Prinz Karl von Zweibrücken Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army >> Prinz Karl von Zweibrücken Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1725 as a Landbataillon. On May 13 1746, it was amalgamated with a battalion from Zweibrucken to form a regular regiment. During peacetime, it garrisoned Mannheim.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was not at full strength, totalling only some 1,000 men. It consisted of 2 battalions. Theoretically, each of these battalions should count 1 grenadier coys (100 men) and 5 musketeer coys (each of 140 musketeers). The regimental artillery consisted of 1 gun per battalion, each served by 20 artillerymen detached from the Palatine Artillery.

While campaigning, its grenadiers were usually formed into converged grenadier battalions.

During the Seven Years' War, the Chef of the regiment was:

  • from May 8 1751 until 1775: Prince Karl August Christian von Pfalz-Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken

During the Seven Years' War, its commander was:

  • from 1749 until 1765: de Roy

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was part of the 6,000 men strong Subsidienkorps (Palatine Auxiliary Corps) hired by France to serve in Germany. At the end of June, the Palatinate Auxiliary Corps advanced through Westphalia to join the French Lower Rhine Army commanded by maréchal d'Estrées. On July 26, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hastenbeck where it supported the leading columns of the left wing. After the victory, it encamped at Grosselsen near Hameln with the main body of the French Lower Rhine Army from July 31 to August 2. At the end of the year, it took its winter quarters in the towns of Detmold, Hamm, and Gütersloh; with the other regiments of the Palatine Auxiliary Corps. This position was in the fourth line of the French Army.

In March 1758, during the Allied winter offensive in western Germany, the second battalion of the regiment was part of the French garrison of Minden which was attacked by an Allied corps led by General Kilmansegg. On March 15, the garrison of Minden surrendered without opposing any serious resistance. The battalion was later exchanged but not before the end of the campaign.

On January 1 1759, French subsidies not being renewed because the Palatine troops had proven to be quite unwilling allies to the French, the regiment returned to Palatinate.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with blue within white pompoms
Grenadier
Prinz Karl von Zweibrucken Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Copyright Kronoskaf
Austrian style bearskin with pewter shield and a scarlet bag laced white with a white tassel
Neckstock black
Coat blue coat with 3 pewter buttons under the lapels and 1 in the small of the back

N.B.: during summer, a linen smock was worn instead of the coat

Collar none
Shoulder Straps scarlet with 1 pewter button (left shoulder)
Lapels scarlet with 7 pewter buttons grouped 1,2,2,2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs scarlet with 3 pewter buttons
Turnbacks scarlet fastened with a small pewter button
Waistcoat white with 15 pewter buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black with 22 pewter buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt paille (straw) or white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with 4 little yellow grenades, grenadiers wore an additional little cartridge box at their waistbelt, it was black with one yellow grenade
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather with brass fittings only at the beginning of war, later none
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved sword.

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • scalloped tricorne with a black cockade and no pompoms
  • silver gorget (since 1755)
  • silver buttons and laces
  • white and blue striped sash (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • white and blue sword frog (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • buff gloves
  • black cane

Grenadier officers used a musket instead of a spontoon. Therefore, they wore a little cartouche (laced gold with a golden front plate) at the waistbelt.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

For more details on the various patterns of Palatine colours used during this period, please refer to our article on the Palatine Line Infantry Colours.

Warning: we are still working on the graphical representations of the colours and some details may change during the week of July 16 to 22.

Colours before 1760

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): blue field decorated with golden floral patterns; centre device consisting of the golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor surmounted by a red and gold Electoral cap; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor.

Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf

Colours from 1760

Each battalion carried 2 colours: the first battalion carried the Leibfahne and a 'Kompaniefahne, while the second battalion carried two 'Kompaniefahnen. A red and a yellow variants of the Kompaniefahne seem to have cohabitated.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen)

  • red variant: red field bordered with a light blue and white lozenges pattern; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of the Elector of Palatinate within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, a collar of the Order of Saint Hubertus beneath, the whole resting on a white cloud the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
  • yellow variant: yellow field bordered by three rows of white and light blue lozenges; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of of Pfalz-Sulzbach within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, the Collar of the Order of St. Hubertus beneath, each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (red variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (yellow variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf

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. 1757-1760

  • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
  • Copy (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)

Bezel, Oskar; Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres ..., Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, München, 1925

Pengel, R.D. And G. R. Hurt; Bavaria, Saxony & the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms and Flags of the Senen Years War, Hopewell: On Military Matters, 1981

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

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.

Acknowledgments

rf-figuren for the initial version of this article.