Ferntheil Infantry

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Origin and History

Uniform in 1782 - Source: Illustration by Raspe, Nürnberg 1782

The regiment was raised in 1682. It took part in the following campaigns:

  • War of the Holy League (1683 relief of Vienna, 1686, 1687, 1688 in Hungary)
  • War of the League of Augsburg (1689-97 on the Rhine)
  • War of the Spanish Succession (1702-14 on the Rhine)
  • War of the Polish Succession (1733-35 on the Rhine)

The regiment had two battalions each with 6 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company, two 3-pdr guns for an authorised regimental strength of 1,940 men.

In August 1757, the regiment had an effective strength of 1,556 men; in May 1758, of 1,808 men.

The successive regimental Inhaber were:

  • in 1682: Franz Jacob d'Avila
  • from 1682: Johann Wilhelm Röth von Wanscheid
  • from 1688: Georg Hartmann Baron von Erffa
  • from 1720: Adam Friedrich von Tresskau (or Treskow)
  • from 1732 to 1749: Heinrich Philipp Höltzl von Sternberg
  • from 1751 to 1752: Johann Siegmund von Seybothen
  • from 1752: Sylvius Christian von Ferntheil
  • from May 14 1759 until 1791: Heinrich August Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

During the Seven Years War, the regiment was commanded by Colonel von Buseck.

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 a Franco-Imperial army for the planned reconquest of Saxony. Soubise rated the various units of the Reichsarmee, considering the Ferntheil Regiment as "poor". On November 5, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Rossbach where it was brigaded with Cronegk Infantry and Kurtrier Infantry under von Ferntheil.

On September 8 1759, the 1st battalion of the regiment took part in the Combat of Zinna where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. On September 13, during the Austro-Imperial invasion of Saxony, the 2nd battalion was part of the garrison of Leipzig who surrendered as prisoners of war (most of them entering into the Prussian service) to Wunsch's Corps. On September 21, the 1st battalion probably took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in Stolberg's Division.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Ibrahim90
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white-blue-red pompoms and a small yellow button
Grenadier Austrian style grenadier cap with brown fur, golden front plate and ponceau red bag
Neck stock black or red
Coat dark blue in the Prussian cut lined ponceau red
Collar ponceau red
Shoulder Straps ponceau red fastened with a small yellow button with 3 yellow buttons on the right side below the lapel
Lapels ponceau red with 8 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets probably horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs ponceau red with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks ponceau red
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a short sabre ornamented with brass.

Officers

Officers wore a black tricorne laced gold with a black cockade with metallic clip. Partly silver "Ringkragen" with gold. Sash and sword knot silver with black and red. Golden aiguillette, partisan with fringes, scabbard brown with gold.

Musicians

Drummers wore initially vests in ponceau red later white, swallow nest white.

The colour of the drums was ponceau red with yellow-blue stripes.

Colours

Very early, the Franconian District had standardized the design of its colours. This design was further simplified around the middle of the XVIIIth century and was still in use during the Seven Years' War. In 1757, the number of colours per battalion was reduced from six to three. All old colours were removed and, for a while, each Franconian infantry regiment carried flagpoles without colour, becoming the laughter of other units. However, by the end of 1757, new sets of six colours were issued to each regiment.

Surprisingly, these colours were not carried during the war. Indeed, in 1775, the ambassador of Ansbach for the Franconian District reported to the margrave that:

“When troops of the Franconian District took the field in 1757, it was found useful to provide new colours to the three infantry regiments behind. The colours were made and no one thought that a dispute would arise between both religions about the mounting of the colours. But when mounting was about to happen, each party asked to make it according to the ritual of their church and, because of their disagreement, the mounting of the colours did not take place”.

So it seems that, although these colours were given to the regiments in January 1758, for religious reasons, they were never carried. In Germany it was customary that the colours were nailed to the flagpoles during a religious ceremony. As the regiment comprised Protestants as well as Catholics there was a grave dispute between them. The proprietors of these regiments repeatedly and vainly asked to use these colours.

There is also an additional explanation to the fact that the regiment did not carry its new colours. Roider states that, in 1759, a representative of the Ansbach delegation mentioned that the regimental commanders wanted the treasury of the district to pay for the festivities and celebrations surrounding the mounting of the colours whereas the district expected the commanders to pay out of their own pockets, citing their "rather large salaries". In the end, it seems that no one paid, no one celebrated and no colours were mounted.

The final result was that the regiment retained its old colours for which, besides the fact that their distinctive colour was red, we found no description.

Colonel Flag (Leibfahne)

Franconian Leibfahne – Source: PMPdeL

Regimental Flag (Kompaniefahne)

Kompaniefahne – Source: PMPdeL

References

  • Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760
    • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
    • Copy 1 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)
    • Copy 2 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 VIII: Die Uniformierung der drei Infanterie-Regimenter des Fränkischen Kreises 1735. in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, vol. XXXIX, (1975) no. 260/261, pp. 145-153
  • 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
  • Roider, Klaus: Die fränkischen Kreistruppen im Siebenjährigen Krieg, 2009
  • 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

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