47/G-VII Wangenheim 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 Wietersheim Fusiliers (2 coys) and Garrison Regiment VII (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII counting four companies.
From July 3 to 30 1757, the battalion was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 12/39, Grenadier Battalion G-NG/G-III/G-IV and Grenadier Battalion 33/42. Then from July 30 1757 to March 1758, it was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion G-NG/G-III/G-IV under von Rosenberg.
From June 30 to November 8 1758 the battalion was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion G-V/G-X.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 25 1756: Major von Wangenheim
- from January 26 1758: Major von Carlowitz
- from April 1760: von Bock
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the Prussian Army was ordered to proceed to the invasion of Saxony, the companies of this converged battalion were part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, they 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. The companies of this converged grenadier battalion first assembled on September 2 in Torgau. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf.
On May 6 1757, the battalion took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed on the extreme right of the second line of the infantry centre in Rohr's Brigade. On June 18, the battalion took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was initially deployed in the rearguard (extreme right) but was soon sent to reinforce the van at the extreme left under Hülsen.
In the spring of 1758, the battalion took part in the invasion of Moravia. By May 20, it was attached to Prince Moritz's Corps, encamped near Assmeritz (present-day Nasobůrky) to cover the Siege of Olmütz. On June 30, the battalion fought at the Combat of Domstadl as part of Zieten's Corps who vainly tried to protect the Prussian supply convoy. It barely managed to break through Austrian forces and to retire to Bistrowan (present-day Bystrovany).
From February 24 to March 4 1759, the battalion was part of the small Prussian corps under the command of Major-General von Wobersnow who made an incursion in Poland against Russian magazines. During this incursion, Wobersnow's forces destroyed food supply which would have supplied 50,000 men for 3 months.
In 1761, the battalion took part in the defence of Colberg which surrendered on December 16.
From August to October 1762, the battalion took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz.
The grenadiers usually wore the uniform of their own regiments. This was the case for the grenadiers of Wietersheim Fusiliers. However, some grenadier companies from the garrison regiments had distinct uniforms from their parent unit. This was the case for the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment VII. For these reasons, this section depicts the mitre cap of IR47 von Wietersheim and the entire uniform of the grenadier companies originating from Garrison Regiment VII.
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 IR47
|von Wietersheim Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate; dark lemon yellow headband edged with a yellow braid decorated with a red central stripe (see illustration for details) and brass ornaments; dark lemon yellow backing piped with a similar braid; red within dark lemon yellow pompom|
Grenadiers of G-VII
|Headgear||mitre cap with polished brass front plate; red headband edged with a blue braid and decorated with brass ornaments; red backing piped blue; white pompom|
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red with 2 yellow buttons under the right lapel; 6 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest; and 3 yellow buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.
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
- gold 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 had tricorne wearing a golden scalloped lace, black within silver 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.).
The lace of the drummers consisted of a yellow braid bordered white and decorated with an elaborate red pattern. The coat, cuffs and pockets were edged with this lace. Shoulder decorated with 4 vertical laces and 1 horizontal lace.
The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786, Band II: Infanterie II, Osnabrück 1984
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, Berlin, 1901-1909:
- Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, App. 2
- Vol. 7 Olmütz und Crefeld
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.
Martina Hager and User:Zahn for the initial version of the depiction of the uniform of Garrison Regiment VII.