Frei-Infanterie de la Badie

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Frei-Infanterie de la Badie

Origin and History

In December 1760, Frederick II instructed Major Quintus Icilius to raise 7 new Frei-Infanterie battalions. The battalion was raised in Herford and Bielefeld on February 20 1761 from French deserters under the name of “Volontaires Étrangers”.

According to Bleckwenn's classification system, the unit is designated as “Frei-Infanterie Regiment F14”. The unit nominal strength was never attained.

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

  • since February 20 1761 till 1762: Colonel Baron de la Badie

In 1762, the unreliable battalion was disbanded and its troops incorporated into other units.

Service during the War

For the campaign of 1761, the battalion was attached to the corps operating in Saxony under the command of Prince Henri. The battalion was then sent to Leipzig upon request of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On August 31, about 300 men deserted near Grimma and joined the Reichsarmee. They were eventually sent back to the French army.

On February 3 1762, the re-established battalion was surprised near Grimma. Before the opening of the campaign, the unreliable battalion was disbanded and its troops incorporated into Frei-Infanterie Icilius.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1761.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1761 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne without lace with 1 pewter button, 1 white within light blue pompom and 1 small white within light blue pompom in each lateral corne
Grenadier no mention of any grenadier
Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red; with 1 light blue tab fastened with 1 pewter button near the collar; 6 pewter buttons and 6 white buttonholes with tassels arranged 1-2-3 on both sides; 1 white buttonhole with tassel on each side in the small of the back; and 3 pewter buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 pewter buttons
Cuffs light blue “hussar-style” pointed cuffs with 1 pewter buttons and 1 white buttonhole with tassel
Turnbacks red fastened with a small pewter button
Waistcoat light blue with one row of pewter buttons
Breeches light blue
Gaiters tall black gaiters
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Footgear black


Privates were armed with a short musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabres.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • tricorne with wide silver lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no shoulder strap

NCOs were probably armed with a sabre and a half-pikes measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.37 m.).

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Officers had tricorne wearing a scalloped silver lace, a black cockade fastened with a small silver button and a silver strap; and 2 black within silver pompoms (1 in each lateral corne of the tricorne). Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no turnbacks nor shoulder straps. Brandebourgs and tassels were silver. The pockets were vertical and each had 3 pewter buttons and 3 white buttonholes with tassels. The cuffs were edged silver.

Officers probably carried spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).

Musicians

no information found yet

Colours

None of the Freikorps units carried official colours or standards to the exception of von Kleist Frei Korps.

References

Bleckwenn, Hans (Hrsg.): Das Altpreussische Heer - Erscheinungsbild und Wesen 1713-1807, Teil III: Übersichten altpreußischer Uniformgestaltung, Band 5: Die Uniformen der preußischen Technischen Truppen, Rückwärtigen Dienste und Kriegsformationen 1753-1786, Osnabrück 1984

Cremer, Peter: Die Preussischen Freikorps im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Auflistung der Freikorps, ihrer Einsätze, der Uniformen, der Chefs und deren Geschichte, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin 1901, Anlage 1-2

Jany, Curt: Geschichte der Königlich Preußischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, Zweiter Band: Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740-1763, Reprint Osnabrück 1967

Acknowledgments

Michael Zahn and Digby Smith for the information provided for the creation of the initial version of this article.