Reichsarmee Suabian Circle
Imperial Army of the Seven Years’ War, 1757–1763
The Suabian Circle was the most territorially fragmented of all ten imperial circles. Its members – prince-bishops, dukes, imperial counts, cloisters and imperial cities – supplied more than 100 small and outright tiny military contingents, of which four infantry and two cavalry regiments for the Suabian Circle were formed. In the process, denominational equality was carefully observed: one half of the army was catholic, the other protestant.
Due to the proximity of the French border, the small territories and imperial cities of the Suabian Circle lived under a constant threat of war, which forced them to cooperate militarily. As a result, the Suabian Circle maintained a standing army from 1694 onwards. Standing armies enjoy a significant training advantage over wartime formations, and their morale tends to be higher, but they are much more expensive to maintain. When the estates could no longer provide sufficient military funding, as was the case in the Duchy of Wuerttemberg, drastic cost saving measures were implemented. As a result, Dragoner-Regiment Württemberg was still unmounted at the outbreak of the War of Polish Succession (1733–1735), despite the fact that it was scheduled to take part in the 1734 campaign in the upper Rhine valley. Mounted troops require years of training if they are to be used effectively.
- 1. Infanterie-Regiment Baden-Durlach (protestant)
- 2. Infanterie-Regiment Fürstenberg (catholic)
- 3. Infanterie-Regiment Baden-Baden (catholic)
- 4. Füsilier-Regiment von Württemberg (protestant)
- Kürassier-Regiment Hohenzollern (catholic)
- Dragoner-Regiment Württemberg (protestant)
- Artillerie-Kompanie Esslingen (protestant)
- Artillerie-Kompanie Rottweil (catholic)
It is interesting to note that the protestant contingents of the Reichsarmee typically wore Prussian uniforms and grenadier caps, whereas the catholic troops followed the Austrian military fashion. During the Seven Years’ War, the regiments of the Suabian Circle were considered unreliable, irrespective of their religious denomination.
- Kühlmann, Hermann: Kurze Geschichte der Fahnen des schwäbischen Kreises, in: Die Zinnfigur, Jg. 8 (1959), Nr. 1, S. 12–14 und Nr. 2, S. 37
- Tessin, Georg: Die Inhaber der Fränkischen und Schwäbischen Kreisregimenter, in: Zeitschrift für Heereskunde, Nr. 319, Mai/Juni, IL Jg. (1985), S. 81-83