Military Subjects: Organization, Strategy & Tactics


The Saxon Army 1810 - 13

Part V: Colours and Standards

By Howard Giles

Sketches by Geoff Gibbs

Infantry

Infantry Colour: Reverse

Infantry Colour
Reverse

On 16 July 1811, King Friedrich Augustus presented new colours to the Infantry at Muhlberg. (These had been ordered in 1807). All Regiments carried 2 colours, the First Battalion carrying the Leibfahne, the Second the Ordinärfahne.   1811 pattern colours measured 146 - 151cm high by 141-143cm broad; however the König Regiment was an exception, having one colour measuring 142cm by 134cm. The Leibfahne and Ordinärfahne were of the same pattern, the former being distinguished by a white ground, and the latter with one of facing colour.

Obverse:   A gold edged shield in ground colour bearing the ‘FAR’ cipher in gold, above this the gold crown decorated with the blue pearls, the whole surrounded by & branch of laurels and a palm in green. Below this in gold were the cross of the Order of the Crown and the Order of the White Eaglev suspended by a green ribbon. The Colour had a border of between 15 and 16 cm wide, decorated in silks of various colours and designs, depending on the Regiment. In each corner lay a shield bearing the Royal Arms of Saxony, comprising of 8 horizontal black and gold bands, crossed by the Coronet Band in green from top left to bottom right.

Infantry Colour: Obverse

Infantry Colour
Obverse

Reverse:   In the centre was the Royal Coat of Arms on a red mantle lined with ermin and surmounted by the Royal Crown. The border was the same as on the obverse. In each corner there was a shield edged gold on the ground colour of the border, bearing the letters ‘RS’.

Colours were attached to the staff with gilt or silver nails, the staff being 260 cm tall, and painted in the facing colour. The spike head was brass, 131cm tall, surmounting a 22cm fitting. The base of the staff was protected by a brass heel 16cm tall. Senior NC0s held the Colours, which were not carried by the Light Infantry, Jaeger or combined Grenadier battalions.


10 Colours were lost to the Russians during the 1812 campaign, these being;

Prinz Maximilian

Leibfahne and  Ordinärfahne

Recten

Ordinärfahne

Niesemeuschal

Ordinärfahne

König

Leibfahne 

Prinz Anton

Leibfahne and  Ordinärfahne

Von Low

Leibfahne and  Ordinärfahne

Prinz Friedrich August

Ordinärfahne

Four of these were replaced by colours from old regiments. (Cerrini, Oebschelvitz, Burgsdorf, Duherm) which had been stored at the War Ministry. Prinz Maximilian received two, Prinz Anton one, and Von Low one. An identical replacement for the Ordinärfahne of the Prinz Friedrich August Regiment was made in recognition of their heroic record in action. Thus during the 1813 campaign, and Leib Grenadiers, Von Staindel, Prinz Friedrich August and Prinz Maximilian Regiments carried two colours. the others one.

Cavalry

Cavalry Standard: Reverse

Cavalry Standard
Reverse

As with the infantry, Standards ordered in 1807 did not reach regiments until 1811. Hussars did not carry standards. The other seven regiments carried one Standard for each of their four squadrons. Light Cavalry Standards measured 57 cm tall by 66 cm broad,  having a red ground and white border.

Obverse;   The centre was the same as the reverse of the infantry Colour, with a gold fringe 7 cm wide.

Reverse;   A gold ‘F A R’ cipher in the centre surmounted by the gold crown decorated with blue pearls, surrounded by two branches of laurels, Cold silk Fringe, white border containing distinctive designs, depending on the Regiment, likewise cravats in distinctive colours;

1st Squadron 

white

2nd Squadron

red

3rd Squadron

blue

4th Squadron

yellow

The staff was painted brown, surmounted by a flat heart-shaped pike head in brass, 12 cm tall, and was protected at the bottom by a brass heel 5.5 cm tall. The staff had 12 indented lines around the circumference and a handgrip 23 cm wide.

Cavalry Standard: Obverse

Cavalry Standard
Reverse

Heavy cavalry standards were of a similar pattern, 52 cm by 64 cm, with a white ground, Regimental lace and cravat. The latter was blue and gold for the Garde du Corps, yellow and gold for the Zastrow Kürassiere. Each squadron of the Leib Kürassiere carried a distinctive cravat, as in the cheveau legers.

18 of the 24 cavalry standards taken into Russia were lost:

Garde du Corps         

4

Zastrow Kürassiere    

4

Prinz Clemens          

4

Prinz Albrecht         

3

Prinz Johann           

3

 

Standards were not carried on campaign during 1813.

Borders for Colours and Standards

The lower edge of borders in illustrations represent the outer edge of borders on flags.

Infantry

Whilst the eight line regiments had distinctive patterned borders the same for both colours, the Leibgrenadier Garde had a different border for each.

Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders

 

Leibgrenadier Garde: Leibfahne
White ground, red ribbon, green design.

 

Leibgrenadier Garde: Ordinärfahne
Yellow ground, blue ribbon and flanking lines, silver leaves.

Prinz Friedrich August:
Green ground, brown leaves and border, yellow diamonds.

Von Low:
Green ground. silver leaves, border and diamonds.

 

Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders






Rechten:
Red ground, gold designs.
Niesemeuschel: Red ground, silver designs.

 

 


Prinz Clemens (Von Steindel):
Sky blue ground, silver designs.
Prinz Anton: Sky blue ground, gold designs.

Prinz Maximilian: Yellow ground, orange loops and border, green leaves.

 

Infantry Borders

König: Red ground, dark red outer border, gold inner border, gold and dark red alternate loops.

Cavalry

Borders for all regiments were on a white ground. There was one pattern of border for each regiment.

Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders


Prinz Johann: Gold border, Green leaves. black diamonds and designs.

Prinz Albrecht: Green border and leaves, brown acorns and stalks.
Prinz Clemens: Green border and design, violet ovals.

Polenz: Gold border, Gold designs highlighted in blue.

 

Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders
  Leib Kürassiere Garde: Yellow border, red designs.
Zastrow Kürassiere: Yellow border, loops and dots, green leaves.

 

Infantry Borders
Infantry Borders
Garde Du Corps: Gold designs. Silver crosses.

 

 

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2001

 

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