Saturday, 12 June 2010

Hab Acht!

A British sergeant would have shouted "Atten-shun!" But in the French infantry regiment of Royal Deux-Pont the commanding language was German - because all officers and the rank and file came from the duchy of Zweibrücken (which means "Two-bridges"). This duchy was scattered over what is now the Palatinate and the Saar Region in Germany and Lorraine in France. The ruler, Duke Christian von Zweibrücken, obviously thought it more opportune to provide a regiment for the French crown than for the weak Holy Roman Empire. In a time before the French revolution, before nationalism had been invented, nobody would have objected. Hessians, Brunswickers, Ansbach-Bayreuthers and the like waged war for King George, and our subjects of the Duke von Zweibrücken served King Louis of France. And at Yorktown they met and fought each other.
They were hardy boys, those farm laborers and poor farmer's sons from the Palatinate mountains, who had gone to a recruiting officer's party, taken the bounty and went off to see the New World (and by the way risk their limbs and lives in action and through disease). As hardy as their Auvergne cousins of the Gâtinois Regiment, together with whom they stormed Redoubt 9 at Yorktown with bayonets, without firing a shot, and in spite of heavy losses.


One of them, Daniel Flohr, (who wrote an interesting diary) later returned to the Land of the Free, became a preacher there, and ended his life peacefully in the United States.
Like all French foreign regiments of German tongue they had a dark sky-blue uniform coat. Their distinctive colour at this time was lemon-yellow, worn on lapels and cuffs. Their colonel was Graf (count) Christan von Forbach, a morganate son of the ruler. The regiment came directly from France with the forces of the Comte de Rochambeau. So their uniform probably was up-to-date to the latest ordinance of 1779.

The figures of my Régiment Royal Deux-Ponts are Front Rank. The hat waving colonel Comte de Forbach originally was a Prussian SYW general. And the regimental colours are a work of my printer as I was deterred by the intricate pattern of the Deux-Ponts flags.
I am happy with my countrymen (my wife coming from the Saar region), and I like their colourful uniforms. Vive le Roi!

4 comments:

AD said...

Nice job as always. I especially like the detail on the drummer's lace.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Magnifique!! :o))

Fridericus said...

Thank you for your compliments! Though tending to blush a bit, I am flattered as always. It's nice to know there are some people out there who like my work.

Unknown said...

thanks