Prinz Louis Infantry

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Origin and History

Prinz Louis Infantry in 1752 - Source: von Stadlinger, 1856

When the Leibregiment was subdivided in 1744, its second battalion became the Infanterieregiment Prinz Louis. Until 1748, this new regiment was in the service of the Holy Roman Empire, as part of the troops of the Swabian District.

In 1752, the second battalion of the regiment was used to establish the Infanterieregiment von Spitznas.

From its creation in 1752 to 1759, the regiment was subsidized by France.

The regiment was organised in 2 battalions with 5 musketeer and 1 grenadier companies per battalion. Each company counted some 100 men for a total book strength of 1,219 men including staff. Furthermore, each battalion had a 3-pdrs gun.

Throughout the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhaber was Prince Louis Eugen von Württemberg.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • 1756: Colonel Friedrich Hans Ernst von Bock (captured on December 5 1757)
  • 1759: Colonel Franz Leopold von Larisch
  • 1761: Colonel Johan Friedrich Karl von Linckensdorff

The regiment was disbanded in 1765.

Service during the War

During the war, the regiment was in the French service.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Austrian army in Silesia. In October, it was at the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 22, it took part in the battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in the first line of the Württemberger Contingent under Marshal Spiznass at the extreme far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps. This position became the main target of the Prussian attack and a large part of the regiment was captured along with its colonel and 8 other officers.

In 1757, the 2 grenadier companies of this regiment were converged with those of Spiznass Infantry to form the 2.Grenadier-Bataillon von Witzleben.

In 1758, one battalion of the regiment was part Major-general von Roeder's Brigade (including also Truchsess Fusilier and Roeder). On August 8, this brigade made a junction with Soubise's army in Kassel. On October 10, the regiment took part in the battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the second line. On November 30, it was at the action between Lauterbach and Fulda.

On November 3 1759, the Duke of Württemberg was instructed by Broglie to march to Gemünden with his contingent. On November 11, the Württemberger Contingent arrived at Gemünden. The duke then sent the Freihusaren von Glasenapp on the Kinzig river. On November 19 and 20, the Württemberger Contingent (about 10,000 men), led personally by the duke, arrived at Fulda and took up its winter-quarters to assist the French army. On Friday November 30, an Allied force under the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick launched a surprise attack on Fulda, forcing the Würtemberger Contingent to retreat precipitously southwards on Bruckenau in the general direction of Frankenland and Württemberg. From December 19 to 23, the Württemberg contingent (now only 7 bns) was at Steinberg. On December 25, the Duke of Württemberg marched to Schotten.

In 1760, the Württemberger Contingent operated under Austrian subsidies. Thus, the regiment joined the Austrian army in Silesia to fight against Prussia. In October the regiment took part in the siege of Wittenberg. It was its last noticeable action during the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: Dal
Uniform Details
as per Becher's Bilderhandschrift circa 1760
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white with yellow-red pompons and set with a single button
Grenadier Prussian style mitre cap with a brass front plate decorated with a mirrored C (for Carl Eugen) surmounted by a star and a ducal crown, with a red bag, a blue headband, yellow piping and a red pompon
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue in Prussian cut
Collar carmine red
Shoulder Straps carmine red with a white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels carmine red set with 6 pewter buttons arranged in pairs
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs carmine red Swedish cuffs with 2 pewter buttons
Turnbacks carmine red fastened with a pewter button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black (during war)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword.

Officers

Officers wore a uniform quite similar to the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne decorated with a gold scalloped lace
  • no turnbacks
  • gold sash
  • beige gloves
  • spontoon

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

Informations about the colours of the Württemberger infantry regiments are very scarce. The following descriptions represent an "educated guess" based on these few sources.

Leibfahne: white field with, on both sides, the arms of the duke of Württemberg, surmounted by a gold and red ducal crown. The coat of arms consisted of an oval shield surrounded by a necklace of the Order:

  • Necklace: 8 red links with a golden eagle, 8 blue links depicting precious stones and a red cross over a yellow background
  • Upper left canton: yellow and black checkerboard pattern (Teck arms)
  • Upper right canton: yellow flags on a blue field (Reichssturm)
  • Lower right canton: brown head with a red bonnet on a yellow field (Heidenheim arms)
  • Lower left canton: two gold fish on a red field (Monbéliard arms)
  • Central escutcheon: 3 black stag antlers on a yellow field

Here follows a tentative reconstruction of this flag:

Leibfahne - Source: PMPdeL

Regimentsfahne: probably red field with

  • Right side: probably the arms of Württemberg (identical to those on the Leibfahne) surmounted by a gold and red ducal crown
  • Left side: probably the duke's cipher (a mirrored C)

Here follows a tentative reconstruction of this flag:

Regimentsfahne - Source: PMPdeL

N.B.: the Württemberger colours also carried the motto "Provide et constanter". However, the exact location (side and position) of this motto on the colours is unknown.

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. 1760 (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik)

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

Evrard P., Praetiriti Fides

Frederic, Jacques André, Etat des Trouppes de S.A.S. Monseigneur le Duc de Virtemberg et Theck sur pié en 1759, Augsburg, 1759

Kaufmann, Michael, Wurtemberg during the Seven Years' War, Nec Pluribus Impar

Knötel, R.: Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz. Begründet von Prof. Richard Knötel. Grundlegend überarbeitet und bis zum Stand von 1937 fortgeführt von Herbert Knötel d.J. und Herbert Sieg. Dem Stand der Forschung angepaßt und ergänzt von Ingo Pröper, überarbeitete Neuauflage, Stuttgart 1985

Rogge, Christian, The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service historique de l'armée de terre (SHAT), A4 XXVII, pièce 22

Zahn, Michael, Die Herzoglich Württembergische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg, Manuskript, Stuttgart: January 2008