‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 4): Reichsarmee Reinforcements

In my recent account of our refight of the Combat of Zinna, I mentioned that I had painted a few new Reichsarmee infantry units for the game.  Here they are in a bit more detail.

If you missed it, I covered my existing Reichsarmee in Part 2 and the Reichsarmee cavalry arm in Part 3.  As before, I’ll group them by Imperial District or Kreis:

Swabian District (Schwäbischen Kreis)

The Swabian District raised four infantry regiments (Fürstenberg, Alt-Württemberg, Baden-Baden and Baden-Durlach) and two cavalry regiments (Hohenzollern Cuirassiers and Württemberg Dragoons) for the Reichsarmee, as well as an artillery contingent.  Note that the Austrian Army also included Baden-Baden, Baden-Durlach and Württemberg Infantry Regiments, so it can sometimes be a little confusing when looking at orders of battle, to work out exactly which regiment was present; the Imperial regiment or the Austrian regiment. 

The Baden-Baden Infantry Regiment consisted of two battalions, each of five musketeer companies and a grenadier company.  There was also a regimental artillery detachment of two 3pdr guns.  At full strength, the regiment numbered 1,690 men though in the field was frequently rather weaker and the grenadier companies were always detached, sometimes being massed into grenadier battalions.  Consequently I’ve modelled the regiment’s battalions as ‘standard 12-figure units rather than large 16-figure units.  The French Marshal Soubise rated the regiment, like so many other Reichsarmee units, as ‘Poor’.

The uniforms of the Baden-Baden Regiment were Prussian in style and cut, consisting of an unlaced dark blue coat with white collar, lapels, linings and Swedish cuffs, dark blue shoulder-strap and yellow ‘metal’.  Smallclothes, hat-lace and belts were also white.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  Some sources describe gold or yellow officers’ sashes with red stripes.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies had the same uniforms with Austrian-style fur caps with blue bags and white piping.  I’ll be painting those later.

The Baden-Baden Regiment‘s colours are a matter of some debate.  The colours shown above date from before the 1730s, though MAY have been carried during the Seven Years War.  The Colonel’s Colour (above on the right) was white with the Arms of Baden on a crowned oval escutcheon, while the Company Colours were yellow with horizontal flames (from top to bottom) of black, black, red, white, red, black & black.  The obverse had a brown double-headed eagle with the Arms of Baden on its chest, while the reverse just had the Arms of Baden. 

However, there is evidence for a new Colour being issued in 1731, having a white field with six blue flames and a white double-headed eagle bearing the Arms of Swabia on both sides of the flag.  It isn’t clear if this was the Colonel’s Colour or a Company Colour and as there isn’t any more information available, I’ve stuck with the known colours.

Here’s another view of the Baden-Baden Regiment, showing the reverse of the colours.  I used Old Glory 15s Prussian Musketeers for this regiment and cut off their pompoms.  I printed off the flags using my own laser-printer and images of the flags from Kronoskaf.

The Baden-Durlach Infantry Regiment had exactly the same organisation as the Baden-Baden Regiment, consisting of two battalions, each of five musketeer companies and a (detached) grenadier company, plus a regimental gun detachment of two 3pdrs, for a theoretical total of 1,690 men.  However, one battalion spent the war on garrison duty at Ulm, so only one battalion and the two grenadier companies took to the field during the Seven Years War.  Again, Marshal Soubise rated the regiment as ‘Poor’.

The uniforms of the Baden-Durlach Regiment were again Prussian in style.  The unlaced coat was dark blue with red collar, lapels, shoulder-strap, linings and Swedish cuffs, with yellow ‘metal’.  Smallclothes, belts and hat-lace were white.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  The hats had white-over-blue pompoms.  Officers’ sashes are described as gold or yellow.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies were drawn from the standing Leib-Grenadiergarde Battalion and had a slightly different uniform with white, tasseled buttonhole lace, straw smallclothes and Prussian-style grenadier caps with brass front-plate, blue back, red band with yellow flames, white piping and red pompom.  Some sources show the front-plate as red cloth with brass badges or as brass, but pierced to reveal the red cloth backing.  Again, these are waiting to be painted.

As only one battalion of the Baden-Durlach Regiment went on campaign, I’ve given them two colours (my pre-existing Austrian, Prussian, Reichsarmee, Württemberg and Bavarian armies all have one flag per battalion, with the 1st Battalion of a regiment having the Colonel’s Colour and the 2nd Battalion having a Company Colour).  The Colonel’s Colour was white and on both sides had a black double-headed eagle, bearing the escutcheon of Baden on its breast.  The Company Colours were yellow with six horizontal flames.  From top to bottom these were black, red, orange, orange, red and black.  On the reverse it had the same black eagle as the Colonel’s Colour, but on the obverse had a more complex version of the Arms of Baden, supported on both sides by silver griffins.

For this regiment I again used Old Glory 15s Prussian Musketeer figures and printed off my own flags using the designs from Kronoskaf.

The Alt-Württemberg Füsilier Regiment comprised eight füsilier companies, two grenadier companies and a regimental gun detachment of two 3pdrs, for a total of 1,690 men.  However, only a single battalion of four füsilier companies, plus the two detached grenadier companies and the regimental guns went to war.  In 1757 they reported 963 men with the Reichsarmee and despite the disaster of Rossbach, that had increased to 984 men by 1758.  Marshal Soubise rated the regiment as ‘Average’ (rare praise!).

The uniforms of the Alt-Württemberg Regiment were again Prussian in style and cut.  The unlaced coat was dark blue with lemon-yellow collar, lapels, shoulder-straps and Swedish cuffs.  Linings, pocket-piping and cuff-flap piping were red.  ‘Metal’ was yellow.  There was also a white aiguillette at the right shoulder.  The smallclothes were lemon-yellow, though white breeches could be worn in summer.  Neck-stocks and gaiters were black.  Officers added gold buttonhole lace and had white/yellow/red sashes (silver replacing the white of senior officers’ sashes).

Parade headgear was a Prussian-style, lemon-yellow füsilier cap with metal front-plate and fittings.  Knötel depicted the metalwork as silver and Kronoskaf matches that description, but I strongly believe that they’ve misinterpreted the colouring of this 1782 plate (right).  My money is on brass metalwork, matching the button colour and the plates of the regiment’s grenadier caps (see below), so that’s what I’ve done (although it does have to be said that there were a couple of Württemberg regiments with grenadier caps that didn’t match the button colour).  As it happens, the regiment probably left its caps at home during the SYW and instead wore hats with white lace edging and black-over-yellow pompoms, but the caps do look spectacular and stand out as something ‘different’ on the Austro-Imperial side of the war.

The regiment’s detached grenadier companies wore Prussian-style grenadier caps with brass front-plates, yellow back, yellow band, yellow piping and black-over-yellow pompom.

The Colonel’s Colour of the Alt-Württemberg Regiment was white, with the crowned Arms of Württemberg in oval form on both sides.  This actually matches the Colonel’s Colour carried by the regiments of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps.  The Company Colours were yellow, with six horizontal flames.  From top to bottom these were black, black, white, sky-blue, black and black.  The reverse of the flag carried the same armorials as the Colonel’s Colour, while the obverse carried a brown double-headed eagle, with the Arms of Swabia on its breast. 

For this regiment I used Eureka Prussian Füsilier figures and again printed my own flags using images from Kronoskaf.

Upper Saxon District (Obersachsischen-Kreis)

Upper Saxony was one of the weakest districts of the Holy Roman Empire and ordinarily would be required to provide only 3,500 foot to the Reichsarmee.  However, even this number proved impossible to raise, as when Frederick immediately knocked Saxony out of the war in 1756 that immediately deprived the district of most of its manpower and funds.  Further problems were caused by the fact that a significant number of Saxon Duchies were sympathetic to the Prussian cause.  Raids by Prussian frei-corps also disrupted recruitment.  Consequently, the Saxon Duchies only managed to raise the Ernestinisch-Sachen Infantry Regiment of 1,218 men in two battalions and the tiny Sachsen-Gotha Dragoon Regiment of only 222 men in two squadrons (not to be confused with the Austrian dragoon regiment of the same name) and this meagre force wasn’t ready to take to the field until late 1758.

To make up the shortfall in the district’s contribution to the Reichsarmee, Austria transferred two Pfalz (Palatinate) units that were serving under contract in Austrian pay; the II. Battalion of the Garde-Regiment zu Fuss and the Leib-Dragoner-Regiment ‘Kurfürstin’.  Pfalz was already making its own contribution to the Electoral Rhenish District (Kurrheinisch-Kreis) in the form of the ‘Effern’ Infantry Regiment and Kurpfalz Cuirassier Regiment.  Pfalz also had a contract to supply an Auxiliary Corps of ten battalions to France, though the contract with France was terminated on 1st January 1759.

The Pfalz Garde-Regiment zu Fuss had actually started the war in 1756 as the Garde-Grenadier-Regiment of two battalions, all dressed in Prussian-style grenadier caps.  However, in 1757 the regiment was expanded to three battalions, swapped the mitre caps for Austrian-style fur caps and had its title changed changed to Garde-Regiment zu Fuss.  The sources become very confused at this point… Some suggest that the entire regiment wore fur caps, while others state five musketeer companies (140 men each) and one grenadier company (100 men) per battalion, while another sources says two grenadier companies per battalion (the rest having had their grenadier caps taken away) and yet another says that the three battalions had only 1,000 men between them.

The regiment eventually sent its II. Battalion to war in 1758, including a single grenadier company and a battalion gun detachment with two 4pdrs, totaling 661 men.  The grenadier company was detached and served in a few battles as part of ad hoc grenadier battalions (I’ll paint these later).

Given the degree of confusion between sources, my massive stash of spare Austrian grenadiers and my general shamelessness, I’ve decided to dress this battalion in bearskins…

The Pfalz Garde-Regiment zu Fuss wore blue coats with red lapels, linings, shoulder-straps and Swedish cuffs and no collar.  Buttons were yellow metal and white buttonhole lace was worn on the lapels, cuffs and pockets.  Smallclothes and waist-belts were white.  The cross-belt is described variously as white or straw-coloured.  The musketeer hats had white laced with blue-over-white pompoms, while the bearskins had red bags with white piping and brass front-plates.  Officers had gold buttonhole lace and sashes in white (or silver) and blue.

Pfalz colours tended to be very ornate and a full description is given on Kronoskaf.  As only the II. Battalion was deployed, I’ve only given them a Company Colour, as the Colonel’s Colour would have stayed at home with the I. Battalion.  The colour shown is a post-1760 Company Colour by Maverick Models Flags.  The design is the same on both sides.  The field colour is open to some debate (blue or yellow), but Maverick have gone for the yellow option.  Prior to 1760 the colour was a lot plainer, having a blue field without the chequered border.  The central device was the cypher of Elector-Palatine Carl IV Theodor, with wreathed cyphers in the corners.

For this regiment I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Grenadier figures.

That’s it for now!  Lots more SYW stuff to come, as in addition to the Reichsarmee I’ve been painting a lot of Prussians, Austrians, British and Hanoverians.  The Bohemian Campaign is also raging on and I finally managed to get my French and British-Hanoverian-Hessian-Schaumburg-Lippe armies on the table for a game.

This entry was posted in 15mm Figures, Eighteenth Century, Painted Units, Seven Years War & War of Austrian Succession, Seven Years War Minor German States, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.