7/30 Kanitz 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 Braunschweig-Bevern Infantry (2 coys) and Blanckensee Infantry (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 7/30 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since June 25 1756: Major J. W. von Kanitz (killed in action at the Battle of Prague on May 6 1757)
- from May 16 1757: Major von Lubath
- from March 1762: Major C. L. von Kanitz
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment was part of the left column led by the Prince of Bevern. This column had concentrated in the area of Lübben, then advanced through Lusatia by Hoyerswerda and Bautzen, to Hohenstein (Sept. 8) then to Lohmen north of the Elbe near Pirna. In October, after the capitulation of the Saxon Army at Pirna, the battalion accompanied Frederick back to Lobositz to bring Keith's Army back to Dresden. On October 22, it was part of the 10 battalions of Frederick's force who left Lobositz for Linai.
In the Spring of 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it fought in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed to cover the right flank of the infantry in Manstein's Brigade. It was among the grenadier battalions who plunged into the gap opened in the Austrian lines near Kyge-Hlaupetin. At the end of August, the battalion was part of the small Prussian army hastily assembled at Dresden by Frederick to head towards Thuringia and to offer battle to the Franco-Imperial army invading Saxony. On November 5, at the Battle of Rossbach, the battalion was deployed at the extremity of the first line of the infantry left wing under Lieutenant-General Prince Henri.
On August 12 1759, the battalion fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard as part of Schenckendorff's Brigade. The battalion suffered so heavily that it was later combined with Grenadier Battalion 5/20 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 von 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.
On August 20 1760, the battalion took part in the Combat of Strehla where it defended the field fortifications on the plateau. At the beginning of the engagement, Major-general von Braun moved the battalion to the Liebschützerberg to threaten the Austro-Imperial outflanking manoeuvre. On November 3, the battalion took part in the Battle of Torgau where it was deployed in Frederick's second column.
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.
|von Braunschweig-Bevern: mitre with silver plated front plate, white headband with silver plated ornaments, raspberry backing with white piping, raspberry pompom
Original (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 Blanckensee: mitre with polished brass front plate, red headband with brass ornaments, white backing with grey/white/grey piping, red within grey 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.