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: