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"Flags for Lutzows Freikorps" Topic

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GeorgBuchner20 Jan 2023 2:34 a.m. PST

As the subject indicates i am this time just trying to work out what flags Lutzow's Freikorp army may have had – I presume they had no official flag, but unofficially may have had a few different ones? would anyone know of any examples of these?

I have seen some pics of miniatures of the lutzow freikorps with 3 different flags

Porthos20 Jan 2023 3:42 a.m. PST

For which period ? Here is a short history – during the 100 days they were "regular": link

GeorgBuchner20 Jan 2023 4:11 a.m. PST

oh sorry – for 1813

Murvihill20 Jan 2023 4:29 a.m. PST
von Winterfeldt20 Jan 2023 7:08 a.m. PST

none – but wargamers usually go fantasy.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2023 8:04 a.m. PST

As I understand it, there was a royal order to send all unofficial standards home about March 1813. As the 25th IR, they'd have rated one in 1815, but they weren't issued to any of the newly-created regulars in time for the Waterloo Campaign.

I've seen a lot of guesswork flags for 1813-14, but I've never seen a contemporary description or drawing. Mind you, it's not impossible: they weren't exactly marching under the royal eye, and they certainly did unauthorized things to their uniforms, indicating a relaxed attitude in such matters. Baron Vietmeyer used to use a black standard with a script white "FREIHEIT" written on it--but if he had a source for that, he never shared it with me.

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2023 9:02 a.m. PST

I'm bewildered by flags. One the one hand they were essential tools to enable the unit to align properly, know where the commander was and tell the C-in-C who was where facing which way. On the other hand, they weren't so important that Landwehr, Freikorps etc needed them at all. They could be told to manage without a colour at all, and if they had one anyway, well they could jolly well hand it in.

Which was it? If they were necessary everybody needed one; if not, nobody did. Were they deliberately held back from units thought at greater risk of losing them?

GeorgBuchner20 Jan 2023 2:04 p.m. PST

very interesting yes, i am perplexed by the role flags had too somewhat
i do like that recruitment banner the Freikorps had certainly but as mentioned it was not shown in combat, though of course whne it comes ot the world of fictional miniature wargaming, having a flag can just help overall with the look and organising of figures

14Bore20 Jan 2023 2:31 p.m. PST

I don't get the French and Americans in Revolution war used fanions for marking units yet Prussians or Russians in my 40 years of reading didn't. As said they were useful to mark troops for the commanders.
I don't have any flags in Reserve regiments, only a couple in Landwehr. Thought maybe on my Lutzow's FreiKorps but do not ( had to check)

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2023 6:09 p.m. PST

I use flags as unit markers, in that militia units don't have them, regulars do, and Guards have two per battalion. This is just visual shorthand obviously. But they were either useful, in which case all units should have had one, or they weren't. Which was it?

alan in canberra21 Jan 2023 2:37 a.m. PST

Perhaps not that they were not important, more that they had not been earned yet as per the regulars?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 3:35 a.m. PST

"Were they deliberately held back from units thought at greater risk of losing them?"

Yes, of course they were. Remember that flags, cannon and prisoners were the proofs of victory, and watch His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of the French, insisting that only eagles "counted" while methodically reducing the number of eagles carried in the field--and, of course, counting every scrap of cloth taken from his enemies.

If I had to guess, I'd say "unofficial" standards of one sort or another were common among units formally deprived but still needing to be in formation, and I have something for each body of formed infantry and cavalry if I can possibly justify it, but there is certainly evidence to the contrary.

"No generalization is worth much--including this one."

von Winterfeldt21 Jan 2023 7:23 a.m. PST

It was an order of the Prussian King, so they could not carry it in the field and as far as I know they weren't – Oliver Schmidt will be your man about the New Prussian Army, neither the Landwehr, nor Frei Korps did carry colours – wargamers like them regardless and love gigantic cavalry standards and colours. So in case you persue historical evidence none, otherwise pick and chose whatever you like.

Valmy9221 Jan 2023 8:53 a.m. PST

Also the reserve regiments?
Did even the line regiments carry them (1-11?)

14Bore21 Jan 2023 11:00 a.m. PST

Line Regiments should have them as far as I know

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2023 1:14 p.m. PST

As vW said, it was an order from the king. "Regular" infantry, kürassiere and dragoons carried them (except the new regiments raised in 1815, which didn't get their flags until after the 100 Days, and 2nd Silesians, who'd lost their colours and hadn't received new ones).

An AKO in October 1813 stated any unofficial flag- in other words, any flag not presented to a regiment by order and in the name of the king- was to be confiscated (and possibly destroyed). That included any "official" flags carried by reserve battalions of regular regiments (some sources say some reserve battalions received a laid up Retiererfahne, some say they didn't- so it's a coin toss).

GeorgBuchner21 Jan 2023 1:58 p.m. PST

cool well i think i will leave flags off the freikorps maybe but as my project is a 3mm paper one, i can also draw some flags as optional to add if one wants, – in which case i think i would just go with the recruitment flag.

historically though i am personally happy to not use them and if the poem from Theodor Koerner "Luetzows wilde verwegene Jagd" it sounds like the Freikorp were acting more like cossack style forces carry out special actions, ambushes and disruptions to supply lines etc rather than meeting the french on the open field, though that also did happen i presume – i havent read their full history yet

i just love that poem and the tune it is set to

14Bore21 Jan 2023 2:28 p.m. PST

Not sure if I ever ran across it or not, so join me if you haven't

GeorgBuchner21 Jan 2023 6:07 p.m. PST
von Winterfeldt21 Jan 2023 10:44 p.m. PST

line regiments and guards carried them, even this time grenadier battalions, in case I remember correctly Füsilier battalions did not, so only musketeer and grenadier battalions in the New Prussian army.

Reserve regiments did not and when they became line units, they received colours, after the 1815 campaign.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2023 3:12 a.m. PST

in case I remember correctly Füsilier battalions did not

According to Feibig (if I remember correctly) the fusilier battalions of the Grenadier regiments were allowed to keep their flags, and a decision was made to present flags to the other regiments' fusilier battalions. But apart from the Guard Regiments this didn't happen until after the 100 Days. I can't remember what flags the Guard fusilier battalions carried, whether they were laid up Retiererfahnen from the musketeer battalions or the standard Model 1810 flags, as issued to the new regiments and 2nd Silesian Regiment.

Oliver Schmidt22 Jan 2023 3:42 a.m. PST

The Füsilier-Bataillon of the 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß received a flag in January 1814. This was one of the four new flags which had been presented to the 1st and 2nd battalion of this regiment in 1808. (As for all infantry battalions, only two of these, one per battalion, had been taken into the field in 1813.)

The Füsilier-Bataillon of the 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß received a flag after 28 September 1814, namely the one carried formerly by of the Reserve-Bataillon of this regiment, which had been dissolved after the end of the 1813/1814 campaigns. This flag had been one of the flags of the Leib-Infanterie-Regiment. However, in Mai 1815, this guard fusileer battalion received a new flag of the Kolberg pattern instead.

(from: Geschichte der preußischen Fahnen und Standarten, vol. 1, pp. 143-149)

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2023 7:14 a.m. PST

The prohibition on Freikorps and Landwehr regiments carrying flags makes more sense if even the regulars didn't have them.

Mark J Wilson22 Jan 2023 8:57 a.m. PST

The idea that only good troops got flags so they didn't lose them is rather undone only a few years earlier. 7YW Prussian Grenadiers had a small stand of pikes in lieu of any standards.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2023 5:38 p.m. PST

Thanks for clearing that up, Oli.

namely the one carried formerly by of the Reserve-Bataillon of this regiment, which had been dissolved after the end of the 1813/1814 campaigns

So that's one Reserve battalion that definitely carried a flag. Did they lay the flag up in accordance with the AKO about unauthorised flags? (Nearly all my references- bar a copy of the DS 1737 reprint- are in boxes, in storage, and electronic copies are incomplete.)

Oliver Schmidt23 Jan 2023 3:30 a.m. PST

Dal it seems for this battalion, Reserve-Bataillon des 2. Garde-Regiments zu Fuß, ordered to be formed on 4 July 1813, it was authorised. At least the Geschichte der preußischen Fahnen und Standarten, and the regimental history, don't tell otherwise.

Maybe this came naturally, as the battalion of the Colbergsches Infanterie-Regiment, which was used to form the 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß owned (like every other musketeer battalion) two flags, of which it was (like every other musketeer battalion) to take only one into the field. So they gave the flag to the depot/reserve battalion.

In the first half of 1812, a Combinirtes Garde-Bataillon" was formed from the four guard infantry battalions. On 20 Febrary 1813 it was renamed Reserve-Batailon des Garde-Regiments und Normal-Bataillons. During the 1813 spring campaign, it was used as personal guard for the king ("Königswache"). I didn't find any info on whether they had a flag. There would have been one at disposition, as the two musketeer battalions of the Garde-Regiment zu Fuß had four flags. One they gave to the Normal-Bataillon, leaving one surplus flag.

The two reserve battalions of the guards were ordered to be dissolved on 22 August 1814.

As for the flags of the twelve reserve regiments, I didn't come accross any reference that they carried surplus flags from the line regiments.

Personal logo Dal Gavan Supporting Member of TMP23 Jan 2023 4:54 p.m. PST

Thanks for expanding it, Oli. It's possible that reserve battalions of the line regiments may have carried a spare Retiererfahne of the stammregiment, but there's no evidence they did. It could be just a mistaken assumption that because the Reserve battalion of 2. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß had a Retiererfahne, all the line regiments may/must have as well.

It's so much easier to research French flags of the SYW…. :-)

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