The Army of Mecklenburg

1808-14

W.J.Rawkins

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Contents Brief History ...13 The Artillery ........................................11 The Cavalry ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................11 Mecklenburg-Schwerin Freiwilliger Fußjäger and Jäger zu Pferde 1813-14 .............................4 Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon....................................................................................................................................3 Organisation ..............................................................................................................................................................................15 Appendix 1 ..........16 Appendix 2 ................................................10 The Jägers.............................................................................................................................................................................................................Flags and Standards ................................................16 7th Rheinbund Regiment........Sources ...............................................................................................................13 Mecklenburg-Strelitz Husaren-Regiment 1813-15 ........................................3 7th Rheinbund Regiment..........................17 Page 2 .......................................................................................................................................................................3 The Infantry .......................

Armourer) Page 3 . Strelitz contingent (2nd Battalion prior to 1810). In 1810 a single battalion unit of Grenadier-Garde were raised as a personal bodyguard for the Grand Duke although the unit did not become part of the Rhine Contingent Regiment and failed to see active service until 1813 and in 1813 several further units were raised to fight with the allies. and a three squadron regiment of Freiwilligen Jäger-zu-Pferde and Mecklenburg-Strelitz raised a regiment of hussars with Freiwilligen Jäger detachment which were distinguished at Leipzig in 1813 by capturing the eagle of the Marines of the Imperial Guard. Mecklenburg-Schwerin supplying a regiment of Freiwilligen Jäger-zu-Fuss. Regimental Staff (Mecklenburg-Schwerin Contingent) 1 Oberst 1 Oberst-leutnant 2 Majors 1 Regiments-adjutant 1 Regiments-Quartiermeister 1 Auditeur 1 Chirurg-offizier 2 Stabs-Chirurgen (Assistant Surgeons) 2 Fahnentragen (One per battalion) 2 Fuhren (Senior Warrant Officers) 1 Korporal-Tambour 1 Korporal-Zimmerman 4 Mastercraftsmen Battalion Staff (Mecklenburg-Strelitz Contingent) 1 Oberst 1 Major 1 Bataillon-Quartiermeister 1 Auditeur 1 Chirurg-offizier 1 Fuhrer 1 Korporal-Tambour 4 Mastercraftsmen (Tailor. and the 3rd Battalion. The Infantry Organisation The Mecklenburg contingent regiment. Schwerin contingents. was organised basically on the French system the 1st and 2nd Battalions. agreeing to supply to Napoleon a combined regiment of infantry and a detachment of artillery. had a strength of four musketeer companies only. 7th Rheinbund-Regiment. Following the return from Russia the Grand Duke Frederick Franz withdrew from the Confederation of the Rhine and joined the Allies against Napoleon and during the 1813 campaign the Regiment saw service in Saxony and at Leipzig. consisting of four companies of musketeers and two elite companies. Breechesmaker. Bootmaker. In common with most German states during 1813 the Duchies raised several companies of Landwehr for home defence although these did not see active service. The regiment was styled the 7th Rheinbund-Regiment and saw initial service with the French Army in 1809 when assigned to garrison duties at Dammgarten in Prussia. grenadiers and voltigeurs. and the following year was expanded to three battalions which later became part of the 1st Corps of the Grande Armée in Russia during 1812.THE DUCHIES OF MECKLENBURG-STRELITZ AND MECKLENBURG-SCHWERIN 1808-14 Brief History The Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz joined the Confederation of the Rhine on 18th February 1808 and the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin followed suit on 24th April that year.

grenadiers and voltigeurs had pompons of scarlet and green respectively although these latter were often of the carrot-shaped pattern. The grenadiers wore fullfringed scarlet epaulettes and the voltigeur companies green epaulettes. For full parade dress the musketeers had white shako cords and flounders and the elite companies tall plumes with ball pompon at the base and shako cords of scarlet or green. of the woollen ball style. Knotel also shows the cockade as blue within yellow within red in 1808 although this normally reliable source is the only one to do so. were white for the four musketeer companies of each battalion and the elite companies. double-breasted with short tails and high upright collar. cuffs and turnbacks were faced scarlet for all battalions and musketeer companies wore dark blue shoulder straps piped scarlet. Pompons. The chin-scales were brass although in 1813 these may have been replaced for campaign wear with black leather chinstraps. attached to grenadier companies) 1 Leutnant 1 Feldwebel 1 Kompanie-Quartiermeister 1 Tambour (Hornists for the Voltigeur companies) 120 Soldaten 7th Rheinbund Regiment Headgear In 1808 the Mecklenburg infantry adopted the French style. The front of the shako was decorated with a brass 'FF' cypher badge surmounted by the national cockade of red within blue within yellow that was without the usual cockade-strap and button. dependant upon the height of the wearer. Coat The tunic was a Prussian style kollet of dark blue. The front of the coat was closed with a double row of sixteen or eighteen buttons. The collar. white metal for the Schwerin contingent and brass for the Strelitz battalion.Company Establishment 1 Kapitan 1 Unterleutnant 4 Sergeants 8 Korporals 4 Zimmermannen (Sappeurs. bell-topped shako of black felt with black leather trim at the upper and base edges and black leather peak. Page 4 .

Pouch lids were square cut and plain for the musketeers and with a brass grenade or buglehorn badge for the elite companies. however. Breeches were white for parade and summer wear until 1809. Page 5 . mid-grey with high collar and deep turned-back cuffs and were single-breasted closing with a single row of white metal or brass buttons.Breeches etc. Greatcoats were of the French pattern. and were initially worn with black. Muskets were of the French pattern with blank iron bindings and the musket slings were whitened leather. All companies wore twin shoulder belts of whitened leather to support the black leather cartridge pouch and the short French pattern sabre-briquet. Equipment From the time of the entry into the Rhine-Confederation the infantry adopted equipment of the French pattern. Packs were brown hide with whitened leather straps and brass buckles and fittings. The sabres had brass hilts and scabbards and bayonet sheaths were black leather with brass heel and fittings. shorter knee-length gaiters of black with cloth-covered buttons were introduced in 1809 and the white breeches were replaced with breeches of dark grey for wear during campaign. and those of the elite companies may have been decorated with epaulettes of company colour as was the fashion in the French army. over-the-knee gaiters with brass buttons. carried in a double frog with the bayonet. scarlet for the grenadiers and green for the light companies. and sabre-straps were white for the musketeers.

O. Feldwebel Sergeant Korporal Kompanie-Quartiermeister-Korporal Two gold or silver diagonal stripes above each cuff. The musketeer N. Sleeve insignia followed the pattern worn by the French non-commissioned-officers and the tapes were either gold or yellow. according to button colour. the senior grades being distinguished by a gold or silver band to the upper edge of the shako. The non-commissioned-officers adapted rank distinctions of the French pattern in 1808. worn above the pompon with the tip blue and as for the other ranks with the upper tip blue for the N.Officers and N.s had a white pompon with the upper third dark blue and the non-coms of the elite companies had pompons of the company colour with the upper-third dark blue.C.C. Page 6 .O.s had shako cords of mixed red.s of the elite companies.O. Full dress tall plumes were white for the musketeer N. Two yellow or white diagonal stripes above each cuff.O. As Korporal with inverted gold or silver chevron on upper right sleeve. N.C. As above.C. white and blue for all non-commissioned-officers. or silver or white according to button colour and the epaulettes of the elite companies of the Schwerin contingent were worked through with silver thread.s.O.s of the musketeer companies had shoulder straps as for the other ranks.s.C. Sabre-straps were mixed red. Korporals and Sergeants having shakos as for the men.C.O. one stripe only. those of the Korporals being as for the men. white and blue. and all N.

s wore silver or gold lace trim to the upper and leading edges of the collar and upper and trailing edges of the cuffs. The front of the shako was decorated with a gilded sunburst plate embossed in the centre with the arms of the Duchy and the cockade had a gold outer rim instead of yellow. Leutnant As above. fine fringe to epaulette. in the form of an oak-leaf garland for the senior grades. Shako cords for all officers were mixed gold. Officers' coats were similar in pattern to those of the other ranks with longer tails extending to mid-thigh length and were dark blue with collar. and the shako badge was the Mecklenburg coat of arms with ox and griffin supporters in gilt and the peaks were trimmed with gilded brass. N. The officers of the Strelitz battalion had a shako of similar pattern with gold lace edging at the top. Major Epaulettes with heavy fringe on the right.s would appear to have continued to wear the above distinctions. Page 7 . white metal chin scales and the peak was trimmed with white metal.The officers of the Schwerin contingent wore the same pattern shako as the other ranks with silver lace trim to the upper edges. blue and scarlet and the cockade was as for the officers of the Schwerin battalions. Unterleutnant As above. Officers were distinguished by epaulettes of the Prussian style with heavy metal crescents and fringes for the senior grades and contre-epaulettes with metal crescents for the junior company officers. Officers' Epaulettes 1808-13 Oberst Two fringed epaulettes of gold or silver with heavy bullion fringe. In 1813 with the Mecklenburg troops lined with the Allies a move was made to revert to the Prussian style of rank insignia. The traditional waist-sash was worn by all officers and was gold with alternate horizontal lines of red and dark blue.C. possibly tipped with the company colour for the officers of the elites and the field grade officers pompons were gold with full white plume for parade dress. The Strelitz officers wore a large oval. All officers wore a tall plume of dark blue with the lower third scarlet.O. four of each. with reversed colour straps. Oberstleutnant As above. Chin scales were gilt and shako cords were mixed gold.C. cuffs and turnbacks facings of scarlet and all buttons were gilt or silver. Officers of the elite companies wore silver grenade or bugle patches on the turnbacks as for the French army and epaulettes of rank followed the French pattern and were gold or silver according to the button colour. however. Kapitan As above. worked through and was of the kummerbund pattern without the usual knot and trailing tassels. blue and scarlet. A1l other distinctions remained as previous. scarlet stripe on the strap. double stripe on strap. Adjutant As Kapitan only reversed. although most had been issued with the new insignia by the end of the 1814 campaign. many officers and N.O. contre-epaulette on the left. gilt buckle-plate at the front of the sash embossed with the Ducal coat of arms. Junior officers had pompons of silver surmounted by a tall plume for parade of black.

whitened leather waistbelt with large silver buckle plate.Officers' breeches were white for parade and mid-grey for campaign and were worn with black leather boots. according to button colour and the 'FF' cypher appeared in the rear corners. Narrow ‘Hungarian’ style waistbelts were worn by the officers of the elite companies and Strelitz battalion often decorated with gilt or silvered scales or lace and the officers of the musketeers companies of the Schwerin battalions wore a wider. The officers of the musketeers companies of the Schwerin battalions were armed with the straight-bladed epée and the elite company officers and those of the Strelitz contingent carried the curved sabre. In 1813 dark grey overall trousers of the tight Prussian pattern say have been issued to officers for campaign wear over the breeches and boots. Greatcoats were dark grey and double-breasted with two rows of white metal or brass buttons. During campaign most officers carried the sword or sabre on a white or black leather shoulder belt. shaped at the upper edge and trimmed with gold or silver lace and tassels. Swords had plated hilts of the button colour and scabbards were black leather with gilt or silver plated heel and fittings. red and blue tassels. Field officers were mounted and the shabraques were dark blue with squared front and rear corners and squared pistol holster covers and the edges of the shabraque were trimmed with a double width of silver or gold lace. Page 8 . Officers' sabre-straps were as for the sash with gold knots and mixed gold.

however. Equipment was as for the men with scarlet sabre-strap and the pouch was decorated with a brass crossed-axe badge and a short carbine was carried in place of the musket. other authorities do not confirm this.Musicians The drummers wore the same basic uniform as the men except that scarlet plumes were worn by the musketeer drummers and either scarlet or scarlet and white shako cords. yellow and blue. yellow and blue mixed cords. Musicians wore a single shoulder belt that supported the sabre-briquet that was their only armament. Page 9 . scarlet plume worn on the left side of the bonnet and scarlet cords and flounders. One source suggests that the drummers of the musketeer companies may have worn swallowsnest epaulettes at the shoulders of dark blue trimmed with white or yellow lace. The sappeurs carried the traditional axe and wore a full beard. The hornists of the voltigeur companies were uniformed as the other ranks with a scarlet tip to the plume and horns were brass with red. The coat was as for the grenadiers except that white crossed axe patches were worn on the upper sleeves of both arms and possibly on the turnbacks and a whitened leather apron was worn over the coat. the former having a brass drumstick plate on the breast and drums were brass with the hoops painted alternate stripes of red. Drum carriages and aprons were whitened leather. Zimmermannen The sappeurs were uniformed as for the grenadier companies of the Schwerin contingent but wore a bearskin bonnet of similar design to that worn by the French chasseurs with scarlet top patch decorated with either a white cross or white grenade badge.

The collar was decorated with two white lace battons at the leading edge and the cuff-flaps had three points and three buttons which were also decorated with white lace battons.s All distinctions as for the Schwerin infantry with lace silver or white and N. Equipment All as for the grenadiers of the Confederation regiment. Officers wore black plumes.C. turnbacks and ‘Brandenburg’ cuffs with dark blue cuffflaps. scarlet plume and cords of white. Fullfringed epaulettes of scarlet were worn at the shoulders.s plumes scarlet tipped white. Page 10 . Officers and N. white for the senior grades.Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon Headgear The Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon wore a bearskin bonnet of similar pattern to that of the infantry Zimmermannen. and all lace was silvered including the decorative battons.O. Drummers and Zimmermannen All as for those of the Confederation Regiment.O. black-brown fur with scarlet patch decorated with a white lace cross. Coat The coat followed the pattern worn by the Confederation Regiment and was dark blue with white metal buttons and scarlet collar. Breeches were white and worn with black knee-length gaiters with white metal buttons.C. Breeches etc.

blue and red national cockade.The Jägers Mecklenburg-Schwerin Freiwilliger Fußjäger and Jäger zu Pferde 1813-14 Headgear The foot and mounted jägers were uniformed in an almost identical style. square-cut cuffs and turnbacks. Plumes were black for both units. both wore the shako with white metal oval plate embossed with the coat of arms. Coat The coat was a dark green kollet as worn by the infantry with brass buttons and scarlet collar. the latter having a wide scarlet stripe on the outer seam and were worn with black knee-length gaiters for the Fußjäger and Page 11 . Breeches etc. the collar and cuffs decorated with two yellow lace battons. brass chin-scales and yellow. Breeches were dark green for both the infantry and cavalry units.

C. Equipment The Fußjäger were equipped basically as the infantry. scarlet shako cords and trumpets were brass with scarlet cords. Horse Furniture Saddle covers for the Jäger zu Pferde were black sheepskin with scarlet dogtooth edging and all harness was black leather with brass fittings and buckles.C. Officers and N. however. and although many of the jäger received the rifles with which the unit should have been armed many would also appear to have been issued with the infantry pattern musket.O. Dark green overall trousers would also appear to have been worn by the mounted troops with black leather inserts and scarlet stripe on the outer seam. The Jäger zu Pferde were equipped with a black leather pouch belt which supported a small black leather cartridge pouch and sabres were supported by an narrow hussar-style black leather belt. Officers would appear to have been distinguished in the Prussian manner as were the N.s. these would seem to have followed the pattern of the drummers of infantry and the trumpeters of the Jäger zu Pferde would appear to have worn black plumes with scarlet tips. however. both black leather and whitened leather belting would appear to have been worn. Musicians Few details are available concerning the uniforms of the musicians.O.s and all rank lace was gold or yellow.'Hungarian' style boots for the Jäger zu Pferde with shaped tops and yellow lace trim and tassels. probably due to a general shortage of equipment. Carbines were of the short light cavalry pattern. Page 12 .

Page 13 . brass buttons and barrel sash of black and yellow. The front of the shako was decorated with a brass ‘Wendish’ cross. The Freiwilligen-JägerHusaren company wore the same pattern shako with dark green cords and plume. Dolman The dolman was of traditional hussar style and was black with black collar and pointed cuffs piped yellow and the breast was decorated with fifteen rows of yellow braid and three rows of brass buttons. The Freiwilligen-Jäger wore a dolman of the same pattern of dark green with black collar and cuffs and yellow braid and lace.The Cavalry Mecklenburg-Strelitz Husaren-Regiment 1813-15 Headgear The hussars wore a shako of similar pattern to that of the infantry with black leather trim at the upper and lower edges and black leather stegen at the sides. A barrel sash of alternate black and yellow vertical sections was worn at the waist. Shako cords were yellow and the chin-scales brass. although a black leather chinstrap would appear to have been worn for campaign. surmounted by the national cockade and a tall black plume was worn for parade.

Pelz The pelz. was black with yellow braid and brass buttons and white fur trim for the regiment and the Freiwilligen-Jäger had a dark green pelz with yellow braid and black fur trim.O. The non-commissioned officers had gold or yellow lace trim to collar and cuffs and the plumes were tipped white. Breeches etc.s. Page 14 . Sabres had brass hilts and black leather scabbards with brass fittings and sabre-straps were black for the regiment and green for the FreiwilligenJäger company. dark blue plumes with the lower third scarlet and the distinctive shako cords and sabre straps. A black leather sabretache was suspended from the belt by treble slings and the front was decorated with a brass crowned 'C' monogram.C. Waistbelts were of the narrow light cavalry pattern with brass ‘S’ buckles and supported the curved sabres by double slings. Horse Furniture The hussars had a black sheepskin saddle cover with sky blue dogtooth edgings and the Freiwilligen-Jäger black sheepskins with green edging. Musicians Musicians had black plumes with scarlet tips and scarlet shako cords and the trumpets were brass with scarlet cords. Officers had all lace and braid gold instead of yellow. Officers and N. Equipment Pouchbelts were black leather with brass fittings and supported a small black leather pouch with shaped lid. The Freiwilligen-Jäger hussars wore dark green breeches with yellow knots and the boots were trimmed with green lace and tassels. or pelisse. The hussar breeches were sky blue with large yellow lace Hungarian knots on the thighs and were worn with black leather Hungarian boots with shaped tops with yellow lace trim and tassels. Carbines were of the short light cavalry pattern with brass fittings. All metalwork was gilded and the pouch belt was decorated with a gilt picker and chains. All harness was black leather with brass fittings.

Battery Establishment (Approx.) 1812 1 Major 1 Kapitan 1 Leutnant 1 Unterleutnant 4 Sergeants 1 Wachtmeister (Warrant officers) 8 Korporals 1 Quartiermeister 1 Tambour 64 Oberkannonier (Gunner 1st Class) 32 Kannonier Uniforms were basically as for the musketeers of the Schwerin battalions except that the shakos had black pompons and plumes and the coat had black facings instead of scarlet. scarlet and blue cords. The officers of artillery were armed with the curved sabre with silvered hilt and black leather scabbard with silvered fittings and the white leather shoulderbelt was decorated with an oval silver badge on the breast embossed with the Ducal coat of arms. Officers and N. Sabrestraps were black. Page 15 . Officers' epaulettes were silver and waist sashes were as for the infantry. pompon and metal work. The battery was organised and equipped in the French pattern and ordnance was painted dark green.O. by 1812 this had been expanded to a full battery of six field guns and two howitzers.C.The Artillery The artillery contingent initially consisted of two regimental guns attached to the Schwerin battalion however. Buttons were white metal and all other details of uniform and equipment was as for the musketeers. black plumes and gold. Drummers were distinguished in the same manner as those of the musketeers with plume black tipped scarlet and scarlet shako cords.s were as for the musketeer officers and non-coms with all rank distinctions silver or white and officers' shakos were decorated with silver lace trim.

3rd left. The coat of arms showed a yellow field with black ox head with scarlet horns and ring . 4th left. blue field edged silver.2nd left. yellow field with black ox head with scarlet horns and ring. scarlet field with gold griffin. Staves were natural wood with a leaf shaped pikehead pierced with the cypher and crown in brass. The upper right section had a blue field with gold griffin. The coat of arms supported by a gold griffin and black oxen and mounted on a green field with gold ribbons. scarlet field with silver cross surmounted by a gold crown. The flags measured approximately 110 by 90 cm and were identical on obverse and reverse. The border and corner cyphers and crowns were gold with scarlet lining to the crowns and the central motif consisted of an oval shield with gold edging surmounted by a gold crown with scarlet lining. Page 16 . The flags were of identical pattern except that the one issued to the 1st Battalion was white and the 2nd Battalion flag had a field of mid-blue.Appendix 1 . scarlet field with silver arm. 2nd right. The Garde-Grenadier-Bataillon received a white standard almost identical to the above with the central shield rectangular with scalloped edges and the corner cyphers enclosed within oak and laurel wreaths. The banner to the left was white and the right banner blue and the stands of pikes natural colours.Flags and Standards 7th Rheinbund Regiment The Mecklenburg infantry received two flags that had previously been carried by the former Mecklenburg Regiments of 1797. lower right.

Knotel Handbuch der Uniformekunde . museums and collections in many parts of Europe over a period of many years during the compiling of the authors notes and much is owed to their kindness and co-operation. Page 17 . Tritt. North. ‘80. Weiland. Beaufort.R.Appendix 2 .Over Various editions of Tradition Magazine. Hourtoulle. This small work makes no pretence at being definitive and errors and omissions are inevitable but it is hoped that this booklet may be of interest and assistance to those interested in the Napoleonic armies.Knotel & Seig Napoleons German Allies: Nassau & Oldenburg .Sources It would be almost impossible to list all sources used in the research of this work as much invaluable assistance has been given by the owners and staffs of many libraries.Beck Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars . Special thanks are due to the National Army Museum for facilities and to the widow of the late Hans Strauss for the many reproductions of rare illustrations which were supplied and formed much of the basic research for this work. Uniformes and other periodicals. WJ. Rigo. The Plates and Illustrations of: Knotel. Augsburger Bilder.von Pivka Geschichte der Grossherzoglich Hessichen Fahnen und Standarten . Published Works: Uniformekude .

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