Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics



The Bavarian Danube Legion 1813 - 1814

By: John Cook

The Danube (Donau) Legion was part of the National Guard, which had existed in Bavaria for several years. Mobilization of the National Guard 2nd Class was authorized in February 1813.

There were three classes of National Guard: 1st Class, which formed the reserve battalions of the regular army; 2nd Class, which was initially intended as a militia for home defense; and 3rd Class, which seems to have occupied a similar position to the Prussian Landsturm -- it was not intended for service in the field and was not properly uniformed as this point.

Each of the 9 Kreis (districts) in the Kingdom of Bavaria were required to mobilize up to 4 battalions of National Guard, known as the Mobilen Legion of the Kreis in question, each battalion consisted of 4 companies of 165 officers and soldiers.

Each Kreis was divided into 4 recruiting areas from which it drew men between the ages of 21 and 40 years. Some Kreis were more successful than others (as can be seen from the list below) but by mid 1813, 20 battalions has been raised, each being known by its battalion number within the Kreis hierarchy. The name Mobilen Legion later had unique Feld Bataillon numbers, as follows.

Mobilen Legion des Isar-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (5. Feld Bataillon)

2. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (7. Feld Bataillon)

3. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (8. Feld Bataillon)

4. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (18. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen legion des Inn-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (13. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Salzach-Kreises

2. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (4. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Iller-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (16. Feld Bataillon)

2. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (6. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Retzat-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (14. Feld Bataillon)

3. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (2. Feld Bataillon)

4. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (17. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Ober-Donau-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (10. Feld Bataillon)

2. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (11. Feld Bataillon)

3. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (1. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Unter-Donau-Kreises

4. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (19. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Main-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (15. Feld Bataillon)

Mobilen Legion des Regen-Kreises

1. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (9. Feld Bataillon)

2. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (3. Feld Bataillon)

3. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (20. Feld Bataillon)

4. Bataillon der Mobilen Legion (12. Feld Bataillon)

The Danube Legion was most likely one of the battalions from either the Ober (Upper) or Unter (Lower) Donau (Danube) Kreis.

The uniform and equipment was similar to that of the

Bavarian Danube Legion

The Bavarian Danube Legion

regular infantry except that a bell-topped shako was worn instead of a raupenhelm. The single breasted blue (usual Bavarian light blue colour) jacket had poppy-red collar, cuffs and piping to turnbacks, shoulder straps, cuffs flaps and down the front of the jacket.

Trousers were also blue and worn loose over the top of black gaiters. Belting was white with bayonet in a black scabbard on the left hip.

The shako had reinforcing bands top and bottom with brass chin scales, unit title above the peak, and lozenge type plate, a blue and white cockade and small pom-pom in battalion colors.

1 battalion - Red

2 battalion - White

3 battalion - Blue

4 battalion - yellow

Bibliography

Nafziger,George. The Bavarian and Westphalian Armies 1799-1815 RAFM : Cambridge; 1981.

Nafziger,George. The Armies of the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Grand Duchy of Würzburg 1792-1815 privately published; 1993

Wagner, Gretel. Bayersiche Soldatentypen 1814-1814

 

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