Kreisinfanterieregiment Nassau-Weilburg

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Reichsarmee >> Kreisinfanterieregiment Nassau-Weilburg

Origin and History

The Oberreinisches Kreisregiment Nassau-Weilburg must not be confused with the Prinz von Nassau-Weilburg Infantry which formed part of the Palatine Army. It was rather a regiment of 15 fusilier and 2 grenadier companies assembled by the Upper Rhine district for its contribution to the Reichsarmee and raised as a Kreisregiment in 1702 as Hessen-Weilburg.

It consisted of contingents from:

  • the city of Frankfurt am Main (6 fusilier coys and 1 grenadier coy)
  • Solms-Braunfels (2 fusilier coys)
  • the four Counties of Neu-Leiningen (1 fusilier coy)
  • the County of Solms-Laubach and Solms-Rödelheim (1 fusilier coy)
  • the County of Hohensolms (1 fusilier coy)
  • the two Princes of Salm and the four Rhine Counts (Count von Stein, Count von Grumbach, Count of Grehweiler and Count Down) (1 fusilier coy)
  • the Prince of Nassau-Saarbrücken. for his principalities of Nassau-Saarbrücken and Nassau-Ottweiler (1 fusilier coy)
  • the Prince of Nassau-Usingen for his principalities Nassau-Usingen and Nassau-Idstein (2 fusilier coys)
  • the Prince of Nassau-Weilburg (1 grenadier coy)

The effective strength varied greatly, several companies supplied by Frankfurt am Main counting between 90 and 95 men while the small fusilier company supplied by the two Princes of Salm and the four Rhine Counts counted only 46 men.

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

  • from 1750 to 1788: Prince Karl Christian of Nassau-Weilburg.

During the Seven Years' War, its successive commanders were:

  • till 1755: Colonel du Thil
  • from 1755 to 1762: Colonel Adolph Ludwig Eberhard Baron von Botzheim (aka Bozheim), promoted major-general in 1762
  • from 1762: Colonel Friedrich Reinhard Baron von Pappenheim

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 the Franco-Imperial army. On November 5, during the battle of Rossbach it was deployed at Rossbach and on the river Unstrut. The following table presents the companies of the regiment as they were on November 30 (according to Liste Archiv Speyer Kennung ORKrA 911), please note that it lists only 17 coys (15 fusilier coys and 2 grenadier coys).

Strength of each company on November 30, 1757
Company Theoretical
Strength
Effective
Strength
Colonel von Botzheim 93 21
Lieutenant-colonel von Pappenheim 77 30
Captain von Donop 83 40
Captain von Oheimb 76 23
Captain von Klettenberg sen. 95 55
Captain von Bauer sen. 95 45
Captain von Bender 95 36
Captain Klenck 94 48
Captain Scheffer 99 24
Captain von Klettenberg jun. 94 44
Captain von Bauer jun. 94 40
Captain von Lesperg 94 20
Captain Ochs 94 23
Captain von Reitzenstein 90 78
Captain Prinz von Solms 76 45
Leib Grenadiers 96 67
Grenadiers Captain von Klettenberg 87 51
Total 1,515 691

On September 13 1759, when the Prussian General Wunsch recaptured Leipzig, the garrison (I./Nassau-Weilburg (1 bn) and II./Kreisinfanterieregiment Hohenlohe (1 bn) under the command of Count Hohenlohe) surrendered as prisoners of war, most of them entering into the Prussian service.

In 1761, the regiment took part in the campaign in Saxony. It fielded a single battalion (no grenadier) counting only 238 fusiliers in June and 254 fusiliers in December.

Uniform

The main source for the uniform is the Becker Handschriftt, which depicts a "Ein Grenadier von Nassau-Weilburg" which is probably the source for the Card 225 of the Sturm-Zigarettenbilder-Alben "Deutsche Uniformen" by Knotel and Letzius.

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: David of Not By Appointment
Uniform in 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with blue within white pompoms (variant: yellow-blue pompom)
Grenadier Prussian style mitre with a blue front embroidered in gold; white bad piped white; white headband decorated with yellow metal flaming grenades; blue within white pompom
Neckstock black
Coat blue coat with 2 pewter buttons under the right lapel and 1 on each side in the small of the back
Collar white
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels white with 8 pewter buttons grouped 2,2,2,2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs white with 2 pewter buttons (variant: blue cuff flaps)
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat white with pewter buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black with pewter buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black (grenadiers with a large yellow grenade)
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes


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

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

Silver hat lace. (Variant: White-gold cockade)

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

There is no known flag but an illustration gives the complete coat-of-arms and this might be indicative of the actual flag centre, either complete or using the central lion of Nassau. There is the possibility that the Imperial eagle design would be used and the coat-of-arms or the single Nassau lion would be on the eagle breast centre.

However, we have an example of a colour of the Frankfurt contingent captured by the French in 1704 (see document of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France). The colours used by this contingent during the Seven Years' War were probably quite similar.

Possible ordonnance colour of the Frankfurt contingent - Source: Volker Scholz and Richard Couture


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)
    • Copies(Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)
  • Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-1763 I. Teil. Zusammensetzung und Organisation, Manuskript, KLIO - Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, 1979.
  • Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D., Weirich, W.-D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-1763 II. Teil. Die einzelnen Einheiten, ihre Stärke, Zusammensetzung, Uniform und Feldzeichen, Manuskript, KLIO - Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, o. J.
  • Brodrück, Carl: ‪Quellenstücke und Studien über den Feldzug der Reichsarmee von 1757‬: ‪Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Geschichte im 18 ‬Jahr, ‪Dyk‬, 1858
  • Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 Bilder von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text und Erläuterungen von Dr. Martin Letzius, hrsg. von der Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932
  • Pengel, R.D. and G.R. Hurt: "Uniform of Swedish and German States, Line and Cannon of the Seven Years war", Birmingham 1978.
  • Pengel, R.D. and G.R. Hurt: "The Reichsarmee. Organisation, Flags and Uniform supplement 1756-1762", Birmingham 1983.
  • Tessin, Georg: Die Regimenter der europäischen Staaten im Ancien Régime des XVI. - XVIII. Jahrhunderts, Teil 2. Namen und Inhaber der Regimenter aller europäischen Staaten im "Ancien régime" : eine Materialsammlung zu den einzelnen Regimentern in alphabetischer Folge, untergliedert nach Territorien; 1993; Osnabrück

Acknowledgments

Fabrizio Davi for the researches for the initial version of this article.