Graf Brühl Infantry

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Origin and History

Private of Graf Brühl Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
The regiment was raised in 1741 with contributions from all infantry regiments. Thereafter it participated in all campaigns till 1745. In 1748 it was augmented by 4 coys of the disbanded 2nd Garde. In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.

In 1756, the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service becoming the regiment of Major-general von Wylich.

In 1757, the regiment reformed with a single battalion in Hungary and fought with the French armies till the Treaty of Hubertusburg. Thereafter, it reformed in 3 battalions with a total of 14 coys.

In 1778, the regiment was reduced to 2 battalions in 10 coys.

Seven Years' War Organisation

The État of 1756 mentions with 2 battalions with 10 coys of musketeers and 2 coys of grenadiers. Each musketeer coy counted 95 men, grenadier coy 97 men, the regimental staff consisted of 17 men. The regiment totaled some 1,160 men.

In 1757, the reformed regiment counted only 1 battalion with 4 coys plus 1 coy of dismounted Gardedukorps serving as grenadiers.

In 1761, the grenadier company was disbanded and its troopers incorporated into a newly formed cavalry regiment.

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1741: General of infantry Count von Brühl (died 1763)

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1752: Colonel von der Brüggen
  • 1757: Colonel von Thile
  • 1758: again Colonel von der Brüggen
  • 1760: Colonel Count Karl von Brühl
  • 1763: Colonel Count Heinrich von Brühl (became Chef of this regiment the same year)
Grenadier of Graf Brühl Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli


Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Risckwitz's Brigade. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The regiment was then forcefully incorporated into the Prussian Army as Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 51 Wylich.

In 1757, a new regiment was raised, consisting of a single battalion of 4 musketeer companies. A 5th company of grenadiers was also added, it was formed from dismounted men from the Gardedukorps. The new regiment was included into the Saxon Auxiliary contingent serving with the French Army.

In 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the Contingent marched through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg. On September 3, the regiment was part of the Saxon contingent, under the command of Prince Xaver, who encamped at Castrop, 15 km from Recklinghausen, on his way to make a junction with the French army of the Marquis de Contades. This contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's corps, it reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, it first saw action at the battle of Lutterberg where its determined attacks decided the day for the French army. On October 20, 10 days after this victorious battle, the Saxon regiments rejoined Contades at Werl.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the left wing under the command of the baron de Dyherrn. In June 1759, during the French offensive in West 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 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 left wing under the command of the comte de Lusace.

To do: description of the actions of the regiment from 1760 to 1763.

Uniform

Besides the uniform worn at the beginning of the war in 1756 and after the capitulation of Pirna, the new regiments were re-dressed with white uniforms from Austrian depots, just adapting the distinctive colors. Because of the difference between Autrian and Saxon color pigments, the distinctive colors have perhaps changed a little bit (medium red instead of poppy red ?).

Privates

Uniforms - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white/red pompons and a small brass button
Grenadier mitre (Prussian style) with a silver front plate and a white headband, poppy red sack with white piping, poppy red pompom on a poppy red round base

black tricorne laced white between 1757 and 1760

bearskin (French style) with a poppy red (?) bag from 1761

Neckstock red
Coat white with a brass button in the small of the back and 3 brass buttons at waist level (right side only)
Collar poppy red
Shoulder Straps white fastened with a small brass button
Lapels poppy red with 8 (4x2) brass buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs poppy red, each with 3 vertical brass buttons
Turnbacks poppy red fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat poppy red with horizontal pockets with 3 silver buttons and lapels with silver buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box brown
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

Officers and NCOs wore a black tricorne laced ???silver/gold??? with a white cockade.

Officers wore ??? breeches.

Musicians

???

Colours

Leibfahne: white field. In the centre an ermine mantel backed light blue, crowned with a royal gold crown. On the mantelgold, four shields wearing the Polish arms (white knight and horse on a red field), the arms of Saxony (white eagle on a red field), the royal "AR" in gold on a light blue field, two crossed crimson swords on a field of black over white and a lime green crown on a black and yellow stripe field. A very richly designed border in the distinctive color (ponceau red) with a yellow (buttons color) piping.

Ordinarfahne: ponceau red field. In the centre, the golden royal cipher "AR" on a white pedestal surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. A very richly designed border in yellow (buttons color) with a white piping.

Leibfahne - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Ordinarfahne - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Friedrich, Wolfgang, Die Uniformen der kurfürstlich Sächischen Armee 1683-1763, Dresden 1998

Müller, Reinhold, Die Armee Augusts des Starken: Das Sächische Heer von 1730-1733, Berlin 1984

Origin and History: editors translation from "Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee." (History and present state of the Saxon Army.) 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.

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

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

Wagner, Siegbert, Die Uniformen des kursächischen Armee im Jahre 1745, unpublished manuscript, Hannover 1979

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