19/25 Ramin Grenadiers
Origin and History
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Frederick II converged the grenadier companies of his infantry into elite battalions. Thus the grenadiers from Markgraf Carl Infantry (2 coys) and Kalckstein Infantry (2 coys) were converged into Grenadier Battalion 19/25 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 25 1756: Major F. E. von Ramin
- from December 31 1757: Major P. B. von Heyden (died on August 22 1759 of wounds received at the Battle of Kunersdorf)
- from the winter of 1761-62 (after reconstitution): Major Alexander Friedrich von Woldeck
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when a Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the battalion was part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, it belonged to Margarve Karl's Corps. The centre column had concentrated in the area of Brietzen and advanced unopposed upstream along the Elbe River by Torgau and Wittenberg, leaving Meissen to its left. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf.
In April 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it did not take part in the Battle of Prague but was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's Corps. At the end of August, the battalion was part of the small Prussian Army hastily assembled at Dresden by Frederick II to head towards Thuringia to offer battle to the Franco-Imperial Army invading Saxony. On November 5, at the Battle of Rossbach, the battalion was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under Lieutenant-General Ferdinand of Brunswick. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the battalion was deployed in the vanguard which successfully attacked the Austrian left flank.
In the Spring of 1758, the battalion took part in the unsuccessful invasion of Moravia. On June 21, the post of Kleinsenitz (present-day Senička), occupied only by Möhring Hussars (10 sqns), was reinforced by VI. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Rohr), I. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion (Wangenheim) and Grenadier Battalion 19/25 Heyden. This detachment was placed under the command of Major-general von Kreytzen and ordered to maintain communication with the field-hospital at Littau. On October 14, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's Corps on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions. It was then sent to cover the defile of Rodewitz. Seeing the large Prussian battery near Rodewitz, defended by Wangenheim's grenadiers, on the verge of being captured, the battalion came to its rescue. These two Prussian battalions were finally forced to abandon the battery.
On August 12 1759, the battalion fought in the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard as part of Schenckendorff's Brigade. The battalion suffered so heavily that it was later combined with Grenadier Battalion 13/26 to form a single battalion. On September 21, this combined battalion took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in the first line of the right wing under Lieutenant-General Finck. When Hadik advanced Brentano's Corps against the Prussian right, Finck replied by sending Rebentisch with 4 grenadier battalions, including this one, and Markgraf Carl Infantry against Brentano who was driven back. The combined battalion captured 11 guns.
On December 30 1761, during winter operations in Pomerania, the battalion took part in an unsuccessful attack on Malchin. On January 2 1762, during the Combat of Neu Kalen, the battalion was left behind at the bridge of Pisede near Malchin.
On May 12 1762, the battalion, who had been transferred to the Army of Saxony, fought in the Combat of Doebeln where it was attached to the centre right column led by Lieutenant-General Hans Wilhelm von Kanitz. At the end of July, the battalion took part in a brief raid in Bohemia under the command of Seydlitz. On August 2, it fought at the Combat of Teplitz. On October 29, it took part in the Battle of Freiberg where it was attached to the vanguard.
N.B.: For NCOs of the grenadier companies, the long pike (4,10 m long) was introduced in 1756 just before the war. This long pike was not very popular and was often shortened. At the beginning of the Seven Years' War and throughout the conflict, NCOs carried a mixture of M1713 (2,37 m long), M1755 (3 m long) and M1756 (4,10 m long) pikes.
|Markgraf Carl Infantry: mitre with polished brass front plate; red headband piped with a white lace (white braid with a thin orange zigzag embroidery) and decorated with brass ornaments; straw back with white piping (same lace as above); orange within white pompom||Kalckstein Infantry: mitre with polished brass front plate; white headband with a white braid decorated with a white braid (regimental lace consisting of a white braid decorated with 6 thin blue lines) and decorated with brass ornaments; red backing with white braid (same lace as above), red within yellow within white pompom|
The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.
Fiedler, Siegfried: Grenadiermuetzen der Armee Friedrichs des Grossen, Schild Verlag GmbH, Munich, 1981
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, App. 2
Riehn, R.: Linear Tactics Part III - Grenadier Battalions 1756-1763, The Courier Volume 2 No. 6, May-June 1981
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt: 1989, pp. 30-32
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.