Saxon tactical formations during TYW

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Jeff78
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Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:01 pm

How did the Saxon infantry form up during the "Swedish Phase" of the TYW? I've read that they used a modified form of the Dutch system. I interpret this to mean ~500 man battalions with pike in the middle and two sleeves of musketeers on either flank. Pike to shotte ratio being roughly 40%-60%. Two of these battalion would deploy together to form a brigade. Regiments and companies were administrative in nature so if necessary these battalions/brigades would be formed by how ever many regiments necessary to make the tactical unit. Have I got it right???
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Friedrich August I.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:25 pm

Jeff78 wrote:How did the Saxon infantry form up during the "Swedish Phase" of the TYW? I've read that they used a modified form of the Dutch system. I interpret this to mean ~500 man battalions with pike in the middle and two sleeves of musketeers on either flank. Pike to shotte ratio being roughly 40%-60%. Two of these battalion would deploy together to form a brigade. Regiments and companies were administrative in nature so if necessary these battalions/brigades would be formed by how ever many regiments necessary to make the tactical unit. Have I got it right???
Jeff,

Yes you are right. The Saxons adopted the Dutch (Niederlaendische Ordonanz as they called it) and modified it slightly. The pike were about 1/3rd of the unit while the remaining two thirds were Musketeers. The Battalions could vary in size and strength.
This Book here
http://www.zvab.com/displayBookDetails. ... 663226&b=1

is a very good resource for such infomations and contains drawings like that

http://img.zvab.com/member/n7394h/2518126.jpg

Hope that helps.
Günter
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:50 am

Gunther,

Many thanks, very helpful. Would it be correct to assume Saxons were in ~500 man battalions? A post on another form said they were formed up at Breitenfeld in 1000 man units.
What sources do you use for the Saxons during this time period (and the Northern Wars) if you don't mind me asking?
Cheers,
Jeff
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:27 am

Jeff78 wrote:Gunther,

Many thanks, very helpful. Would it be correct to assume Saxons were in ~500 man battalions? A post on another form said they were formed up at Breitenfeld in 1000 man units.
What sources do you use for the Saxons during this time period (and the Northern Wars) if you don't mind me asking?
Cheers,
Jeff
Jeff,
The Saxons started the War with the Spanish Ordonance, calling for the formation of Tercios. It was only at later times and many lost encounters as well as the contacts with the forces of Wallenstein that they adopted the system of the Dutch Ordonance. So they left unit strengths of 1000-2000 men behind them and formed smaler bodies of 500-700 men.
The recources? Well, I have to confess that most of the knowledge came from a good friend and fellow wargamer long gone now. He shared all his knowledge with us and also had written his own rules about the times he was interested to.
The few remaining resources of my own are
"Battles in the Thirty Years War", William P. Guthrie, Greenwood Press
the formentioned
"Gefechtsformen der Infanterie in 800 Jahren", Herbert Schwarz
"Geschichte der saechsischen Armee", Schuster & Francke
and some notes in
"Denmark in the Thirty Years War", Paul Douglas Lockhart

Hope that helps,
Günter
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:35 am

Thanks Gunter, appreciate the help. Glad to find another Saxonphile.
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Friedrich August I.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:35 am

Jeff78 wrote:Thanks Gunter, appreciate the help. Glad to find another Saxonphile.
Yep, I think I am :D :wink:
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Russian James » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:55 am

Really Gunter? I would never have guessed... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:10 pm

How would the cavalry be formed during this same period? Were the squadrons smaller, as per the Dutch (3-5 rank 40-50 man squadrons/companies)? Would there be a mix of cuirassiers and arquebusiers in the same squadron or regiment? My thought would be separate regiments, as this is an administrative unit, formed up in mixed units (size?) for battle.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:00 pm

Jeff,
The period of time was calling for Caracole against enemy Cavalry and Infantry. So the Regiments were formed in a almost square formation.
Two systems were known:
.) beginning from the left side a row of horsemen rode forward turned right and fired their pistols on the enemy; on their way back to the Regiment the started to load their pistols, leading their horses around the Regiment and placing themselve again where they started. Then the next row rode forward and so on.
.) the first line rode forward fired their pistols, turned right, rode back to the Regiment and placed themselve behind the rear most horseman where they started to load their pistols, than the next line started forward, and so on.
It is not known to me if the fought in squdrons because of the inferior firepower such a tiny formation would have had.
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:15 pm

Jeff78 wrote:...Would there be a mix of cuirassiers and arquebusiers in the same squadron or regiment? My thought would be separate regiments, as this is an administrative unit, formed up in mixed units (size?) for battle.
Jeff,
Their was no mix of different Cavalry types in the same Horse Regiments,
Kürisser, Arquebusiere, Dragoner. The mainstay of the Horse Regiments were
the Cuirassiers. Saxons also had Ritterpferde - Knights - which fougt in an almost complete body armor and used lances. These special units were called Adelsfahne.
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:30 am

Gunter, were the Saxons still using the traditional caracole as late as the 1630s? My understanding was that this type of tactic was superseeded by an "updated" caracole where the first two ranks fired their pistols and than a general charge ensued or even a charge sans pistols.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:37 am

I'm also curious about the Ritterpferde. I don’t see them listed on the OOBs I have for Breitenfeld or Lutzen. Would they have been called cuirassiers too, only armed differently? The OOB I have for Lutzen lists the following Saxon cavalry present:
Prinz Ernst von Anhalt (Saxon) Cuirassier Regiment (8 cos)(450)
Hofkirchen (Saxon) Cuirassier Regiment (12 cos)(525)
(These OOB come from the G Naziger collection)

Appreciate your thoughts.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:15 am

Jeff,

for that Info I will have to do some research.

Cheers,
Günter
„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.
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Jeff78 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:04 pm

Thanks Gunter. Admittedly my sources aren’t the best, a combination of Osprey’s and the internet. I don’t have access to many of the primary sources, not to mention that I read German very slowly. I can handle Spanish pretty well, but any other language and I’m out of luck. It also seems that this war was subject to many tactical changes during it duration; introduction of the Dutch System, imitation of the Swedish system after Gustavus' success and finally a melding of various techniques. Hard to say who did what and when, especially for the smaller players. Appreciate you taking up the challenge. Don’t appear to be any other takers.
Cheers
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Re: Saxon tactical formations during TYW

Post by Friedrich August I. » Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:56 pm

Jeff,

They are all a bit shy :D :wink: . Some of them consider me to be an expert on Saxon history which is not entirely true. I have some sources to gather the knowledge and I like the challenge to place my foot into a new territory.
My main Interest is currently the Saxon Army 1810 and after recent events the Saxons in the Great Northern War.

Cheers,
Günter
„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.
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