8/46 Alt-Billerbeck Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> 8/46 Alt-Billerbeck 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 von Amstell (2 coys) and Duke von Württemberg (2 coys) infantry regiments were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 8/46 counting four companies.

At the end of 1758, after the Battle of Hochkirch, this grenadier battalion was temporarily converged with the Standing Grenadier Battalion G-VI/G-VIII.

Once again after the Battle of Torgau in November 1760, this grenadier battalion was temporarily converged with Grenadier Battalion 33/42.

During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:

  • since 1756: Major H. C. von Billerbeck (Alt Billerbeck)
  • from June 13 1760: Captain C. W. Bonin, as interim commander during the captivity of H. C. von Billerbeck (Bonin was killed in action at the Battle of Torgau on November 3 1760)
  • November 3 1760: Major A.W. von Winterfeldt

Service during the War

In 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On April 21, at the Combat of Reichenberg, it was deployed at the extreme right of the first line of Duke of Brunswick-Bevern's force. The battalion attacked the Austrians behind their abatis, forcing them to draw back behind their second line of abatis. On May 6, the battalion took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed on the extreme left of the second line of the infantry centre in Saldern's Brigade. The battalion was taken prisoners on July 16.

In 1758, the commander of the battalion was exchanged. During the Russian invasion of Brandenburg, on August 25, the battalion fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the vanguard led by Lieutenant-general von Manteuffel. On October 14, the battalion took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's Corps, en potence towards Lauske, on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions.

On September 2 1759, the battalion, as part of Zieten's Corps, fought in the Combat of Sorau.

On June 13 1760, Major H. C. von Billerbeck was captured once more. In November, after the Battle of Torgau, the battalion was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion 33/42.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Uniform

The grenadiers wore the uniform of their own regiments. For details about these uniforms, please refer to the articles related to regiments von Amstell and Duke von Württemberg.

Mitre Caps

von Amstell: mitre with yellow metal frontplate, red headband laced red/white, blue back with red piping laced white, straw/white/red pompon Duke von Württemberg: mitre with yellow metal front plate; black plush headband edged with a red braid decorated with 2 straw lateral stripes and a black central stripe and yellow metal ornaments; straw backing piped with a similar braid; red within yellow within red pompom
IR8 Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
IR46 Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and Richard Couture

Colours

The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.

References

Boltze, Eberhard; Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen nach dem Stande von 1785 nebst Rückblick bis 1740, Dresden, November 1927, pp. 31, Annex III and IV

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.