Knobloch Infantry

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Origin and History

Knobloch Infantry Private - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen in ihrer Uniformierung

The unit was raised in 1683 in East Prussia for Prince Alexander of Courland. In 1685, it became a full strength regiment.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, part of the regiment was in the Netherlands service.

In 1716, the regiment was transferred to Westphalia where it garrisoned Bielefeld and Herford. It recruited mainly in the County of Ravensberg and in the towns of Bielefeld, Herford and Vlotho.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment fought in the battles of Mollwitz (April 10, 1741), Chotusitz (May 17, 1742) and Kesselsdorf (December 15, 1745).

During the Seven Years War the regimental inhabers were:

  • since December 31 1750: Dietrich Erhard von Knobloch
  • from May 12 1757: Gottlob Ernst von Pannewitz
  • from February 10 1759 to January 19 1768: Friedrich Wilhelm von der Mosel

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 10.

The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulations of Erfurt and Hameln.

Service during the War

Private of Knobloch Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli and Dr Marco Pagan

On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army was ordered to proceed to the Prussian invasion of Saxony, the regiment was part of Ferdinand of Brunswick's column which had concentrated at Halle and advanced unopposed through Leipzig, Chemnitz, Freyberg and Dippoldiswalde, to the village of Cotta (reached on September 9) south of the Elbe near Pirna. September 6, it encamped at Rothschönberg and finally reached Wilsdruf. In October, after the capitulation of the Saxon Army at Pirna, the regiment accompanied Frederick II back to Lobositz to bring Keith's Army back to Dresden. On October 22, it was part of the 10 battalions of Frederick's force who left Lobositz for Linai.

In the spring of 1757, the regiment participated in the invasion of Bohemia. On May 6, it did not take part in the Battle of Prague but was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's Corps that covered the west side of the city during the battle. It then took part in the Siege of Prague. On September 7, when an Austrian force under the command of General Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated Corps in the Combat of Moys, the regiment was deployed in the first line of the centre under Major-Generals Wied and Kannacher. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Prince Carl von Bevern's Brigade, in the first line of the infantry centre. On December 5, at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Kahlden's Brigade in the first line of the infantry centre. It distinguished itself along with the Prussian Garde in assaulting Leuthen forcing the Austrian infantry regiments Deutschmeister, Rot-Würzburg, and Baden-Durlach to abandon the village. The regiment took heavy losses: 12 officers and 741 men. After this battle, the regiment took part in the siege and capture of Breslau.

In April 1758, the regiment took part in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz before following the main army in the invasion of Moravia and Siege of Olmütz. On October 14, the regiment fought in the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg. The regiment occupied the village of Krischau.

By 31 May 1760, the second battalion was at Töpiwoda-Heinrichau. On June 23, the first battalion took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed on the Mummelberg on the left wing under Colonel von Rosen. It was attacked by the she second Austrian column and was easily turned and overwhelmed. It was taken prisoners during this engagement. With the loss of this battalion and with Westphalia partially occupied by the French, the regiment could not be brought to operational strength before 1762.

On July 21 1762, the regiment redeemed itself at the Battle of Burkersdorf by storming the Austrian works and winning three Pour-le-merite. From August to September, it took part in the last Siege of Schweidnitz.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infantry Regiment 9 forming the Grenadier Batallion 9/10 (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 white metal button, yellow pompoms
Grenadier mitre with silver-plated front plate, bright yellow headband edged silver and decorated white metal ornaments, bright yellow backing piped silver, bright yellow pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 9/10 for an illustration)

N.B.: exceptionally, the top of the front plate seems to carry a flame instead of the usual crown.

Neck stock red
Coat Prussian blue lined red with: 6 white braid loops with white tassels and 6 white metal buttons on each side on the chest; 2 white braid loops with white tassels on each side at the waist; 1 white braid loop on each side in the small of the back; and with 3 white metal buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue piped red fastened with a small white metal button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with red piping, each with 3 white metal buttons
Cuffs yellow (Prussian pattern), each with two white metal buttons and two white braid loops with white tassels on the sleeve flap
Turnbacks red fastened with a white metal button
Waistcoat yellow with horizontal pockets, each with white metal buttons
Breeches yellow
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belt one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waist-belt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard brown
Foot-gear black shoes


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 silver lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no shoulder strap
  • on each side: 3 silver cord without tassels on the chest; 2 silver cord loops at the waist; and 1 silver cord loop in the small of the back
  • 2 silver cord loops on each sleeve flap
  • silver buttons
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a brown 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

Knobloch 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 laced with a thin silver braid (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • white neck stock
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • 3 pairs of silver embroidery loops on each side on the chest
  • 1 pair of silver embroidery loops on each side at the waist
  • 2 silver embroidery loops at each cuff
  • 1 silver embroidery loop on each side in the small of the back
  • silver buttons
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • black and silver sword knot

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

  • red and white drummer lace
  • no shoulder strap
  • swallow nest with 5 white vertical bars of the drummer lace on each shoulder
  • front of the coat edged with the drummer lace
  • all button loops made with the drummer lace
  • pockets edged with the drummer lace
  • each sleeve decorated 9 horizontal chevrons (in the drummer lace)


Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field. Centre device consisting of a pale 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): Pale green 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 pale green scroll bearing the silver 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.

References

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. Nebst beigefügter Nachricht 1.) von der Stiftung. 2.) Denen Chefs. 3.) der Staerke und 4.) der in Friedenszeiten habenden Guarnisons jedes Regiments. Hrsg. u. gezeichnet I.C. v. S.(chmalen), Nürnberg 1759

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

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 Bilder von Herbert Knötel d. J., Text und Erläuterungen von Dr. Martin Letzius, hrsg. von der Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden 1932

Die Kriege Friedrichs des Großen, hrsg. vom Großen Generalstab/Abt. f. Kriegsgeschichte, E.S. Mittler, Berlin 1890-1913

Dorn, Günter and Joachim Engelmann: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrichs des Großen: 1756-1763, Augsburg 1992

Dorn, Günter and Joachim Engelmann: Die Schlachten Friedrichs des Großen: Führung - Verlauf - Gefechts-Szenen - Gliederung - Karten, 1986

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

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

Heer und Tradition: Uniformbogen No. 1, 19, 29, 33 und 101, hrsg. von Brauer, Hans und Knötel, Herbert d.J., o.J.

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 70-77

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

Merta, Klaus-Peter: Das Heerwesen in Brandenburg und Preußen von 1640 bis 1806, Bd. 2, die Uniformierung, Berlin 1991

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, hrsg. von der KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, überarb. u. aktual. Neuauflage 1989

Summerfield, Stephen: Prussian Musketeers of the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War: Uniforms, Organisation and Equipement of Musketeer Regiments, Ken Trotman Publishing: Huntingdon, 2012, pp. 205-209

Tressenmusterbuch von 1755

Uniformes Prussien et Saxonnes 1756/57

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