Blanckensee Dragoons

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Origin and History

The regiment was created on August 13, 1725 when the Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 1 was subdivided in two distinct regiments, Colonel von Sonsfeld assuming command of the present regiment.

In 1737, the regiment was transferred from Pomerania to the areas of Dinslaken, Duisburg and Rees.

After the conquest of Silesia, the regiment was transferred to this new Prussian province.

From 1743, the regiment garrisoned Bunzlau, Freistadt, Lüben and Raudten. The districts of Freistadt and Sprottau were its recruiting areas.

In 1745, the regiment fought in the engagement of Neustadt

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted five squadrons.

In 1760, a light squadron (100 horse) was added to the regiment for reconnaissance and patrol duties.

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

  • from September 15, 1754: Christian Friedrich von Blanckensee
  • from September 19, 1757 to November 8, 1778: Anton von Krockow (aka Jung-Krockow)

The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulation of Prenzlau.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army conducted minor operations in Eastern Bohemia.

In the spring of 1757, the regiment was among the Prussian army who proceeded to the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing under Prince Schönaich. It lost 62 men during this battle. On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing under Lieutenant-General Penavaire. On November 22, the regiment fought in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed near Gabitz in the Prince of Württemberg's Brigade, in the second line of the left wing under Lieutenant-General von Zieten. On December 4, it was in the vanguard when the Prussian army under Frederick II advanced straight towards the Austrian camp in the area of Leuthen. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Krockow's Brigade in the second line of the cavalry right wing under Zieten. It lost 118 men in this battle.

On October 14, 1758, the regiment took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in support of the second line of cavalry of the left wing under Seydlitz. It lost 21 men during this battle.

On August 12, 1759, the regiment fought in the sanguinary Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing as part of Platen’s Division. In this battle, it lost 11 officers, 40 NCOs and 484 privates. On September 21, the regiment took part in the Combat of Korbitz where it was deployed in the second line of the right wing under Lieutenant-General Finck. In this affair, the regiment lost 17 men killed, and 3 officers and 29 men wounded.

On Sunday August 3, 1760, when Frederick resolved to march towards Silesia, the regiment formed part of the vanguard of the second column. On August 15, the regiment took part in the Battle of Liegnitz| where it captured 1,000 prisoners with 12 guns, 2 flags and 3 standards, losing 77 men and 1 standard. A few months later, it fought at the Battle of Torgau.

In 1762, the ranks of the regiment were replenished and it now counted 1,000 men. On October 29, it took part in the Battle of Freiberg.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1756
Headgear black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button and dark red pompoms

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

Neck stock black
Coat cobalt blue with 2 yellow buttons under the lapel and 3 yellow buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar white
Shoulder strap left shoulder: blue fastened with a yellow button
right shoulder: yellow with a yellow aiguillette
Lapels white with 6 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 2 yellow buttons
Cuffs white (Swedish style) with 2 yellow buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat straw yellow with one row of small yellow buttons and horizontal pockets, each with yellow buttons
Breeches buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Bayonet scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth white with rounded corners; bordered with 3 blue braids; and carrying Frederick's cipher in each rear lower corner
Housings white pointed housings; bordered with 3 blue braids; and carrying Frederick's cipher in the centre of each housing
Blanket roll cobalt blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

NCOs

NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a golden fastener) and black and silver pompoms
  • black within white pompoms in the lateral "cornes" of the tricorne
  • cuffs edged with a silver braid

Officers

Blanckensee Dragoons Officer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a golden fastener) and black and silver pompoms
  • gold embroidered buttonholes on the coat
  • golden aiguillette on the right shoulder


Musicians

A drummer of Krockow Dragoons in 1760. - Source: Richard Knötel Uniformkunde
Blanckensee Dragoons Drummer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

Drummers of the regiments of dragoons wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams with a yellow lace with white stripes.

Colours

Standards were made of damask. They were swallow-tailed and measured some 50 cm along the pole, 65 cm from the pole to the extremity of a point and 50 cm from the pole to the centre of the indentation. The cords and knots were of silver threads. The pole of the standard was a yellow tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden finial wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric Wilhelm (FWR).

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

References

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

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und LobositzBerlin, 1901, Appendix 1

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 560-563

Thümmler, L.-H.: Preußische Militärgeschichte

Vial, J. L.: Nec Pluribus Impar