Württemberg Garde zu Fuss

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Origin and History

Württemberg Garde zu Fuss in 1752 - Source: von Stadlinger, 1856

In 1744, when Karl Eugens von Württemberg acceded to dukedom, the Leibregiment was the only infantry regiment of the duchy of Württemberg. All other infantry regiments of the duchy originated from this initial regiment. Indeed, the same year, the Leibregiment was divided into two distinct units. The first battalion became the Garde zu Fuß (Foot Guard), the second the Infanterieregiment Prinz Louis.

In 1757, the Garde zu Fuß was once more reorganised into two distinct units. The original regiment became known as the "Leibinfanterieregiment von Werneck", retaining the 8 musketeer coys formed in two battalions, while a second unit designated as the 1. Grenadierbataillon was created from the 4 grenadier coys formed in a single battalion.

In 1758, the Garde zu Fuß was twice reorganised. In the first reorganisation, some elements of the regiment were used to create the Infanterieregiment von Werneck, counting two battalions, while the Garde zu Fuß proper retained the remaining elements and recruited additional troops to increase its force to 3 battalions. Later in 1758, during a second reorganisation, the Garde zu Fuß retained two battalions while its other battalion gave birth to the Leibgrenadierregiment (later known as the Leibgrenadierbataillon) of 3 battalions.

N.B.: in 1759, in his Etat des Trouppes de S.A.S. Monseigneur le Duc de Virtemberg et Theck sur pié en 1759, Jacques André Frederic mentions 2 battalions of Gardes à Pied, each counting 670 men in 1 grenadier company and 5 fusiliers companies.

Throughout the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhaber was the duke of Württemberg.

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

  • since 1744: lieutenant-general Franz Friedrich von Werneck
  • from 1758: major-general duke Phil. Anton von Wolff (in 1759, the II. Battalion was under the command of colonel duke von Linckensdorff)
  • from 1760 to 1767: colonel Alexander August count von Wittgenstein


Service during the War

During the war, the regiment was in the French service.

In 1757, the regiment joined the Austrian army in Silesia. In October, it was at the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 22, it took part to 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 first line of the Württemberger contingent under marshal Spiznass at the extreme far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps. This position became the main target of the Prussian attack.

On August 1758, the regiment as part of the Württemberger contingent made a junction with Soubise's army in Kassel. On October 10, the regiment took part to 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.

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 to the siege of Wittenberg. It was its last noticeable action during the war.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: Dal
Uniform Details
as per L., J. Stadlinger, completed with other sources where necessary
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white with a white plume (possibly a yellow/black pompon during the war) set with a single white 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 brass headband and yellow piping
Neckstock black
Coat dark blue in Prussian cut with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes with white tassels under the lapel
Collar carmine red
Shoulder Straps carmine red with a white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels carmine red set with 8 white buttons and 8 white buttonholes with white tassels arranged in pairs
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons
Cuffs carmine red Swedish cuffs with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes with white tassels
Turnbacks red fastened with a white button
Waistcoat yellow (pale yellow as per Jacques André Frederic)
Breeches white
Gaiters black during campaigns
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard black with a yellow handle
Footgear black


Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword.

Officers

NCO's tricorne was probably laced silver. Furthermore, they wore beige gloves and carried a baton and a partisan.

Officers wore a uniform quite similar to the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • tricorne decorated with a gold lace
  • gold gorget
  • no turnbacks
  • gold buttonholes
  • gold sash
  • brown and gold scabbard
  • beige gloves
  • spontoon

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

Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D., Die Reichsarmee 1757-63. I. Teil: Zusammensetzung und Organisation, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J

Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D.; Weirich, W.-D., Die Reichsarmee 1757-63. II. Teil: Die einzelnen Einheiten, ihre Stärke, Zusammensetzung, Uniform und Feldzeichen, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.

Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 Bilder von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, published by Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

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

Großer Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Der Siebenjährige Krieg, Berlin 1901-1914

Kaufmann, Michael, Wurtemberg during the Seven Years' War, Nec Pluribus Impar

Knötel, R., Farbiges Handbuch der Uniformkunde: Die Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht der deutschen Staaten, Österreich-Ungarns und der Schweiz, published in 1937 by Herbert Knötel d.J. and Herbert Sieg.

Koch, A.U., Der modische Wandel der Uniform im 18. Jahrhundert. Reich und Württemberg. (Officer's portraits 1730 to 1790), in Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, Nr. 330, LI. Jg (1987), S. 33-36

Kroll, I., Truppen der kriegführenden Staaten in Nordwestdeutschland 1757-1762, in Die Zinnfigur, Heft 12 (1987), pp. 361-362, 375-378

Military Miniatures Magazin, Die Armee von Carl Eugen Herzog von Württemberg, Herzogtum Württemberg 1756 – 1763

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre - 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