Frei Hussars von Bauer

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Frei Hussars von Bauer

Origin and History

In 1757, Major von Bauer was lieutenant and then captain in the Hessian Artillery. In December 1759, Bauer was promoted quartermaster-general and engineer and was attached to the headquarters of Ferdinand of Brunswick. In these functions, Bauer was in charge to plan the marches. To this end, he raised a small detachment of hussars among mountain people of the Harz Country to serve as escort of his reconnaissance missions. By December 1760, this small unit counted only 50 hussars. It was soon reinforced to a full squadron and named Leib-Husaren von Bauer. This squadron counted:

  • 4 officers
  • 10 NCOs
  • 1 trumpeter
  • 1 surgeon
  • 1 smith
  • 114 hussars

On January 17 1761, with the incorporation of 2 squadrons of hussars transferred from the Volontaires de Prusse and the subdivision of his initial squadron into 2 squadrons, the unit was increased to 4 squadrons of hussars, each comprising:

  • 4 officers
  • 8 NCOs
  • 1 trumpeter
  • 1 surgeon
  • 1 smith
  • 108 hussars

Before its incorporation into the Prussian army, the regiment was in British pay.

On December 3 1761, Frederick II took this unit under Prussian pay. Bauer was promoted lieutenant-colonel, thus becoming the first artillerist to command a cavalry regiment in the annals of the Prussian army. His regiment was brought to a total strength of 5 squadrons, each comprising:

  • 5 officers
  • 12 NCOs
  • 1 trumpeter
  • 1 surgeon
  • 1 smith
  • 150 hussars

Effective command of the new regiment was confided to Major Ernst Ludwig von Pfuhl. The unit seems to have been also known as "Pfuhl Frei Korps".

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

  • since January 17 1760 to 1763: Lieutenant-colonel Friedrich Wilhelm von Bauer

At the end of the Seven Years' War, the Freikorps was disbanded in Magdeburg.

Service during the War

On June 22 1760, when the Allied army under Ferdinand of Brunswick started moving from its camp at Wabern/Fritzlar in Hesse for the summer campaign, Bauer's Hussars formed part of the advance guard, along with the pioneers and light bridges train, all under Bauer's command. By 2:00 AM, this advance guard had reached the bridge of Ütershausen where it waited for the arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Watson's corps. The main army followed on July 23, its first elements leaving camp at 1:30 AM. The same day Bauer reached Tillendorf where he supervised the allocation of wood and straw to each regiment.

On July 13 1761, during the French campaign in Western Germany, Luckner marched with Roth Hussars and Bauer Hussars towards Sande where the Comte de Chabot was encamped with the vanguard of the French Reserve. Luckner then attacked the position, forcing Chabot to repass the Lippe. In this action the French lost 150 men made prisoners, the Du Roy regiment narrowly escaping. Luckner then retired to Stuckenbrock (unidentified location).

In 1762, even if it was now under Prussian pay, the unit remained in West Germany and continued to serve with the Allied army. By the end of May, during the French campaign in West Germany, it was attached to Granby's Corps forming the left wing towards Dörnberg. On June 24, it took part in the in the battle of Wilhelmsthal where it was attached to Granby's Corps.

Uniform

First Uniform

The first uniform was probably worn until the formation of a 4 squadron unit on January 17 1761.

Troopers

Uniform in 1761
Source: Richard Couture as per a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear a brown kolback with a red flame
Pelisse dark green
Fur trim black
Lace 9 rows of yellow cords
Buttons white
Dolman red edged white with 12 yellow cords and 3 rows of yellow buttons
Collar red edged yellow
Cuffs dark green edged with a yellow chevron
Trousers red decorated with intricate yellow laces
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt probably white
Waist-sash red and dark green barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth red shabraque bordered with dark green wolf tooth edged yellow
Sabretache dark green edged yellow and decorated with a crowned yellow "FR" monogram


Troopers were probably armed with a short curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine.

Officers

Officers wore unifrom similar to those of the troopers with the following distinctions:

  • golden cords, knots and tassels at the kolback
  • pelisse and dolman with golden cords and wide golden laces
  • silver barrel sash
  • dark green sabretache edged with a golden van-dycked braid and decorated with a crowned golden "FR" monogram
  • yellow boots

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

no information available yet

Second Uniform – first variant

The second uniform was probably worn from the formation of a 4 squadron unit on January 17 1761. This variant is documented in Bleckwenn and Schirmer, based on a primary source

Troopers

Uniform in 1762
Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear a black mirliton edged yellow with yellow cords, knots and tassels
Pelisse dark blue
Fur trim black
Lace 12 rows of yellow cords
Buttons yellow
Dolman dark blue edged yellow with 12 yellow cords and 3 rows of yellow buttons
Collar yellow edged yellow
Cuffs yellow edged with a yellow chevron
Trousers dark blue with intricate yellow laces
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waist-sash yellow and red barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark blue shabraque with dark blue wolf tooth edged yellow
Sabretache dark blue


Troopers were probably armed with a short curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine.

Other interpretations

Cremer and Funcken both describe the second uniform with white buttons, white cords, and white edgings (including edgings of the saddle-cloth). Funcken illustrates buff leather trousers.

Officers

no information available yet

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

no information available yet

Second Uniform – second variant

The second uniform was probably worn from the formation of a 4 squadron unit on January 17 1761. This variant is documented in Jany (vol. 2, page 688), Grosser Generalstab (vol. 1, appendix, page 41), Scharf (Zweierlei Tuch, plate 33), and Boltze (Husaren plate).

Troopers

Uniform in 1762
Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear a black mirliton edged white with white cords, knots and tassels
Pelisse dark blue
Fur trim white
Lace 12 rows of white cords
Buttons white
Dolman dark blue edged white with 12 white cords and 3 rows of white buttons
Collar dark blue edged white
Cuffs dark blue edged with a white chevron
Trousers buff leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waist-sash white and red barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark blue shabraque with dark blue wolf tooth edged white
Sabretache dark blue edged white


Troopers were probably armed with a short curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine.

Other interpretations

Cremer and Funcken both describe the second uniform with white buttons, white cords, and white edgings (including edgings of the saddle-cloth). Funcken illustrates buff leather trousers.

Officers

no information available yet

NCOs

no information available yet

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

None of the Freikorps units carried official colours, standards or guidons to the exception of von Kleist Frei Korps.

References

Bleckwenn, Hans (Hrsg.): Das Altpreussische Heer - Erscheinungsbild und Wesen 1713-1807, Teil III: Übersichten altpreußischer Uniformgestaltung, Band 5: Die Uniformen der preußischen Technischen Truppen, Rückwärtigen Dienste und Kriegsformationen 1753-1786, Osnabrück 1984

Cremer, Peter: Die Preussischen Freikorps im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Auflistung der Freikorps, ihrer Einsätze, der Uniformen, der Chefs und deren Geschichte, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.

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

Großer Generalstab, Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II (Publisher). Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen. Dritter Teil: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763. ("Neues Generalstabswerk")

Jany, Curt: Geschichte der Königlich Preußischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, Zweiter Band: Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740-1763, Reprint Osnabrück 1967

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

Acknowledgments

Michael Zahn, Digby Smith and Christian Rogge for the information provided for the creation of the initial version of this article.