Origin and History
During the Seven Years' War, the Archbishop of Trier contributed a regiment to the Reichsarmee. This regiment consisted of 2 battalions (each counting 4 musketeer companies, no grenadier company and and 2-3 pdr battalion guns) for a total of 1,102 men and 4 guns.
The Prince de Soubise rated this regiment as "very poor". Indeed it was assembled from scratch and filled up almost exclusively with recruits, whose quality could be improved only with better training and battle experience. For some time the 2nd Battalion was commanded to guard the Reichsarmee artillery park: it was put again in the battle order only by the Elector suasion.
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During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- Oberst von Coll
- Oberst von Brackel (1759)
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 for the planned invasion of Saxony. At that time, the regiment had a book strength of 1,147 men and an effective strength of 1,052 men. On November 5, when this combined army suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Frederick II in the battle of Rossbach, the regiment was brigaded with Ferntheil Infantry and Cronegk Infantry under the command of Ferntheil.
|Voices from the Past|
|On October 24, 1759, a deserter from the regiment has a son baptised|
On August 30-31 1759 the regiment defended Torgau against Wunsch during the campaign in Saxony.
On October 29 1762, the regiment took part in the Battle of Freiberg where it was deployed in the centre, under Rodt, distinguishing itself.
|Coat||white “Austrian style” coat lined red with 3 pewter buttons under the right lapel and 1 pewter button in the small of the back on each side
|Waistcoat||white with 1 row of small pewter buttons and with horizontal pockets, each with probably 3 pewter buttons|
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Musicians wore a very different uniform:
- black tricorne laced white
- light blue coat with red facings and pewter buttons
- light blue waistcoat and breeches
Colonel flag (Leibfahne): White field, light blue border with dark blue edging; vegetation green with gold rococò work, hair tresses yellow gold. Centre device consisting of the crowned arms of the Bishopric of Trier supported by two crowned golden lions; corner devices consisting of a golden crowned monogram with the cypher "EC".
Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): White field, light blue border with dark blue edging; centre device consisting of the crowned red cross of Trier surrounded by a golden necklace and golden embroideries; corner devices consisting of a golden crowned monogramwith the cypher "EC".
Note: these colours are illustrated in Gisby's website at Flags of the Reichsarmee during the Seven Years' War.
Lange in Pengel & Hurt -Bavaria, Saxony & the Palatinate supplement- gives a different description which however seems to apply to the 1768 model. The flag measures 220x208 cm. White field bordered with two yellow stripes; Between the two stripes there is a vine pattern in green: where the vines meet in a corner there is a golden rosette. Centre device consisting of the crowned arms of the Bishopric of Trier supported by two green plant leaves (palm branches?) and four small trophy flags, the lower two light blue the upper two red. Beneath the central shield there is a light blue banderole. A light blue ribbon winds its way through the plant leaves, the two endes meeting under the Elector's cap.
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.
Duffy, C.: By Force of Arms, Vol. II of the Austrian Army in the Seven Years War, Emperor's Press 2008
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin, 1903, Appendix 8
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.
Pengel, R.D. and G.R. Hurt: Bavaria, Saxony and the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War, Birmingham 1981.
Rogge, Christian: The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Smith, Digby: Armies of the Seven Years War, Spellmount, 2012
Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar
Woods, James: Armies and Uniforms of the Seven Years War, Vol. II - The Coalition Forces: France, The Reichsarmee & Saxony, Partizan Press 2007
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.