Prussian Garrison Regiment I

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

Origin and History

The regiment, then a single battalion, was raised in Memel in 1718. Its recruiting canton was East Prussia and more precisely the towns of Hohenstein, Memel, Nordenburg, Schirrwindt, Stallupönen, Tapiau and Wehlau.

In 1744, the regiment was increased to 2 battalions.

On December 26 1756, the regiment was increased to 4 battalions. Its newly raised battalions had no grenadier company.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:

  • since April 20 1755: Christoph Georg von Luck
  • from March 4 1757 to January 2 1772: Werner Friedrich von Puttkammer

In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War, the regiment garrisoned Memel, Gumbinnen and Angerburg.

Service during the War

In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was garrisoning Königsberg (present-day Kaliningrad), Gumbinnen, Memel and Pillau (present-day Baltiysk). On December 26, the regiment was increased to 4 battalions.

In February 1757, the two newly authorised battalions were raised in Königsberg. They had no grenadier company and were assigned to the garrisons of Marienwerder and Pillau.

During the winter of 1757-58, when the Prussians were informed that Fermor intended to regain possession of East Prussia, 2 bns of the regiment under Lieutenant-Colonels Unruh and Wutenau, respectively occupying Königsberg and Pillau, retired into Pomerania. They took with them the money, the greatest part of stores and the artillery. At the end of June 1758, when the small Prussian army led by Dohna marched from Swedish Pomerania to oppose the Russian invasion of Brandenburg, the regiment was left behind in Pomerania to contain the Swedes.

In 1759, the regiment defended the mouth of the Oder against the Swedes but retreated in September. By September 13, during the Swedish campaign in Pomerania, 1 battalion of the regiment and Land Militia Battalion Nr. 4 Watzmer were defending the fortified town of Wollin under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Schafstädt. On September 16, a much superior Swedish force stormed Wollin, forcing the garrison to surrender.

In 1760, the regiment took part in the defence of Colberg.

On December 16 1761, two battalions were taken prisoners of war at the capitulation of Colberg. They were re-established after being exchanged with the Russians.

N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were initially put together with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment XI, forming the Standing Grenadier Battalion Nr. IV (G-I/G-XI Lossau). In 1760, it was combined with the grenadiers of Garrison Regiment II into the same Standing Grenadier Battalion Nr. IV (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).

Uniform

Exceptionally the musketeers and grenadiers of this regiment wore different uniforms. The present article describes the uniform of the musketeers. For the uniform of the grenadiers, please refer to the article Standing Grenadier Battalion Nr. IV (G-I/G-XI Lossau).

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne without lace with a pewter button, 1 red within green pompom, 1 white tassel in each lateral corne
Grenadier mitre with silver-plated front plate; red headband decorated with silver-plated ornaments; dark blue backing piped white; red within green pompom.

In regiments with white metal, the front plates were to be coloured with a water-based silver paste which needed to be re-applied regularly lest the cap plates revert to their original brass colour. Therefore, during campaign, particularly in bad weather, it is possible that the silvering could have worn off and needed to be silvered again.

Neckstock black
Coat Prussian blue lined red with six pewter buttons on both sides, 2 pewter buttons at the waist on the right side and 3 pewter buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 pewter buttons
Cuffs Prussian blue "Prussian" cuffs with 2 pewter buttons on the sleeve above each cuff
Turnbacks red
Waistcoat Prussian blue
Breeches Prussian blue
Gaiters black
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt one white belt over the left shoulder for the cartridge box and one narrower white belt over the right shoulder for the haversack
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard brown
Scabbard none
Footgear black


Privates were armed with a short musket and a bayonet.

NCOs

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

  • tricorne with wide silver lace and black and white quartered pompoms
  • no shoulder straps
  • yellowish leather gloves
  • black and white sabre tassel

NCOs were armed with a sabre and a white light half-pike measuring 7,5 Rhenish feet (2.37 m.).

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

Officers

Uniforms of officers were very similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne with a thin silver lace and 2 black within white tassels,1 in each lateral corne of the tricorne (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
  • black neck stock
  • no trimming on the coat
  • no shoulder strap on the coat
  • no turnbacks on the coat
  • 3 silver buttons below each pocket.
  • black and silver sash around the waist
  • a silver and gold gorget

Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7,5 Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.

Musicians

Drummers wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following differences:

  • no shoulder strap
  • each shoulder decorated with a swallow nest consisting of 4 vertical white braid and 1 horizontal white braid

Drummers carried a side arm.

Colours

Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with black corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a blue medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a white scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Regimental colours (Kompaniefahnen): Blue field with black corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a white medallion surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and surmounted by a gold crown. The medallion is decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a blue scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.

Colonel Colour - Source: Digby Smith and Richard Couture from elements by Hannoverdidi
Regimental Colour - Source: Digby Smith and Richard Couture from elements by Hannoverdidi

Other interpretation

For the period before 1763, Boltze illustrates slightly different colours:

  • central device consisting of the "FR" cipher (the background of the medallion being of the same colour as the field of the flag)
  • corner monograms replaced by golden flaming grenades

Boltze pretends that the colours we illustrate in our plates appeared only in 1763 but is not followed by Bleckwenn on this matter.

References

Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderizianischen Uniformen 1756-1783, Bd. II., Infanterie II, Osnabrück 1984

Boltze, Eberhard; Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen nach dem Stande von 1785 nebst Rückblick bis 1740, Dresden, November 1927

Cremer, Peter: Die preussischen Landregimenter & -milizen, die Stettiner Haff-Flotille und das Verpflegungswesen der Armee 1756-1753, KLIO-Arbeitgruppe, Heimbach, 1987

Duffy, Christopher: Friedrich der Große und seine Armee, Stuttgart, 2. Auflage 1983

Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000, pp. 140-141

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. 127, App. 1

Guddat, Martin: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986

Haythornthwaite, Philip: Frederick the Great (2), Men-at Arms-Series No. 240, Osprey

Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 406-409

Horvath, Carl Christian: Friedrichs II. König von Preussen Armee-Montirungen, Potsdam 1789. Vierte Sammlung

Merta, Klaus-Peter: Das Heerwesen in Brandenburg und Preußen von 1640 bis 1806 - Die Uniformierung, Berlin 1991

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

Acknowledgments

Martina Hager for the initial version of this article.