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...

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Flags of Spanish Infantry Regiment Galicia 1728-1768

As I had a fair number of requests here and on Facebook (via various 18th century wargames pages) for variants of these Spanish flags with the regimental badges, here are the flags of Spanish Regiment Galicia with their corner badge of a gold chalice surrounded by 8 silver crosses. If printed at a size for 28 or 30mm figures (say 3-4cms across) the detail should show but, if printed smaller, even at high resolution on a laser printer, I suspect it will not.

The regiment was descended from a tercio raised in 1566. (Information distilled here from Kronoskaf as I do not have independent sources for the Spanish army; my schoolboy Spanish is a bit too rusty for me easily to use Spanish language material anyway!)

Fairly heavily employed in the war of the Spanish Succession but after the capitulation of Ghent in 1706 which it helped defend the regiment was not to be further employed in hostilities in the Low Countries. It returned to Spain in 1713.

It was renamed Regimiento de Galicia in 1715.

It saw much service in the War of the Austrian Succession, employed in many sieges and also at the battles of Piacenza, Tedone and Tanaro.

The regiment ranked 4th in the Seven Years War. During that war it was with the Spanish army assembled for the invasion of Portugal and took part in the siege of Miranda, which capitulated on May 10th 1762. As Kronoskaf says "For the rest of the campaign, the regiment made diversionary attacks, escorted convoys and finally reinforced the extremity of the Spanish positions."

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Fusilier Infantry Regiment 45 von Dossow; later Hessen-Kassel

Chefs: From 1st August 1743 Lieutenant General Friedrich Wilhelm von Dossow, later Field Marshal; from 8th January 1757 Lieutenant General Hereditary Prince and then Landgrave (from 1st February 1760) Friedrich II of Hesse-Kassel, later Field Marshal to 1786 

First raised 1743.

IR45 remained in garrison in Wesel in 1756 and then moved out on March 24th 1757 when the French marched from the Lower Rhine into Hannover. It, along with other Prussian troops, temporarily joined the Duke of Cumberland's forces and eventually moved to Magdeburg. There the loss of 320 deserters was made good by new replacements and the regiment increased in size by 100 additional men.

In 1758 it advanced into Franconia and the Upper Palatinate in the Saxon Corps; by September it was at Pirna on the Müglitz. Under Wedell's command Fehrbellin was captured on September 28th and the corps finally reached Torgau on November 12th just before the Imperial Army arrived.

In 1759 after a fierce defence Torgau was surrendered and the garrison was granted an honourable capitulation with free departure. During the evacuation on 15th August the troops of Prince Carl zu Stolberg tried to persuade Saxons and deserters of the Imperial army to desert IR45. Its commander Colonel von Wolffersdorff had some of them shot and threatened to take the Prince prisoner. Thereafter the evacuation proceeded without further incident.

Under General von Wunsch along with the forces which had formerly held Wittenberg and Torgau  they retook both places in night attacks but arrived too late at Reichenberg to prevent the surrender of Dresden. Wunsch doubled back to Torgau and drove away the Imperial Army of 14000 at Zinna with only 5000 men, bluffing the enemy into thinking he had far more troops. Half of the 600 enemy prisoners were taken into Prussian service. Finck took over the corps and sent Wunsch to occupy Leipzig and they drove back enemy forces at Korbitz on September 21st. On November 18th Finck's Corps reached Maxen where it was badly isolated. On November 20th it was overwhelmed by vastly superior enemy forces and made to surrender on the 21st. Most of IR45 was captured, although some men managed to escape.

One battalion was reformed in 1760 and was with Stutterheim's Corps opposing the Russians from October 5th to 9th. It then occupied Berlin from October 21st.

In 1761 the regiment moved into the fortified camp at Kolberg with the Württemberg Corps at the beginning of June but, despite reinforcements, the camp could not be held against the Russians. The regiment escaped.

In 1762 the two battalions of IR45 fought in Bevern's Corps between Fischerberg and Spitzberg at Reichenbach, during the siege of Schweidnitz between August and October. Schweidnitz eventually surrendered on October 9th.

In 1763 the battalion included 76 Prussians, 95 Saxons and 779 "foreigners", a total of 950 men on active duty.

Christopher Duffy Army of Frederick the Great says this of the regiment: "Some of the worst troops of all piled up in the regiment of Hessen-Kassel (No.45) which became the repository of all the criminals whom the squeamish Landgrave could not steel himself to put to death."

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Friday, 19 August 2022

Flags of Spanish Infantry Regiment Castilla 1728-1768

I've no idea if these will be of any interest but I did them because of a Zoom wargame I shall be playing next week. Jon Freitag is using French as proxy Spanish so I thought, "Oooh, I really must do some Spanish flags he can use!" It's the flag designer's version of "Oooh, shiny". The Spanish hardly figured in the Seven Years War but were pretty busy in the campaigns in Italy in the War of the Austrian Succession.

Kronoskaf has a good page on the regiment here:

One big practical issue for me is whether or not it is worth the bother doing all the fiddly little regimental badges for the corners of the flags; at the sizes these will be used on the battlefield, they will hardly be visible even printed in relatively high definition on colour laser printers!

Anyway, here's a preliminary sample:

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Speculative but plausible flags for the Prince of Wales American Volunteers 1776-1783

On the understanding that: "Every wargames unit should ideally have a flag or flags" I created these speculative flags for Mark over on the Fife and Drum Forum. They are for the Loyalist unit that served throughout the American War of Independence (or American Revolution, if you prefer) and I thought that I'd offer them here as someone might be interested who does not have access to the Fife and Drum Forum.

There's a good detailed history of the unit here:

Flags and uniform of Prussian Fusilier Infantry Regiment 44 von Jungkenn Müntzer

Part of my "filling in the gaps" in my coverage of Prussian infantry regiments, this was not one of the classic hard-fighting or famous regiments.

Chefs: 14th January 1749 Colonel Martin Eberhard von Jungkenn Müntzer von Mohrenstamm, later Major General; 4th January 1759 Colonel Rudolf August von Hoffmann; 5th February 1760 Major General Johann von Grant, later Commandant of Neisse to 1764

First raised 1742 from complicated origins.

The regiment saw no action in 1756 but fought in secondary actions in 1757, when it left Wesel to join the Allied Army under Cumberland at Bielefeld. In a rear guard action at night it lost 200 men and then 220 deserted as it moved from Minden to Magdeburg. After Rossbach, the Corps was taken over by Duke Ferdinand of Braunschweig.

In 1758 the regiment was with the Saxon Corps and fought against the Swedes at Fehrbellin.

In 1759 it was again with the Saxon Corps; the second battalion had occupied Breslau and evacuated the city to occupy Torgau and its important magazine. After a protracted defence there it surrendered the place and was allowed to move away on August 15th. The first battalion was in garrison in Dresden, surrendered by General von Schmettau on September 4th, despite the King being on the way to relieve the place. The regiment's chef Colonel von Hoffmann called out to the regiment: "We march out like scoundrels and you are lazy" and fired his pistol without hitting anyone but was shot off his horse. The King said: "I am of Hoffmann's opinion; he could not have expressed himself otherwise about the evacuation!" From September 26th the regiment served with Finck's Corps and fought at Korbitz and Strehla.

In 1760 the regiment was with the King's Army and at the unsuccessful siege of Dresden from July 10th to 22nd. On August 20th there was fighting against the Imperial Army on the heights of Strehla and then the regiment was part of the defence of Torgau until September 26th.

In 1761 the regiment was with Prince Heinrich in his campaigning against the Imperial and Austrian armies along the Mulde.

In 1762 it was at Freiberg in the attack of 12th May, followed by the attack on the heights of Gross Schirma at the major battle at Freiberg on October 29th at its only major battle, in von Taube's Brigade of Forcade's Reserve.

Christopher Duffy Army of Frederick the Great says this of the regiment: "Raised from recruits from Württemberg and other German states. Lightly engaged in most of its actions."

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

French Cavalry Standards - Mestre de Camp Général Cavalry Regiment

First raised 1635 by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar then became a regular French regiment 21st January 1638. Ranked 2nd in the cavalry. Became Mestre de Camp Général 3rd December 1665.

2 squadrons strong.

Stations and actions:

1733: In Italy at Gera d'Adda and at Pizzighetone
1734: Tortona, Parma and Guastalla
1735: Reggiolo and Revere; at the peace stationed at Belfort
1741: Army of Bohemia; refitted at Pontarlier
1743: Battle of Dettingen
1744: At Weissembourg, Augenheim then at the siege of Fribourg
1745: Tournai
1746: Brussels; battle of Rocoux
1747: Battle of Lauffeld
1748: Siege of Maastricht (where the commandant M. de Clermont-Tonnerre was mortally wounded in the assault), then sent to Moulins
1750: Schelestadt
1751: Lons-le-Saulnier
1753: Haguenau
1754: Camp de Plobsheim
1756: Verdun
1757: Sedan; Army of the Lower Rhine [the commandant M. de Bissy was badly wounded and captured at Rossbach]; Hastenbeck July 26th, with the cavalry of the left wing
1758: Captured at Minden in March but soon exchanged. At the battle of Krefeld on the left wing of the first line
1759: With the main army under Contades and at Minden August 1st. Heavy losses at Minden and so sent to the rear afterwards.
1760: Guarding the coast
1761: Increased to 4 squadrons
1763: 4th April Incorporated the regiment of Seyssel

And this was the uniform in 1761:

Friday, 5 August 2022

Flags and Uniform of French Fusiliers de la Morlière 1745-1749

First raised 16th October 1745 by Alexandre Magallon de la Morlière as a result of the increasing demand for light troops in the War of the Austrian Succession. Initially 1000 strong, consisting of 700 infantry and 300 dragoons. There were 2 grenadier companies (each 50 strong), 6 fusilier companies (each 100 strong) and 6 dragoon  companies (each 50 men). The infantry formed one battalion, the dragoons 2 squadrons. The dragoons had 2 cannon a la Suédoise.

On December 1st 1746 the strength was increased to 1500 men including 500 dragoons. The extra 500 men included 3 companies of 100 fusiliers each and 4 companies of 50 dragoons each. The corps now consisted of 2 battalions and 4 squadrons.

On September 1st 1748 the corps was reduced to 980 men, viz. 2 companies of grenadiers (50 men each), 7 fusilier companies (80 men each) and 8 dragoon companies (40 dragoons each). On October 10th the corps was further reduced to a total of 640 men and then on December 1st to 340 men.

On August 1st 1749 all three corps, the Grassins, Volontaires de Breton and the Fusiliers de la Morlière, were combined to create the Volontaires de Flandres.

Brigaded with the Arquebusiers de Grassin in the War of the Austrian Succession.

Campaigns and battles:

Conquest of Dutch Flanders 1746
Battle of Lauffeldt 1747
Siege of Maastricht 1748

And this was the fusilier uniform of an officer with its silver lace and hussar-style mirliton (other ranks had the epaulettes and brandenbourgs in the same garance as the cuffs, collar, waistcoat, breeches and turnbacks):

Uniform of fusilier:

Uniform of a dragoon:

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Infantry Regiment 16 Dohna (later Syburg from 1762)

Chefs: 14th July 1748 Major General Christoph, Count zu Dohna, later General of Infantry; 19th June 1762 Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Syburg to 1771

First raised 1689.

In the Seven Years War it began the war with Field Marshal Lehwaldt's 3rd Corps which was then ready at Insterburg in June 1757 to confront the Russians. At Gross Jägersdorf on August 30th it apparently fought well on the right wing, although the battle was a defeat because of the confused forest fighting. After the Russians withdrew it was sent against the Swedes in Pomerania.

At the end of March 1758 its chef Count zu Dohna was given command of the corps which was intended to take on the Russians again if they came back. In mid-August they did. The King combined his forces with those of Dohna, crossed the Oder and attacked the Russians at Zorndorf on August 25th. As part of Kanitz's Wing the regiment lost 21 officers and 611 men (Duffy Army of Frederick the Great 1st Edition (henceforth AFG1) shows the losses of IR16 as around 60%). The regiment was included in the King's general dislike of his East Prussian regiments, many of whom had panicked at Zorndorf. The King never again set foot in East Prussia. In 1782 the King said to the regiment's commander General von Buddenbrock, a man he valued highly,: "Your regiment did a bloody bad job in the last war!" Allegedly he also forbade any care for the regiment's invalids.

Stationed with the corps on the Warthe from June to July 1759, the regiment was with Lieutenant General von Wedell in the bloody defeat against the Russians at Paltzig (Kay) on July 23rd; it was part of kanitz's 2nd attack on the Paltzig Heights. Its next fight was with the King's army at Kunersdorf on August 12th, in the second line of the main army; in the vicious infantry battle between the Kuh-Berg and Grosser Spitzberg it lost 16 officers and 550 men while achieving nothing. (AFG1 shows the losses of IR16 as around 35%.) At the end of October the Russians withdrew but for the regiment there were no more replacements from East Prussia.

In 1760 the regiment fought with the Stutterheim Corps and then helped secure Berlin from October 4th to 8th. Moving south-west to meet the King's forces, the regiment formed part of the reserve at Torgau on November 3rd and led the last counterattack in the failing light, helping to decide the battle.

After winter quarters at Mecklenburg, it participated in the fighting around Kolberg in 1761 and took the fortifications at Spie on December 12th. Returning to Silesia in 1762, the regiment took six cannon at Leutmannsdorf on July 21st.

Christopher Duffy Army of Frederick the Great says this of the regiment: "Heavy losses at Zorndorf and Kunersdorf. A middling East Prussian regiment."

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Thursday, 28 July 2022

French Cavalry Standards - Colonel-Général Cavalry Regiment

Probably first raised in 1634 by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar and ceded to France in 1635. Made the premier French cavalry regiment by Royal order of the 29th May 1645 with numerous privileges and became Colonel-Général on the 24th April 1657.

Unusually it was 3 squadrons strong and increased to 4 squadrons in 1761.

Stations and actions:

1730: In the camp of the Sambre
1733: In the Army of the Rhine; siege of Kehl
1734: Ettlengen and Philippsburg
1735: Klausen; at the peace stationed at Monzon
1741: Army of Bohemia; Prague, Piseck, Frauenberg
1743 February; returned to France
1744: At St Quentin then in Flanders
1745: Battle of Fontenoy
1746: Brussels; battle of Rocoux
1747: Battle of Lauffeld
1748: Siege of Maastricht
1749: Vesoul
1751: Belfort then Valenciennes
1753: At the camp of Aimeries-sur-Sambres
1754: Limoges
1756: Strasbourg
1757: On the right wing at the battle of Hastenbeck July 26th.
1758: At the battle of Krefeld on the right wing of the first line
1759: With the main army under Contades and at Minden August 1st. Heavy losses at Minden and so sent to the rear afterwards.
1761: Reformed the 1st December; reorganised at Gray the 1st April
1763: Incorporated the regiment of Montcalm

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Update on the Prussian hussar guidons...

I had hoped today to post some of Willz Harley's pictures of his troops with my flags and other things besides but the humid heat here has been too much. But, to show willing, here is a snapshot of the completed Prussian hussar guidons. I still have to do the uniforms and text before they can be posted on the blog but, if anyone is desperate to use them (or some or any of them) with their hussars, please send me a message via the Contact Form in the left column and I can email them to you. This will not be immediately, though, as we have another day of foul humid heat plus two nights to survive. Hopefully normal service will be resumed if we do survive until Wednesday! (And yes - the guidons are not in order in the snapshot - you can blame the heat for that too... ;-))

Friday, 15 July 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Infantry Regiment 14 von Lehwaldt

This is another Prussian flag set which fills in one of the remaining gaps in my coverage; once I complete IRs 15 and 16 I shall have done the complete sweep from IRs 1 to 43! There are some after 43 still to do after that but not many...


Chef: 17th August 1738 to 1768: Colonel Johann von Lehwaldt, later Field Marshal

Descended from a regiment first raised in 1626.

In the Seven Years War it was another regiment which fought almost exclusively against the Russians. In 1757 the regiment was stationed in East Prussia with the force under its 73 year old chef Field Marshal von Lehwaldt and fought on August 31st at the bloody battle of Gross-Jägersdorf. After the infantry attack faltered von Lehwaldt, having had two horses shot out from under him, grabbed an infantry flag and tried to lead the infantry forward again but in vain. After the Russians withdrew from East Prussia IR 14 went with the remaining Corps to take on the Swedes in Near Pomerania.

In 1758 it was part of Count Dohna's Pomeranian Corps and went to join the King's army at Alt-Güstebiese and crossed the Oder to meet the Russians. At the battle of Zorndorf it was on the right wing, which was held back at first but was then attacked by a large body of Russian cavalry. (Duffy Army of Frederick the Great 1st Edition (henceforth AFG1) gives the losses of IR14 as around 30%.) The bloody and ferocious battle ended with a stalemate, and with each army curiously occupying the position the other had held at the beginning of the battle. After the battle IR14 remained encamped with the Corps at Blumenberg, across from the Russians.

On July 23rd 1759 the regiment was with Wedell at the defeat of Kej (or Paltzig); the army failed to capture the Paltzig Heights held by the Russians. Each element of the Prussian army was crushed in turn by the well-emplaced Russians. On August 12th, three weeks later, IR14 fought at Kunersdorf in Finck's Corps, which attacked the Russo-Austrian position from the north. It lost 35 officers and 717 men attacking the Mühlberg and Kuh-Grund. (AFG1 gives the losses of IR14 as around 40%.) In early September it was part of the attempt to secure Saxony against much superior enemy forces. Then it was sent as part of Finck's Corps to hold a position at Maxen, where it was overwhelmed by a force three times its strength on November 20th. Even though it was one of the last Prussian regiments to hold out against the Austrian attack, along with IRs 21 and 29, the regiment remained one of those despised by the King for the rest of his reign. The remnants of the regiment went to Pomerania to join Stutterheim's Corps where it was refilled with recruits from Mecklenburg. Under the Duke of Württemberg it took part in the defence of Berlin from October 5th to 9th and then spent the winter in Mecklenburg. It was at Kolberg from June to mid-December 1761. Dorn and Engelmann claim its final action was at Freiberg in 1762 under Prince Heinrich but I can find no trace of it in any OOB for the battle.

And this was the musketeer uniform in 1756:

Sunday, 10 July 2022

Snapshot of Progress On The Prussian Hussar Guidons - Updated

Prussian hussars stopped carrying guidons sometime in the 1740s (I have variously seen the years 1743 and 1746 quoted) (although during the Seven Years War Hussar Regiment 5, the Black or Death Hussars, was allowed to carry two captured French standards, those of Polleresky Hussars and Royal Cravattes). As all cavalry units on the wargames table look a good deal more attractive with flags (well, in my opinion, anyway!), I decided to do the guidons of the then existing 6 regiments of Prussian hussars. This is a snapshot of progress on those guidons. I still have the sleeves and the reverse of the guidons to complete.

Eventually I hope to see Seven Years War Prussian hussar regiments on the wargames table carrying these guidons, in defiance of regulations!

As so often, I am working on many small or large flag projects behind the scenes and this gives a glimpse of one of them.

Update: And here's a sample sheet, showing the guidons of Hussar Regiment 6 in pretty much complete form:

It will take some time to complete and post all the guidons; people tell me they like some history and a uniform plate with my flags and that will be fairly time-consuming to do!

Saturday, 9 July 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Infantry Regiment 11 von Below (later von Rebentisch and then von Tettenborn)

Chefs: Major General Lorenz Ludwig von Below, later Lieutenant General from 4th December 1749; Major General Johann Carl, Baron von Rebentisch from 12th September 1758; Major General Hans von Tettenborn,  later Lieutenant General from 25th July 1763 to 1776

First raised 1685-7.

In the Seven Years War this was another regiment which largely saw action against the Russians. As part of Field Marshal von Lehwaldt's Corps it first saw action on August 1st 1757. The battle of Gross-Jägersdorf was lost in the brutal forest fighting in Norkitten Wood but the retreat was fairly orderly. The grenadiers had very heavy casualties. After the Russians withdrew the regiment was sent with its grenadiers to Near Pomerania to tackle the Swedes landing there; in April 1758 they prevented an attempted Swedish landing at Peenemünde. In January and February of that year the Russians again occupied East Prussia. However, the regiment remained with the Pomeranian Corps, commanded by Count Dohna, to hold off the Swedes until the Russians arrived. It was eventually sent to Frankfurt an der Oder in late July, as the Russians had already attacked Küstrin.

At the battle of Zorndorf, 25th August 1758, a massive Russian cavalry attack on the right wing threw the regiment into a panic; it had already endured two hours of artillery bombardment. Ultimately the regiment lost 19 officers and 707 men, as well as losing the King's approval. General von Rautter and Major General von Below, the regiment's chef, were both immediately dismissed. In 1773 the King held a review of each company of the regiment at Graudenz. There he told the officers: "You know the reason why I was dissatisfied with the regiment." Major von Reibnitz replied: "Yes, Your Majesty but I was shot through the body [at Zorndorf] and many were fatally wounded!" The King said: "Yes, a few of you are still here. If you promise to lead the regiment well... I'll forget everything. Will you promise that?" They all exclaimed: "Yes, Yes, Your Majesty!" So the King replied: "Very well, I won't think about it again. I'll forget everything."

In 1759 the grenadiers were at Kay on July 23rd suffering relatively few casualties but on August 12th lost 263 men at Kunersdorf. The regiment was captured at Maxen on November 20th with Finck's Corps. It was restored with difficulty to one battalion in 1760, took part in the defence of Breslau from 31st July to August 4th and then in the siege of Schweidnitz from August 8th to October 10th, its last major operation of the war.

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Friday, 1 July 2022

French Cavalry Standard - Royal Piémont

First raised Turin 1670 by the Duke of Savoy. Given to Louis XIV 1671. Became Royal Piémont 6th May 1671.

Campaigns and Stations:

1727: On the Sambre
1730-2: On the Sâone
1734: Italy
1735: Bayeux
1741: Army of the Rhine
1742: In Bohemia
1744: Provence
1745, 1748: Flanders
1749: Maubeuge
1750: Joigny
1751; Charleville
1752: Bourges
1754: Belfort
1755: On the Moselle
1757: Hanover
1758: June 23rd Battle of Krefeld; October 10th Battle of Lutterberg
1759: Évreux
1760: Arrived too late for the battle of Corbach; but on October 16th was at the battle of Klostercamp where, with Balincourt Cavalry, it fought a rearguard action against British cavalry which gave the French infantry time to rally and make a successful withdrawal
1761: Westhofen
1763: Rocroi, where it incorporated the regiment of Talleyrand April 11th

And this was probably the uniform in 1756:

Thursday, 30 June 2022

French Cavalry Standard - Royal Cavalry (and Royal Étranger and Royal Roussillon Cavalry)

First raised 16th May 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu. Took the title Royal in 1642 and given to the King by the Cardinal in 1643.

Note: Royal Étranger and Royal Roussillon Cavalry carried identical standards, according to Pierre Charrié. Between 1725 and 1762, so did Royal de Carabiniers.

Campaigns and Stations:

1719: In Spain
1727: Richemont
1732: Gray
1733-4: On the Rhine
1741-2: In Bohemia; retreated February 1743 and refitted at Colmar
1744-8: In Flanders
1749: Neuchatel
1750: Avesnes
1751; Rennes
1754: Sedan
1756: Soissons
1757: Three campaigns in Hanover
1761: Incorporates Vogué Cavalry 1st December
1763: Reorganised 19th April at Guise

And this was probably the uniform in 1756:

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Flags and uniform of Prussian Infantry Regiment 4 von Kalnein (later von Rautter, then von Kleist, then von Thadden)

Chefs: 30th October 1745 Major General Carl Erhard von Kalnein, later Lieutenant General; 14th October 1757 Major General Carl Friedrich von Rautter; 20th September 1758 G F von Kleist to 27th January 1761; to 8th June 1774 Major General Georg Reinhold von Thadden, later Governor in Glatz

First raised 1672

In the Seven Years War it served almost entirely against the Russians. It was in the Corps under the command of Field Marshal von Lehwaldt which had the task of securing East Prussia; as an East Prussian regiment it was therefore defending its homeland. The East Prussian troops had been mobilised in February 1757. The Russians under Field Marshal Count Apraxin crossed the border on August 1st 1757 and joined the corps of Count Fermor west of Insterburg, to a total of 55,000 men with 79 guns. 73 year old Lehwaldt had 26,000 men with 20 heavy guns. He planned to attack the Russians from the south on August 30th in an attempt to push them back to the Pregel. The Prussians surprised the Russians at the edge of the Norkitten Forest and the regiment helped drive the Russians back into the forest, losing 78 men and the commander of the grenadier battalion (4/16), Johann Dietrich von Polentz. The musketeer battalions became isolated in the smoke and thick woodland, losing heavily; in the confusion some Prussian battalions were firing into each other. Lehwaldt finally withdrew his battered army from the field, having lost 4,000 men. The victorious Russians were even more disorganised and had lost more heavily, with their supply arrangements in disarray. Both armies evacuated East Prussia.

The next year in August a larger Russian army was at the Oder at Zorndorf, led by Count Fermor, a better commander than Apraxin. The First Battalion of IR4 was in the left wing commanded by Lieutenant General von Kanitz. The grenadier battalion was commanded by Major von Kleist and on the left wing in the advance guard. The left wing attacked first. The grenadier battalion, after attacking a Russian artillery battery, being involved in an attack against the Russian counter-attack then in the afternoon facing the Russian cavalry attack, suffered 28 dead including the commander, 206 wounded and 176 missing or captured and thus lost two-thirds of its strength. (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition (henceforth Duffy AFG1) actually shows around 80% casualties for the grenadiers at Zorndorf.) It was relegated to defending a bridge in Schwedt/Oder. Kanitz's wing veered off to the right and ploughed into the centre of the Russian army, counter to the plan of attack, having initial success but then being routed by a flank attack. Several East Prussian regiments collapsed. Seydlitz led a cavalry attack that helped give the infantry a breather. But Frederick henceforth harboured a deep dislike of all East Prussian regiments including IR4. Eventually both armies separated and drew off to lick their wounds. (Duffy AFG1 shows around 75% casualties for IR4 1st Battalion at Zorndorf.)

In 1761 Major General von Thadden became chef; the regiment had lost its recruitment base and received poor replacements. On July 21st 1761 the regiment was involved in the attack at Burkersdorf and was able to redeem itself to some extent attacking the northern defences. Two Pour-le-merites were awarded in recognition.

Duffy AFG1 says of the regiment: "A poorish regiment, badly knocked about at Gross-Jägersdorf and Zorndorf. Of its Chefs, Rautter was disgraced for his performance at Zorndorf, while Thadden was known as a drunkard".

And this was the uniform in 1756:

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Flag of the Lübeck Burgerwehr in the 18th Century: Updated

This is an update, on which I have worked on and off for ages, of a flag template I posted way back in 2008. As a recent theme has been French militia flags I thought I'd post this one of a German city guard unit.

The Hanseatic Towns of Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg all had foot regiments dressed in Prussian-style uniforms but in red, with white facings and small clothes for Bremen and Lübeck. The uniform had blue cuffs and apparently no lapels for Hamburg. The Bremen grenadiers seem to have had grenadier caps with white metal and brass front plates, those of Lübeck with largely brass plates. Buttons were brass for Hamburg and tin for the other two. I don't know if this flag was actually carried by the Lübeck infantry regiment or a separate burger militia unit as information seems scarce.

These are Lübeck grenadiers of the 18th century by Knötel:


And this is a Knötel plate of the uniforms of some of the Hamburg troops in 1755: