Prussian Garrison Regiment II

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

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 2/G-II Manstein Grenadiers.

Privates

Uniform in 1756 - Source: Kronoskaf
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne without lace and with a pewter button, light blue pompom, 1 white pompom in each lateral corne
Grenadier mitre with silver-plated front plate; red headband edged white and decorated with silver-plated ornaments; dark blue backing piped white; light blue within white 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 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
Collar none
Shoulder Straps Prussian blue fastened with a pewter button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets piped red, each with 2 pewter buttons
Cuffs white "Prussian style" cuffs with 2 pewter buttons on the sleeve above each cuff (replaced by "Swedish" cuffs in 1778)
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 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).

Officers

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.

Musicians

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 ???.

Colours

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.

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 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.

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

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.

Acknowledgments

Martina Hager for the initial version of this article.