24/34 Grumbkow 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 Schwerin Infantry (2 coys) and Prinz Ferdinand Infantry (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 24/34 counting four companies.
From June 1760 to January 1761, after the combat of Landeshut, the 2 reconstituted companies of the battalion were temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 17/22.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 27 1756: Colonel F. W. von Grumbkow
- from July 25 1757: Major Count Friedrich von Anhalt (captured at the combat of Moys on September 7 1757)
- from September 1757: Lieutenant-Colonel Hartwig Lebrecht von Naumeister
- from January 13 1760: Major K. F. von Sobeck
- from June 1760: Major von Rothenburg of Grenadier Battalion 17/22
- Winter 1761-62: Major F. W. von Forcade
- from December 1761: Major J. C. C. von Drache
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the companies were part of the left column led by the Duke of Bevern. This column had concentrated in the area of Lübben, then advanced through Lusatia by Hoyerswerda and Bautzen. This converged grenadier battalion was first assembled on September 5 at the camp of Fischbach. By September 8, they had reached Hohenstein, then Bevern's column marched to Lohmen north of the Elbe near Pirna. On October 1, this grenadier battalion took part in the battle of Lobositz. On October 2, it was part of Bevern's force sent to lay hold of Tschischkowitz (actual Cizkovice) on the road towards Budin.
In the spring of 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it did not take part to the Battle of Prague. It was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's Corps. On September 7, when an Austrian force under the command of General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps in the Combat of Moys, the battalion was deployed in the first line of the right wing. The battalion was part of the Prussian brigade under Kannacher who temporarily recaptured the Jäkelsberg. After this combat, the battalion was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 21/27. On September 22, these combined grenadier battalions were sent to Glogau where they were brought back to full strength in October. Each converged grenadier battalion then became autonomous again.
In the spring of 1758, the battalion took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the unsuccessful Siege of Olmütz. In the night of May 27 to 28 at about 1:30 a.m., the battalion supported by 4 guns and led by Major-general Rebentisch, attacked the village of Hreptschein. The defending Grenzers retired towards Olmütz without opposing resistance and the Prussians set the village afire to create a diversion while the first parallel was being opened on the Tafelberg on the opposite side of the fortress.
On June 23 1760, the battalion took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed on the Heights of Blasdorf on the right wing under Major-General von Schenckendorf. It was taken prisoners during this engagement. After this battle, 2 companies were reconstituted and were temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 17/22 till January 1761.
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.
|Schwerin Infantry: mitre with polished brass front plate; red headband with white braid (regimental lace consisting of a white braid decorated with 2 thin red lines on each side and a thin red zig-zag in the centre) and with brass ornaments, blue backing with white braid (same lace as above), red within white within blue within yellow pompom||Prinz Ferdinand Infantry: mitre with silver-plated front plate; silver-plated headband and with silver-plated metal ornaments, Prussian blue backing with white braid, red within white within Prussian blue pompom
In regiments with white metal, the front plates were to be coloured with a water-based silver paste which needed to be re-applied regularly lest the cap plates revert to their original brass colour. Therefore, during campaign, particularly in bad weather, it is possible that the silvering could have worn off and needed to be silvered again.
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
Lange, Eduard: Die soldaten Friedrich's des Grossen, p. 294
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.