Bückeburg Carabiniers

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Origin and History

In 1753, a light corps 18 carabiniers was raised.

In 1754 the carabiniers received a platoon with 27 foot jägers foot (also called "foot carabiniers") as accompanying infantry and to conduct the so-called "little war".

Count Wilhelm was a passionate rider, and he took on the training of his carabiniers himself. Everything he demanded of his riders, he did himself, so that "from the beginning a spirit came into the corps that knew no impossibilities ... hung with the highest enthusiasm on the beloved count, who understood everything himself ...".

By 1756, the “Squadron of Horse Carabiniers” had grown to 87 men, divided into the 1st (Leib) company and the 2nd company.

The light corps included the present mounted Carabinier companies and a company of jägers (approx. 50 men).

The regimental inhaber was:

The unit was commanded by:

  • from April 1757: Major Johann Casimir von Monkewitz, equerry of Count Wilhelm's stables

Service during the War

According to the subsidies contract with Hanover, Count Wilhelm had to provide an infantry regiment and a few artillerymen to serve the battalion guns. However, he was allowed to bring with him the 2 companies of his Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Grenadier-Garde and his Carabiniercorps, which would remain at his own disposal. During the war the average strength was about 110 men; Wilhelm held 25 of them at his personal disposal as a Leibkarabinier company. The carabiniers were supplemented in terms of personnel mainly by selected soldiers from the other units.

Throughout the war, the unit was very active in scouting and skirmish duties and had the reputation neither to give nor to take quarter.

On July 26, 1757, the unit was present at the Battle of Hastenbeck where it was detached to scout along the Weser along with the Hanoverian Hussars (1 sqn) and Bock Dragoons (1 sqn).

On August 5, 1758, at the Combat of Mehr, about 40 men of the unit were part of Imhoff's force who repulsed the French attempt directed against the Allied bridgehead at Rees.

In June 1759, the unit was part of the Allied Main Army under the command of the Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick. On July 1, during the French offensive in West Germany, the unit was probably at Lippstadt when a French detachment under the Comte de Melfort approached the town and summoned its commander. On July 18, the unit dispersed a French party near Lippstadt.

Uniform

Description of the uniform of 1762 based on Wilmans' document kept in the Staatsarchiv Bückeburg.

Privates

Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg Carabiniers between 1753 and 1759. - Source: Richard Knötel Uniformkunde
Uniform Details
Headgear blackened Spanish style steel helmets with a brown bearskin turban; on the front of the helmet was a green shield with the inscription "Pulchrum Mori Succurrit In Extremis" (in danger lurks a fine death)
Neckstock red
Coat black elk leather tunic without buttons
Collar black
Cuffs scarlet
Turnbacks scarlet
Breeches buff leather
Leather Equipment
Shoulderbelt black with buff border
Cartridge Box black
Scabbard black
Footgear black boots, later short black riding boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark green
Sabretache black with Count Wilhelm's monogram and red edging


Troopers were armed with a straight steel hilted sword with black fist strap, two pistols and a rifled carbine. The carbine was slung from the shoulder belt on a swivel hook. Troopers wore a blackened steel full cuirass and upper arm scales (these arm scales were abolished in 1758 as being too restrictive and heavy). The black iron breastplate soon led to the nicknames 'Eisern' or 'Schwarzen Männer'.

Troopers were mounted on black Spanish stallions.

Uniform in 1756 – Copyright Boris Brink

N.B.: Düring mentions that the 50 foot carabiniers had the same uniform, but no armour, sabretache or sabre. They wore cloth breeches instead of buff leather breeches, and black shoes with grey gaiters instead of riding boots. However, all other sources describe the foot soldiers accompanying the mounted carabiniers as green-clad Jägers.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as troopers with the following distinctions:

  • silver braid edging the cuffs

Officers

The officers carried a silver breast plate rather than a blackened plate with gold decoration around the outside and breast. Also carried a gorget with the monogram W.

Musicians

No known particularities.

Colours

The Carabiniers initially had two standards: one "Leibstandarte" and one regimental standard. By 1755, only the first company carried a standard. After this date, there are no mentions of standards.

The color of the regimental standard was red with a black border. Thereupon a silver "W" (for Wilhelm), beyond a silver count crown. The crown had dark red cushions.

The standard was fixed to the flagpole with silver nails. The flagpole was black with a silver finial.

References

Düring, G. W. von, Geschichte des Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburgischen Karabinier- und Jäger-Korps. Berlin 1828 - online Google books

Herzfeld, Karl: Das Truppenkorps des Reichsgrafen Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe, in: Die Zinnfigur, vol. 23, no. 6 (1974), pp. 171-174

Hübinger, Erich: Graf Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe und seine Wehr, Verlag Robert Noske, Borna-Leipzig 1937

Klein, Hans. H.: Wilhelm zu Schaumburg-Lippe, Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück 1982

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. I, plate 34, Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg. Karabiniers. 1753-58. 1759

Wilmans, M.: Anciennete von Seiner Hoch-Reichs-Gräflichen Erlauchten! des Regierenden Herrn Graffen zur Schaumburg-Lippe, und Sternberg, Ritter des Königl-Preushen Grossen-Ordens, von Schwarzen Adler! General en Chef Seiner Königl. Maj. von Portugal Combinirten Armée, Infanterie Regiment, Grenadier-Garde, Carabenier zu Pferd, und Jäger zu Füss, imgleichen Artillerie, wie auch Ingenieur, und Mineur-Corps; Benebst denen Fahnen-Divisen, und Uniform, Bückeburg den 12. Juny 1762, Staatsarchiv Bückeburg au F 1 A XXXV 18 Nr 73

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

Acknowledgement

Boris Brink for the major revision of this article