Kurmainz Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Reichsarmee >> Kurmainz Infantry

Origin and History

Kurmainz Infantry Grenadier - Source: Richard Knötel in his Uniformkunde

The Archbishop (Erzbischof) of Mainz (Kurmainz) Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein (1689-1763) was one of the four biggest contributors of the District (indeed after the war the cost of reparations for supporting Austria bankrupted Mainz). Being one of the closest Allies of the Emperor, this Prince-Elector provided two regiments from his own household troops:

  • the Mainz Infantry Regiment (aka Lamberg Infantry Regiment) which was in Austrian pay and fought for the entire war along with the Austrian armies;
  • the Kurmainz Infantry Regiment (aka Wildenstein Infantry Regiment) which is the object of the present article

In March 1757, Mainz armed forces amounted to 7 battalions: Wildenstein (1751-1770), Ried (1752-1757; from 1758 to 1775 Lamberg), Preiss (1752-1770) garrisoning Mainz and Knorr (formed in 1733 from Ried, 4-5 half-strenght coys under the command of Colonel von Hagen, 1754-1772), garrisoning Erfurt, 1 company of dragoons, and a smallish artillery and miner corps with a total of some 5,202 men.

The Kurmainz regiment was drafted from companies of Ried, Wildenstein and Knorr regiments to join the Reichsarmee (Brabant states instead that the regiment was formed with two battalions from Ried and two from Knorr). This new regiment comprised 4 battalions, 2 grenadier companies and 8 guns for a total strength of some 2,246 men. Some uncredited sources states that a battalion remained in Erfurt and that only three battalions took the field.

The company commanders were: GFWM Freiherr von Wildenstein (Colonel coy), OBLT Freiherr von Brencken, Major Freiherr von Harstall, Major von Hettinger, Hptm. Molitor, Hptm. Hartmann, Htpm. Müller, Hptm. Vogt, Hptm. von Schliederer, Hptm. Eickemayer, Hptm. von Göhler, Hptm. Weingärtner, Hptm. Seyberth (Grenadier coy), Hptm. Faber (Grenadier coy).

Inhaber:

  • GFWM Johann Georg Baron von und zu Wildenstein
  • from 1757: GFWM/GFML Philipp Franz Baron von Gudenus

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • Oberst von Gudenus
  • from December 1758: Oberstleutenant von Brencken


Service during the War

The regiment was rated "good" by Soubise in 1757: however its quality decreased with replacement of the original "Hausstruppen" with raw recruits. The overall performances were accordingly erratic. In 1757 during the battle of Rossbach was detached on the river Saale, 1758 garrisoning Erfurt then with the Reichsarmee in Saxony, 1759 Zinna (performed badly), Korbitz and Maxen, 1760 Strehla, defense of Dresden, 1761 in Saxony, 1762 Freiberg.

Uniform

The only conteporary source for the Kurmainz uniform is the Becker Handschriftt, which depicts a "Ein Kur Mainzische Grenadier" with green facings. This is probably the source of the well-know card in the Sturm-Zigarettenbilder-Alben "Deutsche Uniformen" by Knotel and Letzius which depicts a grenadier of Wildenstein regiments and of the Knotel illustration 53, Band V of Uniformenkunde. Uncredited sources states that a battalion remained in Erfurt during the war and that such a battalion had red facings in place of green.


Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a white pompom
Grenadier bearskin with a brass front plate and with a green bag probably laced white and a white tassel
Neckstock black
Coat white lined green with 3 yellow buttons under the right lapel and 1 yellow button in the small of the back on each side
Collar small green collar
Shoulder Straps probably white fastened by a yellow button (left shoulder only)
Lapels green with 10 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs green with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks green
Waistcoat green with 1 row of small yellow buttons and with horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Breeches straw
Gaiters probably one pair of black (for winter) and one pair of white gaiters (for summer and parade)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box black with a small brass plate carrying the initials “MT”
Bayonet Scabbard black with brass fittings
Scabbard black (grenadiers only)
Footgear black shoes


Officers

n/a

Musicians

n/a

Colours

To do

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.

Brabant, Arthur: Das heilige römische Reich teutscher Nation im Kampf mit Friedrich dem Großen, vol. I, II Berlin 1904, vol. III Dresden 1931.

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

Knötel, Richard: Uniformkunde, Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, Rathenow 1890-1921

Michel and Michela Geisler: Ahnenforschung in Hessen [1]