Volontaires auxiliaires

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Brunswick Army >> Volontaires auxiliaires

Origin and History

The full name of the unit was the Husaren-Eskadron der Volontaries Auxiliars de Bronswick which is very much a mix of French and German. It was formed in 1762.

The "Volontaires auxiliaires" consisted of 3 companies of grenadiers, totalling 417 men, and 3 squadrons, totaling 388 men, for a grand total of 805 men. The 3 squadrons consisted of:

  • 1 squadron of "Turks" or "Spahis", i.e. Bosniaken style lancers (Uhlanen)
  • 1 squadron of hussars
  • 1 squadron of grenadiers à cheval

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

  • from 1759: von Rauch

In January 1763, this exotic unit was taken into Prussian service. Later that year disbanded and the men incorporated into the Magdeburg inspection infantry regiments.

Service during the War

At the beginning of August 1762, the whole war chest of the Türken-Corps was lost to the Volontaires d'Austrasie at Stadt Worbis in Thuringia.

The Gazette van Ghendt reports that, on August 27 1762, the Saxon Schill Jäger assaulted a Brunswig Turk and hussar party in the Erfurt area, killing some, taking prisoners a lieutenant and 26 men (also 30 horses). This is borne out by the Chronik von Erfurt(1).

Towards the end of June, some of the Türken (after having mistreated inhabitants of Gieboldehausen; 25 km NE of Göttingen) drove off some 70 cattle from there. Notably, the villains were fetched to Hameln and punished (together with the responsible officers) and the cattle returned (minus already slaughtered ones) to their owners(5).

On October 10, a small detachment of the Corps under a captain visited Duderstadt (25 km East of Göttingen) in order to requisition supplies for the besieging army before Kassel(5).

During the siege of Kassel in October, activities by the Türken-Coorps are found in notes of the pastor of Kirchditmold (then just outside north of Kassel)(4).

In November 1762, the Türken-Corps came under the orders of Major-General Freytag who then had 28 squadrons and 6 battalions of light troops under his command(2). On November 20, the Saxon Captain Schill with hussars and mounted jäger surprised a small detachment of Brunswig hussars and Türken which under the command of a captain had been forcefully collecting cattle in the Fulda and Würtzburg areas, having acquired some 100 heads. Some were cut down, some wounded and the captain and some 20 of his men taken prisoners, as were 30 horse. Schill then had the cattle returned to their original owners(3) (the location of this skirmish is given as 'Yhrsprünge'; this may be 'Urspring', part of Pretzfeld in Oberfranken).

Remark: In Begebenheiten...(5) there is a (civilian !) assessment of the Türken-Corps which translates to: "This Türken-Corps was a pack of villains who made it their business to rob and steal and could not be kept under control by their officers."

Uniform

Bosniaken

Uniform - Source: Ibrahim90 from a Not By Appointment template
Uniform Details
Headgear white turban with a red fez
Neckstock none
Overcoat red (the Neue Chronik von Erfurt p. 104 states that the red Mäntel (overcoats) of the Turks could be clearly recognized from the town walls
Coat grey caftan (black as per Ortenburg) edged white with 4 white buttonholes with tassels
Collar none
Shoulder Straps n/a
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs none (short sleeves)
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat light blue
Breeches light blue trousers
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt n/a
Waistbelt red sash
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard n/a
Footgear n/a


The Bosniaken carried a sabre and a lance with a blue and yellow pole and a blue and yellow pennant.

Hussars

Uniform Details
Headgear black fur hat with a yellow bag and yellow cords
Dolman dark blue edged dark yellow with brass buttons and yellow braids
Collar pale yellow edged dark yellow
Shoulderknot none
Cuffs pale yellow pointed cuffs edeged dark yellow
Pelisse dark blue laced yellow with black fur trim
Breeches dark blue laced dark yellow
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Barrel sash yellow/red
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black reinforced with brass
Footgear black boots edged dark yellow
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark blue bordered with a pale yellow zig-zag edged in dark yellow
Sabretache black leather
Blanket roll n/a


Troopers were armed with a sabre, carbine and pistols.

Grenadiers

Uniform Details
Headgear French style dragoon cap (Kaskett)
Neckstock black
Coat yellow leather ???Schirmer light blue for foot, blue for horse???
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red
Lapels green
Pockets horizontal pockets
Cuffs green
Turnbacks green
Waistcoat green
Breeches straw
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black


Officers

Officers and NCOs were distinguished from troopers by golden laces.

Musicians

n/a

Colours

n/a

Footnotes

(1) Beyer, Constantin: Neue Chronik von Erfurt oder Erzählung alles dessen, was sich vom Jahre

(2) 'Aufzeichnungen des FM von Freytag' in: Zeitschrift des Historischen Vereins für Nieder-sachsen, Jahrgang 1873, Hannover 1874

(3) Ordinari-Müncher-Zeitungen, Nov. 30, 1762

(4) Zeitschrift des Vereins für hessische Geschichte und Landeskunde. Neue Folge. Fünfzehnter Band; Kassel, 1890

(5) Begebenheiten, die sich in und um Duderstadt..., in: Neues vaterländisches Archiv oder Beiträge zur allseitigen Kenntniss...Band 2, Jahrgang 1831; 2. Theil, Lüneburg, 1831

References

Curt Jany, Geschichte der Preußischen Armee vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1914. Volume II, Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740 - 1763. Reprint Osnabrück 1967 of the 1928-1937 edition.

Ortenburg, Georg von, Braunschweigisches Militär, Elm Verlag, Cremlingen, 1987

Pengel & Hurt, German States in the Seven Years War 1740 to 1762, Imperial Press

Schirmer; Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt, 1989