Saxon Artillery

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

Origin and History

Artilleryman in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The Saxon artillery consisted of 5 artillery companies for a total of some 600 men:

  • Haus-Kompagnie (1 company at the Dresden Arsenal and fortress personnel)
  • Artillery Bataillon (4 coys)

By 1756, the heavy artillery park of Saxony consisted of:

  • 12 x 24-pdrs guns, each with a 10-horse team
  • 27 x 12-pdrs, each with a 10 or 12-horse team
  • 4 x 6-pdrs
  • 4 x 24-pdr howitzers, each with a 10-horse team

Each infantry battalion had 2 battalion guns entitled Geschwindstücke (lit. swift-pieces) - mostly 6-pdrs and a few of 3-pdrs. They were served by 8 gunners and each had a 4-horse team.

After the surrender of the Saxon Army at Pirna on October 15 1756, the Saxon Artillery had to be entirely re-equipped. By the Summer of 1758, it counted 2 companies (125 men each) who received 24 French manufactured 4-pdr battalion guns à la suédoise, sponsored by Mme la Dauphine.

In 1761, the Saxon Artillery was increased to 3 companies and its park totalled 30 guns.

During the Seven Years' War, the Saxon artillery was under the command of:

  • no information found yet


Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the unit retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The artillery corps was disbanded.

However, in 1757, when Saxon Auxilliary Contingent army assembled in Hungary, artillerymen previously serving in the Saxon artillery were initially incorporated into Fürst Lubomirsky Infantry and Prinz Sachsen-Gotha Infantry and Sachsen-Gotha). This contingent was subsidized by France.

In 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the contingent marched through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg. In August , artillerymen previously incorporated into infantry regiments were reunited into 2 artillery companies of 125 men each. Furthermore, this new artillery unit was provided with 24 French manufactured 4-pdr battalion guns à la suédoise, sponsored by Mme la Dauphine. On September 3, the unit was part of the Saxon contingent, under the command of Prince Xaver, who encamped at Castrop, 15 km from Recklinghausen, on his way to make a junction with the French army of the Marquis de Contades in Westphalia. This contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's and Fitzjames' divisions, it reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, the contingent first saw action at the battle of Lutterberg where its determined attacks decided the day for the French army. On October 20, 10 days after their victorious action at the battle of Lutterberg, the Saxon regiments rejoined Contades at Werl.

On April 13 1759, the unit probably took part in the battle of Bergen. In June, during the French offensive in West Germany, the unit was part of the main army, under the command of the Marquis de Contades. On August 1, the unit probably took part in the battle of Minden.

To do: description of the actions of the regiment from 1760 to 1763.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform - Source: David of the Not By Appointment blog
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with white within red pompoms and a white cockade fastened with a small brass button
Neckstock black
Coat green lined red with 3 brass buttons under the right lapel and 1 brass button on each side in the small of the back
Collar red
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a small brass button
Lapels red, each with 8 brass buttons arranged 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red, each with 2 brass buttons (or 3 brass buttons arranged vertically)
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat straw with brass buttons on the right side and horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Breeches straw
Gaiters white (black with small brass buttons for campaigns)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box no information available
Bayonet Scabbard no information available
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

Officers wore uniforms similar to those of troopers with the following distinctions:

  • tricorne laced gold

Officers carried a black cane.

NCOs

Artillery NCO in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of troopers with the following distinctions:

  • lapels and cuffs edged yellow


Musicians

no information found yet

Colours

From 1753 to 1810, the Leibfahne (colonel colour) of the Saxon artillery was as follows: white field wearing the crowned Saxon-Polish coat of arms over a trophy of artillery weapons and tools; surrounded by golden embroideries decorated with flaming grenades; each corner wearing a flaming bomb; bordered white


From 1753 to 1810, the Ordinarfahne (ordonnance colour) of the Saxon artillery was as follows: greenish-grey field; centre device consisting of the royal cipher "AR" surmounted by a golden crown and surrounded by palm leaves; the whole over a trophy of artillery weapons and tools; surrounded by golden embroideries decorated with flaming grenades; each corner wearing a flaming bomb; bordered greenish-grey

Leibfahne - Source: Dr Marco Pagan
Ordinarfahne - Source: Dr Marco Pagan

References

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.