Prussian Garrison Regiment II
Origin and History
The regiment was raised as a single battalion in Pillau in 1717. Its recruiting canton was East Prussia, more precisely, the towns of Johannesburg, Lyck, Marienwerder, Mohrungen, Pillau, Rosenberg and Saalfeld.
In 1744, the regiment was increased to 2 battalions.
On July 27 1756, Frederick II ordered to increase the regiment to 4 battalions. The 2 new battalions had no grenadier company.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since August 5 1754 until May 18 1773: Hans Sigismund von Sydow (the regiment was known as Alt-Sydow from 1759 to 1763)
In 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War, the regiment garrisoned Pillau (7 coys) Fischhausen (3 coys), Barten (2 coys), Tapiau (2 coys) and Domnau (6 coys). One battalion was disbanded in July.
The regiment was disbanded in 1788.
Service during the War
In 1756, at the outbreak of the war, the regiment was garrisoning Pillau, Fischhausen and Friedrichsburg while its grenadiers garrisoned Königsberg. In August, the two existing battalions joined Field-Marshal von Lehwaldt's army charged to observe the Russians. The two additional battalions were raised in Königsberg on September 15 1756. They were assigned to the garrisons of Königsberg, Zinten and Kreuzburg.
In 1757, the regiment was once more part of Lehwaldt's army assigned to the defence of East Prussia against a Russian invasion. On August 30, at the Battle of Gross-Jägersdorf, it was deployed in the second line of the infantry right wing under General Kalnein. The regiment suffered heavy casualties during this battle.
In 1758, part of the regiment was at the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz.
In 1760, part of the regiment served with the Army of Prince Henri in Saxony. Its first battalion fought in the Combat of Hochgiersdorf where it was attached to Platen's vanguard. The first battalion was at the Battle of Torgau in Zieten's corps.
At the beginning of September 1762, one battalion of the regiment took part in the Prussian counter-offensive in Pomerania against the Swedes.
In 1762, the first battalion occupied Nuremberg, while the second battalion of the regiment was at the Battle of Freiberg where it was attached to Forcade's column.
N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Kanitz Infantry forming the 2/G-II Manstein Grenadiers (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
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 2/G-II Manstein Grenadiers.
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red with 6 pewter buttons on both sides on the chest, 2 pewter buttons at the waist on the right side and 3 pewter buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Privates were armed with a short musket and a bayonet.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- tricorne with wide silver lace and black and white quartered pompom and tassels
- 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).
Uniforms of officers were similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne with a thin silver lace and 2 black and white quartered pompoms, 1 in each lateral corne of the tricorne (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
- black neckstock
- no trimming on the coat
- no shoulder strap on the coat
- no turnbacks on the coat
- black and silver sash around the waist
- a silver and gold gorget
Officers carried white spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.
Drummers wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following differences:
- no shoulder strap
- white swallow nest (4 vertical and 1 horizontal braids) on each shoulder
They carried a sidearm.
The drum pattern had ???.
Colonel flag (Leibfahne): white field with black corner wedges. Centre device consisting of a yellow 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 flags (Kompaniefahnen): Yellow 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 yellow scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, “FR” ciphers) and grenades in gold.
For the period before 1763, Boltze illustrates very 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
- Kompaniefahnen with a blue field
Boltze pretends that the colours we illustrate in our plates appeared only in 1763 but is not followed by Bleckwenn and Jany on this matter. Indeed Bleckwenn specifically mentions that yellow colours were introduced before 1756.
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
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. 113, 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. 410-413
Horvath, Carl Christian: Friedrichs II. König von Preussen Armee-Montirungen, Potsdam 1789. Vierte Sammlung
Jany, Curt: Geschichte der Königlich Preußischen Armee bis zum Jahre 1807, Vol 2: Die Armee Friedrichs des Großen 1740-1763, Reprint Osnabrück 1967, p. 287
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.
Martina Hager for the initial version of this article.