33/42 Nimschöfsky 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 Baron de la Motte Fouqué Fusiliers (2 coys) and Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 33/42 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 27 1756: Major C. W. von Nimschöfsky
- from April 1762: Major Karl Rudolf von Mosch
Service during the War
This converged grenadier battalion was first assembled in August 1756 at Neustadt in Upper-Silesia. For the incoming campaign, it was part of the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal von Schwerin. During this campaign, Schwerin's Army conducted operations in Eastern Bohemia.
In 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On April 8, when Schwerin's Army entered into Bohemia, the battalion formed part of the fourth column who marched from Tannhausen (present-day Jedlinka) and Wünschelburg (present-day Radków) towards Politz/Mettau (present-day Police nad Metují). By May 1, the battalion was posted at Zamost to protect the line of communication with Jungbunzlau by Brodetz. On June 18, it fought at the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the van at the extreme left under Hülsen. Around 2:00 p.m., this corps assaulted and took Krzeczhorz Height. At the end of the afternoon, it managed to capture a nearby oak-wood but, being totally unsupported, soon lost it. Fierce attacks of the Austrian cavalry then forced Hülsen to retreat with heavy losses. After this battle, due to its heavy casualties, the battalion was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 12/39 and Grenadier Battalion 12/26 till July 3. At the end of July, it was reinforced by troops from the disbanded former Saxon infantry regiments.
On May 10 1758, during the invasion of Moravia, the battalion was at the camp of Starnau under the command of General Mayr. On May 20, still part of Mayr's detachment, it blockaded the left bank of the March River. On June 10, during the Siege of Olmütz, the battalion was sent to occupy the Sauberg near Dolein (present-day Dolany u Olomouce). In the night of June 16 to 17, Mayr recalled the battalion from Drosdein to occupy Groß Wisternitz. On June 17, Mayr sent it back to Drosdein. When the Austrians launched an attack on Groß Wisternitz, the battalion turned back again and hurriedly marched to the support of the Prussian cavalry. With the help of a few artillery pieces, they stopped the advance of the Austrian cavalry and drove it back beyond the camp of Groß Wisternitz up to Groß Teinitz (present-day Velký Týnec). Mayr having received orders from Keith to retire to Holitz, the battalion formed a square with its baggage in the middle and retired in good order without losing a single man even though it was attacked by Saint-Ignon's Cavalry as well as by some cavalry units sent from Olmütz. On October 14 in Saxony, the battalion fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg. The battalion occupied the village of Weissenberg.
On August 15 1760, the battalion took part in the Battle of Liegnitz where it was deployed on the Wolfsberg, repulsing an Austrian assault. On September 17, it was at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it formed part of the rearguard under General of Cavalry Zieten. On November 3, it fought in the bloody Battle of Torgau where it was attached to Frederick's first column. After that battle, the battalion, who had suffered heavy casualties, was converged with Grenadier Battalion 9/10.
On July 22 1761, Frederick was fearing to loose his line of communication with Neisse where he had large magazines. Accordingly, he marched at dawn in 3 columns to Karlowitz (probably Karlowice) with the intention of attacking Loudon if ever the latter marched in the same direction. A few Grenzer bns belonging to Brentano's Corps had thrown themselves into Münsterberg. Brentano planted a battery behind the Height of Ohlgut and opened on the Prussian vanguard who was seizing the Galgenberg on the opposite side of the town. This vanguard drove back the Austrian cavalry, pursuing it up to Gross-Nossen where it made itself master of Loudon's camp. When Frederick arrived on the Galgenberg at the head of the first column, he established a battery to answer to the Austrian artillery while 33/42 Nimschöfsky Grenadiers and Frei-Infanterie de Salenmon launched an attack on Münsterberg. The Austrian artillery finally retired to Beerwalde (unidentified location). Frederick then resumed his advance and encamped with his right at Gross-Karlowitz, his left at Grachwitz (present-day Goraszowice), his reserve towards Stephansdorf (present-day Radzikowice). Frederick had prevented a junction between the Austrian and Russian armies in Neisse Country. In August, the battalion was with Frederick's army encamped in the entrenched camp of Bunzelwitz (present-day Bolesławice) near Schweidnitz in Lower Silesia.
On July 21 1762, the battalion was present at the Battle of Burkersdorf but was left behind at Nieder Bogendorf. From August to October, it took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz. On August 16, in the Battle of Reichenbach, it was among the reinforcements sent by Frederick when the Austrians vainly tried to break through the line of circumvallation surrounding Schweidnitz.
The grenadiers wore the uniform of their respective regiments. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to regiments Baron de la Motte Fouqué Fusiliers and Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers.
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.
|Baron de la Motte Fouqué Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate; light orange headband with a white and red braid (see illustration for detail) and brass ornaments; light orange backing with similar braid; red within light orange within white pompom
Original (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
|Markgraf von Brandenburg Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate; orange headband with a white braid decorated with 3 thin orange stripes (see illustration for detail) and brass ornaments; orange backing with similar braid; white within orange 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.