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"Bavarian Line Infantry Organization 1809 " Topic

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grahambeyrout Inactive Member28 Mar 2018 2:51 a.m. PST

Can anyone help me with information about the Bavarian army of 1809. I am confused. My limited sources, or at least my interpretation of them seem to give conflicting information. My prime source is Rawkins book (2014) which seems to suggest that the reorganization of the line infantry to conform to the French 6 company structure was incomplete. The company establishment of page 22 for the period 1806-1811 gives each company of grenadiers and fusilers has having 180 men which seems to include ncos and 20 schutzen. There seems to be no separate light company. I assume (I cannot find it stated explicitly) that there were 4 fusilier and I grenadier coys . Am I right?

Artilleryman28 Mar 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

Here's my translation from the relevant part of the Bunde, Gaertner and Stein book (Heere und Waffe 15). It should give you what you need.

From 12 May 1803, the line infantry regiments were divided into two battalions, each of 5 companies including a grenadier company. As of 31 Mar 1804, the strength of a line infantry regiment was 2692 man, with the strength of a Light Infantry Battalion set at a half, namely 1,352 men.

In this organisation the strength of a company was 1 Capitan, or Captain, 1 Lieutenant, 2 sub-lieutenants, 1 Feldwebel, 1 Fourier, two Sergeanten, six Corporale, 2 drummers, 12 Gefreiter, and 238 Gemeiner. By regulation, a line infantry regiment in would deploy 2000 men into the field and a Light Infantry Battalion 1000 men, the balance of personnel remaining with the replacement depot. From April 1804, the line infantry regiment's depot was two companies formed from the remaining soldiers and the light infantry battalion's one reserve company.

Each line regiment had 4 and each light battalion 2 cadets included in the number of their non-commissioned officers or privates.

As of 31 Mar 1804 each company had one Zimmerman and 20 Schützen, and six extra Schützen-Corporals were appointed in the battalion. Among the 10 hautboists of the regiment or battalion, two horn players were made responsible for Schützen signals.

As of 31 3 1804 each infantry regiment carried one Liebfahne, with the 1st battalion and one Ordinärefahne with the second.

The reorganization of the Bavarian army in six brigades from the year 1805 led to a reduction of company strength to 155 soldiers and a simultaneous reduction in the number of companies per battalion. Line infantry regiments now had one grenadier and 3 Fusilier companies per battalion, while light infantry battalions had 4 companies. The resulting ‘extra' soldiers were assigned to the newly built IR Nr 13 and the depot companies.

The strength of each company was increased to 185 soldiers by an Army Command dated 15 Sep 1806. Each company was now divided into four sections, each of 20 files, and 5 Schützen.

By the command of 10 Oct 1806 the regiments were allowed 'at most' two women per company in the field.

From 12 Aug 1808 each line infantry regiment had 2 grenadier companies and 6 fusilier companies. The light infantry battalions had four companies. The strength of a company was now fixed at 180 men.

The lessons of the Plank report were taken into account by the Army Order of 9 Mar 1809, with an increase in the Schützen to a fifth of the company strength (i.e. 36 Schützen) and was achieved by a supplement of qualified men from the companies. Also, each battalion received another sub-lieutenant as a second Schützen officer and a bugler. Each company also received two Vice corporals for the assigned Schützen.

Due to the number of troops at war from 1809, on 8 May 1809, King Maximilian Joseph ordered the establishment of six reserve battalions from the remaining reserve companies for the purpose of national defense. Each of these consisted of four companies, each with 3 officers, 1 Feldwebel, 1 Furier, 2 Sergeanten, 6 Corporale, 2 Tambours, 10 Gefreite und 110 Gemeine. The staff of a reserve battalion had one battalion chief, one Adjutant, one Quartermaster, one battalion surgeon, one intern, one battalion Tambour and 2 instructors with cadets.

During the ceasefire between the battles of Aspern / Essling and Wagram, the King ordered an increase in the number of reserve battalions to 12 on 25 Jun 1809. At the same time the old regimental depots were dissolved and the personnel assigned to the appropriate reserve battalion. From this point on each line infantry regiment was to field a reserve battalion to 4 fusilier companies – they were to be equal in strength to the companies of the field battalions. The order assigned the reserve battalions were assigned the status of the Erste Klasse National Guard.

By 1 Oct 1810 the existing designation of companies by their commanders' names were abolished and the companies were numbered. Each battalion was to designate a company as a reserve company.

By the Army Order of 29 Apr 1811 there was a completely new organization of regimental and battalion structures. The existing 12 line infantry regiments would now have 2 field battalions of 6 companies (1 grenadier, 1 Schützen-, 4 fusilier companies) and one reserve battalion to 4 companies. Each company consisted of 150 men, the regiment reaching a target strength of 2,436 men. The existing six light infantry battalions had one Karabinier-, one Schützen and 4 Fusilier companies plus 2 Reserve Fusilier companies, each about 150 men strong. The battalion thus had a total of 1224 men. (Table on P9 gives complements.)

Among the Gefrieter in each line infantry regiment were 16 Zimmerman. The light infantry battalions had 8.

The first field battalion was commanded by the colonel, the lieutenant colonel commanded the second field battalion and the major the reserve battalion. The second major was stationed close to the regimental commander, in order to be able to quickly replace fallen staff officers.

By a command of Apr 1811, a color guard was formed from an Unteroffizier and a Gemeinde from each fusilier company and a Zimmerman Unteroffizier from the grenadier company.

With the loss of so many troops in Russia, on 6 Mar 1813 the King ordered the reorganisation of all infantry units. Those units still existing in the mobile corps were to form one battalion regiments, the second battalions were formed directly from the reserve battalions of their regiments. Each battalion was to include six companies, including 1 grenadier and 1 Schützen company, with a strength of 121 men each. In the field, light infantry battalions were to form three companies, including a half with Schützen and a half with carabineers. From the reserves of the light infantry battalions a further 3 battalions were formed also with a mixed-Schützen-Carabinier Company.

In the course of further upgrading of the new Bavarian troops, the order of 31 May 1813 called for the formation of as many 'mobile companies' as possible, each of 100 to 150 men from all the reserve battalions of line infantry regiments and reserve divisions of light infantry battalions.

The Bavarian infantry c.1809 fought in the field with 1 grenadier company and 3 fusilier companies per battalion. The fusilier companies included schützen. The ratio was 5 grenadiers to 12 fusiliers to 3 schützen.
I believe that in the "French" organization phase the light company of light battalions were rifle armed while the rest of the battalion were musket armed.
The source states that in 1810 the Bavarians went to the six company structure the schützen were stripped from their parent companies and were formed into the light company.

From 12.8.1880 each line infantry regiment was to consist of 2 grenadier and 6 fusilier companies, the light infantry battalions of 4 companies. The firepower of a company has now been set at 180 men. "

So a regiment of 2 battalions 2 grenadiers and 6 Füsiliercompanies, – light infantry battalion – only 4 companies

and for 1809

The need for skirmishers was to be met by the army order of March 9, 1809, in which the increase of the shooters to one-fifth of the company's strength (that is, thirty-six riflemen) was ordered by supplementing with capable men from the companies. Therefore, each battalion was assigned a second lieutenant as a second officer and a hornist, and each company two vice corporals for the protection servi
According to that – also the grenadiers must have had Schützen, as mentioned elsewhere not all had at this time the Stutzen or rifle.

from 1811 onwards

"A completely new organization of the regimental or battalion structures came about by army order on April 29, 1811. The existing 12 line infantry regiments were now to have 2 field battalions of 6 companies each (1 grenadier, 1 infantry, 4 fusilier company)."

In case I remember correctly in the Schützen company of line infantry 80 were armed with the rifle and for the light infantry 40 to add on from the 36 Schützen in 1809 – only about 6 to 7 were armed with the rifle, I don't know what kind of fire arm the rest did carry, when they had 20 Schützen those carried a so called flinte – a rifled musket (I couldn't find any detailed information about that) – in 1811 then 80 Schützen of the line Schützen company did carry the rifle (which was a copy of the Austrian jäger rifle or stutzen)
Finally, to give a synopsis
up to March 1809
20 Schützen per company with the ominous Scharfschützengewehr
36 Schützen (a fifth with rifle / Stutzen)
in 1811
a schützencompany, for the line 80 with rifles for the light battalion 40 with rifle the rest with muskets.

summerfield28 Mar 2018 4:54 a.m. PST

We must always need to be careful over the adminstrative structure and tactical structure.

The Bavarians like other German States used the third rank as re-inforcements and to act as light infantry.

The rifles would be stripped away and formed a adhoc "company" under the most senior officer normally a 1st Lieutenant.

For wargaming purposes put the rifles into a company.

grahambeyrout Inactive Member29 Mar 2018 1:01 a.m. PST

Thank you gentlemen.You have both been very helpful. I now have a much better idea of the situation, and what to do about the schutzen. I also have a nasty feeling that I may have to invest in some more books and revise my schoolboy German!

von Winterfeldt30 Mar 2018 3:59 a.m. PST

for more information please read

TMP link

especially the instructions of Deroy

grahambeyrout Inactive Member30 Mar 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

Thank you von Winterfeldt, somehow I missed the Jan thread. (like others I regret this site's loss of search capability) Certainly there is a lot to take in

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