50/58 Bähr Grenadiers
Origin and History
In October 1756, after the Prussian invasion of Saxony and the surrender of the Saxon Army at Pirna, Frederick II forcibly incorporated the Saxon regiments into his army. Each Saxon infantry regiment remained intact but received new uniforms and new commanders, and was designated as a fusilier regiment. In the spring of 1757, the grenadier companies of these fusilier regiments were converged into elite battalions. Thus the grenadiers from Wietersheim Fusiliers (2 coys) and Flemming Fusiliers (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion S-50/S-58 counting four companies.
During its short existence, the battalion was commanded by:
- since February 11 1757: Major von Bähr
On July 30 1757, Frederick disbanded the remains of this Saxon battalion and distributed its men among his other regiments.
Service during the War
This converged battalion was first assembled at the end of March 1757. For the campaign of 1757, the battalion accompanied Frederick's Army in its invasion of Bohemia. On July 23, when the Prussian garrison of Zittau retired, the largest part of the battalion deserted or joined the Austrians. On July 30, Frederick disbanded the remains of this Saxon battalion and distributed its men among his other regiments.
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.
Wietersheim Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate (even though the regiment had white as metal colour); light straw headband with a white braid and polished brass ornaments, light straw backing with a similar braid, white pompom
Flemming Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate (even though the regiment had white as metal colour); white headband with a grey braid and brass ornaments, white backing with a similar braid, grey pompom
The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, p. 125, App. 2