I know, they are just little metal or plastic figurines but some wargame figures just do seem to take on a character of their own. It may start with us embellishing stories, attributing to them decisions made by us on their behalf or remarking on the way the dice seem to smile or frown upon certain characters or units but in the end does it matter how it started? Some little guys just seem to end up with a tale of their own.
Brigadier Zinn is one of those.
(For the curious, this famous officer is represented on my table top by a 40mm Zinnbrigade casting of a 1900 Prussian officer, suitably converted in 2007 and again this morning. His brigade was recruited principally from Historifig (Scruby) ACW figures now being restored)
There is no record of Brigadier Zinn's early career in the army but in "The Rattle of Dice: Memoirs of a Frontier Soldier" by General M. Ross Ret'd (click here) he is mentioned as being the Major in charge of the Oberhilse Field Force artillery at the Battle of Blast Off Ridge in 1838. This was the opening battle of the Origawn War which lasted until 1845. There was a rapid expansion of the army and the contribution of the artillery under his command during that battle must have been noted. In the days of the old Oligarchy, the notice of the Council was all that was needed and with a few months there is photographic evidence of him leading the Oberhilse Field Force's First Brigade at the Battle of Wye. Soon the name of Brigadier Zinn appears in battle report after battle report, often credited with saving the day and even more famous for the number of wounds he has suffered at the head of his men.
Between the end of the Origawn War and the outbreak in 1875 of the Intervention, the first of a series of wars now known collectively as the Twenty Year's War, Oberhilse went through a tumultuous time which included the over throw of the Oligarchy and the Declaration of the Republic of Oberhilse. Brigadier Zinn was one of those military officers who did their duty and stayed out of politics. The result was that he maintained his position but lost favour with the new government and with favour, all chance of promotion.
Thus it was that at the outbreak of War, mere months before his 50th birthday, he found himself once again marching to battle at the head of the Oberhilse First Infantry Brigade. "Hooray for Papa Zinn!" was the cry in the streets and in the papers.
PS. It has come to my attention that Brigadier Zinn had a son George who followed in his foot steps in the Oberhilse Artillery as can be seen here: