Bayreuth Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Reichsarmee >> Bayreuth Cuirassiers

Origin and History

Uniform in 1782 - Source: Illustration by Raspe, Nürnberg 1782, depicting the uniform of the 1775 model

The District (Kreis) of Franconia supplied a cuirassier regiment to the Reichsarmee during the Seven Years' War. The regiment consisted of 5 squadrons (each of 2 companies) for a total of 700 men, plus a regimental staff of 9 men. It was formed with troops contributed by 23 distinct contingents; Bamberg alone contributed 83 men. Company Diemar was notoriously understaffed.

Companies with their owners and their composition (contingents) in 1757:

  1. Leibkompanie: Brandenburg-Bayreuth (70 men) with the regiment in 1758
  2. Gladis, Carl Anton von: Eichstätt (46 men), Bamberg (13 men), Henneberg-Römhild (Sachsen-Meiningen & Sachsen-Coburg, 11 men)
  3. Zobel von Giebelstadt, Benedict Wilhelm: Würzburg (70 men)
  4. Kreß von Kressenstein, Marx Carl: Nuremberg (70 men)
  5. Schrottenberg, Carl Theodor von: Bamberg (70 men)
  6. Kraus, Gustav Jeremias: Rothenburg (50 men), Wertheim (13 men), Henneberg-Schmalkalden (Hessen-Kassel, 5 men), Castell (2 men)
  7. Redwitz, Philipp Alexander Sigmund von: Würzburg (70)
  8. Leublfing, Wolf Philipp von: Brandenburg-Ansbach (58 men), Nuremberg (3 men), Windsheim (9 men)
  9. Schuster, Georg Andreas von: Nuremberg (70 men)
  10. Diemar, Christoph Heinrich von: Sachsen-Meiningen (19 men), Henneberg-Schleusingen (Kursachsen, 16 men), Themar (Sachsen-Coburg & Sachsen-Gotha, 5 men), Behrungen (Sachsen-Hildburghausen, 2 men), Sachsen-Eisenach (4 men), Illmenau (Sachsen-Weimar, 4 men), Schwarzenberg (6 men), Wertheim (3 men), Schweinfurt (11 men)

During the Seven Years' War, the proprietor (inhaber) of the regiment was:

  • from 1733: Hereditary Prince Friedrich III von Brandenburg-Bayreuth (became margrave in 1735)

During the Seven Years' War, the effective commanders of the regiment were:

  • from 1754: Carl Anton von Gladis (from the Eichstätt Contingent, killed in action at the Battle of Roßbach on November 5, 1757)
  • from November 5, 1757: Benedict Wilhelm Zobel von Giebelstatt (from the Würzburg Contingent), captured at Roßbach so could not assume his command
  • from October 1758: Colonel August Wilhelm von Treskow (from the Brandenburg-Bayreuth Contingent, promoted to major-general in 1762, appointed Inhaber of the regiment in 1763, resigned in 1793)
  • probably from October 1762: Philipp Alexander Sigmund von Redwitz (from the Würzburg Contingent)

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was with the Reichsarmee operating in Thuringia and Saxony. 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 the present regiment as "poor". By August 5, the regiment counted only 353 men fit for duty. On November 5, at the Battle of Rossbach, it was placed in the second line of the right wing under the Prince Hohenzollern.

In 1758, the regiment served in Saxony.

In May 1759, during the Prussian incursion in Franconia, the regiment formed part of the main Austro-Imperial army of Field Marshal Zweibrücken. By mid-August, during the Austro-Imperial campaign in Saxony, the regiment was attached to Zweibrücken's Corps. On September 8, the regiment took part in the Combat of Zinna where it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry right wing. On September 21, it probably took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it would have been deployed in Kleefeld's Division.

On August 20, 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Strehla.

On October 29, 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Freiberg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform between 1756 and 1775 – Source: Richard Couture and Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne (golden lace between 1757 and 1761) with a black cockade fastened with a brass button, red cord and red tassels
Neckstock black
Coat white lined red with brass buttons
Collar none
Lapels red with brass buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets with brass buttons
Cuffs red with brass buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat leather jerkin (collett) laced red instead of a waistcoat

replaced in 1761 by a collett made of cloth instead of leather

Greatcoat white lined red with a red collar
Sash red sash worn around the waist
Breeches white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box white
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red laced in yellow
Housing red laced in yellow
Blanket roll red, white or leather; in 1758 red blankets with yellow lace were ordered


Remark: red here is always ponceau (poppy-red)

Troopers were armed with a black breastplate (worn over the coat) with white nails and fittings, a pallasch (sword), a pair of pistols and a carbine (with brass fittings).

The larger contingents (e.g. Bamberg, Würzburg...) preferred black and dark-brown horses.

Officers

The coats of officers were probably laced in gold; their Collett was laced in gold; their breastplate had yellow nails and fittings; their saddlecloth had a single or a double (captains) golden lace (1734); their sash was black-silver-red.

NCOs

The uniforms of the NCOs was similar to the uniform of the troopers but had a golden lace around collar and pockets (expensive, therefore not adopted by all the contingents).

Musicians

The uniforms of trumpeters were red, with white facings, rich golden lacing and buttons (Bamberg protested against the expensive golden lace). Trumpeters usually had white horses.

Kettle-drummer : no information available yet

The apron of the kettle-drum was renewed in 1735. It was probably red and silver, bearing the arms of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.

Standards

The Leibstandarte, carried by the Leibkompanie was white.

All other squadrons carried a red standard, probably dating from the War of the Spanish Succession.

No description available, but judging from a specimen captured around 1702, at least one side carried the black double eagle.

References

  • Anonymous: Officer, trooper. Coloured etchings c. 1780/90s. Graphische Sammlung der Stadt Nürnberg, Nor. 70a.
  • 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.
  • Braun, Anna Magdalena: Trachtenbuch. S.l., 1773. Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Sign. T8182.
  • 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 the Bavarian State Archives at 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 främkischen 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.
  • 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 Regimneter 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
  • 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 between 1756 and 1775 (we initially had information only on the uniform depicted by Raspe in 1782, which was the uniform of the 1775 model