Saxon Ingenieurkorps

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

Origin and History

In 1681, a small number of Ingenieure (Engineers) were present in the first Etat of the Saxon standing Army since his creation.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1702, unlike the other technical troops (miners, pontoniers) under the command of the Kommandanten of the Artillery, Engineers depended directly from the General Headquarters. On May 9 1705, Jean de Bodt ( a French, born in Paris in 1670, died in 1745), a well-regarded architect, previously in Prussian service, received the commission of Kommandeur (Commander) of the Corps. He obtained the patent of colonel only in 1706. In 1712, the Engineer Corps, that was responsible for the construction and maintenance of the fortresses, was officially named Ingenieurkorps.

In 1730, the Corps totalled 44 men:

  • 1 Generalleutnant (lieutenant-general)
  • 3 Oberste (colonels)
  • 3 Oberstleutnante (lieutenant-colonels)
  • 4 Majore (majors)
  • 13 Kapitaine (captains)
  • 15 Ingenieure (Premier and Sousleutnante)
  • 5 Kondukteure (NCO)

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1742, an Ingenieurakademie (academy) was created to prepare future officers of the Corps. It was merged with the Artillerieakademie only in 1816. In 1743, the Corps was divided in two brigades, designed as: Hausbrigade (Home-brigade) assigned to the maintenance and construction of military and civil buildings and fortification (like Torgau); and the Feldbrigade (Field-brigade) assigned to field service on campaign (field defences) and to the production of maps. In 1745, at the end of the Second Silesian War , the corps suffered a reduction.

In October 1756, when the Saxon army surrendered at Pirna, the corps was disbanded. Officers were sent home and NCO entered the Prussian service. A single Festungsingenieur and a lieutenant remained in Saxon service at the Koenigstein fortress that was declared neutral.

In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War, the Corps was re-raised with a Stab (command) of two brigades:

  1. A total of 21 men for the Landbrigade (Festungsingenieurs)
  2. The 21 man of the Feldbrigade (Pioniere and Topographen) and the 5 men of the Ingenieursakademie.

Service during the War

In October 1756, when the Saxon army surrendered at Pirna, the corps was disbanded. Officers were sent home and NCO entered the Prussian service. A single Festungsingenieur and a lieutenant remained in Saxon service at the Koenigstein fortress that was declared neutral.

Uniform

Generalities

The cut of uniforms of the Ingenieurskorps was very close to that of the Artillery. Between 1728 and 1730 the Artillery Corps was entirely reorganized like the group of so-called “Technical troops”.

Since 1717 the field of the coat was a medium green. This was an intermediate nuance carefully chosen to differentiate the Saxon artillery from the Russian who was dressed with coat of a very dark (almost black) green. The facing colour on the cuffs, collar and turnbacks was red. This combination of colours lasted unchanged until 1914. The colour of metal fittings and lace was silver.

Kondukteur

Kondukteur NCO in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced silver with a white cockade
Neckstock white
Coat Medium green faced red with 6 silver buttons on each side, arranged 1-2-3 from top to bottom
Collar red edged silver
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each silver buttons
Cuffs red edged with 1 or 2 silver braids and fastened with 3 silver buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat red with 1 row of silver button on the right side and horizontal pockets, each with 3 silver buttons
Breeches red
Gaiters White on parade and during summer, black during winter and on campaign
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt none
Waistbelt white worn under the waistcoat
Cartridge Box none
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes with silver buckle


Officers

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Colours

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References

Acknowledgements

Dr. Marco Pagan for the initial version of this article and Franco Saudelli for the accompanying plate.