Graf zu Dohna Infantry
Origin and History
The regiment was raised in March 1689 by Alexander Count zu Dohna from troops contributed by various other regiments and garrison units.
Part of the regiment served in Germany in 1690.
In 1713, the regiment was merged with the garrison battalion of Pillau.
From 1721, the regiment was stationed at Königsberg where it served as garrison. Its recruiting cantons were in East Prussia and included most of the City of Königsberg as well as the towns of Angerburg, Barten, Lötzen and Rhein.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1745, the regiment took part in the siege of Kosel.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- since July 14 1748: Christopher Count zu Dohna
- from June 19 1762 to May 7 1771: Friedrich Wilhelm von Syburg
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 infantry regiment was attributed number 16.
Service during the War
In August 1756, the regiment was attached to Field-Marshal von Lehwaldt's Army stationed in East Prussia. It saw no action.
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 first line of the infantry left wing in Below's Brigade.
From January 10 to June 18, the regiment took part in the blockade of the Swedish fortress of Stralsund in Pomerania. On August 22, as Frederick II tried to put a stop to the Russian invasion of Brandenburg, the regiment formed part of a detachment, under the command of Kanitz, sent to Wriezen to bring back the small boats stored there to cross the Oder. On August 23, the detachment successfully brought back these boats. On August 25, the regiment fought at the Battle of Zorndorf where it formed part of the first line of the left division led by Kanitz. In this battle, it was routed and suffered heavy losses (21 officers and 611 men).
On July 23 1759, the regiment took part in the Battle of Paltzig where it was attached to Flemming's Brigade deployed in the second line of infantry. A few weeks later, on August 12, the regiment fought in the Battle of Kunersdorf where it was deployed in the second line of the left centre as part of Rebentisch's Brigade. In this bloody battle, it lost 16 officers and 550 men. With its recruiting cantons in East Prussia now occupied by the Russians, the regiment was reduced to a single battalion.
On November 3 1760, a battalion of the regiment took part in the Battle of Torgau where, as darkness was falling, it spearheaded the attack against the rear of the Austrians units occupying the Süptitz Heights.
On January 31 1761, the second battalion of the regiment was part of the Prussian detachment assembled near Rega in Pomerania to counter Russian raids. On May 18, the first battalion set out from Stettin as part of the reinforcements sent to Colberg under the Prince of Württemberg. The second battalion soon joined. The regiment then took part in the defence of Colberg till November 13 when it was part of the corps under the Prince of Württemberg who escaped from the fortress to gather some supplies and eventually relieve Colberg. On December 11, the regiment was part of Württemberg`s left column when he marched from Treptow in the direction of Colberg. On December 12, the regiment took part in the Combat of Spie where Württemberg was repulsed and forced to retire. Colberg fell the following day. The regiment took its winter-quarters in Mecklenburg.
On July 6 1762, during the campaign in Silesia, the regiment took part in the Combat of Adelsbach. On July 21, the regiment fought in the Battle of Burkersdorf where it was deployed on the left wing under Lieutenant-General Neuwied. It suffered heavy losses in this battle. From August 4 to October 11, it then participated in the siege and recapture of Schweidnitz.
N.B.: During the war the grenadiers from the wing grenadier companies were put together with the grenadiers of Infantry Regiment 4 forming the Grenadier Batallion 4/16 (please refer to this article for the details of the service of the grenadiers during the war).
|Prussian blue lined red with 2 white braid loops decorated in red and black with tassels under each lapel, a similar braid loop on each side in the small of the back and with 3 brass buttons on each side to fasten the skirts forming the turnbacks
|straw with horizontal pockets and brass buttons
Privates were armed with a musket, a bayonet and a sabre with a curved blade.
NCOs wore uniforms similar to those of the privates with the following distinctions:
- tricorne with wide gold lace and black and white quartered pompoms
- 6 golden lace loops on the lapels (none on the cuffs or below the lapels)
- no shoulder strap
- gilt buttons
- yellowish leather gloves
- black and white sabre tassel
NCOs were armed with a sabre and a dark brown or black half-pikes measuring 10 Rhenish feet (3.06 m.) in the musketeer companies and 13 Rhenish feet (4.10 m.) in the grenadier companies (carried by the 3 most senior NCOs while other grenadier NCOs were armed with rifled muskets since 1744).
NCOs also carried canes (normally attached to a button at the top of the right front while carrying the half-pike).
The uniforms of the officers were very similar to those of the privates with the following exceptions:
- black tricorne with a thin gold lace (officers always wore tricornes notwithstanding if they were commanding musketeers, fusiliers or grenadiers)
- white neck stock
- no shoulder strap on the coat
- 9 gold embroidery loops on each lapel
- 2 gold embroidery loops under each lapel
- 2 gold embroidery loops on the pockets
- 1 gold embroidery loop on each side in the small of the back
- 4 gold embroidery loops on each sleeve flap
- no turnback on the coat
- gilt buttons
- black and silver sash around the waist
Officers carried dark brown or black spontoons measuring 7 ½ Rhenish feet (2.36 m.) and an officer stick.
The uniforms of the drummers were similar to those of the privates but had much more elaborate lacing (a narrow drummer lace consisting of a white braid with a central black stripe bordered by two red stripes; a wide drummer lace consisting of a white white with a thick central red stripe bordered by two thin black stripes and two red stripes) and other peculiarities:
- no shoulder strap
- 4 vertical narrow laces on each shoulder
- coat, buttonholes and lapels edged with the narrow drummer lace
- each sleeve decorated with 9 horizontal narrow laces arranged in chevrons bordered by 2 vertical wide laces, one on each side of the chevrons
Colonel colour (Leibfahne): White field with four pale orange flames. Centre device consisting of a pale orange 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 colours (Kompaniefahnen): Pale orange field with four white flames. 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 pale orange scroll bearing the golden motto "Pro Gloria et Patria". Corner monograms (crowns, laurel wreaths, FR ciphers) and grenades in gold.
The pikes used as staffs for the colours were dark brown or black.
Anonymous (maybe Karl Wellner): Montierung des Königlich Preussischen Armee
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die Uniformen der Preußischen Infanterie 1753-1786, Teil III/Bd. 3, Osnabrück 1973
Bleckwenn, Hans: Die friderzianischen Uniformen 1753-1786, Bd. I Infanterie I, Osnabrück 1984
Deutsche Uniformen, Bd. 1, Das Zeitalter Friedrich des Großen, 240 images of Herbert Knötel d. J., Text and explanations by Dr. Martin Letzius, published by Sturm-Zigaretten GmbH, Dresden: 1932
Die Bewaffnung und Ausrüstung der Armee Friedrichs des Großen: Eine Dokumentation aus Anlaß seines 200. Todesjahres, 2 erw. Auflage, Raststatt 1986
Engelmann, Joachim and Günter Dorn: Die Infanterie-Regimenter Friedrich des Grossen, Podzun-Pallas, 2000
Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle
Guddat, Martin: Grenadiere, Musketiere, Füsiliere: Die Infanterie Friedrichs des Großen, Herford 1986
Hohrath, Daniel: The Uniforms of the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great from 1740 to 1786; Vol. 2; Verlag Militaria, Vienna: 2011, pp. 142-149
Menzel, Adolph von: Die Armee Friedrich's des Großen, Berlin: 1851/57
Schirmer, Friedrich: Die Heere der kriegführenden Staaten 1756-1763, published by KLIO-Landesgruppe Baden-Württemberg, Neuauflage 1989
Summerfield, Stephen: Prussian Musketeers of the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War: Uniforms, Organisation and Equipement of Musketeer Regiments, Ken Trotman Publishing: Huntingdon, 2012, pp. 139-143
Tressenmusterbuch von 1755
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.