Kurssell Fusiliers

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Kurssell Fusiliers

Origin and History

Uniform circa 1757 - Source: Anonymous work circa 1757

This fusilier regiment was raised June 25 1740 for Colonel de Camas. Its soldiers came from companies of Garrison Regiment III based in Kolberg and from volunteers recruited across the kingdom.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment was initially sent to garrison Breslau in August 1741. In February 1742, it marched to Ratibor and garrisoned Glogau in June. In 1744, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. In September, it was present at the capture of Prague. During the Autumn, it followed the Prussian army in its retreat. On June 4 1745, it fought at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg. It then marched to Upper Silesia.

From 1746, the regiment garrisoned Glogau. Its levies came from the districts of Glogau, Guhrau and Schwiebus.

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

  • since September 12 1755: Heinrich Adolph von Kurssell (died on September 26 1758 from his wounds at Zorndorf)
  • from December 8 1758 to July 1 1770: August Wilhelm von Braun

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 37.

The regiment was disbanded in 1806 after the capitulations of Magdeburg and Glogau.

Service during the War

Around mid-August 1756, the regiment was mobilized. It was assigned to the Army of Silesia under Field-Marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army conducted operations in Eastern Bohemia.

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 first line in Fouqué's Brigade. During this battle, it suffered heavy loss (13 officers and 661 men). On July 22, the regiment formed part of the small garrison left in Zittau. After the retreat from Bohemia, the 2nd battalion was sent to reinforce the Fortress of Schweidnitz. The Austrian undertook the siege of Schweidnitz which surrendered on November 12. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the 1st battalion of the regiment was deployed in the refused left flank, protecting the infantry centre.

In the spring of 1758, the regiment took part in the recapture of Schweidnitz. On August 25, it fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the second line under Forcade de Biaix. Its colonel was severely wounded during the battle. On August 28, the regiment formed part of a detachment under the Prince of Brunswick which was sent to Lower Lusatia to prevent the incursions of Austrian light troops under Loudon. On September 28, as part of Wedel's force, it took part in the failed attempt to capture Fehrbellin from the Swedes. In November, it was back to the region of Torgau to face the Reichsarmee.

On March 26 1759, the regiment saw action at Saalfeld. On July 30, it joined Frederick's Army and, on August 12, took part in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the infantry reserve of the centre as part of Klitzing's Brigade. During this bloody battle, the regiment lost 16 officers and 992 men.

On June 23 1760, the 1st battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Landeshut where it was deployed on the Heights of Reichennersdorf: on the right wing under Major-General von Schenckendorf. It was taken prisoners during this engagement. Meanwhile, the 2nd battalion served under Zieten at Freiburg.

In 1761, the regiment spent most of the campaign in the camp of Bunzelwitz. On September 12, it accompanied Platen in his raid in Greater Poland. Platen's Corps then reinforced the Prussian force besieged at Colberg. On October 1, the 2nd battalion was taken prisoners at the Storming of Schweidnitz. On December 12, a battalion of the regiment took part in the Combat of Spie.

In 1762, the regiment operated in Silesia. On July 6, it took part in the Combat of Adelsbach and, on July 21, in the Battle of Burkersdorf. From August, it was at 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 40, forming the Grenadier Batallion 37/40 (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
IR37 Fusilier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
mitre with polished brass front plate; red (Scharlachrot) headband with polished brass ornaments; red cap with polished brass ornaments; polished brass spike
Grenadier mitre with polished brass front plate; red (Scharlachrot) headband with an white/red braid and polished brass ornaments; red backing with a similar braid; white within red pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 37/40 for an illustration)
Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 6 brass buttons on the chest, 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 red (Scharlachrot)
Shoulder Straps red (Scharlachrot) fastened with a small brass button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs red (Scharlachrot) (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 a golden lace braid
  • 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

Kurssell Fusiliers Officer - Source: Menzel, Adolph von, Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen in ihrer Uniformierung

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

  • black tricorne bordered with a gold 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 nor trimming on the coat
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • a silver 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 lace of the drummers consisted of a wide lace (2.6 cm wide white braid decorated with 4 blue stripes bordered red) and a narrow lace (1.7 cm wide white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes bordered red).

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

  • no shoulder strap
  • a swallow nest on each shoulder consisting of 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace
  • coat, collar, pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace


Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White 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.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Light 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 light green 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 elements by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Dawid from elements 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. 27, 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, p. 187

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. 290-293

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.