1. von Rettenburg Grenadiers
Origin and History
This converged grenadier battalion was created in 1757 from the four companies of grenadiers of the Leibinfanterieregiment. Then, it contributed three of its companies for the creation of the Garde zu Fuß.
In 1758, the battalion counted 4 grenadier companies once more.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since 1757: Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Friedrich von Rettenburg
- from 1758: Lieutenant-Colonel Berthold Dominik Friedrich von Plessen (during his captivity from December 1759 to December 1762, command was assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel Johannes Wilhelm von Bode)
The battalion was disbanded in 1766.
Service during the War
At the beginning of the war, the battalion was in the French service.
On August 10, 1757, the battalion set off to join the Austrian army in Silesia. In October, it was at the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 18, three grenadier companies of the battalion left Silesia and returnedto Wuerttemberg. On December 26, they arrived at Stuttgartwhere they would form the core of the new Garde zu Fuß. Meanwhile in Silesia, these three companies were replaced locally by men from the musketeer companies of the regiment and men from the other regiments of the Württemberg Contingent. On November 22, this newly formed battalion took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the battalion was deployed in the first line of the Württemberger Contingent under Marshal Spiznass at the extreme far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps. This position became the main target of the Prussian attack.
On August 1758, the battalion, as part of the Württemberger Contingent, made a junction with the French Army of the Prince de Soubise in Kassel. On October 10, the battalion took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the first line. On November 30, it was at the action between Lauterbach and Fulda.
From August 1759, the battalion campaigned once more in Western Germany. On November 3, the Duke of Württemberg was instructed by the Duc de Broglie to march to Gemünden with his contingent. On November 11, the Württemberger Contingent arrived at Gemünden. The duke then sent his hussars on the Kinzig River. On November 19 and 20, the Württemberger Contingent (about 10,000 men), led personally by the duke, arrived at Fulda and took up its winter-quarters to assist the French Army. On Friday November 30, an Allied force under the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick launched a surprise attack on Fulda. About half the battalion was captured while covering the retreat of the Württemberger force.
In 1760, the Württemberger Contingent operated under Austrian subsidies. Thus, the battalion joined the Austrian Army in Silesia to fight against Prussia. In October in Saxony, the battalion took part in the siege of Wittenberg. It was its last noticeable action during the war.
The grenadiers wore the uniform of their parent regiment. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to the Garde zu Fuß.
Prussian style mitre cap with a brass front plate decorated with a mirrored C (for Carl Eugen) surmounted by a star and a ducal crown, with a red bag, a brass headband and yellow piping.
The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.
Stadlinger, L., J. von, Geschichte des Württembergischen Kriegswesens – von der frühesten bis zur neuesten Zeit, Stuttgart, 1856
Zahn, Michael, Die Herzoglich Württembergische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg, Manuskript, Stuttgart: January 2008
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.