Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons

Origin and History

The regiment was formed on December 1 1743 from troops originating from Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 1.

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 5 squadrons.

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

  • since October 27 1743: colonel Georg Ludwig, duke von Holstein Gottorp
  • from April 9 1761 to August 23 1785: colonel Nikolaus Alexander von Pomeiske

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was part of Lehwaldt's army assigned to the defence of East Prussia against a Russian invasion. On August 30, at the battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry right wing under the duke of Holstein. The cavalry of the Prussian right wing then attacked the cossacks deployed in front of the Russian left wing who feigned to retire, drawing the Prussian cavalry towards the 5 Russian infantry regiments who had deployed in line during the cavalry engagement. Holstein Dragoons forced their way through them, took a battery of 8 guns and cut down all who opposed them. However, the Prussian cavalry of the right flank was unable to maintain the advantage gained during the initial engagement. Artillery was soon brought to bear upon them, obliging them to retire. During this battle, the regiment lost 5 men killed and 50 wounded.

In January 1758, the regiment was part of Lehwaldt's army who proceeded to the invasion of Swedish Pomerania, bottling up the Swedes in Stralsund. On January 10, it was part of Holstein's corps who advanced into Mecklenburg, levied considerable contributions and took possession of Wismar (January 27) and Rostock (February 6). About mid February, Holstein's corps advanced into the duchy of Lüneburg and finally made a junction with the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick. On May 26, the regiment was part of the corps of the prince von Holstein encamped at Dülmen. On May 31, this corps accompanied Ferdinand of Brunswick in his offensive on the west bank of the Rhine. On June 12, during the aborted attack on the French positions at Rheinberg, the regiment was in the Holstein (third) column of attack under major-general von Brandemer. On June 23, the regiment took part to the battle of Krefeld where it was deployed on the right wing under the command of the Erbprinz (hereditary prince) of Brunswick. Along with the Prussian Finckenstein dragoons and supported by the Hessian Leib cavalry and Leib dragoons, it fell on the rear of the French infantry. After a fierce fight, they chased the French infantry out of its entrenchments. During the battle, the regiment captured a standard and the kettle-drums of Royal-Roussillon Cavalerie. On September 29, the regiment was part of the isolated Allied observation corps under the command of Prince Holstein which escaped the French unsuccessful night attack at Bork.

On August 1 1759, the regiment took part to the battle of Minden, capturing Comte de La Marche Infanterie, 2 flags and 10 guns. During this battle the regiment lost 67 men.

On August 15 1760, the regiment was present the battle of Liegnitz but did not take part to the fighting.

In September 1761, the regiment was transferred to Pomerania to relieve the besieged fortress of Colberg.

In 1762, the regiment was part of Wied's corps.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1757
Headgear black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small white button and white within blue pompons

N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap

Neckstock black
Coat cobalt blue with 8 white buttons and 8 white buttonholes on the chest and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar cobalt blue
Shoulder strap left shoulder: blue fastened with a white button
right shoulder: white with a white aiguillette
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Cuffs blue (Swedish style) with 2 white buttons and 2 white buttonholes
Turnbacks cobalt blue
Waistcoat straw yellow with one row of small white buttons and horizontal pockets, each with white buttons
Breeches buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Bayonet scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth blue with pointed corners; bordered with a wide white braid decorated with 2 thin red braids
Housings blue pointed housings; bordered with a wide white braid decorated with 2 thin red braids
Blanket roll cobalt blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons Officer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a silver fastener) and black and silver pompons
  • 8 silver buttonholes


Musicians

Holstein-Gottorp Dragoons Drummer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

Drummers of the regiments wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams with a white lace decorated with 2 outer blue bands and a central blue zigzag.

Colours

Standards were made of damask. They were swallow-tailed and measured some 50 cm along the pole, 65 cm from the pole to the extremity of a point and 50 cm from the pole to the centre of the indentation. The cords and knots were of silver threads. The pole of the standard was a yellow tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden spearhead wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric (FR).

Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with waved red corners, fringed silver with a yellow central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and decorated with an armed black eagle surmounted by a white scroll laced silver bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in silver in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers). Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): yellow field with waved red corners, fringed silver with a silver central medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and decorated with an armed black eagle surmounted by a yellow scroll laced silver bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in silver in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).
Colonel Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert
Squadron Standard – Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

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

Nelke, R., Preussen

Rogge, Christian; The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

Thümmler, L.-H., Preußische Militärgeschichte

Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar

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