Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Saxon Army >> Graf Rudnicki Uhlanen

Origin and History

The Pulk was created early in 1745 from a unit of Tatar Guards of the Principality of Kiev. Each pulk was comprised of a variable number of Hoffahnen. During the 1740s, a Hoffahn counted 71 men and consisted of:

  • 3 officers
  • 34 towarczys (Polish nobles)
  • 34 pocztowi (privates).

For 1741, other sources give a different composition for a Hoffahn who counted 100 men:

  • 1 Rittmeister
  • 1 lieutenant
  • 1 cornet accompanying the pocztowi
  • 1 kettle-drummer accompanying the pocztowi
  • 46 towarczys
  • 46 pocztowi

In May 17 1745, the unit counted 8 Hoffahnen when it entered Silesia with the Austro-Saxon Army. On December 15, it was present at the Battle of Kesseldorf, together with the Belwedowsky Uhlanen and the Bertuszewski Pulks under the command of von Sybilsky. In 1746, after the Treaty of Dresden (December 25 1745), the unit returned to Poland.

By 1754, the regiment garrisoned various places in Poland.

By 1757, the unit counted 602 men and 575 horses.

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

  • since 1733: Sichodzinsky, Czymbaj Murza Rudnicki
  • from 1762: Bielack (later major-general in the Polish Army)

In 1764, the unit was transferred to the Polish Army and renames "4th Pulk Przedniej Straży (4th Pulk of the Forward Guard").

In 1792, the unit was involved in the Russo-Polish War and in the Kościuszko Insurection, taking part in the battles of Mir, Zelwa, Maciejowice and Praga).

Service during the War

At the outbreak of the war, in 1756, all the Pulks stayed around Kraków in Poland and did not participate in the Pirna campaign. The Pulk then counted some 426 men. In November, a few days after his arrival in Warsaw, the Elector of Saxony opened negotiations with the Court of Vienna about the use of his 6 remaining cavalry regiments stationed around Krakau (present-day Kraków) in Poland in conjunction with the Austrian army. An agreement was soon reached with Maria Theresa. On November 15, the regiment set off from from Krakau for Hungary. It took its winter-quarters in the Comitates of Neutra (present-day Nitra/SK) and Trentschin (present-day Trenčín/SK).

By March 28 1757, the unit counted 2 pulks or 12 Fahnen (each of 73 men) and was stationed in Warsaw. When the Saxon army was rebuilt in exile, the Pulk joined them in Hungary and operated with the Austrian army and then with the Reichsarmee from 1757 to 1762, mainly in scouting, raiding and skirmishing roles.

In June 1757, after the victory of Kolin, the unit was probably attached to a corps of light troops who followed the retreating Prussians. The unit took its winter-quarters near Welwarn (present-day Velvary/CZ).

On January 11 1758, the unit went to Raudnitz (present-day Roudnice/CZ). In April, it went to Moravia where it effected a junction with the 3 Saxon Chevauxlegers regiments. It was later attached to Daun's Army for the relief of Olmütz, as part of de Ville's Cavalry Corps, and distinguished itself in the so called “Little war” (Kleiner Krieg). In June, the regiment was attached to Major-General Saint-Ignon's small corps. On June 17, along with Löwenstein Chevauxlegers and Dessewffy Hussars, under the command of the Count de Stainville, they routed the Bayreuth Dragoons near Gross-Wisternitz. On June 30, some 200 men of the regiment took part in the Combat of Domstadl where a large Prussian supply convoy was captured.

At the beginning of 1759, the unit counted 602 men. At the end of November, the unit marched from Brünn (present day Brno/CZ) to Saxony and took its winter-quarters near Stolpen.

On April 1 1760, the regiment was increased to 1,000 men. In early June, the regiment formed part of |Lacy's Corps stationed in Saxony on the east bank of the Elbe. On July 20, during the relief of the siege of Dresden, along with the Esterhazy Hussars under Brentano, they evicted the Mohring Hussars from Leuben, coming close to the capture of Frederick the Great at the nearby headquarters on the Grune Wiese. At the end of September, the regiment also took part in the raid on Berlin raid under Brentano. It was active in raiding the countryside and sacked the Charlottenburg Palace with the Russian Cossacks. On November 3, at the battle of Torgau, the regiment was in outpost duty south of the city.

In 1761, the regiment was attached to Hadik's Corps as part of Daun's army in Saxony. It remained in Saxony for the entire campaign and did not take part in any major action. It took its winter-quarters around Chemnitz and later went to Penig.

In 1762, the regiment was attached to Maquire's corps as part of the Austrian army operating in Saxony. At the end of June, the entire Saxon cavalry corps was sent to the border between Saxony and Bohemia. In November, the regiment encamped near Fischbach while Lieutenant-General von Gößnitz's headquarters were established at Putzkau. The Saxon cavalry was in very poor conditions due to constant campaigning and bad financial situation (troopers were unpaid for months). Uniforms were in rags and troopers exhausted.

Uniform

Privates

Trooper of Rudnicki Uhlanen in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Marco Pagan Collection
Uniform Details as per "Uniformes Prussien et Saxonne 1756/1757" (Deutsches Historishes Museum, Berlin)
Headgear Black kolback.
Coat White lined blue half-long caftan.
Collar Blue low upstanding collar.
Lapels none
Buttons white buttons linked with white braids.
Cuffs none.
Turnbacks Blue.
Dolman Blue.
Breeches Long, rather wide blue trousers reaching to the ankles.
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt Natural leather.
Waistbelt Natural leather.
Cartridge Box Natural leather.
Scabbard Black with brass fittings.
Footgear Black boots.
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth Fur cloth
Blanket roll Undyed, in front of the saddle: on the back a big fodder sack hanging down on both sides.


Troopers were armed with a lance, a sabre and a pair of pistols. The two-pointed lance pennon was blue with white triangles.

Officers

Black middlehigh furcap. White overcloth with very wide and long sleeves. A little, low blue upstanding collar, blue turnbacks and lining. On the collar blue-white laces and the same lace in 1-2-3 on the breast where was on the right side (of the middle) 4 x 2 silver buttons. On the turnbacks which reached halfway down the thighs were in the same blue-white lace the crowned AR. Blue waistcoat with blue-white lacing along edges. Blue baggy trousers reaching to the ankles. White-red sash. Very curved sabre in black scabbard. Brass handle and fittings. Black boots without spurs. All bearded, but no pigtails. Blue end-pointed saddlecloth with wide silver border

Musicians

The pulk had kettle-drummers with brass kettle-drums.

Colours

Standards with a white cross on and four blue squares; on the pole a gilded button.

References

Gromoboy, Vlad: Saxon Uhlans 1730-63. in: Nec Pluribus Impar, by J.L. Vial

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. 5

Knötel, Richard and Brauer: Heer und Tradition, plates 132-133, Berlin 1967

Duffy, C.: By Force of Arms, Vol. II of The Austrian Army in the Seven Years War. The Emperor Press, 2008

Kessel, E., Das Ende des Siebenjährigen Krieges 1760-1763, commissioned by the (German Army) Research Departement of Military History [Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt – MGFA], edited by Thomas Lindner, Paderborn 2007 – the recent reedit of the missing volumes of the early 20th c. Großer Generalstab publications.

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

Acknowledgements

Tomasz Karpiński from Gniezno/Poznań and Harald Skala for additional information on this unit