Amstell Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Amstell Infantry

Origin and History

Uniform circa 1757 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Dr Marco Pagan

On November 15 1678, 1,000 men which were previously stationed in Livonia were transferred to Prussia as Marsch-Regiment. In February 1679, Colonel Johann von Zieten created a new regiment (8 coys) from these troops.

From 1716, the garrison place of the regiment was Stettin. It recruited in the Pomeranian districts of Borck, Flemming, Greifenhagen and Saatzig; and in the towns of Cammin, Greiffenberg, Gülzow, Labes and Stettin.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the Siege of Prague in 1744. On June 4 1745, it fought in the Battle of Hohenfriedberg.

During the Seven Years's War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since June 25 1754: Georg Friedrich von Amstell (killed in action during the battle of Prague on May 6 1757)
  • from May 12 1757: Baron Karl Ferdinand von Hagen, also known as “von Geist” (died on February 19 1759 from wounds received at the battle of Hochkirch)
  • from February 25 1759 to December 13 1769: Julius Dietrich von Queiss

The numbering system (Stammliste) was first used by Leopold I., Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau (Der alte Dessauer) in the Dessauer Spezifikation from 1737. Around 1780 the numbers were used in the printed Stammlisten, still with some variations for the fusilier regiments. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present infantry regiment was attributed number 8.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was considered as the best Pomeranian regiment and was initially stationed in East Prussia. In December, it was transferred to Lusatia.

In the Spring of 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On April 21, at the Combat of Reichenberg, the regiment was deployed on the right wing of the first line of Duke of Brunswick-Bevern's force. On May 6, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the first line in the Duke von Braunschweig-Bevern's Brigade. Its colonel was killed during the battle. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Ingersleben's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Münchow's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre.

In the Spring of 1758, the regiment took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the Siege of Olmütz. On October 14, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in the village and immediately to its left. Its second battalion vainly tried to recapture the Prussian battery planted near Hochkirch. During this battle, its colonel, Major-General von Hagen (aka von Geist), was mortally wounded.

On September 17 1760, the regiment was present at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf. On November 3, it took part in the Battle of Torgau where it distinguished itself in the attack of the Süptitz Heights but was virtually annihilated.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Fusilier Regiment 46 forming the Grenadier Batallion 8/46 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1759 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white, one yellow button, red within white pompom and tassels with yellow threads at regular intervals around the periphery
Grenadier mitre with brass front plate, red headband with brass ornaments laced with a white braid with a red central stripe, flanked by white, with yellow outer edges, dark blue backing laced with an identical braid, red within white pompom with yellow threads at regular intervals around the periphery (see Grenadier Batallion 8/46 for an illustration)
Neck Stock red
Coat Prussian blue lined red with two white/blue braid loops under the lapel (hidden by the sleeve in our illustration, see insert for details), a white/blue braid loop in the small of the back and with 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue bordered with a thin red lace (left shoulder only)
Lapels red, each with 11 brass buttons and 11 white/blue braid loops
Pockets horizontal pockets bordered with a thin red lace, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red (Prussian pattern), each with 2 brass buttons and 2 white/blue braid loops on the sleeve above the cuff
Turnbacks red fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat white with brass buttons and horizontal pockets
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms quite different from those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • tricorne with wide gold lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no braid loop on the lapels and on the sleeve
  • 2 gold buttonholes below each lapel and 1 on each side in the small of the back
  • no shoulder strap
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a brown half-pike measuring 10 Rhenish feet (3.06 m.) in the musketeer companies and 13 Rhenish feet (4.10 m.) in the grenadier companies (carried by the 3 most senior NCOs while other grenadier NCOs were armed with rifled muskets since 1744).

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Amstell Infantry Officer - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen

The uniforms of the officers were very similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne laced gold (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • white neck stock
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • black and silver sword knot
  • a simple Prussian blue coat lined red with:
    • no shoulder strap on the coat
    • no turnbacks on the coat
    • red lapels with 6 gilt buttons
    • red cuffs with 2 gilt buttons and two golden embroidery loops above each cuff
    • 3 golden embroidery loops under the lapels
    • 3 golden embroidery loops on each side in the small of the back
    • 3 golden embroidery loops on each pocket

Officers carried brown spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.

Lace of the officer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755


Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The uniforms of the officers were similar to those of the privates but had much more elaborate lacing (white with a central stripe of alternating red and green rectangles) and other peculiarities:

  • coat bordered with the drummer braid
  • no shoulder strap
  • blue swallow nests with 5 white/red vertical drummer braids and one horizontal drummer braid on each shoulder
  • coat entirely bordered with the drummer braid
  • lapels bordered with the drummer braid
  • two drummer braid loops under each lapel
  • drummer braid loops around the buttons in the small of the back
  • pockets laced with the drummer braid
  • each sleeve decorated with 9 horizontal drummer braids with gold tassels at each end
  • Prussian cuffs heavily laced with the drummer braid

Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with black flames. Centre device consisting of a black medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a golden eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Black field with white flames. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a black scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

The pikes used as staffs for the colours were brown.

References

Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Großen: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres, 2 erw. Auflage, Raststatt 1986

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786: Bd. I Infanterie I, Osnabrück: 1984

Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas: 2000

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Guddat, Martin: Grenadiere, Musketiere, Füsiliere: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 56-63

Knötel, Richard: Uniformkunde. Lose Blätter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der militärischen Tracht, 18 vols., Rathenow 1890-1919

Letzius, Martin: Das Zeitalter Friedrichs des Grossen, Sturm Zigaretten, Dresden: 1932

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

Summerfield, Stephen: Prussian Musketeers of the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War: Uniforms, Organisation and Equipement of Musketeer Regiments, Ken Trotman Publishing: Huntingdon, 2012, pp. 175-180

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.