Palatine Army

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army


In 1756 the Palatinate Electorate kept a regular standing army comprising 9 infantry regiments with a total of 18 battalions; 2 cavalry regiments and 1 squadron of the Imperial District Cavalry with a total of 7 squadrons; and 3 companies of artillery. The total authorised strength was some 12,500 men. Effective strength was far below this figure so that the regiments had to be filled with large numbers of unwilling and improper recruits. The smaller part of this force represented the Palatinate share to the Reichsarmee (the army of the Holy Roman Empire). In addition, the Palatinate also formed an auxiliary corps on the basis of a subsidies contract with France dating from 1756. This corps consisted of 10 battalions with some 6,000 men, including the greater part of the artillery personnel. It fought alongside the French armies in the 1757 and 1758 campaigns. The contract ended on January 1, 1759. Both sides did not wish to renew it, for the troops proved to be quite unwilling allies to the French.




Organisation: each infantry regiment consisted of 2 battalions, each of 5 musketeer companies and 1 grenadier company, with a book strength of 1,200 men per regiment. Each battalion had 2 light guns. In 1757 the Garde-Grenadier Regiment was augmented to 3 battalions (according to some sources with 2 instead of 1 grenadier company for battalion) with a nominal strength of 1897 men.
Generalities about the colours


Organisation: cavalry regiments had 3 squadrons, each consisting of 3 companies. A cuirassier regiment counted a total of 478 men; a dragoon regiment, 468 men. In 1758 the dragoons were augmented to 5 squadrons or 10 companies for a total of some 800 men. The squadron of the Upper Rhine District counted 174 men.


Palatinate Artillery

Organisation of the various contingents

The Palatinate contingent with the Reichsarmee: Regiment Effern (here also referred to as Pfalz-Effern), and Bavarian District infantry (2 companies in 1757).

In 1758, also the II./Garde battalion. The other Garde battalions remained in the Palatinate territories. The 2nd and 3rd squadrons of Prinz Friedrich and the Imperial District squadron joined the Reichsarmee. Here, the 3 squadrons were combined into the so called "Kurpfalz Cuirassier Regiment". The I./Prinz Friedrich squadron remained in the Palatinate territories. For a short period also the dragoons served with the Reichsarmee from 1758 on.

The Palatinate Auxiliary Contingent in French service 1757 – January 1, 1759: Regiments Prinz Karl, Birkenfeld, Osten, Baaden, and Preysing, or 10 battalions with a total force of some 6,000 men. The grenadiers were usually formed in ad hoc grenadier battalions. The II./Prinz Karl battalion was taken prisoner at the surrender of Minden on March 15, 1758. Thereafter the Palatinate contingent counted only 9 battalions. The contingent was commanded by lieutenant general baron von Isselbach and the major-generals baron von Osten and von Baaden. The latter was promoted lieutenant-general in summer 1758, as Isselbach quitted service in consequence of his surrender when the Allied captured the fortress of Düsseldorf.

The remaining troops did not participate in any of the Seven Years' War campaigns, but remained within the Palatinate territories. The regiment von Isselbach served as wartime garrison of the fortress of Düsseldorf on the Lower Rhine, the I./Nassau-Weilburg battalion in Jülich for the duration of the war.


  • Anonymous: Reglement vor die Chur-Pfältzische Infanterie, München 1764 (Google Books)
  • Bredow, Claus, v.; Wedel, Ernst v.: Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deutschen Heeres, Neudruck der Ausgabe 1905, Osnabrück 1972
  • 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. Kurpfalz, page 9
    • appendix: supplement 5, Truppen des Kurfürstenthums Pfalz, page 10-11
  • Münich, Friedrich: Geschichte der Entwicklung der bayerischen Armee seit zwei Jahrhunderten, München 1864