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germanufllies (2)
Text by
Colour plates by
german (2)
T,xl by OTI"O \'0:\ PIVKA
Colour plaits by G. A. EMBLETO:\T
ill h}
59 Gros,ellorSlft'l"1. I.oudoll \\'1 X91).\
I Puhli_hiu!{l.ld
. \11 ri!{hb n..,enl'Cl .. \p,tn fmm f.tird,·.. for lilt'
puq>OSt· ofpri, ;tIt' ,Iud}. n....I·;lnh. ur rnie".
i1S penniw'Cj under Jill' Cop' ri1;11I DI.... ;lI1d Pau."Ilt",
. \n, IgRfI. 110 p.lrl flflhi, puhlit".tlion 11M' 1)1.'
reprodUCNI. slnn'Cl ill .. rei fit" .11 or
ill ,Ill} fonn flr h} t'!N'lnl.·"1.
dll.'lIliGtl. llw,"ll.Inical. oplic;,I. pltolOCOP)
or utlwn\ i,.,. \1 ithoul lilt' I'lior IX'frni.).._ion of
tilt' Iwr. Enquiril"\ ,hould Ix' i1ddn·.....l'Cl w
Ilw Puhli,I"·I"S.
FilmSt'1 b) Pril1le..... I.imit(·d. \\'allop. Hampshire
Prilllt'Cl }\.flllg-
:J\&}oleolls qermall ruIll/ies (2) : alltl (9!dellbltrg
11le (9rgfl/lizfltioll 0/
J'..0,SflllS71YJops 1806-1815
In 1806 Nassau consisted of twin duchies -
and Nassau Wei Iburg. These
lands were the rutl1pofthcducal possessions which
existed up to thai point; those lands on the west
bank of the Rhine and many of those on the cast
bank having been taken by France or by the
newly founded Grand Duchy of Berg (sec
.Vapoleon's German Allies (I) in this series). Among
lhe lost provinces were Nassau-Saarbruckcn and
As compensation for these
losses, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Nassau
Wcilbllfg received the districts of Limburg and
Ehrcnbrcitslcin (opposite Koblcnz 011 the Rhine
Moselle junction). It was traditional under the
old Holy Roman Empire of German Nations that
the various states of 1\assau banded together 10
provide part of the infantry regiment knowll as
'ObelThcinisehes Kreisregimellt' together
";th the troops of the micro-statcs Hohenzollcrn
igmaringen, Hohcnzollcrn-Hechingcn, Isen-
burg, Lichtenstein and von der Leyen.
Prince Carl Wilhelm of Nassau Usingen was
compensated for his tcrritoriallosses by part of the
lands of the old Electorate of Mainz including the
districts of Konigstcin, Croncnbcrg, H6chst,
Hochheim, Castel, Eltvillc and Riidesheim, the
old Cologne Electoratc districts of Linz and
Deutz, and the old Hessen Kassel district of
Braubach. These new territories each brought
with them smaller or larger bodies of troops of
varying states of efficiency and the composition of
the four infantry batlations which the united
houses or Nassau now (1803) raised was as
NOSJ(//I US;lIgm
lsi (lLib) B%ilton: Based 011 one old company in
.jtll lJo/lji!fan: Based on 01U' old company ill Bichrich.
These IWO hal\aliOIlS lx-came the 1st Nassau
Illfanlcric-Rcgimclll in r>.lay ISoH
Baron Co.. nod Rudolph yon Olajo... and
cOOlD1andu of !.he Nusa.. bripde in Spai... (Thi. portnoil
.how. un.iforn> of a in Ihe army of the
G......d Duchy of Baden, 10 which lra.n.ferred in
,8'3.) Of Swedish e.t....ction, von Schiff"r wall born al
Hagen-Ollen, Hanow:r, i .. '770. In '784 he lIerved i .. Ihe .oth
Hanoy"ri.n Cavalry of Walu'.. Lighl Dragoon.. ),
lran..ferri .. g 10 the .. of M.iru i.. '799> a. a captain in
Ihe .."wly_rai.ed •. Thi...nil was lake.. into Ihe
..ervice ofNaH5au-U.;nllen in yon Schaffer relained
his Ihe.. rank of major. The .... il 3rd U.iiller)
Baltalion of Na.AU'. tiny army. On 28 May .l\o.f he wa..
promOled lieulenanl..,olonel, lakinll comOland ofthe N...... u
rillinll 10 colonel On 17 Seplemlnr .806, di..
tinguished himself in Ihe allain.1 PruHllia of Ihal, he rea.ved Ihe c......11 of
Honour, and a w.s promOled
[n '808-9 he foullht in Spain and h"ld .... riO.. 1I lIlaffappoinl_
Olent. under Marshal wa.. invalided hoRte to
N....a .., handing over com.mand oflhe bripde to YOn Kru..
and l.kinll an appoinlRtent in Ihe war dqJartmenl afler his
recoyery. He retired in ,833 and died in .8,]8. Baden
uniforRt iII..., .... led is dark f.ced N:d wilh Ilold bultonll
a ..dembroidery.
NflJ)(/1i IV,ilblirg
2/1d !Ja{ailllJn: Carrisoll(,d in Wei Iburg.
3rd (]ii,err) B(//flilhlll: Garrisoll('d in Deulz and Lillz.
Each infantry battalion had two threc.poundcr
'regimelJtal cannon'. In May 1808 these two
battalions I)('came the Nassau Infalllcrie-
Regiment. 'l'here was also a company of garrison
troops in the Marxburg fortress.
On 17 1803 Fi-irst (Prince) Friedrich
August succeeded to the throne of Nassau
Usingen and when, 011 16July 1806, the houscsof
joined Confederalion of the
Rhine, Friedrich August became HerJ;og Duke"
of Nass.... u and Fiirsl Friedrich Wilhelm of
Weilburg was confirmed as Prince of
i\assau. Friedrich Augusl was thus head of state
ofi\assau and he was charged, undcr thc terms of
the Ircaty of the Confederalion of the Rhine, with
co-ordinalillg .... nd organising the militar) efforts
of all the tiny states prcviollsly mentioned as well
as those of Frankfurt, Arembcrg and Salm. This
remained a pious hope. however; Frankfun re-
maincd independellt until 1866 and Arembcrg
and Salm untillBlo, when lhe}'were incorporated
into Metropolitan France.
One unit was newly raised at the time of the
t804 reorganisation of lands: this was a
regiment of ..:u (mounted rincs or
Chasseurs a Cheval also often referred to as the
Jiig,". Tlil' bas<.·s for this unit were tin)'
groups of'Hussars' (really a type of police force)
from the old territori<.'S of ;\'ass.Hl Usingen,
Wildenburg and Hachenburg, and some men of
the Austrian cuirassier regiment Weil-
hurg' of which the Furst of .\'assau Wei Iburg was
colonel·iIH:hief (Chef), Initial strength was one
company and their commander was Riltmeister
Johann Heinrich Ludwig \'on Bismark. late of
Hano\'erian and service. Jn 1807 .\'apoJeon
The Duchy of assau and its neighbours 1806
r- ..._ ....
\ /-jNAlOECKl
-.... .... / \
! (-)
KINGOO... ,.,;J I /
F,_enbefg. OJ:" J ,P-
Major-Gnttral von Kruse. So", .III
Nassau in 177!h he Ihe "erviu of Hano,·e.. as a fool
f:.. ..:ttil'b..
c:om...aood of the Weilb.. "'ll: infanlry b.ttalio", lale.. Ihe 2nd
Ball.lion of N......•••806 COluins:nlll. By O.,lobe...806 he
wa•• ma;o.. ; he fouShl well in Ih.t y",.r'. Pru••ian camp.i!"
...d in Seplembe.. -So, .....e 10 I;e.. tenant...,ol""el. For Ihe
Sp...i.h .,.mpaiso he 0"S."i.ed ...d comm.nded Ih", 2nd
Nun.. Infantry which look p.n in no lUll Ihan
42 b.nle••nd .ki..m;.he. i.. th", P,,,,,inllul... W.o'. Promotion
tocolon",1;n Decembe... 808, ."d he led th",
yon Schiffe..'lI dep.rtu.... d .. e 10 illn",,, ... In Novembe.. t813.
acti"lJ on secrel ord",u from Ihe Duke ofN.IS..., he took hi.
o"",.. to th", Bril;.h .nd w•• rep.lri.led 10Ger....ny.

f.ntry resimenl" wu fru.I....ted by Ihe "peed of milil.ry
event••nd "on Kru.e look. polIllion on Wellinston·.. "Iaff.
He relired Nunu'. milit.ry "e.."ice in 1837 .nd died
in ,148. Hi. deCo..allon. Included the Gr.nd CrolS
wilh Diamond. of the Imperl.1 Ru."I.n Order of St Anne,
th.. Lesion of Honou.., N••••u·••n"e.. W.le..loo Med.l, .nd
the inllllJni. of. KnilJhl of th.. Roy.1 Milil.ry
demanded that a light cavalry regiment be
raised as pan of Nassau's contingent for the Con·
federation of the Rhine and the Rei/ende Jager
were expanded intoa regiment Oflwoscluadrons.
Drill, discipline and distinctions of rank of
these new forces wefe after the Austrian model
which was introduced on 7Julle 1803, but in 1810
these all gan· way to the then curren I French army
regulations and rank hadgt·s. Each of the four
battalions raised in 1803 had fOUf companies each
of four platoons which again divided into two
sections. A company was commanded by a cap-
tain (Hauptmann) and had three onlcers and [37
men; thc whole battalion had fifteen officers and
563 men. Line of bntlk wns two rnnks deep, the
tallest mcn being on the flanks, the smallest in the
middlc. Recruiting was by a type of conscription
and by the enlistment of \·ollinteers. In
1808 each battalion was reorganised illlo fjye
companies. The second reorganisation of July
1808 produced two inr."lntry regiments each of twO
baltalions each of one grenadier. four fusilier and
one yoltigeur company.
The new 1st Regimellt was commanded by
.nd th., decoralions include Ihe Roy.1 Netherl.nds Milit.ry
WiII.,ms.Order 4th CI.lIII, th.. Walertoo Medal, .nd 111... 25
ye.I"!II' service ...ed.l. A.lefeld w.. 00.... in '18g i.. Ih.. Rhine-
I.nd P.I.tin.I." .nd w•• .,omm;••ion..d .01 olli.,,,,r in Ih..

2nd Battalion. Afl",r fillht;nll in Ihe 1806;!!" he Iran5-
rerred in spmll .ao, to the ," N.ssau W.nlry
wh...... , as a li.,ul"",anl, h.. look part in Ihe c.mpai!" a!!"inSI

lal.,r that y.,.r, promol..d, h.. took comm.Dd ofLb..
I.t G......adier Comp...y. Afte.- hb r..pmeol waS dlsarm..d
by the Fren.,h in B.rc.,lon. on 22. Dt:ce... ber .8'3 h.. t:M:'Ilped
...d hi. way home. He foullhl .1 W.terloo, ...d bter
commaJIded the 'Zlld N.s...u Inrallfry Res:imeOI. He retired
in 18SO aad di..d .t ;11 July 1856·
Oherst \'011 Pi;llnilZ :llld eOllsistl'd of: Ihe
din compall) and lhn't· fusilin C'ompani("S of the
old lsi B.lualion. and Ill(' compan} and one
fllsilier company of lht' old 41h Ilallalion, The
rcmailldl'r ()flhc rt'giml'llt was lI101Clr up with 11("\\
The n('\\ 1nd Rq,;iment "as rommanded b)
Obcrsllrutn:lnt \-on Kru'ie and romislcd of: lhe
old 2nd Baualion (I grelladirr and 4
companit : the old :ird 1l•.'H1alion 1 and I
fusilier companies: Olle fusilier C'ompan) of
old 1st n.tll.llion: and Hilt' fllsilier of the
old 4th llatt,lIion.
On 20 Augusl 1808 the 1nd Regiment mar('hed
ofl'for Sp.lin \\ here its losses \\el"(' 50 Ihall"O
mOl"ecompaniesoflheuld tth n,ltl:tlion had 10 IX'
SCIll oil' as rt,inforn'ml'lIts befon' Ihe end of til('
)e'1I". TIlt.' lsi Rt."Rimt'nt now absodxd the con·
"91 men and the two houSt"S
of llIel1 rOI" Sigmaringcn and
97 mel1 for I(('ehingt'n . Arembcr1{, Salm. Lich.
tCllslcin and \'on clt'r I.c\{·n paid a subsid\ 10
;'I\assau \\ho then l"aiscd the rClluircd manpo"cr
for them.
This miliwl") consH,lIation of twO infantl")'
n'gimenls and a lighl ca\alry reKimem \\as re·
taint.-d ulltil ='ovemlX'r 1813 \\hell the IWO rulers
ofXassau kft Ihe Confederalion oflhe Rhine and
joil1t.-d th(' Allies against The 1St In·
falliry Rq.;inwnt and Ihl' Jag" were
disarmed and interllt.'d in Spain b) the French:
the 2nd Illfantr) RCKiment \\ent twer to the
nritish and \\as rcp'lIri'lIed to Nass;tu.
In till' upsurge of German nalionalism which
bloomed in IRI3 Na'iS:lll raised a 3rd Infantr)
Rl'gimclll, a I.and\\chl" Inf:tntr) Rq,;imcnt Tel'·
rilorial \"OIUlll('('rs) a J!igt'" ('.orps and a twenl)'.
Iline batlaliun Slrong J,HllClslurm or HOll1e Guard.
Tht' 3rd Infanlr)' Regiment was COllllll,mded b}
Oberst \"on Steuben. the j!igcr ('.or"s by Obersl
\"011 Winzingcr()(le. Tht.'<;l' (\\'0 reginlt.'nts and the
I,andwdlr Inr.'lntry R('1{illwnt forllled a brigade
commandl'fl hy Oberst \'011 Bismarck,
In JUlie 1811, after the end of hostilities, the
Luulwehr Regiment and Ihe j;u;er Corps "er('
lilt' 3rd RI'Kiml'll! \\as I'(,duccd to a
compall) and combin('d illlO the dqxH oflhe old
1St Regiment, The Jag" were nOI
With th(' coll'lIxe of tilt' COllft."(leration of the
Rhine in 1813 Iht, old principality of Nassau
Oranil'1l was I"('crt';l\{'d and all Infillltl"Y Rt.'1{irnellt
of Nassau Dr;wit'll of 1\\0 hattalions ;md a
COmp;lll\ under Obt'rstkutnant von
Schalrner was fimued. Tht· ,J.igt'"r compan)
allacllt'd 10 Obt'NI \"on Winzillger()(!t-'s Jiiger
Corp'i. tIl(' infantl'} regillll'nt opel"ated \\ith Ihe
:\a au and in 1815 \\as in Dutch 'ien:ice.
ri,e 'D1lr/l)lol(9lllmbllrg
illll,e :J\I!!!!0leollir"Wars
a fortunate mixture of clt,\ er diplomaq and
luck, Herzog Peler F,-jedrich I.udwig of Old("l1-
burg managed 10 kcC!} his dllCh) Out of Ihe "ars
of 1805 and 1806. pllrsuadcd him 10
join Ill(' C.onfcderalion oflhe Rhine by Ihe Treaty
of Erfllrt on Ll OClOher 1808. The military con·
tingent to b(' maint,tined b) tht'duch) \\.as SCI at
an infantr\ batlalion or800 men in six companies
one Krenadier. four fusilier alld one voltigeul" .
On 13 Dccember IRIO Napoli-Oil abolishcd lhe
Kingdoll1 of Holland. the Dudl)' of Oldenburg.
Ihe old imperial d!i('S of Hamhurg, Bn'mcn and
Lubeck :Ind combin('(llhern ,alld pans of til(' old
EIC-CIOr.llt' of I-Iano\er, the Cnll1c1 Duchy ofn<.'rg,
the Kingdom of Weslf:dia alld lhe Duchy of
Ahrcmhl'l"gl inlO l\lelropolilan France,
On 28 February IHII (the day that Oldenburg
becanU' part oL\letropolilan Fmnce) the military
contingent of the duchy mardll'd orr to Osna-
briirk to ('Iller Frcnch St'rvic(' part of the 129th
Line In/illllry which drew its con·
scripts from the of the Weser
('Stuar\. Some oAkt'rs rcsi/{Il{'(1 their commis.
sions ratht:r than ('nter Frellch st'rvice.) The 1st
and 2ucl HattaliOIlS oftht.' 129th w('re hrought up
to full str('ngth and then sent to
wherc the 3rd Battalion was raised. The t\\OCOIll-
plelf' battalions \\ere lhen ordt,rt.'(l to march for
Napoleo... O""o.. c, Mural and och rs of his scaff in Prussia
.fc...r hill cri .. mphanl viaoriH.c J and AU...rluiidc in .806.
Napoleon's <!.nlry into Berli.., 27 Oc:lobe.r .106. d
Prussia beeft ao h.. miJialed ..... Ibi.d.,.l A(_.bon weor. .
• (ter " ......1 P"...l.. offi«rs ....d osteatalw.jily
..... Ihdr .word....he s'epa- oftIM FrftK:b <!.nlto-sa",
tIMPrus.i•• army _ji ...d .tmoat .... .nd
mucb o( Ihe cou-nlry wali under hanrh Fr<! occ.. palion,
The dllu... ofthe csp".J h.d 10 .... Ich •• Iheir
conqueror rode in •••1'1 I.hroulh Ihe 8nonde.. hura G.I"',
Russia and )wC:lml' pal'! of lhl' loth Inf;U1II'y
Division of (;('ncl'al I.l'dl'll ill Ncv's III
Corps of l!ll' Dr(ll/{It ,Irml" The olher units'oftllt'
III CorpS\\l'IT:
10th J)/r;J;on
21'h LfHh(' rFrt.:nch li/ollil illf<IIIIl') n'j{imclll)
4 ballaliom
26th Frl'llcl1 LillI' Inf;llItl'\
7-'IKI FN'IK"h LillI' Inf.mln Rl1{illWllI
each of 3 nr 1 I>.'lll:llions
129th Frl'mh I,inl' Inr.lllll") Rq{inwllt
2 balt,llions
lSI PonUKlINl.' Inf;lllin RI1tillwlIt
3 1>''illalioll
Olle roIllP;Ul\ of Fn'lle!l filOl artilll'l)
One COllllJ,lll) of Frrllt II hoNe aniUer)
f Itlr Injantry DInJ/on G.'nernl R,IIOUI
The IIhril'1l
1111 Frl'lll:h Ijllt' Infallll"Y RI'HinWllI
12111 Frt'lich I.illl' II1r.llltl) RqCillll'lIl
9:ircl Frellch, IlIf;lIIln Rl'KiIllClIl
('.lth of I or 5 h;lIIalions
Dill' COlllpall) uf ItMI' and 0111' cornp:llly IIf hoI's!'
25/11 1J;I';J;Otl orig:inall) 1111' CrO\\I1 I)riut'l' or
WurttemlwrJ{,lal('rGelll'ral M:lr·
lSI & ,wd W(iruI'mh"I"K LiKhl IlIf:mlry Haltalions
lSI & '.l11l1 Will't!\'mll\'I'g:JiiKl'l' (Rille) IlallaliUIlS
lSI, .llld, 'I'h & hlh Wurtlt'lllhl'rg: Lillt'
Rl'gillll'lIlS lalcr ,11'10 tltt' 7th \\'druelllocfR I
Fi\\: fiM'1 anillt'l") Ihllll'l"il'S
Total.lIlill,r..' 90 Rum indudillK jO
pire ill 1\\0 hu",,' ;lIld IhrC'C" fOOl
Cnralry (;1'11(,,,11 J\lourk:f)
Ith l:n'lIeh Ch.IJtS('III't, 11th Fn'I\clt HUS50II't, -Ilh
fjght Ctmnfry Brigade (General Beurmann)
61h Frcnch Lancers, lsi & 2nd Wurllcmhcrg
Chcv<lu-lCgers Regimenls
InJune 1812 the III Corps crossed the Russian
border and advanced lOwards Moscow. Both
battalions of the 129th took part in the Baltle of
Smolensk on 17 August 1812 but it is nOt recorded
that they were presented with an eagle for their
valour in this action, the first large battle of the
campaign. For the next three months, until mid-
Novemher, the 129th remained in the Smolensk
area on garrison duties, maintaining security
along Napoleon's ever-extending and vulnerable
lines ofcommunication, which eventually reached
into Moscow itselr.
As the starving mob that was all that was left of
the Gralld Armer staggered back through Smolensk
in the bitter winter of rR12, the 1St and 2nd
Battalions of the 129th took part in the rear-guard
action at KalOwo on 18 Novrmber, an action
which ended badly lor the Frrnch. Ney's III
Corps now formed the rearguard of Napoleon's
army and it was ground to pieces by the relentless
Russi'lll troops in the bitler weather. Only a
handful of omcns and men of the 1291h survived
to reach their homeland again.
'rhe 3rd Battalion of the 129th also contained
Oldenburgers, amI its history in this dramatic
year is as follows. In ivlay 1812 it marched to
Berlin and then on through Magdeburg and
Stettin to the Island of Rligen. In mid·Nuvember
it advanced eastwards to Danzig and remained
here until after Christmas. By mid-January r8t3
the 31"(1 Battalion joined thc remnants of the 1[[
Corps in .Mulhausell, retiring: with them on
Kustrin and later to Spalldau, where they became
part of the garrison of this fortn·ss. After Spandau
capitulated in .May 1813, the remnants of the 3rd
Battalion marched back to their depot in Maas-
tricht. As a rcsult ofa reorg-anisation of the French
infantry the 129th was disbanded, the men being
used to bring the- 127th and 1281h regiments up to
The dispossessed Duke of Oldenburg had left
his duchy in 1811 and had taken refuge ill Russia
where his second son was the Tsar Alexander's
brother-in-law. Both his sons lought with distinc-
tion on the RLlssian side in the campaigns of 181 2
and IS t3. The duke himself was given the task by
the- Tsar of organising the 'Russian German
Legion'. This formation consisted of infantry,
cavalry and artillery and was recruited from
among German prisoners of war in Russian
hands; on 29 March 1815 it was transferred into
Prussian service, pl'Oviding raw material for the
30th and 3tst Infantry Regiments, the 8th Ulans,
the t8th ,md 19th Horse Artillery Ballcries and
the 19th Artillery Park Column.
On 27 f\ovember 1813 Petcr, Duke of Oldcn-
burg, re-entered his duchy and set about re-
raising his armed Itlrces. These consisled of 800
lille infantrymen and 800 Landwehr (Home
Guard) organised in one regimcnt of two bat-
talions each of foul' companies. There was a band
of twenty-one musicians, and each company had
three drummers. Commander of' the regiment
was Oberst (Colonel) Wardcnhurg, who had been
a brigadc commander in the Russian German
The regiment was mobilised for Ihe- Hundred
Days Campaign of 1815 and was att;H:hed to the
Nonh German Army of Gelleral Kldst von
Nollendorr. This consisted of three infantry
brigades, the Oldenburg-('rs being pan of the
Anhalt Thuringian Brigade of' Major General
von Egloflstein of Saxe Weimar. This hrigark
contained a ballation each fl'Om Lippe Oetmold,
Saxe \Veimal', Saxe Gotha, Saxe Anhalt, vVal-
deck and Schwarzburg; in all eight ba1talions
with 6,800 men. A squadron of Hessian Dragoons
was later altached to the brigade'. The brigade
was used to blockade the small French fortress of
Bouillon and, later, to besiege Sedan and
ri,e 'Battle :Histor)' of
~ s a t t s Troops
Under the terms of the treaty governing the
Confederation of the Rhine (Rheinbund), which
Nassau joined on 12 July 1806, the military con-
tingellt which had to be- provided for scrvicc with
the French against Prussia, Saxony, Sweden,
England and, later, Russia, was an inlil1ltry
Since ,g6., ... OftCO rides u. luau, ..... B....deotb....
Gale - d ... waU ... the rorqroMH, buih by lbe
Co..unuaia••, p ..... ••1l accesa.
offi)lIr battalions lind til(" )lip,1'f ;:11 11ml,
(rnoUlllt'd rifk!'l) rcginwlll.
The infanlr)' mobiliS('d at the ('nd Ors('ptl"lllbn
1806, and, til(" 3rd j;ig('r) B:H1alion was ,hCll
ordt:rcd to Frankfurt am Main 10 join Marshal
III Corps. This corps lOok part in
the b.'lltk orJcna on 14 OClober 1806, "hen' the
I)russian Saxon arm) \\ as decisi\ d) crusht:d b)
Ih(' French. The :\ass.'luJ:ig(·f ball.llion maretit'd
thence "ilh lilt: III Corps 10 Ilt.-din and tht'n
I;trthcr C"aSI to Dricscn and I)osen. follO\\ up the
disorR3nisc.-d rcmnant5 of the once-proud Prussian
arm). Th(") \\cre thCll dt'wehed tOt'M'Or! a ("011\'0)
ofprisolll'N bilck (0 \\lll'rl' the) met
"I) \\ ith their comrades of tht' I t and ,;md
Intllun Ballalion \\ho arrived there 011
:16 OClober The 4th Rallalioll n'main('d ill
Hanau until 7 January 11107 and Ihl'1l marchl'(l
for Hedin wlwre it arriv('d on 15 F('hrual") and
join('(1 1)\ the rest of the briKadr, who \\('re
IIOW us('d on convoy dllti(:s to Spal1{lau, Magdc-
hllrK, Stellin and W;trsaw. Th(' Nassau Jiigtr':l1
Pim/r rCKiUll'l1t was nO\\ also mobilisl'd at :.
strenKth of twO companirs. the 1St Comp:my
1807. On 150ctobcr 1806
the Nassau troops were ordered to adopt the
Vrench system of rank to "void confusion
\\ilh their allil'S.
The :\assauers were no\\ attached to the \'111
Corps of who had Ihe task of
cov('l"ing the northern flank of Napolron' lines of
communication. The main French :trm,' wa
far 10 the east atf-linst the allied P;ussian
and RU'>$ian armit'S. Monier's t'nemies ill the
nonh \\en' the S,\t:des and tlwil' English Alli('s in
Swedish Pnlller:lI1ia, which th('n included StrOll.
slind .lIld Ihe isl:lIId of Rugen.
Aftt'r a S\\ ('(I ish raid had c:wsed heal) I<xscs to
Ihe Frf'nch division of Cent'rill Cr.lIldjl·:IIl, the
bulk of the :\assau infantry bdR•• de was ordered
to lean' Berlin and to reinforce the no\\ hakv
French front. Obt"rst ,·on h.dfer comm.lI1ded
the bri'folde and the} reached Pasc,\ alk on 15
f\pril IStJ7. joininf.:" who now
commanded I'J.OOO men. dOl} he atutckcd
Ihe S\\{'(lish forn' under CCIll'ral .\nnfcld at
Ferdin::tndsholT, be:lt him soundl} and pushed
him back 011 f\nklam. Mania Ceneral Vallx
with Obt'I'st VOII Schiillcr's NasS:lUl'rsand the 72nd
Frcnch I.ine Inf:lIltr}' ReKimt'llt to capture
UCkt·rltlllll{It... which they did, takillg 500 $W{'(les
prisollt'l' and cnpturing thrce gUlls at the sa1lle
time. On In April Mortier ('lIl('l"{'d into a ten-day
armistiC'l' with tIlt' Swedes, and the
were transfcrrt-d to reinforce tht· besieging force
around Colberg, \\ here tht· famous Pmssiall
offiCl'r Lt.·Ulnant Schill led a spirited deft'IICl', alld
in fact savt-d Prussi,,'s honour in the dark ,ears
of 1806 and 1807. Th(' :'\assaut'rsonly ta)cd'here
for thrC'C day!> bcfort' lK'ing sent hack to Ik'rlin to
rejoin till' rest of tlwir brigadt·.
011 ·.I6June 1807. howc,·er.tht'2nd.3rd :lIld 'Ith
inf."lnt'1 b:utalions \\crc back at Colberg
which \\all still holding out. suppli("(1 with \\ .. rlike
matcrials b) the Ro).11 Navy. (Unfonunately, til("
British Board of Ordnance St'llt quantitil"S of
cannon barrels to Colberg, but no chassis to go
with them; ::tnd as there was no suitable \\(xxl in
Ihe to\\ II to make thesl' on the spot, tile harrels
jllsl lay abollt until lht' siege was raised!) The
Nassauers IOl"llH.'d the 2nd nrif.:":lde of thc be-
siegers. togt,ther \\ith the 3rtl French Light
Infantl") Rt-gimcllt. The Treaty ofTilsil (gJuly
1807) put an ('nd to hostilities betWt't'11 France and
Russia and !lrussia.
S\\eden \\as till in thc ring
ho\\e,'('r, and England sent 8,000 men of th('
King's Cerman Legion sce 7 h, A:ing's G,rmtm
/.Jgio" in this serie for details, to to
support him. therefore sent
Brune \\ ith 40.000 men to end this insolence.
Among Brune's troops was the Nassau brigade
under Oberst von Schiitlcr which formed part of
General Pi no's DivisIOn. The Swedes, howcvcr,
now found themselvcs alone when the English
troops left them to take part in the attack on
Copenhagen and the capture of the Danish fleet.
The Swedish king, Gust:lV Adolf IV, withdrew
into Stralsund and thell across to the island of
Rugen. Brunc I(lllowni as quickly as
possible bIll on 7 Scpt(>mber 1807 peace was
agreed upon and Ihe French occupied Rugen
unopposed. The :"assauers relurned home, ac-
companied by se\'eral letters from their various
commanders, praising their conduct in the pasl
By this time Ihe four infantry baltaliolls had been
reorganised into two regiments, The 2nd Regi-
ment had marched ofrfor Spain logether wilh Ihe
2nd Squadron of the regimelll in
Seplember 1808. and the tst Infantr), Regimenl
was mobilised for tll(' Austrian campaign and
became pan of General Dupas's Reservc Division
of Da\"oust's Corps at Donauworth on
the river Danuhe. Tht> division had the following
1St Regimelll of N"assau (or 3rd Rllt.'inbund-Rt.:gi-
mCIll) Oberst Pollnitz
4th Rheinbulld-R(,gillll'lIl (Saxon DuclliL'S)
sth Rheinbund-Rcginlt"lIl (Anhalt and I,ippc)
6th Rheinbulld-R('gilllt'nl (Schwar7.bufg, Reuss
and Waldeck)
The Nassauers did nOt come into action during
this campaign but wcre part of the garrison of
Vienna from 22 Junc until 21 October r809.
During this time, Napoleon gave the regiment
two cannon (taken from Vienna's arsenal) and
ordered that a regimental artillery company
should be formed. This step had already been
taken by the French infantry or the Army of
Germany before the bnttle of \\lagram - arc-
markablc tactical 'gimmick' which had been
abandoned ill nil European armies al
the turn of the century. The Nass;1lI regimelll's
artillerymen received their own uniform, with red
plumes, epauletles. collars and cuffs.
While the 1St Regiment was in Austria.
the 2nd Regiment and onc squadron of Ihe
Nassau 'Chasseurs:) Cheval' wcre mobilised and
sent to Spain to take part in what still stands as
oneofthe most vicious and mcrciless campaigns in
mililary history. Therc were refreshing occasions
in these dark years when glimpses of chivalry lit
up the bllXldy gloom bllt gcnerally this war was
conducted bolh by Ihe Spanish and Portuguese on
the one side and the French, Italians and Poles on
the other mOSI German cOlllingellls retained
their code of conduCI and Iheir discipline under
Ihe eXlremely adverse conditions in these cam·
YOO ,806 - • Knol,,1 pl.I" illu...
Iratin!': th" uniform wOrn in Ih" war of ,h.1 Th" hi!,:h
bta"k wilh y"Uow m"I.1 fu....ilur" .... d Sluffed
bla"k wool _imilar, bUI nol id"olie.1 with th.t w ....
Da..... ria.. ca.... lryoflheday. .. iformi. 1
Nanau dark bUI wilh red r..d ..S_ ....d yellow bultons
....d pip"'S; Ih.. f..cinS_ "h....«ed 10 bl.d<. io .8og, Ih..
hdmet_ w........ t_ for brown fur eolp.ek_ of
hussar patlern .1 I.hal The while trou,","" ...d 1I;&i1"""
_u",mer i .. wi.. ler Srey wOrn black Sail"'" .....c:h.iaS to below Ib.. bee.
f ..ederiek Willia.... t.he 'BI.ek' o( B......swtek. Hi.
r.the..,. P....... iaa marshal, ...... I,;lIed in 1106.1 Jnu.,_d
frederido; William .won 10 ••·.,..,e him. Hili hOlililily 10

ca." dietato... Whe.. A...tria eollap-.l he rouShl hi......yto Ihe
North Se. eo-JOI and look hi. corps miD 8rililib servlee _Iii
"'5; be ..... killed.1 QuaI"'"B......
\\ilh mutual sadism and hrutalil)" It must
1)(' mcntiOllcd Ihat sySlem of forcing
his armies to li\"c ofr thc countries ill which thc)
were was a major factor ill generating,
and maintaining, a high Icvd of hmtitit)' among
the Spanish <lnd POI'\t1.1{lH'S(' popllt:l1ions against
the occupa1ion lroops. armies ex-
pl'ril·Ilc<.'d llO such probkms ('UI1 \\hell in an
l'IlCI1l) coul1tr) as in Francc in 1811 because
tht'} wcrc regular!) supplied h) a highly de-
H'lopcd logi'ltic syslem \\ hich did 1I0t overslrail1
lhc eCOllom\ of the coulltr) in which the) were

B} Xowmocr 1808 the 2nd Rcgimelll of
X:tss.'H1 "ilh two batlaliolls and commanded b)
.. rslkutllallt Li('utenant ("..olond \-on
and Ihe Jnd Squadron of the Xass.:w Chasseurs a
Che\·al reaclwd Burgos in nOrlhnn Spain and
AD 11.11......1e...typo"" it o(Geae...1Michel N."., '7'9-r815-
.. oil paindna: by 8 e now m the N.lioooaJ M..SC1I ... at II lihow. Ney in h.. na......i(o..... , with hi. hal ..
powdered and q..e.. ed. He enLi..led ia '''7 m the CA,..Jry
which the s.e It .......d•. Hili impehoOlJhy .t JnL1I
imperilled hi. corps., b.. t Ioe dil'lm'....hed him_If in the
p...,...11 whielo '''aory, I.ltln, :J'.- priJlOllers_d
7f» ' .......1 Err.."" _d Ma,deb.. rw. A..rivi_,mle on tloe field
o( E)"I&..,. feb..... ry IlIry,hi.. command liC'Aled the R....ian
dere.l; a..d all' eommaade.. o(lhe frflOeh ri,hl.1 friedla..d
on ." .107 he made .,...,..,1 eODI";b.. lloa to Ihe vietary.
became pan of the 1\' Corp'> of Gell('ral Sebasti-
ani. The infalllry r('gim('nt was in C('l\cntl Lc\'al's
'.md Didsion:
1\/ IJril!lUlf Oberst VOll Porbn"k (B:ukll) (killed at thc
haltll' ofTata\Tra Oil 28July IHI'!»)
:.11111 luranlry Rt'gimclIl
2IMtl •• lions
ph Rldt'n Inf:lI1try Rt.'gilllelll
:l h.lllaliOlis
Ont.· h•• lltT\ oflladt'll fOOl arlilkn
6 KUIl<;
2n4 Hru:atff General Chasse Holland
Infinltr. RCKimt'llt 'HoI];md" fmm 1810 Iht· 1:.I3rd
·Frt.'l1eh· I.ill(· Inrantry Regiment
J IMllalions
Ont' t.'tullpan) ofDuteh sappcn and mill('n
011(" DUlch horse artillen b.-men
6 .
Th.. Baul.. of Talav.. ra, 28 July .80g - III.. confusioa of a
Napoleonic baltl., i" w..11 coav.. yed by Ih.. aO'1;SI ofthi. se......,
which from Ih.. prolif..ratio.. ofSp.... i.h• ..,.,01. 10 .how
Ih.. soulb..rn ....d ofW..llinfl:I01I'.Ii.n.., near Tal.v..", 10Wl! oa
Fr.... c1.; coalills..n1Ji fron> Na."au, Badea, Ikr«, WKlf.lia
...d HHSCIl-Darm"tadl beavily. Alilll.,.o th....ort.h,
:"'lli:.. .?r'"-::....
(N."on.t Arm-, "'....... m)
.1rd Ilr;Knd, Gelleral Grandjean Francl')
I-ll'<.st'n Darmstadt Inr,lIltry Rl'gimelll und
'1 hallaliollS
In!;llllry or Frcnkfun (Obersllcutnant
von Welsch)
I ballalion
Parisian Guards
I ballalion
Gnl'lllryriflllr II' Corps
3rd DUICh Hussars
4 S<luadrons
\\'l'Stf.'llian Chcvau-ICgcrs
2 squadrons
Nass.'lU Chasscurs;\ Chcval
1 squadron
The l':assaucrs were now ann('(1 and organised
completely as for the French arlll), (each battalion
having one grenadier, four fusilier and one \'olti-
geur company' and wore Frcneh badges of rank.
L'lter in the campaign French drill regulations
were alw introduced. The 21ld Squadron of lhe
Xassall Chasseurs:i Cheval were commanded by
a major and had also a Rittmeistcr captain of
eavalf\ . OIlC first lieutenant .Ind two sccond
one surgeon, iI quanermaster, a
sl'rgl'ant-major, a vctcrinary slIrgl"Oll, a quaner-
master's assislant, a rough-rider. t'ight sergeants,
two trumpeters, eight corporals, and I;inety-six
troopers (Jiig('rs) including a smith, a saddler and
a waggon dri\'t'r.
The Nassau units had an eventful time in Spain
and casualties werc vcry heavy, more men dying
from disease than by cllellly actioll. From 180g
until til(' end of 18t [ the squadron ofChasseurs;\
Cheval r('ct'ived rcinforcrmcnlS from tlwir depot
totalling five officers, Sl'VCI1 and fifly-follr
lroopers. In July 1813 the 1St Squadron joined
,heir comradcs in Spain and the 'Ilrcmier
Rtgiml'nt des Chasscursde Nassau' as Ihe French
e.lIkd them "cre uscd for sl'('urity duties on the
lincsorcommunication ofKingJosl'ph's 'Arm)' of
the C('ntre'. They wl're skilful and daring horse-
mcn whose bravery won them the respccl of
friend and roc alike; IX-man. in his SrhicLah du
Frankfurt (iCVOll'S murh lime to
N••••u ;,.r...lry ....uor 808-,S-. rrom .....
rqimlMl ••1 hi.tory or Rlrf!:im t, s"ow;n!': d ..""lop-
HI.,n' OV"r t .... Hveu_y r riod.. On I..fl is offic..r wi."
bico J;0'"!..t, haldric: .nd , .... ian
hoo Hi" I.' ..r c:ount ..rparl of ,10.. Fr..nch p.. riod (b.. ck-
,rro,,"dj w... n a F",nc:h-s,,,I.. "hako bu. all o.h..r
.,..u. S"cONd from I..ft and tloird from I"ft ar"
...., both w;lh 110.. usual Fr c...'ll"l ccou,"'..........
or .la'u. red plu..........p.ul.... d lrAo.. Iou. boLh
witJr .pecial .....d«r.o.r. The fin.. i. a lip r .808, witJr , ....
Ba... n.-tyle boiled-I..ath..r 10..1 ' wiLh. black crest; , ..
54!c:0nd is of 18'0, .rtLh ,10.. hu YJH!' bro_ colpack .rtth
red bas: and cord•. Th.. (ri.flol) h....hako pl.'e
beams ....1 numbe.. iI. See colour plalew .nd'ari... ra.. furth....".
their exploits, which arc oftell of almost legendary
proportions. Due to the hard campaigning and the
poor forage in Spain, horse I055t.'S were high and it
was not long Ixofore the :\'ass.·H1ers W('re mounted
on the highly-blooded Andalusian horses.
By October 1813 the Nassau Chasscurs :1
Cheval were in action in Catalonia (north
eastern Spain) and on 25 :\'ovelllber of that YC;lr
lhey, like all other German troops serving with
lhe French armies, 'H're disarmed and made
prisoners of war. This was due to the recent e\,ents
at the Baltic or Leipzig when whole brigades of
Westfalians, Saxons nnd Wi.irtlembergers had
gone o\"cr to the Prussian Russian AUSlrian
armies which were tightening their grasp around
h'lrd-pressed forces. The lSI Squadron
was disarmed in Gerona, the 2nd in Fornells ncar
Figueras. The strength of the regimellt was thell
tweke officers and 231 mell. The commander.
Baron Obcrkampf. wrOIC in a report to
Suchct: 'During the last five years I have
been in French service and I havc recei\·{·d many
flattering cOmJllendations of my conduct and of
Ihat of my regiment. I have ohtained, and will
retain, cternal proof of this in my receipt of til{'
officers' cr055oftl1(' Legion of Honour'. The men
were interned in Perpignan and rcturned home in
Aprilt814. Those still fit for military service were
transferred 10 the reformed Nassau infantry
The2nd RegimelllofNassaul remained
in theso-calkd Cerman Division ofGcneral Leval
and in October 1808 were part of Xapolcon's
force which marched \·ia Viltoria, cros.'Icd the
upper Ebro and reached via Burgos.
Valladolid, the DuCl'o, Segovia and L'Escoria1.
In January t80g the German Division Idi
10 block the bridges over the river Tajo
south of the cily'l to prevent the advance of a
Spnnish army. For this task the Division was aug-
mented by the following French foreign units:
'Regiment Prusse', 'Regiment Westphalie' and
the 'Legion Irlandais·. A number of minor dashes
took place along the Tajo from Talavera to
Almarez. Latcr Ihe German division a(h-anced
south of the ri"er and took part in the b."1ttlcs of
de Ibor (17 Mnrch IBog) and Medellin on
the river Guardian<l (27 March 18og). In both
these battles the 2nd Regiment of Nassau so
distinguished itself that Ihey wore these bailie
honOUrs on their helmets until after the First
World \rar. _A.t the Spanish general
Cucsta with 30,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry and
30 guns was rash enough (0 attempt 10 stand up
against Marshal Victor with 17,000 l11en. This
may initially sound odd but, apart from two
regiments of Swiss mercenari('s, most ofCucsta's
men were raw recruits, badly equippt..·d peas.'lnlS
with lillIe or no military training. Victor's men
were by now all well-npcrienct.-<I, wcll-disciplimxl
(in battle if not c1sewlwre!) and hard-bitten
regulars. Cut"Sta was hcavily defealed. Cuesla's
forcc consistcd of;
Ith·Ra.ualion. Spanish Guards
2nd and .ph U'lltalion. Walloon Cuards
2nd Rl-giment of :\lajorca 2 h.1.ttalions
Ihllalion. C:ualonian Light Infalltf)
Ballalion of Badajoz
I'rovincial Grenadier
Regiment Badajoz 2 battalions
Rt'giment Merida I hallalioll
Rq,J"imclll La Serena I Ilallalioll
Rq('imellt ofJael1 '2 battalions
Rq;:;-imelll Irlanda '2 hallalions
Provincials of'I'okdo I 1:J<ltlillion
Provincials of Burgos I battalion
2nd llatlalion. Voluntarios of
3rd Ballalion, VolullIarios of Seville
Regimenl ofC.1ml)() Maior
Pnwincials ofCuadix
Pr(winci,lls of Cordm'a
Regimenl Osuna 2 hattalions
Gr:lI1aderos del General
Tiradores de Cadiz
TO/(I/ - ahuIII 20,000 ha)'OTlf/J
lsI Hussars of Estremadufa {late 'Marfa I.uisa')
'!th Hus...ars (Volunlarios d'Espagne)
Rq } Regiments which had heen sent 10
Denmark in Marquis de L1. Romana's
Inf:llIte Division and had subse<lucntly re-
turned 011 English ships to fight against
C:Il\.ldorcs de Llerena }
new I(Tics
Imperial de Toledo
rq.:;-imcllls Il"d it IiClu:ldron dClat'lll'(l in Andalusia
looking for relllourlls.
Tolal (lho/ll ,1,:.!Oo .mhreJ
Anillery 30 guns and 650 TIll'n
Sappers two comp'lIlies 200 men
27 28 JULY IBog
In his first aHcmptlooperate against lhe French
in Spain, the Marquis Wellesley (Ialcr Duke of
Wellington) moved out from his base in Portugal
and advanced against Madrid in conjullction
of lhe NilJIlIiI.. Illo6-8j a plale by
Wt:ilatld fro... his worlt D"rstdttlt/l8 tier K"'ser"cll Fr"• .2O$-
isciuN A""",,, ,1,2, Ut. whid. tb.. F...mcll .Dd .1Ii"' ....
por1.rayed. II.. b-titl.... llUs p).ce < U.i ..kSCh ..
Ch.." ..... Offid",r>, .Dd llle 6S:"lre obviou.dy ....rvt:cl.lI
on", ofKnol"')'. so"re..-. for IIi. pl• .., offo..rohh.. rn",n ohhill
Knol"') m.illlOOIt I.he lI.b....cud.e cypher - clearly
FA ...d .Iso ornint:cllbe b.ndolier picker equipmenl. The
h""mel IIhown here ill de6Dilel)' of Bavarian c.valry panen>
bUClhe .. plume rilliD! from lhe fronl ofche Cre81 remains
a m),lIlery. (S..e colour pl • ..,•. )
Wilh a Spanish army under Ihc same General
Cuesla. Strengths were: English, Portuguesc and
Germans 20.000; Spanish 32,000. Most orthe
Spanish forces had been il1volved in thc dcb:kle
of Medellin and thus their morale was, at the 1x'S1.
briltle. Wilh this in mind. Wellesley put lhe
Spanish troops in, and to the north or. lhe lown
of Talavera on the rivcr Tajo; the English.
Portuguese and German troops (King's German
Legion) werc extended north of the Spaniards 10
the hills aboul two milcsaway, and wcrc arranged
bchind Ihe Arl'ojo stream.
21lld N....u laraDtry ia Spaia, ,tho. By w. ti ..
hoIh .......r .. 0" l.b.. F ch mod..l, ch co...i..mS or .... S........di ..r. 0 IiSh' or ,·oltiS r,
aDd rour r".m..r compa.n.i"'5. KaOt ..1.ho_ Idi ..r or clI
typt! or company. n... "olu,..ur (k/t) a .ha"o wil.b a
buSIe-ho.... hadS" '!IurroUJtd.iD.S t.h.. r"'(l:im....t..1 "u...!xr,
pom,... 8 rpIlul..t1K wil.b y..llow•• sr_a
..b ..........OI. aad y..Uo cord.aad y..Uo....-upped sreeu plu .
Th.. 5"'a.di..r (c.... t ) ....... n red rpIlul..ll... aad ..b ot.
aad red baS, cordll. pompon, aDd plum auacht:d 10 a browa
rur colpack. The rU5i1ier (ri&'ltt) turt.t:d company_
colour pompou OR hi.. shako .Dd .. y.. llo pl.te ...ith
meat.1 number. His .bouJd......"trap. are Srfl!n piped y.. Uo.....
Nat... Ibal uDIi Fl"Vlcb ce.. lr.....,omp...y men, had
.bandoned th ide-arm, bc" a "abre - t.h.. "DOl ....ould
h.".. b«n yello...-bufl'lelltb.. r.
Killg:.Joseph, wilh his46,oooStrollg" ArmyoftlH'
Cenlre, tllowd against Wt'Jkslt:y from Madrid
and attacked the Allies on the night of27.July; the
bauk was violent but the Allies hdd ('ven though
the Spanish ilrmy was paralysed and ineflcctivc
from tll(' start of the aclion. Th(' ass<lull was re-
Ilewcd next da)' with th(' Cerman division once
again in the forefront of the combat just north of
Talavera. But all the French and Cerman \"alour
in thes(' .wads was in vain; Wclleslc,,'s line held
fast and after the battle King Joscpl; had to fall
back on Th(, losses of the German
Division were 103 dead. 827 wounded and 77
captun.'d; as their tOlal strength in the battle was
4.267 m('n this meant 25 per cent los5(·s.
The 1St Regimellt of Nassau waSS('1\l tojoin the
VII Corps undt:r Aug('rellu in Catalonia
(north ('aSI Spain and attached to Ceneral
Rouycr's Division at Barcelona. which in .:\Iarch
1810 consisted of:
Ht IJn:e.adr Gt"IIt"ml Sc!w,an; Frt"lIch
lSI orXassau
J hallaliolls 1.-19-4 men
Ilh Rlwinhund Kcgimt"llI Saxon Duchit-s
:i haltalions 929 men
2nd Brigadr (Colonel Chamb.:lUd Saxony Anhalt)
51h Rheinbulld Regimelll
J battalions 1.258 1lJ('1l
61h Rheinhund Regiment
2 battalions 8]6 lllell
The Spanish forces in Catalonia under Gcncral
O'Donnell were conducting: gUl'rrill;l operations
with the aim of breaking lhe communications
!wtW{"C'1l the French III ,Ind VII Corps and then
of destroying their hated ellt'mics in detail. As
usual, the Spanish forces of this era were no
m;uch for the French and Iheir allies in the open
ficici, but COllet'lllrated on cutting ofr isolated
dct:lchments and destroying them in ambushes.
Augen'au gave them 0111' such opportunity
when on t9.:\larch t810heselll Gencral Schwarz's
brigade to Ihe remote Spanish-held town of
J\lanresa then a Aourishing gunpowder manu-
facturing celllre for the Spaniards) with orders to
Ihe town and 10 destroy the powder-mills
but with no instructions as to whcn to return to
their base at Barcelona. (This is probably the first
military application of the 'usc and throwaway'
principle!) Leaving Barcelona on 19 March,
Schwarz's hrigade stormed the pass of Mont
Scn'at and on 21st rcached the larg-et J\Jlanl"esa.
TIl(' town was deserted excepl lor lhe old and
sick. and the brigade entered and put it into a
state of dcfenc('. for alrcady the surrounding hills
were filling up with thousands of Spanish armed
Ix:asants who finally outnumben:d the brigade by
six toone. i\tanresa was now in a strtlcofsiegeand
only panics of o\'er company strength could
venture out of the town.
On the 25 March an ammunition com'O)'
escorted by a ballalion of the French 67th Line
Int'l.ntry Regiment arrived in Manrcsa, ha\'ing
IOSllwoofits waggons m rOlli, from Barcelona and
Officers N.C.O.s
C' ..lpturl-cl
having been saved from massacrc only by the
timely arrival of the 2nd Battalion and both elite
flank) companies of tbe 1St Battalion of the
Rcgimtlll, who bad comc out of Manresa
to meet them. The French hattalion left again on
27 )"Iareh to fight its way back to Barcelona, and
011 2 April was given the unenviable task of
escorting a second convoy of ammunition to the
beleaguered force in General O'Donnell
and his Spaniards captured this cOl1voy and the
few survivors of the escort who staggered back 10
Barcelona convinced ).larshal Augen'au that
Ceneral Schwarz's brigade W:lS lost. In fact. the
simation in was so desperate that ;
Schwan!: :It last decid<.'d to ah.mdon the town
during the night of the 4(5 April: his food was
exhausted. ammunition and powder ,"cry low,
and onl) by stripping the church roof and melting
down pewter plate could he provide his sun"i"ing
men with even 30 rounds each. The wounded had
to lx' abandoned in the care of some Spanish
monks even though this usually meanl a slow
death for the poor wretches at the hands of the
Spanish women. pro"ed r" ................lla.a;;:.,,;
an exception to the rule; the Spanish monks de-
fended their charges from the peasants with force l'1lilio:d an infanlry wlLich w.a dreslied
of arms when they str('amed back into the c;:.1
abandol1ed (0'\'11, nnd the wounded were handed The hal WOrD by Ihefu..itien aad liSl1.l company is, however,
over to the Spanish army.
Schwarz's attempt to slip through the enemy II:::
linrs unnoticed failed whell at about midnight were r"uved for parade and &:al. dre... The sre..adien
the Spanish sentries heard them and gave the wore French_Iype bearskins. '
alarm. At once the church 1)('lIs in all ncar-by tinued. but by evcning the pursuit slackened and
villages began ringing a signal for the militia to the brigade bivouacked at SI Andres, having been
turn out and the chase to Barcelona was on. In marching and fighting for over twenty hours.
the darkness the column ofSchwnrz's brigade be- Next day, 6 April, to the great astonishment of
came separated and the 2nd Ba1talion of the I st the garrison of Barcelona who had given them up
Regimcnt of Nassau struck o(ron the wrong path, for dead, Schwarz's brigade marched into the city
only picking up the correct one again after finding with bands playing. Auge!'(.'au had already
fresh horse dung on olle of the roads leading from ordered the quanermastcrofthc Nassau Regiment
ajunction, which indicaled that mounted officers to take stock of all his stores and hand them in as
had shortly before ridden that way. Under con- his regiment had been captured! The Nassallcrs'
tinuous (ire from all sides the column joined up losses were high:
again at daybreak and puslled on as fast as possible
towards Uarcdona and safcty.l\·lany men dropped
out from exhaustion on the way and once the
brigade had to stop and fight a rcar·guard action
to ease the pursuit and to allow the men a little
rest in the blazing sun. All dny the chase con-
Th.. gilt.... of Spllndllu fortr..n; 10 Ih.. north-w"111 of S.. rlin,
;1 hlld been on.. oflh.. cily's strong...1d ..f..ncu for c..nturi.....
Ahhough ;., good r ;., .806 it willi .. harndully Ilur...,nd-
ere<! to Ih.. F...,n..h .el..r th.. coll.p." oflh.. Pm..;lln Ilrmy.
Th.. N.5HU..... w..r .. h..r .. "'I..r in thai c....p.ip. Und..r
F..., conun.alld ....8'30 Sp d.u h..1d oul stubbornly
.gainst R....iaII ...d Pru i.1I b iq...... Today th.. citad..1
lIou..... liln.ll ... useOlm d th.. ba5U01l5,1l1ill'" good repair,
can be visited.
The Ducal Saxon regiment had lost 353 officers
and men. Augereau published the following order
of the day 10 praise the considerable achievements
of these German troops in his Corps:
lJarulona 6 April fOIO
I-lis .\larshal oj th, commandrr
i" chidtif 11m!! oj Catalonia, charg,s
Dit-ision RO/I)'" to rday to GI!1If!Tal Schwaru.
alld to tht sup,rior offiurs oj his Gmllllf!
d('/achcd to Mal/rem his romlJfrt" sl1tiifaction for
the brilliallt conduct of Ihrir troops parlicular!)' in
Iht suits of various combats which th')' fOllghl
against suptriorforus.
C""ral Schwart< rrspoml,d to tht i,,-
Imtions oj th, mission with It'!tich His Exu{{",'J
(hargrd him. That gmrral offiur is to commmd to
His Exu{{rncy thou tifhis o.!ficrrs and soldirrs who
hat't particularly l!tmlSdvrs.
When one considers that the Manresa expedi-
tion was a very representative example of the sort
of life that French units in Spain endured from
180g 13 it is easy to sec how the 'running sore' of
this campaign drained the resources of trained
manpower and warlike materials of the French
So life for the 1st Regiment of Nassau went on-
grinding, boring garrison duty being relieved by
periods of intense and exhausting activity as task
forces were selll out into the hostile hills loanempt
to bring the elusive foc 10 batlle.
On 10 July 181 I Oberst von Pollnitz, com-
manderofthe 1St Nassau Regiment was kilk-d by
a cannon shot from a British ship at Mataro ne;u
Tarragona, and his place was taken by Oberst-
leutnam \'on Steuben umil 28 Februarv 1812
when Oberst ),,'leder was transferred from ;hc 2nd
Nassau Regiment and promoted to fill the post.
In August 18r2 the garrison of Barcelona (1st
Regiment of Nassau, 18th French Light, 5th and
Ilsth French Line Infantry Regiments, some
cavalry detachments and the artillery 10,000
men in all) was issued with bread (ilScifa rarity!)
which had been poisoned by the Spanish workers
who had brought in the nour. Luckily lhere were
no fatal casualties as a rcsult of this but on other
occasions this, and other French garrisolls in
Spain lost numbers of men due to poisoning,
Reinforcements for the Nass,luers c;lIne to
Barcelona inJuly 1812 (40fficers, 24 N.C.O.s and
426 men) and in JUlle 1813 (20 N.C.O.s and
238 men).
disastrous defeat in Russia in 181'2
lurm.-d the tide of war against him in Spain as
well. and lhe French were gradually pushed up
out of the peninsula and illto France. In June
18t3 the British General Murray landed in
Catalonia with an international force of 20,000
men and besieged Tarragona. General Mathieu
was sent from Barcelona with the entire garrison
of lhe city (6,ooo men) to relieve Tarragona but
had by lhen already re·shipped his army
losing most of his heavy equipment in his haste),
and Mathieu returned to Barcelona. Murray was
sacked for his timidity; General Lord Bentinck
took his place and re-invested Tarragona, so the
Barcelona garrison once again came to its aid.
Suchel (now commanding in Catalonia)
decided to destroy the fortress of Tarragona and
10 abandon it, which hedidoll 18 August 1813.
As already mentioned, Napoleon's German
allies began abandoning him at about this lime
and officially joined his enemies on the
16 November 1813. In accord with secret orders.
the 2nd Regimenl of Nassau weill over to the
English on 10 December. No such secrct orders
reached the unlucky 1st Regimenl (vast amounts
of French despatches were captured by Ihe
panish guerrillas in this war) and ahhough
Lord Clinton, commander of the English forces in
Catalonia, sent Obcrst !\!t:der a lettcr from Oberst
Kruse urging him, to follow his example
and to bring his troops over to the English,
proudly refused (as he thought) to sully his
military honour, On 22 December 1813 the 1st
Regiment of Nassau was disarmed in Bilfcclona
and escorted to French prisons by the 1171h
French Line Infantry Regiment. The authorities
did not trust the 5th, 115th French Line or the
18th French Light Illfantry Regiments to do this
job as these regiments had shared the fortunes of
their Nassau comrades and it was feared that they
would have allowed their prisoners to escape.
Oberst Medersecrns to havcdolle well for himself;
after the disarming of his regiment he entered
French service, Fate caught lip with him a few
weeks latcr, however, when he was killed just
outside Barcelona fighting the Spanish.
The 1st Regiment was part of the Hanoverian
Rcscrvc Corps undcr Lieutcnant General von del'
Decken which was organised as follows:
lSI Brigadt (Lieutenant-Colonel vall del' Dccken)
Fdd-Itltaillon Hova
Landwchr-Bataillon Hrcmcr!chc
:md Brigadr (Licutenant·Colonel \'on Beaulieu)
LlIldwehr-H.'\laillon :\Iordheirn
Landwehr-lblailJon Ah!cfcldl
L'lnd\\chr-lbtaiJIoll Springe
yo Brigadt (Liculcnalll·Coloncl Hodccker)
L'lnd\\ehr-Balaillon Ollt:rndorr
Land\\chr-Batailloll Celie
Lmd\\ehr-Il:uaillon Ratzeburg
, // // .... ! ,/1.,,1 " ..
, ':/""./1/,1/'1:/"/>1<'/1,1" 1'';;.1.1 I_ /.
'Th" Happy Hunter' _ a cartoonist·'s view of Napol_n after
al_ys Slays catm and unruffled; He's nOt the ...... t or WOMit
beeau_ he haA shot (?); If his _pression is not too happy,
II's becaUH he smell.. the soat's tail.'
On 9 May 1815 Nassau concentrated her forces
two infantry regiments eaeh of tWO line and one
Landwehr battalions, each of one Grenadier. four
Jiiger (three in the Landwehr battalion) and one
Flanquer company. Commander of the I st Regi-
ment was Oberst von Sicuben; Oberst \'on Kruse
was promoted General and commanded the
1"///, "
, /.,. '/'
.JIh nriplldf (Licutf'llant.Coloncl Wissf'l)
Landwi'hr-Batailloll Hannover
Landwehr-Batailloll Uelzcn
l.anclwehr·Bataillon Neustadt
l.andwehr·Bataillon DiepllOlz
1I11n1I01<triftl/IQ/nl 9,000 11/(1/
. \'IlS$II/I Conlin!:",! [General "011 Krust')
lSt Infantry RegimcllI 2.880 mcn
'rhe 2nd Regimt:nt of Nassau was detached ;lnd
placed IOgether with th(' Rt'gill1('nt of Oranien-
(Nassauers in Dutch Belgian s(:r\·ice in
the 2nd Dutch Belgian Division of Leutnant
General Baron de Perponcher in tile Prince of
Orange's I Corps:
lSI Brigadt (:\tajor-Ceneral B..1ron de Bylandl
7th Line Infantll Regiment
701 mell
2ilh J:iger Ballalion
Bog mell
51h Milili<l HaHaliOll
7th Battalion
675 men
81h Militia BallaliOIl
2nd Brig(ult, H.R.H. Prince IkrnhardofSaxt' Wcim;lf)
2nd Rt'gimenl of (3 batt;lIiolls
2,709 men
Regiment ofOraniCII NaSS<1lI (2 battalions)
[,59[ men
(Major van Dpslal)
Horse battery Capt:lin Bylc"dd
Foot battery Captain S[it'\Tnaar
Tllisdivision was prt'St'nt at the battlcofQuatrc-Bras.
I t would be beyond the scope of this book to
describe the entire battle of Waterloo in detail.
\Ve must concentnll(' on tlte participation of the
.'Jassauers thcmselves,
On [5 June IBr5 the vilal cross-roads of
Quatre-Bras lying between the Allied British
and Prussian armies was held only by the 2nd
and the Nassau Omnicn Infantry Regi-
mcnts and the allached ballery of eiglll Dutch
Horse Artillery guns,
The left wing of Wellington's army on the cve of
Quatre-Bras was the 2nd Division of General
Perponcher. in lhe arca ofGenappe. Frasnes and
The 2nd ;\Iassau Regiment was around
Quatre-Bras (the 2nd Battalion being south of
this place with a ballery of .'Jctherlands horse
artillery. was the unit closest to the eXllCCtcrl
French advance from the south). At the appear-
ance of the enellly, the division was to concentrate
on the \·ital cross-roads at Quatre·Bras,
On the 15th Napoleon sent Marsh;:tl Xey 'The
Bra,'csl of the Brave') Ilorth towards Brussels
with instructions to take Quatrc-Bras and thus to
prevent a unification of \\'cllington's army wilh
thai of Blucher troops of Prussia and Dlher
German stales '. Xey's force consisted of the I
Corps General d·Erlon), the II Corps (General
ReUle,. General Pir("S I.ight Cavalry Di,·ision
and initiallv the Chasscurs and L.:tIleiers of Ihe
Although the 2nd Division at Quatre-Ums had
heard heavy e'lllnon fire frOIll the Prussian posi-
tions at Ligny carlyon the 15th, no great alarm
was caused because it was interpreted as just
another Prussian artillery praelice and at that
time no communication existed between the two
Allied armies. In fact. this cannonade was audible
expression of the desperate fight thcn taking place
as Xapoleon's simple, but terribly effective plan
of destroying his separated enemy in detail before
they could unite was put into practicc, Wben, by
the afiernoon, the firing had not died down,
Major von Nonlliltl 11 , with the 2nd Uattalion of
thc 2nd Regimclll, and the Nctherlands horse
artillery ballcry, took up baltic stations behind
the village of Frasnes wilh patrols south towards
Cosseliesand informed theregimelllaicollllllandcr
of his aClions. This intelligcnce was in turn
relayed to headquarters, 2nd Division,
At about 6 pm Pire's advance guard drove in
Normann's patrols and soon Normann was forced
to fall back on his pre-determined' (I) G..m;o.."ourt F...m, (:0) La.....II.. F....... (3) G......d
Pi ..,..pOlIl F....... h') P..dt Pi""""fOnl F......, (s) M.....i5 (6)
F sne.Ie. ROU5.

InIUUUn! ensraviDs by J. Voh2: 5howinS French pri50"Crs
bein! u,•.nsportN (brou!!h a Bavarillft cown in .8.... The
modey appears co W ••"ry, ca...bini"....
c.urassi"",, bus".rs and The rno....ued .....,.,rt
villible .ncb d ....wa ..bre MhUod the cart lIftmI' to be "
trooper of the 71h National Cbe_.. ... of
SaVllria, calki.a5 10" e....ri... hussar InH>JH'l".
rallying"point where the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd
Division was also in position. ended the
(The dispositions of the Nassaucrs at Quatrc-
Bras on 16 June may be seen on the Illap Oil
page '21). At 6 am on 16 JUlle the Prince of
Orange (who had arrived there during the night
and assumed command) ordered von Normanll's
b.ltlalion 10 push south 10 Frasncs and recoil·
noitrc. Normann chased off light French cavalry
piCqllCls and rcoccupil."d his position of (he
previous day. At • I am the Duke of Wellington
arrived and orden."d VOI1 Normann to engage the
enemy with twO companies. Combat followed but
remained at low.intensity. By now there were
7,000 men, 16 guns and 50 Prussian hussars under
the Prince of Orange at Quatre·Bras; Wellington
instructed him to hold his position until help
arrived and then rode all' to confer with Blucher
o\'er a common operational plan for the coming
At '2 pm with 9.. 000 infantry. 1,850
and '2'2 guns began a very cautious
assault on the Quatre·Uras position (Normann's
force had bv now withdrawn into the main
Netherlands line). Despite tough resistance, the
French soon occupied Piroaumonl and Gemion-
court, the Allies being much hampered by their
almost IotaI lack of cavalry (the 50 Prussian
hussars had also returned to Iheir parenl corps
during the day). The position was beginning to
look grim for Perponcher's division when at lasl
reinforcements came up. The)' were General von
Merlen's Urigade and Genernl Pic-
tou"s English division (altogether 7,000 infantry,
',100 cavalry and 1'2 guns). Shonl)" after this the
Duke of Brunswick ("The Black Duke') also
arrived with part of his division (3,000 infantry
and 800 cavalry) and Ihe balance of power lipped
slightly in favour of the Allies.
Encouraged by these new forces, the rash and
impulsive Prince of Orange launched a hurried
attack to win back mOSI of the plateau which he
had lost but was repulsed with losses. Wellington
then returned from his meeting with Blucher and
assumed command.. Ncy launched an assault 10
follow up his withdrawing enemy and Wellington
countered the struggle raged back and forth for
some time - the young and untried Brunswick
hussars being overthrown by the french Chasscurs
;i Cheval of Pire's command and the frenzied
encrgies of the Prince of Orange contributing as
much to the enemy's success as to lhat of his own
troops. By the early evening, wilh reinforcemenlS
all bOlh sides, the Allies had 37,000 men against
Ney's 21,000 on the battlefield. At 7 pm Ncy
broke on" his assaults and withdrew south 10
f .... <lsnes. The day had cost about 4.. 000 dead and
wounded all each side. The Allies bivouacked on
the battlefield, the Princc of Orange resumt:d his
position on Wellington's staff and gavc up
command of his brigade. The lSI Regimel1! or
Map o( W.lel'loo, Ihow;,,! po.ilio". of Nasaau a"d
O.,.llie" eO"Iu,!e,,"... Symbot. l'epnollenli,,! unita do nol
relate to .ctual size o( u"il or;cal (ormal;O". Key 10 n.mU, (I) MO"1 51 Je." Farm, (2) Hou!oumont, (3) La S.;"te, (4) Pape)otte, (5) Smohain, (6) La Belle AIIi.nee,
(7) Planeeno;I, (8) AI W.lerloo the det.i1ed deploy-
menl o(lhe eonlu,!enl. wa••1 (ollow.,
HO,«ONmO,.1 C..rri.O,. (Ce,."r.. , By..&,,): III B"., 2 ..d .. o(
N.....u (H.upt.rnann BaiSea) - companies IhOWD u,divid-
g.l1y on m.p.. Two COntp.llies o( H.a-overia.... Fo"r
contpallies o( British FOOl G".rds. AV1Ult.
and ,.1 Lil';hl BD.. o( BnulI,,,,,;ck Corps.
rh.. Cttlt'rtt: Front ..... k _ III Ba., lit of NUAu. Rear
raak-2..d B..., ••A'" La HayeSaial.. G.rri_
(Major both F1a.J:oquer compa.a.ies, I.t Rqt.. o(


meal,,-O.....;e.. j 2Dd B".. , N...."-Oralliea;
Fre;willis.. Jiis..r Coy.. , Rf!K" N."".u-o.,.aieaj P,.pdott'"
(It,. ..plm.... ,. vo.. R",ub",r8) FI.nquer coy.. , 3rd 8 .... , 2nd Rf!K"t.
o( Naslau, Iihown hy platoonl 0" map.
Nas..u's Rallis, Lilr.ethOHOrmOtle Eu.ropea. armiesoreh" day,
w"re ..ailed 10 th" scali's. Th" prese... eali.., or c:olours 10 a
iIIulOlraled here - would be 00 hand 10 .e.rike;n II." nne or
1.1." 1Il0Id.h".ded nail. with a suilably dec:oral.ive hamme...
po... ihle embarra."!
Nassau arrived al Quatre-Bras only ill the
evening and did nOI lake pari in Lilt, day's
figlHillg. Thai samc day, 16Junc, Blildwr's
had becn beaten b) .\'apoleon at Lign) and \\as
no\\ \\ilhdrawing nOrlh-easl on \\'avre. bUI
WellinglOll did nOI recci\e nt'\" of Ihis Ulllil Ihe
morning of the 17th.
Tht 18 ]un, 1815
I-laving successfull) disengaged from at
Quatn:·Bms, Wellington no\\ cOllccntrated his
British Cnman Dutch Belgian army at i\lont
Thc 1st Regimcllt of Nassau was in the C(:lItre
of the position, which was composed also of
Gelleral Cooke's British Guards Division and
Gen('rnl Alten's British Division ami was COIll-
m:mdNI by Ihe Prince of Orange whosc' im-
petuous and on:rbc'aring decisions had COSI lIlany
Allied livc"S at Quatre·Bras and \\ere to causc the
destruction of the 5th Linc UallaliOIl of the
King's German Legioll this day, From west to
cast the disposi tions of the cent rl' were as follows:
of Hougoumont up the road to
Xi\'ellcs \\as Byng's British Brigade of two
b."l.ttalions, thell Guards Brigade also
two batlalions, General Colin Halkeu's British
Brigade with four battalions, General KicJ-
mannscgge's Hannowrian Brigade of fi\(' bat-
laliom, and finally Ihe G('I'lllan Legion
Brig:ade ofColoncl Omptcrla w'ith four batlalions.
The left flank of OmptedOl's reached to
the Cellapp(' road and t!lr farm of I.a H:l)eSaintl'
in front of this brigade \\as occupied b) the 2nd
tilthl Baualionofthe f'.ing'sGennan Legion. The
1st Rrgiml'l1t of XaSS:lu was in til(' second line
lX'hind the brigades of Halketl alld Kiclmann·
The brigadNi weTe arrnngcrl in 1\\0 lines; the
batl,lliOlis in column, In the 1St Xassau Regiment
the first line consisted of the 1St Battalion in
didsional columns; Ihe second line \\;IS formed b)
th(' 2nd and the Landwehr both in
assault columlls, The 2nd Rc'gimellt of i\assall
was on the western and e:lslel't1 ends or Welling-
lon's line. Ilonh of Hougoumont (wlll're thc 1st
Battalion oflhis regiment look part ill Ihl' defence
oflhis vital farm, the strug1{l{' for which absorbed
so l1luch of Napoleon's gr!lerals' int('resl and
l'lwrg)' (in vain) throughout lIlt' whole battle) and
north of Papeloltc sce bl·low. In spite of being
in Ihe second of "'cllingtoll's battll' lincs and
being situated on thc re\'erse slope oflhe position,
thr 1st Regiment ofXaSS<lu hra\ ily in thr
anille!) bombardment \\hid at II o'clock
and went on all day most of the which
struck the being ricochets,
B) 2 pm a hea\'y Frl'nch infantr) :lSS3ult
D'f.r1on's Corps and Duruue's di\'ision was in
against ,,"ellington's centre 'Ind left and
a fierce struggle was centred around tht, farm of
La 11a)'{' Saillle. In addilion to 11ll' original
garrison of this placc (2nd Light Ballalioll. King's
German Legion) two companies of Ihe 1st Lighl
Battalion. King's German Legion and 200 men
(both Flanquel' companit,s) orthe lillt' batlalions
of till' 1st of Nassau wen: C'llled in to
reinforce this important post. Ii)' 3 pill this French
assault had failed, and a massin' c'l\'alry attack
beglln to dcvelop against WellinglOn's centre and
right flanks. This glittering Illass of horsemen
charRed through the intervals be!\\('('n the bat-
talions ill the first of Wellington's lines who had
alrl'ad) formc'd square to rccl·i\,e them) and then
descended upon the 1st Nassau Regiment which
was also in square. As the \ast majorit) of the
were )oung recruits ill their first action.
thl'ir conduct in this crisis was difficult to forecast
1 PriVllI"'. ,sl 8alla.lioo, "umm",r drn"••llo:J
" D.... mm"'r. "nd Balt.lion. Summ....
dr..u ••806
3 Fusili"'r!>. <t1h Ballal.;on. su..,nu'r campa;,;"
dr.. .•806
• FusiJjer, lind Battalioo, parade dress, .806
II Grenadier sergeant, 4th Battalion, winter
parade dress, 1806
3 RiflelDan,3rd Bal1a!;on, sUlIIlDerparade
dress, .806
N...IIll .. , Offiee.... Reilende J_!U,
dretia. ,&0,
11 ..r.I',.(I.. Spal"l
• Officu ofVoltigeorli,
II Volrigeor Corporal, campaign 180g-1:J
:J Drummer of lind IDfantry
Regiment, 180g-13
, Corporal, Vohigeur Company,
,. Naliliau, Serg",anlomajor ofGn:nadj",r",
'iiI ,8'5
J Drummer, Grenadier Con'pany,
drill order
• fllsili.,r 8.,rlleanl, 12gll, 'f",nch' Lin.,
Inran.ry R.,!;m.,n., ,8'2
2 Offic.,r. R-=!;mrn. win•.,.. pa.... d.,
drus. ,8,..
3 Prh'll'''. f .. Dr.a"hm.,n. or.h",
R-=!;m.,nl Old.,nbll.'1!:, fi.,ld dru§., ,8...
[ Regiment, .8'5
:lI ofth" General Staff, parade dress,
3 .. fGrenadiers, lSI Infantry Regiment,
and, if they it could have caused
WellinglOn's n'ntre to break. Buoyed up b} the
excellent example of their British j\llies in
Halkett's brigade. who had held their firc until
the cavalry was at a r.ang"(· of 60 paces and had
then mown down dozens of horses and riders, the
'oung Nassauers stood firm and repulsed the
French cuirassiers' attach. English dragoons then
('ount('ratlacked tIll" dismayed Frt'IU,'h
and pushed them dowlI the slope towards their
OWIl lint'S. This brought no relief to the long-
sufl'(:ring infantry, however: as soon as tIle cavalry
had gone, the great banery of French artillery
op('ned up on the English lines ag'lin and casu-
ahit:s began 10 mount.
A second massivc ea,-alry attack folJowro at
ahout 5 pm and the much weakened Allied
in WellinglOn's centre almost "anished
heneath the flood ofsabn.'S and helmets. BUI ('\'en
now, in this moment of crisis when "'e1lington's
f('sen'es "'('re commitled, Biilow's Prussian
corps Iwgan to appear from the cast through the
villages ofConturc imd Hanotelcl, and gradually
a flanking pressure was hrought to he;)r 011
Napokoll'S line. III spite of this, it was well over
an hour before the French ea,-alry fdl back from
tilt' Allied centre in this second attack. and O\'er
tell separate chargt.'S \\t're made; but no squares
At 6 pm the silllation of the small garrison in
the farm of La Hayc Saintc became Ulltenable
\\hen tlwir ammunition supplies ran out.
Biiring ,of the King's German Legion) who com-
manded this Outpost had repeatedly sent mcssages
to the f('ar asking for ammunition rt.'supply but
for some reason Ilone arrived. Now the French
allackers could shoot down the defenders with
impunity and Major Itiring was forced to with-
draw up the hill to the main British lim', The
French swarmed after him and a baiter} of gUlls
was set up aoout 300 pan'S in front of the lsi
Battalion of the 1st Nassau Regiment and began
to tear this and other units to shreds wilh dis-
charges of canister. In a few minutes all officers
of the Nassau grenadier company were dead or
wounded, In an cnon to put an end to thc
siaugiller, the tst Balla lion's commander,
VOn \Veyhcrs. ordered a bayonet charge to take
the ballery but a ft·w seconds Iatrr he was badly
wounded by callister and the chargt· call1(' to a
halt. WellinglOn Ihen sent an order that the
battalion should return to its place in th(' line hut
for some reason the grenadier and the 1st
company remained halted in a with the
French batter}. Suddt'nl) some French n:imssi('r
squadrons. who had regathered the 11;uns,
swarmed over the isolated :\'ass."luers and cut
them dow n, Between 7 and 8 pm :"Japoleon, see-
ing th(' growing pown of tIl(' Prussians in his rig-ht
real' and heing as y<,t ullable to break the Allied
army on his front, decided to chance c"('I'ything
on one last desperate throw, The Imperial Guard,
invincible in battle (large!) because it had so
rardy been used! was launched at
with the aim of bUNting through his tired
and weakent:"(!line ,lIld thu, the way to
Brussels. The incredible hapl)Cned: til(' Imperial
Guard was met tlw ,tead\ British lint' and
thrown back with h(·,.,') loss! The entire French
arlllY groaned in despair; the day was 10M. and
the Fn'nch began 10 stn',lIn away 10 tIl(' south.
fleeing in increasing confusion from Ihe Prllssians
who had t:lkell over the pursuit. On \Vellington's
left flank the ;)ssault columns of the j\liddle
Guard were met by Iialkell's brigad(' and the
1st Regiment of:'\assau now commanded b} the
Cro\\ n Prince of till' X{'llwrlands : Ceneral von
Kruse and Obersl \'on Steul)C1l \\ere al<;o tlwre.
The prince ,\ as wounded hut the Cuard was also
pushed back. Xapoleon's last effop had bnn
mad(' and had failed: the Ibttle of Waterloo had
bt.·en won b) the Dutch German AlIit'S
and th(' feared and h:lIt.'(! dictator of Europe had
his claws drawn for the last time,
Tilr oj NaWIII (1/ jjI(llrrioo
At 10 am the 1st Ballalioll. 2nd Regilll{'nt of
;\'assau. had l)Cen SCllt illto the farm of HOlig-Oll-
mont on \\'dlingtoll's right flank IO!-{ether \\ith
some Brunswiekers, two Ilannm'erian companies.
four companies of British Guards and Gcneral
Cooke's British di,·ision. The 2nd and 3rd
8attalions of the 2nd Regimellt of;\'ass.."lu and the
Regim{'nlofOrange AaSS.."lll wcrcon the extrcme
left flank of \\'ellington's line, and the ,-illag<' of
Papelottc was occupil"(l by the Flanquercompan)
(under Hauptmann von Rettherg) of the 3H!
Battalion, 2nd Regimellt of Nassau. The map Oil
1 "Oot Nollftldorf, comma.oder of the North
Gf, Army Corps ioo the H••dred Days eampaip. The
OldftlblU'S w.. pan ofthi.corps. Kld.e. wUCanu
is dark blue with red r.ei.«_ and «aid b,ut_.. embroidery
and _baulder cords. Amo.« his ....tioll.. __ be W
lrou Cros"'(O::"-led ioo 1'13 by Kiool! Frederick WillialD Dt of
P.......i.l, Ille P.......ia.a Order ofthe Blade Es.;!e, the Austri.a.D.
M.ri•• Order, ••d Ibe Ru...ia.a SIa!' of Ihe Order of
SI Ceo"l!e.
page 23 shows the dispositions of the Nassauers
this f<lteful day.Just before 4 pm a heavy French
assault on Papelolte forced Hauptmann von Rett-
berg to abandon the outlying village houses and
to withdraw his company into the main building
in the hamlet. Now the 10th. IlIh and 12th
Companies of his regiment came to his aid and the
French wcre expelled again. The 2nd Regimcnt
of Nassau remained in possession of Papelottc
until the end of the battle. From about 4 pm
onwards, von Bi.ilow's 30,000 strong I>russian
corps began deploying into combat formation on
lhe eastern edge of lhe batllefield and advanced
towards the French right rear at La Belle Alliance.
They were opposed by Lobau's French corps and a
fierce fight developed in the burning village of
Plancenoit from which the French were ulti·
mately dri\·en. Hauptmann von Rettberg, with
the fOllrcompanies of the 2nd Regiment of Nassau
under his command,joined in the Prussian assault
on Plancenoit.
accounts of the Battle of Watcrloo arc
remarkably vague as to the correct state of affairs
in I>apclotte and as to the actual participation in
the battle of the 2nd Regiment of l'\assall.
As its part of the booty taken after Waterloo,
Nassau received fOllr 6-pounder cannon, two 7-
pounder howitzers and 12 train vehicles. As part
of the reorganisation of the German mini-states
which took place in 1815. Nassau had lost some
land to Prussia and all inhabitants of this lost
territOry became Prussians. Thus, on 28 November
1815,832 men of the 2nd Regiment were trans-
ferred to Prussian service and were replaced by
832 men of the Regiment of Orange-Nassau.
The Regiment of Orange-:'\assau was dis-
banded on 3 January 1816, thc men going into
the 1st Nassau Infantry Regiment or 10 Prussia
according to their place of birth. The Landwehr
Battalion of the 1st Regiment of Nassau was also
disbanded, those N.C.O.s and officers who were
transferred 10 it to help in the training returned to
their parent unit.
Ulltil 1820 the 2nd Regiment of Nassau (at a
strength of three battalions) served with the
Netherlands army and was then reduced to two
baualions on returning home.
The two N"assau infantry regiments were ab-
sorbed into the Prussian army in 1860 and
assumed the titles:
Das Herzogliche Nassauische Infi:\Ilterie-
Regiment Nr 87
Das 'lie Hcrzogliche Nassauische Infanterie-
Regiment Nr 88
The 2nd Regiment wore on its helmets the
battle honours 'La Bellc Alliance', 'Medellin'
and '!\'Iesa de lboI" until after the First World
The 1st Regiment wore 'La Belle Alliance'.
lsi "ifmllry Rfgimm( - Oberst von Stcllbt:n (7 r officers
and 2,974 men)
HI IJallalioll - Major von Weyhers
2nd /Jallalion - Major VOIl Nallclldorf
Lnndu·tkr /Jat/olion I\-bjor \'on Prcen
:md Infanlry Rtgimffll Oberst Prinz Ikrnhard von
Sachsen-Wcim;lr (Ialcr Major Sattler) (ag ofliccrs,
2,738 men)
lSI /Jattalion Hauptmann Blisgen
2nd Battalion Major Ph. \'on Normanll
l...alldwrhr Battalion Major Hegmallll
This regimenl, logelher with the Regiment ofOrange-
Nassau, l'i)f1llcd Ihe 2nd Brigade of Lieulenant Cenefill
Peqxmcher's 2nd Division of the Netherlands Army.
TIle Rrgilllrlli of Omnge NaSSfW (Nassal/-Omllil'lI) Tilis
was in Dutch c;eryicc and witi part
the Netherlands Arm}.
lSI Bal/a/ion }
39 officers, 1,4'27 men
Fuiu:illigt Jag" Company 3 officers, 166 men
To/alXossalilToops '93 offiUTS ond 6,832 mtn
From a letter by General von Kruse to the\·crian Captain Bcmel
Wicsbaden 7January 1836
. The Ducal Nass.. ,u Brigade, consisting of two
bIllry regiments was dispersed from
1815. The2nd Regiment had been in Dutch
y since 1814; the 1st Regiment (which formed
real :\"ass.'l.U contingent had only arrived a few
ys pre\,iously and had not yel been alloned to a
Corps. ntilthe 16th it lay dispersed in canlone-
1Dnll'i between Brussels and Lowen.
<'fhe 1st Regiment consisted of three battalions
until August 1814 both regimcnl'i had only had '2
Italions, and at this time wcrc reinforced by men
m the thell disbanded 3rd Nassau Infantry

'Each battalion had six companies, namely, I
nadier, 4Jagcr and I 1:lanquer company. The
nadiers formed on the right wing (of the
ttalion). The Flanqucrs on the left wing.
'Each company had 3 officers and [60 N.C.O.s
.utd men. The battalion thus had 18 company
fficers and 960 N.C.O.s and men, the baualioll
adquarters had 13 officers and 40 N.C.O.s
'This regiment, which until tben formed my
tntire brigade, marched out of its camps carlyon
the 16th and wellt to Quatl'e-Bras which they
«,ached on the evelling of the fight.
'On the 18th the Brigade, without being
anached to any division, was ordered to join the
First Army Corps commanded by H.R.H. the
Prince of Oranien.
'The 2nd Regiment had 3 battalions each of6
companies as for the 1st Regiment but each
company had 4 officers and 150 N.C.O.sand men.
Thus the Regiment had 24 officers and goo
ilnd men in the companies and 12
)fficers and 33 N.C.O.s and men in the regimental
The Oldtabu'1l l....r i ••8.,So
from Fr dl yok.. ia .8.J, Old....b.. rs raisOl'd
.... ..r lia.. iaf.... ...t ....d • force for
lIernc.. with the Allie. ap;aiast N.poleon.
ti... w ia .bort .upply, 50 it caaa.. be .......eet tkat th..
ta which fousbt ia tbe 18.] ca... paip ia
perl'ec:1 d ...... l it was. caM of'coDl...s you are',
....d .......y Pru...... La.ndw..h .. fouSlu for DlOAths
with a IUSb p"?",:ni.. of m.... barefoot. Pru...... inJI ......ce
can be.-.. ap.o ill th.. c." uniforDis .ho_here, b.. r.,
;This regiment, together with the Regiment
formed the 2nd Brigade of the
2nd Royal Dutch Division.
'The former wascolllmanded by Prinz Ikrnhard
\'on Sachsen-\Veimar, the latter was commanded
by Gcneral!eutnant von Perponchcr. (The Regi-
ment Oranicn Nassau, like the 2nd Nassau
Regiment, had been taken into Dutch' service for
six ycars from 8 November t814. Even so, thc
Regiment Oranicn Nassau also wore Dutch
uniform. 011 3January 18t6 the latter regimen!
lIitll11)(' Rq,6nH'nl and
with thl' Prus,iall Fmilicr
'On t5.JUtW IH[S till' Ibtlaliul1 of tIl('
Dutch regimenl Ol'anicn Nassau still carried
french pattern muskets and each man had only
len cartridges. The FreiwilligcJiiger had rifles of
four diflercnt calibres and no morc ammunition
than the men of tile 2nd Batlalion.'
'The grenadier companies had round bearskins
(colpacks), all other companies wore shakos. The
uniform of both regilllenl'i was dark green with
black collar and currs and short skins. The coat
3 Ibn.dion surgeons
I Di\·isionaJ surgeon
I Corporal
33 Soldiers
I Colonel
I Oberstlcutnalll
:'1 l\lajors
:'1 I\djulanl majors
I surgeon
summer white linen trousers were worn.
'The regimcntal and battalion commander-;
and the six mOllllled Adjutalll-majors. wore col-
packs: only the general starr, 4 officers, wore
bicorns with whitc, drooping reathcr plumes, All
mounted officers carried sabres,
'The Aags, of which each baltalion carried on(".
were or pale yellow silk with Ihe ducal badK(" in
thl' centre !:Illhroidel"ed in hill!: silk. The slafr tip
was gilt and from it hung two golden tassels.
'It is correct that on the day of the battle of
\\'aterloo the men of the 1st Rt'giment were wear-
ing \\ hile covers on their shakos and pouches but
I had thcsc removcd al about 3 pm as they ga\"{'
the ('ncmy artillery a good aiming point. The men
or tlw 2nd Regiment had the same COWl'S but in
black waxed cloth,
'No moullted ofliccr rode a distinctive horse
during the battle: only I rode a Falhc 101 light
colou rcd horst' I.'
Slrtnglh oftht lsI .\"assaulnfant')' Rtgimtnt on
18 JUllt tht battlt
had a single row of yellow hunons on the frolll
and the uniform, ,md the side pockets, were piped
\ellow, The breechcs were dark gr('en trimmed
with yellow cOrti and ,he Railers were black, Belts,
handoliers and pack straps were ofbuA'lcather.
'The uniform and headRear of the officers was
as for that of the men, except thai offi(('rs' coat·
skins were longer and they wore light grey and
hlack striped pantaloons instead of grecn, All
officers wore epau!cltt·s \\ hich indicated their
ranks and orange silk sashes, [In I'oltmu ,\"1'/,
Pl"tr 8 of ttl/ours ·'Cniforml.:undt" thrrr is a up-
usmlation oj Iht .\'o$Sou inJantr:.r, Tht tnt 10 Ihis platt
Italts Ihal tht uniform u'as u'o", from 18J I 33 bul in
181-/ thr rpaulrurs oj oJlir"s ill Iht jlo1/k rom/Jm/in
IN" rrpfared rrd or yllou' ".Irhsrlzhiilli·-It'illgs.}
The Jager companies wore on their shakos a ball-
shaped woollen pompon with a small turt ahove
it. The colours varied h} company as follows:
1St Compan} yellow
2nd Compan} white
3rd Compan} light bluc
4th Compan} black
'L'nder th(' pompon at the front. top (('ntr(' of
Ihe shako was a small leather cockadt·, In
Hou!OUmOnl, ,8JuneI8's-a Fr"'nch a.nult i. tak.. n in fl.....
by • British batt.tioll, Althou.!lh fi .. rc.. ty conluted 'hrough_
out ,h.. battt.., the rarm n..v.. r r.. 11 ;1110 h.lld., II w••
d.. r....ded by.n g.rri....n indudins numMrs
orN••s.uers. (N""o""l Army ....t'.. m)
lSI Ballalio"
6 ('..'plains
6 L:nlerleuln,lI1ts
67 Corporals
18 Iusiciam
&)1 Soldiers
HOU!o.. mODt today, laktn from the _d. _ II... direction
t .... na by the aua.. lli,,! F",Deh I.rOOp... Th.. hoY)' nat ..", of
the 5rou.nd c:aft dearly be _, and have tnad.. Ib..
ad\..... c.. pby_icaJly tim5 a. w,"-II as militarily perilo.... Ulle
Wid'", .. plooto.J".pIo, to.. N.ti__' Ann.7 M ..."'..,..j
The 2nd Battalion and Ihe Land\\'ehr Ballalion
had almost exaell)' the same slf('ngth and Ih("
wholt· regiment had 61 offieersancl appl'Oximalt'ly
2,8.1-0 men.
SlrrnK,1t oj IIII' :md Nassau Rt'gimml
on 16JU1If 1815 bifore Ihe bal/lt' rtf O!lfIlrr-Bras
12 Officers 33 N.C.O.s and nwn
lsi BallaliOIl
130flkcrs 8.0 X.C.O.s ;mel Illen
2nd /Jalla/ion
1 I OITin'rs 8.rl mell
3rd Ballalion
11 Officcrs 853 men
TOT.I/. 830ifiurs and 2.575 111m
The road, witb tb.. farm on.. Hay.. Sau""
-loo1UB! lJO..Lb, toward. tb.. 1iII.'"- bdd by th.. fn-oeh.. N......
troop. look pan u. Ihe heroit deftnce of thi• ..,.Stlltial
bastion of Welli..!to.. '. lill.e al Wal'"-rloo, wbich ..",tnt...lly
feU throu!b laclt of unm...,.;tiOD. It.. 1__ precipilaled th..
eri..i,. of tbe baltle. Vile W",I1..,.. ploo'0.J".PIt, tow,.,.....7 N.·
ti,n...1 A,.,..)' M ....",.. ,..j
l..osSlS of the 1St Regifllmt al Il'aterloo on /8 )llIIe 18/5
Drad lVoundl'd Missing
Offrs .lIm Offrs Men
1St Batlalioll
1.... 7
2nd H:utalioll
96 1
L:mdwehr Uattalion
'0 3i
O ,63
Offrs Men
3 3
7 3
'I ,86
25 883
The 2nd Regimcnt also fought at QUOIlrc.lkas and ilS lossn there "ere:
1St Banalion
2nd 1l.1t1alioll
3rd lJallalion
Drad Il'oundid
At Waterloo Lhey then lost:
Du/(I Wounded Missing Total
O./frs Mell Offrs IHell
lsI Battalion
2nd Battalion
7 45 '4
3rd HaHalion
50 8
'0 '53 9' ''I 3'3
Source: S/(lQlsarrhil1 Wiesbadrn, VI/I v\'assau, KrirgsdrpartrmrnlXr 532,26 27.
Other distinctions were the headgear; the 1st
Battalion wore Bavarian style black.leather hel-
mets with black crest, black plume (r(:d ror
grenadicrs) a brass grenade badge and brass
fittings; the 2nd Battalion wore what seem to have
been PrussialHtyle, black4rclt shakos with a black
leather top band (N.C.O.s and drummers had
7Ite 7.1Nijorl7ls Ol:Ni!!,StlllS
crroops 1803-1815
The rOllr i n l ~ l l 1 t r y battalions wore dark green,
long-skirted coal'; with red racings, piping and
turn backs. In the tails werc vcrtical pocket-flaps
with rour bullons and yellow laces. Initially there
was one grenadier company per battalion (a
Carabinier company in the grd Jager Ila.ltalion)
and three rusilier companies: the grenadiers wore
rcd plumes and epaulettes. the others black
plumes and dark green shoulder straps. The shade
or the racing colour and the colour or the buttons
varied rrom batlalion to battalion as shown here:
tst Battalion
2nd Battalion
grd Battalion
4th Battalion
1st Battalion
2nd Ballalion
3rd Battalion
4th Battalion
Bright red
Brick rcd
Light red
Dark red
Dark grcen
But/onJ Btlts
Yellow Bun·
Yellow Bun·
White Black
White Buff
Dark green
La Haye Saiale i_bu,d duri.aS Ofte o( the "",ach cavalry
allacQ; Bntish fin (rom the prrisoa ...d the !tSlh Riftes in
"'ppon aom o( Ihe (arm Ndly mauled the nshl 8aaks o(
F"""ch cavalry c...""!.... 110. view to I_I. ....uth (rom
a poinl dose 10 the cross-road. m.rlo.iD.s the centre o( the

gold top bands according to rank}, black cockade,
white cords, black plume; thc 3rd Battalion worc
bicorns with black cockade, yellow pompon,
white loop, button and cords and the 4th Bat-
lalion worc shakos as for the 2nd but light green in
colour with yellow (gold for N.C.O.s) top band,
black cockade, boltom band and peak, and
ycllow cords. The grenadiers of the 4th Battalion
wore thc black shako wilh copper grcnadc badgc
and rcd plumc and cords as shown in thc colour
Until 180g all officers wore bicoms with black
cockade, and loop and button in the regimental
Collar and cuffs of the jackcts were edged in
yellow piping and badges of rank were shown by
gold orsilvcr lace tocuffsorcollaror both. N.C.O.s
and officcrs carried sticks as signs of office and it
may be assumed that at this time officers wore
ilk waist s.'lshes (in orange?). From 28 October
1806 the)' also wore gilt sword knots.
Lcgwear was, for parades, close filling breeches
with side-stripes and thigh-knots in short black
gaiters with black leather buttons: in summer.
white trousers over short white gaiters. Officers
wore black Hessian boots with gold trim and
The Rti/tndt Jagtr were dressed all in dark
green with silver lace and buttons, black leather-
work, black-leather helmets, high-crowned, Ba-
varian style for officers, low·crowned for other
ranks. The helmets had black crests and green
plumcs with white metal fronl pia Ie, chin-scales,
peak edging and side struts. Wcapons wcre a
carbinc, pistols and a curved, light cavalry sabrc
in a steel sheath. Sabrelasches were of black
lcather with the crowned cypher 'FA' and thosc
of the officers had a broad silver edging.
In 1808, when the inf:llltr)' W:lS reorganised, the
uniforms were also altered. The helmets of the
old 1st Battalion (von Todenwarlh) were givcn to
thc first grenadier companies of the two new
regiments, the second grenadier companies wore
French style grenadier shakos. By 1810 all
grenadiers should h:l\'c been issued with the
brown fur colp:lck with red bag. pompon. plumc
Service badges were also after the French
pall ern and lOok the form or yellow chevrons,
point up, on the upper len sleeve.
Oflict'r5 wore gilt gorgets and gold sword knots
and thcir rank was indicated by gold epatlktles on
the should('rs:
trous{'rs had yellow side·slripcs and thigh-knols.
On 15 Octoher 1807 French muskcts and
sabres wcr(' issued to replace the old-fashionN:1
and worn-Out \\eapons which the pre-
viously h'ld and French b'ldg("S of rank and
senice were introduced. For 0111('1' r;lI1ks these
consiSI('d of stripes across both 10\\('1'
.. leeycs:
I.ieutenant fringl'd epaulette right:
contre-epalilette len
Premier Lieult'nant fringed epaulelte len:
Hauptmann 1\\0 fringed epaulet1es
two epalllcttes \\ith silwr
straps and gold bullion
Oberslleutnant two golden epauk-tl('s, only
the len with bullion
Obcrst two golden {'paulett{'s with
gold bullion fringes
OfTiC{'rs wort' gold shako cords on paradt',
The cavalry uniform changed liltle at this time
except lhat the helmets gave way [0 black rur
col packs with dark grecn bag (oflicers with silver
tassel, the nll'n with white), Dark green pelisses
with black fur and white lace and buttons werc
addl·d. and the eXJl('nsi\"e. close fittingdark-grecn
breeches in huss.'lr boots ga,·c way to dark-green
overalls wilh black leather fillings, Badges of rank
\\ ere a serics of \\ hite silver for officers I chevrons
situated over the Cliff.
t\\O red stripes
one gold stripe r('(1
t\\oredstripes andtwogold
chevrons on the uppcr
two gold stripes edged red.

Sergeant i\lajor
N.... u Infan,ry flail;, ,806-15- Of pale rello_
doth, il bore a liS"" blue sloield, a lI;old aod red
cro_n, and a lau...,1 _rea,h in S'--" "";,h a !old

bars. ne browa slaff had a sold spearhead,
nails aad ICOrtU.
and corcb .. ho\\ n in Ihe colour plalC"i. The elitc
companies and the Ile\\ Iy raised \'olti-
Reur \\ore French st) Ie distinctions:
red haHrim, red epaulellcs and red sabre-strap,
red gr('nadc·badge in the turnbacks: voltigeurs.
grecn plume with yellow tip, brass horn shako-
hadgt', green cords, green epaule\tes and sabre
strap, yellow-horn badges in the lurnbacks.
won.' shakos with white cords, black
cockade, company colour pompon (1St Company
yello\\,2nd white,3rd light blue, 4th
black and a badge in the shape of a brass oval
the regimelllal number. surrounded by a
troph) oLums and nags.
The jacket remained dark green but
became black. butlons )'('110\\. turnbacks
edged ) ello\\ , waistcoats iniliall) \\hite, later
dark \\ith )ello\\ either
breeches in black gailer'S as before or. lalcr,
dark gr('('n trousers over shon black gaitt,rs. The
A I Privatt, lsI !Jalla/io1l, summer dress, /803
This battalion was also known as the 'Lcib-
Bataillon' (Life Baltalion), a commonly used title
all the Continent for the most senior regiment,
battalion, company or squadron. II was also the
custom to namr units after their commanders and
thus the 1St Battalion was also knowll as the
'Batailton VOIl Toclcnwarth', The boiled-leather
helmet is vcry similar to thaI worn at this time by
the Ravarian army. The front badge was a
flaming grenade in brass; the grenadiers wort a
red plume at the side of their helmets, the musket-
eers the black one shown here. For winter wear
the men wore grey trousers with black thigh-kiwIs
and side-stripes and black gailers to below the
knee, the gaiters over the trousers. The coat was
ingle-breasted and cUt away in an oval shape at
lhe bottom so that the white waistcoat showed
The coat was edged in red piping. The pouch
plate bears the lion or Nassau.
A2 Drummer, 2nd Bflltalion, j/immfr ((Ipaigll dress,
Here the Ilew yellow shako trim is shown the
Nassau drummers did not Weill' reversed colours
but were distinguished by the yellow lacc on their
chests and the yellow chevrons on their arms. The
1St and 2nd Baualions wore bun' leatherwork, the
srd (RiOt) Battalion wore black. The brass drum
was the modern dcsign and much lighter to carry
than the older, bigger wooden models; this was
important as the drummers were usually boys or
about thirteen 10 sixteen years orage.
A3 Fusiliers, 4th Raila/ion, summer cflmpfl(ftll dress,
This battalion was recruited mainly rrom the
Weilburg area or the duchy and was also known
by the nameofitseommander- Major von Kruse.
In Novcmber 1806 the black shako shown here
was brightened up with a yellow top band, pom-
pon and cords. The black plume was added ror
parades. Note the rathcr unusual soldiers' coats
Friedrich Christian von P..-n,
wbo commanded 3rd Battalion of .st
Nanau Infantry at and was badly
wounded in n"ck during an to La
Born in Waldeck in t787, h" fought lllI an in th"
u......nsf"rred in Marcb of that .. to Nassau
.."taining bis rank in 2nd Nassau Infantry Regim"nt.
..ved as A.D.C. to voo Scuff"r, r"tunting with bitn
toNassau and his tr<H>ps witha
d ..... ft.ln .8.] was named a knigbt ofHonou...
On 25 Octob"r .8'3 h" was promoted major. It was von Precm
who carri"d his Duk,,'s .. to von Kru"",,
instructing him to his ov"r to British. In
.8'4 von Preen was given th" task of o..ganising Nassau's
His b ..... at bl"Ought him
and a in .848
and died in .856. His uniform -that of his final rank - is
dark green raced with black v"lv"t, and has gold
with long skirts to the knee; this custom was
normally reserved ror officcrs. The green breeches
shown here were parade wear; llOrmal legwear
was grey breeches in the short gaiters. It was in
this unironn that the Nassaucrs took lhe field in
1806 to help Napoleon Cl'ush Prussia.
IJ / Fu.rilier, 2nd !Jalla/ioll, l)fIrade dress, /806
The origin or the green shako shown here is not
known. The green coat was as ror the olher
battalions bUI the racings were dark red compared
with the medium rcd orlhe lsi and 2nd Battalions.
The dark green plume was put on lor parades and
when laking part in a prepared battlc. For wintcr
"ear ,,;-rc} br('('('hn with black and
sidC"-stripcs wert' "om inside short black 1{3iters.
The hack of thl' jacket had red turnhack and
veni('al pocket flaps each with four bUllons and
}c!lo" button holt' laces; two large bUllOllS were
in the mall orthe back. Hair \\a worn !>o"dered
and qUl'ucd ulltil 1806 7, Commander of this
battalion was Major von Holb:lCh, and lhe unit
was I"('cruitcd from the area or Usingell,
82 (;rmadi" 4th Battalion, lI'int"
tlrrss, t80G
This company of the battalion wore black shakos
which appear to have been of the then-<urrent
Prussian model with a copper grenade badge
under the black cockade, The huge red horsehair
plume is intercsting as both Russia and I'russia
introduced plumes of this panern into their
armiC'S in thepcriod 1809---15. TheotherK'"enadier
hallmarks were of "ery French f1a\our red
shako cords. red woollen ('paulellcs and rt"(1 sabre
no.. Prian: otOra.slt" _.dMd..-ias; doe laua' n of
lhe Lute ofWala'Ioo, n-I" -..d._budl,. a,..... of
CO\I"lIIlt _d I.Jte was aoc a 1..-1 I. llae

CO'''lH' of acdon which _u.1 ha" e.cIeared IliID I. Manha'
lhe .. lime 10 ...... Ibe 1.1 N u laI..lry from
••Wm.S lhe .. me fatt!. (N.,i_.1 A.....)' M m)
fist-strap, Additionally, the)' wore gailers with rcd
Ir'im and tasscllO the tops. As in most Continental
armies, ,he packs were made or calfskin whereas
in the British arm)' the)' were of call vas painted in
Ih(' facing colour of the regiment.
1J3 Riflmwn, 3rd Baltation, summt'r part/de duss,
During 1806 the battalion began to
receive the new pattern shakos as worn b) the 2nd
B.'lltaliOI1 but i, is likel)' thai onl), a fmction of the
men had them during the campaign period. Th("
rcd of the 3m 8<ltIalion W(Ore slighth
lighter in colour than of the 2nd B.'malion.
W.,Jlinglon signals the general advance at the dose of the
Batde ofWaterloo. ( A.-my M..s.... m)
Being riflemen they were armed (at least in part)
with rifles carried in the traditional huntsman's
manner. Their equipment was also diAcrent from
that oftheil' comrades; instead oran ammunition
pouch and pack, they wore small canridge
pouches on the front of their belts and carried
their other kit in a black leather satchel or
'RanzeTltasche'. Another variation of the uniform
was the orange thigh-knots on the grey breeches.
Instead ora sabre, the riflemen carried a straiglll-
bladed sworc!·bayonet with a green fist strap.
C Nassau: OjfiCfrS, Reilmde Jager, parade dress,
Until 180gthe ReitendeJdger (Chasseurs aCheval)
wore the helmets shown in this plate; thereafter
the black fur busby seems to have been adopted.
Officers' helmets were of the same pattern as then
worn by officers of Bavarian Chevau-lcgers with
the following: differences: the dark green plume
was worn on the right-hand side of the helmet
whereas the Bavarians wore a white plume on the
left and the oval from plate bore the cypher 'FA'
(Friedrich August, Duke of Nassau) instead of the
Bavarian 'MJK' (Maximilian J o ~ e p h , Konig).
Other ranks' helmets were very similar in appear·
ance to those of the officers but ' ....ere considerably
lower ill the crown; their crests were of black
sheepskin over a stuffed 'sausage' instcad of the
bearskin of the officers. Knote!, in his Plate 34. of
Volume V of his Uniformenkunde - Lose Blaller,
shows both officers and other ranks as having five
rows of white metal buttons on the chests of their
dolmans. This is most ullusual and it was more
conventional for other ranks to have only three
such rows. Some authorities state that each dol·
man had fifteen rows of whitc (silvcr lor officcrs)
lace across thc chest but the actual number worn
may well have depended upon the wearer's size!
As in the French light cavalry, an officer's rank
was indicated by the number and width of the
bands of silvcr (or gold) embroidery to be seen
officers of.llthe arntiu urlhe day. It ill now in the Museum
for German Hi ..lory on the Unl.,r den Linden ;n East 8"rUn,
The M1th& sadly droopin!plume obscurelllh" bl"d, r.,ath"r!I
al jUba""
A. S"TJ>ftII, an odd but .pdy .... med mUlIical ;n.l..... ntt:nl
carried by many nUlitary band" in Napoleon'. day. This
":umpl,, baDS" ... the Bavarian fortress of Coburs.
abow the cufr and around the thigh knots. The
cyphn 'FA' on the sabrctaschc is orten wrongly
reproduced as by anists who copy the old
paintings without sufficient knowledge of who
011 the ducal throne al which time. Saddles were
of the w<:MX!t:n 'Bock' SlyIe. as produced in
and Hungary hundrcdsofycars ago, and harness
was of the lighl c;I\"alry pattern and, for officers.
was dccoratlX! with liny whitt: co\\ ric shells.
D I Pion"r. HI "ifalliry Rl'gimml, 1809 13
SapPl'rs one per company) wore grenadier ap-
poilllml'nlS (red epaulclte!l. busby wilh ft.xl baR.
cords. pompon and plume), full hl·ards. :Ind th('
aprons, gauntlets and arm badg'l's sl1O\\ tl here.
'rhcir armamelll consisted of a sabre with red
(ist·slrap, carbine (usually carried slung over the
shoulder) and a heavy axe for dearing obSlacies.
/)2 0.9;((r, Rtilmdt Jagtr. 1810 (in Spain)
Evkknce tends to show thai only oflicers wore
thl' bright red and rather baggy brecches shown
here; other ranks worc thc previously Illentioned
grey ovemlls wilh a dark green side-piping and
while buttons. The old helmets have now given
way to bro\\ 11 busbies wilh dark green bags and
while; silver tassels. Other changes in the uniform
arc Ihal hussar pattern. dark green pelisses with
brown fur and sih-er lace and buttons have been
adopll'(l and the silver pouch belt has givcll way
10 a hlack aile, edged in silver ami with silver
picker equipment.
Supplies of clothing scarcely ('wr rt'ached any
of til(" men serving in Na]Xlkon"s armies in Spain
(or in any other of his campaigns come to that!)
so the troops were forced to make do "s best they
could. Thisoften meant that each battalion would
buy (or steal) cloth in the area in which they were
quartercd and would han: their tailors make it llP
into clothing on the spot.
II seems that Spain was richly endowed wilh
Franciscan abbeys al this period as man)' con-
tempomry diaries and painlingsshow French and
allied soldiers in brown trousers and gre.alcoats
during these campaigns. It is an intercsling Ell'l
Ihat Wellington's troops scarcely ('vcr suOcred
logistical disasters or shortages on the scale lhal
:\"apolcon inflicted on his men.
/)3 Trooprr, Nrilflu!e]iiger,/)(mu/rdrl'ss, 1806
This is the uniform worn by the 'Gn.'('n Hunters'
(as the)' were nicknamed) in the campaign of 1806
against Prussia when the unit W<:1lI to Berlin. It is
likely that on campaign the decorated green
breeches would have been covered (or replaced I
by mueh cheaper and marc comfortable grey
overalls bultoning up the outsides oflhe legs.
EI Ojfim (Prrmierlmlnant) oj l'o/tigmrs, parodI'
dress, 1810
The old·fashioned bicorn was replaced by the
shako for officers of fusilier and voltigeur com-
panies in about 1810. Grenadier officers then
adopted the busby worn by their men. Officers'
shakos Iwd gold cords, front plate and chin-scales
and vari-colout'ed tufted pompons according 10
company (fusiliers yellow, white, lighl blue or
black; voltigcurs dark green). Sign oroffiec (from
18060n) was thc gilt gorget with a circular ccntral
silver platc, bearing lhc crowned cypher 'FA'(?)
and the gold sword knot. Rank was indicated by
epaulettesexactly as in the French
army. The burr baldric had a gold oval plate with
til(" lion of :\"assau on it.
£2 Voltigellr Corporal, campaign dms. 1809 '3
The \'ohigeur distinctions are almost identical
with those used in the French Napoleonic army,
i.e. grcen plume with a yellow tip, grcen cords and
pompon, green woollen epauleltcs and sabre fist-
strap. Turnback badgcs in the shape of ycllow
hunting horns W(TC worn and the ammunition
pouch badge was also a distinction. Fusiliers had
neither turnback badges nor pouch badges.
Grenadiers had r('d grenades on Iheir ILlrllbacks
and a brass grcnade on their pouches. Both
;\'assau infantry rcgiments had blad fllcings since
1808; in 1809 the orange decoratiOl1to collar and
culTs was replnccd by a plain yellow (:dging as
shown here.
I-.j Dmmmu tif Fusiliers, 2"d Infantry
I 80fr '3
The shakos now worn by the llisiliers and volti·
of the Nassau infantry would seem to be of
French issue pattern. The old drummer's distinc-
tions have beel1 re(;lined.
FI Oldmhllrg: Cor/Joml, Vol/igl'lIr Company,
1808 II
After joining the Rheinbund on 14 October 1808.
the Ouch) of Oldenburg exist<:d until 13 D('Cem-
bel' 18w whcll it was dissolved by :\'apolcon and
incorporated into ),letroJXllitan France. The
uniform sho\\ n here is a mixtuTe of Prussian.
Austrian and French styles: the four fusilier and
Ihe voltigeur companies of the battalion wore
Austrian 'Jiiger' pattern hats (the fusilicrs with a
\\ hite plume, the voltigeurs dark green, while the
grenadiers wore black bearskins with a red lOp
patch certainly a little French influence. The
coat, with its twin rows of buttons, is very
Prussian. The regimental historyshowsnn N.C.O.
with th(' silver stripe on his upper arm; this is not
confirmed in any othn source. omn'rs wore the
hats of their companies but wilh a plume
following the top of the upturned brim with the
bushy end to the rear. These plumes w('l'e white
with a red tip. Thc sign of office was a silver
gorgct with gold badge and a silver aiguilctte on
the right shoulder. Officers carried curved sabres
in black and gold sheaths on sih"Cr slings from a
silver waistbeh worn o\'er the coat. The)' wore
white breech('S in straight-topped black lx,x)ts:
their coat-skirts reached to knee level.
F2 Xassall: S"geanl-major of Grenadiers, 1st
N,gimenl, 1815
This plate shows the uniform \\orn by the
)\assauers at Quatre-Bras and \Vaterloo. The
Frcnch·styk epaulettes in red and green for the
elite compani(:s (grenadiers and voltigeurs) have
now bcell replaced by 'Achsdwlilstt" or shoulder
rolls (ksign('d originally to prevent a hunter's
slung rifle from slipping on' his shoulder. The
grenadiers' Achsdwi.ilstc were red, the voltigeurs'
yellow. Voltigellrs now wore a brass hunting horn
on their shakos and had green cords, pompon,
plume and sabre-strap.
F3 Oldmhllrg: Drummu, Grmadi" Compan..", Drill
As in many otheT armies of thc day. Oldenburg
cmplo)'('d N('gTOCS for its regim('ntal band 'at
least for the grenadier company). Drummers'
badges werc the red and white 'swallows' nests' at
the tops of th(' sleeves and til(: four n·d and white
ch('vrons on each arm. Th.. ncst \\crc
rolotl-d \\ith red alld \\hite frinl;M alonlot thc
botcoms, Offic('n' bearskillJl had
(,"1 Fusili" srrl!.",nl, 12gllt 'Fr",rJl' /./l/r
Rrgimrnl, /8Ul
Tht' men of lhe old R<"Riment \\ r
senl 10 o..nabrud. in 1811 to form part of thC"
nt'\\ I) -raised' I!/!I dr Lignr", The uniform sho\\ n
11('1'(: is cOlllpl('u'l) French. Crt:nadiers had red
shako-cords and plumes. r('t"1 ('paulettes and red
sabre-knots: \'olliXeurs. )dlowo\er Kr("("11 plumes,
rorrls. grN"1l epaul..t1C"S and sabrc-
st"ll Drill and disciplirll' \\ere also French,
\\hich meant Ihal corpor.11 punishm(,111 \\a not
usnt. Officers had gold \\ore gold
/o::0rgels, and carried straiKht bladed s\\ords 011
ne Old_boof'J W_lry Rewi_t" ; -rGer_
rewi_a. Uae.le clirectl,. r m 1M N............,
u. 10 lhe Fin' World War, aad llooM wlUc.ll look o. Ih.
lradili... oflheKl..... e-.n..IAttI.. bore Brid.h Peal",.,,-
tar lNoltJe,......O"... l. 1"., The Old_b,,_f'J"" of '1411 .liII
_r" d.rk bl"e red wilh whir" .houkl" I p.; Ih"
wOl'n 0\'('1' th.. waislcoat and tinder til..
("0<11. :'\apoleon commanded that th ne\\ rt'Joti-
menu hould not r('C('iH lheir uncil the\
h.ul proHd lhemseln's in battle th(" Russiall
f.llllp"ign liberal opporltlnitiN for the i'iSUl'
of man) l"aKI . unfortunatel) ca5ualtin \\t'r("
hea\-) lhat h) the elld of 1812 then" \\ere ofl.. 11
too f("\\ men IC'fI in a n"Killlcnt to carr) thccolourll!
(;;/ 0.ffirrr. R,t1mnd Oldtttbllrg. lonl« fNlrodf tirw.
rhe Prussian influence in this uniform has no\\
cmnplctd) ulIsled the Austrian alld French
touches which were seen prior to 181 I. The shako
plate bears a 'p', the initial of the then.reigning
Duke ofOldenhurg, Peter Friedrich Ludwig. As
was fashionable in Prussia in those da)'s, the uni-
forms wcre vcry c1osel)' cut and thc slecvcs were so
long that the bottom button of the cuff Aap was
often worn open to gi\'e the hand a little more
freedom and to stop the slecve from creasing tOO
much. The plumes of the men were slightly
shoneI' and thicker than those of the officers and
the mens' shako plates and crowns were of brass.
Drummers had red swallows nests as before,
edged in white, but no chevrons on the sleeves. It
seems that all companies were composed of
musketeers and that there were no grenadier or
light companies. The shako shown in the regi.
mental history would seem to have been of the
thcn·current Pl'llssian model.
G3 Priunte, Freiwillige Jiiger Detachmel/t oj the
Regil1lml Oldtllblifg,jicld dress, /8/4
On 27 November 1813 Oldenburg finally shook
off the French )'oke and formed one battalion of
linc infantry (1st Battalion) and one battalion of
Landwehr infantry (2nd B.'l.ualion) which to-
gether constituted the 'Regiment Oldenburg'.
Attached 10 the 2nd Baualion was a detachment
of 'Frtiwilligt Jagtr' (,Volunteer hunters') or
Gentlemen Rankers. These volunteers had to be
rich enough to clothe and equip themselvcs and
were addressed by officers and N.C.O.s as 'Sic
the polite form) instead of the usual 'Du'
familiar form) which was used to the common
soldiers. The Frriwillige Jagers were armed with
rifles and s\\'ord-bayonets and their facings were
dark green instead of Ihe red of the rest of the
battalion. They were used for skirmishing duties,
and WOI'e the Landwehr cross in silver on their
caps, as did the Prussian Landwehr. Their belts
werc black whereas the rcst of the 2nd Battalion
worc white.
HI Jiigtr, 1st "!lantry RtgimLnI, 1815 (allVlIltrloo)
This figure is shown wearing Ihe white shako
("o\"er and while pouch covcr which their com-
mander. Obersl VOI1 Kruse, ordered them to re-
Helmet ofa .. (hher, Old_hurs W ...e..1 Nr.
9'. "''I...ow ia the ...ililary m.._ ..... ia the caatIe ofRaatau
ia Bad_. Local a..rvi",ed ia onuoy paru of Gu......y
10ft!; aFter Pnania weldfld thl! p ly iadepnodeal atalK
iato a aiaSl1! ••li.... ia Ihl! 187M; I!VftI today thl!re ia
...cj...Pnuaiaa ia H....."l!r ...d Sa.,.ria. Thia ..t
e...".i.a.. ed 10 recnail ia Old_hurs, d i.. hel'l"l!l btan thl!
..Id ..rthl! eroWlled ducal e......I l!;lJht-poi.. ted al"r.
move at about 3 pm on the day of Watcrloo as
they were too conspicuous a larget for the French
artillery. Badges of rank were still French but tbe
epaulettes of the Hite companies had given way to
shoulder rolls. Belts were ofbllITleather and packs
were of calfskin as they had previously been. The
shako plate was brass and as for the figure of Ihe
drummcr in Plale EI.
H2 OffictrojlhtCtntraISlaff,paradtdrtSs, 1815
This small corps of four officers kept alive thc
newly founded Iraditions of the general slan- a
body of officers designed to help a commander
manage his forces and win his baltles. On field
service the expensive white breeches would he
covered by grey overalls with a row of bUllons
dowll the outside of each kg. These four officers
(and the commander) were the only ;'\Iassau
officers 10 wear bicorns, the rest of the regimental
officers wore brown fur colpacks like the grena-
H3 OJficerqfGref/tlrlierJ. Hlltiftl/llryRegimml, 18/5
The regimental history states thal olliccrs wore
gold cpaulettes to indicate their rank in 1813 and
this is confirmed by General von Kruse's letter on
that campaign. Knotel, in the text to his Plate 8
of Volume XVI of his UlIiforml'Tlkullde, states that
in 1814 the cpaulelles of the officers in lhe
grcnadier and 'f1anquer' companies were re-
placed by red or yellow Arhsdwiilsle or wings in
the style of those worn by Ill(' officers of British
light companies. Page I II of the Regimelltal
An interesting link with the Nas..auers of Spain
and Waterloo; note the similarity between lhi ..
badge and the central device of the Nassau
·olours. It i .. the patch worn on the left
arm by present....ay members of the Gerrnan
Bundeswehr'.. 5th Panzer Divi..ion, garrisoned
in the area of the old Duchy ofNa..sau. The blue
.. hield with its yellow lion and bars is wOrn with
different coloured edge.. to indicate sub-unit.
Divillional troops have black and white striped
edges; '3thPanzer-GN!tladier Brigade has while
edges; '1th Panzer Brigade has red edges, and
15th Brigade yellow edges. This colour
code by seniority (white, red, yellow, and where
applicable blue) is the sarne as that U!led in the
Prus..i.. arrny of .8'3'
History states lhat 'the epaulettes for the men
were discarded', but does not clarify the position
of these items for officers. Being a company officer,
this man carries a straight bladed Degell on a
buff' baldric; mounted ofTicers carried curved
sabres all black and silver slings.
Ikrnays, Schicksale tlrs Gro:;sherzogllllllllJ
Knotcl, Unijormenkllllde I.ose Bliilla, Vol. V
KIIOlc!, £!nijormklwde. Vol. XVI
\"'riland, D(lrJlelbmg da KtliSfrfid, Frlll/Ziisisdlfli Armre
Nalional Army !'vlusculn, London
Slaats;lrclliv Wicsbadcn. VI II Nassau, Kricgsdcpanc-
mcn1 Nr 512, 2627
Men-at-Arms Series Titles in Print
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