Prinz Clemens Infantry

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

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

Origin and History

Grenadier of Prinz Clemens Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

A single battalion regiment was first raised 1704 by duke Johann George zu Sachsen-Weißenfels. In 1705, it was increased to 2 battalions by merging with the "Venediger" regiment (sic. – read Benediger). Till 1717, it served in Poland, Brabant and Pommerania.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment initially served in Poland in 1734, then on the Rhine in 1735 and finally in Hungary from 1737 to 1739.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part to the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744 and 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia and Saxony. In 1748, it was augmented by 4 coys of the disbanded 2nd Garde regiment. In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.

In 1756 the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as Generalmajor Graf von Flemming's regiment.

In 1757, the regiment reformed with 1 battalion in Hungary and fought with the French armies till 1763. After the peace settlement of Hubertusburg, it reformed in 3 bataillons in 14 coys. In 1778, it 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 counted 95 men, grenadier coy 97, the regimental staff consisted of 17 men. The regiment totalled some 1,160 men.

In 1757, the regiment was reformed in 1 bataillon with 4 coys plus 1 coy unmounted Gardeducorps serving as grenadiers.

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1746: Prinz Clemenz von Polen und Sachsen (bishop of Augsburg and Ratisbon, in 1768 prince-elector and archbishop of Trier)

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1744: Major-general von Kötzschau (in 1756, he became commander of the detachment reinforcing the Königstein fortress, died 1759)
  • 1757: Lieutenant-colonel von Kaltenborn
  • 1760: Lieutenant-colonel von Brandenstein
  • 1763: Lieutenant-general Diede von Fürstenberg


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 Flemming Fusiliers.

In 1757, 500 men of the former Prinz Clemens absconded from the Prussian service. They marched through Poland to finally reach Hungary where the regiment was reestablished. It now consisted of a single battalion. This 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 1758, 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. The contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's and Fitzjames' divisions, 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 at the battle of Lutterberg, 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 pom poms and a small brass button
Grenadier mitre (Prussian style) with a brass front plate and a white headband, French blue sack with red piping, French blue within red pompom on a French blue on a red round base

black tricorne laced white between 1757 and 1760

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

Neckstock red
Coat white with a brass button in the small of the back, 6 (3+2+1) brass buttons on the chest, 3 brass buttons at waist level (right side only)
Collar French blue
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs French blue, each with 3 vertical brass buttons
Turnbacks French blue fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat French blue with horizontal pockets with 3 brass buttons and lapels with brass 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/gold??? with a white cockade.

Officers wore ??? breeches.

Musicians

Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:

  • blue coat heavily decorated with yellow braids on the sleeves (chevrons), swallow nests, buttonholes and pockets
  • white collar, white cuffs edged yellow, white turnbacks
  • brass buttons
  • blue waistcoat with brass buttons
  • buff breeches
  • white gaiters


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 (blue = French blue) with a yellow (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 yellow (buttons color) with a white 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.