Saturday 25 February 2023

Flags of French German Regiment Nassau

Originally of one battalion. Ranked 108th in 1753 but 110th in 1759.

First raised by the Prince of Nassau-Saarbrück 1st November 1745. The Prince had asked for the commission on behalf of his son Louis who was still too young and obtained a brevet the 4th February 1746 to command the regiment until his son was of age.

The regiment first saw action in 1746 at the sieges of Mons and Charleroi. It covered the operations of the siege of Namur and was then at the battle of Rocoux. On the 1st July 1747 it was at the battle of Lauffeld and increased to 3 battalions by an order of that date. In 1748 it was before Maastricht with Alsace. An Ordonnance of 1st February 1749 reduced it to two battalions.

In 1757 the regiment was ordered to join the Army of Germany. It arrived in Cologne at the end of April, fought at Hastenbeck and then went to Hanover with Marshal de Richelieu. It assisted in the taking of Minden and Hanover and then took part in the expeditions sent to Closterseven and Zell. Returning to the Rhine at the beginning of 1758, it stayed at Cologne where it was incorporated, by an Ordonnance of 20th March, with the regiment of Nassau-Usingen. That regiment, which had also been created on the 1st November 1745, but which had seniority, formed the 1st battalion of the new unit, whose command was given to Prince Louis of Nassau-Saarbrück, and took the title of Nassau.

Nassau remained at Cologne the whole of the 1758 campaigning season. The following year [1759] it was at the battle of Bergen in the ranks of the reserve. Raised to 3 battalions on the 18th January 1760 by the incorporation of the German regiment of Saint-Germain, it took part in the campaign in Hesse and took up winter quarters in Ziegenheim. Attacked in the month of February 1761 in this town, which the Allies almost destroyed with red hot cannonballs, they successfully held the place for three weeks and gave time for Marshal de Broglie to come to their rescue. Their valour was crowned with success; the enemy decamped on the 25th February.

Nassau was also distinguished again that year at the battle of Vellinghausen. It was part of the advance guard brigade commanded by Monsieur de Clozen and captured three enemy cannon. Colonel-Commandant the Baron de Zügmantel was praised for his conduct. Lieutenant-Colonel Oëh was similarly praised for his conduct at the combat of Osterode on the 2nd September. In 1762 the regiment served in the defence of Cassel which capitulated on the 1st November. It returned to France and on the 21st December was reduced to two battalions. At the peace of 1763 the regiment went into garrison at Metz.

[The above is my translation of the account of the regiment's history 1745-1763 in Susane Volume 7.]

And this was the uniform according to the manuscript of 1757:

Sunday 19 February 2023

The Reichsarmee: speculative flags of the Kurmainz Infantry Regiment

Disclaimer: As Kronoskaf points out, we have no information on the flags carried by this unit, so these flags are entirely speculative and versions can be found floating about on the Internet; the one with the cipher RK has been used by many wargamers but I have also provided a possibly more plausible version with the eagle represented on both sides of the regimental flag.

Kurmainz was created from drafts of men from at least 2 (and possibly 3) of the Mainz Infantry Regiments for the duration of the war. It was a strong regiment, of 4 battalions with 2 grenadier companies and 8 3-pounder guns. As a single contingent unit it was one of the best of the Reichsarmee units; Soubise in 1757 rated it as "good".

Cogswell in Zweybrücken In Command gives various tables listing the Kurmainz Regiment, which suggest that only 3 of the 4 battalions were in the field. In May 1758 the 4 battalions had a nominal strength of 2524 but an actual strength of 2260. From the end of March to the 19th April only 3 battalions are listed for Mainz and so it is for the rest of the campaign year of 1758. The 2 grenadier companies had around 200 men in total.

The regiment was lucky to avoid Rossbach in November 1757, as it was on detached duty on the Saale River. Kronoskaf says that as its original composition was diluted with raw recruits so the unit quality deteriorated and its performance was consequently erratic.

In 1758 the regiment served with the Reichsarmee in Bohermia and then Saxony; one battalion was in garrison in Erfurt.

In 1759 the regiment ran away with the rest of the Reichsarmee infantry at the battle of Zinna (or 1st Torgau) on Septemebr 8th; the only Reichsarmee unit to behave well that day was the consistently excellent battalion of Hessen-Darmstadt. Mainz was at Korbitz on September 21st and Maxen on November 20th, at neither of which does it seem to have performed any important duty.

In 1760 the regiment was at the messy and inconclusive combat of Strehla on August 20th. Later it participated in the defence of Dresden.

In 1761 it was in Saxony. Its moment of glory was at Freiberg on October 29th 1762; as part of the left flank division of Mayern it helped delay the Prussian attack by Seydlitz and Kleist for a considerable time (see Duffy, By Force Of Arms).

The regiment was disbanded in 1763.

This was the uniform in 1756: