Last month I mentioned that I had decided to embark on the ‘Württember Challenge’, which was to paint the entire Württemberg Auxiliary Corps for the Seven Years War by the end of November (13x 12-figure infantry battalions, 1x general and 1x gun and crew). Well, I’m pleased to report that I ALMOST succeeded; all the figures were painted, but as November came to an end, I still had the bases of the 3rd Grenadier Battalion and the artillery left to paint and flock. I blame myself, as I got a little side-tracked en route and also painted fifteen casualty markers, two additional generals (a Bavarian and a Saxon) and a Bavarian gun-crew!
Anyway, they’re now all finished and I’ve also managed to paint some more Prussian and Imperial troops during the first week of December. In the New Year I’ll be partaking in ‘Bavarianuary’, which will be a little less strenuous than ‘Württember’; namely painting the last remaining six battalions of my Bavarian Auxiliary Corps. Anyway, here are the finished Württembergers. These are all Old Glory 15s figures (available in the UK from Timecast), with flags printed by me from pictures nicked from the superb Kronoskaf website.
The Württembergers make an interesting, if rather hopeless little army. The rot most definitely started at the top, as Duke Charles Eugene of Württemberg was something of a mercenary, having been paid by France since 1752 to maintain a corps of 6,000 men in thirteen battalions for their use, but only raising 3,000 men and trousering the remainder of the cash! However, when the call to muster came in 1757, the Duke was forced to conscript the remaining 3,000 from an unwilling population. This forced conscription, allied to a pro-Prussian Protestant majority and a deep suspicion of France, contributed to severe discipline problems, high levels of desertion and complete collapse at the Battle of Leuthen. Nevertheless, they continued to fight alongside both the Austrian and French armies at various times (depending on who was paying the Duke), as well as on their own as an army in their own right on at least one occasion. Finally the Duke kept his army at home from 1761 to 1762, as nobody had any cash left to hire the Württembergers (or perhaps decided they weren’t worth the bother). There is also an interesting ‘what-if’ for 1758, as the British tried paying off the Duke to fight for the other side! What wargamer could possibly resist an army with a bloody awful fighting reputation and led by an amoral war-profiteer…? 🙂
Above: The Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ was (briefly) the premier infantry regiment of the Württemberg Army, having been created in 1757 from the two musketeer battalions of the Garde zu Fuβ (the four grenadier companies of the Garde zu Fuβ having been split off to form the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’). However, along with much of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps, the regiment included large numbers of unwilling Protestant conscripts and even suffered a mutiny before leaving Württemberg! Nevertheless, they performed well enough at the Battle of Breslau, though at the Battle of Leuthen the Württembergers (along with the Bavarians) became the focus of the Prussian flank-attack and were beaten like an unloved ginger step-child!
Above: In 1758 the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ lost the ‘Leib’ part of its title when the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ became the core of a new Leibgrenadierregiment and thus became the new premier regiment of the army (until the creation of a new Garde zu Fuβ later that same year).
Above: In common with the other regiments of the Württemberg Army, the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ had a a blue, Prussian-style uniform and I’ve consequently used Prussian figures by Old Glory 15s (currently available in the UK from Timecast). The regimental facing colour was carmine (a pinkish-purplish shade of red) and their guard status was indicated by white lace bars (three pairs on each lapel and one pair on each (Swedish style) cuff) and by their lemon yellow waistcoats. Breeches were white. Buttons were yellow metal, though the hat-lace and aiguillette behind the right shoulder were white. Hat pompoms were black over yellow. Officers’ buttons, lace, hat-lace and sashes were gold (some sources say that the sashes were mixed red and gold or black and gold). Drummers’ uniforms are not known, but I’ve given them simple swallows’ nests and brass drums with hoops striped in the national colours of red & yellow. When they became Regiment ‘von Werneck’ in 1758, the uniform stayed the same, though the hat-lace and aiguillette became yellow.
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’ was one of four Württemberg line infantry regiments (five regiments once Regiment ‘von Werneck’ was downgraded in 1758 – a sixth infantry regiment was raised in 1759) and like the others consisted of two musketeer battalions and two detached grenadier companies. The grenadiers formed part of 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ (see below).
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’ had poppy-red facings without lace and white metal buttons. Hat-lace and aiguillette was white, as were the waistcoat and breeches. Hat pompoms were red over yellow. Officers had gold hat-lace, which is known to have been ‘scalloped’. They presumably also had a gold aiguillette.
Above: A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘Prinz Louis’. Details of Württemberg regimental flags are not all that well known, but the excellent Kronoskaf website has reconstructions based on the written descriptions. The flags of all regiments were apparently of a standard pattern, with each regiment receiving a single white Leibfahne and an unknown number of Regimentfahnen, which Kronoskaf presumes to be red for all regiments. I’ve given a Leibfahne to each 1st battalion and a Regimentfahne to each 2nd battalion, though in reality each battalion probably carried at least two flags – one of each type in the 1st battalion and a pair of Regimentfahnen in the 2nd battalion. The Leibfahne has the ducal arms on both sides, while the Regimentfahne has the ducal arms only on the obverse side, with the crowned ducal cypher (repeated in the corners) on the reverse.
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘von Spiznass’ had several changes of inhaber (i.e. colonel-proprietor) and therefore regimental title through the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Romann’ in 1758, ‘Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm’ in 1761 and ‘von der Gabelenz’ in 1762. The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to the 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ (see below).
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘von Spiznass’, like the Regiment ‘Prinz Louis’, had poppy-red facings, white waistcoat and white breeches, though this time with brass buttons and yellow hat-lace and aiguillette (gold for officers). Pompoms were red over medium blue.
Above: A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘von Spiznass’.
Above: The Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’. This regiment was originally formed in 1752 from part of the Garde zu Fuβ and for some reason was designated as a ‘Füsilier’ regiment. However, this title seems to have been purely historical/whimsical and there were no role, uniform or organisational differences with those regiments designated as ‘Infantry’. The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to 3. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Georgii’.
Above: The Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’ had black facings without lace, though the coat-linings and turnbacks were poppy-red. Waistcoats and breeches were white. Hat-lace, pompoms and aiguillettes were yellow. Buttons were white metal (note that I made a mistake here and painted the regiment with brass buttons – I wrongly assumed that the button colour matched the hat-lace/aiguillette colour). Officers’ hat-lace/aiguillette colour is not known; it may have been gold in common with all the other regiments or may have been silver to match the button colour.
Above: A rear view of the Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’.
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’. Like the Füsilierregiment ‘Truchsess’ above, this regiment was also originally titled ‘Füsilier’ when raised in 1754, but had been changed to ‘Infantry’ by 1757. The regimental inhaber and title changed in 1759 to ‘von Wolff’. The regiment’s two grenadier companies were permanently detached to the 3. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Georgii’.
Above: The Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’ had rose-pink facings without lace, brass buttons and white hat-lace, pompom and aiguillette. Waistcoat and breeches were also white. The colour of officers’ hat-lace and aiguillette is not known, so I’ve gone again with gold.
Above: A rear view of the Infanterieregiment ‘von Roeder’.
Above: The massed grenadiers of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps. Note that the Württemberg grenadiers are recorded at the Battle of Leuthen as wearing white cotton pillow-cases over their mitre-caps, in an attempt to avoid being confused by Allied troops for their Prussian enemies. I do have some grenadiers wearing (black oilskin) cap-covers in my Swedish army, but I decided to leave the Württemberg grenadiers in all their glory.
Above: The 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’. As mentioned above, in early 1757 the Württemberg Garde zu Fuβ was split into two parts; the two musketeer battalions became Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ and the four grenadier companies were combined to become 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ (most unusually the Garde zu Fuβ had double the usual helping of grenadiers, so was able to form a complete grenadier battalion it its own right. All other regiments had only two grenadier companies and grenadier battalions were therefore formed from the grenadiers of two regiments). In 1757 the 1. Grenadierbataillon served with the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps in Silesia. However, in November of that year (shortly before the Battle of Breslau), three of the four companies were returned to Württemberg, to form the cadre of a new Garde zu Fuβ and Leibgrenadierregiment. Their place in the battalion was taken by picked men from the five infantry regiments of the Auxiliary Corps.
The battalion went through a series of commanders and titles during the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Plessen’ in 1758, ‘von Bode’ in 1759 and back to ‘von Plessen’ in 1762. Note that the 2. Grenadierbataillon was also called ‘von Plessen’ in 1757.
Above: The uniform of the 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’ was exactly the same as that of the Leibregiment ‘von Werneck’ discussed above, except that the men wore a brass-fronted Prussian-style grenadier mitre-cap. However, following the departure of three grenadier companies in November 1757, it is almost certain that the battalion wore a mixture of uniforms at the Battles of Breslau and Leuthen and the battalion probably didn’t revert to this uniform appearance until well into 1758.
Note that this uniform was also worn by the new Leibgrenadierregiment, though the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Leibgrenadierregiment were eventually detached as the 4. ‘Herzog’ Grenadierbataillon & 5. ‘Haus’ Grenadierbataillon and adopted different facing colours (black and green respectively). The battalions of the Leibgrenadierregiment carried flags of the standard pattern and therefore represent a rare opportunity to use those bloody Old Glory Prussian grenadier standard-bearers! However, the battalions lost their flags when they were detached as independent battalions.
Above: A rear view of 1. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Rettenburg’, showing the details of the mitre-cap. The band of the cap was brass, while the ‘bag’ (i.e. the cloth back) was carmine with yellow (some sources say gold) piping. The pompom was yellow with a black centre. Note that Württemberg grenadiers officers actually wore hats like the Prussians, but I need to use up my huge stash of unhistorical Old Glory Prussian grenadier officers…
Above: The 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Plessen’ was formed from the grenadiers of the ‘Prinz Louis’ and ‘Spiznass’ Infantry Regiments. It went through a number of changes of commander and title through the Seven Years War, becoming ‘von Legenfeld’ in 1758 and ‘von Wizleben’ in 1759. Note that the 1. Grenadierbataillon was also called ‘von Plessen’ in 1758 and again in 1762 (due to the CO being transferred and then spending some time in captivity before returning to his command).
Above: Both constituent regiments of the 2. Grenadierbataillon had poppy-red as their facing colour, so the two uniform coats look very similar, being differentiated by their button and aiguillette-colours (white for ‘Prinz Louis’ and yellow for ‘Spiznass’). However, both contingents had brass-fronted mitre-caps, which is slightly odd, as most armies used the button colour as the colour for the mitre-cap metalwork. Also note that the pompom of the ‘Prinz Louis’ Regiment’s grenadiers was plain red, whereas the parent regiment used red over yellow. The ‘Spiznass’ Regiment’s grenadiers simply used the same red over medium blue pompom as the parent regiment.
Above: A rear view of the 2. Grenadierbataillon ‘von Pless’, showing the mitre-cap details. The ‘Prinz Louis’ Regiment’s grenadier mitre-cap had a dark blue band with red bag and ywllow (some sources say red) piping. Those of the ‘Spiznass’ Regiment had a medium blue band and piping, with a red bag.
Above: The 3. Grenadierbatailon ‘von Georgii’ was formed from the grenadiers of the ‘Truchsess’ and ‘von Roeder’ Regiments. It also went through a succession of commanders and titles, becoming ‘von Bouwinghausen-Walmerode’ in 1758 and ‘von Altenstein’ in 1760.
Above: As with the other grenadier battalions, the companies of 3. Grenadierbataillon wore the uniform of their parent regiment, which in this instance were markedly contrasting; black for ‘Truchsess’ and rose-pink for ‘von Roeder’ (note that I’ve here corrected the button colour for ‘Truchsess’). As with 2. Grenadierbataillon, the white metal-colour of the mitre-caps was consistent throughout the battalion and didn’t necessarily match the button-colour.
Above: A rear view of the 3. Grenadierbataillon, showing the details of the mitre-caps. The historical details aren’t actually recorded beyond the (white) metal-colour of the front plate, so I’ve gone with the regimental facing colour, with piping and pompom colour matching the regimental aiguillette.
Above: The Württemberg Auxiliary Corps of 1757 included a small Artillery Company, which is represented here by a single model gun and crew. In 1758 the Württemberg Army’s artillery arm was expanded to a battalion of five companies and later campaigns included larger quantities of Württemberg artillery, so I will probably eventually add another light gun and a heavy gun to this contingent. The uniform was again Prussian in style, consisting of a dark blue coat (changing to light blue sometime between 1760 & 1762), black facings (lapels, cuffs, collar and turnbacks), brass buttons, white smallclothes and yellow hat-lace, with yellow over black pompoms. Prussian artillery uniforms didn’t have lapels, so I’ve simply painted them on.
Above: Württemberg artillery is described as being ‘probably’ Austrian in origin, with Austrian carriages also being used. The carriages are described variously as ‘yellow’, ‘ochre’, ‘buff’ and ‘plain wood’ and were probably just the same as the Austrians (yellow ochre with black iron fittings). I’ve gone with the plain, varnished wood look, simply to make them look a bit different from the Austrians.
Above: Marschall von Spiznass commanded the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps in 1757 and here we see him at the start of the Battle of Leuthen, praying to God that the Prussians attack someone else…
Above: As with many other armies such as that of Prussia, the Württemberg Army had no stipulated uniform for general officers, so they wore regimental uniform (or a flamboyant concoction very loosely based on regimental uniform!). In this instance, Spiznass simply wears the regimental uniform of his own infantry regiment. I do like this figure; note how one hand is thrust through the guard of his sword. Note also that he’s taken his hat off to pray and has it on the saddle-pommel in front of him. Lovely 🙂
Anyway, I’m hoping to finally get some games in over Christmas if lockdown permits… Fingers crossed… I’m presently painting more Imperial and Prussian troops to field in those games, so more SYW stuff to come. I will also get around to finishing off the Burma Armour series with the 255th Indian Tank Brigade, I promise. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the view of the Württemberg Auxiliary Corps that the Prussian Army had five minutes into the Battle of Leuthen…