Good news! It’s time for more Reichsarmee units! 🙂
Upper Rhine District (Oberrheinischen Kreis)
The Imperial Circle of the Upper Rhine was one of the weakest contingents in the Reichsarmee, having only the ‘Hessen-Darmstädt’ (‘Prinz Georg’) Infantry Regiment (1 bn), the ‘Nassau-Weiburg’ Infantry Regiment (2 bns), the ‘Pfalz-Zweibrücken’ Infantry Regiment (3 bns) and a small district artillery corps. They were also a very mixed bag, with Marshal Soubise rating those regiments respectively as ‘Excellent’, ‘Average’ and ‘Poor’. The Hessen-Darmstädt Regiment (which I covered in Part 2) really was superb, frequently being the only unit left mounting a dogged fighting withdrawal. The ‘Nassau-Weiburg’ Regiment spent the entire war on garrison duty, so they will be one of the few units I’m not going to paint. The ‘Pfalz-Zweibrücken’ Regiment however, turned up at a number of engagements so needed painting.
Above: The ‘Pfalz-Zweibrücken’ Regiment was actually titled ‘Ysenburg’ until 1757 and does sometimes appear listed as such after that date. It was also occasionally listed by the full title of its inhaber, ‘Prinz Friedrich Pfalzgraf (‘Count Palatine’) von Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld’. The regiment theoretically consisted of 18 companies (raised from 33 county contingents), organised into three battalions and a 3pdr artillery detachment (no grenadiers), for a total strength of 1,473 men. In August 1757 the regiment reported 1,346 men fit for service, but by November that had fallen to 808, despite fighting no battles (the regiment had been absent from Rossbach)!
Another curiosity is that whenever the regiment appears on an order of battle (such as at Strehla), it only shows as two battalions. Perhaps one battalion was left in garrison, or as a depot, or guarding the baggage train, or perhaps the three battalions were combined into two due to their low strength? With this in mind, I decided to represent the regiment as two 12-figure battalions.
Above: Yet again, there are some differences of opinion regarding the uniform of the ‘Pfalz-Zweibrücken’ Regiment. I’ve followed the version put forward by Knötel and Kronoskaf. This has red lapels, tail-turnbacks, Prussian-style cuffs and tail-turnbacks, with brass buttons and white buttonhole-lace (three pairs of lace bars on each lapel and a pair on the flap above each cuff). Smallclothes and belts are white. Hats are decorated with white, scalloped lace and red-over-white pompoms. Gaiters are white.
However, Frédéric Aubert has a different take on the uniform, instead showing white metal buttons, bastion-shaped lace loops; arranged 1-2-2-2 from top to bottom on each lapel and three loops on each (Swedish-style) cuff. Gaiters are also black, though it’s possible that this regiment, like many others, had both black and white gaiters; white for parade and/or summer and black for campaign or winter wear. I decided to go with the white gaiters, just to make them look a bit different from other, similarly-dressed units.
The Becher Manuscript shows yet another version of the uniform (inset above), being devoid of lace and having tri-coloured red/white/blue pompoms.
Above: My ‘Pfalz-Zweibrücken’ Regiment is comprised of Old Glory 15s Prussian infantry figures, with flags by Maverick Models (resized to 20mm square). Not By Appointment have also recently added a downloadable flag-sheet for the regiment.
Above: The Circle of the Upper Rhine’s district artillery corps provided units to the Reichsreserveartillerie or Imperial Artillery Reserve (which I covered in Part 2) and may also have supplied regimental artillery to the district’s infantry regiments, though information is scarce.
Above: The uniform of the Upper Rhine District Artillery consisted primarily of an iron grey coat with brass buttons and green collar, cuffs and tail-turnbacks. The waistcoat was green, breeches were straw and hat-lace was yellow. I’ve been unable to discover what colour they painted their gun-carriages, so I’ve arbitrarily painted them grey to match the uniform coats.
These are Old Glory 15s Austrian artillery figures.
Swabian District (Schwäbischen Kreis)
In contrast to the Circle of the Upper Rhine, the Circle of Swabia was one of the strongest districts, fielding the ‘Hohenzollern’ Cuirassiers (4 sqns), ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons (2 sqns) a district artillery corps and four infantry regiments; ‘Alt-Württemberg‘ (1 bn*), ‘Baden-Durlach‘ (1 bn*), ‘Baden-Baden‘ (2 bns) and ‘Fürstenberg’/’Rodt‘ (2 bns). I painted cuirassiers during the 1990s and cover them in Part 3, while the infantry were all painted during 2021 and 2022, being covered in Part 2 and Part 4. I therefore had the district artillery and the dragoons left to paint (although the regular Württemberg Army provided some of the artillery and I’ve already got some of those painted as part of my Württemberg Auxiliary Corps).
*The ‘Alt-Württemberg’ and Baden-Durlach’ Regiments each actually had two battalions, but one battalion of each regiment remained on garrison duty for the duration.
Above: I didn’t originally plan to paint the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons, as they were such a tiny and ineffective unit. At full strength they only had 138 men (not including officers) and performed abysmally at Rossbach, even suffering a nasty case of ‘friendly-stab’ from some Austrian hussars, losing their standards in the process! However, from 1759 they were usually brigaded with the Upper Saxon ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons (see below), bringing their combined total strength to 360 men (plus officers), so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and field them as a (bloody awful) combined unit.
Above: The Württemberg Dragoons were initially uniformed very much in Prussian style, with light blue coats, black lapels, collar and cuffs, brass buttons, yellow turnbacks, shoulder-strap, aiguillette and waistcoat and straw breeches (some sources show a straw waistcoat). Horse furniture was light blue, edged yellow worked through with light blue. However, this uniform was VERY similar to those of the Prussian ‘Normann’ Dragoons (DR1) and ‘Herzog von Württemberg’ Dragoons (DR12) and undoubtedly led directly to the abovementioned ‘friendly-stab’ incident!
Clearly learning their lesson from Rossbach, by 1759 the regiment had changed to a distinctly-different dark blue uniform coat. As nice as the earlier uniform looks, I’ll be using them primarily in the post-1759 battles, so I’ve gone for the later uniform. The lapels, collar and cuffs were still black, though these were now edged with yellow lace, worked through with a zig-zag ‘worm’ of black thread. Buttons were still brass and the yellow aiguillette was still worn, though turnbacks were now red and the shoulder-strap was dark blue. Smallclothes were now all straw-coloured and the horse furniture was dark blue, edged white with black ‘worms’. Belts and ammunition pouches were ‘natural leather’, so I’ve gone for a buff shade.
Above: For the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons I used Old Glory 15s Austrian dragoons. I’ve always loved these figures, as they have stacks of character, lots of different poses and in my opinion are the best figures in the whole Old Glory 15s range. I’ve used them for other Reichsarmee regiments, as well as Saxon Chevauxlégers, though Old Glory 15s cavalry figures were always let down by their mutant horses.
Having now exhausted my stash of Old Glory Austrian Dragoons from the 1990s, these figures were newly-bought from Barry at Timecast and I was very pleased to discover that the sculptor has re-modelled and vastly improved the horses at some point in the intervening 25 years! 🙂
Above: Here are the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons as they’ll appear on the wargames table; grouped with the white-coated ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons (detailed below). The standards of the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons are very well-documented, being very similar to those of the ‘Hohenzollern’ Cuirassiers, though with the central armorial device rotated through 90 degrees (the white cross on black field is shown above the three leopards, whereas on the Cuirassier standards they are side-by-side). The regiment’s Leibstandarte had a white field, though I’ve opted for the yellow Eskadronstandarte. This is another design by Ad Hoc Editions, printed on my own laser-printer..
Above: The Circle of Swabia raised a district artillery corps to provide Swabian infantry regiments with regimental artillery, as well as to reinforce the Reichsreserevartillerie. The Army of the Duchy of Württemberg is also known to have supplied units in order to beef up the district’s artillery strength.
Above: The uniform for the Swabian District Artillery Corps was a dark blue coat with red lapels, cuffs and turnbacks, white metal buttons and blue shoulder-strap. Smallclothes were red and hat-lace was white. For once we actually know the colour of the gun-carriages and these were yellow with black ironwork, reflecting the colours of Swabia’s heraldry.
Upper Saxon District (Obersachsischen-Kreis)
The Imperial Circle of Upper Saxony was in 1757, thanks to Prussia’s annexation of the Duchy of Saxony during the previous year, followed by the depredations of marauding Prussian Frei-Infanterie, absolutely destitute and unable to meet its Reichsarmee commitments. It only managed to raise a single infantry regiment of two battalions (the ‘Ernestinisch-Sachsen’ Regiment) and the tiny ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoon Regiment of only two squadrons.
However, Austria assisted Upper Saxony in meeting its commitments by hiring two units from the standing army of the Palatinate (Pfalz); namely the II. Battalion of the Garde zu Fuss Regiment and the Leib-Dragoner-Regiment ‘Kurfürstin’. This can get a little confusing, as Pfalz was officially part of the Imperial Circle of the Kurrhein, so Pfalz troops also appear there.
Above: I originally covered the II. Battalion of the Pfalz Garde zu Fuss Regiment just over a year ago, in Part 4 and I won’t repeat myself here. However, I’ve since re-flagged the battalion with one of Frédéric Aubert’s lovely creations, as shown here. 🙂
Above: As discussed above, the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoon Regiment was a tiny unit of only two squadrons, numbering some 222 men at full strength (not including officers). It wouldn’t normally be worth bothering with, but from 1759 it tended to be grouped with the even smaller ‘Württemberg’ Dragoon Regiment (see above), so I thought I’d model the two regiments as a weak combined unit.
Above: Uniform details for the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons are fairly sparse, but it is known that the regiment wore a white coat with red facings, brass buttons, yellow aiguillettes and yellow hat-lace. Sources are split over whether or not the coat had (red) lapels. I’ve gone with Frédéric’s interpretation, showing no lapels, but red cuffs, collar and shoulder-strap, red waistcoat and pale straw breeches. I’ve also followed Frédéric’s depiction of red horse-furniture with white lace edging, but I do wonder if yellow lace edging would be more in keeping with the button and hat-lace colour?
Above: Musicians’ uniforms are unknown for the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons, but I’ve gone with the style of the Army of the Duchy of Saxony; namely a reverse-coloured coat with button-coloured lace. Once again, the figures are Old Glory 15s Austrian dragoons. Nothing whatsoever is known about the regiment’s standards, so I’ve used Frédéric’s hypothetical regimental standard.
Above: Again, here are the ‘Sachsen-Gotha’ Dragoons grouped with the ‘Württemberg’ Dragoons, as they’ll appear on the wargames table.
Above: As discussed above, the Pfalz Leib-Dragoner-Regiment ‘Kurfürstin’ was part of the standing army of Pfalz (The Palatinate), but was hired by Austria to beef up the strength of the Imperial Circle of Upper Saxony. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to in orders of battle and accounts as the ‘Kurpfalz’ Dragoon Regiment, as a ‘Kreis-Regiment’ or as a regiment of the Circle of the Kurrhein. It was none of those things.
Above: At the start of the Seven Years War the ‘Kurfürstin’ Dragoons consisted of three squadrons, each of three companies, for a total of 468 men. In 1758, following the Austrian contract, the regiment was expanded to conform to Austrian organisation and now consisted of five squadrons, each of two companies, for a total of 800 men. As such, it was the Reichsarmee’s strongest cavalry regiment and is represented here as a ‘large’ unit of 16 figures. However, the regiment had an inauspicious start, suffering the loss of 522 men taken prisoner in their first engagement! Nevertheless, the regiment was quickly reconstituted to full strength and served at all of the Reichsarmee’s major engagements.
Above: The uniform of the ‘Kurfürstin’ Dragoons consisted of a striking ‘dark’ or ‘brick’ red coat with black lapels and cuffs, red tail-turnbacks and shoulder-strap, brass buttons and yellow aiguillette. Smallclothes were straw-coloured and the horse furniture was red with yellow lace edging. Hats were unlaced, though had a black cockade and blue/white corner-rosettes.
One company was designated as Horse Grenadiers and wore Austrian-style bearskin caps with brass plate and red bag, piped and tasseled yellow. The Horse Grenadier Company was probably normally detached from its parent regiment and massed with other elite companies, in accordance with Austrian practice, but I’ve included them here, as a. they look rather spiffing and b. I had two spare Horse Grenadier figures.
Yet again, these are Old Glory 15s Austrian dragoon figures.
Above: The guidon of the ‘Kurfürstin’ Dragoons once again comes from one of the superb plates by Frédéric Aubert’s Ad Hoc Editions. I’ve used the white Leibguidon, though I was very tempted to use the red Eskadronguidon.
Anyway, that’s it for now. More to come…