Saxon Garde zu Fuss

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Saxon Garde zu Fuss

Origin and History

Private of the Saxon Garde zu Fuss in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Date of formation unknown. In 1670 entitled Leibregiment. Thereafter known under a variety of names. After uniting with the Polish guards simply entitled Garde by 1703. Later again Deutsche Garde or Gardes, finally in 1712 officially entitled 1st Garde but continued to call itself Garde zu Fuß.

The regiment took part in the campaigns along the Rhine and Moselle between 1673 to 1678. In 1683 at Vienna and 1686 at the siege of Ofen (Hungary). 1700-1706 in Liefland and Poland. 1708-1712 in Flandres. 1715 in Pommerania. 1717 to the peace of Paßarowitz it partipicated in the campaigns against the Thurks. 1733 in Poland, and 1735 at ther Rhine. Did the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744, 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Saxony. Was awarded the honour to play the Grenadiermarsch for it's brave conduct in the battle of Striegau (also known as Hohenfriedberg) in 1745. After the surrender at Pirna dragooned into Prussian service and formed as Prussian regt. v. Blanckensee, but reformed 1757 in Hungary from among Referenten and participated in all campaigns along with the French Armies till 1763. Same year it reformed in 3 battalions with 14 coys. In 1764 it was reduced to 2 battalions with 10 coys.

From 1764 onwards entitled Kurfürst.

Seven Years' War Organisation

1756 état with 2 battalions with 10 coys of musketeers and 2 coys of grenadiers. Each musketeer coy with 95 men, grenadier coy with 97, regimental staff with 17 men. The regiment with some 1,160 men.

In 1757 reformed in a single battalion with 4 coys plus 1 coy of former Leibgrenadiergarde serving as grenadiers as part of the Saxon auxilliary corps in French service.

Chef of the regiment: the king of Saxe-Poland

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • from 1745 to 1757: colonel von Gersdorff
  • from 1757 to 1764: colonel von Götz
Grenadier of the Saxon Garde zu Fuss 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 left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Gersdorf'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 Blanckensee Fusiliers.

In 1757, a new regiment was raised in Hungary and included into the Saxon auxiliary contingent serving with the French.

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, it 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. However, it was detached to Frankfurt to guard the city.

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, the regiment also changed uniform in 1760 and 1761.

Privates

Uniforms - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white/red pompons
Grenadier mitre (Prussian style) in 1756 with ??? frontplate and headband, ??? back with ??? piping, ??? pom pom

black tricorne laced white from 1757 to 1761
bearskin (Austrian style) with ??? bag from 1761

Neckstock red
Coat white with a yellow button in the small of the back, until 1761:
  • 6 yellow buttons on the chest
  • 3 yellow buttons at waist level (right side only)

from 1761:

  • 2 yellow buttons at waist level
Collar crimson in 1756, red in 1760
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none in 1756, red with 6 yellow buttons in 1761
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 yellow buttons
Cuffs crimson in 1756, red in 1760 with 3 yellow buttons
Turnbacks crimson in 1756, red in 1760 fastened with a yellow button
Waistcoat crimson in 1756, red in 1760 with horizontal pockets and yellow buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box ???
Bayonet Scabbard ???
Scabbard ???
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 red breeches.

Musicians

Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:

  • red 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
  • red waistcoat with brass buttons
  • white breeches
  • white gaiters


Colours

Leibfahne: white field wearing the Saxon-Polish coat of arms surrounded by rich white embroideries with a red border

Kompaniefahne: white filed with a gold AR cipher on a stone pedestal surrounded by a green wreath and surmounted by a red and gold crown

Leibfahne - Source: Hannoverdidi
Kompaniefahne - Source: Hannoverdidi

References

Friedrich, Wolfgang, Die Uniformen der kurfürstlich Sächischen Armee 1683-1763, Dresden 1998

Müller, Reinhold, Die Armee Augusts des Starken: Das Sächische Heer von 1730-1733, Berlin 1984

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

Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Wagner, Siegbert, Die Uniformen des kursächischen Armee im Jahre 1745, unpublished manuscript, Hannover 1979

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