Origin and History
This unit of dragoons was created in 1689 by margrave Georg Friedrich von Ansbach with 3 companies of the Brandenburg contingent of the Reichsarmee and a fourth companies led by captain Le Jeune.
During the War of the Polish Succession, each company of the regiment was strengthened to 132 privates in 1734. The regiment now counted 5 coys of heavy dragoons and 5 coys of light dragoons.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since May 30 1755: Carl Ludwig von Normann
- from April 9 1761 to June 26 1774: Johann Wenceslaus von Zastrow
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. The regiment then took part to the siege of Pirna from September 10 to October 16. At the end of the year, each squadron received 15 recruits.
On April 21 1757, at the combat of Reichenberg, the regiment was deployed in the second line of duke of Brunswick-Bevern's force. While the Prussian infantry was assaulting the Austrian abatis, Bevern ordered the regiment along with Württemberg and Katte dragoon regiments to attack the Austrian cavalry, which they completely routed. During the ensuing pursuit, the Prussian dragoons exposed their right flank to the fire of the Austrian infantry which had retired behind the second abatis. The Prussian dragoons suffered considerable loss and were thrown into disorder. The Austrian cavalry took advantage of this to set itself in order and to attack the Prussian cavalry, throwing it back. The sudden attack of Puttkamer Hussars on the flank of the pursuing Austrian cavalry, allowed the Prussian dragoons to rally and counterattack putting their opponent to flight. During this action, the regiment lost 35 killed and 114 wounded. On May 6, the regiment took part to the battle of Prague where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing under prince Schönaich. It lost 81 men at this battle. On June 18, the regiment (now counting only 637 men) took part to the battle of Kolin. It was kept in reserve behind the cavalry left wing under major-general von Krosigk. Around 4:00 PM, the regiment attacked the Austrians occupying the oak-wood near Krzeczhorz height, capturing seven colours and then engaging into a cavalry combat with the Saxon Karabiniergarde and routing them. On September 7, when an Austrian force under the command of general Nádasdy attacked Winterfeldt's isolated corps at Moys, the regiment was deployed in the second line of the cavalry left wing. On November 22, the regiment took part to the battle of Breslau where it was deployed in the prince of Württemberg's brigade, in the second line of the left wing under lieutenant-general von Zieten. On December 4, the regiment was in the vanguard when the Prussian army under Frederick II advanced straight towards the Austrian camp in the area of Leuthen. On December 5 at the battle of Leuthen, the regiment was deployed in Czettritz's brigade in the second line of the cavalry right wing under Zieten. It first attacked 3 Saxon and 2 Austrian cavalry regiments, capturing 11 officers, 800 men and 3 standards. It then charged 2 cuirassier regiments and captured 2 Bavarian battalions and 4 colours. During the pursuit, it captured 2 guns.
In April 1758, the regiment took part in the siege of Schweidnitz. From May to July, it took part in the invasion of Moravia and in the siege of Olmütz. On August 10, the regiment was part of the corps who accompanied Frederick when he marched from Silesia to join Dohna to contain the Russian invasion of Brandenburg. On Tuesday August 22, this corps made a junction with Dohna at Manschnow. On August 25, the regiment fought at the battle of Zorndorf. At the opening of the battle, along with Ruesch Hussars, they covered the gap between the Prussian left and right wings. During the afternoon, the regiment was transferred to the right wing where it counter-charged and drove off the Russian cavalry attacking the Prussian extreme right wing. On September 2, when it became clear that the Russian army was slowly retiring towards Landsberg, Frederick assembled the corps that he had brought with him from Silesia and left for Saxony where his help was badly needed. On October 14, the regiment took part in the battle of Hochkirch where it was deployed in the centre of the second line in Zieten's cavalry brigade. On October 25, 3 squadrons of the regiment took part to the victorious engagement of Landskrone against the Austrian cavalry. On October 26 at Ebersbach, it captured 8 officers and 418 men from the Austrian Grenadier and Karabinier Corps.
In 1760, the regiment took part to the expedition against Dresden. On August 15, it was present at the battle of Liegnitz but did not take part to the combat. On November 3, the regiment fought in Zieten's corps at the battle of Torgau.
In 1762, the ranks of the regiment were replenished and it now counted 1,000 men.
To do: more details on the campaigns from 1759 to 1762
|Headgear||black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small yellow button and with white within red pompons
N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap
|Coat||cobalt blue with 3 yellow buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
|Waistcoat||sulphur yellow with one row of small yellow buttons and horizontal pockets each with yellow 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 a golden fastener and black and silver pompons
- golden buttonholes on the coat
Drummers of the regiments of dragoons wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams with yellow braids bordered white and decorated with a black pattern.
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 yellow tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden spearhead wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric Wilhelm (FWR).
|Colonel Standard (Leibstandarte): white field fringed gold with yellow central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers).||Squadron Standard (Eskadronstandarte): yellow field fringed gold with white central medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a yellow scroll 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