Friday 30 April 2021

Leuthen Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 10 von Knobloch

[The flags are perhaps not some of the more attractive or complex Prussian flags, but the regiment certainly had an "exciting" war and was very highly regarded by Frederick. If I do only the more attractive flags at first I would have to end with a rather big swathe of the "boring" ones!]

The regiment was first raised in 1683.

Chefs in the Seven Years War were: Colonel Dietrich Erhard von Knobloch, later Major General to the 12th May 1757; Major General Gottlob Ernst von Pannwitz to the 10th February 1759; Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von der Mosel to 1768

IR 10 was with the King's army in the invasion of Saxony in 1756 but not at Lobositz. At the battle of Prague on May 6th 1757 it was part of Keith's Corps which was to the west of Prague, securing communications for the army. When the King lifted the siege of Prague on June 19th Keith's troops went back to Leitmeritz. The grenadiers of IR10 (9/10), who had fought at Kolin (with around 30% casualties - Duffy Army of Frederick the Great 1st Edition henceforth AFG1), were captured defending the town of Gabel. In August the regiment was part of the corps that went to Silesia with the Duke of Braunschweig-Bevern. It fought at Moys on September 7th when Frederick's close friend and eminence grise Winterfeldt was killed, quite possibly shot in the back by his own men from infantry regiment 32 Tresckow, which was largely made up of Catholics from Upper Silesia. On 22nd November the regiment fought in the defeat of Breslau and was then at Leuthen on December 5th. There, along with the Guard, it took part in repeated attacks on the churchyard at Leuthen, the main Austrian strong point, and lost 12 officers and 741 men (which according to AFG1 was distributed evenly between the 2 Battalions at around 50% losses each). The king praised the regiment's conduct most highly. The regiment ended the year at the siege of Breslau on December 19th.

In 1758 the regiment marched with the King's army to besiege Olmütz from June 1st to July 1st. The grenadiers were part of the force protecting the move back to Troppau, and were attacked from June 28th at Gundersdorf and Domstadtl. It stayed behind in Silesia with the Margrave Karl when the King went to Zorndorf and then joined Fouqué's Corps which was used to secure the main army's left wing while the King was encamped at Schmottseiffen.

In 1760 Fouqué's Corps had only 12,000 men including the 1st Battalion of IR10, after various units were transferred away. The 2nd Battalion was in Neisse and the grenadiers with Prince Heinrich's Corps until Freiberg in 1762. On June 17th 1760 Fouqué took up a fortified position at Landeshut but was then surrounded by an Austrian force under Laudon three times the size of his own. On the night of June 23rd Fouqué's force was attacked from two sides. Laudon reported that: "Height after height had to be torn away from the Prussians by bitter counterthrusts, one mountain after another, the entire withdrawal in the best order, step by step". Repeated demands to surrender went unheeded. IR10's 1st Battalion's surviving 328 men were captured. The King compared the defeat at Landeshut to the Greek fight at Thermopylae. (See Duffy By Force of Arms for a detailed account of Landeshut.)

Brought back up to strength, IR10 fought at Burkersdorf on July 21st 1762, its officers receiving 2 Pour-le-merite medals for their courage attacking the north slope of the position.

Christopher Duffy in his Army of Frederick the Great says this was: "another good Westphalian regiment, and notable for the enthusiasm of its cantonists. At the beginning of the Seven Years War Frederick questioned whether it would fight well against the French; an officer put his mind at rest, citing the superiority of "pumpernickel and Westphalian ham" over the "cakes and frogs' legs" of the French. It was very highly rated by Frederick in his somewhat capricious assessment of his army's performance in the 1760s.

And this was the musketeer uniform in 1756:

Monday 26 April 2021

Leuthen Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 46 von Württemberg

This was a fusilier regiment, first raised 1743. Chef to 1757 was Colonel Carl Eugen, Hereditary Prince of Württemberg, later Lieutenant General and reigning Duke. In 1756 the actual field commander was Colonel Christian Ludwig von Pfuel, later Major General. He was replaced on 18th November 1756 by Major General Emanuel von Schöning, who died on the 16th May 1757 of wounds received at the battle of Prague. His successor in May 1757 was Colonel Johann Albrecht von Bülow, who had been chef since the 26th December 1756 and was later a Lieutenant General.


In 1756 IR46 was mobilised to join the Prussian Corps in Pomerania as a reserve unit. It moved to Lusatia on December 7th. It was one of the units not enlarged on January 9th 1757 but remained at its original strength of 1320 men. At Prague on May 6th the 1st Battalion was on the left flank, the 2nd Battalion part of the force that surrounded the city; both battalions suffered heavy losses. (Duffy Army of Frederick the Great 1st Edition (henceforth AFG1)) gives the losses of the 2nd battalion as around 50% and the grenadier battalion 8/46 as 25%.) On July 15th the 2nd Battalion and the grenadiers were captured after the fall of Gabel. From mid-August the 1st Battalion marched to Silesia with the Duke of Bevern and was at the defeat of Breslau on the 22nd November. Joining the King at Parchwitz, the 1st Battalion fought at Leuthen as part of the second line of the right wing under General Bülow. Losses were around 15% (AFG1).

In 1758 the prisoners were exchanged and those who had not deserted returned to the regiment. From late March to April 16th the regiment participated in the siege of Schweidnitz, then from the beginning of May was at the abortive siege of Olmütz with the grenadiers, retreating to Silesia with the army after the debacle of Domstadtl. At Zorndorf on August 25th the regiment was on the right of Kanitz's left wing of the army which veered to the right and was only saved by an attack on the Russians by Seydlitz's cavalry wing; in this very bloody battle the regiment lost around 25% and the grenadiers (8/46) 30% (AFG1). When the left wing fell back the King tried to rally them with a regimental flag and his drawn sword. Under Wedell on September 28th the regiment was part of the force that took Fehrbellin from the Swedes to protect Berlin. The grenadiers were at the defeat of Hochkirch on the 14th October and lost 40% of their numbers (AFG1).

In 1759 it was part of Prince Heinrich's Corps that advanced into Franconia to June. Marching to Kunersdorf on 31st July, in the battle there of 12th August it suffered heavy losses (more than 35% (AFG1)) attacking the Grosser Spitzberg.

On June 23rd 1760 IR46 fought heroically to the bitter end at Fouqué's defeat at Landeshut; few survived to escape and now no prisoners were being exchanged. (There is an excellent detailed account of the battle in Duffy, By Force of Arms.) In 1761 and 1762 the remains of the regiment were stationed in Breslau and participated in the siege of Schweidnitz. At the end of the war in 1763 the regiment was filled up with the survivors of the Heer Free Battalion, who were largely Swiss deserters from the French army.

 And this is the fusilier uniform in 1756:

P.S. There was a slight glitch with these flags so I have redone them and reposted; the problem will not have made much difference to any flags printed from the glitchy version but it is good to get these things right.