Saxon Garde zu Fuss
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Origin and History
|Date of formation unknown. In 1670 entitled Leibregiment. Thereafter known under a variety of names. After uniting with the Polish guards simply entitled Garde by 1703. Later again Deutsche Garde or Gardes, finally in 1712 officially entitled 1st Garde but continued to call itself Garde zu Fuß.
The regiment took part in the campaigns along the Rhine and Moselle between 1673 to 1678. In 1683 at Vienna and 1686 at the siege of Ofen (Hungary). 1700-1706 in Liefland and Poland. 1708-1712 in Flanders. 1715 in Pommerania. 1717 to the peace of Paßarowitz it participated in the campaigns against the Thurks. 1733 in Poland, and 1735 at ther Rhine. Did the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744, 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Saxony. Was awarded the honour to play the Grenadiermarsch for its brave conduct in the battle of Striegau (also known as Hohenfriedberg) in 1745. After the surrender at Pirna dragooned into Prussian service and formed as Prussian regt. v. Blanckensee, but reformed 1757 in Hungary from among Referenten and participated in all campaigns along with the French Armies till 1763. Same year it reformed in 3 battalions with 14 coys. In 1764 it was reduced to 2 battalions with 10 coys.
From 1764 onwards entitled Kurfürst.
Seven Years' War Organisation
1756 état with 2 battalions with 10 coys of musketeers and 2 coys of grenadiers. Each musketeer coy with 95 men, grenadier coy with 97, regimental staff with 17 men. The regiment with some 1,160 men.
In 1757 reformed in a single battalion with 4 coys plus 1 coy of former Leibgrenadiergarde serving as grenadiers as part of the Saxon auxiliary corps in French service.
Chef of the regiment: the King of Saxony-Poland
Kommandeur of the regiment:
Service during the War
At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Gersdorf's Brigade. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The regiment was then forcefully incorporated into the Prussian Army as Blanckensee Fusiliers.
In 1757, a new regiment was raised in Hungary and included into the Saxon auxiliary contingent serving with the French.
In 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the contingent marched through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg. On September 3 1758, it 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. The 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 regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the left wing under the command of the baron de Dyherrn. In June, during the French offensive in West Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre. However, it was detached to Frankfurt to guard the city.
To do: description of the actions of the regiment from 1760 to 1763.
Besides the uniform worn at the beginning of the war in 1756 and after the capitulation of Pirna, the new regiments were re-dressed with white uniforms from Austrian depots, just adapting the distinctive colors. Because of the difference between Autrian and Saxon color pigments, the distinctive colors have perhaps changed a little bit (dark red instead of crimson ?).
|Coat||white with a brass button in the small of the back, 6 (3+2+1) brass buttons on the chest, 3 brass buttons at waist level (right side only)
|Waistcoat||crimson with horizontal pockets with 3 brass buttons and lapels with brass buttons|
Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.
Officers and NCOs wore a black tricorne laced ???silver/gold??? with a white cockade.
Officers wore red breeches.
The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:
- red coat heavily decorated with yellow braids on the sleeves (chevrons), swallow nests, buttonholes and pockets
- white collar, white cuffs edged yellow, white turnbacks
- brass buttons
- red waistcoat with brass buttons
- white breeches
- white gaiters
Leibfahne: white field. In the centre an ermine mantel backed light blue, crowned with a royal gold crown. On the mantelgold, four shields wearing the Polish arms (white eagle on a red field), the arms of Lithuania (white knight riding a horse on a red field), the royal "AR" in gold on a light blue field, , the arms of Saxony (two crossed crimson swords on a field of black over white and a lime green crown on a black and yellow stripe field). A very richly designed border in the distinctive color (crimson red) with a yellow piping.
Ordinarfahne: it seems the Garde zu Fuss regiment had no Ordinarfahne but rather 4 identical Leibfahnen.
Friedrich, Wolfgang, Die Uniformen der kurfürstlich Sächischen Armee 1683-1763, Dresden 1998
Müller, Reinhold, Die Armee Augusts des Starken: Das Sächische Heer von 1730-1733, Berlin 1984
Origin and History: editors translation from "Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee." (History and present state of the Saxon Army.) 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.
Rogge, Christian, The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006
Schirmer, Friedrich, Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989
Wagner, Siegbert, Die Uniformen des kursächischen Armee im Jahre 1745, unpublished manuscript, Hannover 1979
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.