Pikemen at Fleurus

A section devoted to questions and answers for this period.
User avatar
maciek
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Poland

Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by maciek » Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:28 pm

It is widely known that in the battle of Fleurus in 1690, French noticed that pike armed Dutch battalions were easier to rout than all musket armed German units.
AFAIK prince Waldeck's infantry at Fleurus consisted of Dutch national regiments, Brandenburgers and Luneburgers.
Question is - which nationality didn't carry pikes at this battle ?
Maciek

http://zealandbayonets.blogspot.com/
wargaming in 10mm
User avatar
maciek
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Poland

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by maciek » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:11 am

Hmmm...
I didn't expect such reply.

So maybe this famous quote is a myth.
Do we know the it's source ?
Maciek

http://zealandbayonets.blogspot.com/
wargaming in 10mm
User avatar
Friedrich August I.
General of the Army
General of the Army
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:23 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:56 am

If I would know what german troops were fighting under Waldeck in this battle I may be able to find something that helps eventually.

First of all I look for a OOB at the Digital Archive of Marburg.

http://www.digam.net/image.php?file=dok ... jpg&b=1200

looks like the above...
and like this one with all units listed on the right
http://www.digam.net/image.php?file=dok ... jpg&b=1200

To some degree I think to have identified Saxon units which didnt have Pikes (abandoned 1683): Loewenhaupt and Benkendorff
„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
User avatar
maciek
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Poland

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by maciek » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:16 am

If I would know what german troops were fighting under Waldeck in this battle I may be able to find something that helps eventually.
They were from Brandenburg and Luneburg (later Hanover) only.
And of course Dutch nationals.

Thanks to Motorway I've got better copy of Waldeck's army OOB.
Find it attached below.
Attachments
Capture_2.jpg
Capture_2.jpg (130.61 KiB) Viewed 8455 times
Maciek

http://zealandbayonets.blogspot.com/
wargaming in 10mm
User avatar
maciek
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Poland

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by maciek » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:24 am

To some degree I think to have identified Saxon units which didnt have Pikes (abandoned 1683): Loewenhaupt and Benkendorff
The book I refer to (thanks again, Motorway) doesn't mention Saxon troops.
http://archive.org/details/wilhelmiiivonora01mulluoft
ODBs start at page 225.
Maciek

http://zealandbayonets.blogspot.com/
wargaming in 10mm
User avatar
Friedrich August I.
General of the Army
General of the Army
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:23 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:26 am

Hm, that is one of my main problems...that so many officers changed so often their sovereigns. I have in my list of Regimental Commander a Loewenhaupt too :roll:
„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
Dfogleman2
Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:45 pm

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Dfogleman2 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:23 am

According to this source the Brandenburgers no longer had pikes in 1689.

http://books.google.com/books?id=6WQqAA ... ke&f=false
User avatar
maciek
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:53 am
Location: Poland

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by maciek » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:50 am

Good point Dfogleman !
So far I thought they got rid of pikes in 1700, but my sources were very dubious.
Maciek

http://zealandbayonets.blogspot.com/
wargaming in 10mm
conflans
Sergeant Major
Sergeant Major
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by conflans » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:32 pm

Hello gentlemen;

All of my sources, admittedly secondary sources, idenify Lewenhaupt as a Swedish regiment in Dutch sevice. It was almost totally destroyed at Fleurus.
If Saxony also had a Lewenhaupt, I wonder if there is a family connection.

Conflans
User avatar
Friedrich August I.
General of the Army
General of the Army
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:23 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:57 pm

„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
Dfogleman2
Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:45 pm

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Dfogleman2 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:21 pm

[/quote]

They were from Brandenburg and Luneburg (later Hanover) only.
And of course Dutch nationals.

Thanks to Motorway I've got better copy of Waldeck's army OOB.
Find it attached below.[/quote]

The Prinz v. Luneberg, which has the parenthetical (Ob. Friesen) following it. Could this be a Dutch regiment whose titular colonel was from the ruling house of Luneberg? I will check the Hall plates tonight.

I think the Luneberg and Cellische infantry had abandoned the pike, but will have to check over the weekend.
User avatar
Friedrich August I.
General of the Army
General of the Army
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:23 am
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:28 pm

As it was common use in this time there was a "Owner" of the Regiment and a Commander so it may be herewith the same. The Prinz v. Luneburg as the owner and the commanding officer Obrist(Colonnel) Friesen.
„Macht Euch Euren Dregg alleene“

"Sort your filth out by yourself!" The King of Saxony Friedrich August III., at his abdication 1918, referred to the quarrels in the parliament and the squabbling within the provisional government.
Tacitus
Sergeant Major of the Army
Sergeant Major of the Army
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:14 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Tacitus » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:51 pm

conflans wrote:Hello gentlemen;

All of my sources, admittedly secondary sources, idenify Lewenhaupt as a Swedish regiment in Dutch sevice. It was almost totally destroyed at Fleurus.
If Saxony also had a Lewenhaupt, I wonder if there is a family connection.

Conflans
Yes, they were cousins and they belonged to the ancient Swedish noble family called Leijonhufvud. Specifically the branch of that family which adopted a German translation of their surname in the late 16th century (First "Lewenkopf" and later "Lewenhaupt" or "Löwenhaupt", contemporary Swedish sources however frequently disregard this and refer to them by their Swedish name "Leijonhufvud").

The Saxon general was called Carl Gustaf Lewenhaupt. His cousin who commanded a Swedish regiment in Dutch service at Fleurus was called Gustaf Mauritz Lewenhaupt. The most famous member of this family was however a third cousin, Adam Ludvig Lewenhaupt, who fought many battles in the Great Northern War.

The Saxon general had by the way a son called Charles Emil who led the Swedish army in the war against Russia 1741-1743. That war did not end well and Charles Emil was made the escape goat and was sentenced to death and executed so that the Hat party could remain in power.

An additional note (and closer to the topic of this thread): The Swedish regiment commanded by Gustaf Mauritz had one third of the men armed with pikes (although I guess this does not come as a big surprise to anyone).
danschorr
Major
Major
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:58 am

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by danschorr » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:06 pm

The 1689 date for the abolition of the pike in the Brandeburg infantry is a bit suspect. Curt Jany in Vol.1 of his “Geschichte der Preußischen Armee“, page 590 indicates that the pike was officially abolished in 1698; although, the process began some 8 years earlier. Here is what he had to say:

“Als im Jahre 1691 das gegen die Türken bestimmte Hilfskorps nach Ungarn ging, schrieb der Kurfürst dem Fürsten von Anhalt auf dessen Hinweis, dass die kaiserlichen keine Piken mehr trugen, „ Wir haben zwar resolviert, bei Unserer ganzen Armee die Piken allmählich abzuschaffen, dieweilen aber in der Eile soviel Musketen nicht aufzubringen, so werden bei etlichen Bataillons die Piken noch beibehalten werden müssen.“ Beim nächsten Hilfskorps 1693 sollten alle Flinten tragen. Im Westen legten die Bataillons die Piken ebenfalls um 1690 ab. Die Exerzitien der Leibgarde von 1689 behandelte noch Piken und Musketen. Im Jahre 1692 waren die 15 am Rheine stehende Kompanien der Leibgarde durchweg mit Flinten bewaffnet. Als die Bataillone Markgrag Karl und Alt-Holstein bei der Übergabe von Namur 1692 ihr Gewehr verloren, erhielten sie je 590 Flinten zur Neubewaffnung. Erst 1698 verschwanden die Piken offiziell.”

Like the Brandenburgers, the Lüneburg and Wolfenbüttel forces were in the process of abandoning the pike. I believe pikes were still to be found in the units; although, in much reduced numbers.

I am curious as to the source of Maciek’s statement, “it is widely known that in the battle of Fleurus in 1690, French noticed that pike armed Dutch battalions were easier to rout than all musket armed German units.”
Dfogleman2
Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:45 pm

Re: Pikemen at Fleurus

Post by Dfogleman2 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:09 pm

Thanks, Dan.
Post Reply