Jung Braunschweig Fusiliers
Origin and History
This fusilier regiment was raised in July 1741 for Ferdinand of Brunswick who had been appointed chef of the regiment on June 29 1740. Its fusiliers came from regiment Sommerlatte, a unit in the Reich service who had served against the Turks in Hungary; and its grenadiers from the garrisons of Memel and Pillau.
The regiment had no recruiting canton in Prussia, its troops being recruited in the Duchy of Brunswick.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was part of Frederick's army when he invaded Bohemia in 1744. In September, it was at the siege and capture of Prague where it then assumed garrison duty. At the end of the year, during its retreat towards Silesia, the regiment lost about half of its troops. In April 1745, it was sent to Upper Silesia. On May 22, it took part to the breakthrough from Jägerndorf to Neustadt.
From 1755, the regiment was designated as "Jung-Braunschweig" to differentiate it from Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 5 von Braunschweig. At this period, it garrisoned Königsberg in Neu Mark, Pyritz and Soldin.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- since December 26 1745: Prince Friedrich Franz von Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel
- from October 14 1758 to July 29 1763: vacant
The regimental 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 39.
The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulation of Magdeburg.
Service during the War
In July 1756, the regiment was part of the reinforcements sent to East Prussia. By August, it had made a junction with the army of Field-Marshal von Lehwaldt, charged to observe the Russian army.
In April 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it fought at the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre in Prince Franz von Braunschweig's Brigade. In October, the second battalion of the regiment took part in the defence of Schweidnitz which surrendered on November 14, the battalion becoming prisoners of war. On November 22, the first battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Bornstaedt's Brigade, in the first line of the left wing. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the first battalion of the regiment was deployed in Bülow's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre.
From May to July 1758, during the invasion of Moravia, the regiment took part in the unsuccessful Siege of Olmütz. On October 14, one battalion of the regiment fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg and covered the retreat. Its colonel, Prince Friedrich Franz von Braunschweig, was killed in action during this battle.
On September 17 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf.
In 1761, the regiment initially served in Saxony before being dispatched to Pomerania to relieve Colberg. On December 12, it was at the Combat of Spie against the Russians. When the attempts of the Prussians to relieve Colberg were repulsed, the regiment marched by Schwedt and Berlin and took its winter-quarters in Saxony.
In 1762, from April, the regiment was stationed at Neisse.
N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infanterie Regiment 12, forming the Grenadier Batallion 12/39 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red with 6 pewter buttons on each side, with 2 pewter buttons on the right side at the waist and 3 pewter buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
|Waistcoat||dark lemon yellow|
|Breeches||dark lemon yellow|
Privates were armed with a short musket, a bayonet and a curved blade sabre.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- no shoulder strap
- cuffs edged with a silver lace braid
- yellowish leather gloves
- black and white sabre tassel
NCOs were armed with a sabre and a yellow half-pikes measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.37 m.) in the fusilier 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).
Uniforms of officers were very similar to those of privates with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne wearing a silver scalloped lace, black and white quartered pompoms and a black cockade fastened with a silver strap and a white button (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding fusiliers or grenadiers)
- black neck stock
- no shoulder strap on the coat
- no turnbacks on the coat
- black and silver sash around the waist
- a silver and gold gorget
- fine leather black boots
Officers carried yellow spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.
The laces of the drummers consisted of a 3 cm wide lace and a 1.7 cm narrow lace both of the same pattern (white braid decorated with yellow rhombuses and triangles).
Uniforms of drummers were similar to those of privates but had much more elaborate lacing and other peculiarities:
- no shoulder strap
- swallow nests with 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace on each shoulder
- coat, collar, pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace
Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with yellow corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a yellow medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and surmounted by a silver crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a white scroll bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in silver.
Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Yellow field with white corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and surmounted by a silver crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a yellow scroll bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in silver.
The pikes used as staffs for the colours were yellow.
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Uniformen der Preußischen Infanterie 1753-1786, Teil III/Bd. 3, Osnabrück 1973
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786, Bd. I Infanterie I, Osnabrück 1984
Boltze, Eberhard: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen nach dem Stande von 1785 nebst Rückblick bis 1740, Dresden, November 1927, pp. 28-29, Annex III and IV
Brauer, M.: Heer und Tradition / Heeres-Uniformbogen (so-called “Brauer-Bogen”), Berlin 1926 -1962
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
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, Appendix 1
Guddat, Martin: Grenadiere, Musketiere, Füsiliere: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986
Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 302-309
Menzel, Adolf v.: Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen in ihrer Uniformierung, Berlin 1851-1857
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.