Bayreuth Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Austrian Army >> Bayreuth Infantry

Origin and History

On January 13 1701, Emperor Leopold I authorised Christian Ernst Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth to raise a new infantry regiment of 16 companies, of 150 men each, for a total of 2,400 men. Six companies were already in the margrave's service but the ten others had to be recruited.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1701, the new regiment was sent to Alt-Breisach. In 1702, it served on the Rhine against the French. From June to September, it took part in the siege and capture of Landau. From August to September 1703, part of the regiment took part in the defence of Alt-Breisach. By mid-August, another battalion of the regiment marched from the Lines of Wissembourg to Freiburg to reinforce the garrison of the place. In the morning of September 7, the Fortress of Alt-Breisach capitulated, its garrison obtaining the honours of war. In 1704, the regiment was at Freiburg and took part in an attempt to recapture Alt-Breisach. In September 1706, it took part in the relief of Turin. In 1707, it participated in the unsuccessful expedition against Toulon.

In 1712, Margrave Georg Wilhelm became proprietor of the regiment.

In 1716, the regiment served in Hungary.

During the War of the Quadruple Alliance, on June 20 1719, the regiment took part in the battle of Francavilla in Sicily.

On December 18 1726, Prince Wilhelm Ernst von Brandenburg-Bayreuth became proprietor of the regiment.

At the end of the War of the Polish Succession, in 1738, the regiment served in Hungary once more.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the battle of Soor on September 30 1745.

As per the Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759 and Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760, the regiment counted 4 battalions (2 grenadier coys and 16 fusilier coys) for a total of 2,300 men. This was the administrative organisation of the regiment. However, the tactical organisation differed: 2 field fusilier battalions, each of 6 companies; 2 grenadier companies (usually converged with grenadiers from other battalions into an ad hoc unit); and 1 garrison battalion of 4 companies (see Austrian Line Infantry Organisation for more details).

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

  • since November 1733 till 1763: Margrave Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth

During the Seven Years' War, its colonel-commander was:

  • at the beginning of the war: Lieutenant-colonel Franz Felix
  • from 1758: Carl Baron von Kavanagh
  • from 1763: Count O'Donnell

Regimental numbers were introduced only in 1769 when this regiment was designated as "I.R. 41".

Service during the War

On May 6 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve in Count Macquire's Brigade. On September 7, when General Nádasdy attacked an isolated Prussian corps commanded by Winterfeldt in the Combat of Moys, one battalion of the regiment was part of the Reserve under Lieutenant-General Forgách kept behind the three columns of infantry destined to the attack. From October to November, two battalions of the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Schweidnitz.

By August 2 1758, the regiment served in the first line of the main Austrian army under the command of Daun near Jarmeritz (present-day Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou). Daun was following up the Prussian army retiring through Bohemia after the failure of the invasion of Moravia.

In early June 1760, the regiment was part of Beck's Corps posted on the Upper Queiss. On September 17, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where they were attached to the Reserve Corps of the Fürst Löwenstein. On November 3, two battalions of the regiment took part in the Battle of Torgau where they were attached to Daumbach's Brigade.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

For the moment we have very few information on the uniform in 1756, at the outbreak of the war. Most of our references describe the uniform in 1762. However, Muhsfeldt and Schirmer mention that, in 1756-57, the coat was white lined white (therefore white turnbacks), the distinctive colour was scarlet red and the waistcoat and breeches were white. Therefore, the uniform at the beginning of the war seems to have been almost identical to the uniform of 1762.

Privates

Uniform in 1762 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1762
as per the Albertina Handschrift

completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne scalloped white; white strap with a yellow button; with a white within yellow within green pompom; a scarlet red and yellow tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier bearskin with a scarlet red bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock one red and one black (for parades the regimental commanders agreed before on the colour of the neckstocks)
Coat white lined white with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps scarlet red fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels scarlet red lapels with 7 yellow buttons (1-3-3)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs scarlet red, each with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white without any tab
Waistcoat white with 2 rows of small yellow buttons (3-3-3) and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket (Model 1745 for fusiliers, Model 1754 for grenadiers). Grenadiers carried a sabre while fusiliers carried only a bayonet.

Other interpretations

The Bautzener Handschrift illustrates the following differences:

  • black tricorne scalloped white; no strap but a yellow button; white within red pompom; no tassels
  • a scarlet red tab to fasten each turnback
  • straw breeches

Donath illustrates the following differences:

  • black tricorne scalloped white; whitout strap with a yellow button; red within white within yellow pompom and red and green tassels
  • white shoulder strap fastened with a yellow button

Knötel illustrates the following differences:

  • black tricorne scalloped white; with white straps with a yellow button; red within white within dark green pompom and tassels

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne lined gold with a white and green cockade
  • black neckstock
  • no turnbacks
  • no shoulder strap
  • yellow and black silk sash

Senior officers carried sticks identifying their rank:

  • lieutenant: bamboo stick without knob
  • captain: long rush stick with a bone knob
  • major: long rush stick with a silver knob and a small silver chain
  • lieutenant-colonel: long rush stick with a larger silver knob without chain
  • colonel: long rush stick with a golden knob

Musicians

Until 1760, the musicians wore coats of reversed colours with white swallow nests and white lapels, cuffs and turnbacks.

From 1760, they wore uniforms identical to those of the privates with the following differences:

  • scarlet red swallow nests on the shoulders

The drum had a brass barrel decorated with black flames at the bottom and with a black double headed Eagle on a yellow field. Rims were decorated with red and white diagonal stripes. The bandolier was white.

Colours

All German infantry regiments carried identical colours: a white Leibfahne (colonel) and yellow Regimentsfahne. The hand painted colours were made of silk and measured Size 178 cm x 127 cm. The 260 cm long flagpoles had golden finial and were decorated with black and yellow spirals of cloth.

The colonel colour was carried by the first battalion.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne):

  • field: white
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): the Immaculate Mother of God (which had been declared the patroness of the army by kaiser Ferdinand III) on a cloud, crushing a snake under her foot and surrounded by rays
  • reverse (left): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
Leibfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

Regimental flags (Regimentsfahne):

  • field: yellow
  • border: alternating white and yellow outer waved triangles pointing inwards, red and black inner waved triangles pointing outwards
  • obverse (right): crowned and armed Imperial double-eagle with the "Lothringen-Toscanian" arms on a shield and the initials of the Emperor CF (Corregens Franciscus) on the left wing and IM (Imperator Magnus) on the right
  • reverse (left): unarmed and crowned Imperial double-eagle with the arms of Hungaria and Bohemia on a shield and the initials M on the left wing and T on the right
Regimentsfahne – Source: Frédéric Aubert

In fact, the situation on the field was slightly more complex than this, since colours were usually replaced only when worn out. It is fairly possible that some regiment who had been issued colours of the 1743 pattern were still carrying them at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. For more details, see Austrian Line Infantry Colours.

References

This article contains texts from the following sources, which are now in the public domain:

  • Seyfart, Kurzgefaßte Geschichte aller kaiserlich-königlichen Regimenter zu Pferde und zu Fuß, Frankfurth and Leipzig, 1762, pp. 22-23
  • Gräffer, August: Geschichte der kaiserl. Königl. Regimenter, Corps, Bataillons und anderer Militär-Branchen seit ihrer Errichtung biz zu Ende des Feldzuges 1799, Vol. 1, Vienna, 1804, pp. 180-184

Other sources

Dihm, Dr. Hermann; Oesterreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Klio

Donath, Rudolf; Die Kaiserliche und Kaiserlich-Königliche Österreichische Armee 1618-1918, 2. Aufl., Simbach/Inn 1979

Etat nouveau des Troupes de sa Majesté Impériale Royale comme elles se trouvent effectivement l'an 1759

Etat général des Troupes qui servent sa Majesté Impériale et Royale Apostolique sur pié en 1760

Funcken, Liliane and Fred, Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Hausmann, Friedrich, Die Feldzeichen der Truppen Maria Theresias, Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums, vol. 3, Vienna: 1967

Knötel, Herbert d.J.; Brauer, Hans M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926-1962, Österreich-Ungarn – 1756-63

Muhsfeldt, Th.; Abzeichenfarben der K. und K. Regimenter zu Fuss im Jahre 1757 und früher, in Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des militärischen Tracht, No. 12, 1904

Pengel, R. D. and G.R. Hurt; Austro-Hungarian Infantry 1740-1762; On Military Matters; Birmingham, 1982

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

Seidel, Paul; Nochmals österreichische Standarten und Fahnen zur Zeit des 7 jährigen Krieges, Die Zinnfigur, Clio

Thümmler, L.-H., Die Österreichiches Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Die Bautzener Bilderhandschrift aus dem Jahre 1762, Berlin 1993

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

Acknowledgments

User:Zahn for gathering most of the information about this regiment