G-V/G-X Rath Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> G-V/G-X Rath Grenadiers

Origin and History

In 1744, the grenadiers from Garrison Regiment V (2 coys) and Garrison Regiment X (2 coys) were converged into the V. Stehende Grenadier-Bataillon.

From June 30 to November 8 1758 the battalion was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII Carlowitz.

During the winter of 1761-62, grenadiers of IR28 Thile were temporarily incorporated into the battalion.

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

  • since 1756: von Rath
  • from March 1760: von Koschenbahr
  • from June 1760: von Hachenberg

Service during the War

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

From 1757 to 1760, the battalion was at half-strength, comprising 18 officers, 36 NCOs, 20 musicians, 28 carpenters and 560 grenadiers.

In 1757, the battalion garrisoned Cosel and, despite the assertions of some sources, did not take part in the Battle of Prague.

In May 1758, the battalion joined a Prussian corps at Littau from where it started its march for the invasion of Moravia and the Siege of Olmütz. It was attached to Zieten's Corps. As such, on June 30, it took part in the Combat of Domstadl where its commander, Major von Rath, was wounded and captured by the Austrians. With difficulty, the battalion managed to break through the encircling Austrian units bit its losses were so important that it had to be combined with Grenadier Battalion 47/G-VII Carlowitz. On November 14, the battalion formed part of the corps under Karl Christoph von Goltz sent to the relief of Cosel who broke the Austrian blockade. On November 15, the battalion took part in a skirmish at Reńska Wieś. It then remained in the Fortress of Cosel till the end of the year.

In 1759, the battalion served in the corps of the Baron de la Motte Fouqué. On July 23 and, the battalion took part in skirmishes near Friedland (Silesia). On September 11, it was at the engagement of Bernsdorf.

In 1760, the battalion served once more in Silesia under de la Motte Fouqué. On June 23, it took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was initially deployed on the Hahnenberg under the command of Major von Koschenbahr. It was then moved to the heights of Reichennersdorf (present-day Przedwojów) on the right wing under Major-General von Schenckendorf. It was taken prisoners during this engagement. During this battle, the battalion lost:

  • killed: Major von Koschenbahr, Lieutenant von Bion, Lieutenant von Servantius
  • wounded and captured: Captains von Treskow, Retzdorf and von Wedingen; Lieutenants von Langsjahr, Wolff, Schwartz and Kalckreuth
  • captured: St. Captain von Lentzky; Lieutenants von Buskowsky, Krockow, Teichmann, Mütschefahl and Zettwitz

In 1761, the battalion was restored to full strength and attached to Goltz,s Corps. In July, the battalion was attached to Zieten's force sent to proceed to a raid in Greater Poland to destroy Russian supply magazines. In September, it took part in a second raid in Greater Poland under Platen. After the raid, Platen headed for Pomerania to reinforce the corps of the Prince von Württemberg for the defence of Colberg. On September 14, the battalion saw action at Kobylin. On September 15, it acted as rearguard in the Engagement of Gostyn. On September 30, the Prussian grenadiers, assisted by Plettenberg Dragoons, won the combat of Karlin, attacking a Russian redoubt from the rear after crossing the river. On October 2, the battalion along with |Grenadier Battalion 28/32 Arnim and II./Knobloch Infantry took part in a fight at Spie to cover the passage of the river by Platen's Corps who reached the fortified camp of Colberg at Kauzenberg. On October 17, the battalion, attached once more to Platen's Corps, took part in an expedition to bring back food and supplies for Colberg. On October 21, the battalion was sent to rescue Courbière's detachment in the Engagement of Zarnglaff, where a small Prussian detachment was forced to surrender. On October 22, the battalion took part in the Combat of Gollnow, covering the position on a sand dune. After junction with Prince von Württemberg's Corps, the battalion was assigned to the escort of the supply convoy. On December 12, in the Combat of Spie, the battalion formed the rearguard. In mid-December, it then marched with Platen's Corps to Saxony for winter-quarters.

In May 1762, the battalion was in fortified positions at Gabitz. In June, it was attached to Werner's Corps. Later, they were transferred to Bevern's Corps, On August 9, the battalion was sent to Cosel and, contrarily to the asserions of some sources, did not take part in the Battle of Reichenbach.

Uniform

Exceptionally, the uniforms of these grenadier companies differed from those of the musketeer companies of the corresponding regiment. Hereafter, we depict the uniforms of these grenadier companies.

Grenadiers of G-V

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with yellow metal front plate; white headband edged with a white braid bordered black and decorated with yellow metal ornaments; white backing piped with a white/black braid (same as above); black within white pompom
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 2 yellow buttons under the right lapel; and 3 yellow buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar black
Shoulder Straps black fastened with a yellow button
Lapels black with 6 yellow buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 yellow buttons
Cuffs black (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 yellow buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a small yellow button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt 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 musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.

NCOs

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

  • quartered black and white pompom on the mitre cap
  • no shoulder straps
  • gold laced cuffs
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

Grenadier NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white pike measuring 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).

N.B.: the long pike (4,10 m long), was introduced in 1756 just before the war. This long pike was not very popular and was often shortened. At the beginning of the Seven Years' War and throughout the conflict, NCOs carried a mixture of M1713 half-pikes (2,37 m long), M1755 half-pikes (3 m long) and M1756 (4,10 m long) pikes.

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Officers had tricorne wearing a gold scalloped lace with black and silver quartered pompoms. They had a silver and gold gorget. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist. They carried an officer stick. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no shoulder straps and no turnbacks.

Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The lace of the drummers consisted of black and white squares in a checker pattern. The coat, lapels, cuffs and pockets were edged with this lace. Shoulder decorated with 4 vertical laces and 1 horizontal lace.

Grenadiers of G-X

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with white metal front plate; black headband piped yellow decorated with white metal ornaments; black backing piped yellow; yellow pompom
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 2 white buttons under the right lapel and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar black
Shoulder Straps black fastened with a white button
Lapels black with 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest;
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs black (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 white buttons
Turnbacks red fastened with a small white button
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt 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 musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.

NCOs

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

  • quartered black and white pompom on the mitre cap
  • no shoulder straps
  • silver laced cuffs
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

Grenadier NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white pike measuring 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).

N.B.: the long pike (4,10 m long), was introduced in 1756 just before the war. This long pike was not very popular and was often shortened. At the beginning of the Seven Years' War and throughout the conflict, NCOs carried a mixture of M1713 half-pikes (2,37 m long), M1755 half-pikes (3 m long) and M1756 (4,10 m long) pikes.

NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

Officers

Officers had tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace, black and silver pompoms. They had a silver and gold gorget. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist. They carried an officer stick. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no shoulder straps and no turnbacks.

Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The lace of the drummers consisted of a white braid decorated with 2 black stripes (narrow lace) or 3 black stripes (wide lace). The coat, collar, lapels, and pockets were edged with the narrow lace. The cuffs were edged with the wide lace. Shoulder decorated with 4 vertical narrow laces and 1 horizontal narrow lace.

Colours

The converged grenadier battalions did not carry any colour.

References

Bleckwenn, Hans; Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786, Band II: Infanterie II, Osnabrück 1984

Fiedler, Siegfried; Geschichte der Grenadiere Friedrichs des Großen, Munich, 1981

Gaudi, F. W.: Journal vom Siebenjährigen Kriege, Hrsg von J. Zeichmann, bearb. von M. Löffelholz, Buchholz-Sprotze 1999

Gieraths, G.: Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgische-preussischen Armee, Berlin 1964

Großer Generalstab, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen, Part 3: Der Siebenjährige Krieg 1756–1763, Berlin, 1901-1914, all volumes

Jany, K.: Geschichte der Königlisch Preussischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, vol. 2, Berlin 1929

Kloppert, A.: Der Schlesische Feldzug von 1762, Bonn, 1988

Karpiński, T.: Bitwa pod Dzierżoniowem 16 sierpnia 1762 roku [in:] Rocznik dzierżoniowski, 2012, vol. 22, pp. 21-34

Karpiński, T.: Działania pruskiego korpusu generała D. F. von Platena w trakcie kampanii 1761 r. na Pomorzu [in:] Trzebiatów – spotkania pomorskie, Trzebiatów 2013, pp. 61-83

Karpiński, T.: Twierdza Koźle w czasie wojny siedmioletniej [in:] Militarne tradycje Kędzierzyna-Koźla, Śląska i Rzeczypospolitej, tom II, Kędzierzyn-Koźle 2013, p. 48-63

Karpiński, T.: Wyprawa pruska do Wielkopolski we wrześniu 1761 r. i bitwa pod Gostyniem (15 IX 1761 r.) [in:] Rocznik leszczyński, 2014, vol. 14

Kessel, E.: Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, Hrgb. von T. Linder, t. 1, Padeborn – München – Wien – Zürich 2007

Schirmer, Friedrich; Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756 - 1763. Edited and published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg e.V., Magstadt: 1989, pp. 30-32

Acknowledgments

Martina Hager and User:Zahn for the initial version of this article.

Tomasz Karpiński from Poznań in Poland for additional information on the service of this battalion during the Seven Years' War.