Prinz Friedrich August Infantry

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Origin and History

Grenadier of Prinz Friedrich August Infantry in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The regiment was raised in 1701 by count Beuchling. In 1705/06, it was augmented by incorporating a battalion of French and another of the Dresden garrison. Till 1717 it participated in the campaigns in Poland, Brabant and Pommerania.

During the War of the Polish Succession, the regiment served in Poland in 1734 and 1735.

From 1737 to 1739, the regiment was stationed in Hungary.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the regiment took part in the campaigns of 1741, 1742, 1744 and 1745 in Bohemia, Moravia and Saxony. In 1748, it was augmented by 4 coys of the disbanded Bellegarde regiment. After the war, in 1749, 4 of its companies were disbanded.

In 1756, the regiment became prisoner at Pirna and turned over into Prussian service as major-general von Loen's regiment. The regiment soon deserted and marched to Poland. It then joined the Saxon army assembling in Hungary and entered into the French service till 1763.

After the treaty of Hubertusburg, the regiment reformed in 3 battalions or 14 coys. In 1778, it was reduced to 2 battalions in 10 coys.

Seven Years' War Organisation

In 1756, the État mentions 2 battalions with 10 coys of musketeers and 2 coys of grenadiers. Each musketeer coy counted 95 men, grenadier coy 97 men, regimental staff amounted to 17 men. The regiment totaled some 1,160 men.

In 1757, the reformed regiment consisted of 2 battalions with 8 coys plus 1 coy grenadiers.

Chef of the regiment:

  • 1751: Prinz Friedrich August von Sachsen
  • October 1763: renamed Kurprinz
  • December 1763: renamed Kurfürst
  • 1764: Colonel Maximilian Prinz von Sachsen

Kommandeur of the regiment:

  • 1752: Major-General von Pirch
  • from 1757 to 1764: Colonel von Bork


Service during the War

At the end of August 1756, when Frederick II proceeded to the invasion of Saxony, the regiment retired to Pirna with the rest of the Saxon army. At Pirna, the regiment was deployed on the left wing under von Harthausen, as part of von Gersdorf's Brigade. The Prussians blockaded the Saxon army in Pirna from September 9 until October 15 when the Saxons finally had to surrender. The regiment was then forcefully incorporated into the Prussian Army as Loen Fusiliers.

In 1757, the entire regiment absconded from the Prussian service. Led by sergeant Seher, the 1st battalion left the camp of Lübben on March 28, the 2nd battalion, commanded by sergeant Richter of the Königin regiment, departed from Guben on March 29. Both directed their escape to Meiseritz in Poland. Arriving there, both sergeants were instantly promoted to the rank of captain. The regiment marched to Hungary to join the other Saxon troops gathering there. Since these days, it beats the Grenadiermarsch. The newly reformed regiment was then incorporated into the Saxon Auxiliary Contingent.

In 1758, to avoid further contact with the Prussians, the contingent marched through southern Germany and had, by July, assembled in Strasbourg. On September 3, the regiment was part of the Saxon contingent, under the command of prince Xaver, who encamped at Castrop, 15 km from Recklinghausen, on his way to make a junction with the French army of the Marquis de Contades in Westphalia. This contingent made a junction with Contades' army around mid September. As part of Chevert's and Fitzjames' divisions, it reinforced the army of the Prince de Soubise in Hesse. On October 10, the contingent first saw action at the battle of Lutterberg where its determined attacks decided the day for the French army. On October 20, 10 days after their victorious action at the battle of Lutterberg, the Saxon regiments rejoined Contades at Werl.

On April 13 1759, the regiment took part in the battle of Bergen where it formed part of the first line of the left wing under the command of the baron de Dyherrn. In June, during the French offensive in West Germany, the regiment was part of the main army under the command of the Marquis de Contades where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry centre. On August 1, the regiment took part in the battle of Minden where it was deployed in the second line of the infantry left wing under the command of the comte de Lusace.

To do: description of the actions of the regiment from 1760 to 1763.

Uniform

Besides the uniform worn at the beginning of the war in 1756 and after the capitulation of Pirna, the new regiments were re-dressed with white uniforms from Austrian depots, just adapting the distinctive colors. Because of the difference between Autrian and Saxon color pigments, the distinctive colors have perhaps changed a little bit (light yellow instead of yellow ?).

Privates

Uniforms - Source: Hannoverdidi
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with white/yellow pompons and a small brass button
Grenadier mitre (Prussian style) with a brass front plate and a white headband, yellow sack with light blue "bleu mourant" piping, white within light blue "bleu mourant" pompom on a yellow within light blue "bleu mourant" round base.

black tricorne laced white between 1757 and 1760

from 1761: black fur bearskin (French style) with a brass plate with the electoral crest; falling from the rear of the bearskin were white woolen cords and tassels, the latter with a yellow inner part

Neckstock red
Coat white with a brass button in the small of the back, 6 (3+2+1) brass buttons on the chest, 3 brass buttons at waist level (right side only)
Collar yellow
Shoulder Straps none
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs yellow, each with 3 vertical brass buttons
Turnbacks yellow fastened with a brass button
Waistcoat yellow with horizontal pockets with 3 brass buttons and lapels with brass buttons
Breeches white
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard black with brass fittings
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.

Officers

Officers and NCOs wore a black tricorne laced gold with a white cockade.

From 1761, officers of the grenadier companies wore black fur bearskin (Austrian style) with a gilt plate with the electoral crest; falling from the rear of the bearskin were golden cords and tassels while NCOs of grenadier companies wore bearskins identical to those of the grenadiers.

Officers wore yellow breeches.

Musicians

Drummer Uniform in 1756 - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The drummers of the regiment wore uniforms with reverse colours:

  • yellow coat heavily decorated with yellow braids on the sleeves (chevrons), swallow nests, buttonholes and pockets
  • white collar, white cuffs edged yellow, white turnbacks
  • brass buttons
  • yellow waistcoat with brass buttons
  • white breeches
  • black gaiters


Colours

Leibfahne: white field. In the centre an ermine mantel backed light blue, crowned with a royal gold crown. On the mantelgold, four shields wearing the Polish arms (white knight and horse on a red field), the arms of Saxony (white eagle on a red field), the royal "AR" in gold on a light blue field, two crossed crimson swords on a field of black over white and a lime green crown on a black and yellow stripe field. A very richly designed border in the distinctive color (yellow) with a red piping.

Ordinarfahne: yellow field. In the centre, the golden royal cipher "AR" on a white pedestal surmounted by a royal crown and surrounded by green palm leaves. A very richly designed border in red with a white piping.

Leibfahne - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Ordinarfahne - Source: Frédéric Aubert

References

Geschichte des Koeniglische Saechsische 6. Infanterie-Regiments No 105, Leipzig, 1887. p. 418

Origin and History: editors translation from "Geschichte und gegenwärtiger Zustand der Kursächsischen Armee." [History and present state of the Saxon Army.] 2nd edition, part IX, Dresden 1793.

Rogge, Christian, The French & Allied Armies in Germany during the Seven Years War, Frankfurt, 2006

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.