Ansbach Dragoons

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Origin and History

Dragoon of the Ansbach regiment in 1757. - Source: Richard Knötel Uniformkunde

The regiment was raised in 1691; a former squadron of dragoons had been given to the Emperor in 1685. The dragoons saw service on the Rhine during the Nine Years' War (1688–1697 ) and in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1713), notably at the battles of Friedlingen (1703), Höchstädt (1703), Schellenberg (1704), in Bavaria 1703 and 1704 and on the Rhine.

From 1733 to 1738, during the War of the Polish Succession, the dragoons took part in the campaigns on the Rhine.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the District (Kreis) of Franconia supplied a dragoon regiment to the Reichsarmee. This regiment consisted of five squadrons of two companies each, for a nominal total strength of 700 men, plus nine members of the regimental staff.

On November 3, 1757, the effective field strength of the regiment was only 519 men. By June 1758, it had increased to 684 men. The average effective strength of the regiment usually varied between 640 and 670 men, always excluding the regimental staff.

Inhabers and contingents as of 1758:

  • 1st company (Leibkompanie): Captain Johann Friedrich von Gemmingen; Ansbach (58), Schönborn (1), Weißenburg (11)
  • 2nd company: Major-General Johann Philipp von Wolfskeel (FML 1761); all troopers were from Würzburg
  • 3rd company: Colonel Armand Clemens Prince von Hohenlohe-Bartenstein (major general 1762); Hohenlohe Gesamthaus (3), Hohenlohe-Bartenstein (6), Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (14), Hohenlohe-Pfedelbach (5), Hohenlohe-Oehringen (17), Hohenlohe-Langenburg (4), Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen (4), Hohenlohe-Kirchberg (4), Schwarzenberg (11), Castell (3)
  • 4th company: Lieutenant-Colonel Franz Anton von Münster; all troopers were from Würzburg
  • 5th company: Major Gero Baron von Ulm; Eichstätt (45), Rineck (11), Erbach (14)
  • 6th company: Karl Dietrich Baron von Lochner; all troopers were from Bamberg
  • 7th company: Johann Friedrich Wilhelm von Metzsch; Brandenburg-Bayreuth (46), Limpurg (23), Castell (1)
  • 8th company: Gottlieb Wilhelm (von) Möck; all troopers were from Nuremberg
  • 9th company: Philipp von Blarer; Teutonic Order (44), Würzburg (21), Wertheim (5)
  • 10th company: Friedrich Philipp Wilhelm (von) Möck (ex Carl Sebastian Fürer, killed in action at Roßbach); all troopers were from Nuremberg

During the Seven Years's War, the Chef of the regiment was the Margrave Carl Alexander von Brandenburg-Ansbach while effective command was assumed by:

  • from 1756: Colonel Prince von Hohenlohe-Bartenstein (25 years old commander who repeatedly tried to resign in fits of mental illness in 1760)
  • from mid-1762: Colonel Franz Anton von Münster (he had filed his reports from the campaign as second colonel – and commander? - as early as 1760)

Only three companies were put into the field during the Revolutionary Wars 1793 to 1801. In 1792, the regiment already had lost Brandenburg-Bayreuth and Brandenburg-Ansbach as important contributors. In 1801 it was dissolved de facto, the Prussian Hussar battalion Frankenberg having theoretically replaced it since 1792/93.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was with the Reichsarmee operating in Thuringia and Saxony. On June 9, the regiment took part in an engagement near Vach. In August, this army combined with a French contingent under the Prince de Soubise to form the Franco-Imperial Army for the planned reconquest of Saxony. Soubise rated the various units of the Reichsarmee, considering this regiment as "poor". By August 5, the regiment counted 424 men fit for service. On November 5, at the Battle of Rossbach, it was placed in the second line of the right wing under the Prince von Hohenzollern. During this battle, the Nuremberg company G.W. Möck lost its standard.

In June 1758, the regiment took part in an engagement near Adorf and Asch. On November 12, it was at the combat of Torgau. On November 15, it fought in the combat of Eilenburg.

On March 2, 1759, the piquet of the regiment were ambushed near Eisenach. On May 19, the regiment took part in an engagement near Markbreit. By mid-August, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment was attached to Zweibrücken's Corps. On September 2, it took part in the Combat of Sorau. On September 8, it took part in the Combat of Zinna where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry right wing. On September 21, it took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in Kleefeld's Division.

On September 26, 1760, the regiment took part in an engagement near Torgau. On October 2, it fought in an action near Wittenberg.

On September 3, 1760, the regiment took part in an engagement near Lohma.

On June 23, 1762, the regiment fought in an action near Zwickau. From July 21 to 23, it took part in combats in the vicinity of Hof and Münchberg.

Losses during the War

Judging from reports and documents concerning battles, losses seem moderate, totalling a mere 207 men (killed in action 6, wounded 21, prisoners 164, missing 37). Extrapolating from the more differentiated, excellent Nuremberg data (with this contingent making 20 % of the regiment) one may assume for the regiment in summa: killed in action 10, dead by diseases etc. (i.e. without enemy impact) 50, prisoners 180 (95 returning on their own account), missing 85, deserters 150 (arrested 10), dismissed/invalided (mostly at the beginning of campaigns) 190.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
as per Becher, completed where necessary with info from Richard Knötel, Ernst Boehm, Dirk Rottgardt, Wolf-Dieter Weirich and Klaus Roider
Headgear
Trooper black tricorne laced silver (black and silver cockade and blue/white pompoms in 1782 as per Raspe)
Horse grenadier not available
Neckstock black
Coat white (Austrian cut)
Collar narrow blue collar
Shoulder Straps blue and white aiguillette on the left shoulder
Lapels blue with 6 buttons and 6 narrow white buttonholes grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets with white buttons
Cuffs blue with 3 white buttons and 3 narrow white buttonholes
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat straw
Breeches straw
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard not available
Scabbard black ornamented with white metal
Footgear black boots with white knee covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue bordered with a white braid ornamented with a blue wavy braid
Housing blue bordered with a white braid ornamented with a blue wavy braid
Greatcoat white with a light-blue collar


Troopers were armed with sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of the troopers with buttonholes sewn with thread of silver and a silver aiguillette; red and black sash.

Musicians

Drummers wore reverse colours uniforms (light blue coat with white distinctives) laced with a (probably) white and blue braid.

Kettle-drummers wore reverse colours uniforms with rich silver lacing (pattern unknown); leather breeches; and a tricorne with a silver scalloped lace.

Kettle-drums made in 1710, so probably dark blue. In 1745, the coat of arms of the House of Linsingen (Inhaber from 1734 to 1737) was replaced by the cipher and arms of the Prince Brandenburg-Ansbach.

Standards

The regiment still carried the 1734 model, as no more recent standards are known to have been issued. In 1734, a full set of identical dark blue standards (Leibkompanie white) was acquired:

  • Obverse: the motto "PRO DEO / CAESARE / ET / PATRIA" in gold, wreath of laurels in silver.
    • Reverse: arms of the respective contingent's owner, e.g. of Würzburg, Bamberg etc. Probably from 1757 onward, only one standard per squadron was carried (like with the cuirassiers).

The 1st company carried a white colonel standard.

The dark blue ordonnance standards were fringed in silver. Their centre devices varied depending on the company:

  • 1st company (Leibkompanie): the red Brandenburg-Eagle or the arms of the Count
  • 2nd company: the arms of Würzburg
  • 3rd company: the arms of Hohenlohe
  • 4th company: the arms of Würzburg
  • 5th company: unknown
  • 6th company: the arms of Bamberg
  • 7th company: unknown
  • 8th company: the arms of Nuremberg
  • 9th company: unknown
  • 10th company: the arms of Nuremberg

References

  • Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760
    • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
    • Copy (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)
  • Bleckwenn, Hans: Reiter, Husaren und Grenadiere - die Uniformen der kaiserlichen Armee am Rhein 1734, Dortmund 1979
  • Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D., Die Reichsarmee 1757-63. I. Teil: Zusammensetzung und Organisation, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.
  • Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D.; Weirich, W.-D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-63. II. Teil: Die einzelnen Einheiten, ihre Stärke, Zusammensetzung, Uniform und Feldzeichen, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.
  • Brauer, Hans M.; Knötel, Herbert d.J.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen, Berlin 1926-1962, Uniformbogen Nr. 11, Die Reichsarmee 1756-63, die Regtr. des Fränk. Kreises
  • Deutsche Uniformen, Vol. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 images from Herbert Knötel d. J., text and explanations from dr. Martin Letzius, published by Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden, 1932
  • Documents from Bavarian state archives in Bamberg and Nuremberg
  • Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin, 1903, Appendix 8
  • Helmes, Hermann: Übersicht zur Geschichte der fränkischen Kreistruppen 1664-1714, in: Darstellungen aus der Bayerischen Kriegs- und Heeresgeschichte, hrsg. vom K.B. Kriegsarchiv, No. 14, München 1905, pp. I-VIII and 1-70
  • Helmes, Hermann: Kurze Geschichte der fränkischen Kreistruppen 1714-1756 und ihre Teilnahme am Feldzuge von Roßbach 1757, in: Darstellungen aus der Bayerischen Kriegs- und Heeresgeschichte, hrsg. vom K.B. Kriegsarchiv, No. 16, München 1907, pp. I-VIII and 1-116
  • Helmes, Hermann: Die fränkischen Kreistruppen im Kriegsjahre 1758 und im Frühjahrsfeldzug 1759, in: Darstellungen aus der Bayerischen Kriegs- und Heeresgeschichte, hrsg. vom K.B. Kriegsarchiv, No. 17, München 1908, pp. I-VIII and 137-216
  • Knötel, Richard: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985
  • Knötel, Richard, Uniformkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Rathenow 1890-1921, vol. VI, plate 6. Fränkischer Kreis. Die Truppen des Fränkischen Kreises 1781.
  • Knötel, Richard, Uniformkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Rathenow 1890-1921, vol. XIV, plate 38. Fränkischer Kreis. Deutschordens-Dragoner bei der Reichs-Armee 1757.
  • Koch, A. Ulrich: Die Reichsarmee VI: Die Uniformierung der beiden Reiter-Regimenter des Fränkischen Kreises 1735. in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, vol. XXXVII, (1974) no. 254/255, pp. 136-142
  • Kühlmann, Hermann: Kurze Geschichte der fränkischen Kreistruppen und ihrer Feldzeichen, in: Die Zinnfigur, Neue Folge, vol. 9 (1960), no. 6, pp. 88-91 and no. 7, pp. 100-101
  • Muhsfeldt, Th.: Ueber die Truppen des Fränkischen Kreises, in: Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht. Beilagen zum VI. Bande der "Uniformkunde", hrsg. von Richard Knötel (1885), No. 2, pp. 5-6, No. 3, pp. 9-11 and No. 4, p. 13
  • Muhsfeldt, Th.: Einige Angaben über die Reichsarmee vom Jahre 1757, in: Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht. Beilagen zum IX. Bande der "Uniformkunde", hrsg. von Richard Knötel (1889), No. 4, pp. 15-16 and No. 5, pp. 17-20
  • Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
  • Soden, Karl baron von: Nachricht von den Fränkischen Craistruppen. Nebst einem Anhang von den Schwäbischen Creisregimentern, Nürnberg, by Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, 1782
  • Tessin, Georg: Die Inhaber der Fränkischen und Schwäbischen Kreisregimenter, in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, vol. IL, (1985), No. 319, Mai/Juni, pp. 81-83
  • Verordnung des löblichen fränkischen Kreises, wonach dessen Regimenter zu Ross und zu Fuss gleichförmig montiret, mit Feuer- und Seitengewehr versehen.....werden sollen u.s.w., vom 26. October 1756. Auszug. Nach der Sammlung Würzburgischer Verordnungen im Kgl. Kreis-Archiv Würzburg, mitgetheilt von Th. Muhsfeldt, in: Mittheilungen zur Geschichte der militärischen Tracht. Beilagen zum XII. Bande der "Uniformkunde", hrsg. von Richard Knötel (1902), No. 3, pp. 9-10
  • Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar
  • Wilson, Peter, Wurzburg and Bamberg in the Seven Years War, Seven Years War Association Journal Vol. IX No. 2

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgements

Klaus Roider for additional information on the composition of this regiment and on its uniform.