Prinz Georg Infantry

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> Hesse-Darmstadt Army >> Prinz Georg Infantry

Origin and History

Summer Grenadier Uniform in 1752 – Source: detail from a Richard Knötel's illustration

The Darmstadt contingent for the Upper Rhine Kreis (district) of the Holy Roman Empire was set in 1521 and again in 1681 as 1,000 infantry and 300-400 cavalry.

This contingent fought on the Rhine and the Saar Rivers and in 1663 against the Turks in Hungary and at Vienna. Three companies also fought at Koblenz in 1692. The Kreis-kompagnien were in action in 1683 against the Turks (the relief of Vienna on September 12). From 1685 to 1688, they again fought against the Turks; on October 22 1686 they were at the capture of Fuenfkirchen; on October 30 at Siklos, on November 12 at Kaposvar and on August 12 1687 at Harsan.

From 1689 to 1696, the Darmstadt contingent fought against France; on September 9 1689 it was at the capture of Mainz, on August 30 1695 at the capture of Namur.

On June 10 1697, six companies of the Regiment Schrautenbach were used to raise the Regiment Prinz Carl who served in the Upper Rhine Kreis.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, in September 1702, the regiment distinguished itself at the capture of Landau.

In 1738, the regiment became the Regiment Prinz Georg.

In 1747, a Grenadier-Leib-Kompagnie was raised.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, from 1747 to 1749, the regiment was in the Dutch service.

During the Seven Years' War, the chef of the regiment was:

  • since 1738 until 1782: colonel prince Georg Wilhelm von Hessen-Darmstadt

During the Seven Years' War, its commanders were:

  • since 1753 until 1765: Stutzer

On December 26 1790, the regiment became the second battalion of Regiment Landgraf. The Grenadier-Leib-Kompagnie went to form part of the 1st Leib-Grenadier-Bataillon. In 1914, this latter regiment became the Prussian Infanterie Regiment Nr 117.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment joined the Reichsarmee with 3 battalion guns. This army made a junction with a French army under the command of the Prince de Soubise for the planned invasion of Saxony. On November 5, the regiment fought against Prussia at the Battle of Rossbach where they were very distinguished.

On February 27 1759, the regiment was part of the Austro-Imperial army who capitulated at Erfurt. In May, the grenadiers of the regiment were part of Macquire's force who fought to contain a Prussian incursion in Franconia. On May 7, this force was attacked by Prince Henri near Oelsnitz and forced to retire by Asch (present-day Aš). The grenadiers suffered heavy losses in the combat. On September 8, the regiment took part in the Combat of Zinna near Torgau where it was deployed in the first line of the infantry centre. It covered the retreat of the demoralised Austro-Imperial army into the nearby forest. On November 20, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Maxen where it was attached to the Reichsarmee Contingent deployed near Gieshübel under the command of the Prince von Stolberg.

From September 27 to 29 1762, the regiment was at Kuhnersdorf.

Uniform

First uniform

The first uniform of the regiment was a dark blue, single-breasted coat with white collar and Swedish cuffs, white buttons and lace. The neck stock was red, the hat was edged white, with a white hat cords. Dark blue breeches and stockings, buff bandolier and brown cartridge pouch, buff waist belt for the sabre. NCOs carried halberds.

The grenadier company wore brass-fronted caps with the Hessian lion badge, cut out on a white backing, the back was dark blue.

Officers had no uniform at this time, but all wore the silver gorget and wide waist sash in red, silver and blue silk, under the coat. They carried swords and spontoons. In 1717 officers paraded for the first time in uniform. The colours were as for that of the men, but cloth and decorations were of much finer quality. Their hats were edged with a broad silver border and short, red feathers. They had silver lace buttonholes to the chest, on the cuffs and pocket flaps and in the small of the back. Their neck stocks were white, breeches were blue and the stockings were red. Sash, gorget, sword and spontoon as before. Officers of the grenadier company wore grenadier caps and their sashes were borne over the right shoulder. Instead of spontoons, they carried a carbine. On the gold-embroidered waistbelt, they had a small black pouch with gilt grenades on the lid.

In 1731 the regiment was equipped with flintlock muskets with iron ramrods.

Kreis-Regiment Prinz Georg in 1752

The grenadier wore a dark blue uniform, faced white, white buttons and lace. The coat was lined white and had a white aiguilette on the right shoulder. Belts, small clothes and gaiters were white. His cap had a white metal front plate, with brass lion, crown, grenades and trophies. The pompom, headband and tapes were white, the backing was dark blue.

Prussian uniform of 1757

In 1757, the uniform style became Prussian; this version was worn until 1770. This is the uniform depicted in the following sub-sections.

Privates

Grenadier Uniform circa 1750 – Source: detail from a Zernin's illustration
Uniform Details from 1757
as per Darmstädter Grenadierbilder 1750 and Becher in 1757
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne edged white with a black cockade and with white pompoms in the corners and above the cockade
Grenadier
Prinz Georg Infantry Grenadier Mitre Cap - Source: Digby Smith and Richard Couture
mitre cap with white front carrying the Hessian lion (another illustration from Zernin depicts a white and red Hessian lion on a blue field) surrounded by brass trophies of arms; white headband edged white and decorated with brass ornaments; blue backing with white braid; white pompom with red and blue vertical stripes
Neck stock red
Coat dark blue lined red with 12 wide white buttonholes and 12 white buttons on each side on the chest; probably 1 white button and 1 buttonhole on each side at the small of the back; coat hooked together only at the top of the chest
Collar white lying collar
Shoulder Straps white edged white and fastened by a white button (left shoulder only) and a white aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with 3 wide white buttonholes and 3 white buttons
Cuffs white Prussian style cuffs with 2 white buttons and 2 wide white buttonholes on each sleeve
Turnbacks white fastened with small white button
Waistcoat white with 1 row of white buttons and with horizontal pockets
Breeches white in summer, dark blue in winter
Gaiters white in summer, dark blue in winter
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white bandolier (grenadiers also had a brass match case)
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black pouch
Bayonet Scabbard no information available
Scabbard brown with brass ornaments
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre (Prussian pattern sabre with brass hilt; white straps and tassels).

Other interpretations

Becher illustrates brass buttons and black gaiters.

Knötel illustrates the grenadier mitre cap front plate as entirely made of brass instead of white decorated with brass ornaments

NCOs

no information available yet

Officers

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne with broad silver lace edging
  • white neck stock
  • gorget
  • silver aiguillette on the right shoulder
  • silver twisted loop buttonholes with silver tassels
  • no turnbacks
  • white silk sash with red and blue stripes worn around the waist, under the coat
  • buff gauntlets

Grenadier officers wore grenadier caps and the sash over the right shoulder; they were armed with carbines and had the small pouch on a gold-embroidered waist belt.

All company officers carried spontoons and gilt-topped Spanish canes.

Musicians

no information available yet

Colours

Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field; centre device consisting of the crowned Hessian crest, held by two lions.

Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): field consisting of 8 groups of blue, white and red flames; centre device consisting of the crowned, red and white Hessian lion on a blue field within a golden laurel wreath.

Colonel Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Ordonnance Colour – Source: PMPdeL

The finials bore the crowned double “L”. The staffs were black, the cordons and tassels were red, white and blue.
 
Zernin's copies from the Darmstädter Grenadierbilder 1750 illustrate quite different colours.
 
Colonel flag (Leibfahne): White field with dark blue corner flames edged gold. Centre device consisting of a blue medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a white and red Hessian lion surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers) and grenades in gold.
 
Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): Dark blue field with white corner flames edged gold. Centre device consisting of a blue medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a golden crown. The medallion is decorated with a white and red Hessian lion surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, ciphers) and grenades in gold.

References

Becher, Johann Christian: Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten, so sich in dem Herzogthum Weimar by dem gewaltigen Kriege Friedrichs II., Königs von Preußen, mit der Königin von Ungarn, Marien Theresen, samt ihren Bundesgenossen zugetragen, Weimar, ca. 1760 (Stiftung Weimarer Klassik)

Beck, Fritz: Geschichte der Grossherzoglich Hessischen Fahnen und Standarten, Berlin 1895.

Bredow-Wedel: Historische Rang- und Stammliste des deutschen Heeres three volumes, Verlag August Scherl, Berlin 1905.

Diersburg, baron Roeder von: Geschichte des 1. Grossherzoglisch Hessischen Infanterie-(Leibgarde-) Regiments Nr 115 1621-1899, E S Mittler und Sohn, Berlin 1899.

Keim, A.: Geshichte des Infanterie-Leibregiments Grossherzogin (3. Grossherzoglisch Hessisches) Nr 117 und seiner Stammtruppen, A Bath, Berlin 1903.

Knoetel, Richard: Uniformkunde Lose Blaetter zur Geschichte der Entwicklung der Militaerischen Tracht, Verlag von Max Babenzien, Rathenow, 1890 etc.

Knoetel`s plates are listed by Arabic numerals within the volumes, which are shown by Roman numerals: II 48 Kreis-Regiment 1752

Zernin, Copies from Darmstädter Grenadierbilder 1750, ULB Darmstadt, Gr. Folio 3/67

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

Acknowledgments

Digby Smith for the initial version of this article.