Wednesday 30 December 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 24 Schwerin (then von der Golz 11th May 1757 to 1761; vacant 1761-3)

Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year to all viewing this blog!

Here at last are the next Prussian flags, of IR24.

The regiment was created 1715 from two former garrison battalions.

In 1756 IR 24 took part with the Royal army in the Pirna campaign. At the battle of Prague on 6th May 1757 it led the left wing in the first attack on  the Homole-Berg under Winterfeldt, who was soon wounded and put out of action. Struggling forward under heavy musket and canister fire the regiment was driven back in disorder. The 73 year old General Schwerin, who was its chef, tore a flag from the hands of Captain von Rohr and tried to lead the regiment forward again. In his Army of Frederick the Great 2nd Edition Christopher Duffy describes the scene thus:

"Riding forward he seized a green colour from the hand of a Junker of his second battalion and called out to his men "Heran mein Kinder!". He had scarcely covered twelve paces before he was deluged in canister. One ball took him behind the ear, one in the heart and three in the stomach. His dying hand let the colour fall to the right of the horse and he himself toppled over to the left. His horrified regiment took to its heels."


The image from Knötel above depicts Schwerin about to fall from his horse after being hit and clutching a Leibfahne of the regiment. The second image below is a depiction of his death by J C Frisch with the Leibfahne flag draped beside him. As Christopher Duffy's account above shows, it was a Kompaniefahne of the 2nd battalion that he actually seized.


The regiment lost 13 officers and 522 rank and file. After the breakthrough the regiment was led forward with the rest of Schwerin's wing to besiege Prague.

The regiment fought at Rossbach and the grenadiers at Leuthen. In 1758 the regiment was with Prince Heinrich's corps, securing the south-western flank. He took it with him into Franconia in 1759 but it was then sent by Frederick to join Hülsen's Pomeranian Corps, with whom it lost 37 officers and 933 men in the defeat at Kay against the Russians; its losses were one-sixth of total Prussian losses. It then had the pleasure of fighting against Russians three weeks later at Kunersdorf, in the vicious fight for the Kuh-grund.

In July 1760 it took part in Frederick's abortive siege of Dresden and then, after an exhausting march, in the Prussian victory of Liegnitz, where the Russians and Austrians were prevented from joining forces, followed by the battle of Hochgiersdorf on September 17th. The grenadiers fought to the last man with Fouqué at Landeshut on June 23rd. At Torgau on November 3rd the regiment took part in the second attack on the Süptitz heights but was halted by enemy reserves, losing 10 officers and 699 men.

In 1761 the regiment was on the Mulde in Saxony, watching the Austrians and the Imperial Army. On July 20th the grenadiers and the Guards stormed Ohmsdorf Castle as part of the preparations for taking the Burkersdorf fortifications. Finally, at Freiberg on October 29th as part of Colonel von Diringshofen's Brigade, the regiment was involved in the capture of the heights of St Michael north-west of Brand.

 Christopher Duffy's verdict on the regiment is that it was "famous for its quantity of beer-swilling Mecklenburgers. Badly knocked about at Prague, Kay and Torgau but remained one of the best regiments in the [Prussian] army".

And here is a musketeer of IR 24 by Menzel (but shown with the later more bicorn-like hat, not the SYW-style tricorne):


Tuesday 15 December 2020

Flags of French Regiment Angoumois

As the lengthy texts of the Prussian flags are still taking time to complete here is another French set to keep things ticking over - and with another mercifully short text to accompany it. ;-) (As I know I have said ad nauseam, I do very much like the French flags and so they have become something of a speciality of mine - and this is also a somewhat unusual design.)

Angoumois first raised 1684. One battalion strong in the Seven Years War. Ranked 75th.

These flags were carried from 1684-1791.

The regiment was very active in the War of the Spanish and the War of the Austrian Succession (and the flags carried were identical to these) but had a rather quieter Seven Years War.

At the beginning of the SYW Angoumois was sent to America. Throughout the war it was split between Louisiana and St Domingo. By an ordinance of 10th December 1762 the regiment was attached to the service of ports and colonies and spent the next four years in Louisiana. It returned to France in 1766.

 And this is the uniform during the SYW:


Tuesday 1 December 2020

Flags of French Regiment Royal Des Vaisseaux

As it has been taking so long to write up the backlog of Prussian flags, here is another French flag with a mercifully short write up.

The first set are as depicted on the 1757 manuscript illustration.

The second set are as described in the French 18th century regulations and by Pierre Charrié:

In 1721 the flags were depicted as without the ship and with a far greater number of gold fleurs de lys. I have taken the design of the ship from the 1757 manuscript illustration; in the regulations throughout the 1740s and 1750s the ship is described as gold, although almost all modern illustrations use a coloured version, as described by Pierre Charrié.

Royal Des Vaisseaux was first raised for sea service in 1638. It had 2 battalions in the Seven Years War.

The regiment was very active in the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Austrian Succession. Its Seven Years War was rather quieter.

In 1756 it was encamped at Granville. Fifty men under the command of the chevalier d'Eyrauges on the Iles Chaussey were attacked on the 19th July by a British squadron. For defence d'Eyrauges and his men had only an uncompleted fort and a single cannon. However, the defence was maintained so convincingly that the British were persuaded to give them the honours of war and conveyed the detachment to the mainland. The regiment spent the winter at Coutances and Bayeux and then in 1757 moved to the coast of Saintonge (on the Atlantic coast). It was in Brittany in 1758 and in that year at the battle of Saint-Cast on the 11th September where Captain La Canorgue was killed (see for the battle: and The battle was disastrous for the British and was the last British attack on mainland France in the war. As British MP Henry Fox said specifically of the raid on Rochefort in September 1757 but in general of the British policy of raiding the French coasts, it was like "breaking windows with guineas", that is to say, much effort and expense (of money and lives) for very little gain. (A guinea was a coin in the old British Imperial currency worth 21 shillings or one pound one shilling. I remember in the pre-decimal 1960s that expensive academic books were often priced at 63 shillings or 3 guineas.)

Royal-Vaisseaux occupied in succession the towns of Dinan, Niort, La Rochelle and Bayonne, all on the western coast of France. In 1762 the regiment was part of an auxiliary corps sent to Spain to fight against the Portuguese. Returning to France at the beginning of the following year, it occupied first Montlouis and Villefranche and then moved on to Toulouse in May 1763.

(Much of the text above is taken from Susane Volume 5, with additional text by me.)

And this is the illustration of the uniform (and flags) from the 1757 manuscript:

Thursday 29 October 2020

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Dauphin

 As I have not posted for over two weeks here is one more interim offering; another of the stray Minden French flags, which is one of my favourites. I do have a number of Prussian flags waiting in the queue but having to find time to write accompanying regimental histories to go with the flags does inevitably slow me down! Once again I also offer my translation of Susane's Francophile history of the regiment in the Seven Years War.


Dauphin was first raised in 1667 by Louis XIV as his son the Dauphin's own regiment. At the beginning of the Seven Years War it had two battalions.

Thus is my translation of the text from Susane volume 4:

In 1756, it was part of the La Hougue camp, and was in Toul in March 1757 when it received orders to join the army of the Marshal d'Estrées, then encamped under Wesel. It entered the landgraviate of Hesse and, after a short stay in Cassel, it rejoined this army, which had just invaded Hanover after the victory of Hastenbeck. It took part in all the actions of that expedition, and on the 25th of December found itself involved in the forcing of the line of the river Aller. At the beginning of 1758 it was in the rearguard of Marshal de Broglie's army during his retreat towards the Rhine. It spent this year in Hanau and had its winter quarters in Friedberg. In 1759 it was at the siege of Munster, and fought vigorously at the Battle of Bergen, where it remained from ten in the morning until night under formidable artillery fire. That day it had more then 200 men put out of action, and among the dead were the captains Chaponnay, de Gray, Montullé and Connezac, and three lieutenants. Dauphin again suffered greatly from artillery fire at the Battle of Minden, August 1st: there 150 men were killed or wounded. Captain de Panis and Lieutenant de Longeville were among the killed.

In 1760 it found itself at the affair of Corbach but took no part in it, having arrived too late to enter the line of battle. At the end of July, it helped to force Prince Ferdinand out of his position of Sachsenhausen; it also fought at Warburg, and after taking part in all the movements that marked the end of that punishing campaign, it wintered at Fulde. In the spring of 1761, the regiment took up its post at Hiersfeld. Sergeant Sans-Souci, in charge of fifteen men guarding a fodder depot, defended himself for a long time against a numerous body of enemy light troops; he managed to retreat but during the action he unfortunately suffered a mortal wound. The battles of Villingshausen were the only important events of this campaign. The regiments of the King and the Dauphin took the honours. Hurried together to help the Deux-Ponts brigade, which had seized the village of Villingshausen but was struggling to maintain the position, they fought fiercely throughout the day against the whole corps of Lord Granby and did not give in until they saw they were alone on the battlefield. On this day, almost all the grenadiers and chasseurs of Dauphin were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The captain La Clos perished there. The regiment left the army in the month of October and was sent to Dunkirk to recover from its losses. It reappeared in 1762 in Germany and was part of the reserve under the orders of the Prince of Condé. It found itself at the bombardment of Ham, and its companies of grenadiers and chasseurs were part of an expedition to Osnabrück, which was the last operation of the war in this theatre. Dauphin returned to Dunkirk; and it was there that it incorporated, on February 15, 1763, the former regiment of Guyenne, a battalion of which had performed so well in the war in Canada.

And here is the uniform plus flags from the 1757 MS:

Saturday 10 October 2020

Minden French Flags Project - Regiment Navarre

This is one of my favourite French infantry flags of the 18th century. As Kronoskaf have only a partial history of the regiment in the Seven Years War, I have translated and present almost the whole of Susane's account in Volume 3 of the Histoire De L'Ancienne Infanterie Française as it includes some useful anecdotes and mention of casualties in various actions. Some of the account may need to be taken with a pinch of salt as it is clearly very pro-French! I have checked some of the place names mentioned in the text with Kronoskaf accounts but a few are still obscure - those I have marked with [sic?].

I have also produced two versions of the flags. Normally I give a 300 dpi version but here, as an experiment, I have also submitted a 600 dpi version as it seems to me that the detail is rather clearer. At the sizes at which these flags are likely to be printed and used by wargamers it may not matter but I would be interested to hear opinions about this. The first flags are the 300 and the second the 600.

And here is the second 600 dpi version:

Regimental origins: Descended from a Protestant unit raised in 1558, Navarre was one of the oldest regiments in the French army. It was a four battalion regiment.

Regimental history from Susane Vol.3 (my translation): In the spring of 1756 it was encamped near St Malo as part of a corps commanded by the Duc d'Aiguillon sent to Brittany to prevent a threatened attack by the British. Twenty four volunteers of the regiment under lieutenant of grenadiers St Étienne were in a boat which was approached by a British cutter, which had for some time annoyed local fishermen. Once the two boats were alongside each other the Navarre volunteers swarmed onto the cutter and captured it.

Having spent the winter at Morlaix and Saint Brieuc the regiment joined the army of Marshal d'Estrées in 1757. At the battle of Hastenbeck on the 26th July the Navarre brigade, under the orders of Chevert, was given the task of turning the enemy's left flank. The grenadiers especially distinguished themselves. Colonel Comte du Châtelet-Lomond (later to be the last colonel of the Gardes Francaises) was wounded at the beginning of the action with a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen. Captains d'Ablancourt and La Vie were killed, as was Lieutenant de Forteuil. Captains Dortez, Lefrus, Bortier, Cassabé, de Bonce, Coquabanne and six other officers were wounded. The regiment lost, in addition, eighty soldiers, almost all grenadiers. After the campaign the regiment took up winter quarters at Einbeck. After the allies violated the convention of Kloster-Zeven in December the regiment moved to the lower Weser but then returned to Einbeck.

In 1758 the army moved back to the Rhine and Navarre was stationed at Meurs. On the 23rd June at the battle of Krefeld it had little to do but did lose lieutenant La Jeannie. It was distinguished several days later at the "affair of Luynen" and in September the grenadiers fought valiantly at the surprise attack on the camp of the Prince of Holstein at Bork. Captains Saint Privé and d'Auboeuf were killed. Winter quarters were in Cologne.

On 1st August 1759 during the battle of Minden the regiment made an abortive attack on the village of Hille after which it had to make a very punishing retreat. But the grenadiers, under the command of Monsieur de Saint Victor, overcame all obstacles and allowed the regiment to rejoin the army without severe losses. In these diverse actions only two officers were wounded, Captains Morival and Desmarens. A sergeant named Lebrun saved the staff records and for his bravery was made an officer. Winter quarters were at Aschaffenburg.

In 1760 the regiment joined the army at Grumberg and provided detachments for the sieges of Marburg and Dillenburg. At the battle of Korbach the regiment was ordered by Marshal de Broglie to attack the heights on the left of the position held by the Hereditary Prince of Hesse and defended by 16 guns. Approach was made under the cover of woods but the attack was repelled by blasts of grape shot. Then the grenadiers and chasseurs, combined under the command of Monsieur de Saint Victor, charged again with great vivacity and, giving the gunners no time to reload their guns, forced them to flee. Sixteen year old cadet Monsieur de Kergru was the first into the position and killed with his bayonet a gunner who was about to fire his gun.

On the 31st of August Navarre fought at Warburg. The volunteers distinguished themselves on several occasions under the leadership of Monsieur de Brécourt and de Sion; the latter was killed. At the end of the campaign the regiment contributed 200 men for the garrison of Gottingen and went into winter quarters at Kassel. The reunited grenadiers and chasseurs were stationed on the Weser. On the 22nd December they took Heiligenstadt and rendered the place indefensible.

In January 1761 lucky coups de main made them masters of Duderstadt and Stattworbes [Stadtberg?]. The day after the taking of the latter town the enemy, heavily reinforced, counter attacked. Two companies of chasseurs attacked them with the bayonet and drove them back. One of these companies lost ten men. However this detachment, too weak to hold all the captured places, was obliged to evacuate them and rallied the regiment at Kassel. Kassel was invested on the 15th February by the Count of Lippe at the head of an army of 20,000 men. During the night of the 6th to 7th of March a sortie was made. The 1st and 3rd battalions of Navarre were at the head of the left column of attack, which chased the enemy from two parallels and seized two batteries, one of howitzers and one of cannon. The howitzers were taken away; the cannons were spiked, their carriages broken, the batteries razed and the trenches filled in. Lieutenant Dassat with the vanguard reached even to the artillery depot and damaged it. The vanguard lost many people and above all many excellent NCOs. Captain de Soulanges and lieutenant of chasseurs Saint Loûet were killed in this sortie. On the 22nd a new sortie was made by the garrison; it cost the life of captain of grenadiers de Vertamont. In defence of the Warburg redoubt the regiment also lost Monsieur de La Touche. The enemy was obliged to raise the siege of Kassel and was harrassed in its retreat by the energetic garrison.

In July Navarre joined the army of Marshal de Broglie. It took no part in the battle of Vellinghausen but on the 3rd September helped in the taking of the castle of Sabbaborg [sic?]. After being involved in many expeditions of little significance the regiment took up winter quarters at Rothenburg and Homburg.

Navarre took part in the campaign of 1762 under Marshals d'Estrées and de Soubise. On the day of the action at Grebenstein, 4th June, Navarre was stationed at Immenhausen to protect the line of retreat. Captain Martincourt was wounded. Some time later, Navarre was ordered to conduct a convoy to Ziegenheim. It was necessary to go nine leagues in the rear of the enemy. The main object of the mission was a success but on the return journey it was attacked and only with skilful manoeuvres was it possible to escape a whole army bent on its destruction. After the capture of the castle of Amöneburg the regiment was then sent to the source of the Lohn [sic?] where it ended the campaign and the war. Lieutenant de Morlaincourt was the only officer of Navarre killed in 1762.

And this is the uniform plate from the 1757 MS:

Thursday 10 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th Century - Batch 5

And here are the last 18th century Portuguese flags which I have created. These flags are shown on the Tavora execution painting of 1759 and are arguably the most authentically SYW of all these flags. Sadly, they are also, to my mind, rather bland and ugly! The white and green flag is carried by troops in white coats lined white with red lapels and cuffs, white waistcoat and breeches, brown gaiters. The yellow and green flag is carried by troops with blue coats lined blue with red lapels and cuffs, white waistcoat, blue breeches and brown gaiters. The officers, including the ensigns carrying the flags, have gold metal gorgets.

Next time I'll be back to posting French or Prussian flags.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th Century - Batch 4

Here is batch 4 of the Portuguese flags; first the typical SYW flag as recreated by Kronoskaf in the Braganza colours of green and white with the coat of arms in the centre:

The second flag is a Portuguese cavalry standard and is my interpretation of one I spotted being carried by a blue-coated cavalry regiment at the far left of the Tavora execution painting. Part of it is obscured by smoke and that is where I have had to assume the crown on the top of the cartouche. The colour of the outer part of the Braganza coat of arms also appears on the painting to be yellow rather than red, which does not make sense as I have never seen any version of the coat of arms with anything other than a red surround. Kronoskaf suggests that standards probably carried the cipher or coat of arms of their colonel; this one clearly did not, at least on the visible side of the standard. So, despite all the unanswered questions this depiction raises, this is my version of a Portuguese SYW cavalry standard.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th Century - Batch 3

And here are the final flags of the earlier part of the century - but probably also carried later in the century. Both have the arms of the House of Braganza in the centre:

The last infantry flags, which I shall post soon, will be the version from the SYW as recreated by Kronoskaf and the two I have recreated from the 1759 Tavora execution painting. On closely examining a decent quality digital version of the Tavora painting I have spotted what is almost certainly a Portuguese cavalry standard, and I shall recreate that and post it too.

Monday 7 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th Century - Batch 2

Here are the next two flags, again early 18th century but probably used later;

The first one has the arms of the House of Braganza, like the Aramada Tercio flag of the first batch. It has crossed sceptre and sword. The rather obscure motto in the scroll "Ius Dedit Et Dabit Uit" means something like "The law gave and will give [?life - assuming uit is actually Latin vit (for vitam)]. Green and white were the colours of the Portuguese ruling House of Braganza.

The blue and white flag is possibly that of the Regiment of Lisbon, whose colours these were.

Saturday 5 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th Century - Batch 1

As there seems to be enough interest in these unusual flags here is the first batch; two flags from the early part of the century but of patterns that were probably carried much later. The upper flag is of an unknown unit and of the general windmill design of Portuguese flags. The lower one belonged to the Armada Tercio early in the century. Note the anchors round the central heraldic device.

What little we know of Portuguese infantry flags of the 18th century is covered in this post on the Kronoskaf site:

I shall gradually post the rest of the Portuguese flags I have created.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Portuguese Infantry Flags of the 18th century including Seven Years War

I recently had a small commission for a sheet of flags of Portuguese infantry of the Seven Years War and thereabouts; I say "thereabouts" as we have little information about the flags used in the SYW itself. Along with my interpretation of what little we know or think we know about the SYW flags I therefore also depicted flags from the earlier 18th century as probably carried in the War of the Spanish Succession; it seems likely they were also carried much later but we cannot be sure.

Greg of the Delta Coy blog; commissioned the flags for a brigade of Portuguese infantry which he is raising (see more on his blog about this project) and is happy to see them used by others, so if there is interest I shall post some of them in the same format as my other historical flags. So, over to you!

This is the full sheet (shown here very much reduced);

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 13 Itzenplitz (1760 Syburg, 1762 Kaiser, 1763 Wylich-Lottum)

Here are the flags of Prussian IR13:

Descended from a Huguenot unit raised in 1685, IR13 was in garrison in Berlin from 1724.

In 1750 Major General August Friedrich von Itzenplitz became Chef and made it one of the most strictly disciplined and famous (or infamous) of Prussian regiments. Its nickname was Donner und Blitzen - Thunder and Lightning. von Itzenplitz was not from a noble family and had in fact started in the Prussian army during the War of the Spanish Succession as a private, becoming ensign in 1715. He was to die on 5th February 1760 of wounds received at the battle of Kunersdorf.

At Lobositz October 1st 1756 IR13 was one of the units which cleared the Croats from the vineyards on the Lobosch hill after very heavy fighting, a decisive moment in the battle after several failed Prussian cavalry attacks had led Frederick to believe the battle was lost and had himself left the field. The Swiss writer Ulrich Bräker left an account of his involuntary stint in IR13, with a short but vivid account of the battle, including a description of the sensation of being under heavy artillery fire (not enjoyable, as you might guess). His account can be found here: Towards the end of the fighting he managed to desert along with a number of friends and was given some money by the Austrians and sent on his way home to Switzerland. (This was very different treatment from that meted out to the surrendered Saxons by Frederick at Pirna shortly after, when almost all were forcibly enlisted in the Prussian army!)

At Prague May 6th 1757 the regiment was on the right wing and along with IR 17 was led by Prince Heinrich through the steep ravine of the Rokenitzer Bach on the northern edge of Mount Tabor and helped to seal the victory. We are told the diminutive Prince was nearly submerged in the stream and was then carried across on the shoulders of soldiers of IR 13. Another (rather contradictory!) story says that the Prince waded in and showed the reluctant soldiers that the stream was not as deep as they feared (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great). This is the scene depicted by Carl Röchling in the image shown here:

 (Note that, like Menzel, he shows the later almost bicorne-like tricorne rather than the correct tricorne for the period of the Seven Years War.)

Casualties were fairly heavy for the regiment.

IR 13 was lucky to miss Kolin but was in the first line at the relatively bloodless (for the Prussians!) victory of Rossbach on November 5th 1757. At Leuthen 5th December 1757 the 2nd battalion was in Wedell's advance guard that led the initial attack on the Kiefenberg at Sagschütz south of Leuthen, driving off three battalions of Württembergers at the point of the bayonet. The battalion lost about one-third killed and wounded in the battle, so it was certainly no pushover. The 1st battalion was in Bevern's command of Zieten's wing and took Gohlau, losing even more heavily than the 2nd battalion and suffering about two-fifths killed and wounded in the process.

In the 1758 campaign IR 13 was part of the King's army. In the Austrian attack on Frederick's camp at Hochkirch on 14th October the regiment was ordered by Field-Marshal Keith to drive the Austrians out of the village and attacked with IR18 under Prince Franz of Brunswick, who was killed. Heavy artillery fire drove them back to their supports, IR 30. Finally the Prussians were forced to retreat. In the battle IR13 lost 820 men or around three-quarters of the regiment and the Prussian army 9,000 or about one third of the army. Keith was also killed.

The regiment's Chef von Itzenplitz, who died of wounds on 5th February 1760, was replaced by Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Syburg on February 8th.

At Liegnitz 15th August 1760 IR 13 was on the opposite side of the fight to Loudon's attack so had no casualties. It was part of Zieten's wing that belatedly won the battle of Torgau 3rd November 1760, near the end of the day just when it seemed the Austrians had won and Frederick had given up. Daun had already written an announcement of the victory to Vienna!

von Syburg was given command of IR16 on May 21st 1762 and so when the new Tsar Peter III made peace with Prussia and actually supplied troops to help Prussia (as Peter was a mad Prussophile) Frederick bestowed the order of the Black Eagle on Peter and made him Chef of IR13 on June 19th 1762. This was short-lived as Peter was assassinated on July 17th. Four days later at Burkersdorf on July 21st, where Frederick attacked a strongly entrenched Austrian army covering Schweidnitz, IR13 was part of Ramin's Corps which was ordered to demonstrate but not attack from the west to relieve pressure on the main attack from the east. Consequently it does not seem to have been engaged, as far as I can see, contrary to the accounts on the Kronoskaf website and in Dorn and Engelmann.

IR 13 was one of the most highly regarded regiments in the army; in 1768 "it was given the unique privilege of being rated immediately below the Garde and No.1 among the senior regiments of the army, regardless of the seniority of its Chef" (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great).

And here is the uniform in 1756:

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 26 Meyerinck (Wedell from 1758, Linden from 1760)

Here are the flags of Prussian IR26:

Created 1715 from units that were first raised as far back as 1659. Garrisoned in Berlin from 1716 with six other regiments. Recruited Pomerania and the Wendish Slavs.

A trusted and reliable regiment that was with the King's Army from 1756 until 1760, it was initially involved in the forced capitulation of the Saxon army at Pirna. At Prague 6th May 1757 it was involved in the attack through the gap in the Austrian lines south of Kej, with heavy artillery support, and it lost about 1/6th casualties. General Hautcharmoy died leading the attack. Lucky to avoid Kolin, it was at Rossbach in November and then Breslau. At Leuthen on December 5th both battalions were in the advance guard under Wedell and attacked the Sagschutzer Kiefernberg. Prinz Moritz of Dessau told the King: "Your Majesty may safely entrust your crown and sceptre to the keeping of this regiment. If it ever runs before the enemy, I know it must be time to make myself scarce as well." (Barsewisch quoted Duffy Army of Frederick the Great, henceforth AFG). At the beginning of the swing to the left of the oblique approach, the King directed the regiment: "You must not advance too strongly, so the army can follow. You have the enemy before you and the whole army behind you!" In the attack on Leuthen, Prinz Moritz called out: "Honour enough, go back for the second line!" Our boys answered: "We would be dog food (if we did); give us cartridges [Patronen]!" and beat off a cavalry attack. (All these quotations are from Barsewisch's memoir*.) The regiment lost 10 officers and 454 men. On December 8th it received 15 Pour le Merite medals (says Duffy AFG; 14 say Dorn and Engelmann, Infantry of Frederick the Great), a record only exceeded by Alt-Braunschweig at Rossbach.

The regiment was before Olmutz in June to July 1758 then in Silesia, Dresden in September and then at Hochkirch on October 14th. The regiment was placed north-west of the village and the King stationed himself behind the regiment for some time during the unexpected Austrian attack, which was more like a Napoleonic envelopment than the usual attack by lines. Eventually the regiment was reduced to 150 men with 3 flags, who fought their way out. Subaltern Barsewisch records getting 30 men together with 3 flags and personally escaping by throwing away his (new) sash and hat to distract pursuing Austrian cavalrymen. He met Frederick and apologised for not having sash or hat as he feared being criticised for being improperly dressed! As Christopher Duffy says (AFG again), Frederick was a hard man to please. Frederick distributed the 3 rescued flags amongst his surviving troops. In 1759 the remnant of the regiment was with the King in camp at Schmottseiffen, then at the siege of Dresden July 10th to 22nd 1760 and then at the battle of Liegnitz on August 14th, where about 1/8th of the regiment were casualties. It spearheaded the attack of Butke's brigade at Torgau, until Zieten's attack saved the day. In 1761 it was in Saxony. On October 29th 1762 it stormed the heights of St Michaelis at the battle of Freiberg as part of the right wing under Seydlitz.

Christopher Duffy says the regiment went unrewarded after the Seven Years War, despite its fine fighting record. He also points out that the brandenbourgs (the lace round the buttonholes) of the officers' coats were copied in the collar patches of German generals of the two world wars of the 20th century.

(* One of the best sources for the history of the regiment in the SYW is E F von Barsewisch's memoir Meine Kriegs-Erlebnisse während des siebenjähriges Krieges 1757-1763, Berlin 1863, which is recommended by Christopher Duffy, AFG. I managed to find a copy online and downloaded it, but the gothic script and my very poor German made it difficult for me to puzzle my way through. I did translate a little, with the help of my wife who did German at school; I wish I had done German as well as French, Spanish and Latin but it clashed on the timetable with geography! It would be good if someone would do a translation; so many interesting memoirs of the period are rather inaccessible to an English-speaking and reading audience. My French is OK but that is not so much use for the Prussian army - odd that Frederick was happier speaking and writing in French, of course... ;-))

And here is a musketeer's uniform in 1756:

Friday 10 July 2020

A question about the content of my flag posts...

At the moment I have 3 sets of Prussian flags from Rossbach waiting to be posted. It takes me quite some time to write up the text of the regimental histories and I could probably produce more flags more quickly if I did not include them. Is it worth continuing with the more or less detailed text? Or should I strip down the postings to include just the flags and probably the uniforms? Or does the text add value and interest to the posts? Some I quite enjoy myself e.g. the one for the unusual IR19. I look forward to hearing what people think; the more the merrier! Thanks, in anticipation.

And a shot of some of my semi-factual Austrian flags in action just to give this post some eye-candy content! :-)

Thursday 9 July 2020

Alternative flags for French Irish Regiment Berwick from the 1721 Manuscript

These French Irish flags will just not let go, it seems. Here is the alternative set of designs for Berwick from the 1721 manuscript:

And next, I think it really will be back to the Prussians...

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Flags of French Irish Regiment Lally

I couldn't resist doing the full set of Irish regimental flags for the Seven Years War before returning to the Prussians so here is the last set, for Regiment Lally.

The green is fairly tricky - this looks rather light but when printed should be just about the right shade of light dirty green.

The tale of Regiment Lally and French adventures in India is best read here on Kronoskaf:

And the lurid tale and grim end of its commander can be read here:,_Thomas_Arthur_Comte_de

And this is the uniform as it was at the beginning of the Seven Years War:

Thursday 2 July 2020

Flags of French Irish Regiment Rooth

Although I now have a number of new Prussian Rossbach flags almost ready for publishing here, I decided to finish the set of French Irish flags for regiments that served in Europe (I may do Lally eventually though) with the flags of Rooth, so here they are. I was not happy with much of the secondary information on the appearance of these flags but managed to track down an online copy of the 1721 French flags manuscript on the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which offers, I think, a more authoritative version of how the flags probably appeared.

These flags were carried 1698-1718 by Dorrington, then 1718-1766 by Rooth, then by Roscommon and Walsh to the Revolution in 1791.

This regiment traced its origins to a regiment raised by Charles II in 1661 which subsequently supported James II and went into exile in France in 1689.

In the Seven Years War its history was similar to that of most of the other Irish regiments. The first 3 campaigns it spent on the fronter of Flanders then joined the army of Germany in 1760. It was at the defence of Marburg and in the battle of Vellinghausen in 1761. In 1762 it was in garrison at Cambrai and was at Valenciennes when the peace was signed in 1763.

And here is the uniform as it was in 1756:

Saturday 6 June 2020

Flags of French Irish Regiment Berwick

These are the flags carried from 1698-1791:

(The flags look smaller but are in fact at the same resolution 300 dpi and size as previous flags; I think it's the way blogger displays them. This set is taller than previous flag sets and so in appearance is shrunk by the blog. When you download the file, it should be OK.)

Formed 1698 from the remnants of various Irish units. Its history seems obscure. According to Susane, in the Seven Years War, it was with the Army of Germany in 1757, in the battle of "Haastembeck" (Hastenbeck) and the conquest of Hanover, then at the battles of Krefeld and "Lutzelberg" (Lutterberg). It was then at Minden in 1759. From 1760 to 1762 it served on the coast of France. This history differs dramatically from that recounted in Kronoskaf.

If anyone can point me at a fuller and probably more reliable history of the regiment, I would be grateful.

And this is the uniform as it was at the beginning of the Seven Years War:

(I am posting these flags and this uniform plate in order to keep the impetus going a little, as I last posted on the 28th May; I have been out of action most of the past week with painful eye trouble, which is now improving, fortunately. I shall return to Prussian flags as soon as I can.)

Thursday 28 May 2020

Flags of French Compagnies Franches de la Marine

This is another stray which I said I'd add to my (long) list of flags to do many years ago. I've never been entirely convinced that these flags were ever carried despite the document of 1737 which describes them. Pierre Charrié, the noted French authority on flags, says in his book Drapeaux et Étendards du Roi that the central design was probably originally two crossed anchors. I've followed Michel Petard's famous reconstruction which is well-known and an attractive design.

This is a plate I did many years ago showing the probable summer dress of an infantryman of the Compagnies Franches de la Marine:

Kronoskaf has a long article on the Compagnies Franches de la Marine here:

Saturday 23 May 2020

Flags of French Irish Infantry Regiment Bulkeley

These are the flags of Bulkeley from 1733-1775:

Bulkeley was another Irish emigré unit that entered French service in 1690.  As with so many French regiments there were various changes of name throughout its history, usually reflecting the name of a new colonel. It was Bulkeley from 1733 to 1775 when the regiment was amalgamated with Dillon.

For the first years of the Seven Years War Bulkeley was guarding the coasts. The regiment was sent in 1760 under the command of the chevalier de Jerningham, Charles Louis de Barfort, to join the army of Germany and it was at the combats of Corbach and Warburg. It was very distinguished in the defence of Marburg the 14th February 1761, where, according to Susane "it repulsed three attacks by the enemy, killed their commander General Breidembach and seven other officers, and took three cannons". In July it was in the battle of Vellinghausen "where the Irish captured the village and the redoubt of Schedingen". Its last act in the war was taking part in the attack on the castle of Sabbaborg. After the peace of 1763 the regiment was in garrison at Bouchain and it absorbed the remainder of the regiment of Royal-Écossais by an order of 21st December 1762.

These flags are the same as those carried by Dillon from 1690-1730.

And this is the uniform at the beginning of the Seven Years War:

This is the last French Irish regiment for now and next it's back to Prussians.

Friday 22 May 2020

Flags of French Irish Infantry Regiment Clare

These are the flags carried from 1691-1775 (when Clare was absorbed into the Irish regiment Berwick):

Clare was another Irish emigré unit that entered French service in 1690.  As with so many French regiments there were various changes of name throughout its history, usually reflecting the name of a new colonel.

For the first years of the SYW Clare was guarding the coasts of Normandy with its quarters at Valognes. On the 7th August 1758 "it made glorious if ineffectual efforts, with the Liege regiment Horion, opposing the landing of a corps of 10,000 English [i.e. British], which seized Cherbourg" (my translation from Susane, Histoire de l'ancienne infanterie française, Volume 7). It was this attack which made France aware of the importance of this part of the coast, and led to the transformation of Cherbourg into one of its most redoubtable war ports (again, according to Susane).

Clare's single battalion was sent in 1760 to join the army of Germany and performed well at the combats of Corbach and Warburg. It contributed to the defence of Marburg in 1761 and fought bravely at Vellinghausen. It took part in the camp of Dunkirk in 1762 and on 21st December of that year incorporated the remains of the Scottish regiment of Ogilvy which had been raised in 1747.

At the peace of 1763 it went into garrison at Valenciennes, then Gravelines in May 1763.

And this is the uniform at the beginning of the Seven Years War (there were changes in 1758 with, for example, the addition of yellow lapels):

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Flags of French Irish Infantry Regiment Dillon

I promised some of the French Irish flags a long time ago but here are some at last, those of the regiment Dillon, as carried from 1739-1791:

First raised 1690 from Irish refugees from the campaign in Ireland. In the Irish Brigade in Germany from 1757-1762, according to Susanne's History. Distinguished in the defence of Marbourg February 1761 and at the battle of Vellinghausen July 16th 1761. In various garrisons in France after the war ended.

And here is the uniform during the Seven Years War:

(I shall post the flags of Clare and Bulkeley soon; they followed the same pattern but with different colours. I shall eventually post the flags of all the French Irish units at the time of the Seven Years War.)

Monday 11 May 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 19 Markgraf Karl

And here at last are the strikingly different flags of IR 19 Markgraf Karl:

First raised 1702. During the Seven Years War the chef was Colonel Karl Friedrich Albrecht, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt 1705-1762 (who passed on his dissolute ways to von Seydlitz, the famous cavalry commander, who was his page; von Seydlitz was with the Margrave from the ages of 14 to 19, and there acquired a passion for tobacco, womanising and crazy feats of horsemanship (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 2nd Edition)). The Margrave was also Master of the Knights of St John 1731-62, as his father had been before him, and this was reflected in the unusual flags with their Maltese cross design; that cross was also shown on their grenadier caps and drums. After the death of the Margrave from wounds in June 1762 the flag design changed to a more traditional Prussian design.

In 1756 it was with the force that encircled the Saxons in Pirna. At Prague May 6th 1757 it had the good fortune to be in the second line of the attack and suffered light casualties. At Rossbach on 5th November it had no losses at all, apparently. By contrast, at Leuthen on December 5th the regiment attacked the churchyard and was "under small arms fire from beginning to end and almost completely ruined". Having participated in the siege of Breslau, which fell on December 19th, the King said the regiment had "worked wonders" but gave no awards. (Frederick was a hard man to please...)  In 1758, after serving at the capture of Schweidnitz and the siege of Olmutz, it finally rejoined the King's forces in September. The entire regiment was badly clobbered in the surprise Austrian night attack on the Prussian camp at Hochkirch on October 14th. The grenadiers lost 209 dead and 50 prisoners defending the battery at Rodewitz; the 1st battalion defended the battery at the south-east corner of the town; and the 2nd battalion, under Major Simon Moritz von Langen, defended the churchyard. They held the churchyard for two hours before the remnants tried to break out of the back gate of the cemetery wall, using their bayonets as they had run out of ammunition. They were wiped out in the so-called Blutgasse outside the churchyard and von Langen died in Austrian captivity some days later from eleven bayonet wounds.

At Kunersdorf on 12th August 1759 the 1st battalion and grenadiers were in the advance guard and stormed the Russian batteries on the Spitzberg, losing 276 men; the 2nd battalion was on the right flank near the Kudenberg and lost heavily. Losses followed at Korbitz on September 21st. In 1760 it was at Strehla and Wittenberg, and at Torgau on November 3rd the 2nd battalion was with the Queiss Brigade under the King's command and the 1st with Zieten.

Christopher Duffy says that "after the Seven Years War Frederick failed to do justice to this remarkable regiment". He expressed dissatisfaction with its conduct at Kunersdorf as late as 1774, saying most of the regiment "did not want to behave properly in the field". In contradiction, he is also supposed to have said: "If I place myself at the head of my Markish troops, even if I have lost half my monarchy, as long as I still have my head, I'll drive the devil out of hell!".

And here is the musketeer uniform of IR 19 in the Seven Years War (note the zigzag orange line on the lace; tedious to represent but I had to try!):

(I have also now added uniform plates to the flags of IRs 1 Winterfeldt and 23 Forcade, below.)

Thursday 30 April 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 9 on Wickeradt

Here's the next set of flags in the ongoing Prussian Rossbach flags project; IR 9 von Wickeradt:

First raised 1679 in Lippstadt (with links to troops raised by 1646) this Westphalian regiment was at Lobositz in 1756 where Frederick placed them on the Lobosch hill to fight the Austrian pandours; Frederick said of them "The Westphalians are rather crude... but they are good soldiers and will defend themselves." The regimental chef Lieutenant General Johann Christian Rulemann, Baron Quadt von Wickeradt (who sounds rather like a music-hall German) was killed by artillery fire. The new chef was Major General Friedrich Ludwig von Kleist. At Prague on May 6th 1757 the regiment lost 20 officers and 550 men, half its number, in the attack along the Rokenitz Brook. At Rossbach it was in the centre of the main Prussian infantry line. Its new chef von Kleist was killed at Breslau on the 22nd November 1757. The grenadiers were knocked about at Kolin on June 18th 1757. In 1758 the regiment was with the Saxon Corps under Prince Henry, the grenadiers elsewhere in Upper Silesia. In 1759 IR 9 was in the defeat at Kay July 23rd against the Russians and there lost its commander Colonel Johann Gottfried von Kikol. At Kunersdorf 12th August it was luckier than many units, losing only about 20%; its new chef Major General Friedrich August von Schenckendorff led the advance guard. On November 21st 1759 it was captured at the disastrous (for the Prussians!) Finckenfang of Maxen, where a whole detached corps of the Prussian army was captured by the Austrians. Unlike many of the units captured there, which Frederick held in contempt thereafter, IR 9 fought hard and well and so was forgiven. Consequently there was only one battalion in 1759-60; Westphalia was occupied by the French and replacements were impossible. Only the grenadiers were at Torgau in 1760. For the rest of the war the regiment was mostly involved in moving hither and thither and not in any major actions, although the grenadiers were at Freiberg on October 29th 1762.

And this is the uniform of a musketeer of IR 9 in the Seven Years War:

(I had planned and started the unusual flags of IR19 but have had all sorts of problems with them, and wasted vast amounts of time and effort on them, so will have to start them again. Sometimes the gremlins just seem to run riot...)

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 5 von Braunschweig

Here's the next set of flags in the continuing Rossbach Prussian flags project - IR 5 von Braunschweig.

First raised 1655. Lieutenant General Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick was Chef of the regiment from 1755-1766. The regiment fought well at Lobositz 1756 and the king awarded its officers 3 Pour Le Merite medals for the action. It was highly distinguished in the battle of Rossbach 1757. Losses were low, although the regimental commander Colonel Johann Christoph von Prignitz was killed. The king gave its officers 15 Pour Le Merite medals for Rossbach "because of their particular bravery and good conduct shown in the last battle". IR 5 fought at Leuthen 1757. At Hochkirch 1758 it formed part of the rearguard that protected the retreating army. It suffered fairly heavy casualties at Kunersdorf 1759. At Liegnitz 1760 it contributed to the counter attack that threw the Austrians back over the Katzbach. It suffered heavy casualties at Torgau 1760, mostly from enemy artillery on the Süptitz heights. It was one of Frederick's most reliable regiments and always fought with the King's army.

And this is the uniform of a musketeer of IR 5 in the Seven Years War: