28/32 Kreytzen 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 Hautcharmoy Infantry (2 coys) and Tresckow Infantry (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 28/32 counting four companies.
During the winter of 1761-62, the battalion was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion G-V/G-X von Hachenberg.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since June 27 1756: Colonel J. F. von Kreytzen
- from April 4 1758: Major J. E. von Arnim (captured with his battalion at the second combat of Landshut on June 23 1760)
- from October 1761: Major D. M. de Chauvet
- from August 4 1762: Major K. F. von Schätzel
Service during the War
This converged grenadier battalion was first assembled in August 1756 at Neustadt in Upper-Silesia. For the campaign of 1756, the battalion was part of the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, his army conducted operations in Eastern Bohemia. On September 14, Schwerin sent the battalion to Cosel to reinforce the 2 bns of Garrison Regiment Nr. VI von Lattorf who were already garrisoning the place and to secure it against a potential attack of Hungarian troops.
In August 1757, the battalion was part of the small Prussian force assembled in Silesia by Major-General von Kreytzen to oust the Austrian corps occupying Landshut. On August 13, it took part in the first Combat of Landshut. On August 14, the battalion along with Grenadier battalion S53/S57 assaulted the Austrian positions on the Buchberg. They initially chased away the Austrian light troops from the wood and got close enough to the Austrian battery to fire on it with their battalion guns. They then led the attack on the Austrian breastworks. When the Austrians counter-attacked, the battalion joined the general rout.
On June 23 1760, the battalion was captured at the second Combat of Landshut. It was then reconstituted during the following winter.
In August 1761, during the campaign in Silesia, the battalion was part of Frederick's Army encamped in the entrenched camp of Bunzelwitz (present-day Bolesławice) near Schweidnitz. In mid-September, the battalion was part of Platen's small corps who conducted a raid in Greater Poland. Platen's raid destroyed 3 important Russian magazines with supplies. On September 22, Platen arrived at Landsberg with his corps and found the bridge over the Warthe broken. A small skirmish took place with a Russian detachment under Suvorov. Some 30 men of the battalion under Lieutenant Koschirzky fired at the cossacks. A Russian corps then pursued Platen who decided to head for Pomerania and take part in the defence of Colberg. On September 15, the battalion took part in the Engagement of Gostyn. On October 21, the battalion was part of Lieutenant-General Courbière's small detachment who was forced to surrender at the Engagement of Zarnglaff.
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.
|Hautcharmoy Infantry: mitre with silver-plated front plate; Prussian blue headband with white braid and silver-plated ornaments, red backing with white braid, orange 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.
|Tresckow Infantry: mitre with polished brass front plate; straw yellow headband with red within white within blue within yellow braid (see illustration for detail) and brass ornaments, red backing with identical braid, yellow within blue within white within red 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.