Origin and History
The regiment consisted of 3 battalions. Each of these battalions counted 4 fusilier companies (140 men each) and 1 grenadier company (100 men). Furthermore, each battalion had 2 light 4-pdr battalion guns.
Since October 1 1751, the entire regiment garrisoned Munich.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment Inhaber was:
- since January 20 1745 until 1777: Max Joseph III Prince Elector of Bavaria
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from 1756 to 1759: Colonel Ferdinand Baron von und zu Freyen-Seyboltstorff
- 1759: Major-general Joseph Heinrich Baron von Pechmann
- 1759: Major-general Johann Christian Joseph Baron von Herold
Service during the War
In April 1757, the third battalion of this regiment was assigned to the Auxiliary Corps which was being assembled to serve with the Austrian Army on the basis of a subsidy contract settled with France on March 29. In July, its second battalion also joined this Auxiliary Corps which was assigned to the Austrian corps under the command of Count Nádasdy. Both battalions were below strength. Grenadier companies usually fought alongside the regiment. Occasionally, the grenadiers were detached to form an elite battalion of converged grenadiers.
In October 1757, the second and third battalions took part to the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 22, they were at the battle of Breslau where they formed part of the corps of Count Seyssel d’Aix on the right wing of the second line. A few weeks later, on December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, these 2 battalions were part of Nádasdy's corps deployed on the left wing. They were placed in the center of the first line of this corps near the Württemberger contingent whose fate they shared, being routed by the Prussian troops who attacked the flank of the left wing.
In 1758, the second and third battalions were present at Troppau, at the siege of Olmütz and at the siege of Neisse.
In January 1759, the two battalions previously assigned to the Auxiliary Corps returned to Munich and remained in Bavaria till the end of the war.
In September 15, 1760 it was ordered to change the collar, lapels and cuffs from white to black and to decorate them with white wollen laces. The turnbacks have to remain white. The coat of the musicians were changed from dark to light blue.
On January 12, 1761 it was ordered to change the coats of the Leibkompanie and of the three grenadier companies from dark to light blue. The other companies had to wear out the dark blue coats. This took untill 1765.
Privates before 1760
|Austrian style blue coat with 3 white buttons under the lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back
Schirmer already indicates black as the distinctive colour of the regiment at the beginning of the war.
Some authors mention white lace on the uniform before 1760.
Privates from 1760
|Austrian style blue coat (changed to sky blue in 1761) with 3 white buttons and 3 white diamond-shaped frogs under the lapel and 1 white button in the small of the back
Some authors indicate black turnbacks on the uniform from 1760.
The officers were distinguished by a silver lace on the tricorne which was also decorated with a black cockade fastened with a silver lace, and a silver gorget decorated with golden arms of Bavaria.
Junior officers were to carry a thin, hollow "spanish reed", with which to discipline soldiers.
Senior officers were to carry a cane that was to taper from at most the width of a thumb to at most the width of a finger.
The officers of the Leib-Regiment were further distinguished by a sash.
NCO's were distinguished from the privates by the wearing of a "broadsword". On deployment, the sergeants were to carry the Kurzgewehr, whereas the corpoals carried a musket, bayonet, and cartridge pouch.
Beyond that, all NCO's carried a wooden cane for discpline, of suitable thickness for discpline, but without mauling the soldiers (infantry regulations, page 14). This was to be thinner than the cane used by officers.
Before 1760, drummers wore a white uniform with blue distinctives.
From 1760, drummers wore the uniform of the troopers with the following distinctions:
- white/black/blue woollen chevrons on the sleeves
- white/black/blue laced swallow nest at the shoulders decorated with the yellow arms of Bavaria
- white/black/blue laced cuffs
White bandolier edged white/blue.
The brass drum barrel carried the arms of Bavaria on a field of white and blue stripes.
About the colours of the Bavarian infantry regiments , we know some models in use during the first part of the 18th century, before 1740; we know 4 models of flags which were in use between 1742 and 1745 and we also know the two models created in 1786 after the reunification of the bavarian and palatinate armies. So, between 1745 and 1786, information are unfortunately very scarce. The following descriptions represent an "educated guess" based on these few sources.
Bavarian regiments carried 2 colours per battalion. The first battalion of each regiment carried the Leibfahne and a Kompaniefahne while other battalions carried two Kompaniefahne.
For this regiment, we know for sure that it carried the 1742-1745 pattern Type "1" until at least 1749. However, we doubt this model of flags was still in use during the seven years war, ten years after.
If the old imperial type with yellow taffeta was no more carried during the Seven Years' War, we think the old Max Emanuel pattern could have been taken out the arsenal and carried again. Please note that, as Ordinarfahne, the 1742-1745 pattern Type "2 (or even type "4") could have been carried, but without the double-head imperial eagle.
During the 1750s most Bavarian line infantry units adopted a new set of colours.
For more details on the various patterns of Bavarian colours used during this period, please refer to our article on the Bavarian Line Infantry Colours.
N.B.: From circa 1748, the Inhaber of the regiments had the possibility to influence the design of the Leibfahne after their wish, using individual images of the Madonna.
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.
Funken, Liliane and Fred, Historische Uniformen, Vol. 2
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Staudinger, Karl, Geschichte des kurbayerischen Heeres unter Kurfürst Karl Albrecht - Kaiser Karl VII. - und Max III. Joseph 1726 - 1777, (Geschichte des bayerischen Heeres 3), J. Lindauer, Munich, 1909
rf-figuren for the initial version of this article