‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 8): More Reichsarmee Units

In the unlikely event that there is still someone reading this who isn’t now sick to the back teeth of all things Reichsarmee, here are some more painted units! 😀  Rest assured that they’re all finished now and it’ll soon be over (I finished painting the last Reichsarmee unit last night)…

As posted last time, I managed to get most of my Reichsarmee on to the table recently, for our refight of the Combat of Strehla.  However, a few units weren’t deployed at Strehla, so there will soon be a Grand Imperial Parade showing the entire Reichsarmee en masse, as well as the individual Kreis-contingents.

In the meantime, here are some of the most recently-painted units.  As before, I’ll group them by Imperial ‘Circle’ (Kreis).

Above:  However, before I look at the newly-painted units, here are some cavalry units I painted last year.  As discussed in Part 3, I had to give them temporary Austrian flags, as there weren’t any suitable flags commercially available and there was insufficient information to allow me to paint them.  However, that’s all changed now with Frédéric Aubert’s superb Ad Hoc Editions range of flags and uniform plates.  The regiments from left to right above are the Kurpfalz Cuirassiers, Ansbach Dragoons and Bayreuth Cuirassiers.  Frédéric does all the squadron standard options for each regiment, so I’ve just picked the standard I liked best for each regiment (the white Leibstandarte for the Kurpfalz Cuirassiers and Ansbach Dragoons and a red Eskadronstandarte for the Bayreuth Cuirassiers).

Electoral Rhenish District (Kurrheinischen Kreis)

The Electoral Rhine or Kurrhein, comprising the territories of the Prince-Elector-Palatine of Pfalz (‘The Palatinate’) and the Elector-Archbishops of Mainz, Trier and Köln (Cologne), was the richest and strongest contingent of the Reichsarmee (not including the Austrian contribution).  However, prior to this latest batch, I’d only painted the Kurtrier Regiment (shown in Part 2) and the Kurpfalz Cuirassiers (shown in Part 3), so there were quite a few units left to paint for this contingent, starting with the largest; the Kurmainz Infantry Regiment.

Kurmainz IR Grenadier (Becher)

Above:  As discussed in Part 5, the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz was somewhat more military-minded than most and was contracted to provide the Austrian Army with a regiment of auxiliary infantry, the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment (also sometimes known as the ‘Mainz-Lamberg’ or ‘Mainz’ Regiment).  The ‘Lamberg’ Regiment was not a part of the Reichsarmee, though was eventually assigned to the Reichsarmee as part of Austria’s contribution.  The Archbishop’s ‘proper’ contribution to the Reichsarmee was the Kreis-Infanterie-Regiment ‘Kurmainz’, as shown here.  A number of books, orders of battle and accounts do often confuse the two regiments (e.g. referring to the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment as ‘Kurmainz’), so it pays to be wary.

Prior to the war, Mainz had a small standing army, consisting of a company of a dragoons, a small artillery corps and seven infantry battalions, divided between four regiments (‘Wildenstein’, ‘Preyss’, ‘Hagen’ and ‘Riedt’), for a peacetime total of 5,202 men.  However, these units were not sent to war.  Instead they served as cadres from which the new regiments would be formed.  The ‘Lamberg’ Regiment therefore took personnel from the ‘Wildenstein’ and ‘Riedt’ Regiments, while the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment was raised from the ‘Wildenstein’, ‘Riedt’ and ‘Hagen’ Regiments.

Kurmainz IR Grenadier (Knötel)

While the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment was organised along Austrian lines with two six-company battalions and two grenadier companies, the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment was organised rather differently, with four four-company battalions and two grenadier companies (plus eight 3pdr battalion guns), for a total strength of 2,246 men.  That equates to roughly 500 men per battalion, as opposed to over 800 men per battalion in the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment.  I’ve therefore organised the battalions as ‘normal’ 12-figure units, as opposed to ‘large’ 16-figure units like the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment.  There is however, some evidence to suggest that one of the four battalions remained in Erfurt as a garrison/depot battalion, but various orders of battle refer to four battalions in the field, so I’ve painted all four battalions.

Given that the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment, like the ‘Lamberg’ Regiment, was raised from pre-war regular troops, you’d be forgiven for expecting them to be an effective unit, like the excellent ‘Lamberg’ Regiment.  The French Marshal Soubise certainly thought so in 1757, when he rated them as ‘Good’.  However, in 1759 the entire regiment broke and ran during its first battle at Zinna.

Above:  The only sources for the uniforms of the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment are a plate from the Becher Manuscript (shown above) and two works by Richard Knōtel; a plate from his Grosse Uniformenkunde and a cigarette card (also shown above), both of which were probably based on the Becher plate.  These all show a white coat with green cuffs, lapels and turnbacks, brass buttons, no lace, a green waistcoat, straw breeches and white belts.  Beyond that it’s all guesswork and that includes the flags, about which nothing is known.  I’ve used Eureka Miniatures Austrian figures, with hypothetical flags by Not By Appointment.  Frédéric also does a very different and interesting hypothetical version of the regiment’s flags in his Reichsarmee set, being far more heraldic in nature.

Above:  To add just a little confusion, the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment, due to initially having Johann Georg Baron von und zu Wildenstein as its Colonel and can also be confused with the pre-war Mainz ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment or even the Kurköln ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment, which had a different member of the Wildenstein clan as its Colonel!  Wildenstein didn’t stay with the regiment for very long, as he was promoted in 1757 to Generallieutenant and placed in command of the entire Kurrhein contingent.  As shown in Part 2, I painted Wildenstein during my ‘first wave’ of SYW troops in the 1990s.  He’s an Old Glory 15s Austrian general figure and is wearing his regimental uniform (Reichsarmee generals initially wore their regimentals, but were soon ordered to wear standard Austrian general officers’ uniforms in order to avoid confusion).

Above:  Pfalz or ‘The Palatinate’ possessed by far the most powerful standing army of the Kurrhein, consisting of nine infantry regiments (each of two battalions), a cuirassier regiment, a dragoon regiment and a permanent squadron of cavalry for Imperial service, plus the usual artillery corps and company of horse guards.  However, Pfalz was only required to provide a single infantry regiment of two battalions, a regiment of cavalry and a small artillery contingent to the Reichsarmee.  The Elector-Palatine had some other deals on the side; he had a contract to provide France with an Auxiliary Corps of ten battalions, Austria paid for the use of a single battalion of the Pfalz Garde zu Fuss and also later hired a regiment of dragoons.

Above:  As part of its contribution to the Reichsarmee, Pfalz assigned one of its regular infantry regiments, namely the ‘Effern’ Regiment.  This regiment comprised two grenadier companies and two battalions, each of five companies, plus a pair of 4pdr battalion guns, for a total strength of 1,145 men.  However, the regiment seems to have rarely, if ever reached its full strength and by the end of 1761 it was down to half that number.  The French Marshal Soubise rated the ‘Effern’ Regiment as ‘Average’, though the Pfalz troops were anecdotally regarded as badly-disciplined, especially among the local population when off the battlefield.  The Pfalz Auxiliary Corps assigned to the French was also poorly-regarded and their contract was cancelled at the end of 1758.

Pfalz ‘Effern’ IR (Knötel)

Above:  The uniforms of the Pfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment are described in numerous sources, almost none of which agree with each other!  They certainly had blue coats, though Pengel & Hurt suggest light blue, perhaps influenced by the pale shade used by Richard Knötel in his cigarette card painting of the regiment (shown on the right).  Everyone else says dark blue coats.  Collar, cuffs and smallclothes were white, though sources disagree over whether the tail-turnbacks were white or red.  I arbitrarily went with red, as my other two regiments with white facings (Swabian ‘Baden-Baden’ IR and Franconian ‘Cronegk’ IR have white turnbacks).  Buttons were variously described as yellow or white metal (I went with yellow) and belts are described as pale straw or white (I went with white).  All sources agree that the regiment’s hat-lace was white and scalloped, while pompoms were light blue over white.

These are Old Glory 15s Prussian infantry figures (with one or two Eureka command figures) and the lovely flags are by Ad Hoc Editions.  Ad Hoc do two versions of the flags and I’ve gone with the 1760 Pattern flags, as the ‘Effern’ Regiment did most of its fighting later in the war.  For the Pfalz Auxiliary Corps fighting with the French I’d need to use the earlier pattern.

Above:  As mentioned above, the Pfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment had a detachment of battalion guns assigned from the Pfalz Artillery Corps.  Curiously though, each battalion only had a single gun assigned at the start of the war (more may have been assigned later), while the battalions of the Pfalz Auxiliary Corps assigned to the French had double that number.  It’s possible that Pfalz gunners were also assigned to the Reichsreserveartillerie.

Above:  The uniform worn by Pfalz artillerymen was generally dark blue in colour, including the tail-turnbacks and smallclothes.  Cuffs and shoulder-straps were red and buttons were brass.  Pengel & Hurt and Frédéric Aubert suggest red lapels, but I’ve gone for the plainer look.  Hat-lace was yellow; Kronoskaf shows this as straight lace tape, but Frédéric shows this as scalloped and I’m inclined to agree, as the Pfalz infantry regiments had scalloped hat-lace as standard.  I was able to discover absolutely nothing about the colour of Pfalz gun-carriages, so went with their main heraldic colour of light blue.

These are Old Glory 15s Austrian artillery figures.

Archbishop Clemens August of Köln

Above: In contrast to the military-minded Archbishops of Mainz and Würzburg, the ‘Baby-Eating’ Archbishop-Elector Clemens August of Köln (Cologne) had no such interests and just maintained the smallest-possible standing army to garrison his territories.  The French paid him a tidy sum of cash for maintaining an Auxiliary Corps of 6,000 men for France’s use, though the old rogue just spent the money on maintaining his extravagant lifestyle and when France called for them in 1757, all he was able to offer up was 1,800 unwilling recruits, who were then assigned to French regiments.

Nevertheless, Köln did supply the Reichsarmee with two single-battalion infantry regiments; the Leib-Regiment ‘Nothaft’ and the ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment.  These two battalions were basically the entire infantry component of Köln’s pitiful standing army.  Note that they are sometimes listed on orders of battle as a single ‘Kurköln’ Regiment of two battalions.

Above:  Each Kurköln infantry regiment consisted of a single battalion of six Fusilier companies, a single (detached) Grenadier company and a battalion gun detachment of two 4pdr guns, for a theoretical total of 820 men.  However, the recorded strength of Leib-Regiment ‘Nothaft’ throughout the war ranged from 373 to 711 men, while the ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment varied between 585 and 714 men.  They were reported as being constantly under-strength, badly-equipped and in a poor state of morale.  I’ve therefore done them as ‘normal’ sized (12-figure) units for Tricorn, rather than as ‘large’ (16-figure) units.  Also, as they’re single-battalion regiments, I’ve given them both a Leibfahne and an Kompaniefahne.

Kurköln Grenadier (Knötel)

Above:  As with most Reichsarmee regiments, there is some debate regarding the details of the two Kurköln Regiments.  All sources agree that the coat was dark blue without lapels and that the Leibregiment ‘Nothaft’ had red cuffs, collar, shoulder-strap and tail-turnbacks.  They also agree that smallclothes and belts for both regiments were white and that the grenadier companies wore Austrian-style bearskins with a front-plate.  However, while most sources agree that the ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment wore the same colourings, one source suggests white facings.  All sources agree that one regiment had yellow metalwork and the other had white metal, but they are evenly split on which way round this was!

I’ve gone with the majority view that both regiments had red facings and have done one battalion with white metal and one with yellow metal.  These figures are mostly Old Glory 15s Prussian infantry, again with a few Eureka command figures.  The (very attractive) flags were the same for both regiments, though Frédéric has hypothesised that the regiment with white metal buttons would have had white ‘metal’ on the flag.  However, I’ve gone with Not By Appointment‘s superb set of flags, which are identical for both regiments.

Above:  I needed some more gunners for my Kurrhein contingent, due to several contingents (most noticeably Mainz) having no known uniform.   However, Frédéric came to the rescue again, with the uniform of the ‘Kurtrier’ Regiment‘s artillery detachment, as illustrated on his superb Reichsarmee uniform plates.  The regiment had two weak battalions, each of four companies, no grenadier companies and an artillery detachment of four 3pdr guns.

Above:  According to Frédéric, the Kurtrier Artillery wore a dark blue coat with red cuffs, no lapels and dark blue shoulder-straps, dark blue tail-turnbacks and brass buttons.  Smallclothes were red.  Hat-lace was white, cockade was black and pompoms were red.  However, I’ve just realised that the hat-lace should be scalloped and I’ve done it straight!  Aargh!  Back to the painting-table…

I’ve absolutely no idea what colours the guns were.  I was going to do them light blue, as that was the regiment’s livery colour.  However, I then had a glut of red-painted guns caused by me ripping the (incorrect) red guns off my French artillery, so the Kurtrier artillery received one of the ex-French red guns (as have the Franconians and Bavarians). 🙂

These are Old Glory 15s Austrian artillery figures and gun.

Anyway, I was going to go on to cover units from the other Imperial districts, but it’s occurred to me that this article is already huge, so I’ll save those for next time! 🙂

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

11 Responses to ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 8): More Reichsarmee Units

  1. Chris Gregg says:

    A brilliant looking army – well done !
    Chris G

  2. Nick says:

    Another great article

    Passed through Köln today on the way to Frankfurt

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Nick!

      Ah nice! Had some great nights out there back in the day, but never bumped into the Bishop, sadly…

      … That’s not a euphemism…

  3. Jim W says:

    The thing about the Reichsarmée is that you only have to paint their backs, ‘cuz that is all anyone sees! Thanks heavens you went all in however! 🙂 They make a beautiful army, especially for those ownderfu. banners and the colour next to the smart but plain Austrians.

    A couple of things:

    I particularly like your grey and white lacework on the hats.
    Are those OG guns with the Pfalz artillery?
    Finally, many thanks for the tip on Ad Hoc flags, I did not know about them.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Jim! Yeah, I think I made a mistake by painting their fronts as the little bastards beat me last month! 🙁

      Yes, they do look very pretty next to the Austrians. :!

      The Pfalz gun is a Eureka Austrian 6pdr. Most of the guns are OG15s, but there is the odd Eureka gun mixed in.

      As it happens, Frederic’s flag-sheets are an entirely new venture. I bought his Reichsarmee uniform plates bundle about two months ago and a few of the flags were ‘printable’ (i.e. showing both sides of the flag), but a lot weren’t, as they only show one side. I asked him if he’d considered doing sheets with only the flags, for wargamers and he replied to say that he’d thought about it, but hadn’t done anything about it. Within a few days and after further discussion and a bit of experimentation involving him sending me trial sheets and me trying to print them off, he’d already published his first flag-sheets and has since followed up with a load more! 🙂 I’ve since bought and printed the Saxony set and they’re exquisite. 🙂


  4. Jim W says:

    *wonderful banners” Good Grief!

  5. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 10): The Very Last Reichsarmee Units! | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  6. Pingback: Jemima Fawr’s Review of 2023 | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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