Saturday 25 December 2021

Prague Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Fusilier Infantry Regiment 40

The garishly pink flags of IR40 seem suitably festive for my Christmas posting. I wish everyone a Happy Xmas and New Year. More to come soon including more of the Austrian WAS flags.

Chefs: 1st May 1750 Colonel Johann Friedrich von Kreytzen, brother of the previous chef, later Lieutenant General; 7th April 1759 Major General Georg Carl Gottlieb von der Gabelentz, later Lieutenant General, to 1777

Regiment given to Prussia in 1740 by Duke Wilhelm Heinrich of Saxe-Eisenach, who was its first chef to his death in 1741.

 It was with the Corps of Field Marshal Count von Schwerin in 1756. In April it marched to Bunzlau as part of General von Puttkamer's Advance Guard and took the magazine there on April 26th. On May 6th it was part of the failed left wing attack at Prague, but had fewer than 20% casualties (Christopher Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition, henceforth AFG1). In the battle of Kolin on 18th June it struggled towards Brzezan under heavy artillery fire and near the end of the battle was attacked by the Austrian cavalry, as was the First Guard Battalion alongside which it was fighting. Around 6pm it was at Planjan helping to keep the escape route to Nimburg open for the routed Prussian army. Losses were at least 30% (AFG1). At Schweidnitz under the command of Grumbkow it launched an attack that took 400 prisoners but after the loss of several forts to the enemy the regiment was captured on November 12th. Its chef Colonel von der Gabelentz refused to sign the capitulation. While it was on its way to captivity in Brünn the grenadiers were fighting on the right wing at Leuthen (with those of IR33).

The regiment was returned in 1758 and reorganised at Landeshut by July and then sent to join Dohna's Corps at Frankfurt on 31st July, moving to west of Küstrin on August 17th. At Zorndorf on August 25th both battalions were on Dohna's Wing, the second battalion covered the greta battery on the right wing, where it was attacked by Russian cavalry on the flank. Surrounded and having lost two flags it was saved by the counter attack under Seydlitz and Schorlemmer. The King was "highly satisfied" with its performance. The grenadiers were captured on the left wing at Hochkirch, and at the same time the musketeer battalions marched to the Mulde and fought at Torgau and Eilenberg in November.

With the Pomeranian Corps in 1759 the regiment suffered heavy losses at Kay in repeated attacks on the Palzig Heights, so much so that at Kunersdorf on August 11th-12th it was used to guard the Oder bridges at Görtz. By the end of September it was in Saxony again.

In 1760 it was part of the failed siege of Dresden and then in Silesia it served on the left wing at Liegnitz on August 15th.

In 1761 the regiment was part of the advance towards Poland and was camped with the King at Bunzelwitz.

In 1762 it was in action at the recapture of Schweidnitz from August 8th to October 10th.

In 1784 the King said that the men hardly resembled soldiers and was even ruder about the regiment in 1785.

And this was the uniform in 1756: