Saturday 16 January 2021

Flags of French Regiment Royal Comtois

First raised 1674. 2 battalions strong. Ranked 59th in the SYW.

Flags carried 1695-1791.

Text from Susane Vol.7.

In April 1756 Royal Comtois embarked at Toulon for the expedition to Minorca. In the assault on Port Mahon on the 27th June, it was part of the left attack on the redoubts of Strugen, Argyle and De La Reine, and showed great courage. Captain de Sartre and sub-lieutenant of grenadiers Dufard were killed; Captain Beaumesnil and a lieutenant were wounded.

Returning to France after the conquest of the island, the regiment was sent in 1757 to join the army of Hanover and pursued the enemy to Klosterseven. At the beginning of 1758 it retreated to the Rhine and assisted at the battle of Crefeld, after which it returned to France. It spent the last campaigns of the Seven Years War on the coast of Flanders.

A detachment of volunteers [from the regiment], commanded by Captain the Count of Muret, continued to serve with the army of Germany. On the 19th December 1759 this detachment, only 160 men strong, was cantoned at Winter-Witten with 60 hussars and a cannon. There it was attacked by Baron Würmser, who had 500 cavalry, 400 infantry and 2 guns. On the appearance of the enemy the hussars, troops recruited exclusively from Germany, fled. The Count of Muret, attacked in flank and rear, fought strenuously for an hour and a half, and did not surrender until a third of his men had fallen.

By an ordonnance of 10th December 1762 Royal Comtois passed to the service of ports and colonies.

 And this is the uniform in 1756:


Flags of French Regiment Bourgogne

 First raised 1668. Ranked 43rd in 1756. 2 battalions.

This is a most attractive flag of an unusual design; the only other French regiment with a similar flag was Royal Comtois and I shall post that flag soon.

Flags carried 1668-1791.

From Susane Vol.6:

Bourgogne was sent in 1755 to Rochefort. It was the first regiment of the army which had acted as garrison of the port. [The first battalion served as garrison of various places in France during the Seven Years War.] The 2nd battalion was embarked on the 3rd of May with Baron de Dieskau to journey to Canada. There it participated to the end in the travails and miseries of the little army which fought for control of this beautiful colony with the British. [It was part of the garrison of Louisbourg until its siege and capture by the British at the end of July 1758.] At the end of 1759 several companies of the 1st battalion boarded frigates under the command of Captain Thurot for an expedition against the coasts of Great Britain. They found themselves on the 21st February 1760 at the taking of the town of Carrickfergus, in Ireland, and on the 28th at the bloody naval combat of the Isle of Man, where captains Brazide and Garcin were wounded [and the French struck their colours and were captured, which Susane fails to mention!].

At the time of the peace [1763] Bourgogne had one battalion at Rochefort and the other at the Ile d'Oleron, and it was employed for several years in the special service of ports and colonies.

And this is the European uniform of the regiment:

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 21 von Hülsen

 First raised 1713. Chef 1756-1767 was Major General Johann Dietrich von Hülsen, later Lieutenant General and Governor of Berlin


In 1756 IR 21 was at Lobositz on October 1st; in the final attack of the battle the regiment lost 12 officers and 265 men. 3 Pour-le-Merites were awarded to the regimental commander and the two battalion commanders. On October 12th the regimental chef Major General von Hülsen spoke to Frederick on behalf of his captains: "as I have found nothing to criticise in their ... service and the duty and loyalty they showed at every opportunity". The King therefore awarded 4 more Pour-le-Merites. The grenadiers served at Dresden and Aussig. After being at Prague the regiment was then with the King at Kolin on June 18th 1757. Its commander Major General von Hülsen proved a brave and talented leader. However, the regiment was destroyed by the final attack of Austrian and Saxon cavalry; it lost 11 dead and 16 captured officers, 500 dead other ranks, 200 wounded and 250 prisoners. Lieutenant General von Treskow, who commanded the left wing of the army, was captured along with the regimental colours, the regiment having been all but obliterated. At Rossbach only the first battalion was present, on the extreme left of the main Prussian infantry line. At Moys on September 7th, where Winterfeldt was killed,  the grenadiers lost 376 men. After serving on the left flank of the army at Leuthen, the regiment was sent to join Prince Henry's Saxon Corps in 1758.

Menzel drawing of von Hülsen riding a cannon into battle at Torgau

The grenadiers took the fortress of Schweidnitz in a night attack on April 16th 1758 and led successful counter attacks at the defeat of Hochkirch. At Greiffenberg on 26th March 1759 they were taken prisoner after a fierce fight. On August 12th the regiment lost 25 officers and 783 men at the disaster of Kunersdorf; the regiment was virtually wiped out yet again. The remnants of the battalion, a total of 15 officers and 582 men, were then taken prisoner on November 21st. In the winter of 1759-60, incorporating recovered invalids and new recruits, the regiment was reformed and in the spring of 1760 was serving with Prince Henry's corps which in the summer joined the march on Torgau with the King's army. It fought well in that battle and its chef was "hero of the hour". Christopher Duffy says in his Army of Frederick Great 2nd edition: "All of Hülsen's horses had been shot from under him and "since his age and wounds prevented him from going on foot, he set himself on a cannon and had himself dragged into the enemy fire"." This final assault drove the Austrians from their strongly held position. In both 1761 and 1762 the regiment was with the Saxon corps with Prince Henry and although at Freiberg did not see action there. Thus ended its war.

 [Information mostly from Dorn and Engelmann, Infantry of Frederick the Great.]

And here is the musketeer uniform of the regiment in the SYW: