Minckwitz Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Minckwitz Infantry

Origin and History

Private of Minckwitz Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
The regiment was raised in 1702 by the Margrave of Ansbach. In 1709, it entered service in the army of King Augustus II as Grenadierregiment. In 1711, the unit was converted into a regiment of musketeers.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment took part in all campaigns till 1713. Thereafter, it served in Poland and Pommerania until 1717.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Poland from 1733 to 1735 and in Hungary from 1737 to 1739.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part to the campaigns of 1742, 1744, 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia and Saxony. In 1748, it was augmented by 4 coys of the disbanded Bellegarde regiment. In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.

In 1756, the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as Major-general von Manstein's regiment.

In 1757, the regiment was reformed in Hungary with a single battalion and served with the Saxon auxiliary corps with the French armies in all campaigns. In 1763, it was reorganised in 3 bataillons in 14 coys.

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

Seven Years' War Organisation'

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

In 1757, the regiment was reformed in a single battalion with 4 coys plus 1 coy grenadiers formed from the dismounted Saxon cuirassiers.

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

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1746: Major-general von Minckwitz (died as lieutenant-general)
  • 1759: Colonel Prinz Anton von Sachsen

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • since 1749: Major-genral von Carlowitz
  • from 1757 to 1759: Lieutenant-colonel von Arnim in Hungary
  • from 1759 to 1763: Major-general von Spörcken
  • 1763: Colonel von Nitzschwitz (died the same year)
Grenadier of Minckwitz 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 right wing under von Rochow, as part of von Bolberitz'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. 53 Manstein.

In 1757, a new regiment was raised in Hungary, 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 Saxon cuirassier regiments. 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 in Westphalia. This contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's division, it reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, the contingent 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 their victorious action, 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, 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 blue instead of French blue ?).

Privates

Uniforms - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white/blue pompons and a small brass button
Grenadier
Minckwitz Grenadier Mitre Cap in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
mitre (Prussian style) with a silver front plate and a white headband, French blue sack with red piping, French blue within red pompom on a French blue within red round base

blue and

bearskin (French style) with a French blue (?) bag from 1761

Neckstock red
Coat white with a silver button in the small of the back, 6 (3+2+1) silver buttons on the chest, 3 silver buttons at waist level (right side only)
Collar French blue
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 silver buttons
Cuffs French blue, each with 3 vertical silver buttons
Turnbacks French blue fastened with a silver button
Waistcoat French blue with horizontal pockets with 3 silver buttons and lapels with silver buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
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 with a white cockade.

Officers wore blue breeches (sky blue from 1761).

Musicians

no information available yet

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 eagle on a red field), the arms of Lithuania (white knight riding a horse on a red field), the royal "AR" in gold on a light blue field, , the arms of Saxony (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 (blue = French blue) with a white (buttons color) piping.

Ordinarfahne: blue (French blue) 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 white (buttons color) with a yellow piping.

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

References

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

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