Continuing the French project, I am working on a further 25 elements of grenadiers, heavy cavalry and hussars. Taking an inventory of my Prussians and Austrians I had created an “excess” list from which I could expand the French.
The year 1757 marked a transition in headwear for the grenadiers as the Grenadiers de France wore bearskin caps in a fashion similar to the Austrians. It would not be until a year later that this fashion would become standard for men of the grenadier companies of the line battalions.
Foreign troops and mercenaries
The vast Austrian Empire still retained a presence in the Netherlands and during the opening campaign of 1757 granted France the assistance of an Austrian brigade of four battalions, de Ligne, Sachsen-Gotha, Los Rios and d’Arberg. The first two listed were present at Hastenbeck.
In the photo, the middle column represent the two battalions and the keen viewer may note the flag is not the standard yellow field with black eagle. In various forums we had many discussions about regimental flags for both the German and Hungarian regiments. Further detail, I would recommend the reader to the section on flags at Kronoskaf.com/Austrian Line Infantry colours.
We do know the dates when the flags changed design, but do not know when each regiment received them. We know however, newer models were issued when the older flags deteriorated or were lost in battle. Another significant item, each of the regiments present at Hastenbeck were the third or depot battalion which would more than likely retain an older model of flag. The one pictured here in the photo, was taken from the famous painting by Carl Rochling titled After the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.
The next two columns are the brigades from the Palatinate Electorate. The Palatinate were one of the few German states to have a sizeable standing army and through a subsidy contract with France supplied two brigades present at the battle. These were positioned in the third line before Hastenbeck and as the figures for the converged grenadiers these are former Hungarian. These will have blue coats, white waistcoats and breeches. I am painting only two flags, one for each brigade, but these will not be easy. See here for an interpretation of Palatine Line Infantry colours.
If you scroll down, it was suggested the coat may not have been worn during hot weather which would expose the front plate worn over the buff waist coat, essentially making the trooper devoid of any regimental identifiable feature. I love this.
Although the two hussar regiments, Bercheny and Pollereskey were with the army, they were not engaged at Hastenbeck. Call this future planning, as the campaign develops, I shall be adding more light troops for “le petite guerre”.