Saturday, 21 July 2007

Frundsberg in the Napoleonic Wars

Although shrouded in legend the origins of the Neuchatel battalion in French service started with the remnants of the once glorious Frundsberg Lieb Regiment, being incorporated into the "French" army. The professionalism of the Officers, NCOs and remaining other ranks established the reputation of the battalion as it was made up to strength with various recruits from the Rhineland and Switzerland. The uniform adopted was a modernised of that of the Lieb Regiment. As many are aware, during the later wars of the Empire the Neuchatel battalion served with the French Imperial Guard. One little known action was are Munchstat where Colonel Schmidt, the last Frundsberg commander of the regiment, led the assault that cracked the centre of the Prusso-Russian army when they were caught with their backs to the river Nieder-Spree. In 1814 the remains of the battalion returned to Neuchatel, Switzerland and the last few Frundsbergers returned home.

The Frei Stat was incorporated into Westphalia so most Frundsbergers served in the Westphalian army both as part of the Grande Armee and in Spain. In particular the Frundsberg squadron of the 1st Cuirassiers claimed to have been the first troops into the the Raveski redoubt at Borodino.

By 1815 the Frei Stat had been incorporated into the Prussian Rhineland provinces, and a battalion was part of the 22nd Regiment, dressed in various pattern uniforms but recognisable by their common yellow facings. They fought at Ligny and the Plancenoit (where they fell back before their old comrades of the Imperial Guard)

1 comment:


Great blog. Know anything of the Hesse regiment in the British forces?