Vitzthum Cuirassiers

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

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1704 from the Tiesenhausen company of the Garde du Corps and 4 cuirassier companies.

From 1704 to 1717, the regiment campaigned in Poland, Brabant and Pomerania.

In 1717, the regiment incorporated cuirassiers from the Moritz von Sachsen Cuirassiers and Wolffersdorff Cuirassiers.

During the War of the Polish Succession (1733-35) the regiment campaigned in Poland.

From 1737 to 1739, and later again until 1745, the regiment was stationed in Hungary.

In 1748, the regiment incorporated men from the Prinz von Sondershausen Dragoons.

Since its creation, the successive Chefs of the regiment were:

  • from 1702: Lieutenant-General von Tiesenhausen
  • from 1704: Colonel von Gersdorf (killed in action in 1706 at the Battle of Kalisch)
  • from 1707: Hans Georg aus dem Winkel
  • from 1713: Count Althahn
  • from 1714: Friedrich Wilhelm von Kyaw
  • from 1715: Siegmund Friedrich von Arnstädt (died in 1718)
  • from 1717: Dam Siegmund von Pflugk
  • from 1728: von Hackeborn
  • from 1730: Christian Ernst von Polenz
  • from 1734: Hans Heinrich von Venediger
  • from 1737: von Maffée (aka Maffey)
  • from 1745: Christoph Heinrich von Vitzthum
  • from 1765: Ludwig Ernst von Benkendorff

Until 1752, the successive Chefs of the regiment also assumed direct command. However, during the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:

  • from1752 to 1756: Colonel von Rheden
  • from 1763: Lieutenant-Colonel de Beyne von Grünenberg

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 the Fürst von Anhalt, as part of von Ronnow'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 disbanded and its troops distributed among Prussian cuirassier regiments, mainly Gens d'Armes, Prinz von Preußen, Driesen, Markgraf Friedrich and Leib-Carabiniers.

Uniform

Privates

Cuirassier in "kollet" in 1756 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Trooper of the Vitzthum Cuirassiers in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Dr Marco Pagan
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced gold with a white cockade fastened with a small yellow button; one blue bob in each lateral corne
Neckstock black
Coat white lined blue with 6 yellow buttons (arranged 1-2-3) down to the waist on each side; 3 yellow buttons under the waist on the right side
Collar blue
Shoulder strap none
Lapels none
Cuffs blue, each with 3 yellow buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat buff leather kollet edged with a blue braid with a yellow stripe; no button (fastened with hooks and eyes)

a blue waistcoat was worn under the kollet

Breeches white
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt n/a
Waistbelt natural leather with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black boots with white knee covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth ???
Housings ???
Blanket roll ???


Troopers were armed with ???.

Officers

Colonel of Vitzthum Cuirassiers - Copyright: Franco Saudelli


Musicians

 To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the musicians

Standards

Leibstandarte: white damask field heavily embroidered in gold with silver piping, centre device consisting of a gold shield of ornate design carrying the Royal Polish arms (white eagles and white knights on a red field) and on the centre the arms of Saxony beneath the electoral hat, surmounted by a crimson royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. Fringe in gold (buttons color) and blue (distinctive color = French blue).

Ordinarstandarte: blue (French blue) damask field heavily embroidered in gold with silver piping; centre device consisting of the golden royal cipher "AR" on a white pedestal surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. Fringe in crimson red and gold (buttons color).

Tentative Reconstruction
Leibstandarte - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Ordinarstandarte - Copyright: Kronoskaf

The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 3 other squadrons each carried one ordonnance standard.

References

Schuster/Francke: Geschichte der Sächsischen Armee, file I. Leipzig 1885.

Verlohren: Stammregister und Chronik der Kur-und Königlich Sächsischen Armee, Leipzig, 1910

Bavaria, Saxony and the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms & Flags of the Seven Years War. Researched by M.Lange and A. Sharman. Compiled by R.D. Pengel. Artwork by G.R. Hurt. Birmingham, 1981.

Acknowledgements

Harald Skala for additional information on the origin and history of this regiment