‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 10): The Very Last Reichsarmee Units!

Well all good things (and tedious blog articles) must come to an end… I’ve finally painted my last unit for the Reichsarmee.  I will post a Grand Imperial Parade in Part 11, showing the Reichsarmee as a whole and the grouped district contingents en masse, but for now here are the last units to be painted.

Franconian District (Fränkischen Kreis

Grenadier, Cronegk IR (Becher)

Above:  The Franconian ‘Cronegk’ Infantry Regiment.  Franconia raised three infantry regiments for the Reichsarmee, named ‘Ferntheil’, ‘Varell’ and ‘Cronegk’ with all three being organised identically, comprising two six-company battalions, two detached grenadier companies and an artillery detachment.  At full strength, each battalion numbered almost 1,000 men and rarely went much below 750 men, so they are represented in Tricorn as ‘Large’ units of 16 figures.

I painted the other two Franconian regiments in 1997 and they were therefore among the very first Reichsarmee units to be painted, though this regiment for some reason languished in the Lead Dungeon for over a quarter of a century and became the LAST Reichsarmee regiment to be painted!  🙂  I covered the other two regiments in Part 2.

Above:  The Franconian ‘Cronegk’ Infantry Regiment.  Like many other Reichsarmee units, the three Franconian regiments were raised from a multitude of tiny contingents.  The units raised in this manner were invariably bad and the Franconian regiments were no exception, being rated by the French Marshal Soubise as ‘poor’ and ‘too Prussian in their ways’.  It certainly didn’t help that the regiments were riven by religious disputes, including the ridiculous argument over the regimental colours, as described in Part 2.

Above:  The Franconian ‘Cronegk’ Infantry Regiment wore a dark blue coat cut in Prussian style, with white lapels, collar, shoulder-strap, (Swedish) cuffs and tail-turnbacks.  Buttons were brass.  Smallclothes and belts were white.  Gaiters and neck-stocks were black.  The hats were decorated with white lace and white-over-blue-over-white pompoms.  Officers wore gold hat-lace and aiguillette, with a gorget and silver waist-sash, woven through with black and red.  The only adornment to drummers’ uniforms was a white ‘swallow’s nest’ on each shoulder.

Above:  The Franconian ‘Cronegk’ Infantry Regiment.  As mentioned above, the tail-turnbacks were coloured white, though some sources show them as red.  This confusion seems to stem from a later uniform-change, first depicted in 1782, by which time the tail-turnbacks of all three Franconian regiments had changed to Prussian-style red.  The general consensus is that they were still white during the SYW and were depicted as such in the Becher Manuscript, as shown in the illustration of a grenadier of the regiment shown above (and those of the ‘Varell’ Regiment were still yellow, again matching the facing colour).

For the Franconians I used Old Glory 15s Prussian infantry figures.  The flags were taken from a Reichsarmee flag-sheet I bought during the 1990s from Andy Grubb, along with sheets of SYW Bavarian and Swedish flags.  They were the first laser-printed flags I’d ever seen and the colours are still as bright and vibrant as they were 25+ years ago, so I used these old flags, despite Not By Appointment recently releasing the Franconian flags.

Above:  The Franconian District Artillery Corps.  In addition to providing the bulk of the heavy artillery and gunners to the Reichsreserveartillerie (covered in Part 2), the Circle of Franconia also equipped its three infantry regiments with an artillery detachment, each of four 3pdr guns.  I did cover the Franconian District Artillery in Part 2, but the information provided there proved not to be correct, being based on the Kronoskaf description, which describes an identical uniform to that of the Reichsreserveartillerie (blue coat and smallclothes with red lapels, collar, cuffs, turnbacks and shoulder-strap), except with yellow hat-lace and buttons instead of white (confusingly, the Kronoskaf article shows white hat-lace in its illustration, but says yellow in the text).

Above:  This battery of the Franconian District Artillery Corps is therefore based on the description provided by Frédéric Aubert, who asserts that Franconian gunners were still wearing red smallclothes during the SYW and that the blue smallclothes shown in Kronoskaf did not appear until sometime around 1781 (being illustrated in 1782).  Kronoskaf does describe red smallclothes being worn by Franconian artillery officers.

One mistake I made here however, is that the cord worn over the left shoulder and supporting the gunners’ tool pouch should be twisted cords of red, white and black.  I just painted them as buff-coloured ropes and will therefore have to go back and correct this.

Above:  The Franconian District Artillery Corps was equipped with guns from the Nuremberg Arsenal, which also supplied the bulk of the guns for the Reichsreserveartillerie.  The heavy Nuremberg guns supplied to the Reichsreserveartillerie are known to have been carried on red carriages, so I’ve also painted this gun-carriage red.

These are Old Glory 15s Austrian artillery figures.

The Reichsarmee Grenadier Corps

As with all Austro-Imperial grenadier companies, the grenadier companies of the Reichsarmee existed as ‘semi-detached’ units, usually accompanying their parent regiment within the same corps, but not serving alongside them in battle.  Instead, they were used for a variety of tasks, mainly guarding baggage and the artillery-train.  Hence they were well to the rear during the Battle of Rossbach.

As the war went on and in common with the Austrian grenadiers, they were increasingly used as an elite corps, being used for critical assault tasks and as a tactical reserve to defend key points and react to enemy breakthroughs.  However, unlike the Prussian grenadiers, who were formed into semi-permanent battalions at the commencement of hostilities, the Austro-Imperial grenadier battalions were always ad hoc affairs, being grouped together on or very close to the day of battle.

I did originally organise my Reichsarmee grenadier companies as separate bases, so they could be grouped together and rearranged for particular scenarios, but I’m increasingly moving away from separate bases, so instead decided to base them as single-base battalions, for the most part grouped by Imperial Circle.  They were rarely grouped in this manner, but it suits me to do so.  In any case, there is precious little information on how grenadier battalions were organised; at the very most we get a vague description, such as a list of x grenadier companies present, organised into y battalions.  They might also be grouped with Austrian line infantry or Grenzer grenadier companies.

Above:  Franconian Grenadiers.  The three Franconian infantry regiments each provided two grenadier companies.  I use two roughly figures per company, so each regiment is represented by four figures.

Above:  Franconian Grenadiers.  From left to right, the three Franconian regiments represented here are ‘Ferntheil‘ (red facings), ‘Varell‘ (yellow facings) and ‘Cronegk‘ (white facings.  I covered the first two regiments in Part 2 and the ‘Cronegk’ Regiment is detailed above.

Above:  Franconian Grenadiers.  While the majority of Franconian grenadiers wore Austrian-style fur caps, some contingents equipped their grenadiers with Prussian-style mitre caps.  There is some disagreement among sources as to how many contingents were still wearing mitre caps during the SYW, but all seem to agree that the Bayreuth Company of the ‘Varell’ Regiment wore mitre caps, while the Eichstädt Company of the same regiment wore fur caps.  As for the rest, the Anspach contingents of the ‘Cronegk’ and ‘Ferntheil’ Regiments may also have worn mitre caps. I’ve therefore given mitre caps to half of the ‘Varell’ Regiment’s grenadiers and also arbitrarily given them to half of the ‘Ferntheil’ Regiment’s grenadiers.

Above: Franconian Grenadiers.  The fur caps worn by Franconian grenadiers were all made of dark brown fur, with brass front-plates and bags in the facing colour, piped blue for the ‘Cronegk’ Regiment and white for the other two.  The mitre caps had a facing-coloured front-piece, decorated with a brass crest, bearing a blue enamel disc.  The head-band was also facing-coloured and decorated with brass grenades.  The bag was blue for the ‘Fertheil’ and ‘Cronegk’ Regiments and red for the ‘Varell’ Regiment.  Piping and pompoms were white for all three regiments.

Above:  Kurrhein (Electoral Rhine) Grenadiers.  Four of the five Electoral Rhenish infantry regiments supplied six grenadier companies between them; the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment and Kurpfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment each supplied two companies, while the Kurköln ‘Nothaft’ Regiment and Kurköln ‘Wildenstein’ Regiment supplied one company apiece.  The ‘Kurtrier’ Regiment did not contribute any grenadier companies.

Above:  Kurrhein Grenadiers.  The regimental contingents from left to right are: the two Kurköln regiments (red facings), the Kurmainz Regiment (green facings) and the Kurpfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment (white facings).  I detailed the uniforms of all these Kurrhein contingents in Part 8.

Above:  Kurrhein Grenadiers.  All Kurrhein grenadier companies wore Austrian-style fur caps of dark brown/black fur with a plate at the front and a hanging bag at the rear.  The metal of the plate matched the regimental button-colour, which was certainly brass for the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment, though the other regiments are the source of some debate.  The Kurpfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment is variously described as yellow or white metal and I’ve gone with white metal.  As for the two Kurköln regiments, one had white metal and the other yellow, but nobody can agree which regiment was which (Kronoskaf also says that the plate was brass for both regiments)!

Above:  Kurrhein Grenadiers.  The colour of the bags on the back of the grenadier caps matched the regimental facing-colour.  The piping and tassel was blue for the Kurpfalz ‘Effern’ Regiment, yellow (or possibly a darker shade of green) for the ‘Kurmainz’ Regiment and white for both Kurköln regiments.

Above:  Swabian Grenadiers.  The four Swabian infantry regiments; ‘Baden-Baden‘, ‘Alt-Württemberg‘, ‘Baden-Durlach‘ and ‘Fürstenberg‘ each contributed two grenadier companies to the Reichsarmee.  However, I haven’t included the ‘Fürstenberg’ Regiment’s grenadiers here, as I included them as part of the parent regiment, which I covered in Part 2 (pictured below).

Above:  Swabian Grenadiers.  From left to right, the regiments represented here are the ‘Baden-Baden’ Regiment (white facings), the ‘Alt-Württemberg’ Regiment (yellow facings) and the ‘Baden-Durlach’ Regiment (red facings).  I covered their parent regiments in Part 4.

Grenadier, Baden-Durlach IR (Knötel)

Above:  Swabian Grenadiers.  Note that there is some disagreement between sources as to the uniform of the ‘Baden-Durlach’ Regiment’s grenadier companies.  Some sources (including Richard Knötel) suggest that the regiment’s grenadiers wore a different uniform to that of the parent regiment, adding tasseled lace buttonholes to the coat and changing the colour of the smallclothes from white to straw.  Richard Knötel’s interpretation is shown on the right. Kronoskaf also went along with this (hence why I painted it!), but has since deleted that description.  The Becher Manuscript shows the same uniform as the parent regiment; plain red facings without lace and white smallclothes.

It seems probable that the Knötel version of the uniform was worn by the ENTIRE regiment at a later date, perhaps in the 1780s or 90s.  Ah well, I’m not repainting them now… 🙂

Grenadier, Baden-Baden IR (Becher)

Above: Swabian Grenadiers.  The ‘Baden-Baden’ Regiment’s grenadiers wore Austrian-style dark brown fur caps, while the ‘Baden-Durlach’ and ‘Alt-Württemberg’ Regiments wore Prussian-style mitre caps.  Once again, there is some disagreement regarding the details.  I went along with the version of the ‘Baden-Baden’ Regiment’s cap shown by Kronoskaf and Frédéric Aubert, which has a brass front-plate and a blue bag with white piping and tassel.  However, the Becher Manuscript version (pictured on the right) shows no front-plate and has a white bag with blue piping and white tassel.

Sources are largely in agreement regarding the other two regiments; The ‘Alt-Württemberg’ Regiment’s cap had a brass front-plate, a yellow (or possibly brass) band with brass grenade badges, a yellow bag, red piping (Kronoskaf says yellow piping) and a yellow pompom with black centre.  The ‘Baden-Durlach’ Regiment’s cap had a brass front, red band with brass grenades, blue bag, white piping and a red pompom (though Knötel shows no pompom).

Above:  Kurbayern, Oberrhein & Obersachsen Grenadiers.  This battalion is comprised of the various odds & sods making up the remainder of my Reichsarmee.  These were for the most part painted in the 1990s, when my sources were limited to just the (excellent) Pengel & Hurt booklets.  Some of the details have since been challenged by more recent research, but I’ve left them largely unaltered.

Above:  Kurbayern, Oberrhein & Obersachsen Grenadiers.  From left to right, these grenadier companies are from the ‘Kurbayern‘ Regiment (made up of one grenadier company each from the Bavarian ‘Holnstein‘ and ‘Pechmann‘ Regiments), the ‘Salzburg‘ Regiment, the Hessen-Darmstädt ‘Prinz Georg’ Regiment and the Kurpfalz ‘Garde zu Fuss‘ Regiment.  I covered most of these regiments in Part 2 and the Pfalz ‘Garde zu Fuss’ in Part 4.  The ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment contributed two grenadier companies (i.e. one company from each of its Bavarian parent regiments) regiments and the remainder each contributed a single grenadier company to the Reichsarmee.  I must confess however, that I’ve included a double-helping of Hessen-Darmstädt grenadiers, as I rather like them! 🙂

Above:  Kurbayern, Oberrhein & Obersachsen Grenadiers.  While most of these contingents wore Austrian-style fur caps, the Hessen-Darmstädt grenadiers wore Prussian-style mitre caps.  It should be noted that when I painted these, Pengel & Hurt specified that the Salzburg grenadier caps were made of ‘brown fur’, so I painted them that horrible ginger colour.  I know now that virtually all fur grenadier caps were made of ‘brown’ fur and it was usually a dark brown, bordering on black, so they should probably all be roughly the same colour.

As for the Hessian mitre caps, I’ve seen at least five different versions of the front-plate.  This is the version shown in Pengel & Hurt; namely a white metal plate with a blue enameled oval, bearing the red & white striped lion-rampant of Hesse.  Other versions have a pierced front-plate, revealing white or blue cloth backing and different (or no) enameled decoration.

Note also that recent research has revealed that the two Bavarian contingents making up the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment adopted the same facing-colour of ‘light red’ (best described as ‘old rose’), which was the facing colour of the ‘Holnstein’ Regiment, though the men from the ‘Pechmann’ Regiment retained their straw tail-turnbacks.  Pengel & Hurt got themselves (and me!) very confused here, so the ‘Holnstein’ contingent is shown in poppy red with straw turnbacks (this should all be light red), while the ‘Pechmann’ contingent is shown in straw facings (they should have light red lapels and cuffs).

Above:  Kurbayern, Oberrhein & Obersachsen Grenadiers.  From right to left, the cap-bags of the ‘Holnstein’ contingent of the ‘Kurbayern’ Regiment should have light red bags, piped white, not the poppy red piped yellow shown here.  The straw bags with white piping of the ‘Pechmann’ contingent may well be correct, or they may also have adopted light red (sources are split).  The ‘Salzburg’ Regiment’s bags are just described as ‘red’, though they may have had white piping.  All sources agree that the Hessian mitre caps had white bands, grenade badges in brass or white metal, blue bag, white piping and white pompoms.  The Kurpfalz ‘Garde zu Fuss’ had red bags with white piping.

Above:  Imperial Auxiliary Grenadiers.  As discussed in Part 1, a number of Imperial regiments were hired to serve with the Austrian army and eventually ended up fighting as part of the Austrian contribution to the Reichsarmee.  Chief among these were three excellent infantry regiments; the ‘Mainz’, ‘Mainz-Lamberg’ or ‘Lamberg’ Regiment, the ‘Rot-Würzburg‘ Regiment and the ‘Blau-Würzburg‘ Regiment.  Each regiment contributed two grenadier companies.  They probably never served together in a combined battalion like this, but it appealed to me. 🙂

Above:  Imperial Auxiliary Grenadiers.  From left to right, these are the grenadier companies of the ‘Mainz-Lamberg’, ‘Blau-Würzburg’ and ‘Rot-Würzburg’ Regiments.  I covered the ‘Rot-Würzburg’ Regiment in Part 1, the ‘Mainz-Lamberg’ Regiment in Part 5 and the ‘Blau-Würzburg’ Regiment in Part 7.  The uniforms were all very Austrian in style and this battalion could happily be used as a stand-in Austrian grenadier battalion.

Above:  Imperial Auxiliary Grenadiers.  All three regiments wore Austrian-style fur caps of dark brown fur, with white metal front-plates.

Above:  Imperial Auxiliary Grenadiers. The cap-bags of all three regiments matched the facing colour and all had white piping and tassels.

The Reichsarmee ‘Also-Rans’

I must confess that there are still a very few Reichsarmee units left that I haven’t painted, so I’ll list them here.  They amount to around six battalions, plus a grenadier battalion and a light battery.  I may decide to paint them ‘to complete the set’ sometime in the future, but I won’t be doing them any time soon!

Nassau-Weiburg IR (Knötel)

The Upper-Rhenish ‘Nassau-Weiburg’ Regiment theoretically consisted of two battalions and two grenadier companies, but the the regiment was very weak, amounting to little more than a single battalion in terms of manpower.  In 1759 one battalion was captured as part of the surrendered garrison of Leipzig and by 1761 the regiment was fielded as a single battalion with no grenadiers.  They also never fought at any significant engagements, so I consequently decided not to do them.  The lack of flag information was also a factor, though that’s now been corrected, as Frédéric Aubert discovered surviving examples and has included them in his Ad Hoc Editions plates and flag-sheets.  The regiment wore blue coats with white facings.

The Upper-Saxon ‘Ernestinisch-Sachsen’ Regiment consisted of two battalions and two grenadier companies assembled from five Saxon duchies and did actually fight at one battle; the Combat of Zinna.  I probably would have painted this regiment, as it did fight and it had an array of different uniforms, so would look interesting on the table; the 1st Battalion all wore the same uniform of blue coats with red facings, though the 2nd Battalion had four different uniforms with a mixture of blue and white coats and red and yellow facings.  The grenadiers don’t seem to have been sent to war (perhaps used as a depot or garrison?).

However, aside from some very speculative designs that didn’t appeal to me, there was absolutely no information on the regiment’s flags.  Nevertheless, Frédéric has once again produced some lovely and very plausible speculative flag designs that look ‘right’, so they may yet appear in my Reichsarmee.

Münster ‘Elverfeldt’ or ‘Nagel’ IR (Knötel)

As for the Lower-Rhenish-Westphalian Circle; the Bishopric of Münster raised two regiments; the ‘Elverfeldt’ Regiment and the ‘Nagel’ Regiment which each consisted of a single battalion, grenadier company and section of 2x 4pdr battalion guns.  Both were rated as ‘good’ by Soubise.  However, they remained on garrison duty throughout the war and only fought in one very minor engagement against Ferdinand of Brunswick’s western allied army, so I decided not to do them.

Their uniforms and flags are fairly well-documented, with both regiments wearing blue coats.  Most sources say that the ‘Elverfeldt’ Regiment had white facings and the ‘Nagel’ Regiment had red facings, though Frédéric insists that it was the other way round.  They each had a grenadier company wearing mitre caps and the flags were very pretty, having a Bavarian-style blue & white lozengy field with a wreathed cross of the Teutonic Order.  So even though they’re fairly redundant from a historical refight point of view, these regiments are very pretty…  It’s so tempting…

The Münster Artillery Corps was quite strong and supplied the regimental artillery to the three Lower-Rhenish-Westphalian Regiments, in addition to the Electoral Rhenish Kurköln ‘Nothaft’ and ‘Wildenstein’ Regiments.  I’ve already painted the Kurköln regiments (shown in Part 8), so I should also perhaps paint some of these gunners.  The Münster Artillery Corps wore blue coats with red facings (including lapels) and white smallclothes.

Paderborn ‘Mengerson’ IR (Knötel)

The last missing regiment is the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian ‘Mengerson’ Regiment, raised by the Bishopric of Paderborn.  This regiment, again consisting of a single battalion, grenadier company and pair of 4pdr guns, was rated as ‘average’ by Soubise and did actually fight at the Combat of Korbitz.  Some sources also place it at the Combats of Strehla and Wittenberg, where it was probably guarding the baggage of the Prince of Zweibrücken, as it had been during the previous year.

The ‘Mengerson’ Regiment had blue coats with red facings and white lace edging.  The regiment’s greandier company had mitre caps.  Again, the fact that no flags were known was a big factor in my deciding not to paint this regiment, but that flippin’ Frédéric has now produced the flags, which again were very ‘Bavarianesque’.

Anyway, that’s it for now!  The Grand Imperial Parade will follow soon and I will eventually catch up with a late game report for the AWI Battle of the Brandywine (played last March) and an epic game from last weekend, which was a return to the ACW Second Battle of Murfreesboro (aka Stones River).  Here are some tasters:

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.

9 Responses to ‘All The Emperor’s Men’ (Part 10): The Very Last Reichsarmee Units!

  1. I just love your work on and presentation of the various Reichsarmee units! Highly inspirational. Several years ago, I completed a 60-figure unit representing three contingents of the Ernestine-Sachsen regiment, using RSM96 Prussians. Speculative flags from somewhere online, but one of my favorites. Currently working very slowly on a collection of random Austrian, Reichsarmee, Prussian-allied, and AWI German units for my own fictitious armies. Anyway, looking very forward to your eventual grand parade of the Imperial regiments.

    Kind Regards,

    Stokes Schwartz
    (Michigan, USA)


    Is there a way to “follow” your blog easily by chance?

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Stokes! 🙂

      They are quite addictive and like Pokemon you gotta catch em all, so I’ll probably end up doing them! 🙂

      There WAS a sign-up widget on this blog, but it suddenly disappeared last year following a WordPress update. I’ve tried and failed to put one back, so it’s now in the hands of IT Support (daughter). 🙁


  2. Phil Carrington says:

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for putting this series together. I’ve just started painting up some 10mm Pendraken Reichsarmee units and your blog is chiefly to blame !! Seriously, many thanks for taking the time – inspirational stuff. Phil

  3. Paul Smith says:

    Hi Mark

    “Yeah, I get blamed for a lot of things…” and richly deserved!

    Just wanted to add my thanks.

    Cheers Paul

  4. Nick says:

    thank you for an awesome series of articles

    Must get on with my SYW stuff

    • jemima_fawr says:

      Thanks Nick! 🙂

      Yes, yes you must! 😉

      I’ve been on holiday for three weeks, but it’s back to the grindstone tomorrow, painting the last unit (the Dragoon Squadrons) of the Legion Britannique for my British-Hanoverian army and then on to some more Hessen-Cassel troops. In a moment of weakness I also bought some Highlanders last payday… Mainly because they were about the only thing showing as ‘in stock’ at Eureka…

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

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