Reichsreserveartillerie

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

Origin and History

The Reichsreserveartillerie was not some sort of reserve of ordnance to be used in case of emergency, but simply the Reichsarmee's heavy artillery. According to an Imperial resolution of 1734, each Imperial Circle had to provide two 6-pdrs.

In 1757, despite the aforementioned resolution, the Circle of Franconia and the Circle of Bavaria were the only ones to supply artillery pieces to the Reichsarmee. There was no modern, serviceable ordnance in the Franconian arsenal, so some Kreisstände (members of a circle) lent material to the circle. The same presumably applied to Bavaria.

By 1758, the unit was organised as follows:

  • staff
    • 2 majors
    • 1 quarter-master
    • 1 Zeugwart (inspector of ordnance)
    • 1 lawyer
    • 1 surgeon
    • 3 journeymen
    • 1 provost and his men
  • supernumerary
    • 1 first lieutenant
    • 1 second lieutenant (from 1758)
  • artillery
    • 2 captains
    • 4 first lieutenants
    • 2 second lieutenants
    • 6 artificers
    • 2 farriers
    • 15 corporals
    • 2 drummers
    • 11 Alte Büchsenmeister (senior artillerymen)
    • 142 Junge Büchsenmeister (junior artillerymen)
  • Zeugamt (Ordnance Bureau)
    • 2 servants
    • 1 cooper
    • 1 master smith with 6 journeymen
    • 2 Wagnergesellen (cartwright)
    • 1 master saddler with 3 journeymen
    • 4 carpenter-journeymen
  • Roßpartei (train)
    • 1 Geschirrmeister (master of harness)
    • 1 veterinary
    • 3 Wagenmeister (master of wagons)
    • 6 Ober-Wagenknechte (first grooms)
    • 130 Stück-Wagenknechte (ordinary grooms, N.B.: too few grooms, the usual ratio was 1 per 2 horses, perhaps because it was such an ill-paid trade)
    • 351 horses

From 1762, the unit was organised as follows:

  • staff
    • 2 majors
    • 1 quarter-master
    • 1 Zeugwart (inspector of ordnance)
    • 1 lawyer
    • 1 surgeon
    • 3 journeymen
    • 1 provost and his men
    • 1 secretary
    • 1 Oberfeuerwerksmeister (chief master artificer)
    • 1 master surgeon
    • 1 chaplain
    • 1 Wachtmeisterlieutenant (sergeant-lieutenant ?)
    • 1 Wegbereiter (scout for reconnaissance)
    • 1 staff-farrier
    • 1 farrier
    • 1 clerk
  • artillery
    • 1 captain
    • 4 first lieutenants
    • 2 second lieutenants
    • 3 artificers
    • 2 farriers
    • 13 corporals
    • 2 drummers
    • 92 Büchsenmeister (artillerymen)
  • Zeugamt (Ordnance Bureau)
    • 1 Zeugwart (inspector of ordnance)
    • 2 secretaries
    • 3 servants
    • 1 cooper-journeyman
    • 2 master smiths with 2 smith-journeymen and 16 journeymen
    • 1 cartwright with 4 journeymen and 8 Wagenbauer (wheelwrights)
    • 1 master saddler with 4 journeymen
    • 1 carpenter with 1 corporal and 13 workers
  • Roßpartei (train)
    • 2 Geschirrmeister (masters of harness)
    • 4 Wagenmeister (masters of wagons)
    • 14 Ober-Wagenknechte (first grooms)
    • 284 Stück-Wagenknechte (ordinary grooms)
    • 516 horses

N.B.: personnel was probably recruited by the commander of the unit. If necessary, foot soldiers were requisitioned to provide additional manpower.

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

  • in 1757: Lieutenant-Colonel Friedrich Hannibal von Hartung (Zeugmeister = head of the arsenal of Nuremberg in the Circle of Franconia), assisted by:
    • Stückhauptmann (captain) Koch
    • Captain Schmidt
    • 1st Lieutenant Hartmann
    • 2 artificers
    • 1 corporal
    • 18 Büchsenmeister (artillerymen)
  • from April 1758: Major Anton von Grumbach, Major (see the 1758 and 1762 organisations for his assistants)

Ordnance

In August 1757, Hildburghausen requested four 12-pdrs to be delivered by Nuremberg. It is not known if the city obeyed. The artillery pieces lost at the Battle of Rossbach were later said to have belonged to Nuremberg, Brunswick and Weimar. On the other hand, no record has been kept of such a loan at the Arsenal of Nuremberg. Two regimental guns belonging to Ansbach (probably 3-pdrs not directly attached to any regiment) are known to have been lost and two 12-pdrs belonging to the Reichsreserveartillerie are known to have been captured by the Prussians.

In 1758 (non-exhaustive listing based on known sources):

  • 4 x 12pdr howitzers belonging to Würzburg under Major Johann Georg Müller
  • 12 x “short” 12-pdrs belonging to Würzburg (the principality initially pretended not to have such pieces in its arsenal when Hildburghausen asked for them)
  • 12 regimental guns belonging to Würzburg (no information available to know to which regiments they were assigned, could have been Roth Würzburg Infantry and Blau Würzburg Infantry)
  • 4 x 3-pdrs belonging to Würzburg (present in 1758 or later, and returned in 1760)
  • 4 x 6-pdrs belonging to Würzburg (present in 1758 or later, and returned in 1760)
  • 8 x 6-pdrs belonging to Nuremberg (in April 1758 returned in 1760, but perhaps delivered a second time and returned in 1763)
    • 29 to 29,5 calibre long (circa 260 cm) cast by Christian Victor Herold in 1734-1740
  • 4 x 12-pdrs belonging to Nuremberg (in April 1758 returned in 1760, but perhaps delivered a second time and returned in 1763)
    • presumably 290 to 330 cm, cast by Johann Balthasar Herold in 1703 and 1704
  • 4 x 6-pdrs belonging to Bamberg and attached to Dombasle's Corps (contributed to the Reichsreserveartillerie or just lent to the Austrian Army)
  • 2 x howitzers belonging to Bamberg and attached to Dombasle's Corps (contributed to the Reichsreserveartillerie or just lent to the Austrian Army)
  • 2 x 12-pdrs belonging to Bavaria (known to be present in 1759, could have been attached to the troops contributed directly by the Electorate of Bavaria or to those of the circle)
  • 2 x 7-pdr howitzers belonging to Bavaria (known to be present in 1759, could have been attached to the troops contributed directly by the Electorate of Bavaria or to those of the circle)

Carriages

The colour of the carriages varied from one contingent to another:

  • Circle of Franconia: a drawing of 1741, presumably depicting a Franconian regimental gun illustrates a red carriage
    • wagons had a red cover
  • Nuremberg: in early 18th century, the city used red or red and white carriages; in 1733, 3-pdrs carriages were of unpainted wood, and 6-pdrs carriages were painted blue-grey

Service during the War

The Reichsreserveartillerie probably accompanied the Reichsarmee throughout the war but is specifically mentioned only at the Battle of Rossbach (November 5 1757), at the Combat of Korbitz (September 21 1759), at the Combat of Strehla (August 20 1760) and at the action of Brettin/Torgau (August 27 1760).

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: Richard Couture Ibrahim90
Uniform Details as per the Steislinger-Etats
Headgear black tricorne laced silver with a black cockade on the left side
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue in Prussian cut
Collar red
Shoulder Straps dark blue fastened with a pewter button
Lapels red with 6 pewter buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs red with 3 pewter buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat dark blue
Breeches dark blue
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt black leather
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with musket and a sabre.

The drivers of the Roßpartei had blue uniforms with yellow facings.

Officers

not available yet

Musicians

not available yet

References

Documents from the State Archives Nuremberg, Würzburg and Bamberg and from the Hohenlohe Central Archives.

'Acknowledgement

An anonymous contributor for the initial version of this article.