Prussian Feldjäger zu Fuß

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Origin and History

The unit, initially consisting of 2 companies, was raised on June 15 1744 as a Korps Feldjäger zu Fuß placed under command of Major de Chasot.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the unit served against the Austrians. On May 22 1745, it took part in the engagement of Landeshut in Silesia. And, on November 9 of the same year, to a skirmish near Oppau.

After the war, the unit was stationed in Mittwalde with detachments at the passes of the border.

By the time of the Seven Years' War, the unit was known as Jäger-Korps zu Fuß.

In December 1755, the unit counted 176 men:

  • 2 officers
  • 6 oberjägers
  • 168 jägers

In 1761, the unit was increased to four companies.

During the Seven Years' War, the unit was commanded by:

  • since September 8 1751: Colonel von Aweyde
  • from November 9 1756: Major von Hartwig
  • in 1759: Major Baader
  • from July 19 1759 Captain von Gaudi
  • from March 12 1760 till 1778: Major des Granges

At the end of the Seven Years' War, the unit was reduced to its pre-war effective of 2 companies.

Service during the War

In 1756, the unit took part in the invasion of Saxony and was present at the blockade of Pirna between September 11 and October 16. On December 1, the unit received a reinforcement of 46 men.

On February 5 1757, the unit was organised into two companies. On March 1, it received a further reinforcement of 3 officers and 100 jägers; bringing its total strength to 300 men. On November 22, the unit took part in the Battle of Breslau where it was deployed en potence to protect the right flank. On December 5, at the Battle of Leuthen, the unit was deployed on the left in the first line of the infantry centre.

In the Spring of 1758, the unit took part in the invasion of Moravia and, from May to July, in the Siege of Olmütz where it was deployed in General Mayr's Brigade, on the opposite bank of the Morava to cover the road to Silesia. During the retreat from Moravia towards Silesia, the unit was attached to the rearguard and took part in several actions. On October 10, the unit took part in the Battle of Hochkirch where it was initially deployed in Manteuffel's Corps, in the village of Lauske, on the extreme left flank of the Prussian positions.

On October 10 1760, the unit was decimated by the Russians at Charlotteburg.

In 1761, a new unit of 4 companies was raised in Berlin and Wittenberg.

On July 21 1762, the unit took part in the Battle of Burkersdorf where it was posted on the right wing in the woods to the south-east of Hochgiersdorf.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Richard Couture
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced yellow with one yellow button and a yellow strap to fasten a black cockade; dark green within white tassels in the lateral cornes
Neckstock black
Coat dark green lined Ponceau red with 8 yellow buttons arranged 2 by 2 on the right side; 6 yellow buttons arranges 2 by 2 on the left side; 3 yellow buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar Ponceau red
Shoulder Straps none
yellow aiguillette on the right shoulder
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets, each with 2 yellow buttons
Cuffs Ponceau red (in the Swedish pattern) with 2 yellow buttons
Turnbacks Ponceau red
Waistcoat dark green
Breeches yellow leather
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box natural leather
Bayonet Scabbard n/a
Scabbard brown
Footgear black boots


Privates were armed:

  • 25% with a short rifle and a frontal buff leather cartridge pouch
  • 75% with a musket, a bayonet and a sword.

N.B.: it is also possible that, at that time, the unit would have been entirely equipped with rifles, musket being introduced only in 1773.

NCOs

NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:

  • tricorne with a golden lace

Officers

Officers had a golden scalloped tricorne with black within white tassels on the lateral cornes. They also had gilt buttons, golden buttonholes on the waistcoat and a golden aiguillette. They carried an officer stick. Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no turnbacks.

Musicians

details not yet available

Colours

The unit did not carry any colour.

References

Anonymous work: Etat Militaire du Roi de Prusse, au premier Janvier 1770, Infanterie, Première Partie

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Uniformen der Preußischen Infanterie 1753-1786, Teil III/Bd. 3, Osnabrück 1973

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786, Bd. I Infanterie I, Osnabrück 1984

Boltze, Eberhard: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Organisation und Uniformierung des Alt-Preussischen Heeres 1713-1807: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen nach dem Stande von 1785 nebst Rückblick bis 1740, Dresden 1927

Cremer, Peter: Die Preussischen Freikorps im Siebenjährigen Krieg: Auflistung der Freikorps, ihrer Einsätze, der Uniformen, der Chefs und deren Geschichte, KLIO-Arbeitsgruppe 7jähriger Krieg, Friderzianische Epoche, Manuskript, o.J.

Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II, Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, pp. 112, 125, Appendix 1

Nelke, Rheinhard: Preussen Web

Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989

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