Origin and History
The regiment was formed in Magdeburd in 1744 when Dragoner Regiment Nr. 7 was subdivided into two distinct regiments. The new regiment garrisoned Insterburg and Ragnit.
At the beginning of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 5 squadrons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since December 24 1751: Adolf Friedrich von Langermann
- from March 4 1757 to July 6 1787: Dubislav Friedrich von Platen ("Alt-Platen")
Service during the War
In 1757, the regiment was part of Lehwaldt's army assigned to the defence of East Prussia against a Russian invasion. On August 30, at the battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing under lieutenant-general Schorlemmer. During this battle, the regiment lost 33 men.
In April 1758, the regiment was detached to Stolp (actual Slupsk), along with some infantry, from the Prussian army operating in Swedish Pomerania to check the incursions of Russian cossacks sent forward after the invasion of East Prussia. In June, it was part of Platen's corps opposing this invasion. On August 25, the regiment fought at the battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the reserve behind the left wing. It was part of the brigade of dragoons who, around 11:50 am, delivered a deadly counter attack and threw Gaugreben’s brigade back into the ranks of the Russian infantry causing disorder and confusion. Frederick then sent the regiment to reinforce his right wing but changed his mind and recalled it to the left where they charged the Russian infantry. During this battle, the regiment lost 9 officers and 119 privates. On October 24, the regiment, who was following up the retiring Russian army, took possession of Massow (actual Maszewo). On October 25, the regiment was part of Wobersnow's detachment sent by Dohna to lift the siege of Colberg. The detachment marched from Stargard to Massow. On November 18, 3 squadrons of the regiment took part to the combat of Güstow, charging and breaking the Swedish cavalry.
On July 23 1759, the regiment fought at the battle of Paltzig as part of Dohna's army. A few weeks later, on August 12, it took part to the bloody battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in Finck's corps on the left wing, suffering heavy casualties.
On June 23 1760, 4 squadrons of the regiment fought were at Landeshut. They managed to escape from the trap laid by the Austrians but lost 255 men, 2 standards and a pair of kettledrums.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small white button and white within red pompons
N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap
|Coat||cobalt blue with 2 white buttons under the lapel and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
|Waistcoat||straw yellow with one row of small white buttons and horizontal pockets, each with white buttons|
Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.
The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a silver fastener) and black and silver pompons
- 8 silver buttonholes
Drummers of the regiments wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams with a white lace decorated with 4 red stripes(2 narrow inner stripes and 2 wide outer stripes).
Standards were made of damask. They were swallow-tailed and measured some 50 cm along the pole, 65 cm from the pole to the extremity of a point and 50 cm from the pole to the centre of the indentation. The cords and knots were of silver threads. The pole of the standard was a black tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden spearhead wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric (FR).
In 1744, when the present regiment was split from Dragoner Regiment Nr. 7 to form Dragoner Regiment Nr 8, it consisted of the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th squadrons of the former regiment. The 2nd squadron became the Leib or 1st squadron the new regiment and was issued a new Leibstandarte in 1744 or 1745. The new regiment had a mixed set of flags: four of the "FR" pattern (for the Leib, 3rd, 4th and 5th squadrons) and only one "FWR" pattern, carried by the 2nd Squadron. The regiment lost a couple of flags during the wars. All were Regimentsstandarten, but which squadrons lost flags (an unlucky squadron may have lost two flags) is not specified in our sources. However, by 1806, the regiment still had a "mixed set" of flags, which suggests that the sole "FWR" pattern in Dragoner Regiment Nr 8 was never lost.
|Colonel FR Standard (Leibstandarte): white field with waved red corners, fringed gold with a black central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with an armed golden eagle surmounted by a white scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).||Squadron FR Standard (Eskadronstandarte): black field with waved red corners, fringed gold with a silver central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with an armed black eagle surmounted by a black scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).|
|Squadron FWR Standard (Eskadronstandarte): black field with red waved corners; fringed gold with a silver central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a black scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers).|
Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Nelke, R., Preussen
Thümmler, L.-H., Preußische Militärgeschichte
Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.