Baron von Kyau Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Baron von Kyau Cuirassiers

Origin and History

The regiment was raised in 1695 as a regiment of dragoons from 2 companies each from the regiments Taschen and Küchen; increased to 8 companies. In 1695, the regiment saw much good service in Brabant, Flanders and on the Rhine.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1715, the regiment served in Pomerania where it took part in the capture of Usedom. As a reward for this distinguished service it was converted to a Cuirassier regiment that same year and increased to 5 squadrons.

At the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment initially served against Austria. On May 17 1742, it fought in the battle of Chotusitz, breaking through both enemy lines and cutting down two Hungarian infantry regiments. From September 10 to 16 1744, it took part in the siege of Prague. On June 4 1745, it fought in the battle of Hohenfriedberg. On September 30 of the same year, it took part in the battle of Soor. Finally, on December 15, it was at the battle of Kesselsdorf.

Upper Silesia was the inspectorate of the regiment. Its recruitment districts were Ratibor, Rybnik and Sohrau; and its garrison places Katscher, Leobschutz, Ober-Glogau and Ratibor.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 5 squadrons.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since April 7 1743: colonel Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Kyau (died as lieutenant-general)
  • from April 7 1759 to February 9 1763: major-general Johann Heinrich Friedrich baron von Spaen

By 1806, the regiment was known as the von Bünting Cuirassiers. That year, on October 14, it took part in the battle of Auerstädt where it was deployed on the left wing. It suffered heavy losses. It surrendered at Pasewalk on October 29 and was not re-raised.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the army of Silesia under field-marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army remained on the border between Silesia and Bohemia.

In 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6 1757, it fought in the battle of Prague where it was deployed in the first line of the left wing under prince Schönaich. On June 18, the regiment took part to the battle of Kolin. It was deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing under lieutenant-general Penavaire. In mid August, it accompanied Bevern who had been detached to defend Silesia. On November 22, the regiment took part to the battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Stechow's brigade, in the second line of the centre. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Normann's brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing under lieutenant-general von Driesen.

In 1758, the regiment followed the Prussian army in its invasion of Moravia. On June 30, it took part to the combat near Domstädl, saving the greater part of a large convoy of bullion and ammunition supplies destined for Olmütz. On September 11, it accompanied Frederick II when he marched north on Dresden. On October 10, the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in the second line of the left wing under Seydlitz. It covered the retreat of the defeated Prussian army.

On July 23 1759, the regiment took part in the battle of Paltzig where it was attached to Schorlemmer's division deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing. On August 12, it fought in the bloody battle of Kunersdorf, loosing 260 troopers and 12 officers.

On November 3 1760, the regiment took part in the battle of Torgau where it scattered 2 Austrian infantry regiments (Puebla and Wied), and captured a corps of grenadiers and 6 cannon. Over half the regiment were casualties. Each squadron commander was rewarded with the Pour-le-Merite and 500 Thalers.

In 1761, the regiment was at the camp of Bunzelwitz.

In 1762, the regiment was reinforced to 1,000 men. On August 16, it took part in the battle of Reichenbach.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1757
Headgear black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button and dark orange pompoms

N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap

Neckstock black
Coat off-white trimmed with the regimental lace (white braid bordered with two wide orange stripes)
Collar dark orange
Shoulder strap off-white fastened with a yellow button
Lapels none
Pockets none
Cuffs dark orange trimmed with the regimental lace
Turnbacks off-white trimmed with the regimental lace
Waistcoat dark orange trimmed with the regimental lace
Breeches white (buff leather in campaign)
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Sash dark orange
Cartridge Box black pouch lids with a round brass plate bearing the Prussian eagle
Scabbard brown leather
Sabretache dark orange decorated with the royal cipher “FR”, edged with an intricate white and dark orange braid
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth crimson with rounded corners; decorated with a crowned shield bearing a crowned Prussian eagle, edged with an intricate dark orange and white braid
Housings dark orange decorated with a crowned shield bearing a crowned Prussian eagle, edged with an intricate white and dark orange braid
Blanket roll cobalt blue


Troopers were armed with a heavy straight-bladed sword, a pair of pistols and a musket. They wore a blackened breastplate edged dark orange and fastened by leather straps. The musket strap was white edged with the regimental lace.

NCOs

The NCOs wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • golden lace to the top and back of the cuffs

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform as the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a golden strap and a small yellow button and black within silver pompoms
  • golden regimental lace
  • breastplate edged in gilt metal with straps covered in gilt plates; gilt crowned Prussian crest in trophies of arms on the top centre of the breastplate
  • silver and black silk waist sash
  • silver and black sword strap
  • saddle furniture ornately ornamented and fringed in gold

Musicians

Musicians wore the same uniform as the privates with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne bordered with dark orange feathers and one black within white pompom in each lateral corne
  • a lace specific to the musicians bordering the collar, cuffs, coat edges and decorating the shoulders and sleeves
  • hanging sleeves bordered with the musician lace

The musician laces consisted of a central buff stripe bordered on each side by alternating dark orange and orange squares.

Musicians did not wear breastplate.

Standards

The square standards were made of damask. The cords and tassels were silver and black. The pole of the standard was a buff tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges and gold finial.

The standard bearers had dark orange standard bandoliers, edged and fringed in gold.

The regiment carried standards of the old “FWR” and new “FR” patterns. Here we illustrate old pattern standards.

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field, fringed gold with a buff central medallion surrounded by a crowned laurel wreath and decorated with a crowned black eagle flying toward a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit". Decoration in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers on a white medallion). Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): buff field, fringed gold with a white central medallion surrounded by a crowned laurel wreath and decorated with a crowned black eagle flying toward a golden sun surmounted by a buff scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit". Decoration in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers on a buff medallion).
Colonel Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert
Squadron Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

The 5 standards were lost at the capitulation of Pasewalk on October 29 1806.

References

Stammliste aller Regimenter und Corps der Koeniglich-Preussischen Armee fuer das Jahr 1806. Reprinted by Bilblio Verlag, Osnabrueck 1975.

Anon. Die Schlacht bei Minden 1759. J C C Bruns Verlag, Minden 1959.

Anon., Uniformes Prussiens et Saxons, circa 1757

Alt, Das Koeniglich Preussische Stehende Heer. Schrapp, Berlin, 1869.

Bleckwenn, Hans (Hrsg.): Das Altpreussische Heer - Erscheinungsbild und Wesen 1713-1807, Teil III: Übersichten altpreußischer Uniformgestaltung, Band 4: Die Uniformen der Kavallerie, Husaren und Lanzenreiter 1753-1786, Osnabrück 1979

Bolke, Eberhardt. Preussische Fahnen 1740 – 1806. Dresden, 1944.

Bredow – Wedel. Historische Rang- und Stammliste des Deutschen Heeres. Berlin 1905.

Eckardt, Werner – Morawietz, Otto. Die Handwaffen des brandenburgisch-preussisch-deutschen Heeres. Hamburg, Helmut Gerhard Schulz Verlag, 1973.

Fiebig, H. Unsterbliche Treue

Franke, Ludwig Eberhardt. Vorstellung der Koeniglich Preussischen Armee. Potsdam, 18??

Fraser, David. Frederick the Great, The Penguin Press, London 2000.

Gieraths, Günther: Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgisch-Preussischen Armee 1626-1807, Ein Quellenbuch, Berlin 1964.

Gohlke, W. Geschichte der gesamten Feuerwaffen bis 1850 Berlin 1911.

Grossen Generalstab. Urkundliche Beitraege und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Preussischen Heeres; Heft 14 / 15. Der Feldzug 1806 / 07 und die Reorganisation der Artillerie. Berlin 1914

Grossen Generalstab. Urkundliche Beitraege und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Preussischen Heeres; Hefte 26 - 30. Die Freikorps und Auslaender-Battailone. Berlin 1914.

Hoepfner, Edouard von. Oberst. Der Krieg von 1806 und 1807. Berlin, Simon Schropp & Comp. 1850.

Jany, Curt. Geschichte der Preussischen Armee vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1914. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck, 1967.

Kling, C. Geshichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausruestung des Koeniglich Preussischen Heeres. Three volumes. Putzer und Hoeltze, Weimar 1912.

Knoetel – Sieg. Handbuch der Uniformkunde. H. G. Schultz, Hamburg, 1937.

Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen, Berlin: 1851/57.

Prussian War Ministry. Fahnen und Standarten der preussischen Armee seit dem Jahre 1806. Berlin 1889.

Ramm, August Leopold. Abbildungen von allen Uniformen der Koenigl. Preuss. Armee unter der Regierung Sr. Majestaet Friedrich Wilhelm III Berlin, J F Unger, 1800.

Voigt, Guenther. Deutschlands Heere bis 1918. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck, 1983.

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

Acknowledgments

Digby Smith for the initial version of this article.