Saturday, October 20, 2007

For TMP Purposes

Thought I had better put a post down to dump photos for TMP.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The battle of Tauberbischofsheim 28 June 1750

Opening shots

The allied line

The battle began with shots fired from the Franconian Bombardiercorps batteries at 8am at Kneidl’s farm. The Bamberg Dragoons and the Nassau Grenadiers (the former serving dismounted) had already been badly mauled at Hardheim some two weeks before and this experience was to do nothing for their nerves. The Bombardment lasted for exactly one hour under the direction of Prinz Friedrich himself, who, as Inspector-General of Artillery took a personal interest in the performance of the guns.

The Franconian battery bombards Kniedl's farm
(Friedrich is to the lower right)

So, for sixty minutes, the farm and environs were treated to a heavy dose of shells and round shot but failed to catch fire. But, for the defenders the noise and whizzing stones were more than enough to contend with. There was some reply from Redoubt number 5 near Kneidl’s farm but this only had the effect of tiring the crew.

As abruptly as the bombardment started, at 9am it stopped. This was the appointed time for the Franconian attack to begin. On the left the brigade of Prinz Furstemberg started in a timely way preceded by Businelli and his Neapolitans and accompanied by Wiesenstein. So fixated was he on advancing upon the redoubt that he had overlooked sending orders to Hamilton in the second line meaning he just sat there for a good fifteen minutes. Prinz Friedrich, from his vantage point in the gun line, saw this stationary force and eventually decided that something was wrong. He rode up to Hamilton who, on being questioned by Friedrich replied in his mangled Scots-German that ‘Mi'lord Wiesenstein has not seen fit to yet order me forward, Your Highness.’ Friedrich gave him a personal instruction to follow up as second treffen to Prinz Furstemberg and within 10 minutes the brigade was underway.

Lundquist's Guard Division approaches the allied centre

Looking along the length of his line with his spyglass Friedrich saw to his satisfaction that the Guard Division of Lundquist was advancing on the allied centre in good order with colours flying and drums playing. The smile of pride was soon wiped off his face, however, when he looked along the line further. Instead of attacking first of all with the Household Brigade of Erffa-Wernburg it seemed that General Hausen was passing the Ritter von Salmannsweiler’s Dragoons ahead of them to attack with that Brigade first. Not only was this costing valuable time it was also not spearheading the attack with the best available troops. Looking around further he could just make out a large knot of staff officers to the rear. Feeling the need for personal intervention he began to ride over to Hausen, but it would take him a good fifteen or twenty minutes to reach him.

The Battle becomes general; Kniedl’s farm and the breastwork

By the time Friedrich reached Hausen certain developments had taken place at either end of the battlefield. On the Franconian left the brigade of HRH Prinz Furstemburg had reached the breastwork and the Neapolitan infantry of Businelli were busily engaged in peppering that, and the farm, with shots. Bamberg had no light infantry to speak of and the men in the farm, already in some shock, were shaken even more. Then, out of the smoke came the close order infantry of IR19 ‘Hohenlohe’ and IR8 ‘Wurzburg’ who launched a furious charge against Bamberg’s position. The second battalion of IR19 plunged through the ragged canister from the Luneberg and Nassau guns and overwhelmed their positions. The first battalion of IR8 charged against the Nassau Grenadiers in the farm and pushed them away from the wall, continuing the fighting in the farmyard. The Bamberg Dragoons were totally overwhelmed by the second battalion IR8 and took to their heels.

The breastwork falls

The Duke of Bamberg’s position was clearly crumbling fast and he sent off to Hessenstein for assistance. By 10.10 the first battalion IR19 had charged over the breastwork and had ejected the first battalion of Grand Duke Maurice’s regiment from their position. Exhausted, they were volleyed back by the second battalion of Nassau infantry but they, in turn, were engaged by 2/IR19 and a fire fight developed. IR8, meanwhile, garrisoned the farm and Weisenstein began to wonder where Hamilton was.

The Battle becomes general; the Guards assault the centre

The 2er Garde Grenadiere: they would never reach the redoubts

Hessenstein got Bamberg’s despatch just as things reached a climax in the centre. By 10.30 Lundquist’s first line under Wilhelmini was in a position to attack the redoubts. The results were mixed. Redoubts 1 and 4 fell to the 1st battalion of Garde Grenadiere and 2nd battalion Garde Musketiere but Redoubt 2 stopped the 1st battalion Garde Musketiere in its tracks whilst the guns in Redoubt 3 drove the 2nd battalion Garde Grenadiere to retire. A second blast of canister turned the retire into a rout and they were only stopped by the personal intervention of Prinz Friedrich riding back from his ‘conversations’ with Hausen and Scheer (see below).

The fall of Redoubts 2 and 3

The breaches made, though, became death traps too for the attackers as they attempted to move beyond the line of redoubts. The Graf von Zedlitz-Truchsler's men tore the Franconian guardsmen apart with a series of good volleys. Wilhelmini, with the casualties mounting and one battalion already routing, appealed to Lundquist for support whilst the battalions took shelter behind the ruins of the redoubts that had just fallen. Lundquist was already live to the idea and had already ordered general Appengau to continue the assault by passing through Wilhelmina’s shattered battalions. He had also ordered Volkmann to bring up his cannon. Appengau was not a man to lead from the rear and, although feverish from a previous illness, he placed himself at the head of the 2nd battalion Garde Fusiliere to assault the redoubt that had inflicted such losses on the Grenadiers. This attack too failed, and GfwM Appengau fell leading it, his body and horse shredded by cannister.

Reluctantly Lundquist ordered a halt to the attacks and ordered Wilhelmini to withdraw all of his battalions to the rear, their place to be taken by those of Appengau, now under his direct command. He also had in his hand a despatch from Friedrich telling him to expect support from Scheer.

The Battle becomes general; the cavalry action and the flank march

By the time Friedrich had arrived to join Hausen and Scheer several things had already happened. Hausen had decided to attack first with Salmannsweiler’s Dragoons, which were deployed behind the Household Brigade. These had, predictable, overwhelmed the Margravine Dragoner but were now blown. He had then ordered up von Zahringen’s mixed brigade to batter his way through the Nassau Dragoons. It was at this point that Friedrich arrived. Hausen’s staff was in something approaching chaos. It was being besieged by Scheer and Erffa-Wernburg and had dissolved into clumps of argument. Scheer had, apparently, attempted to pull rank on Hausen as he had become exasperated with his constant fumblings and redeployments whilst Erffa-Wernburg pleaded to be allowed to attack as ‘the honour of the Guard’ demanded it. Into all of this rode Friedrich. Taking Scheer to one side he discussed with him a way forward. It was clear that Hausen was going to take an age to clear the allied cavalry out of the way, and so he directed Scheer to send his first brigade off to support Lundquist. Then he gave a verbal, direct order to Hausen: the Household Brigade was to attack at the first possible opportunity.

Turning his back on a red faced Hausen he remounted his horse and rode off back into the centre .

Von und Zu Scheer's infantry bypass Hausen's cavalry

Meanwhile, in the woods, the crackle of musketry fire had announced the arrival of Prinz Moritz’ men, or rather the troops of Prinz Kliuchevski. Despite his advancing years Kliuchevski was thin, spry and wiry. He ordered his troops forward into the woods against the rear of the Hessenstein Jagercorps but the latter, alert as always, were unsurprised by the noisy Ukrainians and began picking them off with accurate rifle fire.

1er Kliuchevski Legion arrives

After ten minutes of bearing the brunt of this and suffering over 150 casualties the second Kliuchevski battalion broke and ran. Their place in the line was taken by von Giessenburg’s Jager, but these part-time soldiers also proved no match for the skilled professionals of the Hessenstein Jagercorps and lost nearly 200 men in a prolonged fire fight, finally breaking and many were found wandering the woods asking the best way to the Schwarzwald.

The end

Although the Franconian plan on the right was failing, due to Hausen’s incompetence and the staunchness of the Hessenstein light infantry, and the attack in the centre had seemingly stalled, on the left Wiesenstein had broken through. The timely arrival of Hamilton (Thanks to Friedrich’s earlier intervention) gave him the reserves he needed to stem the allied counterattack. Hessenstein had ordered forward his three battalions of guards in an attempt to retake Bamberg’s position which had finally crumbled as the second battalion of Grand Duke Maurice’s regiment finally disintegrated: the weight of shot from the 2/IR19 and 1/IR8 in the farmhouse and buildings finally told. Meanwhile 2/IR8 had lined the walls and had started volleying the left-hand battalions of Cassel’s line, forcing them to turn to meet them and the harassing fire of Businelli’s men. The approach of 1/IR26 ‘Augsburg Fusiliere’ from an acute angle meant the withdrawal of the cannon from Redoubt 5 was inevitable and soon 1/IR26 was trading shots with the first battalion of the Graf von Cassel’s regiment.

Wiesenstein exploits his breach:
Only the 2nd Bamberg battalion is left to the Duke of Bamberg's command

Meanwhile Hamilton’s other battalions, accompanied by the batteries of Major Kirchwath, allowed Wiesenstein to put together a credible line against the Hessenstein guard whilst he returned both IR19 battalions to the rear. The Hessenstein Garde-Grenadiere traded shots with 2/IR8 in the farmyard whilst the two Garde battalions began opening volleys against Hamilton’s regiment and the supporting guns. Although the Prinz von Solm-Braunfels tried to make headway he failed and Kirchwath’s guns tore huge holes in the Hessenstein Garde battalions.

The Hessenstein Garde begin their counterattack

In the centre it had become a similar story. The combined Grenadier battalions of Von Frankenfeld and Von Reisinger plus the 1er Garde Fusiliere had begun trading shots with the Midachten regiment. Under the cover of this fire fight the guns of Major Volkmann were manhandled into position and began to bombard the Luneberg positions. Coming up behind Lundquist was von Scheer, with seven relatively untouched battalions and his artillery was sent on ahead to add to the line started by Volkmann.

As Lundquist holds the centre, von und zu Scheer moves up in support

Hausen, though, was still making heavy weather of the cavalry action. Von Zahringen’s men had managed to overwhelm the Nassau Dragoons but had also been winded and recalled to rest. Now Erffa-Wernburg was given his chance. Doyenne of the cavalry in earlier years he was now 76, almost blind and had lost much of his touch. But it was his moment. His brigade charged in against the enemy, he himself at the head of the Garde Karabinier and it is here that he fell, mortally wounded and trampled underfoot. His brigade, though victorious, retired leaderless.

With von und zu Scheer in position and the guns moving up, the allies retreat

In light of the defeat of his cavalry and Wiesenstein’s breakthrough on his right Hessenstein saw nothing for it but retreat. Cassel had already started losing men to The Augsburg Fusiliere and 2/IR8 in the farmyard and the news that one of his Guard battalions had crumpled was the last straw. He ordered a retreat at 12.20 to be covered by Knack. Hausen, seizing the opportunity of Erffa-Wernburg’s death, took personal command of his men and ordered the Household troopers forward to pursue. The Ritter von Weingarten, Obrist of the Garde Karabinier refused; his men were too battered and exhausted, and they had many losses. The Obrist of the Garde du Corps, and cousin of the King, the Waldgraf von Baden-Baden readily acceded and the tired troopers and horses cantered forward. Baden-Baden soon regretted his bluster as the fresh and fierce Bamberg Hussars tore into them. The tired horses were barely able to canter, never mind charge, and the proud regiment was torn to shreds and ran for the rear.

The allied retreat, Bamberg Hussars and Hessenstein Jager at the bottom of the picture

Hausen was horrified. How was he going to explain this to the King? Meanwhile he totally overlooked his fourth cavalry brigade, some 12 Kurassier squadrons under GfwM Helldorf-Bedra the 41 year-old protégé of Erffa-Wernburg. He had been reduced to tears of frustration at his lack of orders, tears of passion on hearing of the death of Erffa-Wernburg and now tears of shame as the Garde du Corps streamed past him.

By 12.50 much of the allied army was convincingly away and the shock of the Garde du Corps routing convinced Hausen to abandon any further pursuit. Prinz Moritz’ light troops were still trapped in the woods and by the time they were in a position to do so the opportunity had slipped away. Prinz Friedrich had stumbled to a bloody victory; Hessenstein had tasted the bitterness of defeat.

(Next entry, casualties and aftermath)


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fictitious Wars: the Battle of Tauberbischofsheim: Franconian preparations.

Franconian plans

When Wiesenstein arrived at Bad-Mergentheim on the 23rd June he was feted by Friedrich and many junior members of the staff as something of a conquering hero. This view was not shared by the more professionally competent members of Friedrich’s command, notably generals von Scheer and Lundquist. The failure of Wiesenstein, in their book, was not to press on to Wertheim and cut Hessenstein’s lines of communication and compel him to withdraw further, and allow the siege at Wurzburg to be raised without any actual fighting. Instead, by moving south, he had made a battle almost certain.

The strategic opportunity missed by Wiesenstein

Whilst Scheer and Lundquist shared their misgivings another figure was equally unhappy with the turn of events. General von Hausen was the commander of the army advance guard and the arrival of another cavalry commander, with a victory under his belt, put his nose out of joint. He was also aware that there had been grumblings about his ability to command and the last thing he needed was a potential rival.

For Prinz Friedrich, though, all was clear. His command was unified. Now all he had to do was brush aside the remainder of Hessenstein’s forces and Wurzburg would be relieved. But for four days he rested and recuperated his army, only waddling out of Bad Mergentheim on the 27th. He had only marched a day when scouts brought news of Hessenstein’s position. Riding ahead with a small escort he made a considerable field ride before returning to the area where his army was making camp. Discussions with his senior officers, including some local peasants Lundquist had brought along, soon hammered out a plan of action.

The dispositions on the morning of the 28th June

The Left

The left wing was to be commanded by Generalleutnant von Wiesenstein. Friedrich emphasised that, as he would be responsible for capturing the road along the river this sector was critical. His sector would also encompass the small walled farm, and in order to batter this a little he was assigned most of the army’s heavy guns.

The Bombardier Corps

Links Kolonne

Generalleutnant von Wiesenstein


Kolonne Avantgarde: Obristleutnant Businelli


1er Farinelli Freicorps 748
2er Farinelli Freicorps 711

1er Treffen: Generalfeldwachtmeister Prinz Furstemberg


1/IR19 ‘Graf Hohenlohe’ 576
2/IR19 ‘Graf Hohenlohe’ 684
1/IR8 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’ 750
2/IR8 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’ 750

2er Treffen: Obrist Sir Alan Hamilton


1/IR15 ‘Hamilton’ 803
2/IR15 ‘Hamilton’ 806
1/IR26 ‘Augsburg’ Fusiliere 633

Kolonne Artillerie: Major Kirchwarth

1er Stellungs Batterie 4x6lb 2xHowitzer
1er Schwere Stellungs Batterie 4x12lb 2xHowitzer

Bombardier-Corps: Major Feinnes

1er Compagnie 4x18lb, 4x heavy Howitzer
2er Compagnie 4x18lb, 4x heavy Howitzer

The Centre

As Friedrich saw on his field ride the front of Hessenstein’s position was studded with redoubts. To break through these was clearly a job for the Royal Guard and an experienced commander. As such he gave the task to the capable and seasoned Generalleutnant von Lundquist.

The first battalion Garde Muskietere

Zentrum Kolonne: Generalleutnant von Lundquist


1er Treffen: Generalfeldwachtmeister Wilhelmini


1er Garde Grenadiere 824
2er Garde Grenadiere 792
1er Garde Musketiere 819
2er Garde Musketiere 798

2er Treffen: Generalfeldwachtmeister Moritz von Appengau


1er Garde Fusiliere 824
2er Garde Fusiliere 824
‘Von Frankenfeldt’ Grenadiere 420
‘Von Reisinger’ Grenadiere 846

Zentrum Kolonne Artillerie: Major Volkmann

Batterie zu Fuss 5x6lb

The Right

IR23 'Deutsche Ordern' Fusiliere

The right hand column was to be commanded by the experienced, if shaky, General der Infantrei Graf von und zu Scheer. A close confidant of Konig Johann, von Scheer had been sent by the King to act as a guide to Friedrich. His feelings so far were mixed. Friedrich ordered Scheer to break through the allied left once von Hausen (in command of the cavalry) had cleared the opposing horse out of the way. In conjunction with Prinz Moritz’ Avantgarde he was then to turn the allied left and roll up the line.

Rechts Kolonne: General der Infantrei Graf von und zu Scheer


1er Treffen: Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf von Furstenberg-Heiligenberg


1/IR22 ‘Liebfusiliere’ 685
1/IR23 ‘Deutsche-Ordern’ Fusiliere 833
1/IR25 ‘von Eichstaett’ Fusiliere 773

2er Treffen: Generalfeldwachtmeister Ritter von Urach


1/IR16 ‘Hohenzollern-Hechiggen’ 845
2/IR16 ‘Hohenzollern-Hechiggen’ 792
1/IR12 ‘von Baden-Durlach’ 688
2/IR12 ‘von Baden-Durlach’ 714

Rechts Kolonne Artillerie: Major von Rechberg

2er Stellungs Batterie: 4x6lb, 2xHowitzer
2er Schwere Stellungs Batterie 4x12lb, 2xHowitzer

The Cavalry

In order to clear the enemy horse out of the way so it would not impede Scheer’s advance the Graf von Hausen was ordered to use his cavalry superiority to defeat his opponents quickly and allow Scheer to develop his attack.

The Garde Karabinier

Cavallrie Wing: Generalleutnant Graf von Hausen


Household Brigade: Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf Erffa-Wernburg


KR1 ‘Garde du Corps’ 558
KR2 ‘Garde Karabinier’ 460

1er Kurassiere Brigade: Generalfeldwachtmeister Graf von Helldorf-Bedra


KR8 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’ 743
KR13 ‘Ritter von Limpurg’ 816

1er Dragoner Brigade: Generalfeldwachtmeister Ritter von Salmannsweiler


DR4 ‘Prinz von Onoldsbach’ 577
DR6 ‘Graf von Henneberg-Schieusingen’ 566

Mixed Brigade: Generalfeldwachtmeister von Zahringen


KR14 ‘Deutsche-Ordern’ 834
DR12 ‘Konigin Maria’ 857

The Advance Guard

Given the constrained nature of the battlefield it was clear that the majority of the army’s light troops were going to go unused. But Lundquist had suggested a flanking march via a series of pathways through the woods to the right. Friedrich acceded to this idea suggesting it be commanded by his younger brother, Prinz Moritz. For Friedrich it got his younger brother out of his hair, gave him an independent command, and did not risk him taking away any of Friedrich’s glory.

Armee Avantgarde: Generalfeldwachtmeister Prinz Moritz


Kliuchevski Legion: Prince Aleksandr Kliuchevski


1/Kliuchevski Legion 645
2/Kliuchevski Legion 645
3/Kliuchevski Legion 645
Kliuchevski Legion Hussars 225

Avantgarde Brigade: Obristleutnant von Giessenburg


Farinelli Freicorps Cavalry 281
Von Giessenburg Land-und-Feld Jager 669
‘von Bach’ Grenadiere zu Pferde 694

Husaren Brigade: Obrist Fusco di Matalony

Highly Efficient

HR10 ‘Garde Husaren’ 649
HR16 ‘Elkvity’ 554
HR18 ‘von Holk’ 475

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fictitious Wars: The Battle of Tauberbischofsheim: Allied preparations

Fall out from Hardheim

When Gehlan reported to Hessenstein at Tauberbischofsheim on the 17th he was very much a broken man. Hessenstein had been compelled to order a withdrawal to Tauberbischofsheim in order to prevent a river crossing there by the victorious Franconians who were more than capable of sweeping Gehlan’s demoralised survivors away. He also sent off to Nassau, reporting the defeat, and to his cousin, the Furst von Hesse-Cassel requesting assistance.

Over the next week the situation for Hessenstein seemed to improve. In the first place it became obvious that the Franconian force that had defeated Gehlan at Hardheim was not heading for Tauberbischofsheim but was moving to join the Franconian army at Bad Mergentheim, so the danger of being outflanked receded. Secondly his cousin, Cassel, had marched out of the siege lines with six battalions of infantry and six squadrons of Dragoons: in all his entire command. He had tried to persuade the other two Hessenstein Princes there, Haynau and Hersfeld, to join him but failed to do so against Nassau’s entreaties to stay. Of particular importance was the decision by Hersfeld who commanded the cavalry at Wurzburg; the 12 squadrons of heavy cavalry would be sorely missed.

Maurice of Nassau was furious. Hessenstein had gone behind his back, so it appeared to Maurice, and had undermined his authority. But, in order to keep an eye on things he ordered his own regiment to join Cassel in the march to Tauberbischofsheim. Maurice was already beside himself over Hardheim. He could not shake off the suspicion that Hessenstein had used Bamberg, Nassau and Luneberg troops in order to preserve his own men, and his character judgement was also suspect as he had chosen such an obvious incompetent to lead the operation.

Meanwhile, at Aschaffenburg, more Luneberg troops had arrived under Generalleutnant Hedemann. He, too, was dismayed by the Hardheim result; the fact that it was led by a Luneberger and the only colour lost was from the Midachten regiment did not improve his mood. He was aware that his elderly Duke did not want to fully commit himself as yet, but he had also been told that he must not let the cause of the Northern League collapse. To Hedemann it was obvious that his Duke wanted to take some of the shine off Hessenstein and be seen as a saviour. Consequently he retained the bulk of his forces at Aschaffenburg, sending only three grenadier battalions and two horse grenadier squadrons to reinforce Hessenstein under Generalmajor Estorff, with instructions that the Luneberg force now be commanded by Generalmajor von Zedlitz-Truchsler until his arrival.

Choice of battlefield

So, by the 24th of June Hessenstein’s force had swollen to 19,000. He decided, after consultation with his senior staff, to march a little way south to a spot they had retreated through. Here, bounded on one side by the Tauber and the other covered by a wood, his cavalry inferiority would not matter so much and he could rely more on his good quality infantry. The battlefield would be covered by fieldworks, and on the 26th the army spent much of its time digging and preparing.

The Right

This was to be commanded by Duke Ernst of Bamberg and be composed of his own Bamberg troops, the Nassau troops and two 3 pfund guns of the Lunebergers. He would defend Kniedl’s farm and an earthwork stretching from there to the river Tauber.

Duke Ernst of Bamberg

Division: Ernst, Furst von Bamberg



Brigade: GM von Sack



Bamberg Dragoons (dismounted): 292
1/Bamberg Regiment: 316
2/Bamberg Regiment: 340

Brigade: GM Graf von Dernbach


1/Prinz Moritz Regiment: 580
2/Prinz Moritz Regiment: 698
Nassau Grenadiere: 271

The Earthwork

The Centre

The centre was to be held by the Graf von Cassel with the two regiments he had brought from Wurzburg plus the 1er Grenadiere. All battalions had a 3 pfund gun plus there were a string of redoubts across the front of the line (that stretched across into the left flank too). Cassel was a professional officer, but he was also aware that, if Hessenstein died or was somehow disgraced, he was well placed to grab the crown for himself.

Division: Graf von Cassel
Highly Efficient



Brigade: GM von Solms



1/Markgraf Regiment: 827
2/Markgraf Regiment: 773
3/Markgraf Regiment: 872
1er Grenadiere: 737

Brigade: GM von Schillingfurst



1/Graf von Cassel Regiment: 795
2/Graf von Cassel Regiment: 863
3/Graf von Cassel Regiment: 803

The Left

The left wing was to be commanded by Generalmajor von Zedlitz-Truchsler and be composed of the Luneberg contingent. Gehlan, now no longer head of the force, was reduced to commanding the first line.

Left Wing: GM von Zedlitz-Truchsler



Brigade: GM von Gehlan



1/Midachten Regiment: 627
2/Midachten Regiment: 540
Grenadiers/Midachten Regiment: 407

Brigade: GM Estorff



Grenadiers/von Bothmer Regiment: 481
Grenadiers/von Klinkowstrom Regiment: 472
Grenadiers/de Mailleville Regiment: 455

The Cavalry

In charge of the army’s slender battlefield cavalry was the Hessenstein general, Generalmajor von Falcke.

Luneberg's 'Graf von Platen-Hallermund' Dragoons

Cavalry: GM von Falcke



Graf von Nassau Dragoner: 677
Margravine von Hessenstein Dragoner: 835
Graf von Platen-Hallermund Dragoner: 698

The Armee Avantgarde

On the extreme left of the allied line, with the Jager in the woods, was the avant-garde under Obrist von Knaak.

Avantgarde: Obrist von Knaak



Nassau Husarencorps: 530
Bamberg Husaren: 508
Hessenstein Husarencorps: 856
Hessenstein Jagercorps: 899

Army Reserve

To plug holes that may appear, or undertake an attack if things went well, Hessenstein husbanded his guard infantry plus the Luneberg Horse Grenadiers under the colonel commanding his Garde-Grenadiere.

Reserve: Obrist Prinz von Solm-Braunfels



Hessenstein Garde zu Fuss: 866
1er Hessenstein Garde-Grenadiere: 842
2er Hessenstein Garde-Grenadiere: 827
Luneberg Grenadiere zu Pferde: 238


In command of all the redoubts across the front of the allied line was Obrist-Artillerie von Fleischacker, from the Hessenstein artillery.

Armee-Artillerie: Oberst von Fleischacker



Nassau Redoubt: 2x3pfd
Luneberg Redoubt: 2x3pfd
1er Hessenstein Redoubt: 4x3pfd
2er Hessenstein Redoubt: 4x3pfd
3er Hessenstein Redoubt: 2x9pfd, 2xhaubitze
4er Hessenstein Redoubt: 2x9pfd
5er Hessenstein Redoubt: 2x12pfd, 2xhaubitze

Most battalions had a 3pfd as a battalion gun; exceptions were the Nassau Grenadiere, the dismounted Dragoons and the Jager.


Fictitious Wars: The Battle of Hardheim


Generalmajor von Gehlan sighted the village of Hardheim just after 9am on the 15th June. Riding ahead of his little column to his left he saw a series of gentle slopes which led up to a dense looking wood. On the area to the right of that wood on some high ground stood an enemy force of some two battalions of infantry and some field guns. Ahead of him ran the road to Hardheim running along the base of the high ground. His telescope revealed that in front of the village itself stood yet another battery of cannon. To his right was the Teufelwald forest which seemed impassable to all but the most determined. In short the visible Franconian forces accorded more-or-less with what the Prince of Hessenstein had told him.

In fact Gehlan had missed much on his personal reconnaissance. A rather old-fashioned and somewhat blimp-esque infantry officer he considered the Hussars under his command little more than criminals and vermin and more interested in plunder than accurate intelligence. This was a shame, because Gehlan’s rigid mindset meant that his information was decidedly misleading and he had missed much on his personal inspection of the ground. Told off by Hessenstein to attack the column of Generalfeldwachtmeister Erffa-Wernburg this Franconian force had actually been heavily reinforced by a second column under Generalleutnant von Wiesenstein.

Gehlan had missed much of Wiesenstein’s now combined force. The wooded area ahead and to the left contained the first battalion of the Freicorps of the Conti de Farinell, whilst the infantry he could see were the three battalions of GfwM Wilhelmini. Behind them and masked by the slope lay GfwM von Erffa-Wernburg’s twelve squadrons if heavy cavalry. In Hardheim itself was the Horse and foot Grenadier reserve under Colonel Sir Alan Hamilton, and the battery was that of the Bombardier-Corps with 18pfund kanonen and 10pfund haubitzen. In the Teufelwald itself was the second battalion of Farinelli’s freicorps but, most crucially, the woods also masked the four battalions of infantry under Oberst Winterfeldt and the cavalry of Farinelli’s freicorps under Major the Conti Federico di Ceccopieri.

Orders of Battle

Allied Column: Generalmajor Ernst von Gehlan

Cavalry: Obrist von Knaak

Bamberg Dragoner: 557
Bamberg Husaren: 598
Nassau Husaren: 588

Infantry: Generalmajor Sack

1/Midachten Regiment: 786 plus 3pfd
2/Midachten Regiment: 830 plus 3pfd
1/Bamberg Regiment: 727 plus 3pfd
2/Bamberg Regiment: 751 plus 3pfd
Nassau Grenadiere: 791
Bamberg Artillerie: 6x3pfd

Franconian corps: Generalleutnant Wiesenstein

Light Troops: Obrist Conti di Farinelli

1/Farinelli Freicorps: 816
2/Farinelli Freicorps: 711
Farinelli Cavalry: 281

Column: GfwM Wilhelmini

1/IR19 ‘Hohenlohe’: 727 plus 6pfd
2/IR19 ‘Hohenlohe’: 832 plus 6pfd
1/IR22 ‘Liebfusiliere’: 831
Batterie ‘Pflacher’: 2x6pfd, 2x10pfd haubitze

Column: Obrist Graf von Winterfeldt

1/IR8 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’: 753 plus 6pfd
2/IR18 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’: 609 plus 6pfd
1/IR15 ‘Hamilton’: 803 plus 6pfd
2/IR15 ‘Hamilton’: 806 plus 6pfd

Cavalry: GfwM Graf Erffa-Wernburg

KR8 ‘Erzbischoff von Wurzburg’: 783
DR12 ‘Konigin Maria’: 929

Reserve: Obrist Sir Alan Hamilton

‘Von Reisinger’ Grenadiere: 593
‘Von Bach’ Grenadiere zu Pferde
Batterie ‘Giffing’: 4x18pfd, 2x10pfd haubitze

The Battle

To Gehlan, though, what he saw accorded with his intelligence from Hessenstein so he began his attack. Obrist Knaak was to take his twelve squadrons onto the heights to the left whilst Generalmajor Sack was to assault Wilhelmini’s position with his infantry and take Hardheim.

Knaak was the first recipient of a nasty shock as the 18pfund battery before Hardheim began opening up down the road. This caused the Nassau Hussars to ascend the heights quickly where they spotted the first Farinelli battalion at the edge of the woods. Colonel Roehl, unwilling to let the opportunity slip, threw his unit at the Neapolitan troops. The remainder of Knaaks brigade was slower off the mark, the heaviest blows falling among the Bamberg Dragoons as they struggled up the slope with their heavier horses. Dead and dying men and horses soon littered the ground around him but Knaak seemed oblivious.

Meanwhile Roehl and the Nassau Husarencorps had scored a notable victory, the Neapolitans refused to face them and ran pell-mell through the open woods with whooping and cheering hussars in pursuit. Farinelli himself desperately tried to rally them but was shot in the heel while doing so, although at the time felt little. Erffa-Wernburg reacted sharply to the situation moving the Konigin Dragoons to cover the Neapolitan’s retreat on the other side. Plunging through the wood the Nassau troopers lost order and speed and seeing the dark mass of enemy cavalry on the other side grudgingly called off their chase and retired.

Generalmajor Sack, meanwhile, was bringing up his infantry. The assault on Wilhelmini was to be undertaken by the two battalions of the Bamberg Regiment with the converged companies of Nassau Grenadiers in support, accompanied by the small Bamberg 3pfund battery. The Lunebergers of the Midachten Regiment followed along up the road to take Hardheim itself. However, as the second battalion of Midachten trailed up the road it was surprised by the sudden appearance of the second Farinelli battalion from the Teufelwald led by the dynamic Obristleutnant Businelli. His men, though, showed less flair than their commander and faltered, opening up a desultory skirmish fire on the Lunebergers. As Businelli tried to get his men into some sort of formal line (something the Neapolitans were wholly un-used to) the Lunebergers simply faced right and fired a crushing volley into the disordered Neapolitans. This was too much for Businelli’s men who fled into the woods and defied his efforts to rally them.

The Franconian 18pfund battery had by now shifted its attention to the first battalion of Midachten. Some 500 yards short of the village Colonel von Midachten called a halt: he could now see the tops of the banners of Winterfeldts force, and wanted his second battalion up to join him before continuing his advance.

Up on the ridge, meanwhile, the Nassau Grenadiere and the second battalion of the Bamberg Regiment had begun trading volleys with IR19 ‘Graf von Hohenlohe’. Casualties on both sides were heavy, but the Franconian 6pfund battery with Wilhelmini was tipping the balance. After thirty minutes or so of musketry the allied 1er Treffen began to roll back. At this point the Konigin Dragoons re-entered the battle. Erffa-Wernburg had been skirting south of the wood with his horsemen and they launched a swift charge against the steadily retiring Nassau Husarencorps who broke before contact, routing through the Bamberg gunners and taking them along. Knaak threw in the Bamberg Hussars against the open flank of the Konigin Dragoons, but this only managed to check the Franconian advance.

Sack was now deprived of his few guns and the first Bamberg battalion had been redeployed to hold off the Franconian Grenadiers sent up from Hardheim by Hamilton to assist Wilhelmini. With the allied line crumbling Wilhelmini ordered IR22 ‘Liebfusiliere’ to pass through the Hohenlohe’s and push the enemy further back. Seeing this, and now aware of Winterfeldt’s presence, von Gehlan ordered a retreat at 1.30. Knaak was instructed to hold off the Franconians whilst Sack got his infantry away. The second battalion of the Midachten regiment was to act as rearguard. The Nassau and Bamberg troops pulled behind it but the exposed first battalion had to dive into the Teufelwald as the best way of avoiding pursuit. Wiesenstein, who had not issued an order all day, retired to the Grun Adler inn to write his victory despatches and it was left to individual Franconian commanders to pursue as they saw fit. The Liebfusiliere were badly shot up in the process by yet another excellent volley from the second battalion of Midachten with the unit commander, Obristleutnant Demuth, taking a musket ball in the throat. This really left only the Franconian Grenadiers as the pursuing infantry.

Meanwhile Knaak was sorely pressed, the Bamberg Dragoons had managed to stop the Bishop of Wurzburg’s Kurassiere (KR8) from riding down the retreating infantry but lost 150 men and horses in doing so. But at 2.30 the Konigin Dragoons, having retired and reformed, broke through the Bamberg Hussars and overran the gallant second Midachten battalion, taking its colour and driving it from the field.


Allied losses were severe. With deserters and wounded 2,161 men did not answer the rolls when the force reached Tauberbischofsheim. Six 3-pfund kanonen and the colour of the second Midachten were also left on the field. The Nassau Grenadiere and all the Bamberg units were either at or under 50% of their original strength. Gehlan pulled back to Tauberbischofsheim. Not knowing what the Franconians would do Hessenstein withdrew there too, fearing a cut to his communications.

Allied post-battle returns

Bamberg Dragoner: 292
Bamberg Husaren: 508
Nassau Husaren: 530
1/Midachten: 627
2/Midachten: 540
1/Bamberg: 316
2/Bamberg: 340
Nassau Grenadiers: 271

2xLuneberg 3pfd, 2xBamberg 3pfd

Losses: 2,161 from an original 5,621 (including 58 prisoners) or 38.5%

Colour of 2/Midachten and 6 3-pfund guns.

Franconian post-battle returns

1/Farinelli: 748
2/Farinelli: 711
Farinelli Cavalry: 281
1/IR19 ‘Hohenlohe’: 576
2/IR19 ‘Hohenlohe’: 684
1/IR22 ‘Liebfusiliere’: 685
1/IR8 ‘Wurzburg’: 750
2/IR8 ‘Wurzburg’: 609
1/IR15 ‘Hamilton’: 803
2/IR15 ‘Hamilton’: 806
Grenadier Companies: 573
Horse Grenadiers: 155
9th Feldkompagnie: 8x6pfund kanonen
2nd Bombardierkompagnie: 4x18pfund kanonen, 4x10pfund haubutze

Losses: 636 from an original 9,784 or 6.5%

Obrist Farinelli, Obrist Krehlau (IR19), Obristleutnant Demuth (IR22) all KIA

Hessenstein need not have worried. Wiesenstein, although victorious here, was not the sharpest soldier around. Throughout the entire battle he had not issued a single order and had simply sat on his horse at Hardheim occasionally looking through his spyglass. The battle was effectively fought by Wilhelmini, Erffa-Wernburg and Hamilton. After his victory Weisenstein continued his march to join Prinz Friedrich, the two joining hands at Bad Mergentheim on the 23rd. Here he was congratulated for his victory, but many grumbled that, by his oversight, he had condemned them to a gruelling battle in the very near future. But Count Farinelli, having not noticed his boot slowly filling with blood, passed out and later died before victory was assured. Oberst Krehlau, fatally wounded, was carried into the Grun Adler, past an unnoticing Wiesenstein, where he died of his wounds wilst von Demuth dies instantly. Leading from the front was costing Franconia dear…


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fictitious Wars: Background to the battle of Hardheim 15th June 1750

The campaign in the North

The Northern League’s leaders had met early in the year to outline their plans. At a council of war on 5th April Furst Maurice of Nassau, Furst Ernst von Bamberg, Furst Friedrich von Hessenstein and General von Gehlan of Luneberg. The debate centred around two possible courses of action. The first was an advance from Darmstadt down the Rhine against the Franconian fortress of Hockenheim. This was proposed by Nassau on the grounds it would put them in close proximity to Alsatia. It was opposed by Hessenstein as it would mean crossing the territory of the Prince Archbishop of Mainz, who may oppose them with force and he did not wish to add another enemy quite yet. Hessenstein proposed a march directly south from Darmstadt via Michelstadt towards Heilbronn. This was opposed by Nassau because it would men taking the army through the Odenwald, which he did not consider sustainable.

The course of action eventually adopted was the third, proposed by Bamberg and supported by Gehlan. This proposed a march from Aschaffenburg via Markthiedenfeld to besiege Wurzburg. The fall of this city would effectively isolate his old Duchy of Bamberg. Hessenstein approved positively, Nassau only half-heartedly.

Sketch map of the campaign area


The campaign got under way in May; by the 3rd the Advance Guard of the army under Hessenstein crosses the Franconian border at Wertheim. The main body under Maurice is some way behind and reaches Markgrafthiedenfeld on the 19th. By the 29th May Maurice appears before the walls of Wurzburg and begins his siege operations. To Hessenstein falls the job of covering the siege and he moves to Bad Mergentheim. Here he learns of enemy forces in some strength some ten miles to the south at Dorzbach.

This is the Advance Guard of the Army of the Kralch, commanded by Prinz Friedrich von Franconia, Johann’s third son. The Advance Guard is under the Graf von Hausen who arrived in Dorzbach on the 18th May. Prinz Friedrich, taking some time to gather his army, had originally decided to march on Wurzburg from the south and so moved his main body to Rothenburg-ob-der-Tauber whilst Hausen pinned Hessenstein. Realising the strength of Hessenstein’s force and the vulnerability of the reinforcements under Glt Wiesenstein and GfwM Erffa-Wernburg coming up from Stuttgart, he shifted his force to Bad-Mergentheim, hoping to catch Hessenstein in a vice between his forces and Hausen’s.

The prelude to Hardheim

Once Johann had devined the strategy of the Northern League he ordered the reserve corps of Wiesenstein and Erffa-Wernburg to march out and join the army of Prinz Friedrich. Wiesenstein’s column halted at Brackenheim until the 13th May wracked by an outbreak of dysentery. Originally he marches out for Kupferzell, but only gets halfway when he is instead ordered to the Hessenstein frontier at Miltenberg, Johann intending to use Wiesenstein and Helldorf-Bedra to march on Aschaffenburg. At Bad-Kaiserzell he is struck by yet another bout of dystentery, and only arrives at Hardheim on the 11th June. Here he finds the column of Erffa-Wernburg sent up from Stuttgart.

The situation on the 15th June

Hessenstein, aware of Erffa-Wernburg's arrival from his patrols but ignorant of Wiesenstein’s existence, decides to daringly split his force. On the 5th June Generalmajor von Gehlan is commanded to take the Luneberg, Bamberg and Nassau troops and attack Erffa-Wernburg at Hardheim before he can link up with Hausen. Meanwhile Hessenstein would try to maintain a show of strength before Hausen.

Von Gehlan proved he was not up to the task. He takes ten days to reach Hardheim, and by the time he does Wiesenstein has been there for three full days. The scene is set for a battle.


Fictitious Wars: Armies and Countries

Keeping it even

In my fictitious campaign each country has a certain amount of economic points. The maximum a country has is six. This defines the size of army a country can maintain, the number of generals it may have and how much it can raise per year. I re-worked the whole scheme based on the Great Captains rule system.

Size of Armies

Each country can only sustain an army of a certain size. Basically this covers all units except Mercenary units hired from other countries and foreign units fighting as Auxiliaries. An army’s maximum size is calculated by taking that country’s EP and multiplying it by 15,000 points. The size of a country varies, but here are the EP values for countries currently involved in the campaign:

Franconia; 6EP
Alsatia; 4EP

Hessenstein; 2EP

Luneberg; 2EP

Nassau; 0.5EP

I had arranged and organised the army of Franconia well before this happened, so it is actually considerably under-pointed, but in 1750 the armies’ starting totals were as follows.

Franconia; 75,180 points out of 90,000
Alsatia; 55,702 points out of 60,000
Hessenstein; 28,878 points from a maximum of 30,000
Luneberg; 25,874 points from a maximum of 30,000
Nassau; 9,045 points from a maximum of 7,500*

*The oversize is because they are playing host to the exiled forces of Bamberg.

The points are not related to the ‘real’ army in the field. Each army pays for the ‘establishment’ strength, not the field strength, and a separate list is kept using Great Captains of this order of battle. Units are also paid for as their ‘end state’, so usually Trained or Part-trained.

Raising new troops

Countries may raise new troops up to the limit of the maximum given above, but they can only spend a certain number of points per year. This is 10% of their total allowed army strength, so Franconia, for example, can spend 6,000 points per year, whereas Hessenstein can spend a total of 2000. This allows them to raise either new units or reinforcements. Although units are paid for as if they were at their ‘end state’ they actually start as ‘Untrained’. It takes 3 months to go from ‘Untrained’ to ‘Part-Trained’ and another 3 months to go from ‘Part-Trained’ to ‘Trained’. To increase their training they must remain in their depots.

Strassburg Infantry. An average battalion will cost between 300 and 450 points

Existing units may absorb untrained or part trained personnel. A unit can absorb 20% of one training grade below their current one, or 10% of personnel two training grades below their current one without suffering. Absorbing more will mean that they will start being diluted.

The only troops that can be raised above the 10% are prisoners of war, of which the ruling Monarch’s oratorical and administrative skills determine how many of those taken enlist. These may go into foreign regiments, freicorps or units specifically raised from deserters. Captured cannon can be formed into batteries in a similar way.

Military Reforms

Based for 4 ranks: Lieb/IR7

Countries may undertake a military reform. These are options available on the Great Captains unit text-box: Cadenced Step, Platoon Fire and Iron Ramrods plus the ability to form 3-rank lines. These cost points as well and can only be introduced if the potential reformer is defeated in battle by a country with that reform or during peacetime by nominating an Inspector General to try to reform it. So far, in 1750, only Alsatia has a reform element, that of 3-rank line.

Based for 3 ranks: Regiment 'Moselle'

Battalion guns

Although there is an element to tick on the dialogue box for an infantry unit these are not used to sort out what the army is allowed. Instead artillery is bought by the company and moves as such, only spread around as battalion guns as battles are arranged, with the balance being formed into batteries.


The EP value also dictates Generals. For each EP or part of one EP a country is allowed a General capable of commanding an Army. For each half EP a country has it is allowed a ‘wing’ commander, for each quarter EP a country is allowed a divisional commander and for each eigth of an EP a brigade commander.

So, a big state like Franconia is allowed: Six army commanders, twelve wing commanders (can command two divisions), twenty four division commanders (can command up to four brigades), forty eight brigade commanders.

Whereas a small state like Nassau is allowed: One army commander, one wing commander, two divisional commanders and four brigade commanders.

Generals may command a formation one step above their competence but lose one level of Efficiency. Unit commanders can command brigades with a similar penalty.

Generals in Great Captains have 3 values that are randomly determined based on their character sheet.

Efficiency: Brilliant, Highly Efficient, Efficient, Poor or Incompetent.
Personality: Charismatic, Daring, Aggressive, Bold, Cautious or Stolid.
Character: Inspiring, Disciplined, Brutal, Mercenary or Ruffian.

King Johann von Franconia, able to command an Army level formation
Efficiency: Efficient
Personality: Bold.
Character: Disciplined.

Economic Points as aid

Countries may get EP from other countries as aid. This does not allow them to go over the 10% in terms of units raised, apart from hiring Mercenaries from other countries (Mercenaries continued to be units entire) or hire attract foreign troops from overseas. In the latter case they can only go into foreign regiments or freicorps, and are dependent on the oratorical and administrative values of the commanding officer in order to attract them.


This has led to an unprepared Franconia under attack in 1750. By my reckoning they will not be at full war capacity until 1752, but the small victories they have won so far have yielded some captured guns and some prisoners, 99 of which have so far agreed to join the Franconian colours.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fictitious Wars: Uniforms of Franconia


Jean-Louis, responding to the last posting, lamented the lack of pics as regards uniforms. I accept that, apart from in the first Fictitious Wars posting, pics have been scarce. Partially this is due to me being less than happy with some of my earlier work, the painting being very rudimentary, and partly because when these battles were fought I did not take any pictures anyhow.

Many of you will also wonder why the bases are not textured. This is deliberate. Army reforms may take place that alter the basing, either increasing or decreasing battalion size or going to three rank line. The latter is clearly defined by looking at the number of figures per base. Franconia and many Northern League states are on 4 rank lines (represented by 3 bases of 4 figures) whilst Alsatia has already adopted 3 rank lines (4 bases of 3 figures). The cavalry, less prone to this sort of thing, is left un-textured as it would make the infantry look even less good!

Konig Johann I of Franconia and escort carrying the Royal Standard

Infantry Uniforms of Franconia

Franconia had a total of 27 numbered infantry regiments in 1750. There were: three Guard Regiments of two battalions, three Foreign Regiments of two battalions and two grenadier companies, six Fusilier regiments of one battalion, two Garrison Regiments of two battalions and two grenadier companies, the Lieb-Grenadier battalion and 12 infantry regiments of two battalions and two grenadier companies. Each battalion also had a depot company of 225 men.

Lieb battalion of IR10 'Prinz von Oettingen-Oettingen' showing Liebfahne

In looking at the infantry uniform for Franconia I decided to use the SYW Revell Austrian figures as the basic figure type although some units were to use the Prussians. For the colours I decided upon a slightly off-white coat with white cross-belting as standard for virtually all infantry regiments save the 3 Guard Regiments and the Lieb-Grenadiers. Tricorn lace would always be white, and gaiters black although, once again, the Guard would be in linen. Flags would be only one for the first battalion (due to a shortage of standard bearers rather than any other reason) and I painted one side with a national (lieb) colour and the other representing the ordinance colour.

(left to right) Ordinance colours of IRs 7, 14, 16, 10 and 11

The remainder I left somewhat haphazard. Some units have lapels, others do not. The most a unit will have faced is waistcoat, breeches, cuffs, lapels and turnbacks, but having the whole 9 yards is unusual and usually some of these are left in the coat colour.

Lieb battalion of IR7 'Kronprinz Michael'

The ‘weak’ white colour also has several other reasons. One it maintains that notion of ‘Catholic’ countries having white as the basic uniform colour. Secondly it allows the use of a whole variety of facing colours that do not look as strong on darker shades, such as blue allowing the use of colours such as Rose Pink, for example, without it looking lost.

Lieb battalion of IR14 'Herzog von Furstemberg-Heiligenberg'

There are also 3 foreign regiments: Van Pfeffer’s Dutch, the Royale Gaulois and Hamilton’s Scots. These are, again, uniformed slightly differently. Van Pfeffer’s unit (see below) is in grey faced orange with straw small clothes, Hamilton’s is in dark blue faced white whilst the Royale Gaulois have a dyed white coat faced blue, including small clothes.

Lieb battalion of IR9 'Van Pfeffer' (Dutch)

Lieb battalion of IR13 'Royale Gaulois' (French)

Grenadiers of all units wear a bearskin and have a match case, there are currently two companies per regiment.

(left to right) Grenadier companies of IR15 'Hamilton', IR12 'Waldgraf von Baden-Durlach' and IR16 'Herzog von Hohenzollern-Hechiggen'

There are also six single-battalion fusilier regiments. These figures are modified Austrian Grenadier figures and are not that different from the line regiments in performance. They were just a bit of added fun to the infantry orbat.

IR23 'Deutsche-Ordern' Fusiliere

Regular Cavalry

The regular cavalry is divided into Kurassier (5 regiments of 6 squadrons), Dragoons (six regiments of 5 or 7 squadrons) and Hussars (4 regimentsof 4 squadrons, except Lib-regiment which has six) and 3 regiments of Guard (4 squadrons each).

DR5 'Waldgraf von Baden-Durlach'

The Kurassier all have the off-white coat with various facings displayed as per the line infantry.

KR9 'Ritter von Ochsenhausen'

The Dragoons are more colourful. Of the six regiments, three have green coats, two have blue and one is in red. Each regiment has a squadron of Horse Grenadiers in bearskin (the old Airfix AWI officer figures coming in useful here).

DR7 'Ritter von salmannsweiler' plus Horse Grenadier squadron

The Hussars are all in Mirliton (Revell SYW Prussian Hussar figure) and are based in a looser looking order than the Dragoons or Kurassier.

HusR16 'Elkvity' (the sweepings of the prisons)

The Guard

The Royal Guard comprises 3 regiments of infantry (Garde-Grenadiere, Garde-Fusiliere and Garde-Musketiere) of 2 battalions each and 3 regiments of cavalry (Garde-du-Corps, Garde Karabinier and Garde Husaren).

KR2 'Garde Karabinier'

They, more so than the army in general, are uniformed according to the red/white national colours. White is dyed white, rather than off-white and the infantry sport white linen as opposed to black gaiters.

Lieb battalion IR2 'Garde Musketiere'

The Garde-Grenadiere (and Lieb-Grenadiers too) wear the older-style metal-fronted mitre rather than the bearskin worn by Grenadiers of line regiments.

'Almost guard' IR18 Lieb-Grenadiere in the older mitre
(that of the Garde-Grenadiere is brass)

Light troops and Freicorps

There are two units of regular Jager in the army. The Franconia Feldjagercorps is recruited from huntsmen and foresters on the Royal estates, whilst the Schwarzwald Jagercorps is recruited in the Black Forest. Both units wear a white laced tricorn, a green coat with unbleached woollen breeches and black gaiters and are rifle armed. The Franconia Feldjager have brick red cuffs and turnbacks with the Schwarzwald battalion in purple. There are two other Jager units, the Land-und-Feld Jager battalions of Von Giessenburg and Von Reubersberg. They are semi-regular units raised to defend the long and difficult Black Forest area but, in 1750, they were pressed into service with the field armies. Von Giessenburg has light brown facings, Von Reubersberg dark blue but otherwise they are uniformed as the regular battalions.

The Franconia Feldjager-corps

In 1750 there were 3 pre-war freicorps units. The oldest is Farinelli’s freicorps, raised from the Neapolitan escort to the then Princess Maria in 1717 and continually refreshed with additional Italian recruits. It has gradually lost its Neapolitan character but was still led by Count Rudolfo Farinelli who also doubled as Neapolitan Ambassador. The unit in 1750 was made up on two battalions of infantry in white faced yellow wearing a bearskin with a yellow flame, and two squadrons of dragoons/light cavalry uniformed similar to the infantry but in tricorn with yellow lace.

The second freicorps raised was that of Prince Aleksandr Kliuchevski, a major figure among the Ruthenian community that had been allowed to settle in Franconia after being driven from their homes by the Lithuanians. Raised for the Bamberg campaign in 1740 and kept alive by Prince Kliuchevski, the unit in 1750 comprised 3 battalions of infantry and two squadrons of hussars. Uniformed in claret with black leatherwork and tricorn with white lace, the hussars had claret dolman and breeched with black pelisse, white colpack and red bag.

Lieb battalion of Kliuchevski's Legion

The most recent Freicorps was raised in 1748 by Prinz Moritz, the Prince of Auersperg and Johann’s youngest son. Wearing a grey coat with claret cuffs, breeches and waistcoat it also wore a curious casquet of leather faced with a brass plate.

The Prinz von Auersperg's freicorps


The Franconian artillery is divided into 3 branches, the Feld-Artillerie Regiment, the Bombardier-Corps and the Festungs-Artillerie. All are uniformed in a similar fashion of claret coat with white cuffs and turnbacks and waistcoat with a black tricorn with white lace. The Feld-Artillerie regiment has off-white breeches and black boots, the Bombarier-Corps claret breeches and black boots whilst the Festungs-Artillerie has claret breeches and un-dyed linen gaiters.

Feld Artillerie manning 3-pfund kanonen

The three units have different functions. The Feld-Artillerie were composed in 1750 of 14 companies mostly armed with 3 pfund kanonen whose main function was artillery support for the army in the field. The Festungs-Artillerie provided fortresss gunners around the kingdom (usually recruited from older members of the other two units) but also provided 3 siege companies, one of which was equipped with mortars. The Bombardier-Corps manned the 18 pfund guns and 10 pfund howitzers and sat uneasily between the two, and in 1750 comprised only two companies.

Bombardier Corps personnel with 18 pfund kanone and 10 pfund haubitze

Other units

There were also 12 battalions of militia in 1750, the militia wore a blue coat with facings dependent on region. There also existed 4 pontoon trains, 4 companies of sappers and one company of miners.

A militia battalion


I hope this little tour provides some guide to the forces and uniforms of Franconia, and I will cover Alsatia and some Northern League states in the near future.