Württemberg Garde zu Fuss
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Origin and History
In 1744, when Karl Eugen von Württemberg acceded to dukedom, the Leibregiment was the only infantry regiment of the duchy of Württemberg. All other infantry regiments of the duchy originated from this initial regiment. Indeed, the same year, the Leibregiment was divided into two distinct units. The first battalion became the Garde zu Fuß (Foot Guard), the second the Infanterieregiment Prinz Louis.
In 1757, the Garde zu Fuß was once more reorganised into two distinct units. The original regiment became known as the "Leibinfanterieregiment von Werneck", retaining the 8 musketeer coys formed in two battalions, while a second unit designated as the 1. Grenadierbataillon was created from the 4 grenadier coys formed in a single battalion.
In 1758, the Garde zu Fuß was twice reorganised. In the first reorganisation, some elements of the regiment were used to create the Infanterieregiment von Werneck, counting two battalions, while the Garde zu Fuß proper incorporated three grenadier companies of the 1. Grenadierbataillon and recruited additional troops to increase its force to 3 battalions. On October 1, during a second reorganisation, the Garde zu Fuß retained two battalions while its other battalion gave birth to the Leibgrenadierregiment (later known as the Leibgrenadierbataillon) of 3 battalions.
N.B.: in 1759, in his Etat des Trouppes de S.A.S. Monseigneur le Duc de Virtemberg et Theck sur pié en 1759, Jacques André Frederic mentions 2 battalions of Gardes à Pied, each counting 670 men in 1 grenadier company and 5 fusiliers companies.
Throughout the Seven Years' War, the regimental inhaber was the Duke of Württemberg.
During the Seven Years' War, the successive Kommandeure of the regiment were:
- from 1744: Lieutenant-general Franz Friedrich von Werneck
- from 1758: Major-general Duke Phil. Anton von Wolff (in 1759, the II. Battalion was under the command of Colonel Duke von Linckensdorff)
- from 1760 to 1767: Colonel Alexander August Count von Wittgenstein
Service during the War
During the war, the regiment was in the French service.
On August 10, 1757, the "Leibinfanterieregiment von Werneck" set off to join the Austrian army in Silesia. In October, it was at the siege of Schweidnitz. On November 18, three grenadier companies fromthe 1. Grenadierbataillon left Silesia and went back to Württemberg. They arrived at Stuttgart on December 26, to form the core of the new Garde zu Fuss. Meanwhile, on November 22, it took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre of Nádasdy's Corps. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in the first line of the Württemberger contingent under Marshal Spiznass at the extreme far left of the Austrian positions as part of Nádasdy's Corps. This position became the main target of the Prussian attack.
On August 1758, the regiment as part of the Württemberger Contingent made a junction with Soubise's Army at Kassel. On October 10, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lutterberg where it was placed in the centre of the first line. On November 30, it was at the action between Lauterbach and Fulda.
In 1760, the Württemberger Contingent operated under Austrian subsidies. Thus, the regiment joined the Austrian army in Silesia to fight against Prussia. From July 1760 to January 1761, two ad hoc grenadier battalions from the Garde zu Fuss campaigned in Saxony. In October 1760, they took part in the siege of Wittenberg. It was its last noticeable action during the war.
It seems the color of the buttons (yellow instead of white) and of the aiguillete (white instead of yellow) was changed after January 1,1758 (after von Werneck Regiment creation).
|Coat||dark blue in Prussian cut with 2 yellow buttons and 2 white buttonholes with white tassels under the lapel
|Waistcoat||yellow (pale yellow as per Jacques André Frederic)|
|Gaiters||black during campaigns|
Troopers were armed with a musket and a sword.
NCO's tricorne was probably laced silver. Furthermore, they wore beige gloves and carried a baton and a partisan.
Officers wore a uniform quite similar to the troopers with the following exceptions:
- tricorne decorated with a gold lace
- gold gorget
- no turnbacks
- gold buttonholes
- brown and gold scabbard
- beige gloves
Until 1750, the officer’s sash was in the imperial colours: gold/black. At the beginning of the 1750´s, probably in 1752, when the Württemberg Army received the new dark blue uniforms, the sash was changed to the new Württemberg Knüpfmuster (knotted pattern): white (silver for staff officers and generals), yellow and red. Gold and red were the original Württemberg colours since 1593. So, during the Seven Years’ War, the Württemberg sash was white (resp. silver), yellow and red.
no information available yet
Informations about the colours of the Württemberger infantry regiments are very scarce. The following descriptions represent an "educated guess" based on these few sources.
Leibfahne: white field with, on both sides, the arms of the duke of Württemberg, surmounted by a gold and red ducal crown. The coat of arms consisted of an oval shield surrounded by a necklace of the Order:
- Necklace: 8 red links with a golden eagle, 8 blue links depicting precious stones and a red cross over a yellow background
- Upper left canton: yellow and black checkerboard pattern (Teck arms)
- Upper right canton: yellow flags on a blue field (Reichssturm)
- Lower right canton: brown head with a red bonnet on a yellow field (Heidenheim arms)
- Lower left canton: two gold fish on a red field (Monbéliard arms)
- Central escutcheon: 3 black stag antlers on a yellow field
Here follows a tentative reconstruction of this flag:
Regimentsfahne: probably red field with
- Right side: probably the arms of Württemberg (identical to those on the Leibfahne) surmounted by a gold and red ducal crown
- Left side: probably the duke's cipher (a mirrored C)
Here follows a tentative reconstruction of this flag:
N.B.: the Württemberger colours also carried the motto "Provide et constanter". However, the exact location (side and position) of this motto on the colours is unknown.
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.
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Evrard P., Praetiriti Fides
Frederic, Jacques André, Etat des Trouppes de S.A.S. Monseigneur le Duc de Virtemberg et Theck sur pié en 1759, Augsburg, 1759
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Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre - A4 XXVII, pièce 22
Stadlinger, L., J. von, Geschichte des Württembergischen Kriegswesens – von der frühesten bis zur neuesten Zeit, Stuttgart, 1856
Zahn, Michael, Die Herzoglich Württembergische Armee im Siebenjährigen Krieg, Manuskript, Stuttgart: January 2008
Volker Scholz for the information on the sash of the officers