35/36 Schenckendorff 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 Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers (2 coys) and Münchow Fusiliers (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 35/36 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 25 1756: Major F. A. von Schenckendorff
- from March 24 1759: Major K. A. von Schwartz
- from August 12 1759: Captain Sylvius von Swolinsky
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the 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 Keith's Corps. The centre column had concentrated at Brietzen and advanced unopposed upstream along the Elbe River by Torgau and Wittenberg, leaving Meissen to its left. On September 2 at Torgau, the companies forming these converged grenadier battalion assembled assemble for the first time. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf. In October, after the capitulation of the Saxon Army at Pirna, the battalion accompanied Frederick back to Lobositz to escort Keith's Army back to the neighbourhood of Dresden. On October 22, the battalion was part of the 10 battalions of Frederick's force who left Lobositz for Linai. On October 24, the battalion was sent ahead to Nollendorf to cover the baggage train.
In 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On Tuesday May 3, the battalion quit Aussig to join Keith's Corps. On May 6, it did not take part in 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 sent as reinforcement by Bevern from Görlitz. On November 22, the battalion took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Prince Franz of Brunswick's Brigade, in the first line of the left wing. Along with I. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion, Werner Hussars and Zieten Hussars, they threw back Nádasdy's diversionary attack. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the battalion was deployed in Geist's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre.
In the spring of 1758, the battalion took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the Siege of Olmütz. On June 17, the battalion was part of a detachment under Major-General von Saldern sent to reconnoitre the Austrian camp at Müglitz. On June 22, the battalion took part in a reconnaissance in force of Saint-Ignon's camp. By June 24, the battalion was posted in Towerz. On June 27, it was part of Zieten's detachment sent to the support of a large supply convoy coming from Troppau. On June 30, the battalion fought at the disastrous Combat of Domstadl but managed to break through and to return to Bistrowan (present-day Bystrovany). The battalion was later transferred to contain the Swedes in Pomerania. On September 28, as part of Wedel's force, the battalion took part in the failed attempt to capture Fehrbellin from the Swedes.
On August 12 1759, the battalion fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard as part of Lindstedt's Brigade. The battalion suffered so heavily that it was later combined with Grenadier Battalion 29/31 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 battalion was brought back to full strength during the winter of 1759-60.
On September 17 1760, the battalion was at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it was attached to Zieten's rearguard. On November 3, the battalion fought at the bloody Battle of Torgau where it formed part of Frederick's first column. After that battle, the battalion, who had suffered heavy losses, was temporarily converged with the I. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion.
By August 1761, the battalion was part of Frederick's army encamped in the entrenched camp of Bunzelwitz (present-day Bolesławice) near Schweidnitz in Lower Silesia. In December, the battalion formed part of the column assembled for the relief of Colberg. On December 12, this convoy was stopped by the Russians at the Combat of Spie and forced to retreat. The battalion then marched by Schwedt and Berlin and took its winter-quarters in Saxony.
The grenadiers wore the uniform of their respective regiments. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to regiments Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers and Münchow 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.
|Prinz Heinrich von Preußen Fusiliers: mitre with silvered Tombak "red" brass front plate (23,2 cm high); yellow headband with a red and white braid (see illustration for details) and silvered brass ornaments; yellow backing with a similar braid; red within white within red pompom
Original NCO grenadier cap A. (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
Original NCO grenadier cap B. (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
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.
|von Münchow Fusiliers: mitre with yellow metal front plate; white headband with an blue grey/white braid (see illustration for details) and yellow metal ornaments; white backing with a similar braid; white within blue grey pompom
Original grenadier cap (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)
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.