Saturday 24 June 2023

The '45: Flag of Fraser Regiment commanded by Charles Fraser of Inverallochy

The regiment was raised in the Fraser lands in October 1745 after much "shilly shally stuff" (as Christopher Duffy calls it) by its notorious chief Simon Fraser of Lovat. It was 500 strong (with the Chisholms) at Falkirk and 400 strong at Culloden, where it was stationed on the right centre of the front line. The acting commander Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Fraser the Younger of Inverallochy was possibly killed at Culloden - and possibly not (according again to Christopher Duffy).

The arms are those of Charles Fraser of Inverallochy, not the Lovat arms; this is taken from the reconstruction by Stuart Reid, based on the short description of a flag captured at Culloden and included in the list of captured flags of Hu Wentworth. There were three regiments of Frasers; the other two were commanded by the Master of Lovat and James Fraser of Foyers.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Rossbach French Flags Project: Flags of French Swiss Regiment Planta

Here is another missing regiment from my Rossbach project.

First raised in 1677 as Regiment Stuppa. It subsequently had many name changes: Surbeck 1692, Hemel 1714, Bezenwald 1729, La Cour Au Chantre 1738, Grand-Villars 1748, Balthazard 1749, Planta 1754, D'Arbonier 1760, Jenner 1763

In 1756 the regiment ranked 63rd and was of two battalions.

The flags of this regiment in the SYW are disputed; I have taken the Ordonnance flag design from the 1757 MS. Charrié also describes this flag as I have here depicted it.

My translation from Susane on Planta in the SYW:

In 1757 it was part of the Army of Germany; it marched to the Weser and found itself on 5th November at the battle of Rossbach where it suffered greatly. Lieutenant Colonel d'Arbonnier was wounded there and taken prisoner, as well as battalion commanders Jossaud and Arder, aide major Wielandt, captains Grenut, Affleger, Turtin, Gallatin, Bertenschalz, Bouscard, Faller and six lieutenants.

[Christopher Duffy says little of the conduct of Planta at the battle of Rossbach in his book Prussia's Glory; but there is a legend associated with them and Diesbach: "The two Swiss regiments [Diesbach and Planta] were like rocks in the swirling sea of fugitives and Prussians as they steadily carried out a fighting retreat. Frederick is said to have remarked, "What is that red brick wall that my artillery cannot manage to bring down?", and, being told it was the French Swiss infantry, he silently saluted them by doffing his hat as they marched off the field with colours flying and drums beating." Osprey Campaign 113 Rossbach and Leuthen 1757 by Simon Millar, page 35. There is no definitive evidence for this story but it is an attractive one!]

In 1758 the regiment, which had retreated to Dusseldorf, came under the command of the Comte de Clermont and on the 23rd June was at the battle of Krefeld. On the 13th April 1759 it was at the battle of Bergen where, placed in the orchards of the village, it received the first attack of the Allies. On the 1st of August, it fought also at Minden, where Captain Vespyel lost an arm. On the 31st July 1760 both Planta and the regiment of Touraine vied with each other in their courageous conduct at the affair of Warburg, and covered the retreat of the army with admirable order and intrepidity. After that battle it became d'Arbonnier and continued to serve in Germany up to the peace, always brilliantly upholding the honour of its flags. On returning to France the regiment went into garrison at Metz.

And this was the uniform in 1756: