Duke von Württemberg Fusiliers

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Origin and History

Uniform circa 1780 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Bilderhandschrift: "Königl. Preuß. Generalstab"

This fusilier regiment was raised in May 1744 at Berlin for the Duke of Württemberg.

The regiment levied its troops in the districts of Havelland, Zauche and Ziegesar and the towns of Werder and Ziegesar.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1744, the regiment garrisoned Berlin. In April 1745, it joined a Prussian corps assembling at Magdeburg. On December 15 of the same year, it fought at the Battle of Kesselsdorf, losing 600 dead and wounded.

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

  • since April 8 1743: Carl Eugen von Württemberg-Stuttgart (aka Alt-Württemberg)
  • from December 26 1757 to October 20 1776: Johan Albrecht von Bülow

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

  • since June 14 1750: Christian Ludwig von Pfuel
  • from November 18 1756: Emanuel von Schöning (died on May 16 1757 from his wounds at the battle of Prague)
  • from May 6 1757 until October 20 1776: Johan Albrecht von Bülow

The regimental 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 46.

Service during the War

From June 1756, the regiment formed part of the reserve of the Prussian army stationed in Pomerania. On December 7, it was sent to Lusatia.

On May 6 1757, the 1st Battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry left wing in Brandes' Brigade. In May and June, the 2nd battalion took part in the Siege of Prague. During the retreat of the Prussian army, the 2nd battalion was encircled during the defence of Gabel and forced to surrender. On November 22, the 1st battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Bornstaedt's Brigade, in the first line of the left wing. After the defeat, the 1st battalion accompanied Zieten who made a junction with Frederick II at Parchwitz. On December 5, at the Battle of Leuthen, the 1st battalion of the regiment was deployed in Bülow's Brigade in the second line of the infantry right wing.

In 1758, the 2nd battalion returned after having been exchanged. In April, the regiment took part in the Siege of Schweidnitz. In May, it took part in the invasion of Moravia and was at the Siege of Olmütz. In July, it followed the Prussian army in its retreat towards Silesia. By July 31, it had joined Dohna at his camp near Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. On August 25, the regiment fought in the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the second line of the infantry left wing under Forcade de Biaix. During the battle, Frederick personally rallied them and led them forward. At the beginning of September the regiment marched back to Saxony, reaching the neighbourhood of Dresden on September 11. On October 22, in the evening, a convoy transporting the sick and wounded of the Prussian army (about 3,000 men) left Bautzen escorted by Bülow Fusiliers and 5 sqns. It marched towards Dresden by a large sweeping movement by Kamenz, Königsbrück and Radeberg. However, when he arrived at Kamenz, Bülow was informed that the Austrian General Nauendorf had taken position at Königsbrück with 4 infantry regiments. Bülow then received new orders from Frederick, instructing him to march from Kamenz through Hoyerswerda to Glogau (present-day Glogów) in Silesia.

From April to June 1759, the regiment operated with Prince Henri during his incursion in Franconia. Then it marched back to Bautzen before joining Frederick. On August 12, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the left centre as part of Itzenplitz's Brigade and suffered heavy casualties. The regiment then retreated to Saxony where it took post between Strehla and Torgau.

On June 23 1760, the regiment took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed on the Galgenberg on the right wing under Major-General von Schenckendorf. It was taken prisoners during this engagement.

In 1761, the severely depleted regiment remained at Breslau.

In 1762, the regiment began the campaign at Breslau. At the beginning of August, it joined the Prussian force which undertook the Siege of Schweidnitz. The fortress surrendered on October 9.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Amstell Infantry (IR8), forming the Grenadier Battalion 8/46 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Dal
Uniform Details
Headgear
Fusilier mitre with polished brass front plate; black plush headband with brass ornaments; straw cap with brass ornaments; brass spike
Grenadier mitre with polished brass front plate; black plush headband edged with a red braid decorated with 2 straw lateral stripes and a black central stripe and brass ornaments; straw backing piped with a similar braid; red within yellow within red pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 8/46 for an illustration)
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red, 2 brass buttons on the right side at the waist and 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a small brass button (later black)
Lapels black plush with 6 brass buttons arranged 2-2-2 on each side
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs black plush (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat light straw
Breeches light straw
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belts 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 short musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • no shoulder strap
  • cuffs edged with a golden lace braid
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white half-pikes measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.37 m.) in the fusilier 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

Officer uniform circa 1780 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Bilderhandschrift: "Königl. Preuß. Generalstab"

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

  • black tricorne scalloped gold with black and white quartered pompoms, a black cockade and a gilt button (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • black neck stock
  • coat similar to those of the privates but with black velvet lapels and cuffs
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • a golden aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • no trimming on the coat
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • a silver and gold gorget

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

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform - Source: E. Boltze Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen...

The laces of the drummers consisted of a 3 cm wide lace and a 2.4 cm narrow lace both of the same pattern (yellow braid edged white with 2 outer red stripes and black and red decorations in the centre).

The uniforms of the drummers were similar to those of the privates but had much more elaborate lacing and other peculiarities:

  • each shoulder decorated with 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace
  • coat, lapels, pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace


Colours

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

Colonel Colour - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Richard Couture from a template by Hannoverdidi

The pikes used as staffs for the colours were white.

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 Uniformen der Preußischen Infanterie 1753-1786, Teil III/Bd. 3, Osnabrück 1973

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

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

Brauer, M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926 -1962

Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000, pp. 108-109

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 Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, App. 1

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. 352-357

Letzius, Dr. Martin and Herbert Knötel d. J.: Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 images, Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

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

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