Friday 10 December 2021

Prague Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 17 von Manteuffel

First raised 1693.

Chef:  from 20th July 1756 Major General Gerd Heinrich von Manteuffel, later Lieutenant General, to 1764

The regiment fought at Lobositz October 2nd 1756 with the King's Army, exchanging fire with the Croats on the Lobosch Hill for five hours until it ran out of ammunition. The Austrians counter-attacked around 1pm and the regiment responded with clubbed muskets and bayonets. Welhotta was captured and nine fresh Austrian battalions driven back into Lobositz itself. Regimental losses were heavy; Christopher Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition, henceforth AFG1, shows about 25% casualties.

At Prague on May 6th 1757 the regiment was on the right wing between the Hlaupetin Ridge and the ravine of the Rokenitz Brook. AFG1 reports that: "Warnery says of these grenadiers [those of IR 17 and IR22's combined battalion] at Prague that they were "the only ones who did not open fire but pressed home the attack at bayonet point! After all they were Pomeranians ... who are beyond doubt the best infantry in the world"." At the battle of Kolin 18th June the regiment was ordered to march to the left, after the army broke through on the Krzeczhorz Heights, to maintain control of the area but the command did not reach them. The regiment stood fast for 30 minutes at Chozenitz along with IR 20 under General von Manstein, swept by artillery fire and musketry, where it helped to protect the retreat of the beaten left wing of the army. Kolin AFG1 shows at least 30% casualties. The regiment then fought at Moys on 7th September where General von Winterfeldt was killed, possibly shot in the back by his own troops, some of whom were Saxons forcibly enlisted after Pirna. On November 22nd the regiment was caught up in the defeat at Breslau. At Leuthen (and also Rossbach and Zorndorf later) only the grenadier battalion was present; AFG1 shows 25% casualties at Leuthen and 50% at Zorndorf.

On March 15th 1760 the regiment was highly distinguished in a fight against very heavy odds. Under Lieutenant General Baron von der Goltz the regiment was escorting a convoy from Neustadt to Steinau and was attacked by the Austrian General Loudon who had 3000 cavalry, 2000 Croats and 1900 grenadiers. Twice the regiment refused a demand to surrender. Von der Goltz reported that "they commenced to hack at us six times but did not succeed once". The Prussians reportedly lost only 35 dead, 43 captured and 79 wounded, and claimed to have killed or wounded 800 of the Austrian attackers. The King gave six Pour-le-merite medals in thanks and wrote "I hope that other generals take a good example from this action, for this is the old Prussian way of defending oneself successfully even against vast enemy superiority. Convey my compliments to the officers of Manteuffel in my name. They have acted in our old, honourable way, and not according to the  infamous modern example of other folk". Loudon said there were no Prussian deserters "because the regiment consists of native-born Pomeranians". At Torgau on November 3rd of the same year the regiment was part of the second main attack under General von Bülow against the Zinna Heights and captured four cannon but suffered 1000 casualties, half its numbers.

In 1761 the regiment was with Prince Heinrich in Saxony. At Freiberg on October 29th 1762 it fought under Major General von Alt-Stutterheim against the enemy right wing, and pushed it back to the south along the Spittelwald by clever use of the terrain, reportedly.

Christopher Duffy says: "A good Pomeranian regiment, distinguished at Soor, Prague and Neustadt 15 March 1760."

And this was the uniform in 1756: