Sunday, 21 September 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment IX

Garrison Regiment IX was raised in Geldern 1743 as a single battalion and included a grenadier company. It served as the garrison of Geldern until 1756. After the war it returned to Geldern to act as garrison again.

When the French invaded in 1757 Wesel was evacuated, leaving Geldern isolated. Although surrounded, the fortress was well protected by flooding and was defended successfully until August 23rd. An attempt by what have been described as "unreliable foreigners" in the regiment to mutiny and surrender the place was foiled (Dorn and Engelmann) but food eventually ran out and Colonel von Salmuth commanding was able to agree terms of surrender with the French which included free departure for the regiment. When they left, most of the men deserted, leaving only fifteen officers, eighteen NCOs, twenty four privates, one drummer and five flags to reach Magdeburg. On October 13th they marched to Berlin, arriving just in time to withdraw to Potsdam in the face of the Austrian general Hadik's attack on Berlin. In spring 1758 the battalion was sent back to Magdeburg to act as garrison. In 1763 at the end of the war it returned to Geldern and combined with Salenmon's Freikorps to make a total of two battalions.

The grenadiers of the regiment were combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment XIII and IR45 to form Standing Grenadier Battalion No.II. They had a rough war. Having been part of Frederick's invasion force of Saxony in 1756 which surrounded the Saxons at Pirna, they then took part in the invasion of Bohemia in 1757. They were at Prague in May that year, then the defeat at Moys in September. Having been badly chopped up there they were temporarily amalgamated with Grenadier Battalion 41/44 until the spring of 1758. In November 1757 they were at Breslau as right flank guard. At Leuthen in December they were again part of the refused right flank guard. At Hochkirch in October 1758 the battalion was on the extreme left of the Prussian position and was overwhelmed by the Austrian corps of Arenberg, losing two of its companies as prisoners. After the battle the battalion was once again amalgamated with Grenadier Battalion 41/44. (Duffy shows total losses of over 70% for the battalion at Hochkirch (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition).) As the final indignity, the entire battalion was captured at Glatz in July 1760. By then there was no longer any prisoner exchange with the Austrians so the battalion was not re-established before the end of the war.

The regimental flag design is shown at the top (Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.



Saturday, 30 August 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment I

Garrison Regiment I was raised in 1718 as a single battalion. In 1744 it was increased to 2 battalions. In 1756 it was again increased, to 4 battalions. The regiment's recruits came from East Prussia, namely the cities of Memel, Wehlau, Tapiau, Hohenstein, Nordenburg, Schirwindt and Stallupönen. In 1756 it was the garrison of Königsberg, Gumbinnen, Memel and Pillau, plus Stettin in 1760.

In the winter of 1757-8 the 2 battalions of the regiment in garrison in Königsberg and Pillau withdrew into Pomerania on hearing the news that the Russian general Fermor intended to retake East Prussia. "They took with them the money, the greater part of the stores and the artillery" (Kronoskaf). At the end of June 1758 the regiment stayed in Pomerania to face the Swedes, Dohna's small Prussian army having left Pomerania to confront the Russians in Brandenburg. In 1759 the regiment was defending the mouth of the river Oder against the Swedes but withdrew in September. In mid-September 1 battalion of the regiment and Land Militia Battalion No.4 Wasmer were defending the town of Wollin; on the 16th the Swedes stormed the town, capturing the garrison. (Details from Kronoskaf.)

The grenadiers of the regiment were combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment XI during the war up to 1760, forming Standing Grenadier Battalion Nr. IV (G-I/G-XI Lossau). From 1760 they were combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment No.II to form the same standing grenadier battalion. They fought at Gross-Jägersdorf in 1757, Zorndorf in 1758 (around 40% casualties - Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st edition), Kay and Kunersdorf in 1759 and Torgau in 1760.

This is the most elaborate style of garrison regiment flag, carried only by regiments 1 and 2. It is very similar to the flags carried by many of the regular line infantry regiments, except for the wreaths which are in the style carried by the other garrison regiments and which are very similar to the design of wreath used on the flags of the regiments of Frederick William I, Frederick's father. The regimental flag design is shown at the top (Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.



Saturday, 9 August 2014

Uniform plates added to all three Prussian garrison regiment posts...

I have now added uniform plates to all three of the Prussian garrison regiment posts. The uniforms of the garrison regiments were generally much simpler and plainer than those of the line regiments, largely for reasons of economy. The Prussian state always struggled to support what was, compared to its population, a very large standing army. In wartime, looting occupied countries, as the Prussians ransacked Saxony in the Seven Years War, often brought in much needed revenue to keep the Prussian war machine functioning.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment II

Garrison Regiment II was raised in 1717 as a single battalion and had the reputation of being the best garrison regiment in the army. In 1744 it was increased to 2 battalions. In July 1756 it was again increased to 4 battalions, partly through transfers from Infantry Regiments 11 and 16, and partly through transfers from Dragoon Regiments 6, 7 and 8. (How those dragoons must have hated the drop in status!) The regiment's recruits came from East Prussia, namely the cities of Pillau, Mohrungen, Saalfeld, Lyck, Marienwerder, Rosenberg and Johannisburg. In 1756 it was the garrison of Pillau, Fischhausen and Friedrichsburg.

In 1757 the regiment was in the second line at the battle of Gross-Jägersdorf on 30th August and suffered heavy casualties; according to Engelmann, "in the thick Norkitt Forest, amid powder smoke and battle noise, it began to shoot at its own first line by mistake, taking them for the Russians. This confusion made the Russian counterattack possible". It was at Schweidnitz in 1758 and the grenadiers saw action at Zorndorf (over 30% casualties - Duffy), Kay and Kunersdorf (around 30% casualties - Duffy). From 1760 the 1st battalion was with Prince Henry in Silesia and Saxony. The other battalions were firstly at Breslau and Neisse, then Neisse, Trachenburg and Militsch in 1762. The 1st battalion and grenadiers fought in the battle of Torgau in 1760, as well as at Freiberg in 1762. The regiment retained 3 battalions at the peace in 1763 unlike the other garrison regiments that returned to their pre-1756 establishment.

This is the most elaborate style of garrison regiment flag, carried only by regiments 1 and 2. It is very similar to the flags carried by many of the regular line infantry regiments, except for the wreaths which are in the style carried by the other garrison regiments and which are very similar to the design of wreath used on the flags of the regiments of Frederick William I, Frederick's father. The regimental flag design is shown at the top (Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.


And this plate shows the relatively plain uniform of the regiment, typical of those of the garrison regiments:


(I shall shortly add uniform plates for the other two garrison regiments whose flags I have depicted.)

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment V

Garrison Regiment V was raised as a garrison for the newly captured fortress of Glogau in 1741. At first of 2 battalions, it was increased to 4 in 1754. (It is reported that the increase included many men drafted from other Silesian regiments, of normal height "but who are vagabonds and of whom the regiment is not really sure" - Engelmann, Infantry of Frederick the Great.) It was recruited in Glogau until 1747 when its recruiting area was increased to include Breslau and Frankenstein (yes, there really is (or was) a place called Frankenstein!*). The regiment garrisoned not only Glogau but by 1755 Crossen, Reppen, Züllichau, Beeskow and Sommerfeld.

It had a very eventful Seven Years War, especially for a unit designated for garrison duties. The 1st and 2nd battalions were part of a small Prussian force which was designed to push the Austrians out of Landeshut and were at the first battle of Landeshut in August that year. In November 3 battalions were captured when Schweidnitz fell to the Austrians. In April 1758 the 1st and 2nd battalions were part of the King's army which recaptured Schweidnitz and were subsequently in June part of the guard of the supply train that was destroyed at Domstadl during the invasion of Moravia and unsuccessful siege of Olmütz. The 1st and 2nd battalions were then at the battle of Paltzig (or Kay) in July 1759, where the Prussians were defeated by the Russians, and then had the pleasure of facing the Russians again at Kunersdorf in August, another bloody defeat for the Prussians in the face of a combined Austro-Russian army. (The 1st edition of Christopher Duffy's Army of Frederick the Great shows that Garrison Regiment V's 2 battalions suffered 20-25% casualties at Kunersdorf, serious losses but probably a good deal fewer than many of the other Prussian regiments involved.) In 1760 they joined Prince Henry's army and stayed on in Saxony. The 3rd and 4th battalions spent most of the war in garrison duties in Silesia, no doubt much to the relief of the troops, especially when they heard of the experiences of the 1st and 2nd battalions!

This was the simplest design of garrison regiment flag, carried by the majority of the garrison regiments. The regimental flag design is shown at the top (Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.




* A quick check on the 'Net shows that Germany still has several, in fact...

Monday, 4 August 2014

Flags of Prussian Garrison Regiment III

Some years ago I posted simple outline templates of the flags of various Prussian regiments, including some of the Garrison Regiments. I thought I'd update some of them as colour versions and here are the first updated flags.

Garrison Regiment III was raised as a single battalion in 1718 for garrison duty. It was recruited in Pomerania - the towns of Colberg, Bublitz, Usedom and Bütow. An additional battalion was raised in 1757, making it a full regiment. At the start of the Seven Years War it was the garrison of Colberg. Its grenadiers (combined with those of Garrison Regiment IV and the New Garrison regiment) fought at Prague, Kolin, Schweidnitz, Leuthen, Hochkirch and Torgau. In 1758 and 1759 the musketeer battalions occupied Torgau and Dresden. In September 1760 the first battalion was taken prisoner in Torgau and the second battalion was taken prisoner in Wittenberg in October that year. The regiment was reformed at the end of the war in Colberg in 1763, incorporating men from Schony's Frei Korps as well as returning former prisoners.

The regimental flag design is shown at the top (these were the Kompaniefahnen), the Colonel's flag (or Leibfahne) at the bottom.



Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Slight update to the text of Gardes Françaises - plus can't miss Kolin Day! (See blog header.)

I've added some explanation from Pierre Charrié on the numbers of fleurs de lys in the Gardes Françaises' ordonnance flags to the original posting (see below).

I cannot miss commemorating Kolin Day - 18th June 1757, when Frederick suffered his first major defeat at the hands of the Austrians. Hoorah! The blog header image is from the fresco in the Ruhmeshalle of the Heeresgeschichtlichen Museum in Vienna and shows the victorious charge of the Ligne Dragoon Regiment late in the battle. The regiment had many young and inexperienced recruits in its ranks and according to legend had been ridiculed by the army commander Daun himself for its lack of moustaches - he called them blancs becs and so they were itching to prove themselves, as they did magnificently but their casualties were very heavy.

After the battle the regiment was given the special distinction of not being required to wear moustaches unlike the other regiments and Maria Theresa also sent four special hand-embroidered standards.

The day of Kolin was chosen as the birthday of the new Military Order of Maria Theresa, an award that retained its lustre as an award of high status which was only sparingly bestowed right up to the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War One.

(The image is cropped and adapted from the one at Wikipedia and can be found here with its somewhat confusing copyright message: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:HGM_Poosch_Schlacht_bei_Kolin.jpg Hopefully giving this link will satisfy the requirement to acknowledge attribution.)

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Flags of the Gardes Françaises

These are neither Rossbach nor Minden flags but just happen to be French 18th century flags that I like - so here they are!

First raised 1563, the Gardes had precedence over all line regiments and the Gardes Suisses. Recruits all had to be native Frenchmen. It consisted of 6 battalions each of around 790 officers and men. The regiment guarded the outside of any palace in which the king was living. Its most famous action was Fontenoy 1745, where reputedly the British were given first shot and 400 of the Garde were lost to the first British volley. Its most infamous action was to be one of the first units to go over to the Revolution in 1789, despite its privileges and status. The regiment was disbanded at the end of July 1789.

In the SYW the regiment mostly guarded the coasts of France for the first four years of the war. In 1760 four battalions reinforced the army of the Duc de Broglie in Germany. They were at Schaffhausen and Vellinghausen and the siege of Meppen in 1761 but returned to France in October. In 1762 they were back in Germany and were at Grumberg and Johannisberg.

Pierre Charrié (Drapeaux et Étendards du Roi) says that by the late 1760s there were 18 fleurs de lys in each quarter of the ordonnance flag and that at the beginning of the 18th century there were 41 fleurs de lys in each quarter. Interestingly, he shows an illustration of an event at the start of the reign of Louis XV in 1715 which seems to be contemporary and shows the ordonnance flag of the Gardes Françaises with what appear to be only 18 fleurs de lys in each quarter even at that early date.


And here is the 1757 MS depiction of both flags and uniforms:


Friday, 25 April 2014

Rossbach French Flags Project - Corps Royal de l'Artillerie

The history of the Corps Royal de l'Artillerie is a complicated one, beginning with the creation of the  Fusiliers de Roi regiment in 1671, which was renamed  Régiment royal d'artillerie in 1693. In 1720 the bombardiers, pioneers and miners were combined with the Royal Artillerie into a single regiment of 5 battalions. The full history and complexity can be found at Kronoskaf here: http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=Corps_Royal_de_l%27Artillerie
A sixth battalion was added in January 1757 and throughout the Seven Years War "the arm was repeatedly reorganised" (Kronoskaf - see previous link). Naturally every army the French deployed throughout the war used guns and gunners, and often pioneers and miners too.

During the SYW each battalion had one colonel's colour and one Ordonnance colour. The Ordonnance colours were unusual, as the material of which the coloured quarters were made was made of "tafettas changeant", a weaving technique in which warp and weft threads are of different coloured silks - as Pierre Charrié, the expert on French flags, says, these colours are difficult to represent as an illustration. The 1753 entry in État Général des Troupes Françoises is very unclear: "cinq Drapeaux d'ordonnance aurores & verts taffetas, changeant & aurores & rouges de même par opposition dans les quarrés". This seems almost to be the standard definition of the flags for the period - but I found in a 1721 volume on Google a very clear description which as far as I can tell is also accurate for the SYW. The book is Histoire de la Milice Françoise Volume 2, 1721, by R.P.G. Daniel and the flag description is on page 540. It says: "Le drapeau au premier & quatriéme canton est aurore & vert changeant, au second & troisiéme aurore & rouge changeant, la croix blanche au milieu semée de fleurs de lys d'or". Mouillard renders them as a rather stripey mix for the aurore-rouge cantons and the aurore-vert cantons somewhat blotchy, with the green emphasised. The 1757 MS shows much more strongly defined blotches of the 2 colours in each canton. Here below is my first attempt to render this flag (I'm still trying alternative methods):



And here is the 1757 MS depiction of both flags and uniforms:


I'd like to thank Jean-Louis Vial, Christian Rogge and Stefan Schulz for helpful discussion on and useful suggestions about how to depict the Ordonnance flag of this regiment.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment La Marine

First raised as a regular French unit in 1635, La Marine had 4 battalions. Cardinal Mazarin raised the original unit and was able to have it made one of the Vieux Corps, so from ranking 16th the regiment became the 6th. It was at Hastenbeck in July 1757 and then Rossbach in November, where it covered the retreat of the Allied army, having not been engaged in the battle itself. It had a busy time in minor and not so minor operations until the battle of Krefeld, June 23rd 1758, where it was distinguished defending the woods along the Niers River before retiring in the face of much superior forces. At Lutterberg in October 1758 the regiment was barely engaged in the fighting. In April 1759 it returned to France to help protect Le Havre against a threatened British attack. For most of the rest of the war it was stationed in various French garrisons, apart from a detachment that embarked on an expedition to capture St John's in Newfoundland in May 1762. Although the French force captured the place it was forced to surrender to a British relief force in September and all the French troops became POWs.

The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1636 to 1791.


And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment Poitou

First raised as a regular French unit in 1616, Poitou had 2 battalions until 1762. It was at Hastenbeck and then Rossbach, brigaded with Provence Infantry, where it suffered heavy casualties including its colonel. Before Rossbach the citizens of Gotha recorded French troops moving through the town and said the troops of Poitou were "finer and better equipped than all other French regiments" [that they'd seen from Soubise's army] (Wiltsche, 1858, Die schlacht von nicht bei Rossbach etc., pp.281-2). At Rossbach it led the centre column (the reserve) so received a hefty dose of Prussian musketry and cannon fire. In 1758 the regiment was sent back to France to garrison the coasts and then in 1761 returned to Germany where it was at the battle of Vellinghausen. In 1752 it was at Grebenstein and then the capture of the Castle of Amöneberg. At the end of the war it was stationed in Nîmes. [Details from Kronoskaf, Wiltsche from Google books and C. Duffy's Prussia's Glory.]

The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1682 to 1791.




And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Shading white flags; a question of greys...

UPDATE 13th January 2014: As people are likely to have missed my latest comment here it is:

Well, here we are in a grey and dismal January - and I've had plenty of time to consider where to go with the grey shading on the flags. I've decided on a classic compromise (which used to be a British tradition). I'll tone down the grey, probably to somewhere between medium and light. I'll need to experiment. And as FB said, people can always print the flags out lighter anyway.

Cheers,

David.

Der Alte Fritz has posted a comment on my latest flags, those of the French regiment Provence, asking me to tone down the grey shading as he thinks it too strong and that there should be "a more subtle transition from the basic white color". I'd be interested to know what others think on this as I've been trying various strengths of grey shading on the white areas of the flags and on the completely white flags, as some people may have noticed.

I've been vaccillating over what works best. Lately I've preferred the darker shading as it seems to me that, especially on a flag that will be around 3-4cms square in use, a more subtle shading will simply not show too well at all. And as you can see if you put "white flag" into Google images, in the real world it very much depends on a subtle and complex combination of light and material how dark the shadows in white flags look. A thick material in bright sunlight can have very dark shadows whereas a light material in bright sunlight will probably often have light shadows as much of the light travels through it rather than leaving surface shadows. And so on. (As 18th century French infantry flags were of thick pieces of silk taffeta sewn together I suspect they would show dark shading in bright light.)

So, I'd like to know what people think; do lighter greys work better than dark on these white wargames flags? I've posted an image here showing 3 different levels of shades of grey on a white French flag to give an idea of possible variations and to help people see those variations in contrast to each other.

Cheers,

David.


Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment Provence

First raised as a regular French unit in 1674, Provence had 2 battalions. It was at Hastenbeck and then Rossbach, where it was brigaded with Poitou Infantry and suffered heavy casualties, including its colonel seriously wounded. At Rossbach it was second in the centre (reserve) column behind Poitou. In 1758 it was at Krefeld but not engaged. In June 1759 a battalion of the regiment was attacked in its post at Erbefeld by troops of the Prince of Brunswick and driven back, with some men killed and wounded and 92 taken prisoner. However, it retreated in good order. In 1761 it was at the battle of Vellinghausen and fought well but suffered heavy casualties. Its final battlefield appearance of the war was at Wilhelmstahl in 1762. [Details from Kronoskaf and C. Duffy's Prussia's Glory.]



The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1675 to 1780.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Monday, 25 November 2013

Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment Beauvoisis

First raised in 1667, Beauvoisis had 2 battalions. The grenadier company distinguished itself in the affair at Weissenfels along with the grenadier company of St Chamond; see the entry for St Chamond below for a short account of the action. The regiment was at Rossbach, brigaded with Rohan-Montbazon Infanterie, and was the fourth regiment back in the centre column (the reserve). It was at Sandershausen in 1758, where it suffered heavy casualties, and then at Lutterberg, where it was not heavily engaged. It was involved in the bloodless and somewhat underhand capture of Frankfurt in January 1759. At Bergen in April 1759 the regiment performed very well, driving back the allied attack with the bayonet. After that until the end of the war it was stationed on the coast of Brittany.  [Details from Kronoskaf and C. Duffy's Prussia's Glory.]


The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1685 to 1791.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment Rohan-Montbazon

First raised in 1634, Rohan-Montbazon had 2 battalions.  The regiment was at Rossbach (brigaded with Beauvoisis Infanterie), and was the third regiment in the centre column (the reserve) behind Provence and Poitou infantry regiments. It suffered heavily, losing 11 officers killed and 18 wounded. At Sandershausen in 1758 the regiment was battered by the Hessian attack, and, having used up all its ammunition, had to resort to the bayonet. Casualties were very heavy; 66 officers and 778 men were killed or wounded. At Lutterberg later that year the regiment was luckier and little engaged. In January 1759 it was involved in the relatively bloodless coup that seized the city of Frankfurt, which the French then held for the rest of the war. At Bergen in April 1759 along with Piemont and Royal Roussillon the regiment drove the allies back with the bayonet. In the last few years of the war the regiment garrisoned the Channel coast. [Details from Kronoskaf and C. Duffy's Prussia's Glory.]



The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1745 to 1759.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Friday, 22 November 2013

Rossbach French Flags Project - Infantry Regiment Cossé Brissac

First raised in 1674, Cossé Brissac Infanterie had 2 battalions and in 1757 was part of Soubise's Army of Saxony. The regiment was at Rossbach, brigaded with the St Chamond regiment. Cossé Brissac was in the left hand column of the three infantry columns just behind St Chamond; it was also badly mauled and its colonel was wounded and taken prisoner. The depleted regiment was sent back to France to reform and from 1758-61 was on the coast of Brittany. From 1761-2 it was in Germany. From 1762 it was renamed after the province of Vivarais.



The flags of this regiment are very confusing - not to mention somewhat hallucinogenic in appearance! Although the four colours in each quarter are recorded in e.g. the État Général of 1753, their actual placement is not clear. Every modern version I have seen differs, so I have decided to use the contemporary depiction on the 1757 manuscript, as shown below. Contemporary does not always mean correct, of course, but in this case I prefer this version - it also seems more convincing to me.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags as depicted in 1757:



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rossbach French Flags Project - Regiment St Chamond

This is the first of the Rossbach French infantry flags.

 First raised in 1629, St Chamond (or St Chamont (as on the 1757 plate) or St Chamant) had 2 battalions and in 1757 was part of Soubise's Army of Saxony. The grenadier company distinguished itself in the chaotic fracas at Weissenfels 31st October 1757, helping to cover the retreat of the Bavarian and Palatinate troops from the town across the bridge and delaying the pursuing Prussians while the bridge was fired, and then escaping across it before the bridge took fire. (Christopher Duffy gives a good account of the action in his book Prussia's Glory, pp.56-59. It seems from his account that it may have been an officer or officers of this regiment stationed on an island in the river who spotted Frederick reconnoitring the burning bridge and who reported to their commander the Duc de Crillon that it would be easy to pick him off from there. de Crillon told them they were there simply to observe the destruction of the bridge and "not to kill a general who was on reconnaissance, let alone the person of a king, which must always be held sacred". How different the course of the war and European history would probably have been if he'd said "go ahead and do it"!) The regiment was at Rossbach, brigaded with the Cossé-Brissac regiment. St Chamont was in the left hand column of the three infantry columns just behind Piémont which was in the lead and suffered heavily there, losing 400 men and having its colonel wounded. For most of the rest of the war the regiment was in France, recuperating and after that manning the coast of Normandy and then Belle-Isle.



The flags as depicted were carried by this regiment from 1749 to 1762.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:
 

Monday, 11 November 2013

New - Coming Soon - Rossbach French Infantry Flags Project - and what about future uniform templates?

As I've nearly completed all the French infantry flags from Minden which I planned to do I thought I'd continue the focus on the French by starting a little project to do most of the French infantry flags from Rossbach. It was certainly not one of the glory days for the French army but one pleasant advantage of this project for me is that instantly some are done already, as a few regiments at Minden were also at Rossbach! Rossbach also gives me chance to draw some of the Swiss infantry flags, which I particularly like and which have not featured on this blog before. If I find the energy and time I may even do some of the German French infantry flags, which on the whole are rather more complex and elaborate than those of the native French infantry so require much more work. I've so far avoided doing those for Minden, as some of you may have noticed.

I've also been thinking about possible new uniform templates. I've not done any for a long time, having lacked the inspiration, time and energy. If anyone has any ideas for templates they'd like to see then please leave your suggestion(s) and I'll see what's possible or tickles my interest. I won't promise to do all those suggested but it will help if you give me some ideas. Thanks!

[Update Sunday 17th November: Well, it seems that at the moment there's no interest in new uniform templates! That saves me some work, anyway... ]

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The NOT-Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Normandie

The NOT-Minden French Flags Project is an extension of the Minden French Flags Project which allows me to do other French flags of the SYW, especially now I have done all the easier and less complicated flags of the French infantry at Minden, and, like today, feeling weary late on a Wednesday evening, want an easy flag to post to keep things ticking over...

And so back to Regiment Normandie:

First raised in 1574 as the Bandes de Normandie which were created from the Vieilles bandes françaises, this was one of the six Vieux Corps and had 4 battalions.  The regiment was in garrison from 1757-1760 in Ostende and then various places in Artois. From 1760 it served with the army of Maréchal de Castrie; in October that year it was at the battle of Clostercamps where it initially distinguished itself but while in pursuit over open ground was counter-attacked by British cavalry and lost a flag. In 1761 it was at the battle of Vellinghausen but took no part in the action. At the end of that year it returned to France to guard the coast of Normandy.

The flags were as depicted from 1616 to 1791:



And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Aquitaine

Incorporated in the French army in 1625, although traditionally dating from 1604, this regiment was named Anjou in honour of the Duke d'Anjou in 1671 and then renamed Aquitaine in 1753. This was a two battalion regiment and gave its name to the brigade which also included the two battalion Vastan Regiment. The regiment was at Hastenbeck, the expedition against Zell (Celle), Krefeld, Minden, Sachsenhausen, Vellinghausen and Wilhelmstahl. At Minden it was in the first line of Guerchy's Division of left wing infantry and along with Auvergne distinguished itself.

The flags were as depicted from 1753 to 1772.



And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757 (with the blue on the Ordonnance flag shown much lighter than is generally the case):


Saturday, 31 August 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Grenadiers Royaux

In April 1745 all militia grenadier companies were ordered to be detached from their parent battalions and grouped into 11 regiments of Grenadiers Royaux. Each regiment consisted of a single battalion. In January 1746 a decree stipulated that there would be a new company of grenadiers in each militia battalion, called Grenadiers Postiches. At the beginning of the Seven Years War the Grenadiers Postiches were detached from their parent militia battalions and incorporated into the 11 existing Grenadiers Royaux regiments, increasing them from 1 to 2 battalions each.

Grenadiers Royaux regiments wore the same uniform, distinguished only by different coloured collars and epaulettes on the right shoulder. All wore the tricorne laced silver.

Information summarised from Kronoskaf and the histories of the different regiments can be found at Kronoskaf here: http://www.kronoskaf.com/syw/index.php?title=French_Army#Militias

Each regiment carried only ordonnance flags as shown below:



And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

 

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Piémont

First officially raised 1569 although dating from much earlier,  Piémont counted as one of the six regiments known as Vieux Corps. This was a four battalion regiment and gave its name to the brigade which also included the two battalion Dauphin Regiment. The regiment was at Rossbach, Lutterberg and Bergen as well as Minden. At Minden it was in the first line of Broglie's Corps. This was a famous unit whose performance in the Seven Years War was generally disappointing.



The flags were unchanged from 1569 to 1791. The simple flags of this and the other ancient French regiments illustrate the heraldic principle that simpler usually means older!

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:

Monday, 1 July 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Champagne

First raised 1558 and counted as one of the Petits Vieux regiments. This was a four battalion regiment so was the only unit in the Champagne Brigade. The regiment was at Hastenbeck, Krefeld, Bergen, Minden, Langensalza and Wilhelmstahl. At Minden it was in the first line of the left wing infantry.



The flags were unchanged from 1569 to 1791.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757:


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Du Roi

First raised 1663 and counted as number 6 of the Petits Vieux regiments. The king was the colonel of the regiment but it was in practice commanded by the colonel-lieutenant, who from 1745 was Claude Louis François de Régnier, Comte de Guerchy. This was a four battalion regiment so was the only unit in the Du Roi Brigade. The regiment was at Hastenbeck, Krefeld, Minden, Corbach, just missed Warburg and was at Vellinghausen. At Minden it was in the first line of the left wing infantry.



The motto Par Decori Virtus was added to the flags in 1753.

And this plate purports to show the uniform and flags in 1757; again, the flag appears to be incorrect for this date, showing that contemporary images can often be wrong!:


Monday, 13 May 2013

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Condé

First raised 1644 and re-raised 1659 after being twice disbanded during the Fronde Civil War. This was a two battalion regiment. The regiment was at Rossbach, Halberstadt, Quedlinburg and Krefeld as well as Minden. At Minden it was in the first line of the left wing infantry as the senior regiment of the Condé Brigade, which also included the 2 battalion Enghien Regiment (already depicted below). On the extreme left of the French position at Minden it was badly mauled by the attacks of the Hanoverian troops and afterwards was sent to garrison Cassel.



The same pattern of colours as shown here was carried from at least 1659 to 1791.

And this plate shows the uniform and flags in 1757 - but with mysteriously different flags from all other sources: