Prussian Line Infantry Weapons
- 1 Firearms
- 2 Edged Weapons
- 3 References
Prussian Musket M1723 / M1740
|Overall length||1434 mm|
|Length of barrel||1037 mm (this had originally been 1150mm and has already been shortened)|
|Ball diameter||16,5 mm|
|Length of the flintlock plate||178 mm|
|Legend||1 - Schlossschraube (lock screw)|
2 - Schlossgegen blech / Schlange (lock fixing plate)
This weapon was the first standardised musket produced in Potsdamm and replaced similar weapons, previously supplied by the Henoul factory in Liège. The extreme barrel length was due to the misconception that accuracy of the projectile was a function of the length of the barrel.
When Frederick the Great succeeded to the throne in 1740, he expanded the army and ordered the barrels of all existing muskets to be shortened by 11 cm. This lightened the weapon and made it much easier for the shorter men of the newly-raised Fusilier regiments (Nrs 33 onwards) to load and use. From this year on, the thumb plates bore the crowned royal cipher 'FR'. This musket continued to be produced, without modification, until 1773. The calibre of this new weapon was increased to 18,5 mm.
1 - Hahnschraube (cock screw)
2 - Schlossplatte (lock plate)
3 - Pulverpfanne (pan)
4 - Batteriefeder (frizzen or feather spring)
5 - Batterie (pan cover, frizzen)
6 - Schlagfeder (striking spring)
7 - Nuss (pawl)
8 - Studel (tumbler)
9 - Abzugsstange (sear)
10 - Stangenfeder (sear spring)
11 - Hahn (cocking hammer)
12 - Obere Hahnlippe (top jaw)
13 - Hahnlippenschraube (jaw screw)
14 - Hahnsporn (tang)
15 - Gewindeloecher fuer die Schlossschraube (hole for the lock screw)
The same flintlock plate mechanisms were used on all other firearms, but in shorter versions (Kürassiers, dragoons - 155 mm, hussars - 154 mm and 147 mm). At some time after 1740, the maker's initials on the lock plate changed from 'S&D' to 'DSE' (David Splitgerbers sel Erben).
The cylindrical iron ramrod was introduced only in 1773 and the calibre of the weapon was increased to 19 mm.
The conical touchhole, aimed at speeding up the rate of fire of the weapon, was introduced in 1780.
Prussian Pistol M1722
Prior to 1722, officers were expected to provide their own weapons and equipment; many carried pistols made by Francois Henoul of Liège.
From this date, Frederick opened the arsenal in Spandau, west of Berlin. All weapons produced in Spandau still bore the 'POTSDAMMAGAZ' and 'S&D' marks and the crowned cipher 'FR' on the thumb plate.
|Overall length||540 mm|
|Length of barrel||353 mm|
|Length of the flintlock plate||138 mm|
Prussian Pistol M1731
All mounted Prussian officers carried a pair of pistols; from 1731 this became their standard weapon.
|Overall length||480 mm|
|Length of barrel||290 mm|
|Length of the flintlock plate||140 mm|
not yet available
Prussian Infantry Sabre M1715
The hilt is brass; on both sides of the blade is the crowned royal cipher 'FWR'.
|Overall length||739 mm|
|Length of the blade||579 mm|
|Width of the blade||32 mm|
|Height of the curve||12 mm|
Prussian Artillery Pallasch Type I
Prussian Grenadier NCOs' Partizan M1755
Still in use during the Seven Years' War, some of them were part of the booty captured by the Austrians at the Battle of Kunersdorf.
Prussian Infantry NCOs' Spontoon M1755
On both sides of the blade are the crowned royal cipher; the shaft is of brown wood.
|Overall length||2225 mm|
|Length of the blade||448 mm (with hilt)|
|Width of the blade||n/a|
Prussian Infantry Officers' Spontoon
Prussian Infantry Officers' Sword M1740
On both sides of the base of the blade is an oval brass plug bearing the Prussian eagle, under this, along the blade is 'BERLIN', between small diamond-shaped markings. The grip of the gilt hilt is wound with gilt wire. The sword strap is silver with two black stripes, the tassel is of silver and black threads. This is the strap of a junior officer.
|Overall length||981 mm|
|Length of the blade||825 mm|
|Width of the blade||26 mm|
Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Grossen Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres. Ausstellungskatalog, Rastatt 1986
Digby Smith for the initial version of this article