Münchow Fusiliers

From Project Seven Years War
Jump to: navigation, search

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

Origin and History

Uniform circa 1780 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Bilderhandschrift: "Königl. Preuß. Generalstab"

This fusilier regiment was raised June 24 1740 for Colonel von Münchow. Its soldiers came from the garrison companies of Küstrin, Spandau, Peitz and Stettin, from the grenadiers of the Garrison Regiment No. III and from volunteers recruited across the kingdom. Its officers came from various Prussian infantry regiments. The new regiment garrisoned Brandenburg an der Havel and levied its troops in the Pomeranian towns of Belgard, Massow, Naugard, Polzin, Treptow, Wangerin and Wollin.

At the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1741, the regiment joined a Prussian army in Silesia where it assumed garrison duty at Breslau (I. Battalion) and Glogau (II. Battalion). In the spring of 1742, the regiment served in the corps of the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau in the region of Jägerndorf. In 1744, the regiment joined Frederick's Corps who besieged and occupied Prague before retreating in November. The regiment suffered heavy losses during the retreat. In 1745, the regiment garrisoned the Silesian fortresses.

On the eve of the Seven Years' War, the regiment garrinoned Brandenburg an der Havel.

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

  • since June 24 1740 to June 15 1766: Gustav Bogislav von Münchow (aka Alt-Münchow in 1758)

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 36.

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

Service during the War

On August 26 1756, when a Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment was part of the centre column led by Frederick II. More precisely, it belonged to Keith's Corps. The centre column had concentrated at 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. On October 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lobositz where it was deployed in the brigade of Major-General Zastrow in Kleist's Division. On October 2, the second battalion of the regiment was part of Bevern's force sent to lay hold of Tschischkowitz (present-day Cizkovice) on the road towards Budin. On October 23, when Keith's Army left Lobositz to return to Pirna, the regiment was part of the right column. On October 25, the two battalions of the regiment occupied the villages of Luschitz and Schönefeld to secure the flanks of the Prussian columns advancing between these two villages. On October 28, Keith's Army reached Gross-Sedlitz near Pirna and took its winter-quarters soon afterwards.

In April 1757, during the invasion of Bohemia, the regiment was part of the column led by the Duke of Brunswick-Bevern. It was detached from the main column before the Combat of Reichenberg and did not take part in this action. On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the van at the extreme left under Hülsen. Around 2:00 p.m., this corps assaulted and took Krzeczhorz Height. At the end of the afternoon, it managed to capture a nearby oak-wood but, being totally unsupported, soon lost it. Fierce attacks of the Austrian cavalry then forced Hülsen to retreat with heavy losses. The regiment alone lost 23 officers and 908 men. On November 22, the regiment, reduced to the strength of a single battalion, took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Prince Franz von Brunswick's Brigade, in the first line of the left wing. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the sole battalion of the regiment was deployed in Rohr's Brigade in the second line of the infantry centre. It then took part in the Siege of Breslau which was recaptured on December 21.

In the spring of 1758, the regiment took part in the Siege of Schweidnitz who surrendered on April 18. It then took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the unsuccessful Siege of Olmütz.

On September 2 1759, the regiment, as part of Zieten's Corps, fought in the Combat of Sorau. On November 20, the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where it was attached to Wunsch's Brigade, detached on the Heights of Bloschwitz. Completely surrounded, the entire Prussian force finally surrendered as prisoners of war.

In 1760, a newly raised battalion joined the garrison of Schweidnitz.

In 1761, the battalion still garrisoned Schweidnitz. On October 1, it surrendered as prisoners of war after the storming of Schweidnitz.

In 1762, the regiment did not exist. It was re-established only after the war, in 1763, from troops of the former Saxon Roebel Fusiliers.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Fusilier Regiment 35, forming the Grenadier Batallion 35/36 (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
IR36 Fusilier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and rf-figuren
mitre with polished brass front plate; white headband with polished brass ornaments; white cap with polished brass ornaments; polished brass spike
Grenadier mitre with polished brass front plate; white headband with a blue grey/white braid and polished brass ornaments; white backing with a similar braid; white within blue grey pompom (see Grenadier Batallion 35/36 for an illustration)
Neck stock 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 white
Shoulder Straps white fastened with a small brass button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs white (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 brass buttons
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat white
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Cross-belts 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
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 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

Officer uniform circa 1780 (unchanged since the SYW) - Source: Bilderhandschrift: "Königl. Preuß. Generalstab"

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

  • black tricorne wearing a gold scalloped lace, black and white quartered pompoms and a black cockade fastened with a golden band and a yellow button (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • black neck stock
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • no trimming on the coat
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • 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 lace of the drummers consisted of a wide lace (2.8 cm wide white braid decorated with 4 blue stripes) and a narrow lace (1.8 cm wide white braid decorated with 2 blue stripes).

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 nests consisting of 4 vertical drummer laces and 1 horizontal drummer lace on each shoulder
  • coat, collar, pockets and cuffs edged with the drummer lace


Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field. Centre device consisting of a grey 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): Grey 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 grey 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

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. 284-289

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.