Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen Fusiliers
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Origin and History
On October 15 1756, when the Saxon Army surrendered to Frederick II near Pirna, the Saxon infantry was forcefully incorporated into the Prussian Army, former Prinz Maximilian Infantry thus becoming Infanterie-Regiment (Nr. 59) Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the nominal command of:
- since November 29 1756 to August 1 1757: Prince Friedrich Wilhelm von Preußen (son of Prince August Wilhelm von Preussen and future King Friedrich Wilhelm II)
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the effective command of:
- since November 29 1756 to August 1 1757: Lieutenant-Colonel von Plotho
The regiment was disbanded on August 1 1757.
Service during the War
In October 1756, the regiment was assigned to the garrison of Wittenberg.
From April to June 1757, the regiment took part in the invasion of Bohemia. It garrisoned Leitmeritz (present-day Litoměřice) where supplies came by boat on the Elbe. On August 1 at Pirna, Frederick disbanded this Saxon regiment and distributed the remaining men among his other regiments.
N.B.: the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Wylich Fusiliers, forming the S-51/S-59 Bornstädt Grenadier Battalion (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red, 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the chest and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Privates were armed with a short musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- black tricorne laced silver with black and white quartered pompom and black within white tassels
- no shoulder straps
- silver laced cuffs
- yellowish leather gloves
- black and white sabre tassel
NCOs were armed with a sabre and a 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 wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following differences:
- black tricorne laced with a wide silver braid with a black cockade fastened with a silver clip; black within silver tassels
- no shoulder strap
- no turnbacks
Officers carried spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.).
Colonel Colour (Leibfahne): White field with a yellow flamed cross. Centre device consisting of a red medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and surmounted by a silver crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle surmounted by a white scroll bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers) and grenades in silver.
Regimental Colours (Kompaniefahnen): red field with a yellow flamed cross. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a silver laurel wreath and surmounted by a silver crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle surmounted by a red scroll bearing the silver motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers) and grenades in silver.
Gavan, Dal: Colours of the Saxon regiments in the Prussian service
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, p. 125
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.