Bavarian Kurprinz Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Bavarian Army >> Bavarian Kurprinz Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment was formed on 29 June 1682 as regiment of foot "Degenfeld" from the companies "Baron von Seeberg" (exchanged on July 17 with the company "Count della Rosa" from the regiment Puech), "Baron von Pienzenau" and "Count von Krieching", to which the company "Degenfeld" as well as the companies "Wolf Friedrich von Reding-Biberegg" and "Captain von Pfisterer" were joined.

The new regiment was first stationed in Munich and Donauwörth. The first owner and at the same time colonel commander of the regiment was FML Hannibal Baron von Degenfeld (1647 to 16 October 1691), who handed over the regiment to Colonel Franz Emanuel Count della Rosa on 27 November 1683. At the time, it had a strength of about 1,100 men.

In addition to representatives of the Bavarian aristocracy, the owners of the regiment were the Bavarian electors, later Bavarian crown princes, who gave the regiment its name.

On 12 September 1683, during the Great Turkish War (1683–1699), the regiment participated in the relief of Vienna with a strength of 963 men. On 25 October, it took part in the Battle of Gran. By November 30 of the same year, it counted only 678 men. In 1684, the regiment was organised in eight companies of 125 men each. It participated in the siege of Ofen from 14 July to 31 October, at the end of which, its combat strength was down to 331 men, another 236 were hospitalized at Moskowitz and Raab. On 11 July 1685, during the siege of the Fortress of Neuhäusel, about 120 men were killed and the colonel commander Count della Rosa was so badly wounded that he died soon afterwards. He was succeeded as owner and colonel commander by Jakob Siegmund Baron Gall von Gallenfels (8 August 1685). On 2 September 1686, the regiment was involved in the storming of Ofen and suffered the loss of about 300 men due to death, wounds and sickness. Its combat strength was now down to 674 men, but could be replenished more than abundantly by 1,257 replacements from Straubing. On 12 August 1687, during the Battle of Mohacz, the regiment was involved on the fringes and had to cope with only minor losses (18 fallen, 3 wounded and 10 missing). On 10 August 1688, during the storming of Belgrade, 28 men were killed and 51 men were wounded, including Colonel Commander Baron von Gallenfels. By 31 October of the same year, the regiment had melted down to 545 men.

On 16 July 1689, the regiment was in the Fortress of Kehl. In 1690, it was Increased to 10 companies. The regiment was again reduced to eight companies (combat strength on 21 October 1692: 24 officers, 61 NCOs and 651 rank and file). It was spread over several locations: Andernach, Erpel and Deutz. During the Nine Years' War (1688–1697) there were some skirmishes with the French troops, where the regiment was spared major losses.

On 10 January 1694, the regiment was renamed "Leibregiment des Kurprinzen Joseph Ferdinand" and in the same year took up the remains of the companies "Grießenbeck" and "Murach". The regiment received new flags (white with blue stripes, the flag of the Leib-Kompanie was made of white silk with the image of Our Lady in the middle). On 10 July 1695, after the Battle of St. Leon, the regiment returned to Bavaria with 1,076 men. In the same year, the 1st Grenadier Company was established. On 15 June 1696, the regiment marched towards the Netherlands and reached Roermond on 7 July. There it received 1,100 new muskets and took up with 1,252 men its winter-quarters in Alost and Termonde. On 1 June 1697, the company "Wolf Heinrich Gemmel von Flischbach" was incorporated, in the same year the 2nd Grenadier Company was formed and the regiment was divided into two battalions of five companies each. The regiment was quartered in Geldern, Roermond and Venlo that year.

On 5 September 1699, after the sudden death of Elector Joseph Ferdinand, it was renamed "Leibregiment des Kurprinzen Karl Albrecht", who became its owner until 28 March 1727. On 1 December 1700, Emanuel Count von Arco became colonel commander.

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

  • from 29 June 1682: Hannibal Baron von Degenfeld
  • from 27 November 1683: Franz Emanuel Count della Rosa
  • from 8 August 1685: Jakob Siegmund Baron Gall von Gallenfels
  • from 10 January 1694: Joseph Ferdinand Kurprinz of Bavaria
  • from 5 September 1699 to 28 March 1727: Karl Albrecht Kurprinz of Bavaria

Service during the War

Musketeer of the Kurprinz Infantry (1694-1709 - Source Anton Hoffmann

1702

In June 1702, the regiment took in the free companies "Johann Jakob Frankenreither von Frankenegg" and "Johann Gottlieb von Grimming" and was reorganised into three battalions of five companies each. In September, it was part of the Bavarian army of the Count d'Arco.

1703

On 11 March 1703, the regiment fought in the Combat of Schärdenberg-Eisenbirn, where it took 448 prisoners, losing only a few men. In mid-June, one battalion of the regiment was part of the Bavarian forces reviewed by the Elector of Bavaria at Rosenheim. These forces were intended to take part in the planned invasion of North Tyrol. In fact, 949 men and 97 horses of the regiment took part in the campaign in North Tyrol.

1704

In January 1704, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Passau. By that time, it fielded 2,025 men.

On 2 July, it fought in the Battles of Schellenberg, where it suffered painful losses, Colonel Commander Count Arco (son of the field marshal) drowned during the battle and 72 men were taken prisoners. On 13 August, the regiment took part in the disastrous Battle of Blenheim, where all its flags fell into the hands of the Allies. After the battle, it numbered only 313 men in seven companies and was reorganised as a single battalion.

In September, the regiment was at the defence of Ulm. On 16 September, Generals Weickel and Maffei, who had assembled the remnants of the Bavarian Army, marched to Ingolstadt and attacked the blockading Allied forces at Gaimersheim. On 7 November, the Treaty of Ilbesheim between Austria and Bavaria removed Bavaria from the war. The regiment then accompanied the Elector to the Spanish Netherlands.

1705

During the restoration of the regiment in 1705, the French foreign battalion "Boismorel" under Lieutenant-Colonel Francois de La Colonie was incorporated as a grenadier company. By 1 April, the regiment had one grenadier and five fusilier companies for a total strength of 385 men, of which only the grenadier company was at its full strength of 100 men.

In June 1705, the campaign in the Low Countries started successfully for the regiment with the Siege of Huy, where it lost only 30 men but 132 officers and 1,300 men of the enemies surrendered as prisoners of war. On 18 June, the regiment deployed a battalion for the capture of Liège. On 19 July, after the passage of the Dyle, the regiment went to Mons where it was reinforced with recruits hired at Luxembourg and Strasbourg.

1706

By early 1706, the regiment had grown to 1,536 men and was again organised into two battalions of eight fusilier and one grenadier company. On 23 May, the regiment took part in the Battle of Ramillies under the command of La Colonie, but was not heavily engaged. After the battle it retreated to Namur, but a considerable number of soldiers deserted. On 21 June, it was back with the army at Douai.

1707

In 1707, one battalion was sent to the Rhine, where it joined the army of Villars. The regiment took up its winter-quarters in Strasbourg.

1708

In 1708, the entire regiment campaigned on the Rhine.

1709

By June 20 1709, the Regiment was at Mons. It numbered about 1,100 men, of these 300 deserted.

On 11 September 1709, the regiment participated in the Battle of Malplaquet.

1710

On 22 June 1710, the regiment was reduced to one grenadier company and eight fusilier companies.

1711

In 1711, Francois de La Colonie was appointed colonel commander.

1712

In 1712, the regiment was involved in the reconquest of French lost territories.

1713

From 23 June to 19 August 1713, during the siege of Landau, the regiment contributed a detachment to the observation army.

1714

After the Treaty of Rastatt, the regiment returned to Munich.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1701 - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Fusilier black tricorne laced white; cornflower blue cockade edged white fastened to the left side of the tricorne with a small white button
Grenadier fur bonnet with no front plate and a red bag.
Neck stock black (red according to Hall)
Coat cornflower blue with cornflower blue lining, white buttons with white laced buttonholes and 1 white button on each side in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 white buttons and 3 white laced buttonholes
Cuffs cornflower blue, each with 3 white buttons and 3 white laced buttonholes
Turnbacks none
Waistcoat cornflower blue with white buttons
Breeches cornflower blue
Stockings grey-white fastened under the knee with a natural leather strap
Gaiters no information available
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt brown leather
Waist-belt brown leather
Cartridge Pouch black leather pouch, the cover flap was decorated with a brass badge.
Bayonet Scabbard black leather
Scabbard black leather
Footwear brown leather shoes


Armaments consisted of a musket, a bayonet and a sword. Grenadiers were also armed with hand grenades.

N. B.: in 1705 the regiment incorporated a company from the Boismorel Grenadiers. These, serving as the grenadier company still had their red coats at Ramillies in May 1706.

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

Officers wore a uniform similar to that of the privates. They also wore a blue and white striped sash.

Musicians

Musicians wore the same uniform as the rank and file but with the following distinctions:

  • cornflower blued swallow nest bordered and decorated with white braids on each shoulder
  • sleeves decorated with horizontal white braids

The drums were painted in a blue and white 'flame' pattern.

Colours

Initially every company of infantry had its own colour. The Leibfahne had to be white with the image of the Mother of God on one side, some times on both. The colours of the lieutenant-colonel and major companies were supposed to be blue. However, there was no general regulation pattern and the owner of the regiment could express his wishes as to the exact design.

Tentative reconstruction
Conjectural Company Colour - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Staudinger, Karl: Das Königlich Bayerische 2. Infanterie-Regiment Kronprinz 1682 bis 1882, Part 1. Munich 1885, p. 617

Wikipedia - German Edition: Königlich Bayerisches 2. Infanterie Regiment „Kronprinz“

Berry, Peter: The Bavarian Army of the War of the Spanish Succession, Bacchus 6mm

Abtheilung für Kriegsgeschichte des k. k. Kriegs-Archives: Feldzüge des Prinzen Eugen von Savoyen, Einleitung zur Darstellung der Feldzüge, Vienna 1876, Vol. I, p. 475

Acknowledgments

Jörg Meier for the initial version of this article