Jahnus Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Armies >> Reichsarmee >> Jahnus Infantry

Origin and History

The regiment Jahnus is one of the four weak regiments the Franconian circle raised in 1703 to supplement the militia regiments (“Ausschuß”). In part, they were manned by militiamen, a more or less legal practice. They at first were meant to serve solely in defence of the circle’s territory, therefore they were also called “new” or “supernumerary” regiments. But soon these units were sent to Bavaria and to the Rhine.

At first, only three regiments of four or five companies each were planned. Würzburg provided a fourth regiment, assembling its contingent instead of dispersing it over three or four units.

The five companies consisted nominally of 165 men, including 4 officers, 1 sergeant, 1 Führer, 1 Fourier (forager), 1 Musterschreiber, 1 surgeon, 8 corporals, 6 Fourierschützen, 5 drummers, 1 fifer, 2 pioneers, 16 Gefreite. There were no grenadiers with regiment Jahnus.

The regiment was made up from contingents from both Brandenburg margraviates (Ansbach and Bayreuth), Henneberg (i.e. contingents from the Saxon duchies and Hesse-Kassel), the small counties (Erbach, Castell, Rieneck, Limpurg) and most Imperial free cities (Nuremberg, Rothenburg, Schweinfurt, Windsheim). The regimental artillery consisted of two three-pounders.

The proprietor of the regiment during its whole existence was Gottfried Lebrecht Jahnus von Eberstätt.

The regiment was disbanded in April 1708, the companies turned over to Hohenzollern-Hechingen Infantry and Jaxtheim Infantry. The Brandenburg-Bayreuth contingent formed a new grenadier company (Captain Korff).

Service during the War

In May and June 1703, the regiment took part in the siege of Kelheim. From June to September, it then participated in the siege of the Fortress of Rothenberg.

In early 1704, most of the regiment was garrisoned in Weißenburg, with a detachment in Neuburg/Donau in July. On 12 August, it took part in the storming of Stadtamhof.

In 1705, the Franconian Circle lent the four “new” regiments by contract to the Emperor. The hope was to gain a share of the revenues from occupied Upper Palatinate. The regiments were to be provided with bread, pay, medicine and quarters by the Emperor and to be under the command of General Paulus Tucher. They formed part of the occupation army in Bavaria. In November, a detachment from the regiment took part in the fighting near Altötting. In December, the regiment formed part of the garrison of Munich for another year.

From September 1706, the regiment, along with the other new regiments, served on the Rhine, the circle trying to get indemnification from the Reich. There were no notable actions in which the regiment took part in.



In 1703, the circle had planned a simplistic uniform that took pattern from the militia: grey, black hat, red scarf, red aiguilette, gaiters. We do not know if this uniform was ever introduced. In 1707, the regiment is being described as wearing a grey coat with red facings and red "cords and ribbons" (the latter might be the usual lace reinforcing the button-holes). Further contemporary documents are not discovered yet.


Although facing-colour and red being one of the usual patterns of NCO’s uniform design, the exception were units with red facings. The NCOs in these regiments wore a uniform like the privates, maybe enhanced by red waistcoats.


Officers wore a black, red and silver silk sash across the chest or around the waist.

Captains and lieutenants carried a partisan, the blade gilt according to rank. The partisan could have been decorated with red and gold tassels.

Ensigns carried the Springstock, a short pike.


Musicians probably wore an uniform like the NCOs. The drums usually were painted in the colours of the uniform.


In 1707, the colours were described as "red and white."


Documents from Bavarian state archives.

Schumm, Johann: Heimatbuch Crailsheim. Crailsheim 1928 (short description of the regiments in 1707 after a report about the encampment at Crailsheim, no source given).

Willax, Franz: Das Fürstentum Brandenburg-Ansbach und der fränkische Kreis im Spanischen Erbfolgekrieg. Ansbach 2003.


Klaus Roider for the initial version of this article