Rochow Fusiliers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Rochow Fusiliers

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1730 as a Janitscharenkorps by Colonel von Unruh at the army's camp of Zeithayn. In 1731, it was converted into a Grenadierbataillon. In 1733, it became the 3rd battalion of the Upper Lusatian Garde. In 1740, this 3rd battalion separated from his parent unit and, with new recruits, formed into Colonel Schönberg's regiment of fusiliers.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, it participated in the campaigns in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Saxony until 1745. In 1746, it received hats instead of fusilier mitres. In 1748, it was augmented by 3 coys of the disbanded Jasmund and 1 of the Bellegarde regiments. In 1749, 6 coys were disbanded.

In 1756, the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service becoming the regiment of Generalmajor von Wietersheim.

Fusilier of Rochow Fusiliers in 1756 wearing a tricorne - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Fusilier of Rochow Fusiliers in 1756 wearing a mitre - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Grenadier of Rochow Fusiliers in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli


In 1757, the regiment reformed as a single battalion in Hungary and fought with the French armies till the peace settlement of Hubertusburg 1763. Thereafter, it reformed in 3 battalions in 14 companies.

In 1778, the regiment was reduced to 2 batailions in 10 companies.

Seven Years' War Organisation

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

In 1757, the reformed regiment consisted of a single battalion with 4 companies plus 1 coy dismounted cuirassiers serving as grenadiers.

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

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1740: Colonel von Schönberg (killed at Striegau)
  • 1745: General of Infantry von Rochow (died in Vienna in 1759)
  • 1759: probably vacant
  • 1761: Prinz Maximilian von Sachsen
  • 1764: Lieutenant-general von Klingenberg

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1745: Colonel von Diede
  • 1757: Colonel von Bennigsen
  • 1762: Lieutenant-general Count Entremont de Bellegarde
  • 1763: Colonel von Reitzenstein

Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II invaded Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Risckwitz'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. 50 Wietersheim.

In 1757, a new regiment was raised, 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, 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 western 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 (dark red instead of dark poppy red ?).

Privates

Uniforms - Source: R. Couture based on a template by Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Fusilier Fusilier mitre cap in black leather with brass front plate and brass ornaments
Grenadier
Rochow Grenadier Mitre Cap in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
mitre (Prussian style) with a silver front plate and a white headband, dark green sack with dark poppy red piping, dark green within dark poppy red pompom on a dark green within dark poppy red round base

black tricorne laced white between 1757 and 1760

bearskin (French style) with a dark poppy red (?) bag from 1761

Neckstock red
Coat dark green with brass buttons
Collar dark poppy red
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs dark poppy red, each with 3 vertical brass buttons
Turnbacks dark poppy red fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat dark poppy red 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

The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:

  • red coat heavily decorated with braids (yellow with a green stripe) on the sleeves (chevrons), swallow nests, buttonholes and pockets
  • green collar, green cuffs edged yellow, green turnbacks
  • white buttons
  • red waistcoat with white buttons
  • white breeches
  • black 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 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 (dark poppy red) with a yellow (buttons color) piping.

Ordinarfahne: heavy ponceau red 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.