2/G-II Manstein Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> 2/G-II Manstein Grenadiers

Origin and History

Garrison Regiment II officer and grenadier - Source: Horvath, Carl Christian, Friedrichs II. König von Preussen Armee-Montirungen…

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, Frederick II converged the grenadier companies of his infantry into elite battalions. Thus the grenadiers from von Kanitz Infantry (2 coys) and Garrison Regiment II (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 2/G-II counting four companies. After 1760, this arrangement was modified, grenadiers of Garrison Regiment II being replaced by those of Garrison Regiment XI.

In August 1759, after the Battle of Kunersdorf, this grenadier battalion was temporarily converged with "Standing" Grenadier Battalion IV. (G-I/G-XI Lossau) until December 1760.

During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:

  • since November 30 1756: Major A. E. von Manstein (died on January 5 1758 of his wounds at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf)
  • from August 31 1757: Major von Girthin (temporarily while Manstein was being treated)
  • from January 23 1758: Major von Nesse (killed in action on November 3 1760 at the Battle of Torgau)
  • from November 3 1760: Major Paul von Natalis


Service during the War

In the first days of February 1757, this converged grenadier battalion was first assembled at Königsberg in Prussia according to an order issued by Field-Marshal Lehwaldt on January 26. The battalion was then part of Lehwaldt's Army assigned to the defence of East Prussia against a Russian invasion. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was deployed at the extreme left of the infantry left wing in the first line under Graf zu Dohna.

In April 1758, the battalion took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz. In June, it was part of Platen's Corps opposing the Russian invasion of East Prussia. On June 26, the battalion was part of the small Prussian force left in front of Cüstrin. On August 25, the battalion fought in the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the left division led by Kanitz. On October 25, the battalion was part of Wobersnow's detachment sent by Dohna to lift the Siege of Colberg. The detachment marched from Stargard to Massow. On November 18, about 100 grenadiers from this battalion (or more probably from Battalion 17/22) may have taken part in the Combat of Güstow, successfully defending the village against superior Swedish forces.

On July 23 1759, the battalion took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to the rearguard under the command of Major-General von Wobersow. A few weeks later, on August 12, the battalion fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the left centre as part of Rebentisch's Brigade. On September 21, the battalion took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing under Major-General Wunsch. On December 3, Frederick sent this battalion to reinforce the small isolated Prussian force under Major-General Dierecke who had taken post at Meissen. This small corps was attacked by a much stronger Austrian force. This reinforcement took position on the left bank of the Elbe to the north and south of Meissen. Its artillery silenced the Austrian guns planted at Proschwitz and General Pellegrini was forced to move them back to Zscheila where they resumed their cannonade. During the ensuing Combat of Meissen the Prussians were forced to retire.

On August 20 1760, the battalion took part in the Combat of Strehla where it initially occupied the village of Klein Rügeln. On November 3, it fought in the bloody Battle of Torgau where it was deployed in Frederick's second column under Major-General von Hülsen.

On February 15 1761, the battalion took part in the surprise attack on Langensalza where it was attached to Syburg's Corps.

At the end of July 1762, the battalion was part of Kleist's detachment during Seydlitz’s incursion into Bohemia. On August 2, the battalion took part in the Combat of Teplitz where it was deployed in the first line of Kleist's detachment. On October 29, the battalion fought in the Battle of Freiberg where it formed part of the vanguard.

Uniform

The grenadiers usually wore the uniform of their own regiments. This was the case for the grenadiers of von Kanitz infantry. However, some grenadier companies from garrison regiments had distinct uniforms from their parent unit. This was the case for the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment II and, later of Garrison Regiment XI. For these reasons, this section depicts the mitre cap of IR2 von Kanitz and the entire uniforms of the grenadier companies originating from the garrison regiments.

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.

Mitre Cap of IR2

von Kanitz: mitre with polished brass front plate and bright red headband with brass ornaments, straw backing, with white piping, red within black pompom
IR2 Mitre Cap - Source: Joseph Malit and Kriegsarmaturen

Grenadiers of G-II

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with silver plated front plate; red headband edged with a white braid (decorated with blue squares) decorated with silver plated metal ornaments; blue backing piped white (same braid as above); green pompom

original grenadier cap - Deutsches historisches Museum, Berlin

Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 2 white buttons under the right lapel; 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest; and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a white button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs white (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 white buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a small white button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belts one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Grenadiers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • quartered black and white pompom on the mitre cap
  • no shoulder strap
  • silver laced cuffs
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

Grenadier NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white pike measuring 13 Rhenish feet (4.10 m.) in the grenadier companies (carried by the 3 most senior NCOs while other grenadier NCOs were armed with rifled muskets since 1744).

N.B.: 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 half-pikes (2,37 m long), M1755 half-pikes (3 m long) and M1756 (4,10 m long) pikes.

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Officers had tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace, black and silver quartered pompoms. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist. They carried an officer stick. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no shoulder straps and no turnbacks.

Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The lace of the drummers consisted of a white braid decorated with an elaborate blue pattern and bordered red. The coat, cuffs and pockets were edged with this lace. Shoulder decorated with 4 vertical laces and 1 horizontal lace.

Grenadiers of G-XI

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with silver plated front plate; rose red headband edged with a white braid and decorated with silver plated metal ornaments; rose red backing piped white; rose red pompom
Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 2 white buttons under the right lapel; 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest; and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a white button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs rose red (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 white buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a small white button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Grenadiers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • quartered black and white pompom on the mitre cap
  • no shoulder straps
  • silver laced cuffs
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

Grenadier NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white pike measuring 13 Rhenish feet (4.10 m.) in the grenadier companies (carried by the 3 most senior NCOs while other grenadier NCOs were armed with rifled muskets since 1744).

N.B.: 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 half-pikes (2,37 m long), M1755 half-pikes (3 m long) and M1756 (4,10 m long) pikes.

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Officers had tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace, black and silver quartered pompoms. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist. They carried an officer stick and a silver and gold gorget. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no shoulder straps and no turnbacks.

Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

Drummers wore uniforms similar to those of privates but were distinguished by swallow nests at the shoulders and laces on the coat.

The lace of the drummers consisted of a red braid decorated with 4 rows of alternating yellow and red rectangles (the yellow rectangles being about thrice the length of the red ones). The coat, cuffs and pockets were edged with this lace. Shoulder decorated with 4 vertical laces and 1 horizontal lace.

Colours

The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.

References

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

Horvath, Carl Christian: Friedrichs II. König von Preussen Armee-Montirungen, Potsdam 1789. Vierte Sammlung

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.