Armies Battles and Sieges Colours and Standards
 
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Örjan Martinsson

 
1 Polish Guard 13 Beichlingen (Wackerbarth 1703, Friesen 1714) 25 Malleraque
2 Saxon Guard 14 Reuss 26 Wolfenbüttel
3 Kurprinz 15 Bieberstein 27 Weissenfels
4 Königin 16 Löwenhaupt (Reibnitz 1701) 28 Seiffertitz
5 Benkendorf (Egidy 1701) 17 Rothenburg 29 Ansbach-Bayreuth (Seckendorff 1711)
6 Röbel (Steinau 1701) 18 Zeitz (Schulenburg 1703) 30 Seissan (Flemming 1715)
7 Tiesenhausen (Thielau 1701) 19 Weimar (Kanitz 1703) 31 Seydlitz
8 Neitschütz (Pistoris 1701, Goltz 1702) 20 Tromp (Droste 1703) 32 Flemming (Wackerbarth 1715)
9 Sacken 21 Flemming/Mannig/Seidlitz 33 Ansbach-Kavanagh
10 Venediger und Biron 22 Hayn (Nehmitz grenadiers 1704) 34 Ansbach-Castelli
11 Fürstenberg (Kaiser 1706, Braun 1716) 23 Wostromirsky (O'Gilvy 1707, Goltz 1710) 35 Dresden Garrison Battalion
12 Görtz 24 Martiniére (Joyeuse) 36 Janissary Corps
 

The uniforms of the Saxon army were most likely very typical for European armies of this age but unfortunately not much is known about them. The information I have about their infantry (and artillery) uniforms is presented on this page (the cavalry has a separate page). The main sources to this information are two publications that are not entirely consistent with each other: Daniel Schorr's article "Notes on the Saxon Army 1700-1716" (previously published on his now defunct website www.northernwars.com), and Lars-Eric Höglund's book "Stora nordiska kriget 1700-1721, III".

General Uniform Information

  Privates Drummers Officers & NCOs
Hat: Black felt hat with the brim folded up in different ways. The tricorne hat spread slowly and probably did not become standard until at least 1707. According to Daniel Schorr, the hat lace would correspond to the button colour (brass = yellow, pewter = white), but Höglund also states other colours. A white cockade was possibly on the left side of the hat. Officers probably had gold or silver lace while NCOs may have had silver lace. Regimental officers may also have had white feathers on their hats.
Neckcloth: It was probably standard to have both a white and black neckcloth but some regiments had red ones. After 1707, the neckcloth was tied behind the neck instead of having a cravat as before.
Coat:

Red coat 1695-1733 (then white) At first the buttons covered the entire length of the coat, but around 1707 this was changed so that they only went to the waist. Horizontal pocket flaps with three buttons. Possibly a shoulder strap on the left side for the cartridge box belt.

Facings and lining in the regimental colour. The cuffs had three buttons each.

The drummers may have had lace on their sleeves (probably in the button colour) and a collar in the regimental colour. Sometime after 1707, the lace on the sleeves disappeared and were replaced with red swallow's nests edged with the regimental colour on the shoulders.

Officers: Probably gold or silver buttons.

NCOs: May have had a collar and silver lace on the cuffs.

Kamisol (Vest): Red vest, but it could also be in the regimental colour. Similar to the coat, it had buttons along the entire length of the vest, however these were of a smaller size. After 1707 the vest may have had a collar worn over the coat. Höglund consistently states that the vest was in the regimental colour. My images follow Höglund unless Schorr explicitly states that the regiment had a red vest.
Breeches: Usually leather but some regiments had cloth breeches. The officers of Wostromirsky had red cloth breeches and probably the officers of the other regiments also had cloth breeches.
Stockings: Usually grey-white or white stockings. Some regiments, however, had stockings in the regimental colour.
Shoes: Black shoes with brass buckle.
Belts and gauntlets: Buff leather. Officers' waist belts may have been covered with material in the regimental colour and trimmed with gold or silver.
Sword and scabbard: Sword hilt made of white metal and scabbard of dark brown leather.
Specific equipment:

Flintlock muskets, socket bayonets and swords. matchlock muskets and plug bayonets were, however, still in use in some regiments at the beginning of the war.

Cartridge box and grenadier box in brown or black leather. Cartridge box belt made of buff leather with a priming horn attached to it.

The second and third ranks of the battalion also carried boar spear ("swine feathers"), which were used to create chevaux de frise as protection against cavalry.

Wooden drums painted red with descending flames in the regimental colour so that triangle patterns are formed. The top and bottom edges painted in alternating vertical or diagonal stripes in red and in the regimental colour.

In addition to this, the drum also had the coat of arms of Augustus the Strong (the coat of arms of Saxony plus the coat of arms of Poland-Lithuania) on a white background.

NCOs had halberds. Officers had spontoons with a design that varied in the different regiments.

The gorget as a distinction for officers was introduced in 1715 and was of silver with the royal cypher in gold (the letters FA under a crown).

The sash was also officially introduced for officers in 1715 but had probably been worn earlier although the colours before then are unknown. In 1715 it would have the colours silver and crimson. It was usually worn over the shoulder but it is possible that it was also worn around the waist.

 


Grenadier Cap
 


Saxon Guard Grenadier

Front:

The front plate was usually of stiff red cloth edged with the regimental or button colour. The edge could be straight or scalloped. If there was a front flap, it was normally in the regimental colour or red. It too was edged.

A plate of brass or pewter with the coat of arms of Saxony was normally attached to the front. There could also be a number of grenades, also made of brass or pewter. The front also had a metal emblem with the regimental name, either brass or pewter (one regiment, Kurprinz, had copper).

Back: The rear flap could be red or in the regimental colour, also trimmed with the regimental or button colour
Bag: Either a hanging bag or a bag attached to the front plate so that the cap looked like a mitre. It was either red or in the regimental colour and trimmed in the button or regimental colour. The tuft was normally in the button colour.

As the army was reorganised in 1707, 1716-1717 and 1730-1733 and new uniforms were issued in large numbers, these dates may be times when the uniforms underwent major changes.

Also of interest is information from Rehnsköld in 1704 that Augustus the Strong had made uniforms "in the Swedish manner " in that Saxons are said to have appeared with blue coats with small cuffs and white lace on their hats (Bellander p. 224). One Saxon dragoon regiment (DR 9) is reported to have had blue coats replaced with red in 1704 but maybe there were more.


Polish Guard
(Polnische Garde and
from 1712: 1. Gardesregiment)


The Guard regiments, which were temporarily merged in about 1706 (" Doppelregiment Garde "), may have had collars on their coats as a sign of their higher rank, according to Schorr. Both Guards regiments had cartridge boxes of black leather edged with a red cord on the flap and a round badge of brass with the coat of arms of Saxony and a crown. The Guard regiments' grenadier boxes had instead of the emblem the royal name cypher in brass (the letters FAR under a crown).

According to Schorr, there is conflicting information about the neckcloth colour. One source (Kuhn) states that both regiments had red neckcloths while another (Dietrich) states that they had white neckcloths. Dietrich also depicts the Saxon Guard with yellow facings, but this is likely a later uniform. Schorr considers it likely that the regiments had several neckcloths of different colors and mentions that the Saxon Guard had black neckcloths.

Schorr also mentions an illustration which probably depicts a grenadier officer in a Guard regiment around 1716. He has a tricorne hat with silver lace, white feathers and a white cockade on the left side. The right shoulder has an aiguillette in white/silver. The waist belt and cartridge box belt are trimmed with silver lace. The cartridge box is of buff leather with the flap trimmed with silver and fitted with a silver plaque with a crown. The officer wears a black neckcloth and is armed with a flintlock musket.

Höglund states that both Guard regiments had white wests, red hat lace and buttonholes embroidered in white. However, the button colors he states are incorrect as he has admitted to me that he mixed up the regiments.

Düna 1701, Kliszow 1702, Thorn 1703, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Fraustadt 1706. One battalion each in the service of the Maritime Powers 1707-1713. Malplaquet in 1709, the Saxon Guard took part in the siege of Tönningen in 1713.
 


Saxon Guard
(Sächsische Garde and
from 1712: 2. Gardesregiment)


1701

White facings, brass buttons


1701
White facings, white vest, pewter buttons, black neckcloth.


1707

1707


1701


Kurprinz

Facings and vests  lemon yellow as well as red neckcloth and pewter buttons. The grenadier caps had a copper plate with the regimental name on the front.

Höglund adds that the hats had white brims and that the neckcloths were white. The latter does not necessarily contradict the statement of red neckcloths as they may have had several.

Düna 1701, Kliszow 1702, In Austrian service November 1702 to May 1704, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Fraustadt 1706, A battalion in the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Malplaquet 1709, Stralsund 1715, Stresow 1715.

Changed its name to "Crown Prince" in 1713 according to Höglund. According to Schorr it changed its name to "Königl. Prinz" in 1717.


1707


1701


Königin

("Queen's Regiment")

According to Höglund the facings were "isabel coloured" while Schorr notes that the colour was "dark Straw". Although I interpret these colour names as referring to the same shade. Harder to reconcile are on the other hand the following information:

Höglund: Isabel coloured vest, brass buttons.
Schorr: Red vest, pewter buttons.

However, both agree that the neckcloths were white and Höglund states that the hats had white lace.

Düna 1701, Kliszow 1702, In Austrian service November 1702 to May 1704, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Fraustadt 1706, A battalion in the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Stralsund 1715, Stresow 1715.


1707


1701
Disbanded 1702, the men were transferred to Steinau's regiment.

Benkendorf
Egidy

1700
1701

The regimental colour was the same as for Königin, which Höglund calls "isabel" and Schorr calls "dark straw" even though these probably are the same shade. Both agree that the regiment had brass buttons but here too Höglund notes that the vest was in isabel while Schorr writes that it was red. Schorr also mentions that the neckcloths were red.


1701
Disbanded after severe casualties in the Battle of Kliszow 1702, the men were possibly transferred to Fürstenberg's regiment.

Röbel
Steinau

1701
1701

Facings and vest green, pewter buttons and a black neckcloth. Schorr notes that they also white neckcloths and Höglund mentions that the hats had black lace.

Kliszow 1702


1701
Disbanded 1705, the men were transferred to the Saxon Guard.

Tiesenhausen
Thielau

1700
1701

Lemon yellow facings and brass buttons. The vest was red according to Schorr but lemon yellow according to Höglund. Schorr states that the neckcloth was black and Höglund writes that the hat had black lace.

Düna 1701, Kliszow 1702, In Austrian service November 1702 to May 1704, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704.


1701
Disbanded 1705

Neitschütz
Pistoris
von der Goltz

1700
1701
1702

Facings and vest in bleumourant (pale blue) as well as pewter buttons and according to Schorr a black neckcloth.

Kliszow 1702, Thorn 1703.


Biron 1701


Venediger und Biron
(2 regiments that were merged in 1705 and disbanded in 1707)

Biron
Wenediger
von Braun

1701-1705
1703
1706

According to Schorr Biron had in 1701 bleumourant facings and stockings, red vests and white neckcloths. Venediger had in 1705 blue facings and stockings, and black neckcloths.

According to Höglund, Biron had black facings and vests while Venediger had blue facings and possibly blue stockings. I do not have any explanation to why the information on Biron is different but Höglund also mentions that the regiment's colours were coffee brown in 1706 ("dark coffee" according to Schorr).

The button colour seems to be even more uncertain. Schorr notes pewter for Biron but with brass in parenthesis, and a question mark for Venediger but with pewter in parenthesis. Höglund has no information on the button colour at all.

Thorn 1703, Fraustadt 1706.


Venediger 1705


1701

Fürstenberg
Kaiser
Braun
 1701
 1706
 1716

Höglund states that Fürstenberg's regiment had dark blue facings and vests as well as pewter buttons. Schorr only mentions dark blue facings and pewter buttons for 1701 and writes that they in 1707 had green facings and vests as well as white neckcloths.

Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Fraustadt 1706, In the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Malplaquet 1709, Tönningen 1713, Stralsund 1715,

(Kaiser is only mentioned as commander by Höglund and not by Schorr. In the Battle of Malplaquet a Saxon battalion was led by "Fürstenburg")


1707


1701
Disbanded 1705, the men were transferred to Kurprinz

Sacken

Moss green facings and pewter buttons. Höglund notes that the vest was moss green while Schorr mentions that the neckcloth was black.

In Austrian service November 1702 to May 1704, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704.


1701
Disbanded 1702 according to Schorr, 1704 according to Höglund.

Görtz

Sea green facings and pewter buttons. Höglund notes that the vest was sea green while Schorr says it was red. Schorr also mentions that the neckcloth was black. Schorr writes that they had pewter buttons but also has brass buttons in parenthesis.

Kliszow 1702


1701

Beichlingen
Wackerbarth
von Friesen

1701
1703
1714

Grey facings. Höglund states they also had grey vests and brass buttons. Schorr on the other hand have them with red vests and pewter buttons in 1701 and brass buttons in 1707. Furthermore they had white leather breeches and white neckcloths in 1701 and black neckcloths in 1707.

Kliszow 1702, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, In Austrian service August 1705 to January 1707. A battalion in the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Malplaquet 1709, Tönningen 1713, Stralsund 1715.


1707


1701

Reuss

Bleumourant (pale blue) facings and brass buttons (however, Schorr also has pewter buttons in parenthesis). According to Höglund the vest was bleumourant and according to Schorr it was red. Schorr also states that the neckcloth was black.

Thorn 1703, thereafter merged with Wostromirsky ("Wostromirsky und Reuss"). Fraustadt 1706 and disappear after that from the records.


Disbanded 1702

Flemming/Mannig/Seidlitz

Could be different names for at least two temporary (grenadier?) battalions. No uniform details are known.

Kliszow 1702 (?)


1701
Disbanded 1702


Marschall von Bieberstein

Moss green facings and brass buttons. According to Höglund the vest was moss green and according to Schorr it was red. Schorr also states that the neckcloth was white.

It is doubtful whether this regiment had completed its recruitment before it was disbanded.


1701
Disbanded 1707

Löwenhaupt
von Reibnitz

1701
1701

Dark blue facings. Höglund states that the vest was dark blue while Schorr writes that it was red. According to Höglund they had pewter buttons while Schorr notes brass buttons with pewter in parenthesis. Schorr also mentions that the neckcloth was white.

Thorn 1703, Merged with Drost 1705 ("von Drost und Reibnitz"), Fraustadt 1706.


1701
Disbanded 1702

Rothenburg

Sea green facings and brass buttons. Schorr adds that the vest was red and the neckcloth was black. Furthermore, he has pewter buttons in parenthesis.

It is doubtful whether this regiment had completed its recruitment before it was disbanded.


1701
Disbanded 1705

Zeitz
Schulenburg

1701
1703

Green facings and brass buttons. Höglund also mentions that the vest was green.

Kliszow 1702 (?), Thorn 1703, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704.


1701

Weimar
Kanitz
Bose

1701
1703
1703

Grey facings and brass buttons. Höglund also mentions that the vest was grey.

Thorn 1703, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704.

Disbanded 1705, the men were transferred to the Saxon Guard and Kurprinz. (Bose is only mentioned as commander by Höglund)


Wolfenbüttel

Three companies were raised in 1704, but the regiment was probably never completed and was soon disbanded. Unknown uniform.


1701

 
Tromp
Drost

1701
1703

According to Höglund the facings and vest were pale blue and the buttons were of brass. The colours consisted in 1706 of two dark grey and two crimson colours.

Schorr writes that the facings and vest were red in 1701 (and that they had pewter buttons and white neckcloths). In 1703 the facings and stockings were grey, the vest red and the neckcloth black. He notes brass buttons but with pewter in parenthesis.

Thorn 1703, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Merged with Reibnitz 1705 ("von Drost und Reibnitz"), Fraustadt 1706.

Disbanded 1707


1703


1701
Existed 1701-1705, the men were transferred to the Saxon Guard.

Hayns grenadjärbat.
Nehmitz grenadjärbat.

1701
1704

According to Höglund the uniform is unknown but Schorr states that the facings and vest were red, buttons of brass and the neckcloth white. Schorr also writes that it is unknown whether the battalion wore grenadier caps.


Existed 1703-1706, the men were transferred to Wackerbarth


Martinière's Grenadier Regiment
(Joyeuse's battalion at Fraustadt)

According to Höglund, the uniform is unknown, but Schorr writes that the breeches and stockings were blue and guesses that the cuffs were also blue. It is unknown if the regiment wore grenadier caps but Schorr has a speculative illustration of the uniform with a cap that looks like the one pictured here.

Raised in 1703 from French prisoners of war from the War of the Spanish Succession. Lieutenant-Colonel Joyeuses' battalion was captured in the Battle of Fraustadt, whereupon it went into Swedish service and participated in the Battle of Kalisz.


1701

Wostromirsky
O´Gilvy
Goltz
Seissan

1702
1707
1710
1717

According to Schorr the facings and vest were in 1701 dark grey for the privates and black for officers. The buttons were of pewter and the neckcloth was black. The officers had red breeches.

Both Schorr and Höglund state that in 1707 the facings and vest were bleumourant (pale blue) and the buttons were of brass. Schorr also states that the neckcloth was white

Höglund mentions that the colours that had been issued in 1702 and 1706 were black.

In Austrian service November 1702 to May 1704, Posen 1704, Punitz 1704, Fraustadt 1706, A battalion in the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Malplaquet 1709, Sandomir 1715.


1707


Malleraque

Raised in 1703 from Swiss prisoners of war from the War of the Spanish Succession. Was captured at the Battle of Fraustadt in 1706 whereupon it passed into Swedish service and participated in the Battle of Kalisz the same year.


1704


Sachsen-Weissenfels

Grey facings and pewter buttons. According to Höglund the vest was grey and according to Schorr it was red and the neckcloth was black.

 In Austrian service August 1705 to January 1707. A battalion in the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Malplaquet 1709, Stralsund 1715, Stresow 1715.


Existed 1705-1707


Seiffertitz

It was raised in 1705 with privates taken from the militia. These had according to Höglund light grey coats with red or blue facings. However, he thinks that the regiment most likely was issued new uniforms that are unknown. Schorr on the other hand writes that they had grey coats with red facings and vests as well as pewter buttons and white neckcloths.

 In Austrian service August 1705 to January 1707.


1710

Ansbach-Bayreuth
Seckendorff
1709
1711

Raised in 1709 (as a grenadier battalion?) and became an infantry regiment in 1711.
Blue facings and vests as well as brass buttons. Schorr also mentions leather breaches.

In the Maritime Powers' service 1707-1713, Stralsund 1715.

Seissan
Flemming
1711
1715

Unknown uniform.

In the Maritime Powers' service 1711-1713. Sandomir 1715.

Existed 1711-1717


Seydlitz

Unknown uniform.

Sandomir 1715.

Existed 1711-1717


1711

 

Flemming
Wackerbarth

1711
1715

Brass buttons. Schorr states that they had dark blue facings in 1711 as well as cinnamon facings and red vests in 1716. Höglund notes that they had cinnamon facings and vests.

Raised in 1711 with men from the Dresden garrison.

Sandomir 1715


1716


Regiment from Ansbach in Saxon service 1713- 1717.


Ansbach-Kavanagh

The privates wore dark blue coat with facings, vest and lining in crimson. Pewter buttons, leather breaches, grey stockings, black neckcloth and white lace on the tricorne hat. The drummers wore crimson coat and breeches, white facings, lining and lace along the sleeves. NCOs had silver edged cuffs but were other than that dressed just like the privates. Officers had crimson breeches, buttons and buttonholes in gold, white neckcloth and a sash in silver and black.

Stralsund 1715, Stresow 1715.


Regiment from Ansbach in Saxon service 1713- 1717.


Ansbach-Castelli

Schorr has no information about this regiment but Höglund mentions that the coat was blue with pewter buttons and red facings. The vest was red, the breeches were of leather and the stockings were light grey.

Stralsund 1715.


Dresden Garrison Battalion

Unknown uniform. Höglund writes that it was possibly grey with red facings.


Janissary Corps

This corps was created either in 1715 or 1729 and it was disbanded in 1731. This was not a combat unit but rather a palace guard located in Dresden. The uniform was in Turkish style and according to Höglund it consisted of a yellow janissary cap, yellow coat, red vest, red breeches and yellow boots. The officers wore a turban.

The image to the right show a different uniform and it is taken from Reinhold Müller's book "Die Armee Augusts des Starken" from 1984. In the text the coats are described as sea green "oberkleider" hanging all the way to the ankles and worn over yellow "unterkleider".


Artillery Regiment

In 1700 they had black hats with yellow lace (gold yellow according to Höglund). Grey coat with facings and lining in red as well as brass buttons (Schorr states that the coat possibly had a collar). The vests and stockings were red. According to Höglund the breeches were also red but according to Schorr they were of leather. Schorr also mentions that the officers had gold lace on their tricornes and a sash in red and silver worn over the shoulder.

Höglund states that the uniform was changed in 1717 when the coat became green with facings, lining and collar in red. The vest and breeches became straw yellow and the stockings grey. The hat still had gold yellow lace. However, Alexander Querengasser mentions in his article "The Saxon Army in the Great Northern War" that the first companies received green coats as early as 1700.

Carriages and wagons were painted black with the metal fittings painted yellow.
 

Read also: Cavalry uniforms, Saxon army campaigns, Saxon army organisation.