Markgraf Friedrich von Bayreuth Dragoons
Origin and History
The regiment was created on April 2, 1717, in the region of Halberstadt, for Achaz von der Schulenburg, with 44 NCOs and 300 privates contributed by all Prussian cuirassier and dragoon regiments; and with 300 recruits.
From 1721, the main garrison place of the regiment was Pasewalk. It also garrisoned Gartz, Gollnow, Schwedt an Oder and Treptow an Tollense and Ueckermünde. Its canton included the districts of Daber, Greiffenhagen, Naugard, Randow, Saatzig and Wollin
In 1725, this dragoon regiment was exceptionally increased to 10 squadrons rather than the usual 5 squadrons
During the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment took part in the invasion of Silesia in January 1741 and fought at Mollwitz and Brieg. On May 17, 1742, it took part in the battle of Chotusitz. In 1744, it took part in the capture of Prague. In 1745, it fought at the battles of Hohenfriedberg (June 4), Schatzlar (September 23) and Kesselsdorf (December 14).
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the nominal command of:
- from August 7, 1731 until May 1763: Friedrich Margrave von Brandenburg-Bayreuth
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:
- in 1756: Major-General von Schwerin
- from February 14 1757: Major-General von Meier (commissioned on June 2, 1755 as leader of the regiment)
- December 22 1758: Lieutenant-Colonel von Bülow
In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years' War, the regiment consisted of 1,616 Prussians, 50 Saxons and 255 “foreigners”.
Service during the War
On August 26 1756, when the Prussian army proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment was part of the left column led by the Prince of Bevern. This column had concentrated in the area of Lübben, then advanced through Lusatia by Hoyerswerda and Bautzen, to Hohenstein (Sept. 8) then to Lohmen north of the Elbe near Pirna. On October 1, the regiment took part in the Battle of Lobositz under Lieutenant-General Katte. During this battle, the regiment lost 4 officers, 7 NCOs and 150 privates. In the days after the battle, it was assigned to the protection of the defiles near Welmina.
On May 6, 1757, the regiment did not take part in the Battle of Prague. It was rather deployed on the left bank of the Moldau near the Weissenberg as part of Keith's Corps. 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 cavalry left wing. On November 22, the regiment took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed in Meier's Brigade, in the second line of the left wing under Lieutenant-General von Zieten. On December 2, after this defeat, it joined Frederick's Army at Parchwitz. On December 5 at the Battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Meier's brigade in the first line of the cavalry left wing under Lieutenant-General von Driesen. At about 4:00 p.m., when the Austrian right wing cavalry attacked the exposed Prussian left flank, the regiment charged in its left flank while Puttkamer Hussars attacked its rear and Driesen charged frontally. Together, they broke and routed the Austrian cavalry.
In 1758, the regiment took part to the invasion of Moravia. From may to July, it was at the siege of Olmütz. On June 17, the regiment was attacked by surprise at Holitz and lost 300 men taken prisoners and a pair of drums. On October 14, it fought at the Battle of Hochkirch where it formed part of Retzow's Corps near Weissenberg. It was among the first units of Retzow's Corps to come to the relief of Frederick's left wing, charging and driving back Austrian cavalry units.
In 1759, it operated between the Bober and the Elbe.
In 1760, the regiment served in Saxony in Prince Heinrich's Corps. On February 20, it fought at Kossdorf where it lost 10 officers, 308 privates and a standard. On November 3, it fought with great distinction at the Battle of Torgau where it captured four regiments.
In 1761, the regiment served in Saxony.
|Headgear||black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small white button and yellow 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.
NCOs wore the same uniform as the troopers with the following exceptions:
- black within white pompoms in the lateral "cornes" of the tricorne
- cuffs edged with a silver braid
The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a golden fastener) and black and silver pompons
- silver embroidered buttonholes on the coat
- 2 on each side under each lapel
- 1 on each side in the small of the back
- a silver aiguillette on the right shoulder
Drummers of the regiments wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams, around the lapels, pocket flaps, cuffs and shoulders with a white lace with 4 red 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 Wilhelm (FWR).
The Leibstandarte of the regiment was still of the old “FWR” design. However, the regiment lost three Eskadronstandarten in 1742 and two more in 1760. It thus had a mix of the old “FWR” design cohabiting with standards of the newer “FR” design.
|Colonel Standard “FWR” design (Leibstandarte): white field fringed gold; centre device consisting of a black medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a golden eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold.||Squadron Standards “FWR” design (Eskadronstandarte): black field fringed gold; centre device consisting of a white medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold.|
|Squadron Standards “FR” design (Eskadronstandarte): black field fringed gold; centre device consisting of a white medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a black scroll laced gold bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers) in gold.
N.B.: we have represented an Eskadronstandarte with the "FR" monogram on the eagle's breast. Although this monogram is present on some standards kept in museums, it is possible that it had been added later...
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und LobositzBerlin, 1901, appendix 1
Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 576-583
Kling, C.: Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres, Weimar, 1906, vol. 2, p. 45
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.