Bavarian Leib-Regiment

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Bavarian Army >> Bavarian Leib-Regiment

Origin and History

The regiment consisted of 3 battalions. Each of these battalions counted 4 fusilier companies (140 men each) and 1 grenadier company (100 men). Furthermore, each battalion had 2 light 4-pdr battalion guns.

Since October 1 1751, the entire regiment garrisoned Munich.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment Inhaber was:

  • since January 20 1745 until 1777: Max Joseph III Prince Elector of Bavaria

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • from 1756 to 1759: Colonel Ferdinand Baron von und zu Freyen-Seyboltstorff
  • 1759: Major-general Joseph Heinrich Baron von Pechmann
  • 1759: Major-general Johann Christian Joseph Baron von Herold

Service during the War

In April 1757, the third battalion of this regiment was assigned to the Auxiliary Corps which was being assembled to serve with the Austrian Army on the basis of a subsidy contract settled with France on March 29. In July, its second battalion also joined this Auxiliary Corps which was assigned to the Austrian corps under the command of Count Nádasdy. Both battalions were below strength. Grenadier companies usually fought alongside the regiment. Occasionally, the grenadiers were detached to form an elite battalion of converged grenadiers.

In October 1757, the second and third battalions took part to the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 22, they were at the battle of Breslau where they formed part of the corps of Count Seyssel d’Aix on the right wing of the second line. A few weeks later, on December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, these 2 battalions were part of Nádasdy's corps deployed on the left wing. They were placed in the center of the first line of this corps near the Württemberger contingent whose fate they shared, being routed by the Prussian troops who attacked the flank of the left wing.

In 1758, the second and third battalions were present at Troppau, at the siege of Olmütz and at the siege of Neisse.

In January 1759, the two battalions previously assigned to the Auxiliary Corps returned to Munich and remained in Bavaria till the end of the war.

Uniform

In September 15, 1760 it was ordered to change the collar, lapels and cuffs from white to black and to decorate them with white wollen laces. The turnbacks have to remain white. The coat of the musicians were changed from dark to light blue.

On January 12, 1761 it was ordered to change the coats of the Leibkompanie and of the three grenadier companies from dark to light blue. The other companies had to wear out the dark blue coats. This took untill 1765.

Privates before 1760

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
as per Drexler, Gilardone, Schleich, Keilpflug and Staudinger
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a white/blue cockade
Grenadier Austrian style bearskin
Neckstock red
Coat Austrian style blue coat with 3 white buttons under the lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back
Collar white
Shoulder Straps blue fastened with a white button (on the left shoulder)
Lapels white with 8 white buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs white with 3 white buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard none
Footgear black shoes


Other interpretations

Schirmer already indicates black as the distinctive colour of the regiment at the beginning of the war.

Some authors mention white lace on the uniform before 1760.

Privates from 1760

Uniform in 1760 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1761 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
as per Staudinger, H. Knötel and Schirmer
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver with a white/blue cockade
Grenadier Austrian style bearskin
Neckstock red
Coat Austrian style blue coat (changed to sky blue in 1761) with 3 white buttons and 3 white diamond-shaped frogs under the lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back
Collar black
Shoulder Straps blue (changed to sky blue in 1761) fastened with a white button (on the left shoulder)
Lapels black with 8 white buttons and 8 white diamond-shaped frogs
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs black with 3 white buttons and 3 white diamond-shaped frogs
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black decorated with a brass grenade
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard none
Footgear black shoes


Other interpretations

Some authors indicate black turnbacks on the uniform from 1760.

Officers

The officers were distinguished by a silver lace on the tricorne which was also decorated with a black cockade fastened with a silver lace, a silver gorget decorated with golden arms of Bavaria.

The officers of the Leib-Regiment were further distinguished by a sash.

Musicians

Before 1760, drummers wore a white uniform with blue distinctives.

From 1760, drummers wore the uniform of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • white/black/blue woollen chevrons on the sleeves
  • white/black/blue laced swallow nest at the shoulders decorated with the yellow arms of Bavaria
  • white/black/blue laced cuffs

White bandolier edged white/blue.

The brass drum barrel carried the arms of Bavaria on a field of white and blue stripes.

Colours

About the colours of the Bavarian infantry regiments , we know some models in use during the first part of the 18th century, before 1740; we know 4 models of flags which were in use between 1742 and 1745 and we also know the two models created in 1786 after the reunification of the bavarian and palatinate armies. So, between 1745 and 1786, information are unfortunately very scarce. The following descriptions represent an "educated guess" based on these few sources.

Bavarian regiments carried 2 colours per battalion. The first battalion of each regiment carried the Leibfahne and a Kompaniefahne while other battalions carried two Kompaniefahne.


For this regiment, we know for sure that it carried the 1742-1745 pattern Type "1" until at least 1749, which was like that :

Leibfahne (Type 1) – Source: Frédéric Aubert
Ordinarfahne (Type 1) – Source: Frédéric Aubert

We doubt this model of flags was still in use during the seven years war, ten years after.

If the old imperial type with yellow taffeta was no more carried during the seven years war, we think the old Max Emanuel pattern could have been taken out the arsenal and carried again :

Leibfahne under Max Emmanuel – Source: Frédéric Aubert
Ordinarfahne under Max Emmanuel – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Please note that, as Ordinarfahne, the 1742-1745 pattern Type "2 (or even type "4") could have been carried, but without the double-head imperial eagle.

For full description of these flags, please confer our page upon Generalities about colours

References

The Army of Max III Joseph

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.

Funken, Liliane and Fred, Historische Uniformen, Vol. 2

Military Miniatures Magazin

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Staudinger, Karl, Geschichte des kurbayerischen Heeres unter Kurfürst Karl Albrecht - Kaiser Karl VII. - und Max III. Joseph 1726 - 1777, (Geschichte des bayerischen Heeres 3), J. Lindauer, Munich, 1909

Acknowledgments

rf-figuren for the initial version of this article