonds' forces numbered between 16,000 and 17,000 troops.
the full siege is in the link above...
After the siege, possibly the French marshal had lost since the beginning of the campaign about a third of his men, about 5,000. Many Germans from the French army deserted and Bellefonds had to confine all his people in Santa Eugenia to avoid escapes between May 26 and 30, hanging two German captains as an example to the others.
Bellefonds needed several days to bury their dead and take all their wounded to Figueras and Bàscara, where they had their hospitals, while the Spanish peasants and the troops dedicated themselves to the dispossession of the corpses. The marshal even commented that “if the King of Spain had this type of vassals in Flanders, so many towns would not be lost…”.
Bellefonds remained in the Ampurdán with 11,000 men and the possibility of an attack by the French navy on Barcelona caused panic in the city. On the other hand, after a short siege, Cadaqués, in the coast and with an insufficient garrison surrendered on June 26. Spanish general Bournonville followed the French army at a prudential distance, and limited Spanish reinforcements arrived to Catalonia, from Valencia, Mallorca, Italian possessions and Andalucia.
Finally at this point, the truce came, and soon peace was signed, although war would start again in 1688 between the Grand Alliance and France...
The second miniature is a recent discovery! I just found out about this man a couple of weeks ago! and I just NEEDED a miniature of him!
lieutenant-général François de Calvo, this is an interesting character whose brief biography will be exposed in the following paragraphs. I used a miniature by Wargames Illustrated, Giants in Miniature range: John Churchill 1st Duke of Marlborough. but... again I changed his identity and "converted" him into a Spanish/Catalan/French general! treason, yes...
Just painted a "French" moustache and added shoulder ribbons.
François de Calvo, Count of Calvo, baptized in Barcelona on July 28, 1625 and died in Deinze on May 29, 1690, was a French gentleman and soldier of Catalan origin in the 17th century.
Coming from a good Catalan family, he made the choice to enlist in the French army while the Reaper War was raging. After having spent time in the infantry, he joined the cavalry and became a captain in the cavalry regiment of Aguilar in 1647. He managed to raise a regiment and became mestre de camp in 1654.
A remarkable soldier, Calvo took part in all the campaigns of the reign of Louis XIV and distinguished himself particularly in Catalonia and Holland. He obtained the rank of brigadier of the king's armies in 1674. General esteemed by the king for his efficiency, he was finally made lieutenant-general of the armies in 1676 following his intrepid defense of Maastricht. He became a knight of the king's orders shortly before his death in 1688.
In 1684, the king's service led him to return to Catalonia. Having swum across the Ter, he harshly charged the Spanish lines beyond the Pont-Major and almost captured the Duke of Bournonville, their general; but the night forces him to be cautious and he prefers to withdraw. He besieged Girona alongside Marshal de Bellefonds but failed to take the city and retreated with heavy casualities.
League of Augsburg War
The war having started again in 1688, against the Spaniards and their allies, he served in the army of Flanders, under the orders of Marshal Humières. On December 31, 1688, the king made him a knight of his orders and sent him, on May 24, 1689, at the head of a corps of five thousand men, to defend the northern border of the kingdom which twenty thousand Spanish and Dutch soldiers threatened. He died the following year.
So this man was Spanish/Catalan who joined the French and reached the greatests honours in Louis XIV armies, a traitor for some a hero for others, but he deserves a place in our little game.
The last miniature is a standard bearer of "La Reine" regiment, present in the battle, I used a fantastic Warfare Miniatures pikeman of the Maison du Roi range, painted using the colours of La Reine regiment and added a flag with Front Rank's French finials on top. The flag is free from the internet, I downloaded from a blog called https://nba-sywtemplates.blogspot.com/ and it is quite good, it is the colonel flag of La Reine regiment as previously said.
The gabions are 3d print and the base is just mdf with Spanish beach sand (it is always a pleasure to go to the beach and steal some sand ).
I also painted a command tent, from Baueda, bought several years ago and painted now for this occasion. I made a quick and dirty flag using Bellefonds' family coat of arms and attached to the top of the temp, but not glued, in order to remove when I want :)
I hope you like this little painting and history post !