Garde-Grenadier-Regiment

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Palatine Army >> Garde-Grenadier-Regiment

Origin and History

The regiment was raised on February 1, 1698 in Düsseldorf. The regiments Leibregiment, Lybeck, Sachsen-Meiningen and Vrtby (aka Wrtby) had to give up their best experienced men to establish the new regiment. It was designated as the "Garde-Grenadier-Regiment". Its proprietor, Johann Ernst Count Nassau-Weilburg, was commander-in-chief of the whole Palatine Army. Its first commander was Major-General Otto Baron Rehbinder.

The Garde-Grenadiers had several privileges: the officers always had a higher rank than officers of other regiments, appointments were made by the elector himself. The grenadiers were freed from any chores during sieges and in army camps. The regiment provided a guard of 3 SCOs, 6 NCOs and 72 men for the headquarters of the commander-in-chief.

On January 1, 1701, at the beginning of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), the regiment had 16 companies, for a total strength of 1,280 men. After the Elector of Palatinate had concluded a subsidy treaties with the Emperor in 1704, the Garde-Grenadiers took part in the campaign on Upper Rhine. Since 1703, one battalion of Garde-Grenadiers was posted in the Lines of Stollhofen. The whole regiment took part in the siege of Landau. In 1709 the regiment campaigned in Italy. Its organisation was changed: the regiment now consisted of one field-battalion with 10 companies, with 80 men per company. The remaining six companies were in the Palatine lands and served as depot for the field-battalion. In 1711, the field-battalion formed part of the so-called “Neutralitätskorps” in Silesia. In 1713, it served once more on the Upper Rhine.

During the First Silesian War (1740-1742), the regiment was in Imperial pay and fought mainly in Bavaria. In 1744-1745, it fought with his proprietor General Kasimir Wittich von Zastrow it served on the French side, in the corps of General Comte de Ségur.

In 1757 the regiment was increased from two to three battalions and renamed Garde-Regiment zu Fuss (Foot Guard).

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the regiment was not at full strength, totalling only some 1,000 men. It consisted of three battalions. Theoretically, each of these battalions should consist of 1 grenadier company (100 men) and 5 musketeer companies (each of 140 musketeers): however, according to Lange (quoted in Pengel & Hurt), the diary of the Landgrave Ludwig IX of Hessen-Darmstadt reports that "..in 1757 the Garde-Grenadiers had their grenadiers cap taken away and they were left with only six companies of grenadiers. Instead of their former name, they were now called the Garde Regiment zu Fuss". Therefore from this comment it seems that each battalion had two grenadier companies instead of the usual one.

The regimental artillery consisted of one gun per battalion, each served by 20 artillerymen detached from the Palatinate Artillery.

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

During the Seven Years' War, its successive commanders were:

  • from 1751: Lieutenant-Colonel Wolf Friedrich von Bock
  • from 1758: Ludwig Baron von Haultepenne
  • from 1759 to 1767: Jakob Heinrich Count von Harscamp

The commander of the 2nd Battalion was Colonel Johann Ernst Baron von Belderbusch.

Service during the War

Only the second battalion of the regiment was involved in the Seven Years' War. It was assigned to the contingent supplied by the district to the Reichsarmee. This battalion had one grenadier company of 100 men and 5 fusilier companies, each of 140 men. The commander of the battalion was Colonel Johann Ernst Baron von Belderbusch

1757

In 1757, the Garde battalions remained the whole year in Palatine territories, garrisoning Mannheim.

1758

On May 5, 1758, the II./Garde Battalion (one grenadier company, four fusilier companies for a total of 722 men and two 4-pdr battalion guns and 40 artillerymen) under Lieutenant-Colonel Baron von Belderbusch and Major Egck von Hungersbach joined the Palatine contingent in the Reichsarmee at the camp of Alt-Bayreuth.

On May 15, the II./Garde Battalion advanced with the Reichsarmee by way of Wunsiedel, and Schirnding-Arzberg to Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ) and was assigned to the corps of Major-General Johann Wilhelm Count Efferen for the planned invasion of Saxony. By that time, this battalion had a strength of 661 men.

On June 15, the II./Garde Battalion marched from its camp at Saaz (present-day Žatec/CZ) to Sebastiansberg (present-day Hora Sv. Šebestiána/CZ) to reinforce the light troops of General Ujházy. A the end of June, the battalion returned to Saaz.

On July 29, the battalion was in Dux (present-day Duchcov/CZ). On July 30, it proceeded to Teplitz, where Efferen's Corps joined the imperial corps of Field Marshal Serbelloni.

In August, the Austro-Imperial army marched to Saxony, the II./Garde Battalion encamped near Peterswalde. By August 27, it had joined the army at the camp of Struppen.

At the beginning of September, the Garde-Battalion took part in the siege of the Fortress of Sonnenstein, which surrendered on September 5. The small garrison and its commander, Colonel von Grape, were taken prisoners. On September 5, the battalion joined the Corps de Réserve, which was encamped near Berggießhübel. On September 10, this corps marched to Zehista. Due to the hesitations of Field Marshal Daun, there was no battle. On September 11, the completely drenched troops returned to their old positions.

On November 20, the battalion encamped at Voigtsgrün and reached Altmannsgrün on November 24. On December 7, the battalion reached its winter-quarters at Sulzbach.

1759

In May 1759, the Palatine troops assembled in a camp near Kulmbach. By May 27, the Garde-Battalion was in the camp of Forchheim.

On June 13, the Reichsarmee left Forchheim and advanced to Bamberg, the battalion formed part of the the vanguard.

On July 12, FM Serbelloni divided the Austro-Imperial army into two corps: the battalion (499 fusiliers and 88 grenadiers) formed part of the 1st Division under Margrave Karl August von Baden On July 18, this corps reached Arnstadt, where it remained until July 24. On July 25, the battalion marched to Erfurt. On July 28, it reached Weimar.

On August 3, the battalion was assigned to the corps of General von Rosenfeld, which marched by way of Mücheln to Schaafstadt. On August 5, it reached Halle. By August 23, the battalion, led by Major Egck, was in Giebichenstein.

On September 8, the battalion (497 men) took part in the Combat of Zinna, where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre, south of Söptitz. On September 15, the battalion was allocated to the garrison of Dresden, where it would remain until November 4, when it was transferred to the garrison of Pirna.

On November 20, the battalion reinforced Stolberg's Brigade after the Battle of Maxen. On November 25, it was quartered in Borna.

At the end of December, Stolberg's Corps took position on the border of Bohemia, the battalion was posted in Lobenstein.

1760

On May 13, 1760, the Prince of Zweibrücken concentrated the Reichsarmee in four camps and marched towards Saxony. By June 3, the II./Garde Battalion (665 men) was with the army at a camp near Trieb. The army the marched towards Saxony, reaching Zwickau on June 15.

On July 10, the army marched to Dresden, and the battalion took position at Pirna.

On August 20, the battalion fought in the Combat of Strehla.

On September 23, the army marched to Torgau, and the battalion took part in the siege of the fortress. It was deployed in the first line. On September 27, Major Normann and the garrison (2,400 men) surrendered as prisoner of war and were escorted to Meißen.

On October 2, the battalion took part in the Combat of Wittenberg where it was in the Reserve Corps of FML Prince Stolberg. After the combat, it marched by way of Leipzig to Chemnitz.

On November 19, G.d.C. Count Hadik sent the reserve artillery, escorted by the Grenadier-Battalion to the heights west of Mülsen. On November 24, the army retreated, and the battalion went to Kautendorf and Döhlau.

By the end of December, the battalion was in Pösneck.

1761

On March 3, 1761, the II./Garde Battalion, as part of Vécsey's Corps, retreated from Pösneck to Saalfeld. On March 8, Vécsey intended to attack the Prussians behind Saale River, he advanced to Arnsgereuth with Garde-Battalion and some other troops, but the Prussians had already retreated. Vécsey encamped near Saalfeld.

On April 8, now attached to Count Efferen's Corps, the battalion encamped near Lichtenfels and Seubelsdorf and was allocated to the brigade of General von Varell.

On May 27, the battalion formed part of a detachment led by Major-General count von Wartensleben, which was sent to reinforce General von Nauendorf at Langen-Mülsen.

By November 19, the battalion (510 men, but only 425 fit for duty) was in Steinsdorf.

On December 15, the battalion marched to Arnstadt to take up its winter-quarters.

1762

In the Spring of 1762, the Reichsarmee was once more sent to Saxony. The II./Garde Battalion (402 men) formed part of a corps led by the Prince von Stolberg. On May 13, this corps reached Zschoppau.

By June 8, Stolberg's Corps was posted near Chemnitz and was facing a Prussian force under Lieutenant-General von Kanitz, posted at Oederan. On June 24, Stolberg retreated by way of Zwickau and Reichenbach to Pöhl, north-east of Plauen. On June 26, he marched by way of Hof to Münchberg, where he would remain until July 5.

On August 3, Stolberg retreated to Bayreuth where his troops could recover. On August 9, he decided to march again to Saxony. His troops marched through Bohemia and reached Podersam (present-day Podbořany/CZ) on August 26. On September 6, Stolberg encamped near Dresden.

On October 29, the II./Garde Battalion, which was attached to Count Efferen's Corps, was posted at Oederan and did not take part in the Battle of Freiberg. On October 30, Efferen's Corps returned to Marienberg.

At the beginning of December, Efferen's Corps marched to Bayreuth. On December 11, it went to Lichtenfels by way of Kulmbach.

1763

At the beginning of 1763, Elector Karl Theodor of Palatinate concluded a neutrality treaty with Prussia. At the beginning of February, the Palatine troops returned to Palatinate. The II./Garde Battalion remained for a while in Heidelberg. On February 20, it reached its final garrison in Mannheim.

Uniform

According to the diary of the Landgraf Ludwig IX of Hessen-Darmstadt (Lange, quoted in Pengel&Hurt), "..in 1757 the Garde-Grenadiers had their grenadiers cap taken away, and they were left with only 6 grenadiers companies." Accordingly, we may assume that only the grenadier companies had the fur-cap, the remaining companies wearing tricorne.

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Copyright Kronoskaf
Uniform in 1757 as per Becher and Knötel
Headgear Musketier: black tricorne with white lace. Black cockade, blue/white pom-pom.

Grenadier: Austrian style bearskin with brass shield and a red bag laced white with a white tassel
N.B.: up to 1755, the grenadiers still wore Prussian-style mitre caps, the Austrian-style bearskin was introduced in 1756

Neckstock black
Coat blue coat with 3 brass buttons and 3 white buttonholes under the lapels and 1 in the small of the back
Collar red piped white
Shoulder Straps red with 1 brass button (left shoulder)
Lapels white with 8 brass buttons and 8 white buttonholes grouped 2,2,2,2 (7 brass buttons and 7 white buttonholes grouped 1,2,2,2 according to other sources)
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons and 3 white buttonholes
Cuffs red with a vertical white lace, each with 3 brass buttons and 3 white buttonholes on the sleeve
Turnbacks red fastened with a small brass button
Waistcoat white with 15 brass buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black with 22 brass buttons
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt paille (straw) or white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black with 4 little yellow grenades, grenadiers wore an additional little cartridge box at their waistbelt, it was black carrying one yellow grenade
Bayonet Scabbard natural leather
Scabbard natural leather with brass fittings only at the beginning of war, later none
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved sword.

Other interpretations

Becher and Knötel illustrate a uniform with the following differences:

  • white edged red collar, lapels and cuffs
  • 3 buttons on the sleeve above each cuff instead of 3 buttons on each cuff
  • blue bearskin bag laced white with a white tassel

NCOs

The NCOs wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • gold buttons and laces on the cuffs
  • gold hat-lace
  • white and blue sword knots
  • hazelwood stick with leather strap attacked on the top.

They were armed with a 6 and half renish feet Kurzgewehr. At the top it was formed as a small partisan , below it was shaped like and upward-curving crescent. Where the head of the weapon joined the shaft there was an iron crossbar. At the bottom of the shaft there was a a pointed iron shoe for planting the weapon on the gropund. Fouriere, Feldschere and Grenadier NCO didn't carry the Kurzgewehr: instead they were armed with a musket. Grenadiers NCO had cartouches like those of the men.

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • scalloped tricorne with a black cockade and no pompoms
  • gold gorget (since 1755)
  • gold buttons and laces
  • white and blue striped sash (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • white and blue sword frog (silver and blue for staff officers)
  • buff gloves
  • black cane

Grenadier officers used a musket instead of a spontoon. Therefore, they wore a little cartouche (laced gold with a golden front plate) at the waistbelt.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

For more details on the various patterns of Palatine colours used during this period, please refer to our article on the Palatine Line Infantry Colours.

Warning: we are still working on the graphical representations of the colours and some details may change during the week of July 16 to 22.

Colours before 1760

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): blue field decorated with golden floral patterns; centre device consisting of the golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor surmounted by a red and gold Electoral cap; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor.

Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf

Colours from 1760

Each battalion carried 2 colours: the first battalion carried the Leibfahne and a 'Kompaniefahne, while the second battalion carried two 'Kompaniefahnen. A red and a yellow variants of the Kompaniefahne seem to have cohabitated.

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; border consisting of with white and blue flames with golden decorations; centre device consisting of an image of the Madonna standing on a snake, surmounted by a red scroll carrying the motto “Sub Tuum Praesidium Virgo Gloriosa”; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor and golden decorations.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen)

  • red variant: red field bordered with a light blue and white lozenges pattern; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of the Elector of Palatinate within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, a collar of the Order of Saint Hubertus beneath, the whole resting on a white cloud the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor; each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
  • yellow variant: yellow field bordered by three rows of white and light blue lozenges; centre device consisting of the crowned arms of of Pfalz-Sulzbach within a rococo frame, flanked by a trophy of arms and a golden couchant lion, the Collar of the Order of St. Hubertus beneath, each corner monogram consisting of the crowned golden cypher of Karl IV Theodor with a cross of Saint Hubertus beneath.
Leibfahne - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (red variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf
Kompaniefahne (yellow variant) - Copyright: Kronoskaf

References

Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1757-1760

  • Original (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik - Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek Weimar)
  • Copy (Bibliothèque nationale de France, De Ridder collection)

Bezzel, Oskar; Geschichte des Kurpfälzischen Heeres, Bayrisches Kriegsarchiv, IV. File, part 1 and 2, Munich 1925

Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-1763 I. Teil. Zusammensetzung und Organisation, Manuskript, KLIO - Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, 1979.

Boehm, E.; Rottgardt, D., Weirich, W.-D.: Die Reichsarmee 1757-1763 II. Teil. Die einzelnen Einheiten, ihre Stärke, Zusammensetzung, Uniform und Feldzeichen, Manuskript, KLIO - Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, o.J.

Brabant, Arthur: Das heilige römische Reich teutscher Nation im Kampf mit Friedrich dem Großen, vol. I, II Berlin 1904, vol. III Dresden 1931

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Kessel, E.: Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Hrgb. von T. Linder, Anhang 41, p. 553, Padeborn – München – Wien – Zürich 2007

Pengel, R.D. And G. R. Hurt: Bavaria, Saxony & the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms and Flags of the Seven Years War, Hopewell: On Military Matters, 1981

Acknowledgments

rf-figuren for the initial version of this article.

Harald Skala for additional information on the service of the regiment during the war.