Prussian Garrison Artillery

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page)) >> Armies >> Prussian Army >> Prussian Garrison Artillery

Origin and History

An artillery corps (300 men) already existed in 1676 during the reign of Frederick Wilhelm the “Great Elector”.

In 1717, King Frederick Wilhelm I grouped his field and garrison artillery into a single battalion consisting of 5 field companies and 4 garrison companies (Magdeburg, Pillau, Stettin and Wesel).

During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1742, a fifth garrison company was raised in Breslau.

In 1756, detachments of the Breslau garrison company were then sent to the Silesian fortresses of Cosel, Glatz, Neisse and Schweidnitz. In fact, all companies of the Silesian battalion originated from the company initially based in Breslau.

At the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, the regiment counted 2 battalions:

  • Garrison Artillery Battalion
    • Prussian company stationed in Pillau, Memel and Friedrichsburg
      • in 1756: Captain von Corbes
      • from May 4 1760: Captain Ebell
    • Pomeranian company stationed in Stettin, Kolberg and Cüstrin
      • since June 11 1747: Captain Borchert
    • Magdeburger company stationed in Magdeburg
      • in 1756: Captain von Kühle
    • Westphalian company stationed in Wesel and Geldern
      • since June 30 1750: Major von Linger
      • from April 26 1758: Captain Nicolai
      • from July 3 1758: Captain Doelle
  • Silesian Garrison Artillery Battalion
    • Breslau company stationed in Breslau with detachments at Glogau and Brieg
      • since August 26 1748: Captain von Kleist
      • from June 23 1760: Captain Mueller
      • from September 14 1762: Captain Richter
    • Neisse company (created on September 1 1748)
      • since October 25 1753: Colonel von Merkatz
    • Glatz company (created on September 1 1750)
      • since March 4 1753: Captain von Traubenthal
    • Cosel company (created on June 1 1756)
      • since June 22 1756: Captain Michelmann
      • from July 20 1758: Captain Pflug
    • Schweidnitz company (created on September 1 1750)
      • since October 26 1753: Captain Kegeler

Service during the War

During the Seven Years' War, the Field Artillery Regiment was subdivided in numerous detachments:

  • for each infantry regiment to handle the battalion guns and howitzers
  • for heavy artillery batteries

These various detachments often included artillerymen taken from the Garrison Artillery. They were involved in every campaign, battle and siege who took place during this war.

Uniform

Gunners

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear black tricorne laced white with one brass button and white/red/black/yellow pompoms
Neck stock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with 10 brass buttons on each side down to the waist, 2 additional brass buttons on the right side at the waist and 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps no information found
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets edged in red, each with 3 brass buttons
Cuffs blue (in the Prussian pattern), each with 2 brass buttons on the sleeve above the cuff
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat straw
Breeches straw
Gaiters white in summer, black in winter
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt no information found
Waistbelt white with a brass buckle
Cartridge Box none
Bayonet Scabbard none
Scabbard brown
Footgear black shoes


Gunners and bombardiers were armed with a sword.

NCOs

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

  • tricorne with golden lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no shoulder straps
  • golden edged cuffs and sleeve flaps
  • yellowish leather gloves

NCOs carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).

N.B.: bombardiers wore the same uniform as NCOs to the exception of gloves and cane. Prior to 1750, they also wore mitre cap (same style as the mitre cap of fusiliers) with a brass front plate; black headband with brass ornaments; black cap with brass ornaments; brass metal spike. This mitre cap was not worn in the field. From 1756 the mitre cap was replaced by a black tricorne laced gold.

Officers

Officers had hat wearing a golden lace. They also wore a black and silver sash around the waist. They carried an officer stick. They had black neck stocks and silver gorgets (decorated with a Black Eagle on a white shield surrounded by agilt trophies of arms). Their coats were similar to those of the privates but had no turnbacks. Their waistcoats were edged in gold.

Musicians

Drummers wore the same uniform as the gunners heavily decorated with the drummer lace (white braid edged red with a central orange stripe):

  • on the breast
  • along the coat edges and seams
  • around pockets
  • around the Prussian blue lapels
  • on the swallow nest (5 vertical braids) decorating each shoulder
  • 8 horizontal chevrons on each sleeve


Colours

no information found

References

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

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786, Vol. 2, pp. 460-467