Wartenberg Hussars

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

Origin and History

Trooper of Wartemberg Hussars - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The first 5 squadrons of the regiment were raised in 1740 from 2 squadrons contributed by the 1st Hussar and from new recruits under the command of Colonel Friedrich Asmas von Bandemer.

In 1742, the regiment was completed up to 10 squadrons.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, soon after its creation in 1740, the regiment went into action. On August 1, it was ambushed at Kloster Leubus, suffering heavy casualties. In 1744, it served against the rebels in Upper and Lower Silesia. On November 27, it took part in a skirmish near Plesse where it attacked a force of Austrian cavalry, taking over 200 prisoners. In 1745, at the skirmish of Gross-Strehlitz, it defeated a superior Austrian cavalry force, taking almost 300 prisoners. On September 28 at the skirmish of Oderberg, it overthrew an enemy dragoon regiment and took a standard and over 100 prisoners.

The regiment had no recruiting canton, its recruits came from Kürassier-Regiment Nr. 1 and Kürassier-Regiment Nr. 9. The inspectorate of the regiment was Upper-Silesia. On the eve of the Seven Years' War, its garrison places were Bernstadt, Buchwalde, Sadewitz, Korschlitz, Neudorf, and Zellin.

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

  • since 1745: Colonel Hartwig Carl von Wartenberg (killed in action at Alt-Bunzlau on May 3 1757)
  • from May 1757: Colonel Carl Emanuel von Warnery (retired and went into Polish service)
  • from 1758 until 1773: Colonel Christian von Möhring

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. It became official by "Cabinets-Ordre" from October 1, 1806. The present hussar regiment was attributed number 3.

By 1806, the regiment was known as von Pletz Hussars. On October 14, it took part in the Battle of Iena. It then joined Blücher's Corps and surrendered at Ratkow on November 7. On November 22, a last detachment surrendered in Hameln. The regiment was not re-raised. Some survivors of the battle in Silesia went to form part of the 2nd Silesian Hussars and the 6th Hussars in 1808.

Service during the War

In 1756, the regiment was part of the army of Silesia under Field-marshal Schwerin. During this campaign, this army remained on the border between Silesia and Bohemia.

In April 1757, the regiment was part of the Prussian Army who proceeded to the invasion of Bohemia. On May 3, it fought in a skirmish near Alt-Bunzlau, scattering over 1,500 Grenzers but losing its commander, Colonel Wartenberg, killed in action. On May 6, the regiment took part in the Battle of Prague where it was deployed in the Reserve under General von Zieten. When the Reserve dispersed the entire Austrian cavalry, Prince Charles tried to rally some Austrian cavalry units but the regiment along with Stechow Dragoons attacked and broke these units. During this battle, the regiment fought on the left wing and repelled the Austrian cavalry 3 times. On June 18, the regiment took part in the Battle of Kolin where it was deployed in the cavalry vanguard at the extreme left under General von Zieten. When the Prussian right wing collapsed, it covered the retreat of the army. At the end of October, 7 squadrons of the regiment were part of the defensive force during the Siege of Schweidnitz and were taken prisoners, including their colonel (von Warnery), when the fortress surrendered on November 14. On December 5, at the Battle of Leuthen, the remaining 3 squadrons were deployed in the vanguard which attacked the Austrian left flank.

In March 1758, at the beginning of the campaign, the regiment took part in the invasion of Moravia and, from May to July, covered the Siege of Olmütz during which it fought in the skirmish near Landskron, overthrowing an enemy cavalry force. The regiment was later dispatch to counter Swedish operations in Pomerania. On September 26, 5 squadrons of the regiment took part in the attack of a Swedish foraging party at the Combat of Tarmow. They charged and routed the Smålands Horse, loosing 1 officer and 30 men in this action. Two days later, on September 28, these same squadrons took part to the failed attempt to capture Fehrbellin.

On August 12 1759, 6 squadrons of the regiment fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where they were deployed in the Reserve of the right wing as part of Meinicke's Division. On October 29, the regiment took part in a skirmish near Pretsch.

From July 13 to 22 1760, the regiment covered the Siege of Dresden. On August 15, it took part in the Battle of Liegnitz where it was deployed on the right wing in front of the first line. On September 17, the regiment was at the Combat of Hohengiersdorf. On November 3, it was at the Battle of Torgau but did not take part in combats, being detached to guard the army train. On November 4, it fought in a skirmish near Zobten.

In 1761, the regiment served in Saxony and took part in various small actions.

In 1762, the regiment served in Silesia. On July 21, it cleared the enemy from the heights of Burkersdorf and Leutmannsdorf. On July 24, it took part in a skirmish near Rattibor in Upper Silesia. On August 16, it took part in the Battle of Reichenbach where 5 of its squadrons were deployed on the right wing and 5 on the left.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1756
Source: Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear a brown kolback with a white flame with white cords, knots and tassels (the white plume was adopted only in 1762)
Pelisse dark blue
Fur trim white
Lace 18 rows of yellow braids and yellow edgings along the fur trimming at the end of the sleeves
Buttons yellow
Dolman white with 18 yellow braids and yellow buttons
Collar yellow edged white
Cuffs yellow
Trousers buff with dark blue Schalavary (overtrousers) edged yellow
N.B.: by 1753, the small heart on the Schalavary had disappeared
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt white
Waist-sash yellow and white barrel sash
Scabbard black with white metal fittings
Boots black Hungarian boots edged yellow
Horse Furniture
Saddlecloth dark blue shabraque with white wolf tooth edged and bordered yellow
Sabretache yellow wearing a white crowned cipher and bordered with a thick white lace


Troopers were armed with a short, curved sabre, two pistols and a carbine. They rode chestnut (white manes and tails) horses.

Officers

Colonel Hartwig Carl von Wartenberg - Copyright: Franco Saudelli

The dolman of the officers was similar to the dolman of the troopers with the following differences:

  • yellow waved lace at the collar and around the braids on the breast
  • 2 yellow chevrons on each cuff

The pelisse of the NCOs was trimmed with white fur and laced with a wide golden braids around the braids on the breast.

Schmalen's publications of 1759 and 1762 illustrate an officer with dark blue trousers, yellow Hungarian boots and a white or pale yellow sabretache decorated with a crowned golden “FR” cipher and bordered with yellow wolf tooth.

NCOs

The dolman of the NCOs was similar to the dolman of the troopers with the following differences:

  • yellow waved lace at the collar and around the braids on the breast
  • a yellow chevron on each cuff

The pelisse of the NCOs was trimmed with brown fur.

Musicians

Trumpeters of the regiment wore a black mirliton with white cords, knots and tassels and a white plume tipped blue instead of the kolback.

The dolman of the trumpeters was similar to the dolman of the troopers with the following differences:

  • yellow waved lace at the collar and around the braids on the breast
  • a yellow chevron on each cuff
  • a white swallow nest edged and laced yellow at each shoulder
  • 4 inverted yellow chevrons on each sleeve

Colours

In 1743, king Frederick ordered the Hussars to return their standards.

References

Stammliste aller Regimenter und Corps der Koeniglich-Preussischen Armee fuer das Jahr 1806. Reprinted by Bilblio Verlag, Osnabrueck 1975.

Alt, Das Koeniglich Preussische Stehende Heer. Schrapp, Berlin, 1869.

Anon.; Accurate Vorstellung der sämtlich Koeniglichen Preusischen Armee..., Hrsg. u. gezeichnet I.C. v. S.(chmalen), Nürnberg, 1759

Anon.; Uniformen der Preußischen Armee, 1758

Anon.; Uniformes Prussien et Saxonne, 1756/57

Bleckwenn, Hans (Hrsg.): Das Altpreussische Heer - Erscheinungsbild und Wesen 1713-1807, Teil III: Übersichten altpreußischer Uniformgestaltung, Band 4: Die Uniformen der Kavallerie, Husaren und Lanzenreiter 1753-1786, Osnabrück 1979

Bredow – Wedel. Historische Rang- und Stammliste des Deutschen Heeres. Berlin 1905.

Dorn G., Engelmann J., Die Kavallerie-Regimenter Friederich des Grossen 1756-1763, Friedberg 1984

Fiebig, H. Unsterbliche Treue

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

Franke, Ludwig Eberhardt. Vorstellung der Koeniglich Preussischen Armee. Potsdam, 18??

Fraser, David. Frederick the Great, The Penguin Press, London 2000

Gieraths, Günther: Die Kampfhandlungen der Brandenburgisch-Preussischen Armee 1626-1807, Ein Quellenbuch, Berlin 1964.

Gohlke, W. Geschichte der gesamten Feuerwaffen bis 1850 Berlin 1911.

Grossen Generalstab. Urkundliche Beitraege und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Preussischen Heeres; Heft 14 / 15. Der Feldzug 1806 / 07 und die Reorganisation der Artillerie. Berlin 1914

Grossen Generalstab. Urkundliche Beitraege und Forschungen zur Geschichte des Preussischen Heeres; Hefte 26 - 30. Die Freikorps und Auslaender-Battailone. Berlin 1914.

Hoepfner, Edouard von. Oberst. Der Krieg von 1806 und 1807. Berlin, Simon Schropp & Comp. 1850.

Jany, Curt. Geschichte der Preussischen Armee vom 15. Jahrhundert bis 1914. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck, 1967.

Kling, C. Geshichte der Bekleidung, Bewaffnung und Ausruestung des Koeniglich Preussischen Heeres. Three volumes. Putzer und Hoeltze, Weimar 1912.

Knötel, Herbert d.J. and Hans M. Brauer; “Brauer-Bogen”; Heer und Tradition Heeres-Uniformbogen Berlin 1926 -1962, plate no. 55

Knoetel – Sieg. Handbuch der Uniformkunde. H. G. Schultz, Hamburg, 1937.

Voigt, Guenther. Deutschlands Heere bis 1918. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrueck, 1983.

Wellner, Carl; Uniform von Sr. Königl: Majestaet in Preussen Armee so Infanterie als Curassier, Dragoner, Husaren und Jäger zu Pferd und zu Fuß, nebst der in Empfang genommenen 10. Regt. Sachsen und Frey Bataillon; Leipzig, November 11 1757

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

Acknowledgments

Digby Smith for the initial version of this article and User:Zahn for additional sources.