Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Rossbach Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 21 von Hülsen

 First raised 1713. Chef 1756-1767 was Major General Johann Dietrich von Hülsen, later Lieutenant General and Governor of Berlin


In 1756 IR 21 was at Lobositz on October 1st; in the final attack of the battle the regiment lost 12 officers and 265 men. 3 Pour-le-Merites were awarded to the regimental commander and the two battalion commanders. On October 12th the regimental chef Major General von Hülsen spoke to Frederick on behalf of his captains: "as I have found nothing to criticise in their ... service and the duty and loyalty they showed at every opportunity". The King therefore awarded 4 more Pour-le-Merites. The grenadiers served at Dresden and Aussig. After being at Prague the regiment was then with the King at Kolin on June 18th 1757. Its commander Major General von Hülsen proved a brave and talented leader. However, the regiment was destroyed by the final attack of Austrian and Saxon cavalry; it lost 11 dead and 16 captured officers, 500 dead other ranks, 200 wounded and 250 prisoners. Lieutenant General von Treskow, who commanded the left wing of the army, was captured along with the regimental colours, the regiment having been all but obliterated. At Rossbach only the first battalion was present, on the extreme left of the main Prussian infantry line. At Moys on September 7th, where Winterfeldt was killed,  the grenadiers lost 376 men. After serving on the left flank of the army at Leuthen, the regiment was sent to join Prince Henry's Saxon Corps in 1758.

Menzel drawing of von Hülsen riding a cannon into battle at Torgau

The grenadiers took the fortress of Schweidnitz in a night attack on April 16th 1758 and led successful counter attacks at the defeat of Hochkirch. At Greiffenberg on 26th March 1759 they were taken prisoner after a fierce fight. On August 12th the regiment lost 25 officers and 783 men at the disaster of Kunersdorf; the regiment was virtually wiped out yet again. The remnants of the battalion, a total of 15 officers and 582 men, were then taken prisoner on November 21st. In the winter of 1759-60, incorporating recovered invalids and new recruits, the regiment was reformed and in the spring of 1760 was serving with Prince Henry's corps which in the summer joined the march on Torgau with the King's army. It fought well in that battle and its chef was "hero of the hour". Christopher Duffy says in his Army of Frederick Great 2nd edition: "All of Hülsen's horses had been shot from under him and "since his age and wounds prevented him from going on foot, he set himself on a cannon and had himself dragged into the enemy fire"." This final assault drove the Austrians from their strongly held position. In both 1761 and 1762 the regiment was with the Saxon corps with Prince Henry and although at Freiberg did not see action there. Thus ended its war.

 [Information mostly from Dorn and Engelmann, Infantry of Frederick the Great.]

And here is the musketeer uniform of the regiment in the SYW:


Steve J. said...

I'm not normally a fan of Prussian flags (don't know why?) but I do like these two as they just appeal to me no end:). Excellent work once again!

David said...

Thanks, Steve. I'm glad you like them. One thing I really do like about Prussian flags is the relatively limited range of flag types, which makes it easier to produce them, once the basic designs have been drawn! (By contrast, the Hanoverian flags are a nightmare - every one different and all complex designs. Yeouwch... ;-))

All the best,


Jonathan Freitag said...

Very handsome! Love the rich color.

David said...

Thanks, Jonathan. Yes, it is a rather attractive rich plum colour, isn't it? The next Prussian flags, of IR6, are rather more plain but the unit is certainly interesting...

All the best,