Württemberg Army

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Introduction

Phull Cuirassier, Feldjäger and Gorcy Hussar in 1759. - Source: Richard Knötel Uniformkunde

The duchy of Württemberg contributed its due contingent to the Reichsarmee (the Empire's Army) as part of this country forming part of the Empire's Swabian District. In addition its reigning duke Karl Eugen had arranged for a subsidies contract with France dating from 1752. The duke agreed to maintain an Auxiliary Corps of 6.000 men in 13 bataillons. In 1757 this force was now to assemble but only 3.000 men were yet under arms. Coercive recruiting had to fill the ranks with unwilling men. The protestant Württenbergers in fact favoured the Prussian cause as they regarded the Prussian king as the protector for the liberty of their religion within the Empire. Furthermore they regarded France as the Empire's true enemy. With their muster in Stuttgart and in presence of the French war commissioner the men revolted and the entire Werneck regiment dispersed. A granted general pardon as well as a French/Austrian agreement to attach the contingent to the Austrian army rather than the much hated French persuaded the deserters to return to their colours. The troops remained in French payment, though. Much delayed, it was send to Bohemia. The troops formed part of general Nadasdy's corps and took part in the capture of Schweidnitz, Silesia. On December 5, they were badly mauled in the battle of Leuthen. Frequent revolts, the high proportion of untrained men, and finally an exceptionally high rate of desertion made up for their rather poor performance during the 7YW.

During the first half of 1758 there had been initial negotiations to take the Württembergers in British payment to join the Allied army. But the dreaded pressure from nearby France led to a soon end to these plans.

In 1758, and now personally commanded by duke Karl Eugen, it fought with the French army in Hesse under Soubise, where it took part in the battle of Lutterberg, October 10.

In 1759 it again was to join the French army. Its force was now increased to 12.000 men in 15 bataillons and 13 escadrons. It assembled late on the French right within the territories of the diocese of Fulda. Here they fell victum to an Aliied raid on November 30, the so called action of Fulda.

In 1760 a new subsidies contract was now made with Austria. The contingent now formed part of the Reichsarmee and was augmented to 17 bataillons, 13 escadrons, Light Troops, and 20 heavy guns in addition to the regimental artillery.

In 1761 and 1762 the Württembergers did not take part in the campaigns, aside from their regular Reichskontingent. The duke was unable to arrange for another profitable contract with France or Austria as a result of their shortage of financial recourses with the final campaigns of the 7YW.

Line Infantry

Field Regiments


Grenadier bataillons

  • Nr. 1. von Rettenburg von Plessen in 1758, von Bode in 1759, again von Plessen in 1762 (formed of Leib Infantry Regiment von Werneck)
  • Nr. 2. von Plessen von Lengenfeld in 1758, von Witzleben in 1759 (formed of Infantry Regiment Prinz Louis and Infantry Regiment von Spitznas grenadiers)
  • Nr. 3. von Georgii von Bouwinghausen-Walmerode in 1758, von Reischach in 1759, von Altenstein in 1760, again von Reischach in 1762 (formed of Fusilier Regiment von Truchsess and Infantry Regiment von Roeder grenadiers)
  • Nr. 4. Field Grenadier Bataillon von Heimburg from 1761
  • Nr. 5. Duke Grenadier Bataillon (separated from the Leib Grenadier Regiment in 1762)
  • Nr. 6. House Grenadier Bataillon (separated from the Leib Grenadier Regiment in 1763)

Cavalry



  • Gorcy Hussars – 1 esc. in 1757, augmented to 4 esc. in 1758 and now formed as Regiment von Gorcy.

Light Troops

Artillery

  • Artillery Corps, 1 company in 1757 – augmented to 1 battalion with 5 coys in 1758.


Garrison troops

Organisation

Of the 1756 infantery regiments, the Garde zu Fuss/Werneck had 3 baons (2 musketeer and 1 grenadier) with 4 coys each. The others on an establishment of 2 baons with 5 musketeer and 1 grenadier coy per baon. Company strength was some 100 men. Book strength of a 2 bataillon regt was some 1.219 men. The grenadier bataillons were converged bataillons similar to the Prussian system. In 1759 they formed as independent units and were named by their commanders. Each bataillon had one 3 lb bataillon gun. The1758 bataillons of the French Auxiliary Corps were supplied with French manufactued 4lb bataillon guns.

The cavalry regiments had 4 escadrons each with a book strength of 512 men per regiment.

The 1758 artillery battalion with 253 men to serve the infantry battalion guns. In 1760 it was augmented to 600 men in order to serve 20 attached heavy guns in addition to the battalion pieces.

Reference

  • 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. 1757-1760
    • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
    • Copies (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
    • Copies(NYPL Digital Gallery, The Vinkhuijzen collection)
    • Copies(Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)
  • Bredow, Claus, v; Wedel, Ernst v.: Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deutschen Heeres, Neudruck der Ausgabe 1905, Osnabrück 1972
  • ETAT general des Trouppes de S.A.S. Monseigneur le Duc de Wirtemberg et Theck sur pié en 1760. Jacques Andre Frederic, Augsbourg
  • Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. Vol. 5 Hastenbeck und Roßbach, Berlin 1903
    • chapter A: Die Truppen der Deutschen Mittel- und Kleinstaaten, 6. Herzogthum Württemberg, page 9-11
    • appendix: supplement 6, Truppen des Herzogthums Württemberg, page 12-13
  • Jany, Curt: Geschichte der Preussischen Armee vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1914. Volume II, Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740 - 1763. Reprint Osnabrück 1967
  • 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
  • Stadlinger, L., J. von: Geschichte des Württembergischen Kriegswesens – von der frühesten bis zur neuesten Zeit, Stuttgart, 1856