Thursday 28 April 2022

Prague Prussian Flags Project - Flags of Prussian Infantry Regiment 3 Anhalt-Dessau; then von Kahlden; latterly Anhalt-Bernburg

Chefs: From 23rd December 1752 Major Colonel Leopold Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt Dessau later Major General ; from 5th January 1758 Major General Henning Alexander von Kahlden, died 22nd October 1758 of wounds received at Zorndorf; from 31st March 1759 Major General Franz Adolf, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg,  later Lieutenant General, to 1784

The regiment was at Lobositz on October 1st 1756 and was thrown in as the last reserve to help with the attack on the Lobosch Hill after the cavalry fight in the plain below. At Prague it was part of the right wing's first line under Braunschweig-Bevernand which broke through the Austrian line south of Kej. Casualties were heavy in the fight round the Rokenitz Brook. (Duffy, Army of Frederick the Great, 1st Edition (henceforth Duffy AFG1) shows around 40% casualties.) At Kolin on 18th June (without its third battalion) again it was on the right wing under the Duke of Bevern, and it was claimed that Bevern's inaction assured the defeat. It then helped protect the retreat at Planjan. (Duffy, AFG1, shows about 50% casualties.) On November 22nd the grenadiers suffered defeat at Breslau and then enjoyed victory at Leuthen on December 5th  (Duffy, AFG1, shows about 20% casualties) .

As a result of the loss of a battalion at Kolin the regiment did not see service again until the battle of Kay (Paltzig) on July 23rd 1759; its three battalions of the avant garde were commanded by Lieutenant-General von Manteuffel. Under heavy artillery fire the regiment fought through to the Russian gun positions but was thrown back with heavy losses. Four further attacks had the same result. On December 12th seven companies of the regiment were captured by the Austrians on the right bank of the Elbe at Meissen.

When Frederick surrounded Dresden on July 10th 1760, the first two battalions of the regiment were routed with heavy losses in the Pirna suburb as far as the Grosse Garten, during a night attack by the enemy forces in the city on July 21st. The King was furious and demoted them to garrison duty. He also took away the other ranks' sidearms and also the braid on the hats of the officers and NCOs. The army was deeply impressed by this punishment. Three weeks later at Liegnitz the regiment redeemed itself by charging at the Austrians and breaking through their lines and forcing Loudon to withdraw his battered command over the Katzbach.  (Duffy, AFG1, shows about 45% casualties.) The King restored the regiment to favour, paying for the braid on the hats out of his own pocket.

IR3 attacks the Austrians at Liegnitz (Menzel)

Frederick gives IR3 back its sidearms and hat braid (Röchling)

In 1762 the regiment under its commander Major General Franz Adolf, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg captured Leutmannsdorf but lost the commander of its second battalion. The regiment was awarded two Pour-le-merite medals for the action.

Christopher Duffy (AFG1) says: "In the Seven Years War it was filled up with impressed Saxons and performed erratically, disgracing itself at the siege of Dresden in 1760 but redeeming its name at Liegnirz late  in the same year." It was quite highly regarded by Frederick after the war.

 And this was the uniform in 1756: