Prussian Garrison Regiment XII
Origin and History
In 1685, 2 companies of Mariniers (marines) were established in East Frisia. In 1744, a garrison battalion (without grenadier company) was raised in Aurich in East Frisia from the 4 Garde companies of the local prince, combined with the 2 Prussian garrison companies in Wesel and Greetsiel. Until 1750, each company remained in its old garrison place. Then, from 1751 to 1756, they served as garrison in Emden. The regiment recruited in and around Aurich and Emden.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since September 6 1744 until 1759: Ernst Georg von Kalckreuth
After the war, the battalion was re-established from one of the battalions of Frei-Infanterie de Courbière and assumed garrison duties in Emden, its former garrison place.
Service during the War
In March 1757, the French army prepared for the invasion of Hanover. The Prussians evacuated Wesel which was soon occupied and, on May 1, Comte Beausobre blockaded the Fortress of Geldern. On July 3, Colonel Kalckreuth and his regiment surrendered as prisoners of war to the French at Emden and East Frisia was occupied.
In 1759, the regiment was exchanged but it was disbanded and its troops mainly contributed to the re-establishment of |Garrison Regiment IX while most of its officers joined the Hereditary Prince Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel Fusiliers (later numbered IR45) or the Frei-Bataillon Volontaires de Prusse which, under the command of Major von Trümbach, operated with the Allied army of Ferdinand of Brunswick at Minden.
|Coat||Prussian blue lined red with 6 brass buttons on both sides on the chest, 2 brass buttons at the waist on the right side and 3 brass 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 gold lace and a black and white quartered pompom
- cuffs edged gold
- no shoulder strap
- 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 very similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne wearing a thin golden lace and 2 black and 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 shoulder strap on the coat
- no turnbacks on the coat
- no trimming 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 privates but were distinguished by white swallow nests at the shoulders.
Drummers carried a side-arm.
The drum pattern had ???.
There is no proof that this regiment did carry a Leibfahne.
Colonel flag (Leibfahne): White field. Centre device consisting of a golden “FR” cipher surrounded by golden palm leaves and surmounted by a gold crown. Grenades in gold.
Regimental flags (Kompaniefahnen): Sky blue field. Centre device consisting of a golden “FR” cipher surrounded by golden palm leaves and surmounted by a gold crown. Grenades in gold.
N.B. the reverses of all colours were mirror images of the obverses
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderizianischen Uniformen 1756-1783, Bd. II., Infanterie II, Osnabrück 1984
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. 146-147
Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 1 Pirna und Lobositz, Berlin, 1901, 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, p. 452
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.
Martina Hager for the initial version of this article.