Bentheim Infanterie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> French Army >> Bentheim Infanterie

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on February 1668. On March 27 1670, it was admitted into the ranks of the French Army.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served on the Rhine from 1733 to 1737.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment served in Bavaria in 1741. In 1742, it was at Sahay; in 1743, on the Isar; in 1744, at Weissembourg; in 1745, at Pfaffenhofen. From 1746 to 1749, it served in Flanders.

In 1759, the regiment was renamed Anhalt.

The regiment counted two battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment ranked 46th and was under the command of:

  • since January 5 1751: Comte de Benthheim
  • from March 10 1759 till 1783: Prince de Anhalt-Coëthen (Köthen)

On January 18 1760, when the German Infantry was reorganised, the regiment was increased to three battalions by the incorporation of the first battalion of the disbanded Lowendahl Infanterie.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment joined the Army of the Lower Rhine, commanded by the Maréchal d'Estrées, for the planned invasion of Hanover. Early in June, it was in the area of Taklemburg. It finally took its winter-quarters in the first line in the area of Bremen.

At the end of January 1758, the regiment was assigned to the army that Louis XV planned to send to Bohemia for joint operations with the Austrian Army. However in February, when Ferdinand of Brunswick launched his winter offensive in West Germany, the regiment retired on the Rhine with the rest of the French army. From March 30 to April 4, it was in the second line of Clermont's Army in the camp of Wesel on the Lower Rhine. By July, it had been transferred to the Army of the Prince de Soubise assembling near Friedberg in Hesse. In the morning of September 27, the regiment entered into Kassel to prevent its capture by an Allied army under the command of Oberg.

On Tuesday January 2 1759, at about 5:00 AM, Nassau Prince Louis Infanterie presented itself before the Sachsenhausen Gate of Frankfurt and was admitted as previously agreed. As soon as it had entered the town, the regiment ordered the town-guard to deposit arms and to admit 5 other regiments (Beauvoisis (2 bns), Rohan Montbazon (2 bns), Rohan Rochefort (2 bns), Bentheim (2 bns) and Royal Deux-Ponts (4 bns)). These regiments then seized the artillery on the walls and all the other gates, easily capturing the city of Frankfurt. This very important town remained under French control for the last four years of the war. On April 13, the regiment took part in the Battle of Bergen where it formed part of reserve of the left wing deployed in regimental columns behind the Warthberg. In June, during the French offensive in Western Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line, on the right wing of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry right wing under the command of the Comte de Saint-Germain. As part of the Anhalt Brigade, it covered the retreat of the defeated French army but was driven back by Prussian dragoons.

By the end of January 1760, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in the first line of the French Army. By mid March, the regiment was billeted in Nauheim (present-day Bad Nauheim), in the first line of the French Army. By May 23, the regiment was part of the right reserve of the first line of Broglie's Army, placed under the command of Prince Xavier. In the night of July 7 to 8, Glaubitz left with Anhalt Brigade and Bercheny Hussards for Amöneburg to cover Marburg and the convoys coming from Giessen. On July 14, Glaubitz's detachment (Anhalt Infanterie (3 bns), Royal Bavière Infanterie (3 bns), Bercheny Hussards and some light troops) marched from Marburg towards Ziegenhain, encamping at Vasbeck for the night. On July 16, it was attacked by surprise by the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick in the Engagement of Emsdorf where the regiment occupied the centre of Glaubitz's positions. By December 30, the regiment had taken its winter-quarters in Ziegenhain.

To do: campaigns from 1761 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details as per
Etrennes Militaires 1756 and 1758, Etat Militaire 1758, 1760 and 1761, Abrégé du Dictionnaire Militaire 1759

completed when necessary with information from H. Boisselier, L. Mouillard, Taccoli and the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced silver
Grenadier black tricorne laced silver

towards 1759, bearskins with a yellow flame edged white became increasingly common among grenadiers

Neckstock black (as per Boisselier)
Coat blue lined yellow with 4 pewter buttons below the lapel
Collar small blue collar (yellow in 1758)
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels yellow with 8 small pewter buttons
Pockets vertical double pockets, each single pocket with 3 pewter buttons and 3 buttonholes
the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757 does not show white buttonholes on the pockets
Cuffs yellow with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks yellow
the manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757 does not show turnbacks
Waistcoat yellow with pewter buttons (white waistcoat with 12 white buttons in 1758 and horizontal pockets, each with three white buttons)
Breeches yellow (probably white in 1758)
Gaiters white (as per Boisselier)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white (as per Boisselier)
Waistbelt white (as per Boisselier)
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard n/a


Armaments consisted of a musket and a bayonet. Fusiliers carried a sword (brass hilt) while the grenadiers had a sabre.

Officers

n/a

Musicians

n/a

Colours

The colonel flag was white with a golden sun in its centre surmounted by a red scroll bearing the motto “Nec Pluribus Impar” and with a blue imperial globe and a golden cross beneath. The white field was semée with golden fleurs de lys.

The ordonnance flags had a white field with a blue frame in its centre. This frame contained three golden fleurs de lys surrounded by a laurel wreath and surmounted by a red and gold crown. The white field was decorated with 6 blue transversal bands originating from each corner. These bands changed to black in 1759 when the regiment changed its name to Anhalt.

Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Colour in 1759 - Source: PMPdeL

References

Anon.: Manuscript Troupes du Roi, Infanterie française et étrangère, année 1757, tome I"; Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Menguy, Patrice; Les Sujets du Bien Aimé a website which is unfortunately not online anymore

Mouillard, Lucien: Les Régiments sous Louis XV, Paris, 1882

Pajol, Charles P. V.: Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VII, Paris, 1891

Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service historique de l'armée de terre: Archives du génie, article 15, section 1, §5, pièce 23

Taccoli, Alfonso: Teatro Militare dell' Europa, Part 1, vol. 2; Madrid, March 1760

Vial J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

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