Two years ago in Part 1 of this series, I profiled some auxiliary units from the Holy Roman Empire that were either raised under contract to serve with the Austrian Army or in the Saxons’ case, were placed under Austrian command following the wholesale surrender of the rest of their army. Since then I’ve covered a few more such regiments, as well as a heap of Reichsarmee regiments.
This time I’ve got some more freshly-painted auxiliary units, namely the Würzburg ‘Blue’ Infantry Regiment and the Saxon Carabiniersgarde Regiment, but first I’m going to revisit a couple of previously-profiled units that have recently received a revamp:
Above: I profiled the Mainz ‘Lamberg’ Regiment in detail in Part 5, so I won’t go over the details of uniform, etc again. The reason I’m posting them again is that I’ve changed the flags to improved versions designed by David Morfitt, creator of the awesome Not By Appointment blog.
As discussed in the original article, this flag design is completely hypothetical as nothing whatsoever is currently known about the flags of any Mainz regiments. My first set of flags for this regiment were downloaded from the venerable Warflag website, but David’s new version is drawn with a much higher level of detail and is textured to suggest rippling silk. He’s also produced two versions of the blue-striped kompaniefahne; the first matches the original version, with the eagle on the obverse and a wreathed cypher on the reverse, while the second has the eagle on both sides. I’ve gone for the version with the eagle on both sides (I like eagles!).
Above: If you’re looking for a source of free SYW flags to print yourself, Not By Appointment should be your first port of call! Thus far he has almost all Prussian infantry regimental flags on there, plus a few Prussian cavalry regiments, Austrian infantry flags (including lots of spectacular pre-Maria Theresa flags that were still being carried in the 1740s), a ton of French infantry and cavalry flags, a selection of Reichsarmee, Imperial, Spanish and Modenese flags and lots more besides.
I should add that the Mainz-Lamberg flags aren’t on his blog yet, but should appear very soon. He posted them as an aside on the Seven Years War Wargaming Facebook page while discussing the flags of the Reichsarmee’s ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment, which are on his blog.
Above: Another Imperial auxiliary regiment to recently get a new flag is the II. Battalion of the Pfalz (i.e. the Palatinate) Garde-Regiment zu Fuß, which I profiled in Part 4. This regiment was hired for service with the Austrian army, but soon found itself posted to the Reichsarmee, to make up the shortfall in the Upper Saxon District (Obersachsischen-Kreis) contingent.
Above: This new flag comes from the superb range of uniform plates and flags designed by Frédéric Aubert of Ad Hoc Éditions. This flag is the 1760-63 Ordinärfahne. The Pfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment is visible in the background, again using Frédéric’s flags (I’ll profile these in a later article). The I. Battalion of the Garde zu Fuß (which remained on garrison duty throughout the war) would have carried a Leibfahne (white flag) identical to the one being carried by the ‘Effern’ Regiment in the background. My original Pfalz flags were based on a written description of the flag design, but Frédéric has gone to remarkable lengths to find the actual designs for not only these flags, but also the radically different 1756-1759 pattern, which would have been carried by the Pfalz Auxiliary Corps fighting with the French from 1758-1759.
Above: And so to the new regiments, starting with the Würzburg ‘Blue’ (Blau-Würzburg) Infantry Regiment. As discussed in Part 1, this was one of two excellent regiments raised by the Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg to serve as auxiliaries with the Austrian Army; the first being the ‘Red’ Regiment (Rot-Würzburg) and this being the second. Both regiments consisted of two strong battalions (each of six companies) and two detached grenadier companies, for a total of around 1,800 men per regiment.
Rot-Würzburg were the first regiment to be raised and were immediately sent to join the Mainz-Lamberg Regiment in the Prague Garrison. They went on to fight with the Austrian field armies, finding fame in their heroic, doomed defence of Leuthen Church. Blau-Würzburg meanwhile, instead of serving with an Austrian field army, initially found themselves defending the Reichsarmee’s recruiting grounds against Prussian raiders. They were then sent as part of Austria’s contribution to the Reichsarmee as it joined with Marshal Soubise’s French army for the re-conquest of Saxony. However, on 5th November 1757 the combined Franco-Imperial army was smashed by Frederick’s Prussians at the Battle of Rossbach. As the army collapsed around them, only two regiments stood firm against the marauding Prussians; the Hessen-Darmstädt ‘Prinz Georg’ Regiment and the Blau-Würzburg Regiment. These two regiments were singled out for praise by Soubise in his dispatches following the battle.
Above: After Rossbach, the Blau-Würzburg Regiment continued to serve with the Reichsarmee, consistently maintaining its reputation as a solid regiment when so many other regiments failed in their duties. In 1760 the Rot-Würzburg Regiment (along with Mainz-Lamberg) were also assigned to support the Reichsarmee and so both Würzburg regiments fought at the Combat of Strehla, though they served in different corps. Petty rivalries and animosity between the two regiments may have been a factor in keeping the two regiments apart, though in 1761 they had to set those animosities aside.
Both regiments had suffered heavy attritional losses in four years of war and Blau-Würzburg was now reduced to a single battalion and grenadier company, with Rot-Würzburg faring little better. The Prince-Bishop of Würzburg was therefore forced to amalgamate the two regiments. The amalgamated regiment consisted of one field battalion and grenadier company from each former regiment, plus a depot battalion drawn from Rot-Würzburg and was officially titled ‘Imperial Würzburg’ or Kaiserlisch-Würzburg. The field battalions were designated as 1st & 3rd Battalions, while the depot battalion was designated as the 2nd Battalion. Some sources refer to the regiment having three battalions in the field, but this may be caused by the curious 3rd Battalion designation of the second field battalion.
On 29th October 1762, the Kaiserlisch-Würzburg Regiment fought with the Reichsarmee at the last great battle of the war, at Freiburg. Although a defeat for the Austrian-Imperial army, many previously-disgraced Reichsarmee regiments finally redeemed themselves at Freiburg. However, the Kaiserlisch-Würzburg Regiment suffered terrible losses (almost 500 men). After Freiburg it was decided to send the regiment as part of a small corps to the Austrian Netherlands, to seize the small Prussian enclaves in Westphalia. However, the war ended before that plan could be enacted and the regiment was disbanded in 1763.
Above: The uniform of the Blau-Würzburg Regiment consisted of Austrian-style white coat and smallclothes, with dark blue lapels, cuffs, linings and shoulder-strap and no collar or lace. Buttons were white metal. Neck-stocks were red. Hats had white lace and pompoms and black cockades. Grenadiers wore bearskins with a blue bag, piped white. Officers had silver hat-lace and yellow sashes. Drummers had the same coat, though with dark blue swallows’-nests at the shoulders.
There are however, some variations in sources, such as the Becher Manuscript (shown here on the right), which shows white coat-linings (shown at the tail-turnbacks), black neck-stocks and no hat pompoms. Other sources show blue-over-white pompoms.
Above: I must confess that my second ‘new’ regiment, the Saxon Carabiniersgarde Regiment, is already in my collection, courtesy of my late friend Doug, as described in Part 1. I did say then that I wouldn’t dishonour them by replacing them and I still won’t… They’re going off to a well-deserved retirement… That’s what I tell myself, anyway (sorry Doug!)… What happened was that I really wanted a full twelve-figure unit and I had twelve Austrian cuirassiers spare… 🙁
Above: Saxony was very quickly knocked out of the war by Frederick’s invasion of 1756, with the Saxon Army being conscripted en masse into the Prussian Army. However, a number of regiments remained within Saxon-ruled Poland and the King of Saxony placed a number of these under Austrian command, namely the Carabiniersgarde, the Graf Renard Uhlans, the Graf Rudnicki Uhlans, the Graf Brühl Chevauxlégers, the Prinz Carl Chevauxlégers and the Prinz Albrecht Chevauxléxlegers.
As described in Part 1, the Carabiniersgarde Regiment was one of two Saxon guard cuirassier regiments, the other being the Garde du Corps. It had been assigned to the Warsaw Garrison since 1754 and therefore escaped the surrender of the main Saxon Army at Pirna in 1756. At full ‘paper’ strength the regiment had 514 men organised into four squadrons, though the contingent sent to join Marshal Daun’s Austrian army in Bohemia initially had only around 350 men organised into two squadrons, hence why Doug only did a small eight-figure unit. I did speculate in Part 1 that the rest were possibly kept back to garrison Warsaw, but from further reading it’s clear that the remaining two squadrons did march to join the advance-party, as all four squadrons are listed in later battles and the strength had risen to over 800 men (well above ‘paper’ strength) by 1759.
Pedants’ Corner: Marco Pagan, in his two-volume work on the Saxon Army, Between Scylla & Charybdis, spells the regimental title as Karabiniersgarde/Carabiniersgarde with an ‘s’ in the middle of the word, so I’ve gone with that.
Above: On campaign the Carabiniersgarde typically wore a pale straw coller (also called a collet or ledercoller), being a tight-fitting buckskin coat with short tails, very much like the style of coat worn by Austrian and especially Prussian cuirassiers. A red waistcoat was worn beneath the coller. A black-enameled cuirass edged with red cloth, was worn over the coller, being secured at the back with white straps. The coller had red cuffs, pale straw shoulder-straps and a strip of red-white-red lace down the edge of both front-seams, which then continued around the edge of the otherwise pale straw turnbacks.
In full dress and/or cold weather, a voluminous white top-coat was worn over the coller and cuirass. This had a red collar, cuffs, linings and turnbacks. I’ve used two officer figures wearing the white top-coat over their cuirass, which helps to make the unit look a little less ‘Prussian’. Kronoskaf says that the buttons were pewter, but this seems to be at odds with the general ‘yellow metal’ theme and other sources say brass. Officers had gold buttonhole lace on the breast and cuffs of the top-coat, as well as gold lace edging to the coller and waistcoat and gold decoration on the cuirass. NCOs had gold edging to their cuffs. The whole regiment had metallic gold lace edging on its hats, which were further decorated with white cockades and red corner-rosettes. Belts were white, scabbards were black with brass fittings and horse-furniture was red, edged with narrow strips of red and yellow lace (all gold for officers). Trumpeters wore reversed colours, heavily decorated with lace on the breast and sleeves.
I took the flag from the Kronoskaf article and printed it off. However, I’ve just bought Frédéric’s new set of Saxon flags, so may well replace it with his version.
That’s it for now! I’m just in the process of finishing off my Reichsarmee and starting Kleist’s Freikorps for the Prussians, so there’s plenty more SYW stuff to come, including a Strehla refight in April, when the massed Reichsarmee will finally get onto the table! 🙂 I’ve also got a couple of AWI game reports to come, including last Saturday’s refight of Brandywine. No spoilers, but once again I’m left wondering if this is perhaps the hobby for me…?