9/10 Möllendorff 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 Quadt Infantry (2 coys) and Knobloch Infantry (2 coys) were converged into the Grenadier Battalion 9/10 counting four companies.
During the Seven Years' War, the battalion was commanded by:
- since June 27 1756: Major H. F. von Möllendorff (killed in action at the battle of Kolin on June 18 1757)
- from June 1757: Major H. E. von Bähr
Service during the War
This converged grenadier battalion first assembled on August 5 1756 in Osterwieck. On August 26, when the Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the battalion was part of Ferdinand of Brunswick's column which had concentrated at Halle and advanced unopposed through Leipzig, Chemnitz, Freyberg and Dippoldiswalde, to the village of Cotta (reached on September 9) south of the Elbe near Pirna. While the Prussian main army moved forward to engage an Austrian army at Lobositz (October 1), the battalion remained in the Pirna country to maintain the blockade of the Saxon Army which surrendered on October 17.
In April 1757, the battalion took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On April 21, it fought at the Combat of Reichenberg where it was deployed on the left wing of the first line of Duke of Brunswick-Bevern's force. On May 6, the battalion took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed on the extreme left of the first line of the infantry centre in Winterfeldt's Brigade. On June 18, the battalion fought again at the Battle of Kolin. It was initially deployed in the rearguard (extreme right) but was soon sent to reinforce the van at the extreme left under Hülsen. After this battle, due to heavy losses, the battalion was temporarily converged with |Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII and with the I. "Standing" Grenadier Battalion. On July 15, the battalion surrendered as prisoners of war during the Siege of Gabel.
During the winter of 1757-58, the battalion was re-raised.
In the Spring of 1758, the battalion took part in the invasion of Moravia. On June 26, it formed part of the escort of an important convoy of supply destined to the Prussian besiegers which set off from Troppau under the command of Colonel von der Mosel. On June 27, Mosel received instructions to make a junction with Zieten's Corps at Domstadl (present-day Domašov nad Bystřicí). The convoy was attacked by Loudon near Nieder-Güntersdorf. On June 30, the battalion fought in the Combat of Domstadl. On October 14, the battalion fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg. The battalion occupied the village of Krischau.
On September 17 1760, the battalion was at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it formed part of the rearguard under Zieten. On November 3, the battalion fought in the bloody Battle of Torgau where it was deployed in Frederick's first column. The battalion suffered so heavily in this battle that it was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion 29/31.
On May 12 1762, the battalion took part in the Combat of Doebeln, a surprise attack on Austrian outposts, where it was deployed in the left column under Colonel Kleist. On October 29, the battalion fought in the Battle of Freiberg where it formed part of the left wing in Alt-Stutterheim's Brigade.
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 Quadt: mitre with polished brass front plate, red headband with yellow braid with a red central stripe and decorated with brass ornaments, red backing laced with an identical braid, red within orange pompom||von Knobloch: mitre with silver plated front plate, yellow headband with white piping and decorated with silver grenades, yellow back with white piping, yellow 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.
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.