Hautcharmoy Infantry

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Origin and History

Hautcharmoy Infantry Private - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen

The regiment was raised on January 3 1723 as a fusilier regiment to garrison the Fortress of Wesel on the Rhine. Its troops came from contributions (the shorter soldiers) by all Prussian infantry regiments.

At the end of 1741, the regiment who was previously stationed in Wesel was transferred to the Fortress of Brieg, to the north of the Oder in Silesia. On December 28 of the same year, the hitherto Fusilier Regiment was transformed into an Infantry Regiment formed of musketeers rather than fusiliers. From then on, it recruited in the districts and cantons of Brieg, Kreuzburg and Ohlau. A detachment of the regiment was left behind at Wesel to form the kernel of the new Alt-Dohna Fusiliers.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1745, the regiment fought at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg (June 4) and took part in the siege of Cosel (present-day Kędzierzyn-Koźle).

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

  • since January 30 1742: Heinrich Carl Ludwig Herault de Hautcharmoy
  • from January 5 1758: Lorenz Ernst von Münchow (aka Jung-Münchow)
  • from April 4 1758: Johann Friedrich von Kreytzen (aka Jung-Kreytzen)
  • from May 20 1759: Friedrich Ehrentreich von Ramin
  • from February 8 1760 to June 4 1770: Friedrich Wilhelm von Thile

The numbering system (Stammliste) was first used by Leopold I., Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau (Der alte Dessauer) in the Dessauer Spezifikation from 1737. Around 1780 the numbers were used in the printed Stammlisten, still with some variations for the fusilier regiments. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present infantry regiment was attributed number 28.

The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulations of Magdeburg and Brieg.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army undertook operations on the border between Silesia and Bohemia.

In the Spring of 1757, the regiment participated in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the first line in Hautcharmoy's Brigade which led the breakthrough south of Kej. The regiment suffered heavy losses in this battle, including Colonel Hautcharmoy who was mortally wounded. In October, the regiment formed part of the Prussian garrison during the Siege of Schweidnitz. When the fortress capitulated on November 14, its troops became prisoners of war.

Early in 1758, after an exchange of prisoners with Austria, the regiment was re-established. It then took part in the invasion of Moravia, in the unsuccessful Siege of Olmütz and in the disastrous Combat of Domstadl.

On July 27 1759, during the campaign in Upper Silesia and Lusatia, the Austrian General de Ville launched an attack on Fouqué's positions on the heights of Vogelgesang and Todtenhubels. He sent Jahnus light corps forward to cover his movements. The regiment, along with Carlowitz Grenadiers and Frei-Infanterie Lüderitz, distinguished itself, repulsing Jahnus' assault.

On August 1 1760, the regiment, now attached to Prince Henri's Corps, took part in an engagement between Glogau and Liegnitz. On September 17, it was at the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.

In 1761, the regiment was at the camp of Bunzelwitz. At the end of June, it formed part of Ziethen's Corps sent to destroy the main Russian magazines in Greater Poland, mainly in Posen (present-day Poznań).

On July 21, the regiment fought in the 1762-07-21 - Battle of Burkersdorf which allowed Frederick to blockade the Fortress of Schweidnitz. On August 16, it was among the Prussian troops who repulsed the Austrian relief army. After this victory, till October, it took part in the siege and capture of Schweidnitz.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infanterie Regiment 32, forming the Grenadier Batallion 28/32 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Dal
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with one pewter button and orange pompoms
Grenadier mitre with silver-plated brass front plate; Prussian blue headband with white braid and silver-plated brass ornaments, red backing with white braid, orange pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 28/32 for an illustration)
Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 8 pewter buttons and a pewter button in the small of the back
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets bordered red, each with 3 pewter buttons
Cuffs blue (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 pewter buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat buff
Breeches buff
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belts 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 straight bladed pallasch.

NCOs

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

  • tricorne with wide silver lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • silver edged cuffs
  • no shoulder strap
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a black half-pike measuring 10 Rhenish feet (3.06 m.) in the musketeer companies and 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).

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

Officers

Hautcharmoy Infantry Officer - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen

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

  • black tricorne with a wide silver lace with a black cockade fastened with a silver strap and a silver button. (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • black neck stock
  • no shoulder strap on the coat (silver aiguillette on the right shoulder from 1779)
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • black and silver sash around the waist

Officers carried black spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.

Musicians

The drummer lace consisted of a red braid with thin white edging on both sides.

The uniforms of the drummers were similar to those of the privates but had much more elaborate lacing and other peculiarities:

  • swallow nest on each shoulder made with drummer laces
  • coat and pockets edged with the drummer lace

Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with blue corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a black medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a golden eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Black field with blue corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a blue scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Colonel Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Hannoverdidi

The pikes used as staffs for the colours were black.

References

Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000

Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Großen: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres, 2 erw. Auflage, Raststatt 1986

Guddat, Martin: Grenadiere, Musketiere, Füsiliere: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986

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

  • Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, App. 1

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 226-235

Menzel, Adolph von: Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen, Berlin: 1851/57

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

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