Kalsow Fusiliers

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Origin and History

Uniform in 1770 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Anonymous work of 1770

This fusilier regiment was established on August 1 1744 from the Garrison Regiment of Breslau. This latter unit had sworn allegiance to the Prussian crown on August 10 1741 when the Prussian army took possession of Breslau. However, the origin of the unit can be traced back as far as 1306 when the town of Breslau raised a group of soldiers as city guard. The new regiment levied its troops in the districts of Militsch, Steinau and Wohlau in Lower Silesia.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1744, the regiment was transferred from Breslau to assume protection of the magazines at Pardubitz. It then garrisoned various Silesian places.

In 1751, the regiment was transferred to the Fortress of Schweidnitz where it served until 1756.

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

  • since December 9 1744: Christian Ludwig von Kalsow
  • from January 19 1757: Samuel Adolph von Kalckreuth
  • from January 22 1758: Joachim Leopold von Bredow
  • from February 5 1760 to June 17 1767: Christian Wilhelm von Zieten

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 43.

The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulations of Magdeburg, Schweidnitz and Prenzlau.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army conducted operations in Eastern Bohemia.

On January 9 1757, the regiment received a reinforcement of 300 men. In April, it 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 Brandes' Brigade. During this battle, it lost some 400 men. It then formed part of the Prussian army who proceeded to the siege of Prague which was lifted on June 18 after the Prussian defeat at Kolin. The regiment then followed the Prussian army in its retreat towards Silesia. On July 15, during this retreat, the first battalion was forced to surrender during the Siege of Gabel. On November 22, the second battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Wietersheim's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry right wing under Lieutenant-General von Brandes. After this battle, this remaining battalion counted only some 100 men.

In 1758, the regiment was part of the Army of Prince Henri who tried to stop the Austrian invasion of Saxony. On July 25, when Prince Henri was informed of the departure of an Austro-Imperial army from Saatz, he immediately detached Knobloch with Bredow Infantry along with Knobloch Infantry to occupy the heights of Lungwitz near Dippoldiswalde and to stop the incursions of the Austrian light troops.

In May and June 1759, the regiment took part in the Prussian incursion in Franconia. On August 12, during the Russian invasion of Brandenburg, it fought in the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the vanguard as part of Lindstedt's Brigade. At 12:30 p.m., along with 6 grenadier battalions, the regiment was charged to storm the entrenchments and batteries of the Muhlberg. Together, they crossed the open ground in relative safety since the battalions of the Russian Observation Corps were stunned by a recent bombardment, reached a fold in the ground where they could not be harmed by enemy fire and finally emerged in the open only 100 paces from the Russian line. In 10 minutes, the Prussians had captured 70 Russian pieces and forced the enemy to run away in disorder abandoning the Muhlberg. The brigade then rallied. In this battle, the regiment lost about 550 men.

In 1761, the regiment took part in the Austro-Russian campaign in Silesia. In August, it was attached to Lieutenant-General Wied's Division.

On July 6 1762, the regiment fought in the Combat of Adelsbach where one of its battalion was part of the lead units who vainly tried to conquer the Sachsenberg. The regiment lost 400 men in this combat. From August to October, it 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 Fusilier Regiment 38, forming the Grenadier Batallion 38/43 (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
Fusilier
IR43 Fusilier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
mitre with polished brass front plate; dark orange headband with brass ornaments; white cap with brass ornaments; brass spike
Grenadier mitre with polished brass front plate; dark orange headband with a dark orange/white/dark orange braid and brass ornaments; white backing with a similar braid; white within dark orange pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 38/43 for an illustration)
Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 6 brass buttons grouped two by two on each side, 2 brass buttons on the right side at the waist and 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar dark orange
Shoulder Straps dark orange fastened with a small brass button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs dark orange (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks red
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


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

NCOs

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

  • no shoulder strap
  • cuffs edged with golden lace braids
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white 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).

Officers

Uniform in 1770 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Anonymous work of 1770

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

  • black tricorne wearing a golden scalloped lace, black and white quartered pompoms and a black cockade fastened with a golden strap and a gilt button (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • black neck stock
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • no trimming
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • a silver and gold gorget

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

Musicians

Lace of the drummer uniform - Source: E. Boltze Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen...

The laces of the drummers consisted of a 3.4 cm wide lace and a 2 cm narrow lace both of the same pattern (white braid decorated with a dark orange pattern).

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

  • each shoulder decorated with 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace.
  • coat, collar, pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace


Colours

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): White field. 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 light green scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): Light green field. Centre device consisting of a light 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.

Colonel Colour - Source: Dawid from a template by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Dawid from a template by Hannoverdidi

The pikes used as staffs for the colours were white.

References

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

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. 332-337

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

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

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