51/59 Bornstädt Grenadiers
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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 Wylich Fusiliers (2 coys) and Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen Fusiliers (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion S-51/S-59 counting four companies.
During its short existence, the battalion was commanded by:
- since February 11 1757: Major von Bornstädt
At the end of July and beginning of August 1757, Frederick disbanded this Saxon battalion and distributed the remaining men among his other regiments.
Service during the War
This converged grenadier battalion 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. At the end of July and beginning of August, Frederick disbanded this Saxon battalion and distributed the remaining men among his other regiments.
The grenadiers wore the uniform of their respective regiments. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to regiments Wylich Fusiliers and Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen 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.
Wylich Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate; white headband with a dark red braid and polished brass ornaments, white backing with a similar braid, dark red pompom
Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen Fusiliers: mitre with polished brass front plate (even though the regiment had white as metal colour); white headband with a light green braid and brass ornaments, white backing with a similar braid, light green 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