Schorlemmer Dragoons

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

Origin and History

In May 1716, Friedrich Wilhelm I acquired this regiment from August II of Saxony. Part of its price may have been paid with valuable porcelain and, thereafter, the regiment retained the nickname Porzellan Dragoons. Another simpler explanation for this nickname is that their uniform was white and blue...

In June 1727, the units was divided into 2 distinct regiments giving birth to Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 7, placed under the command of Colonel von Dockum.

Exceptionally, at the end of 1740, the regiment was increased to 10 squadrons rather than the usual 5 squadrons of most dragoon regiments.

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

  • since May 17 1747: Ludwig Wilhelm von Schorlemmer
  • from November 9 1760 to January 24 1777: Carl Friedrich von Meier (aka Meyer)

The numbering system (Stammliste) was first used by Leopold I., Fürst von Anhalt-Dessau (Der alte Dessauer) in the Dessauer Spezifikation from 1737. Around 1780 the numbers were used in the printed Stammlisten, still with some variations for the fusilier regiments. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present dragoon regiment was attributed number 6.

Service during the War

In 1757, the regiment was 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, five squadrons were deployed in the first line of the cavalry right wing under the Duke of Holstein while the five remaining squadrons were deployed in the first line of the cavalry left wing under Lieutenant-General Schorlemmer. In this defeat, the regiment lost 5 officers and 105 privates.

On August 2 1758, during the Russian invasion of Brandenburg, Manteuffel sent this regiment along with Plettenberg Dragoons (5 sqns) to reinforce the Prussian detachment posted at Reppen. On August 25, the regiment fought in the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the reserve. It belonged to the brigade of dragoons who, around 11:50 a.m., delivered a deadly counter attack and threw Gaugreben’s Brigade back into the ranks of the Russian infantry causing disorder and confusion. On September 25, the regiment was part of the detachment of Major-General Wobersnow who was sent by Dohna from Blumenberg to cut off the Russian detachment left at Landsberg by the retreating main army. On September 26, this Prussian detachment captured Landsberg. Two days later, on September 28, the regiment took part in the failed attempt to capture Fehrbellin.

On July 23 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to Normann's Brigade deployed in the first line of the cavalry right wing. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the bloody Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the left wing as part of Spaen's Brigade. Towards the end of the battle, at 5:00 p.m., the regiment took part in an attack on the Grosser-Spitzberg from the rear but the cavalry charges were scattered by the Russian artillery fire. In this battle, the regiment lost 18 officers and 234 privates. On December 3 and 4, 200 men of the regiment were attached to a small isolated Prussian force under Major-General Dierecke who had taken post at Meissen. This small corps was attacked by a much stronger Austrian force and, during the Combat of Meissen, forced to retire.

In the 1760 campaign the regiment was with the King's Army before Dresden, then it remained in Saxony with Hulsen, distinguishing itself at the battle of Strehla were it captured 1 gun and 3 standards, losing in the process 4 officers and 90 privates. Again in Saxony in 1761 on the Mulde.

The regiment started the 1762 campaign understrenght. On October 29 1762, the second battalion took part in the Battle of Freiberg in the Forcade Column.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1757 - Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform in 1757
Headgear black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade fastened with a small white button and red pompoms

N.B.: for combat, the tricorne was reinforced with an iron cap

Neckstock black
Coat cobalt blue with 2 white buttons under the lapel and 3 white buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
Collar white
Shoulder strap left shoulder: blue fastened with a white button
right shoulder: white with a white aiguillette
Lapels white with 6 white buttons grouped 2 by 2
Pockets horizontal pockets each with 2 white buttons
Cuffs white (Swedish style) with 2 white buttons
Turnbacks white
Waistcoat lemon yellow with one row of small white buttons and horizontal pockets, each with white buttons
Breeches buff
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waistbelt white
Cartridge Box black leather
Scabbard brown leather
Bayonet scabbard brown leather
Footgear black boots
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth cobalt blue with pointed corners; bordered with a wide white braid decorated with 2 thin red braids
Housings cobalt blue pointed housings; bordered with a wide white braid decorated with 2 thin red braids
Blanket roll cobalt blue


Troopers were armed with a sword, a pair of pistols, a musket and a bayonet.

Officers

Schorlemmer Dragoons Officer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

The officers wore the same uniform with the following exceptions:

  • black tricorne (no lace) with a black cockade (attached with a silver fastener) and red and silver pompons
  • silver buttonholes under each lapel on the coat


Musicians

Schorlemmer Dragoons Drummer Lace - Source: Kling, C., Geschichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung des Königlich Preussischen Heeres

Drummers of the regiments wore the same uniform as the troopers but decorated on the seams with a white lace decorated with 2 (narrow lace) or 4 (wide lace) blue lateral bands.

Standards

Standards were made of damask. They were swallow-tailed and measured some 50 cm along the pole, 65 cm from the pole to the extremity of a point and 50 cm from the pole to the centre of the indentation. The cords and knots were of silver threads. The pole of the standard was a blue tournament lance reinforced with iron hinges. The golden spearhead wore the crowned monogram of Frédéric Wilhelm (FWR).

When the regiment was expanded to 10 squadrons, five new Eskadronstandarten were issued. Thus the regiment carried the Leibstandarte and four Eskadronstandarten of the FWR pattern, and five Eskadronstandarten of the FR pattern. The regiment lost one of each pattern of Eskadronstandarten at Palzig (Kay) in 1759, the FWR Eskadronstandarte being replaced by an FR pattern.

N.B.: standards captured by the Russians at the battle of Palzig prove that the regiment simultaneously carried standards dating from Frederick Wilhelm I and wearing his monogram (FWR) and standards wearing Frederick II's monogram (FR).

We present two different interpretations of these standards, the first is based on the standards captured by the Russians and displayed in St. Petersburg, the second on the Dessauer Spezifikationer of 1729 and 1737, the Darmstadt pattern book of 1747 and the regimental history by Max Orlop (Geschichte des Kürassier-Regiments Graf Wrangel (Ostpreußisches) Nr. 3 von 1717 bis 1892).

As per the standards on display in St. Petersburg

Colonel Standard “FWR” design (Leibstandarte): white field with golden flames fringed gold; centre device consisting of a blue medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold. Squadron Standards “FWR” design (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with golden flames fringed gold; centre device consisting of a white medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a blue scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold.
Colonel Standard “FWR” design – Source: Dal Gavan
Squadron Standards “FWR” design – Source: Dal Gavan
  Squadron Standards “FR” design (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with golden flames fringed gold with a white central medallion surmounted by a gold crown, surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a blue scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).
 
Squadron Standards “FR” design – Source: Dal Gavan

N.B.: the Dessauer Spezifikation of 1737 and the Darmstädter Fahnenbuch of 1742 both mention red corner wedges instead of golden flames as illustrated above. It is possible that the original colour of these corner wedges was red since faded red silk looks golden. The same phenomenon can be seen with the flag of the 1st Duchy of Warsaw Chasseurs à Cheval. When issued in 1809 this latter flag was bright crimson. However, photographs of the flag today show it to be gold as a result of the red dye fading and the stained silk becoming visible.

As per the Darmstadt pattern book of 1747

Colonel Standard “FWR” design (Leibstandarte): white field with red corner wedges fringed gold; centre device consisting of a blue medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a white scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold. Squadron Standards “FWR” design (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with red corner wedges fringed gold; centre device consisting of a white medallion surmounted by a gold crown and surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle flying towards a golden sun surmounted by a blue scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Non Soli Cedit"; corner devices (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FWR” ciphers) in gold.
Colonel Standard “FWR” 1747 design – Source: Dal Gavan
Squadron Standards “FWR” 1747 design – Source: Dal Gavan
  Squadron Standards “FR” design (Eskadronstandarte): blue field with red corner wedges fringed gold with a white central medallion surmounted by a gold crown, surrounded by a golden laurel wreath and decorated with a black eagle holding a sword and lightning bolts surmounted by a blue scroll edged gold bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Decoration in gold in each corner (crowns, laurel wreaths and “FR” ciphers).
 
Squadron Standards “FR” design – Source: Dal Gavan

References

Funcken, Liliane and Fred , Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

Nelke, R., Preussen

Thümmler, L.-H., Preußische Militärgeschichte

Vial J. L., Nec Pluribus Impar

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