Sunday 25 December 2022

A Happy Christmas and New Year to All, plus some flags: French Milices Royales de Caen 1706

I wish everyone who visits my blog and enjoys my flags a Happy Christmas and New Year. 😀 Lots more flags to come in 2023, I hope...

I did think of doing one of my fantasy flags, as I did last year, for my Christmas post but then thought I'd rather do some real flags if I am going to put in some effort - and these French flags do have a slightly Christmassy look about them with their red and white (and blue).

Charrié says that the Colonel's flag carried the arms of the Goyon de Matignon family; these come in several different flavours so I have chosen those of the right period for the flags, I think. No doubt someone will tell me if I have got it wrong!

Tuesday 20 December 2022

To Flag Or Not To Flag? That Is The Question...

I like an authentic flag as much as the next man (probably even more so, as I am a registered Vexillomaniac :-)). On the Fife and Drum Forum there has lately been some discussion about adding flags to historical wargame units that (as far as we know) probably did not have them. My feeling is that, ultimately, we are playing with toy soldiers here and it is all our version of a fantasy of whatever period we are depicting, and so if we feel like doing so we should add plausible flags. Yes, I know, this is probably heresy, but in the end, for the horse and musket period, we mostly want something that looks good, don't we? I know that at least Willz Harley will agree with me that every unit should have a flag if at all possible. Even Willz's grenadier units carry flags - but they are admittedly ImagiNations units! I have done a number of speculative flags for people over the years for historical armies (e.g. ) and am currently doing some for the French 18th century Chasseurs de Fischers.

I have lately done flags for Lauzun's Legion in the AWI, which I posted on the Fife and Drum Forum and which prompted this discussion; the hussar guidon was carried by the later Lauzun Hussars from 1783-1791 but it seems perfectly possible that something similar might have been carried by the hussars of the Legion in the AWI. If they didn't, they jolly well should have done! ;-) The square standard is suggested for Lauzun's Legion in the AWI by the authors of "Officers and Soldiers of the French Hussars: 1 From The Ancien Regime to the Empire" André Jouineau and Jean-Marie Mongin, after discussion with acknowledged French flag expert Pierre Charrié. By which troops of the Legion it was possibly carried, they do not say.

Anyway, for those who might possibly like these flags, here is the sheet with the guidon and standard:

I look forward to comments! :-)

P.S. I have decided, to give my future French flag production some focus, to do the flags I have already not done for the Battle of Warburg 1760. That means 10 flags to do, including four Swiss and one French-German. That will bring my total of French flags posted on the blog to 100! Hurrah. :-) (Actually, it will be more than that, as for a number of flags I have done variants...)

Sunday 18 December 2022

Flags of the French Militia (Milices Régionales) of Dunkerque

I have quite a large backlog of flags waiting for their texts now but the recent cold weather has made the study, where the computer is, pretty uninhabitable except for very short spells of work; it has always been a very cold room but is much worse now the central heating has packed in! Even the small fan heater does not make much impression on the cold. We are promised a thaw now and hopefully that will make longer spells of work in the study more tolerable...

Anyway, domestic woes aside, I here present the flags of the French militia of Dunkerque (Dunkirk) to keep things ticking over on the blog. As I have said before, we have relatively little information on the French militia flags and this is one of the few that is known. The Milices Régionales were raised to protect the coasts and frontiers of France and were maintained by the provinces.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Flags of Swiss Regiment De Meuron in British Service 1795-1816

Although I concentrate on flags of the mid-18th century and earlier, I do on a whim sometimes do flags of other periods, although I do not often have time and energy to do so. So, as I have not posted any flags for a while and to keep things ticking over here while I am working on various flags and their texts including Prussian IR 49, some Austrian flags, more French flags and also more Spanish flags plus a flag commission etc. etc., I post here the flags of Swiss Regiment De Meuron in British service, both pre and post 1801. Someone might find a use for them! There are three versions of the King's Colour as I could find no definitive description of that colour but did find examples of those three versions of the flag. So it is up to whoever wishes to use them to choose the King's Colour they find most appealing!

The history of the regiment can be found here:


Thursday 1 December 2022

How To Resize and Print My Flags Without Losing Resolution And Detail

I had a request recently on advice for resizing and printing my flags so thought I'd pass on the advice I gave to others who may find it useful. I suggest getting hold of the free Open Source Libre Office suite of programs and using the Draw program within it, which is a vector drawing program. Drop the flags into a page in that program and you can resize them for printing without losing detail. DO NOT resize them in a bitmap program like Paint as you will reduce the number of pixels and badly affect the quality of the flags! If anyone needs further advice or help, send me a message via my Contact form (left column) and I'll do what I can to help. Or simply post a comment to this posting and I'll reploy below, as your query and the reply might help others...

Sunday 27 November 2022

Flags of Spanish Infantry Regiment Córdoba 1728-1768

First raised as a tercio in 1566. It saw much action in various conflicts in the 16th and 17th centuries. Much service in Spain in the War of the Spanish Succession including the battle of Almansa 1707, the battle of Gudiña 1709, the battle of Torrero 1710 and many sieges. Sent to Estremadura at the end of the war.

Flags carried from 1728-1768.

1718-1720 it fought in Sicily against the Austrians, capturing and defending Messina and capitulating there. It then defended Palermo, again having to capitulate to the Austrians.

Att he beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession it was involved in the invasion of Piedmont. It fought an action at Aigueville in 1743. In 1744 was involved in actions that led to the capture of Monte-Albano, Villefranche and Nice. It then crossed the Alps with Castelar's Corps and its grenadiers took the position at Planches. It was then at the capture of Dermont and blockade of Conti. In 1745 it was part of the force attempting to expel the Austrians from Oneglia, then took part in the siege and capture of Piacenza in July. The first battalion joined Aramburu's Corps and took part in the successful battle of Bassignano on September 27th. In 1746 it retreated with the Spanish army across the Po River towards Nice. In 1747 the regiment defended Genoa against Austrian attacks. At the peace in 1748 it was sent to Nice.

In 1749 it returned to Barcelona then was sent as garrison to Ceuta. There in 1753 it made a successful sortie against the besieging Moroccans to cover the sappers who attacked the Moroccan fortifications. After the sortie the Moroccans abandoned the siege.

In the Seven Years War the regiment moved to Cádiz in 1756. When war broke out with Portugal in 1762 the regiment's role was limited to protection of the frontier.

[Information summarised from the Kronoskaf entry on the regiment.]

And this was the uniform in 1759:

Monday 21 November 2022

Flags of French Regiment Hainault 1684-1762

I'm still working on the Austrian flags so here are some more French flags to keep things ticking over.

First raised by Louis XIV 1684. 2 battalions strong in the Seven Years War and ranked 73rd.

Service and actions (from Susane Volume 8):

1690: With the Army of the Alps and at the battle of Staffarde.
1691: Conquest of Nice and Savoy
1693: Army of Flanders and siege of Charleroi
1695: Defence of Namur; the colonel killed
Served in Flanders up to the peace

1702: Army of the Rhine and battle of Friedlingen
1703: Siege of Kehl
Sent to the Cévennes and fought against the Camisards to 1705
1705: Crossed the Alps and at the taking of Nice
1706: Siege of Turin
1707-9: Army of Spain
1710: Army of Flanders
1712: Battle of Denain

1712-1718 Demolition of the fortifications of Dunkirk
1727: Camp of the Meuse

1733: Occupation of Lorraine
1734: Siege of Philisbourg

1742: Army of Flanders
1743: Army of the Lower Rhine and battle of Dettingen
1744: Army of Flanders
1745: Siege of Tournai and battle of Fontenoy; colonel killed at Fontenoy
1746: Sieges of Brussels and Mons and battle of Rocoux
1747: Conquest of Dutch Flanders; battle of Lauffeld; siege of Bergen op Zoom
1748: Siege of Maastricht

1756: Expedition to Minorca
1757-1762: Served on the coasts of France
1762: Disbanded 25th November

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Friday 18 November 2022

Goodbye and thank you to Professor Christopher Duffy

I felt I must pay my own small tribute to Professor Christopher Duffy, who died on Wednesday, and without whose inspiring work this blog and these flags would almost certainly not exist. It was his books (and Charles Grant's The War Game) that first got me excited about 18th century military history and wargaming nearly 50 years ago. I have all his books that I have been able to get my hands on, regardless of subject, as he always contrived to write well and interestingly about anything to which he turned his hand. I had some correspondence with him in the early 1990s about his books and he was very courteous and kind and helpful, just as many others have said of him. He was very much the gentleman scholar but also an iconoclast who overturned many misconceptions about 18th century military history. He did look very frail in the pictures from July of the Festschrift in London and I knew that his health had not been good for some years. Even so, it was a shock to hear that he has died. I very much regret that I never met him and wish I had been able to go on one of his European battlefield tours.

Menzel - Maria Theresa Reviewing Her Troops

And Christopher Duffy describing the action at Kolin 1757 (one of his favourite battles of the period; he once described it as "a great day for humanity"!) on his battlefield tour in 1994 - this picture courtesy of Jim Purky who took it:

(More pictures and a tribute to Christopher Duffy can be found on Jim Purky's blog at: )

Sunday 13 November 2022

The Reichsarmee: Standards of Swabian Cuirassier Regiment Hohenzollern

Regiment first raised 1683 as a horse regiment and became Cuirassiers in 1691. Establishment was 4 squadrons of 2 companies each, a total of 607 officers and men. Made up of 61 contingents, a record for the Reichsarmee. Actual strength on the 31st May 1758 was recorded as 566 men and 561 horses. Although mostly recorded as 4 squadrons some of the records in Zweybrücken In Command - Cogswell, Helion 2019, give the regiment 5 squadrons on occasion.

Christopher Duffy says of it that, despite its extremely varied composition, usually an indication of a poor regiment, it was "probably the best heavy mounted unit of the Reichsarmee" (By Force of Arms).

The regiment served throughout the war with the main body of the Reichsarmee. In 1757 the regiment was with the Reichsarmee in Thuringia and Saxony campaigning against the Prussians. At Rossbach on 5th November it was caught trying to deploy as part of the allied vanguard by the Prussian cavalry and swept away along with the rest (see Duffy, Prussia's Glory). At Korbitz on 21st September 1759 it struck a decisive blow against the Prussians, along with the Austrian Serbelloni and Bretlach Cuirassiers. At Strehla on 20th August 1760 it prevented Prussian dragoons from massacring the Esterhazy Regiment: "Captain Seeger of the Austrian staff ... "advanced with the Swabian Circle Regiment of the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers, forcing the enemy cavalry to cease hacking away, and finally driving them off"" (Duffy, By Force of Arms). At Freiberg 29th October 1762 it performed well against Kleist and Seydlitz's flank attack, in support of the Bayreuth Cuirassiers: "GM Tresckow [the Austrian general, not the Prussian of the same name!] did wonders with the under-strength Reichs Bayreuth Cuirassiers "which hewed into the enemy cavalry, put it to total flight, made many prisoners and then reformed by squadrons thirty paces from the wood to cover my flank; the two squadrons of the Hohenzollern Regiment [of Cuirassiers] had come up to hack into the rear of the same enemy cavalry, and likewise reformed"" (Duffy, By Force of Arms).

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Thursday 10 November 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags Of Swabian Regiment Baden-Durlach Pre-1761

Regiment first raised 1683. Although it had an establishment of 2 battalions, each of 5 musketeer companies and one grenadier company, in practice only one battalion seems to have served in the field with the main Imperial army. Its strength of 973 in May 1758 seems to have been typical. The single battalion serving with the Reichsarmee in Thuringia and Saxony in 1757 missed Rossbach.  It consisted of 27 separate contingents and in the autumn of 1757 Soubise rated it as "Bad" (Duffy, Prussia's Glory).

One battalion served with Zweybrücken's Corps in Saxony in 1758 and 1759. It was probably at the action of Korbitz on 21st September 1759, where Serbelloni turned what was looking like a creditable victory into "a useless bloodbath", possibly because of his dislike of General Hadik (Duffy, By Force of Arms).

The regiment was on the right wing at Freiberg in October 1762 (see Duffy, By Force of Arms) but does not seem to have been heavily engaged, unlike the three heroic Reichsarmee units in the centre.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Friday 4 November 2022

Flags of the French Gardes Suisses 1715-1762

The Swiss Regiment Galatty, first raised 1567, became the Gardes Suisses in 1616. Ranked behind the Gardes Françaises. If on campaign without the Gardes Françaises ranked behind the most senior French line infantry regiment present.

4 battalions strong, each of 600 men and officers.

During the War of the Spanish Succession were at Louvain 1701, Eckeren 1703, on the Rhine 1704, Nodoue 1705, Ramillies 1706, Oudenarde 1708, Malplaquet 1709, Douai, Le Quesnoy and Bouchain in 1712 and Landau in 1713.

During the War of the Austrian Succession was at the battles and sieges of Coutrai, Fontenoy, Raucoux, Lauffeld and Maastricht.

Began the Seven Years War war in Paris. Two battalions were sent to the Province of Aunis to defend against a possible British landing late in 1757 but were recalled on reaching Tours.  In 1758 two battalions went to the coast of Flanders to garrison Dunkirk and St Omer from March to December.

From 1759-60, 200 unfortunate men of the regiment were embarked on Thurot's squadron which ultimately headed for Ireland. They were captured when the three frigates of the expedition were encountered and taken by British frigates but returned to France in May that year.

In 1762 two battalions served in Germany under Soubise. They were at the combat of Schaffhausen in July 3rd, and on July 15th and 16th at the battle of Vellinghausen. In September they were at the siege of Meppen and then returned to France in October. In late May 1762 two battalions joined the Army of the Lower Rhine under Condé. They saw no action until the combat of Grüningen on 25th August. In December they moved to Landau when the French evacuated Western Germany.

[This is mostly a summary of the account in Kronoskaf as I have no independent source of information.]

And this was the uniform in 1757:

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Flag of the French Volontaires de Wurmser 1762

Shock horror update! The previous flag was wrong, basically, as pointed out by Frédéric Aubert when I posted in Seven Years War Wargaming on Facebook; I had misread Pierre Charrié's text and, as Kronoskaf following Mouillard got it wrong the same way, assumed I had it right. It does not help not being a native French speaker! Lesson learned; always double check the French in Charrié... Correct flag now posted.


Volontaires de Wurmser first raised by decree January 1762, mostly from men of Alsace and with 1 grenadier company, 8 fusilier companies and 8 dragoon companies; total strength was 735.

Commanded in the Seven Years War by Dagobert Sigmund, Comte de Wurmser.


The Comte de Wurmser was informed in December 1762 that the Austrians wanted to take the regiment into their service and the unit was disbanded in March 1763, with most of the men joining the Austrian service.

In the Seven Years War the unit was initially attached to Soubise's Army of the Lower Rhine and was present at Wilhelmstahl in June that year. In August, in combat with Luckner's Freikorps, it lost 200 men and 5 officers and a cannon. On August 30th it fought in the combat of Nauheim, where it got something of its own back as it defended Freiberg and repelled an attack by Luckner Hussars. It was one of the units which Louis XV's instructions of November that year decided should remain in Germany until the army was finally evacuated.

[Details of the regiment's history and origins from Kronoskaf.]

And this is the hussar-style uniform for both infantry and cavalry depicted in Alfred de Marbot's Costumes militaires français depuis 1439 jusqu'en 1789:

Sunday 30 October 2022

Flags of the Two Battalions of Hamburger Stadtmilitär 1724-1757

When I posted the flags of the Lübeck Burgerwehr in June there was some enthusiasm for these somewhat odd and almost ImagiNation-style flags of German city regiments or militia. So I have here depicted the flags of the Hamburger Stadtmilitär 1724-1757, as recreated on this webpage of CRW Flags, based on German materials:


And these are some of the troops who would have carried these flags, depicted by Knötel:

Flags of Spanish Infantry Regiment Soria 1728-1768

Regiment Soria was descended from a tercio first raised in Naples in 1591, in part from a detachment of Regiment Saboya.

Saw much action in the 17th century and then in the War of the Spanish Succession, where it fought at the battles of Ekeren and Capell and then in 1705 at the siege of Huy. The 2nd battalion fought at Ramillies. The 2nd battalion returned to Spain in 1707 and then was sent to Africa. It returned to Spain in 1708. The 1st battalion returned from Flanders in 1710 and fought at Balaguer, Almenara and Zaragoza, where it was almost destroyed. In 1711 the 1st battalion fought in Aragon and Cataluña, and the 2nd was sent to Estremadura. The 2nd battalion fought in Cataluña in 1713 and 1714, and was at the fall of Barcelona, which it then garrisoned.

Renamed Regimento Soria in 1715. Fought in the War of the Polish Succession in 1734-5. Saw much service in the War of the Austrian Succession, in Savoie from 1741-4 against the Sardinians. In 1746 it fought at Piacenza, and afterwards embarked for Naples. It returned to Spain in 1749 for garrison duty at Cádiz.

Ranked 9th in the Seven Years War. In 1757 it was sent to Ceuta to defend against the Moroccans and returned to Cádiz in 1761. In October it relieved Nápoles Infantry in Mallorca where it remained until 1764.

[Summary of account in Kronoskaf.]

And this was probably the uniform in 1759:

Sunday 23 October 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Fusilier Infantry Regiment 48 Hessen-Kassel; later Salmuth and then Beckwith

Chefs: 31st May 1756 Lieutenant General Friedrich, hereditary Prince of Hesse-Kassel; 8th January 1757 Colonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Salmuth, called Beringer, later Major General; 28th April 1763 to 1766 Major General Karl Friedrich von Beckwith, until then chief of the Prussian Legion in the allied army of Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig

First raised 1756 from the Minden Garrison Battalion XIII Salmuth and various recruits via other regiments. In 1756 it remained in Wesel. When Wesel was evacuated in March 1757 it marched to Bielefeld and fought the French in July when its commander, Colonel von Salmuth, was defending Geldern. Commanded by the King to move to Magdeburg it lost 320 men by desertion. The grenadiers fought at Prague and Leuthen.

In 1758 it belonged to Prince Heinrich's Corps and after August took part in Wedell's advance against the Swedes. Then it became part of the garrison of Dresden when Daun's army crossed the Elbe in November; the King came to Dresden on November 20th and the Austrians retired.

In 1759 it was back in the Saxon Corps and as usual marched around a lot. In May under the command of Schenkendorff it attacked Austrian light troops at Aue and drove them back. The main Prussian forces now withdrew to fight the Russians leaving the Imperial army almost free rein in August. The 1st Battalion of IR48 evacuated Leipzig in return for a guarantee of free departure. The 2nd Battalion was in Dresden along with 5 other battalions. Count Schmettau refused calls to surrender and prepared to defend the city but, having received a letter from the King, after Kunersdorff, giving him permission to evacuate the city if necessary so long as free departure was allowed, he did so on September 4th. Too late the King announced that he was coming to relieve the city. In September the 2nd Battalion joined Finck's Corps and then joined up with the 1st Battalion which had defended Torgau. On the 21st September both were at the combat of Korbitz. It was also at the combat of Pretzsch on October 29th.

In 1760 it was with the King in his advance on Dresden in July but then withdrew with the army as the siege train failed to arrive. On August 20th under Hülsen it held off three times its numbers at Strehla and then fell back to Belzig and Beelitz in early October. Saxony was abandoned.

In 1761 it was with Prince Heinrich again, holding the position on the Mulde. In 1762 it waas on the Elbe bridgehead between Dresden and the Erzgebirge. At Brand on October 15th it was driven back to Freiberg by the Imperial Army with heavy losses and captured. But the battle of Freiberg overturned all Austrian hopes of ultimate victory in the war.

Christopher Duffy in his Army of Frederick the Great says: "Raised from a garrison battalion. ... the regiment saw little action in the Seven Years War". It certainly did a lot of marching, garrisoning and evacuating!

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Monday 17 October 2022

Flag of French Regiment Volontaires Cantabres - later Royal Cantabres

I've already posted the flags of the later regiment Royal Cantabres but I rather liked the earlier flag too so here it is. I can easily imagine these agile Basque mountaineers scaling some steep rock-strewn slope with the flag held aloft...


Here's the text I wrote for the Royal Cantabres which also describes this unit:

Royal Cantabres began life as Volontaires Cantabres. It was first raised December 15th 1745 as a light infantry unit in the Basque region. It was initially a battalion of around 500 but was increased to around 1600 infantrymen and 300 hussars, with 2 cannon, in 1747. It campaigned in Flanders in the WAS and was at  the siege of Brussels and the battle of Rocoux in 1746. The unit was much reduced in numbers in 1748 then disbanded in 1749 leaving a small unit of 4 companies. It took the title of Cantabres-Volontaires in 1749. The four company unit took part in the French attack on Minorca in 1756 then became one regular battalion 8th July 1757 as Royal Cantabres. It was stationed in Auch in 1757 and then joined Soubise's Army of the Lower Rhine in 1761. In 1762 it was part of the French expeditionary force sent to Spain for the intended invasion of Portugal. 112th in the army list SYW. Disbanded 25th November 1762. (There is much more detail in the Kronoskaf page on this unit.)

And this was the uniform in 1757 (from the 1757 MS) although I have missed off some strange addition to the tricorne which is impossible to interpret on the MS drawing:


Friday 14 October 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags Of Franconian Regiment Cronegk

During the Seven Years War the Franconian Kreis raised 3 infantry regiments of which this was one. Christopher Duffy in Prussia's Glory says that "the troops of the Franconian Circle were collectively the least reliable element of the Reichsarmee".

First raised 1691. Consisted of 2 battalions, each of 6 musketeer and 1 grenadier companies, and each battalion with 2 3-pounder battalion guns. Theoretical strength was 1940 men. Actual figures were 1573 men in August 1757 and 1731 in May 1758.

Soubise in 1757 rated it as Bad and "entirely Prussian in sympathy" (Duffy).

In 1757 the regiment was with the Reichsarmee in Thuringia and Saxony, and was present at Rossbach on November 5th. The eleven battalions of the six Reichsarmee regiments were deployed in two lines on the right flank of the unwieldy column of French infantry, with Cronegk in the centre of the front line.

Christopher Duffy in Prussia's Glory recounts what happened to the regiment in the battle: "While Blue Würzburg held its immediate ground like a breakwater, panic and collapse spread to its left and rear. Major General Sylvius Christian von Ferntheil afterwards wrote in defence of the officers of Kronegk that they "did all they possibly could to keep it in order. However the action was already in full swing, with our cavalry being pressed back before the regiment could deploy, and some of the French infantry giving way. Remember also that the regiment was mostly made up of raw recruits, and so it is not surprising that it fell into disorder and retreated"."

1526 men were registered as lost from the three Franconian regiments, of whom 9/10 were listed as missing and the majority of those were probably deserters. The Reichsarmee fled for miles after the battle.

The entire regiment (minus the grenadier companies) was taken prisoner on May 11th 1759; the Austro-Imperial army was retreating towards Kulmbach when attacked by a Prussian force. The grenadier companies continued to serve with the Zweibrücken Corps and may have been at the Combat of Korbitz in September of that year.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Friday 7 October 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Fusilier Infantry Regiment 47 von Wietersheim; later von Rohr and von Grabow

Chefs: From 16th August 1752 Major General Leopold Friedrich Ludwig von Wietersheim, who was transferred to the Saxon Rochow Regiment, which was absorbed into Prussian service involuntarily in 1756; from 20th October 1756 Colonel Caspar Friedrich von Rohr, who died 12th December 1757 of wounds received at Leuthen 5th December; from 5th January 1758 Major General Christoph Heinrich von Grabow to 1764

First raised August 1743; its core was a regiment taken over from the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. The officers were mostly sent to the garrison regiments and replaced by Prussian officers.

The regiment was with the King's army in the Pirna Campaign of 1756, then occupied Dresden until October 16th 1757. For the next few years the regiment was with the Saxon Corps. In 1759 the Corps advanced into Franconia to attempt to weaken the Imperial Army before the campaigning season began. On July 30th the regiment went with the King's Army and fought at Kunersdorf on August 12th. Fighting with the main army attack and under heavy grapeshot fire from the big battery on the Grosser Spitzberg, the regiment lost 600 men (Christopher Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition, shows about 45% casualties). Only two officers survived unscathed. After the battle it joined Finck's Corps which reached Torgau in September and won the battle of Korbitz on September 21st and also the fight at Pretzsch on October 29th. Sent to cut the enemy communications, the Finck Corps marched to the plateau of Maxen through frost and snow where it was completely isolated. The Corps was forced to surrender on November 21st after losing half its number to a concerted attack by twice its numbers. The remnants of the IR47 battalion were amongst the prisoners.

In 1760 IR47's remaining battalion was in Stutterheim's Corps opposing the Swedes and protecting Berlin in October. At the end of October it joined the King but was not at Torgau.

In 7161 it was part of the defence of Kolberg under Württemberg; on November 14th it was part of the breakout to the west, fought at Spie and then withdrew to Stettin. An attempt to surround the Swedes in December failed.

In 1762 both battalions were with the army in Saxony and led the attack over the Mulde on May 12th. The regiment was not at Freiberg in 1762.

Christopher Duffy Army of Frederick the Great says of the regiment: "Taken over from the Holstein service in 1743. Heavy losses at Kunersdorf and the survivors captured at Maxen." Of the grenadier battalion (with Garrison Regiment No.7) he says: "In heavy fighting at Kolin and Domstadtl. Highly esteemed by Frederick."

And this was the uniform in 1756:

To complete all the Prussian infantry flags 1740-1763 I now have only IRs 15, 48 and 49 to do!

Thursday 6 October 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags Of Franconian Regiment Ferntheil

During the Seven Years War the Franconian Kreis raised 3 infantry regiments of which this was one. Christopher Duffy in Prussia's Glory says that "the troops of the Franconian Circle were collectively the least reliable element of the Reichsarmee".

First raised 1682. Had 2 battalions each of 6 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company, plus 2 3-pounder battalion guns and a theoretical strength of 1940 men. It had 20 separate contingents. Actual strengths were 1556 men in August 1757 and 1808 men in May 1758.

My previous post on Regiment Varell explains the curious history of the flags of the Franconian infantry regiments in the Seven Years War.

Soubise in 1757 rated it as Bad and "entirely Prussian in sympathy" (Duffy).

In 1757 the regiment was with the Reichsarmee in Thuringia and Saxony, and was present at Rossbach on November 5th. The eleven battalions of the six Reichsarmee regiments were deployed  in two lines on the right flank of the unwieldy column of French infantry, with Ferntheil on the right flank of the rear line.

Christopher Duffy in Prussian's Glory recounts what happened to Ferntheil in the battle. "The regiment of Ferntheil was attempting to form up in its vulnerable station on the right of the second line, where the beaten allied cavalry was streaming past its open flank. Lieutenant General Reinhard von Drachsdorff relates that the first battalion (unlike the second) was able to deploy but then "a troop of our defeated cavalry came up to the first platoon and one of the horsemen - nobody knows which - called out: "Friends, get away while you can! It's all up!"" Upon this the whole battalion made an about turn to the right and sank into dire confusion, without having seen any hostile forces to the front. Drachsdorff and his officers were able to restore the battalion to some sort of order, "however a number of Prussian cannon shot rang out, and the left wing of the first line simultaneously became disordered, whereupon the battalion turned about for a second time and ran."

1526 men were registered as lost from the three Franconian regiments, of whom 9/10 were listed as missing and the majority of those were probably deserters. The Reichsarmee fled for miles after the battle. Duffy again: "The whereabouts of the regiment of Ferntheil were unknown for several weeks and on the road Mollinger [secretary to Prince Georg of Hesse-Darmstadt, one of the few highly competent and professional senior officers with the Reichsarmee] happened to encounter its colonel, Franz von Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, "who had three colours of his regiment with him, one carried by himself, another by his huntsman, and the third by his runner, without a single armed man to accompany or escort them"."

The regiment was with the Zweibrücken Corps in 1758-9. The second battalion was one of the two Reichsarmee battalions which surrendered Leipzig on 13th September without firing a shot; most of the men then joined the Prussian service. On September 21st the first battalion may have been in the combat of Korbitz. I have found no information on the regiment's activities for the rest of the war.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Sunday 2 October 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags Of Franconian Regiment Varell

During the Seven Years War the Franconian Kreis raised 3 infantry regiments of which this was one. Christopher Duffy in Prussia's Glory says that "the troops of the Franconian Circle were collectively the least reliable element of the Reichsarmee".

First raised 1682. Had 2 battalions each of 6 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company, plus 2 3-pounder battalion guns and a theoretical strength of 1940 men. It had 30 separate contingents, ranging from 1 man to 145 men. Actual strengths were 1399 men in August 1757 and 1720 men in May 1758.

Soubise in 1757 rated it as Bad and "entirely Prussian in sympathy" (Duffy).

In 1757 the regiment was with the Reichsarmee in Thuringia and Saxony, and was present at Rossbach on November 5th. The eleven battalions of the six Reichsarmee regiments were deployed  in two lines on the right flank of the unwieldy column of French infantry, with Varell in the centre of the rear line. When Trier in the first line fled after firing a single volley, they collided with Varell in the second line and, as Christopher Duffy says, "carried away all but sixty-three of its files" (Prussia's Glory) and knocked it entirely out of the action. 1526 men were registered as lost from the three Franconian regiments, of whom 9/10 were listed as missing and the majority of those were probably deserters.

The regiment was with the Zweibrücken Corps in 1758-9. It was probably at the battle of Korbitz in 1759 and at the battle of Wittenberg in 1760 but probably was little involved in the action. At Freiburg in 1762 it was on the far right wing and again appears to have been little engaged.


The flags: The flags of the Franconian Infantry Regiments have a curious history. In 1757 it was decided that each battalion would carry three flags. The old flags (whose design we do not know) were "well known to be reduced to the staves, for which one is exposed to the laughter of other troops" (this quotation and others from the detailed account of all this in Klaus Roider, Die fränkischen Kreistruppen im Siebenjährigen Krieg, Nuremberg 2009; translation courtesy of Stefan Schulz). The new design had the double headed eagle on one side and the interlocked initials FC (Fränkischer Creis or Circulus franconicus). Previously they had been made of double-layered silk but now were to be of single-layered fabric so the emblems were embroidered on canvas and sewn onto the fabric. However, the flags were not nailed to the staves until long after the war so were not actually carried in action in the Seven Years War. The problem was that Protestants and Catholics in the units insisted that the nailing ceremony should happen according to the rites of their own church and so, as they could not agree, the ceremony did not happen. This was the reason given in a report of 1775. A report of 1759 from the Ansbach envoys gives a different reason; it claims that the regimental colonels wanted to have "some pomp and feasting on this occasion, and to have the costs thereof paid by the district" but the district wanted the colonels to pay for any such festivity. No agreement could be reached so again the nailing ceremonies did not happen.

The colours had been ordered by the middle of 1757 and by the end of the year the embroiderer Christina Andrae delivered them (it is fairly unusual to know who actually created the flags in this period!). The regiments received the new flags in January 1758 but, although the colonels repeatedly asked for advice on how to proceed with them because of the impasse over the religious ceremonies, the district council repeatedly refused to dictate what should be done and so nothing was done at all. In May 1759 the Cronegk Regiment returned its new flags and their staves to the arsenal, even though only two of its six old flags were usable.

In the event, the flags were not finally issued and carried by the units until the next mobilisation of the Reichsarmee, against Revolutionary France in 1793! There seems to have been no problem about the nailing of the flags to their staves then.

The FC monogram is as authentic as I can make it as it is taken from a surviving flag in the Bavarian Army Museum.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Thursday 29 September 2022

The Reichsarmee: Coming Soon: Flags Of Franconian Regiments Cronegk, Ferntheil and Varell

I still have the uniforms and text to do for these three regiments but here is a snapshot of all three flags:

The FC monogram is as authentic as I can make it as it is taken from a surviving flag in the Bavarian Army Museum.

Friday 23 September 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags of Kurköln Infantry Regiment Wildenstein

One battalion with 6 fusilier companies and one grenadier company; 2 4 pounder guns. Nominal strength around 800 but lower in practice; for instance, in May 1758 it was 559. The two Cologne regiments, although single contingent units, were, as Kronoskaf says, "usually under strength, poorly armed and uniformed, and plagued with a high rate of desertion". The flags were very attractive, though!

In 1757 Soubise rated Wildenstein as "adequate" (Duffy) or "mediocre" (Kronoskaf).

Wildenstein missed Rossbach. In 1758-9 it was attached to Zweibrücken's Corps and was probably at Korbitz on September 21st. In 1760 it was at Strehla. In March 1761 its luck finally ran out and, while trying to guard the Saale river crossing at Schwarza, it, along with Mengersen Infantry, was captured by a roving Prussian corps.

And this was possibly the uniform in 1756 (Kronoskaf favours the coat with red facings):

Monday 19 September 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags of Swabian Infantry Regiment Fürstenberg (Rodt)

First raised 1683.

In the Seven Years War the regiment had two battalions each with 5 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company, plus 2 3 pounder cannon. Theoretical strength was 1690 men. Troops were provided by 21 different contingents.

Actual strength in the field in May 1758 was 1473 men.

In 1757 Soubise rated the regiment as Bad.

In 1757 the regiment missed Rossbach. In 1758-9 it was with Zweybrücken's Corps in Saxony; Zweybrücken managed to keep the Reichsarmee out of any serious scrapes in 1758-9, unlike Hildburghausen in 1757. At the battle of Korbitz in September 1759 the Reichsarmee, although present, including Fürstenberg, was not committed to action. At Maxen in November the Reichsarmee contingent again did not play an active part in the battle.

Like Baden-Baden, noted in my previous post, Fürstenberg's moment of glory was at Freiberg in October 1762, when Regiments Fürstenberg, Baden-Baden and Trier repulsed a Prussian attack in the centre and were only forced to retreat when the battle was lost elsewhere on the battlefield. There is a good account of the battle in Duffy's By Force of Arms and, of course, on Kronoskaf.

And this was the uniform of a musketeer and grenadier of the regiment in 1756:

Tuesday 13 September 2022

The Reichsarmee: Flags of Swabian Infantry Regiment Baden-Baden

The Reichsarmee were the underdogs of the armies of the Seven Years War. In theory, the Holy Roman Empire (which Voltaire quipped was not holy, Roman or an empire) could call on around 300 of its 2000 component states to provide men and/or money for the protection of the HRE. On paper the Reichs army amounted to 36,000 cavalry and 84,000 infantry but many states managed to avoid their theoretical obligations.

The aftermath of the battle of Kolin, 18th June 1757, when Frederick of Prussia was in difficulties, suddenly reminded the Reichs states of their obligation to protect the Empire. More than 30 sent contingents to work with the French army of Soubise against the Prussians.

The Imperial army of September 1757 totalled 25,000 men. The commander of the army was the Prince of Sachsen-Hildburghausen, whom Christopher Duffy memorably portrays in his book Prussia's Glory: Rossbach and Leuthen 1757* as an unsuccessful commander with a poor track record; a man with the upper strength of a gorilla and feeble legs, he was, sadly, completely without the diplomatic skills needed to command such a heterogeneous force as the Reichsarmee. His task also proved impossible in the face of the systemic mess that was the command structure of the Imperial Army. All operations had to be approved by Vienna and under him were 25 generals who stymied all his efforts to reorganise the army to make it fit to take the field.

Too many of the units, both cavalry and infantry, were made up of many small contingents; for example, the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers were made up of 61 distinct contingents. The single contingent units were undoubtedly the best; the Hessen-Darmstadt Regiment was of excellent quality. Other infantry regiments were made up of 6 to 42 contingents.Training was often non-existent.

French commander Soubise commented on what he saw as the quality of the Reichsarmee units; he rated Hesse-Darmstadt as excellent, seven units as good, six as adequate, seven as bad and Trier on its own as very bad indeed. Baden-Baden was one of the Bad units!

The artillery were in a terrible state, both of training and equipment, except for the Hessen-Darmstadt artillery. Clothing was often of terrible quality, as were weapons. Only some 10 per cent of muskets were in working order. The supply services matched the quality of everything else. As Mollo says, "The great mistake was made during the war of using the Imperial army in a combatant role, instead of for garrison or lines-of-communication duties."

Despite all these problems, elements of the Reichsarmee could, on occasion, perform very well. This was so at Freiberg in 1762, where Regiment Baden-Baden, along with Reichs Regiments Trier and Rodt plus some Reichs grenadiers, stopped a Prussian attack in its tracks for some hours before the battle was finally lost elsewhere on the battlefield. (I shall be doing the flags of Trier and Rodt as well as other Reichsarmee units' flags eventually.) There is a good account of the battle in Christopher Duffy's By Force of Arms, which is a large volume on the Austrian army in the Seven Years War.

Baden-Baden details:

2 battalions with 5 musketeer companies each and 1 grenadier company. Also had 2 3 pounder guns and a total strength of 1690 men. Unfortunately it consisted of men from 42 different estates.

It missed Rossbach but fought at Zinna (1st Torgau) in 1759 in the second line, where it fled along with the other Reichsarmee units. Freiberg was undoubtedly its moment of glory!

The flags are complicated and debatable; in my sheet I show the flags of the old regiment Baden-Baden which may have been carried in the Seven Years War; alternatively the flag below them shows the flag of former regiment Rodt which was renamed Baden-Baden in 1731 and whose colour may have been carried instead. As so often with the Reichsarmée, we cannot be certain.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

*I highly recommend this book; Helion have just republished it.

Sunday 11 September 2022

Flags of Spanish Infantry Saboya 1728-1768

This flag has a simple badge, the white cross of Savoy on a red background, so it will show up well even when the flag is much reduced in size.

Regiment Saboya was descended from a tercio called Lombardia, from which in 1633 were created the Lombardia, Saboya and Nápoles tercios. The Saboya Tercio was based in Cremona.

It was very active in the Franco-Spanish War (1635–59). In the Nine Years' War (1688–97) it was involved in much siege work but was also at the battles of Staffarda 1691 and Marsaglia 1695.

It was very busy in the War of the Spanish Succession, initially in many sieges in Italy and was itself captured twice. In Spain from 1707 it fought in many battles including Balaguer, Almenar, Pefialva, and then was routed at Sarragossa, but fought at the victories of Brihuega and Villaviciosa; all these took place in 1710. After that it was all siege work to the end of the war in 1714.

In the Seven Years War 1756-9 it was in garrison at Valencia, then Barcelona and back to Valencia. In 1762 when war broke out with Portugal the regiment moved into Portugal and met no opposition. A detachment occupied the abandoned town of Bragança. These gains were abandoned shortly after and the regiment retreated to Spain where the army was concentrated at Cuidad Rodrigo. In the next invasion moves were made towards Valdelamula and the campaign involved an attack on the Lines of the Talladas and the battle of Escalos. In those two actions the regiment showed great steadiness against the Anglo-Portuguese. Its later operations were relatively minor up to the end of the war.

(Summary of account from Kronoskaf.)

And this was the uniform in 1759:

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Bavarian Infantry Flags of the War of the Spanish Succession Sheet 1

As there is quite a lot of interest in these flags I have now posted a high resolution version, also indicating the infantry regiments that carried them.

I shall work on at least another sheet of Bavarian WSS infantry flags.

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Roughs of Bavarian War of the Spanish Succession Flags to gauge interest...

This is a tentative post to gauge interest - I know there are already a few people out there who will be interested.

If enough people respond I'll make sure I export these at a higher resolution and will try to work on some more, including possibly some of those Leibfahnen with their fiddly and complicated Madonnas!

Monday 29 August 2022

Various of Willz Harley's Regiments With DavidNBA Flags June to August 2022

Here are a few of Willz Harley's regiments with my flags; pictures kindly sent me by Willz.

Sedan Militia

Dillon Regiment

Prussian IR 23

Lorraine Militia

Dauphin Regiment

Thanks very much, Willz! Great to see the flags in action...