‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 2): The Reichsarmee

In Part 1 I looked at some of the German and Saxon-Polish units raised from within the Holy Roman Empire to directly support the Austrian Army in the field during the Seven Years War.  this time I’m profiling some of the units raised by the bewildering array of German statelets comprising the rump of the Empire, which were then brought together to form the colourful, ramshackle hullabaloo that was the Reichsarmee.

I’ve always held a soft-spot for the bloody awful armies of European history, partly because the attractiveness of their uniforms and spectacle on the table is usually in direct inverse proportion to their battlefield effectiveness, but mainly because you’re expected to lose… And if you ever manage to win with them, your opponent will never hear the end of it (particularly if they inflict a catastrophic hoofing of legendary proportions)…

… Will they, Phil…? ­čśë 

The military and political structure of the Holy Roman Empire and the Reichsarmee is a truly colossal subject and there’s little point in me repeating what Kronoskaf has to say on the subject, so follow the links in this paragraph if you want to look at the details. 

In a nutshell, the Holy Roman Empire was divided up into ten ‘Imperial Circles’ (Kreisen) or Districts, with each district being required to provide the Reichsarmee with a contingent of Foot and Horse, the number of whom would be based on the population of the district.  Each duchy, principality, county and bishopric within the district would then be required to provide a set portion of the contingent, again based on their population.  The only parts of the Reichsarmee to be formed centrally from Imperial taxes would be the Imperial General Staff and the Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsartilleriereserve).

In some instances, the wealthier duchies, principalities and bishoprics managed to raise complete units, led, trained and equipped to a good standard and in some cases were simply regular units taken from their own standing army.  Austria in particular, simply allocated units from its own massive army (most notably two regular Cuirassier Regiments, two Hussar Regiments and a number of Croat Battalions) and also donated regiments that it had hired from Imperial German states such as Mainz, W├╝rzburg and Pfalz.

However, in the majority of cases, units were cobbled together from a myriad of tiny contingents (some contingents were as small as one man!) and were very badly led, trained, equipped and motivated.  To make matters worse, units from different districts were often using completely different drill manuals.  On top of all of this were the underlying tensions between Protestants and Catholics lumped together in the same units, which led to serious problems with regard to motivation and discipline.

Consequently, with one or two exceptions, the Reichsarmee were frequently more of a hindrance than a help on the battlefield, but they are spectacularly colourful and never fail to be interesting!  I’ve still got a long way to go before I finish my own Reichsarmee, but in the short-term I’m aiming to complete the order of battle for the Battle of Rossbach.  Here’s what I’ve completed thus far:

Franconian District (Fr├Ąnkischen Kreis

The Franconian District managed to raise three regiments of infantry (Varell, Ferntheil & Cronegk), one of Cuirassiers (Bayreuth) and one of Dragoons (Ansbach) during the Seven Years War.  All five regiments were raised from a multitude of tiny contingents and had a very poor fighting reputation.  Thus far I have two of the three infantry regiments painted and the two cavalry regiments waiting in the lead-pile, while the third infantry regiment (Cronegk) has yet to be painted.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Ferntheil’ (became the Hohenlohe Regiment in 1759).  All three Franconian Infantry Regiments wore the same Prussian-style blue uniform, so I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Infantry figures.  The regimental facing colour was displayed on lapels, collar, shoulder-strap, turnbacks and Swedish-style cuffs for all three regiments.  The Ferntheil Regiment had ponceau red facings, the Varell Regiment had sulphur yellow and the Cronegk Regiment had white.  

Each regiment had two battalions, each consisting of six companies and a detached grenadier company, for a full paper strength of 1,940 men (which may also include the regimental artillery detachment).  In the event, the Ferntheil Regiment managed to field over 1,500 men in 1757 and increased that to over 1,800 in 1758, despite the disastrous Battle of Rossbach.  With such a large establishment, I’ve gone with Austrian-style 16-figure battalions.

Above:  The Ferntheil Regiment (became the Hohenlohe Regiment in 1759).  All three Franconian infantry theoretically regiments carried colours of a common pattern.  Each battalion officially carried three colours; the 1st Battalion having the Leibfahne and two Kompaniefahnen, while the 2nd Battalion carried three Kompaniefahnen.  The pattern was changed in 1757, with the new flags being issued in 1758, so these flags are wrong for Rossbach (more of which later) and the older type was probably therefore carried.  However, no description or surviving example of the older type has been found, so these will have to do!

Both types of 1757 Pattern colour had the Imperial Double-Eagle on the obverse and a large ‘CF’ cypher on the reverse.  The Leibfahne was the same for all three regiments, having a plain white field.  The Kompaniefahnen had a field divided into three horizontal bands; the central band was blue, while the top and bottom bands were in the regimental facing colour.  These flags were from a sheet of Reichsarmee flags produced by Andy Grubb (of ‘Grubby Tanks’) in the 1990s.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Varell’.  Continuing the saga of the colours… The Franconian regiments became a laughing-stock, as the old colours were withdrawn and the regiments instead carried bare staves!  Worse was to come in 1758, when the new colours were to be issued.  New colours are traditionally dedicated with a religious service and in Germany this involved the ceremonial nailing of the colours to the staves and a lavish celebration.  However, first the Protestant and Catholic contingents argued with each other regarding the nature of the religious service and then the officers argued with their lords and masters about who was going to pay for the celebrations!  Consequently, these colours were never actually issued and the Franconian regiments instead carried the older colours, which as mentioned above, we have no record of…  So what the hell, I’ve used the 1757 Pattern colours…

Above:  The Varell Infantry Regiment.  All three Franconian infantry regiments had white small-clothes, black neck-stocks, white belts, black cartridge-pouches, black gaiters, brown scabbards and white hat-lace for the rank-and-file.  NCOs had hat-lace in the facing colour.  Officers had silver sashes woven with red and black threads.  The regimental ‘metal’ colour (i.e. buttons and officers’ hat-lace) was yellow for Ferntheil and Cronegk and white for Varell.  Hat pompoms were striped white/blue/facing colour – Pengel & Hurt shows this with the facing colour at the top of the pompom, while Kronoskaf reverses the order, with white at the top.  

The detached Franconian grenadier companies didn’t fight at Rossbach, so I’ve not painted them yet, though I will eventually need to do them for other battles, when they were massed as an ad hoc grenadier battalion.  They wore the same uniform as their parent regiment and in most cases, the headgear was a brown bearskin with yellow metal front-plate and the bag coloured by regiment.  The odd one out was the Varell Regiment’s 2nd Grenadier Company, who wore a Prussian-style mitre with red bag, yellow band, yellow piping, white pompom and brass front-plate.

Above:  The Franconian District Artillery Arm supplied each of the three infantry regiments with four 3pdr guns.  Those from the Nuremburg Arsenal are known to have been mounted on red carriages, so it’s probable that this was the common colour of Franconian gun carriages.  The uniform was based on the Austrian artillery uniform, though with blue instead of brown coats and with the addition of lapels.  However, the ‘metal’ colour (buttons and hat-lace) was probably yellow, rather than the white shown here, as these are actually gunners from the Reichsreserveartillerie, who seem to have worn the same uniform with white ‘metal’.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Artillery for these chaps.

Above:  The W├╝rzburg ‘Red’ Infantry Regiment.  As discussed last time, the excellent W├╝rzburg ‘Red’ & ‘Blue’ Regiments were not officially part of the Reichsarmee, but were instead raised within Franconia by the Prince-Bishop of W├╝rzburg to serve as auxiliaries with the Austrian Army.  W├╝rzburg had already met its Reichsarmee commitment, providing nine companies of infantry, two of cuirassiers and two of dragoons.  However, Austria immediately sent the ‘Blue’ Regiment to the Reichsarmee as part of its own district contingent and this was joined in 1760 by the ‘Red’ Regiment.  In 1761 the two regiments were amalgamated into a single three-battalion regiment, titled Kaiserlich-W├╝rzburg.

Bavarian District (Bayerischen Kreis)

The Imperial Bavarian District consisted not only of the Electorate of Bavaria itself, but also the Archbishopric of Salzburg, parts of the the Palatinate (Pfalz), the City of Regensburg and a few very minor counties.  It managed to raise two regiments of infantry (the Kurbayern and Salzburg Regiments), but not a single one of the 2,400 horse it was meant to raise.  As mentioned in my previous article on the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps, Bavaria was strapped for cash at the time and had hired ten battalions to Austria, so there probably wasn’t the will to divert men and resources to raise units that weren’t going to bring cold, hard cash into Bavarian coffers.

Nevertheless, Bavaria did raise the three-battalion Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Kurbayern’ for the Reichsarmee, simply taking the entire Pechmann Regiment from its standing army, along with the 1st Battalion of the Holnstein Regiment

Above:  The Pechmann Infantry Regiment depicted in the uniform it wore until June 1757; namely an Austrian-style coat in dark blue with straw facings and small-clothes, with yellow ‘metal’.  I painted these (using Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures) in the 1990s, in line with the best available research at the time; the booklets by Pengel & Hurt.  However, more recent research has revealed that the Pechmann Contingent of the Kurbayern Regiment changed its facings in June 1757 to align with the colourings of the Holnstein Contingent.  Consequently, the lapels, cuffs, collar and shoulder-strap changed to ‘pale red’ (also known as ‘old rose’; a dull pink shade).  The turnbacks remained straw, so the uniform looked very much like the uniform shown below for the Holnstein Contingent.

Above:  The Holnstein Regiment contributed its 1st Battalion to the Kurbayern Regiment.  Again, I painted these in the 1990s, following Pengel & Hurt.  However, more recent research research has shown this uniform to be wrong in two areas.  First, the shade of red should be ‘pale red’  as described above (Pengel & Hurt just described it as ‘red’) and second, the turnbacks should also be pale red.  The combination of red facings with straw turnbacks may have been Pengel & Hurt getting confused by the second uniform worn by the Pechmann Contingent.

The Kurbayern Regiment also included two Grenadier Companies (probably both from the Holnstein Regiment) and an artillery detachment with six 4pdr guns.  On paper the regiment amounted to a little under 1,800 men.  However, in May 1758 the regiment counted fewer than 1,400 men with the colours.

Above:  The Kurbayern Regiment’s Artillery Detachment wore the standard Bavarian Artillery uniform, namely a light grey coat with blue facings, yellow ‘metal’ and straw small-clothes.  Gun-carriages were painted light blue with black ironwork.  For these I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Artillery figures.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment Salzburg was formed from contingents raised by the Archbishopric of Salzburg and the other counties of the Imperial Bavarian District, such as the City of Regensburg and some enclaves of Pfalz.  The regiment numbered 1,468 men in total, but sources disagree regarding its organisation.  It seems to have numbered two battalions, with four companies apiece, plus a detached grenadier company and an artillery detachment with two or four 3pdr or 4pdr guns (with red carriages).  Again, I painted these in the 1990s, using Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures.  For some reason I only painted one strong (16-figure) battalion, but it should really consist of two 12 figure battalions.  Perhaps I only had these figures spare at the time?

Above:  Sources agree that the Salzburg Regiment wore a white Austrian-style coat with red cuffs, lapels, turnbacks and shoulder-strap, yellow metal buttons, white breeches, black gaiters and an unlaced hat with red-over-white pompoms.  However, Pengel & Hurt’s description (on which these are based) shows white waistcoats and white buttonhole lace on the lapels, while Kronoskaf shows a red waistcoat, a red collar and no lace (making them look almost identical to the F├╝rstenberg Regiment shown below).  Officers wore silver sashes striped with red, while the grenadiers wore brown bearskin caps with red bags.

The various contingents making up the Salzburg Regiment all seem to have brought their own colours with them, featuring a wide variety of designs and motifs.  The Reichsarmee flag-sheet produced by Grubby Tanks included two Salzburg flags as described by Pengel & Hurt, one of which is shown here, being a black Imperial Eagle on a brown field.  However, recent research suggests that the flag should actually be white and it was merely age which had turned the flag brown before it was described many years later.

Swabian District (Schw├Ąbischen Kreis)

The main player in Swabia was the Duchy of W├╝rttemberg, though there were numerous other small states making up the Swabian District.  They raised four regiments of infantry (Alt-W├╝rttemberg, Baden-Baden, Baden-Durlach and F├╝rstenberg), a cuirassier regiment (Hohenzollern), a dragoon regiment (W├╝rttemberg) and regimental artillery.  Thus far I’ve managed to paint the F├╝rstenberg Infantry Regiment and the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers.

Above:  Kreisinfanterieregiment F├╝rstenberg was raised mainly in the Principality of F├╝rstenberg and Bishopric of Augsburg (four companies from each), with the City of Augsburg, Abbey of Kempten, Abbey of Weingarten and Monastery of Ochsenhausen each providing a company, for a total of five musketeer companies and one grenadier battalion per battalion and a total full strength of 1,690 men.  I must admit that these battalions are a little strong and should really be 12 figures apiece rather than 16.  The grenadiers were also normally detached and were sometimes massed into ad hoc grenadier battalions, or assigned to guard key locations in the rear.  It was late, I’d probably been drinking and got a little carried away… The attached grenadiers do look good though… ­čÖé

Above:  I used yet more Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry figures for the F├╝rstenberg Regiment and I do love them, as they’re packed full of detail and character.  However, there are a couple of ‘issues’ with them.  First, their cast-on bases are ludicrously small and simply won’t support the figure, which makes basing them a total pain in the arse, as many figures need to be propped up until the glue cures before you can move on to the next figure.  That means that basing the unit takes the best part of an hour, compared to literally one minute for Eureka figures (which have nice, large cast-on bases).  Secondly and as mentioned here before, Old Glory 15s now come in packs of 25 figures with only enough command figures to form a single unit with one flag (they used to come in bags of 100 with enough command figures to make 12 figure units).  Consequently I’ve padded these out with command figures from my enormous stash of spare Austrian grenadiers.

Above:  With their white coats and red facings, the uniforms for the F├╝rstenberg Regiment are very similar to other Imperial contingents, such as the Red W├╝rzburg, Salzburg and Kurtrier Regiments, as well as many Austrian regiments.  However, this does mean that you can sneak them in at the back of an Austrian army to make up the numbers if needed!  The details of the uniform are almost identical to those of the Red W├╝rzburgers described earlier, with white coat and breeches, red lapels, cuffs and turnbacks, white metal buttons, white hat-lace and red-over-white pompoms.  However, F├╝rstenberg had no collar on the coat and had red waistcoats instead of white.  The Grenadiers had brown-black bearskins with a white metal front-plate and red bag.

Above:  A rear view of the F├╝rstenberg Regiment.  Note that the drummers’ uniforms are not known, so I’ve arbitrarily gone for reversed colours of red coats with white facings. 

The flags were carried on black & white spiraled staves with gold finials.  These are taken from the Kronoskaf article and were then printed on my own laser printer.  I’ve given the 1st Battalion a white Leibfahne and the 2nd Battalion a yellow Ordin├Ąrfahne, though in reality each battalion probably followed the usual practice of having two flags per battalion – one of each type in the 1st Battalion and a pair of Ordin├Ąrfahne for the 2nd Battalion. 

A lot of Reichsarmee regiments used this pattern of flag, with the local arms being displayed on the breast of the Imperial eagle and the specific regiment being identified at long range by the combination of horizontal coloured ‘flames’ on the Ordin├Ąrfahne, which in the case of F├╝rstenberg were red-white-red-white-red-white from top to bottom.  For example, Alt-W├╝rttemberg had a similar design with black-black-white-light blue-black-black, Baden-Durlach had black-red-orange-orange-red-black and Baden-Baden had black-black-red-white-red-black-black.

Above:  The Kreis-Cuirassier Regiment ‘Hohenzollern’ comprised four squadrons, formed from 61 tiny contingents, amounting to a little over 600 men at full strength.  Like most of the Reichsarmee regiments raised from many small contingents, the regiment’s battle record was absolutely awful and on one memorable occasion they were routed by just two squadrons of Prussian hussars!  For these chaps I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Cuirassier figures.  I particularly like the ‘comedy’ figure, who is either trying to pull someone else’s pallasch out of his guts, or he’s committing seppuku due to his shame at being in such a bloody awful regiment.

Above:  The Hohenzollern Cuirassiers wore a uniform very similar to that of the Austrian cuirassier regiments, being a white coat with red facings (including lapels), white metal buttons and straw small-clothes.  However, sources are not clear on whether or not the regiment was actually equipped with cuirasses and they are usually depicted without.  the hat had white lace with a black cockade and red corner-rosettes.  Horse furniture was red with a double stripe of white lace around the edge, though with the outermost edge being red (I was clearly a bit lazy when I painted these).  Officers had silver hat and shabraque lace and an Austrian-style gold and black sash.  Trumpeters’ uniforms from the period are not known, but Kronoskaf gives a uniform from 1794, being a red coat with ‘false sleeves’ and white facings, all laced silver.

Out of necessity, I was still always painting my own flags in those days, but the Regimental Standard of the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers is a very simple design to paint, being a simplified version of the Arms of Swabia on an oval; the left half being black with a white ‘iron cross’ and the right half being yellow with three black leopards, flanked by green palm branches on a white field and fringed in gold.  Squadron Standards were the same, but with a yellow field.  Staves were brown and finials gold.

Above:  The Swabian District Regimental Artillery wore blue uniforms with red facings, white buttons and red small-clothes and had yellow-painted guns.  I haven’t painted any of those yet, but the district contingent was supplemented by regular artillery from the Duchy of W├╝rttemberg, as shown here.  I covered the W├╝rttemberg Artillery uniform in my previous post on the W├╝rttemberg Auxiliary Corps.

Electoral Rhenish District (Kurrheinischen Kreis)

Kurpfalz Effern Regt

The ‘Electoral Rhenish’ (Kurrhein) District is so-called as it contained the dominions of four of the seven Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire; namely all three of the Ecclesiastical Electors (the Elector-Archbishops of K├Âln, Mainz and Trier) and the Count-Palatine of the Rhine (Elector of the Pfalz). 

Kurk├Âln Leibregiment

Of these, the Palatinate had a reasonably-sized  and well-trained standing army (for Imperial Germany), though was contracted to send large chunks of it to France and Austria during wartime.  The Archbishop of Mainz had a very small standing army, but like the Archbishop of W├╝rzburg, he paid close attention to its upkeep and it was very well-trained, with an infantry regiment being contracted to the Austrian Army.  The Archbishop of Trier had no standing army, so had to raise a regiment in wartime.  The Archbishop of K├Âln (Cologne) meanwhile, was contracted to provide France with an auxiliary corps, but instead simply trousered the cash to maintain his lifestyle in a manner that even the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath & Wells might find extravagant…

Kurpfalz Leib-Dragoner

In total, the District managed to raise five infantry regiments (Kurmainz Regiment, Kurtrier Regiment, Kurk├Âln Leibregiment, Kurk├Âln Wildenstein Regiment and Kurpfalz Effern Regiment), one cuirassier regiment (Kurpfalz Cuirassiers) and District Artillery.  Austria also reinforced the Reichsarmee with the two Pfalz regiments serving with the Austrian Army (the 2nd Battalion of the Gardes zu Fuss and the Kurf├╝rstin Leibdragoner Regiment).  In addition to this total was the Mainz Lamberg Infantry Regiment serving with the Austrian Army, where it was generally known as the Mainz Infantry Regiment and not to be confused with the Kurmainz Regiment of the Reichsarmee.  There was also the Pfalz Merckel Hussar Regiment, which consisted of four squadrons and appeared at a few battles, but details of which are elusive.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment ‘Kurtrier’ was hastily raised for the war from raw recruits and was therefore considered ‘very poor’ by the French Marshal Soubise.  Nevertheless, in 1762 the regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Freiburg.   The regiment was quite small by Austro-Imperial standards, having two four-company battalions and no grenadier companies, numbering a little over 1,000 men.

Above:  The Kurtier Regiment again followed the popular Imperial theme of white coats with red cuffs, lapels and turnbacks (no collar) with white metal buttons.  Neck-stocks were black and small-clothes were white.  The hat lacked pompoms, but had white scalloped lace edging and a black cockade.

Instead of the usual variations on the theme of Imperial double-headed eagles, the regiment’s flags featured the arms of the Elector-Archbishop of Trier on a white field with a light blue border and light blue stave.  I’m afraid that I can’t remember where I found these, but I printed them off on my own laser-printer.

The figures are once again Old Glory 15s Austrian Infantry.

Above:  A rear view of the Kurtrier Regiment.  The regiment’s drummers are described as having light blue coats with red facings and white metal buttons, along with light blue small-clothes.

Above:  Although I haven’t yet painted the Kurmainz Infantry Regiment, I did paint this mounted officer to represent General Johann Georg Baron von Wildenstein, who was Colonel of the regiment and who rose to command the Kurrhein contingent of the Reichsarmee.  The Kurmainz Regiment fielded a whopping four battalions and two grenadier companies, for a total of well over 2,000 men.    

My Baron Wildenstein figure wears the regimental dress of the Kurmainz Regiment; namely a white coat with green lapels, cuffs and turnbacks with yellow metal buttons, green waistcoat, black neck-stock and straw breeches.  He wears gold officers’ hat lace, but the rank and file had white hat lace with a white pompom.  The grenadiers wore an Austrian-style bearskin cap with brass plate and green bag, piped an tasseled yellow. 

Upper Rhine District (Oberrheinischen Kreis)

Nassau-Weiburg Regt

The Upper Rhine contingent of the Reichsarmee was very sparse, comprising only three regiments of infantry (Hessen-Darmstadt, Nassau-Weiburg and Pfalz-Zweibr┼źcken), a District Artillery detachment and no regiments of horse.  This number of men fell a very long way short of what they were meant to provide to the Reichsarmee.  A possible reason for this shortage is that the Rhineland states were taking enormous sums of cash to provide regiments to the King of France.

Thus far I have only painted a single unit for the Upper Rhine District: The superb Hessen-Darmstadt Regiment.

Above:  The Kreisinfanterieregiment Hessen-Darmstadt (also known as the Prinz Georg Regiment) comprised only a single battalion and Grenadier Company, amounting to 674 men at full strength.  The regiment was nothing short of superb and distinguished itself at Rossbach where it, along with the Blau-W├╝rzburg Regiment, withdrew from the disaster in good order.  The Grenadier Company would normally be detached and as a consequence (and in common with all other Reichsarmee grenadier companies) didn’t fight at Rossbach.  However, in February 1759 the regiment was captured along with an Austro-Imperial army at Erfurt and only the detached Grenadier Company escaped, as it was assigned to a completely different force.

Above:  The Hessen-Darmstadt Regiment’s uniform was a dark blue, Prussian-style coat with white metal buttons, white facings (no lapels), white aiguillette on right shoulder and heavily laced with white buttonhole lace.  Neck-stocks were red and small-clothes were white.  The hat had a black cockade and white pompoms, but sources disagree over the hat-lace; Kronoskaf says white hat-lace, while Pengel & Hurt say no hat-lace.   Officers had silver buttonhole lace, silver scalloped hat-lace, silver gorgets and silver sashes striped with red.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Prussian Infantry figures.

Above:  Sources differ markedly over the details of the grenadiers’ mitre cap.  My only source at the time was Pengel & Hurt, who described a silver front with a blue enameled disc bearing the Hessian lion rampant in red and white.  Kn├Âtel meanwhile showed a plain brass front, while Kronoskaf shows a plain silver front, though pierced to reveal a white cloth backing.  All agree that it had a white band, blue bag, white piping and a white pompom.  I must admit that I am rather pleased with those tiny stripy lions! ­čÖé

Above:  As you can tell, I was still painting my flags in those days and these are quite spectacular!  However, I’ve based them the wrong way around; the white Leibfahne should always stand on the right!  I’ll have to have a word with my 1990s self…

That’s it for my Reichsarmee regiments as they currently stand.  I still haven’t painted anything from the Lower Rhine or Upper Saxony Districts, so will leave those districts for another time when I’ve got something to show.  I’ve presently got five Reichsarmee cavalry regiments waiting in the lead-crypt, so hope to get them done soon.

Reichsarmee Generals

General officers of the Reichsarmee initially wore a version of their own regimental dress (such as General von Wildenstein above, in the dress of his own Kurmainz Regiment) or some other concoction of their own design.  However, the inevitable confusion this caused soon resulted in an order for all generals of the Reichsarmee to adopt Austrian-pattern general officers’ dress of white coat with red facings and small-clothes, heavily laced with gold. the exact pattern of which indicated the rank of the general. 

The portrait on the right shows the Prinz von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, the first commander of the Reichsarmee during the Seven Years War, in the uniform of an Austrian Field Marshall.

Here are some of my Reichsarmee generals in Austrian uniform.  I’ve used Old Glory 15s Austrian Generals.

Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsreserveartillerie)

As mentioned above, the only centrally-organised and funded elements of the Reichsarmee were the Imperial General Staff and the Imperial Artillery Reserve (Reichsreserveartillerie).  While each Imperial District was required to provide its own light regimental guns, the Imperial Artillery Reserve would provide the position batteries.  These were mostly 12pdrs, but howitzers, 6pdrs and even 3pdrs are also recorded as part of the Reserve. 

The guns themselves came mostly from the arsenals of W├╝rzburg and Bamberg in Franconia, with additional guns coming from the city of Nuremberg and Bavaria.  The Franconian guns are recorded as being mounted on red carriages, while the Nuremberg guns were red or ‘red and white’ (perhaps red carriages with iron fittings painted white or vice versa?  The Hessians were known to use white carriages with red fittings), with some 3pdrs being plain wood and 6pdr carriages being painted blue-grey.  Bavarian gun carriages were painted light blue.

Above:  I’ve gone for the majority ‘Franconian Red’ option with regard to gun carriage colour.  I’ll paint some other colours when I paint the next batch.

Above:  The uniform of the Imperial Artillery Reserve was a dark blue coat with red cuffs, lapels, turnbacks, collar and shoulder-strap with white metal buttons.  Small-clothes were dark blue.  Neck-stocks and cross-belts were black, though waist-belts were white.  The hat was laced white, with a black cockade.

Above:  I used Old Glory 15s Austrian Artillery and simply painted on the lapels.

Anyway, that’s enough for now! ­čÖé 

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, Shako Rules, Tricorn (18th Century Shako Rules). Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 2): The Reichsarmee

  1. jason says:


    Superb as usual – keep it up!


    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Jase!

      I’ve recently done a load more Prussian infantry and the first French cavalry are now under the brush. I’ve got six units of those two do (four Chevauxleger, one Dragoon and one Hussar) and then it’s on to the British/Hanoverian/Hessian/Brunswick/Schaumburg-Lippe-Buckeburg Army! ­čÖé

      And I’ve just clocked up the 1,000th figure painted since getting back into the SYW last Autumn! ­čÖé

  2. Paul Smith says:


    Impressive as usual, keep em’ coming. Good news this end is that a good friend is starting a 10mm Russian SYW army, huzzar!

    Cheers Paul

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers Paul!

      Now as it happens, I don’t have any SYW Russians yet, but a couple of mates are starting Russian armies and I’ve offered to chip in with the Observation Corps, as we will need a lot of Russians…

  3. James Fisher says:

    Wow. And Wow.
    Such an interesting presentation of these absolutely beautifully painted figures (actually above absolutely beautiful, but I could not think of superlative adjectives!).
    Pleased with those small stripey lions. What an understatement! It take it then that the answer to the question that I was going to pose “did you paint the flags” is “yes”?
    Regards, James

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Cheers James! Yeah, I used to paint all my own flags. It was a case of having to in those pre-internet, pre laser-printer days. The only option for printed flags was a company called Revo and they were a bit rubbish. I can still do it now (see the VBCW and Fishguard 1797 pages for examples of my recently-painted flags), but I’ve become very lazy… ­čśë

  4. Pingback: Happy 3rd Birthday Jemima Fawr! | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  5. Pingback: “Rogues! Do You Want To Stay In The Toolbox Forever?!” (Part 4: Some Prussian Reinforcements) | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  6. Pingback: All The Emperor’s Men (Part 3): Reichsarmee Cavalry | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  7. Pingback: The Combat of Zinna 1759: A Scenario for ‘Tricorn’ | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  8. Mark Wilson says:

    Begging for info as usual, do you have any information on the Lower Saxony Kreis, in particular the Bishopric of Hildesheim.

    • jemima_fawr says:

      I don’t think the Lower Saxon Kreis participated as an entity in the Reichsarmee during this period, as aside from Hildesheim, it was almost entirely Protestant and mostly comprised of states opposed to France and/or Austria and allied to Great Britain and/or Prussia, or they were determined to remain neutral (e.g. Denmark). I certainly can’t find any references to Lower Saxon Kreis-contingents. The Bishopric of Hildesheim apparently came under the Archbishopric of Koln, so perhaps they suppled men to the Kurkoln contingent? Other than that, I can’t find any information, sorry.

  9. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 5): The Mainz ‘Lamberg’ Regiment | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

  10. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 9): Yet More Reichsarmee Units! | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

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

  12. Pingback: ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 11): Reichsarmee on Parade! | Jemima Fawr's Miniature Wargames Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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