Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau Cuirassiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page)) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau Cuirassiers

Origin and History

The regiment entered service in the army of King August II in 1698 as a regiment of dragoons, formerly belonging to the Duke of Brunswick-Wolffenbuettel.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the regiment fought in Poland up to 1706; thereafter in Brabant till 1713. After the war, in 1717, it incorporated the disbanded ‘Saintpaul’ (sic) Dragoons.

During the War of the Polish Succession, from 1733 to 1735, the regiment campaigned in Poland.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1741, 1742, 1744 and 1745, the regiment served with the Saxon Army in Bohemia and Saxony. At the end of the war, in 1748, the regiment was converted into cuirassiers by amalgamation with the Dallwitz Cuirassiers. In 1749, when the army was reduced to peace time strength, the regiment lost 4 coys.

According to the 1753 État, during peacetime each regiment counted 8 companies in 4 squadrons for a total of 514 men and 394 horses.

In 1756, after the surrender of the Saxon Army at Pirna, the entire regiment was distributed among the Prussian cavalry.

During the Seven Years' War, and since 1749, the Chef of the regiment was Lieutenant-general Fürst Eugen von Anhalt-Dessau who died with the rank Generalfeldmarschall in 1781.

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

  • since 1748: Colonel von Dallwitz
  • from 1763 to his death in 1770: Colonel von Buttler

After the war, in 1763, the regiment was reformed and counted 4 squadrons. In 1764, it received an company of carabiniers. In 1770, this latter company joined the Garde du Corps.

Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II invaded Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the right wing under von Arnim, as part of von Reitzenstein's Brigade. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The entire regiment was then distributed among the Prussian cavalry.

In 1757, the men absconding from the Prussian service were rallied in Hungary and served as grenadiers with the Saxon infantry along with the French armies from 1758 to 1761.

In 1761, the men serving as grenadiers finally received mounts and united with the Garde du Corps to form a cavalry regiment counting 4 squadrons.

Uniform

Privates

Cuirassier in "kollet" in 1756 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Trooper of the Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau Cuirassiers in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Dr Marco Pagan
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced white with a white cockade fastened with a small white button; one yellow bob in each lateral corne
Neckstock black
Coat white lined yellow with 6 white buttons (arranged 1-2-3) down to the waist on each side; 3 white buttons under the waist on the right side
Collar yellow
Shoulder strap none
Lapels none
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 white buttons arranged vertically
Turnbacks yellow
Waistcoat buff leather kollet edged with a yellow braid with a white stripe; no button (fastened with hooks and eyes)

a yellow waistcoat was worn under the kollet

Breeches buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt n/a
Waistbelt natural leather with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box n/a
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black boots with white knee covers
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth ???
Housings ???
Blanket roll ???


Troopers were armed with ???.

Officers

Friedrich Heinrich Eugen von Anhalt-Dessau in uniform of Chef of his own Cuirassier Regiment - Copyright: Franco Saudelli


Musicians

 To do: specify particularities of the uniforms of the musicians

Colours

Leibstandarte: white damask field heavily embroidered in gold with silver piping, centre device consisting of a gold shield of ornate design carrying the Royal Polish arms (white eagles and white knights on a red field) and on the centre the arms of Saxony beneath the electoral hat, surmounted by a crimson royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. Fringe in silver (buttons color).

Ordinarstandarte: yellow damask field heavily embroidered in gold with silver piping; centre device consisting of the golden royal cipher "AR" on a white pedestal surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. Fringe in crimson red and silver (buttons color).

Furst Anhalt Cuirassiers Leibstandarte - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Furst Anhalt Cuirassiers Ordinarstandarte - Source: Frédéric Aubert

The first squadron carried the white colonel (Leib) standard while the 3 other squadrons each carried one ordonnance standard.

References

Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee. [History and present state of the Saxon Army.] 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.

Bavaria, Saxony and the Palatinate Supplement: Uniforms & Flags of the Seven Years War. Researched by M.Lange and A. Sharman. Compiled by R.D. Pengel. Artwork by G.R. Hurt. Birmingham, 1981.