Kalckstein Infantry

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Origin and History

Uniform circa 1757 - Source: Anonymous work circa 1757

A field battalion was raised on June 1 1713 for Major-General Anton von Pannewitz from garrison units. On September 27 1715, this field battalion formed the basis of the newly formed Infanterie Regiment von Schlabrendorff. The new regiment levied its recruits in Lebus and Sternberg.

During the Great Northern War, the regiment took part in the operations of the Prussian army in Pomerania and landed on the island of Rügen.

From 1729, the regiment garrisoned Berlin.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment joined the Prussian army in Silesia in 1741 and fought at Mollwitz (April 10). In the autumn of the same year, it was sent to Bohemia. In 1742, it occupied the Bohemian towns of Königgrätz and Pardubitz. In 1745, it fought at Hohenfriedeberg (June 4) and Soor (September 30).

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

  • since March 29 1729: Christoph Wilhelm von Kalckstein
  • from February 8 1760 to December 13 1782: Friedrich Ehrenreich von Ramin

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 25.

The regiment was disbanded in October 1806 after the capitulation of Prenzlau.

Service during the War

On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army was ordered to proceed to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment was part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, it belonged to Margarve Karl's Corps. The centre column had concentrated in the area of Brietzen and advanced unopposed upstream along the Elbe River by Torgau and Wittenberg, leaving Meissen to its left. On September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf. While the Prussian Main Army moved forward to engage an Austrian army at Lobositz (October 1), the regiment remained in the Pirna Country to maintain the blockade of the Saxon Army which surrendered on October 17.

On May 6 1757, during the Prussian invasion of Bohemia, the regiment did not take part in the Battle of Prague. It was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's Corps. On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry right wing under the Prince von Bevern. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Ingersleben's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Oldenburg's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre.

In the Spring of 1758, the regiment took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the Siege of Olmütz. On August 25, it fought in the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the right division led by Count zu Dohna. On October 14, the regiment fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg.

In 1759, during the Russian campaign in Brandenburg, the regiment took part in the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf.

On September 17 1760, the regiment took part in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf. On November 3, attached to Prince Henri's Corps, it fought in the Battle of Torgau where it was almost annihilated.

In 1761, the regiment was part of the Prussian army entrenched at Bunzelwitz. Later during the year, it was transferred to the East Prussian theatre of operation where it took part in the failed attempt to relieve Colberg.

On July 21 1762, the regiment fought in the Battle of Burkersdorf and from August to October, took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infantry Regiment 19 forming the Grenadier Batallion 19/25 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white, one brass button, red within yellow within white pompoms
Grenadier mitre with polished brass front plate; white headband with a white braid decorated with a white braid (regimental lace consisting of a white braid decorated with 6 thin blue lines) and decorated with polished brass ornaments; red backing with white braid (same lace as above), red within yellow within white pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 19/25 for an illustration)
Neckstock red
Coat Prussian blue lined red, with 2 white braid loops (same lace as above) with white/blue tassels below each lapel, 1 white braid loop (same lace as above) with a white/blue tassel on each side in the small of the back and 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a brass button
Lapels red, each with 6 brass buttons and 6 white braid loops (same lace as above) with white/blue tassels arranged 2-2-2
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red (in the Prussian pattern) with 2 white braid loops (same lace as above) with white/blue tassels and 2 brass buttons on the sleeve flap above each cuff
Turnbacks red fastened with a small brass 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


N.B.: the document Uniformes Prussien et Saxonne of 1758 illustrates a red collar and a red shoulder strap.

Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.

NCOs

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

  • tricorne with wide gold lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • 2 golden lace loops below each lapel and 1 in the small of the back (none on the lapels and cuffs)
  • no shoulder strap
  • gilt buttons
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a brown or 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

Kalckstein 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 thin gold lace (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • white neck stock
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • 6 gilt buttons and 6 golden cord loops on each lapel
  • 2 golden cord loops below each lapel
  • 1 golden cord loop on each side in the small of the back.
  • no cord loop on the pockets
  • 2 golden cord loops and 2 gilt buttons on the sleeve flap above each cuff
  • no turnback on the coat
  • black and silver sash around the waist

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

Lace of the officer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755


Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform in 1755 - Source: Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

The drummer lace consisted of a white braid decorated with a complex crimson, white and black pattern.

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

  • no shoulder strap
  • swallow nest consisting of 4 vertical narrow drummer laces, 1 horizontal narrow drummer lace on each shoulder
  • coat, lapels, pockets and cuffs edged with the narrow drummer lace
  • only the buttonholes under the lapels and those in the small of the back were laced.
  • each sleeve decorated with 9 chevrons with 2 wide drummer laces on each side


Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with yellow corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a green 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 white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Green field with yellow 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 green 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 brown or black.

References

Anonymous (maybe Karl Wellner): Montierung des Königlich Preussischen Armee

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

Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 images of Herbert Knötel d. J., Text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, published by Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden: 1932

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

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

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. 202-207

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

Schmalen: Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlich Koeniglichen Preusischen Armee Worinnen zur eigentlichen Kenntniss der Uniform von jedem Regiment ein Officier und Gemeiner in Völliger Montirung und ganzer Statur nach dem Leben abgebildet sind., Nürnberg, 1759

Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

Uniformes Prussien et Saxonne, Bilderhandschrift, 1758 (Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin)

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