G-VI/G-VIII Plötz Grenadiers

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> G-VI/G-VIII Plötz Grenadiers

Origin and History

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

From October 14 1758 to the spring of 1759, the battalion was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion 8/46 Alt-Billerbeck.

From August 12 1758 to the winter of 1759-60, the battalion was temporarily converged with the Grenadier Battalion 17/22 Kremzow.

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

  • since 1756: von Plötz
  • from February 1758: von Rohr
  • from February 1759: von der Busche

Service during the War

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

In April 1757, the battalion was part of the Prussian army who proceeded to the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, the battalion fought in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed to cover the left flank of the infantry in Amstell's Brigade. On November 22, the battalion took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed en potence as right flank guard under Major-General von Rohr. On December 4, the battalion was in the rearguard 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 battalion was deployed in Bülow's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre. During the battle, it was assigned to the guard of the Prussian bakery.

On July 26 1758, during the Prussian retreat after the failed invasion of Moravia, the battalion covered the left flank of the Prussian army encamped near the bridge of Jasena. On August 10, the battalion was part of the corps who accompanied Frederick when he marched from Silesia to join Dohna to contain the Russian invasion of Brandenburg. On Tuesday August 22, this corps made a junction with Dohna's at Manschnow. On August 25, the battalion fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the left division led by von Kanitz. On September 2, a week after this bloody battle, when it became clear that the Russian Army was slowly retiring towards Landsberg, Frederick assembled the corps that he had brought with him from Silesia and left for Saxony where his help was badly needed. On September 13, the battalion guarded the 2 bridges that Frederick had thrown across the Elbe at Pillnitz to establish a line of communication with Prince Henri. On October 14, the battalion took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's Corps, en potence towards Lauske, on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions.

On August 12 1759, the battalion fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the left centre as part of Rebentisch's Brigade.

In August 1761, the battalion was part of the Prussian force assigned to the defence of Colberg. It was deployed in the outer works. In mid-November, the battalion was part of the corps of the Prince of Württemberg who managed to escape from Colberg to retrieve supplies. In mid-December, the battalion took part in the failed attempt to resupply Colberg.

From August to October 1762, the battalion took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz.

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.

In regiments with white metal, the front plates were to be coloured with a water-based silver paste which needed to be re-applied regularly lest the cap plates revert to their original brass colour. Therefore, during campaign, particularly in bad weather, it is possible that the silvering could have worn off and needed to be silvered again.

Grenadiers of G-VI

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with silver-plated front plate; orange headband edged with a white braid and decorated with silver-plated metal ornaments; orange backing piped with a white braid; white within orange within white pompom
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 6 white buttons arranged 2 by 2 on the chest; 2 white buttons under the right lapel; and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a white button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs orange (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

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

  • black tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace with black and silver pompoms (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • no shoulder strap 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 in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The lace of the drummers consisted of an orange braid bordered white.

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 swallow nest consisting of 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace
  • coat, cuffs and pockets edged with the drummer lace


Grenadiers of G-VIII

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear mitre cap with silver-plated front plate; black headband piped white decorated with silver-plated ornaments; black backing piped white; pink pompom
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 6 white buttons arranged 2 by 2 on the chest; 2 white buttons under the right lapel and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a white button
Lapels none
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

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

  • black tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace, black and silver pompoms (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • no shoulder strap 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 in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The lace of the drummers consisted of a black braid bordered white and decorated with an intricate silver pattern.

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 a swallow nest consisting of 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace
  • coat, cuffs and pockets edged with the drummer 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

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

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

Acknowledgments

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