Spiznass Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Württemberg Army >> Spiznass Infantry

Origin and History

Spiznass Infantry in 1752 (left) and 1762 (right) - Source: von Stadlinger, 1856

The regiment was created in 1752 from the second battalion of Infanterieregiment Prinz Louis

From 1752 to 1759, the regiment was subsidised 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.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was owned by:

  • since 1752: Lieutenant-field-marshal von Spitznas
  • from 1758: Major-general Philipp Joachim von Romann
  • from 1761: pPince Friedrich Wilhelm von Württemberg; Major-general Christoph Friedrich von der Gabelenz

During the Seven Years' War, the successive Kommandeure of the regiment were:

  • since 1752: Lieutenant-colonel Hellmuth Dietrich von Plessen
  • from 1756: Colonel Franz Leopold von Larisch
  • from 1759: Colonel Christoph Friedrich von Gabelenz
  • from 1762: Colonel Gottfried Ludwig von Bilfinger


Service during the War

Till 1759, the regiment operated under French subsidies.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Austrian army operating 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 second line of the Württemberger Contingent under Marshal Spiznass at the extreme far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps which became the main target of the Prussian attack.

In 1758, one battalion of the regiment was part of the contingent sent to assist the French army. It was assigned to Major-general von Truchsess' Brigade (also including the 3 converged grenadier battalions and Werneck Infantry). 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 first 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 army 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 completed with other source where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged yellow with red over mid blue pompons and set with a single brass 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 mid blue headband, red piping and a red/blue pompon
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue in Prussian cut
Collar carmine red
Shoulder Straps carmine red with a yellow aiguilette on the right shoulder
Lapels carmine red set with 6 brass buttons arranged in pairs
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs carmine red Swedish cuffs with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks carmine red fastened with a brass 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:

  • no turnbacks
  • black and gold sash
  • beige gloves

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)

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

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

Stadlinger, L., J. von, Geschichte des Württembergischen Kriegswesens – von der frühesten bis zur neuesten Zeit, Stuttgart, 1856

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